IMPORTANT: LOCAL UNION ELECTIONS IN 2017
Approximately one-third of the local unions are scheduled to have regular election of officers this year. This notice is important to all current elected officers, especially the Recording Secretary, as well as to the judge-of-election when he or she is appointed by the President. Be sure that both are provided a copy of this information. Below are several reminders concerning the conduct of elections and election campaigns.
The Local Union must comply with Article Twelve (12) of the SMART Constitution and Ritual for election of officers.
Nominations shall be made at a regular or special meeting of the local held either in May or early June, unless a special exception is approved first by the local’s membership and then by the General President.
The SMART or SMWIA logo, or anything resembling it, cannot be used in any candidate’s campaign materials. This includes incumbent candidates as well. The logo is the exclusive property of the International. The International has consistently taken steps to protect the use of its logo for strictly union-related business. Campaign materials are considered personal in nature.
Full-time elected officials are automatic delegates to the 2019 General Convention. See Article Thirteen (13), Section 9 of the SMART Constitution. Accordingly, the ballot should indicate office and delegate; for instance, Business Manager/Convention Delegate.
It is strongly recommended that candidates, especially incumbents, officially schedule vacation time to campaign. Candidates may not campaign while on the clock.
No candidate or supporter of a candidate may solicit or accept any direct or indirect financial support of any kind from the Local, any employer or any non-member, including friends and relatives. Indirect support includes permitting a candidate’s use of office equipment or anything of value from the Local, an employer or non-member free of charge to promote his/her or their candidacy. For example, it is improper for a candidate to have campaign literature duplicated free of charge on a copy machine at a small business owned by a non-member, even if he or she is a relative of the candidate. Another example, it is improper for a candidate to have campaign literature distributed by employers with paychecks. A non-member, who is not an employer, is only permitted to volunteer his or her own personal time, such as to stuff envelopes or handout campaign literature.
If the Local will be mailing or distributing campaign literature for one candidate, the Local must announce to all other candidates the procedure for distribution of campaign literature by the Local, including any costs to be paid by the candidate.
To be eligible to run for local union office, a member must have paid his or her dues prior to the month of nominations and election. As nominations can now be held in the month of May, the candidate must have paid May dues prior to May 1st and since regular local union elections are in June, a candidate must have paid June dues prior to June 1st in order to be eligible. However, the question always comes up with respect to members on dues check-off. A member on dues check-off is eligible to run for local union office if his or her June dues are deducted from his or her paycheck in May even though the employer does not forward the dues to the Local until after June 1st.
Tellers are appointed by the President, or he may delegate this responsibility to the judge-of-election. The tellers should be members of the Local rather than office personnel of the Local.
Many of these reminders and more can be found in the publication “Conducting Local Union Officer Elections: A Guide for Election Officials,” issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. A copy of this publication can be accessed at: http://www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/localelec/localelec.htm. Please be sure the judge-of-election reads this guide. All candidates should review this guide as well.
Additionally, upon request, an International Representative can be assigned to conduct training of election officials and candidates to assist with the election process. Our goal and yours is to have a smooth election with no meritorious election protests and to avoid having to re-run the election at the Local’s expense.
The Recording Secretary’s immediate attention to all of the details listed below is essential for the accurate and timely processing of Election Reports.
1. The exact date(s) of the election and the installation date of the new officers. (Unless July 1 or a specific date in July is submitted, installation of officers presumably will be the first (1st) membership meeting in July, pursuant to Article Twelve (12), Section 7 of our Constitution.).
2. The full, legal name and membership number of each elected officer, including any officers elected or re-elected without opposition.
3. The corresponding office for each name.
4. The complete home address of each elected officer, including zip code or postal zone, as well as email address.
5. The number of the dues receipt of each elected officer, including incumbent officers who are reelected, including June’s dues showing that payment was made in advance of June. You can also submit copies of the actual receipt or a print out of their financial history. Please specify anyone elected who was on dues deduction.
6. The complete tally sheet showing the exact vote count for each office, signed by the tellers and judge. If there was only one nominee for a particular office, please so indicate.
Election Reports are processed in SMART Base, therefore the first step for the person preparing your election report will be to register in SMART Base at http://smartbase.versiform .net where they will create, and submit your Election Report immediately following your election. After the election report form is approved in SMART Base, your Recording Secretary will electronically sign the approved Election Report.
This information is required by Article Twelve (12), Section 6(d) of the SMART Constitution