I find myself on the side of the underdog in this election because I have experienced firsthand how undemocratic the Unity caucus can be. When I was a UFT Delegate for my building I regularly attended the Delegate Assemblies, monthly meetings that lead to decisions for the UFT in general. Ideally, there is time for a president's report, some other reports, then periods for questions as well as motions for the group to vote on. What regularly happens, however, is that the presidential report lasts over an hour and instead of having a lot of time to debate and discuss policies (for example, if the UFT should endorse certain candidates for elections) we have to rush at the end to vote on smaller proposals.
I once made a motion that turned into a proposal to restrict the amount of time the president's report could take. Ironically, there was about 3 minutes of debate on this proposal and it was shot down immediately without due consideration. I found that to be quite undemocratic for a union that prides itself on its members' voices.
I also struggled with the decision the UFT made when the Unity leadership agreed to extend our previous contract by a few months in order to pay for paid parental leave a few years ago. Since this involved such a massive change to our contract, I would think it would make sense to bring the issue up for a vote by the entire membership. Instead, Unity made decisions behind closed doors that meant our raises were significantly delayed. People may have been expecting a bump in November but then it was delayed until February.
Overall, I think the Unity caucus has done a so-so job at protecting our rights and working conditions. I think the UfC caucus will be more transparent and allow more rank-and-file engagement, so I have supported them and am running on their slate as a convention delegate. It is not anything glamorous but it means I want them to win.
I hope you will read more about what each side believes. Even if Unity says they "do the work" that is because no one else has been allowed to - they have made sure of that.
Thanks for reading.