Guam – GFT President Matt Rector has sent a letter to Governor Felix Camacho informing the Governor that the union staff members at Guam Community College are no longer represented by the Guam Federation of Teachers.
However that remains in dispute and it is not yet clear whether the Governor will accept the letter.
The letter from Rector states that “the overwhelming majority of union members in the GCC Bargaining Unit have requested to separate from GFT.” And as a result ” The Guam Federation of Teachers … does hereby renounce and withdraw any and all claims of exclusive recognition for the faculty of the Guam Community College, effective Friday August 27.”
The move to separate from GFT was initiated by GCC’s Barry Mead who has previously stated that GCC union members are seeking to form their own local under the American Federation of Teachers. The AFT has yet to certify GCC as a separate bargaining unit.
Rector’s letter effectively leaves GCC’s 65 member bargaining team without union representation at this time.
Meade told PNC News he believes Rector’s letter is “a violation of federal law.” He said “we are still paying our dues and we have not been notified of any changes in our status.”
When contacted for comment, GFT President Matt Rector said “That was their choice” to leave the GFT. “They voted for it.”
However, Mead emphasized “We are not leaving the union .. and we have informed Rector of that.” He said “We still want to be part of the AFT, we just want our own local.”
Mead says he did inform the GFT Executive Council of the vote by GCC members to withdraw. 54 of 59 union members at GCC voted to withdraw from the GFT. However, Meade says the letter also informed the GFT Executive Council that the withdrawal would be “contingent upon the approval of the AFT” for GCC to form its own local, “and the effective date would not occur until such approval was attained.”
Mead says he has contacted his Attorney, Dan Sommerfleck, for advice on their next step.
The concern says Mead is that Rector has not signed the GCC contract yet. Rector’s action, if accepted by the Governor, would void their contract.
Mead has previously claimed to have found discrepancies in GFT’s budget. A charge which Rector has denied.