Convention Information Bulletin Number 4

February 17, 2020

THE CONVENTION DELEGATE

Our By-Laws provide that the Convention shall be the supreme governing body of the Union and the Executive Council shall be vested with the authority to deal with all matters affecting the business of the union between conventions.

From this, it should be readily apparent that being a delegate to convention is a responsible and demanding task.  It requires serious-minded persons who have a conscientious concern to improve our union and pursue goals and objectives for the betterment of our membership.  Delegates must possess a willingness to participate in and contribute to discussions.  Moreover, delegates are expected to remain objective and not pursue personal agendas, but are expected instead to deal with matters for the benefit of the membership in general.

UTE By-Laws stipulate that Executive Council shall be selected as delegates to the UTE Convention.  Local By-Laws may dictate how Local delegates are selected for convention.  If Local By-laws are silent on this matter, however, delegate status is not meant to be given as a reward for past services or because a person is popular or has status in the Local. 

Experience should not be the only prerequisite in selecting delegates.  Instead, the ability to assess facts and arguments and to arrive at a considered judgment outweighs any requirement for experience. Delegates should be selected on the basis of whether they can do the job.

A general knowledge and understanding of parliamentary procedure is undoubtedly an asset.  However, a good convention chairperson and streamlined rules of order help to minimize confusion on the convention floor.  Thus, one of the first decisions delegates make is the adoption of the Convention Rules of Order. Normally, we use the UTE Rules of Order, adopted at the 2002 UTE Triennial Convention and subsequent amendments.

Remember that delegates must be members in good standing at the time of selection and remain in good standing up to and including convention week.

From time to time, Locals may find themselves in a position where a selected delegate is subsequently unable to attend the Convention for a variety of reasons.  Accordingly, it is a good practice for Locals to select and rank alternate delegates at the same time as they select delegates.

Should a delegate find that they must absent themselves from convention for one or more sessions, such absence must be approved by the Convention chairperson.  With the approval of the chairperson, that delegate may be replaced by the next ranked alternate delegate for the remainder of the Convention.  The initial delegate may not resume their delegate status at a later point at convention.