United Staff of Columbia College Bylaws

Article I – Name and Objective

 Section 1 – Name

The name of this organization shall be the United Staff of Columbia College (herewith known as US of CC), an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association.

Section 2 – Objective

The mission of US of CC is to support the vision and mission of Columbia College Chicago (see below), while creating a democratic member organization of staff, to advance education in Illinois and to promote the welfare of non-management college personnel. 

Note: The mission of Columbia College Columbia is an undergraduate and graduate college whose principal commitment is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications, and public information within a context of enlightened liberal education. Columbia’s intent is to educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times. Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect the economic, racial, cultural, and educational diversity of contemporary America. Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the City of Chicago.

Article II – Membership, Affiliation and Non-Discrimination

Section 1 – Membership

Membership shall be open to all full- and part-time employees employed by Columbia College Chicago.

Section 2 – Affiliation

This organization shall be affiliated with, and comply with, the Bylaws of the Illinois Education Association and Constitution and Bylaws of the National Education Association.  If there are any conflicts or inconsistencies between these bylaws and the bylaws or constitution of the state or national organization, the state or national documents shall govern.

Section 3 – Non-Discrimination

This organization shall not deny membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or economic status.

Article III – Governance

Section 1 – Executive Officers

The Executive Officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2 – Executive Committee [Board]

The Executive Committee Board shall consist of the Executive Officers plus the following standing committee chairs to the Executive Committee: Membership Committee Co-Chairs, Communications Committee Chair, Negotiations Committee Chair and Grievance Committee Co-Chairs as a voting members of the Executive Committee. 

Article IV – Executive Officers

Section 3 – Representative Council [Assembly]

The Representative Council [Assembly] shall consist of the Executive Committee and elected Association Representatives from each building or several Representatives from larger departments or multiple departments in larger buildings or sites. 

Section 4 – Recall

Any Executive Committee member, excluding Regional Council Representative(s), may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those members voting at a membership meeting when a majority of the membership is present.  Such recall election shall be conducted by the Election Committee upon receipt of a petition stating the specific grounds of the recall and containing the signatures of thirty (30) percent of the membership.  

Section 1 – Duties 

A.  President.  The President shall be the Chief Officer, with the power and the duty to enforce and interpret the Bylaws, carry out Association policies between Executive Committee and Representative Council meetings, sign contracts and agreements, represent the Association before the public either personally or through designees, appoint and remove members of all committees with the consent of the Executive Committee and Representative Council, serve as ex-officio member on all committees, cause a budget to be constructed and an annual audit to occur, and preside over meetings of the Executive Committee, Representative Council, and the membership.  Further, the President shall have the power and duty to perform all acts generally associated with the nature of the office and other such duties applicable to the office as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted herein which are not inconsistent with the Bylaws.

B. Vice-President. The Vice-President shall co-chair the Grievance Committee, have the powers and duties of the President in the President’s absence or inability to serve, shall succeed to the Presidency pursuant to the Bylaws, and shall otherwise have powers and duties as may be assigned to the President.

C. Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain the official files and shall assist the President with Association correspondence. The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of each meeting of the Executive Committee, Representative Council, and each meeting of the membership. The Secretary shall also be responsible for notifying members of regular and special meetings.

D. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of expenses and income in accordance to generally accepted bookkeeping principles, report such records at the Executive Committee, Representative Council, and membership meetings. The Treasurer is responsible for filing the proper annual reports with the U.S. Department of Labor. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the payment of bills and for transmitting dues to the IEA as per IEA policies. The Treasurer will work with the Membership Chair to maintain up-to-date records of membership and return membership rosters to IEA.  

E. Membership Chair. The Membership Chair shall maintain accurate and up-to-date records of membership (i.e., membership lists) and send new bargaining unit members appropriate information to the IEA. The Membership Chair will work with the Treasurer to return membership rosters to IEA with an accounting of members’ dues.

F. Negotiations Chair. The Negotiations Chair shall keep track of contract issues throughout the contract period and will gather information relevant to bargaining. The Negotiations Chair shall convene the Negotiations Committee and oversee the work of the committee in preparation for bargaining. The Negotiations Chair will codify notes taken during bargaining and schedule negotiation team meetings.

G. Communications Chair. The Communications Chair shall handle internal and external publicity and media communications for the association and is editor of the association newsletter.

H. Grievance Co-Chair. The Grievance Committee Co-Chair will investigate and expedite any potential grievances over contract violations, misinterpretations, or misapplications. The Vice President shall serve as Co-Chair. 

Section 2 – Terms

A.  Term.  The term of office for Executive Officers shall be 2 years commencing on September 1 and ending August 31.  Officers may be elected up to two consecutive terms.

B.  Transfer of Records.  Each officer shall transfer records to the Association within ten (10) days of leaving office.

Section 3 Vacancies

Vacancies occurring by reason of death, resignation, incapacity, or other disqualification shall be filled as follows: 

A.  President.  A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice President for the remainder of the unexpired term or hold an election if the remainder of the unexpired term is more than one year.

Note: Federal law require that locals must elect officers at least every three (3) years.

B.  Other Officers.  If the vacancy occurs in any other office, the President shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the unexpired term, with the consent by majority vote of the Executive Committee or Representative Council.

C.  President and Vice President. If a vacancy occurs in both the office of President and of Vice President, the Secretary or Treasurer (the one who has served the greatest time as a voting member of the Executive Committee) shall assume the President’s duties until an election is conducted by the Election Committee within sixty (60) days to complete the unexpired terms.

Article V – Regional Council Representative(s) and Alternate(s) 

Section 1 – Duties

US of CC Regional Council Representative(s) shall attend the regional council meeting, represent the Association, and report Council activities to the Executive Committee (and/or Representative Council) and membership as necessary.

An alternate shall perform the duties of the Regional Council Representative in his/her absence.

Section 2 – Election and Terms

The election of a Regional Council Representative and alternate shall be as prescribed by the US of CC bylaws.

Section 3 – Vacancies

Vacancies for Regional Council Representative(s) and alternate(s) must be filled in the manner of the original election as prescribed by the US of CC bylaws.

Article VI – Association Representative(s) (AR)

The Association Representative(s) shall be a member(s) of the Association selected to provide two-way communication between the Association and the members, distribute materials to members personally, and conduct informative meetings.  The ARs shall recruit volunteers for Association jobs and activities and generate support for Association positions and programs.  The Association shall provide training for ARs, keep the ARs informed of Association activities and positions, and provide incentives for attracting and retaining ARs.

Article VII – Executive Committee [Board]

Section 1 – Duties

The Executive Committee shall conduct and supervise the business of the organization [as directed by the Representative Council/Assembly], annually recommend a budget for adoption by the membership, undertake such expenditures as are necessary and reasonable for the operation of the organization, consent to the appointment of committees, plan and recommend programs to the membership, develop Bylaws, approve expenditures, and consent to the filling of vacancies.

Section 2 – Terms

The term of office for Executive Committee members, excluding officers and the Regional Council Representative(s), shall be 2 year(s) and shall commence on September 1st and end on August 31st.  Officers may be elected up to two consecutive terms.

Section 3 – Vacancies

If a vacancy occurs within the Executive Committee, excluding Executive Officers and Regional Council Representative(s), the President shall appoint a replacement for the unexpired term with the consent by majority vote of the Executive Committee (Representative Council).

Section 4 – Meetings

A.  Quorum.  A majority of the members of the Committee must be present to conduct business, and a majority vote of those present shall rule.

B.  Regular Meeting.  The Executive Committee shall meet four (4) times a year in October, February, and June (to coincide with Columbia College’s semesters) and once in August prior to the start of fall classes, and may meet as many additional times as necessary or reasonable to transact its business.

C.  Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the President, or shall be called upon the written request of a majority of members of the Executive Committee.  Except in cases of emergency, at least three (3) days’ notice shall be given to all Executive Committee members and business shall be limited to that contained in the notice.

Article VIII – Representative Council [Assembly]

Section 1 – Duties

The Representative Council shall annually approve [or recommend to the membership] a budget, establish [or recommend to the membership] the dues, approve expenditures, and may adopt programs on behalf of, or for recommendation to, the membership.

Section 2 – Terms

The term of office for Representative Council members shall be two (2) years and shall commence on September 1 and end on August 31 unless otherwise provided for in the bylaws.

Section 3 – Vacancies

If a vacancy occurs on the Representative Council,the President shall appoint a replacement for the unexpired term with the consent of the majority of the Representative Council. [Option – unless the unexpired term is for greater than one year in which case an election shall be held.]

Section 4 – Meetings

A.  Quorum.  A majority of the members of the Council must be present to conduct business, and a majority vote of those present shall rule.

B.  Regular Meeting.  The Representative Council shall meet one (1) time per semester during the school term, and may meet as many additional times as necessary or reasonable to transact its business.

C.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings may be called by the President, or shall be called upon the written request of a majority of members of the Representative Council.  Except in cases of emergency, at least three (3) days’ notice shall be given to all Representative Council members, and business shall be limited to that contained in the notice.

Article IX – Elections

Section 1 – Elections Committee

A.  Composition.  The President shall appoint an Elections Committee with the approval of the Executive Committee, with one person serving as the Chairperson, elected by the Elections Committee members.

B.  Duties.  Establish procedures subject to the approval of the Executive Committee for nomination of candidates, dissemination of notices concerning the election and conduct of the election, tabulation of the ballots which shall be consistent with procedures established by the IEA Elections Committee, and hearing initial election challenges.

C.  Vacancies.  Should a temporary or permanent vacancy occur on the Committee, whether because a member becomes a candidate for office or for any other reason, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment, i.e. appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee members.

Section 2 – Election Procedures

A.            Calendar.  The Elections Committee shall establish a local election calendar with nominations and election timelines.

B.            Conduct.  All elections shall be conducted by open nomination and secret ballot.

C.            Nominations.  Reasonable notice shall be given for nomination to all offices to be filled.  Notice shall include time, place, and method for submitting nominations.

D.            Write-In Provisions.  A write-in provision is required if the number of declared candidates is less than the number of positions available.

In cases of elections where the local officer will also serve as a delegate to the IEA and/or NEA Representative Assembly, a write-in provision is required.

E.              Eligibility.  All active dues-paying members must be afforded the opportunity to run for and/or vote in any election representing active members.  This does not include fair share or reserved members.

F.             Notice.  A fifteen (15) day notice of local elections may be given by posting or by other means.

G.             Consistency.  All election procedures shall be consistent with Regional, State, and Federal requirements.

H.             Use of Dues.  No dues may be used in support of a candidate for any Local, Regional, State, or National office.

I.            Offices Governed by this Article.  All Local Officers, Building Representatives (Association Reps.), Regional Council Representatives, Delegates to IEA Representative Assembly, Delegates to NEA Representative Assembly.

J.            Runoff Elections.  In the event that there is no candidate who has received a majority of the votes cast for a particular office, the Elections Committee shall immediately conduct a runoff election between the two candidates who had received the highest number of votes for that office.

Runoff elections shall be run in the same manner as the original election.

K.            Results of the Election.  The results of the election must be published in a timely manner which allows members to obtain the information without unusual effort.  Members are to be notified of election results via e-mail within one week of the election. The results of the election are to be posted on the US of CC website within one week. A newsletter containing election results is to be sent within two weeks of the election.

Section 3 – Election Challenges

Any member(s) desiring to challenge the conduct of any election shall file a written challenge according to the procedures as follows:

A.  Local Level – Initial challenges to all local elections governed by this Article shall be with the Local Elections Committee.  Such challenges must be made no later than five (5) business days of issuance of the election results.

B.  Region, State, and National Level – Consult the region, state, and national governing documents for additional challenge procedures and timelines, especially for offices which serve as delegates to the IEA and NEA Representative Assemblies.

Article X – Arbitration and Grievance Appeal

The Executive Committee shall decide whether or not a grievance shall be processed to final and binding arbitration.  Recommendations should be provided to the Executive Committee from the Grievance Committee.

Article XI – Committees

Section 1 – Appointment

Committees may be established on a standing and/or ad hoc basis by the Executive Committee.  The President shall appoint members to any committees and name the chairperson with the consent of the Executive Committee.

Section 2 – [Optional] Standing Committees

There shall be the following standing committees:  Negotiations, Grievance, Membership & Public Relations, and Legislative.

Section 3 –  Negotiations [Bargaining] Committee

The Negotiations Committee shall explore and prepare programs as necessary in all areas of employee welfare, contractual, and otherwise.  The committee shall solicit input from the membership as a whole.  The Bargaining Team shall be appointed by the President with consent of the Executive Committee.

Section 4 – Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee shall be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the contract.  It shall assist members in the application of the grievance procedure.  It will make recommendations whether to arbitrate grievances to the Executive Committee [or Representative Assembly].

Section 5 –  Public Relations & Membership Committee

The Public Relations & Membership Committee shall be responsible for planning and implementing the Public Relations activities of the local association, organize and conduct the annual membership drive,

and inform the potential membership of the policies, programs, and accomplishments of the local, state, and national Associations. The Executive Board Secretary shall serve as the standing chairperson of this committee.

Section 6 –  Legislative Committee

The Legislative Committee shall work with IEA Government Relations to help promote activities which lead to the passage of desirable state and federal legislation for schools. The Regional Council Representative shall serve as the standing chairperson for this committee.

Article Xll – Meeting of the Membership

A.  Regular meetings of the membership shall be held four (4) times a year, in October, February, and June (to coincide with Columbia College’s semesters), and once in August prior to the start of fall classes to plan an agenda for the year ahead.  A budget shall be adopted annually by the membership during the August meeting.

B.  Special meetings of the membership may be called by the President, a majority of the Executive Committee, or a petition by thirty (30) percent of the membership.  Except in case of emergency, at least  three (3) days’ notice shall be given.  The Secretary shall notify the membership as soon as possible,

Article XIll – Voting

Unless otherwise provided herein, the adoption of all business by the Executive Committee and the membership shall be by a majority of those voting.

Article XlV – Parliamentary Authority

All meetings of this Association shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

Article XV – Dues

Local dues shall be established by the Representative Council.  The IEA-NEA dues shall be transmitted to the IEA-NEA as per IEA-NEA policies.   The books and records of the organization shall be open to inspection by any member upon reasonable request.

Article XVl – Savings Clause

In the event a portion or portions of these Bylaws are found to be inconsistent with state or federal law, such portions to the extent that they violate the law shall be deemed deleted and of no force and effect.

Article XVIl – Amending Procedures

Proposed revisions of these Bylaws shall be submitted by the Executive Committee to the full membership at a regular or special meeting and a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present shall rule, provided that all members of the Association have been sent notice of the date and place of the meeting and the proposed revision(s) at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting.

Adopted ________________, 20 ____

Amended _______________, 20 ____