Today was election day at my school. I was running for Chapter Leader to replace the woman who has held the post the past six years, mainly because no one bothered to run against her I was told.
It turned out to be a three-way race as the woman who has been our UFT delegate since forever also decided to run for chapter leader. It was a close vote, but she won. I came in second and the incumbent a distant third.
I am only slightly disappointed to have lost. Being Chapter Leader is a lot of work and I have enough to do. What really disappoints me is the voter turnout. Only 74% of the voters eligible bothered to cast ballots. At a time when teachers are under increasingly strident attack as the cause of whatever educational miasma might be affecting the nation’s students and teacher jobs are threatened, 100% turnout should be the norm.
What the teachers in my school don’t seem to understand is that their union is only as strong as the members’ willingness to stand up for themselves. Voting is the first step. I think my victorious colleague is going to have a long walk.