Saturday, July 12, 2014

NYC Educator: Will Weingarten Pledge to Stand with Us in Supporting True Union Democracy?

NYC Educator: Will Weingarten Pledge to Stand with Us in Supporting True Union Democracy?:



Will Weingarten Pledge to Stand with Us in Supporting True Union Democracy?



Ms. Weingarten sent me a pledge from the halls of the AFT Convention in L.A. today.  The pledge concluded with these words:  "While we're fighting for big things, no action is too small.  We need you to do whatever you can.  Commit to engage your colleagues in the fight.  To build power at the ballot box.  To share our work online and in person.  To work hand in hand with the communities we serve."

I must know whether Ms. Weingarten is sincere and if her invitation applies to all.  Will UFT Unity delegates be able to engage their colleagues and their communities if the views differ from those of Unity's leadership?  The AFT can never truly represent the views of its rank and file in a democratic sense so long as UFT Unity, the tail that wags two dogs,  both NYSUT and the AFT, is not truly democratic.

Some of the most committed and experienced individuals have faced a Unity lockout for years now because, put quite simply, they refuse to swear to vote the Unity line and adhere to all Unity policies in public.

How will I know whether our Union truly wishes to represent its rank and file and tolerate free discussion or whether it merely wishes to represent the views of a mysterious few in leadership positions whom largely seem out of touch with active members?

1.  UFT Unity would need to discard loyalty oaths and palm cards (which instruct delegates how to vote), cutting the purse strings of a vast patronage system that provides lucrative employment in union offices, double pensions, fancy trips and other privileges only to those who sign away the right to vote their conscience or that of their constituency if they differ from the Unity party line.

2.  The slate voting tied to a winner-take-all system in UFT elections would need to change.  MORE received 40% of the high school vote in the last election.  Yet, not a single MORE rep. is allowed to sit on the Executive Board.  This is not democracy.

3.  District Reps. would need to be elected.  In the past, chapter leaders were allowed to pick their reps.  Now, they are appointed, in a completely undemocratic way, and they are all Unity.

4.  The UFT would need to allow more debate in which all sides are allowed equal time and the voice of critics, who are die-hard unionists, are not summarily dismissed or stifled.  There would need to be far greater transparency as well. We deserve to know a lot more about how our NYC Educator: Will Weingarten Pledge to Stand with Us in Supporting True Union Democracy?:

Coop’s Youth Part 1 – Puberty Pressure Cooker | Lefty Parent

Coop’s Youth Part 1 – Puberty Pressure Cooker | Lefty Parent:



Coop’s Youth Part 1 – Puberty Pressure Cooker

July 12th, 2014 at 16:04

A junior high yearbook picture
My 7th grade yearbook picture
Our mom, my brother and I returned from two long full developmental weeks of our vacation on Cape Cod, beginning to find some equilibrium as three still emerging human beings, without a male parent in the household, now in mostly positive relationship with each other. I was now pretty much transitioned from my childhood, where one fully existed in the orbit of their parents and their parents’ worldview, to my “youth” (as the term is now used to describe the years generally from age ten or eleven until adulthood), where one begins to achieve the escape velocity (to continue the astronomical metaphor) to leave that orbit and explore the greater solar system of a community beyond ones home.
But stressful challenges were ahead for all of us. Our mom still figuring out her persona now as a single adult woman, “divorcee”, and part of the progressive community that existed around the university. Peter entering third grade still wrestling with his weight issues but emerging as a talented artist.
And me, matriculating into junior high. The start of school each fall had become the yearly low point for me, and now doubly so because of a big new school full of loads of kids that I would not know and may or may not be comfortable with. I had survived my last couple years of elementary school without too much psychic damage, though I got through it by being more of a trained seal than a fully engaged person. My emerging approach to my academic school work was exemplified by my zeal for working my way through the color-coded SRA reading program, reading their generic, homogenized, level-rated prose pieces and taking the comprehension test after each, before moving on the next piece and eventually up to the next color level. What I was reading was not particularly interesting to me, the whole point was to try to “level up” relative to my classmates, which had some self-esteem boost for me.
I have no recollection now of the first time I set foot in the institutional halls of Tappan Junior high for my first day of homeroom and six different classes each day, probably one of the youngest kids there given I was a year ahead of myself in school, having skipped kindergarten many years back. The building Coop’s Youth Part 1 – Puberty Pressure Cooker | Lefty Parent:

Nite Cap 7-12-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #AFT14



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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