Rumor 1: The ST slate refused offers of power sharing during negotiations. We refused officer positions that were offered to us.
Fact: The ST Caucus Chair, Michael Lillis, initiated the conversation about a fusion slate to promote power sharing and democracy within NYSUT. The “negotiation” that followed involved a couple phone conversations and a face to face visit with representatives from ST and UNITY. At no time was an offer of officer positions made. The only offer of “power sharing” from UNITY caucus was to have ST be better represented on some NYSUT committees.
Rationale: After the election of Donald Trump, any objective observer of NYSUT would recommend, you get your house in order, bring everyone together, and unify as you move into what will be the most difficult time NYSUT, and all other organized labor, has yet seen. The need for power sharing is clear. Two powerful caucuses exist within NYSUT. This is not a partisan political issue like Democrats vs Republicans. We cannot eliminate our opposition by an election win. We are all members of the same party: We are NYSUT. There are legitimate areas of disagreement that will simply not go away after the election, regardless of who wins. It is troubling to see the recklessness that the UNITY leadership is treating our organization with, as we move into another power grab. It is a clear sign that the existing UNITY power structure simply does not recognize the depth of the problems we face as an organization. For NYSUT to thrive as we move forward, it will take more than the ability to win elections.
Rumor 2: The ST Caucus refused to sign an oath for a clean campaign.
Fact: This is just silly. There was never any type of campaign oath put forward. There has never been any type of campaign agreement between ST and UNITY.
Rationale: We do not know the basis for this rumor. This is an area where we feel we have common ground with the UNITY Caucus. While we have not signed any fictitious honor oath, we do feel it is important to have a clean and honorable campaign; it is the only way for NYSUT to emerge from this election with a singular strength. Our campaign has focused on setting forth a vision for NYSUT that will benefit all members, educators, and students. We will lead NYSUT out of its culture of capitulation. To do this, Stronger Together will make the struggles of educators the fights of NYSUT. If the current leadership refuses to do that, then we are prepared to lead that battle. We find that to be clean, honorable and worthwhile, at the very least.
ST Caucus Executive Committee