Constitution & Bylaws

NOTE:  Below are the current UNF-UFF Constitution and Bylaws. To view the proposed changes to these documents, click HERE.

Constitution

Article I Name
Article II Objectives
Article III Membership
Article IV Officers & Chapter Council
Article V Chapter Bylaws
Article VI Referenda, Recall, & Due Process
Article VII Amendment

 Article I:  Name

This organization shall be known as the University of North Florida (UNF) Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF).

Article II:  Objectives

Section 1:  To bring faculty and professional employees of the University into a relationship of mutual assistance and cooperation in order to obtain and maintain for them the rights and privileges to which they are entitled.

Section 2:  To promote a high degree of democratization at the University, which will enable members of the university community to better serve the people of the State of Florida.

Section 3:  To achieve and safeguard due process and academic freedom.

Section 4:  To combat all forms of illegal discrimination.

Article III:  Membership

Section 1:  All faculty and professional employees holding regular, visiting, provisional, research, affiliate, or joint appointments in the position classifications listed in Appendix A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Regents and the United Faculty of Florida shall be eligible for active membership except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and Bylaws and the UFF state Constitution and Bylaws. The right to vote and to hold elective office shall be limited to active members except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2:  Nonvoting membership shall be open to retired teachers and others eligible for membership who withdraw from the profession and who wish to maintain affiliation. Upon approval of the Chapter Council, non-voting membership shall be open to any person who is interested in advancing the cause of education but is not eligible for active membership.

Section 3:  No illegal discrimination shall ever be shown toward members or applicants for membership.

Section 4:  No union brother or sister should ever bear witness against another union member, to the extent not required by law, unless it is in the context of cleaning up improper practices in the union.

Section 5: No person may be barred from membership, except for those (A) convicted of a felony, (B) who fail to pay dues, (C) who misappropriate, embezzle or improperly or illegally use union funds, (D) who have violated Federal or state labor laws, (E) who have accepted union campaign contributions from administrators (representatives of the employer), (F) who have engaged in collusion with the employer, to the extent not required by law, to the detriment of their union colleagues and (G) who have engaged in other forms of improper conduct as specified in the Chapter Bylaws.

Article IV:  Officers & Chapter Council

Section 1:  The membership shall annually elect by secret ballot a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, plus the appropriate number of Senators and Alternate Senators as determined by the United Faculty of Florida state Bylaws. All of these officers must be full-time dues paying employees who will be employed during the school year they will be in office.

Section 2:  The Chapter Council shall be composed of the elected officers and Senators, the appointed grievance representative, the appointed negotiation representative (if any) as well as the appointed chairs of the standing committees.

Section 3:  Vacancies in the office of an elected officer or Senator shall be filled within thirty days of the occurrence by the President with the consent of a majority of the Chapter Council.

Article V:  Chapter Bylaws

Most of the day-to-day functions of the chapter shall be conducted according to the Chapter Bylaws.

Article VI:  Referenda, Recall, & Due Process

Proposed actions, including amendments to the Constitution and recall of elected officers, shall be submitted to a referendum vote by order of the Chapter Council or by request of at least twenty percent of the members. The Chapter Council shall ensure that ample opportunity is given for pro and con arguments to be communicated to the membership and shall ensure that the membership has the opportunity to vote by a fair and, if requested, secret ballot.

Article VII:  Amendment

This constitution may be amended as follows: A proposed amendment shall be distributed to all members at least thirty days prior to a vote. A Constitutional amendment shall be adopted by two-thirds vote.

Approved at a Meeting of the Membership on November 13, 2000.

 

Bylaws

Article I Rules of Order
Article II Committees
Article III Duties of Officers & Chapter Council
Article IV Duties of Standing Committees
Article V Meetings
Article VI Improper Conduct & Due Process
Article VII Severability
Article VIII Amendment

Article I:  Rules of Order

Section 1:  Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern in all cases not covered by the Chapter Constitution or Bylaws.

Article II:  Committees

Section 1:  Standing Committees shall be:

    1. Grievance Committee
    2. Membership Committee
    3. Communications Committee
    4. Nominations & Elections Committee

Section 2:  The President will appoint the chairpersons of each standing committee. Each of our colleges and the library should be represented on the Chapter Council. Given the group that was elected, the President should make his/her chair appointments in such a way that each unit is represented. If it is not possible to obtain the desired diversity of representation in a particular year, members from the neglected unit should be sought for committee membership in that year, and efforts should be made the next year to obtain Council representation from the unit in question.

Section 3:  The chair shall appoint the members of each committee.

Section 4:  The President may create special committees when needed.

Article III:  Duties of Officers & Chapter Council

Section 1:  The President shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and of the Chapter Council. He or she shall be a member of all committees, shall sign all necessary documents and papers, and represent the organization. The President shall make an annual report to the membership. He or she will normally make the recommendations for course releases for the chapter. Normally, the President will appoint a Grievance Representative who will receive a one course release.

Section 2:  The Vice-President shall represent the President when the President cannot be present and shall exercise those duties prescribed by the President or the Chapter Council. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice-President shall serve as President for the period remaining in the existing term.

Section 3:  The Secretary shall maintain records of the Chapter Constitution, Bylaws and minutes of all the meetings of the Chapter Council and the membership, and consultations with the administration. In the event the Vice-President and the President positions are vacant, the Secretary should promptly convene a meeting of the membership in order to fill the vacant posts.

Section 4:  The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Chapter, shall exercise supervision over the receipt and disbursement of all monies, properties, securities, and other evidence of financial worth of this organization. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget and make regular financial reports to the Chapter Council.

Section 5:  The Senators shall represent the Chapter at the statewide UFF Senate meetings and the annual Representative Assembly of the Florida Education Association (FEA). A lesser number of representatives must be selected for the Representative Assembly of the National Education Association (NEA). The President shall assign an Alternate Senator to represent the Chapter at one of these meetings when a Senator is unable to attend. Senators and Alternate Senators may exercise other duties as prescribed by the Chapter Council.

Section 6:  The Chapter Council shall adopt an annual budget and administer the policies of the Chapter as set by the membership. It shall have the power to act for the good of the Chapter in emergency situations where policy cannot be set by the membership. The Chapter shall regularly notify the membership of its actions.

Section 7:  The Chapter Council shall have the power to employ persons on full or part-time basis.

Section 8:  Non-attendance at up to three consecutive meetings of the Chapter Council by members of the Council may result in their replacement. Any officer or committee chair that fails to respond to e-mail messages for a period of one month may result in their replacement, unless the person has notified the Council of extended travel plans.

Article IV:  Duties of Standing Committees

Section 1:  All committees shall be under the direction of the President and they shall periodically issue reports to the President and the Chapter Council.

Section 2:  The Grievance Committee shall supervise and keep records of all grievance proceedings. The members of this committee must all have been properly trained in how to process grievances. The committee shall normally consist of the Grievance Chair, the Grievance Representative (appointed by the President), and several experienced past grievance representatives. This body should meet regularly to discuss the pending cases, solicit the member’s ideas, and decide when necessary if a settlement is in the best interest of the grievant and the Chapter. All grievance settlements must be approved by a majority vote of this body before they can be accepted. Great care must be taken to avoid giving the impression a grievant is being “sold out,” meaning substantive discussions have been held behind closed doors, excluding the grievant or other concerned parties. If evidence of improper contact is established, either the grievance committee, a member of the grievance committee, or the grievant may submit a motion for sanction to the Chapter Council. The grievance representative in question shall cease processing grievances during the period in which the allegation is investigated (see Article VI).

Section 3:  The Membership Committee shall endeavor to increase the Chapter membership by membership activities. The Chair should appoint members from each of the colleges and the library, so the Chapter has ongoing organizing efforts in each unit.

Section 4:  The Communications Committee shall publish a regular newsletter, with editions being put out at a minimum of twice per school year, and such other publications as directed by the President and/or the Chapter Council. The President shall serve as the Editor, unless he or she delegates this role to someone else. Every effort should be made to represent the various views of the members.

Section 5: The Nomination and Election Committee shall solicit nominations from the entire membership and give every dues paying member an equal chance to cast an anonymous vote for the elected positions. There should be an open nominations period of at least two weeks during the Spring term. After the nominations are closed, there should be a campaign period of at least one week before the voting process takes place. All of the candidates are entitled to be informed of the names of all the nominees at the end of the nomination period. Each nominee is also entitled to a copy of the membership list before the campaign period begins. The members who will be deemed qualified to vote must have submitted a signed membership form to the central office and appear on the salary deduction list, or have paid dues in cash prior to the campaign period. The election should normally take place in the month of March. The nominations and elections committee should check to make sure the election is completed in time for the President-elect to make the course release decision(s) for the Summer and have properly elected representatives for the Spring Senate meeting. The new slate of officers will officially take over at the end of the Spring term. It is a conflict of interest for any member of the nominations and elections committee to run for office in the upcoming year. If one or more of the members wants to run for office, the person or persons in question should resign from this committee before the nomination period has closed.

Article V:  Meetings

Section 1:  All meetings of the Chapter, the Chapter Council, and committees are open to the membership, except when personnel matters and/or grievances are being discussed.

Section 2:  There should be a meeting of the membership during each Fall and Spring term, and the Chapter Council should meet roughly every two months during the regular school year. The time and place of the meetings shall be determined by the President. Normally people should be given at least one week notice before a meeting. An agenda should be distributed with the meeting call. Membership meetings can make Chapter policy on any issue whatsoever, and their decisions are binding on the Chapter Council and the Chapter as a whole. Notice of all major changes and new programs should be sent at least two weeks before the meeting where they will be discussed and voted upon.

Section 3:  A special meeting of the membership shall be called by the President within two weeks of him/her receiving of a petition from at least 10% of the members. A special meeting of the Chapter Council shall be called by the President within two weeks of him/her receiving a request for such from a majority of the Chapter Council.

Article VI:  Improper Conduct & Due Process

Section 1:  Any member or officer may be sanctioned for improper conduct by a two-thirds vote of the Chapter Council. A motion for sanction can be put forth by any member of the Chapter Council or a Committee in a Chapter Council meeting, or any member in a Membership Meeting. When such a motion is put forth, the President should table the motion indefinitely and appoint an investigation committee as described in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The charge(s) shall be put in writing and signed by the member making the allegation. The charge should include specifics, such as the names, dates and behaviors in question. The investigation committee will interview the appropriate witnesses and collect the relevant evidence. The investigation committee will then issue a finding of fact to the Chapter Council. A trial may be conducted as described in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The range of possible sanctions includes reprimands, censure, fines and expulsion.

Section 2:  The expectations for members’ conduct in a meeting are covered in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Improper conduct also includes, (A) violating the Chapter Constitution or Bylaws, (B) misappropriation, embezzlement or improper or illegal use of union funds, (C) violating Federal and state labor laws, (D) accepting union election campaign funds from administrators (representatives of the employer), and (E) colluding with the employer to the detriment of one’s union brothers and sisters to the extent not required by law, (F) obtaining membership through fraud or misrepresentation, (G) deliberately interfering with any official of our union in the discharge of such official’s lawful responsibilities, (H) the solicitation or acceptance of a bribe of any gift of more than nominal value from the employer, member, group of members, or employee of the union, and.(I) conviction of a crime, the nature of which is such as to bring the union as an organization into disrepute.

Section 3:  A decision of the Chapter Council to impose a sanction can be appealed in a meeting of the membership. The decision of the Chapter Council will be in force until it is overturned. The member in question, or a member representative designated by him/her, will be permitted to present his/her side. A member of the Chapter Council appointed by the President will present the majority view of the Council. The procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised will once again be applied. The members may overturn the sanction by a two-thirds vote of those present.

Section 4:  Should the President be accused of improper conduct, the Vice President should administer the procedures outlined above. Should both the President and the Vice President be accused, the Secretary should administer the procedures, and so on down the chain of command described elsewhere in these Bylaws. If the Chapter is unable or unwilling to follow these procedures, a complaint may be filed with the state UFF President.

Article VII:  Severability

In the event that any provision of these Bylaws is found to be invalid or unenforceable by final decision of a tribunal of competent jurisdiction, or is rendered invalid by reason of subsequent enacted legislation of or change in the state UFF Bylaws, then that provision shall be of no force, but the remainder of the Bylaws shall continue in full force and effect.

Article VIII:  Amendment

Section 1:  The proposed amendment shall be distributed to the membership at least two weeks prior to a vote. A Bylaw amendment shall be adopted by a majority vote.

Section 2:  A member who wishes to propose an amendment to these Bylaws should give a copy of the text to a member of the Chapter Council for distribution to the membership and placement on the meeting agenda.

 

 

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