Thursday, February 02, 2012

Unethical Use of Union Money?

I would like to know where my union dues go. News like this really bothers me. I hope our members of the WTU bargaining unit (our teachers) will do something to stop this nonsense that is taking place. We all need to do something to protect ourselves and the organization of which we are a part of... WE ARE THE UNION.


WTU Vice President Candi Peterson has agreed to hold off on her lawsuit against the Union in favor of handling the dispute through informal mediation or arbitration. However, after first seeking arbitration itself, WTU has reversed itself and is now plowing ahead with litigation.

In response to WTU President Nathan Saunders’ aggressive litigation tactics, Ms. Peterson has been forced to file a standard of conduct complaint with the D.C. Public Employees Relations Board [PERB] contesting her removal. In her complaint, Ms. Peterson alleges that her removal was “based entirely upon a personal affront taken by WTU President Nathan Saunders to Ms. Peterson’s exercise of her right of free speech.”

Ms. Peterson’s attorney, J. Michael Hannon, has requested PERB to take immediate action to return Ms. Peterson to office, saying “removal of a duly elected labor leader is a fundamental abuse of the rights of the entire labor organization to representation by its duly elected officers.”

In a filing with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Mr. Hannon has asked the Court to order WTU to arbitrate the dispute. In addition, Mr. Hannon has requested that WTU post a $250,000 bond to ensure that Ms. Peterson’s legal expenses will be paid by WTU as required by her contract.

Ms. Peterson is concerned by the legal tactics. “I don’t understand how President Saunders can use union money to fund his legal attack against me. This is purely personal on his part, and I expect other union members will object when they realize that his temper may cost WTU half a million dollars in legal fees.”

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