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Politics? or Power? 1. Vice Presidents

April 27, 2022 pm30 6:58 pm

Some of the big issues in the current UFT election are not really about politics, and policy. Some of the issues are just attempts by the current leadership, Unity Caucus, to hold onto power.

Vice Presidents

I am running for High School Vice President. I think I have a good chance to get the most votes from members is high schools. But that’s not good enough to win. Because everyone votes for the HS VP – elementary teachers, middle school teachers, all other titles, and even retirees. Same goes for the Elementary School VP, and the Middle School VP.

Why does this obvious unfairness exist? Each division used to vote for its own VP. But then…

In 1985 Michael Shulman (New Action) beat George Altomare (Unity) and became high school vice president (the full story is longer – Unity challenged their own election, forced a second election that Shulman also won, and thereby delayed Shulman from taking his seat until January 1986). Unity so hated losing this seat, that the next chance they got, they amended the constitution, because they knew their hold on high schools was weak, but their hold on elementary was stronger, and on retirees even stronger.

Unity won’t let each division choose its own VP. This is not a position that comes from what is fair, what is principled, or what makes sense. It was a conscious decision to promote power over what is right.

How fair would it be if residents of Albany for NYC Mayor? Then why is it fair for retirees to vote for the Elementary School Vice President?

If United for Change wins this election, we will sweep, perforce, all of the VP spots, and all of the officer positions. One of the first things we will do is take steps to amend the constitution, so that VPs can once again be elected by their own division. Let’s strike a blow for representation and fairness!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mshulmanbridge permalink
    April 27, 2022 pm30 8:02 pm 8:02 pm

    This points to the inherently undemocratic nature of Unity Caucus. I’ve maintained for a long time that Unity has the appearance of being democratic but in reality “stacks the deck” against members who oppose them. The way Delegate Assemblies are run, the way District Reps are selected, and the way convention delegates are allocated (winner take all) are but a few examples of this.

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