The resolution before the UFT delegates — that any changes to term limits be made by voter referendum — passed on a voice vote this evening with no changes.
But an amendment to deny UFT PAC funds to City Council members who vote to change term limits was voted down. It read:
Resolved, that the UFT unequivocally oppose the city council’s bill to extend term limits and the UFT will seriously consider withholding endorsements and COPE money from any Council member who votes in favor of this legislation that circumvents the will of the people.
Supporters of the amendment said they were pleased by how much support it got. James Eterno, the UFT chapter leader from Jamaica High School in Queens who introduced the resolution, estimated 30 percent of delegates voted for the amendment. But someone else who was there said that less than 25 percent of delegates supported it.
UFT President Randi Weingarten said the union doesn’t want to make term limits a top priority.
“The core objective of this union has to be to ensure that the resources for children are sacrosanct,” she said, adding that electing Barack Obama as president and protecting working people during the economic crisis will be the priorities of the union instead.
A second resolution — calling on the DOE to give teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool priority interviews for open positions — also passed, as did a delegate-introduced amendment committing the UFT to hold a rally to support ATRs.