Local 73 Members file an appeal to the election!
The Members Leading Members team is proud to have fought hard to bring all Local 73 Members the opportunity to vote in a contested election.
Despite the obstacles created by the trustees, such as terminating 8 senior staff members, changing the bylaws to eliminate our original slate, and rampant election fraud in both the signature phase and the campaign phase, we managed to elect 8 executive board members from our Slate!
We want to congratulate the following Members Leading Members executive board members on winning their region to serve their union:
Region 2: Lester Coney and Mike Wilkes.
Region 8: James Gahagan.
Region 9: Rick Pratl.
Region 10: Diane Avila, Denise Daniels, and Mark Yates.
Region 11: Justus Fortado.
This week, the Members Leading Members Slate and its supporters have met and decided to file an internal appeal with the election committee, followed by an appeal within 30 days to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The out-of-state trustees used union resources, and the International Union’s help, to their advantage, and still only won by 370 votes. In a labor union with almost 29,000 members, there were just 2,300 ballots returned. This is indicative of something much greater than members simply not voting.
Lots of members that we had conversations were disgusted with the service they have received from the out-of-state trustees for the past 2 years. In almost every unit we visited, members said they were worse off now than they were prior to the trusteeship. In a show of protest, around 26,000 members threw away their ballots and did not participate in a long-overdue contested election to choose their leadership.
Members Leading Members was founded as a progressive coalition to challenge the trustees to do a better job of representing the members of Local 73. Therefore, we have appealed the election results and have asked the Department of Labor to conduct a new and fair election soon.
These are just some of the charges have filed with the Department of Labor:
· The trustees violated election laws and the Local 73 constitution by using Union staff and resources, such as lists that were not made available to Members Leading Members.
· Changing the constitution and by-laws prior to elections, which is a violation of the LMRDAs, as well as international by-laws.
· The International president, Mary Kay Henry, allowed the out-of-state trustees to run for office with just a 6-month membership, while the constitutional requirement is 2 years. This notice disenfranchised many members who may have wanted to run for office who were only members for 6 months.
· Hundreds of voters did not get ballots. When they called the 1-800 number provided, they either did not receive a ballot, or got it after the election was over.
Remzi Jaos, the leader of Members Leading Members and candidate for President of Local 73, has fought for members for over 27 years.
As the Higher-Ed Division Director, he has negotiated 19 master contracts with wage increases ranging from 3% to 30% per year.
For the past 10 years, Remzi grew the Higher-Ed Division at Local 73 from 2,600 members to over 4,000 members by negotiating residual titles into existing contracts, resulting in thousands of members gaining higher wages and collective bargaining rights.
His mission is to hire the best representatives possible and give all the members of Local 73 the same opportunity: stronger contracts, higher wages, and solid representation.
Remzi Jaos conducted the first strike in Local 73 in over 30 years with UIC professionals, resulting in higher wages for over 800 members.
Remzi also negotiated contracts for city colleges, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratories, Governor State University, as well as first contracts for Loyola and the University of Chicago faculty.