Posts Tagged 'Elections'

We should support Tish James for Public Advocate

New Action has not discussed an endorsement for Public Advocate. Michael Shulman sent the following personal appeal to our Executive Board:

September 25, 2013

Dear New Action,

Most of you know me from my 40+ years as a union activist and as a co-chair of New Action/UFT. In the recent citywide elections, many of us put our efforts behind one or another candidate with the hopes of electingsomeone who would put an end to the failed legacy of Michael Bloomberg.

One election our union, the UFT did not make an endorsement for was the office of Public Advocate. Among other things, I have been working and supporting the candidacy of Letitia James for Public Advocate.

As you probably saw, the NY Times says there will be a very small turnout of 100,000 to 150,000 and that if all the unions that have endorsed Tish turn out their own members she will win. I believe the UFT stayed out of this race because both candidates are fairly progressive. “Tish” is endorsed by 1199, 32BJ,TWU 100, DC 37 and a number of smaller unions. Squadron is not endorsed by any unions.

At a candidates debate before the Sept. 10 primary, Tish took the positionthat public workers should receive retroactive pay. Squadron said it woulddepend on whether the city had enough money.

I have never known a candidate more committed to the interests of working people – poor and middle class – racially oppressed or white – and so capable a fighter.

And she is incorruptible in standing up to the 1% in behalf of the 99%.Recently, you could see her at demonstrations to save our libraries and our hospitals, and in the City Council as a leading fighter for the legislation to end racial profiling in stop and frisk, for sick leave, and for the legislation she led in sponsoring to protect tenants’ well-being from landlord violations of living conditions.

If elected, Tish James will be the only woman, the only person of color in a city of over 6 million people of color, and the only African American elected to office city-wide. Your help by voting for her on election day can help make up for her lack of money from the big-monied interests.

I am writing to urge you to join me in a big final push for Letitia James on October 1. Your vote really does count!

In solidarity,

Michael Shulman

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GOING FORWARD IN 2012-2013 … OUR PRIORITIES

(from the New Action September 2012 Chapter Leaders meeting leaflet)
For a printable version click Leaflet 2012 September)

GETTING RID OF MAYORAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION

Mayoral Control has been an absolute disaster for educators, students, parents, and our communities.  Bloomberg has literally wrecked our schools with constant reorganizations, test prep, bashing our members, attacking our union, gutting special education, and closing schools.

ABUSIVE ADMINISTRATORS

We sincerely hope you are in one of the many schools with collaborative principals. That relationship makes for a healthy work environment and benefits staff and students. Too many principals, however, are not collaborative, and many are downright abusive. We need to modify the behavior of all abusive and troublesome administrators.

Last year New Action worked to rid Bronxdale High School of John Chase. He was removed from that school. New Action has published “14 Things You Can Do to Get Rid of an Abusive Administrator” which you can find on our website – or e-mail us at new.action.uft@gmail.com.

DEFEAT THE ULTRA-RIGHT

The current election is a choice between the current administration, and a party that would gut social security,  medicare, and Medicaid, a party that would promote vouchers, a party that displays outright hostility to unions, their members, and their rights. We cannot afford to have Scott Walker’s “no contract” policies go national.

We must commit ourselves to tirelessly working to reelect Barack Obama president. This includes phonebanking, talking to friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and even making trips to battleground states. We are under no illusions, we have had serious disagreements with Obama, including around Central Falls and Race to the Top. But where we disagree, we can talk and engage in dialogue.

We must do everything in our power to reelect President Barack Obama and defeat the ultra-right in November.

CONTRACT

The settlement of our contract is long overdue. The economic situation in no way the hang up. Rather, Bloomberg has insisted on outrageous concessions, including some that pit newer colleagues against more senior, that erode tenure, and that allow teachers to be fired as a result of a school being reorganized.  Bloomberg’s contract demands would disrupt schools and communities, and his “reforms” have.

We are currently in factfinding – but there is a danger that when the factfinder gives us some of what we want, and gives them some of what they want, that non-negotiables will be included.

We demand a good economic package, with no concessions on core issues.

TEACHER EVALUATION

We oppose tying tenure decisions to standardized tests. The negotiations on Race to the Top in New York State led to many dangerous concessions. 25% or 40% of tenure decisions will be based on student test results. This has the potential for disaster for our members.

The DoE shows nothing but bad faith on our current appeals process. 100% of the decisions being overturned is not a process – it is a farce, a cruel hoax.

New Action remains deeply concerned about the potential for Bloomberg’s proposals for teacher evaluation system to be a thinly disguised assault on due process rights.

STAND UP FOR CHAPTER LEADERS

As part of Bloomberg’s campaign against seniority and tenure, he has singled out one group of unionists in particular: Chapter Leaders.

The examples are numerous. Many have been reported on in our union paper. But the numbers reported are only the tip of the iceberg.  Some cases include chapter leaders being singled out for program abuse, forced to transfer schools, harassed with multiple “unsatisfactory” observations, and in every borough, chapter leaders who are singled out for unsubstantiated U-ratings.

We need to stand up for those who are our first line of defense—UFT chapter leaders!