Sunday, February 5, 2017

The UFT and Right to Work - Both are Contronyms

   Right to Work and the UFT are contronyms - words or phrases that have the opposite meaning of what they should have. Right to Work is really the right to become quickly and easily unemployed. The United Federation of Teachers is not United in any sense of the word. Even after saying that, any union, even the UFT, is better than none at all - but I don't understand some of us expecting radical protesting from teachers.  Expecting us to take up our yard sticks and erasers to fight the establishment isn't going to happen. The only reason the UFT, which is really run by a handful of people, even notices is because they feel individually threatened.  Many of us feel completely disenfranchised. The UFT is complicit in the creation of our defeated and apathetic rank and file. Teaching under the Bloomberg administration, the shuttering of schools (2005 contract-Weingarten), the end of seniority transfers (2005 contract- Weingarten), lowering of our TDA (Weingarten), the influx of charter schools (with UFT joining in), fair student funding, the mass hiring of inexperienced, inexpensive and rural young teachers, the failure of the UFT to endorse Thompson during Bloomberg's  run for a third term (Mulgrew), the choice to remain silent instead of doing anything (Mulgrew) during Bloomberg's third term, the army of veteran teachers turned into subs (the ATR pool), the discriminatory ATR provisions put into effect from the UFT (Mulgrew), the never ending expansion of class sizes, the army of lawyers to terminate teachers, the observation games, the constant claims of victory after defeat, the raises that aren't (Mulgrew), the increased healthcare (Mulgrew), the Weingarten endorsement for the entire AFT of Hilary over Bernie and the exclusive, non-democratic governance of the UFT are but a few of their benchmark atrocities (yes, they put the ATR in atrocity).
    The fight over DeVos also shows the continued lack of political insight from the UFT. This lady doesn't know what she's doing, good intentions not withstanding. (There are at least 20 much worse candidates that Trump could get with excellent credentials, that woud easily get in and completely  eviserate us.) Remember Cathie Black? When complaints of oversized classes reached her she commented that the parents should start using birth control. While I don't think DeVos is such a callous person, I don't think she'll last long - especially if she has to fight some of the very obnoxious people that have repeatedly shafted us and are supposedly on our side. I would greet her and work with her. She may not get in and that will be used as the excuse to allow Andy Puzder in as Secretary of Labor. 'We gave up Betsy, now you give us Andy.' Puzder is the real danger. He doesn't doesn't believe in minimum wage, wants the entire country to be Right to Work, and makes the pre-enlightened Ebenezer Scrooge look like the personification of generosity. This is who should be scrutinized, publicized and protested against. He's the dude that can put us all out of work - you, your spouse and your kids.

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