Home Education New York Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew has won re-election

New York Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew has won re-election

New York Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew has won re-election

The president of the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, easily won his fifth term, despite renewed efforts to overthrow the union’s longtime leadership, UFT officials announced on Wednesday.

Malgra was elected with 66% of the vote, which is 20 percentage points less than him share of votes in 2019 and his smallest win margin since he won his first full term in 2010 91% of the vote.

Camille Etern, his main rival, received about 34% of the vote.

“I am honored to have been re-elected after several very difficult years for the schools and our members,” Mulgre said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the entire UFT to ensure the good functioning of the school system for all – staff, children and their families.”

Eterno and many other candidates have tried to consolidate factions within the union that oppose Malgra’s leadership under the “United for Change” banner, relying on internal groups, including The movement of ordinary teachers and Solidarity, which sometimes nominated separate lists of candidates for senior management positions.

The main goal was to create a more democratic union that responds to member participation, especially since the contract with teachers expires this fall. The band also laid out the series political positions including the opposition to mayoral control over the city’s schools and revising the method of teacher evaluation.

But the teachers’ union has always been dominated by the inner caucus – known as Unity – and even its critics acknowledged that Malgra’s dismissal was unlikely. Turnout in UFT elections was usually low, and this cycle was no exception. Of the nearly 194,000 ballots sent by mail, just under 51,000 were returned, about 26%, union representatives said.

The lower score of Malgra’s victory may reflect some frustration over how the union coped with the pandemic. Some members said they would like the union to be more transparent as they agreed on safety rules when schools began rebuilding in September 2020.

“Behind our backs, they were negotiating a settlement,” said Chalkbeat’s Annie Tan, a Brooklyn primary special education teacher who ran for secretary of the United for Change list. Tang said her list advocated “a different vision of how union participation with members and mobilization works.”

Malgra a smaller share of the vote may also reflect the frustration of retired members as well the main electoral bloc. Teachers’ Union supported the city’s plan to transition retirees from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage, a federal-funded but privatized program that worries retirees that their health care may become less affordable.

“It was a disaster as it was presented,” said Arthur Goldstein, a 66-year-old Francis Lewis high school teacher who ran for a seat on the Unity Caucasus Executive Board. Some retired teachers, for example, said that only learned about the position of his union in the media. “I absolutely understand that people who have used state-owned Medicare for years will be unsure of any change in their plan,” Goldstein added.

Representatives of the UFT did not immediately give a complete breakdown of other races in the ballots, saying that the results were not yet official and that about 5% of the ballots had not yet been compiled in the table, which could affect some final results. Among the positions that can be seized are several union-wide positions and 90 positions on the UFT executive board.

Alex Zimmerman is a reporter for Chalkbeat New York that covers New York public schools. Contact Alex at azimmerman@chalkbeat.org.

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