This was a decision we undertook neither lightly nor without lengthy deliberations. The NEB is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment and where all workers are respected; we expect all leaders and members to abide by our Standards of Conduct. This decision reflects that our leaders must uphold those practices in every sphere.
The NEB has unanimously elected First Vice President Steven Moy (IBEW Local 3) as President for the remainder of the term. Ligaya Domingo (SEIU Healthcare 1199NW) is now serving as the First Vice President and Jessica Tang (BTU Local 66, AFT) remains the Treasurer. Jillian Matundan (AFSCME) was elected as Secretary to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Sandra Engle (UAW), who is now the APALA Interim Executive Director.
In full transparency, we want to give you an understanding of how we came to this difficult decision. This process has been arduous for all parties involved. But it was also necessary as the misconduct alleged was serious and adversely affected the culture of support and respect that we strive to create. It is important to note that a myriad of attempts to facilitate and mediate the internal issues were attempted for months before formal charges invoking Article XI of the APALA Constitution were submitted in October 2022. Every part of the process was also guided by outside legal counsel from the moment the complaints surfaced.
The NEB determined in November that there was sufficient evidence to impanel two Investigating Committees consisting of NEB members, as outlined in the Constitution. Former President Calma was immediately relieved of his duties as an officer and Board member pending the outcome of the investigation and NEB deliberations, as stipulated by our Constitution.
The Investigating Committee began a seven-month process that involved multiple interviews, witnesses, and document gathering. In all instances, Former President Calma was given every reasonable opportunity to participate or observe interviews and/or send a representative to do so. When the Committees indicated that they would be submitting their reports at the next regularly scheduled June meeting of the NEB, notification was given to Brother Calma.
The final reports of the Investigating Committees were given to the NEB at the same time as Calma. He was permitted the same amount of time to review the reports as the NEB, to participate in the reporting of the findings, and was provided the opportunity to both ask questions and present statements at the hearings. He declined all offers and made it clear that he would no longer participate in the proceedings.
Following extensive deliberations, the NEB voted per the standards laid out in the Constitution. Calma and his representative were notified of the decision, and the timeline to appeal the decision to the APALA Convention. No appeal was submitted by the deadline. The AFL-CIO and SEIU were also notified of the outcome following the decision. Per the Constitution, SEIU may choose another appointee to fill the remainder of the term.
This was the first time in the history of APALA where Article XI (Removal From Office) was invoked. The language in the Constitution outlines a process and was followed strictly. Where the Constitution was not clear, the NEB provided clarity consistent with the Constitution as the highest policy-making body of APALA except when the Convention is in session.
We must now move forward knowing that standards of practice have no meaning if they only live on paper. We commit to modeling the behavior we seek from others. The National Executive Board is eager to continue building up the national AAPI workers’ movement, to repair our relationships internally and across the movement, and to continue our mission of organizing and strengthening AAPI workers’ power and voices. We hope you continue to join us in our shared mission.