The U.S. Department of Labor has asked a federal court to order a new election of officers for the Washington Teachers Union, alleging that irregularities marred the vote that gave the District of Columbia union its first elected officials since an embezzlement scandal toppled its leaders in 2002. The American Federation of Teachers took over the local affiliate in 2003 and conducted the disputed election by mail in late 2004 and early 2005. The Labor Department complaint, which stems from objections raised by several losing candidates, says the union failed to mail ballots and notices to all its members in time and allowed retired teachers to vote, violations of federal law and union bylaws, respectively.
Both the WTU’s president, George Parker, and the AFT contend that the election was fair and called any problems technical.
A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2006 edition of Education Week