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Contrary

That's what leadership calls us. Contrary implies simple-mindedness, as though you're a two-year-old who just says "no" to everything. Unity contends, during campaigns, that we oppose whatever they bring up, just for the sake of doing so. We disagree with everything, just because, they say. I've observed UFT elections pretty closely and that's one of their big arguments.

We in MORE are now aligned with New Action, and I couldn't be happier about that. Back when New Action was opposing us, they portrayed themselves as a more reasonable opposition. In fact, I agreed with many of their positions. The only major stumbling block, for me, was their endorsement of the UFT Unity President. I have, in fact, had differences with some things UFT Presidents supported, like mayoral control, the ATR, charter schools, co-locations, school closings, junk science ratings, Common Core, and failure to oppose Bloomberg or Cuomo, just to name a few.

But let's not rehash the past. It's 2017, and the UFT High Schools have selected MORE and New Action to represent them. And represent we do, twice a month at 52 Broadway. For the first time, anyone who wishes to know what happens at the Executive Board can read about it right here. My notes, unlike the official ones, contain the questions and statements from members and guests. I have no idea why the official notes omit them. Why shouldn't UFT members be able to know what goes on?

Now if you've been reading my notes (or even writing them, as I have), a pattern is emerging. The pattern, in fact, is precisely the opposite of what Unity Caucus says it is. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I only recall our opposing one resolution Unity has brought up. Ironically, we applauded it enthusiastically when it first came up, and if they had not brought up a resolution condemning Trump and the bigotry he'd not-so-subtly encouraged, we'd have done so ourselves. In fact we were in negotiations to do so together, but they introduced it before we could do that, precluding an opportunity for us to work together. However, when they removed Trump's name and attributed various atrocities to "the presidential election" we deemed it absurd and toothless, which it was.

On the other hand, Unity Caucus has either voted down, tabled, or severely cut every resolution we've brought up. Abusive administrators? No. Class size? No. Support CPE 1? No. It's too this, it's too that. We do this some other way. We took care of this 50 years ago, and who cares if it doesn't work at all? We fixed this in one place, and it therefore doesn't exist in other places.

There are a whole lot of excuses. And in fact, they don't even need them. When LeRoy Barr stood to table our resolution to support CPE 1, and to oppose the abusive principal in precisely the way Mulgrew suggested we should, several loyalty oath signers immediately raised their hands and said, "Second."

When UFT Unity says there is one caucus that is contrary, they're absolutely correct.

But it isn't us.

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