Given the number of newer delegates that are expected at the UE national convention this year, the National Officers and General Executive Board thought it was important to share information about the general organizational process UE has developed over the years for the election of national officers.
Per the UE Constitution any UE member in good standing for a year or more is eligible to run for UE’s three top general officer positions - General President, General Secretary Treasurer and Director of Organization. The responsibilities and duties of all three general officers are outlined in the National Constitution along with their salaries.
It has been typical out of respect to UE principles of democratic rank and file unionism that any eligible member interested in running as a candidate would reach out to locals in the lead up to the convention to get the word out and secure support for their candidacy. Accordingly, it has been standard UE practice for the General Secretary Treasurer, upon request by any candidate for national office, to provide address labels for all the locals in UE so that if they do not already know everyone they can mail out campaign letters.
At the convention itself, it has been common for candidates to make introductions and campaign between sessions and during social events as they are not provided time on the convention floor or in other convention meetings to actively campaign.
Unlike nomination and election officers in UE Locals, that would typically take place over a two step process of taking nominations at one meeting and holding elections at a later date, the National Union nomination and election of officers takes place one right after the other during the main convention program late Wednesday afternoon.
During the nomination process, time is permitted to the delegates making the nomination or seconding the nomination to speak for a few minutes rather that just making a motion to nominate or second the candidate. In past conventions we would see that they would use their time to give a final summation of who the candidate is, why they are running and why others should support them with their vote. Many times this is planned out in advance by the candidate who notifies the convention chair before the elections take place as to who they want to be called upon to nominate and second them Each candidate nominated is asked if they accept or decline the nomination. Typically after the election is held the prevailing candidate is provided the opportunity to say a few words before the convention chair moves on to the next item.
Per the UE Constitution the general officers are sworn in after the elections and the two year term commences on November 1st and ending October 31st of the second year.