Guam – The Guam Federation of Teachers has elected Tim Fedenko its new President.
Current President Matt Rector posted the results on his Facebook page and they are:
Election results for GFT President
1. Tim Fedenko : 195 votes
2. Carol Taitano Somerfleck: 134 votes
3. Edward Quintanilla: 6 votes
Rector told PNC in a phone interview Sunday that Fedenko will take over the position of GFT President on June 20. Rector said he will be leaving Guam to return to California on the 22ed.
The voting was conducted over the past few weeks. Mail-in and walk-in ballots were accepted. The votes were counted Saturday morning and the results released shortly afterwards.
In a phone interview Sunday, President elect Fedenko said he will “continue moving the union forward,” but he acknowledged that he has to do “a little healing on the inside to get everyone back in the right direction.” The turmoil within the GFT in recent years has “split the union for a little bit” and he said he will “extend a hand” to all sides.
As far as the teachers are concerned, the union contract is his top priority, said Fedenko, although he said there are a number of important issues with the other bargaining groups he will be representing at the Hospital, the Port and with the bus drivers.
Fedenko said he agrees with outgoing President Rector that the teacher’s union contract is still in effect until August because that is what the minutes of the Education Board’s meeting last November show.
However the Board, on advice of attorney, subsequently ruled last December that an extension had to be signed. Rector refused to sign the extension, and Fedenklo said he too would have refused to sign because the extension authorized some change to the original contract that the union had not agreed to.
However, Fedenko noted that the spirit of the contract is being honored by everybody, “even though according to some people its null and void.” However, the expiration is coming up soon in August so negotiations to re-new the contract must get underway in earnest soon.
Fedneko is currently a teacher at Price Elementary. He told PNC News he plans to continue teaching while carrying out the additional responsibilities of union President.
Somerfleck has not yet returned a call for comment.