Use Your Voice and Vote!
By Grant Glickson
President, The NewsGuild of New York
It’s officially election season for our union. Not only is our international union (that’s the NewsGuild-CWA) running a re-election for the presidency, but we have our own local elections coming up.
Every three years, the NewsGuild of New York has nominations and elections for leadership roles within each of our bargaining units, as well as for our Local (all the bargaining units governed by our “chapter” within the national NewsGuild-CWA). At the bargaining unit level, you will be nominating and electing your Unit Council: the Unit Chair, Secretary, First Vice Chair, and at-large Vice Chairs. The Local elections will take place for the roles of President, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice Chairs and seats on the Executive Board.
This year, the addition of the re-run election for President of the international NewsGuild-CWA can make things especially confusing with the various election rules, acronyms, and time tables.
Here’s what you need to know:
The International TNG-CWA Election (Re-Run)
On August 12, 2019, the Sector Election and Referendum Committee (or “SERC”) of the NewsGuild-CWA announced that there would be a re-run of the election for TNG President between incumbent Bernie Lunzer and challenger Jon Schleuss. The first election, which ran at the start of the summer, ended in a close race with 1,282 votes for Lunzer and 1,021 for Schleuss. However, several parties appealed the election results, leading the SERC to decide to re-run. Read the committee’s entire decision here.
The International NewsGuild’s constitution (unlike our Local’s constitution) mandates that only members in good standing are eligible to vote. To be a member in good standing, you must be a dues paying member. If you are a new member who recently organized your workplace and don’t yet have a first contract, you have the right to opt into paying dues in order to be eligible to vote. You should have received a notification in your mailbox about this matter from the American Arbitration Association. Paying dues before your contract has been ratified is completely voluntary.
Members in good standing as of June, July, or August 2019 may vote in this election. Because new members who are not yet paying dues aren’t considered in good standing at the International, they may remit their dues (1.3846% of your base pay) to the Local so that they can vote. These dues must be submitted no later than September 16, 2019. Once you start paying dues, the International constitution requires that you continue to do so. Those new members who are interested in paying dues in order to vote for the International re-run election can email me at email@example.com.
What you need to know:
Up for election: President
Some important dates to note:
- Sept. 16 | Last day for new members to remit dues payment
- Oct. 25 | Ballots will be mailed no later than this date
- Dec. 10 | Ballots due and ballot count
The NewsGuild of New York Local Election
As I mentioned above, our Local is also electing its President and officers who sit on our Local’s governing body, the Executive Committee. Every Unit Chair who is elected by their shops will also be guaranteed a seat on the EC. However, there are other open positions on the board for which members can run. All members of the Executive Committee are working Guild members, except for the President, who serves on a full-time basis. If you’re interested in learning more about the positions available for election and their respective responsibilities, read these descriptions. You can also find the complete rules of the Local election here.
What you need to know:
Up for election: President, Secretary-Treasurer, Local Chair, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, and 16 Executive Committee members.
Term of office: January 2, 2020 - January 1, 2023
- Sept. 17 | Nomination meeting
- Oct. 2 (no later) | Written nominations and seconds
- Oct. 4 | Candidate acceptance
- Oct. 25 (no later) | Ballots mailed (if there’s a contested election)
- Nov. 22 (by 1 p.m.) | Ballots due and ballot count
When it comes to unit elections, each workplace within the NY Guild elects its own Unit Council. This includes the Unit Chair, First Vice Chair, Secretary, and Vice Chairs. Because each shop operates on its own schedule, the dates vary slightly from unit to unit regarding their election process. The rules, however, are consistent across the Guild.
Many of the shops in the Guild have already begun their nomination and election processes. If you have specific questions about the rules for your unit, please visit this page and find your specific workplace.
What you need to know:
Up for election: Unit Chair, First Vice Chair, Secretary, Vice Chairs
Term of office: November 1, 2019 - October 31, 2022
- Aug. 20 - Sept. 17 | Nomination meetings take place in each shop
- Three days after nomination meeting | Written nominations and seconds
- Five days after nomination meeting | Candidate acceptance
- Sept. 27 (no later) | Ballots mailed (if there’s a contested election)
- Oct. 18 (by 1 p.m.) | Ballots due and ballot count
Make sure to visit our election page for more information and frequently asked questions or reach out to your Unit Chair or Local Representative.
This is the time to make your voice heard! 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!
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