Jun 10, 2013

WTU 2013 Election- The Best Kept Secret in Town!!!

WTU's Secret 2013 Election

By Candi Peterson

Vote Davis Slate for WTU
 Liz Davis /Candi Peterson
WTU Can Be Better!

The recent Washington Teachers' Union (WTU)  2013 presidential election was the best kept secret in town. The current Teachers' union president, Saunders kept our union elections on the Down Low (D.L.)  as possible. Members weren't notified officially of this election and there was not any official notice on the WTU website of the first election. Even though the WTU's Constitution & By-Laws requires that the WTU provide a copy of the union's publication, "The Washington Teacher" magazine's Election Edition to members, this print edition did not arrive at members homes until well after ballots were mailed out. If you were not the curious type, and didn't dare to check out the contents, you wouldn't have noticed the candidates bio's buried within the magazine on page 5. Nothing on the front cover suggested that this was an "election edition" or that there was a union election underway. Although promised by WTU, no official notices of elections were placed within our local schools, when I surveyed members from various citywide schools.

To add insult to injury, a significant number of union members complained of not receiving their ballots to vote." I felt like I spent the day looking for clues before I figured out our union election was being held", stated a union member who insisted on anonymity. Members who hadn't learned that the there was a union election, didn't know they needed to contact the union office for a ballot. WTU members had to jump through a series of hoops to get a ballot including Elizabeth Davis (known as Liz), candidate for WTU President. Although WTU 2013 Election written guidelines indicated that members were to contact a WTU staff member by telephone between 9-5 during the work week to secure a ballot, members who followed these written guidelines were informed that this requirement was modified and to get a duplicate ballot, a request must be made in writing. 

What is really disturbing in this election, is that full dues paying members reported that when they contacted the union office they were advised that they were no longer full dues paying members and were now agency fee members. Union members I spoke to indicated that they never gave their consent or authorization to have their membership status changed. This means that members whose status has been changed to agency fee could not vote in the 2013 union election. Sound like election tampering?? You decide. I bet Ray Charles could see this one a mile away. I'm troubled anytime a members' right to representation is tampered with and you should be as well, if you are one of the people this effected. (more on this later)

Well, in the event you didn't know- there was a Washington Teachers' Union election. The vote count was held on June 7, 2013. Here are the results that you will most likely will only read here on The Washington Teacher blog, since WTU is not releasing the official vote count and only percentages of the vote count. I am supplying it here because union members have a right to transprency:

394      Ballots received from WTU members
  50      Soiled ballots
3000    Ballots mailed to members (according to True Ballot, who mailed ballots/performed ballot count)

Candidates for WTU President

Maria Angala            44 votes
Michael Edgerton        8 votes
Elizabeth Davis       158 votes
Nathan Saunders     175 votes

17 point difference between top two candidates

Due to the fact that neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a run off election will be required according to the WTU Constitution & By-laws. The top two candidates will run in the WTU Run Off election. As outlined in the amended WTU Election Schedule and Guidelines, WTU run off ballots will be mailed no later than June 17.

The most important thing is that if WTU members do not receive a Run Off ballot through the mail, contact Alyssa Limberakis @ ALimberakis@wtulocal6.net to request your ballot. Provide your name and mailing address in the request. All requests for duplicate ballots must be in writing and should be requested beginning June 18, 2013.

Remember Vote Davis slate. WTU Can Be Better!

© Candi Peterson 2013


Anonymous said...

I was one of the teachers who didn't get a ballot. What happened in the elections is a sad commentary on Nathan Sanders presidency. Now I need to check to see if Sanders dropped me as a full member. Scary.

Anonymous said...

Well at MLK we've experienced faulty elections last year for our building reps and wtu did nothing about it. In addition to the recent 2013 nominations that were unethically conducted without any assistance from our union, yet nsaunders and other field reps stopped by to assist members of his ticket with their problems. I'm not sure if any wtu member has authentic representation...back to the bullock method of operations!

Anonymous said...

Thank you once again Candi for publishing information that we all need. I would guess that you and Liz did so well is because many people think that Nathan was unfair to you. The total count is dismal and I urge all union members to vote,,,, too much is at stake to sit by and then complain when the election or contract is not what you wanted.

Anonymous said...

I see Nathan is coming out on the offensive with all these emails touting his achievements as WTU president. I suggest you and Liz nix the negative ads and come out with some e-blast contrasting yourselves and how you'd be better union leaders. Only two weeks left!

Anonymous said...

I thought my ballot got lost in the mail. I'm no longer a full member after 20 years. I didn't authorize any changes.

DCNeverSleeps said...

400 votes out of 4,000 possible votes tells the whole story about the secret election. This election has been a joke. Again we are out of contract, just like before. When will the WTU start doing what it is supposed to do? I hope it will with you Candi. I know you can do so much more than George and Nathan ever did in their many years, within your first year. Good luck.