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Washington Teachers Union Elections Pushed Into Motion

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By Kavitha Cardoza

After an investigation into why Washington Teachers Union elections haven't been held yet, it's parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers, is calling for the election process to start immediately.

Elections were supposed to have been held in May but internal disputes stalled the process. Seven hours of testimony and five witnesses later, the AFT committee decided to restart the clock on the elections. Which means the current WTU President George Parker can run for office.

The Vice President Nathan Saunders had filed a lawsuit accusing Parker of not having submitted paperwork in time. The investigative committee also decided that Saunders should receive back pay. His salary was suspended because he hadn't completed reports.

David Strom, attorney for the AFT says teachers who were working as of June 30th, including those fired last month, will be eligible to vote.

"This election under normal circumstances would have occurred in the Spring of 2010. So the committee wanted to make whole those members, that there should be no one disenfranchised because of the delay," says Storm.

Now, election ballots will be mailed in mid-September and the final vote conducted on October 4th.

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