From: Williams, Heather D.
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:51 PM
Cc: Dejuliis, Ralph
Subject: RE: Merger Vote -- Expires 7/22/09 -- Read on own time!!!!
After further discussions with other local presidents, it has come to our
attention that it is not appropriate to handle internal union business through
SSA email. You will receive further information via mail soon. Please make sure
your address is correct on the AFGE.org website.
We will no longer respond to internal union business via SSA email. Please email
any internal union business to our personal email addresses listed below.
AFGE Local 3291 Sec./Treas
Jonesboro, AR, District Office 758
870-931-7433 Ext. 228
I sent the following email in reply:
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009
Good Afternoon, Anna!
Are you ok? Everyone has been emailing you; you haven't replied; Heather has.
Should we take Heather's email that your membership's vote will not be honored?
Has she kidnapped you? Do your members and I need to saddle up our white horses and come to free you?!
Anna, you said that you were France, i.e., neutral. When the members asked for a vote, two of the voting options YOU laid out involved email. There was no effort at that time to seek advice. Now that the members have voted 55 to 15 in favor of a merger, discussions are being held with other "local Presidents"?
You made decisions based on what was easiest for YOU, not a meeting, not a mail ballot. You got the members vote. One-half of your membership voted. That is absolutely extraordinary!! Even in hotly contested elections, Unions are lucky to get 20% of their membership to vote; you got 50%; and, an overwhelming, super majority of those voting voted in favor of a merger!
Ignoring the will of the
membership is an abuse of power and a betrayal of the principles of Union
democracy. I would hope that is not the path you choose to follow.
As you are well aware, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has defined "internal Union business" VERY NARROWLY. In fact, the only subjects are (1) recruiting new members and (2) officer elections. So, this vote was not internal Union business as defined by the FLRA.
You may recall that the effort to organize Russellville and Fort Smith (internal Union business) were dependent on the use of SSA email, SSA phone, and SSA facilities. SSA email has been your primary or sole method of communication with your reps since you became President. I find it surprising that the contents of Heather's response to your members would meet your approval, but hope that your intentions are to respect the democratically held vote of your members.
I know what the vote was since you had the ballots returned to yourself, me and Heather: the members voted 55 to 15 in favor of merger.
You still have a chance to make it right. I think you should respect the democratically held vote of your members rather than the advise some unnamed local president who obviously doesn't give a hoot about your members' desires or their overwhelming, 55 to 15 vote.