May 29, 2010
May 28, 2010
May 27, 2010
Why AFT President Weingarten stole my elected union job!
By Claudette Carson, 2009 WTU Elections Committee Member
The DCPS/WTU tentative agreement and its benefactors soon considered us liabilities. We were not good enough to conduct a contract ratification vote, a special election, or maybe we were too honest? The result is that ratification ballots have been sent out without a verified membership list and with a membership status, with the AFT/WTU’s endorsement, which can be changed so that new members can vote up until ballot submission. $164 million tentative agreement makes new friends easily with union members and integrity being meaningless collateral damage. All the stops have been pulled out to guarantee this contract ratification. I am appalled at the radio commercials encouraging teachers to vote “Yes” for the contract with funds union members did not approve, selected teachers have been gifted time from teaching in order to sell the contract to other teachers during the school day, and first time voting by telephone and the internet.
The final nail in our coffin came as a result of a discovery. Another elections committee member and I deduced WTU President George Parker did not file any nominating petitions to run for President. I informed all parties involved at which point the AFT increased its efforts to disband the elections committee. AFT President Weingarten desires an elections committee to give George Parker the opportunity to file nominating petitions, irrespective of the WTU Constitution. The answer is not a hard one for me because I have a renewed sense of fair play and rights of the common man and woman. How President Weingarten took away my right to hold elected union office is a crime. She did not even follow her own constitution and is now bulldogging her way thru our local. She stole from teachers for George Parker’s benefit furthermore her actions are related to the tentative agreement ratification. This denigrates our union, profession and intelligence. I only desired to provide mutual aid, support and collective action to my fellow teachers- maybe that is not unionism.
I am Claudette Carson, a union member who has tried to participate in my union’s democratic process. I never have been a WTU insider but I have always voted for candidates that would represent me. I am running again for the elections committee which I rightfully won previously but for the efforts of special interests. I understand the issues and the relevance of representing union members. I know firsthand the impact of dollars on relationships and will not allow you to be hurt as I have been. We can beat the culprits at their own game by getting this message out and voting May 27, 2010 at Logan School between 4pm and 7pm.
1. Claudette Carson
2. Chandrai Jackson-Saunders
3. Marva Boatman
4. David Derricotte
5. Cheryl Gillette
6. Audrey Hudson
7. Harriet L. Kuhn
8. Linda Burnett
9. Geraldine Harris
10. Janis Carrington
11. Genell Penn
12. Darlene Nelson
13. Rosa Lee
14. Thomas O'Rourke
15. Laureen Smith-Butler
May 22, 2010
Hey folks, it's that time of year again when DC schools approaches its final days as the school year comes to an end. Some principals have already faced Chancellor Rhee's 'meat axe approach' to principal terminations or if you prefer a nice way of saying their contract was not-renewed.
As you may recall, last year some targeted DC principals on Rhee's hit list left many parents, staff and community activists baffled and questioning her guidelines for termination of local school principals. Even in cases when principals had performed well, Rhee's unconventional actions to get rid of these principals without as much as an explanation left many wondering how could this be happening ? Feel free to send me your list of departing principals c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
So far here's the short list of departing DC principals and their affiliated schools:
My sources report the following:
Principal terminated @ Anacostia SHS-1601 16th St. SE, Wash. DC not officially confirmed
May 21, 2010
May 18, 2010
An inside source reports that DCPS principals were advised recently in a principals meeting that the Rhee administration plans to hire 600 new teachers for school year 2010-2011. On May 14, 2010, Chancellor Rhee appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi radio show with hosts Tom Sherwood and Mike Debonis . At that time Rhee indicated that up to as many as 400 teachers would be hired in the fall. So it seems this number has risen if we look at what was reported in a meeting with DC principals. It is not coincidental that George Parker, WTU president indicated back in March 2010 before WTU Representative Assembly members in a meeting that Rhee planned to fire 15% of WTU members through the IMPACT evaluation process in July 2010 . Roughly 15% of WTU membership equals 600 teachers/school personnel. That would mean that 600 teachers could be expected to be fired this summer. The million dollar question is how did Rhee know in March that she planned to fire 15% of our teachers through the IMPACT evaluation given that the process has yet to be completed ? Will the 600 teachers fired through IMPACT be replaced by the 600 new hires? These are questions we should all consider.
On another interesting note, many of our schools will face cuts to teaching staff by the end of June 2010. So far Cardozo SHS and McKinley SHS have been advised to expect teacher cuts in every department for the upcoming school year as well as cuts to other DCPS employees. This could represent as many as 15 teachers to be cut from both of these high schools. Other cuts which have been reported to date include 5 teachers to be cut from Luke C. Moore Academy. Please check with your Local School Restructuring Teams (LSRT's) to determine how many cuts to expect from your schools. Feel free to send me reductions to staff c/o email@example.com
Should teachers ratify the WTU Tentative Agreement, many of the teachers who will be excessed from their schools may be terminated within two months if they are probationary status. If not, they would be forced to consider some unpleasant options: buy-out if monies are available, forced into early retirement if eligible and monies are available and or have the option of a 1 year extension to continue to work as a tutor or long term substitute assuming they have a satisfactory performance rating or better. As most of you know Rhee's five year education plan seeks to rid our schools of a significant share of our teacher workforce through buy-outs, terminations, forced retirements and lay offs. Worst possible scenario, DCPS employees could face another reduction in force for the upcoming school year 2010-2011.
Inquiring minds want to know how Rhee is allowed to continue spending willy nilly without regard to the 528 million dollar budget that DC government currently faces. To date, Rhee has not been required to place a freeze on hiring and spending practices. While CFO Gandhi and Chancellor Rhee have proposed to rob Peter to pay Paul in our DCPS budget in order to fund the WTU Tentative Agreement, it seems that one thing we can be assured of more teacher and staff cuts are on the horizon.
Posted by The Washington Teacher
May 16, 2010
May 13, 2010
May 13, 2010
Dear President Randi Weingarten,
As you well know, we are elected WTU Executive Board members who were laid off October 2, 2009. We have been denied our right to complete our elected term of office and right to continue our membership by WTU President George Parker. As a result, 265 other WTU members have been damaged by the loss of health insurance and other membership benefits directly attributable to these actions. Upon attempting to maintain those benefits, we were provided misinformation including a WTU parliamentary opinion thereby robbing us of our rights as a WTU, AFT, and AFL-CIO members. At no time were we advised of AFT’s constitution addressing the laid off member policy by the aforementioned or AFT personnel. AFT Constitution & Bylaws, art. III - Membership, §6, cl. C.
After our own research yielded the above, President Parker undertook obstreperous actions to disallow WTU Executive Board members consideration of our concerns. Constitutionally mandated Union meetings-executive board, delegate assembly and membership meetings- are often cancelled or they do not have voting quorums and are held in place which we are barred (DCPS and the WTU offices). This complaint/notice informs you that WTU is not being managed according to its constitution or AFT’s and AFT’s representative agents, Mr. George Bordenave and Mr. Jody Easley, sit idle while these significant violations transpire.
Since a fair hearing of our concerns are not available at our local union level, we must exhaust all intra union remedies. We are requesting you to inform us in writing, with the necessary citations, of our rights to complete our elected term of office as WTU officers. Furthermore, we are requesting you to order all 265 wrongfully terminated teachers full membership rights reinstated immediately pursuant to AFT’s constitution at a dues rate of $6.00 per month remitted to the AFT. We look forward to your prompt response as time is of essence.
WTU Executive Board Member
WTU Executive Board Member
Sheila H. Gill
WTU Executive Board Member
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson, blogger in residence