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Friday, March 14, 2014

UFT President Hires Detectives To Sweep His Office For Bugs

 How much more of the wild spending and degradation of members and their rights are UFT members gonna accept from Mike Mulgrew, President of the UFT?

Now that negotiations for a new contract are on, rumor has it, I would be very worried about what give-backs are in store for members that will enlarge the denial of rights which has been evident in prior contracts. Mike Mulgrew allowed Mike Bloomberg to fire tenured teachers by looking away from the law, Education Law Section 3020-a. If you are charged with 3020-a, the first thing anyone should do is read the law. NYSUT Attorneys hope that you don't read it so they can help you get removed from your teaching position.

And Mike knows that he needs to hide.... $18,000 for a sweep in his office? Hasn't he heard of people calling each other and/or media from their homes? Looks like he does not trust his own staff. Will tapping into home phones be the next expenditure for the UFT?  I hope so.

Telephone tapping detection devices (also look on the internet for other places - there are many).

Have a great day.

Betsy Combier

UFT President Mike Mulgrew
Teachers’ union boss spent $18K in Bond-like HQ spy sweep

Something’s bugging teachers-union boss Michael Mulgrew — or, at least, he thinks so.
The United Federation of Teachers president blew a huge wad of union cash to play out a paranoid James Bond fantasy when he paid $17,849 for a security team to sweep his headquarters for bugs, documents show.
A crew from Protective Countermeasures & Consulting Inc. was hired to sweep for listening devices at the UFT’s offices at 52 Broadway, a review of union spending reports reveals.
The payments were made in January and March of last year, just as the union leadership grappled with key strategic decisions such as labor-contract negotiations and who to support as the next mayor.
The union would not say if any surveillance devices were found.
Some union members thought it was unlikely anyone would bug the union — and that it was ridiculous that Mulgrew is using Cold War tactics to play a game of “Tinker, Teacher, Soldier, Spy” in the UFT headquarters.
“I have no idea why they’re doing it. It’s very odd,” said James Eterno, a dissident UFT member who ran against Mulgrew for president in 2010. “I didn’t know we were like the CIA and have to keep secrets. I didn’t think we were that important. It’s not like someone is going to get killed if something leaks out.”
Protective Countermeasures, a New Rochelle-based firm, specializes in identifying security threats such as “corporate eavesdropping” and helps craft “counter espionage” plans.
Its Web site says it uses equipment that “neutralizes” bugs. The sweep also checks the electric grid, light fixtures and walls for video transmitters, infrared recorders and laser technology.
Eterno wondered if Mulgrew was looking for the UFT version of Edward Snowden. “I don’t think there’s any worry about me or anyone else planting a bug in Mike Mulgrew’s office,” he said.
A UFT spokesperson would say only that it pays for “routine security services.”
The anti-spy initiative was just one of the entries listed in the UFT’s $190 million spending report covering its massive empire, fueled by $50 semimonthly union dues paid by rank-and-file teachers. The UFT also poured nearly $4 million into political campaigns through its super PAC, United for the Future, and spent an additional $4.2 million on TV and radio ad blitzes and advocacy.
The teachers union defended its spending as appropriate.
“The UFT’s financial report covers funds spent on our 200,000 members, including refreshments, reimbursement for transportation and parking and other expenses, along with routine security services,” a union spokesperson said.
“We are proud of every dollar we spend on our members and on advocacy groups fighting for better schools.”

$tate of the union

  • 54 union reps and staffers got salaries of more than $100,000. The average was $144,000 — triple the starting teacher salary of $45,000.
  • Five UFT officials were compensated more than the $212,614 base salary for the schools chancellor. UFT chief Michael Mulgrew makes $250,000.
  • $264,000 to groups that campaign against charter schools, including the rebranded ACORN, now called New York Communities for Change.
  • More than $1.7 million on food, including conferences at the Hilton and Waldorf.
  • $150,000 for tickets to movies, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show, Mets and minor-league baseball games, and union swag such as mugs and tote bags.