Convention Rules


COMING SOON: Updated rules for Convention 2023!
Adopted by Executive Council January 28, 2021

CFT’s ongoing concern for the health, safety, and welfare of our delegates because of the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to convert the CFT 2021 Convention to virtual convention. The challenges of using an all-virtual platform will cause the need for this convention to be conducted with modified rules and scheduling. 

The Executive Council adopted these rules on January 28, 2021, in order to allow the Convention delegation and committees to operate in this virtual environment.

I. Officers of the Convention

A. Permanent Chairperson

  1. The permanent Chairperson shall be the President of the CFT as stated in the CFT Constitution and By-Laws.
  2. The permanent Chairperson of the Convention shall be the presiding officer of the Convention and shall exercise the powers and duties conferred on him/her by these rules and the CFT Constitution and By-Laws. 
  3. The permanent Chairperson may assign a delegate to preside over the Convention for a specific period of time.

B. Secretary

  1. The Secretary of the Convention shall be appointed by the permanent Chairperson subject to confirmation by the Convention.
  2. The Secretary of the Convention shall keep a true and correct record of proceedings of the Convention, including committee reports and all papers required by these rules to be filed with the permanent Chairperson, and may appoint such assistant secretaries as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the office. 

C. Parliamentarian

  1. The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Chairperson, subject to the confirmation by the Convention.
  2. The Parliamentarian shall assist and advise the Chairperson on questions of procedure and on interpretation of these rules and the CFT Constitution and By-Laws.

II. Seating of Delegates

A. Delegate Determination

  1. The Credentials Committee establishes that the delegate or alternate is on the list certified by the local. 
  2. The Credentials Committee oversees the issuance of an official unique admission identifier for each delegate, alternate, or guests.

B. Improper Delegate Credentials

Delegates not assigned proper credentials may petition the Credentials Committee for a decision to amend their improper status on a form provided by the CFT.

C. Virtual Sergeant-At-Arms

  1. Delegates, alternates, and guests shall check in for convention using a unique admission identifier.
  2. Delegates shall not be permitted the display of any caucus or political signs or placards on their home screen or as video background.

III. Rules of Procedure

A. Order of Business

  1. The order of business for the Convention shall be set forth in the official program of the Convention.
  2. The Convention shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) except insofar as they are modified by these rules herein.

B. Recognition to Speak

  1. A delegate desiring to speak to a question before the Convention shall not speak until recognized by the Chairperson.
  2. Delegates shall use the digital options offered to be recognized by the Chairperson to speak, and participate in debate, discussion, and voting.
  3. A delegate recognized by the Chairperson must first state his or her name and local number before speaking.
  4. A delegate who makes a motion shall be given the opportunity to speak to that motion, if he/she so desires, once recognized by the Chairperson. 

C. Motions

1. Motion to Suspend

  • Motion to suspend the rules shall only be in order to allow motions to amend. No seconds necessary. 
  • The motion to suspend shall explain the purpose (e.g., a proposed amendment not timely submitted), shall allow one speaker “for” (the movant) and one speaker “against” and requires a two-thirds vote of those delegates voting to pass. 
  • If the motion to suspend passes, then the movant shall immediately email the proposed amendment to and while that is being submitted and posted, the Chairperson shall move on to the next resolution or business item. 
  • After that next resolution is decided or business item is completed, the Chairperson shall return to the previous resolution and post the motion to amend to be considered.

2. Motions Out of Order

The following motions will be considered out of order: 

  • motions to table 
  • motions to postpone indefinitely
  • motions to postpone to a certain time 
  • motions to rescind 
  • motions to limit debate 
  • motions for reconsideration, and 
  • motions to divide the question

3. Appeal Ruling of Chair

Delegates may appeal the ruling of the Chairperson (challenge the chair). No second is required for consideration. After debate, the appeal shall be sustained only if a majority of those voting vote in favor of the appeal.

4. The Chairperson may summarize or repeat the motion or amendment before the Convention immediately prior to the vote thereon.

D. Limitations on Debate

  1. A delegate duly recognized by the Chairperson for purposes of debate, or other such purposes as are in order, shall not speak for longer than three minutes, provided this limitation shall not apply to the reading and presentation of committee reports, or to the introduction of speakers to the Convention. He or she shall be notified when two minutes have elapsed and again at the close of the third minute, at which time the speaker will be muted.
  2. A delegate shall not be recognized to speak more than once on the same subject until all who desire to speak, and are entitled to do so, have had a chance to speak.
  3. Total time for debate on each resolution or main motion shall be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.
  4. If a delegate moves an extension of debate, the Chairperson shall immediately place the motion to a vote without debate, and if the motion carries by a two-thirds vote, an additional time of 10 minutes shall be allowed.
  5. When a question before the convention is put to a vote, all delegates who are in queue awaiting their turn to speak shall be cleared.

IV. Voting

A. Voting shall only be conducted by delegates selecting either the “for” or “against” digital option. 

B. As a result of the digital tabulation of votes, there shall be no calls for a division of the house and no roll-call votes.

V. Convention Committees

A. Standing Committees of the Convention

  • Constitution
  • Credentials
  • Nominations and Elections
  • Resolutions
  • Rules

B. Committee Chairpersons

  • The President shall appoint the Committee Chairpersons and Committee members with the approval of the Executive Council, the State Council, or the Convention.

C. Committee Composition

  • Committee members must be delegates or alternates from local unions, members-at-large from unorganized areas, or CFT officers.

D. Conducting Business

  • A committee must have at least three delegates assigned to it in order to conduct business.

E. Quorum

  • A majority of any committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of its business.

VI. Committee Procedure

A. Resolution Committee

The Resolutions Committee shall comprise the chair of the committee and the chairs of the subcommittees listed below:

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

B. Resolution Subcommittee

The resolution subcommittees shall comprise Convention delegates who have expressed an interest in serving on the subcommittees, filled out a consideration request online, and been appointed by the CFT President in accordance with Article I, Section 16.a of the CFT By-Laws. 

  1. In order to maintain a balance in committee membership, no more than 20 percent of the voting members of a subcommittee may be from the same local.
  2. Only those delegates properly assigned to the subcommittee in question shall be permitted to attend and to participate in committee business.

C. Order of Resolution Presentation

The order in which the Resolutions Subcommittees present their reports shall be established by the Resolutions Committee. However, the Professional Issues subcommittees will always make their reports as the first two reports.

D. Subcommittee Resolution Procedure

  1. All foregoing Rules of Procedure applicable to the Convention proceedings shall apply in subcommittee proceedings except for motions to amend. (See Article III above).
  2. Amendments to Motions
  • An amendment to a motion to be duly made shall be submitted by email to no later than 5 p.m. on March 22, 2021. No seconds are required for the amendment to be considered. 
  • Each proposed amendment shall be considered and the movant shall be the first speaker. If more than one delegate submits a proposed amendment that is the same or very similar, then the first person to have submitted the motion shall be the movant. 
  • No one shall speak until the motion is displayed on the screen.

3. The Resolutions Subcommittees will prioritize all resolutions into groups of three, which will further be prioritized in order of presentation to the Convention body. That is, the subcommittee will rank the first group of three as that of highest priority for the subcommittee as a whole, and that group to be heard by the Convention before all other groups of resolutions.

4. For purposes of clarity and consistency, subcommittee recommendations should be presented in a uniform manner, either the subcommittee recommends resolution be: 

  • adopted, 
  • adopted as amended, 
  • defeated, 
  • precluded by other resolutions, or 
  • referred to the executive council.

5. It shall be the responsibility of the committee and subcommittee chairs to report the recommendations of the subcommittees to the Convention.

VII. Resolutions

A. All resolutions (i.e. motions) to be duly made shall be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on February 12, 2021. All resolutions not received in the office of the Secretary-Treasurer by this date shall be considered late resolutions.

B. Special Orders of Business

  1. Special orders of Business must be emailed to at least one business session prior to consideration.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Late resolutions not reviewed by a Subcommittee shall be considered in general session only after all Subcommittee resolutions have been considered.

C. Forwarding Resolutions

All resolutions not acted on by the Convention shall be forwarded to the Executive Council for disposition.