IEA disenfranchises its retired members.

2014 election results, retired delegate to the 2015 IEA Representative Assembly:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.21.15 PM

2015 election results, retired delegate to the 2016 IEA Representative Assembly:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.11.29 PM

Yes, the names are the same. But check out the turnout.

IEA Retired claims to have over 12,000 members. This year’s election results are down 60% from last year.

Last year 40 retirees ran for 20 delegate slots.

This year 25 retirees ran for 21 delegate slots.

Some members reported to me that they never received notice of deadlines for nomination forms to be submitted.

Former IEA President Bob Haisman received the most votes. He received 6% of eligible voters.

And that is after Haisman sent out notices in which he personally offered to “help anyone vote.”

That brought back memories of my old Democratic precinct captain. He used to pay five bucks for local guys who were just hangin’ out to vote.

Even Haisman’s offer didn’t work.

Low turnout did what it supposed to do. Keep the insiders inside and the connected connected.

I supported Bob Kaplan, Mae Smith and Pearl Mack. I’m happy they were elected.

When I tried to vote I had to make numerous phone calls and send numerous emails until a month into the voting. I finally received instructions on how to cast an online vote. One more week and I would have missed the deadline. A week before the deadline I also received a paper ballot.

The entire process was a mess.

At the time I doubted whether many retired members would pursue it as persistently. I doubt most knew even how to pursue it.

I turned out to be prescient. Even I didn’t predict that only 700 out of 12,000 would figure out how to cast a ballot.

Early on I was told the online election was a “work in progress.”

How can an election that is supposed to follow labor election law, and with results that are final, be a “work in progress?”

You know, of course, that the president of the IEA can be elected with fewer votes than voted for the top vote getter in this delegate election?

Whether by intention or incompetence this election was bogus.

The reason you see the same names on the ballot year after year is exactly this. Members have less and less confidence in how things work in the IEA.

4 Replies to “IEA disenfranchises its retired members.”

  1. This election is reflective of why our state and federal gov is in the shape it’s in. Reflective of those insiders whot know how to manipulate and play the system for their own aggrandizement.

  2. Fred in my  time I attended about fifteen stateIEA and about  tenNEA national conventions.  I usually was sent because of my  leadership roles as president of this or that.  Later I was a “Citizenship leader” A predecessor of what you do. (At that time 1970’s teachers were not expected to be active in politics, even to not arriving at school with a bumper sticker indicating which presidential candidate  you supported)I don’t think I ever had to go through an election.  That came after my convention days  in the late 1970’sIt sounds as if things are back to what they were when I was active.  As I look back I guess I, too, was in the “IN” group.  Apathy instead of democracy?Mary

  3. Suggestions were made at various conferences about how to improve this election. The IEA Leadership needs to take those suggestions seriously, and perhaps hire a new company, or go back to paper, pencil and envelope voting. The poor turnout speaks for itself as a huge problem.

  4. Dear Fred,

    I agree the election was probably just a vehicle for connected ex-leadership types to have their continued participation in I.E.A. “legitimized”. I don’t think it was ever intended to give the average retiree a voice in I.E.A. or N.E.A. meetings. It may also show something the I.E.A. did not intend.

    Could it be that the reason retirees don’t vote, electronically or otherwise, because they know the I.E.A. doesn’t really believe in, represent, or speak to the interests of retirees?

    Is lack of participation by I.E.A. retired members an indicator of members “voting with their feet” ? Maybe some retirees choose to join a different organization that actually tries to protect their interests? Maybe retirees are tired of being sold out after I.E.A. collects the dues?

    Where are retiree membership numbers headed? How many in that number are “lifetime” members who no longer choose to participate in the I.E.A. because of it’s willingness to throw retirees under the bus? How many see I.E.A. retired as nothing more than a conduit for retired “insiders” to continue to be a part of I.E.A. leadership, even though they don’t really lead anything?

    Face it. We don’t belong to the club. Why would I.E.A. even care if retirees vote? We don’t matter to them except as a bargaining chip to be negotiated away.

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