Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Revive NYSUT is a Flatline

Like so many elections these days the NYSUT leadership grab appears to be yet another dispiriting case of divining the lesser of two evils. Maybe evil is too strong a word. Maybe not. In looking over the Revive NYSUT webpage I think I'd have my answer if Revive was running against dryer lint.

Faces of Revive NYSUT

 Revive NYSUT's logo incorporates an EKG into their name -- amusingly if not unconsciously -- the rhythm begins flat, then dips, spikes, dips again,  rises to its original level then continues on flat. Oh that we might be so lucky with this crew at the tiller. But I doubt it. Did their graphic artiste not take into account that a revived person's heart rate might not end up as flat as it was before the revival? Sorry, I am no medical expert but I am married to a Nurse Practitioner and maybe hearing her work stories about a-fibs and crashes and etc. over a thousand dinner tables has me a little sensitive to the topic. 

That aside, this is no analytic as much as a gut check. I've been reading and listening and watching video clips for a few weeks and the best I can do is digest the whole mess and trust my considerable gut. Breezing through their website and their Who We Are and Where We Stand etc. I was floored at the deferential, almost obsequious treatment of Governor Cuomo. I am assuming above average intelligence of anyone reading this so let me just lay their Cuomograph out for you to read:

Have you ever been so mad at your principal or superintendent that you did not talk to them for a couple of days? We all have. But have you ever gone months without speaking? Probably not, because you understand your members’ needs come before your own personal ego. You also recognize that failing or refusing to meet makes it easier for them because they do not have to deal with the union.

The REVIVE team recognizes that there is no support for an endorsement of the Governor nor do we think he has earned one. This is not entirely the Governor’s fault. When the President of NYSUT does not meet with the Governor to educate him about member concerns for months at a time we should not be surprised at the result. We will engage the Governor to address your concerns . . . hopefully to win him over. We will be the voice he cannot ignore; be it every week, day or hour until he understands our issues and concerns.

Mmmm... Yeah. I have been mad at Principals. I have never had one cram an unreasonable APPR down the throat of all the teachers in New York State, cap property taxes to starve schools or offer incentive pay as a wedge among professionals even though it's been discredited in dozens of studies over decades of teaching. I find the analogy convenient to Revive's interests and painfully contrived. I love a god analogy. This is not a good one. The Revivers are so understanding of how badly Dick Ianuzzi has bungled the job that they are kind enough to let Governor Cuomo, the bullying, union antagonizing, charter cheerleader off the hook and say it really isn't his fault. It's all Dick's. But if I hadn't seen a single word anywhere about this group or their vows to "be the change" as the Ghandi mug on the counselor's desk advises, I would know in a second that they are prematurely breaking into the medical ganja or blowing some other form of smoke up the arses of New York teachers when they say : We will engage the Governor to address your concerns . . . hopefully to win him over. 

Wow. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. You are going to engage Governor Cuomo and win him over. (Hopefully)  Is that even a word? Hopefully? I know I cringe whenever I hear it because it carries some kind of sappy mislaid optimism most times it's used and both the user and the listener know it but for the sake of convention we allow it to be said. Well, Uncle Joe's got cirrhosis, pancreatitis and liver failure and he's gambled away the house and both cars. We're hoping a light will go on while he's up in rehab and he'll stop some of these bad habits. Hopefully, he'll come around...  It's just bullshit served up on a dare. We both know it's bullshit but you are counting on me not calling you out for it and you are fairly certain I won't. Sorry Revive but that one cannot stand. You are not going to engage an arrogant bully who thrives on power when you have no power over him. How does Cuomo gain anything from engaging with people whom he clearly holds beneath his contempt and why on earth would he abandon his corporate pals and wealthy donors to embrace the dregs of the classroom? Get real Revive. 

In a nutshell I think I knew after reading that happy clod of horseshit that these guys are a joke and they seek change not for the sake of change but for their own sakes. I have not had much good to say about Dick Ianuzzi's handling of things. But am I to believe that Andy Palotta is pure as the driven snow and was somehow bound to serve the wicked wishes of Ianuzzi while his heart pined to be free of Ianuzzi's dark desires and corrupt leadership? From what I have read and heard Palotta is every bit to blame for the inertia of this union while maneuvering behind the scenes and letting Ianuzzi be the fall guy. Karen who? If she is going to run for President why haven't I heard a word from her? The wise acre who asked if she'd entered a witness protection program made a lot of sense to me. What does she think about Cuomo adding a new link to the school to prison pipeline with his prison to college pipeline?  I have seen remarks from Mr. Martin Messner on Facebook and in short he fails to impress me. His style is the textbook high road, wishes his opponents luck at every turn, playing the stiff upper lip card. I don't buy it. He ends up sounding like he's afraid to make a mistake by saying something candid or real.  Last but not least I am especially leery of Michael Mulgrew lurking in the shadows  of this group with his 40% of the voting delegates to throw Revive's way. If he brings that much clout are we to believe he won't be looking to be a main player in this thing? Better yet, as some have predicted and based on the wording I see in the above statement, I would be expecting a NYSUT endorsement of Cuomo for his fall campaign if this bunch comes to power. Change for change's sake might be good in some cases but change can also be described as moving from the frying pan to the fire. I think the best I could ask of this ticket would be the flat line their logo promises. More likely though I'd see a sell out endorsement of Cuomo, a Mulgrewesque repeat of his APPR cave in to King and another big drop in the EKG of New York State's teachers.  For the record my own union BTF is endorsing the Revive NYSUT ticket but I suspect it has more to do with a personal beef between Phil Rumore and Dick Ianuzzi than the results of any in depth research anyone at BTF completed before the decision was made. You never really know why anyone votes the way they do though do you? 

1 comment:

  1. The 'Mulgrew Crew' is bad for all of us. Nicely written and reflective of my own sentiments from the abhorrent birth of the Revive NYSUT rag-tags.