COGS Constitution

Issued by UE Local 896,

Campaign to Organize Graduate Students

(COGS)

Preamble

We, the members of the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students (United Electrical Workers Local 896), recognize that we can improve our living and working conditions only when we unite to protect ourselves against the organized power of our employer.  We therefore pledge ourselves to struggle for and defend the right of all graduate employees to fair working conditions, including but not limited to a living wage, comprehensive health care, child care, an effective grievance procedure, tuition waivers, and freedom from discrimination and harassment.

As employees of the University of Iowa and workers in the academy, we insist on the right of all students to democratic participation in university governance, and we commit ourselves to fighting for higher education that is accessible to all, regardless of class or income; race or ethnicity; sexual orientation; gender; HIV, immigration, or disability status; national origin; age; and religious or political beliefs or affiliation.  We call for renewed public commitment to creating the conditions necessary to quality education: respect and material support for all academic workers, class sizes which foster the meaningful exchange of ideas, and uncompromising dedication to academic freedom.

As part of the international labor movement we take our stand with all workers in the struggle for a higher standard of living and democratic control over the conditions of our lives.

In that spirit we create a rank and file organization dedicated to aggressive advocacy for workers’ rights.

Article 1: Name

     Section A.  This organization shall be known as United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 896, COGS (Campaign to Organize Graduate Students).

Article 2: Affiliation

     Section A.  UE Local 896, COGS, is permanently affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America pursuant to the Public Employment Relations Board election conducted on April 16, 1996–case number 5463.

      Section B.  UE Local 896, COGS, is also affiliated with the Western Regional Council, United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America.

Article 3: Object

     Section A.  It shall be the object of this Local to protect, maintain, and advance the interests of the workers and to organize the unorganized in conformity with its jurisdiction.

Article 4: Eligibility

     Section A.  The members run this union.  All powers of this organization shall be vested in the membership, which shall consist of Full and Associate Members in good standing:

1.         Full Membership: Every graduate student with an academic appointment at the University of Iowa and coming under the jurisdiction of UE shall be eligible for full membership.

2.         Associate Membership: Any enrolled graduate student who has previously been eligible for full membership, is a Fellow, or who expects to be in the bargaining unit is eligible for associate membership.  Associate Members have all obligations and privileges of Full Members.

3.         Good Standing: A member in good standing is one who pays all dues as described in Article seven (7 “Dues”).

     Section B.  All persons coming under the jurisdiction of the UE are eligible for membership in this Local, regardless of age, sex, nationality, race, religious or political beliefs or affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, skill, craft, HIV or immigration status.

Article 5: Duties and Privileges of Membership

     Section A.  Members shall have the right to fair and democratic election at all levels of the Union.  This includes due notice of nomination and elections, equal opportunity for competing candidates, and proper election procedures as specified in Article twenty-six  (26 “Nomination and Election of Officers”).  Members shall have an equal right to run for and hold office, subject only to qualifications as specified in Article 26, uniformly applied.

     Section B.  Members shall have the right to participate fully in all general meetings, including, but not limited to, making proposals and nominations, and speaking from the floor.  Members may bring up new proposals under new business at any general membership meeting.  However, members are strongly encouraged to submit such proposals in advance when possible to the appropriate committee or officer of the Local.

Article 6: Financial Integrity

     Section A.  The Financial Officer shall keep accounts of income and expenses as per Articles twelve and nineteen (12 “Duties of the Financial Officer” 19 “Trustees”).  Three elected Trustees shall examine and audit all books and make quarterly reports to the membership.

     Section B.  The records and books shall be available for inspection by any member.

     Section C.  The Coordinating Committee will assure that no loans or advances are made available to any officer or member of the organization from the general funds of the Local Union.  No Coordinating Committee member or agent, their spouse, minor children, parents or otherwise of this Local Union shall take part in any business or financial interest that conflicts with the fiduciary obligation of such person to the Local Union.

     Section D.  The Local shall give bond in the amount required by the National Union and as required by the laws of the state of Iowa.

Article 7: Dues

     Section A.  For employees working less than full-time (less than 40 hours per week), dues shall be $21.21 per month beginning March 2010 and $23.00 beginning August 2010. For employees working full-time (40 hours per week), dues shall be $42.42 per month beginning February 2010 and $46.00 beginning August 2010. The monthly dues shall be automatically increased by a percentage that is no less than the average percentage of any negotiated wage increase. Following ratification of the first contract, such dues increases shall go into effect no later than the date of the wage increases. Per capital shall be paid to the National Union in accordance with the National Constitution. Members who wish to pay more than their requisite dues may do so.

     Section B.  The initiation fee shall be $10, which shall be waived for all members who join prior to the ratification of the first contract or if the Local makes an alternative arrangement with the National Union.

     Section C.  Any member who shall fail to pay his or her current month’s dues shall not be in good standing and shall be notified of such delinquency by the Financial Officer.  If such delinquent fails to place himself/herself in good standing within thirty (30) days after such notice, he/she shall be suspended.  Any member suspended for nonpayment of dues may be reinstated by paying his or her back dues in addition to the current month’s dues.

      Section D.  Any member in good standing at the end of the academic year, who does not have employment during the summer months, and can reasonably expect to return as a graduate student in the fall, shall be considered to remain in good standing during July and August.

     Section E.  Upon request, a withdrawal card shall be issued to a member who is no longer working within the jurisdiction of the UE provided such member is in good standing at the time.

Article 8: Coordinating Committee and Officers

     Section A.  The Coordinating Committee of this Local is a body of elected officers, each with one vote.  Each member of the Coordinating Committee shall be accountable both to the Coordinating Committee as a body and to the general membership.  The Coordinating Committee shall consist of the following elected officers: one President, one Vice President, one Corresponding and Recording Officer, one Financial Officer, one Campus Chief Steward, four Area Chief Stewards, one Bargaining and Grievance Committee Member at large, one Unity Officer, one International Student Representative, andone Chairperson for each Standing Committee.

     Section B.  The Coordinating Committee of this Local shall:

1.         Faithfully carry out the decisions of the membership and act on its behalf.

2.         Coordinate the work of the union.

3.         Facilitate member discussion, debate, and participation in decision-making.

4.         Meet at least one time per month.

5.         Plan meetings of the general membership.

6.         Coordinate the activities of all committees, ensuring that the actions of each committee are proper and authorized by the membership.

7.         Create and dissolve ad hoc committees as necessary.

8.         Conduct a review each February of the Standing committees and make recommendations at the February general membership meeting for their improvement, continuation, or dissolution.  It shall also report on its own activities for the year and on the health of the Local in general.  Final authority for such decisions shall rest with the general membership.

9.         Ensure smooth transition for new officers by arranging orientation before the end of each academic year, or within 30 days of any filled vacancy.

     Section C.  All decisions of the Coordinating Committee shall be made by a majority vote of those members present. The chair will vote only in order to break a tie.  Two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the Coordinating Committee shall constitute a quorum.

     Section D.  The Coordinating Committee may require from any officer a full and detailed statement or account of any action or business done in the name of the Local.

Article 9: Duties of the President

     Section A.  The President of the Local shall:

  1. Educate members of the bargaining unit regarding the purpose, functioning, and importance of the Union.
  2. Enforce the constitution and by-laws of this Union.
  3. Faithfully carry out the policies and decisions of the membership, and be at all times responsible to the Coordinating Committee.  The President will be responsible for ensuring that all decisions made by the General Membership are enacted.
  4. Actively solicit resolutions and input from the membership for membership meetings, plan meeting agendas in consultation with other members of the Coordinating Committee, and chair such meetings.
  5. Make all arrangements for membership meetings, including procurement of meeting space and technical equipment.
  6. Act as the primary public spokesperson on behalf of the Local Union.  The President shall designate other spokespersons as appropriate.
  7. Manage written and electronic communications with the membership (e.g., fortnightly e-mail updates).
  8. Sign checks jointly with the financial officer, give bond in the amount required by the national union.
  9. Handle the Local’s routine communications with and information requests from the University administration.
  10. Be a delegate to Regional Council and the National Convention.
  11. Be a member of and chair the Bargaining and Grievance Committee.
  12. Be a member of and chair the Coordinating Committee.

Article 10: Duties of the Vice President for Organizing

      Section A.  The Vice President for Organizing of this Local shall:

  1. Assist the President in the performance of his/her duties and act in his/her absence.  If the President’s position becomes vacant, the Vice President shall serve as President until that position is filled by election.
  2. Sign checks jointly with the Financial Officer, in the absence of the President.
  3. Create, in consultation with UE staff and the Organizing Committee, an annual Organizing Plan and present it to the General Membership for discussion and approval.
  4. Support steward-based organizing of the Local, and lead volunteer-based organizing, in consultation with UE staff, the Stewards Council, and the General Membership.  “Steward-based organizing” shall refer to those departments where a strong steward structure is in place.  “Volunteer-based organizing” shall refer to those departments where a steward structure is not yet in place.
  5. Recruit members to serve on the Organizing Committee, and chair that committee.
  6. Attend Stewards Council meetings.
  7. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee. 

Article 11: Duties of the Corresponding and Recording Officer

     Section A.  The Corresponding and Recording Officer of this Local shall:

1.         Keep all records of the meetings of the Local Union and of the Coordinating Committee.

2.         Conduct all correspondence of the Local Union and of the Coordinating Committee, unless otherwise directed by the Coordinating Committee.

3.         Perform such other duties, with the approval of the Coordinating Committee, as may be necessary to a proper and effective administration of the affairs of the Local Union.

4.         Make available to the general membership the minutes of general and Coordinating Committee meetings within ten (10) days of those meetings.

5.         Furnish all supplies pertaining to the Local.

6.         Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 12: Duties of the Financial Officer

     Section A.  The Financial Officer of this Local shall:

  1. Receive and account for all money paid to the Local.
  2. Pay all bills authorized by the Local.
  3. Keep and give accounts of all receipts and expenditures.
  4. Furnish a monthly financial report to the Local and furnish a monthly report on per capita to the Regional Council and the National Union.
  5. Sign checks and per capita reports.
  6. Give bond in the amount required by the National Union.
  7. Perform such other duties, with the approval of the Coordinating Committee, as may be necessary to a proper and effective administration of the affairs of the Local Union.
  8. Furnish annual financial reports to the State of Iowa.
  9. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 13: Duties of the Campus Chief Steward

     Section A.  The Campus Chief Steward of this Local shall:

  1. Lead Steward training in consultation with Area Chief Stewards.
  2. Chair a meeting of the Stewards Council in consultation with Area Chief Stewards at least once per month and otherwise coordinate the work of the Stewards.
  3. Keep records of grievances and their resolutions.  Maintain a log of grievances and investigations.
  4. Report on workplace issues, problems, and successes to the membership.  Present a grievance report at each General Membership meeting.
  5. Be a member of the Bargaining and Grievance Committee.
  6. Be a delegate to Regional Council and the National Convention.
  7. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 14: Duties of the Area Chief Stewards

      Section A.  The Area Chief Stewards of this Local shall:

  1. Assist stewards in processing grievances and process Level 2 grievances.
  2. Assist the Campus Chief Steward with Stewards Training, Stewards Council meetings, and grievance processing.
  3. Recruit new stewards and coordinate the work of stewards in their Areas.
  4. Assist the Vice President and Campus Chief Steward with steward-based organizing.
  5. Be a member of the Bargaining and Grievance Committee.
  6. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 15: Duties of the International Student Representative

     Section A.  Recognizing the importance of international solidarity to every worker, this Local shall vigorously defend the rights of its international members and will elect a Representative for International Student Issues who shall be a permanent member of the Unity Committee and supported by that committee in his/her work as an advocate for international students.

     Section B.  Additionally, this Representative shall:

  1. Consult with the Bargaining and Grievance Committee as and when appropriate.
  2. Be a member of the Organizing Committee and assist the Vice President for Organizing in devising more effective strategies to include international students in the life of this Local.
  3. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

     Section C.  The International Student Representative shall, preferably, be an international student.

Article 16: Duties of the Unity Officer

     Section A.  The Unity Officer of this Local shall chair the Unity Committee, being specifically elected to that position (as per Article twenty-five [25] “The Unity Committee”), arrange for that committee to meet no less than once a month, serve on the Coordinating Committee, and report to the Grievance Committee and membership on all workplace issues, problems, and successes falling within the purview of the Unity Committee, and constantly remind the Coordinating Committee of the Local’s commitment to diversity.

     Section B.  The Unity Officer shall, preferably, be a member of an historically under-represented group.

Article 17: Duties of the Standing Committee Chairs

     Section A.  The Standing Committee Chairs of this Local shall:

  1. Carry out the goals, duties, and plan for that committee as approved by the membership and in consultation with the Coordinating Committee.
  2. Report to the Coordinating Committee on the activities and concerns of their respective committees.  Keep a list of all active members of their committees and keep them informed of all meeting times and agenda items.
  3. Ensure that the committee meets regularly with adequate attendance.
  4. Remind the committee of the decisions of the General Membership and the Coordinating Committee.
  5. Help recruit new members to their committees.
  6. Make an annual report to the Coordinating Committee and the General Membership (at the February General Membership Meeting) on the functioning of the committee.  The Coordinating Committee will recommend the continuation or dissolution of each Standing Committee at the February General Membership meeting.  The General Membership will decide which standing committees will continue into the next year, and create new standing committees as it sees fit.

Article 18: Duties of the Bargaining and Grievance Committee Member at large

      Section A.  The Bargaining and Grievance Committee Member at large shall:

  1. Be a member of the Bargaining and Grievance Committee.
  2. Be a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 19: Trustees

     Section A.  The three trustees of this Local shall:

  1. Audit all books and records of the Local.
  2. Make quarterly reports to the membership and annual reports to the State of Iowa.
  3. Take inventory at least once a year, and safeguard all the properties of the Local.
  4. Be responsible for handling all petitions for the recall of officers and stewards (see Article twenty-seven [27] “Recall of Officers and Stewards”).
  5. Be responsible for conducting all special elections.
  6. Trustees shall not sit on the Coordinating Committee.

Article 20: Stewards

     Section A.  The UE Steward is the first line of defense in the struggle to maintain our rights at work.  Stewards shall be responsible for maintaining our union as a strong, democratic, participatory organization on the department and program level.  It shall be our goal to have Stewards in every department.

     Section B.  A Steward of this Local shall:

  1. Act as an organizer within his/her department and contribute to the organizing goals of the Local Union as a whole, in coordination with the Stewards Council and the Organizing Committee.
  2. Encourage members to participate in the union.
  3. Convene the members of their department on a periodic basis to discuss the status of organizing within the department, the status of disputes and grievances, and issues before the Union.
  4. Act as the Union’s official representative in grievance proceedings initiated in his/her department; mobilize membership to resolve issues informally at the departmental level; file formal grievances at Level 1; and work with Area Chief Steward on Level 2 grievances.
  5. Attend meetings of the Stewards Council and participate in Stewards training.
  6. Solicit, listen to and convey members’ concerns to their Area Chief Steward, the Stewards Council, and the General Membership.
  7. Inform members of general meeting proposals and union events.

     Section C.  Election of Stewards

1.         Each department shall have a minimum of one Steward per twenty-five (25) members of the bargaining unit or fraction thereof, and are encouraged to elect more.

2.         Stewards shall be chosen according to democratic procedures agreed upon by members in good standing within the department, and are subject to the recall provisions outlined in Article twenty-seven (27 “Recall of Officers and Stewards”).  Only members in good standing are eligible for election as Stewards.  The names of Stewards shall be reported to the Campus Chief Steward and the Area Chief Stewards of the Local Union.

3.         Stewards shall be elected to represent members in their work department: e.g. Rhetoric instructors from English will have a Rhetoric Department Steward; Research Assistants in English will have an English Department Steward.

4.         Graduate Assistants employed outside a department (e.g. a Graduate Assistant employed in the Graduate College or a computer center) shall be assigned to a Steward in their home department or, when this is not possible, to a Steward from another department.

Article 21: Bargaining and Grievance Committee

      Section A.  The Bargaining and Grievance Committee shall consist of the President, the Campus Chief Steward, the four Area Chief Stewards, and one member at large.

      Section B.  The Bargaining and Grievance Committee shall:

  1. Negotiate the contract.
    1. Act as a resource in the formulation of contract demands.
    2. Be responsible for reporting progress of negotiations at each General Membership meeting and seeking direction from the membership.
    3. Sign all Contracts and Agreements with Management authorized by the Coordinating Committee and General Membership.
    4. File grievances of a general nature.
    5. Advise Stewards on the resolution of problems and grievances within their departments.
    6. Participate in grievance proceedings when the difficulty or importance of the grievance calls for additional experience or expertise.
    7. Report on workplace issues, problems, and successes to the membership.
    8. Act as the Union’s official representative in grievance proceedings at the third level.
    9. Initiate arbitration proceedings, pending membership approval at the next General Membership meeting.
    10. Prepare for arbitration when necessary.
    11. Assist the Vice President in steward-based organizing.
    12. Make recommendations to the General Membership each year at the February General Membership meeting for changes in the makeup of area divisions.

Article 22: Organizing Committee

      Section A.  The Organizing Committee shall consist of the Vice President for Organizing, the International Student Representative, and other interested members.  The role of the Organizing Committee shall be to organize the unorganized in our bargaining unit.

      Section B.  The Organizing Committee shall:

  1. Implement plans for volunteer-based organizing, as agreed upon by the General Membership.
  2. Support the stewards in steward-based organizing.

Article 23: Standing Committees

      Section A.    The general membership shall create and dissolve standing committees (for example: Publicity, Social, Labor Solidarity, Legislative and Political Action) as needed.  The  standing committees of this Local shall faithfully carry out the will of the membership in the area of their committee.  Each committee shall fulfill a specific Union goal and have a plan for its achievement.  The goal and its implementation will be affirmed and/or modified by the General Membership.

     Section B.  A standing committee shall:

  1. Hold regular meetings.
  2. Give progress reports at regular intervals to the Coordinating Committee and to the General Membership.

Article 24: The Stewards Council

      Section A.  Stewards of the Local shall meet at least one time per month as a Stewards Council.  These general meetings shall be for the purpose of participating in Stewards training and sharing information concerning problems, grievances, and organizing successes.  A two-thirds (2/3) quorum of the Stewards Council shall have the right to make recommendations to the general membership.

Article 25: The Unity Committee

     Section A.  Recognizing the negative role played by the division between working people based on race, sexual orientation, gender, HIV status, disability status, age, religious or political beliefs and national origin, this Local is committed to working actively to eradicate these divisions within the Local and the University.  The Local recognizes that historically these divisions have created situations where one group of workers defines itself and its interests in opposition to other working people and that some groups have been marginalized and under-represented, despite their union membership.  This has meant that in practice, these groups’ attempts to address their issues as employees have been seen by others as divisive or improper.  This Local is committed to ensuring that this situation does not arise, and the creation of the Unity Committee is a major plank in its commitment to ensure that all members have an equal voice.

     Section B.  Specifically the Committee shall be convened by the Unity Officer not less than once a month.  The Chair of the Committee and the International Student Representative shall sit on the Coordinating Committee.  With the exception of the Chair and the International Student Representative, membership on the Committee is open to any Local member in good standing.  This Committee cannot be disbanded by the General Membership as can Sub-Committees under article twenty-three, section A (23-A “Standing Committees”).  This Committee shall be subject to annual review and will submit an annual report to the General Membership and Coordinating Committee.

     Section C.  The purpose of this Committee is to ensure that issues of marginalization, disunity, and distrust are addressed directly by the leadership and the membership.  The Committee will serve as a meeting place for regular discussion of the kinds of issues that the historically marginalized and under-represented tend to face.  It will serve to bring these concerns to the leadership and General Membership as central issues and part of everyday Union business.  It will be active in assisting this Local to achieve its goal of a unified Union, truly representing all of its members.

     Section D.  It shall be the responsibility of the Unity Committee to understand the laws and University policies governing the employment of international students.

Article 26: Nomination and Election of Officers and Delegates

     Section A.  Election of Coordinating Committee members:  Members in good standing may run for election to the specific offices of President (one), Vice President (one) Corresponding and Recording Officer (one), Financial Officer (one), International Student Representative (one), Unity Officer (one), Campus Chief Steward (one), Area Chief Stewards (four), and at large Bargaining and Grievance Committee member (one).  An additional Coordinating Committee member shall be elected to chair each standing committee, as determined by the general membership according to Article 17.  Each candidate running for a standing committee chair shall be nominated for a specific committee position.

      Section B.  All members of the Coordinating Committee shall be elected by the entire membership, with the exception of Area Chief Stewards.

Section C.  Candidates for Area Chief Steward must be employed within the Area they will represent.  Members in good standing will vote for an Area Chief Steward in their area.  No member shall vote in more than one Area.

      Section D.  Concurrent with the election of the Coordinating Committee, delegates will be elected as follows:

  1. The membership shall elect one (1) delegate and one (1) alternate delegate to attend the National Convention.  The delegate shall be the candidate who receives the most votes, and the alternate will be the candidate who receives the second-most votes.
  2. The membership shall elect four (4) people to fill Regional Council delegate positions, with each getting a choice of which meeting to attend, based on number of votes received in the election.  No person will perform delegate duties for a second time in a year until all other delegates have performed their duties.  In the event that the Regional Council and National Convention are held at the same time, the National Convention delegate will fulfill the duties of Regional Council Delegate, and only two (2) delegates shall be elected for the remaining Regional Council for that year.

     Section E.  Only members in good standing shall be eligible for office.

Section F.  No member may be a candidate for more than one office.  Delegate positions are not considered to be offices.

     Section G    Timeline for Notifications, Nominations, and Election.

  1. Elections shall be completed each year by April 15.
  2. This date(s), times, and place of balloting for the annual election shall be established by the membership at the membership meeting in February.
  3. The membership shall be notified at least fifteen (15) days in advance of a meeting at which nominations shall take place, with the Correspondence and Recording Officer taking responsibility to ensure such notice is properly effected according to the most recent U.S. federal law regarding notification of nominations.
  4. Nominations shall be made from the floor at the March membership meeting, or by written nomination forms submitted to the Union office in advance of the March membership meeting or within three (3) days after the membership meeting.  All nomination forms must be submitted by a member in good standing and seconded by a member in good standing.
  5. Members present at the time of nominations shall indicate their intentions by accepting or declining such nominations orally.
  6. Members not present at the time of the nominations must indicate their acceptance by informing the Elections Committee in writing within three (3) days after the March membership meeting. Nominees who do not confirm their acceptance will not be included on the ballot.
  7. The names of all candidates, the offices for which they have been nominated, excluding those who declined, the date(s) of balloting, and the times and place of the balloting, shall be made available to all members by mailing said information to all members at their last known home address, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the first day of balloting.  To determine the 15-day mailing period and notification alternatives, the most recent U.S. federal law regarding elections should be consulted.  In addition, notice of said information shall be made available to the members through regular forms of communication such as the Local 896 newsletter and e-mail.  It shall be the responsibility of the Corresponding and Recording Officer to ensure that such notice is properly effected according to the most recent U.S. federal law regarding notification of nominations.  Notice in the UE News shall fulfill this requirement.

     Section J.  An Election Committee of three (3) members shall be nominated from the floor and approved by the general membership at the March membership meeting.  No candidate or current member of the Coordinating Committee shall be a member of the Election Committee.

     Section K.  The Election Committee of this Local shall:

  1. Conduct and supervise the Local election.
  2. Determine, in accordance with the Constitution, the eligibility of the nominees and of the members voting.
  3. Prepare and distribute sample and regular voting ballots.  The names of the candidates for office shall appear on the ballot in random order according to lot.  It shall also make provisions for absentee ballots, when appropriate.
  4. Prepare other election materials (e.g., election bulletins), with cash expenditures not to exceed fifty dollars.  Any further cash expenditures must be approved by a majority vote of the Coordinating Committee, with any Coordinating Committee members running for election recusing themselves from the vote.
  5. Count the ballots cast for each candidate and tabulate the number of persons who voted in the election, along with the number of blank and mutilated ballots.
  6. Keep all ballots under seal for not less than one (1) year following the election.
  7. The Chair of the Election Committee shall prepare a written report of the results of the election, including the total number of ballots cast, the number of void, blank, and mutilated ballots, and the number of votes cast for each candidate for the respective offices.  This report shall be posted in the COGS office, presented at the April general membership meeting, and distributed to all members via e-mail.  After the report has been made, the membership shall, after approving the report, discharge the Election Committee from its duties.

     Section L.  The election of Local Officers shall be by secret ballot.

     Section M.  Only members in good standing shall be allowed to vote in elections.

     Section N.  Any challenge to the conduct or results of the election must be filed with the Coordinating Committee within five (5) days after the official announcement of the election results.  The Coordinating Committee shall promptly investigate such challenge and make recommendation for its disposition to the next regularly scheduled meeting or special meeting.  The disputed office shall be filled in accordance with the decision of the membership.

     Section O. The terms of all officers shall be one (1) year starting May 1.  Upon expiration of the terms of the old officers, all books, records, monies, and all other properties of the Local shall be delivered to the newly elected officers when they assume office.

Article 27: Recall of Officers and Stewards

     Section A.  In keeping with the ideal of rank-and-file control of this Local, any member in good standing may initiate a petition for the recall of any Officer by the following procedure:

1.         The member initiating the petition must first receive official endorsement from not less than twenty-five per cent (25%) of members in good standing before submitting the petition to the Trustees through the Coordinating Committee.

2.         The Trustees shall then order the petition be sent to every affected member in good standing, who shall participate in an aye and nay vote regarding sustaining the recall.

3.         All action pertaining to the initiation of a petition for recall and all action regarding sustaining the recall shall be acted upon at a special meeting.

4.         Members shall return the officially sealed result to the Trustees within five (5) days of determining same.

5.         The Trustees shall then announce the results of the vote to the membership.

     Section B.  Recall of a Steward:

1.         Stewards may be recalled by a petition of fifty per cent (50%) of  members in good standing in their department.

2.         Petitions shall be handled as per paragraphs two (2) through five (5) above.

     Section C.    Any elected officer absent from three (3) consecutive meetings of the Coordinating Committee or his or her Sub-committee, and any elected Steward absent from three (3) consecutive meetings of his or her Organizing Group, is subject to removal by the Coordinating Committee, upon recommendation of the Co-Presidents.

Article 28: Vacancies in Office

     Section A.  Vacancies in office shall be filled by nominations and elections at the next regular meeting of the Local after the vacancy occurs and with at least fifteen (15) days written notice to the membership.  Such election shall be by secret ballot.

Section B.  The President shall appoint a temporary replacement to fill any vacant office, pending the election of a permanent replacement at the general membership meeting (see Section A). This temporary appointment shall be subject to the approval of the Coordinating Committee.

Article 29: General Membership and Special Meetings

     Section A.  General membership meetings of the Local Union shall be held monthly during the academic year.  The membership may vote to suspend any meeting as appropriate (e.g., December).  Due notice shall be given for each meeting.  A quorum shall be twenty (20) members in good standing.

Section B.  If needed, summer general membership meetings may be called as follows:

  1. At the last regular meeting of the academic year, the general membership may decide to hold one or more summer meetings.
  2. The Coordinating Committee may call a general membership meeting during the summer months with five (5) days notice.

     Section C.  Special meetings may be called by the Coordinating Committee of the Local or on petition by 5% of the membership for the transaction of any special or regular business.  The notice shall state the business to be transacted at the meeting.  Notice of special meetings shall be given to the membership at lest twenty-four (24) hours prior to the special meeting.

     Section D.  Special Meeting to Discuss Ratification of a Contract: In a special meeting for that purpose, the Negotiating Committee shall explain and make recommendations regarding a new contract, and the General Membership will decide by secret ballot whether or not to ratify the contract.  Balloting shall continue in the Union office for two (2) days following the special meeting.  At least fifty per cent (50%) of those voting must affirm the contract in order for it to be ratified.

Section E.  All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution.  Meetings shall be conducted in the following manner:

a)      Call to order

b)      Roll call of officers

c)      Approval of minutes

d)     Correspondence

e)      Financial report

f)       Reports and recommendations from Officers/Committee Chairs

g)      Report of Representative of National Union

h)      Unfinished business

i)        New business

j)        Good and welfare/announcements

k)      Adjournment

Article 30: Offenses

     Section A.  The Local shall have the right to discipline by suspension or by expulsion any member of the Local who may be found guilty, after a hearing as provided in Article thirty-one (31 “Trials and Appeals”), of violation of the Constitution and By-Laws, or the general good and welfare, of the Local, the Western Region Council, or the National Union.

Article 31: Trials and Appeals

     Section A.  If a member of the Local commits an offense against the Constitution and By-Laws, or the good and welfare of the Local, Regional Council or National Union, they shall be given an impartial trial by the Local.  The offense for which the member is charged shall be presented in writing to the Local by a member in good standing in the UE.  A Recording Secretary, who shall be appointed by the Trial Committee, shall give a copy of such charges to the accused member.

     Section B.  A Trial Committee of five (5) members shall be elected by the members present at the next regular membership meeting of the Local following the submission of the charges.  The Trial Committee shall record the testimony and make recommendations as to the disposition of the case to the next regular membership meeting of the Local, which shall vote on the recommendations.

     Section C.  The member preferring the charges and the accused shall have the right to appeal to the Regional Council, and then to the General Executive Board of the UE, and from that body to the ensuing National Convention.  The respective decisions of the Local, the Regional Council, and the General Executive Board shall be final until otherwise decided by the higher body.

     Section D.  If a member of the Local commits the offense of engaging in raiding or secession activities, the following procedure shall be followed notwithstanding any other provisions of the National Constitution, or the Regional Constitution, or this Local Constitution: They shall be given an impartial trial by their Local Union.  Such charges must be presented in writing by the member making the charges to the Local of which the accused is a member.  The member making the charges must be a UE member in good standing.  A copy of said charges is to be give to the accused by the Local Recording Secretary.  A decision on such charges shall be made by the Local not later than ten (10) days after receipt of the charges by the Local.  Either the member preferring the charges or the accused shall have the right to appeal to the Regional Council, which Regional Council shall have the power to elect from its body a committee to investigate the facts and hold hearings as deemed necessary.  A decision of the Regional Council or of the Regional Executive Board between meetings of the Council shall be rendered to appellant not later than seven (7) days from the receipt of the appeal by the Regional Council.  Appeals can further be taken to the UE General Executive Board and from that body to the ensuing National Convention.  The decision of any lower body shall be final until otherwise decided by a higher body.  If a Local does not comply with the provisions of this Section, the General Executive Board shall have the power to assume jurisdiction on such charges of raiding or secession pending before any such Local.

Article 32: Defense Fund

     Section A.  An amount from each month’s dues shall be placed to the credit of the Local’s Defense Fund.  This Fund shall be used by the Local for expenses associated with contract negotiations, arbitration, and other legal expenses.

Article 33: Amendments

     Section A.  Any member in good standing of the Local may, with the written endorsement of ten (10) members in good standing of the Local, submit to the Recording and Corresponding Officer proposed amendments to this Constitution.

     Section B.  The members submitting the amendment must state the Article and Section of the Constitution sought to be amended.

     Section C.  The Coordinating Committee shall report and give a recommendation on the proposed amendment at the next regular membership meeting occuring at least twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the proposed ammendment. At least seven (7) days prior to the general membership meeting, the Recording and Corresponding Officer shall send to the membership copies of the proposed amendment.  The proposed amendment shall become part of this Constitution if ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at the general membership meeting, provided such amendment does not conflict with the Constitution of the Regional Council or the National Union.

Proposed by the Constitution Committee

Margaret A. Loose, English

Doug Anderson, English

J.B. McCain, Urb&Reg Plann

Josh Timmers, History

Jason Duncan, History

Bill Thomas, History

With thanks to those who contributed to this document during the spring and summer of 1996:

Leslie Taylor, American Studies; Jonathan Kissam, History; Tom Allen, Physics; John Kramer, Music; Chris Gerteis, History; Facundo Montenegro, Comm. Studies; Charles Tien, Policital Science; Kevin Floyd, English; Brian Mcluen, Political Science; M. Dujon Johnson, Law; Rick Hartmann, Law; Dave McMahon, History; Elyse Myers, English; Paul Custer, History; Lara Trubowitz, English; Michael Clarke, English; Bob Hearst, History; Regan Checchio, Political Science; Elizabeth Dietz, English; Tracy Chang, Sociology; Michael Hau, History; Brad Helland, Civ&Env Eng; and the members of the Diversity Committee.

And to those who participated in the Constitutional Review Workshops of 1998:

Mary Crippen, Julie Schmid, Lars Peterson, (co-facilitators) and Doug Anderson, Susanna Ashton, Mike Augspurger, Laura Baker, Randy Childs, Tracy Chang, Jason Duncan, Mike Evces, Robert Hearst, Deb Herman, Leslie Taylor, Carl Rosen (UE District 11 President), and Bob Rudek (UE Local 1111).

Ratified by the Membership November 1996, most recently amended March 2010.