Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Overview of the Upcoming Elections

A new Bargining Unit Council (BUC) 9 will be elected at the next CSUEU Board of Directors meeting, at the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel in Millbrae.

This a completely unofficial, informal explanation based on what we've seen at past elections. While we expect the elections will probably follow the pattern below, it's not up to us and we make no guarantees whatsoever that anything will be the same this time. Please consult the Bylaws and Policy File for the official requirements.


Statewide Committee meetings are on Friday, June 26. Friday evening there's a closed Board of Directors meeting. The regular BUC meetings and Board of Directors meeting are on Saturday, June 27. Elections for statewide offices – statewide executive officers and BUC members – take place on Sunday, June 28.

Who Votes

The electorate consists of current members of the Board of Directors and these chapter officers: President (as a member of the Board of Directors), Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Bargaining Unit Representatives (Bylaws Section 5.6).


There is no requirement to declare your candidacy in advance, but many do, particularly for the executive officer positions. If you're part of the electorate, you may already have started hearing from candidates. Andrew Coile, from Chapter 322 (Monterey Bay), has put up a web site where candidates can post their own information.

Candidates sometimes host small gatherings for voters at the hotel on Saturday evening. You can attend some, all, or none of these, as you wish. These can be an additional chance to learn about the people you'll be voting for or against.

Some candidates will press for a commitment that you'll vote for them. You never have to say ahead of time whom you're voting for. Don't let anyone pressure you into declaring your voting intentions if you'd rather not.

The Elections Themselves

Statewide executive officers are typically elected by secret ballot, one position at a time: first the President, then the Vice President for Organizing, and so on. In each of these elections, if no one wins a majority in the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped from the list and we vote again, and the process is repeated until someone wins a majority. Only when there is an outright winner for one position do we move on to the next office.

Nominations can be made ahead of time using the official candidate form from CSUEU (the deadline was June 12), or from the floor at the meeting. Any active member in good standing can run.

After all 4 statewide executive officers have been elected, the Bargaining Unit Representatives (BURs) split off for the BUC elections. Each unit gathers in a smaller side conference room. The Chair is elected first, then the Vice Chair, then the 6 at-large members of the BUC. If there are no more than 6 candidates for the at-large seats, no vote is necessary.

The elected statewide officers take office at the close of the meeting. The term of office is 2 years, and officially ends when their successors are installed into office. Depending on the meeting schedule for the Board of Directors 2 years later, this can result in terms that are a little more or less than exactly 2 years. For example, the last statewide elections were held in August 2007, and those terms of office will end on Sunday, June 28, 2009 when the new elected officers are sworn in.

Your Travel Plans

CSUEU funds voting chapter officers for the Sunday elections. For most, this means coming in the night before and spending Saturday night at the hotel. We suggest arranging your travel schedule so that you arrive early enough to observe some of Saturday's Board of Directors meeting and a BUC meeting. Depending on your situation, this might mean covering your own meal cost for one or two meals. It's well worth it to see how things work at the statewide level, especially if you haven't attended statewide meetings in the past.

Chapters can choose to cover the expense of an additional day or two for people who are already attending Sunday's elections. It can be helpful for chapters to have an extra observer available to attend Committee meetings on Friday, and any of Saturday's meetings.

BUC Election Notice

Want to see a real, live election notice? Of course you do! This is the BUC election notice sent out by the Vice President for Organizing on May 29, 2009:


You are receiving this email because the records of CSEA Membership Services indicate you are a Campus Bargaining Unit Representative (CBUR). As a CBUR, you are eligible to attend, vote, and be nominated for the positions of Bargaining Unit Council Chairs, Vice Chairs and Members.

Please find attached the notice and nomination form for the Bargaining Unit Councils.


Ronnie L. Grant, Vice President for Organizing
California State University Employees Union, SEIU Local 2579

All Bargaining Unit Representatives Attend Election Meeting

All chapter BURs are expected to attend the statewide election meeting, and should have received the meeting notice and election notice from headquarters weeks ago. If you are a chapter Bargaining Unit Representative and you did not receive the notices, please contact headquarters right away.


No comments: