GFT counters allegations from former staffer - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GFT counters allegations from former staffer

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - A former Guam Federation of Teachers employee alleging that under new management, the union is being run to the ground.

And although they declined to provide comment initially, the union comes forward to clear the air in the latest post off their website titled "just the facts."

Former senior field representative Debbie Quinata may have come to KUAM claiming she resigned from the union earlier this year saying she was targeted by union management, but they report otherwise saying she was a disgruntled, terminated employee fired for inappropriate behavior and intentional union property damage.

The union continues on to say that although Quinata alleges the union denied her shared sick leave, GFT argues there is no such policy provided in the GFT's Employee Standard Operating Procedures.

In response to her allegations that the union isn't working around the clock to represent members, GFT confirms their office hours continue to be Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 with the exception of holidays.

The union also contends they do in fact represent members and that union stewards remain the first point of contact for members when they need assistance via email, a service ticket online, or by contacting a field rep directly.

And despite Quinata's claims that the position of executive director was recently established by GFT president Tim Fedenko, the union maintains that the position is not new and has been filled in prior years.

This leads to the next clarification - that current executive director Joleen Castro was promoted to executive director from a field representative as authorized by the Executive Council. And despite Quinata's opinion that Castro has no experience to fill the leadership position, the union confirms Castro has performed work relative to contract negotiations for continental airlines and as a staff sergeant with the U.S. Air Force.

Last but not least, despite Quinata's claims that union management has little to no understanding of costs relative to representation, GFT contends they are not an insurance company. They add, "GFT is an organization of working people who have come together to build power in bringing families and voice to their jobs, strengthen the institutions they work, raise the quality and adequacy of services they provide, and advance social and economic justice in their community."

For more on their counter arguments, visit www.gftunion.com

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