American Federation Teacher friends of mine from around the country are in Minneapolis this morning to attend the national convention of their union.
Unlike the National Education Association (NEA) which holds it national meeting every year, the AFT meets every other year. The convention will last until Thursday.
From Chicago, many of my friends in the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) who are members of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) will be attending as delegates.
I also have friends and colleagues from the rank and file caucuses in New York. They are members of the MORE/New Action slate. The MORE/New Action slate swept the city’s high schools in the recent elections of the AFT New York affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
There will be no delegates from the MORE/New Action slate at the Minneapolis AFT convention.
This is the way democracy works in AFT.
The UFT has nearly 200,000 members representing four divisions: elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and what they call “functionals”. Functionals are non-certified employees and retirees.
The UFT sends 750 delegates to Minneapolis elected at-large, not by division.
The UFT high school division, which MORE/New Action won, has more members than many AFT locals.
High school teachers in the UFT voted in opposition to the current leadership of the UFT and the AFT.
But that voice will not be represented this week in Minneapolis by even one single delegate.