Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Press Release: ICE-UFT Demands Transparent and Efficient Ballot Count and Reporting Results by the American Arbitration Association (AAA)

New York, NY – The Independent Community of Educators within the United Federation of Teachers (ICE-UFT) is demanding that the American Arbitration Association (AAA) implement a transparent, efficient, and equitable ballot counting process for the upcoming UFT elections, including those for the UFT Retiree Chapter, Paraprofessional Chapter, and all other contested elections. ICE-UFT insists that all members, regardless of caucus affiliation, must be treated equally and provided with equal access to observe and participate in the ballot count and access to all data generated during the entire election process.

(See Education Notes for more background: Can AAA Competence, Management and Reporting Process be Trusted in UFT Elections?)


This demand follows numerous issues observed in previous elections, including inefficiency and delays on the part of AAA, frequent machine jams, and extremely limited observation opportunities for members. Additionally, concerns have been raised about private communications between the UFT officers, all members of Unity Caucus, to which others were not privy, and AAA, as well as delays in announcing results. During past UFT election counts, requests for school-by-school data were denied, with AAA stating that only UFT officials had access to those reports.


“Transparency and fairness are non-negotiable in our union elections,” said Norm Scott, spokesperson for ICE-UFT. “We demand that AAA conduct the ballot count in a manner that is open, efficient, and equitable, ensuring that representatives from all caucuses have the same opportunities to participate and monitor the process. Any deviation from this standard undermines the integrity of our elections and the trust of our members.”


ICE-UFT’s demands include:


1. Equal Access for All Caucuses: Representatives from all caucuses must have identical opportunities to monitor the ballot count and raise any concerns in real-time.

2. Transparency in Procedures: AAA must communicate and adhere to clear, consistent procedures throughout the counting process to ensure transparency.

3. Efficient and Accurate Counting: The counting process must be carried out with utmost efficiency and accuracy to reflect the true will of the UFT membership.

4. Access to All District and School Data: Full access must be provided to all district and school data related to the elections to ensure complete transparency.

5. Access to ballot process during the voting period: Regular reports on numbers of ballots received, a report on number of ballots that were returned due to wrong address, number of ballots returned past deadline of reception, modification of the 8AM due time in final date of return to account for late mail delivery.

6. Prompt reporting to all caucus election committee reps on day of the count instead of being told to wait for the official AAA report.


ICE-UFT emphasizes the critical importance of these measures in the ballot counts for the UFT Retiree Chapter, Paraprofessional Chapter, and all other contested elections.


“These problems have cast doubt on the integrity of the election process,” continued Norm Scott. “We cannot allow these issues to persist and compromise the democratic principles our union stands for.”


ICE-UFT’s call to action comes amid increasing concerns about potential discrepancies and biases in the ballot counting process. By demanding these measures, ICE-UFT aims to uphold.


This press release is intended for immediate distribution.


For more information or to arrange an interview with Norm Scott, please contact him at (917) 992-3734 or via email at normsco@gmail.com


**About ICE-UFT** 

The Independent Community of Educators within the United Federation of Teachers (ICE-UFT) is dedicated to advocating for the rights and interests of educators and supporting democratic practices within the union. ICE-UFT works tirelessly to promote transparency, fairness, and inclusivity in all union activities.

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