Saturday, April 30, 2016

I'm Voting Solidarity

This week we should all be receiving a large envelope via snail mail that will allow you to vote for the caucuses and individuals that you want to represent you. It is the UFTs fondest hope and desire that you will leave these important decisions in the hands of the retirees. (Retirees pay 1/40th of the dues we do and really shouldn't be voting in elections, as they aren't active members and aren't covered by Taylor laws.) For many years, I usually tossed my envelope directly into the trash. I assumed the union had my best interests in mind and I had very little to complain about. That changed for me after the full ramifications of the 2005 contract became apparent. It became appallingly so with the closure of hundreds of schools, the legions of veteran teachers segmented into the demeaning role of substitute teacher and the promotion of the UFT president to AFT president. I then realized we were all sold a bill of goods and that we would keep on paying, until we retired or quit. This epiphany did not stop the tidal wave of assaults on our profession from Bloomberg, the media or the deformer groups. The UFT, which I had always supported and held in the highest regard, sat on its collective hands. (Mulgrew stopped talking with Mayor Bloomberg for much of the mayor's tenure.) Then the inevitable happened to me - my school was closed and I became an ATR.

 The UFT recently passed a contract that allows discrimination against ATRs. This was, for many of us, an injury that could not be shaken off. It was and is a complete betrayal from the UFT of its most vulnerable and veteran teachers. To add insult to injury, we were told there was no need for an ATR chapter, because this would solidify a temporarily displaced group. (There have been ATRs for over a decade with no end in sight.) On a good day, an ATR is mind numbingly bored and on a bad day angry, humiliated or despondent. These bad days can end your career, such as it is, or your life. I personally know several ATRs who have died after having had a stroke and/or heart attack.

If you are a new teacher or one that has over 10 years in service, you will learn that the UFT doesn't care about you, your needs or your wants. It cares about your dues. If you don't like it - quit or retire. There's always someone else to replace you. It's time to change this. Vote. I believe Solidarity is the best choice. Portelos and many of Soldiarity's candidates, have had their intestinal fortitude tested from rubberrooms, 3020a hearings, ATR placements and targeting. Portelos fought and won, over and over, against incredible obstacles. We need fighters, while there is still something worth fighting for.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately,an accurate assessment of the situation


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