The Electrical Worker online
October/November 2016

Attention Federal Sector IBEW Union Members
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Under the requirements of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) as revised, your union is advising you of your rights as a federal sector union member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. These rights are as follows:

Bill of Rights As a local union member, you have:

  • Equal rights to participate in union activities
  • Freedom of speech and assembly
  • A voice in setting rates of dues, fees and assessments
  • Protection of the right to sue
  • Safeguards against improper discipline

Collective Bargaining Agreements Union members (and other employees affected by the agreement) have the right to receive or inspect copies of collective bargaining agreements.

Constitutions, Bylaws and Reports Unions are required to file an initial information report (Form LM-1), copies of constitutions and bylaws and an annual financial report (Form LM-2, 3, 4) with the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OMLS). Unions must make these documents available to members and permit members to examine the records necessary to verify the financial reports for just cause. The documents are public information and copies of reports are available from OLMS and on the Internet at

Officer Elections Local union members have the right to:

  • Nominate candidates for office
  • Run for office
  • Cast a secret ballot
  • Protest the conduct of an election

Officer Removal Local union members have the right to an adequate procedure for the removal of an elected officer guilty of serious misconduct.

Trusteeships The local union may not be placed in trusteeship by its parent body except for those reasons specified in the standard of conduct regulations.

Protection for Exercising CSRA Rights The local union or any of its officials may not fine, expel or otherwise discipline a member for exercising any CSRA right.

Prohibition Against Violence No one may use or threaten to use force or violence to interfere with a local union member in the exercise of his or her CSRA rights.

Union Officer Responsibilities

Financial Safeguards Union officers have a duty to manage the funds and property of the union solely for the benefit of the union and its members in accordance with the union's constitution and bylaws. The union must provide accounting and financial controls necessary to assure fiscal integrity.

Prohibition of Conflicts of Interest A union officer or employee may not (1) have any monetary or personal interest or (2) engage in any business or financial transaction that would conflict with his or her fiduciary obligation to the union.

Bonding Union officers or employees who handle union funds or property must be bonded to provide protection against losses if their union has property and annual financial receipts that exceed $5,000.

Labor Organization Reports Union officers must file an initial information report (Form LM-1) and annual financial reports (Forms LM-2, 3, 4) with OLMS. They must retain the records necessary to verify the reports for at least five years.

Officer Elections The local union must:

  • Hold elections of officers of the local union by secret ballot at least every three years.
  • Conduct regular elections in accordance with the IBEW Constitution and bylaws and preserve all records for one year.
  • Mail a notice of election to every member at least 15 days prior to the election.
  • Comply with a candidate's request to distribute campaign material.
  • Ensure that local union funds or resources are not used to promote any candidate (nor that employer funds or resources be used).
  • Permit candidates to have election observers.

Restrictions on Holding Office A person convicted of certain crimes may not serve as a union officer, employee or other representative of a union for up to 13 years.

Loans A union may not have outstanding loans to any one officer or employee that in total exceeds $2,000 at any time. Although this is part of the regulation under the CSRA, the IBEW or its local unions do not loan union funds to officers or members.

Federal employees should contact their local union for further information.