Thursday, March 31, 2011


from utla :

UTLA Officer & Board of Director Elections 2011

Election Information (Second Round): Results are in

Ballots were counted at UTLA headquarters Tuesday, March 29, 2011. The results are below:

Warren Fletcher 4,711 (52.59%)
Julie Washington 4,247 (47.41%)

M.J. (Mary Jan) Roberts 3,385 (54.68%)
Ana Valencia 2,805 (45.32%)

Betty Forrester 1,212 (51.51%)
Linda Guthrie 1,141 (48.49%)

Juan Ramirez 4,214 (51.20%)
Ingrid Gunnell 4017 (48.80%)

Arlene Inouye 4,767 (56.08%)
Scott Johnson 3,734 (43.92%)

David Lyell 4,326 (51.45%)
David Rapkin 4,082 (48.55%)

Jose Lara 486 (56.51%)
Phyllis Williams 374 (43.49%)

NOTE: Gregg Solkovits was elected Secondary Vice President during the first round of voting.

The results are pending challenges and must be certified by the UTLA Board to be official. The new officers and Board of Directors members take office July 1, 2011, and will serve until June 30, 2014.


Fletcher wins presidency of L.A. teachers union

By Connie Llanos Staff Writer | Daily Breeze/Daily News |

03/30/2011 07:21:57 PM PDT - A veteran educator scored an upset win to become president of the Los Angeles teachers union, running on a platform of saving jobs and retaining benefits for its 40,000 members.

With just 25 percent of eligible members casting ballots in this week's runoff, United Teachers Los Angeles elected Warren Fletcher to take over as president on July 1. He defeated Julie Washington, a UTLA vice president who had led the field of eight candidates in the union's primary election in February.

< Warren Fletcher

Fletcher's promise to focus on retaining teacher pay, benefits, jobs and pensions puts him at odds with leaders of cash-strapped public agencies, who are demanding sacrifice from their employees.

But in his first interview as president-elect, Fletcher insisted Wednesday he is not "anti-reform."

"I am not saying we should focus on the union's core functions to the exclusion of other things ... but those core functions need to be our priority," Fletcher said. "Teachers need to feel like their union has their back. ... From there we can build the political capital to work on other issues."

Many characterized Fletcher's defeat of Washington as a referendum representing a rejection of UTLA's current leadership.

"We have been operating from a position of weakness for too long," Fletcher wrote on his campaign website. "UTLA can be strong again, but only if the teachers at every school know that there is a real union standing behind them." But current UTLA President A.J. Duffy, who is being termed out, disputed those claims. Instead, he said the vote reflected the district's "calamitous economic situation," which has put some 5,000 teaching jobs at risk.

"I did make some very meaningful changes, and gave my members some very good stuff, until the economic meltdown occurred and made life difficult for everyone," Duffy said.

Fletcher will take the helm of UTLA just a few months after John Deasy, currently the No. 2 administrator in Los Angeles Unified, takes over as superintendent. Together, the two will have to hammer out a resolution to the ongoing budget crisis facing the district.

"We have numerous challenges in front of us," Deasy said. "It's our absolute hope that we'll get to work on resolving some of our problems and creating solutions as quickly as possible."

In addition to financial concessions the district likely will seek from UTLA, overhauling teacher evaluations and eliminating the use of seniority-based layoffs are also viewed as priorities by Deasy and the school board.

Those familiar with Fletcher said they believe he'll be a conscientious leader.

"We endorsed him because we like his thoughtfulness and his willingness to promote civil dialogue," said Mike Stryer, a founder of NewTLA - a progressive caucus within UTLA that is pushing for union and school reform.

Fletcher teaches high school at City of Angels School, an independent and online study program that operates from multiple sites.


Warren Fletcher defeats heavily favored Julie Washington to become president of United Teachers Los Angeles

A coalition of unhappy L.A. Unified workers helps put Warren Fletcher at the head of the union. He plans to focus on bread-and-butter issues.

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times |

March 31, 2011 - For years, Warren Fletcher was regarded by his peers as one of the brightest people in the room, but not someone who someday would head one of the nation's powerful teacher unions, United Teachers Los Angeles.

That assessment had to be revised as of Tuesday night.

Fletcher emerged with nearly 53% of the vote in a runoff against heavily favored union Vice President Julie Washington, a charismatic figure who has long played a central role on the committee that oversees employee health benefits and in contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Washington had the implicit support of top union leaders, but also became linked with hard times, including layoffs and salary cuts, as well as union political setbacks under outgoing President A.J. Duffy.

"Julie was tied closely to Duffy," said Fletcher supporter Dave Peters, who represents substitute teachers in the union.

Interviews with Fletcher as well as union leaders and other teachers suggest that Fletcher pulled together a coalition of the unhappy, including displaced school nurses, substitute teachers and reading and math coaches. He collected votes from union members who want more collaboration with the school system and from those who want to go on strike against it.

"I don't think it's productive to have UTLA boiled down to a silly level of dichotomies," Fletcher, 51, said in an interview. "I can give you dozens of other pairings of folks who want things in conflict with each other," he said. "That is the nature of any large multi-constituency organization."

Fletcher, who ran for president twice before, has repeatedly emphasized his focus on bread-and-butter issues, because, he said, that is his core job. He added that he also serves as a steward for students.

"If when I say I'm going to focus on pay and benefits, you think that means UTLA would be opposed to education reform? That's a nonsensical statement. The fact that I like pizza doesn't mean I'm opposed to spaghetti," he said.

Fletcher's views suggest no sharp departure from current union thinking. He wants more charter schools unionized, for example, and he favors a better teacher evaluation process, but isn't impressed with models that rely on the standardized test scores of students.

"Many teachers see evaluation as a weapon used against them. Instead, it should be a tool," he said, to help teachers improve their craft.

Fletcher was born in Hollywood and went from grade school through college in the same ZIP Code, graduating from Wilson High and then from Cal State L.A. in 1982. Then he earned his teaching credential at Cal State Long Beach.

He worked as a substitute for 17 years, giving him the flexibility to raise his son as a single father. During tight school budget times in the early 1990s, he moonlighted doing telephone customer service. About that time, he also won $11,000 in 22 minutes on "Jeopardy."

Fletcher has learned to tone down his wit, said Mike Dreebin, who co-chaired the union election process and said he thinks highly of both candidates.

"When Warren ran for president before, he actually turned some people off when they heard him," Dreebin said. "Warren sometimes has a sharp sense of humor that I really appreciate," but it rubs some people the wrong way, Dreebin said.

Fletcher currently works as an English teacher at City of Angels alternative school.

Virtually from the start, Fletcher was active in the union, sometimes becoming a thorn to those in power. He helped lead a successful referendum to overturn the leadership's endorsement of a bill that gave Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa considerable control over L.A. Unified. The courts later overturned the legislation.

Underdog Warren Fletcher Wins UTLA Election In a Squeaker

By Gene Maddaus, LA Weekly blog |

Wed., Mar. 30 2011 @ 11:29AM - It's a new day at United Teachers Los Angeles, as underdog candidate Warren Fletcher narrowly won the union presidency.

Fletcher eked out a 53-47 victory over the favorite, Julie Washington, in results announced last night. He'll take over from A.J. Duffy -- who was termed out -- on July 1.

Warren Fletcher>>

Washington was seen as Duffy's preferred successor, so Fletcher's upset win appears to be a rebuke of his leadership.

Fletcher trailed Washington 45-37 in the first round of voting.

He ran on a change platform, vowing to restore the union to its former clout. UTLA has lost influence in recent years, and struggled in the last election to field credible contenders for the LAUSD board against Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's well-funded slate.

Fletcher had the endorsement of NewTLA, a group of dissident teachers who were dissatisfied with the style of UTLA's leadership. Mike Stryer, a teacher at Fairfax High and one of the founding members of NewTLA, said that UTLA leadership has been "demonizing outside forces or not allowing productive dissent within the union."

"Under Warren's leadership that's likely to change, and we look forward to that," Stryer said.

No comments: