Saturday, December 12, 2020

Going to UFT Meetings | JD2718

Going to UFT Meetings | JD2718
Going to UFT Meetings

There are people with perfect attendance and that’s not me, but I do like going to union meetings, and my attendance is pretty good.

There are four different kinds of United Federation of Teachers meetings I attend. And all of them have changed during the pandemic.

DR Meetings

At my DR’s meetings we have a small group. It’s possible to have real discussion. And when I have very specific issues in my school, I can have a private conversation and get answers. Chapter Leaders meet each other, socialize. Eat. Sometimes we have similar problems. And when the DR makes a point, CLs can give specific examples, reinforce the point, clarify.

During the pandemic the DR meetings have become less rich. Losing the food hurts. Forget the line that food brings people to meetings – it’s true – but it’s the wrong people. Losing food hurts because the quality of conversation over food is generally higher. People focus better, listen better. Losing the social aspect hurts. I talk with who I sit with. And on a zoom? I am on my couch. Is it possible to get specific questions answered? Yes, but… not really in the flow of the meeting. I am better off sending an email or placing a phone call. And chapter leaders do not hear each other.

In August, when there was strike talk, large meetings were organized. They were on zoom. People talked. Communicated in the chat. I think the UFT leadership hated those meetings. Hated hearing voices that disagreed with them. This was not regular opposition people (who are actually fairly disciplined, and follow meeting rules) – but regular members who blurted stuff out. I think, as a result, many UFT CONTINUE READING: Going to UFT Meetings | JD2718