GFT Board-Union representative and DOE Chair, Doris Terlaje of Oceanview Middle School, questioned the Guam Education Board members on the delay of the Teachers’ and Support staff collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as members are constantly asking for a follow up and are eager to finalize it. Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent stated that they have provided their GFT membership count to the Department of Administration (DOA) and awaiting their directive. Board member, Barry Mead, misinterpreted the law and added that these membership numbers must represent 50% of the bargaining unit where as the law states it must maintain only a 10% membership. In regards to the DOE support staff CBA, Mead mentions that they are still waiting on proof of GFT as an exclusively recognized representative for support staff. However the Government should have the requested documents. At that point, GFT Executive Director, Joleen Castro, was called to speak before the board to respond and make clarifications.
Castro questioned the delay on the support staff CBA as there have been CBAs that were signed by all authorized parties, taken into effect and enforced in the past several years. This should be enough evidence that the support staff is exclusively recognized under GFT. In regards to the Teachers’ CBA, Castro explains that the PEMRA Law requiring a 50+1 membership is referring to a union that is initially seeking exclusive recognition. However, GFT has already acquired exclusive recognition for DOE Teachers since 1970. In order to maintain this recognition, GFT’s membership must be maintained as 10% of the bargaining unit in which it does. DOA has also requested for membership cards. Castro questioned if the request is for the original membership cards from 1970 which would be quite difficult to locate but also pointed out that the Government of Guam should have their copies in the Central Files office. Castro’s responses have already been sent to DOA prior to the board meeting. DOA and the board’s requests have no merits legally and are only causing unnecessary delays.