The SDEA Election Committee has not certified the petition submitted by a group of teachers to recall SDEA Board member Dennis Schamp. According the to the Committee, 149 of the 158 signatures submitted were valid, and 161 were required to trigger a recall vote. According to Committee Co-Chair Kandi Nieto, they used the SDEA membership list that was updated immediately before Thanksgiving (and we’d like to reiterate how helpful and hardworking the members of the Elections Committee are!).
That magical “161” number was the one that SDEA staff refused to provide to the Elections Committee or the recall petitioners in advance.
Forced to do our own calculations, we had estimated that 149 was actually the required threshold. The signature gatherers had sought to safely exceed it with a cushion of several signatures. Now that the recall is over, several ARs in Schamps’ Board seat area have requested their school’s membership list from SDEA Contract Specialist Larry Moreno (the staff gatekeeper of our union membership list) to verify the number of members the Elections Committee counted. Only one AR actually received a list from Moreno. There were indeed multiple members on the list who haven’t been at that school in years, indicating that SDEA’s “161” number is probably inflated.
We will be investigating a possible challenge about the recall based on SDEA’s many instances of not complying with their own Bylaws and obstructing the process, as well as the union leadership’s collusion with the District to crack down on recall-related communication.
But far more important is the work we all need to do together in looking ahead. Thanks to all of our collective efforts over the past eight months, we have all helped to build an active union membership that is now paying close attention to our leadership’s actions, which is how democracy is supposed to work! And together we have built a solid foundation as we shift our focus to holding our current union and District leadership accountable for honoring our contract this spring, and gearing up to win all six SDEA Board seats that are open this March. And we know how doable that is, because in the middle of fighting to pass Prop. 30, defeat Prop. 32, and recall members of the SDEA Board, we also successfully campaigned to elect Claudia Weimer to the SDEA Board. We can do this together.
A stronger, more transparent union is within our reach if we all stay involved!