Saturday, July 11, 2009

Randi Goes to Portland As AFT Threatens Local Considering Disaffiliation

Members of local discuss disaffiliation, AFT responds with phony charges and will attempt to put them in trusteeship.

Unity Caucus hackism goes national. Why are we not surprised? Shades of Puerto Rico six years ago. (We did lots on that situation. Search the blog for FMPR.) Time for a national opposition movement in the AFT? I foresee road trips in my future, though Randi jokingly invited me to go to Oregon with her at the Ex Bd meeting the other day. My bags are packed, Randi.

July 10, 2009

OFNHP Local 5017 Relations with AFT National

Portland OR--At 9am Tuesday July 7, approximately 20 representatives from American Federation of Teachers Healthcare national offices arrived at Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5017 and put the health care union under trusteeship, suspending the officers of the executive board including President Kathy Geroux.

Local 5017's three thousand members are part of AFT's Healthcare Division. In June, the Portland local's executive board began to discuss the possibility of Local 5017 disaffiliating from the national organization, an issue that has arisen more than once over the last fifteen years. A membership meeting was scheduled for the evening of July 7.

The purpose of the membership meeting was to provide a democratic forum for discussion of whether we should refer the question of disaffiliation to our members for a vote,” said Theo Harper, Local 5017 executive board member. Instead, the meeting was led by the new trustees of the local and the agenda focused on the trusteeship.

AFT Healthcare National issued a statement that said the Executive Board misappropriated funds and violated the bylaws of the local constitution. The executive board members have not seen the formal charges. The board believes that the allegations refer to Local 5017 funds which were spent on expenses related to the July 7 membership meeting. Room rental and other meeting expenses were paid for out of a budget line item specifically for membership meetings. While membership meetings are not ordinarily scheduled in July, as specified in the local bylaws, the constitution also says that special meetings can be called.

The Executive Board is working on a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. AFT National President Randi Weingarten has committed to meeting with Local 5017 President Kathy Geroux in Portland on July 20.
We believe that everyone on the executive board will be vindicated of all the charges made,” said Kathy Geroux. “We are looking forward to leading our local again after this misunderstanding is cleared up.”

Kathy Geroux, RN
OFNHP Local 5017 Executive President
Bing Wong
OFNHP Local 5017 Vice President of Legislation

1 comment:

roseyJ said...

I am a member of OFNHP local 5017 and I am outraged at the recent seizure of the OFNHP offices by AFT national president Randi Weingarten and her representatives. This was done, according to AFT, because the E-board had violated their constitution (by planning to hold a membership meeting in July) and misappropriated funds (by financing a meeting in July). The meeting's purpose was to ask the membership for a permission to have a vote on disaffiliation. The real reason AFT took this action appears to be to stop that vote from happening. To dis-allow the democratic process as outlined in the local constitution.

Please help us get our union back by contacting the trustees at the OFNHP office 503-657-9974 or the website using the "contact us" button at

Also contact Randi Weingarten at AFT national offices 202-879-4400 or on their website, using the contact us selection.