Friday, May 07, 2010

Weight of the union

This NY Post article highlight's the UFT's enormous power in NY (at least it's no longer unchallenged, unchecked power -- I love the fact that we've gotten under Mulgrew's skin enough that he's now slamming us in the media):

Call it UFT Inc.

Fueled by dues from 164,000 members, the United Federation of Teachers has built a massive, well-oiled $200 million operation with more than 630 paid employees and tentacles that reach into the top echelons of government and infiltrate "grass-roots" community groups that critics charge are union fronts.

The UFT's $33 million payroll provides ample wages. There are 68 staffers who make more than $130,000 a year. Of those, 16 make more than $170,000, while three top $200,000 -- numbers well above what the highest-paid teachers earn.

…The UFT -- combined with its statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers -- spends some $5 million on lobbying and campaign contributions to get their way with the state Legislature.

Its clout has also put the growing charter-school movement on the defensive.

"They have pushed, in effect, to put charters out of business. We have to fight to survive against the union onslaught," said Peter Murphy of the NYS Charter School Association.

…New president Mulgrew defended the union's advocacy.

"The UFT fights for the interests of schools, kids and teachers. When the critics go back to their hedge funds or move on to their next 'reform' causes, we'll still be here working to make the schools better," he said.

Since I had so much fun making up a Mulgrew quote recently (, here's another, which could substitute for this quote above:


The UFT fights for the interests of teachers (especially the very worst ones who are the most militant and are most likely to vote in union elections, giving them disproportionate influence).  Hence, our #1 priority at the UFT is to protect mediocrity (or worse), regardless of the impact on kids.  Hey, when they start paying dues, we'll start thinking about their interests.


I really wish our critics (who have no self-interest at stake and are therefore free to act solely in the best interests of children) would go away.  They are really getting to be a terrible nuisance.  It used to be that when we said "Jump!", every politician, especially Democrats, would say, "How high?"  How I yearn for the good old days, when we could run roughshod over everyone!


Weight of the union

UFT has turned into $200M monster

Last Updated: 7:15 AM, May 3, 2010

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