Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AHEM Annual Elections Rules

2014 AHEM April Election
Officers, Conventions, C&B, Q-Comp, & Eval Plan
Election Rules

1)   Filing Deadlines for all AHEM Officer Candidates for the offices of President and Secretary, Education Minnesota Representative Convention Delegates, and the submission of amendments to the AHEM Constitution and Bylaws will be Friday, February 28 at 4:00 p.m.

2)   Inter-School Mailings to all members from candidates   

a)    Candidates are responsible for the printing and counting of materials.  The AHEM office will provide labels with number of members per site, at the candidate’s request, beginning March 3rd.

b)   Campaign materials will be distributed to members at sites by an AHEM Building Rep.

c)    Materials of candidates for the same race will be distributed at the same time by building reps, if both candidates have provided materials. 

d)   Deadlines for campaign pieces are:  Campaign Piece #1 - due at the AHEM Office by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28; Campaign Piece #2 - due at the AHEM Office by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11.

3)   Candidate Forums

a)    Each candidate in a contested race will be given 5 minutes each to address the AHEM Representative Assembly on Monday, April 14, followed by a 20 minute question and answer period, with each candidate having an opportunity to answer the questions posed. Questions will be posed by forum attendees via notecards.  The moderator will group similar questions, then randomly choose from the grouped questions until the time has expired.

b)   Timekeeper for each forum will be AHEM Elections Chair Amanda Glover-Peterson.

c)    Candidates may have printed campaign materials available at the Rep Assembly candidate forum.  All candidate materials must be properly disclaimed.  See information on disclaimers below.

4)   An Update Issue will be distributed to members the week of April 7. 

a)    All candidates will be allowed to create a piece for the Update.  Candidates in contested races will be given up to one page.  Candidates in non-contested races will be given up to one-half page.  Once the Update has been sent to the buildings, copies of the candidate pieces will be included on the AHEM website

i)     Set-up/Design of issue will be completed by AHEM Office staff.

ii)    Any necessary editing of a candidate’s piece, due to length, will be completed after communication between AHEM Office staff and the candidate.

iii)  Deadline for sending candidate Update pieces to the AHEM Office is Friday, March 21 at 4 pm

5)   Member notification: AHEM President Julie Blaha will describe the elections process and timetable to bargaining group members via email.

6)   Election Process & Timetable

a)    Monday, April 21 - Ballot Boxes, ballots and voting instructions will be distributed to one building representative per building.  Only members can vote in officer elections (no fair share fee payers). All of those in our bargaining unit can participate in the Q-Comp and Teacher Eval vote.

b)   Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23 – Voting is held at ALL sites with ballot boxes being returned to the AHEM Office by 6:00 p.m. on April 23 by a Building Representative who will then assist with the counting of the ballots and signatures from his/her site.  Candidates may observe the vote counting.

c)    Wednesday, April 23 – All voting results will be finalized.  Unofficial results will be announced in the president’s e-mail memo on Thursday, April 24.

d)   Absentee voting will be held at the AHEM Office on Thursday, April 17, Friday, April 18, Monday April 21, Tuesday April 22 and Wednesday, April 23 between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Any member may vote absentee. A letter will be sent to teachers on paid leaves and ABE Southern site members on Friday, April 7 notifying them that they can vote absentee.

e)    The Executive Board will ratify results of the vote on Monday, May 5.

7)   Campaign Practices

a)    Candidates can request the AHEM Membership Lists, faculty representative and executive board lists, which will include full-share members’ names, building assignments, and home phone numbers.

b)   Buildings may sponsor their own debates or candidate meetings, but these meetings must invite ALL candidates for each contested position and must be scheduled so as to be accessible to all candidates (i.e. outside all candidates’ duty day).

c)    Candidates may use buttons or stickers as a part of their campaign material, but may NOT use any AHEM, Education Minnesota NEA/AFT or AFL-CIO logos

d)   Candidates may solicit or accept funds for their campaign at non-duty meetings and times.

e)    Candidates may only solicit or accept funds from active Education Minnesota members.  Accepting contributions from the employer, including building and district administrators, is strictly prohibited.

f)     Candidates must keep a record of contributions, including donor, amount and date of donation.  If there is an elections challenge, the AHEM Executive Board is authorized to ask for contribution records from a candidate.

g)    Candidates are encouraged to use union businesses to produce all campaign materials.

h)   Candidates are not allowed to use the AHEM office, staff, social media, website, equipment and/or materials for any campaign purposes beyond those outlined above.

i)     The employer may not directly or indirectly contribute to or promote the candidacy of any individual on the AHEM ballot.

j)     No building, site or group may officially endorse or promote a candidate.  However, individual members or individual AHEM leaders may personally endorse a candidate and can be listed as supporters in a candidate’s campaign literature.  (Example:  The AHEM head building rep can personally endorse a candidate, but the building cannot vote as a group to support a particular candidate.)

k)    All printed campaign materials must be properly disclaimed, bearing the identification of the person(s) who prepared the material using, as appropriate, one of the following:

i)     Prepared and paid for by (candidate) for (position).

ii)    Prepared and paid for by the Committee to elect (candidate) for (position).

iii)  Prepared and paid for by (individual supporting a particular candidate) in support of (candidate) for (position).

l)     No campaigning can occur during the teacher duty day.

m)  A candidate must obtain permission prior to using a member’s name or picture in any campaign literature.

n)   The use of any school technology (i.e. fax, voicemail, e-mail, district/school websites) shall not be allowed.  For example, the use of school technology, school provided technology or school compensated technology to send or to receive campaign materials is unlawful and shall not be allowed.

o)    Violations of any of the campaign practices shall be reported to David Kundin at the AHEM Office.  The AHEM Executive Board will have authority as to the ultimate disposition of any challenge due to violations of campaign practices.

2014 AHEM April Election
Officers, Conventions, C&B, Q-Comp, & Eval Plan

Announcement                             February 11           Via email

Filing Deadline                             February 28           Via email to Janie by 4:00 pm

Site Labels Available                  March 3                    Via pickup or interschool mail

Update Deadline                          March 21                 Candidates submit text & pic for Update

Campaign Piece 1                        March 28                 Candidates get first piece to office

Print Election Materials            April 4                      Send ballots, instructions, etc. to print       

Update distribution                    April 7                      Date publication leaves AHEM office           

Absentee Letters                         April 7                      Materials to those on leaves sent out

Campaign Piece 2                        April 11                   Candidates get first piece to office

Candidate Forum                         April 14                   Q&A at the AHEM Rep Assembly

Absentee Voting                           April 17-23            At AHEM Office, 7:30 – 4:30 pm

Q-Comp & Eval Info Mtgs          April 21                   During staff development day

Ballot Box Pickup                         April 21                   At AHEM office or staff development sites

Voting in Buildings                      April 22 or 23        Sites pick one day to vote

Ballot Counting                             April 23                   After school at the AHEM office

Unofficial Results                         April 24                   Via email and on website

Ratification                                     May 5                        At Executive Board meeting

Destroy Ballots                             In one year             Per federal law

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bargaining Update – Cancellation & W2R

Today’s Mediation Session Cancelled: Due illness on the district team, today’s mediation session was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday, February 21st.  Our February 27th session is still on the schedule as well.

Work to Rule Questions: Friday is our 10th day of Work to Rule and I’ll bet you’re feeling it.  Here are some of the questions we are hearing right now:

* Does anyone notice? Believe us, people notice.  We've garnered media attention around workload we haven’t seen in a decade. Interestingly enough, we hear almost exclusively supportive responses. Honestly, we expected more push back from the community. But apart from the common trolling on anonymous internet comment sections, the response has been understanding. Our community knows educators go above and beyond for students.

* Does it work? The main reason AHEM Building Representatives supported W2R is that historically it’s led to results. We can see evidence it's having an effect this round as the district team brought up W2R at the bargaining table with concern - it’s the only action they have formally commented on in fact.

* What if not everyone participates? Even the most ardent union activists struggle to work to rule at every moment. Luckily, we don't have to be perfect to make an impact. The better we do W2R, the more leverage it gives us.  More importantly, the more seriously we take W2R, the more it will help improve our work/life balance.  Related note: remember that W2R looks different for different people.  For instance, if you see someone staying late, it may be for a compensated activity. Special education teachers must complete paperwork or risk discipline, so they may not be able to leave on time.

* How can I help a colleague during W2R? If you see a colleague struggling to let extra work go, have a supportive conversation. You may hear about fears of retaliation – remind them that when we do actions together, there is safety in numbers. You may hear frustration about getting required work done – validate that real problem and help brainstorm solutions. You may hear them wonder about W2R's effectiveness – remind them that we on the Negotiations Team see that it is making a difference. Of course, we honor any decisions our colleagues make about W2R. Our job is not to judge, but to invite them to be part of the solution alongside us.


Your AHEM Negotiations Team: Paul, LeMoyne, Vicki, Jay, Tom, Val, and Julie