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NEW JERSEY AVENUE, N.W.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
January 22, 2003
Dear WW Member:
You will recall
that in our last letter to you, we outlined some of the steps we are
taking to put WTU back on track and recover fully from the devastating
misappropriation of the union's funds. At that time, we said
we would keep you updated as to our progress.
We are writing to
let you know that today, the AFT's Executive Council voted unanimously
to appoint an administrator who will run the daily
operations of the WTU and allow the union to get out from under the
incredible burden with which
it has been
We are also very
pleased to tell you that the Council has selected George P. Springer to
be the administrator. Mr. Springer, a 44-year veteran of the teacher
union movement from Connecticut, has worked as the president of a state
federation, a local union, and in lair most recent position, as the
Northeast regional director for the AFT. He is extraordinarily well
qualified to take on this most difficult of assignments.
Mr. Springer will
begin his duties this Monday,
January 27. We
expect that you will be receiving the first of many regular communications
from him very
soon, but in advance of that we wanted to let you know immediately about
his appointment and what it means for WTU members.
Under the AFT's
constitution, Mr. Springer will be chief executive officer of
the union, making
all decisions that affect WTU programs
and policies. Mr. Springer
has already indicated that one of his first priorities will be to
establish regular communications with both the building representatives
and the members at large. He has suggested that it is his
goal to engage the members in an ongoing dialogue and get continuous
feedback throughout his tenure, sad m make the union's operations as
accessible to the members as possible.
To that end, he has
scheduled his first regular meeting with building representatives so
that they can immediately report back to their members. That meeting is
scheduled for Monday, February 3, at a location to be
determined. To allow
for that meeting, the full membership meeting scheduled for
January 17 has
and will be rescheduled. Additional full
membership meetings will also be announced at that time.
While we realize
that this is a difficult period for WTU members, we we very optimistic
that the decision to
appoint an administrator will ultimately
result in a strengthened, appropriately-run WTU -- a union that fights
for and provides an array of professional services to its members and
allows its members to do the best they can for their students.
Edward J. McElroy
Executive Vice President
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Mr. George Springer
3224 Wheeler Rd. SE
Washington DC 20032
202 563 2363
care of Mr. James Cole, Esq.
Bryan Cave LLP
704 Thirteenth Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3960
Cancellation of the January 7, 2002 general membership meeting have set
forth additional, acts of civil disobedience.
Dear Mr. Springer,
I am in receipt of American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
correspondence dated January 22, 2003. As you know I am presently in.
litigation with AFT and the Washington Teachers Union's (WTU) former
executive board. It was with disillusionment I read your decision to
cancel the January 27, 2003 general membership meeting as well as
schedule a February 3, 2003 meeting with only the existing WTU Building
Representatives! These activities, if carried out as you have planned,
are critical mistakes and demonstrate a disconnect with the spirit of
the general membership on the part of AFT. The general membership is
besieged by harmful news and misinformation daily, yet we have not assembled
in person in over sixty (60) days! It appears AFT refuses to learn from
past mistakes and remains unaffected by its own role in this ongoing
saga facing WTU. Earlier mistakes include but are not limited to
supporting the lingering Bullock and Hankerson regime until January 2003
and advising them not to sanction an emergency general
membership meeting which was planned in accordance the
WTU constitution. AFT's commitment must be to the general membership and
not individuals. Your first order of business must be to meet
with the general membership, immediately. Not some teachers but all teachers. We are
sanitizing our own union of corruption, graft and nepotism. Success is not the
sum total of AFT's
receivership actions, but the actions of teacher driven efforts
combined. This is our new tradition and AFT must leap to respect,
cultivate and sustain it, now.
Your unilateral decision impedes our ability to communicate, assemble,
plan and secure our rightful future. Prematurely and without good cause AFT
has cancelled a meeting devoid of input firm the general membership. In
of civil disobedience are our outlet when we are sealed out of the process. AFT might
recall how, we
accomplished simultaneous demonstrations and pickets at both WTU and
AFT in November 2002. On January 27, 2003 at 4:30 p.m., we will converge on
AFT's headquarters at 555 New Jersey Ave., NW Washington DC. We will not be
discouraged from active participation in re-establishing our union with a
lack of quorums, furtive parliamentary procedures, calculated communication snafus analogous
to the effective cancellation of this meeting with less than a one business day notice
The 2002/2003 school year must end with concrete evidence of WTU being
restored as the voice for teachers, children and parents in the DC Public school system not with thievery, larceny and unabashed greed
as our hallmark. Delays or actions short of this itinerary will be
strongly challenged. A plan of action to include the input of the
membership before decisions making arid a viable method of
communication for the general membership such as a virtual posting and
chat rooms being added to the existing WTU website and backup copies
disseminated to schools weekly will start us in the right
Nathan A. Saunders
cc: Sandra Feldman, President
Nate LaCour, Executive Vice President
Edward McElroy, SecretaryTreasurer