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Planning for a successful CFT Convention

Rules for Delegate Election
Guidelines for Writing Effective Resolutions

Rules for Delegate Election

Delegates must be nominated and elected according to the CFT By-Laws and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (commonly referred to as the “Landrum-Griffin Act”). This federal law, the AFT Constitution and CFT Constitution, require that: 

1. Each member shall have a reasonable opportunity to be nominated as a delegate.

2. Notice of election of delegates shall be mailed to each member at least 15 days in advance of the election. Notice may be contained in the local union newsletter as long as it is mailed to the last known address of each member.

3. Election shall be by secret ballot.

4. Results shall be published and records (including ballots) kept for one year.

5. The president or other elected union officer may serve as a delegate without a special election provided:

• He or she was elected to office by secret ballot according to provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act, and,
• The local constitution or by-laws state that one of the duties of office is to be a delegate to the CFT Convention.

Although many locals divide expense allocations equally by common practice, the Labor Department has ruled that expenses need not be distributed equally among the delegates, provided that the rule for allocating the expenses is passed before the nomination of candidates. The guiding principle to follow is that the rule must be reasonable and able to be uniformly enforced.

Guidelines for Writing Effective Resolutions

When writing resolutions on topics that impact our union and the work we do, please take the time to research your whereas’s and resolves and write the resolutions as clearly as possible. It’s important that delegates cast informed votes at CFT Convention, so please follow these guidelines for writing effective resolutions.

• Read the requirements for submitting resolutions described in the Convention Call. Follow the resolution format by using the Resolution Template.
• Write your resolution assuming that readers know nothing about the subject, why there is a problem, and what role the CFT should play in its solution. Please spell out names of organizations and proper nouns on first use.
• Use the “whereas” clauses to educate readers about the problem the resolution addresses. Be accurate in your facts and both succinct and complete in your presentation of them.
• Be sure the action you ask the CFT to take is an appropriate one. For example, if your concern is one that falls within the scope of negotiations, don’t ask for legislation to take the place of local bargaining. 
• If your local adopts a resolution that came from another organization, take the time to modify it for CFT’s consideration. Don’t submit resolutions that are addressed to other organizations.
• Document that the resolution was approved for submission at a meeting of your local’s membership or executive board.

Campaign Rules for State Officer Elections

The purpose of this campaign rules document is to outline the rules that shall govern election campaigning. The rules are meant to ensure fairness, keep order, and preserve the integrity of the election. In general, candidates should try to maintain “the spirit of the campaign” which is an atmosphere of friendly competition with others and respect for the election process. A copy of this document shall be distributed to all candidates.

I. Union Funds and Resources
A. No local, state or national union affiliate or CFT member employer funds and/or resources of any type or any form of support from vendors, politicians or outside organizations and persons who stand to benefit financially or politically from their relationship with CFT may be used to support the candidacy of any person in a union officer election. Uses of such funds or resources which do not support one person’s candidacy over another are acceptable if provided to all candidates on an equal basis.

Such limitations shall include money or anything of value (such as the use of facilities, equipment, email lists or supplies) to promote the candidacy of any individual in a CFT election. The restriction on the use of union funds applies to all moneys received by the union by way of dues, assessment, or similar levy. 

B. The prohibition against the use of funds applies to direct expenditures, as well as indirect expenditures including:

1. Campaigning on time paid for by the union, outside organization, or vendor except as clarified by the definition of “working hours” below,
2. Use of union/ outside organization/vendor owned or leased equipment such as telephones, fax machines, and copy machines,
3. Use of union/outside organization /vendor supplies such as stamps, paper and envelopes,
4. Use of union, outside organization, or vendor (as described above) email systems and Web sites. This does not apply to using member work email addresses.
5. Use of union employees to prepare campaign literature while on union time,
6. Use of any union letterhead or logo (AFL-CIO, AFT, CFT or locals),
7. Use of union/outside organization/vendor property or facilities for election forums unless all known candidates are invited to the forums,
8. Giving free services or special discounts to a candidate customer such as printing, photocopying, etc.

C. Campaigning by union officials, which is “incidental” to union business, is not a violation of federal law. For example, any campaigning by union officials which occurs as a consequence of conducting legitimate union business, such as shaking hands with members while visiting work sites on official business, is permissible.

D. Candidates shall not take advantage of their positions as leaders of committees or councils to advocate for their candidacies during meetings of the committee or council.

E. Current paid officers and union employees shall take vacation time or a leave of absence if they are going to campaign during work hours. “Working hours” for this purpose includes 8 hours each day from Monday to Friday.

II. Distributing Campaign Literature

A. CFT will arrange for a materials distribution point at the convention and separate tables for candidates who so request.

B. Candidates must create their own literature. CFT will not review or edit the literature. CFT may not regulate or censor the contents of campaign literature, even if the literature includes derogatory remarks about other candidates.

C. CFT will send one set of labels/data to a candidate’s professional mailing house. Such labels/data may be any one subset of CFT membership (including convention delegates) if such breakdown can easily be provided in a timely manner as determined by the CFT Executive Director. Candidates must arrange for their own printer and mailing house.

D. Candidates and their supporters may distribute flyers at the convention or place them on chairs in the meeting rooms/general assembly hall or at the candidate information table. One information table will be provided for literature from all candidates. Candidates must contact the hotel directly for any other requests. Do not contact the Convention Committee. No CFT resources may be used during the convention to produce or distribute flyers.

III. Inspecting CFT or Affiliate Membership Lists

All candidates have the right to inspect CFT’s or affiliates’ membership lists and convention delegates lists once within 30 days of the election.

A. All requests to inspect lists should be submitted by email to the CFT Executive Director.

1. The CFT Executive Director will arrange to have the records available at the Oakland or the Burbank Office. Please include your choice of location in your email request.
2. Candidates may not make electronic or photocopies of the lists.

B. A candidate may not use a “personal” mailing list, other than a common directory available to all, which was created or obtained as a result of the candidate (or a supporter) serving as an officer or in a union job.

C. CFT will distribute a list of candidates who have announced for the offices of CFT President and CFT Secretary-Treasurer no less than two weeks prior to the start of the convention. The list shall include a 100-word statement from each candidate.

IV. Questions or Allegations of Violations

These rules comply with the Department of Labor and Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. LMRDA establishes certain rights for union members and contains provisions to ensure democracy and financial integrity. 

A. All questions or allegations of violations of these rules must be emailed, hand-delivered or faxed to the chair of the CFT Nominations and Election Committee no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday of the Convention.

All allegations must cite the specific rule that has been violated and include the date, times, and location where the alleged violation occurred. The email must include the name and phone number of the person making the allegation. Any written evidence should be attached.

A summary of the alleged violations will be submitted to the Convention Nominations and Election Committee, all candidates and members of the Executive Council.

B. The Convention Nominations and Elections Chair will respond to any questions. All written allegations of violations of the rules will be investigated by the Chair of the Convention Nominations and Election Committee who shall consult with members of the committee. If the Committee determines that a violation has occurred, the Chair will immediately notify the candidate(s) to stop the violation(s).

C. Any candidate has the right to appeal an election to the President of the American Federation of Teachers if there has been an alleged violation of these rules.

Over our shoulder

Convention 2017 Program: See what happens at CFT Convention by checking out last year’s schedule of events and workshops. (pdf, 14pp)

Convention Call: Step-by-step preparations for Convention 2017 including legal requirements for delegate election and seating, committee service, and much more. (pdf, 6pp)


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