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Archive for the tag “standing rules”

Breakfast Club Supporters Break Campaign Rules

I originally typed this entry a week ago.  I’ve been hamming and hawing about posting it.  But, I can wait no longer, because our union members deserve the truth.  

All this talk about running a “clean campaign” seems to have been all for naught. 

It seems that The Breakfast Club’s supporters have just been caught using the District E-Mail Server to promote their slate of candidates.  (Names have been removed to protect the innocent…but I know who did what.)

Here’s the text of the email that was received by one of our members just a few days ago:

******************************************************************************

From: A Teacher at My School
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 8:07 AM

Subject: sdea vote

Im sending over a flier with my recommendations for the election in April. They go against Schamp and SDEA but these people want to fight to improve our salaries and not just buckle and cower to the district/board.


A. Teacher

***********************************************************************************

This was the attached flyer:

 spring-2014-flier81

******************************************************************************

Personally, I like how the sender assumes that they are “…going against Schamp and SDEA.”  My role in all of this is to get someone in charge of our union that will work for everybody.  How is that going AGAINST SDEA?  I sure wish I knew.  I always assumed that the people in charge should be working for everyone in the union, not just pushing the agenda of a small few.  “…buckle and cower…”   Hmmm…getting the district to honor our contract, returning our money, and coming to us with an extra, unasked-for, returned furlough day, adding another 1/2% to our pay.  That certainly sounds like we’ve buckled and cowered.

However, I digress…

Let’s check our standing rules, shall we:

E. Campaign Finances and Use of Unit Resources (5/25/11)

5. District email addresses and/or systems shall not be used for campaigning.

  •      Using district email servers to support a campaign?  CHECK!

11. All campaign flyers/materials must include a disclaimer stating that the view and opinions expressed are those of the candidate and not necessarily those of the unit, CTA or any of its affiliates

  •     Failing to note that this campaign email is not supported by CTA, NEA, or SDEA?  CHECK!

Now, it’s not in the campaign rules (as far as I’ve been able to find), but I do believe there is a rule in place that forbids/prohibits members from doing Union business on District time.  And yet…If you not the time stamp on the email, you’ll see that this campaign email was sent out 37 minutes after the starting bell at our school.

  • Sending a campaign email at 8:07 am, during our contracted work hours?  CHECK!

What’s the Verdict?  Three clear violations of our standing rules. Not supposed violations, where you have to go and dig deep to discover the truth for yourself…but actual, on-the-front-page violations.

Shocking?  Not really.  For all their bluster about being above board and transparent, the Breakfast Club and their supporters are out to take over our union at any cost.  If that means breaking rules that are clear and unambiguous…well, apparently those rules apply to everyone but them. 

Is this the type of union leadership we want?  People who subvert the democratic process when it suits them, while pointing fingers at those who follow the rules?  If this is happening during the campaign process, just think what could happen should they take office.  Go ahead…I’ll give you some time…

I urge all of the members to break away from the subversive Breakfast Club and join me in supporting The Strength and Unity Party for SDEA.  It’s the right choice – especially where truth is concerned.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the comments of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other organization, group, or breakfast pastry.  However, now that a Sonic has opened much closer to my house, I’ll be supporting their Texas Toast breakfast sandwich.  

More Lies My Waffles Told Me, Part 2

Number 2 in a series…

If you’re “lucky” enough to be on the Breakfast Club mailing list, then you may have received an email about the upcoming campaign…and the attempt of the Club’s members to once again derail an election and discredit the opposing candidates.

They even want you to keep an eye out for funny business.  That’s funny, when they’ve participated in so much of their own.

Their claims – That the Strength and Unity party have violated two tenants of the SDEA election rules.  Let’s peel back the paperwork and analyze their claims…and the actual truth:

In a previous post by the Breakfast Club, members have complained that Bill Freeman, our current SDEA President, has violated several campaign/election rules by supporting one party over another.  This claim was shot down during a Rep council meeting with facts from our election committee.  These are the rules they cite for this claim:

Election Standing Rules: D11, E8, E10:

D11: Candidate’s Rights
a. Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates
b. Each candidate shall receive a copy of the election timeline, procedures, and guidelines.
c. Each candidate shall have the right to a list of the name and address of work sites and the number of Active members at each site for the purposes of campaigning.

E8: Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates. Treating all candidates the same by refusing to honor requests for distribution of campaign literature at candidate’s expense (with the exception of Procedures 7‐10 above) is not permitted.

E10: A candidate cannot use the official logo of the unit or official logo of the unit or official Association title in a way that suggests that the candidate has the support of the unit, CTA or any of its affiliates. This prohibition includes candidate email addresses.

D11-a: During this campaign, all candidates have enjoyed the same privileges.  They have the opportunity to ask others to campaign on their behalf.  It’s a time-honored tradition to have incumbent officers endorse a candidate for their office.  Happens in this country all the time.  Bill happens to support the Strength and Unity Party.  While he is the president, he is also a teacher and a union member, and is free to support whomever he chooses.  Sounds like the Club is just upset that he’s not supporting them.

D11-b: No question this was handled above board, since all of the candidates have had their names/faces in the public eye for weeks.

D11-c: I imagine this list is theirs for the asking.  Any candidate worth their salt would take advantage of this clause.  So, no question here.

E8: I wonder if anyone has asked Bill to distribute campaign literature from the Club. Can’t really answer this. However, as long as Bill is not saying I Am Your President And I Demand You Vote For…, then there’s no foul.  He’s allowed to endorse anyone he chooses, because he is also a private citizen, a teacher, and a member of SDEA.

E10: Note the key words “A Candidate.” A candidate cannot use their official SDEA title or office when campaigning.  None of the flyers have the current SDEA titles of the Strength and Unity Party on them, so I’m wondering what the problem is.  Bill Freeman is not a candidate; therefore, this rule doesn’t apply to him.

The challenges against this election are disappearing faster than waffles at the Hotel Del buffet.

Hang in there, team.  With truth comes clarity.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the musings of me, myself, and I.  I do not represent any other individual, group, or breakfast pastry.  Please vote for the members of  the STRENGTH AND UNITY PARTY.  They are what’s right for SDEA and will lead us to better days.

More Lies My Waffles Told Me, Part 1

If you’re “lucky” enough to be on the Breakfast Club mailing list, then you may have received an email about the upcoming campaign…and the attempt of the Club’s members to once again derail an election and discredit the opposing candidates:

They even want you to keep an eye out for funny business.  That’s funny, when they’ve participated in so much of their own.

Their claims – That the Strength and Unity party have violated two tenants of the SDEA election rules.  Let’s peel back the paperwork and analyze their claims…and the truth:

Election Standing Rules E5, E8

5. District email addresses and/or systems shall not be used for campaigning.

8. Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates. Treating all candidates the same by refusing to honor requests for distribution of campaign literature at candidate’s expense is not permitted.

Earlier this week, the Strength and Unity Party of SDEA, through their own expense and time, released campaign postcards into the United States Mail.  These cards were addressed to various members at their school sites.  These cards were not issued by SDEA, nor were the addresses given to the candidates by SDEA.  The Breakfast Club claims that:

This is information that we only provided to the District, and which is accessible to the SDEA membership in only two ways:

  • Someone at SDEA, who has access to the District lists, has provided this information to the incumbent slate. This would be a use of union resources.
  • The incumbent slate has accessed Power School to get member information to use for campaign mailers. This would be a use of District resources.

Hmmm.  Every teacher’s name is listed in the public section of a school’s website.  It only takes a few clicks to see who works where.  The address of the school is also on that website.  A PUBLIC website.  Even my Great Aunt Myrtle could find out who works where in our district and send that person a letter, a request to buy Girl Scout Cookies, or…if so inclined…a postcard in support of candidates.  Is the same information on a district list? Sure.  Is it in Power School?  Maybe…I’ve never looked.  Is it also out in the World Wide Web, publicly accessible by anyone?  Damn straight it is.  If you have factual evidence that the Strength and Unity Party accessed any district records or used district information to get these addresses, then please provide it so we can all see the evidence.  If not, well…

More in the next issue…

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the musings of me, myself, and I.  I do not represent any other individual, group, or breakfast pastry.  Please vote for the members of  the STRENGTH AND UNITY PARTY.  They are what’s right for SDEA and will lead us to better days.

SDEA Spring Election Challenges and Interpretations

It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback.  Watch the others do the job, then swoop in after the fact and tear apart every facet of the work being done.  It is also easy to interpret information to support one’s own agenda.

The Breakfast Club recently released a long, point by point armchair quarterback version of the recent elections.  And I’m accused of having too much time on MY hands…

Within their lengthy diatribe, they attempt to discredit the current election challenges through their interpretation of the standing rules and regs of our election procedures.  Some of these comments sound as if they have merit.  Others give the impression of the “were desperate to take over the board and this is our last chance to do so” variety.

Oddly enough (or maybe not), their long post of violations doesn’t include the violation by their own members with regards to (as they call it) The Email Heard ‘Round the World.  Many of the problems noted by the Club stem from this particular violation.  If their member hadn’t campaigned for their slate of candidates over the district email system, we might not be at this point.  Whether or not Carter was a candidate or not, whether he knew of the rules or not, his email in support of Club contenders violated our rules.

Now, their long list of other violations reads like a police blotter.  All of them come from section nine of the standing rules.  All of them can be interpreted in several ways.  Obviously, since their candidates did not win outright, they choose to interpret them in such a way as to cause shame towards your SDEA leadership and the election committee.  Rather than dive through every rule and show its true meaning, I’ll hit a few highlights of importance.

SR 9.1.E.3 (Procedures) Candidates will receive confirmation from the SDEA office that their Declaration form has been received either by email, US mail, or a written receipt when hand delivered.

When I submitted my own documents for reelection, I made sure BEFORE I arrived at SDEA that I had all of my paperwork in order, that I had dotted my Is and crossed my Ts.  That’s my responsibility as a candidate.  Should Ms. Marble have received a receipt?  Yes.  Did she verify that she had all of her documents in order?  It doesn’t seem that way, or this wouldn’t be an issue.  Looks to me like blame should be on both parties, not just SDEA.  Perhaps the Club should have worked with their candidates more closely to ensure they were ready to run. What you don’t know: After this had all been discovered, Ms. Marble was given the chance to come down and submit her documents to the election committee AFTER THE FACT.  That’s right – the committee noted the error and made attempts to correct their error.  Ms. Marble chose not to accept that offer, and was instead turned into a write-in candidate.  End of story.

SR 9.1.I (Vote Requirement) All vote requirements shall be established in accordance with CTA guidelines.  Unless otherwise specified, all elections shall be decided by majority vote.  Write-in votes are valid and must be counted.

And they were.  Ms. Marble received several write-in votes, the majority of which were counted.  End of story.

SR 9.1.J.4.b (Counting of Ballots) Blank and/or illegal ballots for each office/position shall be set aside.  Examples include the following: Voter’s intent unclear; 

As the item states, “Examples include the following….”  Not “Illegal ballots are LIMITED TO…,” or “Ballots w/o the bubble colored in will still be counted.”  The election committee determined that the ballots w/o a proper vote (the circle colored in on the scantron sheet) were invalid and were set aside.  Hmmmm…if a student taking a test on a scantron wrote the letter of the answer on the scantron rather than coloring it in, I’d mark it wrong because he didn’t follow directions.  The voters didn’t follow instructions – their ballots were not counted.  End of story.

SR 9.1.I.1 (Vote Requirement) A majority vote means more than half of the legal votes cast.

This is the one that really made me angry, especially after the snarky, rude, and condescending speech by Shane Parmely at rep council.  She spoke to election co-chair Karen Ellsworth as if she were admonishing a first-grader about their homework.  Her tone of voice was so vile that groans and cries of “That’s enough” could be heard during here outburst.  Here’s the real story –

According to the election committee, the teller sheets for the board elections stated a victory would be comprised of 50% + 1 of the legal votes cast.  If memory serves, there were 97 votes cast for this particular board seat (mine!).  10 were disqualified, leaving 87 legal votes.  Ms. Marble received 44 of those votes.  Math time:

Problem 1: 87 / 2 = 43.5.

Problem 2: 50% + 1 of 87 = 44.5

Problem 3: Math teachers are supposed to know that when one rounds a number, you round up at 5-9.  Since there can’t be 1/2 a vote (unless you’re only half a person!) we round that number up to 45.

Problem 4: 44 < 45.

Therefore, Ms. Marble did not win by the required majority as stated on the teller reporting sheet.  Hence, the run-off election is valid.

I will say that yes, there is differing information on the SDEA website regarding the majority rule.  The election committee chose to follow the information printed on the OFFICIAL ELECTION DOCUMENTS. End of story.

Is there more?  Of course.  There will always be problems during elections where two groups of unlike-minded people are running for coveted seats on governing boards.  Before you believe everything you read, do your OWN due diligence (like I do) to ensure you’re getting the whole story.  Don’t be a lemming.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the opinions of me, myself, and I.  I do not represent any other person, group, or breakfast pastry.  Especially waffles.  They’re leaving a bad taste in my mouth these days. 

Standing Rules Are Called RULES for a Reason

Don’t you hate opening up your email and finding that most of your messages are just spam.  Not the tasty kind, either.  You know what I mean: ads for medical supplies, requests to join some community or group, people phishing for your personal information.  I’d rather be forced to listen to [insert your most hated musical group here]  than deal with that.

Well, if you’re not careful, you may have to deal with unwanted emails from another source – The Breakfast Club.  I don’t know about you but, personally speaking, that is not something that I want clogging up my email inbox.

At last night’s rep council meeting, Shane Parmely and her Club once again tried to usurp our standing rules in their continued attempt to gather a complete listing of every single person in our membership.  She and her friends – who are behind these insidious recall efforts – want our Union to provide them with the names and contact information of every single member.  They continue to demand that our board  provide them with this information.

This is not the first time this has happened.  Several weeks ago, they tried the same thing, and were turned down…by the head of the election committee.  You know – the people who have been tasked to make sure that the recall procedures are followed fairly.

Of course, when the rules were explained to them, their answer was not “Oh, OK, thanks for the information.  I’ll be sure we do this fairly.”  Oh no.  As expected, Shane and her Club raised Cain, and began spreading lies about our board.  “They don’t even know how many members they have,” their blog claimed. “They’re taking your money for dues and don’t even know who you are,” they implied.

It’s sad to think that, in 2012, educators must resort to throwing tantrums them they don’t get their way…even after the rules are explained to them.  Several times.  By different people.  Here’s the rule:

Standing Rule regarding recalls within SDEA: 

 Section O:

4.  Monies from a unit’s treasury or indirect contributions in the form of use of a unit’s assets, facilities, staff, equipment, mailings, good will and credit, or in‐kind services must not be used in the recall process.

I don’t know about you, but to me that’s pretty straight forward:  Anyone running, initiating, or involved in a recall process CANNOT make use of SDEA staff to get information.

Even a non-union person would understand (I know – I read it to several people, and they agreed with me).  But – rather than follow the rules, Shane again asked the board to release your personal information to the Breakfast Club.  Our Board replied by reading her the rule – again – and telling her no – again.

But wait, she cried.  The secretary of SDEA is tasked with keeping a complete listing of all members within our union.  SHE isn’t a member of the SDEA staff, so SHE would be able to provide the Breakfast Club with our personal information.  Not so, we explained to her.  The membership list is the property of SDEA…NOT the property of the secretary.  That makes it part of the SDEA’s responsibility and therefore falls under the same Standing Rule.  As you might expect, the Breakfast Club didn’t like that.  Voices were raised, yelling again ensued, and rather than listen to the rules, Shane and her group continued their attack.

This exchange from last night’s rep council meeting can only lead to one conclusion: These recalls are not political in nature, but a personal attack against the members of our board.  When a reasonable person is denied a request, and is shown a legal ruling why, a reasonable person would decide to follow the rules.  Instead, the Breakfast Club tries time and time again to break our Standing Rules to get their way.  Their personal vendetta against our union is a slap in the face to our membership.

So, gentle reader, I ask you:  Do you want members of the Breakfast Club getting a hold of your personal information for their purposes?  Do you want emails filled with lies cluttering your in-boxes?  Do want people with a personal vendetta to destroy our union using your email address for their nefarious purposes?

If not, I urge you to write, email, blog, or Facebook on their site and tell them to stop.  Tell them to leave you out of their personal vendetta against our board.  Tell them to stop disrupting our meetings with their yelling.  Tell them to get back to the business of passing Proposition 30 and defeating Proposition 32.

Because THAT’s what we should all be working towards…not a personal attack against the membership of SDEA. .

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the opinions of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other person, group, or breakfast food…unless my kids bring me breakfast in bed – even if they burn the eggs. 

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