Bits & Pieces

Here a few small stories to finish your week:

* The Teamsters conducted an all-member vote for president. Junior Hoffa has been running the union since 1999, but this time he faced a strong challenge from Fred Zuckerman, president of a Teamsters local in Kentucky. So strong, in fact, that initial vote counts reveal Zuckerman defeated Hoffa among all U.S. locals. Unfortunately for him, Hoffa appears to have run up a huge margin among the 12 Teamsters locals in Canada and leads by about 6,000 votes out of about 200,000 cast. The results still have to be certified.

* Union representation of Detroit teachers was a convoluted mess this year, but things may return to normal as votes are counted for the top offices in the Detroit Federation of Teachers. The incumbents are being challenged by a slate of candidates called Dedicated Teachers for Fairness and Equity. Some of the candidates on the slate helped organize teacher sick-outs last year.

* The former treasurer of the Coffee County Education Association was indicted on one count of theft after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. Stephanie Cunningham misappropriated more than $29,000 of union funds, using the money to purchase personal items. Normally this wouldn’t be worth noting, but one of the reasons Cunningham was able to steal the funds was because the union didn’t require two signatures on checks – a simple safeguard that still hasn’t been instituted everywhere even after many years.

* After only a year and a half, support employees with Illinois Valley Community College dissolved their union, which was affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.