IEA Ignores Bylaws

IEa Botches the opportunity to be transparent during elections.

IEA has not removed corrupt leadership.

IEA has not published a detailed budget in years.

Statement provided by Lora Elliott, she presented this statement to IEA directly in the spring of 2018. IEA nor ISTA have provided concrete examples of reform or a timeline for improvement. They failed to provide the number of votes cast in this past election as well. 

There are three areas of concern I would like to address in this forum. The first is elections:

Elections:

Article 11, Section 1 (d) states that the association members throughout the school corporation shall elect a President, vice president, second vice president, secretary/treasurer, regional board members, and district board members.

Article 11, Section 1 (j) states that vacancies shall be filled by open nominations, secret ballot and majority vote.

In my understanding of these by-laws, not only did we not open voting to the entire body for these positions, but we did not allow nominations to occur either. Nor can I remember the last time I saw open elections throughout the district.

As I read these bylaws, it says elected on each office to include association representative. This means that even if you ran unopposed, you still need to have association members vote you in to office with a majority vote. Based on Rogers’ definition, majority vote is over half or 50% +1.

Due to these violations of our bylaws, I am asking that all positions held by officers, those newly elected by this group, as well as regional directors, district board members and association representatives – to include myself be held invalid and a new election take place that allows for nominations, secret ballot, and where majority vote holds true.

It states in the bylaws Article 11, section 1 (f) that no officer serve more than two consecutive terms of three years in each specific office. I am  asking that we as an association uphold this rule where true and have open nominees and elections for new officers to include the association president.

It states in the bylaws Article 11, section 4 (d) that the governance committee is directly responsible for the conduct of all elections in the association and in the buildings.

Under Article 9 Section 1, states that any officer or board member who fails to fulfill the duties of the office or who acts contrary to this Constitution and the Bylaws or to the Association policy shall be notified in writing of a recall hearing before the Executive Board. Due to the entire district board and executive offices being involved in violating the bylaws under this Article, I am asking that ISTA’s Executive Board or Ethics Board conduct a hearing of our Governance Committee and their dereliction of duties.

My second area of concern is fiscal responsibility.

Finance:

From the Bylaws, Article 9 – Fiscal Responsibility

Section 1 an independent audit must be done every six years.

Section 4 states that the president appoints a chairperson of the finance committee and each regional director appoint a member.

Section 5 states that this committee shall draft the budget and introduce this to the Association Representatives. It states that this committee will audit all vouchers dealing with expense accounts for individuals of the association. This is to be done quarterly.

In Article 3, Section 4 (c)states the secretary/treasurer hold the funds of the Association and shall disburse the funds according to the adopted budget.

Section 4(d) states the secretary/treasurer submit a report of receipts and expenditures at Representative Assembly and Executive Board meetings.

Section 4(e) states the secretary/treasurer present an annual financial statement that is to be distributed to all members.

Under Article 8 – Section 1 – dues will be computed as .3% of the IPS Beginning Teacher. It also states that if it is going to be changed, that the finance committee make the recommendations.

That is $40,000 at .3%, that is $120. I am currently being charged $806 per year without knowing how the money is used or broken down.

If my numbers are correct, this association under this leadership has collected almost $4 million dollars in union dues since 2013. Our union dues are higher than the United States Postal Service carriers’ union and about the same as Teamsters.

Because of Article 9, section 1 of the Constitution, I am asking for the immediate removal of the president, the first vice president, the second vice president, the secretary/treasurer, and all regional directors for dereliction of duty and failure to maintain fiscal responsibility. Further, I’m asking for an immediate audit done of all finances and immediate freeze of expenditures until that occurs.

I need guarantees that this is going to happen with a deadline or I’m taking this to my Indiana representatives and senators.

Finally there is Membership:

It states in our constitution Article 3 section 1 that active membership is open to all professional personnel. Key term professional.

As an ROTC student in military science, we were taught who the actual 5 TRUE professions were and why they were unique to others that call themselves professionals. Those areas are: lawyer, doctor, nurse, military officer and teachers.

Although the requirements are different for each, these areas must have a degree, training in a specialized area, additional requirements addressed by the state and or board (where it applies). In our state, continuing education and a renewal of license is required to fulfill the professional status. You see, it is when you renew your license that you take your oath or your affirmation. Per IC 20-28-5-4, it states when an individual applies for a license or a license renewal to teach in a public school that they will subscribe to an oath or affirmation.

It is that oath that makes us a profession. Through my interpretation of this law, to be defined as a professional personnel, educators must maintain a current license in order to qualify status as an active member.

Section b of Article 3, section 1 says that only active members may hold office, be eligible to vote, or to serve on the committees.

I am asking for the immediate resignation of our association president and removal from the association as an active member because I believe that the president has an expired teacher’s license and should lose active member status. Further, I am asking that ISTA through it’s Judicial Review Board determine whether Fraud was committed, and that salary cost be returned to the association because of violating IC 20-28-5-4 through definition of IEA’s Article 3, sections a and b.

Closing:

There are no knives in your back. Leadership is a privilege. Today is the day that we begin to follow the guidelines established and ensure we are all represented. Transparency with membership is what is being asked.

You see, as a teacher in a right to work state, you need me more than I need you at this point.

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