Post Convention NFFE Bylaws Changes
With the festivities of NFFE’s 50th National Convention coming to a close last month, delegates charted a clear path forward for NFFE over the next four years. First, delegates elected new National Officers. Following the election of a new National Executive Council (NEC), delegates then spent numerous days proposing, debating, amending and voting on numerous changes to NFFE’s bylaws. While the changes voted on by delegates are pending final approval from the IAMAW Grand Lodge, below is a synopsis of the major changes voted on by NFFE-IAM members.
- Ensuring transparency and Local participation. Now, the National President, per the bylaws, must notify all Councils and Locals when there is a vacancy on the NEC, standing committee or staff position that the National President is planning to fill by appointment. This will guarantee that Councils and Locals have the opportunity to weigh in with suggestions prior to the appointment being made.
- Clarifying rules on Convention Delegate selection. The Convention body made two changes to ensure the proper seating of convention delegates. Article 3.2 was altered to clarify how delegates get selected. Delegates also changed the bylaws to give the Credentials Committee express authority to issue rules on how they will validate delegates who show up to convention. The Credentials Committee is also authorized to modernize the validation process.
- Due process guarantees. Delegates inserted a provision that expressly limits the power of the National President with regard to Councils. Article 3.3 requires that the NEC approve the disbandment of a Council and also requires that the Council have an opportunity to be notified before any decision is made.
- Independent oversight. Convention delegates voted to add an outside trustee to assist in auditing NFFE’s finances. This person will work with two other trustees who are National Vice Presidents (NVP). Previously, all three trustees were NVPs.
- Ranked-choice voting. Delegates voted to give the Election Committee the authority to use ranked-preference voting (RVC), a system of voting long-advocated for by good-governance reform organizations. RVC allows voters to rank a series of candidates in their order of preference to eliminate runoff voting and to produce more democratic election results.
- Altering floor candidate nominations for the NEC. Delegates added language to the bylaws requiring a 2/3 vote to allow nominations from the convention floor for National Office. This amendment was sought in hopes of promoting candidate campaigns that actively engage with delegates ahead of National Conventions, making the election process more democratic.
- Increasing access to candidates for National Office. Delegates added language requiring NFFE to post information about the candidates for National Office on the members-only section of the website. The posted information may contain links to candidate websites and other social media maintained by the candidates. As with prior amendments, this language is intended to foster a greater discussion of candidate platforms.
Upon approval from the IAMAW Grand Lodge, the new NFFE National bylaws shall be enacted shortly thereafter. Upon approval and enactment, NFFE will make the newly-amended bylaws widely available for Councils, Locals and members.