On Tuesday March 1, 2016, current and former UFT Unity members received an email titled “Location of UFT-RTC Welcome Hillary home event.”
A few things readers should know.
RTC is the UFT’s retiree chapter.
UFT Unity is the group that Michael Mulgrew and all those who work at the union belong to. You can’t be a UFT member, and work at the UFT, without being part of Unity. You have to pledge allegiance to them.
The UFT never officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, even though the poll the AFT conducted called mostly, if not all, UFT Unity members.
Now the email that was sent resembled standard UFT emails.
Now if you clicked the “See directions” link or the “RSVP online now” link, it briefly routed you to UFT.org.
That’s a problem. According to the US Department of Labor OLMS Title 4, no union resources should be used internally for a specific caucus. As a remedy, we ask that we use the system to send out information as well.
This isn’t the first time we have made complaints to the UFT about their election time practices.
As you may know, the use of union funds and resources for campaigning of a specific candidate or caucus is forbidden. We know that many UFT staffers are visiting many schools. They are speaking, and educating members, about Friedrichs case and that’s fine. What we have a problem is that members are sharing with us that the staffers are making comments such as “We need to stick together and we need to support our ‘elected officials.’ “
To us that sounds like the paid UFT staffers are engaging in electioneering. We are asking that if that’s happening, that it cease.
In addition, the UFT leadership has put in some interesting effort to quell communication using the employer’s email system. We are seeing tweets, we are seeing Facebook posts and we are seeing chapter leader weekly excerpts from UFT leadership stating members should not engage in union election communication. We say an “interesting effort” because little effort is made to make members aware of an actual election.
Lastly, at several instances, members were prevented from passing out literature in front of UFT offices. Although that seems to have been rectified, it should be noted that as we were finally allowed to pass out UFT Solidarity literature outside Staten Island office, an unidentified woman came out from the union office and began passing out UFT Unity literature that seemed to have been “hot off the press.” We asked for a copy and it was literally warm as if it had just been printed.
All we ask is that we all engage in fair practices when it comes to these upcoming elections. Thank you.
What about staffers getting petition signatures for Unity at borough offices? Is that permitted? We’re pretty sure it’s not.
We understand that anyone in power will do everything they can to stay in power. However, it’s time for a new era of unionism and support. Since the beginning of time every single empire eventually falls. 50 years of UFT Unity is enough.
UFT Unity out.
UFT Solidarity in.