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UFT Election Results – Mandates?

May 29, 2016 pm31 11:26 pm

Turnout was up in every division – but still far too low. If “I didn’t bother to return my ballot” was a candidate, he would have swept every office, every division.

Voters tend to be more involved, more active. Their voices should be heard. But let’s be careful about the responsibility to represent members (what the winners actually earned) and a mandate.

Let’s take a look. I’m going to use teacher votes only, since I am most certain of them.

President. This time Mulgrew got 16.2% of all eligible teachers, Jia Lee got 8.2%. 74.8% Not Voting.
Last election: Mulgrew 14.1%, Julie Kavanagh 4.6%, 81.3% Not Voting.  Time before Mulgrew 21.2%, Kit Wainer 3.4%, 75.4% Not Voting.

Elementary School Exec Board. This time Unity 19.8% to MORE/New Action 6.5%, with 73.1% not voting.
Last time Unity 15%, MORE 3.3%, New Action 1.6%, 80.1% not voting. Time before Unity 21%, New Action 2.6%, ICE/TJC 1.9%, Not Voting 74.5%.

Middle School Exec Board. This time Unity 14.7%, MORE/New Action 7.9%, Other 1.6%, Not Voting 75.8%.
Last time Unity 11%, MORE 3.7%, New Action 1.5%, 83.8% Not Voting. Time before Unity 16.9%, New Action 3.6%, ICE/TJC 2.1%, Not Voting 77.8%.

High School Exec Board. This time MORE/New Action 11.6%, Unity 10.5%, with 77.3% not voting.
Last time Unity/New Action 10.8%, MORE 7.5%, 81.7% not voting. Time before Unity/New Action 16.9%, ICE/TJC 6.9%, Not Voting 76.2%.

Participation in the elections has clearly improved, but it’s not enough. All of us, every caucus, have a strong interest in seeing even greater participation next time around. And I think that means greater participation in everyday union life in the schools. Which means inactive chapters need to become active. Inactive members have to get involved. And in schools without chapters, we have to help start them.

Especially in high schools, the break up of our traditional schools made it harder to maintain regular union functioning – which both makes our organizing efforts in the mini-schools more important, and serves as a reminder that we must be advocating the reassembly of some of our large high schools.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Arthur Goldstein permalink
    May 30, 2016 am31 6:59 am 6:59 am

    And apathy is once again the winner by a landslide.

    • May 30, 2016 am31 7:49 am 7:49 am

      So the election becomes a measure of two separate things.
      1. How involved the membership feels (you feel involved, you vote). Answer – a bit more than 3 years ago – 25% vs less than 20%, but not at the 2004 level – 30%, and not close to the 50+% that we need
      2. Among the subset, the activists and the semi-involved, how much do they want to keep what they have now, vs how much do they want to get more, or get back what they had before. And on that count, Unity still has a clear edge, though considerably less than in the “old days.”

  2. Arthur Goldstein permalink
    May 30, 2016 am31 7:01 am 7:01 am

    Another takeaway is that Jia got one third of working teacher vote. That’s pretty good for fighting against a huge, entrenched machine full of people who can campaign pretty much full time.


  1. Halabi looks at the UFT numbers. “Didn’t show up won.” | Fred Klonsky

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