|ONLINE VERSION||NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2001|
|Election Rules Outlined for 44th Grand
44th Grand Lodge Convention July 8 - 12, 2002, Las Vegas, Nevada
|The BMWE Convention Call is being mailed
this month (December 2001) to alert local lodge secretary-treasurers
and other officers to the proper procedures for election of delegates
to the Grand Lodge Convention.
Elected delegates or alternates will represent their lodge or lodges at the 44th Grand Lodge Convention July 8 - 12, 2002, at the Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of the subjects the delegates will be dealing with are amendments to the Grand Lodge Constitution and Bylaws, resolutions needed to advance the benefits of the membership and the election of officers to lead the BMWE.
It is important that local lodges adhere to the rules and eligibility requirements for delegates and alternates and their election, because if ineligible members are elected or elections are conducted improperly, these delegates or alternates may not be able to give the local lodge a voice and a vote at the convention.
The Grand Lodge Constitution and By-Laws provide the following election rules:
(Article XXIII, Section 14, Paragraph 1) Each local lodge is eligible to elect a delegate and alternate to represent it at the convention or a lodge may choose to be represented by a delegate and alternate of another local lodge. While a delegate may represent more than one lodge, he or she cannot represent more than 500 members unless they are all members of the same lodge.
Delegate Eligibility Requirements
(Article XXIII, Section 14, Paragraph 3) In order to be eligible to run for election, all delegates or alternates must have established at least 12 months’ seniority rights in the departments coming under the jurisdiction of the BMWE and shall be members in good standing (i.e., paid full Grand Lodge, system and local lodge dues) of some local lodge in good standing with the Grand Lodge and shall have at least four months’ continuous membership or hold a valid unemployment card at the time of the election and be a member in good standing to June 1 of the convention year provided, however, that the four months’ continuous membership qualification will not apply where a new lodge has been established less than four months before the convening of a Grand Lodge convention.
Election of Delegates
(Article XXIII, Section 14, Paragraph 4) All members in good standing are eligible to vote for the election of delegates and alternates. The election must be by secret ballot and must be held on or after January 1, 2002. A secret ballot is required both by the Grand Lodge Constitution and Bylaws and the Federal Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. Both must be adhered to.
It is extremely important that all members in good standing receive at least 15 days’ advance written notice of the date, time and place of the election. A "notice of meeting" card should be sent to the last known address of each member eligible to vote. In calculating the 15-day period the day the cards are mailed is not counted but the day of the meeting is counted. The posting of meeting notices on bulletin boards, tool sheds, etc., or distribution to members at the work site does not satisfy the notice requirements.
Local lodge s may request address labels or meeting cards with preprinted addresses from Grand Lodge if enough advance notice is given. It is their responsibility to check addresses against current membership records to insure that all members receive a notice.
The local lodge or lodges will pay all the expenses of the elected delegate. The alternate will replace the delegate in case he or she is unable to attend the convention.
Delegate Voting Strength
(Article XXIII, Section 14, Paragraph 7) Grand Lodge will compute the number of votes each delegate will carry according to membership records. The number will be set 20 days before the convention opens and no votes shall be added and no duplicate credentials will be accepted after that date.
Who Can Vote?
Only members in good standing are entitled to vote in the election of delegates and alternates to Grand Lodge convention. Retired members, who pay full dues or who are Life Members also may vote. However, in order to be considered as a part of the representative votes of a delegate, retiree members must pay full Grand Lodge dues, full system division or federation dues, full local lodge dues and assessments. Members who have a withdrawal card are not eligible to vote. Withdrawal cards are issued if a member leaves the rail industry, is promoted to an official or excepted position with the railroad, transfers to another craft or is an agency or objector fee payer.
Quorum Required For Election
(Article XXIII, Section 6, Paragraph 3) A quorum of at least five members in good standing is required for transacting all local lodge business. If five members in good standing are not present at the election meeting, it must be rescheduled and new notices must be sent out.
Summary of Requirements for Election
A convention delegate or alternate must:
The election of delegates to the Grand Lodge convention must:
Only members in good standing are eligible to vote. To be in good standing, a member must:
Proposed Amendments to Grand Lodge Constitution and Bylaws
As the 44th Grand Lodge Convention approaches, the first proposed changes to the Grand Lodge Constitution and Bylaws have been received and are listed below.
A detailed procedure concerning how to make changes in the Constitution and Bylaws was printed in the August 2001 Journal.
Anyone contemplating such changes in the Constitution and Bylaws should refer to that article or refer to the actual Constitution and Bylaws which is available through all Local Lodges.
All proposed changes must be received no later than April 30, 2002 for publication in the Journal. Any changes received after that date will be returned to the member who submitted them and will not be acted upon by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
In the proposed changes listed here, language recommended for deletion is denoted by a line through the word or words, while language that is recommended to be added is denoted by underscoring and bold face type.
2002 PROPOSAL NO. 1
Submitted by Local Lodge 1662
ARTICLE XX, SECTION 3, Paragraph 7
BE AMENDED TO READ:
For each monthly dues payment received by Grand Lodge,
the Grand Lodge Secretary-Treasurer shall set aside the sum of eighty
cents (80˘) as well as a monthly assessment of one dollar ($1.00), to
be placed in the State and Provincial Legislative Department Fund. The
monthly one dollar ($1.00) assessment shall be re-distributed to the
State and Provincial Legislative Department on a per capita of dues
paying members residing in that State and Provincial Legislative
Department for the use and purposes of the State and Provincial
Legislative Department; and twenty-five cents (25˘) will be set aside
and placed in an Emergency Fund from which the President may pay strike
benefits. On January 1 of each year, any unused monies from the $1.00
monthly assessment in the individual accounts of
Submitted by Local Lodges 1488 AND 1552
ARTICLE XVII , NEW SECTION 14
Section 14. Equipment and Supplies. Grand Lodge shall furnish each State Legislative Director with the communication tools generally accepted as necessary in a modern office regimen. These tools shall include but not be limited to business cards, stationary, word processing equipment, Fax equipment, and e-mail and Internet access. These tools shall be furnished at no cost to the State Legislative Director personally or to the budget of the state said Director represents. These tools shall remain the property of Grand Lodge and shall be returned to Grand Lodge upon completion of the State Legislative Director's service in that capacity. If at the time of his/her election, the State Legislative Director already owns effective tools of modern communication, in lieu of receiving said tools of modern communication from Grand Lodge, a State Legislative Director may opt at said Director's discretion to receive a stipend from Grand Lodge for the use of his/her personal communication equipment. The amount of this stipend shall be set by Grand Lodge Convention.