Posts Tagged ‘legislative representative’

TD legislative representatives take oaths, assume roles

Beginning January 1st, 2020, more than 500 duly elected Legislative Representatives will take their oath of office to serve our great Organization. They have chosen to faithfully serve their membership as SMART-TD officers in the areas of workplace safety, legislation, public representation and retirement issues.

Kenny Edwards

K.O. Edwards is chair of the Association of State Legislative Directors and Indiana State Legislative Director.

Many will be first time LRs with little or no knowledge of what the position entails. That’s perfectly OK. Every experienced and effective LR began with little or no idea as to how he or she should execute the duties of the job. Know this: The LR is a very important position. All active and retired members depend upon his/her LR to serve them.

Nearly every issue an LR discovers or engages has its origins at the local level. As an LR identifies and progresses through finding remedies to local problems, they will find that these issues are not exclusive to just one location. Most issues that an LR must tackle exist across our industry and nationwide. This is why working as a team and becoming a teammate locally and within the SMART-TD hierarchy is vital as we render service to the membership.

How does an LR begin performing the job?

First and foremost: Have a positive mindset. Do not be scared or intimidated. I promise: YOU GOT THIS. There are many successful styles and approaches. Find one that fits you and your skill set. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and make it a point to improve upon both.

It is imperative that an LR contact his or her State Legislative Director as soon as possible after taking office. It is the LR’s responsibility to have a functioning relationship with the State Legislative Director. Conversely, it is the responsibility of every State Legislative Director to have a functioning relationship with every LR in their state. If an LR fails to establish a working relationship with their State Legislative Director, there are two persons at fault.

Newly elected LRs are encouraged to be proactive and find a mentor to help. Experienced LRs coming back to serve another term absolutely need to become a mentor and make it a point to help others. Learning is a two-way street that educates both the student and the teacher.

Patience is a vital part of the job. Learning the basics of the role will not come overnight. It’s no different than learning how to safely and effectively perform our duties out on our work properties — we can’t possibly acquire everything we are going to need to know all at once. It takes time to perfect the basics and build our skill sets out from there. Practice doesn’t make perfect — practice makes permanent. This is why it is so important to learn how to perform the job of LR the right way from the beginning.

Local officers are the backbone of this Organization. There is an expectation for LRs to take their oath, take it with pride and take the responsibilities that come with the position seriously.

Every word is the foundation of the position. Never forget that the LR is an integral part of the SMART-TD. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper, and I speak for every SMART-TD officer at every level when I say we want every LR to grow and succeed.

Please enjoy every minute of service the next four years!

K.O. Edwards
Chairman — Association of State Legislative Directors and Indiana State Legislative Director

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.

Legislative, Alt. Legislative Rep. elections planned

election_checkboxMembers and SMART Transportation Division (TD) Local officers are reminded elections for the positions of Legislative Representative and Alternate Legislative Representative are being conducted this autumn by all TD Locals, with nominations to be taken at the October 2015 meetings. Generally, those eligible for these four-year positions include all members in good standing (including those in E-49 status) who are registered voters in the state in which they reside and whose dues have been paid in a timely manner (in the month preceding the month in which they are due). All members, as well as Local Secretaries, are advised to take steps to ensure membership addresses are up to date, as federal law requires all members to receive notification via U.S. mail of the elections at least 15 days in advance of the tabulation date. For those Locals conducting these elections by mail, the ballot will serve as the required notice. Addresses can be updated via the home page of the Transportation Division’s website at http://utu.org/. The SMART Constitution requires all members to keep their addresses up to date with the union. Copies of Special Circular No. 31, as well as the pamphlet, “How to Hold Elections for Legislative Representative and Alternate Legislative Representatives,” both of which offer guidance for these elections, have been distributed to all Local Presidents and Secretaries. Copies can be obtained from the Transportation Division’s website at http://utu.org/secretary-treasurer-forms/, where a Department of Labor guide on conducting elections is also available, or from the Transportation Division’s main office in Cleveland, Ohio. Nominations meetings should be held by each Transportation Division Local in October 2015, and elections should follow a month later. Depending on action taken by the membership at the nomination meeting, or provisions of the Local’s bylaws, elections can be conducted by mail or as floor elections (i.e., walk-in elections at a meeting). Nominations may be made from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require a second. You may self-nominate. Those who cannot attend the nomination meeting can submit a nomination via petition. At least five members eligible to vote shall sign nomination petitions, which should be delivered to the Local Secretary prior to the nomination meeting or presented at the meeting. Local Secretaries should ensure all members know how to contact them for purposes related to these elections. For more information, contact the Transportation Division’s office in Cleveland, Ohio, by calling (216) 228-9400, by sending e-mail to president_td@smart-union.org, or by writing to SMART Transportation Division, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333. View ”Special Circular No. 31 – August 2015? here. View “How to Hold Elections for Legislative Representatives and Alternate Legislative Representatives” here. View Department of Labor publication on conducting local elections here. View “Order of Supplies form” here. Additional resources for conducting elections can be found here.