Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nathan A. Saunders: WTU election of officers to be held immediately

Nathan A. Saunders
Candidate for President
Washington Teachers’ Union
P.O. Box 54122 Washington, DC  20032
(o) 202.563.2144 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 6, 2010
WTU election of officers to be held immediately
 VOTING Begins This September.
WTU General Vice President Nathan A. Saunders’ efforts help halt disenfranchisement of hundreds of teachers and the WTU Executive Board’s illegal, disciplinary actions. 
CONTACT:        Nathan Saunders, (202) 213-7081;
  Jay P. Holland, Brian J. Markovitz, 301-220-2200

On August 4, 2010, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) issued a favorable ruling for WTU teachers on the status of the WTU election.    AFT exercised its right, as the national union, to hear and decide the issues in lieu of additional litigation from General Vice President Nathan A. Saunders who is currently running for WTU President. 

AFT determined:
1.  An immediate and firm election schedule with voting starting on September 18, 2010 and culminating with the counting of ballots on October 4, 2010;
2.  All WTU members in good standing as of June 2010 will be eligible to vote;
3.  That credible evidence existed that Saunders’ was illegally disciplined by the Executive Board and restored Saunders’ salary and benefits and his right to continue as the General Vice President during the pendency of the election, and
4.  The AFT Executive Council will maintain jurisdiction over the election process, thereby ensuring conformity with their official ruling.
Saunders said, “I am very pleased with the result.  The restoration of my salary obviously lifted a great economic burden off my family’s shoulders.  But more importantly, any further delay in the election could have disenfranchised hundreds of eligible teachers from voting.  Fortunately, that did not come
to pass with AFT’s decision to properly constitute the electorate.  This is huge for the democratic process and the legitimacy of the election.”

Saunders was represented by Jay P. Holland, Esq. and Brian J. Markovitz, Esq.  of Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, LLC .  Mr. Holland noted, “The teachers are the biggest winners in this result because they will have an immediate election.  I want to personally thank AFT President Randi Weingarten for her efforts, which were instrumental in curtailing any further delay.”  Mr. Markovitz said, “AFT clearly recognized the political nature of the disciplinary action against Mr. Saunders.  Fortunately, the ruling thwarted the sitting WTU President’s attempt to bolster his reelection chances by rendering ineligible those teachers who exited the system recently, including those let go this July.” 

Elections Committee Chairperson Claudette Carson, a co-plaintiff represented by Michael J. Gan, Esq. and Mark Gisler, Esq. of Peer, Gan & Gisler LLP, was invaluable in advocating that teachers employed by DCPS through June 2010 would maintain their right to vote. “I am very excited about the upcoming election and look forward to a healthy exchange of ideas with President [George] Parker during the election process.  I want teachers to know that I can fight for their jobs just like I fought for my own,” Mr. Saunders said. 

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