Posts Tagged ‘local elections’

Nomination rules, election procedures for fall local elections have been released

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded that elections are scheduled to be held this autumn to fill the three-year Local officer positions described by the SMART Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 56.

Positions include President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, Collector (where applicable) and the three-member Board of Trustees. In addition, any existing vacancies (except for those in the positions of Delegate or Alternate Delegate) should be addressed during these elections.

As per the Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings are held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Special instructions are provided below for Locals unable to hold a nomination meeting due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Winning candidates assume their offices on January 1, 2021. If they are filling a vacancy, however, they take office immediately.

Candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election to any elective Transportation Division office. (A simple majority can be thought of as 50 percent of votes, plus at least one more vote.)

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’s Article 21B, Section 49, 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, or can do so on the Transportation Division’s website.

Even if your Local conducts a floor election, where voting takes place at a physical location rather than by mail, it’s important that your address is up to date. Your Local Secretary (or Secretary-Treasurer, as the case may be) needs to mail a notice to all active members of the local to advise them, at least 15 days in advance of tabulation, that an election is to take place. The notice will indicate when and where voting will take place. (Postcards for this purpose are available for purchase from the Transportation Division’s Supply Department.)

If the Local is conducting its election by mail, the ballot itself must be mailed out at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation, as the ballot serves as the notice of the election.

Nominations

The 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. They need not mail this notice directly to 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 eligible to vote 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 members in good standing. No nominations can be accepted following the close of the nomination meeting.

When a nomination meeting cannot be held due to COVID-19-related restrictions, a notice of nominations must still be posted at all locations where the Local’s members report for duty a minimum of ten (10) days prior to the deadline for nominating petitions to be submitted. Instead of including information pertaining to the time and location of a nomination meeting, the notice should set a specific date and time whereby nominations will be closed, and must include the Local Secretary’s pertinent contact information along with instructions for submitting written nominations. In situations where nomination meetings cannot be held, it is permissible for the Secretary to accept nominations submitted in writing, via hand delivery, text, email, and/or USPS mail.

With respect to choosing a deadline for nominations, typically, this would be determined by the members present at a regular or special meeting of the Local. Where it is not feasible to hold such a meeting, the Local President, Secretary, and Treasurer should all agree on a nomination deadline that works best. As noted, the minimum mandatory notice for nominations is ten (10) days. However, given the circumstances, we recommend giving more notice. Most Locals choose a time period that is closer to thirty (30) days in advance.

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

The scheduled elections held this autumn offer an opportunity to fill other vacancies which may exist. If the vacant position is a Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) position, only members of that LCA are eligible to make nominations for the position and to vote in that election. In locals having more than one LCA for different crafts, the secretary will provide a separate ballot for all eligible voters of each craft working under the jurisdiction of the committee involved. Any member in good standing with seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA may be a candidate for an office in that LCA.

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, if the nomination meeting is in October, the nominator and the nominee 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.

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.

Elections

As previously noted, candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election.

When it comes to handling elections for the Board of Trustees, instructions on the ballot should be included above the candidates’ names telling the voter: “Vote for three candidates.” Each member of the three-member Board of Trustees must be elected by a majority of votes cast, a requirement which frequently results in the need for runoff elections. The rule of thumb in such runoffs is that for each open position, which must be filled, two candidates will compete.

For example, if nine candidates run for a position on the Board of Trustees, and 200 valid ballots have been cast and counted in the first round of the election, each successful candidate must receive at least 101 votes. If no candidate receives at least 101 votes, a runoff must be held.

The runoff would include two candidates for each open position. In the above example, this means the three candidates with the lowest vote totals are dropped from the ballot, and the names of six candidates appear on the runoff ballot. In the runoff, if only one candidate attains a majority of votes that means one of the three positions was filled, and there remain two Trustee positions to fill, with five remaining candidates. Of those five remaining candidates, the candidate with the lowest vote total would be dropped from the ballot, and another ballot would be issued with four candidate’s names (because there are two positions to be filled).”

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 have been distributed to all Transportation Division Local Presidents and Local Secretaries, as well as to General Chairpersons, State and District Legislative Directors and Transportation Division International Officers.

Members can consult their Local officers to examine this information, or they can visit the Transportation Division’s Local Toolbox and click on “Elections.”

Special Circular No. 35 describes the constitutional provisions involved in the local elections this autumn, and the pamphlet entitled “How to Hold Elections for Local Officers” gives practical, hands-on election guidance and includes samples of nomination and election notices that can be posted. The leaflet entitled “Special Instructions Related to COVID-19” provides guidance when gathering restrictions are in place.

Local officer positions

The following is a brief description of the duties of the various Local officer positions.

The Local President presides at all meetings of the Local, enforces the provisions of the Constitution and bylaws of the Local and exercises general supervision over the Local’s affairs. The President ensures that Local officers respond to inquiries from the International, and with the Secretary and/or Treasurer, files all reports required by federal, state or local laws. The President may speak on any subject before the Local, but may not vote except, in case of a tie vote, casts the deciding ballot.

The Local Vice President succeeds the Local President and fulfills the remainder of the three-year term if the Local President resigns, retires, becomes incapacitated, dies, or for some reason cannot fulfill the requirements of the position. Also, if the Local President cannot attend a Local meeting, the Vice President presides at regular Local meetings.

In most Locals, the offices of Secretary and Treasurer have been combined. The Local Secretary keeps an accurate record of all Local proceedings, receives all communications, conducts correspondence and is in charge of the Local seal and Local records. The Secretary performs the duties of the Local Treasurer in Locals that do not provide for the separation of the offices of Secretary and Treasurer.

The Treasurer receives all monies due to be collected by the Local and provides receipts, except in cases where the Local maintains the office of collector. The treasurer holds and keeps secure all Local funds and is bonded. The Treasurer also keeps an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the Local on forms provided for that purpose. The Treasurer shall also remit all monies due the International to the General Secretary-Treasurer each month.

In a few instances, Locals of 50 or more members maintain the office of Collector. The Local Collector receives all money due the Local and provides receipts. Prior to the first day of each month, the Collector reports to the Local Treasurer all the money received during the current month and gives the amount collected to the Local Treasurer.

The Local Board of Trustees supervises the financial affairs of the Local. Upon approval by the Local, the Board has authority to rent, lease, or purchase property, office equipment or other necessary supplies. The Board meets in January of each year for the purpose of auditing the annual report of the Treasurer and verifying bank balances and cash on hand.

Questions?

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

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.

Guidelines set for distribution of campaign literature

The SMART Transportation Division elections set for this autumn have generated questions concerning the distribution of campaign material. The following information addresses questions posed by those considering running for office who wish to obtain membership lists for use in campaigning.

Under U.S. Department of Labor rules, all candidates for union office have a right under the law to have campaign literature distributed to the membership by the union at the candidate’s expense. The union must honor requests for distribution of literature to all members in good standing.

A member need not be formally nominated to be entitled to distribute campaign literature.

Campaign material must be mailed out by the Local Secretary, Treasurer or Secretary-Treasurer upon request but must be furnished in envelopes which are already stuffed, sealed and with proper postage affixed.

Each candidate must be treated equally with respect to the cost of distributing campaign literature. There is no requirement that the union distribute literature free of charge. However, if a union distributes any candidate’s literature without charge, all other candidates should be notified that they are also entitled to have their literature distributed without charge.

If it is discovered that a candidate has used a “personal” mailing list which was created or obtained as a result of the candidate (or a supporter) serving as an officer or in a union job, the list should be made available to all other candidates.

A union may not limit the number of mailings which a candidate is permitted to make.

A union may require candidates to pay in advance for campaign literature distributions, if such requirement is applied uniformly to all candidates.

A union may not regulate the contents of campaign literature it is asked to distribute and may not require that it be permitted to read the literature before distribution. The union may not censor campaign literature in any way, even if the literature includes derogatory remarks about other candidates.

Bona fide candidates (i.e., those who have been nominated for office) can contact the office of the SMART Transportation Division president to receive mailing lists of their local’s or LCA’s voters. We do not provide email addresses or telephone numbers and, as a courtesy to our membership, it is our policy that phone numbers and email addresses should not be distributed or used in campaigning.

This office can provide by email to duly nominated candidates a requested postal mailing list suitable for producing mailing labels. The minimum charge to obtain printed mailing labels is $66.40, with an extra charge of $0.0332 per label in excess of 2,000. A hard-copy printout of the list costs $50, with an additional $0.50 per 500 in excess of 2,000. The above covers time, material and use of equipment, plus postage where applicable.

Requests for mailing lists should be addressed to SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and can be emailed to president_td@smart-union.org, or candidates can call (216) 228-9400, and ask to speak to a representative in the President’s Department. This office will reach out to ensure the member requesting the information is a bona fide candidate.

In addition, all candidates, upon request, must be granted access by the local secretary, treasurer or secretary-treasurer to inspect the voter eligibility list once within 30 days of the date of tabulation. No copies of the eligibility list are to be provided or carried away by the candidate.

Additional questions should be directed to the office of the President of the Transportation Division.

Local officers elected in 2017, LCA officer elections in 2018

Members are reminded that regular elections of Local officers are being conducted in November 2017, but regular elections for Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) officers are not held until 2018.

As per the Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, Local officers are elected every three years, and LCA officers are elected every four years.

According to Article 21B, Section 56, the “…elective officers of a Local shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, and a Board of Trustees consisting of three (3) members. By action of a Local, the office of Secretary and Treasurer may be separated and elections held to fill each office….”

Locals will be taking nominations for Local officers this October, with the tabulation of ballots scheduled for November 2017. Vacancies in other positions, such as Legislative Representative, Alternate Legislative Representative, Local Chairperson, Vice Local Chairperson or LCA Secretary can also be addressed at this time.

The positions of Delegate and Alternate Delegate do not need to be addressed at this time, as there is no role for these positions between conventions. Delegates to the Transportation Division convention, and their Alternates, will be elected in the autumn of 2018. Those Locals entitled to additional Delegates for the General Convention will elect those Delegates in the spring of 2019.

A chart indicating when the various elections are scheduled can be downloaded from:

https://smart-union.org/td/secretary-and-treasurer-tools/secretary-treasurer-forms/

Members: update your address prior to local elections

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded to keep their local secretary and treasurer advised of their current home address. In view of the upcoming local officer elections and the requirement to mail ballot materials to eligible voters, members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, or by following this link: https://webapps.utu.org/WebSiteForms/AddressChangeRequest.aspx

Local officer elections include president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, and a board of trustees consisting of three (3) members. In addition, any existing vacancies should also be addressed during these elections.

As per the SMART Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings are to be held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Those elected will assume their offices on January 1, 2018. If they are filling a vacancy, however, they take office immediately.

For more detailed information regarding local officer elections, contact the Transportation Division office at (216) 228-9400 or visit the following link: https://smart-union.org/news/local-officer-nominations-set-october-2017/

Legislative, alt. legislative rep. elections complete

Reorganization planning underway

election_checkboxAs the SMART Transportation Division’s state and district legislative boards begin planning for their quadrennial reorganization meetings in 2016, members and local officers are reminded that elections for the positions of legislative representative and alternate legislative representative should now be complete. Any local in which elections have been delayed due to run-offs or other extenuating circumstances must contact the Transportation Division’s main office in Cleveland, Ohio to advise of the cause for delay and expected date of completion. All election results must be reported to the Transportation Division’s office as soon as they are available. Election results may be sent by email to president_td@smart-union.org, by fax to (216) 228-5755, or by writing to SMART Transportation Division, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333. Questions may also be directed to any of the above, or by calling (216) 228-9400. Meanwhile, all SMART Transportation Division state and district legislative chairpersons are reminded of their responsibility to advise the TD office of the date, location and anticipated expense of their quadrennial reorganization meetings. Additional information regarding election requirements and procedures may also be found by clicking here.

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.