Grassroots group opposes United Federation of Teachers’ support of members of the Independent Democratic Conference
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New York, NY – Members of Rise and Resist held a picket line outside the UFT’s Executive Board meeting at 52 Broadway headquarters on June 4, 2018, protesting the UFT’s move to back former members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). The protesters are urging the UFT to follow the courageous lead of the United Auto Workers Union Region 9A and support the strongly pro-union candidates who are challenging former IDC members.
The protesters are particularly enraged by the UFT’s extraordinary decision to back the IDC Senators in light the IDC Senators’ failure to support the release of $4.2 billion in State funds owed to the State’s public schools.
While the IDC claims it’s now aligned with Democratic State Senators in this election year, many don’t trust this arrangement. There is no guarantee that the IDC won’t reform after the election. In the election year 2014, Jeff Klein promised a reunification and didn’t deliver after the election was completed.
As Rise and Resist member Paul Rabin noted: The State’s highest court ruled in 2006 that NYS violated public school students’ constitutional right to a “sound and basic education” by leaving schools without necessary funding. That court ordered a $5.5 billion increase in basic operating aid statewide by 2011. $4.2 billion of that money is still owed to the schools!
When given an opportunity in 2017 to support release of the money still owed, the IDC members literally turned their backs on our kids and walked out on the vote. As a direct result, the effort to release the funds failed. Of course, it’s not surprising that the IDC Senators didn’t back full funding of the State’s public schools. They have received over $700,000 in donations from charter school interests.
A letter recently issued by nine union leaders, apparently at the urging of Governor Cuomo’s hand-picked Democratic Party Chairman, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, called for Democrats to back the IDC Senators. Lisa DellAquila, co-leader of True Blue NY, who supports the Rise & Resist protest, commented:
It’s unfortunate that labor leaders are pressuring their steadfast allies, mainline Democrats, to endorse the IDC. We find Chairman Brown’s support for the IDC outrageous, and the ex post facto conditions he has imposed on reunification with mainline Democrats unfair. If the NYS Democratic Party wants to get involved in primaries, it should work to elect real Democrats, and not support a band of turncoats who have empowered Senate Republicans for years.
The protesters will urge support of the staunchly pro-union, public school-supporting challengers of the IDC Senators, to wit: Alessandra Biaggi (Bronx & Westchester) Jasi Robinson (Staten Island & Brooklyn) Jessica Ramos (Queens), Zellnor Myrie (Brooklyn), Robert Jackson (Manhattan), Rachel May (Syracuse), and Julie Goldberg (Rockland).
#Activism #DemocraticStateSenators #ElectionYear #IDC #IDCSenators #IndependentDemocraticConference #JeffKlein #NewYork #NYC #NYSDemocraticParty #PeacefulProtest #PicketLine #RiseAndResist #TrueBlueNY #UFT #Union #UnitedFederationOfTeachers #VoteBlue #VoteOutIDC
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