The NewsGuild of New York's 2019 Local and Unit Elections
Every three years, the NewsGuild of New York has nominations and elections for leadership roles throughout our union. An open nomination process and vigorous participation in Guild elections is a key part of a democratic, member-led union. Strong, effective, and accountable leadership is how we collectively ensure we’re fighting for the right things, and that we win!
Each NewsGuild of New York unit elects its own Unit Council, including a Unit Chair, Secretary, First Vice Chair and so forth. Though the specific dates vary slightly shop to shop regarding the election, the rules remain the same. To read the complete rules of your specific unit’s election procedures, please follow the link to your shop below.
In accordance with the Guild’s bylaws, all units are required to host elections before the third Saturday in October “every third year.” For example, in 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.
Your Unit's complete rules (updated and linked as Nomination Meeting dates are finalized):
In addition to the unit elections, our Local (the NewsGuild of New York) is also electing officers and members of the Local Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is the Local's administrative body. Every Unit Chair serves on the Executive Committee, as do Local Officers and a slate of 16 Guild members. All of its members, except for the President who fulfills the office on a full-time basis, are working Guild members. The Local Chair presides over the Executive Committee meetings. In accordance with the Guild’s bylaws, the Local elections must happen every three years.
Up for Election: President, Secretary-Treasure, Local Chair, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, and sixteen Executive Committee members
Term of Office: January 2, 2020 - January 1, 2023
The complete rules for the Local election can be found here.
What’s a Nomination Meeting? Where does it happen?
A nomination meeting is the opportunity for potential candidates to announce their intention to run for an elected leadership position within the Guild or to be nominated to run. All nominations must be seconded (a statement of support of the original nomination) by another member, i.e.,. This formal meeting gathers Guild officials and members together to learn about the election and know who will be running.
In the case of unit-specific elections, these meetings will usually happen at your office (of course, that depends on what the unit decides). Regarding the Local-wide election, the nomination meeting, which is taking place on September 17, will happen at The NewsGuild of New York headquarters at 1500 Broadway, Suite 900.
What if I want to nominate someone, but can’t attend the meeting?
No problem! Nominations can be made either at the meeting or in writing. You can write your nomination and deliver by hand, the mail, email, or (if you really want to) fax. Seconds (you only need one) must also accompany your nomination. All written and seconded nominations are due to our Local Election Committee counsel, Hanan B. Kolko at 900 Third Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10022 or via email at email@example.com. Again, if you really want to fax, you can do so at 212-563-6527.
Note: In order to nominate a member to run, you must be in good standing as a Guild member as of August 31, 2019. Not sure if you are? Ask your Local Representative.
If I write in a nomination, what happens next?
Make sure that in your nomination, you include appropriate and working contact information for your candidate so that the Guild’s Election Committee (which oversees this entire process) can get in touch with the candidate. Once you nominate and have a second, you’re done! The Election Committee will make sure to notify all nominated candidates.
Can I nominate myself?
You sure can! You can do so at the nominations meeting or via write-in (follow the instructions above).
For the Local-wide election, know that the Guild must receive written confirmation (at the address above) from that candidate stating they wish to run no later than noon on October 4, 2019.
Why does the Guild have to mail ballots? Can we just vote electronically?
We hear you. Electronic voting is much, much easier. Unfortunately, until the Department of Justice says unions can utilize electronic voting, we have to continue to mail ballots to the membership. If you want to get really nerdy on this: Union officer elections are governed by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which is enforced by the DOJ. You can read more about that here.
Who receives ballots?
For NewsGuild of New York elections, if a candidate is running unopposed, then that individual is declared the winner. But in case of a challenger, then the Guild automatically begins the process to get ballots together to mail to members. When it’s a unit-specific election, only those members receive ballots to vote for their Unit Chair or Unit Secretary, for example.
When it comes to the Local election — which concerns the President, Secretary-Treasurer, Local Chair, and so on — all members in good standing receive a ballot to vote in the mail.
Am I eligible to vote?
In order to be eligible to vote, you must be a dues-paying member in good standing. This classic union term simply means that you have signed a membership card, are paid up on your dues, and currently working in a NewsGuild-represented unit.
For this year’s election, you must be a member in good standing as of September 30, 2019. If you’re unsure about your standing, contact your Local Representative.
When will I receive my ballot?
Ballots will be mailed out no later than October 29, 2019, for the NY Guild Local election.
For Unit-specific elections, ballot will be sent out no later than September 27, 2019.
How does a mail-in ballot work in Guild elections?
Whether it’s a unit or Local-wide election, the NY Guild’s procedures are generally the same. You will receive a ballot by mail at the address the Guild has on record. Make sure that you do not put any identifying information on the ballot. You’ll place your ballot in a smaller envelope and then place that smaller envelope in the return envelope. On that outer envelope, you’ll sign and print your name on the designated lines. Know that ballots returned in an unsigned outer envelope will not be counted!
What do I do if I didn’t get a ballot? What do I do if I messed up my ballot?
No worries. If you didn’t get your ballot or accidentally disqualified your ballot, reach out to Hanan Kolko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When are ballots due? When will they be tallied?
For the Local election, make sure to get your ballots on or before November 22. The American Arbitration Association, the third-party organization that will count these votes, will retrieve the votes from the post office no earlier than 1 p.m. on November 22. All eligible votes will be counted that day.
For unit-specific elections, though the dates might change slightly based off your unit’s election timetable, all ballots are due no later than October 18, 2019, when all eligible votes will be tallied.
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