U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
                (OLMS)




      Union Officer Elections
The OLMS Mission
To administer and ensure
compliance with provisions of
the Labor- Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act...
Overview of the LMRDA

• Title I: Bill of Rights
• Title II: Reporting requirements
• Title III: Trusteeships
• Title IV: ...
LMRDA Title IV
• Section 401:
    Sets minimum standards for
    regularly scheduled elections of
    union officers
Who Must Be Elected?
• Officers named in the union’s
 constitution
• Members of the executive board or
 similar governing ...
Frequency of Elections

At Least …

• Local - every 3 years

• Intermediate - every 4 years

• National/International - ev...
Vacancies in Office

• May be filled using procedure in the
  union’s constitution and bylaws

• Special elections to fill...
Who May Run for Office?
• Any member in good standing who
 meets reasonable qualifications,
 uniformly imposed, that are s...
Examples of Qualifications

• Minimum length of membership
 (not to exceed 2 years)
• Continuous good standing (not to
 ex...
More Examples

• Meeting attendance requirements
• Working at the trade requirements

• Prohibition on officeholding by
 e...
Factors for Unions to Consider

• Impact of the qualification
  (percentage of members who are
  disqualified)

• Union mu...
Nominations
• Every union member should be given a
  reasonable opportunity to nominate the
  candidates of his/her choice...
Sample Nominations Notice

             ***NOMINATIONS MEETING***

 Nominations for: President, Vice President, Secretary,...
Notification Options

• Mail to members’ homes
• Publish in union newspaper
• Post at work sites
• Combine with election n...
Method of Nominations

• Nomination Meeting
  – If nominator must be in good standing, eligibility of
    nominees and nom...
Acceptances

• If nominations are conducted at a meeting,
  determine if nominee is present and whether
  he or she accept...
Certain Campaign Safeguards
• A reasonable time must be provided prior to
  the election for candidates and their
  suppor...
Campaign Literature
• The union must comply with all reasonable
  requests to distribute campaign literature at
  the cand...
Union & Employer Funds

    • The LMRDA prohibits the use
     of union and employer funds
     to promote the candidacy o...
Union & Employer Funds
    • Office equipment and supplies
    • Facilities
    • Publications &
        Correspondence
  ...
Right to Vote


• The LMRDA guarantees that
 members in good standing have the
 right to vote for candidates of their
 cho...
Election Notice


Mailed to each member's home
address

At least 15 days before the election

Lists election date, time an...
Secret Ballot

• Title IV requires a secret ballot vote for the
  election of:

  – Local union officers

  – Delegates wh...
Secret Ballot

• “...the expression by ballot, voting
  machine, or otherwise, but in no
  event by proxy, of a choice wit...
Ballot Secrecy
• Ballot box
• Voting booth
• Voting machine
• Double envelope system for mail
 ballot elections
The Double Envelope System

Put ballot                        Secret Ballot
in here                            Envelope


...
Balloting
• Adequate safeguards
  – Verify voter eligibility
  – Protect the ballots and voting
    process
• Allow person...
Challenged Ballot Sample
Observers

• Candidates’ observers must be allowed at polls
  and tally if request is made
• In mail ballot elections, obs...
Rights and Obligations of
         Observers
Observers:
• Must be given reasonable
  opportunities to observe
• Cannot ass...
Tallying the Ballots
• Every vote on a valid ballot should be
  counted if the voter’s intent is clear.

• An entire ballo...
After the Election
• Announce and publish election
 results
• Retain election records for one
 year
Election Complaint
• Any member may file an election
  complaint with the Secretary of Labor.
• Prior to filing a complain...
A member may file a complaint with OLMS
  within 1 Calendar Month of:




 Getting a final   OR   3 months after
 answer f...
OLMS Election Investigations

• Upon receipt of a valid election
 complaint, OLMS initiates an
 investigation.
• The inves...
OLMS Election Investigation


OLMS must determine:
• If a violation occurred and
• If any violation may have affected
 the...
OLMS Election References
• LMRDA
• Electing Union Officers
• Conducting Local Union Officer
 Elections
• Checklist for Con...
OLMS Online


http://www.olms.dol.gov
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Election Presentation

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Election Presentation

  1. 1. U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Union Officer Elections
  2. 2. The OLMS Mission To administer and ensure compliance with provisions of the Labor- Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) • Financial recordkeeping and reporting • Ensuring union democracy • Safeguarding union assets
  3. 3. Overview of the LMRDA • Title I: Bill of Rights • Title II: Reporting requirements • Title III: Trusteeships • Title IV: Union officer elections • Title V: Safeguards • Title VI: Miscellaneous provisions
  4. 4. LMRDA Title IV • Section 401: Sets minimum standards for regularly scheduled elections of union officers
  5. 5. Who Must Be Elected? • Officers named in the union’s constitution • Members of the executive board or similar governing body • Others exercising policymaking or executive authority • Convention delegates who elect officers of a intermediate or parent body
  6. 6. Frequency of Elections At Least … • Local - every 3 years • Intermediate - every 4 years • National/International - every 5 Years A union’s constitution may require that elections be held more frequently.
  7. 7. Vacancies in Office • May be filled using procedure in the union’s constitution and bylaws • Special elections to fill vacancies are not covered by the LMRDA
  8. 8. Who May Run for Office? • Any member in good standing who meets reasonable qualifications, uniformly imposed, that are set forth in the union’s constitution and bylaws • Persons not barred from holding union office under Section 504 of the LMRDA
  9. 9. Examples of Qualifications • Minimum length of membership (not to exceed 2 years) • Continuous good standing (not to exceed 2 years) • Active membership status
  10. 10. More Examples • Meeting attendance requirements • Working at the trade requirements • Prohibition on officeholding by employer and supervisory members
  11. 11. Factors for Unions to Consider • Impact of the qualification (percentage of members who are disqualified) • Union must maintain records
  12. 12. Nominations • Every union member should be given a reasonable opportunity to nominate the candidates of his/her choice. • The nominations notice should reach members within a reasonable time before nominations.
  13. 13. Sample Nominations Notice ***NOMINATIONS MEETING*** Nominations for: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer (Candidates elected president and vice president will also serve as delegates to the International Union Convention held in St. Louis, Missouri in August 2008) When: November 18, 2007 at 7:00 pm Where: Local 1 Union Hall, 123 Main St., Gotham City How: Nominations will be taken from the floor at the meeting.
  14. 14. Notification Options • Mail to members’ homes • Publish in union newspaper • Post at work sites • Combine with election notice – Must mail combined notice to members’ homes
  15. 15. Method of Nominations • Nomination Meeting – If nominator must be in good standing, eligibility of nominees and nominators must be checked at the time of nomination – If a quorum is not present, that requirement should be waived • Written Nominations • Petition
  16. 16. Acceptances • If nominations are conducted at a meeting, determine if nominee is present and whether he or she accepts nomination. • If formal nomination acceptance is required, an acceptance procedure with a reasonable deadline should be announced in advance. • Any nominee unable to attend the nomination meeting should be allowed to submit a written acceptance within a reasonable time after the close of nominations.
  17. 17. Certain Campaign Safeguards • A reasonable time must be provided prior to the election for candidates and their supporters to campaign. • Members have the right to support the candidates of their choice without being subject to reprisal. • Each candidate must be treated equally and receive equal access to union membership lists and employer lists and equal access to work sites.
  18. 18. Campaign Literature • The union must comply with all reasonable requests to distribute campaign literature at the candidate’s expense. • The union cannot censor a candidate’s literature. • Unions should comply with reasonable requests to distribute campaign literature through e-mail.
  19. 19. Union & Employer Funds • The LMRDA prohibits the use of union and employer funds to promote the candidacy of any person in a union officer election.
  20. 20. Union & Employer Funds • Office equipment and supplies • Facilities • Publications & Correspondence • Time • Cash Both direct and indirect expenditures are prohibited!
  21. 21. Right to Vote • The LMRDA guarantees that members in good standing have the right to vote for candidates of their choice.
  22. 22. Election Notice Mailed to each member's home address At least 15 days before the election Lists election date, time and place Lists specific offices to be filled
  23. 23. Secret Ballot • Title IV requires a secret ballot vote for the election of: – Local union officers – Delegates who then elect officers of an intermediate or parent body
  24. 24. Secret Ballot • “...the expression by ballot, voting machine, or otherwise, but in no event by proxy, of a choice with respect to any election or vote…cast in such a manner that the person expressing such choice cannot be identified with the choice expressed.”
  25. 25. Ballot Secrecy • Ballot box • Voting booth • Voting machine • Double envelope system for mail ballot elections
  26. 26. The Double Envelope System Put ballot Secret Ballot in here Envelope Return Joe Smith U.S. 111 West Huron St. Envelope Auburn, IL 62222 Local 1 Election Committee P.O. Box 2 Gotham, IL 63333-0002
  27. 27. Balloting • Adequate safeguards – Verify voter eligibility – Protect the ballots and voting process • Allow persons whose eligibility is questioned (for example, their name is not on the voter eligibility list) to cast challenged ballots.
  28. 28. Challenged Ballot Sample
  29. 29. Observers • Candidates’ observers must be allowed at polls and tally if request is made • In mail ballot elections, observers are allowed during: – Ballot mailing where envelopes are stuffed, labeled and mailed – Visits to the post office to pick up undeliverables and re-mail ballot packages – Trips by election officials to pick up voted ballots, transport to tally, and conduct eligibility review
  30. 30. Rights and Obligations of Observers Observers: • Must be given reasonable opportunities to observe • Cannot assist the election officials in conducting the election • Cannot engage in partisan activities inside the polling place.
  31. 31. Tallying the Ballots • Every vote on a valid ballot should be counted if the voter’s intent is clear. • An entire ballot should not be voided unless it contains the voter’s name or other marks which may identify the voter. • Challenged ballots should be resolved early in the process. • Union must account for all ballots.
  32. 32. After the Election • Announce and publish election results • Retain election records for one year
  33. 33. Election Complaint • Any member may file an election complaint with the Secretary of Labor. • Prior to filing a complaint with the Secretary, the member must have either exhausted or attempted to exhaust the remedies available under the union’s constitution and bylaws. • Complaints to the Secretary should be in writing and filed with the nearest OLMS field office.
  34. 34. A member may file a complaint with OLMS within 1 Calendar Month of: Getting a final OR 3 months after answer from invoking his initial the union on union protest with his protest no final response from the union
  35. 35. OLMS Election Investigations • Upon receipt of a valid election complaint, OLMS initiates an investigation. • The investigation will include interviews with the complainant, union officials, and other witnesses. • OLMS will also examine election records and other appropriate records as needed.
  36. 36. OLMS Election Investigation OLMS must determine: • If a violation occurred and • If any violation may have affected the election outcome.
  37. 37. OLMS Election References • LMRDA • Electing Union Officers • Conducting Local Union Officer Elections • Checklist for Conducting Local Union Officer Elections • Electing Local Union Officers by Mail • Union Officer Elections: A Complainant’s Guide
  38. 38. OLMS Online http://www.olms.dol.gov
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