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“It’s not who gets the most votes. It’s who counts them that matters.” – Richard J. Daley

December 14, 2013

Harry Truman

Actually I made that quote up.

But I’ve worked enough Chicago elections to know it is true.

So, when the IEA reported that I received just over 600 votes in a state-wide IEA Retired delegate election some of my readers wrote to me skeptically.

Was there fraud?

At first I laughed.

But the fact is that unlike every IEA local in the state, IEA Retired doesn’t run our own election. It is run entirely out of Springfield IEA headquarters.

President Klickna releases the results herself.

My ballot bio had to be screened by IEA lawyers, which never happened when I ran in my old union local.

Plus, only about 20% of IEA members are reported to have even cast a ballot, according to the IEA results that were released by IEA President Cinda Klickna. That’s 20% of the 9,000 IEA Retired members – which itself is only a tiny handful of actual retired former IEA members.

So, I guess my answer to the fraud question is: I don’t know.

But I know there is IEA leadership fraud. I’ve been documenting that for years.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Elma permalink
    December 14, 2013 9:39 am

    Obviously the fact that your biography and I presume any of the others running for retired delegate had to be examined by IEA lawyers suggests that IEA sees retirees as a threat to their platform. Why IEA would feel that way is beyond me, especially if they have the best interests of the people whose dues they’re taking front and center. Unless of course that’s not the case and I’m being presumptuous.

  2. Phil permalink
    December 14, 2013 9:52 am

    I voted for you Fred. I recently joined IRTA since I was upset with IEA’s support of the SB 2404 and was going to drop my membership. But then it was pointed out to me that I couldn’t keep my IEA life insurance if I wasn’t a member. It sure doesn’t seem that IEA puts much focus on the retired members.

  3. December 14, 2013 11:23 am

    I believe the quote is from Marx, Karl not Groucho, something about who votes doesn’t matter. What matters is who counts the votes. I too am a lifetime member for the insurance only.

  4. Patricia Herrmann permalink
    December 14, 2013 12:08 pm

    > Was there fraud? > That’s exactly what I was wondering.

    The “actions” by We Are One on the Monday before the Tuesday legislative vote at legislative offices were poorly planned and executed. I went to two. Neither had a spokesman. Both reps were not there. No appointment. And even though the one at 4:00 could have had active members from IEA locals, none were there. I am old and have been retired a while, but there are principles of organizing which were not in place that showed the leadership did not care about the experiences of those who showed up. We used to care about that. That people felt what they did was worthwhile and effective so they would turn out again.

    And I fail to see how any active members even know what is going on or happening to them on any level even though they are easier to organize. They are losing more economically by the actions on their pensions than they can gain in any collective bargaining contract. And the actions taken against their future by the State of Illinois and the DOE will most effectively require a strong union. That only comes from members at the local level being aware and engaged. Not being done.

    It is like the leaders have been bought off. Pat Herrmann

  5. Anonymous permalink
    December 14, 2013 1:18 pm

    Fred, I never got a ballot! I wonder how many didn’t receive either?
    Shirley Malone-retired District 64 teacher.

  6. December 14, 2013 2:57 pm

    I have said–time and again–that it is up to the IEA locals (active teachers) to make the change. We all know that active teachers are being absolutely overwhelmed as never before–Common Core, constant, inane testing, evaluations in accordance with results from “standardized” (Pear$on’s tests are neither valid NOR reliable, so “” because NOT standardized) tests, threats of school turnovers, TFA, etc., ad nauseum. We know people who are out there trying, and kudos to you. Having said that, there should not be two unions–especially not with the leadership that is at IEA–& it’s long past time for a merger of IEA & IFT (I have belonged to both, & I actually found IFT easier to work with)–one bigger, stronger union, with Dan Montgomery (who, BTW, spoke at the last SB1 hearing at 8:30 AM Dec. 3rd–Cinda did not: sent Kathy Griffin {& she might as well have sent Kathy Griffin the comedienne!}) at the helm.
    Do I think the RA elections were fraudulent? Like Fred, don’t know. But know this–big push running 2 former IEA presidents–having the name recognition, lots of friends & clout (no offense intended to you, Bob, & you put out lots of informational e-mails which I thank you for)–came from current leadership, because, of course, Fred has been questioning it (as we all should) all along, & he won, last time, as he has a huge following as per his leadership & this blog. Therefore, he had to be beaten.
    In conclusion (I promise), although I am an IEA-R member as well as an IRTA member, my money is going to the IRTA. Just like the poor organization by the IEA prior to the 12/3 vote
    (could they not have bussed us to Springfield?!As 2 CTU members who wrote here several posts ago {& thank YOU guys for going!!!}, there should have been so many of us down there that the GA couldn’t hear themselves think! And who can forget {& this is where I met Fred–on his PREA “Lobby Day” Springfield trip 2 years ago} that the IEA CANCELLED Lobby Day, due to “construction” in Springfield–it was, BTW, in one out-of-the-way area in the State Capitol. & there was VERY little obstructive construction in the streets). Therefore, I agree with all that Pat has written above. I was at the state Fall IRTA Convention, and IRTA has shown itself to be organized and ready (for a number of years).

  7. Vanthony permalink
    December 14, 2013 6:10 pm

    My only comment is I was surprised at how many people ran. It seems like it would be awfully easy to split the vote and have the “chosen” candidates win.

  8. December 15, 2013 5:25 am

    I believe the original quote came from Stalin. His sense of humor ran in that direction, too. Monitoring election integrity has to be done everywhere, but in the Chicago Teachers Union’s major elections, the votes are counted by the American Arbitration Association, and in the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund the votes are counted by a bonded outside group as well. Having observed vote counts in both elections on several occasions (most dramatically the runoff in June 2010 that put Karen Lewis and the CORE team in power in the CTU), I was there to attest to the integrity of the elections, with any small possible errors irrelevant to the final counts. Doesn’t IEA have a provision for candidates to mail their own pitches to the voters, and for observers during the vote counting?

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      December 15, 2013 7:01 am

      These are all good questions, George. All but two Representative Assembly elections are run by the hundreds of locals in the state according to Illinois Labor Relations Act law. Those two are the student delegate election and the retired delegate election. Those are run state-wide out of IEA headquarters in Springfield. Since I am fairly new to this, I have not fully investigated. The elections for both are held during a different time frame than the locals run their elections. Nomination forms are mailed and appear on line. Voting is done by mail-in ballot. Last year, when I first ran and won as a NEA RA retired delegate, I protested the fact that many IEA Retired members did not appear to receive ballots. And that there was not enough time to request another ballot and still get it to Springfield by the deadline. There was no published instructions on what members should do if they did not get a ballot in time. In response, the leadership extended the voting time by a week and promised to publish instructions in the Advocate, the IEA member newsletter. But they forgot to do this and the instructions were only later made available online. If you knew where to look. As for who does the counting and under what supervision, this needs looking into. Could I have received access to IEA Retired members for campaigning? Rest assured we will find out, as I plan to run – and encourage others than the usual suspects – to run as delegates to the NEA RA this year. As the comments here show, there is much that needs to be looked into about membership and voting and it will be looked into. And reported here. Thanks.

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