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Coalition credit

May 9, 2007 pm31 10:33 pm

Credit where credit is due. The UFT’s leaders did little to protect teachers when they renegotiated the reorganization. The changes that affect transfers are ugly, and even if they do not produce immediate negative results (but they very well may), even so, in the long run they cede control that we had gained through the SBO (School based option) transfer, cede it from teacher/admin joint control back to unilateral principal control.

The UFT’s negotiating led to changes in funding that essentially delay for 2 years one of the more destructive aspects of the reorg.

But, credit where credit is due. The UFT put together a coalition, a real coalition, of community-based groups, parent groups, activist groups, advocacy groups.

1. The most powerful unity we can have starts with unity of teachers, and we have a long way to go there. But unity with the community also has amazing potential. We have a source of strength now that we never had before. It is up to us to keep this coalition together, and to work with it in ways that benefit all (and intimidate the Mayor, whoever that may be).

2. This coalition represents something that has been happening for a long time: the UFT, without rewriting history, has effectively broken with the attitudes of the strike against community control in 1969. To have our president standing on the same podium, sharing a message with leaders of groups that 40 years ago despised us, that is amazing.

Where we are doing badly, I will continue to point it out. When we or our leaders make mistakes…. But if I speak to negatives, I have an obligation to speak to positives. Assembling that coalition was an amazing step for the United Federation of Teachers.

(credit to City Sue for pointing out that no one was pointing this out!)

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