Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Late last week you should have received a postcard in the mail announcing a meeting to be held on Wednesday June 19 at 5 PM at the Glazier's Hall. It started "You are cordially invited..." and said that the purpose of the meeting was "recall". That recall is a vote to remove me from office as President of out Local and installing one of the old insiders, Linda Bell, as President.
Clearly, they don't want you there or they would have been honest about the meeting and its purpose. Instead, they plan on packing the meeting with the old coalition supporters of Mary Armstrong and Ray Cummings that they have personally contacted.
At this meeting I will not be permitted to make a defense before the members. They will present their findings and then the members will either affirm their findings or refute them
Charges and Defenses
Charge: John Whisenhunt says I "misled" people by stating the salary disparity issue affected more than 2000 employees.
  Answer: I did say that because it is true. Whatever the outcome of the arbitrations, our members will not go back to allowing SLPS to pay whoever whatever SLPS wants. Our next contract negotiation will demand the Steps, Education Lanes, Salary Parity both within the District and with all the districts in St. Louis Country. All of our members have a stake in the outcome even if they don't get money now.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I misled members by stating the Class Action Arbitrations affected around 1000 employees.
  Answer: The final number of employees included in both arbitrations is 857. To my mind, that is about 1000.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I violated the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by telling people what their salary disparity was.
  Answer: I did tell members what their salary disparity was because I think members have a right to know and this is NOT a violation of the CBA. This is information that is available in the public domain.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I violated the CBA by telling members to try to negotiate their own salary.
  Answer: One of the defenses the District has used in the arbitration is that everyone can negotiate their own salary. By trying to negotiate salaries, members proved this was not true.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I gave an interview to KSDK "knowing" IBEW was in contract negotiations with KSDK.
  Answer: False. I did NOT know IBEW was in contract negotiations with KSDK at the time. When I found out, I told IBEW I was sorry and promised to not do it again. They accepted my apology. Nothing more has ever been said.
  Charge : John Whisenhunt says I said the arbitrations could cost the district between 10 and 15 million dollars.
  Answer: True. If we win both arbitrations, the average award of back salary will be $5,000 per person. We are asking for retroactive pay, so that means $10,000 per person. We have 857 people in the class. 857 X $10,000 = $8,570,000 for the back pay alone. But, SLPS will also have to pay pension benefits, FUTA, SUTA and other taxes on that award. According to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) the average employer pays an additional 1.25 to 1.4 in benefits, taxes, etc. for every dollar paid to an employee. So, $8,570,000 X 1.325 (the average between 1.25 to 1.4) = $11,355,250.00. Over Eleven Million Dollars conservatively.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I hired Tina Lombardo (a retired SLPS teacher with a background in media relations) to perform communications work for Local 420 and she was really doing clerical.
  Answer: Not true. Tina was hired to perform the same job as Byron Clemmons, a good friend of Ray Cummings. Ray never objected to any tasks Byron performed. It was only when Byron was let go, that Ray had a problem.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I tried to have Linda Bell transferred and told John to take Scharad off the arbitration list.
  Answer: Not true. I've never taken any action against either of these people.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I said that Local 420 had not filed any formal grievances in 7 years prior.
  Answer: True. I misspoke. I meant Local 420 had not filed any formal class action grievances in the 7 years prior.
  Charge: John Whisenhunt says I talked about his problems at the district.
  Answer: Unfortunately, no one can speak to this because the District, John and the Union signed an agreement that says the only thing any of us can say about it is "it has been settled to the parties' satisfaction".
  As you can see, these charges are a collection of untruths, exaggerations, and differences of opinion intended to inflame your emotions, but not one of them rises to the level of a violation of our constitution, a prerequisite for recall.

I need you there. I need your vote. The stakes couldn't be higher. But I need more than that. I need you to repost this on your Facebook. I need you tweet this on your Twitter. I need you to call all your colleagues at SLPS and let them know what is happening. It is no coincidence that this vote is taking place in the Summer when we are not in school. They have planned it so that they can suppress any voters other than the members of their coalition. We must show them that we will not go back to "business as usual".
  In solidarity,

AFT St. Louis, Local 420 | (314) 781-2077 |