Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mark Sammartino, recent candidate for office of the Pgh Federation of Teachers, may have written in an email:

This got sent as an email and I think it is legit.

I cannot begin to express my appreciation to all of the PFT Members who have given me, and the entire TFC Slate, such incredible support over the past year. I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet and talk with so many of you. I have learned a lot about your thoughts and concerns with respect to the PFT’s role in supporting you and I will continue to share your opinions at Executive Board Meetings. Additionally, I want to congratulate Nina, Jason Bell, and the members of the CCEU Slate who won positions on the Executive Board.

I am obviously disappointed at the results of the election; however, I do respect the membership’s decision. I am dismayed at the paltry vote total. Approximately 50% of our members did not vote. I cannot fathom this. The source of my frustration isn’t that I believe that I may have won with better participation; rather, I am amazed at the apathy of our colleagues. For the PFT to provide strong representation for its members we must have full participation in our union. Both the CCEU Slate and the TFC Slate sent out several mailings informing our members about their options. The fact that 50% of us didn’t participate is inexcusable.

Throughout the campaign the TFC Slate has been talking about the importance of the membership’s opinion and solidarity. Now that the election is over we all need to do everything we can to unite our membership. This process must include seeking out the 50% of members who didn’t vote, find out the source of their apathy, and get them involved. Our profession continues to be under attack by a plethora of groups. For us to defend our rights, educate the public on the true aspects of our jobs, and protect our members, we must be united. This doesn’t mean that we will blindly follow where the Executive Board leads; it means we must participate fully in our Union and ensure that our elected leaders take us down a path that is dictated by the membership. I am very hopeful and optimistic that Nina will be responsive to the membership and lead us down a path that is dictated by the members.

Once again the TFC Slate and I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement. We ask that you not only continue your participation in our Union but that you increase it.


Mark Sammartino

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