Defend Public Education

Response to DFT “President’s” Hotline

Posted in Uncategorized by Nicole Conaway on February 9, 2010
The following was posted on the DFT website:
 
President’s Hotline [2.9.10]

Some DFT members have received a flyer stating that there will be a vote to recall DFT President Keith Johnson at the Feb. 11 membership meeting. This is not true. The recall petitions against DFT President Keith Johnson were dismissed because they did not meet the constitutional requirements. If a single charge on the petitions fails to meet the constitutional requirements, the petitions are not valid

We have important business to discuss at the membership meeting. The last two meetings were disrupted by a small group of dissidents. They prevented the membership from being able to receive important information from the elected leadership and from being able to bring their concerns forward. This will not happen again. Members who attempt to disrupt the meeting will be asked to leave by the sergeants-at-arms. Any member who continues to disrupt the meeting will be removed by the police.

We encourage members to come to the meeting without fear that their time will be wasted by this small group of unruly members. We will not allow them to hijack your union.
Mark O’Keefe
Executive Vice President

RESPONSE

First of all, why is the Vice President writing the president’s hotline?

Secondly, they are just making stuff up! THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT FOR CHARGES TO BE DEEMED VALID BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OR PRESIDENT.  Dismissal of the petitions by Johnson’s appointed “recall committee” is like an alleged criminal acting as his own judge to dismiss the charges against him. The recall procedure is described in Article VIII: Recall of Officer as follows:

Section 1.

(a)    Petition for the recall of any officer for violation of his obligation of office shall be initiated by a recall petition clearly stating specific charges and signed by not fewer than one thousand (1000) members in good standing from not fewer than twenty percent (20%) of the schools or work locations.

(b)   No officer shall be subject to recall proceedings without being given at least 30 days written notice of the charges preferred against him and tan opportunity to appear before the membership at a regular or special meeting. Two-thirds of those present and voting at the meeting shall be required to recall the officer.

This procedure is simple for a good reason; to provide guidelines for a democratic process. 

Johnson has been given more than enough notice, we have more than enough signatures from more than enough work locations. He does not get to declare the charges invalid. If he wants to argue their validity, he can do so in his appearance before the membership. (Of course we will give ample evidence that the charges are absolutely valid.)

Thirdly, the past two meetings were not disrupted by a “small group of dissidents”. They were disrupted by Keith Johnson when he attempted to ignore members and deny our democratic rights. When he tried to declare his agenda approved at the last meeting with the vast majority of the members present standing and clearly and loudly voting NO!, this membership refused to relent to his dictatorial tactics. He also disrupted our meeting by illegaly adjourning, and cutting the lights.  The threat that anyone who disrupts will be removed by the police is an empty threat. Johnson has tried this at the past two meetings, and in both cases the police have recognized that the members are only exercising their rights and refused to act as Johnson’s thugs.

We encourage all DFT Members to come to the meeting this Thursday to recall Keith Johnson without fear that one more minute of their time will be wasted listening to his lies. We will not let him hijack OUR union.

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