About HUCTW Elections in General
The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers conducts regular elections to fill its leadership positions. These elections are subject to standards and regulations of the HUCTW’s own constitution; of our parent Union AFSCME; and of the AFL-CIO. An annual HUCTW election is generally held on a Tuesday in early December, with voting locations all over the extended Cambridge and Boston-area Campus, and in most remote locations where HUCTW members work.
Positions, Term Lengths, and Frequency of Elections
The frequency of regular elections for any particular office depends on the term length of the position. Local HUCTW Representatives serve for one year, so those positions are up for election every year. By contrast, members of the Union’s Executive Board serve for two years, with their races are staggered: half the positions up for election during any one year, and the remaining half the following year. Officer positions— HUCTW President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary— are held every three years, with all positions turning over at once. In addition to regular, annual elections, the Union holds special elections in conjunction with contract negotiations, ordinarily including a majority-vote, yes/no ratification of the proposed new contract. (Our contracts are adopted only upon a majority “yes” vote during the ratification process.)
Elections General FAQ
Q: Am I eligible to vote? Can I run for office?
A: In order to run for HUCTW positions, and in order to vote, you must be a signed member of the Union. If you have not yet signed a membership card, you may do so at any time, including at the polls on December 5th. Call or email the HUCTW Office and we’ll make sure you get a card to sign ASAP (617-661-8289, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: I think I signed a “fair share” (fee-payer) card rather than a Union card: can I vote?
A: No, but you may switch by signing a Membership Card at any time, including at the polls on the day of the election. Again, just call our office: we’d be happy to help you!
Q: How do I know what positions are up for election?
A: Approximately five weeks before the election a combined Notice of Elections/Notice of Nominations will arrive by U.S. Mail at your home address. This document details which positions are open in which parts of the University.
Q: How do I nominate myself or someone else?
A: Approximately five weeks before the election a combined Notice of Elections/Notice of Nominations will arrive at your home address. This document details how to place a nomination–by US or University Mail; or by fax; or by email (email@example.com)– and the dates by which nominations are closed.
Q: If I am running for election, can I get a list of eligible voters?
A: Yes, if you are running for one of the positions up for election, you may request a list of the names of the eligible voters by writing to the elections committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: I don’t know anything about the candidates listed: how can I get more information?
A: It is the responsibility of the candidates to reach out to member voters. About two weeks prior to the election, members may check online to preview the ballots they’ll see when they get to a voting location. These previews also serve the function of naming the final candidates in an election.
Q: There are so many voting locations—do I have to vote at the location closest to me?
A: No– any Union member may vote at any of our many voting locations and times. During every HUCTW election, the voting location at the HUCTW Office (15 Mt Auburn St. in Cambridge) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Q: I’m going to be out of town on election day—can I submit an absentee ballot?
A: No. The election rules of our parent Union, AFSCME, prohibit the use of absentee ballots
Q: What happens if an election is uncontested?
A: If a particular position is uncontested, an election will not be run and the unopposed candidate(s) will take on the position automatically.
Q: Some of these positions sound really interesting—how can I learn more?
A: There are lots of ways of becoming active: attending a local lunchtime meeting, reaching out to a local activist or Union Rep, or simply calling the HUCTW office: https://huctw.org/about-us/contact-huctw.
If you have further questions about HUCTW elections, please email email@example.com or call 617-661-8289 and ask to speak to a member of the election committee.