Finances in order, but election improper - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Finances in order, but election improper

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Guam Federation of Teachers members will have to wait a while longer before they find out the results of the American Federation of Teachers' investigation into the local union's election of officers and changes that were made to the constitution. Wednesday night during a membership meeting, the AFT released two of its findings and called for the union to unite. 

Their books and finances are in order, but one thing the AFT Western Regional Director Solomon Smith said wasn't legit was the way GFT went about electing delegates to attend the AFT's July convention.  GFT President Matt Rector said it was more of technical error involving an amendment to change the date of that election.

"And so technically, we violated the constitution when we were elected delegates at the time but in reality obviously there is no intent because the amendment had already been made," he explained.

Western Regional Director Solomon Smith expanded his investigation into the GFT's activities to include the election of officers in 2008 and amendments that were made to the constitution in 2008.  Those results, however, will not be made public until after Smith consults with AFT attorneys and president Randy Weingarten.  Smith also called for the GFT to come together and to not let issues destroy their unity. 

Captain Mark Charfauros with the Guam Police Department said, "I was kind of disappointed that there is dissention our union and I basically called for unity and we have to have this unity because the union is a major force against the dictatorship practices of managers that we are experiencing."

"When it comes to it, the power of the union is obviously members working together for a common goal and hopefully all of our members will start doing that," stated Rector.

But despite the call for unity, union member and outspoken critic of Rector's leadership Carol Somerfleck's husband was banned from attending last night's meeting, for now she says she'll be patient and wait to hear further from the AFT. 

"I'm going to wait and see, I'm going to wait and see for change coming from them if they are going to be open and respectful to the members and when we have inquiries they are going to respond to them appropriately and within a timely basis," said Somerfleck.

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