Introduction • As a facility representative, you will be responsible for appointing a committee to conduct your local’s election of officers in accordance with federal law and your union’s/local’s constitution and bylaws.
Objectives At the conclusion of this module, you will be able to instruct your committee on the following: • Hold a local election • Identify campaign rules
Outline • Holding Elections • Campaign Rules • Election Procedures • Election Checklist • Electing Union Officers by mail
Holding Elections • What local offices must be filled by election? • Any constitutional officer, any person authorized to perform the functions of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or other executive functions of the local, or any member of its executive board or similar governing body. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.17) • A constitutional officer is any person holding a position identified as an officer by the constitution and bylaws of the union. (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.18)
Methods for Reasonable Notification • Mail a notice • You can also include the notice of election information and satisfy that requirement • Publication in a union newsletter • Is reasonably calculated to reach all members in good standing, and • Actually provides reasonable opportunity of nominations to be made; or other means in accordance with the local constitution and bylaws • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.56)
What are the factors used to determine whether a reasonable qualification is reasonable? • Its relation to the legitimate needs and interests of the union • Its relation to the demands of the union office to which it is applied • The number of members who are disqualified by its application • A comparison of normal requirements of other unions • The degree of difficulty union members have meeting the qualification • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.36)
How Often • Locals are required to hold elections for each position at least every three years. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.23)
Who can run? • Any member in good standing, subject to reasonable qualifications in the local’s constitution and bylaws • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.32)
Notice of Nominations • The offices to be filled by election • The date and time for submitting nominations • The place for submitting nominations • How to submit the nomination • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.56)
Prohibition against certain persons holding office • 29 U.S.C. 504 (a) • No person who has been convicted of, or served any part of a prison term resulting from a conviction of robbery, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, grand larceny, burglary, arson, violation of narcotics laws, murder, rape, assault with the intent to kill, assault which inflicts grievous bodily injury or a violation of title II or III of this act.
Campaign RulesDistribution of Literature • A union must honor all reasonable requests by a candidate to distribute literature at his or her expense to all members in good standing. The union may not censor campaign material and must treat all candidates equally. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.67)
Campaign RulesInspection of Membership List • Each bona fide candidate has the right to inspect the membership list once within thirty days of the election. In the case of a mail-ballot election, within thirty days prior to the ballots being mailed. This does not include copying. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.71)
Campaign RulesUse of Union Funds • Union funds may not be used to promote the candidacy of a particular individual in a union election. These funds may, however, be used for notices, factual statements of issues not involving candidates; and other expenses necessary for holding an election. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.73) • (Employers may not contribute either) • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.78)
Election Procedures • What is a member in good standing?
Election Procedures • A member shall be considered in good standing if: • (a) The payment of his or her dues is not more than 45 days in arrears, except that in the event of the death of an active member in good standing, the member’s spouse, if also an active member in good standing, will be granted a waiver of the payment of dues; or in the event that an active member in good standing is recalled to active military duty, his/her dues shall be waived during the time during which he/she is called to active duty. • (b) His or her membership has not been modified by disciplinary action imposed in accordance with this constitution. • (Art III, Sec 7, NATCA Constitution)
Election Procedures • During the planning of the election, the election committee should update the membership list. (This will ensure all the membership information is correct and current) • The membership list can be obtained from the membership department at the Associations national office.
What is a Secret Ballot? • A ballot that makes it impossible to determine the identity of the voter • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.97)
Notice of Election • Must be mailed to the last known address of every member in good standing, postmarked at least 15 days prior to the election. • Contents: must specify the date(s), time(s), and place of the election and the offices to be filled and must be in a form reasonably calculated to inform the members of the impending election. • If the election is a regular, periodic election of all local offices and the notice so indicates, further specification of the offices to be filled is not necessary. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.99)
Uncontested Elections • An election of officers by secret ballot need not be held if the candidate for an office is unopposed and the following conditions are met: • The union provided for a reasonable opportunity for nomination. • Write-in votes are not permitted as evidenced by a provision in the constitution or bylaws of the local. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.28)
Counting the Ballots • The election committee should, if necessary, obtain an updated membership list from the national office prior to the count for ballot validation. • Ballots should only be handled by the election committee. • Results must be published where all interested members havereasonable access to the information.
Observers • Each candidate has the right (and should be reminded) to observe and have observers present at each polling place and at the counting of the ballots. • The candidates can have as many observers as necessary observe all counting and ensure a fair election. • (29 CFR Ch IV, A, Part 452.107)
Election ChecklistCan you answer yes? • Are elections held within 3 years? • Do members have a reasonable opportunity for nomination? • Do members have a reasonable amount of time to nominate candidates? • Do all members in good standing have an opportunity to be nominated? • Is the membership list updated so candidates have an opportunity to inspect it within 30 days of election or mailing of ballots?
Election ChecklistCan you answer yes? • Are no union or employer funds involved in promoting the candidacy of any person? • Do all members in good standing have the opportunity to vote? • Are election notices mailed to the last known address of all members at least 15 days prior to the election? • Have the candidates been given the opportunity to have observers present at the polling places or the ballot counting?
Election ChecklistCan you answer yes? • Can the members support the candidate of their choice without fear of reprisal? • Are the election procedures in compliance with applicable regulation and the local and national constitution and bylaws? • Are all ballots and other election materials kept for one year?