The following bylaw amendments and changes have been proposed by the Election Bylaws Committee that was elected at a Special General Membership Meeting on April 7, 2014, and will be discussed and voted on at the General Membership Meeting on August 18:
Suggested Bylaw Amendments
Submitted to General Members for Discussion and Approval
Brought to you by:
Elections Bylaws Committee members were elected at a Special General Membership Meeting on April 7, 2014:
Underlined text below includes language that has been provided to the members at the April GMM as “Notice of Motion” and can be voted on at the June 17, 2014 GMM.
Bolded text below is new language submitted to general members as “Notice of Motion” to be voted on at the July 2014 GMM.
Article 14: Elections
(a) Duties of the executive committee and election officers/Basic electoral rules
(i) Electoral Officers will be elected at the annual general meeting (AGM) and will form the Elections Committee. At the 2015 AGM, one Electoral Officer will be elected with a two-year term and the other Electoral Officer will be elected for a one-year term. Subsequently, all EO’s will be elected to two-year terms. The executive shall be in charge of organising the election. Current members of the executive are ineligible for the position of Election Officer. Additionally, Election Officers may not run for executive position in the election for which they serve.
(ii) The Elections Committee shall be responsible for organising all elections and by-elections of the Executive and the Bargaining Team. The Elections Committee shall report to the membership and ensure that all by-laws are followed. The Elections Committee shall be in charge of all matters regarding the holding of elections, including the receipt and certification of nominations, the posting of notices, the maintenance and moderation of the candidate’s websites, the provision of an all candidates meeting, the establishment of polls, the counting of ballots, and the declaration of elected candidates.
(iii) Training for Electoral Officers
Upon election, members of the Elections committee will meet with the previous Elections Committee members and union staff within the first month of office, to be given relevant portfolio information, including but not limited to, previous EO reports to the union, and copies of relevant electronic files. EO officers can also meet with 3903 staff to review elections protocol as required.
(iv) Three Appeals committee members will be elected at the annual general meeting for a one-year term. The Appeals Committee is required in the event that a member disagrees with a ruling that has been made by the Electoral Officers. See Article ___ (tbd). In the event that the Appeals committee is required during an election, these three members will be provided with honoraria of $250 each for their service to the union.
(v) The following positions shall be elected only by the members of the bargaining unit represented: Unit Vice-Presidents, Unit Chief Stewards, Bargaining Team members and Labour Management Committee members.
(vi) The executive shall be responsible for organizing:
– committee elections, most of which shall take place at the annual general meeting (AGM) – see Article 10,
– the elections of the Postings Officer and that of the Trustees, which shall take place at the annual general meeting (AGM),
– committee by-elections, which shall only take place at (special) general meetings of the membership,
– ratifications of collective agreements, - amendments to the bylaws, strike votes, – regular dues and special assessments.
(vii) The election procedures described in this article shall not include the election of the Chairs of the Trans-Feminist Action Caucus or the Trans Caucus. The Trans-Feminist Action Caucus and the Trans Caucus shall elect its Chairs in February of each year.
I. Electoral process
(a) A formal nomination period of two weeks shall be established by the first week of February each year. Eligibility for nomination shall be subject to the conditions set out in article 8 (c), subclauses (i) through (iii).
(b) Nomination for any position must be signed by the nominee and by two additional members in good standing and addressed to the election officers. Nominations must be brought to the union office during the nominations period. Each nominee must also record his/her nomination by signing the register that is to be publicly displayed next to the nomination box. Nominations forms must be filled out completely, accurately and with the appropriate signatures required. The onus is on the union member seeking candidacy to ensure that the form is properly filled out.
(c) Only members in good standing can be nominated and no member may sign more than one (1) nomination for his/her own candidacy in the same nomination and election period.
(d) If at the end of the nomination period only one (1) candidate is nominated, the executive, on the advice of the elections officers, shall declare the position filled by acclamation.
II. Campaigning phase
(a) Campaigning shall mean any attempt by an individual or organization to encourage a union member to cast a ballot in favour or in opposition of a candidate. This may occur with or without campaign material.
(b) Campaign material shall mean any item, design, sound, symbol, or mark that is created or copied in any form in order to influence voters to cast a ballot in favour or in opposition of a candidate.
(c) For any contested position, a formal campaign period of no less than fourteen (14) days shall be established, ending on the day of the Annual General Membership Meeting as scheduled by the executive, and shall commence immediately following the close of the nomination period.
(d) The campaigning phase shall begin at the end of the nomination period and end at the Annual General Membership Meeting.
No active campaigning shall take place before the nomination period and before the start of the campaigning phase.
(f) Responsibility of Candidates
Candidates have the responsibility of the actions and violations stemming from such actions, of any non-arm’s-length party, however occurring.
(g) Fair Play
Candidates shall campaign in accordance with the rules of fair play. Breaking the rules of fair play include, but are not limited to, breaching generally accepted community standards, libel, slander, general sabotage of the campaigns of other candidates, malicious and/or intentional breach of elections policy, any attempt to undermine the electoral process and misrepresentation of fact.
(h) Environmental Protection and Recycling
All campaign materials, where feasible, are to contain the following phrase somewhere in plain sight on the material: “Please pass this on to a friend or recycle after the election.”
(i) Candidate statements
i. The Elections Committee will determine a deadline during the campaign period by which time all candidate statements must be submitted. This will be communicated to candidates in a timely manner.
ii. Candidate statements must be bilingual. The local will facilitate translation of candidate statements from English to French where needed by providing $50 for the purpose.
(j) Candidates must create campaign materials in accessible format wherever possible. Posters and flyers created by candidates should be made available for distribution in large print and electronic format.
(k) CUPE 3903 Hosted Campaign Website
The local will provide web space for candidates in the executive and/or bargaining team elections.
- Candidate pages will include comment sections or discussion spaces for members to interact with and pose questions to candidates.
- Moderation of comments and discussion spaces will follow a fair play policy & remove comments that do not abide by it.
- The moderation of comments and discussions on the union website pages is the responsibility of the Elections Committee.
(l) Campaign Restrictions on Polling stations
Restrictions concerning Union polling stations include:
i. Campaigning shall not take place within ten (10) meters of a designated polling station during the election voting days
ii. Any and all campaign materials found within ten (10) meters of a designated polling station shall be removed during the election voting days. Any candidate who violates these restrictions is subject to demerit penalty points as outlined in the CUPE 3903 bylaws.
iii. Designation of polling station is outlined as per the CUPE 3903 bylaws.
(m) Campaigning During Voting Period
Campaigning during the election(s) phase is prohibited and any campaigning conducted past the end of the campaigning phase will be subject to the penalties set out in Article 14, Section _____(tbd)
(n) Campaign Expenses
i. Proof of Campaign Materials Expenses
All candidates shall submit to the Elections Committee original receipts of all campaign material expenditures within twenty-four (24) hours of the close of voting. The Elections Committee may at any time request from any of the candidates’ original receipts for expenditures prior to the close of voting.
ii. Maximum Spending Limit
The local will reimburse the expenses of all candidates running for executive and/or bargaining team positions up to one hundred and fifty ($150) dollars. The amount reimbursed will cover the costs of all campaigning materials and is intended as a limit of campaign spending. Candidates cannot spend more than $150.
iii. Campaigning Donations
Financial and/or in-kind donations for campaign material expenditures, whether goods or services are allowable but their Fair Market Value will count towards the campaign expenses limit as set out above.
iv. Fair Market Value
1. Fair Market Value of a product or service shall be the lowest price, without special concessions or discounts that is available in Toronto, Ontario for that product or service, to all persons who approach a person or company that sells, or deals in, that product or service.
2. The Elections Committee shall contact three (3) major suppliers in the Toronto area and shall adopt the lowest price as the FMV. The candidate may rebut such FMV if the candidate is able to produce/submit receipts from the Toronto area merchants which evidence a lower FMV than that obtained by the Elections Committee.
(o) Use of Additional Union Resources
The use of additional union resources or funds for the purpose of the election of executive and bargaining team members is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, union office supplies, equipment, advertising space and staff.
(p) Designation of Campaign
In determining a candidate’s total campaign expenditure, the Committee reserves the right to include the Fair Market Value (FMV) of any materials that endorse or support a candidate. This may, at the discretion of the Committee, include situations whereby a party producing the material or advertising does so without the consent of the candidate, but where the candidate knows, or reasonably ought to know, about such material or endorsement.
(q) Discount on Fair Market Value
Where a candidate purchases goods or services at a discounted price, or receives them as a donation, the FMV of the purchase will be used to determine a candidate’s campaign expenditure.
(r) Appeals Officer and Committee Members
The Appeals Committee shall:
i. Remain at arms length from the elections process, including but not limited to refraining from campaigning for any candidate, or representing the Executive.
ii. Not be a current elected or appointed officer of CUPE 3903 at the time of their appointment.
iii. Not be a candidate in the CUPE 3903 Elections
(s) Violation of Campaign Rules
1. Elections Committee Sole Authority
i. the EC shall make decisions about enforcing the provisions set out in the bylaws. Where a member disagrees with the EC’s ruling, it will be subject to an appeals process as outlined in Article _____(tbd)
2. Allegations of Violations
Allegations of violations of this Code shall be submitted to the EC in writing. Such allegations must be made within forty-eight (48) hours of the closing of the voting period at the latest.
3. Agency of Elections Committee
The EC may lay charges of violations of campaign rules on its own initiative.
4. CRO decision
The CRO shall render a decision within forty-eight (48) hours in writing to the candidates in questions and the complainant, unless the complaint is time sensitive, in which case the CRO shall render a decision within one (1) business day. A complaint shall be deemed time-sensitive when the activity outlined in the complaint are ongoing.
5. Appeals of CRO’s ruling
i. Appeals regarding decisions made and/or sanctions levied by the CRO shall be made in writing to the Committee within forty-eight (48) hours of the candidate being informed of the decision of the CRO. If the appeal is made after such a time period, the appeal shall be ruled out of order by the Committee and categorically denied.
ii. In the case of an appeal of a decision of the Elections Committee the Appeals Committee shall be convened immediately.
iii. The EC and the complainant may attend the Committee meeting at which their appeal will be considered to present their case. The member can make oral statements and/or deliver a written submission at this time.
iv. The Appeals Committee reports their decision to the members and others affected by the decision within 72 hours.
6. Penalties for Violations
The CRO or Committee may:
i. Assign a demerit point penalty.
ii. Assign multiple penalties where the violation encompasses more than one offense.
iii. Declare that an election in a particular Union election or election of a candidate be ruled void.
7. Demerit Points
Demerit points as outlined in the above section are assessed on, but not limited to, the following basis. The values listed below are a guide for issuing demerit points.
Violations of the following nature will result in an automatic disqualification of a candidate:
i. Anyone improperly declared an eligible candidate.
ii. Failure to attend the All-Candidates meeting or make arrangements with the CRO.
iii. Any candidate spending over the maximum spending limit as set by the Committee.
iv. Intentional misrepresentation of campaign expenditures.
v. A candidate accruing 10 demerit points or greater is disqualified.
9. Disqualification of Winning Candidate
In the event a winning candidate in any election is disqualified, the runner-up will take the place of the disqualified winner.
III. Election(s) phase
(a) A membership meeting shall be called at the end of the campaigning phase to introduce the candidates. Voting shall begin at the end of the meeting.
(b) The Elections Committee shall appoint poll clerks or, if the number is insufficient, the membership present at the meeting shall elect, or upon a motion and decision by simple majority the chair may appoint, two poll clerks from the membership present, neither of whom shall be the chairperson or any of the nominees, to scrutinise the full election.
(c) The poll clerks shall issue ballots to members in good standing who register during voting hours, and such ballot shall be deposited upon completion by that member in a sealed box provided for that purpose.
(d) A ballot box shall be available at the general membership meeting or special membership meeting called for the purposes of any secret ballot and shall be available again at the times and places specified in clause (f). Ballots shall be available for two hours after the meeting.
(e) The annual election of officers shall take place in March. The executive, in consultation with the election officers, shall set the dates, times and places for elections.
(f) Election and by-elections of officers and Bargaining Team: ballots shall be available for a minimum of five days following the (special) general meeting of the membership (GMM) at Keele campus and Glendon college locations determined by the executive committee. The voting stations shall be open from 9am to 5pm at Keele and from 11am to 3pm at Glendon.
(i) except in those cases that do not require voting the following days, the Keele campus ballot box shall be brought to the CUPE 3903 headquarters by at least two poll clerks. The poll clerks will tape up the ballot box using packing tape. They will then sign and date the sealed box to prevent tampering with the contents. A new ballot box will be issued for each day of voting, and its contents will be signed and sealed until the counting of the ballots commences. All sealed ballot boxes shall be held and secured in the union office until the counting of the ballots commences.
(ii) the Glendon ballot boxes shall undergo the same process, except that they shall be held overnight in the Glendon College Student Union office, located in York Hall, room B126 if possible, or an appropriately secure location. On the final day of voting, at least two Glendon- based poll clerks shall bring the signed and sealed ballot boxes to the 3903 headquarters;
(iii) the counting of the ballot shall commence immediately after the end of the last day of the election phase. The signed tape will be removed from all ballot boxes once the election phase is over. Upon completion of the vote tally, the poll clerks shall communicate the decision to the election officers.
(h) Poll clerks
(i) Poll clerks shall, upon the completion of balloting, count the ballots.
(ii) A candidate must obtain a majority of votes cast, i.e. at least 50% plus 1, to be declared elected. When no candidate obtains a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped and a second ballot taken. The process shall continue until one candidate has obtained a majority.
(iii) Where more than one office is to be filled on one ballot, a candidate must obtain a majority to be declared elected. If run-off elections are required, a member of the executive (preferably the Chairperson) shall, after each vote, declare which candidates, if any, have been elected, declare which candidate must withdraw as a result of receiving the fewest votes, and state how many positions remain to be filled on the next ballot.
(iv) The poll clerks shall advise the executive of the number of ballots cast for each nominee. The Executive Committee shall inform the membership of the results.
(v) Each poll clerk shall receive a per diem and, if applicable, coverage for childcare and transit costs, where receipts substantiate such costs. The executive committee shall be responsible, in conjunction with the election officers, for setting the amounts of the above- mentioned costs.
(i) Each candidate running for office shall be entitled to send one member as a scrutineer to observe the polling stations and the counting of the ballots to ensure the absence of election irregularities. Any observed infractions or irregularities must be reported to the Elections Committee in writing within 24 hours of the occurrence. Scrutineers must not interfere with the electoral process in any way and must behave in accordance with the rules of fair play as set out in Section II(g). Violations of fair play will be assessed by the Elections Committee and any demerit points incurred will accrue to the candidate on behalf of whom the member is scrutineering.
(j) If a member cannot vote in person, they will have the option of obtaining
a mail-in ballot. It will be the member’s responsibility to contact the
Elections Committee in a timely manner to obtain the ballot.
When a member requests a mail-in ballot, the EC will first confirm that they are a member eligible to vote and which positions they are allowed to vote for. Once that is determined, they will generate a ballot for the member, with the appropriate contested positions on that ballot, and email that member an electronic copy of the ballot, with instructions for how to submit the mail-in ballot. The EC must do this within 24 hours of receiving the request for a mail-in ballot.
These ballots will be numbered and the EC will maintain a list of each ballot generated and the employer ID of the member it was sent to, to ensure that the member can only submit one ballot. If more than one ballot is submitted with the same number, all ballots with that number will be thrown out.
When the member receives their ballot, they will print it, make their selections, and place it in an envelope. They will then place that envelope in a second envelope, with this second envelope labeled with the member’s employee ID. They will then send the double envelope to the Union office to the attention of the EC.
Upon receipt of the mail-in ballots, the EC will confirm that the employee ID on the outer envelope corresponds to the numbered ballot generated for that member. If there is no discrepancy, the EC will cross that members name off of the voters list, discard the outer envelope and place the inner envelope containing the ballot into the polling box. The EC will be responsible for reconciling the mail-in voters list with the voters list from the manual polling stations daily to ensure that no member votes twice.
Members are responsible for mailing in their ballots such that they arrive by the time voting closes. Any ballots that arrive late will be discarded.
The EC should keep track of the mail-in ballots on a form like the one below, and only the ECs will have access to this form.
IV. Installation of Officers and Terms of Office
(a) All duly elected officers shall be installed at the meeting at which elections are held and shall continue in office for one (1) year or until a successor has been elected and installed, provided, however, that no term of office shall be longer than three (3) years.
(b) The terms of office for Trustees shall be so that one serves for a period of three years, one for two years, and one for one year, as laid down in Article B.3.10 of the CUPE National Constitution. Each year thereafter, the local union shall elect one Trustee for a three-year period. No member who has been a signing officer for the local union is eligible to run for Trustee, until at least one (1) full term of office has elapsed.
(a) Should any officer resign or fail to answer the roll call for three consecutive meetings of the executive or the general membership without having good and sufficient cause, that office shall be declared vacant and the position filled at the following meeting.
(b) By a simple majority vote the executive may fill a vacancy on a pro tem basis with any member in good standing. Such vacancies must be posted in the union office at least two weeks prior to the executive meeting where the vacancy is to be filled. Executive positions filled on a pro tem basis must be advertised as open positions for the agenda of the next general membership meeting where nominations will be opened and elections held as per Section II. of the present article. Executive Committee members may only hold one (1) position on the Executive Committee.
(c) The executive and/or the membership shall elect or appoint standing committees as deemed necessary from time to time.