Friday, February 18, 2011

UTLA Presidential Election Headed to Runoff

Veteran UTLA leader (and Duffy crony) Julie Washington finished first in the race for president of United Teachers Los Angeles, but did not win enough votes to avoid a runoff. Washington, the outgoing vice president, won 44% of the vote. Warren Fletcher was second, with 37.3%. Turn out for the election was abysmal, with only 17% of members returning ballots, perhaps an indication of overall teacher disillusionment with the union.

Washington is seen by many LA teachers as a UTLA insider and part of the problem with the entrenched UTLA bureaucracy. LA teachers are facing a continuation of mass conversions of their schools to private charters, as well as teacher furloughs, mass layoffs, and attacks on seniority and collective bargaining. The Duffy/Weingarten administration, while making militant public statements against these attacks on teachers and students, did very little to mobilize teachers to take effective actions against these attacks. A Washington victory is seen by many as a continuation of UTLA impotence and irrelevance.

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