Friday, May 22, 2015

Labor Notes and EIA's Antonucci on Hawaii "Stolen" Union Election

Three days after the board meeting, in an email to union members explaining the decision, the board majority claimed that “many” members said they hadn’t received email or paper ballots, and that there’d been possible ethics violations about where in schools the campaign materials were put. - Labor Notes
In the new math in Hawaii, many = about a dozen.

For us the important thing is that the challengers - the winners of the election -- are MORE kindred spirit. Believe me - if MORE were ever to get close to winning an election - or practically any piece of the election in the UFT -- I have no doubt similar stuff would happen. The only reason Unity doesn't steal elections is that so far they don't have to.

The incumbents who lost - and I assume would be Randi supporters in the AFT -- are using the same kind of phony crap Unity used in 1985 when Unity claimed irregularities in the one VP (HS) vote they lost - and managed to end up getting a new election 8 months later - which they lost even worse -- but they kept the opposition out of office for a long time. And then they regrouped to win that VP position back in 1987 - and changed the constitution in 1993 to take the power away from the high school teachers so the opposition never wins another VP position.

In Hawaii from reports below, about a dozen teachers didn't get ballots - which apparently were sent out to them after the complaint - and the people in power are using that to toss out the results:

As reported in Labor Notes:

Stolen Election? Reformers in Hawaii Fight to Take Office

Remember the Hawaii teachers who in 2012 led a statewide work-to-rule campaign against low pay? This spring they won the top three spots in the Hawaii State Teachers Association—but the union’s board of directors is refusing to let them take office.
The board has kept the vote results secret, citing vague irregularities—and ordered a new election.
Teachers Corey Rosenlee, Justin Hughey, and Amy Perruso ran for president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer of the 13,000-member statewide local. They were backed by a reform caucus, Hawaii Teachers for Change.
Votes were cast April 13-24, and the results were supposed to be certified May 4. But board members delayed announcing the outcomes—claiming they were waiting for runoff results for the vice presidency, since no candidate for that post had won a majority.
The union’s elections committee certified the tallies. But after the May 15 runoff, the board voted not to certify results for any post.
- See more at:

Mike Antonucci, who comes from the right/libertarian wing but is a great reporter did a great job in putting general info together.  Check out his site for the videos.

Here is Mike's text:
A Pu Pu Platter of Hawaii Union Election Stories
Posted: 22 May 2015 11:09 AM PDT
It all hit the fan yesterday in the Aloha State as the challengers in the recent Hawaii State Teachers Association elections went to the press to make their case. Each of the media outlets had its own details and takes on the situation.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser story gave us information about the vacated results:
Rosenlee said he won the top post along with his running mates, King Kamehameha III Elementary teacher Justin Hughey for vice president and Mililani High teacher Amy Perusso for secretary-treasurer. Rosenlee said he and Perusso each won their races outright by more than 150 votes, noting that only 26 percent of members voted. Hughey, meanwhile, won a runoff election against current HSTA Secretary-treasurer Colleen Pasco, but Rosenlee said the union hasn’t released that vote count.
It is significant that the challengers all won, but a 150-vote margin among 3,300 ballots cast is still pretty close.
Honolulu Civil Beat reports the challengers may file for an injunction against any new election. They also claim HSTA’s allegations of voting irregularities lack evidence.
When asked by email why the union is not releasing more specifics on the number of teachers who complained about missing ballots or why the election issues weren’t addressed before holding the runoff, Okabe said only “it is an internal matter.”
Rosenlee — who was present at the board meeting and voted in favor of certifying the election — and his running mates argue that the “only verified claim” involved complaints from approximately a dozen teachers who said they did not receive a ballot.
“In each instance, it was acknowledged that HSTA staff had promptly rectified the situation by providing a ballot and the member was able to cast a vote,” their press release said.
“Despite being requested to do so, HSTA has refused to release any information regarding any of these allegations,” the release said. “The manner in which these concerns about the election were raised and considered violated the HSTA’s Bylaws.”
At a press conference Thursday evening, Hughey said that the company hired to conduct the election sent a letter to the union saying it stood by the election results.
The HSTA Board of Directors is responsible for certifying election results but, as Labor Notes reports, some of the board members who voted on the certification were candidates, and voted after knowing the results. This is reportedly a violation of the union’s bylaws.
The KHON-TV broadcast presented the official HSTA line and gave short shrift to the challengers.
Hawaii News Now went in the other direction, focusing on the challenger’s charges, and offering the HSTA position as a sidebar.
It’s hard to imagine that this will end well for the HSTA incumbents, even if a new election goes forward, but we will keep you updated as circumstances warrant.

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