A BETTER UNION OFFICER CANDIDATES.
For UFT President, ICE
Camille Eterno has been an English teacher in New York since 1996. She has 18 years of experience as both a chapter leader and UFT delegate.
As the chapter leader at the Queens Gateway to Health Sciences, Camille won grievances that even the UFT leadership said were not winnable. She helped organize her chapter into an activist force that was a major presence at many union rallies. As a leader in the Independent Community of Educators, Camille was instrumental in the nearly successful battle against the giveback-laden 2005 contract that robbed UFT members of so many hard-earned rights.
She is currently serving as the delegate from Veritas Academy in Queens where she also mentors a new teacher and serves on the UFT chapter committee.
Camille has recently been featured on CNN and ABC World News Tonight promoting safer working conditions for teachers and students in the pandemic. She is also the mother of two New York City public school students.
For UFT Secretary, MORE-UFT
Elementary Special Education Teacher in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
My name is Annie Tan, I am a proud elementary special education teacher in Sunset Park, and I am running to be your UFT Secretary. I am currently in my tenth year teaching, in my sixth year here in NYC and four years in Chicago, and a proud former paraprofessional. I know from my experiences in the DOE, as a MORE-UFT member and current Steering Committee member, and with the Chicago Teachers Union that collective action gets the goods and that we must mobilize our members and chapters to win the schools our students deserve.
During the pandemic, I have been outspoken on probably every single NYC-based publication speaking on behalf of school safety concerns where our union has left us; that work, alongside the work of the MORE-UFT media committee, publicized many issues in NYC schools, informed UFT members on conditions where UFT communications have left us, and won many pandemic victories such as the closure of schools March 2020, the existence of the Daily COVID Case Map, and delayed reopening of schools in Fall 2020.
At my school, we have built a robust union chapter with a communications system across staff, a consultation committee that meets regularly to compile issues across the grades, and have worked to win safer working conditions in classrooms during the pandemic.
As UFT Secretary I promise to take the lead of our educators on the ground, communicate that message clearly, and to strategize based on the needs of our students and staff.
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was six years old and give back to the NYC public schools system which I am a graduate of. I follow in the legacy of my great-auntie Lily Chin who fought for justice for Vincent Chin, her son who was murdered in 1982 during a wave of anti-Asian sentiment, which led an Asian American movement that lives on today. In 2011 the NYC elementary hiring freeze forced me to find an alternate path, so I joined Teach For America in Chicago and a non-unionized charter school which forced staff into horrible teaching conditions, such as me teaching five grade levels of special education as a first-year teacher. The following year I wore red with 10,000 educators during the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union Strike; educators fought for and won raises commensurate to an extended school day, against merit pay schemes and rising health insurance payments. After switching to a public school I found out from the Chicago Teachers Union special education committee that my non-unionized charter school broke special education law. I served as chair of the Chicago Teachers Union Special Education Committee from 2014-16 to make sure the rights of our students with disabilities were protected; our students’ learning conditions are our staff working conditions, after all. In 2015 I helped co-found the Chicago Special Education Task Force, a coalition of community, parent, student, and educator advocates which was able to stop hundreds of special education-related layoffs and in fact hire 150 more staff for our students. The work of the Task Force led to an investigation by the Illinois State Board of Education which found Chicago Public Schools to have delayed and denied services to over 10,000 students from 2016-18 and led to state oversight over Chicago’s special education program.
This work was only possible by listening to and following the work of our educators, students, community and allies, and this taught me to delegate and let others take the lead. We can only win when we all know that WE are the union and act as such.
We need a union that will mobilize us, organize us, and let us take the lead for what our students and staff deserve.
For UFT Assistant Secretary, Independent
I teach at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Astoria, Queens. I am a certified Special Education English teacher trained in everything from Wilson Reading to International Baccalaureate Literature and have worked in settings that range from 8:3:1 to general education. I am currently co-teaching tenth grade Regents ELA as well as IB Literature in grades 11 and 12. I joined the MORE caucus as a dues-paying member in the summer of 2020 and have collaborated with UFT members across caucuses in letter-writing campaigns aimed at bringing attention to the concerns of UFT members regarding school safety amidst this seemingly endless pandemic.
For UFT Treasurer, Solidarity/ICE
I am a high school bilingual special education teacher and UFT delegate. I’ve been a teacher for 15 years, teaching a variety of grades 4-12, in the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan.
NYC born and bred, former K-12 Brooklyn public school student. I feel strongly about the needs of English Language Learners and Special Education students and I have advocated for their services against corrupt Administration by helping parents win NYS Special Education compliance. I have won grievances against a corrupt Principal. I am a strong and loyal supporter of my rank and file and believe in transparency and the democratic process.
I am a member of the Independent Community of Educators (ICE-UFT), also a Council member in Solidarity-UFT, and a delegate at The Heritage School in East Harlem.
I have experience as:
- Special Education Department Chair, and
- Accounting and Paralegal education and work experience from employment in the private sector— Ex: GovPx, Inc./Garban Intercapital (ICAP), Inc, Matthews Realty & Estates Planning, and Arche.
For UFT Assistant Treasurer, MORE-UFT
I have been teaching high school English and social studies for 14 years in New York City. Before going on sabbatical this year, I was the chapter leader at the International High School at Prospect Heights for 4 years and the delegate for 7 years. I came to teaching with a passion for teacher unionism and political education after working as union organizer with the Service Employee International Union and witnessing the need for engaged and educated union membership.
I was so excited to be an active union member, but couldn’t find a way to participate, I was ready to be organized! I want a union that engages its members to fight for better working conditions and schools for our communities. I joined MORE because I wanted to help unite all the educational justice organizations in NYC so that we could have the power to create the schools our children deserve. I still believe this is possible.
I’m running with MORE to fight for a union that educates and organizes its members to win campaigns that give educators and school staff the resources needed to create an environment where our students can thrive. This is our time, let’s unite for change!
For VP of Middle Schools, Solidarity UFT
For VP of High Schools, Independent
Candidate for UFT High School Vice President, independent High School Math Teacher, HS of American Studies at Lehman College, the Bronx
My name is Jonathan Halabi. I am a high school math teacher, a chapter leader, and a proud activist for members’ rights, fairness, and justice.
I have been a teacher for 25 years, a chapter leader for 20 years. I served 11 years on the UFT Executive Board (High School). I have been active in the math teacher community. And I have been active in the UFT – contributing positively beyond my chapter I grew up surrounded by “union.”
My mother participated in three major organizing drives – at a hospital in New Haven – our apartment was like a second headquarters – we lost – at Yale University – we won, and at Harvard, where she remained an activist
and led the solidarity committee work until she retired.
Teaching is my second career. I worked as a planner for the NYC Department of Transportation, then was briefly a mapmaker. I was a good union member, but not an activist.
It took less than a year at Christopher Columbus HS in the Bronx for the Chapter Leader to rope me onto the committee and assign me new member outreach. I
was elected delegate, and eventually Deputy Chapter Leader. When I transferred to the HS of American Studies, a new mini-school, everyone assumed I would become the chapter leader, so I did. The first day the principal violated the contract I marched into
her office and demanded she stop. She ignored me. A month later the principal told teachers to work during lunch – we had a chapter meeting – we were unanimous – and this time she backed down. Our collective voice matters.
In 2009, I was elected as a New Action (NAC) representative to the UFT Executive Board. On the Board, I was an advocate for members in schools terrorized by abusive and incompetent principals, fought for better protections for our most vulnerable members
– probationers, and ATRs, and strongly opposed Danielson and APPR. With New Action co-chair Michael Shulman we helped make our union's opposition to Stop & Frisk an official UFT position.
I served in other UFT roles: on new school hiring committees and as the co-chair of the specialized high school task force. In my school (a specialized high school) I organized members in support of a proposal to reform admissions, and later in conjunction with administration and parents, to expand the Discovery Program. I created and ran an afterschool program where local middle schoolers come to our school and get support from our students. (we hope to resume when the pandemic recedes).
My first “big” UFT activity was as part of a Bronx-wide professional conciliation (Article 24) led by DR David Schulman. The Bronx HS Superintendent was trying to impose a really lousy math curriculum. We stopped him. The intersection of math and union politics drew me in. We developed a harsh critique of the new math regents (Math A and Math B). I served on the board of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State. I became a regular participant and occasional speaker at math teacher conferences. I helped train new math teachers. I served three terms on the NYSUT MST Subject Area Committee.
In my school, I have developed a myriad of math courses, electives, and seminars. My involvement and my sense of fairness have informed my teaching praxis. I wander off
the curriculum to allow students to engage in more interesting, engaging work. And starting from being opposed to too many standardized tests, I have radically moved towards other forms of classroom assessment as well.
It’s been 25 years of on-the-job training for me, a teacher, union leader, activist. I’ve never stopped learning. I will never stop fighting for fairness and for what is right.
For VP of CTE, Solidarity UFT
Eric Severson is in his 16th year as a special education teacher specializing in social studies instruction at Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Eric has been an active union member from attending rallies in support of ATRs and writing for his school chapter's newsletter to twice serving as chapter leader and fighting excessive paperwork and administrative micromanagement.
Eric ran with Solidarity in 2016 and 2019 and is proud to join the United For Change coalition and bring his firsthand experience as chapter leader of a CTE school to the slate.
For VP of Special Education - OT/PT UFT
Occupational Therapist in Queens
I currently hold the position of Vice Chair of OT for the OT/PT functional chapter and am also a delegate.
As a 4th grader at PS3 in Manhattan, I attended my first protest- against budget cuts for education. NYC's public schools helped make me an activist. As a Hunter student, I was a campus social justice and antiwar activist. As I studied at SUNY Downstate to be an Occupational Therapist I learned about disability rights. Now I'm a proud public school parent as well as a school OT. I love my students and my coworkers and believe we all deserve better.
When the UFT negotiated the most recent contract in 2019, the OT PT functional chapter voted down the insulting contract offered to us. Those of us promoting the no vote came together and founded OTs and PTs for a Fair Contract.
We have advocated for parity, resources, and respect for Occupational and Physical Therapists in the DOE ever since. Our grassroots group has organized petitions, actions at the Panel for Educational Policy, email campaigns, and more. We won leadership of our functional chapter based on the hard work and advocacy we have done.
As VP for Special Education, I would represent our students with IEPs as well as all staff who work with them. I want the city to treat our students and their families with respect- that means flooding them with resources and listening to the staff who work with them.
For VP Education At-Large - Retiree Advocate
Gloria Brandman is a retired Special Education teacher, former chapter leader, and union activist with 34 years of service in NYC public schools. Currently active in Retiree Advocate/UFT, Gloria was at the forefront of alerting UFT retirees to the clandestine negotiations to privatize their Medicare benefits. Her leadership in that grassroots campaign helped delay the implementation of the Medicare privatization plan and helped Retiree Advocate/UFT win an unprecedented 30% of the vote in the recent UFT Retired Teachers Chapter elections, in which Gloria was the RA candidate for RTC chapter leader.
Ever the organizer and coalition builder, Gloria worked with the Independent Community of Educators, was a founding member of GEM (Grassroots Education Movement), organized with MORE (Movement of Rank-and-File Educators) and has always been an outspoken opponent of charter schools and mayoral control. Since her retirement in 2015, Gloria has continued the struggle of moving the UFT towards a more inclusive democracy. She is excited to be part of the United for Change coalition and looks forward to helping to build a better union for retirees as well as in-service members.
For VP Non-DOE, Solidarity UFT
Christina Vickers has been a proud English Teacher in K-12 public, private, and religious schools for more than 15 years. As a passionate educator, she is dedicated to using technology to create community impact. As a first-generation Jamaican-American, she is proud to have a B.A. in English from George Washington University, a M.ED. in Secondary Education from Howard University, and a M.S. in Business Management from the CUNY. Beyond this, she is also a founding member of the NYC teacher’s union caucus, UFT Solidarity, and the new AMS IV Charter School Union Chapter. She loves TpT and is a single mother of her nine-year-old son, Ryan.
Ms. Vickers’s vision for non-DOE is to grow and develop a communication network among Non-DOE to identify and meet the needs of these educators.
She knows that non-DOE are vital to the sustainability of DOE at large and has perspectives that will help the UFT. She is running because she will commit to serving her fellow educators in a way that makes sense for everyone.