|On Message from NYSUT's Best Minds|
In case you forgot this bottom feeding campaign ad from last fall was part of the $360,000.00 effort NYSUT put forth to get Marc Pannepinto elected as a State Senator for the Democratic Party. Our enemies had a field day when this thing surfaced. The Buffalo News pursed their lips in mortified disdain shaking their collective head until the ball bearings rattled. Every unlettered dunce who'd ever spewed an anti union or anti teacher sentiment in the News comment section puffed themselves up to Hindenbergian levels of indignation then misspelled and double negatived their wrath at teachers and unions. The "Student Lobbyist" his own damned self Prince Andrew Cuomo emerged from his swamp of corruption dripping with righteous outrage and faux horror. "I've seen a lot of cheap campaign stunts but this is one of the more disgusting ones I have ever seen," said Herr Cuomo and we all know he's a connisseur of cheap campaign stunts. Right wing radio jerks and right wing bloggers not to mention the ed reform camp all enjoyed a protracted open season on teachers there was little any of us could do to defend ourselves from the rogue actions of backroom hacks who threw teachers and unions under the bus while insisting they were "on message" somehow. At least I assume they thought they were on message. They spend a lot of time shushing us as rank and filers insisting that they control "the message" and we just shut up and do as we're advised. The worst part of having this albatross hung around our necks is none of us had a damned thing to do with it, its creation or the bass ackward notion that it would score points for Pannepinto. Everyone knows us as teachers. Everyone knew it was our statewide union who dropped this turkey in the road. Ergo, everyone wondered what the hell was wrong with us if our union stoops to such scumbag chicanery but nobody could point to the bozos responsible for it cause they refused to stand up and own it. And to that end the question arises "What the hell kind of freak show are you guys running anyway if you don't even know what your union is up to? It felt like we were part of Tony Soprano's crew and we were being told to shut up and do the time for the family. Kind of like in little league when some ragarm 11 year old nails you in the chest with his fastball and your coach walks you to first base saying "Take it for the team, kid..."
Well the election is long over with and go figure Pannepinto has been installed in Albany. What he's doing on our behalf is something of a sacred mystery since his party's Governor has done everything but take out contracts on individual teachers. My question to NYSUT is after we were asked to lump the fallout from that asinine campaign ad, what good is coming our way for our troubles? When Tony's guys get out of stir they expect to be comped with a cash payout or points on someone's action. If I was damned to absorb Richie Coyle's fastball in the chest then Mr. Adams was damned well taking us to Fran Ceil's for ice cream after the game. That's how things work in the world people like to call "the real world." As we've seen though, NYSUT doesn't exactly function terribly well in this milieu. No, they seem to favor an all Quid program in lieu of the larger Quid pro quo equation everyone else adheres to. I can't think of anything resembling support from them in this pitched battle B-Lo teachers have and allies have been waging against the powers of ed reform and the NYSUT party's Governor. Sorry to tie ya'll to Sheriff Andy folks but you spent your asses off to get guys from his party elected and you sat on your hands instead of throwing in for Zephyr Teachout when she was chewing a hole in Cuomo's lead. So, Cuomo and you are party mates like it or not. If you don't like it, we feel your pain. None of us were very keen on being tied to your domestic abuse ad either but according to the donation report you gave exactly no shits whatsoever how any of us felt.
So where to from here? Well for starters I'd expect Sean Ryan and Pannepinto to speak at the next board meeting. They could also call a presser to remind everyone they are here for teachers as they said they were in the fall. They might have to upset their boss in Albany but we've seen random courageous politicians before who stood up to tyrants from their own party. It's not the end of the world guys. You've all got a law practice to fall back on anyway right? And at very least we could use some hoodies. Lots of XXLs and XXXLs --fuck t shirts, it's cold here. I don't even care what they say on them. Maybe start with "We're NYSUT and We Don't Suck That Bad." I know better though than to expect much from a bunch of adults whose best strategy against a sociopathic governor boils down to text messages, tweets, hashtags and discount car insurance. There's been no push back against Cuomo for months and when NYSUT finally did decide to push back they told everyone to do what many of us were doing anyway in lieu of a definite strategic, funded response. I knew we were in trouble when NYSUT slapped a grimacing mug of Cuomo on the cover of their newsletter with the caption: "He has No Respect for Your Profession. Fight back!"
Shouldn't that have said "Our Profession?"