Fast forward to 2014 where I am in New York City and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is negotiating a new contract for the membership. This time around I am trying to pay more attention, notice, and point out when potentially undemocratic actions are occurring and try to put a stop to them so that many people really understand what the new contract might mean for our members in the future.
Last night the Delegates Assembly (DA) voted to accept the Memorandum of Agreement but had very little time to truly understand the 47 page document. According to a blogger who attended the DA meeting, very little discussion was allowed and dissent was almost totally squelched. There was less than 15 minutes of time left to discuss before a mandatory end time of 6:15pm and the vote passed through. It is quite amazing to me how a labor organization can display such lack of democratic values.
I am noticing a pattern between the two cities and having serious qualms concerning the new contract and I think those thoughts should be voiced in a public forum where people may want to hear them. I would also like to hear from those who believe it should be passed. But I do not want to feel like opinions are not being heard in an effort to push through something that could be detrimental to me (as was in Philadelphia years ago).
I hope for more in the UFT and its membership.