1. The Convention is the highest authority of Unifor. The Convention shall adopt and may amend this Constitution, and shall elect National Officers, Regional Directors and adopt policies and measures as necessary for the governance and administration of the National Union.
2. The Convention shall be held every three (3) years at a place and time determined by the National Executive Board.
A: CONVENTION CALL
1. At the direction of the President, the Secretary Treasurer shall issue a Convention call to all Local Unions and subordinate bodies no less than 150 days before the opening date.
B: COMPOSITION OF CONVENTION
1. At the time of the Convention call, the Secretary Treasurer shall notify Local Unions and subordinate bodies of their delegate entitlement and voting strength.
2. Delegate entitlement and voting strength shall be based on the average national dues payments received by the National Union during the calendar year period prior to the Convention call, excluding any period in which national dues payments have been interrupted by a labour dispute.
3. Delegate entitlement shall be based on the following:
A: Single Unit Local Unions or Subordinate Bodies
1 to 250 members — 1 delegate
251 to 500 members — 2 delegates
501 to 750 members — 3 delegates
751 to 1,000 members — 4 delegates
1,001 to 1,250 members — 5 delegates
And one (1) additional delegate for each additional 250 members.
B: Amalgamated Local Unions or Subordinate Bodies
Each bargaining unit with 250 members or more of an amalgamated Local Union shall have delegate entitlement based on the following:250 to 500 members — 1 delegate
501 to 750 members — 2 delegates
751 to 1,000 members — 3 delegates
1,001 to 1,250 members — 4 delegates
And one (1) additional delegate for each additional 250 members.Members of bargaining units within an amalgamated Local Union with fewer than 250 members shall be grouped together and entitled to delegates as per Section B, Paragraph 3a. of this Article.
4. New Local Unions and new subordinate bodies with less than one (1) year of national dues payments shall have delegates and voting strength based on the average per capita payment, but must have a minimum of two (2) months national dues payments to the National Union.
5. Each Local Union and subordinate body shall provide the Secretary Treasurer with delegate registrations no later than 30 days prior to the opening of Convention, including the names, home addresses, email addresses of each delegate, alternate delegate or special delegate, and the identity of the Chairperson of the delegation.
6. The voting strength based on the number of members of the Local Union or subordinate body shall be distributed equally among the delegates elected, and any remaining votes shall be allocated to the Chairperson of the delegation.
7. Delegates and alternate delegates to convention shall be elected by secret ballot with a minimum of fifteen (15) days’ notice to all members of nominations and elections. Candidates with the most votes shall be elected, unless the By-Laws of the Local Union stipulates otherwise.
8. A Local Union or subordinate body may appoint a special delegate with voice and no vote at Convention.
9. Alternate delegates shall have no voice or vote unless they replace a regular delegate and are registered as a regular delegate by the Credentials Committee. Local Unions may apply to the Secretary Treasurer to send one (1) additional delegate who shall be a woman or from an equity-seeking group with voice and one vote. The Secretary Treasurer may restrict these delegates according to cost and space limitations.
10. Members of the National Executive Board shall be delegates to Convention with voice and one (1) vote each.
11. Members of the Executive, not exceeding five members each, of the Canadian Council Standing Committees for Women, Aboriginal and Workers of Colour, Young Workers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons and Workers with Disabilities shall be delegates with voice. They shall have one (1)vote each provided that they are voting delegates of the Quebec Council or Regional Councils.
12. The members of the National Council of Retired Workers Executive shall be delegates to Convention with voice and one (1) vote each.
13. Staff, except support staff, shall be delegates to Convention with voice and no vote.
14. Honorary delegates may be appointed by the National Executive Board with voice and no vote.
15. Any member in good standing of the National Union shall be entitled to attend Convention as an observer.
C: RESOLUTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
- Resolutions and Constitutional amendments proposed by Local Unions or subordinate bodies must be approved by a membership meeting, signed by a Local Union Officer and submitted to the Secretary Treasurer no later than 90 days prior to the opening of Convention.
- The National Executive Board may submit resolutions or Constitutional amendments approved by a majority vote of the National Executive Board.
- The Secretary Treasurer shall circulate to all Local Unions and subordinate bodies all resolutions or Constitutional amendments no later than 60 days prior to the opening of Convention.
D: CONVENTION PROCEDURES AND COMMITTEES
- The President shall preside at all sessions of Convention, unless another Officer or member of the National Executive Board is delegated as a replacement.
- Rules of Order and the Convention agenda shall be adopted on the opening day of Convention. The agenda shall include reports from the National Officers, resolutions, Constitutional amendments, the nomination and election of National Officers and Regional Directors, and other business that may be proposed.
- The quorum for Convention shall be a majority of the delegates registered. All resolutions remaining if the Convention lacks a quorum, or at the time of adjournment, shall be referred to the National Executive Board.
- The National Executive Board shall appoint delegates to committees to conduct the business of Convention. The appointments shall be affirmed by delegates on the opening day of the Convention. Committees shall make decisions by a majority of those voting. They shall meet prior to the opening of Convention, and during Convention as necessary, to complete their work and prepare reports to the delegates.
- A Resolutions Committee shall receive all resolutions submitted to Convention and recommend concurrence or non-concurrence. The Resolutions Committee may re-write a resolution, combine resolutions or provide a substitute resolution, providing it does not contradict the intent of the Local Union or subordinate body which submitted the resolution.
- The Resolutions Committee shall receive any late resolution and determine if it is of an emergency character. An emergency resolution shall first be placed before the delegates with a recommendation that the resolution shall be debated. If the recommendation is approved, the Committee shall proceed to recommend concurrence or non-concurrence.
- A Constitution Committee shall receive all constitutional amendments submitted to Convention and recommend concurrence or non-concurrence.
- A Credentials Committee shall receive all registrations to Convention and shall inquire into and decide on any disputes over delegate registration. The Credentials Committee shall report on the composition of Convention on the opening day of Convention and provide additional reports on consecutive days of Convention.
- An Election Committee shall conduct balloting and vote counting for all elections. A balloting procedure may include a secure and confidential electronic voting system. The Election Committee shall report the results of elections to the Convention.
- Expenses to attend convention and carry out their responsibilities for members of the Resolutions Committee, Constitution Committee, Credentials Committee and Election Committee shall be borne by the Convention Fund. All such expenses shall be approved by the Secretary Treasurer.
- The National Executive Board may appoint such other committees as it determines are necessary for the Convention.
E: VOTING AND ELECTIONS
- All resolutions, except those seeking a Constitutional amendment which require a two-thirds vote for approval, shall be approved by a majority of those voting by a show of hands unless a request for a per capita vote is made by 20 per cent of delegates.
- The President, Secretary Treasurer, Quebec and Regional Directors, shall be elected by secret ballot or by a secure and confidential voting system, on a per capita basis.
- The nomination of National Officers and Regional Directors and the election shall be held on different consecutive days.
- A motion to affirm the election of the Quebec Director as recommended by the Quebec Council shall be placed before the delegates following the election of the President and the Secretary Treasurer. The motion to affirm shall be approved by a majority of those voting.
F: SPECIAL CONVENTION
- A Special Convention may be convened by a two-thirds vote of the National Executive Board or by membership votes for a Special Convention by at least 30 per cent of Local Unions representing at least 30 per cent of the membership in the National Union.
- A motion or proposal for a Special Convention must contain the specific business and purpose for a Special Convention.
- The Secretary Treasurer shall issue a call to a Special Convention no later than 30 days prior to the opening day of Convention informing Local Unions and subordinate bodies the specific business and purpose of the Convention. No other business or purpose shall be allowed at the Special Convention.
- Delegates to a Special Convention and their voting strength shall be the same delegate and voting strength in place at the previous Convention. Alternates may fill vacancies, provided they were elected as alternate delegates to the previous Convention.