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:
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.
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?