Following the line of succession is the preferred method of achieving high office in teachers’ unions, but there is a tried-and-true way for challengers to upset the political order. Accuse the incumbent, or heir apparent, of being too accomodating to district wishes and promise to be more combative in the battle to achieve higher salaries, benefits and job protections.
It has been particularly effective with the United Teachers Los Angeles, and Warren Fletcher utilized it to win the presidency over Julie Washington, incumbent vice president under the term-limited A.J. Duffy.
Here is Fletcher’s short campaign video, wherein he states, “The union has stopped focusing on its primary job – protecting its members.”
Fletcher picked up 53% of the votes cast, but as is typical in union elections, turnout was low. Still, I think the non-voters were making their voices heard, just as they did in 2008. We should include them in the results:
Warren Fletcher – 4,711 (11.7%)
Julie Washington – 4,247 (10.5%)
Don’t Give a Crap – 31,308 (77.8%)