It is hard to over-state how important it is that NY TEACHERS FOR CHOICE continues to be discussed in THE CHIEF. If you are a member of any union in NYC and you don’t have a subscription to THE CHIEF, you need to get one. TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is now discussed in their pages on a regular basis.
In an op-ed published by THE CHIEF on January 22, 2021, TEACHERS FOR CHOICE and our last open letter to Michael Mulgrew are referenced for the second time in the month of January. THE CHIEF is read by every labor leader in NYC and is recognized as the most important publication for all NYC unions. This is a clear sign that our message is getting across and being heard throughout important union circles.
There are two errors in their reporting on us, which are:
(1) THE CHIEF states TEACHERS FOR CHOICE has advocated to shutdown in-person learning due to high COVID infection rates. We have done no such thing. The majority of our steering committee members and general membership lean towards reopening schools, however thus far we have taken no official position on the matter as we are continuing to dialogue and debate the topic at this point in time before taking a public, organizational position.
(2) They stated UFT President Michael Mulgrew “has made clear” that vaccination is a personal decision to be made by his members. While Mulgrew did make this clear on February 4th at a UFT telephonic town hall meeting, when THE CHIEF published this back in January I don’t believe it was accurate to say this was “clear” at that time. We also can’t forget that AFT President Randi Weingarten has blatantly called for forced vaccination of all in-person teachers. Isn’t Randi Mike’s “boss”?
Despite these slight corrections, we are always very pleased to see THE CHIEF covering our caucus and our concerns. – mk
POWER BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY
(below is the relevant excerpt from THE CHIEF where TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is mentioned)
The downside of being the person in a position to make decisions is that he or she can leave themselves wide open for criticism by a political opponent, who can try to convince union members that any compromise is a capitulation, and that any decision made by the organization should focus solely on what seems to be in the rank and file’s best interest.
An example of this side of the dynamic involves the United Federation of Teachers and two opposition factions that are pressing President Michael Mulgrew hard over decisions involving the coronavirus and the vaccine.
Both of them, the Movement of Rank and File Educators and NY Teachers for Choice, have advocated for shutting down in-person learning if the rate of infections citywide grew too high. At the same time, NY Teachers for Choice has prodded Mr. Mulgrew to declare opposition to making vaccinations mandatory. An open letter to the UFT leader from one activist in the latter group stated, “Almost every other union boss in NYC has come out and said they will not require their members to be injected with this vaccine to keep their jobs.”
In fact, neither Governor Cuomo nor Mayor de Blasio has floated the idea of making vaccinations mandatory, unless you think the Governor’s initial refusal, when some health-care workers resisted getting vaccinated, to move along by making the unused portion of the vaccine earmarked for them available to other, less-endangered employee groups was designed to coerce the hold-outs. If anything, it may have had the opposite effect.
And Mr. Mulgrew has made clear he views vaccination as a personal decision to be made by his members.