VAHPA is a democratic organization and as such we have regular elections. These take place once every four years, and 2018 is an election year.
All 12 positions on the VAHPA Branch Committee of Management (BCOM), the body that oversees the running and governance of VAHPA, will be open for election. Those positions are:
- Senior Vice President
- Junior Vice President
- Assistant Secretary
- Trustee 1
- Trustee 2
- Ordinary Member 1
- Ordinary Member 2
- Ordinary Member 3
- Ordinary Member 4
- Ordinary Member 5
Further, each Branch of the HSU is entitled to have a number of Delegates sit on the National Council; we anticipate that VAHPA will have 5 Delegates to National Council over the coming 4 years. Again, you will be required to elect these Delegates.
Our elections typically take place from June through to August. At this stage there is no clarity on the exact timing for our 2018 elections. This is consequent to the fact that the Rules of the HSU (wherein the process and timeline for our elections are set out) have recently been amended by a vote of National Council. The new version of the Rules will not be operational until the Fair Work Commission issues a decision granting approval or certification. Once the Registered Organisation Commission receives the newly certified Rules from the Fair Work Commission they will issue the election writs and by doing so will start the ball rolling on our election process. We will hear from the AEC, more specifically, from a duly appointed Returning Officer, very shortly after the writs are issued.
I would expect that the nomination period will extend over a fortnight during June. If you are interested in running for a position on the Committee you will need to have your nomination form filled in and signed by 6 fellow members, by around late June. Please be aware that our election timeline may vary. We will provide you with all relevant information and documentation, including nomination forms etc., as soon as possible.
As the election unfolds, it’s important to be aware of what restrictions there are and aren’t regarding the elections.
The Fair Work Act makes it clear that Registered Organisations (including unions) must not assist one candidate over another in elections. This means that union resources and property can’t be used to help candidates in their campaign. Union employees can’t work on campaigns during work-hours and nominees need to pay for all their own campaign materials and services (union printers, for instance, are not to be used). For this reason, there is a clear separation between union work and the nominee’s campaigns.
Nominees and their teams will need to source funds for their campaigns and may run fundraising events. There are no rules stopping nominees from openly campaigning and fundraising. Indeed, openly campaigning and fundraising means that these processes are transparent and open to scrutiny.
VAHPA is democratic community of Allied Health Professionals; VAHPA is your union. You are encouraged to participate fully in the democratic process.
You will receive all relevant information on the election over the coming period. Please feel free to contact VAHPA with any relevant questions or concerns you might have.