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L. Biennial General Meeting (Convention)

The NLTA By-Laws govern the operation of the Association’s Biennial General Meeting. The following additional guidelines also apply.

1. Branches shall base the number of delegates on the maximum number of teaching positions in the schools and board offices existing within the branch boundaries at any point in time during a school year, provided that such positions are filled by active members of the Association.

2. In the election of delegates to the biennial general meeting, branches should make every effort to encourage male and female representation.

3. NLTA will fund the costs for an alternate delegate to attend the biennial general meeting from any branch which is permitted only one voting delegate.

4. NLTA will fund one alternate per branch to the biennial general meeting when it becomes necessary for that alternate to assume a delegate’s responsibilities due to an emergency situation occurring during the BGM.

5. Each special interest council may send one delegate to the Association’s Convention, the cost of which will be covered by the Association’s Convention Budget. [2007 BGM] 

6. All Conventions shall be hosted by the parent body rather than by individual branches.

7. The Convention sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 5:30 p.m. each day.

8. The rules of order and debate at the Convention will be strictly enforced.

9. Executive resolutions to Convention shall be distributed to branches in the Convention Bulletin.

10. The majority of Convention time shall be devoted to discussion of resolutions received from members since these represent the problems of teachers in the field.

11.   a) Debate on resolutions at the Convention will be limited to three minutes per speaker.

b) When three speakers have spoken in succession on one side of a motion, a call will be made for a speaker on the other side and, if there is no speaker, then the vote would take place after the mover of the original motion has had the opportunity to close debate.

12. During the initial voting on by-law amendments and/or the introduction of new by-laws, the Scrutineers Committee will be required to count the vote (where the vote is close) rather than wait for a division call. [1999 BGM] 

13. Members of the Provincial Executive will be entitled to vote independently on the floor of Convention regarding all issues, including resolutions which contain Executive recommendations.

14. NLTA Budgets are to be discussed in a closed session.

15. The adjournment time for the Convention will be strictly enforced. If on the last day of the Convention it is obvious that the business of the meeting will not be completed, the Steering Committee must present to the Convention a priorized list of items to be completed in the remaining available time.

16. Convention delegates who live in the area of Convention shall be given the option of living in the Convention centre for the period of Convention. Every delegate attending Convention is to be entitled to have his/her own private room. (Also see policy on “one room per family” – Page OP12, Item E.5.c)i)]

17. The BGM Electoral Committee

a) The Executive Council shall appoint an Electoral Committee of three members, one of whom shall be named Chairperson (a Past President, if possible).

b) Such members shall not be delegates to Convention nor be candidates for election.

c) The duties of the Electoral Committee are to conduct the election of the Executive Council in the manner described in the Constitution and By-Laws. [Sept/27/02] [JC Nov/02] [2003 BGM]

d) Counting of the Ballots

i. Each candidate may appoint one scrutineer to be present at the counting of ballots. All such scrutineers must complete an ‘Oath or Affirmation of a Scrutineer’ form and present it to the Electoral Committee. A scrutineer shall not interfere with the counting process in any manner, but is permitted to:

• observe the counting of all ballots cast in the election for Executive, and
• offer his/her opinion whether a particular ballot should be counted or should be rejected (however, the decision of the Electoral Committee responsible for counting the ballots is final).

ii. In counting the ballots, the Electoral Committee shall reject all ballots:
• that have not been marked for a candidate;
• on which votes have been cast for more than ten (10) candidates;
• upon which there is writing or a mark or other means by which the voter could be identified; or
• on which the intention of the voter is not clear and evident. [Apr/2-3&5/08] [JC Apr/08] [2009 BGM]

e) Any NLTA member in good standing who submits a nomination for Executive after the initial election speeches are held at the Convention will be allowed an equal opportunity to give an election speech prior to the election of Executive. [1997 AGM]

f) Candidates for Executive will be given a maximum of five minutes to address Convention delegates prior to the election. [2003 BGM]

g) Candidates for Executive are not permitted to distribute promotional objects (including any printed materials) or gifts to BGM delegates. [Dec/2/16] [JC Mar/17] [2017 BGM]