Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Randi Weingarten Engineers A Putsch In A Florida Local Union

You teachers still pissed about the lack of transparency and democracy in the AFT endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president are going to get a lot of laughs out of this story:

Orange County Classroom Teachers Association President Diana Moore, union officers and the board of directors have been relieved of their duties, according to officials with the American Federation of Teachers.

The AFT announced Wednesday that its executive council voted to place the OCCTA on administratorship and relieve Moore and others of their duties, saying, "The action follows a year of dealing with officer and member complaints about the erosion of democratic rights and the increasing dysfunction of their local union, and attempting every voluntary mechanism to right the ship."
The AFT executive council voted to take the action.

“The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws. The current president, Diana Moore, has refused to comply, believing she is above the union’s governing documents. This has led to members’ rights being denied, their voices not being heard, member services being diminished, and an increasingly dysfunctional union,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a press release. “Today’s action, while permitted under the AFT constitution, is rarely exercised. It’s intended as a temporary measure to restore credibility and order and to return democratic rights to members.”

More on the absurdity of using the words "Weingarten," "credibility" and "democratic rights" in one sentence in a future post.

For now I want to stick to the story as we have it.

First, here's why the AFT claimed they took this action:

The national president said officials spent months investigating and found financial concerns, but
the biggest issue was that Moore wasn’t following the bylaws and forced them to re-run four elections because she interfered and campaigned on the clock.

Investigators findings showed Moore "made unbudgeted purchases exceeding $1,000 without board approval."

To avoid getting approval, Moore would allegedly use a union credit card "that draws payments directly from the OCCTA's money market account."

AFT leaders said Moore used union resources and emails to push for candidates she endorsed in the elections she interfered with.

"There was an allegation she was working on the clock doing union business and in schools while campaigning at the same time. That's inappropriate," Andy Ford of the Florida Education Association said.

"There was a repeated and systemic and intentional interference with elections, even when those elections had been supervised by the state affiliates,” Weingarten said.

Repeated, systemic and intentional interference with elections?

You don't say.

I wonder if Moore increased the weight of retiree votes the way the UFT did here in New York.

In any case, I dunno if the financial impropriety story is real or Weingarten-engineered b.s. because another story reports this:

The Orange County Classroom Teacher's Association represents 13,000 teachers and appeared to be doing a good job for its members when it came to contract negotiations.  But officials from the union's national office said the inner workings of the Orange County CTA were dysfunctional and consistently violated the union's bylaws. Most of the blame was placed on the union's president, Diana Moore.

"Diana believed that her way was the way as opposed to following rules, regulations, bylaws and constitution of her local," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Officials with the AFT said while there was no financial impropriety, Moore denied members their voice and improperly influenced the union's elections.

Ah, yes - the classic AFT/UFT/NYSUT muddle.

Some say this, some say that, but no one really knows because there's conflicting information out there meant to distract and divert.

Regardless for why Moore was the target of a Weingarten putsch, I do know that clearly the AFT leadership meant business:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —A local teacher's union saw its leadership team gutted this week and officials from the national office are in town to take over.

The Orange County teachers union president and board of directors have been let go because many members reportedly felt their voice wasn't being heard.

The takeover of the Orange County teachers union by the national union was drastic. A locksmith was called to change all the locks in the building and a spokeswoman said the president and the board of directors were no longer allowed in the building.

Yeah, they brought in the locksmiths to change the locks.

Nice, eh?

Moore, the deposed president of the local, was on vacation at the time of the putsch and didn't know she had been whacked until after the fact:

Moore told Channel 9 that she is on vacation and was unaware of the decision.

“As a dues-paying union member, I was not afforded the opportunity to have representation all throughout this matter. What I have tried to do is preserve the rights and due process of all members of Orange County Classroom Teachers Association. I’m shocked that the national union does not honor a paying union member’s rights to due process. Our members in Orange County are quite happy with their union. NEA has remained silent despite reaching out for support. This is all about members and money. They’re losing members and money in the national organization. It’s politics at its worst,” Moore said in a statement to Channel 9.

As for where things go from here:

The national union's vice president, Dennis Kelly, will be brought in from California to serve as interim leader. The officials from the national union say they do not believe Orange County teachers have suffered any significant harm from the issues with their local leadership. The Orange County CTA recently negotiated one of the highest contract settlements in the state.

Gee, Moore must have been terrible, having just negotiated one of the highest contracts in the state.

No wonder Weingarten had her goons jet down to Orange County and whack her out of a job.

Perhaps Moore was tampering as the AFT leaders claim.

Perhaps she was engaged in financial impropriety, as one story says the AFT claimed.

Or perhaps Weingarten and her Unity goons didn't like Moore and wanted her out.

I'm sure we'll get more on the story in the near future, but as with most stories involving the AFT or Randi Weingarten, we'll have to work closely to pull the nuggets of truth out of all the b.s.

More as we get it.

And more on the laugh riot of Weingarten whacking a local president and board for a lack of transparency, eroding the democratic rights of members and silencing rank and file voices in a future post.

That's a hoot, isn't it?


  1. I hope when they hold elections the local chooses their ousted members.

  2. Weingarten, McGee, Mulgrew, etc etc etc etc....

    Ya know whats going to happen to them?

    NOTHING! They will keep their jobs, and advance even. They will continue selling out membership in the worst, most historically awful ways possible. They will continue being the absolute biggest affronts to the history of organized labor in the United States. They will continue to lose and sell away all of the structures, protections, and security that were built over 4 decades for organized teachers.

    Why will they continue into the future, even as they destroy the abandon everything working teachers hold dear?

    Because the vast majority of teachers WILL NOT do a thing about it. A small, vocal, informed, and angry pocket of teachers (us) will be easily ignored and brushed aside. The bulk of organized teachers will not do a thing, and in fact won't even know a thing. A generation or two of robust protection, fairly good times, and recruiting among the lowest tiers of the college-capable with no inclination to read much, especially history, politics, and economics, has led to a large pool of working teachers who have no interest or capability towards labor activism, participation, or even a workman-like basic understanding of their political and economic realities.

    Sometimes I wonder what I'm so upset about regarding the reform agenda (oh right, those pesky core beliefs in an enlightened, inclusive, democratic society). Our team sucks from a depth chart perspective. They aren't capable of acquiring the information base needed for the labor activism that is required to do this. Its a very heavy lift and I'm sorry, but our side doesn't have what it takes from membership.
    Weingarten, Mulgrew, McGee....they are symptoms of the disease that is working teachers' inability to be as active and informed as they need to be.

    I know this sounds cynical, but really. In my district, which is considered to be a strong union district in the area and region, maybe 10% of all teachers attend union meetings. Even less have a working knowledge of the threats we are facing. Even less than that have the ability to see fault in state and national level union leadership. Right before the end of the school year I had to explain to a teacher of 25 years how our pension works and how it fits into the broader politics of the state. The teacher left the conversation like a deer in the headlights. The number of conversations I've tried to have trying to explain, even on the most basic level, the political background to CCSS, VAM, etc....uncountable. Also uncountable were the amount of times that conversation failed to achieve any enlightenment on their part. The words got too big. The political complexity too dense. (the reform agenda is not too complex politically!)

    SO yeah. The national and state union leadership has nothing to worry about.

    (I know I sound like a prick here, somehow placing myself outside the rest. NO!! I ended up in teaching after an undergrad and grad. experience in the actual liberal arts .....I was inclined to be a little politically active and aware. Thats all. It doesn't take much is all I'm saying!)

    1. As a NYC teacher who voted no to that farce of a contract, I wish I could show these morons I work with about the largest surplus NYC has had in a long time.

      But all of the morons who voted yes would say, we would have been last if we said no. We could have been paid back in 2017 but everyone follows the herd.

      Even my CL saw the forest for the trees and apologized for spreading Mulgrews lies.

      I wish we could just storm 52 Broadway and throw those fucking idiots into the river.

    2. 7:32

      I work with the same group of teachers as you do. I have a degree in Political Science and arrived late to the teaching game. As long as it is not happening to them specifically, they are fine. Trying to educate them is like talking to the wall. I look to the blogosphere as my make believe community, which discusses issues of concern to me.

  3. I like your comment, and I agree. A whole lot of people are not paying attention to what is going on.

    I believe a litmus test of this will be Bernie Sanders and the coming election. Here, we have a candidate who stands for many things regular, working/middle class people could benefit from...

    Single payer health care, college tuition help, getting big money out of politics, environmental concerns, etc.

    Yet, somehow, you still get a "who?" from many friends, relatives, and people who aren't digging a little deeper than what is served up from the main stream media.

    Since big money is always in attack-mode. Being informed is the only way this country has a chance of turning itself around.

  4. It's good to see people are starting to pay attention and asking questions

    Randi Weingarten: Sleight of Hand Artist - Part I

    Randi Weingarten: Sleight of Hand Artist - Part II