Conn-demned (I’ve Got a Million of These, Folks)

From a June 25 letter to members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers from executive vice president Ivy Bailey:

I have today notified President Steve Conn that DFT members have filed charges against him alleging violations of the DFT constitution and bylaws and conduct detrimental to the union. As is required by the DFT bylaws, I have scheduled conferences between President Conn and the members to attempt to resolve the matters. If there is no successful resolution, the DFT Executive Board will be asked to decide whether to hold a trial on the charges.

The members charge that President Conn has attempted to cancel regular meetings and has failed to preside over them; has improperly called “special mass meetings;” and has conducted meetings without agendas, without allowing members to speak, and without proper and valid votes. It is charged that he has permitted the DFT to become affiliated with BAMN without authorization from the members or Executive Board. It is charged that he has permitted members to be threatened and abused at meetings and that when a member was physically assaulted (an assault captured in a surveillance video and now the subject of a criminal charge) he refused to take action against the attacker, but instead publicly and libelously blamed the victim. It is charged that he has failed to pay the Union’s per capita dues to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFT Michigan.

The Executive Board and myself have received numerous complaints, that we have a duty to respond to. We hope for a successful resolution which is in the interest of the members of the DFT and the students in the Detroit Public Schools.

Background here.

That’s a lot to chew on, but the one item to pay close attention to is the failure to pass the dues to the parent affiliates. It suggests to me the threat of an AFT trusteeship, something the national union has not been shy about establishing elsewhere.

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