How many of you remember the last 20 years when teachers were under the boot of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg? I know I do. I could make a very long list of the ways they degraded the teaching profession, but you probably know them all. So my question is:
How many of you want to spend the next 20 years under similar or worse bullies after the next election?
I don't. I hope you don't either.
But that is precisely what is going to happen if PBA hothead and provocateur Pat Lynch has his way. He has groomed anti-de Blasio sentiment in this city with stunning expertise.
Luckily, I do believe that a backlash is beginning. Many people are not happy that the police disrespected the funeral of Officer Liu by turning their backs on the mayor yet again. And I can't imagine that too many people are thrilled about the de facto police work slowdown.
Speaking of which, while not getting tickets may seem nice, refusing to make arrests is beyond the pale. When someone is inevitably murdered, raped, or robbed because the police refuse to so their jobs, will Pat Lynch have blood on his hands?
And where is Mulgrew in all this? Let's not forget that Mulgrew endorsed Thompson for mayor, not de Blasio. Yet our mayor did not turn his back on teachers. He continued to fight, and still is fighting, against charter schools in this city. He succeeded in establishing universal Pre-K, which may yet turn into the greatest education boost for underprivileged kids this city has seen. He settled a contract with us quickly, which will give us the raises and retro money we deserve. (For the record, I voted against the contract due to the ATR issue, but that is something Mulgrew apparently agreed to.) He put a much more teacher-friendly chancellor in place--and while I do not by any means think Carmen Farina is the best choice, she is light years better than Joel Klein or Cathie Black.
Don't kid yourselves--if Pat Lynch triumphs in his crusade against the mayor, de Blasio will not be succeeded by a teacher-friendly Democrat. His successor would almost certainly be a right wing, pro-charter republican, or worse still, a faux Democrat like....dare I say it?
How does Mayor Moskowitz sit with all you UFT members?
So the question remains--why has Mulgrew turned his back on a mayor who has had his back for the last year?
Mulgrew doesn't have to oppose the PBA to do this. He needs to show his support for de Blasio with public appearances and praise for this mayor. He needs photo ops shaking the mayor's hand, and a new initiative or two that will help change the perception that the mayor has lost union support. And make no mistake, that is the public perception, because not a single union chief has come out in support of this mayor since Pat Lynch seized control of the narrative.
If he keeps turning his back on this mayor, he may turn around in three years to see Eva Moskowitz staring him in the face.