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Orange County teachers association president, board relieved of duties

OCCTA President Diana Moore, officers, board of directors removed

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association was placed in administratorship as OCCTA President Diana Moore, other union officers and board of directors were relieved of their duties, the American Federation of Teachers said.

The AFT's executive council voted Wednesday on the action.

"The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws. The current president, Diana Moore, has refused to comply, believing she is above the union's governing documents. This has led to members' rights being denied, their voices not being heard, member services being diminished, and an increasingly dysfunctional union," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Today's action, while permitted under the AFT constitution, is rarely exercised. It's intended as a temporary measure to restore credibility and order and to return democratic rights to members."

The AFT said it received the first complaint a year ago from other OCCTA officers, which led to an investigation, a December 2014 report and follow-up steps by the AFT and the FEA, including making recommendations and appointing a monitor to address issues involving the local's leadership.

According to the AFT, an investigative committee created in June found:

  • "Willful disregard of the bylaws' authority on separation of powers between governing bodies
  • "Interference with membership representation responsibilities and authority
  • "Repeated systemic and intentional internal election misconduct, even when those elections have been under the supervision of the state affiliate."

The AFT said it has concluded that Moore has circumvented procedures outlined in local governing documents that provide checks and balances to ensure union democracy and to protect against the concentration of power in any one individual.

"Unfortunately, nothing has worked after months of trying, and the local's ability to govern itself as a democratic institution has deteriorated," Weingarten said. "Our union is our members, and they deserve a union that works for them, the people they serve, their communities and our country. This transition is intended to rebuild a union worthy of its members' trust."

Weingarten has appointed Dennis Kelly, an AFT vice president and former president of the United Educators of San Francisco, as the local's administrator. LaFrances Trotter, who served as the AFT monitor, will be Kelly's chief of staff.

Local 6 News has reached out to Moore for comment.