Chapter Chair Role in UTLA Elections
Updated for 2022
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 electronic ballots. 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. The Elections Committee requests that Chapter Chairs explain the UTLA election process to their staff and allow all candidates the opportunity to speak with their staff at a Chapter Meeting. Throughout the campaign, we ask that Chapter Chairs distribute all candidates’ written materials and encourage all members to vote. We request that Chapter Chairs forward flyers and other written materials via email to their chapter members.
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. 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, school, email, and phone number. Candidates will be contacting 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 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 reasonable and equal opportunities to communicate with the members at their school, regardless of their personal decision to endorse or oppose any candidate(s). For example, if a chapter chair puts one candidate’s flyers in teacher mailboxes, they need to do the same for all candidates. (We ask Chapter Chairs to email all candidate flyers to their members and/or make the flyers equally accessible to their members so that members have the opportunity to be informed voters.)
Chapter chairs should encourage their members to view the candidate statements, photos and flyers at utlaelections.org . In addition to flyers and statements, candidates also have the option to post social media links on the utlaelections.org website. Chapter Chairs might consider navigating through the utlaelections.org website during a chapter meeting so they can point out where members can learn more about the candidates and the election process. There is an Orientation for Voters on the website under Members. Offer to help any member who has problems with online voting to use “Find My Pin” and please have them contact us if they still are unable to vote.
To engage members in the election process, you might discuss what each UTLA officer’s role is within the union and how that impacts the local site. Here is a resource to help you with that:
- Learning About UTLA Governance
- FAQ for Voters
- Candidates for Citywide Officer
- Candidates for Area Board of Director
- Candidates for Special Categories Director
Throughout this process it is important that Chapter Chairs do not interfere with member privacy and ballot choices.
Thank you for your role is making this process as democratic and fair as possible.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns.