New Action/UFT
…a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers

June 2009

New Action is the oldest opposition caucus (political party) in the United Federation of Teachers, in existence since the mid 1980’s (and forerunners since the mid-1970’s).

New Action is composed of members of the United Federation of Teachers who are teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, guidance counselors and members of the School Based Support Team. Most of us are working today in schools across the city and some of us are retired.

Today, many New Action/UFT members are Chapter Leaders and Delegates in all divisions. Members of New Action have served as officers of our union and have served for many years on the UFT Executive Board. Currently, we have eight of our members on the UFT Executive Board. We have served on the negotiating, Action, Organizing, and Social and Economic Justice Committees.

New Action/UFT is the only opposition caucus willing to support the leadership when we believe that a policy benefits the members.We will oppose them when we believe that a policy hurts the members. We are independent.

New Action has a 30-year record of accomplishments as the alternative to Unity caucus.
•   In 1995 New Action led the historic fight against the infamous “Zero, Zero” contract – Result: it was the only contract to be defeated by the members.
•   In 2002 and 2003 New Action organized informational picketing in over 100 schools – Result: salary parity became the number one union issue
•   New Action fought for an activist union in the 2004 national elections – Result: several bus loads of union members visited battleground states to oppose President Bush.
•   New Action has argued that many chapter leaders need assistance and chapters need rebuilding – Result: Creation of the bipartisan Organizing Committee which sends retiree activists into schools to help chapter leaders. We are active in over one hundred schools.
•   New Action pushed for a resolution calling for a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  Result: The UFT Exec. Bd and Delegate Assembly adopted this policy prior to the November elections.
•   New Action was the first to call for support of Barack Obama as President. Our support was endorsed by our national union – the AFT.

What is different today? At the city and national level union, including our own UFT , are under severe attack.
These right wing forces are threatening not only our hard –won rights and benefits, but our very existence.

We believe that the membership wants a united UFT to make the best fight to combat these attacks. For the past several years we have played a leadership role in moving our union in a more progressive direction.

New Action has pointed out that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein are attempting to impose the corporate model on our deals. At the same time, they have orchestrated a media blitz attacking public schools and promoting charter schools as their method of school reform.

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