Become an NEA RA delegate

Whether virtual or in-person is yet to be determined

Over 9,000 delegates typically attend the annual National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA). Delegates are charged with setting policy for the three million member organization. New Jersey sends between 500 and 600 delegates to the NEA RA. The last in-person NEA RA was held in 2019. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 meetings of the NEA RA were held virtually.

NEA has cancelled plans to hold the 2022 NEA RA in Dallas and is currently considering alternate locations. If none can be found that meet the need for hotel and convention center accommodations, the 2022 NEA RA will also be held virtually.

If the NEA RA meets in person, it will be held from July 2 to July 6. Delegates would be expected to arrive on July 1 and return home on July 7. If it is held virtually, the NEA RA will meet within the same dates, but for fewer days.

At the NEA RA, Delegates vote on amendments to the NEA Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules. They also vote on proposed resolutions and new business items, setting forth NEA’s policy and position statements. Many of these actions have a direct impact on NEA members in New Jersey.

Delegates will elect members to the NEA Executive Committee as well as at-large positions on the NEA Board of Directors. If any vacancies occur in NEA officer or other Executive Committee positions, these may also be filled at the NEA RA.

Delegates must be elected

All delegates must be elected—either by members of their local association, a cluster of smaller local associations, or as state delegates. Open nominations for all delegates are mandatory. Every member must have a reasonable opportunity to make nominations, to be nominated, or to self-nominate.

Each local association may elect one delegate to the NEA RA for every 150 members, or major fraction thereof. If a local affiliate has fewer than 76 NEA members, it may join with one or more other local affiliates, each with fewer than 76 members, to form units for the purpose of representation. Allocation of delegate credentials is based on active membership in NEA as of Jan. 14.

All local affiliates must hold elections for local delegates and successor local delegates and inform NJEA of the results no later than April 13.

In addition to local association delegates, NJEA members will elect state delegates and successor state delegates this spring. Candidates nominate themselves for these positions online. Candidates are placed on the ballot according to the county where they are employed or their unit of representation (e.g., higher education). 

To complete the online self-nomination form, go to njea.org/NJEAelections.

Ensuring ethnic-minority representation

NEA Bylaw 3-1.g requires each state affiliate to develop a plan to send a state delegation to the NEA RA that reflects the state’s ethnic-minority proportions. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, 48% of New Jersey residents identify themselves as part of an ethnic-minority group. Thus, it is NJEA’s goal to achieve at least that level of ethnic-minority representation in its delegation.

To assist in meeting the requirements of NEA Bylaw 3-1.g, the NJEA Delegate Assembly established ethnic-minority-concerns positions. One state delegate seat is set aside from every four seats allocated.

While it is anticipated that the establishment of these minority-concerns positions is likely to increase ethnic-minority participation at the NEA RA, members need not belong to an ethnic-minority group to be elected to minority-concerns positions.

All NJEA members can self-nominate for both regular and minority-concerns positions. If elected in both positions, a member must decide which seat to represent so that a successor delegate can take the open position.

Similarly, members may place themselves in nomination at the local level and at the state level. Members who win both local and state delegate seats must decide which seat they will represent so that successor delegates can take the open positions.

For complete rules and procedures, and to self-nominate for state delegate and minority-concerns positions, visit njea.org/NJEAelections.

NJEA nomination procedures and election rules

For county and unit affiliate elections, such bodies may conduct regular nominating meetings, however, all information will be transmitted to NJEA electronically and each candidate will be contacted to validate their candidacy.

All self-nominations for the NEA RA will be conducted online. Members wishing to self-nominate will go to njea.org/NJEAelections to be linked to the self-nomination site. Self-nomination begins on Feb. 1 and concludes on Feb. 28. 

Upon successful completion of the declaration of candidacy form, each nominee will receive a validation email, which when completed will confirm their candidacy.

For all election-related rules, visit njea.org/NJEAelections.

NJEA elections calendar 2022

Under the NJEA Constitution and Bylaws, the Rules for NJEA Elections, and the established rules and procedures of the NJEA Elections Committee, the following are the tentative deadlines and other dates relating to NJEA county and unit elections:

Jan. 14 – Official Membership Count

  • Initial membership file sent to election vendor (Intelliscan)
  • Copy sent to Elections Committee staff contact: Determination of governance positions to be filled (Exec./DA/DAA)
  • Deadline for notifying NJEA of a change in unit of representation
  • Petitions for governance positions available (Exec./DA/DAA)

Jan. 20 – Election Committee Mandatory Meeting

  • Rules, procedures, and calendar reviewed and finalized
  • Announcement of membership numbers, governance and RA positions by county/unit
  • Review of nominating committee requirements, filing dates, electronic nomination process
  • Jan. 24 – inclement weather back-up

Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 – As established by NEA

  • Feb. 1: NEA RA online self-nomination begins at 12:01 a.m.
  • Feb. 28: NEA RA online self-nomination closes at 11:59 p.m.

Feb. 25 –Deadline for county and unit nominating committees to convene

Feb. 28

  • Deadline for county and unit nomination registration for NJEA Executive Committee, Delegate Assembly, and Delegate Assembly Alternate with election-vendor (Intelliscan) by county or unit designee
  • Deadline for receipt of online self-nomination forms for state delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly (11:59 p.m.)

Feb 28 – Petition Deadline for nominations of county and unit elections, NJEA Governance positions, and constitutional amendments (5 p.m.)

  • Deadline to make new nominations, in the event of a vacancy
  • Deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from nomination (must notify NJEA Headquarters by 5 p.m.)

March 4

  • NEA Representative Assembly – election vendor (Intelliscan) conducts random drawings for ballot positions for statewide units, drawings for state NEA RA ballot positions.
  • Deadline for candidates to verify correct spelling and format of names and school districts for ballots.

April 1 to April 15 – Balloting

  • Ballots due by noon April 15, 2022, at the address supplied with the ballots.

April 28 – Election Committee mandatory meeting to validate election results

  • Election dispute hearings on challenge of actions related to the elections

May 1 – 2022-23 election cycle begins All dates are subject to change.

Note:

  • Failure of a candidate to properly validate their nomination online will result in disqualification.
  • Local NEA RA election results MUST be received at NJEA HQ no later than Monday, April 13, 2022.
  •  In accordance with NJEA Bylaws, the Elections Committee may change the balloting period.
  • In the event the balloting period is changed, the new balloting period will be published in the March issue of the NJEA Review and posted on njea.org.
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