Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saunders and Peterson Win DC Election

YIPPPEEEEE! Our pals in DC won the union election. The AFT is getting to be interesting with Karen Lewis and Nathan Saunders. Too bad our pals in Puerto Rico pulled their 40,000 teachers out of the AFT in 2003. We might have seen some interesting action in Detroit at the next AFT convention in 2012.

Miami teacher Paul Moore posted the news with this:

Getting Rid Of D.C.'s WTU Quisling For Rhee

And Quislings they are. Weingarten and Mulgrew and the entire Unity AFT/UFT crew.
When reported on the NYCEdNewsListserve Leonie Haimson wrote:
With Rhee, Fenty and now Parker gone, it is a new day in DC.
 Daley going too in Chicago, as well as their schools CEO, Huberman.
 Klein leaving, but not Bloomberg unfortunately….NYC is the unluckiest of the three.

I responded with:
Another union victory for the anti-Weingarten forces in the AFT.

NYC is unluckiest of the 3 because we still have Unity Caucus running the UFT.

See video I did of Nathan Saunders and Candi Peterson at the AFT convention in Seattle this summer.

Both Nathan and Candi were out in LA in the summer of 2009 when a bunch of Real Reformers (union too) met with the LA teachers union and a group from CORE in Chicago when their hope of winning the union election was slim.

The UFT/AFT ineptness (or collaboration) is creating a more militant movement within the teachers union nationwide. Detroit may be next.
There is a lot of back story here and Ed Notes has been on top of the DC story. Just look in the archives around April and May to see how Randi used a ruse to cancel the elections which were due to take place before the vote on the contract she negotiated with Rhee because she feared a Saunders win would jeopardize the vote.

Now of course the vote totals were very low and a lot of hay will be made of that but if Nathan and Candi put together a democratic union we will see these numbers go up.

WAPO reporter Bill Turque has been on top of the story in DC in a fair manner. This comment from his article is worth noting: 
With his defeat by a margin of 556 to 480, Parker joins Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) as the third major figure to effectively be forced from office by political fallout from the 2007-2010 school-reform movement.
Here is Candi's first report. (click on the link to read Bill Turque's full story).


Candi Peterson, blogger in residence and WTU General Vice President (effective December 1, 2010)

The Saunders slate won in the Washington Teachers' Union run-off election Tuesday evening at the AFT headquarters. This is the second win for the Saunders slate. We were the highest vote getter in round one of the WTU election on October 27. Given that WTU's Constitution required slates receive a 51% margin to win, a run-off election was held between the top two slates; the Saunders and Parker slate.

As I have often written about, this election has been a long protracted battle after another. To jog your memory, former" holdover" union president George Parker refused to step down and turn over union documents to the WTU Elections Committee. As a result, WTU elections were not held in May as required by our union's constitution. Long story short, AFT intervened as the WTU administrator and conducted our union elections. Fast forward to Tuesday evening and the Saunders slate can claim a victory with Nathan Saunders as the next WTU President, Candi Peterson, as the next WTU General Vice President and a host of committed and hard working Executive Board and Board of Trustee members.

Tonight we are humbled by all of the support and look forward to building a participatory union democracy committed within the next 30 days to publishing a membership and delegate assembly meetings for SY 2010-11; approving a WTU strategic plan to address IMPACT evaluations, job security and legal issues; meeting with AFT President Randi Weingarten; meeting with DC Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray to discuss IMPACT teacher evaluations and other educational issues affecting teachers, parents and students; meeting with City Council Chairman-Elect Kwame Brown to discuss IMPACT teacher evaluations and other educational issues, meeting with the 266 wrongfully terminated teachers to discuss an immediate change in their legal strategy; meeting with retired teachers and others who have been affected by the loss of retroactive pay and benefits under the new contract, hire personnel experts and human resource consultants to assist with a teacher evaluation tool, review all outstanding grievances and arbitrations, and revamp WTU's image and legal strategy to be proactive, progressive and productive.

Our slate looks forward to taking the helm and becoming the education-union leaders that DC teachers and school personnel deserve.

I hope you will check out Bill Turque, Washington Post writer's coverage on "Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker loses run-off election" (click on title link for story).

1 comment:

  1. Norm,

    Thanks for the support. Much love and work in the struggle from DC.

    Nathan Saunders
    Washington Teachers' Union


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