Chapter Chair Role in UTLA Elections
What is the role of chapter chairs in citywide elections?
Unlike voting for contract ratification and other UTLA policy changes that take place at worksites, the Citywide UTLA elections are conducted by ballots mailed to members’ homes. Chapter Chairs play a vital role in ensuring that the UTLA elections are conducted in a manner that is fair and encourages the full and informed participation of all the UTLA members at their school, by explaining the Citywide UTLA election process to their staff, allowing all candidates the opportunity to speak with their staff, distributing all candidates’ written materials and encouraging all members to vote.
The chapter chair’s role is especially important in the post-Janus era. UTLA must make every effort to protect member information. As a result, candidates will not be able to purchase member lists with addresses and phone numbers. For this election cycle, qualified candidates will be given the Chapter Chair and Area Director Contact Information for their Area or Citywide lists for Citywide offices. The information will include the chapter chair’s name, email, school address, and school phone number so candidates can contact chapter chairs to request an opportunity to speak with their staff.
Chapter chairs have the following rights:
Chapter chairs have the right to endorse or to refrain from endorsing any candidate for UTLA office and the right to inform other members of their endorsement, provided that they do not use any UTLA resources to do so.
Chapter chairs have the right to approve or deny permission for candidates to campaign at their worksite. However, it is their duty to base their decision on reasonable grounds—such as scheduling issues or logistical concerns—rather than on partisan considerations.
Chapter chairs have the following duties:
It is their duty to ensure that all candidates have a reasonable and equal opportunity to communicate with the members at their school, regardless of their personal decision to endorse or oppose any particular candidate(s). For example, if a chapter chair puts one candidate’s flyers in mailboxes, he or she needs to do the same for all candidates.
To help ensure an informed membership, chapter chairs should encourage candidates (or their representatives) to visit their school site during the election. Chapter chairs should also encourage their members to view the candidates’ videos and flyers at utlaelections.org and to read the candidates’ statements in the Special Election issue of the UNITED TEACHER.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns.