If you had your druthers, what would the quintessential union of teachers look like?
What is missing in the UFT, if anything at all?
How can Solidarity Caucus help you fill that void?
UFT Solidarity was founded on November 11, 2014, by a collective of UFT members who wanted their Union leadership to be more responsive to their daily struggles as educators in the NYC public school system. All UFT Solidarity members are members of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
Through advocacy, UFT Solidarity has made contact with educators across NYC, the State of NY, and across the country. Members quickly realized that public education was in trouble because public school teachers were under attack for advocating for a fair and equity education for their students and decent workplace conditions for their colleagues.
What is UFT Solidarity?
If you believe that our Union can do more, be stronger and better represent the 200,000 members, then the information below may be of interest to you. If you believe that the UFT is already working at 110% efficiency, then perhaps Solidarity Caucus is not for you.
What is a caucus?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a caucus as: “a group of people who meet to discuss a particular issue or to work together for a shared goal.“
What are the caucuses of the UFT?
Most UFT members are not aware that the United Federation of Teachers union is actually not as united as we should be. The UFT is composed of subgroups within it.
They are (in alphabetical order): Movement of Rank and file Educators (MORE) – morecaucusnyc.org; New Action – newaction.org; Retiree Advocate; Solidarity – solidaritycaucus.org; and Unity – unitycaucus.org
Most, if not all, of the UFT Borough Representatives, District Reps, Special Reps, and all the UFT Leadership belong to the Unity Caucus. Because of this, many members lay blame on the Unity Caucus specifically for the many issues members face. See this video of what the UFT should be doing, but has ceased to do…organize and mobilize its members to defend our profession. This was 2009 and a lot has changed since then.
So Why Join a Caucus?
If we go back to the definition above, we see the words “discuss particular issues,” “work together (in Solidarity),” and a “shared goal.“
What Solidarity Caucus aims to do is first gather teacher activists from across the spectrum (new, veteran, retirees, etc.) to discuss particular issues and work together to resolve them through policy change. Resolution of those systemic issues is shared goal.
Not everyone wants, or has the time and resources to be an activist. Many give some, some give all. Solidarity Caucus will have Citywide and borough meetings. Even if you are not an activist, you can still join and help share the awareness and resources Solidarity Caucus will be providing to support all UFT members.
We do not know of any member who entered the profession for the income, but we know countless who did for the outcome. Unfortunately, too many obstacles have been thrown in the way and we need to work together to remedy that.
Solidarity Caucus will be building a stronger Union, brick by brick.