Los Angeles teachers defeated the president of their union and most of its leadership last week in favor of a longtime rank-and-file activist and most of his slate of newcomers. The ouster marks the first time in the union’s 35-year history that an incumbent president has lost an election.
A.J. Duffy, a special education teacher, won the presidency of United Teachers Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union local. He polled just under 60 percent of the 11,200 ballots cast, defeating John Perez.
The union, an affiliate of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, has about 41,000 members. Most members of Mr. Duffy’s United Action slate were also elected.
Mr. Perez’s loss was widely seen as related to negotiations over the teachers’ contract, which have gone on for more than 18 months. In his campaign, Mr. Duffy promised to return the union to a position of greater power and to fight district bureaucracy in the 740,000-student Los Angeles Unified system.
A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week