Posts Tagged ‘election’

Autumn brings nominations and elections for locals

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

Locals must solicit for the nomination of candidates in October seeking the four-year legislative offices. Those eligible to hold office as a legislative representative or alternate legislative representative must be qualified voters, meaning they are registered to vote in public elections. The duties of a legislative representative are listed in SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 66.

Members are also reminded that any existing local vacancies should be addressed during these elections.

Local secretaries and secretary and 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, 2020. Those filling a vacancy, however, take office immediately.

SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 58, contemplates an installation ceremony for officers named in Article 21B, Section 56. 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 and 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 or her current home address. At the same time, U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) require the local to take steps to update addresses in advance of an election.
Members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, secretary and treasurer, or treasurer, or can do so themselves through the TD website.

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. Notices should be placed in as many locations as needed to ensure it can reasonably be concluded that all members had an opportunity to see the notices.

All locals have been mailed instructional packets that 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 the TD 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.

Members in 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.

In all cases, a notice of the election must be mailed to all members, including those in E-49 status (but not including retirees). 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 and must be mailed to those in E-49 status. (The tellers will determine on the day of tabulation whether a member is in E-49 status and his or her vote should be counted.) 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.

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 is similar. This means, for example, for a nomination meeting in October, the nominator must have paid all dues obligations prior to October 1. To vote in November, the voter must have paid all dues obligations prior to November 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.

Members can consult their local officers to examine the election guidance material distributed by this officer, or they can visit the S&T Tools page on the TD website and scroll down to the election guidance materials.

Questions?

There are many provisions not covered by this article, including those which address candidates’ rights and permitted means of campaigning. Those with election questions are urged to call the TD office at 216-228-9400.

Obama win offers working families brighter future

By UTU International President Mike Futhey – 

For UTU members employed in the airline, rail and transit industries, the Obama/Biden victory and U.S. Senate election results translate to:

* More, and more secure, transportation jobs.

* More support to increase funding for public transit, Amtrak, and high-speed and higher-speed rail.

* Strengthened protections of collective bargaining rights and the right to organize the unorganized.

* Assurance of a safer workplace.

* Protection of Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Medicare programs as we know them.

* Retention of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that allow children to remain on your health insurance policy until age 26, prohibit insurers from limiting maximum patient care payments to those with serious chronic illnesses, prohibit denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, prohibit copays for certain preventive care procedures, and require insurance carriers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on patient care.

Moreover, continued control of the U.S. Senate by labor-friendly Democrats better ensures that presidential nominations to federal regulatory agencies are more likely to be approved, and that anti-labor legislation passed by the House of Representatives more likely will be blocked by the Senate.

We have many contacts within the Obama administration who understand the concerns and needs of transportation workers.

A few of the most outrageous members of Congress were defeated. Our National Legislative Office and state legislative departments look forward to working with the new Congress to help resolve the major issues facing our nation. We will continue to deliver a clear and consistent message to all members of Congress.

The vote re-electing President Obama and Vice President Biden was a clear victory for the middle class over the privileged landed gentry’s candidate, who was out of touch with working families.

We will continue to develop good working relationships with the leadership of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and our partners in the rail and public transit industries to grow our transportation alternatives with improvements in rail passenger service, rail freight service and all public transportation services.

We are thankful that many of our friends in the Republican leadership in the House were returned to office.

The most important function of a labor union is to advance the job security, wages, benefits, working conditions, and retirement security of its members. The re-election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and the continued labor-friendly control of the Senate, will help to advance those objectives.

Transit jobs, retirement at stake Election Day

Conservative Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Conservative Republicans also are committed to privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program with more costs coming out of retirees’ pockets. By contrast, President Obama is committed to preserving Social Security and Medicare as we know it.

When it comes to collective bargaining rights, conservative Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have publicly congratulated the conservative Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio who pushed to curtail and eliminate those rights – especially for public employees. Contrast that attack on collective bargaining rights with the Democratic Party platform position, which is also the Obama/Biden position:  

“Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work. We will continue to fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union.”

We in the transit industry have held our own in these difficult economic times because the Obama administration and our labor-friendly allies in Congress – labor-friendly Republicans as well as Democrats — fought to preserve transit funding. We know what would happen to transit funding if conservative Republicans control the White House and Congress, as they have made clear they would reduce transit funding.

Had conservative Republicans been the majority in the Senate as well as the House, many of our bus operations would have been privatized, our collective bargaining rights would have been curtailed, and our wages, benefits and work rules would be in jeopardy.

All brothers and sisters in organized labor face attack by conservative Republicans. On Election Day, we must take the time and effort to cast our ballots – and encourage others to cast their ballots – to return President Obama and Vice President Biden to the White House and cast ballots for the labor-friendly candidates. A listing of labor friendly candidates is provided by clicking the following link and scrolling down to “Congressional endorsements”:

https://smart-union.org/news/vote-on-november/

This election is about saving our middle class. Let us stand strong against those corporate-backed candidates who want to destroy labor unions and curtail worker collective bargaining rights. Our job security, pay checks, health care and retirement are at stake.

What election results mean to UTU members

By International President Mike Futhey

What do the Nov. 2 congressional election results mean for UTU members and their families?

Consider these facts that are not always obvious:

  • While it is true that organized labor has more friends among Democrats, many of the Republicans elected Nov. 2 are friends of working families, and they received UTU PAC support and were on our voting recommendations list.
  • The UTU is a bipartisan union, historically and consistently looking beyond party labels to reward each and every friend of working families.
  • Among our Republican friends, for example, are Rep. Don Young of Alaska, and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. Republican Sen. Hatch is one of the strongest congressional defenders of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), while Republican Rep. Young has been one of the UTU’s most ardent supporters in the House of Representatives.
  • One of the most important congressional committees to UTU members — airline, bus and rail — is the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, where most legislation affecting the transportation industries originates. Among Transportation & Infrastructure Committee members, more than 66 percent — Democrats and Republicans — who were endorsed by the UTU won re-election Nov. 2.
  • In all congressional races Nov. 2, more than 60 percent of UTU endorsed candidates won election or re-election. Imagine if you could win a poker hand more than 60 percent of the time, or hit safely six of 10 times at bat as a major league ballplayer.
  • Despite the change in party control in the House of Representatives, UTU recommended candidates are still a majority, meaning the UTU National Legislative Office can continue to work successfully on issues that matter to our members — job security, safety, health care and retirement benefits, as well as adequate public funding for Amtrak and public transit.
  • Key regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, National Mediation Board, and National Labor Relations Board, will continue to have labor-friendly majority control.
  • The UTU’s GOTV — “get out the vote” — effort this election year resulted in thousands of UTU members and families, who were not previously registered or hadn’t voted in the previous (2006) non-presidential election, registering to vote and casting ballots in congressional races.
  • In states where early voting is permitted, preliminary polling by GOTV shows that as many as 20 percent of UTU members and spouses who cast an early ballot had not voted in the 2006 non-presidential election. This proved important in close races.
  • On behalf of the UTU, GOTV — in partnership with UTU state legislative directors and the UTU Auxiliary — made more than 210,000 unique member contacts in 28 states via the postal service, e-mail and telephone calls, urging UTU members and their families to register to vote and to vote in this election.
  • By encouraging a higher percentage of UTU members to register to vote and to vote, we demonstrate to candidates the power of UTU endorsements — and, especially, that in close races, a UTU endorsement has great value to a candidate.
  • Candidates remember their friends in the same manner organized labor remembers its friends.
  • As the proverb says, “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference.” What the UTU PAC and GOTV demonstrate to candidates of all political stripes is that the UTU is a friend worth having.
  • The UTU has always had a great legislative program, but what we have accomplished this election through GOTV sets a new standard and benchmark to measure future advances.
  • When the new Congress is seated in 2011, we will be working closely with our old and new friends to continue advancing the UTU legislative agenda on behalf of our members.

Vote your paycheck on Election Day

By Bonnie Morr
Alternate Vice President – Bus Department

Right now in our country, economics is spelling out what transit and transportation will look like now and in the future.

The UTU Bus Department has been following the trends for funding that are necessary for passenger and public transportation to meet the needs of an aging population and growing automobile congestion.

It does not look good. 

In every town and community, hard decisions must be made — and we want those decisions made by lawmakers who understand the importance of adeuate, reliable and safe public transportation, including transportation of school children by bus.
 
We have a responsibility to our families, children and community to make sure that the funding for public transportation stays in place. We can do that with our votes on Election Day, Nov. 2.

When we say, “vote your paycheck,” keep in mind that the jobs of UTU Bus Department members depend on adequate, reliable and safe funding for public transportation.

We need to get out the vote for labor-friendly candidates who support adequate, reliable and safe public transportation.

Think jobs, because there are candidates out there who are coming after our jobs.

When you cast your ballot on Election Day, support candidates who will do the right thing when it comes to funding and ensuring adequate, reliable and safe public transportation.

I am a laborer. I drive a bus. I want the labor protections that labor-friendly candidates will honor with laws and regulations that my mother fought for as an organizer for the Ladies Garment Workers Union.

We have protections as union bus operators, and we want to extend those protections to the unorganized.

Let us all support candidates who are pledged to increased funding for public transportation, job security, safe working conditions and an environment that respects working families.

To view the list of labor-friendly candidates, click on the following link:

https://static.smart-union.org/worksite/PDFs/2010_cong_endorsements.pdf

Your vote is crucial. Vote Nov. 2

By James Stem
UTU National Legislative Director

Alfred E. Newman, the not-very-bright Mad magazine character, had an expression shared today by too many Americans: “I am not sure who is running, and my vote won’t make a difference anyway.”

It is doubtful those harboring that opinion would give up their right to vote.

Our war for independence from Britain was about self-government. More recent struggles among women and minorities for the right to vote were equally hard fought.

Today, it is apathy among middle-class workers — not foreign troops, not intimidation at the polls, not laws — that threatens American democracy.

The wealthy and business leaders are more likely to vote than working families. By not going to the polls, working families put at risk their job security, workplace safety, paychecks, access to affordable health care and pensions.

If you are concerned that your work schedule or other conflict will hinder your ability to vote on Election Day, Nov. 2, most states allow you an option to vote early.

You can be sure that the wealthy and business leaders will vote — and vote for candidates who would undermine the financial security of working families.

Our ballot is equal to the ballot of every anti-labor business leader, but it is equal only if we vote.

I am asking you to pay attention to the economic well-being of your family and workplace safety. Ask your UTU local LR and UTU state legislative board for information on local, state and national candidates’ positions toward working families.

In the centerfold of the October issue of UTU News (which you should have received at your home) is a listing, by state, of labor-friendly candidates endorsed by the UTU. This listing is the result of months of research by state legislative boards, the UTU National Legislative Office and the AFL-CIO — based on interviews with the candidates and their responses to written questions.

The list of labor friendly candidates is also available by clicking the link at the end of this column.

Be proud of the middle class lifestyle your UTU contract supports, and consider voting for candidates who will put the interests of working families first.

If you have further questions, contact the UTU National Legislative Office via e-mail at utujm@msn.com, or call us at (202) 543-7714.

Don’t allow others to determine your future. Vote!

To view the list of labor-friendly candidates, click on the following link:

https://static.smart-union.org/worksite/PDFs/2010_cong_endorsements.pdf