Green Dot, Weingarten and Dual Unionism

    Let's say the Teamsters union comes into NYC and starts to organize charter schools. What would be the reaction of the UFT?

    Well, that is exactly what is happening in Los Angeles where Steve Barr of Green Dot charters, Randi Weingarten's ally in crime in setting up a charter school in the Bronx, has formed a company union to compete with the LA Teachers Union. Al this is chronicled in Sam Dillon's NY Times piece of July 24 which I posted on the Norms Notes blog.

    I can't tell you how may times people have said to ICE, "The Unity machine will never be beaten. Why not invite another union in like the Teamsters and set up a dual, competing union?"

    Our answer has always been that this is so anti-union and divisive that it is unthinkable.

    Well, maybe not. Randi Weingarten and Unity Caucus have endorsed this action with their support for Steve Barr and Green Dot. Just imagine, teachers can be Teamsters and never have to drive a truck.

    Selected quotes below indicate a few basic truths:

    The UFT is already a company union so there is no great leap here.

    The Democractic party/Clinton gang are in this up to their ears. Weingarten is part of the gang which includes Joel Klein who also worked for Clinton.

    Weingarten's undermining of the LA teachers union AJ Duffy may have some interesting play when she makes her move for the AFT presidency. It is disappointing to see Duffy backtracking. Will there be any repercussions in Chicago next July?

    Here are some comments on Green Dot from another post on this blog. Note in particular the Unity hack defense and the former LA teacher, which I highlighted:

    This is the end of organized labor as we know it....the article also states how Randi is helping to bring Green Dot into the South Bronx....Goodness gracious! What won't that woman do to be lauded by those who hate organized labor???? SHAME ON RANDI FOR SCREWING THE UFT MEMBERS!!!!! I hope one day she is impeached. 12:42 AM, July 24, 2007

    17 more years said...
    Just finished reading the article. The fact that Randi is trying to bring Green Dot to the Bronx confirms everything I ever thought about her.
    I found it particularly interesting that the young teachers are so willing to embrace Green Dot, while senior teachers are hesitant (and rightfully so). With the large numbers of young, idealistic Teaching Fellows entering the ranks of NYC public school teachers, can't you see that happening here? 9:47 AM, July 24, 2007

    Gene Prisco said...
    Perhaps Randi Weingarten should invite the NEA to NYC to support Edison or any organization create charter schools with a union different than the UFT since this is exactly what she has done in supporting Green Dot in LA. Long live dual unionism! the Albert Shanker Solidarity Award 2007 goes to Randi Weingarten. 1:22 PM, July 24, 2007

    Anonymous [Unity Hack] said...
    Perhaps Randi Weingarten has a better view of education in America then the average teacher. I also read the article and what impressed me was that Green Dot has taken over failing schools, High Schools and did so with a teachers contract albeit, not the 300 page contract the LA teachers have. Maybe Randi is posturing an experiment in New York to offset the eventual dissolution of teacher unions as happened in LA. By engaging Green Dot in NY and being pro-active she will have a stronger say rather than fight the wrong fight at the wrong time. Please note that the article claims that the LA union has been fragmented and Green Dot in one school competed and drew the students away from that school district. What makes you think that could not happen in NY? Also note, that Black and Hispanic parents advocated for the Green Dot take over. Give Weingarten credit for being ahead of the curve on this issue. I believe that she will maintain core contractual values and tenure when this entire era of corporate accountability expires. 5:36 PM, July 24, 2007

    Anonymous [LA Teacher] said...
    I was a teacher in Los Angeles and now have retired (to Las Vegas). That article in the NY Times is full of bulls++t. The parents didn't advocate for it and the younger teachers went for Green Dot because they were duped....
    The article is so misleading. Green Dot has not made any progress. They throw kids out of their schools if they harm the progress in the Green Dot school
    I am shocked that your union is cooperating with this mess called Green Dot. What is wrong in NY? July 24, 2007

    Selected quotes from Times article:

    "Mr. Barr has fomented a teachers revolt against the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has driven a wedge through the city’s teachers union by welcoming organized labor — in contrast to other charter operators — and signing a contract with an upstart union."

    "Mr. Barr, a former fund-raiser for the California Democratic Party."

    "Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, is working with him to put a Green Dot school in the South Bronx. That alliance embarrassed United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents some 40,000 teachers."

    "The union representing Green Dot teachers, Association de Maestros Unidos, has a 33-page contract that offers competitive salaries but no tenure, and it allows class schedule and other instructional flexibility outlawed by the 330-page contract governing most Los Angeles schools.

    "Andrew J. Rotherham, who worked in the Clinton White House and is co-director of Education Sector, a research group in Washington, said, “Green Dot is mobilizing parents in poor neighborhoods and offering an alternative for frustrated teachers, and that’s scrambling the cozy power arrangements between the school district and the union to a degree not seen anywhere else.”

    "Mr. Barr has not just used his charters to challenge the district. He is also an ally of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat who has also battled the Los Angeles school district, seeking mayoral control."

    "Mr. Barr says that if he does not win the chance to use the Locke campus for his new charter schools, he will surround it with Green Dot’s next 10 charter schools, which are to open nearby in 2008, supported by a $7.8 million donation from the Gates Foundation.

    “If the district doesn’t work with me, I’ll compete with them and take their kids,” Mr. Barr said."

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Green Dot, Weingarten and Dual Unionism


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