I’m catching up on this a little late, but ALELR has connected a couple of dots and drawn a picture of things at the UFT that can only make you say “Epic Facepalm.”
OK, you do remember the whole Cue Card Check scandal? At the time, Randi Weingarten was so embarrassed that she was forced to go out and claim she knew nothing about all this – cue cards? what cue cards? – and would “make some changes in the union.”
I missed this at the time, but last summer Elizabeth Green (who also broke the Cue Card Check story) reported that Marvin Reiskin, the UFT political director, had taken early retirement in the aftermath of the scandal. He was lined up for retirement at the end of the year anyway, but forcing him out early – even a month early – beats doing nothing. It sends an internal signal, however muted.
Obviously UFT had to be looking for a replacement who would restore credibility. Their number one priority after such a humiliation must have been to bring in someone who would restore adult supervision – and, more importantly, be seen to do so – show the watching world that the grownups were back in charge at UFT.
So get this: the person tapped to play that role was Paul Egan.
I think the question now becomes: why does UFT have an organizational culture in which people like this consistently rise to the top, no matter how strong the external incentives against it?
The special schools investigator fingered Egan, a social studies teacher, 11 years ago for his part in the cheating scandal. “Teacher Paul Egan used several different methods to cheat,” the investigator reported. The probe found he would tell students before a test to sharpen their pencils – and then depart, leaving the answers to the first 11 questions near the sharpener.
Because he loves children, Egan reportedly told his class: “Don’t tell anyone that I helped you or you’ll be the ones who get into trouble.” Ah, education at its finest.
And thanks to incredibly difficult fair dismissal procedures required by the union’s collective bargaining agreement, Egan was not punished for these transgressions beyond having a letter of reprimand added to his file.
Given the type of people who are the leaders of the UFT, including cheating, glutinous, bullies, I can see why Diane Ravitch switched her views and became such good friends with the NY teacher union.
Having received a proper upbringing for anyone born in 1967, as a child I awoke every Saturday morning, poured myself a bowl or three of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal, and watched a few hours of Bugs Bunny cartoons. This Paul Egan story is eerily reminiscent of a certain character:
Paul Egan, pictured above, “set off the fracas – claiming the quail he was served, and finished, wasn’t large enough – sources said.”
The NY Daily News continues:
Egan began shouting and demanded to see the manager. The restaurant’s owner soon appeared, and pleaded with Egan to calm down, sources said. When he didn’t, restaurant staffers called the cops. Two officers were dispatched to handle a man who was “yelling and refusing to leave,” Albany Detective James Miller said. “There was a dispute over the bill,” Miller said. “They were refusing to pay.” Miller said members of the party-hearty crew identified themselves to cops as union reps, and he noted Egan “was pretty irate and agitated.”
To hustle the scene-makers out of the dining room, restaurant managers reduced the bill for the group’s prix fixe dinners, Miller said. Officers told Egan the dispute was a civil matter and ordered him to pay the bill – to which he followed up by asking if he was required to leave a tip, sources said. “It was explained he needed to pay the bill and leave because he and the group were causing a disturbance,” Miller said. With the tab finally tallied, cops told the union honchos to hit the road.
OK. Let’s slow down and go over this bit by bit. A bunch of union fat cats were dining in a fancy restaurant near the capitol because I guess that’s how you can best represent the working person.
One of them who, let’s be honest, could stand a few reduced-sized portions threw a fit when he wasn’t given enough food. Blowing a fuse to demand more and more, regardless of whether it is needed, is the defining characteristic of a union boss. So, that makes sense.
Even after the manager reduces the bill, the UFT political and legislative director still wants to stiff the wait-staff by leaving no tip because, again, the union is all about helping your fellow worker.
And if all of this wasn’t hysterical enough, the Daily News adds:
A source with ties to the union said it’s not the first time Egan has been kicked out of a restaurant after making a scene. “He’s done this more than once, though he never got escorted out by the police before that I know of,” the source said. The source recounted Egan loudly complaining during a Christmas-time lunch that he didn’t get enough meatloaf and mashed potatoes. In the end, Egan was bounced from the city eatery but not before the owner tore up his check, the source said.
I love it. This is actually a routine. Perhaps this is something he learned from his work. Raise a big stink and you can get free stuff.
Where else have I seen this kind of behavior. Oh yeah, I remember: