Autumn brings round of elections for locals

Published: July 26, 2018

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded elections are scheduled to be held this autumn, with nominations to be taken in October and elections conducted in November 2018.

Locals must solicit for the nomination of candidates in October to run for the four-year Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) offices described by SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 81. Each LCA must elect a local chairperson, at least one vice local chairperson, and an LCA secretary (not to be confused with the local secretary or local secretary & treasurer). Those eligible to hold office in an LCA must hold seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA.

Also this autumn, elections are to be held to pick the delegate and alternate delegate, who will represent Transportation Division locals at the SMART Transportation Division Convention, which immediately precedes the SMART General Convention. Locals entitled to additional delegates to represent them at the General Convention will elect those additional delegates in June 2019.

On properties where there are fewer than three locals, 2018 is also the year when the general chairperson is to be elected by mail referendum election, as per SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 82.

At many bus locals, as well as at locals with short lines, the local chairperson may also be considered a general chairperson. In such instances, the chairperson must be elected by mail referendum election in the autumn of 2018.

In addition, any existing local vacancies should be addressed during these elections.

Local secretaries and secretary & treasurers should take steps now to ensure their records reflect accurate membership listings and mailing addresses.

As per the constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings must be held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Winning candidates generally will assume their offices on Jan. 1, 2019. Those filling a vacancy take office immediately.

SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 58, contemplates an installation ceremony for officers named in Article 21B, Section 56. Those elected officers who must present themselves at a regular or special meeting for installation within 60 days following their election include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer (or secretary & treasurer) and trustees. Section 58 does not apply to LCA officers, delegates, alternate delegates, legislative representatives or alternate legislative representatives.

In most cases, candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election to a Transportation Division office. (A simple majority can be thought of as 50 percent of votes, plus at least one more vote.) In the case of the board of trustees (or any other ballot position where voters are instructed to pick more than one of the candidates listed), winning candidates must obtain a majority of the ballots cast.

The process begins
For the local’s secretary or secretary & treasurer, the election process begins with an effort to update the membership roster, ensuring accurate addresses are on file for each member. Our constitution requires each member to keep the local secretary and treasurer advised of his current home address. At the same time, U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) requires the local to take steps to update addresses in advance of an election.

Members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, secretary & treasurer, or treasurer, or can do so themselves at www.smart-union.org/td by clicking on the “Address Change” link on the right side of the page.

Nominations
The local secretary must post a notice at least 10 days in advance of the October nomination meeting indicating when and where nominations for affected positions will take place. The notice should include which positions are open for nominations and should indicate how nominations can be made, especially by those who cannot attend the nomination meeting. Templates are available in the S&T Tools section of the TD website under the Elections subheading.

Instructional packets will be mailed to all locals in August which will include samples of the nomination notices which must be conspicuously posted where it can be reasonably calculated to inform all affected members. While nomination notices are not required by law to be mailed directly to all affected members, in light of recent court rulings, it is highly recommended that the postcards available for this purpose be obtained from our Supply Department and mailed to all members.

Nominations may be made by any member in good standing from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require being seconded. Any member may self-nominate. If a member wishes to self-nominate or nominate someone else but can’t attend the meeting, nominations can be entered through a petition. A nomination petition must state the name of the nominee, the position for which the member is being nominated, and must carry at least five signatures of dues-paying members in good standing. No nominations can be accepted following the close of the nomination meeting. A nominee need not be in attendance at the nomination meeting for the nomination to be valid.

If only one member is nominated for a position, that member can be declared elected by acclamation.

Only dues-paying members of a given LCA (i.e., those paying into the LCA’s fund and listed in that committee on the monthly billing statement) are eligible to make nominations for the offices in that particular LCA. In locals having more than one LCA, the local secretary will provide a separate ballot for all eligible voters of each LCA working under the jurisdiction of the committee involved. Any member in good standing with seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA, including those in E-49 status, can run for an office in that LCA.

Those in so-called E-49 status are eligible to run for office, but they cannot make nominations and they cannot vote. If elected, acceptance of pay from the company or the union creates a dues obligation.

A member can hold only one office within a given LCA under the jurisdiction of a given general committee of adjustment.

In all cases, a notice of the election must be mailed to all members. If your local is conducting its election by mail, the mailed ballots can serve as the required notice of election, but such ballots must be mailed at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation. The Department of Labor does not count the day of mailing as part of that 15-day window, but it does count the day of tabulation.

Again, those conducting floor votes can obtain postcards notifying members of the time, date and place of the election from our Supply Department. These notices must be mailed at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation.

Eligibility
To be eligible to vote, all dues and assessments must be paid within the time frame specified by the constitution. Article 21B, Section 49, indicates dues are to be paid in advance before the first day of the month in which they are due. Eligibility to make nominations or to be nominated is similar. This means, for example, for a nomination meeting in October, the nominator and the nominee must have paid all dues obligations prior to Oct. 1. To vote in November, the voter must have paid all dues obligations prior to Nov. 1.

More information
Members are encouraged to consult Article 21B of the SMART Constitution for information regarding elections. Unless an item within Article 21B directs you to a further stipulation outside of Article 21B, only the provisions found within Article 21B are applicable to Transportation Division elections. The local election process is addressed directly by Article 21B, Section 57.

Election information and guidelines will be distributed to all Transportation Division local presidents and local secretaries, as well as to general chairpersons, state legislative directors and Transportation Division international officers.

Members can consult their local officers to examine this information, or they can visit the S&T Tools section of the TD website under the Elections subheading.

Questions?
There are many provisions not covered by this article, including those which address candidates’ rights and permitted means of campaigning. Those with questions are urged to call the Transportation Division office at 216-228-9400. It’s always easier to address issues in advance than after the fact.