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Call for AFT-W to Give Members the Right to Vote on Merger with WEAC

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Call for AFT-W to Give Members the Right to Vote on Merger with WEAC -- Deadline 12-10-13 2PM or So

Unless the AFT-W Board changes course at its upcoming meeting on December 10, members of AFT-W will be denied the opportunity to vote on whether AFT-W should merge with WEAC.

If you believe that all union members should have a say about the proposed merger, please sign and return this petition now.

We are not urging you to vote for or against the merger; we are simply asking that the entire membership be allowed to vote on this important issue.


We, the undersigned AFT-W members, call on our Executive Board to allow the full membership of AFT- Wisconsin to vote on the issue of whether AFT-W should merge with WEAC by acting at your Dec. 10, 2013 meeting to replace the referendum question approved at the Dec. 4, 2013 meeting with the following question, as requested by the presidents of seven union locals and the members they represent:

Should AFT-W and WEAC merge under the terms and conditions set forth in the documents drafted by the Unity Committee of 2013?

Summary of What Has Transpired in the Last Few Weeks to Deny Union Members the Right to Vote:

The following provides a detailed account of recent actions by the AFT-W Executive Board to prevent a vote on the merger by the AFT-W membership, even after the presidents of 7 union locals surveyed their members and requested that the above question be put to a vote of the entire AFT-W membership.

1. At the AFT-W October 2013 annual convention delegates dealt with resolution #12 "Call for A Special AFT-WI Convention to Vote on Merger With WI Education Assoc. Council."

The Fiscal Policy & Auditing Committee of the convention reported out a recommended amendment to Resolution #12 proposing to conduct a referendum with the membership voting on the merger issue rather than delegates to a special convention. That amendment failed.

The original motion was then taken up and passed. The original motion states that the delegates to the special convention will decide the merger issue.

2. After the convention, a number of members, concerned that the membership was not being given the Right to Vote on the merger issue, worked together to see if a group of local presidents would decide to submit a request to the AFT-W to conduct a referendum on the merger issue and this language for the referendum was proposed:

"Should AFT-W and WEAC merge under the terms and conditions set forth in the documents drafted by the Unity Committee of 2013?"

Note: AFT and NEA national have not released the merger documents.Delegates at the Oct. AFT-W convention voted on Resolution #12 without seeing the documents.

In addition at the special convention in April 2014 the delegates will be prohibited from making any changes to the merger documents.

3. By the Monday, Nov. 25th deadline, seven local presidents representing over 808 members called for such a referendum. Per the AFT-W Constitution, a referendum was thus "ordered" for the above question.

These leaders are:

MATC Madison Local 6100 President Mike Kent

AFT Retiree Council Local 8047R President Kathy Monaghan

WPEC Local 4848, President Greg Georg

Chippewa Falls Teachers Local 1907 President Amy Jarosz

UFAS Local 223 President Aaron Crandall

Ashland PSRPs Local 4232 President Cindy Seeger

PERSA Local4999 President Deb Holt

4. Then the AFT-W president transformed the presidents' request into a referendum on another issue and turned the referendum into a proposed constitutional amendment without consulting the 7 presidents making the original request. (Such a constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 vote in favor to pass.)

5. Then a majority of the AFT-W board at a special meeting 12-4-13 voted (with 4 No votes) to formally adopt language turning the referendum request into a Constitutional question dealing with the issue of should the AFT-W Constitution be amended to require merger votes to be held by referendum not convention delegates (note: this is not the specific language.)

6. At this time, under Robert's Rules, the constitutional question referendum will become that on the ballot unless the majority on the Executive Board changes their minds.

To do this the Board must make a motion to reconsider the referendum language motion passed at the last meeting, then move to repeal that part of the motion dealing with the referendum question and then move to replace it with the above referendum question intended by the 7 presidents.

This petition calls upon them to do that.

Thank you for reading and hopefully signing!

Buzz Davis, AFT-W retiree

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