New SDEA Board Begins Year with Confidential Retreat

On Friday, August 10, the new SDEA Board met for a Board retreat. Discussions included many important items that will directly impact members. I would like to share that important information with you. However SDEA President Bill Freeman and SDEA Vice President Lindsey Burningham asked to speak with me after the retreat, and in this conversation I was told that Board retreat information is not to be shared with members.

After the retreat, I was unable to locate where in the SDEA Bylaws or Standing Rules it states that information from a Board retreat is to be kept secret from the members. As far as I can tell, the only type of information that Board members are supposed to keep confidential is information presented in Executive Session. There was no Executive Session at the Board retreat. I have shared these concerns in an email to Bill Freeman, and continue to look forward to his response.

I believe that I have a right to share the information from the Board retreat, but I am worried that if I do, the Board may attempt to take some sort of negative action toward me. So if you want to know what important information was shared amongst the Board members at the retreat, contact Bill Freeman directly at freeman_b@sdea.net.

Our union is a democracy and we deserve to be involved. Let‘s continue to be an active and an informed membership, and attend the next SDEA Board meeting on August 27, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. at the SDEA office.

Michelle Sanchez

Update:  I have been in contact with President Bill Freeman and Vice President Lindsay Burningham in regards to my concerns about their request that I not share information discussed at the August 10 SDEA Board retreat.  Unfortunately, their response was that the information from Board meeting should not be shared by Board members until it can be be disseminated from SDEA first. There are several problems wit this. First, it’s not clear who exactly “SDEA” is if not the members of the democratically elected Board. Second, this can cause information to be known at a much later date. Third, this is not in the SDEA governance documents, and so is not a real rule. Every member of the SDEA Board not only has a right to share information with the people who elected us, we have an obligation to, and the President and Vice President do not have any right to try to keep us from doing so.

As it stands now, I have still been told I should not share information from the August 10 SDEA Board retreat with SDEA members. I was informed that SDEA members would start receiving emails about the Board meetings, but we have yet to receive one about the August 10 Board meeting.

On a positive note, I was informed that SDEA Board meeting minutes are going to posted on the SDEA website as soon as they are approved by the SDEA Board (which would normally be the following meeting).  Hopefully, members will be able to read the minutes from the August 10 meeting very soon.

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