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Teachers’ business

May 17, 2007 am31 6:40 am

Last week’s UFT Delegate Assembly had an interesting agenda. Given the recently called and cancelled demonstration, and the shuffling of DA dates, this wasn’t exactly shocking. Plus we recently approved, en masse, some resolutions that had been sitting, unmoved, on the agenda for months.

But what caught my attention? Not the unscheduled debate on putting a demonstration discussion on June’s agenda. (good idea, defeated about 3:1). Not the endless parade of LSO and PSO shills and “Empowerment” hucksters. Some Principals kept their Chapter Leaders and Delegates in the dark about these “choices” and there were plenty of teachers who stayed to the bitter end (an hour late!) to get this valuable (?) (ha!) information.

This is a genuine multipartisan sentiment. …Supporters of every caucus walking out angry. Regular Chapter Leaders and Delegates deserve to be treated with respect. Respect our commitment to the UFT.

But with half an hour left to the regular agenda, the United Federation of Teachers Delegate Assembly was handed over to Daniel Doctoroff. Now, this was not the first thing that has been handed over to  Mr. Doctoroff. Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. (Who gave him that job?)

(more beneath the fold) —>

Doctoroff likes mentioning his role in getting not getting the Olympics for NYC in 2012. Good contacts though. And he didn’t come to talk about opening schools on toxic waste sites (though you might be interested to read this.) No, he came to talk about Bloomberg’s plan for a green New York. Interesting. Though I’m not stupid enough to think Bloomberg and his cronies really are going to get much positive done.

He took, I don’t know. It seemed liked half an hour, almost up to the time to adjourn (which we chose to ignore). And after him we had the LSO/PSO/Empowerment shill alphabet soup presentation.

But look folks, you don’t have to be as cynical as me to know that something was wrong here. This is the United Federation of Teachers Delegate Assembly. It is not for sale, no matter how expensive the suit, no matter how many failed Olympics proposals he has written. Or it shouldn’t be. Our DA is for union business. And the people who set the agenda need to know that this should not happen again.

Just me being cynical? Not at all. This is a genuine multipartisan sentiment. I saw supporters of every caucus walking out angry, including more members of the leadership’s caucus than all others combined. Regular Chapter Leaders and Delegates deserve to be treated with respect. Respect our commitment to the UFT. Respect our time.

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