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United for Change / UFT

November 17, 2021 pm30 2:25 pm

November 17, 2021

Press Contacts:United For Change: Annie Tan, teacher: Bennett Fischer, retired teacher: 646.591.7598


New York, New York: Throughout 2020 and 2021, UFT members have watched as their union failed to keep unsafe schools closed, failed to listen to its members, and failed to secure fair pay, benefits, and protections. Late night emails from UFT President Michael Mulgrew with empty rhetoric are commonplace, but classrooms are overcrowded and poorly ventilated, counseling departments are grossly understaffed, schools reopened with the same poor infrastructure, and the healthcare of retirees and new members has been sold to the highest bidder. The COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown has shown that educators need a responsive union leadership that is willing to mobilize members to improve working and learning conditions.

United for Change, a group of opposition caucuses, activist groups, and individual educators in the United Federation of Teachers is proud to announce a joint-slate coalition to challenge the 60-year reign of the UFT’s Unity caucus in the upcoming 2022 UFT elections. United for Change is composed of school workers who want to see a fundamental shift at the top of their union after entrenched, increasingly undemocratic and unaccountable, single-party control. Coalition organizations include the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), UFT Solidarity, New Action-UFT, the Independent Community of Educators (ICE-UFT), Educators of NYC (EONYC), Retiree Advocate-UFT, and a broad swath of new and veteran union activists. The coalition’s platform includes calls for:

  • Smaller class sizes with enforceable caps negotiated in the UFT contract
  • More student support staff, including counselors, social workers, librarians, nurses & secretaries
  • Fair pay and professional respect for all, including paraprofessionals, therapists, & untenured staff
  • Safe working conditions &  safe learning conditions
  • More democracy within their union and more organizing support in chapters & districts
  • A halt to the privatization of public education & healthcare
  • Better healthcare for union members & their families

The joint slate will be announced at the UFT’s Delegate Assembly at 52 Broadway on November 17th at 4:30 PM. Coalition activists at the delegate hall will speak about the new coalition.

Movement of Rank-and-File Educators Caucus member Annie Tan said, “I am inspired by the examples of Chicago and Los Angeles that won many more protections than New York because they have unions that listen to their teachers and members. I’m fighting for a union that will actually listen to us and won’t back-door negotiate. As a former Chicago Teachers Union member, I know that we have power in numbers and that our voices matter. We are united for change for a better union that mobilizes our membership.”

Eric Severson, a member of the Solidarity Caucus said, “UFT Solidarity’s logo is ‘we have your back.’ We believe this new coalition does just this. We believe the union should spend more time listening to member concerns on contracts, working conditions, and job-related concerns, and less time lecturing the members that they serve by defending backroom deals.”

Bennett Fischer of Retiree Advocate spoke about the UFT’s role in switching city retirees to a privately administered Medicare Advantage Plan: “As a UFT retiree, I want a union that supports public education, public healthcare, and keeps retiree’s Medicare public. I want a better union.”

Micheal Shulman of the New Action caucus added that “Our union has failed us in the fight against COVID, failed to reduce class size, failed to fight to improve our unequal pensions, and failed against abusive administrators. We need a proactive union that fights to improve our working conditions and end our segregated school system.”

The Independent Community of Educators looks forward to working in the upcoming union election with all of our coalition partners: “We have been aiming for a united opposition to Unity’s mismanagement of our union since our founding in 2003.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Wilbert Moore permalink
    January 5, 2022 pm31 4:37 pm 4:37 pm

    Wilbert Moore / / 212-246-6356 / 747 10th Ave. Apt. 35A NYC 10019

    I started working for the NYC Department of Education (DOE) in 1986, as a Para Professional; I’m now a tenured NY State Certified Instructor. I had a clean record before I was allegedly illegally fired after being falsely accused of feloniously choking some of my students (See “Exhibits 1 and 2”). In my opinion, as servants of the people, the DOE should set an example by holding itself to honestly high moral standards, however; somehow along the way the DOE allegedly became an institution that engages in fraudulent conspiracies. I hope our new mayor will change things.

    2. I followed the UFT’s contractual Grievance Procedure by taking my case to Arbitration. I won my arbitration because the NYC Department of Education (DOE) could not and still cannot prove the existence of the students that falsely claimed that I choked them. The NY States Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) Section 7510 states that the court shall confirm an award upon application of a party made within one year after its delivery to him, unless the award is vacated or modified upon a ground specified in section 7511. The NY State’s Bill of Rights State that “In any trial in any court whatever the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel as in civil actions and shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation and be confronted with the witnesses against him or her.” I’m still waiting for the names and or proof of the existence of the Defendants known as “Students A, B, C, and D”.

    3. The CPLR’s Section 7501 states that a written agreement to submit any controversy thereafter arising or any existing controversy to arbitration is enforceable without regard to the justifiable character of the controversy and confers jurisdiction on the courts of the state to enforce it and to enter judgment on an award. In determining any matter arising under this article, the court shall not consider whether the claim with respect to which arbitration is sought is tenable, or otherwise pass upon the merits of the dispute. In other words, the Courts should recognize the Arbitrators Award as a legal court order. The courts allegedly made the mistake of not recognizing and or honoring the Arbitrators Award.

    4. Section 2001 of the CPLR states that at any stage of an action, the court may permit a mistake, omission, defect or irregularity to be corrected, upon such terms as may be just, or if a substantial right of a party is not prejudiced, the mistake, omission, defect or irregularity shall be disregarded. I was fraudulently led to believe that my case was allegedly removed from the Bronx County NY State Supreme Court back to Judge Loretta Preska’s District Court (See “Exhibit 3”). For more information go on the Internet and check out: moore v preska 1:16-cv-06317 and moore v velasquez 1:15-cv-0688

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