Thursday, January 28, 2010

Building a Vibrant Left in our Union

It has come to our attention that the caucus of our current leadership, PLC – Progressive Leadership Caucus, has been contacting UESF members and inviting them to their own PLC meetings. We are glad anytime we see people trying to get more members involved in our union. We were dismayed to hear that in trying to bring new members around their caucus, inflammatory statements about EDU were part of the pitch.

Our caucus formed because we believe that only by activating and involving the largest number of members possible, only by resisting the never ending cuts to education instead of cooperating with them, can we really start to reform education. This is strengthening the union, not breaking it.

Our caucus is made up of educators from throughout the district. We include leftists, progressives, Greens, liberal Democrats, socialists, Trotskyists, radicals, grassroots youth organizers, communists, trade union veterans, younger teachers, experienced organizers and more. We will not sit by quietly while words like “front group” and “Trotskyist” are used to try to slander the good work that the people in our caucus do. We are proud to be building a vibrant active left wing in our union that welcomes people with different politics, including Trotskyists. We are brought together by a desire to bring folks into a democratic process of empowerment.

We would like to remind our UESF brothers and sisters that the darkest days our labor movement has ever seen were the McCarthy years when socialists, Trotskyists, communists and just good old trade union radicals were all painted with the same brush and run out of the unions.

We invite you all to come to one of our meetings, to join our conversation, to check out our website and see for yourself. If you’re looking to hear some real talk about Arne Duncan and Race to the Top, join us. If you’re looking to learn about becoming a union activist, join us. And especially if you’re looking to organize your worksite to fight back on March 4, join us. We’d love to talk to you.

Rose Berryessa, Lita Blanc, Kathleen Cecil, Tom Edminster, Lisa Gutierrez Guzman, Adrienne Johnstone, Cynthia Lasden, Andy Libson, Aaron Neimark, David Russitano, Ron Trapp, Karen Zapata, Magdalana De Guzman and Larry Orloff

Check out:
Educators for a Democratic Union
Email for more information:

Next Meeting:
Wednesday February 10, 2010
4.30-6.00 p.m.
Glen Park Library meeting room

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't give up before the fight!

Carlos Garcia has proposed a devastating packet of budget cuts and has asked for UESF’s help in pushing the cuts through by the end of February. The Executive Board is holding an emergency meeting this coming Wednesday to consider options. While its important that the leadership of UESF is demanding that the district provide a detailed explanation of its budget proposal, we do not think our union should accept Garcia's emergency timeframe or be preparing our members for concessions. We have to put up a fight.

EDU – Educators for a Democratic Union - believes that UESF officers and the executive board need to hear from as many members ASAP to urge the union to slow this process down. Please send email UESF officers (,, and tell them:

1. We do not have to accept Garcia’s timeline. Don’t fast-track us into a concessionary contract that is anti-educator and anti-student. The school board has until March 15th to send out lay-off notices. Do not give up without a fight.

2. Our starting point should be the demands passed by the UESF Assembly for the March 4th rally: NO CUTS! NO LAY-OFFS! EMERGENCY FUNDING for EDUCATION!

3. MOBILIZE at the school board on January 26th and MOBILIZE with parents, students, and our labor allies on March 4th.

4. Do not deal with our contract as an emergency. We need to be informed and involved every step of the way.
Please pass this message on to everyone you know – families, students, teachers, paras, community members.

It’s time to draw a line!
Educators for a Democratic Union