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Hearing May Move D.C. Teacher's Union Closer To Vote

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By Kavitha Cardoza

Representatives from the Washington Teacher's Union and the American Federation of Teachers will provide testimony at a hearing Friday morning. This will be the next step in determining when teachers in D.C. can vote for a union president.

Last month the AFT declared an emergency "administrator-ship" and called for the local election process to start immediately, under their supervision.

Elections have long stalled because of internal disputes. The two sides ended up in court, a judge ruled there was no "emergency," but she left open the possibility the parent union could conduct the elections in the future. Which brings us to the hearing.

The election is especially important because the new president will play a critical role in implementing the newly negotiated contract. And George Parker the union president admits he hasn't been focusing on the contract, because he wants the elections "done right."

"When we are sure we will send ballots to members who are eligible and not those who aren't. Because we don't want to do an election that's overturned," says Parker.

After the hearing an AFT council will vote on a recommendation. This doesn't rule out the possibility the two sides will end up back in court.


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