Letter to the Editor: In response to ‘Department of Labor to oversee CFAC elections’

By Letter to the Editor, by Susan Van Veen

Printing an article that is flawed and one sided in content is concerning. CFAC leadership offered multiple sources for the Chronicle to reach out to and fact check with, of which none were contacted.

This group that you have chosen to give the lion’s share of comments in your article represents a small minority of Illinois Education Association-backed union members and fee payers that continue to go against the will of the majority of union members. Their intent appears to be to sow doubt and discord. They continue to cause harm and misuse of union resources. They ignore the will of the majority, while claiming they want a democratic process.

Let’s be clear—this union properly conducted elections in 2015 and 2017. In 2019, it’s a tad late to “claim” one didn’t receive a call for nominations. Where was this concern in 2015 or 2017? How do you prove a negative? It’s hard to deflect, let alone answer, the question of when did you stop beating your dog?

I will reiterate once again that the DoL found NOTHING wrong in the conduct of the elections. Elections were held. Their issue was with how the union bylaws, inherited from the IEA, called for the election of the at-large Steering Committee members. Since the DoL desired a remedy to this bylaw, since corrected with the adoption of the new constitution and bylaws, CFAC agreed to the DoL supervising the 2019 elections.

Derek Fawcett’s comment, “This meeting made it clear that this is a pretty complete takeover [by the DoL]” does not represent events. The DoL, at the meeting, made it CLEAR they are there to supervise and work with the CFAC Election Committee. They made it clear they are monitoring, not taking over. They will follow as close as possible the CFAC constitution and bylaws. There was a lengthy discussion over the mailing [of] ballots. CFAC leadership believes it will depress voting. An IEA union member from Roosevelt University, who also teaches at Columbia, at [the] meeting stated they vote by mail ballot all the time and it’s become turnkey. However, their voting ballot return is only between 10% and 20%. The DoL is insistent on mailed ballots.

Susan Van Veen

Adjunct professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department

CFAC Steering Committee

svanveen@colum.edu

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