Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How Not to Seize Control of Your Local Teacher's Union

Pathos eaten apple core logo of the nameless and nutless Buffalo Teacher for Change Group on Facebook

Below is the posting of a shadowy Facebook group I've come across a few times in my travels. When one of their posts essentially asked if anyone was up for a bitch session against Phil Rumore I decided to make my feelings known. I called them out for their cowardly refusal to identify themselves.  I write this goddamned blog a couple times a week sometimes more and sometimes less with every last shred of my identity flapping in the breeze for City Hall, NYSED, NSA and God knows who all else to read and review. To date I will say I have had better luck slamming my employer and NYSED than I did slamming a Catholic Girls School who expelled my oldest girl over some petty nonsense. They sicced Damon and Morey's high end law offices on me twice and sent a Hamburg detective to my door gun and all on another occasion ordering me to cease and desist. The best part about the Hamburg detective was the Principal who expelled her had the stupidity to wish her well by way of the law office when they sent her transcript to her new school. She asked if she had my permission to email said Principal to respond to her well wishes and I said as far as I knew I was the only one under threat not to contact them or their trustees. My daughter told said Principal  -- who was also sent packing in much the same manner a year later -- what she could do with her well wishes. She might have said something about the unseemly appearance of a 50 year old woman in red tights too but I can't be sure. The school sent the cops after me thinking I was the one who wrote the email. Just sharing my experience limited as it is with the realities of blogging un-anonymously. I think it's only fair if my name is out there yours should be too no matter who you are and if it's not out there we have a problem. 

Well the "Buffalo Teachers for Change" so called page decided rather than responding to me and my critiques of them that it would be easier to just delete my remarks and block me from further input on their page. One of them got a load of snark on in late August I think and sent me some bullshit personal message about my being a moron for not attacking Rumore when he's done nothing to get us a contract. I messaged a few likely suspects but got nothing in return. Chickenshits. Well they're at it again, sending invites to Buffalo teachers to "like" their craven page. They are desperately scraping the barrel whining that nobody will join them in their mudslinging from a safe distance behind  the shrubbery. I happen to have a serious beef with something Phil Rumore did recently. I would like to hear him explain himself because I think he's lost his way on several crucial issues and is allowing personal issues to damage his ability to represent me, my BTF brothers and sisters. If this bunch wants to get support and present themselves as some kind of unifying force then I suggest they drop the plastic noses and floppy hats, step out of the shadows and say here we are. Our names are...
Until then they may as well be members of TFA, BuffaloReformEd or the DPCC for all any of us know. Here is their pitch lame and self pitying as it is : 

Buffalo Teachers For Change
7 hours ago
Over the past year we here at BTFC have nearly given up on trying to unite the beleaguered Buffalo Teachers. This is largely due to the sad fact that while we do have some followers here on Facebook, we have been unable to ignite even the smallest of sparks in any of the 3500 Buffalo Teachers. We had hoped to foster solidarity, discussion, ideas, and eventually a solid core of teachers that were ready to stand up for their own families in pursuit of a fair new contract. It should be obvious by now that the BTF and its leadership, while doing a great job of "talking the talk" (for ten years) has utterly failed to "walk the walk". That is unless the "fact finder" meetings now being held can truly be touted as progress..... Sorry, but fact finder meetings are what happen at the ONSET of negotiations, not TEN years later..

Is there nobody out there that is ready to take ACTION??

It would seem to us that the BTF has loads of negotiating power, yet has failed to utilize it in any way. Here are a few to start:

Negotiate away the plastic surgery rider.
File Contempt charges against the district, don't just threaten it. (for failure to reinstate the insurance carriers)
File suit for ALL of the money the district has saved by illegally violating the contract. That money belongs to the teachers. (tens of millions)
Tens of millions of dollars of back pay.
Negotiate the move to one carrier.
Accept the fact that NEW HIRES may have to pay a small amount towards their health insurance. 
A FAIR settlement on the money owed to us for back pay and the money the district saved by violating the healthcare choices could be invested to help pay insurance costs. (Rather than coming out of your pockets as the district surely desires) Lets face it, you will NEVER get the money that is truly owed to you, and every day that passes is more money flushed down the toilet. Thanks Phil.
More to come....

We will soon be organizing a district wide "sick day". As this gains publicity there is no doubt that Phil Rumore will be infuriated. He will threaten his own people with scare tactics of "what might happen" if you participate. He will not tell you that it may help you get a new contact by finally standing up in disgust of the way you have been treated. 

The date is being discussed. Please spread the word among your colleagues and friends to stay tuned.

If you choose to participate, you will likely be called GREEDY by the Buffalo News and by the Sandy Beaches of the AM radio waves. Maybe the public will join in on the trash talk, maybe they will support us (big maybe). I however have yet to meet a "greedy" Buffalo school teacher. People who savor money rarely go into a field that has historically been low paying. NOBODY goes into the field of education because they want to be a millionaire, yet nobody goes into the field of education thinking they will be screwed by the city they are proud to call home (in spite of its shortcomings). We have seen first hand the dedication and hard work that the Buffalo teachers offer to the children of strangers on a daily basis. It is time to dedicate some time and effort to YOUR family. If wanting to be treated and paid on par with other local districts in order to offer your children and your families (and yourself) the best you can offer them is selfish, then by all means let them call you greedy.
14 people like this.

Never mind that their sick day stunt, as one commenter pointed out, could be construed by the district as a job action  affecting everyone everyone in BTF whether they were down with it or not. Never mind that I have heard this same "we will never see a penny of the backpay" from various BTF court jesters and never mind too the subtle "screw the new kids" message that new hires are going to have to ante up for their benefits in ways the graybeards making this will be excepted from. I attended an overnight conference a year or so ago at the Adam's Mark where I was introduced to some of the BTF coterie. One of them invited me to come sit at a table with all the cool kids in the union t shirts and I agreed. As we were about to sit down a beefy  30 somethingish woman with a drink in her hand held up a palm instructing my newfound "friend" that there was only room for him but not for me. I was floored as the guy shrugged and made a pathetic "Gee sorry man" face.  Yeah I always try sitting with the cool table and this always happens to me! I said in a huge voice to embarrass as many of them as possible. Instead of eating with them I went to the indoor gym and had an amazing workout. It's not hard to imagine after that experience that my union has a handful of entitled characters who think all they need to do is draw a little blood on the President and let the rest of the membership do their dirty work. When the old guy is down and out they swoop in like it's Baghdad after the marines hit town all over again. So to the self appointed palace guards who think the rest of us owe you a cushy spot on Porter Avenue, guess again. Stick your sick day and your bright ideas. We want to know who the fuck you are first. Feel free to step up and sound off. Otherwise STFU.  


  1. Old RepresentativeJanuary 2, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    So I can't comment on their page--I even tried liking the page to see if I could comment after I clicked like, but it didn't help. Dumb asses.

  2. You might be guilty by association. They only allow comments that cheerlead for their cause whatever that might be.

  3. This Facebook group "Buffalo Teachers For Change" is irrelevant. Most facebook groups are! So much is happening in our district that needs to be addressed. Here is what I posted on Diane Ravitch's blog this morning. It addresses how pointless "commenting" is against the wealthy powers that be. Now, I consider B-loedscene to be "educational" due to it's attempt to break down the issues and personality cults which we deal with in Buffalo. That's a good thing!
    Here is my post today on Ravitch's blog post "The Myth of The Hero Superintendent":
    The role of the wealthy power players in influencing the selection of Superintendents in urban districts cannot be ignored. They ally with the ed deformers in continuing the myth of the Superman Superintendent by using their money to buy the person who they perceive will be most able to follow “orders”. The orders are straight out of the ALEC playbook. Control by the wealthy, privatization, union crushing, TFA, etc. are the end result in urban districts now. I work in Buffalo, New York. The game is being very successfully and swiftly played here in our poverty ridden district. Check out our Buffalo News to see how ‘three wealthy men in a room’ came up with a $500,000. bribe to oust our Superintendent (not a Superwoman). This would be step one in the ALEC playbook. Create chaos. Step two would entail the purchase of a malleable Broad Academy Superintendent to do their bidding. They have already afflicted us with TFA, purchased and paid for by one wealthy meddler.
    What can be done? Commenting on blogs and posting comments in the newspaper are pointless against the wealthy. We need an anti-ALEC playbook to fight this fight. There is no such document. It seems like nothing can really be done except to comment on the situation.
    We see you, weallthy meddlers! We just don’t have enough cash and coordination to fight you!

  4. One more comment, useless as it may be: Our union is also powerless against the wealthy. We have already been played by Wilmers with his purchase of 30, then 60 TFA'ers. They will join the union. They will need to protect their existence by sucking up to their wealthy owners, both locally and nationally. (The TFA organization is also powerful and wealthy and connected to Ed Deform on every level.) They will be the Katie Campos' of BTF. They will have a vast store of knowledge (not) to bring to the union table. They will not understand the issues, the history, the struggle. They will weaken our already weak position. It should have been a mighty battle to prevent this infection. Instead, the response was a weak letter to the Board. In my opinion, the flurry of weak letters denouncing the efforts of our local wealthy meddlers is as useless as my comments in the News and on any blogs. We have no 'game', we have no 'playbook' to fight against the total control by the wealthy ALEC acolytes. Look again at the picture posted here showing Wilmers behind his guru David Koch. Read the ALEC education 'plan'. We, as a district, have been bought. No 'comment' can fight this ugly fight.

  5. Let's see which schools the TFA guys and gals will be placed in. Any chance they will see the inside of East or Lafayette? I'd pay to watch that s**t show.