BTU Election - Transparent and Fair
Many Baltimore City Public School teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, librarians, and staff members are part of the Baltimore Teacher's Union. The Union works to support teachers with labor grievances, as well as fight for fair contracts for all Baltimore City Public School staff.
It has come to our attention that the guidelines for running for president/voting are unclear and often challenging for teachers and faculty to participate in. Some of the issues include:
- Polling places for voting as of mid-April have not been announced
- Polling places often are located in inconvenient locations
- Voting is only available from 7:30am-5:30pm
- Candidates required to report to BTU headquarters to pick up embossed petitions to collect signatures to get on the ballot
- Candidates are required to obtain 50 PSRP signatures in order to run for BTU president, even though many PRSP are not BTU members and there are few PSRP at each school
- Candidates do not have access to membership lists
- 50 teacher and 50 PSRP signatures must be obtained and no more than 25 can be from any one school - unclear meaning (25 teachers and 25 PSRPs from one school, or only 25 of one or the other?)
- Candidates may not communicate via mailboxes or inter-office email
- Candidates have been verbally told not to email using school system email accounts in regards to Union matters
Some solutions to this include, but are not limited to:
- Immediately announcing polling places
- Extending voting until 7:30pm
- Have online voting on Blackboard available
- Provide all forms electronically to all BTU members via email
- Require 20 PSRP signatures, or disregard this qualification at all
- Allow candidates access to membership lists, or disregard any need for candidates to petition for office
- Provide clear, understandable guidelines for elections and when questions are brought up, respond in writing to all concerns for documentation
- Allow BTU candidates to communicate with BTU members
- Clarify when using school email for Union matters is appropriate
Many of us have emailed Ms. Randi Weingarten, President of AFT, to ask about these concerns, with no response. Therefore, we have created this petition to show the BTU that we will fight for fair and transparent elections in Baltimore City.
Please sign to agree that you would like to see change in transparent elections for the BTU 2015-2016 Presidential election.