Why New Action is running with United for Change, not Unity

United for Change is the rational progressive choice in the next UFT election. New Action’s participation with this unprecedented alliance of caucuses should signal just that.

New Action is the oldest existing opposition caucus in the United Federation for Teachers (UFT). We have a long history of both opposing and supporting UFT leadership, and have often been seen as a more ‘moderate’ progressive opposition caucus for this reason (an attribution we don’t necessarily agree with, but understand). Indeed, we work with Unity when we feel it’s the right thing to do. In 2002, we formed a 14-year long bipartisan alliance with Unity to help withstand Bloomberg’s attacks on our teachers and schools. That alliance lasted until 2016, and led to myriad accomplishments such as an organizing committee that helped Chapter Leaders and staff in over 230 schools, the establishment of the Principals in Need of Improvement Program (PINI) to expose and help get rid of abusive administrators, and the establishment of a UFT Social and Economic Justice Committee. 

While we stand by our original (2002) decision to ally ourselves with Unity, by 2016 we realized it was no longer the right thing to do. Unity reneged on many of its promises, canceled our shared programs, allowed our union to weaken, and swung way too far to the right on too many issues.  

Under the current leadership, our union is far weaker than it has to be. Without opposition voices to help guide them, UFT leadership has swung more to the right than ever.  Never before has Unity’s abject failure been more apparent. Never before has the need for new leadership been greater. This year, the various opposition caucuses: New Action, MORE, Solidarity, ICE, and Retiree Advocate have decided to run against Unity, as the United for Change Coalition. While we have our differences and span far across the political spectrum, we have agreed to a shared platform. This represents an alliance like no other in UFT history.

So if you’re union strong and want a better union, vote United for Change in this next election cycle. It’s the only progressive choice.

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