It is a good thing retired teachers cannot vote for a contract.
The UFT Retired Teacher Chapter met last week. It was the first meeting I ever went to and it will almost definitely be my last.
While waiting to go in, a woman behind us started bitching about how long it took. She couldn't wait to get her hands on a plain bagel and of course some coffee. We got to stand and prepare our bagels and then eat on our laps. Many people spread out and took up two to three seats. As more and more people came in, the auditorium got crowded and it became harder to find a seat in some areas. I was amazed that people would not give up the extra seat.
The worst part of the meeting was the adoration most of the people present had for Mulgrew and the contract. Person after person got up and said how thankful they were that Mulgrew negotiated such a great contract. One person questioned how health care would be changed to save money. The UFT suits, one after another, made light of this question and it was passed over without any answers or even discussion.
In the scheme of things, the teachers at this meeting represented a very small portion of retired teachers, but the part they represented scared me. Overall, they think the UFT of today is the same UFT of old, which it clearly is not. They have bought into the medias presentation of ATRs and agree with the way these teachers will be treated. I was almost ashamed to be part of this group.
I'm happy retired teachers can't vote for the contract. But, on the same token it is time for the people to stand up, learn the facts about the contract being presented and make an intelligent, knowledgeable decision about voting yeah or neigh. They need to vote yes or no, not because someone told them it is the best deal they can get, or because they thing it is horrible, but yes or no based on real facts. They need to get out and vote and not assume their vote means nothing because the deal has already been decided.