Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Though I Walk Through the Valley of Pajaro, I Will Fear No Election

Democracy malfunctions aren’t limited to teachers unions in the heartland, it seems. Out on the West Coast, the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers just elected a new president … sort of.

The story begins with the defeat of PVFT’s 14-year incumbent, Carolyn Savino, at the hands of vocational teacher Francisco Rodriguez, by a 259-232 margin. The day after the vote count revealed that Rodriguez had upset Savino, however, local weekly Good Times reports, the union’s executive committee met to put the loser in a full-time job while cutting the president-elect (“not invited to the meeting”) down to a half-time job. One executive board member summarized the problem for Good Times: “there really was no transition plan. There was nothing in the bylaws. The last time there was an election it was 1993.”

Savino subsequently challenged the veracity of the election itself, demanding a re-vote. Santa Cruz Sentinel education reporter Matt King blogged what happened next:

After hiring herself to help Rodriguez learn his new job and ensure a smooth transition, and getting the union’s executive council to back her because her continued service is critical to the union, Savino went on vacation.

Give Savino some credit, however — the California Federation of Teachers did just give her their “Dedicated Unionist” award.

Categories: Anti-Corporate CampaignsSEIU