The incumbent Collective Bargaining Team has prevailed in the Philadelphia Federation of Teacher’s internal leadership election.
With about 70 percent of the vote, CB defeated the Caucus of Working Educators, which promoted a “social justice” ideology with aims to expand the union’s focus on the issues that affect the district’s most disadvantaged students.
With CB’s victory, incumbent president Jerry Jordan has won his third straight election. In 2012, he went uncontested. CB has led the union since 1983.
“It’s clear that the membership has confidence in what we’ve been doing, and they want us to continue, which we’re grateful for,” said Jordan. “It’s my goal now to do everything I can to get a contract.”
WE’s challenge brought the most robust internal leadership battle in decades. Presidential hopeful Amy Roat, an ESOL teacher at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, said she’s disappointed by the outcome, but not disheartened.
“We’re ready to stand with all the members of the PFT, and we really just want to fight for a stronger and more engaged union,” said Roat, who said WE members would continue their grassroots outreach and advocacy.
She said WE would specifically work to strengthen building committees and get more members involved.
Roat didn’t rule out another run at leadership in four years.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in four years, but our caucus will live on, and we have lots of work to do and we already have plans set for that,” said Roat.
Of about 11,500 PFT members, 46 percent cast ballots in the election. CB received 3,348 votes for its entire slate. WE garnered 1,429 votes for its entire slate. Another 528 votes split between the two factions.
PFT members have been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2013.