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UFT Elections – I’d like your vote

May 11, 2016 pm31 2:43 pm


You’ve probably received your UFT Election ballot, and may be considering your options.

Let me share my thoughts.

First, turnout is important. Last election only 18% of in-service teachers voted – that sends a terrible message. No matter who you end up supporting, please vote, and please encourage your members to vote.

But I’d also like to urge you to vote for the MORE/New Action slate.  You can read the standard literature here:  I mean, it’s good literature. Read it. But that’s not what I want to discuss.


Fariña has been a disappointment. Most of us think so, including people on both sides in the election.

MORE/New Action – we would have asked her to get rid of 200 lawyers. We would have asked to end the crazy funding system that discriminates against experienced teachers. We would have asked to revise or throw out the Quality Reviews. We would have insisted she crack down on (and in some cases remove) abusive administrators.

UNITY leadership has done NONE of this. I don’t think they disagree with all of it; they just have other priorities.


Unity has prioritized writing and rewriting the teacher evaluation law and NYC’s plan. They have devoted considerable resources to getting MOSL right (that’s a waste, isn’t it?  MOSL will never really make sense). They are committed to using test scores as part of teachers’ evaluations (see Mulgrew’s comments at the April DA).  Many working teachers, probably most of us, do not agree.

High Schools:

I like high school people, including people running against me. But where are the high school issues on the UFT agenda?
Why are we still sending people out of the building for scoring regents?
Why have we not addressed campus issues? Why aren’t we combining schools where the little schools aren’t working?
And why are we not insisting that incompetent or abusive principals get removed?
We need leaders who will make high schools a priority again.


Who will you elect to the 7 high school executive board seats? With Unity?  Unity voters are only choosing 3 full-time teachers.

But when you vote MORE/New Action, you are filling 7 seats with 7 full-time teachers. We represent large schools, small schools, alternative schools, transfer schools, consortium schools, and a specialized high school.

Arthur Goldstein, Chapter Leader Francis Lewis HS in Queens. Teaches ESL. The best NYC education blogger there is. You might know him as nyc educator

Mike Schirtzer, Delegate, Leon Goldstein HS in Brooklyn. Social Studies.

Ashraya Gupta, Delegate, Harvest Collegiate in Manhattan (that’s a consortium school). Chemistry.

David Garcia Rosen, Bronx Academy of Letters. Social Studies. David has been the driving force in getting PSAL teams for small schools.

Kuljit Ahluwalia, Queens Academy. Science. KJ was the former Chapter Leader at Canarie HS.

Marcus McArthur, Satellite Academy, Manhattan. Special Ed. Marcus is an activist, an advocate, and a writer

And me. Jonathan Halabi.  HS of American Studies at Lehman College. Chapter Leader since 2002. Mathematics.

Here’s a picture I like:Inline image 1

That’s me, at a DA, speaking against a Unity proposal. The proposal was good for me, personally, but it would have meant that new teachers would pay into the pension for their entire careers, instead of just 10 years.

Some people have to speak up for what’s right. You should vote for them.

Please mark the MORE/New Action box on your ballot, and return it.

Please urge your friends, members, and colleagues to vote, and encourage them to vote for MORE/New Action as well.

Jonathan Halabi

Chapter Leader, HS of American Studies at Lehman College.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Diane Gallagher permalink
    May 12, 2016 am31 8:44 am 8:44 am

    Thank you for your steadfast work, Jonathan, as our union has so rapidly declined with self promotion and backroom deals. The union’s soul has been sold. I am voting for More/New Action but was aghast at all retirees stuck w Unity. Sheer habit?

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