Membership is at about 5,000, down from 7,000 in 2010.
----The Detroit News
We have to tie this story to the Newark story since Randi sold both contracts in deals with slimeballs like Cami Anderson. Check the drop in the numbers of Newark teachers fired over "unfair" observations and the total drop in teachers in the system in 2-4 years. I'm betting that the NEW Caucus will give the pro-Randi leadership a run for their money in elections.
There's a whole lot of backstory here but without internet access I can't include links. Search Ed Notes for Steve Conn, who last time lost to Randi pal Kevin Johnson by only 41 votes and then was suspended by Johnson for 7 months - shades of some sleazy former Soviet republic.
Now if you know Steve and his left politics and the fact he was a white guy running against a black man in a majority black membership the close vote last time was a repudiation of Randi and the contract she negotiated (and Newark will be the same - see jersey Jazzman and NEW caucus stuff) and really unimagineable - this election should be fascinating to watch. I wish I could access it but I have some good tape of Steve heckling Randi as she tried to speak at a rally for the Detroit union at the aft convention. Steve is, to say the least, not genteel. Even I felt queezy.
Funny but I end up in similar debates with some of my MORE colleagues who call for being "strategic" in how to criticize the Unity leadership when I think we should strangle them. Maybe we need a bit more Steve Conn in MORE.
And for those of you who say you can't challenge sell-out union leadership if you raise left social justice issues, the 41 vote diff last time and the chicago story belie that. The worse it gets the more radical solutions are put on the table.
November 19, 2012 at 1:00 am
Detroit teachers union to begin voting for officers
· By Jennifer Chambers
· The Detroit News
Detroit — The challenger says he will organize a teachers strike if elected, while the incumbent says he is running on a proven record that includes bonuses for teachers and restored retirement benefits during a financial crisis.
Members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers today will begin casting votes to select a president for a two-year term as well as a slate of other officers and an executive board to lead the union at a time of unprecedented upheaval in Detroit Public Schools.
The deadline to vote is Dec. 1.
Incumbent President Keith Johnson is running for re-election to lead the 5,000-member union, which represents teachers, clerical workers and social workers, and others who work among DPS' 100 schools.
Johnson, who took office in 2008 and has been with DPS for 33 years, has battled with emergency managers since 2009 and taken the district to court over pay cuts, retirement benefits and improper layoffs.
The union's leaders just filed a lawsuit against the district for laying off 422 teachers who were evaluated under a new system that union leaders allege is unfair.
Johnson, 57, said he presented a check for $700,000 to DPS this year that reflect savings from negotiated prescription coverage programs.
"Under the most adverse conditions imaginable I have found a way with the people around me to work within the fiscal realities and still find a way to preserve jobs for the moment and salaries and benefits," said Johnson, a former math teacher.
Two years ago, Johnson came within 41 votes of being unseated. Membership is at about 5,000, down from 7,000 in 2010.
Steve Conn, a union dissident, is again challenging for the presidency. Conn said conditions in the schools are deplorable.
"What is going on in the name of reform is destroying the lives of the children in the city, and as teachers we demand what is right. We are going to organize. We want the end of the chaos. We want our jobs, layoffs to be recalled, we want pay and benefits restored," he said.
Conn, 55, a teacher at Cass Technical High School and with the district since 1986, was suspended in 2010 for his behavior at a union meeting at which he tried to thwart a swearing-in ceremony for newly elected union officers.
At the time, the union's executive board held a hearing for Conn, and he was suspended for seven months.
Union officials accused Conn of "physically imposing" himself on members of the union's executive board and David Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan, during a swearing-in ceremony at the union hall in Detroit. A YouTube video shows Conn shouting at DFT executive board members and Hecker, and knocking papers from their hands as they took their oath.
From The Detroit News: http://www.d
Grassroots Education Movement
Education columnist, The Wave
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