2020 Convention Call

THE 86th CONVENTION of the American Federation of Teachers is hereby called to convene at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2020, at the hour of 9:30 a.m. and will remain in session until such time as it has given full consideration to such matters as legally may be brought before it.

Registration | Housing & Meeting Space | Americans with Disabilities Act | Representation | Delegate Number | Retiree Locals | Delegate Seating | Good Standing | Credentials | Delegate Elections | Council of Locals | Constitution & Bylaws Amendments | Resolutions | Convention Committees | Important Deadlines | Travel | Tentative Program


REGISTRATION SCHEDULE
George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A3
 

Sunday, July 26
1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, July 27
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.*

Wednesday, July 29
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 

*VOTING
To be eligible to vote in the election of officers on Wednesday, July 29, delegates must be registered by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28.

 

HOUSING AND MEETING SPACE
Housing information is enclosed. Requests for convention center or hotel space should be sent no later than Wednesday, June 13, to Kitty Owens at 202-879-4514 or kowens@aft.org.

 

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The AFT will make every effort to assist in ensuring that accommodations in the Houston hotels and in the facilities at the George R. Brown Convention Center are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If a delegate anticipates a special need ensuing from a disability, the delegate should contact Kitty Owens in the AFT Convention, Meetings and Travel Department at 202-879-4514 or kowens@aft.org by Tuesday, June 16. The AFT will attempt to accommodate any special needs to ensure that delegates can participate fully in convention activities. Early notice is necessary because some accommodations may require significant advance preparation.
 

REPRESENTATION
The biennial AFT convention is the most important policymaking body of the federation. The vitality and democracy of the union depend upon participation in the convention by delegates from all affiliates in good standing. Important resolutions, constitution and bylaws amendments, and the election of the AFT president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president and 43 vice presidents will be in the hands of the delegates. Each affiliate should take part in the election and in all other important convention business. Plan now to ensure representation from your affiliate.

Please study the following information carefully. The constitutional provisions for AFT conventions have been adopted to ensure that AFT members are represented in their governing body. Delegates must be nominated and elected according to the AFT constitution and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (commonly referred to as the Landrum-Griffin Act). The credentialing process must be followed so that the convention officers can be sure that the will of the membership prevails. If affiliate officers and delegates comply with these requirements, they will save themselves and the convention officers time and avoid disappointment.

Please note that throughout this Convention Call, the term “member” refers to a qualified member who is in good standing, and the terms “AFT constitution” and “AFT bylaws” refer to the 2016 AFT Constitution and Bylaws.

 

HOW TO DETERMINE NUMBER OF DELEGATES

Article VIII, Section 2, of the AFT constitution provides that “One delegate to the convention may be elected by each affiliated local having a membership of 25 or fewer. (For each 100 members or major fraction thereof, one additional delegate may be elected.)” (This formula also applies to members at large of state federations.) Therefore, each local should have representation as follows:

Average Membership

June 2018 through May 2020

            50 or fewer..... 1 delegate

            51-150............ 2 delegates

            151-250.......... 3 delegates

            251-350.......... 4 delegates

            351-450.......... 5 delegates

            451-550.......... 6 delegates

A local with more than 550 members can follow the pattern above to determine its delegate strength. Six delegates is not the maximum.
 

RETIREE LOCALS
Each chartered organization of retired members may elect one delegate to the AFT convention in the manner prescribed by the AFT constitution, Article VIII, Sections 1(a) and 1(d), and shall be entitled to one vote at the convention. Such delegate shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of a delegate except that such delegate shall not be entitled to nominate any candidate for federation office, or cast a vote in the election of federation officers, unless such delegate has been elected to that position by secret-ballot vote.

 

YOUR DELEGATION CANNOT BE SEATED UNLESS:

  1. The credential list of all elected delegates and alternates is in the national office no later than June 27, 2020, as spelled out in the section herein titled “CREDENTIALS.”
  2. Per capita is paid through May 2020 and sent to the national office by June 30, 2020. Affiliates chartered from May 27 to July 27, 2020, inclusive, may secure representation by paying per capita for two months.
  3. All other good-standing requirements are met no later than June 27, 2020, as spelled out in the section herein titled “GOOD STANDING.”

Any challenge or appeals will be referred to David J. Strom, AFT general counsel, who will make recommendations with strict constitutional interpretation to the AFT executive council.
 

GOOD STANDING
Only affiliates in good standing in accordance with the AFT bylaws, Article X, Sections 1 and 2(a), shall be eligible for representation at the AFT convention. To view your affiliate’s good-standing status, go to the official AFT Convention 2020 registration site.

Section 1. To be in good standing in the AFT, affiliates must meet the following requirements:

(a) payment of per capita to the AFT on all members, with arrears not to exceed two months, and to the applicable state federation, consistent with its constitution;

(b) current in submission of the affiliate’s annual audit or financial review in keeping with Sections 1-3 of Article IX of the AFT bylaws;

(c) current in submission to the AFT of names and addresses for the principal executive and financial officers;

(d) current in submission to the AFT of the names and addresses of current members of the affiliate’s executive board;

(e) current in submission of a membership roster; and

(f) current in submission of a copy of the affiliate’s up-to-date constitution.

Section 2(a). Only affiliates in good standing shall be eligible for representation at the AFT convention. In order to satisfy such good-standing requirements, and in addition to the deadlines otherwise set forth in the AFT constitution and bylaws, each affiliate must provide the AFT with the information required in paragraphs 1(b)-(f) above no later than 30 days prior to the opening date of the convention.

 

CREDENTIALS
All affiliates will be sent a credential packet in mid-March containing detailed instructions for reporting elected delegates and alternates to the convention. Affiliates are strongly encouraged to use the AFT’s online registration system, which is convenient, secure and environmentally responsible. Paper credential forms will also be available.

Online system: Presidents of affiliates using the online reporting method may do so at the AFT Convention 2020 registration site. The credential packet will include detailed login instructions. Online reporting must be completed no later than June 27, 2020.

Paper forms: Presidents of affiliates using the paper reporting method should pay particular attention to the signature requirements. The blue delegate list and the yellow alternate list must bear the signatures of (1) the president and (2) either the secretary or treasurer of the affiliate. All delegate and alternate lists must be returned to the national office no later than June 27, 2020, by registered or certified mail or any other reliable means, including electronic transmission, that provides proof of receipt.

Delegate and alternate credential (pink) cards: Approximately three weeks prior to the convention, the AFT will mail a personalized credential (pink) card to the address of each reported delegate and alternate. Delegates and alternates must present this pink card to the credentials committee at registration in order to be seated at the convention. We strongly recommend that each delegate bring photo identification to the convention.
 

DELEGATE ELECTION PROCEDURE
As a national union, the AFT is subject to the provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act. This federal law, as well as the AFT constitution, requires that:

  1. Each member shall have a reasonable opportunity to be nominated as a delegate.
  2. Each member shall be given notice of the right to make nominations, either individually or through a notice placed in the local publication or on work bulletin boards.
  3. Notice of election of delegates shall be mailed to each member at least 15 days in advance of the election.
  4. Election shall be by secret ballot.
  5. Results shall be published and records (including ballots) kept for one year.

It is not necessary to nominate and elect the full number of delegates allotted, provided that the local passes a rule prior to the nominations setting the number to be elected.

Example: A local is entitled to 30 delegates. The local wants to elect 10 delegates. The local passes a rule prior to the nomination stating that only the 10 candidates receiving the greatest plurality will be elected.

Although many affiliates divide expense allocations equally by common practice, the Labor Department has ruled that expenses need not be distributed equally among the delegates, provided that the rule for allocating the expenses is passed before the nomination of candidates, and provided further that the rule is reasonable and can be uniformly enforced. Using the example previously cited, the rule could provide that the five delegates receiving the highest votes would receive expenses; the remaining five would not. It cannot be left to the discretion of an affiliate officer to decide which five of the 10 would receive the expenses.

The president or other elected union officer may serve as a delegate without a special election provided that:

  1. They were elected to office by secret ballot according to provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act; and
  2. The affiliate constitution or bylaws state that one of the duties of office is to be a delegate to the national AFT convention.

COUNCIL OF LOCALS
Locals with fewer than 100 members each may form a council for the purpose of sending one delegate to the AFT convention representing all locals within the council. The total number of members in the council must be fewer than 300.
Locals in the jurisdiction of one employer may form a council without size limitation.
Locals that choose to form councils must provide a nomination and election procedure that conforms to the AFT constitution and to the Landrum-Griffin Act as stated above. In addition, they must:

  1. Adopt a common resolution no later than March 27, 2020. The resolution may be worded as follows:
    (Name and number of local), at a regular meeting on (date), 2020, has voted to join the (name of council) for the purpose of sending a delegate to the AFT convention in Houston on July 27, 2020.
  2. Hold the election of the council delegate no later than April 27, 2020.
  3. Send to the national office no later than May 27, 2020: copies of the above resolution, a list of locals within the council, the AFT credentials from each local in the council naming the elected delegate, and certification of these credentials, which may be worded as follows:
    (Name and number of local) elects the following member for the office of delegate from the (name of council). In submitting this form, we certify that we have followed the applicable provisions of the AFT constitution and the Landrum-Griffin Act, and that we are the officers duly authorized to submit this form.
    Name of the elected delegate: ________________________________________________

    Address: _________________________________________________________________

    City: ________________________________State: ________________ ZIP: _________

    _________________________________________________________________________
    Signature of president of local

    _________________________________________________________________________
    Signature of secretary or treasurer of local
     

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENTS
AFT state federations or locals may submit proposed amendments to the AFT constitution and bylaws to the convention as provided in Article X of the AFT constitution and Article XI of the AFT bylaws. All proposed amendments should include both the current wording and the proposed change. The proposed amendment must be signed by at least two elected officers of the affiliate, certifying that it has been approved for submission to the convention by the executive board or membership of the local, or by the executive board or convention of the state federation, or by the executive council of the AFT. Properly signed proposed amendments may be mailed, emailed in PDF format or faxed to the president, and must reach the national office by March 15, 2020. Send proposed amendments:

  • by email, to presoffice@aft.org;
  • by fax, to 202-879-4545; or
  • by mail, to AFT, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20001, Attn: President’s Office–constitution and bylaws amendments.

To be adopted at the convention, constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote, and bylaws amendments require a majority vote.

 

RESOLUTIONS

For 2020, all proposed resolutions:

• Shall be submitted postmarked no later than June 12, 2020, so that all resolutions can be sent to delegates and affiliates prior to the convention.

• Shall be introduced by locals, state federations or the executive council of the AFT.

• Shall be approved for submission by the executive board or the membership of the local, or by the executive board or convention of the state federation.

• Shall bear the signatures of at least two elected officers of the affiliate introducing the resolution, certifying that the procedure has been followed.

• Shall bear a title.

•  If properly signed, may be mailed, emailed in PDF format or faxed to the AFT president no later than June 12, 2020. Send proposed resolutions:

  • by email, to presoffice@aft.org;
  • by fax, to 202-879-4545; or
  • by mail, to AFT, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20001, Attn: President’s Office–convention resolutions.

Review the AFT’s existing policy resolutions at: https://www.aft.org/about/resolutions. Direct all questions to the president’s office at 202-879-4400 or presoffice@aft.org.
 

CONVENTION COMMITTEES

Affiliates will receive committee choice cards for indicating their delegates’ committee choices. Presidents who submit their delegates’ committee choices online do not need to return the committee cards to the AFT. Whether you are using the online system or the committee cards, first, second and third choices of committees should be indicated. Affiliate presidents may submit their delegates’ committee choices online, or may mail or have delegates mail their committee choice cards to the national office, no later than June 27, 2020. The executive council will be guided by these selections in its assignment of delegates to the committees.

Each delegate who wishes to serve will be assigned to one convention committee and should attend the meeting of that committee. A delegate may request to testify on resolutions, especially those submitted by a delegate’s local, that have been assigned to other convention committees. In order to ensure completion of work, however, only assigned members of a committee may debate and vote on resolutions before that committee.
 

IMPORTANT 2020 DEADLINES

Sunday, March 15          Deadline for submission of proposed constitution and bylaws amendments.

Mid-March                      Credential packets mailed to affiliates.

Friday, June 12              Deadline for submission of proposed resolutions.

Thursday, June 18         Housing deadline.

Friday, June 26              Deadline for convention center or hotel space requests.

Saturday, June 27         Credential lists of all elected delegates and alternates must be submitted.

                                         Committee choices of all elected delegates must be submitted.

                                         All good-standing requirements, with the exception of per capita, must be met.

Tuesday, June 30          Per capita must be paid through May 2020.

 

 

GETTING TO HOUSTON

Special Travel Discounts

The AFT is pleased to offer discounts from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines for the 2020 AFT convention in Houston. The two major Houston airports are William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), approximately 10 miles from the convention center, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), approximately 20 miles from the convention center.

American Airlines will provide a 5 percent discount on published fares (excludes basic economy and non-discountable fares) for flights to and from Houston (HOU or IAH). These discounts are valid for travel July 23-August 2, 2020. To purchase tickets, visit aa.com and follow the booking process. At checkout, enter promotion code 5170DJ.

Delta Air Lines will provide a 2 to 5 percent discount on applicable coach fares (excludes basic economy) for flights to and from Houston (HOU or IAH). These discounts are valid for travel July 22-August 4, 2020. To purchase tickets, visit www.delta.com/meetings and select “Book Your Meeting Reservation.” Enter meeting code NMU2J and continue with the booking process.

Southwest Airlines will provide a 3 to 10 percent discount on flights to and from Houston (HOU only). Reservations must be booked by July 10, 2020, for travel July 24-August 1, 2020. Rapid Rewards members also receive a 50 percent point bonus when using this program. To purchase tickets, visit swabiz.com, enter company ID number 99205643, and continue with the booking process.

United Airlines will provide a 2 to 5 percent discount on applicable coach fares (excludes basic economy) for flights to and from Houston (IAH only). These discounts are valid for travel July 23-August 2, 2020. To purchase tickets, visit united.com/meetingtravel, enter offer code ZJ8B205168, and continue with the booking process.

The AFT hopes you can benefit from these arrangements. If you have questions, please contact the AFT Convention, Meetings and Travel Department at meetingsandtravel@aft.org.
 

TENTATIVE PROGRAM

View the latest schedule.

Designee Authorization

AFT leaders: if you need to designate someone to act on your behalf for convention registration, you must submit authorization.

You can do so through our online form, or you can fill out and email this document .

Important deadlines

March 15 Proposed constitutional amendments deadline
June 12  Proposed resolutions deadline
June 27  Delegate credential lists due
June 30  Per capita must be paid through May 2020