Hafa adai!  Welcome back to another school year.  GFT and your Guam Education Board had intentions of getting our collective bargaining agreement in place at the beginning of this school year.  Unfortunately, there has been some delays in getting the approval from the Office of the Attorney General.  The negotiation teams will be meeting in the upcoming weeks to resolve the remainder of issues as detailed from the Attorney General.  Rest assured, Superintendent Jon Fernandez is fair in his approach.  We will have our working conditions in place soon.
Toward the end of last school year, some teachers have questioned not receiving the Bonus, Rewards, and Incentives Program (BRIP).  GFT had compiled a short list of teachers who claimed that BRIP was owed to them.  GFT is working with the Superintendent’s office to resolve any outstanding payments.
If you are not a member of GFT, I encourage you to join.  The union is only as strong as its membership.  The resources to win our battles come from your dues, especially in the Civil Service Commission and in the court system.  Being in GFT gives you peace of mind that your rights will be honored.  The mission of GFT is to improve the lives of its membership and their family.  Join GFT.  Let us improve our lives together.
Above all, I hope we keep our attitudes and spirits focused on student learning.  Guam has been on the news because of the North Korea crisis.  Let us make national headlines again—this time for improving our student outcomes.  Reiterating GDOE’s vision statement, “Every student: responsible, respectful, and ready for life.”
Your colleague,
Sanjay Sharma
GFT President