Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Candi Peterson on Washington DC Union Election

Liz and Candi
I'm not in a position to sort out what is happening in the Washington DC teachers union. I could recount some history but just don't have the heart or strength to rehash it. I do know that Candi's blog played a major role in fighting the wicked witch of the Rhee. Candi and Nathan Saunders were both in LA with us in 2009 and in Chicago in 2011. And then things fell apart. It's just plain sad.

See Candi's blog when she announced she was running.

WTU 2013 Election- The Best Kept Secret in Town?

WTU's Secret 2013 Election

By Candi Peterson
Vote Davis Slate for WTU
 Liz Davis /Candi Peterson
WTU Can Be Better!
The recent Washington Teachers' Union 2013 presidential election was the best kept secret in town. The current Teachers' union president, Saunders kept our union elections on the Down Low (D.L.)  as possible. Members weren't notified officially of this election and there was not any official notice on the WTU website of the first election. Even though the WTU's Constitution & By-Laws calls for members to receive a copy of the union's publication, "The Washington Teacher" magazine's Election Edition announcing the presidential candidates' bio's, this print edition did not get to members homes until well after ballots were mailed out. If you were not the curious type, and didn't dare to check out the contents, you wouldn't have noticed the candidates bio's buried within the magazine on page 5. Nothing on the front cover suggested there was a union election underway. Although promised by WTU, no official notices of elections were placed within our local schools, when I surveyed members from various citywide schools.
To add insult to injury, a significant number of union members complained of not receiving their ballots to vote. Since many members weren't aware an election was underway, they didn't know they needed to contact the union office to get a ballot. The WTU Election Committee had members jump through a series of hoops to get a ballot including Elizabeth Davis, candidate for WTU President. First members were advised to call union headquarters and when members did exactly that, the requirement was  modified to put all requests in writing to get a duplicate ballot. 
What is really disturbing in this election, is that full dues paying members reported that when they contacted the union office they were advised that they were no longer full dues paying members and were now agency fee members. Union members I spoke to indicated that they never gave their consent or authorization to have their membership status changed. This means that members whose status has been changed to agency fee could not vote in the 2013 union election. Sound like election tampering??You decide. I bet Ray Charles could see this one a mile away. I'm troubled anytime a members' right to representation is tampered with and you should be as well, if you are one of the people this effected. (more on this later)
Well, in the event you didn't know- there was a Washington Teachers' Union election. The vote count was held on June 7, 2013. Here are the results that you will most likely will only read here on The Washington Teacher blog, since WTU is not releasing the official vote count and only percentages of the vote count. I am supplying it here because I believe in transparency:
394      Ballots received from WTU members
  50      Soiled ballots
3000    Ballots mailed to members (according to True Ballot, who mailed ballots/performed ballot count)
Candidates for WTU President
Saunders received 175 votes
Davis received       158 votes
17 point difference
Due to the fact that neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a run off election will be required according to the WTU Constitution &By-laws. According to the amended election schedule, run off ballots will be mailed no later than June 17.
The most important thing is that if WTU members do not receive a Run Off ballot through the mail, contact Alyssa Limberakis @ ALimberakis@wtulocal6.net to request your ballot. Provide your name and mailing address in the request. All requests for duplicate ballots must be in writing.

Remember vote Davis slate. We believe WTU Can Be Better!

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