Guam – Over three months ago the American Federation of Teachers sent a regional director to investigate number of complaints involving the Guam Federation of Teachers. Wednesday the AFT announced its findings involving the validity of the 2008 Guam Federation of Teachers election. However Sol Smith says GFT’s books have passed inspection.
Smith’s investigation stemmed from a letter that was written in July 2010 by GFT member, Carol Somerfleck to the AFT President. Somerfleck’s main complaint was that the election for the delegates to the AFT conference in Seattle this past July, was not done according to the GFT’s constitution.
While on Island this past September, Smith expanded his investigation to include the validity of GFT’s 2008 election for their current officers and the current amendments.
On Wednesday Somerflecks said she is pleased to see that AFT did come out with a document that showed that there were violations.
Somerfleck says,”The one complaint that stood out was the one that I brought forth about the delegates and how they were improperly picked the delegates to the AFT convention. Other things that they brought up were the concerns that constitution was followed in regard to past elections. And when they passed amendments to the constitution. So these things have to be watched very closely.
Somerflecks says GFT’s executive council needs to assure that they follow the constitution, it’s not only for union members, but also for the union leaders to follow it too. Reacting to AFT’s findings GFT President Matt Rector says, “First off, our books and Finances are crystal clean. Our staff and our treasurer did a great job and everything is in order. He also adds everything that Smith said in his findings about the election, the GFT already knew.
Rector, “We knew that the election committee, in review had made a couple of mistakes . Its a hard thing as an officer , the election committee is made up of volunteers . If you are running for office you can’t have anything to do with the committee. It was a good over sight and this time we are going to make sure that the election committee cross their T’s and dot the I’s.”
Somerfleck says the AFT did not look into the formal complaints surrounding the 2008 election of GFT officers and amendments to the constitution because the complaints over these matters didn’t come at a timely matter. She says even though two years had passed, she wanted to let the AFT know this is how GFT’s executive board conducts business.
Somerfleck says these things need to be addressed before the next election which is set for Friday February 25th. She says the candidacy period starting on January 21st. Rector says the candidacy packets will be made available soon.
Rector say this information should have been brought out and will be ready for distribution.
In regards to the upcoming election for GFT’s executive officers on Feb 25th , Smith says he may be back on island to observe the election process.