As we move forward, it’s extremely important for members to receive reliable information about the new SMART Constitution that will govern the organization’s future activities. In August, there will be a Constitutional Convention to put the final touches on our merger. In order to provide more timely responses over the next several months, we will include questions and answers, such as the ones listed below, in The Members’ Journal and on the SMART website at www.smart-union.org/convention-faq. The most frequently asked questions will be highlighted as well in both of our publications.
This process will only be as good as what you contribute through your questions which you are encouraged to submit. Nothing is off limits as I want the greatest possible transparency applied to this organization and to this process. Please submit your questions as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to SMART Constitution FAQ, 1750 New York Avenue, N.W., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006. Below, are a few that have already been asked with answers that are available here and on the website at www.smart-union.org/convention-faq.
What parts of the SMWIA Constitution were changed in the new Constitution?
There were no changes to the former SMWIA Constitution. Per the Merger Agreement, the SMART Constitution is made up of the former SMWIA Constitution with the former UTU Constitution inserted as Article 21B. Article 21B (former UTU Constitution) was changed where it conflicted with the former SMWIA Constitution.
What will it take to make changes to the current Constitution?
The entire SMART Constitution is subject to change if amended by the delegates at the SMART General Convention in August of 2014. The process to make these changes is through an amendment process which is outlined in Article 33 of the current SMART Constitution.
Will Local Unions and Councils from both the sheet metal and transportation sides be merged together?
While there has been no current discussion to merge Transportation and Sheet Metal local unions together, it is possible to do so and could be considered in the shorter term if conditions related to representation of the membership was maintained and the local leadership requested such consideration.
I work for the UTU at the Cleveland office and I have been told by my supervisors that I will be out of a job when SMART takes over. Is SMART going to move my job to DC?
It has never been the intention of SMART to randomly eliminate jobs. What has been discussed from the beginning of the merger process has been the efficiency of total operations of SMART and how these efficiencies can best serve the membership both operationally and financially. The Cleveland Office performs a number of functions very important to our operations as does the Washington DC Office; and as these are fully examined. The two criteria just mentioned will be used to determine where these operations are performed.
Why can’t UTUIA partner with SMART and expand the UTUIA market to other SMART union workers?
As you may or may not be aware, UTUIA was not part of the merger agreement and is not a part of SMART. It is a separate insurance carrier which provides services to Transportation Division members. With that said it is recognized that while SMART and UTUIA are separate organizations, there exists a very important partnership with our members and we plan to support and help expand its products and services where they offer added benefit to the full membership of SMART.
Is the election process for TD officers and committee persons protected under the SMART Constitution?
Yes. The provisions of Article 21B, Section 2, list the Transportation Division Officers who will be elected by the Transportation Division Delegates at the SMART Transportation Division Convention in July of this year. Article 21B, Section 82, covers the General Committee of Adjustment.
Does the General President have the power to eliminate TD Vice Presidents positions?
No. Transportation Division Vice Presidents are elected positions and are not appointed by the General President. Vice Presidents within the Transportation Division and General Vice Presidents of SMART, can only be removed if they were charged with an offense and found guilty by an International Trial Board.
Our Local has 172 active dues paying members, 32 members in E-49 status. How many delegates are permitted to attend the SMART Convention? How many votes can the local cast at the Convention?
Only active dues paying members are counted in the formula. Your local can elect 2 delegates to attend the SMART Convention and they will carry 3 votes. The local can split their 3 votes between the 2 delegates or have 1 delegate carry the 3 votes.