Thursday, February 25, 2016

Philly Union Election Results - WE Gets Around A Third

WE's challenge brought the most robust internal leadership battle in decades. .... Of about 11,500 PFT members, 46 percent cast ballots in the election. CB received 3,348 votes for its entire slate. WE garnered 1,429 votes for its entire slate. Another 528 votes split between the two factions....With about 70 percent of the vote, CB defeated the Caucus of Working Educators, which promoted a "social justice" ideology with aims to expand the union's focus on the issues that affect the district's most disadvantaged students.... Incumbents prevail in internal Philly teachers union election | Philadelphia Newsworks
CB has been in power since 1983. WE was recently formed and ran in its first election. While disappointing, WE has a base to build on with about 30% of the vote. CB did not even have an opposition in the last election in 2012. WE offered enough of a threat that there were some emergency moves by Randi to buck up the CB leadership. There are 3 ways to look at the push by WE for social justice issues. It either lost votes for them or won votes for them. Or was a wash. I think they need to poll people to see. 46% of the people did vote which is double what happened here last time.
The hope is they keep building and not get discouraged which I believe happened to ICE after the 2nd election in 2007 and the 3rd in 2010 when the numbers didn't budge. MORE's numbers in 2013 didn't budge much either. Remember, New Action's numbers in the 90s were much higher and at the very least an opposition in NYC needs to build back up to where it was 20 years ago.

As to the SJ issue I believe in a balance with teacher focused issues and if a caucus tilts too much one way or the other there is a distortion. In MORE there is always a struggle to keep that balance.

Here are Philly news reports.

Incumbents prevail in internal Philly teachers union election | Philadelphia Newsworks

Jerry Jordan wins the PFT leadership battle | Philadelphia Inquirer

Retired WE Caucus member  Wilma De Soto comments on FB:

The WE Caucus has nothing to be down-trodden about. Knowing how often things one never expects tend to reveal themselves after the fact, WE's campaign has been closely monitored by many who were afraid to speak up and has lit a spark that will ignite in others. 

• Awareness of issues facing teachers nationally and globally 

• Examination of past practices and how those practices have rendered the 
PFT into the sorry state it is today 

• Revealing how vigorously and nastily people will cling to their Union jobs even though they how they have used those positions for personal gain rather than for the good of the membership, our students and families 

• Realization of how the Union's short-sightedness has hurt its members and how many of us cannot see the big picture. 

These were issues that dared not be discussed among rank and file members for quite a while. Just that alone will go a long way as people will be watching and thinking about all this during the next four years. If conditions for teachers continue to deteriorate with no relief, more and more members will seek out WE. 

Continue to support teachers and students, don't allow others to label WE as a gadfly fringe faction, be present and accountable for students and parents. 

Above all provide an viable alternative for the teacher supports members will need when the Union Leadership does not provide answers or address their concerns. Soon, they will come to you because they know they will be served. 

I am proud of the WE Caucus; first, last, always!

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