The 78th Convention of the California Federation of Teachers is hereby called to convene online on Friday, March 26, 2021, at the hour of 9 a.m. and will remain in session two days or until such time as it has given full consideration to such matters as legally may be brought before it.
— Jeffery M. Freitas, President
The biennial CFT Convention is the highest policymaking body of the Federation. The union’s vitality and democracy depend upon participation in the Convention by delegates from locals in good standing.
The constitutional provisions for CFT Conventions have been adopted to ensure CFT members are represented in the policy-making of their union. Delegates will elect the CFT President, Secretary Treasurer and 24 Vice Presidents, plus delegates to the AFT Convention 2022 and the California Labor Federation Convention 2022. Delegates will also vote on important resolutions and constitutional amendments.
Please study the information below carefully, and plan now to ensure your local’s representation. You may also download the print Convention Call.
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:
- Each member shall have a reasonable opportunity to be nominated as a delegate.
- 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.
- Election shall be by secret ballot.
- Results shall be published and records (including ballots) kept for one year.
- 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 the 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.
U.S. Department of Labor Guide to Delegate Election
How Many Delegates to Elect
- A local or council of locals shall be entitled to one delegate for the first 25 members, plus one delegate for each additional 25 members or fraction thereof. (CFT Bylaws, Article I, Section 7a)
- The number of delegates allowed shall be based on the local’s average membership from January 2020 through December 2020.
- For locals chartered during the year preceding the Convention, the average shall be computed using the months of affiliation, with a minimum of two months.
- Locals are not required to nominate and elect the full number of delegates allotted, provided that the local passes a rule prior to the nominations setting the number of delegates to be elected.
Members-at-Large Elect by Mail Ballot
Members-at-large may nominate and elect delegates to the Convention by mail ballot in conformity with federal law. The number of delegates and alternates will be based on the aggregate number of the members-at-large.
The CFT Secretary Treasurer shall conduct an election for the delegates and alternates no later than two months prior to the Convention by a secret mail ballot listing all nominees and their employers. The nominees receiving the highest number of votes will be considered delegates and the next highest, the alternates.
Small Locals Can Form a Council to Elect Delegates
Locals from contiguous geographic areas with fewer than 100 members each, but in the aggregate fewer than 300 members, may form councils of locals to elect a common delegate to the Convention. (CFT Bylaws, Article I, Section 2a)
- Locals which form such a council under this section must adopt a common resolution and send a copy of it to the CFT Bay Area office by January 29.
- The resolution may be worded as follows: “(Name and number of local) at a regular meeting on (date) has voted to join the (name of council) for the purpose of sending a delegate to the CFT Convention on March 26, 2021. (Name and number of local) nominate the following member(s) for the office of delegate from the (name of council).”
- The resolution must contain the names of the delegates, their addresses, the signatures of the local president and secretary, and the local seal.
- The CFT Secretary Treasurer must be provided with a list of locals comprising the council.
- Credentials from each local in the council naming the elected delegate(s) must be received at the CFT Bay Area office by March 12.
Locals With Common Employer Can Form a Council to Elect Delegates
A council of locals doing business with one employer common to all the council’s locals, may be recognized by the Executive Council as a council of locals to elect a common delegate to the Convention. (CFT Bylaws, Article I, Section 2b)
- Locals forming such a council under this section shall establish nomination procedures to permit all such locals to nominate from their respective memberships at least thirty days in advance of the election, and must conduct election through a mail ballot conforming to federal law.
- No other delegates shall be seated from any individual local of the council unless the local has notified CFT by February 26 that it is not participating in such council for the purposes of electing delegates.
- The voting strength of such council shall be based upon the aggregate membership of all such locals, which individually credential all delegates common to the council.
Requirements for Local Delegations to be Seated
- Your CFT per capita payments through December 2020 must be received by March 12.
- Your list of elected delegates and alternates, bearing signatures of the local president and secretary, must be uploaded to the CFT website two weeks prior to the Convention, no later than 5 pm on March 12.
Submit Delegate Lists
- The deadline for local unions to submit their delegate and alternate lists was March 12.
- If you have any questions, please email Leticia Castro or Josie Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Submit Constitutional Amendments
Locals or councils may submit to the Convention amendments to the CFT Constitution and Bylaws as provided in the Constitution (Article VII) and the Bylaws (Article IV). A two-thirds vote of delegates present and voting is required to amend the Constitution; a majority vote is required to amend the Bylaws.
- A proposed amendment must be signed by two elected officers of the local certifying that it was approved by the membership or the local’s executive board for submission to the Convention.
- Proposed amendments must be submitted eight weeks prior to the Convention, no later than January 29.
Upload has closed. Constitutional amendments were due to CFT no later than January 29.
How to Submit Resolutions
- Resolutions may be introduced by locals, by the State Council, by the Executive Council, by CFT standing committees, by division councils, or by Convention committees.
- A proposed resolution must bear the signatures of two elected officers of the local or council, or the signatures of two committee members, certifying that the resolution was approved for submission to the Convention. Resolutions from local unions must be approved for submission by the membership or by the local’s executive board.
- Resolutions must be submitted six weeks prior to the Convention, no later than February 12.
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.
Late Resolutions – Special Orders of Business
Following are the rules for submitting late resolutions as specified in the Convention Rules.
A. Special Orders of Business
- Special orders of business must be emailed to email@example.com at least one business session prior to consideration.
- To be heard on the floor, special orders of business must be approved by a 2/3rds vote of the Convention delegates during business session one so it can be considered in business session two. For consideration, special orders of business will be posted online and made available to all Convention delegates prior to general session two.
- To be considered, special orders of business must address issues that because of timeliness could not have been dealt with through the timely resolutions process outlined in Article 1, Section 15 of the CFT Bylaws and these rules. Determination of timeliness may be made by the Chairperson or designee.
- Late resolutions not reviewed by a Subcommittee shall be considered in general session only after all Subcommittee resolutions have been considered.
Late Resolution Template & Submission
Resolutions were due to CFT no later than February 12.
However, if a resolution meets the rules specified above for Late Resolutions, the resolution may be emailed to CFT. To submit a late resolution, please follow these steps.
- Download and use the Late Resolution Template.
- Obtain the required signatures for resolution submission. Scan the template with signatures (as pdf) to include in the email.
- Include the text of the resolution, either in the template or as a separate Word document.
- Email the two documents — the pdf scan with required signatures and the resolution text — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delegate Committee Service
All 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 the democracy of the Convention process. Only assigned members of the committee may vote upon resolutions before the committee.
- The CFT President shall appoint delegates to committees, giving weight and consideration to balance and to service on standing committees. Members of CFT standing committees who are delegates shall be appointed to the corresponding Convention committees to coordinate the work of those bodies. Delegate preferences for committee service will also be given consideration.
- The CFT President shall appoint Convention committee chairs and members of the Constitution Committee with the approval of the Executive Council.
- Delegates may designate the committees on which they wish to serve by submitting their choices through the CFT website. Online submissions must be completed no later than March 12.
Committee Choice for Delegates
Delegates may serve on the Convention committees listed below. The deadline for delegates to choose their committee service was March 12.
- Nominations and Elections
- Education Finance
- Health Care, Retirement and Benefits
- Professional Issues: EC/TK-12
- Professional Issues: Higher Education
Elections to take place at this Convention are CFT President, Secretary Treasurer and 24 Vice Presidents, plus delegates to the AFT Convention 2022 and the California Labor Federation Convention 2022.
Voting by delegations will take place by mail ballot. Voting instructions will be posted on the website as they become available. Election results will be announced about four weeks after the Convention.
The CFT will make every effort to assist in ensuring that the Convention is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will attempt to accommodate any special needs so that delegates may participate fully in Convention activities.
- If a delegate anticipates a special need ensuing from a disability, the delegate should email email@example.com or call the CFT Bay Area office at (510) 523-5238 before February 12.