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Education Minnesota, the state teachers union, holds Saturday election for officers

Delegates of Education Minnesota, the state’s 70,000-member teacher’s union, will meet this weekend in Bloomington to elect its president.

Tom Dooher, president since 2007, is seeking election to a third term. He’s challenged by Denise Specht, who’s been the union’s secretary-treasurer since 2007.

Dooher told MPR this week: 

“We need to look at the results and past performance is an indicator of future performance. My performance as president has record attendance, record lobbying, record members being involved and engaging the community like we never have before.”

He said he led the way in defeating a “right-to-work” constitutional amendment.

Specht told MPR that the union needs to listen to ideas from teachers:

 “One of the challenges is connecting what we see in the classroom to those policymakers and I think we could do a better job there.

… [Teachers] want autonomy, they want respect. Let’s elevate our profession, let’s elevate them and give them voice so they can bring what’s happening to their classrooms to the people who matter.”

Dooher ran unopposed three years ago, when he was elected to a second term. He is on leave as a physical education teacher at Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley and had been head of his union local, the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers.

Specht is on leave from her position as an elementary teacher in the Centennial district, where she had previously been president of the Centennial Education Association.

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