Public sector workers in New York don’t have the right to strike, and certain labor leaders are okay with that. This March, the UFT Delegate Assembly rejected an opportunity to campaign for the right to strike. The amendment, raised by a member of the MORE caucus, called for efforts to remove the anti-strike provision of the
“Their livelihood is funded by the union’s treasury, not the employer’s paychecks.”
Doesn’t the Healthcare Stabilization Fund pay for some of the patronage jobs (through the UFT Welfare Fund)?
And who funds the Teachers Centers, which provides patronage jobs? Isn’t that space provided by the DoE? And at least some of the funding through the state legislature?
There is rental income from 50 (owned) and 52 (leased) Broadway. The demise of Kings College (shouldn’t that be a good thing?) will cost them.
In short - “Union’s Treasury” is mostly right - but we should be looking more deeply - how getting those funds, and how keeping those funds - affects everything they do or don’t do - including their attitude to the right to strike - and their insistence on Medicare advantage
I well remember the 2 for 1 penalty! And, I was one of those who suffered-no$…and a tough job at a Brooklyn HS! And now, my “union” is collaborating with the city to take away the one thing I depend onMedicare and medigap! This is a nightmare!
Excellent analysis Ronnie. To amplify Jonathan's point, after the 1975 strike when we were fined 2 for 1, the UFT lost dues checkoff but went to court to fight it if my memory serves me correctly and won some reductions in penalties - for them, not for us. I think it took until 1980 or so for the penalty to kick in for a year I think and the UFT had to cut staff and send them back to schools - special schools chosen to make it easy for them. At that time they were more powerful with the DOE and could dictate.
In 1975 the UFT (NYC) teachers union ( I was an active member back then)struck for a week. We, indeed, lost two days pay for each day of the strike. The other significant development was a much more punitive measure for the union. The City suspended the very convenient dues collection process ( dues checkoff) where union dues were automatically deducted from the teacher paycheck. Without that, each chapter leader had to collect a check from individual union members. The rank and file were not happy with the union and our chapter leader had a difficult time obtaining payment from about half the members in my particular school. For that brief window , the individual teacher had the power to object or at least show displeasure with union performance. Protest by withholding dues! I believe that the UFT is terrified of losing dues checkoff more than anything else, after witnessing that event. That ONE provision has provided the union with a guaranteed source of income to do with what leadership wants. The individual teacher is powerless to object since the union collects dues automatically, whether the teacher likes it or not. Losing the dues checkoff provision would , IMO, force the union to be more responsive to the ranks and file, something that is woefully lacking today.
Ronnie, you wrote this brilliantly and with great power. May I use it on our Medicare advocacy FB group page? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The New York City Organization of Public Services Retirees (the "New York Retirees") is the real union. The New York City Retirees drafted legislation for the City Council which would guarantee that the City retirees could keep Medicare and a premium free Medicare supplement policy which the UFT opposes. Even more incredible, the UFT is supporting the City's litigation against the New York City Retirees. The UFT (and MLC) committed to savings the City 600 million dollars in annual health care savings without a term limit ,i.e., in perpetuity. What a perversion of the old union song: "Which Side Are You On". The UFT leadership is on the side of Management.