Washington PTers Allege Union Corruption & Cover Up, Ask NEA President For Trusteeship
by P.D. Lesko
Who should represent the hundreds of thousands of adjunct faculty members on our nation’s college campuses?….It is true that all three of the major faculty unions (AFT, NEA, and AAUP) have now issued strong policy statements about adjunct faculty members. But I see little effort on the part of the nationals to enforce their own policies among the local affiliates. As a result, most of the faculty-union chapters have come nowhere near implementing the official policies of their own national organizations with regard to adjuncts.”—Dr. Keith Hoeller, “Union Matters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2004.
On January 28, 2013 Kathryn Re, a member of the Green River Community College United Faculty Coalition sent a 10-page letter to the President of the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel. In her letter, Re—a mathematician— lays out a meticulously detailed and documented indictment of her union’s Executive Committee’s failure to adhere to the group’s bylaws, and asks Van Roekel to assume “immediate trusteeship” of her Washington State local. Re writes, “We are writing this formal complaint to request your urgent assistance because the union rights of NEA members are being systematically violated by the United Faculty Coalition (UF) of Green River Community College (GRCC) and the Washington Education Association (WEA), both NEA affiliates. We believe that immediate harm will befall NEA members should you fail to act quickly to correct the systematic corruption that is now taking place at Green River Community College.”
Re’s letter includes accusations of financial corruption and cover up, improper elections, conflicts of interest, denial of representation, failure to represent, discrimination, harassment and retaliation. It’s a Declaration of Independence-long list of transgressions. Many of these explosive allegations, unbeknownst to Re, are corroborated by hundreds of emails sent between and among the GRCC union’s Executive Committee members between March and July 2012. The emails were turned over to AdjunctNation in response to a July 2012 Freedom of Information Act request.
The emails not only implicate the union’s Executive Committee members in efforts to withhold information about the theft of union funds, and to thwart efforts by the school newspaper to report on the story, but show AFT Washington President Sandra Schroeder has been deeply involved in many of the discussions concerning the suspect decisions made my the local’s union leaders, as well.
UF Board Members: Embezzlement of Union Funds “Not A Story”
In May 2012 union members were alerted that the GRCC student newspaper, The Current, was preparing to cover and break the story of former UF union president and former AFT Washington VP for legislative affairs representative Phil Ray Jack’s theft of union dues over an 18-month period. Jennifer “Jaeney” Hoene, pictured left, is a division chair, union VP, and grievance chair. When emailed about the newspaper’s interest in the embezzlement, she shot off an email to the UF Board: “Right now, my only thought is, ‘shit.’”
Fellow UF Board member Hank Galmish emailed the UF Board in response to Hoene: “I agree….Shit, is this really news?” In another email Galmish writes, “I want to encourage the reporters to do real stories.” He goes on to urge his UF Board colleagues to push full-time journalism instructor and student newspaper advisor John Knowlton to assign his writers to cover “a move to rescind English-101 prerequisites….”
A few hours later Hoene continued via email: “I am inclined to question John (Knowlton) about this as well as to question his role contacting Mark (Millbauer, union president) asking for cooperation.”
In a follow-up email, Hoene asks the union board members if it “would be inappropriate to share our concern with John about this being a story choice and send him a list of others that we suggest are more relevant…than an internal faculty union matter?”
The same day, Hoene emailed Phil Jack urging him not to give an interview to the student journalist: “I wish John (Knowlton) would show more leadership than this….I’m rather frustrated and disgusted. I don’t think you owe them an interview.”
In another email on the same subject to the UF Board Hoene goes on to suggest ways to withhold information about the theft from the student reporters. She ends her email to them by saying “….If the student wants to report that we completed the audit to determine the amount missing and are pursuing a bond claim…I guess she can. Doesn’t seem nearly as interesting as a history of sitcoms.”
Humanities Division Chair and union leader Will Scott, pictured right, chimes in about the proposed news story, as well in emails to the UF Board: ”This is not a story.”
Scott initially suggests the union refuse to cooperate with John Knowlton and the student reporters, but then writes, “Grant the interview….I like Jaeney’s idea of sharing the process but not giving any specifics (faculty member involved, dollar amounts, restitution, etc….” Scott, like Galmish, suggests a story idea to feed to Knowlton, “Another story idea….the sudden disappearance of the no-smoking policy….”
Union president Mark Millbauer turned to AFT Washington President Sandra Schroeder for advice about the request for an interview by the student journalists. Millbauer writes in a May 2, 2012 email to Schroeder that the union “may just give the student reporter a brief written statement” so that “additional information” can’t be “pried out of him.”
Schroeder replied that the student reporter “can try to get comments from Phil (Jack) off the record but not from you.”
Millbauer crafted a written statement, which he emailed to the UF Board. The statement significantly understates the total amount stolen. Jaeney Hoene offered the following feedback: “I love that it’s so boring…Hopefully the student journalist will take a cue from that and realize that this isn’t really news.”
Journalism instructor John Knowlton then broke one of the most basic rules of ethics in journalism. He sent Millbauer the completed story about Jack’s theft of union money in its entirety to “review for accuracy,” according to a May 15, 2013 email Millbauer sent to the UF Board. Diane Rado writes for the Chicago Tribune. In 2012 she told the Education Writers Association that, “I consider it unethical and inappropriate to share a full draft of a story with sources prior to publication.”
AFT Washington President and AFT national higher education program policy chair Sandra Schroeder has much at stake should her involvement in the GRCC union local’s handling of the Phil Jack theft be scrutinized. She would also have a difficult time explaining her involvement in the local’s retaliation against several members of its adjunct faculty. Both issues could raise uncomfortable questions for Sandra Schroeder in Washington, DC at union headquarters. Did national higher education union leader Sandra Schroeder encourage the United Faculty Coalition leaders to refuse to cooperate with police? Did she and United Faculty Coalition leaders collude with Phil Jack in an effort to keep a lid on the situation and/or to protect Schroeder and her protégé, Jack?
Adjunct Members Press Union Board (Their Bosses) for More Transparency
In March 2012 union leaders informed the membership that former president Phil Jack, pictured left, had stolen union dues money in excess of $9,000, a crime that would be prosecuted as First-Degree Theft, a Class B felony in Washington State, according to legal experts there. Class B felony theft is punishable by a maximum prison term of 10 years and a maximum fine of up to $20,000.
In April 2012, adjuncts at Green River Community College contacted AdjunctNation when their own Freedom of Information Act requests related to the theft were met with resistance by the college’s Information Office. AdjunctNation followed up with several Freedom of Information Act requests, and our requests were not denied, but rather complied with over a course of months, after a protracted battle with the college’s union president—who initially threatened to sue to keep the requested emails secret.
Kathryn Re, a colleague of Dr. Keith Hoeller, together with a group of other adjuncts at the college, have been pushing for greater transparency with respect to the local’s finances, equal representation, a fairer dues structure, as well as prosecution of the union’s immediate past president, Phil Ray Jack, for his embezzlement of union funds. In May 2012 Re and Hoeller, went to the local police to press charges against Jack. They did so because current United Faculty Coalition president Mark Millbauer had steadfastly refused to cooperate with police in their investigation.
When asked by AdjunctNation in July 2012 via email if Jack’s theft of union funds had been reported to police, Millbauer initially answered, simply, “Yes.” However, according to King County Executive Dow Constantine, the union “chose to handle the case internally and refused to cooperate with the Auburn PD in the filing of criminal charges. The King County Prosecutor’s Office has also looked into the case and determined that, lacking the cooperation of union leadership, there is insufficient evidence for the filing of criminal charges.”
In a subsequent email, Mark Millbauer refuted King County officials. ”We have not refused to cooperate with police. All police inquiries have been turned over to the UF’s attorney for handling. I am not aware of any inquiries with the prosecutor’s office.”
Phil Jack meanwhile left Washington State to start anew in Colorado.
Emails turned over to AdjunctNation show Millbauer and other union officials communicated with Phil Jack about his crime and how he’d like the theft explained to the membership, and even inquired about setting up a payment plan for Jack’s convenience so that he could repay the money he took with minimal difficulty. It’s not clear these arrangements were shared with the membership, or that Jack is making his payments. It has been alleged that the union’s leadership never asked the membership whether Jack should be prosecuted.
The emails turned over to AdjunctNation also show the UF Board in damage control mode, and worse.
An April 14, 2012 email sent by Andrew Jeffrey, who serves as the adjunct faculty members’ liaison to the union, encourages both transparency about Jack’s crime with the union’s membership, but then goes on to argue in favor of covering up certain details by omission. Jeffrey writes: “…However unfounded such a suggestion might be, I think we are least vulnerable to the insinuation of impropriety if we make the minutes reflect the entirety of what was actually said….”
Jeffrey writes this email in response to Mark Millbauer who had emailed his fellow Executive Board members the following question, “How do you all feel about including the part about Phil or at least so many of the details as reported?”
Two days later, on April 16, 2012, AFT Washington President Sandra Schroeder checked in with Millbauer via email about the meeting where the information about Jack’s theft was discussed with the union’s members. Millbauer assured her that he “gave a very abbreviated account of the issue….So it went OK.”
They Want Me Gone….
For the past two decades, Washington State part-timer Dr. Keith Hoeller has been a lightning rod for the movement to recognize what Hoeller argues is the inherent professional conflicts of interest between full-time and part-time faculty represented in unified locals—locals often controlled by full-time faculty. Full-time faculty, Hoeller has argued, have little incentive to bargain in the best interests of their part-time faculty colleagues, and often do not. Part-time faculty have little recourse, because full-time faculty union leaders are often department chairs.
As a result, Hoeller, pictured right, has continually argued for decades that union contracts hammered out in Washington State have given full-time faculty larger raises, better benefits, and allowed full-time faculty union members to strip their part-time faculty union colleagues of courses, virtually at will, by teaching overloads. This problem is by no means confined to the AFT’s locals in Washington State. NYSUT, a New York AFT local, has put forward similarly lop-sided contracts as “successes,” where equal percentage raises for part-time and full-time faculty are fobbed off as fairly bargained wage increases. However, Keith Hoeller doesn’t live in New York.
In December 2010, Hoeller posted an essay to InsideHigherEd.com titled, “We Need An Adjunct Union.” Maria Maisto heads the New Faculty Majority (which Hoeller helped form, but later resigned from because he felt the organization was easing into bed with the national faculty unions in exchange for their support. Sandra Schroeder is a member of the New Faculty Majority Board.). She posted this comment in response to Hoeller’s essay:
As the only national organization dedicated exclusively to advocating for adjunct and contingent faculty, NFM is committed to supporting these faculty members, whether within the context of a union or not. We agree with Keith Hoeller that any union that claims to represent adjunct and contingent faculty must do so concretely and without subjugating the rights of any contingent faculty members to full-time and/or tenure-track faculty. It is long past time for the higher education community to come together to address the contingent faculty crisis once and for all. If the formation of a national faculty union accelerates that process, then that can only be a positive step.
No doubt such essays prompted Sandra Schroeder to refer to long-time union member Keith Hoeller as “anti-union,” in an email to Mark Millbauer sent in April 2012.
Hoeller’s talk of an adjunct-only union might scare the daylights out of national higher education union leaders who have seen tenured faculty membership shrink. Non-tenured faculty now account for a whopping 70 percent of the 1.6 million college faculty teaching in America. A national adjunct union, properly run, could not only compete with AFT, NEA and AAUP locals, but could poach their adjunct members, then crush the full-time faculty in negotiations thus turning the tables on full-time faculty union members who have enjoyed the lion’s share of money and perks negotiated by full-time faculty union leaders for themselves and their full-time union colleagues.
Keith Hoeller has spoken out at countless conferences, served on (and resigned from) several boards of national labor organizations and written dozens of op-eds. Ask Hoeller and he’ll tell you that his outspoken support of Adjunct Home Rule, as it were, has earned him the enmity of American Federation of Teachers officials, American Association of University Professors officials, not to mention the leaders of his own state and local AFT affiliates. It’s a long list.
Has a lone middle-aged part-timer really provoked the ire of so many powerful people in the higher education union movement?
In 2011 Hoeller launched an independent adjunct faculty association at Green River Community College to rival the union. The United Faculty Coalition represents only 40 or so of the college’s 303 adjuncts (all of whom pay union dues, however, to the local).
“The union people went bananas,” says Hoeller. “Three of the adjuncts who founded the organization with me were let go. Now, they’re after me. They want me gone.”
Just as it might be easy to dismiss Re’s accusations as the sour grapes of an adjunct, it’s equally easy to dismiss Hoeller’s allegations of persecution and retaliation as paranoia and self-aggrandizement.
Until, that is, you read the emails about Re and Hoeller’s advocacy efforts sent by the UF Board members to each other.
Emails Reveal AFT Washington President Orchestrating Sabotage of Adjunct Faculty Teach-In
AdjunctNation filed a Freedom of Information Act request in July of 2012 for emails sent between and among the members of the GRCC union’s executive board about an April 2012 complaint filed against Keith Hoeller, shortly after he staged a teach-in for the college’s adjunct faculty: “A SOLUTION TO FACULTY APARTHEID.”
In response to a second FOIA for emails sent using any grcc.edu email address about AdjunctNations’s July 2012 FOIA, it was revealed that Mark Millbauer had threatened to “go to court” and obtain an injunction to keep emails, which he claimed were “union business,” secret. It took AdjunctNation 6 months to force Green River officials to comply with the law, and included the help of the Washington State Attorney General’s Ombudsman, Mr. Tim Ford. Millbauer’s union never produced an injunction to keep the “union business” emails secret, and college officials searched Millbauer’s college email account, among others, and turned over hundreds of pages of emails mentioning Hoeller during the months of March-July 2012, including emails between Millbauer and Sandra Schroeder.
The emails are damning and support many of Kathryn Re’s accusations made in her January 28, 2013 letter to NEA President Van Roekel.
The July 2012 FOIAed emails paint a picture of an Executive Committee populated by full-time faculty (several of whom are division chairs) who are insular, vindictive, frightened, disingenuous, manipulative and dismissive of adjunct concerns about protecting their seniority, among other issues. The emails also paint an unflattering portrait of AFT Washington president and AFT national board member Sandra Schroeder as calculating and dismissive of the college’s “contingent faculty (or adjunct whatever term you use) faculty.”
The emails give substance to Keith Hoeller’s long-time claims that Schroeder has been dismissive and suspicious of his efforts to improve the lot of the part-time faculty members in his state, in the AFT Washington, and at his own institution.
In April 2012 Hoeller’s adjunct faculty association organized a teach-in, and the emails between the UF Board members flew fast and furious. They struggled to find a way to undermine Hoeller’s event so that it did not appear as though the UF was being “pitted against Keith which is exactly what he wants,” wrote Humanities Division Chair Will Scott to his UF Board colleagues. Scott sent this email just a short time before he went on to file a complaint against Hoeller for refusing to allow a quickly scheduled additional evaluation of his teaching. Hoeller feared he was being targeted for dismissal by his own union because of animosity surrounding the formation of the competing adjunct faculty association.
AFT Washington President Sandra Schroeder’s email to Mark Millbauer about the teach-in organized by the competing adjunct faculty association is chilling. Schroeder composes an email for Millbauer to send out to faculty about the upcoming event. She suggests language that openly panders to the college’s adjuncts:
Because we have been asked by several people, we want to clarify that the teach-in….is not being sponsored by or affiliated with the UF or any other official GRCC organization. That being said, the topics being discussed are important ones. UF would have been willing to co-sponsor such an event if asked. We have been in the process of developing out own outreach program for contingent faculty (or adjunct whatever term you use) faculty.
During the coming months we will be seeking the input of all faculty, especially contingent faculty as we prepared for next year’s negotiations
Schroeder prefaces the above suggested language by chiding Millbauer, “Also I wouldn’t say the teach-in is a ‘great’ idea. That sounds like encouraging people to go.”
In an April 11, 2012 email Schroeder, pictured left, writes to Millbauer suggesting he contact teach-in presenter Frank Cosco, president of the Vancouver Community College Faculty Association, and subtly pressure him to withdraw from the teach-in. Schroeder coaches Millbauer in the art of assassinating the character of his own union member (and hers). Schroeder writes: “It may be that Cosco is fully aware of the circumstances and isn’t bothered, but most union leaders would not be comfortable presenting in a situation like this. He (Cosco) will probably have a very positive view of Keith and Jack (Longmate) so tread carefully. Very few people outside of union leaders in Washington have any idea of how insidious he (Hoeller) is.”
Schroeder counsels Millbauer to tell Cosco that “you expect people at the event to attack the local union,” and that “a call is best because hearing your voice might make him more comfortable in what you have to say.”
In April 2012, after Hoeller was slapped with a complaint by union Executive Board member Will Scott, in his role as Humanities Division head, his union’s “grievance chair” Jaeney Hoene wrote to Will Scott and Mark Millbauer (also a division head): “If Keith can show you are departing from past practice without going through an appropriate process for doing so, that can be a problem….”
Hoeller was then forced to rebut Will Scott’s complaint against him to his union’s Executive Committee, composed of Scott, Millbauer and Hoene, among others. Will Scott not only participates in the discussions via email that go on about whether the union will agree to represent Hoeller in his fight against Scott’s complaint, Scott and Millbauer discuss how to best proceed against Keith Hoeller by finding “past practice” evidence that will undermine Hoeller’s grievance.
It is, however, Hoene’s email that is the most damning evidence of how the GRCC union’s Executive Committee members ignore their responsibilities to objectively and equally represent their members when she suggests to Scott and Millbauer that, “If Keith can show you are departing from past practice without going through an appropriate process for doing so, that can be a problem….”
Throughout the months of April and May Keith Hoeller exchanges emails with the UF leadership, including Millbauer, complaining that their positions as division chairs represent a clear conflict of interest in their attempts to represent him in Will Scott’s complaint to the administration over Hoeller’s refusal to allow the additional evaluation. In a May 2012 email Millbauer insists that it is “the practice of the UF Executive Board to provide reps that are seated board members whenever possible.”
In early June 2012, Hoeller filed a complaint against Will Scott, alleging voting irregularities at a Humanities Division meeting.
A flurry of emails between Mark Millbauer, pictured right, Will Scott and grievance chair Jaeney Hoene concerning Hoeller’s complaint confirm Kathryn Re’s allegations that the union’s leaders are entangled in many conflicts of interest that undermine their ability to represent adjuncts equally.
June 4, 2012 at 7:38 a.m: Will Scott sends Jaeney Hoene and Mark Millbauer an email in which he writes, “I need you as my union representative on this.”
June 4, 2012 at 3:22 p.m. Hoene responds to Scott and Millbauer, via email: “Are you saying you don’t want me to act as the division chair? If I’m the division chair, I need to ask you and Keith to meet with me. If I’m going to attend as your union rep….then we need to find a division chair to join the party.”
June 4, 2012 at 10:39 p.m. Hoene writes to Keith Hoeller: “I will be facilitating the informal handling of the complaint….My role at the meeting is to mediate the discussion. I do not have a side other than that I am on the side of resolution, if possible….I am copying Mark Millbauer to keep him abreast of the situation.”
Hoene, of course, had contacted both Scott (a party in the complaint) and Millbauer via email hours earlier to work out her role.
On June 5, 2012 emails show Scott and Hoene strategizing together on how to best neutralize Hoeller’s complaint.
In early June, Hoene was still serving as the union “grievance chair” handing the complaint lodged against Keith Hoeller by Will Scott related to the evaluation scheduled which Hoeller contended was not required to allow under the terms of the union’s contract.
“I saw this coming. It is basically an effort by the adjuncts (more specifically Keith’s cohort) to take over the union….”
Around the same time as the teach-in and the Scott complaint against Hoeller, GRCC mathematics adjunct instructor Kathryn Re began to ask for information about the union’s finances, union dues, audits and reports in light of the theft of union funds. In her complaint to Van Roekel, Re alleges that:
“When asked for past annual reports, I was told that none were available. This stonewalling response is likely in retaliation for having raised questions….The cost of union dues has not been made readily available to UF members. When I began to inquire, I met with resistance and withholding of information from Mr. Millbauer.”
Millbauer was urged to show “resistance” by his fellow union leaders, emails show.
Re’s allegation that she was stonewalled is corroborated by emails sent by union board members discussing her requests for financial documents.
Mathematician Kathryn Re suspected (correctly) UF requires adjuncts to pay a higher percentage of their incomes to the union in the form of dues, 1.2% of gross pay; full-time faculty pay .034 percent of their base salaries up to $40,000. She wanted financial data to put forward a resolution to ask the union’s membership to put an “equitable dues structure in place,” according to an email Re sent Millbauer on May 17, 2012. In that same emailed letter Re suggests that “51 percent of the union’s executive board should be adjuncts since two-thirds of the faculty represented are adjunct employees.”
Humanities Division Chair Will Scott emailed this to the UF Board when informed of Re’s request for financial records in order to analyze the union’s dues structure: “I saw this coming. It is basically an effort by the adjuncts (more specifically Keith’s cohort) to take over the union….I, for one, am pretty upset about the tone of this (Re’s) message. There seems to be an indication that 1) we as a board are incompetent, 2) we as a board are somehow institutionally working to destroy adjuncts, 3) we as a board have not only ignored, but been negligent in addressing adjunct issues. It is really upsetting to me.”
Jaeney Hoene writes in an email to fellow board members Glen Martin, Ronald Riley, Timera Drake and Andrew Jeffrey in May 2012: “This kind of data gathering is a lot of unnecessary work…I believe this is all a ruse. No one should have to do what she’s asking (produce financial records which, according to the unions bylaws must be kept) without being given a better reason….Invite her to share her ideas with us at a Board meeting.”
Adjunct Andrew Jeffrey sent this email to his colleagues on the board about Re’s request for the union’s financial information in which he pompously writes, “…I would be disinclined to acquiesce to her request. She might be right that we should be that transparent, but this is a union….”
Board member Glen Martin writes, “I concur with Andrew as well.”
Timera Drake emails the board and suggests misleading Re, to whom the union’s board members do not intend to release the requested financial documents in retaliation for Re’s release of previous documents shared with her to the public. “Why don’t we reply to her…something like, ‘We have received your request for information, but we should allow the membership input on whether to release financial input to that extent.”
On June 5, 2012 Millbauer sent her an email that included the assertion that “I can’t freely send that to you. This was reaffirmed to me by the auditor just again today.” Auditors, of course, provide audits; they do not control with whom the information is shared or how. Millbauer offers to show the audit to Re, but refuses to give her a copy.
Other emails exchanged between the union’s Executive Board members confirm Re’s suspicions that financial information was withheld in retaliation.
On June 13, 2012 union Executive Committee member Glenn D. Martin shot off an email to his fellow union leaders. He writes about Kathryn Re’s request for available audits of her union’s finances:
What the hell? I’m very uncomfortable giving her any more numbers, especially audit information since she has proven she likes to “broadcast” anything and everything….What’s wrong with just telling her NO!!? At this point, with all UF has gone through this year…I’d be happy to tell her to take a long walk off a short pier. I’d also like to ask her to resign her membership (just a wish).
Andrew Jeffrey, the adjunct representative to the union board responded to Martin’s email that he thought the audit information should be withheld from Re, as well, to punish her past transgressions of making it “public”: “I agree. If she wants to make unilateral decisions…about what to share with the general public, tell her she should run for UF office.”
The First Warning Shot Fired Over Dennis Van Roekel’s Bow
In April 2011 it was reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education that Jack Longmate sent a 15-page “sharply-worded” letter “to the president of the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, asking him to intervene and to confront the broad conflicts of interest in unions that represent both groups of professors in the same collective-bargaining unit.”
Jack Longmate wants Mr. Van Roekel to allow a third party to investigate Longmate’s claims against his own local at Olympic College. Longmate alleges in his letter that there are, “serious and unmitigated conflicts of interest between the part-timers, who lack any job security, and the full-timers, who have tenure and serve as their de-facto supervisors.”
Of course there are conflicts of interest when full-time and part-time faculty are represented in the same locals. Here’s what Longmate wrote to Van Roekel:
Full-time tenured faculty members are allowed to teach courseloads that surpass what is allowed in the union’s contract and that cut into the classes available for part-time professors. He also says, among other things, that adjuncts are not routinely invited to the table during discussions about issues that affect them and that his union has violated various policies outlined by the national association.
In April of 2011 AdjunctNation reported:
The NEA refused to comment when The Chronicle of Higher Education came knocking. They also refused to comment when InsideHigherEd.com asked about Longmate’s letter. This is the worst possible moment for NEA officials to close ranks and pretend that the public, higher education and their own members don’t deserve a thorough explanation of how the NEA intends to respond to Jack Longmate’s formal complaint. Jack Longmate has launched the first shot in what could be a fight on behalf of adjunct faculty that could change the shape of higher education union representation for hundreds of thousands of people.
Will Van Roekel ignore Kathryn Re and the part-timers at GRCC who have pieced together a meticulous case documenting the ineptitude, arrogance and dishonesty of their union leaders? If, perhaps, it were just Re’s word against that of Sandra Schroeder and the UF Board members, Van Roekel could chalk it up to a family dispute. However, the hundreds of pages of emails turned over to AdjunctNation could be used as evidence in a lawsuit against both the state and national leaders. That lawsuit, as Jack Longmate alleged in April 2011 and Kathryn Re alleged on January 28, 2013, could conceivably argue Washington state and Washington DC union leaders were made aware of the many conflicts of interest, many instances of unequal or simply non-existent representation, and ignored those complaints. The emails turned over the AdjunctNation could, potentially, be used to argued UF Board union leaders colluded with Sandra Schroeder and each other to withhold fair and equal representation, and colluded to damage the professional reputation of one of the union’s own members—Keith Hoeller.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Green River Community College faculty member Kathryn Re’s January 28, 2013 letter to Dennis Van Roekel is nothing short of a Declaration of Independence in which she makes clear that the history of the present union at Green River Community College is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the college’s 300 adjunct faculty. To prove this, Kathryn Re has submitted Facts to a candid world.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, AdjunctNation has secured 600 pages of written documents that support many of Kathryn Re’s allegations. We are planning to post an archive of the GRCC UF Board emails, as well as Re’s letter to Van Roekel and her written evidence in support of her request for a trusteeship.