Nominate Amy Arundell for the HERStory Award
Give Mulgrew that well-deserved conniption.
Many of you may have received an email from UFT HS Vice President Janella Hinds. Janella, evidently, is in charge of seeking nominations for an outstanding female colleague. I’ve no doubt there are hundreds, thousands of deserving women. I can think of several off the top of my head. (I won’t mention them here, because I’m certain I’ll have forgotten someone crucial.)
This notwithstanding, in my career as a teacher, and as a union leader, one person stands out, and that is now-exiled UFT Queens Representative Amy Arundell. Amy embodies union, real union, not the make-believe, sit on your hands and hope for the best kind Mulgrew and his goons promote from the luxurious offices we pay for at 52 Broadway.
When I became chapter leader of the largest school in Queens, the most overcrowded school in the city, I was an avid anti-Unity blogger. I’m fairly certain Randi Weingarten was disinclined to send me Christmas cards, and I can’t much blame her. I was very impressed when one day, out of the blue, Amy called me and demanded that I help an ATR teacher get placed. She had no fear, and no reservations about doing what she needed to do.
There’s a teacher, a great teacher, she said, stuck in the ATR and YOU have to help her out of it. As it happened, I was very inclined to help. I brought the teacher in, and my AP was impressed. Thus the three of us worked together to place this teacher at Francis Lewis High School. I did a lot of things as chapter leader, but for my money, this remains the best thing I ever did. And I got a lot of help. “Team work makes the dream work,” Amy would say.
After that, Amy, then working at 52, became my go to for help. My District Rep. was okay, but not readily available. He’d get back to me when he got back to me. Amy was full speed ahead, getting things done now, if not sooner. When opposition bloggers wrote about issues, I’d call Amy and she’d quietly resolve their issues too.
Amy was then moved to Queens as borough representative. Things changed a lot. Before, if you needed support, well, too bad for you. Once she got there, support was available. Your grievances no longer fell into a black hole, and the DRs actually called you to ask whether or not they were resolved.
Now, no one is perfect. Of course it irritates me that as my hair goes grayer, hers just gets more purple. Amy held the Unity line with me in many conversations. She went as far as screaming in my face over some issues. And she publicly contradicted a lot of my positions when I served on Executive Board. This notwithstanding, unlike a whole lot of Unity patronage hacks (like Michael Mulgrew), Amy always did her job.
If you’ve been a UFT member for any length of time, you’ve called the union to receive bad advice from one or another Unity patronage recipient. As CL, I always told members, “Call the union. If you get someone who doesn’t help, get back to me and I’ll find someone who will.” If I didn’t know anyone, I’d call Amy, who always pointed me in the right direction.
For her service, she was unceremoniously removed by snowflake-in-chief Michael Mulgrew. Did she look at him the wrong way? Did she complain about one of Mulgrew’s precious hundred-dollar co-pays? Maybe she wrote something in pen that he wanted in pencil. Perhaps she privately disagreed with one of his many stupid ideas. Who knows? And who cares?
Mulgrew runs the union like it’s his personal fiefdom. (He can’t be bothered worrying about, of all things, our health care. Instead he worries about how we can give all our money to Eric Adams, our actual contractual adversary.)
Nominating Amy, aside from the fact she deserves it, will irritate the shit out of Michael Mulgrew. She won’t win, of course. Whichever Unity hack is in charge of making the selection would be fired or demoted for the cardinal sin of committing democracy. Amy is living proof that crossing Mulgrew, for whatever petty reason, is not the way to move up in the corporate union structure.
Be that as it may, it will be a while before any of us get to vote in an election that is not rigged. So right now, let’s do this just to stick a thorn in the side of UFT Emperor Michael Mulgrew. Click here and nominate Amy Arundell for the HerStory award. List her email as email@example.com and her address as 118-35 Queens Blvd 7th floor, Queens, NY 11375. Phone number (718) 275-4400.