Monday, July 06, 2015

Breaking News Unleashed: Doubt Thrown on the Legality of Julio's 2016 Challenge to Union Leadership

NYC Educator,

An abridged draft of the following letter was "leaked" the other day at the pet park.  It seems to be written in the same spirit as the recent letter regarding Mr. Eterno's proposal of an ATR chapter.  Since its contents will soon become public, I will share the letter with the faithful readership.  It pertains to Julio 2016 and its follow-up post, "UFT Presidential Race Heats Up."--Arwen

                                                                                                               By E-mail and Registered Mail
July 4, 2015

Dr. Midnight Sheprador
American Federation of Teachers
555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Secretary-Treasurer Sheprador,

I write in response to your letter dated July 1, 2015 concerning a challenge (the "Canine Challenge") submitted by Julio, Animalia, C. Lupus, Canidae ("Dog")  to the 2016 Election Guide and By-Laws (the "By-Laws") of the United Federation of Teachers ("UFT").

We are not wholly unaware that pets have provided serious challenges to political leadership in the past.  Prior to the current "Canine Challenge," Boston Curtis, a mule, got off his ass and won a precinct seat in Milton, Washington, by a vote of fifty-one to zero (1938).  A rhinoceros, incarcerated at the Sao Paolo Zoo, ran for office in 1958 to protest political corruption. With low voter turnout (where have we heard that before???), the competitor, with particularly pointed comments, won 100,000 invalidated votes, more than any other candidate.  And retired rhinocerii were not even allowed to vote!  Dogs, cats, chimpanzees, a Yipee boar hog and sundry other critters, with and without legs, have all at some point jumped into or through the political ring.  There is no novelty in this.

Because the By-Laws afford all UFT members - including those who are working in the "Companion Pet Reserve" ("CPR") and those who are temporarily filling in for teachers on leave - a full and fair opportunity to participate in Union elections through their owners and are fully consistent with the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA," Title IV, Elections), I respectfully request the challenge of Julio Dog, to run for UFT president be dismissed without it being referred to the AFT's Executive Council.

To aid your office in considering the Challenge, it is important to understand the context in which it arises.  All full-time members, with or without canines, felines, fish, lizards, and otherwise, may nominate, be nominated, vote and be elected in a school's election.  Anyone properly elected may serve.  The Challenge does not appear to seriously contest this point, and for this reason alone, should be dismissed.

Similarly, I am advised that, even it were determined that the LMRDA does apply, there would be no violation of election provisions of Title LXV.  In Wuff v. Pee at the Hotel, Motel & Club Emp. Carpet Cleaners Union. Local 999, 975 U.S. 893, 997 (1967), the U.S. Supreme Court explained that this provision "require[s] adequate safeguards to insure a fair election; guarantee[s] a reasonable opportunity for the nomination of candidates, the right to vote, and the right of every member in good standing to be a candidate, free of fear of soiling carpets, defecating in public spaces and defacing furniture, shedding their skin [and to hold office] subject to reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed." This is precisely what the Bylaws accomplish for all bona-fide candidates.

So, we have only to ask whether or not Julio Dog is a bona-fide candidate.  It is our contention that while he may be fortified with bones, he is not bona fide.  We attempted to serve him notice of this very fact upon several occasions before he, maliciously and menacingly, threatened to relentlessly bite the pant legs of the appropriate authorities.  Accordingly, the Bylaws rules are not only in line with the law, but they are reasonable and fair--while Julio Dog is not!


Emu Your Petnocango
United Federation of Teachers

cc:   Julio
       Penny Lane
       Michael Mulgrew
       Randi Weingarten
       NYC Educator
       Etc., etc. and so forth
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