The American Federation of Teachers has sent an official response to our appeal about Absent Teacher Reserves not being properly represented by the United Federation of Teachers in the Delegate Assembly.
The next step should be to hear the usual stale answers from the UFT.
We will keep you posted.
AFT A Union of Professionals
Via Electronic Mail and USPS Mail
June 10, 2015
Emil Pietromonaco, Secretary
United Federation Of Teachers
New York, NY 10004
Dear Secretary Pietromonaco:
My office is in receipt of a challenge to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Spring
2015 chapter elections. The challenge was originally sent to AFT President Randi Weingarten. President Weingarten forwarded the challenge to my office so that we can conduct a preliminary review of the matters raised pursuant to Article VI, Section 14(b) of the AFT Constitution, That section allows the AFT president to request that the AFT Executive Council initiate a formal investigation, upon receipt of a bona fide complaint by one or more members alleging that a local officer election was conducted "in violation of the local or state federation constitution, the AFT Constitution, or applicable federal law.. Before the Council considers such requests, the Secretary-Treasurer's office traditionally undertakes a preliminary review to ascertain whether there is in fact a bona fide complaint. The purpose of the initial inquiry is not to resolve all the issues surrounding the election, but, instead, to determine whether the challenge raises material questions that require a hearing for resolution and referral to the Executive Council or whether the election challenge can be resolved based on the complaint and the local's response.
The challenge alleges that the UFT election rules effectively "disenfranchise" Absent Teacher Reserves (ATRs) and thus deny ÅTRs the right to be represented on the UFT Delegate Assembly. The challenge contends that ATRs will be disenfranchised because some may not be working at the site where their chapter election will be taking place since ATRs are not permanently placed in schools. The challengers also express concern that if elected, ATRs will be removed from elective office as soon as they are moved to a new school location. The challenge was submitted by four UFT members: James Eterno, Francesco Portelos, Al Zucker and August Leppelmeier. As you are aware, this challenge was originally submitted to UFT President Michael Mulgrew. The UFT Executive Board voted to dismiss the election challenge on May 4, 2015.
We understand that the UFT has addressed this issue - that ATRs as well as other union members have the opportunity to fully participate as union members at the school where they have been assigned. Part of that participation includes the right to vote in the chapter elections, the right to nominate and be nominated and the right to cast ballots before the close of balloting. We also understand that Assistant Secretary LeRoy Barr provided a report and recommendation to the UFT Executive Board on the issues raised by the complaint and that report was the basis of the Executive Board's dismissal of the challenge.
As part of AFT's preliminary review process, we ask that you respond in writing to the election challenge by no later than June 19, 2015. A copy of the challenge is enclosed. To the extent that there are documents relevant to the challenge, please include them in UFT's response as well. The challengers should be provided a copy of your response to the AFT. Once we have had a chance to review the information concerning this challenge, we will let you know whether or not there are sufficient grounds to proceed to full Executive Council consideration or whether the challenge may be resolved based on a preliminary investigation.
Dr. Lorretta Johnson
LJ : CC