Jan 16, 2010
The Washington Teachers' Union Can Do Better ! Nathan Saunders Runs For WTU President 2010
Last Saturday, 120 people gathered together at the invitation of Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) General Vice President Nathan A. Saunders to celebrate his graduation from the National Labor College in Baltimore, Maryland. What was significant about this event was that Nathan announced that he would run for the WTU President seat when elections are held in May 2010. With a campaign slogan of "We Can Do Better," Nathan shared his vision of building an organizing union that is proactive and embraces members ideas, encourages the participation of teachers, parents and community working collectively to improve teaching and learning conditions.
The gathering included not only community members, parents, and teachers/school personnel many of whom remarked throughout the night that there were excited and interested in working collaboratively to fight for meaningful education reform that doesn't exclude critical stakeholders. Nathan's speech focused on the obvious that teachers have not had a contract for three years and many of our members have lost their jobs in part due to our union's being reactive to Chancellor Rhee's education plan which seeks to terminate a significant share of the teaching force. In a recent press release, Nathan A. Saunders stated "Teachers are more besieged today than ever," The collective bargaining agreement is expired by three years, working conditions have deteriorated, and teachers are working harder for less money under greater pressure."
Nathan's announcement for WTU President 2010 was covered by Washington Post writer Bill Turque on the DC Wire blog in which he wrote "Saunders' candidacy raises at least the possibility that if Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee fails to secure a new contract with the WTU before spring, she could be dealing with a union president who qualifies as her worst nightmare. " After all many remarked at the recent campaign gathering that we are at war in this city as teachers and other city workers are in a fight to save their jobs. Turque's quote got me to thinking that teachers are desperately in need of a union president who will stand up to Rhee and be willing to fight.
On this blog I often read your comments about how you are sick and tired of our teachers' union current state of apathy and unwillingness to lead us in the fight of our lives. As we sit and watch as DC teachers and school personnel continue to be unjustly terminated and laid-off, imagine a future with even more terminations with an IMPACT evaluation that is unfair- I know We Can Do Better. As Nathan's campaign website states We Must Do Better ! As I often state for everything there is a season. It is the season for all of us to gather stones because it is time to fight. I strongly encourage all who read The Washington Teacher blog to check out Nathan Saunders' campaign website for WTU President 2010 and read about his platform.
Visit: http://www.votesaunders2010.com/ to get more information about Nathan's campaign. If you may be interested in working on his campaign for WTU President 2010, please feel free to sign up via his website or by email c/o votesaunders2010@ gmail.com
Posted by The Washington Teacher featuring Candi Peterson, blogger in residence