Sunday, September 26, 2010

How our election will work

At the membership meeting on Tuesday September 28, nominations will be taken for the following offices of the Animation Guild: PRESIDENT, BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE, VICE-PRESIDENT, RECORDING SECRETARY, SERGEANT-AT-ARMS and eleven EXECUTIVE BOARD members. (Read this post for a breakdown of their job duties and prerequisites.)

In October, active members in good standing will have the opportunity to vote by secret mail ballot for their choices. Elected officers will serve a three-year term, expiring in 2013.

The nominations

Tuesday, September 28, 7 pm: Nominations for the above positions will be taken at the General Membership meeting at the TAG auditorium in Burbank. Only those persons eligible to run for office may be nominated.

Candidates may only be nominated for one position. To be nominated, candidates must be present at the meeting, or if they cannot be present, they must have indicated in writing to the Recording Secretary their intent to accept nomination. Many candidates submit intent letters in advance as insurance in case something comes up and they cannot attend; but you do not have to submit an intent letter to be nominated if you are present at the meeting. Send your intent letter to arrive by 5 pm on September 28, to:

Jeffrey Massie, Recording Secretary
Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE
1105 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505


IMPORTANT: intent letters cannot be retroactive; they must be received by the Recording Secretary by the call to order of the September 28 meeting. No exceptions!

Regardless of whether a candidate is present, he or she must be nominated and seconded by active members in good standing present at the meeting. (Candidates present at the meeting may nominate or second themselves, but not both.)

Nominations cannot be withdrawn after the adjournment of the September 28 nomination meeting. You may announce that you are withdrawing your candidacy, but your name will still appear on the ballot; your votes cannot be transferred to any other candidate.

The campaign

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 5 pm: This is the deadline for nominees to submit one-hundred-word statements to be published in a special election edition of The Peg-Board. The word limit will be strictly enforced! Nominees for contested positions who do not submit statements by the deadline will be listed in The Peg-Board with a notation “No statement submitted”. (The special Peg-Board will be published only if there is a contested election.)

Candidates may submit their Peg-Board statements before or after the nomination meeting. Depending on the number of candidates and the positions being contested, the membership may vote to ask candidates for some positions to submit longer statements. Hopefully we will be mailing the special Peg-Board within a few days of the ballot mailing.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8: The American Arbitration Association (AAA), which is the judge of the election, will mail the ballots.

The AAA is responsible for printing and mailing the ballots and certifying the election results. The ballots will list all nominees, with instructions to vote for no more than one nominee for each contested officer position, and no more than sixteen nominees for the Executive Board if contested. Write-in votes will not be allowed, and any write-in attempt will invalidate that portion of the ballot. Any other writing will invalidate the entire ballot.

The ballots will be mailed from the American Arbitration Association. The mailing will contain return envelopes; ballots must be returned to the AAA in those envelopes and not to the Guild office.

The mailing will contain the ballot and two envelopes — a ballot envelope, and a return envelope with the voter’s name and address on the back. Before the ballots are counted, the ballot envelopes will be separated from the return envelopes and shuffled, to ensure a secret ballot count. The label on the return envelope is part of the validation process; any attempt to remove or deface the name and address will invalidate the entire ballot.

Labor Dept. regulations require the Guild to give nominees the right to inspect (but not to copy) a list of the names and addresses of all members employed at Guild shops. This list can be inspected at the Guild office during office hours.

During the election period, nominees have the right to do a mailing at their own expense to the active membership. Nominees may apply to use the Guild’s mailing list, and the Guild office will handle the labeling and the delivery of the mailing pieces to the Post Office. In addition to printing costs, we approximate the cost of postage to the entire active membership at $1,200.00, plus $100.00 for the labeling and mailing. Nominees may pool their resources to share the expense of a mailing.

Other than the special issue of the Peg-Board and the right to do mailings, the Guild will not offer other means of communication to any candidate. For example, the Guild’s website, blog and e-mail list may not be used for any form of electioneering.

Questions about the election procedures, and requests for duplicate ballots, should be addressed to the Election Judge:

Robi Rivera

American Arbitration Association
725 S. Figueroa St., Suite 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90017-5424
Phone: (213) 362-1900
Fax: (213) 623-9134

The counting

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, noon: Although ballots will be mailed to all active members, only those members whose fourth quarter 2010 dues have been received at the Guild office by noon on November 12 will have their ballots counted. Once you have received your ballot, you may vote even if you are not yet in good standing, so long as your full balance is received at the Guild by the November 12 deadline. Members who take withdrawals or suspensions before November 12 will not have their ballots counted.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13: Ballots will be counted at the offices of the American Arbitration Association. Nominees have the right to observe the election themselves, or to appoint no more than one observer who must be an active member. No other observers will be allowed. Observers must make advance arrangements with the Election Judge.

Sometime on the afternoon of the 13th, the results will be posted on the TAG Blog, on the [tag839] e-mail list and in the November Peg-Board. Elected officers will be sworn in on December 7.


Rolling Red said...

Sadly, I am in a part of the world and an area of the industry (vfx) perennially lacking class awareness. Despite commonplace abuses of labor standards by the production companies a union remains a far fetched idea. Having mentioned the word "unionize" once on a company mailing list - has landed me a one on one talk with the top HR person at a former company. I love the button displayed in your post. Is it possible to order a few?

Tom Sito said...

This meeting will be pretty crucial. I'm not running again, and President Koch is not returning, so the field is wide open for new blood and new ideas.

But if no one comes forward, don't bitch "anonymous" that the union is weak and doesn't do anything.

Are things lousy now? Sure they are! It sucked in 1976 when I joined. It sucked in 1983 and it sucked in 2003. That's the business.

Over the weekend I attended the memorial for Bill Littlejohn, a great animator who faced down blacklists, threats and mobsters, and helped make this business a better living for all of us.

You can't tell me you've got it tougher than HE did? Yet he stood up and he had a great career too.

Good luck with the election! President Koch, Former President Storr, Me and Presidents going back 72 years to Art Babbitt the creator of Goofy, are all watching to see who has what it takes to join our ranks. Now make us proud!

Steven Kaplan said...

Rolling Red -

I, too, am a fan of that button and have made an inquiry as to its origin and availability. I'll keep you posted as to my findings.

I'd love to talk to you about your HR run-in and which company you were at. Email me at and let me know when you're available.

Jeff Massie said...

I believe these buttons were designed by a company that has since gone out of business, but I've contacted another company to see if they have any in stock.

Please let Steve Kaplan know when you contact him (per the above message), and we'll keep you in the loop.

Anonymous said...

Such a button would be easy to produce, and an internet search would bring up a lot of services varying in price. You do the artwork, upload it and they print them out. You'd want to go with the 1 & 1/2" button size.....1" is cheapest but too small.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to blog info about HR people, the companies they work at, and their antics of intimidation. A service provided by the plebes of the world. Who are these jokers, and how do you live with them......

Jeff Massie said...

I'm waiting to hear from the company that took over Northland Poster Collective's button business. If they no longer make them, I'll propose we put in a custom order either with them, or if that's not possible I have my own sources.

Given the subject matter of the button, it will, of course, have a union bug.

Anonymous said...

'Made In The USA'

Jeff Massie said...

I can assure you it won't be made in China.

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