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American Federation of Teachers
Letter to DC teachers announcing takeover of WTU and canceling January union meeting
January 22, 2003




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AFT letter Saunders reply to AFT letter


WASHINGTON, DC 20001-2079



January 22, 2003

Dear WW Member:

You will recall that in our last letter to you, we outlined some of the steps we are taking to put WTU back on track and recover fully from the devastating misappropriation of the union's funds. At that time, we said we would keep you updated as to our progress.

We are writing to let you know that today, the AFT's Executive Council voted unanimously to appoint an administrator who will run the daily operations of the WTU and allow the union to get out from under the incredible burden with which it has been saddled.

We are also very pleased to tell you that the Council has selected George P. Springer to be the administrator. Mr. Springer, a 44-year veteran of the teacher union movement from Connecticut, has worked as the president of a state federation, a local union, and in lair most recent position, as the Northeast regional director for the AFT. He is extraordinarily well qualified to take on this most difficult of assignments.

Mr. Springer will begin his duties this Monday, January 27. We expect that you will be receiving the first of many regular communications from him very soon, but in advance of that we wanted to let you know immediately about his appointment and what it means for WTU members.

Under the AFT's constitution, Mr. Springer will be chief executive officer of the union, making all decisions that affect WTU programs and policies. Mr. Springer has already indicated that one of his first priorities will be to establish regular communications with both the building representatives and the members at large. He has suggested that it is his goal to engage the members in an ongoing dialogue and get continuous feedback throughout his tenure, sad m make the union's operations as accessible to the members as possible.

To that end, he has scheduled his first regular meeting with building representatives so that they can immediately report back to their members. That meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 3, at a location to be determined. To allow for that meeting, the full membership meeting scheduled for January 17 has been postponed and will be rescheduled. Additional full membership meetings will also be announced at that time.

While we realize that this is a difficult period for WTU members, we we very optimistic that the decision to appoint an administrator will ultimately result in a strengthened, appropriately-run WTU -- a union that fights for and provides an array of professional services to its members and allows its members to do the best they can for their students.

Sandra Feldman

Edward J. McElroy

Nat LaCour
Executive Vice President

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Nathan A. Saunders
3224 Wheeler Rd. SE
Washington DC 20032
202 563 2363

Mr. George Springer
care of Mr. James Cole, Esq.
Bryan Cave LLP
704 Thirteenth Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3960

Reference: Cancellation of the January 7, 2002 general membership meeting have set forth additional, acts of civil disobedience.

Dear Mr. Springer,

I am in receipt of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) correspondence dated January 22, 2003. As you know I am presently in. litigation with AFT and the Washington Teachers Union's (WTU) former executive board. It was with disillusionment I read your decision to cancel the January 27, 2003 general membership meeting as well as schedule a February 3, 2003 meeting with only the existing WTU Building Representatives! These activities, if carried out as you have planned, are critical mistakes and demonstrate a disconnect with the spirit of the general membership on the part of AFT. The general membership is besieged by harmful news and misinformation daily, yet we have not assembled in person in over sixty (60) days! It appears AFT refuses to learn from past mistakes and remains unaffected by its own role in this ongoing saga facing WTU. Earlier mistakes include but are not limited to supporting the lingering Bullock and Hankerson regime until January 2003 and advising them not to sanction an emergency general membership meeting which was planned in accordance the WTU constitution. AFT's commitment must be to the general membership and not individuals. Your first order of business must be to meet with the general membership, immediately. Not some teachers but all teachers. We are sanitizing our own union of corruption, graft and nepotism. Success is not the sum total of AFT's receivership actions, but the actions of teacher driven efforts combined. This is our new tradition and AFT must leap to respect, cultivate and sustain it, now.

Your unilateral decision impedes our ability to communicate, assemble, plan and secure our rightful future. Prematurely and without good cause AFT has cancelled a meeting devoid of input firm the general membership. In protest, acts of civil disobedience are our outlet when we are sealed out of the process. AFT might recall how, we accomplished simultaneous demonstrations and pickets at both WTU and AFT in November 2002. On January 27, 2003 at 4:30 p.m., we will converge on AFT's headquarters at 555 New Jersey Ave., NW Washington DC. We will not be discouraged from active participation in re-establishing our union with a lack of quorums, furtive parliamentary procedures, calculated communication snafus analogous to the effective cancellation of this meeting with less than a one business day notice to teachers.

The 2002/2003 school year must end with concrete evidence of WTU being restored as the voice for teachers, children and parents in the DC Public school system not with thievery, larceny and unabashed greed as our hallmark. Delays or actions short of this itinerary will be strongly challenged. A plan of action to include the input of the general membership before decisions making arid a viable method of communication for the general membership such as a virtual posting and chat rooms being added to the existing WTU website and backup copies disseminated to schools weekly will start us in the right direction, together!

Nathan A. Saunders

cc: Sandra Feldman, President
Nate LaCour, Executive Vice President
Edward McElroy, SecretaryTreasurer

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