Overview CFT Convention

Convention 2021
CFT Convention set to convene in San Francisco

The Federation will now hold its convention biennially. The next CFT Convention will be held March 26-28, 2021, at the Westin St. Francis in downtown San Francisco.

The Convention is open to all CFT members, but only elected delegates can vote. It is the Federation’s highest governance body, where delegates shape union policy and positions on issues affecting all members.

The Convention elects officers of the CFT including the President, Secretary Treasurer, and 24 Vice Presidents. Delegates will also elect delegates to the AFT Convention and the California Labor Federation Convention. The CFT division councils meet and constituent local unions will elect officers of each division.

General Sessions are packed with speakers, awards, and debate on union resolutions. Our workshops cover a wide range of topics. And there’s time for fun as well, with a Union Social and other special events. 

About our Centennial Convention

Convention 2019 was special for us – the CFT celebrated its founding 100 years ago. For its centennial year, the Convention was held at the lovely and historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. You can read coverage of our 100th Anniversary Celebration by clicking at right (or at bottom on mobile). 

Our 100th Anniversary online store is still open to purchase #CFT100 Union Strong merchandise.


    Below you can learn how to become a delegate to CFT Convention and be an active participant in the union’s highest policymaking body.  Local unions can find information about seating their delegation. 

    Convention Program

    Convention Program 2019 with the schedule and workshops from our Centennial Convention.

    Convention Call

    Convention Call 2019: Complete step-by-step preparations for local unions including legal requirements for delegate election and seating, committee service and much more.

    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 the 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.

    • 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.
    • Read the requirements for submitting resolutions described in the Convention Call. 

    Committee Service for Delegates

    All proposed constitutional amendments and resolutions are first reviewed by one of the Convention committees. These committees are given the task of recommending whether an amendment should be adopted, whether a resolution needs modification, what action the Convention should take concerning the resolution, and the order of importance for resolutions to be considered. All delegates are encouraged to participate in these important sessions to ensure a democratic Convention process.

    The CFT President shall appoint Convention committee chairs and members of the Constitution Committee with the approval of the Executive Council. 

    Nominations and Elections
    Resolutions Subcommittees

    • Education Finance
    • Health Care, Retirement and Benefits
    • Professional Issues: EC/TK-12
    • Professional Issues: Higher Education
    • Socio-Political 

    Election Rules

    The document below outlines the rules that govern election campaigning for state officer elections. 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.

    Download the Campaign Rules for State Officer Elections

    Awards Presentations


    Please contact Executive Director Sarah Callahan.