We Demand a Referendum on AFT-W Merger
We, the undersigned members of AFT-W, demand the AFT-W Executive Board conduct a referendum on the issue of merger with WEAC and ask this referendum question,"Should AFT-W and WEAC merge under the terms and conditions set forth in the documents drafted by the Unity Committee of 2013? Yes or No"
We ask the referendum be conducted and completed during the November 2013 thru March 2014 period.
BACKGROUND. AFT-W has been a democratically managed organization since 1931. The AFT-W Constitution, Article XII pages 10 and 11, permits the AFT-W Executive Board to order and conduct a referendum of all members. It also allows 5 or more AFT-W locals representing not less than 10% of the total AFT-W members to order the Executive Board to conduct such a referendum.
This petition is a petition from members of a wide variety of locals, to the Executive Board to order such a referendum.
RATIONALE. Locals in AFT-W have a long tradition of delegating to a small group of members the authority to negotiate a tentative contract with management. Once that tentative agreement (TA) is reached the proposed contract is provided to ALL the members of the local and ALL the members have the opportunity to vote on the contract in a ratification vote. If a majority of members vote yes the tentative contract is ratified. If a majority votes no, the bargaining team goes back to work.
Contracts, as important as they are, only relate to one local.
The AFT-W WEAC merger agreement relates to ALL LOCALS and ALL MEMBERS IN THE STATE FEDERATION.
It is imperative that ALL members in AFT-W have the power and authority to decide our future as a union. Thus we demand an up or down vote on to merge or not to merge at this time and that we voice our decision through the referendum process.
To not conduct a referendum on the merger issue would be a violation of the democratic process that AFT-W has operated under for the last 82 years.
It is wise for the AFT-W Executive Board to accept this membership petition and order a referendum.