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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:57 AM

NYC Teachers Hit Back... At Long Friggin' LAST.

And they're not waiting for their sclerotic union leadership to get the ball rolling. ( Hint: that will never happen.)

New York, NY -- New York City teachers are under siege. In schools across the city, usually in hushed tones, teachers talk about their contractual rights, earned over many years of service: tenure; fair, objective and honest performance evaluations; the freedom to openly discuss educational issues without fear of retaliation. They worry that these rights are being usurped, corrupted, gradually eroded or simply given away. After 10 years of attacks from a relentlessly hostile, anti-union, and anti-teacher Department of Education, some educators have decided to confront this crisis head-on.

WHAT:  A Public Forum on New York City Public Schools. This forum will include a panel of accomplished educators who have bravely chosen to confront the Department of Education directly on these issues. They will speak to the climate of mistrust that is spreading in the NYC school system as a whole. They will tell their own stories --- stories that, in some cases, involve putting their own careers in jeopardy by   publicly advocating for their students and suffering vicious reprisals as a consequence. The discussion will include the importance of tenure and how it affects not only educators, but parents and students as well. Ways to address the problem will be considered: how to push back against the culture of fear; how to challenge individual hostile work environments; the role of the UFT and union chapters in fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of thought in our schools; ways we can all work together to protect our rights on the job.

WHO:  M.O.R.E. (The Movement of Rank & File Educators - The Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers) is sponsoring this event. Panelists include:

The rest at:

http://morecaucusnyc.org/


Including the date, time and place ? ( Sat Feb 23rd, 3-5 pm, CUNY Grad Center, Room 5415)

Can we keep this kicked for a while? Just so it gets max exposure?

http://morecaucusnyc.org/














http://morecaucusnyc.org/

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply NYC Teachers Hit Back... At Long Friggin' LAST. (Original post)
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 OP
Ninga Feb 2013 #1
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #2
loudsue Feb 2013 #3
madfloridian Feb 2013 #4
bread_and_roses Feb 2013 #5
Squinch Feb 2013 #6
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #10
Squinch Feb 2013 #13
hughee99 Feb 2013 #7
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #19
Euphoria Feb 2013 #8
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #9
WillyT Feb 2013 #11
LWolf Feb 2013 #12
Agony Feb 2013 #15
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #16
hay rick Feb 2013 #17
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #18
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #20
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #21
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #22
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #23
mountain grammy Feb 2013 #24
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #25
mountain grammy Feb 2013 #30
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #31
Laelth Feb 2013 #26
snot Feb 2013 #27
Riley18 Feb 2013 #29
Riley18 Feb 2013 #28
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #32
mountain grammy Feb 2013 #33
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #34
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #35
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #36
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #37
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #38
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #39
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #40

Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:16 AM

1. Happy to kick. Nt

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:22 AM

2. K & R

Got a teacher friend in Brooklyn..

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:51 AM

3. This needs to start happening in every state.

The big money that is trying to privatize schools thinks teachers are bugs that they can step on. I'm here to tell you, they're wrong.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:55 AM

4. Kicking and recommending.

Good for them.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:07 PM

5. K & R indeed (n/t)

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:53 PM

6. K&R!

Smarmie Doofus, are you going to be there?

Thanks for posting this. I work in a number of schools. I'll spread the word.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:28 PM

10. Affirmative.

Please . Spread. LIKE BUTTAH.


See ya there.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:29 PM

13. LOL!

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:58 PM

7. Perhaps it's time to think about changing their union leadership as well. n/t

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:42 PM

14. You're telling me. n/t

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:20 PM

19. MORE is running an alternative slate that hopes to do just that.

 

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:04 PM

8. K&R'd. nt

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:14 PM

9. K&R

 

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:50 PM

11. K & R !!!


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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:25 PM

12. KICK.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:45 PM

15. prime!

kick

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:09 AM

16. K&R

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:08 PM

17. K&R

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:17 PM

18. kr

 

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:38 PM

20. More on MORE

 

We saw that the New York City teacher strike of 1968 revolved around the conflict between union protections for teachers and community control of public schools. The United Federation of Teachers, in its quest to break the community control experiment, allied itself with the establishment...In order for our union to be viable in the future, we must repair that link to the communities we serve which was severed in 1968. It is clear that this is not the tactic of our current Unity leadership. If left up to them, we will be standing out in the cold in our underwear watching the establishment burn all of our clothes. We will continue to beg impotently to be allowed back into the house right up until the end.

Instead, repairing those ties to the community falls on the shoulders of the MORE caucus. If they can successfully do this, they have a chance of both winning some measure of leadership in the union and saving public education. How to do this is the million-dollar question.

The equation is simple. Education “reform” has gotten so much traction over the past 10 years because it is funded by the wealthiest people in the country. These wealthy people donate to political campaigns. Usually, the politician who is the best funded wins the election. Therefore, politicians bend over backwards to satisfy the reformy crowd so they can be ensured of continued campaign contributions, which ensures them of continued power.

Our union can never hope to match the campaign contributions of the reformy crowd in this age of Citizens United. What the union lacks in money it must make up for in votes....In short, MORE is going to have to compensate for decades of Unity inaction. After this, they are going to have to activate communities that have been disenfranchised while getting the enfranchised ones on their side. Community means exactly that: community. The communities we serve are diverse and our thinking needs to be diverse if we wish to reach them.

In my mind, MORE has the potential to be greater than Chicago. They have the potential to bloody the nose of the reformer movement far beyond what the Chicago teachers are capable of. This is not due to any particular flaw in what the CTU is doing. This is due to the sheer fact that the NYC public school system is the largest in the country. Our thinking needs to be large as well.

http://theassailedteacher.com/2013/02/20/what-does-success-for-the-uft-look-like/

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:56 PM

21. Where were the teachers when the school bus drivers were on strike?

That was a perfect opportunity to join an already existing strike by another public sector union at loggerheads with Bloomberg. The teachers were already working without a contract, so there would have been no T-H problems. Same for the transit workers. A strike that involved all three of these without a contract unions striking AT THE SAME TIME would have gotten some attention and might have even won.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:09 AM

22. Right Here:

http://morecaucusnyc.org/2013/01/16/solidarity-with-school-bus-drivers-matrons/

Couple things:

1. Drivers really work for private companies that have contracts w. the city.

2. Teachers striking in NYS is easier said than done. The Taylor Law, etc. Penalties are just to extreme; it would break the union. Even MORE agrees with that.

There are however , OTHER things UFT could do to support a 'united front' w. other unions and sectors, short of an illegal strike.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:51 PM

23. Sorry it's been a while on this reply, but I've been busy.......

However difficult it would be to support other workers, especially other city workers, even city workers that are nominally employed by subcontractors in actions, it's going to be the only way to win. This is a contest for power, it's not over mundane things like wages and benefits. In a contest of power, there's only win or lose, so you might as well go for the win. You're all facing the prospect of your unions being broken (or worse IMO, being left toothless when it comes to biting back at the bosses), so you've got to use the tools that work in a contest for power. And that's solidarity strikes. It's my understanding that at least three unions in NYC are already working without a contract, which SHOULD mean that you all could strike at any time FOR a new contract. Why shouldn't you all strike TOGETHER to make your points more clearly?.

Of course the laws are against you and they might even be more draconian in NYC than they are in other places, but that doesn't change the fact that NONE of you will win these battles without concurrent actions. ALL of the rules of capitalism are set up against workers taking action in their interests, so that means you will probably HAVE to break some laws if you expect to win. But you CERTAINLY won't win working within the bosses' rules. That's the way it's ALWAYS been. I would go farther and say that not only concurrent actions by the unions currently working without a contract, but also sympathy actions by other unions that do have a contract, including private sector unions will be required. And massive street demonstrations by supporters in community orgs, alternative labor groups, and social orgs (like the remnants of Occupy Wall Street) would also be required to win.

Actually though, I think that this type of thing is a good start, but it's only a start. This caucus should lead to liaison committees being set up from the rank-and-file of ALL the unions that are working without a contract. These liaison committees should NOT be official bodies which would relieve the officials of the unions from culpability in the event of a wildcat walkout. These committees should also include members from the other groups mentioned above, (community orgs, OWS, alternative labor groupings), plus sympathetic members of the alternative media. And of course some legal advisors to let you know what the potential legal ramifications of any actions would be and what legal defenses could be prepared for. Once this basic organization is in place, then you decide what collective action should be taken.

Anyway, that's my outsider take on what it will take. It's going to take militant action just like it took in the early part of the last century when organized labor was first getting started. And militant action is the ONLY THING THAT'S GOING TO WORK! Bloomberg is going to bust you all if you don't act together.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:12 PM

24. Spoken like a true unionist. Solidarity is the only thing that scares management.

If union members start refusing to cross picket lines of different unions, like they used to, look out! The sky will fall and civilization as we know it will cease to exist. Working people will be taken seriously as a force to be dealt with, and the lives of 98% of Americans will change for the better. Can the labor movement accomplish this again? Maybe, but not in my lifetime.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:19 AM

25. Well that depends on what kind of unionist you mean grammy.....

NOT the "business unionist" model that's pretty much all that left in the USA today. I'm the OTHER kind of unionist, the one that wants to tear the whole fucking system down and take power for the working class. Until this happens, I'm for pressuring management in any and every way you can, so that WE gain and they don't. That's what a contest for power means.

And yeah, being 61 I don't expect it to happen in my lifetime either. But I'm optimistic enough to hope for a miracle.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:15 AM

30. I hear you.. years ago I was OCAW (union steward and recording secretary for the local)

and my husband was IAM. The OCAW was as true a grass roots union as possible, run pretty much from the bottom up. IAM wasn't bad, but a bit more top down. That said, thanks to our union jobs we are facing a reasonably comfortable retirement.
I am also hoping for a miracle, which can happen when working people realize how they're getting screwed and take back their lives. Solidarity!

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:00 PM

31. Solidarity right back atcha......

Yeah, in my younger, "industrial" days I was a Boilermaker shop steward and a recording secretary in another industrial union. Also a 20 year member of the AFM, the musician's union. And yep, class consciousness is what it's going to take.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:21 AM

26. k&r for labor and education. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:33 AM

27. K&R'd.

I'd be interested in more re- why the union leadership is "sclerotic" -- whether and why the existing system of leadership selection is selecting ineffective leadership, and what changes to the system might yield better leaders.

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Response to snot (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:41 AM

29. I can say that as a teacher and union steward

that we are severely underfunded and underrepresented in the government in general. I personally do not blame union leadership so much as propaganda set in place to push corporate for profit charter schools which will ultimately lead to no free education of any value in this country.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:37 AM

28. Honored to K&R

These teachers are heroes of Democracy in my humble opinion. Perhaps they will inspire teachers and parents nationwide.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:39 PM

32. Thanks, folks. For keeping this going. Headin' downtown now. Wish us luck. n/t

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:40 PM

33. Good luck and solidarity! Sending good union thoughts!

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:24 PM

34. Hoping for a follow up. Kick! nt

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:00 PM

35. Follow-up: here's the video

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:07 PM

36. how was the turnout? did you think it was a useful event?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #36)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:39 PM

37. We packed the room. Actually lobby security turned some people away...

... who came late. Apparently we were in fire code violation. Not sure how many were sent away.

We had secured a bigger space in midtown ( we wanted to hold it there) but they copped out on us late in the game so we had to settle for our original booking at CUNY grad school.

I'd say there were about 80 people in the audience. That's big for a MORE forum. Lois Weiner only drew about 40 or so when she spoke about a year ago. ( Ironically, at the bigger space that copped out this time.)

A lot of non MORE people came which was the general idea: building the ranks.

It was useful, but I think MORE should stay with that subject for a while... "there's gold in them thar hills".... But it seems the leadership wants to go back to their usual mainstays: school closings, social justice unionism ( coalitions w. other groups), wrap-around services, etc.

They're running for election in April, so i guess they favor the issues they know best.

All of these are important... and interrelated ... but I think we need to broaden the discussion. people can only hear about school closings and charters only so much before they stop *hearing*.

I, for instance, would like to attack something HUGE... like common core, for instance. High profile. It's been insuffucuently critiqued and is actually supported by UFT/AFT. ( "There's GOLD... or is that just shekels... in them thar' hills. Gold for someone, seems to me.)

I'll post part 2 of the forum tomorrow nite. That's especially good. Audience participation ( off camera, cause a lot of people were afraid to be seen.) and then a fiery wind-up by the panelists, with a barn-burner by Weiner to end it.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #37)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:40 AM

38. ah, i wondered why we didn't hear the discussion. i wish the discussion were a bit broader as

 

well. i think talking about things like the loss of local control and local tax money, the international finance capital lurking in the background, the world bank & imf involvement in the long range planning, etc. would be eye-opening -- but maybe people wouldn't believe it & would think it was 'conspiracy theory,' i dunno.

i had good luck during our recent elections over charter schools using the tax issue, though. even though the charter school initiative won (after 3 tries, they never give up....). but people were very receptive to the corporate control thing. or -- receptive in the sense that they hated that idea & started paying more attention.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:13 AM

39. Weiner talks a lot (and writes a lot) about these things.

>>> the international finance capital lurking in the background, the world bank & imf involvement in the long range planning, etc. would be eye-opening -- but maybe people wouldn't believe it & would think it was 'conspiracy theory,' i dunno. >>>

And gets kind of frustrated when everyone else isn't exactly seeing all she's seeing. (You'll see this in Part Two). I more or less agree w. her analysis but I think real reform-reformers can fight on a number of different levels. ( Cornel West said somewhere something about everyone looking at the same thing thru a set of different lenses. Doesn't mean they're not ALL right.)

It's dumb, tactically, if you ask me, to talk about the IMF and expect teachers to come out on a Sat. afternoon, and travel a distance to hear you analyze the imf and the world bank and the long history of global corporate school reform starting in the third wordl. The people I worked with are too friggin' tired, and stressed, and frightened to be able to hear that kind of analysis.

They're worried about short term, immediate danger : being classroom- observed, rated unsatisfactory ( or whatever the equivlent is outside of NYC) and dismissed and getting banned from working in the profession that they always wanted to work in and that they spent many years preparing and getting licensed for.

This is actually happening to people. Right now. Teacher advocates have to speak to that anxiety, or no one is going to hear anything else they say.


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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:24 AM

40. maybe dumb if the audience is teachers, but a lot of the wider public actually doesn't give a rip

 

about teachers. in fact, they don't like them and are ready to believe the worst about them, as we've experienced.

if the conversation is just addressed to teachers, you lose.

besides, a global analysis of the roots of education reform in the finance sector doesn't have to be either long or dry. and imo the main point -- this isn't just an american thing -- is important, because it takes people out of the narrative created by the deformers -- that this is about bad american teachers and helping black students and improving education so we can all get great jobs and compete with all those countries that do education right.

but if the same thing is happening everywhere, even in those countries where education is supposedly superior to ours...

also -- people don't much like banksters & big corporations these days -- so timing is ideal for the message that those are the very people running this show.

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