It's official, I have been ousted from my elected position within the Washington Teachers' Union, AFL-CIO, Local 6 on September 19, 2011 by WTU President Nathan Saunders. Get this, the revocation of my leave of absence from DCPS, was authored by none other than Nathan Saunders and co-signed by Jason Kamras, Deputy Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Some might argue that this is graphic evidence that Nathan is now in bed with the Office of the Chancellor, none other than Rhee's nemesis who I like to refer as Kaya and company. Sound familiar?
Monday was one exhausting day for me. The real sordid details will have to be left for another day and another time and place. First, I must ask you to not to cast judgment on me, at least not at this time. That's what Saunders and the WTU Executive Board did to me- when they denied me my inalienable right to due process. I was never afforded a hearing, the board never heard my side of the story, never informed me that I would be the subject of discipline in an executive board meeting, never afforded me the opportunity to face my accusers or prepare a defense before severely disciplining me by stripping me of my WTU constitutional vice presidential duties, my WTU pay and my free speech rights to even discuss myself or my own case with anyone, etc. The only thing I kept was my title. Imagine that? My lawsuit speaks to these facts. Despite these atrocities, I continued to come to work at the WTU until my leave of absence was revoked.
While you will hear that I am erratic and unprofessional, I just ask you to think back to the very person that you have known me to be and the person who has written this blog for the past three years. A lot of things describe me, but those adjectives do not reflect reality. Just some hyped up public relations smear campaign.
Once I was elected, my goal was to continue to help teachers and school personnel. This very blog was instrumental and effective in standing up for teachers as well as pointing out the flaws of Rhee's slash and burn administration. Afterall this blog is what our members asked the WTU leadership to continue, once elected. Don't think for every minute, that I didn't try my best. I took the same passion evidenced right here and continued advocating on behalf of our members to the K Street union office. My only regret is that I wasn't able to complete the job that members elected me to do. I worked well with Nathan Saunders and he didn't have complaints about me until I went to the media about my suspension of pay by him unilaterally. When I filed my lawsuit to restore my rights as an elected leader, things simply deteriorated and Saunders retaliated. In one day, I received four letters of reprimand from him. Saunders' fury was like a lover scorned.
I hope you will return to The Washington Teacher blog for more, as details emerge. For now, I hope you will peruse Bill Turque, (AKA Washington Post writer) rendition of the WTU story as told on his DC Schools Insider blog. I'd like you to ponder this question: What type of internal remedies and/or changes to the WTU Constitution do we need to make so being ousted as a labor leader doesn't ever happen again in our union history? By the way, WTU has no internal appeal processes when there is a disagreement between the union president and the general vice president. I'm listening ?