Statements or expressions of opinions herein ‘do not’ represent the views or official positions of DCPS, AFT, Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) or its members. Views are my own.
Disclaimer: I am not a member of the WTU Contract Negotiations team.
Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Liz Davis reached an all-time low of setting the truth aside when in a recent campaign June 18th email she blamed me and WTU Elections Chair Cheryl Gillette for the delays in union elections. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Oh what a tangled web Davis weaves in her efforts to deceive the rank and file.
So it’s no surprise that Davis wants to point the finger of blame at me and the WTU Elections chair in order to cover up her own failures and complicity in holding elections.
This is the oldest trick in the book to try to sow the seeds of mistrust and division by accusing others for her failures especially given that I am running on an opposition slate as a WTU presidential candidate and represent a threat to her candidacy.
At every turn, Davis, a presidential candidate, has inserted herself in the elections process by micro-managing and regulating everything. Davis has over reached her enumerated powers as spelled out in the constitution by withholding the union membership list and payment to the ballot company. As a candidate for office, Davis appears oblivious to the fact that as the incumbent president, she is no more entitled to special treatment by the elections committee than any other presidential candidate.
The WTU Constitution and By-Laws created an independent elections committee to oversee WTU elections including officer elections with the intent of limiting interference by officers who would likely be candidates such as Davis.
The interference and obstruction by Davis made simple tasks such as scheduling weekly meetings in the unions’ board room a herculean task. Repeated requests for information either have gone unanswered by Davis, or her responses were delayed and thus stymied the ability of the elections committee to perform it’s constitutional function. The normal protocol is for the independent elections committee to work directly with the union membership director without interference in order to hold timely elections by the May 2016 deadline.
In an effort to facilitate officer elections, without any further delays, members of the WTU Executive Board unanimously passed five motions on June 4th to force Davis and her Chief of Staff’s cooperation in supplying the union membership list. Additionally, Davis and the chief of staff were directed by the Board to assure payment, and issue a letter of apology to TrueBallot, the independent company contracted by the elections committee to conduct officer elections.
Only after these Executive Board motions did Davis and her chief of staff finally submit the union membership list to TrueBallot on June 6th. Davis and her Chief of Staff refused to provide an apology letter and guarantee of payment as directed by the Executive board; however, at the urging of the elections committee chair TrueBallot finally agreed to move forward with the election.
Earlier this year, the Executive Board voted to compel President Davis to hold the elections of the elections committee. These elections were delayed for nine months due to the intentional obstruction by President Davis. Colleagues, it’s not rocket science that if there is not a duly elected elections committee, there can be no election of officers.
Members should thank the elections committee members for their perseverance and hard work instead of scapegoating and blaming them for a delayed election of officers.
Fortunately, complaints to American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT), WTU’s parent organization, resulted in an assignment of an intermediary to assist with the process of completing officer elections. AFT’s involvement has given a measure of assurance to TrueBallot that they will be paid for their contracted services.
Had it not been for WTU Elections Chair Cheryl Gillette, who has remained steadfast despite all the road blocks by Davis- WTU would not have advanced this far. Elections have finally been scheduled.
Ballots will be mailed to members’ homes on Monday, June 20th. You should expect to receive your ballots by no later than the end of this week. The ballot count will occur on July 8th and the location will be announced.
Responsible leaders don’t blame others when they are at fault. They accept responsibility for their own actions and/or inaction. In addition to her pattern of pointing the finger of blame at others, Davis is in deep denial.
FACT -After failing to negotiate a teachers contract after three years- Davis continues to blame Chancellor Henderson even though there were multiple contract offers that Davis failed to disclose to the rank and file.
FACT – As the WTU President and Chief Negotiator, it was Davis’ primary duty to get teachers a contract within her three year term (2013-2016). She sabotaged relationships with the Chancellor and her team, called her a liar , and then tried to rally teachers to demand the Chancellor return to the negotiating table when Ms. Henderson made it clear in April that she would not resume contract negotiations until after officers elections.
Davis blames everybody except herself for the delays in the upcoming officers elections, as well, as the election committee elections and contract negotiations. This is not responsible leadership. If you are tired of her blame game and inaction and no contract- then you must vote for a return to Accountability, Collaboration and Transparency.
The Candi Peterson slate is the only logical option for Ethical and Responsible union leadership. It’s the only viable alternative to the failed track record of the desperate Davis’ denial and blame game that poisons instead of inspires cooperative relationships.
I vow to make getting teachers a contract my first priority.
Vote Peterson slate- we are #1 on the ballot.
© Candi Peterson, 2016