Pat Santeramo, the longtime president of the Broward Teachers Union, will not be in charge of the union while he is under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission and the Broward State Attorney’s office for his handling of union dollars.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports today: “After more than four hours Tuesday, the union’s executive board announced that it would vote Dec. 7 on whether to remove President Pat Santeramo after accusations that he blew $3.8 million in union reserves, was overpaid $30,000 and used dues to reimburse top union leaders and their relatives for campaign donations.”
Santeramo is also a vice president in the American Federation of Teachers, which, according to the The Miami Herald, will “have an administrator step in, as Santeramo deals with two state investigations into his handling of union money.”
Mark Pudlow of the union’s state affiliate, the Florida Education Association, tells the Sun Sentinel: ”‘Those who would like to see unions go away will seize on this.’ But he said merit pay and budget cuts make it more important than ever to have a strong union advocating for teachers.”
The Broward Teachers Union has 13,000 members who work for Broward County Public Schools, and is a member of the Florida Education Association, which represents “122,000 members who work in Florida’s public schools, colleges and universities.”
Broward County Public Schools, the sixth largest public school district and the largest fully accredited public school district in the nation, serves almost 257,000 students, with a staff of more than 36,000 employees.