Bylaws

PSAC Local 901 Bylaws. Ratified unanimously at the 30 September 2010 Special General Member’s Meeting.

Table of Contents

1.  Authority

2.  Definitions

3.  Objectives

4.  Organizational Structure

5.  Officers

6.  Elections

7.  Committees

8.  Decision making procedures

9.  Discipline

10.  Finances

11.  Dues and Assessments

12.  Collective Bargaining

13.  Strike Votes

14.  Local Defence and Strike Fund

15.  Amendments

1.  Authority

1.1  PSAC 901, as a Directly Chartered Local, is an autonomous body within the Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC).

1.2 These Bylaws shall conform in all respects with the Constitution of the PSAC.

1.3 The activities of the Local shall be in conformity with the Constitution and Bylaws of PSAC and the Local.

2.  Definitions of Key Terms

2.1  The “Local” shall refer to PSAC 901: A Directly Chartered Local of the Public Service Alliance Canada, Local 901.

2.2  The “University” shall refer to Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

2.3  A “Teaching Assistant” (or TA) shall be any person who

(1) is currently employed, has been employed within the current or two

previous academic terms, or will be employed in the next term by the University to fulfill duties as a Teaching Assistant, and

(2) is currently registered as a student in the School of Graduate Studies at the

University.

2.4 A “Teaching Fellow” (or TF) shall be any person who

(1) is currently employed, has been employed within the current or two

previous academic terms, or will be employed in the next term by the University to fulfill duties as a Teaching Fellow, and

(2) is currently registered as a student in the School of Graduate Studies at the

University.

2.5 A TA or TF shall

(1) be part of the bargaining unit that the Local represents, and

(2) full members who have signed union cards have the right to attend and speak at (Annual) General Meetings and the right to vote as required by relevant legislation.

2.6  “PSAC” shall refer to the larger entity of the Public Service Alliance Canada, of which the Local is a Directly Chartered Local.

2.7  A “Member” shall

(1)  be any TA who has joined the Local as defined in the conditions of the

Collective Agreement;

(2)  be encouraged to sign a PSAC membership card to increase our

representation at PSAC conventions;

(3)  be any person currently serving as an Officer of the Local or sitting on any

committee of the Local;

(4)  be considered in “good standing” so long as s/he has paid the required dues

and has not been declared “not in good standing” as a disciplinary measure;

(5)  have the right to attend, speak, move and second motions, and vote at

(Annual) General meetings, and the right to attend and speak at Stewards’ Council meetings.

2.8 A “Department” shall

(1) be an administrative unit as defined by the University;

(2) refer to the Department of the course to which a TA is assigned.

3.  Objectives

3.1  To protect, maintain, and advance the interests of the members of the Local. 3.2  To regulate the relations between the employer and the employees by means of collective bargaining and joint consultation.

3.3  To improve the quality of education at Queen’s University by means of active participation in the determination of teaching methods, training curriculum, and course content.

3.4  To develop and maintain professional standards of skill and maintain fair rates, terms and conditions of employment for its members in recognition of their skill.

3.5  To ensure that the members have access to, and knowledge of, opportunities within its jurisdiction.

3.6  To work for the improvement of the wages, working conditions, hours of work, job security and other conditions affecting all employees.

3.7  To ensure that in meeting the above objective, other forms of funding from the university are not adversely affected.

3.8  To eliminate harassment and discrimination within the workplace.

3.9  To promote equity and social justice within the Local, PSAC, Queen’s University, and the broader Kingston community.

3.10  To act as a lobbying agent on behalf of its members to all appropriate outside agencies which are responsible for, or which have an interest in, post-secondary education issues (such as funding, access, and quality) and labour issues in the province of Ontario.

3.11  To do all things necessary to the attainment of the above objectives.

4.  Organizational Structure

The governing bodies of the Local shall consist of the following:

  1. Annual General Meetings
  2. Special General Meetings
  3. Stewards’ Council
  4. Executive Committee

4.1  Rules of Order

(1)  all General Meetings of the Local shall be conducted according to Bourinot’s Rules of Order;

(2)  all General Meetings shall be chaired by the Moderator, or by the Deputy Moderator in the Moderator’s absence.

4.2   Annual General Meetings

(1)  frequency: An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in April of each year;

(2)  notice: Written notice of the date, time, and place of the AGM shall be given to all members, including notices on Local bulletin boards, not later than seven (7) days previous to the meeting. Placing an advertisement in the SGPS e-newsletter or The Journal shall be sufficient to satisfy the requirement that notice be given to all members;

(3)  the agenda of an AGM, including substantive motions, shall be distributed by the Secretary to all Officers of the Local. Notice of an AGM shall include the proposed agenda for the meeting;

(4)  attendance: General meetings shall be closed to all but members in good standing and staff of the Local, except that the members in good standing in attendance may vote by a majority of votes cast to admit an individual non-member;

(5)  quorum: Twenty (20) members in good standing shall constitute quorum at an AGM for the transaction of business. In the event quorum is not achieved within 15 minutes of the scheduled meeting time, the Moderator shall reschedule the AGM for seven (7) days from the original date;

(6)  voting: Every member in good standing in attendance is entitled to vote on any motion which arises at a General Meeting. Except where otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, voting shall be by show of hands, and a majority of votes cast shall be sufficient to determine a decision;

(7)  motions passed at an Annual General Meeting shall be binding on all other bodies of the Local;

(8)  the Treasurer shall present a draft budget for approval at the Annual General

Meeting;

(9)  the Officers of the Local shall normally be elected at the Annual General Meeting;

(10)  minutes: Minutes shall be kept by the Secretary and submitted at the subsequent AGM for approval. The unapproved minutes shall be kept at the Local office, and posted on Local bulletin boards following the AGM.

4.3  Special General Meetings

(1)  calling and Petitioning Special General Meetings: Special General Meetings (SGM) may be called at any time by majority vote of the Executive Committee, by the Bargaining Team, by a previous General Meeting, or by the Executive Committee upon receipt of a written petition signed by not fewer than one hundred (100) members;

(2)  such a petition must contain the name, department of work, home telephone number, and signature of each signatory, as well as a statement of the purpose for which the members are petitioning the meeting;

(3)  no more than twenty percent (20%) of the signatories may be from any one department of work. Upon receipt of a properly constituted petition, the Executive Committee shall call an SGM to take place within fifteen (15) working days;

(4)  notice: A minimum of forty-eight (48) hours notice of the SGM and the subject(s) to be discussed. Notice shall be posted on Local bulletin boards, through Stewards, and other means as available;

(5)  no business shall be transacted at the special meeting other than that for which the meeting is called and notice given;

(6)  the same provisions for attendance, quorum, and voting that hold for AGMs apply to SGMs.

4.4  Stewards’ Council

(1)  the Stewards’ Council shall be responsible for ensuring that the administration of the university is complying with the collective agreements. The Stewards’ Council shall also ensure that there is ongoing coordination within the departments/units, as well as open communication with members;

(2)  Stewards’ Council meetings shall normally be held monthly from September through April;

(3)  additional Stewards’ Council meetings may be called by the President, a previous Stewards’ Council meeting, or a petition signed by 10 Stewards;

(4)  all Executive Officers, Chairs of Local committees, Chief Stewards, Stewards, Moderator and Deputy Moderator shall be expected to attend and participate fully (including voting rights) at all Stewards’ Council meetings;

(5)  Stewards’ Council meetings shall normally be chaired by the Moderator;

(6)  the Deputy Moderator shall be responsible for taking minutes of Stewards’ Council meetings. In the absence of the Moderator, the Deputy Moderator shall Chair the Stewards’ Council meeting and another member of Council shall take minutes;

(7)  quorum for Stewards’ Council meetings shall be 10 voting members;

(8)  any Local member may attend and speak (but not vote) at Stewards’ Council meetings;

(9)  representatives from other organizations may attend and speak at Stewards’ Council meetings if they have been invited by the Stewards or the Executive, but shall not have voting rights by virtue of such an invitation;

(10)  non-members may be excluded from a portion of a Stewards’ Council meeting by a motion at that meeting;

(11)  motions passed at Stewards’ Council meetings shall be binding on all bodies of the Local, except Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings which may vote to amend or overturn Stewards’ Council motions;

(12)  the agenda of Stewards’ Council meetings, including substantive motions, must be distributed to all Officers of the Local, Chairs of Local Committees, and invited representatives of other organizations by the Secretary, at least one week before the meeting;

(13)  written reports of Executive Officers, Committee Chairs (and the Moderator, if applicable) must be distributed by the Moderator to all Officers of the Local, Chairs of Local Committees, and invited representatives at least one week before the Stewards’ Council meeting;

(14)  committee members for all Standing Committees shall be approved at Stewards’ Council meetings in accordance with the definitions of each Standing Committee;

(15) Stewards’ meetings shall follow the Rules of Order for General Meetings.

4.5  Executive Committee

4.5.1  Duties:

(1)  the Executive Committee shall take such actions and render such decisions as may be necessary fully to carry out the instructions of the membership of the Local on a day-to-day basis;

(2)  the Executive Committee shall enforce the Constitution of the Union and the Bylaws of the Local and the provisions of all agreements between the Employer and the employees, and shall coordinate Union-Local affairs;

(3)  the Executive Committee shall have the authority to set the dues charged to the members, upon approval by a majority of the votes cast in a General Meeting;

(4)  the Executive Committee shall consult with the Moderator regarding the agenda for each General Meeting and Stewards’ Council meeting of the Local.

4.5.2  Membership

The Executive Committee of the Local shall consist of the following:

(1)  The President

(2)  The Vice President Community Relations

(3)  The Secretary

(4)  The Treasurer

(5)  The Chief Steward

(6)  The Equity Officer

4.5.3  Eligibility

Any member in good standing of the Local at the time of election may be elected to any position on the Executive Committee, with the exception of the Equity Officer as defined in the description below.

4.5.4  Term of Office

The term of office for all members of the Executive Committee is May 1 of the year in which their election takes place to April 30 of the following year. Where such election does not take place before April 30, all members of the Executive Committee shall continue in office until such time as an election is held.

4.5.5  Vacancies

Where a position on the Executive Committee is vacant, an election shall be held at the general meeting subsequent to the position’s being vacated.

4.5.6  Quorum

Four voting members of the Executive Committee shall constitute quorum for the transaction of business.

4.5.7  Frequency

Normally, the Executive Committee shall meet, at a minimum, once per month during the months of June, July and December, and once every two weeks at all other times, or as often as the membership, Stewards’ Council, or the Executive Committee deems necessary.

4.5.7 Meetings

(1)  Executive meetings shall be chaired by the President, or, in her/his absence, the Executive Committee members present shall select one of their number to chair that meeting;

(2)  The  President shall be responsible for preparing an agenda;

(3)  Members of the Executive shall be expected to attend and participate fully

(including voting rights) at all General Meetings, Stewards’ Council meetings, and

Executive Committee meetings of the Local.

4.5.8  Authority

(1)  Any Executive member may receive and sign grievances;

(2)  The Executive shall have the authority to select individuals for acting positions under conditions specified in the article on elections and appointments;

(3)  The Executive shall report to General Meetings and Stewards’ Council meetings.

5.  Officers

5.1  Executive Officers

5.1.1  President

The President shall:

(1)  be the chief executive officer of and primary spokesperson for the Local.;

(2)  normally chair all meetings of the Executive Committee, and prepare an agenda;

(3)  be the chief administrator of the Local, responsible, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, for the operation of the Local, including supervision of staff;

(4)  sign all authorizations, contracts, and other official documents of the Local;

(5)  in conjunction with the Treasurer, be responsible for accounting for all funds of the Local;

(6)  be responsible for the calling of all Local Executive Committee, Stewards’ Council, and General Meetings;

(7)  be an ex-officio non-voting member of all councils and committees of the Local, except where specified as a full member;

(8)  report to the membership at each general membership meeting regarding the actions of the Executive Committee;

(10)  attend PSAC’s national convention as a delegate of the Local, or appoint a designate to attend in this capacity;

(11)  have a working knowledge of the Collective Agreement, PSAC’s Constitution

and Rules of Order, and these Bylaws;

(12)  not hold any other office within the Local.

5.1.2  Vice President Community Relations

The Community Relations Officer shall:

(1)  represent, or ensure the Local’s representation, within the PSAC and the District Labour Council;

(2)  be responsible for developing and maintaining contacts with organizations within the University community, including other unions at Queen’s and the SGPS;

(3)  be responsible for developing and maintaining contacts and liaising with other organizations that the Executive Committee deems necessary or valuable;

(4)  be responsible for developing and maintaining contacts  with media organizations both on and off campus in coordination with the President;

(5)  be charged with developing and maintaining a database of almumni/ae, donors, corporate sponsors, allies, etc. for use in Local campaigns;

(6)  attend conventions of organizations the Local joins or has membership in as a delegate of the Local, or appoint a designate to attend in this capacity;

(7)  in coordination with the Secretary, stay informed of legislative and regulatory developments at the provincial and national levels. S/he shall, in cooperation with the Secretary, coordinate the Local’s response to such developments in consultation with the Executive;

(8)  perform the duties of the President in the absence of that officer, and, in the case of the resignation or incapacitation of the President, shall perform the duties of the President until such vacancy is filled.

5.1.3  Secretary

The Secretary shall:

(1)  be chiefly responsible for records, information, and communications;

(2)  ensure that accurate records of the membership of the Local are maintained, including applications for membership, membership lists, existing policies, and all other records which the Executive Committee or membership deem to be necessary;

(3)  ensure that proper records of all correspondence of the Local are maintained;

(4)  ensure that proper notice is provided to the membership for all meetings and referenda, including strike and ratification votes;

(5)  prepare a written report to be distributed prior to each General Meeting and Stewards’ Council meeting of the Local;

(6)  be responsible for keeping minutes of all General Meetings, Stewards’ Council, and Executive Committee meetings, and for presenting these minutes for adoption at the subsequent meeting;

(7)  ensure that agendas and minutes of General Meetings and Stewards’ Council and Executive meetings, and any related reports, are available to the membership;

(8)  be charged with keeping informed of legislative and regulatory developments at the provincial and national levels. S/he, in cooperation with the VP Community Relations, coordinate the Local’s response to such developments in consultation with the governing bodies of the Local;

(9)  be responsible for performing or arranging specific research tasks required by the Executive and/or the membership.

5.1.4  Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

(1)  be the chief financial officer of the Local;

(2)  ensure that the financial records of the Local are properly maintained, and shall ensure proper accounting for all receipts and disbursements;

(3)  ensure that a continuous record of all dues payments and any other assessments is kept, and shall ensure that all dues and assessments due to the Union are paid promptly;

(4)  ensure that all revenues are deposited in an appropriate account at a credit union or other chartered, government-insured financial institution as the Executive may direct in the name of the Local;

(5)  ensure that all bills authorized for payment by the Executive Committee and/or membership are paid;

(6)  report quarterly on the finances of the Local to the Executive Committee, and at least once per fiscal year to the membership at the Annual General Meeting;.

(7)  upon approval of the draft documents by the Executive Committee, the Treasurer shall present a financial statement for the current fiscal year and a budget for the next fiscal year for adoption by the membership at the Annual General Meeting; .

(8)  upon request by either the President or the Executive Committee, submit within seven (7) days all record books and vouchers; all receipts, cheques, and bank statements issued and received; and a detailed written report of all expenditures and disbursements of the funds of the Local;

(9)  ensure that the financial affairs of the Local are conducted in conformity with accepted accounting practices;

(10)  under direction of the Executive, ensure that the finances of the Local are audited by an independent auditor once per year.

5.1.5  Chief Steward

The Chief Steward shall:

(1)  be the Grievance Officer for the Local;

(2)  ensure that each department is represented by a steward, and where this is not possible shall act as steward for that department;

(3)  ensure the election of stewards from each department or program;

(4)  coordinate  the training and activities of the elected stewards in a timely manner.and ensure that each steward understands their duties and responsibilities within one month of their initial appointment;

(5)  maintain an up-to-date list of stewards and compile and forward to the Secretary a list indicating every steward’s name, department, faculty, and contact information;

(6)  have a good working knowledge of the Collective Agreement;

(7)  work with the stewards to monitor compliance with the Collective Agreement and ensure that the Collective Agreement is being implemented correctly;

(8)  oversee and coordinate, in conjunction with the President, the Local’s orientation and membership campaign;

(9)  receive, sign, administer, monitor, and record grievances within the Local;

(10)  ensure that grievances are handled appropriately and be available to support members through each stage of the grievance process as required;

(11)  sit on the Grievance Committee and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

5.1.6  Equity Officer

The Equity Officer shall:

(1)  identify as a member of one of the five equity-seeking groups recognized by Ontario and Queen’s University: women, racialized persons, people with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, or LGBTTQ persons;

(2)  address equity issues and issues of harassment within the Local, the University, and related external bodies;

(3)  have some familiarity with equity-related legislation and regulations at the federal, provincial, and university levels;

(4)  have chief responsibility for developing and implementing policies related to equity and harassment within the Local;

(5)  have primary responsibility for identifying equity-related issues within the Collective Agreement and the workplace, and for bringing such issues to the Bargaining Team for negotiations with the employer;

(6)  consult with international TAs and TFs and ensure that issues specifically or disproportionately affecting international TAs and TFs are addressed appropriately;

(7)  in consultation with the Executive, ensure that all officers and staff of the Local receive equity-related and anti-harassment training;

(8)  in consultation with the appropriate university officials, help determine the content of equity and harassment training for TAs and TFs;

(9)  work with the Chief Steward to compile statistics based on grievance cases to monitor for equity-related concerns;

(10)  represent the Local on the Council of Employment Equity  (CEE) at Queen’s University, and work with the CEE, the university Equity Office and appropriate university officials to track and address equity-related and harassment concerns appropriately.

5.2  Non-Executive Officers

Non-Executive officers shall meet the minimum requirement of being a Member in good standing of the Local.

5.2.1  Moderator

The Moderator shall:

(1)  chair General Meetings and Stewards’ Council meetings of the Local;

(2)  be elected at the Annual General Meeting to serve a term of Office

from May 1 to April 30;

(3)  have a working knowledge of PSAC’s Rules of Order and these Bylaws;

(4)  vote at General Meetings and Stewards’ Council meetings only in the event of a tie and in votes held by secret ballot (but shall in no case vote twice on a single question);

(5)  be the arbiter of all questions of procedure, subject to appeal by members present at the meeting (see PSAC’s Rules of Order);

(6)  provide written rulings on matters of procedure within ten working days, if

requested by the Executive, subject to ratification at the next Stewards’ Council meeting, and submit such rulings to the Secretary to be distributed as a report to all members of Stewards’ Council;

(7)  ensure the accuracy of the minutes of all General Meetings and Stewards’ Council meetings, and sign such minutes before they are distributed to

stewards;

(8)  be responsible for determining if quorum exists at all General Meetings;

(9)  not normally hold any other office within the Local;

(10)  sit on the Bylaws Committee.

5.2.2 Chief Returning Officer

The Chief Returning Officer shall:

(1)  be responsible for ensuring all elections procedures are properly conducted;

(2)  be selected during the AGM to serve a term of office from May 1 to April 30;

(3)  be responsible for authorizing all official notices, announcements, and publicity related to Local elections, the announcement of nominees for any office normally elected at the Annual General Meeting, and the announcement of official election results;

(4)  receive all nominations from whatever source and ensure the eligibility of

nominees for all positions;

(5)  schedule and chair any “All Candidates” meetings that may be held;

(6)  announce the names of all nominees at the close of nominations, including the names of nominees judged to be ineligible and the rationale for their disqualification;

(7)  be responsible for the ballot counting procedure;

(8)  appoint and supervise Returning Officers;

(9)  be responsible for issuing ballot boxes and ballots to Returning Officers and

ensuring the proper mechanics of elections;

(10)  report to the Annual General Meeting or Stewards’ Council meeting on the

validity/invalidity and the official results of any election process;

(11)  report to PSAC as required by the PSAC Constitution.

5.2.3  Occupational Health and Safety Officer

The Occupational Health and Safety Officer shall:

(1)  attend university Occupational Health and Safety Committee meetings and conduct inspections with said Committee;

(2)  provide monthly reports at an executive meeting;

(3)  be directly supervised by, and report to, the Chief Steward;

(4)  provide a written report to the Annual General Meeting of the business of the university Occupational Health and Safety Committee;

(5)  be elected at the Annual General Meeting to serve a term of office from May 1 to April 30.

5.2.3  Stewards

Stewards shall:

(1)  act as representatives of the Local to the TAs and TFs in their Departments, with one steward per Department, although special arrangements can be made for very small or very large departments as approved by the Stewards’ Council;

(2)  within the Local, represent the members in their Departments;

(3)  sign and organize members in their Departments;

(4)  be expected to attend all Stewards’ Council meetings and General Meetings;

(5)  have a working knowledge of the Collective Agreement and advise the members of their Departments with regard to matters involving the Collective Agreement;

(6)  where appropriate, assist in the processes of grievances initiated by members in their Departments;

(7)  where necessary, communicate grievances to the Chief Steward;

(8)  be elected by the members within their Departments according to the rules specified under the Article on elections under the supervision of the Chief Steward.

6.  ELECTIONS

6.1 Nominations

Nominations (except nominations for the Office of Chief Returning Officer and stewards):

(1) shall be received by the Chief Returning Officer;

(2) may be in response to a Call for Nominations for Executive Officers, arranged for

by the Chief Returning Officer and published at least once in March and once per

month thereafter until all Executive Positions are filled;

(3) shall be submitted either in writing (to the Local office at any time except the day

of the (Annual) General Meeting or verbally (when the Chief Returning Officer

reopens nominations immediately before permitting the candidates to speak prior

to a vote, declaring a candidate Acclaimed, or declaring a position Vacant);

(4) shall be acceptable provided that the nominee is a Member in good standing of the Local, meets the minimum requirements for the position.

6.2 Nominations for Chief Returning Officer

Nominations for the Office of Chief Returning Officer shall be generated by the

Executive, who shall nominate at least one individual at the first Stewards’ Council meeting in the Winter Term and whenever the Office of Chief Returning Officer is Vacant.

6.3 Lack of Candidates

In the event that the Chief Returning Officer receives no acceptable nominations for a given position, the Chief Returning Officer shall declare that position Vacant (see

5.6).

6.4 Acclamation

In the event that the Chief Returning Officer receives only one acceptable

nomination for a given position (including each individual position on a committee,

but excluding the Offices of Chief Returning Officer) at the time a vote would be held (or after receiving a single, late nomination and waiting the times indicated), the Chief Returning Officer shall declare that candidate Acclaimed.

6.5 Elections

6.5.1 To the Offices of President, Vice President Community Relations, Secretary, Treasurer, Equity Officer, Moderator, and Chief Steward shall:

(1) be conducted by secret ballot in a manner to be determined by the Chief

Returning Officer, such that each Member eligible to vote may vote for one

candidate but no proxy voting shall be allowed;

(2) be held at a General Meeting (normally the Annual General Meeting);

(3) be resolved, normally, in a single round such that the candidate receiving the

greatest proportion of unspoiled ballots cast shall be declared the winner by the

Chief Returning Officer (plurality vote );

(4) be resolved, in the event of a tie, by a second secret ballot of the Members

present, in which each eligible Member shall vote for only one of the tied

candidates, and the candidate receiving the greatest proportion of unspoiled

ballots cast shall be declared the winner by the Chief Returning Officer (plurality

vote);

(5) be resolved, in the event of a second tie, by a secret ballot of the Executive, in

which each Executive Officer shall vote for only one of the tied candidates, and

the candidate receiving the greatest proportion of unspoiled ballots cast shall be

declared the winner by the Chief Returning Officer (plurality vote).

6.5.2 To the Office of Chief Returning Officer Shall:

(1) be conducted by a secret ballot in a manner to be determined by the Current

President, who shall conduct the vote, such that each person eligible to vote at a

Stewards’ Council meeting may vote for one candidate, but no proxy voting shall be

allowed;

(2) be held at a Stewards’ Council meeting (normally in the Fall term);

(3) include ratification of the candidate in the event that the Executive Committee nominates a single candidate;

(4) be repeated at the subsequent Stewards’ Council meeting with the Executive providing at

least one new candidate, in the event that ratification is denied by the Stewards;

(5) be resolved such that the candidate with the most votes shall be declared the

winner by the President (plurality vote);

(6) be resolved in the event of a tie by a second secret ballot in which each voter shall select only one of the tied candidates, and the candidate receiving the greatest proportion of unspoiled ballots cast shall be declared the winner by the President (plurality vote);

(7) be resolved, in the event of a second tie, by a secret ballot of the Executive Committee, in which each Executive Officer shall vote for only one of the tied candidates, and the candidate receiving the greatest proportion of unspoiled ballots cast shall be declared the winner by the President ( plurality vote).

6.5.3 To Committees with maximum numbers of members (other than the

Bargaining Committee, and Disciplinary Appeals committees) and of Representatives from the Local to other bodies shall:

(1) be conducted by the Chief Returning Officer, such that each person eligible to

vote at a Stewards’ Council meeting may participate, but no proxy voting shall be

allowed;

(2) be held at the Stewards’ Council meeting immediately before the end of the member’s term of service, or at each Stewards’ Council meeting while the position is Vacant;

(3) be resolved, if possible, in a single round to be conducted by show of hands in which each voter may vote “for” (or not vote “for”) each candidate individually;

(4) be resolved while the candidates are out of the room;

(5) be resolved such that the Chief Returning Officer shall rank order the candidates

in terms of number of votes “for” and declare as a winner the candidate(s) with

the most votes “for” until all of the positions have been filled (modified plurality

vote);

(6) be resolved, in the event of a tie on the first round, by a second round to be

conducted by secret ballot in which each voter may vote for only one of the tied

candidates, and the candidate(s) with the most votes are declared winner(s) by the

Chief Returning Officer (modified plurality vote);

(7) be resolved, in the event of a tie on the second round, by a secret ballot of the

Executive in which each Executive Officer may vote for only one of the tied

candidates (modified plurality vote).

6.5.4 The Bargaining Committee shall:

(1) be conducted by the Chief Returning Officer, such that each Member in good

standing of the Local may participate, but no proxy voting shall be allowed;

(2) be held at a General Meeting;

(3) be resolved, if possible, in a single round to be conducted by secret ballot in

which each Member of the Local may vote for one candidate;

(4) be resolved by the Chief Returning Officer, who shall declare as winners first the

four candidates with the most votes such that different disciplinary divisions (i.e., Natural Sciences, Humanities, Applied Sciences, and Social Sciences) are represented, if possible (modified plurality vote) or, if there is no candidate from one of the divisions, then the candidate with the next highest vote count;

(5) be resolved by the Chief Returning Officer, who shall declare as winners the

number of candidates as there are remaining positions, where the candidate(s)

with the most votes are declared the winner(s) until all of the positions have been

filled (modified plurality vote);

(6) be resolved, in the event of a tie on the first round, by a second round to be

conducted as was the first round, except that each member may vote for only one

of the tied candidates, where the candidate(s) with the most votes are declared the

winner(s) until all of the positions have been filled ( modified plurality vote);

(7) be resolved, in the event of a tie on the second round by a secret ballot of the

Executive Committee in which each Executive Officer may vote for only one candidate,

where the candidate(s) with the most votes are declared the winner(s) until all of

the positions have been filled (modified plurality vote).

6.5.5 To Committees without maximum numbers of members shall be by expression

of interest to the Chair. The Chair shall maintain a list of Members of the Committee.

6.5.6 Stewards shall be conducted by the TAs/TFs who work in each Department in a

manner to be determined by the TAs/TFs assigned to individual Departments such that

there is one Steward for every department.

6.6 Vacant Positions

6.6.1 Declaration

A position shall be declared Vacant by the Chief Returning Officer (or the Moderator,

for the Office of Chief Returning Officer) when:

(1) the term of Office or term of service has expired and no replacement has been

found, or

(2) when an Officer or committee member resigns (all resignations must be submitted in writing to the Secretary, who shall be the chair of the Nominations committee),

or

(3) when an Officer is removed from Office, or

(4) on the declaration of abandonment by the Executive, or

(5) in the case of the President Elect, at the end of the Annual General Meeting if

there is no President Elect.

6.6.2 President

In the case where the Office of President is Vacant, the President Elect shall

immediately assume the Office of President. When the Offices of President and

President Elect are simultaneously Vacant, the Office of Interim President shall fall to the following Officers (from first to last):

(1) Vice President Community Relations;

(2) Secretary;

(3) Equity Officer.

6.6.3 Executive Officer other than that of President

In the case where an Executive Office other than that of President is Vacant:

(1) the duties of that Office shall fall to the remainder of the Executive, to be

distributed however they see fit;

(2) Notwithstanding 6.6.3(1), the signing authority of the President, Treasurer, Vice President Community Relations, or Secretary shall be transferred to the Equity Officer if one of these Offices is Vacant.

6.6.4 Filling a Vacancy in a Position Normally Elected at the Annual General

Meeting

When the Chief Returning Officer receives an acceptable nomination for any Office

normally elected at the Annual General Meeting after the Office has been declared

Vacant:

(1) the Chief Returning Officer shall immediately arrange for publication of a Call for

Nominations that also includes the name of the candidate and wait at least one

week after that Call is published before declaring the candidate Acclaimed;

(2) if the Chief Returning Officer receives one or more additional nominations for the

Office of President after issuing a Call for Nominations under 6.6.4(1), then the

Chief Returning Officer shall request that the President call a Special General Meeting

for the purposes of holding an election;

(3) if the Chief Returning Officer receives one or more additional nominations for

some Office that is normally elected at the Annual General Meeting other than

the Office of President after issuing a Call for Nominations under 6.6.4(1), then

the Chief Returning Officer shall request that the President call a Stewards’ Council

meeting for the purposes of holding an election.

6.6.5 Filling a Vacancy in a Position Not Normally Elected at the Annual General Meeting

When the Chief Returning Officer receives an acceptable nomination for any position

not subject to 6.6.4 (e.g. committee members and representatives to other bodies)

after that position has been declared Vacant:

(1) the Chief Returning Officer shall wait no less than three days before declaring the

candidate Acclaimed;

(2) if the Chief Returning Officer receives one or more additional nominations before

declaring a candidate Acclaimed, then s/he shall forward the names of all

candidates to the Executive Committee, who shall elect an acting committee member or

representative, subject to ratification by the Stewards’ Council;

(3) acting committee members and representatives shall automatically be nominated

for election at the next Stewards’ meeting.

6.7 Campaigning

(1) Media campaigning of any kind shall not be allowed, except as described under

6.7(2), and violations shall expose the candidate to disciplinary procedures under these Bylaws;

(2) Notwithstanding 6.7(1), each candidate shall be allowed to distribute a one page

statement (subject to the limitations stipulated by the Chief Return Officer), and

this statement shall be distributed to the membership by the Executive Committee in the week prior to the General Meeting at which the election is to be held;

(3) An “All Candidates Meeting” may be scheduled and chaired by the Chief

Returning Officer in the week prior to the General Meeting at which the election

is to be held;

(4) After nominations have been closed and before the “Question Period” (see

6.7(5)), each candidate for Office shall be permitted up to five minutes to address the Membership;

(5) A “Question Period” of not more than twenty minutes shall immediately precede the vote for President, in which Members may ask questions of any candidate for the Office of President, the Office of Vice President Community Relations, or the Office of Chief Steward.

6.8  Recall

6.8.1 The Executive Committee shall call a Special General Meeting within fifteen (15) working days to review the performance of any officer of the Local  upon receipt of a valid petition requesting a review which contains the signatures of no fewer than 150 members in good standing.

6.8.2  Such a petition must contain the name, department of work, home telephone number, and signature of each signatory.

6.8.3  No more than 20% of the signatories may be from any one department of work.

6.8.4  Upon voting two-thirds (2/3) in favour, the Executive Committee shall call a Special General Meeting to review the performance of the named Officer of the Local. The Executive Committee may at the same time, in addition, suspend a member of the Executive Committee from her or his duties until the Special General Meeting.

6.8.5  At any meeting in which her or his performance is under review, the affected Officer shall at all times have the right to speak on her or his behalf.

6.8.6  A majority of two-thirds (2/3) of votes cast in favour of removal is required to remove the Officer.

6.8.7  When an Officer is removed in accordance with this Article, the article related to position vacancy shall apply.

7.  COMMITTEES

7.1.1  Standing Committees of the Local may be established by the membership through changes to the By-laws at General Meetings.

7.1.2  In addition to any committees established by these Bylaws, the Executive, Stewards’ Council, and/or membership may strike such committees as are considered appropriate for the needs and purposes of the Local. At the time any committee is struck, the body striking the committee shall determine the mandate, the requirements for membership, and the duration of activity of the committee. Unless otherwise set out at the time a committee is struck, the committee shall make its report and recommendations to the body which strikes it.

7.2.1  Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee shall:

(1)  be composed of: the Chief Steward, who shall Chair the Committee; the President (or President’s delegate); the Equity Officer; and up to four other members of the Local, preferably stewards from various faculties and disciplinary backgrounds;

(2)  be responsible for ensuring that the Employer complies with the Collective Agreement;

(3)  advise and assist the Chief Steward in matters involving grievances and grievance policy;

(4)  make recommendations to the Executive regarding arbitration of grievances and/or continued carriage of grievances;

(5)  meet at least once per year, in order to review the Local’s bylaws, holding further meetings as deemed necessary by the Chair;

(6)  discuss grievance-related matters in camera. Where appropriate, the Grievance Committee may request the participation of others, such as appropriate Local staff, legal counsel; witnesses, etc;

(7)  hold in strict confidence all information pertaining to any complaint or grievance.

7.2.2  Community Relations Committee

The Community Relations Committee shall:

(1)  consist of the Vice-President Community Relations, acting as Chair; the Equity Officer (or delegate); and at least one additional Member in good standing of the Local;

(2)  assist the Vice-President Community Relations in the performance of her or his duties;

(3)  work in cooperation with the Equity Committee;

(4)  report to Stewards’ Council and General Meetings through the Chair.

7.2.3  Equity Committee

The Equity Committee shall:

(1)  consist of the Equity Officer, acting as Chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing of the Local, preferably drawn from Caucuses established under these By-laws;

(2)  assist the Equity Officer in the performance of her or his duties, including, but not limited to: educating the Membership with regards to equity and human rights issues; within the Local, representing and advocating for marginalized populations;

(3)  form alliances with other groups within the university community and in the city of Kingston in co-operation with the Community Relations Committee;

(4)  report to Stewards’ Council and General Meetings through the Chair.

7.2.4  International Committee

The International Committee shall:

(1)  consist of at least three Members in good standing of the Local who are international TAs and/or TFs, who shall select one of their number as Chair;

(2)  identify issues specific to international TAs and TFs;

(3)  within the Local, represent and advocate for the needs of international TAs and TFs;

(4)  report to Stewards’ Council and General Meetings through the Chair.

7.2.5  Budget Committee

The Budget Committee shall:

(1)  consist of the Treasurer, who shall act as Chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing of the Local;

(2)  assist the Treasurer in preparing a draft budget for the Local in time for the Annual General Meeting;

(3)  collect data related to the financial goals and spending patterns of the Local;

(4)  report to Stewards’ Council and General Meetings through the Chair.

7.2.6  Bargaining Committee

The Bargaining committee shall:

(1)  be struck not later than six (6) calendar months prior to the expiration of any Collective Agreement;

(2)  consist of the President; Chief Steward; Equity Officer; 4  members in good standing of the Local, preferably representing Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, and Social Sciences, elected at a General Meeting, but who may be acting members nominated by the Executive Committee and ratified by the Stewards’ Council; and representatives (non-voting) from PSAC;

(3)  be chaired by a PSAC representative (nonvoting);

(4)  meet at the call of any of its members;

(5)  select from among themselves three members of the Committee to serve on the “Negotiating Team” as defined by the PSAC Constitution;

(6)  ensure that information related to bargaining (including but not limited to

analyzing grievances, monitoring Collective Agreements and contracts of similar

organizations, monitoring the goals and finances of the University in general and

the School of Graduate Studies in particular, and commissioning membership surveys) is collected;

(7)  ensure that appropriate summaries of the information collected is distributed to the membership in a timely manner;

(8)  prioritize goals for negotiations;

(9)  prepare draft negotiation proposals;

(10)  report at Stewards’ Council and General Meetings through the President;

(11)  follow procedures established in these By-laws for ratification of Collective Agreements;

(12)  be dissolved automatically when a Collective Agreement is ratified by the

Membership at a General Meeting.

7.2.7  By-laws Committee

The By-laws Committee shall:

(1)  consist of the Moderator, who shall act as Chair; the President or designate; the Secretary;  and at least one additional member in good standing of the Local selected by the

Stewards’ Council;

(2)  meet and review the Bylaws at least once per year;

(3)  submit proposed changes to the By-laws to the Executive Committee, who will submit approved changes to General Meetings for ratification.

7.3.1  Caucuses

Members of populations discriminated against on grounds enumerated in the Ontario Human Rights Code may choose to form exclusionary caucuses as defined within the Code. Two self-identified members of an enumerated population choosing to form a Caucus may do so by notifying the Executive Committee. Caucuses can work toward new policy or by-laws, or reform of existing policy or by-laws, within the Local. Caucuses shall represent and advocate for its members within the Local, and form alliances with other groups within the university community and in the city of Kingston. Once a Caucus has been formed, any motion brought to the Executive Committee for any purpose (including By-law changes for General Meetings) by that Caucus shall be considered moved and seconded.

8.  Decision Making Procedures

8.1.1  General Meetings

(1)  every member in good standing in attendance is entitled to vote on any issue which arises at a general meeting;

(2)  except where otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, voting shall be by show of hands, and a majority of votes cast shall be sufficient to determine a decision.

8.1.2  all members present at General Meetings shall:

(1) work towards consensus whenever possible;

(2) obey PSAC’s Rules of Order (except where the Rules contradict these Bylaws, in

which case these Bylaws take precedence) in good faith while attempting to

achieve consensus;

(3) abide by any Ruling by the Moderator (or person chairing the meeting), subject to Appeal (see PSAC’s Rules of Order);

8.2.1  Stewards’ Council

(1)  every member of Stewards’ Council in attendance is entitled to vote on any issue which arises at a general meeting;

(2)  except where otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, voting shall be by show of hands, and a majority of votes cast shall be sufficient to determine a decision.

8.2.2  all members present at Stewards’ Council shall:

(1)  work towards consensus whenever possible;

(2)  obey PSAC’s Rules of Order (except where the Rules contradict these Bylaws, in

which case these Bylaws take precedence) in good faith while attempting to achieve consensus;

(3)  abide by any Ruling by the Moderator (or person chairing the meeting), subject to Appeal (see PSAC’s Rules of Order).

8.3.1  Executive Committee

The Executive shall:

(1)  work toward consensus whenever possible;

(2)  except where otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, voting shall be by show of hands, and a majority of votes cast shall be sufficient to determine a decision.

8.4.1  Other Committees

All committees shall:

(1)  work toward consensus whenever possible;

(2)  except where otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, voting shall be by show of hands, and a majority of votes cast shall be sufficient to determine a decision.

8.5.1  Right of Minority to Report

Where an issue has been decided by a vote, the minority shall have the right to include the opposing viewpoint with the committee’s Report.

8.6.1  Proxy Voting

No proxy voting shall be allowed.

9.  Discipline For Infractions that Arise at General Meetings or Stewards’ Council Meetings

9.1  The Moderator shall:

(1)  be responsible for discipline during General Meetings and Stewards’ Council meetings;

(2)  have the authority to issue verbal reprimands for disruptive behaviour;

(3)  have the authority to expel a member from the meeting for disruptive behaviour if the behaviour has continued after a verbal reprimand.

9.2  Discipline Of Members For Other Infractions

(1)  grounds for discipline are enumerated in the PSAC Constitution in the Section on Discipline;

(2)  any Member in good standing may submit a complaint to the Executive Committee. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Committee shall invite the Moderator to join the Executive Committee for a disciplinary hearing, at which the Moderator shall serve as Chair. Such motions must be distributed to all members of the Committee at least one week before the meeting and the Moderator must inform the Member named in the motion of the complaint at least one week prior to the meeting. The Committee shall request a written response to the complaint from the accused prior to the hearing, and the accused shall be invited to speak in her/his defence at the hearing;

(3)  sanctions may only be imposed if the Committee votes by a majority to convict. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, verbal reprimand, written reprimand, fines, removal from Office, suspension of the status of “good standing” in the Local, and recommendation from the Local for expulsion from PSAC;

(4)  the Moderator shall notify the accused of the outcome of the motion as soon as possible; (5)  the accused shall have the right to appeal the outcome of a

disciplinary hearing, or the sanctions imposed, or both, at any time up to two weeks after receiving such notification. The accused may notify the Moderator of her/his wish to appeal either verbally or in writing;

(6)  in the event that the accused appeals the Committee’s decision, the Moderator shall bring a motion to overturn the conviction and/or sanction to the next Stewards’ Council meeting. In the event that the last scheduled Council meeting for the term has already been held, then the Moderator shall call a special Council meeting to consider the appeal;

(7)  the Stewards’ Council has the authority to decide on the separate issues of whether sanctions should be imposed and what sanctions (if any) should be imposed;

(8)  within the authority of these by-laws, the decisions of Stewards’ Council shall be final and binding, except where they conflict with provisions in these by-laws for removal from office;

(9)  all disciplinary proceedings shall be held in camera and shall be confidential, unless the accused submits a written waiver of this right to the Moderator.

10.  Finances

10.1  The Executive Committee shall be responsible for administering the Local’s funds in the best interests of the Membership according to the Bylaws of the Local.

10.2  There shall be four (4) authorized signing officers: President, Vice President Community Relations, Treasurer, Secretary.

10.3  All cheques drawn on Local funds must be signed by two signing officers.

10.4  The signatures of both the President and Treasurer shall be required to authorize

any loan agreement on behalf of the Local. Any such loan agreement must be

approved by the Executive Committee.

10.5  The Local may administer loans and support programs to its Members, subject

to regulations to be determined by the Stewards Council.

11.  Dues and Assessments

11.1  Union Dues:

(1) Each member of the Local shall pay dues of 1.5% to cover support and operating expenses by PSAC and Local 901.

(2) The rate of union dues may only be changed upon recommendation by the Executive Committee and approval by the membership in properly constituted General Meetings.

11.2  Special Assessments:

(1)  Each member shall pay, in addition to dues, any special assessment as determined by the Local for the Local Defence and Strike Fund or from time to time when special circumstances warrant;

(2)  Where the Executive believes a special assessment is required, it shall give its reasons to, and obtain approval from, a General Meeting;

(3)  The monies obtained from such assessment shall be used only for the purpose(s) of the assessment, except that any surplus shall be allocated to the Local Defence and Strike Fund;

(4)  Notice in writing shall be given to each member in good standing of such a meeting not later than five days in advance of such a meeting.

12.  Collective Bargaining

The  Bargaining Committee shall:

12.1  be formed six (6) months before the expiration of the current Collective Agreement.

12.2  be chaired by the assigned PSAC negotiator (nonvoting).

12.3  consist of:

(1)  four members in good standing of the Local (voting; who ideally would include

representatives from the Natural Sciences, Humanities, Applied

Sciences, and Social Sciences if possible); who shall normally be elected at a

General Meeting, but who may be acting members elected by the Executive Committee then ratified by the Stewards’ Council;

(2)  the President (ex-officio, voting);

(3)  the Chief Steward (ex-officio, voting); and

(4)  the Equity Officer (ex-officio, voting).

12.4  select from among themselves three members of the Local to serve on the

“Negotiating Team,” as defined by the PSAC Constitution; the Negotiating Team will also make recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding application for conciliation and mediation, the timing of strike votes, and the nature of strike action;

(5) prioritize goals for negotiations;

(6) prepare draft negotiation proposals;

(7) report at General Meetings;

(8) be dissolved automatically when a Collective Agreement is ratified by the

Membership at a General Meeting.

13.  Strike Votes

13.1  Where the Executive Committee believes strike action to be necessary, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  A Special General Meeting shall be called and notice shall be sent to every member in good standing advising her/him of the date, time and place of the meeting, along with a summary and explanation for the recommendation to strike.

(2) The notice shall be given to every member at least three days before the date of the General Meeting.

(3) The General Meeting shall deal only with the strike issue and no other business shall be conducted.

(4) A majority of the votes cast by secret ballot shall be required to decide the issue in favour of a strike mandate.

(5) Three scrutineers shall be appointed by the Executive Committee for the purpose of counting the ballots.

(6) The decision shall be conveyed to the membership within one day of the ballots being counted.

(7) Where a decision to strike has been decided in the manner herein prescribed, and so ordered, every member shall endeavor to support the strike in a sincere and conscientious manner.

(8) Every member shall comply with the strike policy of the local.

(9) Every member shall comply with the directions and/or instructions issued

by the executive during the period of the strike.

Violations shall be dealt with in the manner prescribed in these By-laws regarding “Discipline”.

Strike Committee

13.2 The Strike Committee shall:

(1) be established immediately following a vote to strike;

(2) be chaired by the President, or designate;

(3) consist of at least 2 other Members in good standing of the local selected by the

Executive Committee in addition to the chair.

(4) report at Stewards’ Council meetings through the President;

(5) be dissolved automatically at the end of any strike.

(6) The local shall strive to elicit feedback form the membership as a whole.

14.  Local Defence Fund

14.1 PSAC 901 shall establish and maintain a Local Defense Fund to be held and maintained in an account separate from the general funds of the Local.

14.2 Interest from the Fund shall remain in the fund to add to the principal.

14.3 The Local Defense Fund shall be used only in the following circumstances:

(1) Upon an affirmative strike vote by the membership,

(2) in the event of a strike or lockout

(3) In the event of the need for emergency funds by the Local (i.e. an Employer lockout),

(4) In the event funds are required in order to fulfill our legal duty to represent a member in relation to any grievance or arbitration.

(5) In the event a majority of the Executive Committee and Stewards’ Council vote to lend up to 15% of the Fund to another striking Local at Queen’s, to be repaid within twelve (12) months.

14.4 The Executive Committee shall thereby be authorized to withdraw and spend funds from the Fund.

14.5 The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the disbursement of the Fund, and shall maintain separate and detailed accounting of the Fund.

14.6 Strike pay and procedures shall be in accordance with the PSAC Constitution.

14.7 Deposits to the Local Defence Fund shall be in the form of a special levy of 0.5% of members’ earnings. When the Fund reaches $250,000, contributions to the Fund shall cease. For the purpose of calculating the amount to be deposited in the Local Defence Fund, the balance in the Local Defence Fund shall be understood to mean the total of all cash, assets, and investments in the Local Defence Fund on the day the Local dues receipt is received.

14.8 Expenditures from the Local Defence Fund shall be in accordance with the Local Strike Policy and shall only be made as follows.

(1) Beginning six (6) months prior to the date of termination of a Collective Agreement, the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Bargaining Committee, shall be authorized to spend up to $10,000 from the Local Defence Fund to prepare for a possible strike.

(2) At any time the Executive Committee may authorize the payment of expenses directly related to any grievance or arbitration to an amount not to exceed $15,000. In the event that additional funds are required in order to fulfill our legal duty to represent a member, the Executive Committee shall bring a motion to Stewards’ Council requesting additional funds to an amount not to exceed $50,000. In the event that additional funds are still required in order to fulfill our legal duty to represent a member, the Executive Committee shall call a Special General Meeting in order to request additional funds.

15.  Amendments to the Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended by the membership as follows:

(1) Any ten members in good standing may propose an amendment to these bylaws, providing it is submitted in writing to the Executive and duly signed by each proposing member.

(2) The proposed amendment shall be sent to every member in good standing at least seven (7) days before the General Meeting at which it will be considered.

(3) The proposed amendment shall be dealt with at the next General Meeting, and a majority of the votes cast shall be required for the amendment to pass. Voting shall be in the manner prescribed in article on General Meetings of these bylaws.

(4) All amendments to these bylaws must be in conformity with the PSAC Constitution.