After years of being silenced from their rights of having a voice in their working conditions, rights that were given to them through the Public Employee Management Relations Act, our Port workers and DOE support staff continue to serve our island and our children under working conditions that doesn’t include input from the workers themselves who know the job best. GFT has been receiving absurd reasons from both the Port management and the Guam Education Board on why the collective bargaining agreements are not moving forward.
The Port General manager, Joanne Brown, gave unclear answers as to where the GFT Port collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is located. Brown continues to state her objections to the signed and ratified CBA. At first she stated she will not forward to the Governor but at the next board meeting stated the CBA is with the Attorney General (AG). However, the AG stated they have already reviewed the CBA and returned to the Port since April 2013.
At last month’s Guam Education Board meeting, the Superintendent stated the DOE support staff CBA is under review with the AG. The AG stated recently that they have reviewed the CBA and recommended changes since 2011. The Superintendent then met with GFT support staff representatives and agreed on specific changes. Unfortunately, the Board has not approved the CBA with the recent changes and insists on getting an AG’s opinion regarding GFT’s exclusive recognition. This is completely another way to silence the voices of our support staff. GFT and DOE has had numerous CBAs for the support staff since the 1970s up until 2008 which is evidence of continued recognition.
When GFT President Tim Fedenko and GFT Vice-President Sanjay Sharma met with Governor Calvo, Calvo noted that he would sign the contract when it reaches his desk. At the rate taken by Joanne Brown at the Port and the GEB, Governor Calvo may never see the CBA—even with four more years.