In the course of reading GothamSchool's review of Steven Brill's "Class Warfare," we read some testimony into the context of the United Federation of Teacher's firing of Jim Callaghan. This summer is the one-year anniversary of the dismissal of one very intrepid reporter for the UFT's "New York Teacher", a reporter who was distinguished in tackling many important, unaddressed issues in New York City schools and teachers' rights. (Readers will remember that Callaghan's articles were removed from the New York Teacher online archive.)
What follows are key quotes from the discussion at the GothamSchools site. (Minor format edits, added):
For her own personal and political reasons, Weingarten allowed the rubber roomers to languish for years because she refused to file grievances when Bloomberg and Klein violated the contract which calls for the D.O.E. to file charges within six months. Everything else she and Mulgrew say is rubbish- they are the Vichy leaders of the UFT After much fanfare, she ditched the rubber roomers , preventing writers at the Weingarten Times (formerly known as the NY Teacher) from doing dozens of exposes. what happened to the three people [writers] assigned to the rubber rooms?
-I was fired in August 2010- in the middle of trying to organize a union for union writers which Mulgrew said would happen over his dead body--- after 13 years at the union during which time Weingarten called me: the conscience of the union; her ace investigative reporter; one of the best historians in New York; her co-revolutionary. -Betsy Combier was fired in June 2010.-Ron Issac spends his days whining that he has nothing to do- at $70,000 per year plus his DOE pension). Issac told Weingarten this three years ago- I was there -yet she defended her tyrannical editor Deidre McFadyen in harassing Ron and myself. ..why would Weingarten hire someone and then give him no work?
Clearly, Weingarten wasn't serious about justice for the rubber roomers. It was one big farce. Not one suggestion- out of dozens--- I made to her, and staff directors Ellie Engler, LeRoy Barr and Garry Sprung was ever followed up. Weingarten had Barr remove me from a rubber room while I was in the middle of a story that the security guards were shaking down our members. Her Brooklyn Borough Rep Howie Schoor was sending copies of my emails I sent to him - I have them- to D.O.E.! I did one major rubber room story in October, 2007- and that was it for almost three more years! Is that the mark of a serious union leader?
Of course, Weingarten was distracted. She was also busy cleaning up her own mess by hiring Combier after she filed freedom of information requests for the time records for one of Weingarten's closest friends in the union. D.O.E. sent copies of the FOIL [Freedom of Information Law] requests to Weingarten. Within weeks, Adam Ross, lawyer for the UFT, was writing to Combier - I have the letters- offering her a job... Her confidentiality agreement is bigger than a Manhattan phone book. Prior to her hiring, I was told in writing that I was not allowed to even talk to Combier!
As for Klein, Weingarten talked to me on the steps at PS 45 in Staten Island the day after the story broke that Klein was keeping "files" on her and others. I told her to FOIL them. She never did. Why? And she told me that Klein had previously leaked her personnel file to Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice, who was writing a story challenging the way she qualified for a D.O.E. pension.
Much later, she emailed me that David Hickey, the CFO of the union whose main job is harassing UFT workers, (except his "favorites" ) accused me of leaking her pension file to Barrett- which I had no access to! In a sarcastic tone, she emailed me that she knew I would never do that.....her email- which I have- said Barrett obtained her file "illegally," but she refused to ask for a [Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard J.] Condon inquiry or to refer it to the District Attorney. I demanded that Hickey put up or shut up and then Randi accused me of being "defensive."
She also accused Barrett of "sneaking around"- in broad daylight- her country house in Amagannset talking to her neighbors; she claimed she was going to "out" her- a preposterous notion. In retrospect, what she clearly was worried about was that she was claiming to be "working" at her country house which is how she collected $160,000 in unused vacation and sick time over a 24 year period- breaking Cal Ripken's record with plenty to spare.
The deal in the Communications Department, always with a wink and a nod, was to make sure she always got one fax for every day she was out there so she could claim she was working! We all laughed- wouldn't we all like to be working from home in Amagansett. (Always a good hearted soul, Weingarten refused to allow her editor to work from home after she gave birth.) Weingarten always had tools-legal ones and media- to defend herself, especially with the Klein "private files" but never did. After all this, woud'nt you too invite your tormentor to your 50th birthday party where UFT vendors were "encouraged" to buy ads in the Journal that made her sound like Norma Rae, Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Jones all wrapped into one body? Well, there was Klein at the bash, yukkng it up with his supposed enemies! and why would she always sussssshhh the 3,000 UFT members at The Spring Conference when Klein was booed and hissed? Instead of truly fighting Bloomberg and Klein she was guilty of the larger moral crime- denying so many members [rubber roomers] the right to representation. She was as much a part of the cover up of corruption at DOE as anyone.................only Mulgrew, her hand picked fake tough guy - is worse.
There are so many cover ups to write about- including one where I had-and have- a tape of a Klein confidante violating the HIPPA law by telling a writer on the phone and in an email that a teacher was crazy and had been deemed so by D.O.E. doctors. Weingarten took that out of the lead of my story and told me to lose the tape. I also have the original email -for when Weingarten starts her "woe is me" persona. Weingarten also emailed a UFT official that "maybe this is the time for (the Klein confidante) her to step up," meaning to play ball when the union wanted jobs for their cronies. Weingarten saved her ass from being fired and expected her quo for the quid. Stay tuned, lots more about how Weingarten and Mulgrew have thrown teachers over the side, including with the "PIP Plus" sell out , where teachers are being fired by the boat load- with the union leaders as part of the shanda [scandal]. Oh, in case we forget, she scurried out of town after lying to her Unity Caucus members that Bloomberg (using public funds as a bribe) promised her an eight per cent raise over two years but only if we knifed Bill Thompson in the 2009 mayoral race. We did knife him and it's two years later and no contract!
Yes it's the real Jim Callaghan.... There are'nt enough cemeteries in this town to dig up all the bodies of corruption, malfeasance, nepotism, shady deals, booze fests and collaborationists who cheat the members so they can advance themselves, family members, mistresses, boyfriends, girlfriends.... Some literary agents have told me I might have to make it fiction because no one will believe it......
The day after I was fired, Mulgrew offered me a bribe-----he would use the members dues to silence me if I signed a non-disparagement agreement in return for free health insurance for life.....if I live to be 100, that would have cost the members $540,000! All so I would keep quiet and betray the members who paid my salary for 13 years to fight for them with D.O.E. and corrupt union officials like Mulgrew and Weingarten...the bribe was offered on Friday morning, august 13, after Mulgrew the fake tough guy found out I was going on Fox News that afternoon.....I told him to shove his hush money... the question for reporters and union members is what mulgrew fears so much that he would attempt to bribe me? Unless I wind up like Ted Maritas----- Google him,------ the rest of the country will find out how bad Weingarten and Mulgrew [are] and how sadistic their mostly white $190,000 per year enforcers are... I am open to suggestions for my book title....
It was hardly everything.......I would guess there are another 350 pages more........I left with 48 boxes of emails, reports, thank you notes from uft officials, including the founders of the union, hundreds of notebooks full of stories of teachers who were railroaded by Weingarten and Mulgrew and abandoned by so called journalists like deidre mcfadyen and Larry miraldi who went along with the UFT cover-ups of how our members were being sent to the end of their stellar careers....I left with logs and journals I kept and notations in my calendar of every major scam going on...
I was told to investigate PAVE academy which took over space in P.S. 15 in Red Hook.....Mulgrew then told me he was pulling the plug on my story because Bloomberg called him in a rage, telling him that the father of PAVE'S founder was a close friend of his named Julian Robertson, a billionaire hedge fund manager listed by Forbes as the 155th richest man in America, one spot ahead of David Rockefeller.... PAVE hadn't filed their 990 forms with the IRS but Bloomberg gave the school $35 million----our money----so the kid could build a new school in an under-utilized district....
[The main skeleton that was in the Klein files on Weingarten was that Weingarten actually had the very limited classroom experience of three years for a union president. The skeleton is here The above passages sound wild to outsiders, but awareness of the system shows that these things are going on in the DOE and the UFT.]