The main sessions of the Convention will be held as a Zoom webinar. In the webinar format, the “panelists” (the people you will see on screen) will be the people who would be at the front of the convention hall during an in-person convention, plus anyone who has been recognized to speak (like someone who is speaking at the microphone during an in-person convention).
To make sure that only UE members who are credentialed delegates are participating in convention business, Zoom access will be linked to convention registration. Registered participants (including invited guests) will receive an email each morning with the links they need for that day, including to the main session, committee meetings, workshops, and caucuses. These are individualized links for delegates or other registered participants and should not be shared.
The reason these shouldn’t be shared is that the link will be connected to your name, which will be identified in Zoom as a delegate, alternate, or guest. Just like in an in-person convention, only delegates will vote and only delegates can address the convention, unless others are given permission by the Chair.
For committee meetings, workshops, and caucuses, we will use regular Zoom meetings, like what you have experienced at regional council meetings. We encourage you to turn on your cameras to see each others’ faces during those meetings. This is also why individual delegates need their own devices to fully participate in convention — we won’t all be in the same big meeting for the full week of convention.
Speaking to the Convention
If you want to speak to a resolution, second a motion, or be recognized by the Chair for some other reason, use the Q&A function. The Q&A is the equivalent of coming up to one of the microphones on the floor of the convention at an in-person meeting.
Click on the Q&A link at the bottom of the screen. In the Q&A, write your request, which in most cases should either be “I want to speak on the motion” or “second.” A staff person who has been assigned to monitor the Q&A will respond, letting you know you are on a list for the Chair to call on to speak. Do not use the Q&A for comments — it is simply a way to let the Chair know you wish to speak. The Q&A will also be used by delegates to type in a “second” to a motion.
Once you are on the list to speak, you will receive a Zoom notification inviting you to become a “panelist.” You will need to accept the invitation, and then, when the Chair calls on you, you will need to unmute yourself and, if you wish, turn on your video (it is strongly encouraged to turn on your video, so other delegates can see you). After you are done speaking, you will be returned to being an “attendee.”
When you get promoted to a panelist, and again when you are returned to being an attendee, it may look like you are getting disconnected from the Zoom for a second. This is normal. You will reconnect in your new role shortly.
When we’re ready to proceed to a vote, we will use the Zoom poll function. This is the equivalent of a voice vote.
Only delegates should vote. Everyone’s name will be labeled as a delegate, alternate, or guest. A member of staff will be monitoring who is voting in Zoom polls and will notify the Sergeant at Arms if anyone who is not a delegate is attempting to vote.
If the Zoom poll is within a margin of error to account for delegates whose votes may be weighted, the Chair will call for a roll call vote.
Delegates may also call for a roll call vote in accordance with the Convention Rules of Order.
In the event of a roll call vote, time will be set aside for locals to caucus about how to cast their votes because each local will need to have one person report out how their local is casting their votes. If your local has two delegates, we assume you can call each other to discuss your votes. If your local has three or more delegates, and you have notified the National Union in advance, you will receive in your daily convention email a separate link to a Zoom meeting with breakout rooms for caucusing. If you wish to request this, please contact UE Communications Director Jonathan Kissam at email@example.com or (802) 343-1745.
The Chat feature will be open in the main sessions. This is a good place to say hi to other members. You can also ask a general question there and our Chat monitors will try their best to answer. However, Chat should not be used to debate convention business. One way to think of this is that the Chat is not part of the official convention proceedings. This is more like talking to someone in the hallway or the back of the main convention hall. Be sure to keep the chat amiable — our anti-harassment policy applies there as well as to other convention spaces.
Every day of convention, you will receive an email in the morning which will contain links for that day. You will also be receiving emails with convention documents and materials for committee meetings and workshops.
If you use gmail, there is some chance that your convention emails will not show up in your primary inbox, but will instead show up in your Promotions tab. If this is the case, drag the convention email into your Primary tab. This will train gmail that UE Convention emails should come to your primary inbox.
There is also some possibility that convention emails will show up in your spam folder. In this case, mark them as “not spam.”
Each day’s email will include links to the resolutions that will be discussed that day. The resolutions will be view-only Google docs. If you have access to a printer and wish to print out the resolutions ahead of time, you can do so by going to the File menu in the upper left-hand corner. If you use Chrome, it will open a dialog that will allow you to print the resolution directly. If you use a different browser, you may need to “allow downloads” from Google docs, and it will download a PDF file you can print.
We will have Spanish interpreters at the Convention, and delegates will be able to listen and speak to the convention in either English or Spanish. When you are in the main convention session, you will need to click the globe icon at the bottom of your screen to select your preferred language.
Switching Between Zoom and Other Programs
While you are in the webinar, if you wish to return to your browser or email program, a quick method to do this is to hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key (on Macs, hold down the command key and press the Tab key). This will pull up a screen of icons of the different programs you have open. Continuing to hold down Alt (or Command), press the tab key until the program you wish to switch to is highlighted. This will allow you to look at resolutions or return to your email (and then return to Zoom).
Using Phone Audio
If your audio is breaking up during the webinar, you may choose to listen to the webinar on your cell phone or landline. Click on the up-arrow next to the the audio settings button in the lower left-hand corner and select “switch to phone audio.” A dialog box will come up with a phone number to call. Once you call the phone number you will be prompted to enter the meeting ID and participant ID. You can then listen to the webinar on your phone, and use it to speak if you wish to address the convention. Please note that this is only possible if you are using a computer to participate in the webinar.