The Guam Education Policy Board (GEPB) sent GFT a letter outlining their intent which appears to follow in the footsteps of the first elected GEPB to wage war on students, teachers and their collective bargaining agreement. While it has always been GFTâ€™s intent to work with the Board to improve the quality of education DOE provides for our students, we are prepared for this eventuality. In President Rectorâ€™s response (click here to read entire letter) to the Board, he stated,
â€œWe still donâ€™t want a fight. We want to work with the Board to improve our public education system. We want to work together to solve problems through collective bargaining not waste time and energy fighting eachother. We want to work with the Board to ensure that DOE receives full funding, up to national averages, not expend the resources of both DOE and GFT in an extended battle against each other. Letâ€™s work together to make DOE the school system that our children deserve.â€
President Rector continues,
â€œGFTâ€™s collective bargaining agreement has protected and improved the quality of education for Guamâ€™s children since 1970. As President of this historic institution I will muster all of the formidable resources the 2500+ GFT members and our families as well as the 1.5Million AFT members, 13Million AFL-CIO members and the 50,000+ DOE school parents to uphold this proud tradition.â€
President Rector concludes,
â€œWe would like to keep an atmosphere of mutual respect where we work together for the children of Guam. If we cannot begin the negotiations in an atmosphere of â€œGood Faithâ€ in a timely manner we will be forced to begin the process of filing an unfair labor practice. Once again, I want to be perfectly clear, we want to work with the Board. However, we will not allow a single board member to hold all of the children of Guam ransom to satisfy some personal vendetta.â€
The Board has yet to respond to the letter but hopefully Governor Calvo will be able to convince the Board members, he appointed, to focus their energies on supporting the teachers that educate our children, under very challenging conditions.