Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Union Members -- Who Do You Love?

Here Are Rank and File Comments on the AFT Video for Hillary

I pay AFT dues and I'm a local union prez. I do not support Hillary Bush at all. Bernie Sanders is THE pro-union choice. Randiband her band of political wannabes are looking to privatize education (Broad, dear Randi? Hillary promise you the sec of ed position?) no matter what they say. This was a power play and many of my fellow rank n file AFT members are mad as Hell at our so-called union.

This comment needs a love button #FeelTheBern


With due respect for AFT leadership, as a member dedicated to the improvement of the education of my urban students, most of whom are at the mercy of the policies of the reform-money-driven PA legislature, I cannot in good conscience agree with this endorsement, nor its timing.  Ms. Clinton, a former Wal-Mart board member, has a record that shows her as a proponent of privatization of of education through conversion to charters in New York, Florida and elsewhere.  Wal-Mart is rabidly anti-union.  I have found nothing in the record that says that Ms. Clinton was anything but silent in public discussion concerning their demonstrated goalsl to destroy and inhibit organized labor wherever possible. Many of those funding her campaign expect more of the same.  Honestly, so do I and many, many of my peers are extremely skeptical.  Burn and churn is not what our public school system needs.  Every teacher I know pays hundreds even thousands out of their own pockets in a vain attempt to provide a little of what our neighboring suburban school districts provide without hesitation.  Teachers themselves will lead the way out of this debacle, but we need political leadership who does not actively work against us, disingenuously accepting money from the EMO funders at hedge and equity firms.  I don't work for BCG:  I work for my students. The polling firm that sampled the AFT is run by Ms. Clinton's campaign co-chair from 2008.  Her current campaign manager is connected still to Wal-Mart and ought to have Teach for America banners on his suit.  Ms. Clinton is indeed connected.  But as much as I truly long for a female president, I think the previous and likely continued damage done by her highly-touted connections to my students precludes her as POTUS. Is it that simple?  Am I naive?  Yes, I believe it is that simple.  No, I don't think I am naive, except in my belief that a meaningful, real discussion will take place concerning public schools in our country and each of our states.  At the end of the day, we each vote one by one.  As far as we know, corporations have not taken over the actual casting of ballots.  Bernie Sanders is more transparent, is not bought and paid for and shows signs of potential to be an educational patriot by beginning the process of forcing corporations to serve public education, and not the other way around.  In guarded solidarity, R. Connaire

+Rob Connaire I absolutely agree with your views. As a public school teacher and AFT member, I am furious about the union's endorsement of Hillary Clinton. This was a backroom deal designed to destroy Bernie's chances. This teacher supports Bernie Sanders!

I DO NOT support Hillary Clinton at all.

I am a member of the AFT and the AFT does not speak for ME.  I do not support Hillary Clinton. You should look at her voting record and public support and comments on critical issues both nationally and internationally and equally important look at the big money that supports her campaign.  The AFT video on Hillary Clinton is an embarrassment to thinking and inquiring minds.  As teachers, our job is to help our students to gain the tools, skills and confidence to be critical thinkers.  Your video tells me AFT members are voting for the President of United States because she's "electable...wonderful person...supports nurses...believes in what we believe in..." This is the emotional knee jerk propaganda that American are feed and blindly shallow.  Hillary Clinton is not about saving unions-any union for that matter.  She support the TTP - all aspects of it as she supported NFTA .  Randy you know what NAFTA did for working people and unions and if you don't, you should.  Shame on you Randy for selling out the AFT - another nail in the union coffin.

Remember the AFT convention where Mulgrew gave his punch you in the face and push you in the dirt speech in defense of the precious Common Core Standards neither he nor any of his Unity Caucus slugs even use on a daily basis? The Chicago Teacher's Union was having none of Common Core and they were all about making it known. Mulgrew and Weingarten as usual contrived to shut down any and all dissent by limiting discussion of said standards. But while comments were allowed it was tweeted by some rank and filers that a clear pattern was emerging--- a division between teachers who were forced to use these shittily crafted Gatesean standards and those of the "union leadership" class whose daily bread has nothing to do with spending an entire mind numbing month reading "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Werewolves." In short, the people being forced to use the CCSS knew them for the insidious, time wasting, age inappropriate steaming piles of shit they are while those busying themselves with lunch dates, AFT tote bags and wearing red t-shirts for photo ops in their local's newsletter consistently made the point that Mulgrew was right about the standards and anyone who disagreed had best have a solid supplemental dental plan.

Forgive me if I seem stuck on a theme here friends but this two-tiered sleight of hand used by so called "leadership" has no place in our current modus operandi and will be even more outrageous in the coming landscape of Post-Friedrichs unionism. We all witnessed the disgust and outrage of our colleagues when we learned that Weingarten had slid the AFT endorsement to Hillary when none of us were paying attention. Lily waited a few days in the hope of making her sell out look more deliberative than Weingarten's then she too handed NEA's blessing to the pantsuited one. I have noticed various unions on social media going to same way, too many, but not all. 

The chart below explains it quite succinctly and it's as sharp a divide as the one witnessed at the AFT Convention. Rank and filers given a voice spoke loudly for Bernie Sanders just as they did against Common Core. Top Down "leadership" affiliates where rank and file were muzzled and management were free to bang home their own imperatives were quick to throw their support to Bill's wife.  Where it says anything about "membership polling" remember that's what AFT and NEA claim to have used as well. Do you know anyone who was contacted for either of these polls? Yeah me either. It sounds almost legit but it's usually pure bullshit. 

Have a look:

OrganizationWho They EndorsedTheir Endorsement Process
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)Hillary ClintonExecutive council vote following polling of membership
Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)Hillary ClintonExecutive board vote informed by membership poll
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)Hillary ClintonExecutive board vote after collecting member feedback
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)Hillary ClintonExecutive council vote after non-binding survey of membership in summer 2015
Brady Campaign to End Gun ViolenceHillary ClintonDid not respond to requests about how decision was made
Human Rights CampaignHillary ClintonBoard of directors vote
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)Hillary ClintonExecutive board vote
League of Conservation VotersHillary ClintonBoard of directors vote based on recommendation from political committee
NARAL Pro-Choice AmericaHillary ClintonPAC committee, staff, and president decision
National Education Association (NEA)Hillary ClintonExecutive board and PAC council vote
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)Hillary ClintonExecutive board vote
United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW)Hillary ClintonExecutive board and president’s collective decision after focus groups and polling with members
American Postal Workers UnionBernie SandersExecutive board vote
Communications Workers of America (CWA)Bernie SandersThree-month process involving meetings, discussion, culminating in an online vote
Democracy for AmericaBernie SandersOpen online vote
MoveOnBernie SandersOpen online vote
National Nurses UnitedBernie SandersExecutive council vote after internal poll showed overwhelming support for Sanders
Working Families PartyBernie SandersOpen online vote followed by national advisory board action

I won't tell you what you just read. I will tell you though that the status quo is broken and it doesn't serve rank and file. In a country where all the wealth is going to the top 1% are we willing to continue to go along with a top down style of unionism that puts us all at risk while our so called leadership cavort with the very parties who are hell bent on ending public education? I'm done with business as usual. Maybe Bernie won't bring on the revolution this country needs. But as union members we need one now more than ever. As Preet might say, Stay Tuned...

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