Campaign Rules for Statewide Officer Elections
COMING SOON: Updated Campaign Rules for Convention 2023
Adopted by Executive Council on January 28, 2021
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
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.
- The prohibition against the use of funds applies to direct expenditures, as well as indirect expenditures including:
- Campaigning on time paid for by the union, outside organization, or vendor except as clarified by the definition of “working hours” below,
- Use of union-/outside organization-/vendor-owned or leased equipment such as telephones, fax machines, and copy machines,
- Use of union/outside organization/vendor supplies such as stamps, paper and envelopes,
- Use of union, outside organization, or vendor (as described above) email systems and websites. This does not apply to using member work email addresses.
- Use of union employees to prepare campaign literature while on union time,
- Use of any union letterhead or logo (AFL-CIO, AFT, CFT or locals),
- Use of union/outside organization/vendor property or facilities for election forums unless all known candidates are invited to the forums,
- Giving free services or special discounts to a candidate customer such as printing, photocopying, etc.
- 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 worksites on official business, is permissible.
- 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.
- 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
- CFT will arrange for distribution of campaign materials by candidates or slates during the balloting period. The literature will be posted on a designated website that will be available to all delegates as well as sent by email to all delegate email addresses provided at registration.
- Candidates and slates shall have the option of submitting digital copies of campaign literature, which shall be emailed to the chair of the Nomination and Elections Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 6:00 p.m. Friday, March 26, 2021. All materials submitted must be formatted for posting. 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.
- Each candidate and slate will be allowed up to three pieces of literature that may contain still pictures. In addition, each candidate and slate may conduct further campaigning on their own outside of this process.
III. 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). LMRDA establishes certain rights for union members and contains provisions to ensure democracy and financial integrity.
- All questions or allegations of violations of these rules must be emailed to the chair of the Nominations and Election Committee not later than 6 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 Nominations and Election Committee, all candidates, and members of the Executive Council.
- The 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 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).
- 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.