NSTU Presidential Election
The deadline for nominations for NSTU President was Friday, February 25
The following NSTU members are running for NSTU president:
- Michael Cosgrove (Halifax County Local)
- Peter Day (Cape Breton District Local)
- Shawn Hanifen (Halifax County Local)
- Mike Jamieson (Dartmouth Local)
- Ryan Lutes (Halifax City Local)
- Natalie MacIsaac (Kings Local)
- Colleen Scott (Shelburne County Local)
Active election campaigning will begin on March 21, 2022.
Voting day will be May 25, 2022. Provision for a run-off vote is scheduled for Thursday, June 2.
NSTU Presidential Election - Spring 2022
A. Pertinent By-Laws and Standing Orders:
NSTU By-Law Article I – Membership sub-article 2. defines eligibility to hold office:
The rights of Active Membership shall include, but not necessarily be limited to the right to vote and hold office at the local and provincial level.
NSTU By-Law Article II – The Council sub-article 1. defines the Provincial Executive as:
The Executive of the Council as described in the Teaching Profession Act shall be the Provincial Executive.
NSTU By-Law Article III – The Provincial Executive sub-article 1. outlines the composition of the Provincial Executive as:
(a) The composition of the Provincial Executive shall be: the President, the First Vice-President, the Immediate Past-President, and twenty-one (21) Regional Members.
(b) The number of Regional Members and the regions from which they shall be elected are as follows:
(i) Annapolis/Hants West/Kings 2 Members
(ii) Antigonish/Guysborough 1 Member
(iii) Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) 1 Member
(iv) Cape Breton Industrial 2 Members
(v) Colchester/East Hants 1 Member
(vi) Conseil syndical acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CSANE) 2 Members
(vii) Cumberland 1 Member
(viii) Dartmouth 1 Member
(ix) Digby/Shelburne/Yarmouth 2 Members
(x) Halifax City 2 Members
(xi) Halifax County 2 Members
(xii) Inverness/Richmond 1 Member
(xiii) Lunenburg County/Queens 1 Member
(xiv) Northside Victoria 1 Member
(xv) Pictou 1 Member
(c) A Provincial Executive Member must be an Active Member of the NSTU.
(d) A Provincial Executive Member shall not concurrently hold office at the Local, Regional, or Professional Association Level.
NSTU By-Law Article III – The Provincial Executive sub-article 4. (a) outlines the election by universal suffrage:
The President shall be elected by a majority vote of the entire Active and Reserve Membership following the process outlined in Operational Procedures.
NSTU By-Law Article III – The Provincial Executive sub-article 5. (c) and (d) outlines the Term of Office:
(c) The term of office for the Provincial Executive Member serving as President or First Vice-President shall be two (2) years starting August 1st and ending July 31st. (Note: for this election the Term of office to commence August 1st, 2022 and expire July 31st, 2024)
(d) No President shall serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms as the President. A President may be re-elected as President once absent from the Provincial Executive in this capacity for a full term of office.
NSTU By-Law Article III – The Provincial Executive sub-article 8. outlines the duties of the NSTU President and the Provincial Executive as:
(a) The President shall:
(i) preside over all meetings of the Council and of the Provincial Executive, and shall have general oversight of the affairs of these bodies;
(ii) be an ex officio member of all NSTU committees;
(iii) perform such other duties as delegated by the Council or the Provincial Executive; and,
(iv) convene a minimum of two conferences per year of NSTU Local Presidents and Regional Representative Council Chairs.
(b) Notwithstanding 8. (a) (i), the Provincial Executive shall appoint an individual to serve as an Independent Chair for the business sessions of Annual Council.
(c) The Provincial Executive functions in the name of Council between sessions; it shall perform its duties in a manner that is consistent with the will of Council as expressed through resolutions passed by Council. In addition, the Provincial Executive shall carry out duties imposed specifically by the Teaching Profession Act, these By-Laws, Standing Orders, and Operational Procedures. The Provincial Executive will have, but not necessarily be limited to, carrying out the following duties:
(i) appoint and dismiss an Executive Director and such other paid employees of the Union as it may deem necessary and determine their duties, remuneration, and terms of employment, including bonding;
(ii) provide suitable offices and equipment for carrying on the work of the NSTU;
(iii) direct and supervise the business, property, and affairs of the NSTU between Council meetings, and all decisions that are deemed policy by the Provincial Executive shall be forwarded to the upcoming Council as resolutions;
(iv) determine the place and date and make arrangements for workshops and special Council meetings;
(v) issue a post-Council press release;
(vi) provide assistance with organizing Locals, Regional Representative Councils, and Professional Associations;
(vii) shall ratify constitutions of Locals, Regional Representative Councils, and Professional Associations by following regulations outlined in the NSTU Operational Procedures;
(viii) determine the boundaries of the Locals;
(ix) publish a magazine or other official publications;
(x) cause the books and accounts of the Council to be audited annually by a chartered accountant and cause the report of the auditor to be submitted to Council;
(xi) have the power to convene an emergency meeting of a Local or a meeting of the NSTU Members in a given area; and,
(xii) is empowered to exercise on behalf of the Union, as the Provincial Executive deems advisable from time-to-time, the powers of the Union under the Teachers’ Pension Act and report thereon to the Council at the next following meeting of the Council.
NSTU Standing Order 7 – Campaign Guidelines outlines generic guidelines for any NSTU election as:
7. CAMPAIGN GUIDELINES
(a) These guidelines apply to any election campaign within the NSTU.
(b) Active campaigning within Council Chambers is prohibited except for the normal address to Delegates by Presidential and First Vice-Presidential Candidates. Passive campaigning within Council Chambers is permitted.
(c) Active or passive campaigning for elections or activities not related to the structure or operations of the NSTU are prohibited within Council Chambers.
(d) Active campaigning shall be considered any display or action that involves the presentation of partisan information in a manner that is difficult for a group of Delegates to avoid. Examples of such active campaigning include, but is not limited to, the display of campaign posters, the shouting of campaign slogans, shouting out in support of a candidate other than during the normal address to delegates, distributing materials throughout Council Chambers including the placing of campaign materials anywhere within Council Chambers prior to, during, or following a Council session, and demonstrations in support of a given candidate.
(e) Passive campaigning shall be considered any display or action that is observable only by people in the immediate vicinity of the campaign material and involves no explicit action to promote or advance those materials at the time at which the material is seen or heard. Examples of such passive campaigning include the use of written materials containing references to a candidate, the wearing of campaign clothing, buttons, or ornaments, and the presence of a single copy of a candidate’s campaign literature at delegates’ seats and table spots.
(f) A candidate or representative of the candidate is permitted to place up to one (1) item per delegate per session at the tables in Council Chambers prior to the start of the session. This would replace campaign material distribution at other times. A candidate would still be permitted to greet delegates as they enter Council Chambers.
(g) Paid advertisements in any medium (press, radio, TV, The Teacher) are prohibited.
(h) The use of employer email is prohibited for campaigning purposes.
(i) The use of the Membership Registry is prohibited for campaigning purposes by individual candidates.
(j) The number of campaign posters/banners on display in the hotel(s) at Annual Council may be controlled by the hotel(s). If the hotel(s) do limit the number of posters/banners candidates will be informed of such limitations the week prior to the start of Council. A campaign poster shall include any poster, banner or sign posted by or for a Member running for an elected position that makes a reference to the candidate and/or the position being sought.
B. NSTU Presidential Election Procedures:
NSTU Operational Procedure 8 – Election Procedures, subsection A. Election of the NSTU President outlines the procedures for a Presidential Election:
I. Notice of Pending Election
a. Notice of a pending NSTU Presidential elections shall be posted on the NSTU website and advertised in an issue of The Teacher at least thirty (30) days prior to the closing of nominations. (Note: for this election this means Wednesday, January 26, 2022)
b. Notice of a pending NSTU Presidential election shall be sent to NSTU leadership (Local Presidents, RRC Chairs, and Provincial Executive Members) at least thirty (30) days prior to the closing of nominations. (Note: for this election this means Wednesday, January 26, 2022)
c. Notice shall include the process for nominations.
a. Nominations for the office of NSTU President shall be submitted on the official Nomination Form.
b. Nomination Forms may be obtained from the Executive Director or designate.
c. A candidate’s Nomination Form must be completed in full, including the signatures of twenty-five (25) Active or Reserve Members, and returned to the Executive Director or designate no later than 4:00 p.m. on the last Friday in February (the closing of nominations). (Note: for this election this means Friday, February 25, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.)
III. Promotion of the Vote
a. Posters shall be created and mailed to NSTU Representatives to display at worksites that remind Members of the election dates and times and encourage voting.
b. The NSTU website shall be used to post messages reminding Members to vote; Locals are encouraged to use their websites as well to promote the vote.
c. NSTU webmail shall be used to send reminders to NSTU Representatives, Local Presidents, RRC Chairs, and Provincial Executive Members of the election, both before and during the voting period.
d. On voting day, an email will be sent to each Member with an NSTU webmail address to remind them to vote, with a link to the website voting page.
e. Locals are encouraged to include training for NSTU Representatives at Local Rep Retreats on the procedures to follow for electronic voting.
IV. Election of President
a. A candidate must obtain a majority of the votes cast to be elected as the President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.
b. In the event that a candidate does not obtain a majority of votes on the first ballot, there shall be a second ballot. The second ballot shall contain only the names of the two (2) candidates obtaining the highest number of votes cast on the first ballot.
c. In the event of an equality of votes, the choosing of candidates for the second ballot or for the election of President, the decision shall be by lottery (i.e. placing the names of the candidates on equal size pieces of paper placed in a box and one (1) name being drawn by the Chief Electoral Officer).
V. Voting Day
a. The first ballot for the NSTU Presidential election shall be held within ten (10) calendar days following Victoria Day. (Note: voting day has been set by the Provincial Executive as Wednesday, May 25, 2021)
b. If required, a second ballot shall be conducted within ten (10) calendar days following the first. (Note: the run-off voting day has been set by the Provincial Executive as Thursday, June 2, 2021)
a. Candidates are eligible for reimbursement of election expenses incurred up to two thousand dollars ($2,000.). In addition, candidates on a second ballot may claim an additional five hundred dollars ($500.) to a total of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.) for election expenses incurred. The NSTU will cover up to fifteen (15) substitute days. The NSTU will cover up to two (2) additional days for each candidate on a second ballot.
b. To be eligible for reimbursement candidates must receive at least ten percent (10%) of the total votes cast in the first round of voting. The percentage shall be rounded to the nearest percent.
c. The claim for expenses must be submitted on an Election Claim Form available from the Executive Director or designate. Allowable expenses include travel, accommodations, meals, postage, stationery, substitute days, telephone costs, printing, and other promotional costs. All expenses must be substantiated by receipts and approved by the Executive Director or designate.
d. Total campaign spending, excluding substitute days (to a maximum as outlined in a. above) and travel, by or on behalf of each candidate may not exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000.).
e. Total campaign spending for candidates on a second ballot may include an additional one thousand dollars ($1,000.) for a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000.).
f. A financial statement report must be submitted on the prescribed form to the Executive Director or designate within sixty (60) days of the election. Such reports to be published in The Teacher. (Note: for this election this means no later than Tuesday, August 2, 2022)
VII. Candidates’ Publicity
a. In an NSTU Presidential election year, the NSTU shall publish two (2) special election issues of The Teacher. Each candidate for office will be entitled to one (1) page per issue, content to be determined by the candidate. The first issue will also contain an explanation of the method of voting. Candidate material shall appear in alphabetical order. Once nominated all candidates’ input to The Teacher shall be limited to the special election issues. The incumbent President may continue to include the “From the NSTU President” column in The Teacher.
b. Following the close of nominations, candidates for NSTU President shall be provided a static webpage on the NSTU website, which will host the candidate information that is published in The Teacher and the candidate's election poster. Links to the candidate webpages shall be highlighted on the NSTU homepage during the active campaigning timeframe.
c. Candidates’ statements carried in The Teacher will also be carried on the NSTU website during the campaign.
d. The NSTU will produce an election poster containing a photograph and brief statement from each candidate. Posters shall be 11” X 17” in size and be a maximum of two (2) colours including background. Colours may be of the candidate’s choice. Posters will be mailed to NSTU worksites not later than April 10th and shall be provided on the basis of one (1) poster per NSTU worksite.
e. The NSTU shall provide each candidate with two (2) complete sets of mailing labels, upon request.
a. The NSTU shall conduct the Provincial All Candidates' Forum at Annual Council and post the Forum to the NSTU website within one (1) week following Council.
b. The use of Employer email is prohibited for campaigning purposes.
c. The use of the Membership Registry is prohibited for campaigning purposes by individual candidates.
d. Active campaigning for the office of NSTU President may begin no sooner than the Monday following March Break. (Note: for this election this means Monday, March 21, 2022)
e. No invitation to prospective candidates shall be given by Locals or RRC's prior to the close of nominations.
f. If Locals invite candidates to attend a meeting or any Local event, the invitation must be extended to all candidates.
a. All candidates shall be offered the same NSTU services.
b. The Executive Director or designate, shall arrange an all candidates’ orientation to occur before the March Break. (Note: for this election this means Monday, March 7, 2022)
c. The candidate information kit shall be sent prior to the orientation meeting and shall include a list of the dates of known Local meetings.
d. Following the election, the Executive Director or designate and the Regional Electoral Officers, with the assistance of NSTU Central Office, shall conduct an evaluation of the election procedures, by surveying the candidates. A report shall be made to the Provincial Executive at its November meeting. The evaluation forms and report shall be kept on file to facilitate periodic overall reviews.
X. Attendance at Annual Council and Provincial All-Candidates’ Forum
a. If not otherwise eligible to attend Council, Candidates may attend Annual Council at the expense of the Union.
b. A Provincial All Candidates’ Forum shall be held Saturday at Annual Council. (Note: for this election this means Saturday, April 30, 2022)
c. The Forum shall consist of seven-minute presentations by each Candidate followed by a question and answer period of up to thirty (30) minutes.
d. The order of the Candidates’ presentations shall be chosen by lots.
e. The forum will be moderated by the Independent Chair of Annual Council. Extension to the question and answer period will be at the discretion of the Independent Chair with consideration being given to the overall agenda of the business meeting.