UTLA GENERAL ELECTIONS 2020 FAQS FOR MEMBERS/VOTERS
- Why does it seem like the campaigning is starting earlier?
The general timeline for the election is similar to other election cycles, adjusting for the school calendar, holidays, etc. See https://utlaelections.org/information/election-timeline/
However, some changes were necessary as a result of the Janus Decision. Candidates will not be able to purchase Member Lists as they have in the past. In order to provide opportunities for candidates to connect with their constituency, several changes were made in the Election Manual. One of those changes, allows candidates to declare as soon as the United Teacher newspaper (UT) publishes the Manual and the forms. They were published in the August 16, 2019 edition. After it is determined that the candidate is qualified to run, they will receive the Chapter Chair and Area Director Contact Information so they will be able to ask if they may schedule a visit at a site and/or ask the Chapter Chair to distribute literature. A chapter chair may ask a candidate if they have officially declared with the Elections Committee. This can be confirmed by emailing Tara Thomas at email@example.com. Chapter Chairs may allow potential candidates who have not yet declared to speak to site members at their discretion.
- Who is eligible to run for office?
Any person who has been an active UTLA member in good standing for at least twenty-four months (2 years). Special Category Directors must meet the requirements in the Appendix of the Election Manual and Elementary and Secondary Vice Presidents must qualify through their credential and assignment.
Directors for Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Education Special Education must be serving in positions that require the corresponding credential or license. Directors for Adult Education and Substitute Teachers must be serving in the corresponding position. The Bilingual Director must hold the BCLAD or equivalent bilingual certification. See the Appendix to the Election Manual for more details.
Candidates for Area Director must be assigned to a site/or sites within that Area. Exception: Candidates in UTLA appointed positions that serve the whole district qualify based on the Area where they were assigned before the appointment.
- How will the election work? When will the UTLA General Elections be held and when will the elected candidate take office?- What is their term of office?
Candidate names will be posted on the website in November, Candidate flyers will be posted in December and their statements and photos will be printed in the January, Special Election Edition of the United Teacher (UT) and they will also published on the website. Ballots will be mailed out on February 3, 2020. Election ballots will be counted on February 28, 2020. Officers and Board of Director members serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2020. See the Complete Timeline https://utlaelections.org/information/election-timeline/
- Will a ballot be mailed to my home address or school site?
Election ballots are only mailed to the member’s home address for the Citywide Office Elections. They will not be sent to your school site.
Important If you have moved, you need to be aware that the postal service is not allowed to forward ballots. Please update your address ASAP so you will receive your ballot on time. Go to https://www.utla.net/members/update-your-information
- Where should I return the election ballot? Can I drop it off at UTLA?
The election ballot should be returned to the Election Services Company address provided on the return envelope. No. If you return the election ballot to UTLA, your vote will not be counted.
- Which positions are being elected? Who gets to vote for which ones?
All UTLA members should receive ballots for contested elections for the Citywide Offices. All members vote for President, NEA Vice President, AFT Vice President, UTLA Elementary and Secondary Vice President, UTLA Treasurer, and UTLA Secretary.
UTLA Area Board of Directors are voted on by members in a particular UTLA Area (i.e. – If you work in the Harbor Area, you will vote for the Harbor Area Board of Director candidates). If you work at more than one site. you need to submit the Itinerant Assignment Declaration form in order to be able to vote for Area Directors.
For the Special Category Directors, only members of the special category will have those candidates on their ballot.
- If UTLA is now a completely merged Local, why do we still have the AFT and NEA Vice President offices and NEA and AFT Area Directors?
UTLA continues to have agreements with NEA, AFT, CTA, and CFT. We are required to maintain these governance structures. The officers and directors serve as liaisons between UTLA and our state and national affiliates and we receive support from our state and national affiliates.
- Do I have to submit a special form if I am a Substitute, or Itinerant member, who works at different school sites and I just want to vote for the Area Directors representing the Area where I work the most?
Yes, the form is called the Itinerant Assignment Declaration Form and it on the website and in the UT Newspaper. The form is the same for candidates and members. It can be submitted electronically from this website. Voters should submit their form ASAP to be assured they are able to vote for Area Directors during the first round of elections.
- Will there be forums with the City-wide candidates?
No. We will record a Q and A with city-wide candidates. You may submit questions you would like citywide candidates to answer in the Q and A session. This event will not be open to the public but will be recorded and posted on the website. Send questions through our Contact page.
- What are the guidelines for Chapter Chairs, especially those supporting particular candidates and/or slates?
A communication will be going out to all UTLA Chapter Chairs outlining their rights and responsibilities and will also be available on the Elections Webpage utlaelections.org. Chapter Chairs can endorse candidates and slates if they wish. They cannot use UTLA resources, like the UTLA school roster, to do so. Chapter Chairs have the right to approve or deny permission to candidates to campaign at your school- based on reasonable grounds: Altered scheduled for testing that day, etc. Also, Chapter Chairs need to give candidates a reasonable and equal opportunity to communicate with members. For example, if the Chapter Chair puts flyers for one candidate in mailboxes, she/he should do the same for all candidates- or put them on the counter in the office or put flyers on the UTLA bulletin board.
- If I don’t receive a ballot, or receive the wrong ballot, who should I contact? Is there a deadline to request a ballot replacement?
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a replacement ballot. The deadline to request a replacement ballot is February 14, 2020.
- Where and when will members be able to see the Citywide Office Candidate Videos?
The candidate videos will be put on the utlaelections.org website in late January. Members will be able to watch all the candidates for Citywide Office. The videos will be grouped by each election (President, NEA VP, AFT VP, etc.). In addition, a Q and A session with the city-wide candidates will be available.
- If I have a question or concern about the conduct of the UTLA Elections, how do I contact the UTLA Elections Committee?
You may contact the UTLA Elections Committee through our Contact page. Once your email is reviewed, the UTLA Elections Committee spokesperson will get back to you in a timely manner.
- How do voters vote electronically?
Voters will receive a paper ballot that includes a unique PIN number and instructions for voting electronically. All voters automatically have that option. There is no need to sign up to vote electronically using a coupon. This is the same process that was used during the last election cycle. Many voters took advantage of this option during the last election and they reported that it was a very easy process. The timeline for voting electronically and voting using the paper ballot is exactly the same. All paper ballots and the electronic ballots must be received before 8:00 am on February 28, 2020. If there are questions or concerns about how to vote electronically once the ballots have been received, please contact us.
- I am a cash, dues paying member, will I receive a ballot?
Yes, you will receive a ballot if your dues are current and were paid one month prior to the mailing of the ballots.
- What do NEA and AFT stand for?
NEA is the National Education Association and AFT is the American Federation of Teachers. They are the two national teachers’ unions. We are also under the two state affiliates the California Teachers Association (CTA) which is the state affiliate of NEA and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) which is the state affiliate of AFT. You can find out more at nea.org, cta.org, aft.org and cft.org.