It's not the first time I have asked myself that question. I can not remember the last time the UFT did anything for me, and yet I pay them over $1000 a year in dues no matter how much they screw me.
I've written about this before (sans identifying details), but I almost lost my job because of the UFT. I supported the union in my school, and was subsequently targeted by a vindictive principal who U rated me and tried to get me to the rubber room. (Note to the idiots at E4E: This had nothing to do with job performance). I would have willingly left that school but the 2005 contract eliminated seniority transfers so I was stuck. The District Rep, despite a vow to protect everyone who stood up, did nothing. A number of teachers I knew lost their jobs because they could not transfer and were purged from the system. They lost everything they had worked for over the course of 15-25 years in some cases. I got lucky because I was friends with someone who had influence and helped me get one of those "Open Market" positions that you simply can not get unless you are a newbie or you know someone who can help you.
So my question is, why am I paying the UFT to protect my rights when they are the ones who have all but given them away? The UFT rakes in over 120 million a year I believe, and I can't name you a single teacher who thinks his or her job is safe. I only know a few teachers who are even willing to take a stand anymore, because they know the union won't support them. Now, the union has inflicted a mortal wound to tenure and seniority with the lastest evaluation agreement. They have also effectively put an end to future pensions, as it seems unlikely that any teacher will be able to get through the minimum 27 years needed to collect.
I WANT OUT. I am tired of paying Mulgrew and his Unity puppets over $1000 dollars a year to sell me out. Paying dues to the UFT is like having to pay your own hit man. I don't know the law or rules on unions, but isn't there some way we can secede from the UFT and form a new union? I'd pay far more than a grand to a real union that actually protected my rights.
People have long said that Unity Must Go, but maybe the chant should be We Must Go. If anyone has an idea how we can do that, I'd love to hear.