1. Election outcome would have been different had one person voted “no” instead of “yes.” Having a contract ratification vote this close is, well, unheard of. It represents an unprecedented division among members on what the members want in their contract. There is no unity. While it is understandable that some faculty jumped at the chance of two 1% percent raises over 3 years because they thought they never would see a raise again, we commend those faculty who went for the long term principle instead of the short term pennies (btw, we received information on good authority that Gil openly told a faculty member that no one will be getting any other raises for at least a couple of years, until the bond money kicks in. So, you know that big raise the union president told us more than once we’re going to get in 2015, in hopes of getting people to ratify the contract? I hope you’re not holding your breath.).
2. Election abnormalities (see “Election Woes,” February 3) acknowledged by union treasurer who says that we will “just have to do better next time” (Bush v Gore, anyone?).
3. Election challenge filed, per the CCFT Constitution below: Article 9, “Elections,” Section 7. “Challenges to Election Results” a. Challenges and objections on matters conducted by the Elections Committee must be submitted in writing, with a statement of supporting reasons and facts, to the Elections Committee within five (5) days of the action taken by the Elections Committee for which the challenge or objection is being made. The Elections Committee shall issue its written opinion regarding the challenge or objection no later than five (5) days after receipt of such objections. The Council of Representatives shall have the authority to overrule the opinion and decision of the Elections Committee.
4. Challenge was timely filed within the requisite 5 days. Union president claims that 5 days includes weekends. Most know that 5 days is five “working” days. A union president should know this, must know this. It’s in the CCFT contract for goodness’ sake:
Appendix A, “Definitions:” C. “Day” is a day when the District office is open for business.
5. Union president claims that challenger must be a union member. See relevant section above. Nothing is specified with regard to who may file a challenge. See other areas of the constitution which specify “member” or “fair share fee payer” when a certain category of bargaining unit member is meant. Not so with Section 7.
6. The 3-person Elections Committee says it doesn’t know how to approach the challenge even though the union constitution spells it out in Article 9, Section 7. Challenger of election is told to contact union president. Now, this is where the whole process seriously begins to fall apart. The Elections Committee was created to have a buffer between the EB and the electorate to maintain neutrality and at least the appearance of propriety. That did not happen here. The Elections Committee did not abide by Article 9, Section 7, by not issuing an opinion on the challenge. Instead, the union treasurer responded to the challenger. Do you see what is happening here? The Elections Committee has no apparent knowledge or authority on matters like this and turns it all over to the EB, who by its own constitution, has no place in the matter and should have stayed completely out of it.
The union is flagrantly and openly violating its own constitution.
7. Union president is told that she is obliged to postpone the Board of Trustees vote on February 4 on the TA because there is an active challenge regarding the election. Not only did union president urge the BOT to adopt the TA, she, according to a faculty leader, “bragged about winning the ratification election by two votes.” The union seems to be run by a tyranny of two: the union president and the treasurer. Debra Stakes and Mark Tomes are the only two officers on the board. Someone suggested to us that since we are looking at Article 9, Section 7 of the Constitution, we might also take a look at Article V, “The Executive Board,” Section 8, “Recall of Executive Board Members.”