As stated in the May 27, 2017 article below, UFT Solidarity, in an effort to finally make the election process fair, filed a number of election complaints against UFT Unity. Not only did the US Department of Labor (USDOL) decide to take the case, but the investigators hit the ground running. Our members were questioned and we gave evidence and names of other witnesses. Those names were then called, and they were questioned as well. For those UFT members familiar with the shoddy work of the DOE’s investigative agencies, the USDOL’s investigation seemed like a breath of fresh air. It was something we had not seen before.
The investigation was going strong for nearly 2 months. Could it be that someone, somewhere, is going to be held accountable? That the group in charge of the union, and it’s large piggy bank of millions of dollars for over 50 years, was going to have the election playing field leveled? UFT Solidarity owed it to the many hurt members who lost trust in their union. This wasn’t about sore losing and reversing the election outcomes. This was about bringing the union to work for its members again and restoring trust.
Then, out of nowhere, we received a a call and a letter from the NYC US DOL Office that was investigating. US DOL central in Washington, was pulling the plug, after 2 months, The reason? Timeliness issues.
When any union member files an official election complaint, they have to follow strict timelines as stated in in their union’s constitution and bylaws. This is according to the USDOL’s Office of Labor Management (OLMS). This holds true for the appeal to the national. We had to deal with UFT and AFT in this case. None of which had any set timelines in their constitution, that we had to adhere to. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) runs the election and they destroy all records after a year. UFT Solidarity filed within that timeframe in order to preserve all the tens of thousand of ballots and records.
The USDOL called our timeframe in appealing to American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, “unreasonable.”
Not one to give up, and still try and bring fairness to our union election process, UFT Solidarity filed an appeal with Deputy Director of OLMS Andrew Auerbach.
We have not heard back, but here is the letter below. We will keep you posted. The NYC USDOL office did contact us to tell us that despite the cancellation of the investigation, before the next election, they will be speaking with the UFT about their procedures and what was alleged.