PJSTA Constitution & By-Laws
(As amended, September 1, 2015)
Table of Contents
Page 1 Article I. Name
Article II. Purpose
Article III. Membership
Page 1-2 Article IV. Officers
Page 2 Article V. Executive Board
Article VI. Representative Council
Page 2-3 Article VII. Elections
Page 4 Article VIII. Meetings
Article IX. Affiliation
Article X. Retired Teachers
Article XI. Amendments
Article XI. Protection of Rights of Members
Page 5 Article I. Meetings
Article II. Quorum
Article III. Vacancies
Page 6 Article IV. Robert’s Rule of Order
Article V. Amendments
Article VI. Contract Ratification
Article VII. P.J.S.T.A. Portal and Website Editors
Article VIII. Dues
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this association shall be the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
Section 1. To work for the advancement of education and the improvement of educational opportunities for all.
Section 2. To strengthen the teaching profession and to secure and maintain appropriate and just salaries and general working conditions that are basic to the dignity of the teaching profession.
Section 3. To speak as the single voice of our members before the Board of Education, Administration, legal authorities, and residents of this community.
Section 4. To hold property and funds and to employ a staff or staff services for the attainment of these purposes and the promotion of the aims, interests, and professional needs of the members of the Association.
Section 5. To promote the participation of its members in the operational decisions affecting their employment.
Section 6. To promote the welfare and well-being of its members.
Section 7. To promote mutual assistance and cooperation with other organizations with which it is associated.
Section 8. To expose and fight all forms of racism and discrimination.
Section 9. To promote the unity and strength of its members.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership in the Association shall be open to all professional, non-supervisory personnel of the Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District. Membership may be extended to non-professional or supervisory groups and individuals by a two-thirds concurrence of the Representative Council.
Section 2. Membership shall be continuous until a member leaves the employ of the Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District, fails to pay dues, or is expelled.
Section 3. Retired membership shall be open to all retired members of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association.
Section 4. In cases of questions arising concerning entitlement, the Executive Board shall make the determination.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of this Association shall be: a President, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Third Vice-President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.
Section 2. The President shall call and preside over meetings of the Executive Board and Representative Council, as well as meetings of the General Membership. He/She shall appoint the chairpersons and all members of all standing committees and special committees, including the Negotiations Committee, Election Committee, Budget Committee, Audit Committee, Grievance Committee, Public Relations Committee, Membership Committee and Political Action Committee with the approval of the Executive Board. The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees and shall be the chief executive of the Association. He/She shall be a delegate to NYSUT and AFT. The President or his/her designee shall keep accurate membership records. He/She shall represent the Association before the public, personally or through delegates, and shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office, as the chief executive officer. He/She shall be one of the responsible financial officers of the organization and shall be authorized to co-sign financial instruments and make regular and usual disbursements of funds. He/She shall certify to the Secretary Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers that the annual audit/internal financial review was presented to the Executive Board, as the organization’s Governing Body, and to the entire membership annually.
Section 3. The First, Second, and Third Vice-Presidents shall perform those functions assigned to them at the organization meeting of the Executive Board and shall assist the President in the performance of his/her responsibilities wherever possible and appropriate. In the event that the President is unavailable to chair a meeting of the Executive Board or Representative Council, then the First Vice-President shall preside. If the First Vice-President is unavailable, an officer shall be appointed to the chair by majority of members present.
Section 4. The Secretary shall assist the President with Association Correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, and maintain files of the same. The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the General Membership, the Executive Board, and the Representative Council; shall maintain official files indefinitely, and shall assist the President in distributing minutes.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Association and disburse them upon the authorization of the Executive Board. He/She shall collect membership dues. He/She shall forward all per capita dues and current membership lists to NYSUT and its national affiliates in order to keep this Association in good standing at all times. He/She shall keep an accurate record and account of all receipts and disbursements of the Association. He/She shall report on the financial condition of the Association at meetings of the Executive Board and the Representative Council. He/She shall make any appropriate financial reports to government agencies concerning the finances of the Association. He/She shall be covered by fidelity insurance, the expense of which shall be the responsibility of the Association. He/She shall assist the President in the drafting of a budget each year. He/She shall reimburse local officials as mandated by the expense reimbursement policy. He/She shall be one of the responsible financial officers of the organization and be authorized to co-sign financial instruments and make regular and usual disbursements of funds. He/She shall arrange for an independent audit/internal financial review of the finances of the organization annually and make same available to the Executive Board and membership. He/She shall perform duties of the office and reports as required by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, the Internal Revenue Service and the guidelines developed by NYSUT, AFT and NEA.
ARTICLE V. EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers of the Association and the Senior Building Representative of each school building.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall be responsible for the management of the Association, approve all expenditures, carry out policies established by the Representative Council, report its transactions and those of the Representative Council to the members, and suggest policies for consideration by the Representative Council.
ARTICLE VI. REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL
Section 1. The Representative Council shall consist of: the Executive Board and one representative for each fifteen members, or major fraction thereof, from each school building and one representative from the Retirement Chapter of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association.
Section 2. The policy making body of the Association shall be the Representative Council. It shall determine those policies that shall guide the operations of the Executive Board. It shall approve the budget, set the dues for the Association that are above the dues required by parent organizations, act upon reports of committees, approve resolutions and
other policy statements, and be the final judge of the qualifications and elections of officers and building representatives. Powers not delegated to the Executive Board, the officers, or other groups in the Association shall be vested in the Representative Council.
Section 3. All honorariums for officers and representatives of the P.J.S.T.A. shall be voted on by the Representative Council before election to those positions takes place.
ARTICLE VII. ELECTIONS
Any member in good standing is eligible to run for office.
(a)The election of the officers for a term of two years shall be by general vote of the Membership during the month of April in each odd-numbered year. Officers shall be elected by a simple majority of those voting. Members shall vote by ballot in accordance with the PJSTA Voting Election Guidelines and Procedures drawn up by the Executive Board and ratified by the Representative Council. The effective date of installation shall be June 1 of the election year.
(b)The Secretary shall store and maintain a copy of the voting results, as accepted by the Representative Council, as well as the ballots of these elections for a minimum of five years.
Section 2. In each school in the Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District, members shall elect one Senior Building Representative in accordance with procedures drawn up by the Executive Board. Elections shall be held in April each year, and newly elected Senior Building Representative shall take office effective June 1.
Section 3. In each school in the Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District, members shall elect Building Representatives to the Representative Council for a term of one year. Elections shall be held in April each year in accordance with procedures drawn up by the Executive Board, and newly elected representatives shall take office effective June 1.
Section 4. Each member shall cast his/her vote in the building in which that member starts work on the morning of the election. Any member wishing to vote in a building other than the one in which he or she starts work on the morning of the election, must make a written appeal to the Executive Board prior to the Board’s February meeting. The Executive Board’s decision regarding this appeal will be final. The building in which a member votes is the same building in which that member will be counted for purposes of representation.
Section 5. If there are three or more candidates running for the same position of Officer of the Association or Senior Building Representative, a simple majority of those voting is necessary for election. In the event that no one candidate has a simple majority, another election will take place between the two candidates receiving the most votes in the first election. The second election will take place within 30 days of the original election.
(a) Delegates from the Association to meetings, assemblies, or conventions of NYSUT and its national affiliates shall be elected to a two year term according to the dictums of those organizations or by the direction of the Executive Board.
(b) Delegate elections shall be held in even numbered years with those elected taking office on August 1st of that year, after the Representative Council has accepted the election results. The actual date of elections in April shall be determined by the Executive Board.
(c) The President and Secretary shall certify the election and forward the credentials of all elected delegates and alternates to the appropriate office in a timely fashion.
Section 7. The President shall appoint a committee to organize the election of delegates, officers, and/or representatives. To run for an officer position (President, First, Second and Third Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer), a member must present to this committee a petition signed by at least forty members in good standing requesting that the member’s name be placed on the ballot. This petition must be submitted to the Chairperson of the Elections Committee no later than 30 days prior to the election of officers.
A member shall be eligible to run for no more than one position on the Executive Board in any election. In addition, a member may submit no more than one petition in any election. Incumbent officers need not file a petition for re-election.
Section 8. In each election, a member shall run for only one voting elective position on the Executive Board or Representative Council.
Section 9. A member shall hold only one voting position on the Representative Council.
Section 10. Written notice announcing the time and place of elections shall be mailed to each member in good standing to the member’s last known home address at least fifteen (15) days prior to the election, not including the date of mailing.
Section 11. No union funds or employer funds shall be utilized in any local election. A local or council may expend funds, provided such expenditure is consistent with the standards applicable to a union election, which is subject to and governed by Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) (“Landrum-Griffin”).
Section 12. The results of the election shall be published in “The Portal” and/or announced in a letter/email from the President or Executive Board, and posted prominently in each worksite.
Section 13. PJSTA Voting Election Guidelines and Procedures are outlined in an additional document.
ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS
Section 1. The Executive Board shall meet at least once during each school month.
Section 2. The Representative Council shall meet at least six times during the school year.
Section 3. The Executive Board or Representative Council may call meetings of the General membership at its discretion.
ARTICLE IX. AFFILIATION
The Association shall be affiliated with the New York State United Teachers and its national affiliates and other organizations deemed appropriate by three-fourths of the Representative Council.
ARTICLE X. RETIRED TEACHERS
Section 1. A Retired Teacher Chapter shall be established within the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association for the purpose of maintaining the ties of professional unity between the active and retired members, representing and promoting the interests of retired members, and providing a forum for the exchange of information of interest and benefit to retired members and for the expression of their views.
Section 2. Membership shall be open to all PJSTA members who retire from district service. At the discretion of the retiree chapter, associate membership may also be offered to other Comsewogue retirees
Section 3. All PJSTA retirees who are also members of the Retired Chapter of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association shall hold simultaneous membership in the New York State United Teachers and its national affiliates on a retired basis.
Section 4. The Retired Chapter shall elect a President and such other officers as necessary.
Section 5. The President of the Retired Chapter shall select a representative (and an alternate) from that group to serve as a voting member of the Representative Council of the PJSTA. The representative must be retired from Comsewogue School District as a P.J.S.T.A. member and may not be a paid or unpaid employee or trustee of the Comsewogue School District.
ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to this constitution must be adopted at a special meeting of the general membership, called for that purpose, by a vote of at least two-thirds of a general membership quorum of those present. The meeting shall be chaired by the President or a member appointed by the President, and the vote shall be taken and recorded by a committee selected by the member who chairs the meeting.
Copies of the proposed amendments shall be distributed to members at least one week prior to the special meeting held to consider them.
Section 2. Proposals of constitutional amendments may be made by two-thirds of the Executive Board or two-thirds of the Representative Council, or by a written petition of one-third of the membership. Such petition shall contain a specific request for a general meeting to be held at a given time and location for the purpose of approving the specific constitutional amendment attached to the petition.
ARTICLE XII. PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
Section 1. Every active member in good standing of this organization shall have equal rights and privileges to submit letters of intent to hold office, to vote in an election or referendum, to attend membership meetings, and to participate in deliberations and voting upon the business of the organization.
Section 2. No member may be fined, suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined (except for nonpayment of dues) by this organization unless such member has been served with written specific charges and given a reasonable time to prepare a defense and afforded a full and fair hearing.
Section 3. This organization shall show no discrimination toward any individual or group of individuals on the basis of sex, religion, color, race, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or political activities and beliefs.
ARTICLE I. MEETINGS
Section 1. A calendar of meetings shall be determined by the Executive Board at its organizational meeting each year.
(a) Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called at the discretion of the President or upon written notice of five members of the Executive Board.
(b) Non-members of the Executive Board may attend an Executive Board meeting only at the invitation of a majority of the Executive Board.
(a) The Representative Council shall meet at a time and place prescribed by the Executive Board. Additional meetings shall be scheduled by the President upon written request of one-fourth of the members of the Representative Council or two-thirds of the Executive Board.
(b) Any members of the Association who are not members of the Representative Council may attend its meetings. They shall sit apart from the voting body, but may receive permission to speak.
Section 4. No substitutes will be authorized for absent members of the Executive Board or Representative Council.
Section 5. Notice of all meetings of the Representative Council shall be made to all members of the Council prior to its meetings.
Section 6. At official meetings of the P.J.S.T.A. no proxies shall be honored.
Section 7. Meetings of the General Membership may be called by the President, by a majority of the Executive Board or by petition of one third of the membership. Membership meetings shall be held no less than one time per year.
ARTICLE II. QUORUM
The quorum of the Representative Council, the Executive Board, and all Association committees shall be a simple majority of members. The quorum at General Membership meetings shall be one-third of the general membership.
ARTICLE III. VACANCIES
(a) The Executive Board may by a two-thirds vote declare any Executive Board position or Representative Council vacant for cause or because the incumbent is determined by such vote to otherwise be unable to perform the duties of that office.
(b) Any person removed from office or position on the Executive Board or Representative Council by the action of the Executive Board may appeal to the Representative Council for a hearing within ten days of the receipt of written notification of the action or removal. This appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary.
- If any officer position becomes vacant for any reason, the Executive Board shall nominate a replacement to fill that office for the unexpired portion of the term. Approval of the nominee requires a simple majority vote of the Representative Council.
- If any Senior Building Representative or Building Representative position becomes vacant for any reason, then the President shall call for a special building election to fill the position.
ARTICLE IV. ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
Robert’s Rules of Order, revised, shall be the parliamentary authority of the Association on all questions not provided for in the Constitution, the BY-Laws, and such standing rules as the Representative Council may adopt.
ARTICLE V. AMENDMENTS
These by-laws may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote at any scheduled meeting of the Representative Council provided that the proposed amendments have been previously studied by the Executive Board and copies have been sent to building representatives for discussion at building meetings at least 5 calendar days in advance of the Representative Council meeting.
ARTICLE VI. CONTRACT RATIFICATION
Section 1. Prior to the submission to the general membership for approval of newly negotiated contracts, such contracts must be approved by a MAJORITY of the Executive Board.
Section 2. At least 24 hours prior to the General Membership meeting, a written copy of any changes in the contract must be in the hands of the General Membership for its consideration.
ARTICLE VII. P.J.S.T.A. PORTAL AND WEBSITE EDITOR
Section 1. The Portal Editor and the P.J.S.T.A. Website Editor will each operate under guidelines established by the Executive Board. Both Editors shall serve as non-voting members of the Representative Council
Section 2. The election of each editor for a term of two years shall be by general vote of the Membership during the month of April in each odd-numbered year. Editors shall be elected by a simple majority of those voting. Members shall vote by ballot in accordance with procedures drawn up by the Executive Board. The effective date of installation shall be June 1 of the election year.
Section 3. To run for an Editor position, a member must present to the Elections Committee a petition signed by at least forty members in good standing requesting that the member’s name be placed on the ballot. This petition must be submitted to the Chairperson of the Elections Committee no later than 30 days prior to the date of the election. Incumbent editors need not file a petition for re-election.
Section 4. The P.J.S.T.A. retains all property rights to the content and design of the Portal and the P.J.S.T.A. Website.
ARTICLE VIII. DUES
Section 1. The local dues of the PJSTA, plus the prevailing per capita amounts for the AFT/NEA and NYSUT dues, shall be calculated and presented as part of the President’s prospective annual budget at the June Executive Board and Rep Council meetings for their approval. Whenever the dues of a required affiliate increases, the dues of the local shall increase when/if necessary.
Section 2. The local union will be responsible for collecting agency fees, and shall adopt procedures consistent with local, state and federal law.