Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rumore wins in Buffalo - Too Bad for Stronger Together and Chaos in Hawaii over 2 opponents --

Phil Rumore supported Revile NYSUT last year. There was hope Buffalo could join the other big cities with reform union leadership. 34 years of Rumore running this operation. Jeez.

And from the oft-anti- union Educational Intelligence Agency (EIA) comes this news on the election in Hawaii where the losers are fusing to leave. As Glenn Tepper emailed: This is deja vu all over again, circa UFT 1980's…

Glenn is referring to the 1985 UFT election where the opposition won the high school VP officer position for the only time in history and Unity protested the election for that position - an brazen abuse of democracy, since the UFT under Unity had been in charge of the election. A decade later they changed the constitution to make sure this could never happen again by removing the elections of divisional VPS from the divisions and allowing everyone in the union to vote for them (at-large voting).

If the opposition ever begins to get close in the UFT, they will just keep changing the rules to keep themselves in power - how about every retiree gets to vote twice - or have their votes weighted by years of service?
No Aloha After Union Election
Posted: 18 May 2015 10:26 AM PDT
Hawaii State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe was term-limited out this year, leading his vice president, Joan Lewis, to seek the post. She was challenged by Corey Rosenlee, a member of the union’s board of directors. Rosenlee ran on a slate from the Hawaii Teachers for Change caucus, who want to transform HSTA “from a business model union to an organizing union.”
There was a long delay in announcing the outcome of the election until finally HSTA told members there would be a runoff for the office of vice president. But the union didn’t disclose the actual vote counts, nor did it certify the results for president or secretary-treasurer.
The runoff was held, but in a marathon session on Saturday the union’s board of directors voted not to certify the results of either the first election or the runoff, citing unnamed irregularities.
This caused a firestorm of protest, particularly after secretary-treasurer candidate Osa Tui revealed he had lost the initial vote to Teachers for Change candidate Amy Perruso. Tui then withdrew from the race.
Angry activists are peppering the union’s Facebook page with demands for transparency, while conspiracy theories begin to float around. A Change.org petition has been posted calling for all details of the votes and the board meeting to be made public.
It’s still too early to call this type of thing a trend, but the days of simply anointing new union presidents do seem to be gradually coming to an end. 

Back to Buffalo, where we hear our blogging pal Sean Crowley won election to the exec bd. He should only make Rumore's life miserable.

707 for Rumore, 344 for Foster and 299 for Bruno. They are within not too many votes to force a runoff.
All three say they're disappointed with turnout -- a little more than 1,300 of the union's 3,400 hundred members voted.
But Foster says his and Bruno's combined 643 votes to Rumore's 707 shows there's a place for new leadership and ideas in the union.
Interesting how many unions have provisions for a runoff - natch - the UFT doesn't.

Phil Rumore Re-Elected President of Buffalo Teachers Federation


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- BTF President Philip Rumore says it's an honor to be re-elected to the position he's held for 34 years, but he knows the next two years will come with their share of challenges.
"We've got negotiations, we've got the APPR," said Rumore. "I look forward to working with all of them -- Marc Bruno, Pat Foster, and all the campaigns.  We've got a lot of work to do, so we've got to pull together."
Both challengers say they plan to stand behind Rumore, but they expressed concerns with the election process.
"One concern we had was in past elections, there was a two-step process:  the outside envelope was opened and the ballots were separated on the first floor...and then in the basement, another step was taken that was behind closed doors, with a window.  That was improved this time, that everything was done on the first floor," said candidate Patrick Foster, who received 344 votes.
Candidate Marc Bruno, who received 299 votes, says there's a chance he may contest the results.  He says some of the union's bylaws and election procedures are vague and outdated, and questions he posed to the election committee weren't answered.  He also believes parts of the federal law that regulates union elections were violated and has concerns about how ballots are counted.
"You have a bunch of counting teams reading off numbers, and there is potential for human error.  Our observers had different numbers than the counters came up with, so that's a problem," said Bruno.
All three say they're disappointed with turnout -- a little more than 1,300 of the union's 3,400 hundred members voted.
But Foster says his and Bruno's combined 643 votes to Rumore's 707 shows there's a place for new leadership and ideas in the union.
"We also feel that there's other teachers that've been in the trenches, in the classrooms currently, and are seeing how these regulations have manifested themselves and how they impact the teacher who's in the classroom right now," Foster said.
All say a main priority will be negotiating a new contract for teachers, who've been without one for the past 11 years.
"We're going to start, within the next week or so, picketing board members' houses, turn up the heat on them.  They've gotta come around and say, 'Look -- these are our employees.  We need to treat them right," said Rumore.  
Ultimately, each candidate says it will be important for the union to band together to face these issues.
"Solidarity, you know, you hear that all the time," said Bruno. "So, whoever the winner is, you want to support them and move forward and do what's best for students and teachers."

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