FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IFO DELEGATE ASSEMBLY
What is Delegate Assembly?
The Delegate Assembly (DA) governs your union in all of its activities. It is the largest meeting of the union membership, and is held every other year, during even-numbered years, at a time and place established by the IFO Board (between mid-March and early April, beginning mid-morning on a Friday and continuing until late afternoon the following Saturday).
The DA has the authority to establish policies, approve budgets, create special committees of the organization, and review actions of the IFO Board of Directors. (When the Delegate Assembly is not in session, the IFO Board of Directors has the full power to act for the IFO.) Resolutions that are passed by the Assembly guide the work of the union’s Negotiations Team and serve as the primary source of contract-related goals for the organization.
Improvements to Faculty Benefits and Working Conditions Accomplished through DA Resolutions (selected examples)
Changes to state law
- Faculty now have more favorable retirement investment products available
- Faculty are now allowed to change their initially-selected retirement plan at the point of achieving tenure
Improved working conditions and benefits that were negotiated into the contract
- Paid parental leave for birth or adoption of a child; continued seniority accrual during unpaid parental leave
- Severance and early separation incentive payments are contributed to a tax-free post-retirement health care savings account
- Reduction of the teaching load for first year probationary faculty
- Recognition of multiculturalism, anti-oppression and inclusion work as evidence of positive performance in each of the five criteria
Changes in IFO governing structure
- Establishment of the Multicultural Issues Committee, GLBTA (now LGBTQ+) Issues Committee, and Contingent Appointments Committee
- Creation of IFO legal staff position of Equity Advocate to work on issues of equity within the IFO and to assist faculty in dealing with issues of discrimination
- Union member dues restructured to be more equitable according to base salary
Why should I go to DA?
Delegates shape the direction of the union for the next two years, by establishing internal policy mandates, setting budget priorities, and adopting external goals for desired academic affairs policies, contract negotiations and legislative changes that will benefit faculty and students. By attending the DA, you are able to provide input in this process and to be heard on matters of importance to you.
Once at the DA, you will have unique opportunities to network with colleagues across all 7 state universities and to become informed about union activities and benefits. Informational and social events at DA include an IFO Presidential candidates’ forum, an opportunity to schedule an individual meeting on retirement with a TIAA-CREF representative, and affinity group gatherings for delegates of color and other traditionally underrepresented groups, as well as guest speakers and other presentations of interest to faculty.
Who gets to go?
The Delegate Assembly is composed of the members of the IFO Board of Directors and certified delegates or alternates elected or appointed by each local Faculty Association. Delegates and alternates must be union members.
Each FA President is entitled to appoint up to five delegates and five alternates and, in addition, one delegate and one alternate for every 15 IFO members on the campus. For example, a campus with 300 IFO members would be entitled to send up to 25 delegates [5 + (300 ÷ 15)] and 25 alternates.
Alternates are selected according to the provisions of the local Association Constitution. In the absence of a Constitutional provision on alternate selection, alternates are to be selected by the local Association delegates.
How do I sign up?
If you know you want to be a delegate for your campus, you should:
- Make sure you’re a member of the IFO, and join if you aren’t
- Tell your FA President that you’re interested in being a delegate
How does the union support my participation in DA?
The IFO will reimburse you 30 cents per mile, plus 10 cents for each extra passenger, for each mile driven (round trip) between your home and the Radisson hotel in Roseville where DA takes place.
The IFO will reimburse you for the cost of child care during the hours that DA is in session.
Reimbursement forms for mileage and childcare will be in your delegate packet.
The IFO pays for double-occupancy hotel rooms for all delegates on Friday night (plus Thursday night if you’re on a committee that meets Thursday night or early Friday morning). If you prefer a single-occupancy room, the IFO will ask that you reimburse at a rate of $58 per night, which is one half the cost of a double-occupancy room. In some instances, IFO statewide committees and/or local campus associations will allocate a portion of their budget to cover this cost for their delegates.
The IFO provides a buffet lunch on Friday, a seated diner on Friday night, a breakfast buffet on Saturday morning, and a lunch buffet on Saturday.
If you have an idea for a resolution you’d like the union to consider, members of your local campus FA and state office staff are available to work with you on drafting a strategy and language, as well as connecting you with members on other campuses who may have similar ideas and interests.
IFO staff arrange for representatives from TIAA-CREF to be on site for the duration of Delegate Assembly to conduct individual retirement consultations with members. An online signup form for these consultations will be available in January.
What is the role of the DA in the election of the IFO President?
The IFO Presidential election occurs every two years in even-numbered years, the same year as the Delegate Assembly. IFO presidential candidates are given space at the DA to meet delegates and distribute campaign literature. The statewide Feminist Issues Committee hosts a Presidential Candidates’ Forum during lunch on Saturday, at which the candidates will respond to both prepared questions and questions from delegates on the floor. The IFO Presidential vote is conducted electronically in early April.
Delegates, alternates, and other participants
Only delegates may vote on matters before the DA. Alternates may only vote if they are taking the place of an absent delegate. If a delegate is unable to attend or needs to leave while the assembly is in session, an alternate would be able to vote in the place of a delegate. Alternates are entiteld to attend as non-voting observers when not substituting for an absent delegate.
Non-delegate attendees include IFO staff, and any IFO union members who are not delegates but desire to attend to observe the proceedings. (The standing rules that are adopted at the beginning of each DA typically provide that non-delegate IFO members shall be seated as space permits.)
What is a resolution?
A resolution establishes organizational goals by requesting IFO action in one of five areas: Academic Affairs, MinnState Budget, Contract Goals and Policies, Government Relations (legislation), and Miscellaneous (internal governing structure and external policies and practices).
Who gets to submit a resolution?
Any union members, individually or with a group of other members, may draft and submit a resolution to be considered at Delegate Assembly.
What does a resolution look like?
A resolution has four sections. Section I begins with the words, “Be it resolved that the IFO....” which is followed with a description of what action the proposer desires. Section II requires the proposer to provide an explanation for the action sought. Section III requires the proposer and seconder to sign and date the resolution. Section IV indicates in which of five areas the resolution falls (Academic Affairs, MinnState Budget, Contract Goals and Policies, Government Relations or Miscellaneous).
Examples of a drafted resolution
Be it resolved that the IFO supports legislation to provide in-state tuition to all students graduating from Minnesota high schools, after having attended for two years, regardless of the immigration status of the student and /or their parents.
Be it resolved that the IFO seeks to clarify existing contract language on advising to provide opportunities for electronic student advising and other contacts, and posting of contact hours.
What is the process of getting a resolution considered?
Proposals for new resolutions that contain the signature of a proposer and a seconder, each of whom is an IFO member, may be submitted electronically until midnight on February 19, 2018. Campus Faculty Associations and IFO statewide committees may also submit resolutions in advance. Committee resolutions will be considered to have been seconded, and thus will not require two signatures. Proposed resolutions submitted in advance of DA will be available in hardcopy for delegates’ review prior to DA, and are guaranteed a hearing by the body—which may vote to accept, amend, or reject the proposed resolution. Resolutions may also be submitted from the floor during the final session of DA, time permitting. Resolutions submitted from the floor will be discussed and voted on only if at least half of the delegates present in that session vote to do so.
Download these FAQs as a pdf.
Contact Aaron Lichtov with questions.