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United Federation of ________???

April 13, 2022 am30 12:25 am

Our union represents many school workers – counselors, therapists, secretaries, paras, nurses, and of course teachers. I’ve probably missed some titles. We also represent titles outside of schools. But who do we represent the most of? Teachers. It’s even in our name. The United Federation of Teachers. Maybe it should be United Federation of School Workers – more accurate, if less snappy – but for today, no. We are the UFT.

You’d expect a lot of teachers to be involved in running our union. And that’s what we find – or – more precisely – former teachers who call themselves teachers even though they are no longer in a classroom, no longer teaching. I get that for officers – they need to be on full-time (though the VPs, including my opponent, teach one class a day. That’s a good thing.)

But when we get to the 102 member executive board, there are but 29 designated teacher slots. Who fills the rest? District Reps, who teach one class a day – but usually that “class” is substitute coverage or bus duty. Full timers – people who work full time at the UFT, and out of the classroom.

Is that the way it should be? Is there an alternative?

I compared United for Change (my coalition) candidates for Exec Board at Large with Unity candidates. I think the results pretty dramatically reveal what each group thinks about whether teachers should run the United Federation of Teachers.

Those “1 class” folks are District Reps – it is possible that some teach a class, but most do sub coverages 1st period, or bus duty. I am unsure of some of the Unity folks – please send me corrections if you notice something wrong. I also might have the level wrong on some of our UFC candidates. Same thing – send me a correction if you notice something.

I think there are some very good people on the Unity side – the problem is not individuals. The problem is the overall – the concept that teachers only have a marginal voice in how a teachers’ union is run.

A United for Change leadership will center the voice of in-service teachers (and paras, secretaries, OTs, PTs, counselors, etc). This is a good change.

Vote for change. Vote for United for Change.

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