Monday, February 17, 2014

Why I Don't Love My Union Options

If you are keeping score at home, and truthfully I don't think many teachers here in the Empire State are,  NYSUT is in the middle of a significant fission. What I find most amusing about  the schism is the way both sides by simple virtue of their names are admitting the union needs some protein powder, a vigorous weight lifting program,or, more likely, the paddles. 

Stronger NYSUT ?

Stronger NYSUT. Hmmm, stronger than what? Stronger than the one who accepted millions from Bill Gates, signed off on a devastating APPR, came to my alma mater here at University of Buffalo and told us we do ourselves no good dying on the barricades? I could take a quick run to the HEART shelter and find 3 kittens with more strength than this crowd. In acknowledging its anemic performance of the past term Stronger NYSUT brings to the table something between a cheating spouse and a degenerate drunk dolefully owning up to past disasters with a dewy eyed promise of better behavior in the future. In the case of a spouse we look to see if said recidivist has made any plans to seek therapy, a 12 step group, Jesus or electronic monitoring. We would ask for something beyond the desperate pleas for another chance before allowing the relationship to go forward. 

Well what exactly is Stronger about Stronger NYSUT? What do we have by way of a show of faith that the Ianuzzi camp is serious about growing a set and throwing some good old fashioned unionism our way? A boycott of the April Foolishness as one district has called for? A written pledge to return every bloody penny of Bill Gates' filthy lucre? A pledge to withhold any and all endorsements of politicians who stick it to teachers, starting with Andrew Cuomo? I am not seeing it, hearing it or feeling it. It sounds to me like Stronger NYSUT is the same 98 pound weakling who had sand kicked in its face by Cuomo, King, Tisch and ReformInc. and nothing in their philandering besotted pleas for another chance makes me believe they are going to behave a damned bit differently.  I will say I am intrigued that several people I have come to enjoy and respect are throwing in with Stronger NYSUT. When push comes to shove sometimes I count on my friends to point me in the right direction. 

My old friend Kevin McCarthy in the gym at #72 used to sort me out with the junior high boys who'd create a ruckus at the end of my hallway when I was teaching the Jr High 6:1:1 class for the behaviorally disadvantaged. A word from him was golden for any kid I couldn't make heads or tails of and he often had insights I would never grasp due to the nature of the relationship he had with kids in a gym setting. More often than not he helped me see the upside of the boneheads I would only know from their raucous hallway nonsense. I have come to rely on colleagues to help me find the upside of kids who had an obvious downside and I am always grateful for their input. Likewise with this situation. I am not impressed with the performance of Mr. Ianuzzi and I have little good to say about him. Yet Principal Tim Farley and PJSTA President Beth Dimino have both thrown down heavily in support of Ianuzzi and Stronger NYSUT. Bill Clinton, love him or hate him once said the campaign is where you fall in love and the convention is where you fall in line. Well the campaign is in full swing and I guess we are all looking for someone to love. The way things are going I might have to settle for the friend zone. 

Revive NYSUT coming up...


  1. Sean,
    Check this out:

  2. Great post. We feel the same. We are running 8 people -- what hasn't been decided is if they are running as independents or on Stronger Together -- candidates may make own choices. People can vote non-slate -- thus we are urging people especially Buffalo delegates to not vote slate but to make sure to vote for Arthur Goldstein against Andy Pallotta. As for Iannuzzi -- my sense is he has grown a set. He wouldn't be in this position if he had not jumped in and stopped unlimited control by Pallotta(Mu;grew stooge) of the VOTE COPE money - all he had to do was cave and they would have let him keep his position. So ironically he is being attacked for showing some independence for a change. That does not mean we all jump on board -- but we do take that into consideration. No election in NYSUT's history before this one.

  3. This is interesting! But you know, I would better install this wonderful cheating spouse on your phone and spy anybody you.