UFT Rep Review

In aligning with UFT Solidarity’s mission statement, with regards to accountability, we have created a forum to share experiences UFT members have had with elected and appointed UFT representatives on the UFT payroll.  

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There are five appointed UFT borough representatives and over 40 appointed district and special representatives. None of them have been democratically elected by the UFT membership.

Here is a brief history you should know:

In June 2003 the UFT Executive Board changed the District Representative position, an elected position for 34 years, to an appointed position, and then President Weingarten argued that the change was necessary based on the DOE’s move to Regions and would not have a negative impact on the service relationship between the chapter leader, the members, and the DR. She also maintained that with the movement to Regions we were not going to have districts and an appointed position would be a better one for our UFT. Regions no longer exist and networks appear to be on the way out. The democratic process is best served when elections determine who will represent the membership, and the election of DR’s by Chapter Leaders can only cement the relationship between the two and further union democracy. (link)

Due to the fact that chapter leaders no longer elect their district reps, real accountability has greatly diminished. This Solidarity initiative, aimed to bring back accountability to our union, comes from listening to our union brothers and sisters and their unfortunate plight.

Examples of member stories:

This Part Time Special Rep makes $11,614 from UFT dues.

This Part Time Special Rep makes $11,614 from UFT dues in addition to DOE salary.

From chapter leader about appointed district rep.

From chapter leader about appointed district rep who makes $65,000 from UFT dues in addition to $86,000 from the DOE.

Brooklyn UFT

UFT reps non action continue to hurt this school mentioned in the media to this day.

 

Another appointed rep who is not familiar with the facts of a case.

Another appointed rep who is not familiar with the facts of a case.

 

District reps must make sure their chapter leaders have accurate information. This former UFT member is out of a job.

District reps must make sure their chapter leaders have accurate information. This former UFT member is out of a job now and can’t work elsewhere in the DOE.

 

The District UFT offices need to be a shield. They weren't for this school.

The District UFT offices need to be a shield. They weren’t for this school.

In New York State we follow the Taylor Law, that not only has jurisdiction over the employer (DOE), but also the employee organization (UFT). UFT members are owed protection from their employer for their union activity, but also are owed fair representation by their union.

4 Comments

  1. I’n not 100% convinced. District Reps are Union employess. As such, had we an honest leadership, ineffective Reps can and should be removed. If it is an elected position, there is no firing.

    Please do not construe this response as an endorsement of our leadership, which is an embarassment. But I can see a District Rep working a lot harder for the UFTers he or she knows will vote for them, and neglecting schools they know they won’t win, whether it be that the Chapter Leader simply doesn’t like them personally or because they are unwilling to butt heads with a particular principal they know is a Superintendent’s favorite.

    I think our best efforts should be concentrated on removing Mulgrew & Co. in 2016; then let’s see how many of these District Reps can hang on to their jobs with a truly effective leadership that actually advocates for teachers. I’d like Mulgrew’s replacement to be able to fire Mulgrew’s District Reps if they are not doing the jobs they are hired for. And I’d like Mulgrew’s replacement to be able to hire Reps that would actually do the job they were hired for, knowing that if they didn’t represent the best interests of their teachers, they’d lose their jobs.

    If this position were to revert to an elected one, the District Reps would, naturally, take the best care of the largest schools, the chapter leaders of which would have the most votes. Pity the teachers who work in the smallest of schools; their chapter leader’s votes wouldn’t count for much.

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  4. We must fight back. We have to meet to discuss different strategies that can be used.

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