Bet all of you who read the official SDEA election results email tonight missed the real headline: We just picked up the SDEA Board majority!
Yup. Two years of work just paid off in a BIG way. Remember, two years ago, immediately after winning on a “No Layoffs, No Concessions” platform, our union leadership took a hard turn towards concessions, towards collaborating with the district, and away from transparency and democratic inclusiveness within our union. And two years ago, a grassroots group of rank-and-file SDEA members decided we were going to do whatever it took, for however long it took, to take our union back.
Today, two years later, that finally happened. Based on the election results announced today, Breakfast Club reform caucus members will hold eight of the fifteen voting seats on the SDEA Board as of August 1. That’s a Board majority!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TEAM BREAKFAST CLUB — that’s all of us who worked these elections over the past two years. GO TEAM US!
But tonight’s results are a mixed bag, and hold some real disappointments. The slim margins of loss make it painfully clear that every vote really counts (or half vote, even… see Nancy Dosick’s results below). Out of sixteen races, our candidates won seven.
- President: Lindsay Burningham 1056, Shane Parmely (BC) 975
- Vice President: Michelle Sanchez (BC) 1011, Dave Erving 987
- Secretary: Scott Mullin 1056, Pat Thomas (BC) 916
- Treasurer: Kisha Borden 1022, Peter Burrell (BC) 964
- Seat Two: Juan Ulloa 288, Gloria Barrios-Andrade (BC) 192
- Seat Three: Ramon Espinal 217, Dan Pugh (BC) 92
- Seat Four: Marc Capitelli 122, Nancy Dosick (BC) 121 (needed 121.5 to win!)
- Seat Five: Matthew Schneck (BC) 145, Patrick Shoettler 79
- Seat Six: Kim Oliver (BC) 344, Heather Poland (227)
- Seat Nine: Tim Halley (BC) 225, Kristen Brown 167
- Seat Twelve: Adam Goldstein 159, Steven Insko (BC) 87
- CTA Seat Eight: Rosemary Pang (BC) 867, Eleanor Evans 720
- CTA Seat Nine: Matthew Schneck (BC) 887, Adam Goldstein 828
- CTA Seat Ten: Gloria Barrios-Andrade (BC) 959, Dave Erving 806
- CTA Seat Eleven: Scott Mullin 947, Norma Reyes (BC) 829
- CTA Seat Sixteen: Lindsay Burningham 1021, Peter Oskin (BC) 747
Tonight’s Board winners will join BC Board members Peter Burrell, Stephanie Marble, Teem Osborne and Jenny Rivera to form an SDEA Board majority on August 1. Did each of us as an individual win? No. But did all of us as a collective win? Yes, we did. And that’s what unions are all about.
Given the massive insult of a bargaining proposal the District just pushed across the table at us last week (parents evaluating teachers, anyone?), we should feel really good about finally electing a union Board majority who will fight back, for the first time in two years! But a good Board with a weak President can only do so much. We’ll have the votes to block bad ideas but we may not have the power and influence to move our good ideas forward.
So what’s next? Doing what union members do: enforcing our rights. The unfortunate truth is that SDEA’s incumbents broke the rules all over the place. We did not get the fair election we deserved. With full-time released President Bill Freeman using union-paid time to campaign round the clock since January, with incumbents accessing office resources to gain publicity and campaign on union time, and with incumbent slate supporters even using the union’s official web resources to promote their campaign, it’s pretty incredible that we pushed them to victory margins as slim as they were. We’ll be spending the next few days compiling the list of all of the campaign violations that occurred, and we may need your help, so keep an eye out.
And no matter what, all of us need to be pulling together and uniting behind our union’s bargaining campaign, or we can get ready to live under the worst contract we’ve ever seen. Fighting tooth-and-nail for a strong bargaining campaign is exactly what our new SDEA Board majority will be working towards, and we’re going to need every single one of you standing with us to make it happen. Union democracy and union organizing are not competing priorities. They are both crucial to a strong union, and that’s what we’re all about!
Shane Parmely, Michelle Sanchez (VP-Elect) and the Breakfast Club Union Reform Caucus