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Q&A on the Issues

Voting in your chapter elections

New York Teacher

This spring, UFT members will once again be electing their union representatives at the school level and for functional chapters. Because of the pandemic, the election process has been modified so all members, whether in-person or remote, can participate fully.

All UFT members have a right to run for office, nominate other members and vote for candidates. Union representatives will be responsible for supporting and informing members; communicating members’ views, priorities and ideas to the union; and representing members at the Delegate Assembly, the union’s highest decision-making body.

The following FAQ answers many common questions about these UFT elections.

Do you need to be a UFT member to vote in union elections?

Yes, only UFT members in good standing as of March 15, 2021, may vote in UFT elections.

How long do members serve in elected chapter positions?

Chapter positions have a term of three years. Members elected this year will start July 1, 2021, and will complete their terms on June 30, 2024.

How will school-based chapter leader elections be different this year to accommodate those working remotely?

This year, voting in school chapter elections will be conducted by telephone rather than by paper ballot in person at the school. The independent American Arbitration Association will be overseeing this year’s school chapter elections. It will send each member voting instructions via both email and regular mail that include a PIN number unique to that member. The PIN number will be needed when the member calls in to vote.

What if I do not receive this PIN number?

Anyone who does not receive a PIN number should contact the American Arbitration Association as soon as possible at 800-529-5218 so it may reissue voting information for that member.

What is the role of the election committee in this year’s school chapter elections?

The election committee chair and the other committee members have the following duties: prepare and distribute the Notice of Election; circulate a list of the positions to members and collect nominations; verify that all members who have been nominated are eligible to run and want to be candidates; submit the final list of UFT members running for election in your school to the union; notify the Membership Department if any positions should have no nomination; and share the chapter’s election results with the members.

How will elections for functional chapters be conducted this year?

Functional chapter elections will again be conducted via paper ballot, not by phone. Members of functional chapters will receive ballots in the mail in May. The ballot will be sent to the member’s home address that is on file with the UFT.

What school chapter positions will members in schools be voting for?

All members of a school chapter will vote for chapter leader. Members who are teachers will vote for school chapter delegates. (Functional chapter members vote for their delegates in the functional chapter elections.) Paraprofessionals in the school will elect their paraprofessional representative.

How can I find out which positions within my functional chapter we will be voting for?

Check the Notice of Election posted in your functional chapter’s section of the website for a list of the positions or ask your current functional chapter leader for more information.

What are the positions to be filled within the Paraprofessionals Chapter?

This year, paraprofessionals will elect the following positions: officers (chapter leader, first vice chairperson, second vice chairperson, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer and assistant treasurer), five borough coordinators, 15 members of the executive board-at-large, 32 district coordinators and a paraprofessional representative for each school. Paraprofessional representatives will be elected as part of the school-based chapter elections.

When will voting be conducted for school-based chapter elections?

Elections will begin no earlier than May 17 and conclude no later than June 18. The American Arbitration Association will assign the date of each school chapter election. It will space out the elections over the election period so it can manage the workload and the call volume.

How will we be notified of the date of our election?

Members voting in school-based chapter elections will receive notification of the date of their chapter’s election from the American Arbitration Association via email and regular mail along with instructions for voting by phone. In addition, the date will be posted on the Notice of Election on the UFT bulletin board at your school.

What hours will we be able to vote?

Voting will take place on one day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Must an election be held if only one person wishes to run for chapter leader at our school?

If candidates run unopposed, no election needs to be held. But the election committee chair must still fill out the chapter certification form and submit it to the UFT Membership Department.

What is the deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots for functional chapter members?

All ballots must be received by the American Arbitration Association at 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271, by 8 a.m. on June 15.

How can I update my mailing/email address with the UFT to ensure I will receive chapter leader election materials?

Contact the UFT at 212-331-6311 and ask to speak to the Membership Department to update your personal information. You can also update your information yourself by logging in to the UFT website and visiting the “My Account” page.

Related Topics: UFT Elections