What is the role of chapter chairs in citywide elections?
Even though the citywide UTLA elections are conducted by ballots mailed to members’ homes — instead of at the school site, as with contract ratification votes — Chapter Chairs play a vital role in ensuring that the UTLA elections are conducted in a manner that is fair and that encourages the full and informed participation of all the UTLA members at their school.
Chapter chairs have the following rights:
- Chapter chairs have the right to endorse, or to refrain from endorsing, any candidate for UTLA office. Chapter chairs have the right to inform members at their school of their endorsement, provided that chapter chairs 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 work site. 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 a reasonable and equal opportunity to communicate with the members at their school, regardless of their personal decision to endorse or oppose any particular candidate(s). For example, if a chapter chair puts one candidate’s flyers in mailboxes, he or she needs to do the same for all candidates.
- To help ensure an informed membership, chapter chairs should encourage candidates (or their representatives) to visit their school site during the election. Chapter chairs should also encourage their members to view the candidates’ videos on the UTLA webpage and to read the candidates’ statements in the Special Election issue of the UNITED TEACHER.
- Like all people who act on UTLA’s behalf, it is the chapter chairs’ duty to keep in mind the best interests of UTLA and its members when acting in their official capacity. If chapter chairs have any questions about their rights and duties during these elections, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.