Challenged by a slate of HSTA officer candidates backed by "Teachers Work to the Rules", HSTA union bosses are refusing to certify or even announce the election results. Instead, they are calling for a re-vote citing "irregularities."
Old Guard vs 'Work to the Rules' Slate
- President: Joan Lewis vs Corey Rosenlee
- Vice president: Colleen Pasco vs Justin Hughey
- Secretary-Treasurer: Osa Tui vs Amy Perruso
UPDATE May 21, 2015 -- Joan Lewis HSTA Conspiracy Theory
KHON: Rosenlee and two other candidates say the only reason board members nullified the results is because they didn’t like who won. They say if another election is held, they will try to stop it by going to court....
Rosenlee said the election committee certified the results, but the board then turned around and nullified them, which is a conflict of interest because some of them are also running for office.
“What happened here is our election committee is unbiased and they certified the race, but many of the people that were deciding to approve the certification themselves were on the ballot or they heavily campaigned and they didn’t like the results,” Rosenlee said.
Joan Lewis, current vice president and Rosenlee’s opponent for the president’s seat, says the board followed the rules. “Only the board can certify the election and the board did not certify the election,” she said.
As for board members wanting a different result as the reason for having another election, she says that’s an insult to all the board members who are teachers themselves.
“Somehow, after years of service on behalf of teachers and on behalf of students, just decided to have no integrity and join effectively in a conspiracy against him and his team,” Lewis said.
The union plans to hold another election on June 2. This time teachers will have to vote in person, but Rosenlee and other candidates who feel they already own their election plan to stop that.
Rosenlee also questions having teachers vote in person over a three-hour period on a school day.
“There are teachers that have graduation that day. There are teachers that are trying to get their grades done. It’s the day right before students leave and so you’re asking a tremendous thing of our teachers,” he said.
read ... Battle
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Wil Okabe: Disappointed by Public Announcements
Statement from Outgoing HSTA President Wil Okabe May 21, 2015
I am extremely disappointed that some candidates running for HSTA offices have chosen to violate HSTA’s procedures and protocol with their recent public announcements. And instead, have chosen to disrespect the decision made by their fellow teachers on the HSTA board.
The Board of Directors of HSTA did not certify the results of the earlier vote because of serious discrepancies that were reported in the election and voting process. Numerous reports were provided to HSTA staff and board members that teachers did not receive their ballots either by mail or email. This included several board members who personally reported that they did not receive ballots.
In addition, potential violations in the way that candidates conducted their campaigns were also reported. And errors occurred in handling the ballots including the premature release of the email ballot count, and not giving candidates the opportunity to visually observe the vote count, which is their right according to our election rules.
A board meeting was held on May 16 to consider the certification of the vote. And after more than 12 hours of deliberation, the board felt that the election was seriously flawed. And, as is their right, the board chose to not certify the vote. And subsequently, by a 2/3-vote of 21 to 8 (out of 29), decided to hold a re-vote to help ensure that all teachers had a fair opportunity to participate in the election process.
A process for the re-vote was developed that would allow for a fair election. This includes operating voting locations across the state on June 2. In addition, any teacher that is unable to go to one of the polling locations can submit an absentee ballot. This process is similar to the system used by HSTA for contract ratification votes and has resulted in a high level of participation by teachers.
I know that this has been a difficult situation for the candidates, the HSTA board members, and all of our member teachers. And I understand the frustration felt by everyone involved. But I want to assure everyone that the HSTA board is acting in the best interests of their fellow teachers to ensure a fair election. And I encourage all of our members to participate in the upcoming re-vote on June 2.
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Here are the details from the Teachers Work to the Rules Facebook Page May 16, 2015:
Clearly an Outrage
by Andy Jones Gilchrist Haas May 16, 2015
We all need to address what is clearly an outrage!
Osa Tui, who ran against Amy Perruso for Secretary-Treasurer, has openly admitted, against the Board of Directors' desires, that he lost the election to Amy, has said that he does not want his name on the second ballot, and has suggested that it is time to accept defeat and move on.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Board refused to certify the election BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE WINNERS!
This is costing thousands of dollars and will likely give the public yet one more reason to hate our union and unions in general!
PLEASE go to the HSTA Facebook page and demand that the election results be published, together with the minutes of yesterday's meeting! #TellUsNow!
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Public Email from Osa Tui:
Aloha friends, May 16, 2015
The HSTA elections that you helped me with were tabulated on Saturday, May 2. While the results were not announced because of the runoff election for VP, I did see that I received fewer votes than my opponent for the Secretary-Treasurer position. While I wanted to thank you at that point for your efforts, we were not allowed to reveal the results.
You will be hearing shortly that the HSTA Board of Directors voted tonight in a marathon session and by a necessary 2/3 majority to not certify the election for various reasons and that a revote will be conducted. I am not a Director on the Board so I do not know the specifics of that discussion.
On Sunday, May 3, the day after I saw the initial results, I informed the appropriate HSTA staff and officers that should the Board decide for any reason to not certify the election, I should then be considered as withdrawn from the race.
While I do not want to dismiss the efforts you went through on my behalf, I do hope that you will grant me a pass on my decision to not continue seeking the Secretary-Treasurer position. In the two weeks that have transpired since the initial results came in, I have come to peace with the results and have started thinking forward to other things. Please do not send condolences - I will still continue in my position on the Negotiations Committee working for you and for the rest of our members.
I wish Amy Perruso the best of luck in guiding our union as HSTA's next Secretary-Treasurer.
Have a speedy next few weeks as the school year comes to a close and a wonderful and restful summer!
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Petition: Return integrity to HSTA
In this age of declining union strength, when the government minions of corporate America seek to upend the collective bargaining rights that built America’s middle class, it is imperative that unions act with integrity and solidarity. Without these two ideals continuously exposed to the light of public scrutiny, unions are destined to impel the suspicion of those who do not enjoy similar rights. It is even more critical that union leadership maintain the faith and support of their membership to ensure the union is not splintered from within, accelerating the union’ demise.
Thus, the actions of many of the Hawaii State Teachers Association’s Board of Directors in
1) refusing to certify a democratic election process, in
2) refusing to publicize the original election results, in
3) refusing to delineate the specific “irregularities” concerning them, in
4) refusing to specify which Directors voted to reject the election and his/her personal stake in said election, and in
5) refusing to verify that these “irregularities” were so grievous as to cast the election results in doubt, have displayed an egregious breech of ethics and trust.
Therefore, we the signers of this petition, concerned teachers and parents and students, are demanding that you address the concerns listed above immediately. Publicize the original elections results, the number of specific complaints from teachers who were not allowed to vote due to irregularities, determine whether or not that number constitutes a percentage high enough to invalidate the original election, certify the original election if they do not, or alert the membership within the next 5 school days of the election process that will be used to hold a new (third) election – including guarantees that both parties will be present at each polling site to ensure there are no further “irregularities” as we build a union strong enough, united to withstand the onslaught we face daily.
LINK: Sign Petition