Dec 28, 2009
Knock, Knock Wash. Teachers' Union Prez George Parker, Anybody There ?
On December 15, 2009- the WTU Executive Board passed a motion to appeal Judge Judith Bartnoff's November 24 legal decision . In Bartnoff's decision she ruled against the Washington Teachers Union Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and preliminary injunction which was filed to have approximately 266 unfairly laid off teachers and school staff reinstated.
Whether you agree or disagree that an appeal should be filed on behalf of DC teachers, the WTU Executive Board has spoken by a vote of 5 yes votes to 3 no votes with 5 board members abstaining. WTU President George Parker agreed to contact our WTU attorney Lee Jackson on December 16, the day after the E-board meeting to request that he prepare an appeal of Bartnoff's ruling by the December 24 deadline.
Union transparency is important because it encourages union officials to do the right thing on behalf of our members. As an elected union official, I along with other WTU Executive Board members continue to come up against stumbling blocks with our union president, George Parker in that he refuses to answer pertinent emails of inquiry from Executive board members regarding union business and has been accused of not being responsive to our membership as well. I give WTU President Parker an 'F' grade on union transparency, answering pertinent emails of inquiry and follow through on behalf of our members. This is just not acceptable to me nor should it be to you. I am adamant that the Washington Teachers' Union be a union for the people, by the people and with the people- not a dictatorship. Maybe you can help me ?
Knock, knock Washington Teachers Union Prez George Parker, anybody there ? Well I guess not because I along with WTU Executive Board members Sheila H. Gill and Nathan A. Saunders have sent emails to you and have yet to hear even a whisper. Can anybody, pleeez encourage Mr. Parker to answer our emails. In the advent that any of you should accidentally run into him- could you share my December 23 email and ask him to respond to me ? After all I am an elected official to the WTU Board of Trustees. Here's my most recent email:
Dear George :
(copied to Herb Thomas, Randi Weingarten, AFT, WTU E-Board, Board of Trustees, AFT National reps., et.al)
In response to the previous emails, the federal government was open for business on Tuesday and Wednesday as I hope the WTU is. Federal government workers are required to use annual leave if they decide to take off during liberal leave conditions which existed on Tuesday. Businesses in this area are resuming work today and that should be the expectation for our union as well. In light of this, I do hope that the WTU will set a date for a meeting with our union attorney whether George is in the office or not, in addition to providing members updates on the status of the legal appeal which passed on 12/15/09.
On behalf of our union members, I would like to request that a rescheduled meeting date be set with our WTU attorney, Lee Jackson as soon as possible in order that board members can arrange their schedules. There should be no reason that we cannot follow up and commit to setting up a date with Lee Jackson as a great deal of time has passed already. It appears that not only board members but teachers have a lot of unanswered legal questions that they would like to address with our union attorney. In the spirit of working on behalf of our members, I request that you provide a rescheduled date and time by no later than Thursday, December 24 close of business @ 5 p.m. to all board members.
I also would like to inquire what is the status of Lee Jackson's appeal on behalf of DC's RIF'ed teachers as December 24 is the due date for the filing of the appeal as we discussed in our last rescheduled WTU board meeting. I would also ask that this information be provided via email when you respond about the rescheduled meeting date with Attorney Lee Jackson. Thanks for your urgent attention in this matter and I along with others await your timely written response by tomorrow close of business.
WTU Board of Trustees
WTU Building Representative
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson, blogger in residence