Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Notice Of Proposed Rules For The 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate And Officer Election And Invitation For Comments

I. Procedure

Proposed Rules for the 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (the “2016 Rules”) are published for comment.  The proposed 2016 Rules have been transmitted to each IBT local union and to interested independent committees.  Copies of the proposed 2016 Rules may be obtained in pdf format by visiting www.ibtvote.org or by calling or writing to the Office of the Election Supervisor to request a copy.

You are invited to comment on the proposed 2016 Rules

Please submit comments in writing to the Election Supervisor, either at the address listed below or by email to ElectionSupervisor@ibtvote.orgWritten comments concerning the proposed 2016 Rules must be received by 5:00 p.m. (eastern daylight time) on May 22, 2015.  Comments received by that deadline will be considered by the IBT, the Government and the Election Supervisor before the rules are issued in final form.  The Government and the IBT will ask the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to approve the 2016 Rules, to be effective as of May 1, 2015, with any changes agreed to by the parties following the comment period. 

Although the 2016 Rules will not be formally approved until after May 1, 2015 the Election Supervisor will begin administering them as of that date.  This means that all members, potential candidates, independent committees and IBT affiliates must abide by the proposed 2016 Rules beginning May 1, 2015, including compliance with all provisions concerning campaign activities, fundraising, reporting and other requirements and obligations.

II. Overview of Changes

The timetable of events is updated to reflect the dates for anticipated events of the 2015-2016 IBT international officer election, but otherwise the proposed 2016 Rules are substantially the same as the 2011 Rules.  Some definitions were added to reflect new material (such as the “Final Order”). 

In the past, certain Rules required a member or candidate to provide a social security number or a social insurance number to facilitate verification of membership and good standing.  In the 2016 Rules all of those provisions have been changed to require the submission of only the last four digits of the number.  Other specific changes from the 2011 Rules include the following:

  • Art. II, §(2) – This provision allows the Election Supervisor to approve a method of voting other than a mailed ballot.  To be considered for approval, the proposed alternate method must by permitted by applicable labor law, and the Election Supervisor may approve the alternate voting method if the method has protection and security at least equivalent to a mailed ballot.  This change is proposed to allow some flexibility to local unions where it may be appropriate to experiment with alternatives to the mail ballot in the delegate election. 
  • Art. II, §4(b)(2) – This section creates a presumption that the local union delegate nominating meeting shall be scheduled for the date of the local union’s general membership meeting.  The local union may submit an explanation for choosing a different date for the delegate nominations which the Election Supervisor will consider in evaluating the plan.  Nomination meetings should occur at a date and time that members can reasonably plan to attend and the regularly scheduled membership meeting is presumed to be such a date.  If a local union has a basis to believe that another date would produce equal or greater participation by the members, it can provide that explanation in its local union plan and OES will consider whether to approve the alternative date. 
  • Art. II, §§ 4(e), (h), 5(d), 7(d), and 12(b) – These sections require local unions to post certain election materials on local union bulletin boards.  New language in these sections will require those local unions that maintain a website, and that have the technical capability for posting notices to those websites, to display bulletin board postings on the websites as well. 
  • Art. II, §4(f) – This section provides that each  local union’s submitted Local Union Election Plan will be posted on the OES website, www.ibtvote.org.  Because submitted local union plans are available for member review, posting submitted plans on the OES website should make the plans more easily accessible to the members.  However, worksite and bulletin board lists will not be posted to the OES website under this rule change.  Although such lists are part of the Local Union Election Plan, the information they contain is internal to the local union and is not appropriate for posting to the public OES website.  Each local union will still be required to make the full plan, including those lists and any other appendices, available for inspection upon any local union member’s request and to provide a copy to that member at no cost under Art. 4(c).  Delegate, alternate delegate and international officer candidate access to worksite lists and collective bargaining agreements is governed by Art. VII, § 1 of the 2016 Rules
  • Art. II, §4(i) – This section provides that a summary of each approved Local Union plan will be posted on www.ibtvote.org.  The summary contains information concerning the date, time and place of nomination meetings, nomination procedure, and key dates for the mail ballot procedure for contested offices.  Posting this information on the OES website will make information about the delegate election process at all local unions easily accessible to the entire membership. 
  • Art. II, §5(f) – This section provides that written nominations for delegate or alternate delegate may be submitted to a local union up to 5:00 p.m. on the date before the nomination meeting and that if the meeting is scheduled for after 5:00 p.m., the written nominations may be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on the date of the meeting.  This practice was followed in 2011. 
  • Art. II, §10(c)(5) – This section adds language to the ballot instructions to clarify how votes are counted when the ballot is marked for a slate vote.  The new language explains that a slate vote overrides votes for individuals running for offices in competition with members of the slate, and also explains that voting for multiple slates can result in an overvote and not counting the ballot. 
  • Art. II, §13 – Language is added to this section to clarify the procedure local unions should follow to rank the delegates and alternates.  In a contested election, delegate and alternate delegates are ranked according to the number of votes received.  In the event of a tie, rank is determined by lottery or by mutual agreement among the tied candidates.  If there is no contested election, ranking is determined by lottery or by mutual agreement among the delegates and alternate delegates.
  • Art. III, §5(p) – This section addresses preparation of the ballot, in the event a candidate dies after accepting nomination at the Convention, but before the rank-and-file voting has occurred.  This provision was adopted in 2011 to address a situation that arose after adjournment of the 28th International Convention, and is proposed for incorporation into the 2016 Rules.
  • Art. VII, §8 – This section extends the ban on using union media resources to support candidates to all media “sponsored or used” by a union, and includes all forms of social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in the ban.  Under this rule, a local union’s Facebook page, Twitter feed or other social media would be treated identically to a union publication:  none of those media could be used to support or attack any candidate or candidacy except within the framework of strict equal access that the Rules allow.  The rule would also apply to social media posting of any Union officer made in an official capacity. 
  • Art. VII, §10 – In past elections, candidate campaign literature “battle pages” were distributed to the membership through Teamster magazine twice before the convention (for accredited candidates) and three times after the convention (for nominated candidates).  This section replaces the last of the Teamster magazine battle page mailings (the mailing concurrent with the mail ballot distribution) with “mailing funded by the Union of a single package of campaign materials from all nominated candidates”  The campaign literature mailing would be sent to “ballot-qualified members” before the ballot mailing date. 
  • Art. XI, §2(c) – The rule provides that the person submitting a CCERS filing via the electronic filing system certifies that the information on the report is “true and accurate.”