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Today’s UFT Delegate Assembly – What to Look For

June 16, 2021 pm30 5:01 pm

Mulgrew will talk for a long, long time. Few delegates will get a chance to speak. Every vote will go as Unity Caucus wants it to.

That’s all given. But what specifically will happen?

1. Will Unity really win every single vote? They lost their endorsements in April?

1. They lost their endorsements in April because Mulgrew was being a dick, and not allowing people to object to candidates they didn’t like. A little less dickish in May, and they all passed easily.

2. Will there be any real discussion of the NYC Mayor’s race?

2. Wow. So much here.

  • Why did Unity refuse to consider Ranked Choice Voting? Will they consider it today?
  • Stringer looks dead in the water. We spent one million dollars on him (with the AFT throwing in another three mil). How much money do we have to toss around?
  • Will we endorse, or co-endorse, or rank Maya WIley?
  • The UFT consistently says No Adams, No Yang. But Mulgrew has been silent on Garcia, less noxious, but more corporate and dangerous than the other two. Will he say No Garcia, or is this a stealth endorsement.

3. Will there be any real discussion of the Unity Plan to Privatize retirees’ health care?

3. Delegates are trying to get this discussed. Will Unity allow discussion? They might let it come up, and just vote it down. But they might also use Mulgrew-style procedural objections to stop anyone from even asking “can we talk about this?” This is a huge deal.

Privatizing Medicare is bad for future retirees (Unity is making sure that current retirees keep the same level of benefit)

Privatizing Medicare opens the door to what Mulgrew says he wants to do next – renegotiate health care for in service members. I don’t trust Unity with the future of my health care.

Maintaining benefits for current retirees might require taking money from current teachers (additional savings – but those savings are for the City and Unity Caucus. Where doe the money come from? You and me). At a retiree meeting a perceptive retiree suggested that more savings could come from keeping new teachers in HIP, no choice, for 5 or 10 years (it is currently 1 year). Mulgrew said “that’s interesting, we will take a look”

Unity’s approach to healthcare is working AGAINST the New York Health Act (kind of medicare for all / MFA for New York State). At this point there is much support for the New York Health Act. The opposition? The Trump people, joined by Weingarten, Pallotta, and Mulgrew. On health care, Unity are honorary Trumpies.

The NY Health Act, by the way, carves out protections for us. When Mulgrew says that the act will hurt us, he is not being honest.

4. How tightly will Unity control the discussion?

4. In May, every resolution had Unity Speaker for, Unity Speaker for, one independent delegate against, Unity Speaker then vote. Someone orchestrated every word. Unity has always controlled discussion, but after losing that vote in April they were full-throttle paranoid. Was that a one-time, and they will relax? Or has Unity assigned a DA Choreographer as a new category of patronage job?

5. How will next year’s DA function?

5. Mulgrew will be proposing hybrid Delegate Assemblies – remote and in person. Motions and fun stuff? Only in person. Voting? Everyone, remote and in-person.

There are delegates who are saying that remote delegates will be disenfranchised, and that is undemocratic. Others will say that if you want to make a motion, come in person.

Unity will get it’s vote to pass. There will be people speaking against. There is a question what percent votes no. 5% vote no on everything. 50% + 1 would defeat it. What’ll happen? Not sure what delegates will think – but I’m guessing about 20% vote no. It’ll pass.

But here’s the bottom line. My first reaction is to distrust this proposal. Not because I necessarily buy James’ argument 100% (I have to think about it). No, I distrust the proposal because Unity has been manipulating process badly, baldly, blatantly during this pandemic.

Unity got caught cheating last month – 10 resolutions were submitted, but Unity did not place them on the agenda in the order they were submitted, they put the ones they didn’t want to talk about at the bottom. Someone found the receipts. Proof. I would distrust any proposal Unity made about procedure.

Sorry for not ending on an optimistic note. After a year of fighting against hybrid, and blended, and instructional lunch, and “flexibility” in the contract(s?), which all seem to emanate from Unity, I’m not feeling generous.

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