Bylaws

PDF version available here.

GRADUATE TEACHING FELLOWS FEDERATION

University of Oregon
Local 3544, AFT-Oregon, AFT, AFL-CIO

Adopted December 13, 1976
(Revised December 1984; December 1988; May 1990; January 1992; July 1992; December 1996; December 1998; February 2002; February 2004; June 2006; May 2008; February 2009; May 2011; May 2012; May 2014; May 2015; October 2016; May 2017, May 2018, May 2019; May 2020)


CONTENTS
Article 1-Name of the Organization

Article 2-Objectives

Article 3-Membership

Article 4-Officers and Their Duties

Article 5-Stewards and Their Duties

Article 6-Elections, Terms of Office, and Recalls

Article 7-Executive Board

Article 8-Executive Council

Article 9-Committees

Article 10-GTFF Caucuses

Article 11-Meetings

Article 12-Collective Bargaining Agreement Ratification

Article 13-Strike Vote

Article 14-Dues

Article 15- Finance and Budgeting

Article 16- Affiliations

Article 17- Amendments

Article 18- Health and Wellbeing of the Membership

Article 19 – Mutual-Aid Hardship Fund


Definitions

ARTICLE ONE – NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION

Section One- The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation Local 3544.

Section Two- This organization shall be affiliated with AFT-Oregon, and through them with the American Federation of Teachers, and in turn with the state and national affiliates of the AFL-CIO. This organization shall also be affiliated with the Lane County Central Labor Council.

Section Three- This organization shall retain the right to change its affiliation on the basis of the will of its Membership.

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ARTICLE TWO – OBJECTIVES

Section One- The objectives of this organization shall be to promote, through appropriate activities and programs and through our affiliation with AFT-Oregon, the objectives and principles of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation which include the following:

1) Promotion of union rights and liberties

(a) To protect and strengthen our democratic institutions, and to secure full recognition and enjoyment of the rights and liberties to which we are entitled. (b) To encourage graduate students to become active in local, state, national and global politics, while at the same time preserving the independence of the labor movement from outside political control. (c) To encourage all Graduate Students without regard to race, creed, color, sex, gender ​identity, health, disability, sexual preference, relationship status, political affiliation, nationality, veteran status or age, to share in the full benefits of the GTFF. (d) To create a union climate which is diverse and inclusive of all members without regard to race, creed, color, sex, gender​ identity, health, disability, sexual preference, relationship status, political affiliation, nationality, veteran status or age.

2) Promotion of education and its institutions

(a) To ensure that high standards are met in all educational institutions through lobbying efforts at the state level for adequate funds; (b) To aid and encourage the expansion and improvement of primary, secondary and higher education for all to enjoy, and to promote the employment of qualified professionals, including efforts to recruit persons from under-represented groups.

3) Promotion of pro-union organizations and the building of unions

(a) To support the rights of all university and college employed graduate students, i.e., those working within the Oregon University System, whether in teaching or non-teaching capacities, to organize and engage in collective bargaining. (b) To support the efforts of all employees to organize and engage in collective bargaining. (c) To support organizations that encourages and facilitates inclusion of active democratic involvement and control. (d) To assist the organization of the unorganized for their mutual aid, protection and benefit of all.

4) Promotion of fair wages and working conditions for all workers

(a) To aid workers in securing improved wages, hours, and working conditions, with due regard for the autonomy and integrity of affiliated organizations; (b) To encourage all workers without regard to race, religion, creed, color, sex, gender-identity, sexual preference, political affiliation, nationality, veteran status or age, to share in the full benefits of union organization.

5) Promotion of fair, pro union, and socially responsible political agenda

(a) To seek legislation that protects and further promotes the principle of free collective bargaining, and to oppose legislation contrary to these goals.

(b) To endorse qualified candidates for public office, and to seek and recommend the nomination and election of office seekers who pledge themselves to support labor objectives.

(c) To support organizations that share our political agenda and to support active participation in the political process.

(d) To support socially responsible legislation and political candidates

 

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ARTICLE THREE – MEMBERSHIP

Section One- Regular Membership

(a) Any Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Oregon, who is included in the bargaining unit, shall be eligible for Regular Membership in the GTFF.

(b) Regular Members in good standing shall be entitled to full voice and vote on all questions and to hold any elected or appointed position within the local and its affiliates.

(c) Regular Members, elected to office in the GTFF, an affiliated state or national union or the Lane County Central Labor Council who become ineligible for Regular Membership may continue to serve in their offices if they continue to pay Associate Member dues to the GTFF.

Minimum regular dues are established by the executive board as per Article fourteen, Section five of these bylaws.

Section Two- Associate Membership

(a) Any regularly enrolled graduate student admitted to a graduate degree program at the University of Oregon shall be eligible for Associate Membership in the Union.

(b) Associate Members will remain in good standing as long as they continue to pay dues equivalent to the Regular Member dues rate of a .2 FTE appointment earning the minimum wage at GE level 1 or flat fee to be determined by the Executive Board. Associate Member dues must be paid for a full term, or longer, and are due by the fifteenth of the month following the beginning of the term (October 15th, January 15th, or April 15th). Associate Member dues must be paid before Associate Members are eligible to participate in union functions that require membership.

(c) The following rights are granted to Associate Members in good standing: Associate Members are eligible to hold any elected or appointed position within the local and its affiliate, and to vote on all questions put before the General Membership—excluding affiliation, disaffiliation, collective bargaining agreement ratification, and strike votes. No additional rights or privileges associated with Regular Membership are granted through Associate Membership status.

(d) Associate Members will be limited to serving on the e-board for one (1) term (excluding summer) as an Associate Member following their previous GE appointment. Associate Members will be allowed to serve as stewards, e-councilors, or other appointed officials, for the remainder of their one (1) year terms of appointment, following their last GE appointment.

Section Three- Legacy Membership

(a) Any Regular Member or Associate Member who has lost eligibility for their membership while in good standing with the GTFF may request Legacy Membership from the Executive Council. The Executive Council can accept Legacy Membership with a 60% pass vote. Legacy Membership will last one year from the date of the vote in the Executive Council. Legacy Membership may only be requested once per academic school year.

(b) Legacy Members will remain in good standing as long as they continue to pay dues equivalent to the Regular Member dues rate of a .2 FTE appointment earning the minimum wage at GE level 1 or flat fee to be determined by the Executive Board. Legacy Member dues must be paid for a full term, or longer, and are due by the fifteenth of the month following the beginning of the term (October 15th, January 15th, or April 15th). Legacy Member dues must be paid before Legacy Members are eligible to participate in union functions that require membership.

(c) The following rights are granted to Legacy Members in good standing: Legacy Members are eligible to hold any elected or appointed position within the local and its affiliate, and to vote on all questions put before the General Membership—excluding affiliation, disaffiliation, collective bargaining agreement ratification, and strike votes. No additional rights or privileges associated with Regular Membership are granted through Legacy Membership status. Legacy Members will be limited to serving on the e-board for one (1) term (excluding summer) as a Legacy Member following their previous GE appointment. Legacy Members will be allowed to serve as stewards, e-councilors, or other appointed officials, for the remainder of their one (1) year terms of appointment, following their last GE appointment.

Section Four- No member shall lose membership due to changes in the by-laws.

 

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ARTICLE FOUR – OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

Section One- The union officers, comprising the Executive Board, shall consist of the following:

President
Vice President for Organizing
Vice President for Grievance
Vice President for Political education
Vice President for External Relations
Vice President for Operations
Vice President for Member Communications
Vice President for Membership
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Treasurer

Section Two- Each officer of the Executive Board shall:

(a) report to the General Membership in a timely manner the actions and decisions made by the Board on behalf of the Membership as it conducts and monitors the on-going business and activities of the GTFF;

(b) be responsive to all members, giving advice, assistance, and support whenever needed or requested;

(c) make a report at all Executive Board meetings outlining the activities and duties successfully or partially completed during the previous week(s) of service;

(d) make a report at all regular General Membership meetings outlining the activities and duties successfully or partially completed during the previous month(s) of service;

(e) make a report at all Executive Council meetings outlining the activities and duties successfully or partially completed during the previous week(s) of service;

(f) be responsible for the administration of union policy established by the Executive Council;

(g) be responsible for taking minutes at all Executive Board Meetings,

(h) assist with organizing;

(i) perform all other duties as authorized and determined by the General Membership or Executive Council,

(j) to assist and help train new Officers elected to replace current Officers,

(k) to organize, plan, and facilitate Executive Board, Executive Council, and General Membership Meetings. This will not preclude agenda items coming from the floor;

(l) collaborate with other Board members to create a union climate that is inclusive of all members, paying particular attention to salient equity issues such as disability access and support for international GEs, and supporting underrepresented and marginalized communities through the development of equity-minded goals and community-building events;

(m) attend one workshop per term organized by the VP of Equity and Inclusion. This workshop will be focused on developing an inclusive union, especially with regard to disability access, consensus decision-making, and equitable meeting facilitation practices; and,

(n) collaborate where their duties may otherwise overlap and occasionally take on the tasks of overburdened others in a spirit of the equitable division of labor.

(o) attend at least 1 meeting of the Equity and Inclusion Committee per term and at least 1 meeting of an established and/or ad hoc caucus per term.

Section Three- The duties of the President shall include the following:

(a) to preside over all meetings of the Executive Board and General Membership;

(b) to be responsible for the orderly management and successful completion of all GTFF business;

(c) to report to the General Membership, the Executive Council, and the Executive Board, where appropriate, the regular and on-going activities of the union’s state and national affiliates;

(d) to act as Chair, or appoint a Chair, for all Bargaining Teams, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council;

(e) to act as the ranking Delegate in all conventions and meetings of affiliates except the Lane County Central Labor Council and ESSN;

(f) to be responsible for the administration of the contract;

(g) with the aid of the Executive Board and the approval of the Executive Council, make appointments to fill vacancies on the Board;

(h) to supervise any employee or student intern associated with the GTFF, and to appoint Committee Chairs and members as specified in Article Nine, Section One below;

(i) to serve on the GTFF Health and Welfare Trust; (j) to act as the official voice of the GTFF; and,

(k) to communicate to the membership any unfilled GE positions on institutional committees that impact GE working conditions. The President or the Vice President for Communications shall send an email about open positions by Week 5 of Fall Term, and any time they are informed of an unfilled position.

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Section Four- The duties of the Vice President for Organizing shall include the following:

(a) to be responsible, in conjunction with the President, for originating, reviewing or editing correspondence with Stewards and union members;

(b) to serve as Chair of the Executive Council;

(c) to coordinate resources, material and training for Stewards;

(d) with the aid of the Executive Board and the approval of the Executive Council make appointments to fill Steward vacancies;

(e) to serve as Chair of the Organizing Committee;

(f) In conjunction with Vice President for Political Education assist with the organization of other graduate employee unions;

(g) to preside over the meetings of the Executive Board and General Membership in the absence of the President;

(h) to assume the duties of the Presidency in cases when the President is temporarily unavailable; and

(i) to assume the Presidency in the permanent absence of the President. (j) to serve as chair of the Contract Action Team (CAT);

(k) in conjunction with Vice President for Grievances, meet at least once per term with lead stewards to discuss issues, training needs, and develop organizing goals; and,

(l) to organize and disseminate important changes to the CBA before, during, and after bargaining (by way of the CAT).

Section Five- The duties of the Vice President for Grievance shall include the following:

(a) to be responsible for originating, reviewing, or editing all correspondence with the University or its agents in connection with all grievances;

(b) to be responsible for forming and Chairing the Grievance Committee;

(c) to keep records of potential contract problems which may require changes to be made in the contract language in the next negotiating sessions;

(d) to accompany the President in meetings regarding the administration of the contract;

(e) to assist the Vice President of Membership in efforts to educate and inform the Membership on their rights and duties under the contract;

(f) to support members in solving issues that may fall outside the purview of the contract; and,

(g) to be responsible for informing the Executive Board and Executive Council of the work of the Grievance Committee.

Section Six- The duties of the Vice President for Political Education shall include the following:

(a) to encourage members to run for office or serve on Committees of State or National affiliated unions,

(b) to be responsible for forming and Chairing the COPE Committee;

(c) to be responsible for informing the membership of all political issues that may affect the GTFF;

(d) to be responsible for informing the membership of the labor movement and the union’s part in it; and

(e) to be responsible for communication with and lobbying of elected representatives of local, state, and federal offices.

Section Seven The duties of the Vice President for External Relations shall include the following:

(a) to serve as the ranking Delegate at the Lane County Central Labor Council

(b) to serve as ranking Delegate at ESSN.

(c) to Chair the External Relations Committee;

(d) in conjunction with Vice President for Organizing assist with the organization of other graduate employee unions;

(e) to be responsible, in conjunction with the President, for originating correspondence between the GTFF and its affiliate organizations or other external organizations; and

(f) to assist the Vice President for Political Education in establishing and maintaining contact with external organizations.

Section Eight- The duties of the Vice President for Operations shall include the following:

(a) to supervise all office staff and oversee the day-to-day operations of the GTFF office; to hold regularly scheduled meetings with the office staff and the President or the President’s designee; and ensure compliance with the GTFF staff contract;

(b) to serve on the GTFF Health and Welfare Trust;

(c) to assist the benefits administrator during enrollment periods to help ensure benefits plan procedures are effectively communicated and enforced;

(d) to meet with health benefits, the benefits administrator, and vendors to help plan, develop, and manage the GTFF benefits package;

(e) to report on the status of the Health and Welfare trust to Executive Board and Executive Council,

(f) to be responsible and administer all elections outlined in Article Six,

(g) to be responsible for the operations and upkeep of all computers and electronics in the GTFF office, and

(h) to chair the Operations Committee.

Section Nine- The duties of the Vice President for Member Communication shall include the following:

(a) if publication is desired by the Executive Council, to serve as editor of the newsletter and be responsible for scheduling all related volunteer activities;

(b) to work with the benefits administrator to develop benefits communication materials and attend work site meetings at which benefits are explained;

(c) to be responsible for monthly updates on the GTFF website;

(d) keep a record and inform the membership of all standing resolutions of the Executive Council;

(e) to work with the VP for Membership in making sure the information is supplied to all membership, and;

(f) to be responsible for publishing and distributing the Executive Council and General Membership meeting notices.

Section Ten- The duties of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion shall include the following:

(a) to strategize outreach efforts to encourage and recruit underrepresented members from underrepresented communities to participate in the union, as well as to run for leadership positions, including Executive Board,office, Stewardship, Committees, and Caucuses and serve on Committees;

(b) to form and organize the Equity and Inclusion Committee, and implement its suggestions via meeting reports and through direct action in consultation with Executive Board and General Membership;

(c) to suggest concrete changes regarding union culture and structure to the General Membership, Executive Council and Board, with specific attention to decision-making procedures and meetings;

(d) to address issues of diversity and inclusion as they arise, in conjunction with the Equity and Inclusion Committee and Caucuses;

(e) to promote understanding of the intersection of issues of diversity & inclusion as related to policies, procedures, and politics;

(f) in conjunction with the VP of External Relations, to develop connections with university systems (e.g., departments, graduate school, administration) to advance the interests of a diverse union membership;

(g) in conjunction with all caucus chairs and relevant GEs, organize per-term workshops for all officers as outlined in Article 4 Section 2;

(h) to assist active caucuses in the event that a caucus leader is temporarily unavailable; and

(i) to coordinate with the Executive Board VP of Organizing regarding resources, materials, and training for caucuses.

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Section Eleven- The duties of the Vice President for Membership shall include the following:

(a) to be responsible for supervising the upkeep of the membership lists and the records of participation in each department;

(b) to host informative sessions on meeting procedure, bylaw changes, resolutions, and bargaining updates for membership;

(c) to work with VP for Equity and Inclusion to increase appointments to fill Steward vacancies and encourage caucus and event involvement;

(d) to assist the VP for Organizing in disseminating important changes to the CBA before, during, and after bargaining (by way of the CAT);

(e) to assist VP for Organizing and VP for Member Communications in making sure bylaw changes, resolutions, and bargaining updates are communicated to the membership;

(f) to assist the VP for Operations in planning and implementing Union events and making sure information about these events is disseminated to the membership.

Section Twelve- The duties of the Treasurer shall include the following:

(a) to act as the Chair of the Budget Committee;

(b) to be responsible for accurate records and books of all GTFF financial records;

(c) to be responsible for tax returns and other financial reports as required by any governmental agency;

(d) to be responsible for informing the Executive Board, Executive Council, and the Membership of the present and future financial status of the GTFF;

(e) to be responsible for preparing or having prepared monthly financial statements of the GTFF;

(f) to ensure that an independent audit of GTFF finances is conducted after the end of every fiscal year; and

(g) to serve on the GTFF Health and Welfare Trust.

ARTICLE FIVE – STEWARDS AND THEIR DUTIES

Section One- Any department or non-departmental work site (hereinafter referred to as a “work site,”) that has union members will elect its own steward(s). The number of stewards allotted for each work site shall be the number of full members in that work site divided by 10, rounding up any fraction. The duly-elected steward(s) shall inform the Executive Board of a change in status as steward.

In cases where a single department has two or more geographically distinct work sites, the Executive Board may authorize the separate election of stewards from each of the work sites by those members at a particular work site, even if the combined department membership is less than ten.

In the event of a vacancy, the President or the Vice President of Organizing shall be empowered to appoint a steward, with the approval of the Executive Council, to serve until the next steward election.

In special cases, the Vice President of Organizing is empowered to appoint or approve two or more members who may share the duties of the work site steward, with the approval of the Executive Council and consent of the union members in the work site. Such appointees may serve until the next steward election.

In the event that the Vice President of Organizing position is not filled, the duties outlined above will be reassigned as per Article 7, Section 5.

Section Two- The duties of a steward include:
(a) assisting the Executive Board and Executive Council in organizing members of the work site;

(b) monitoring potential contract abuses and grievances in the work site and reporting to the Vice President for Grievance or Grievance Committee on these matters;

(c) assisting or representing a GE on work-related matters, including informal grievances and, when appropriate, formal grievances, when so requested by a GE;

(d) posting and circulating notices, minutes, information fliers, and other communications from the GTFF and its affiliate organizations;

(e) maintaining the GTFF bulletin board in the work site; (f) mobilizing members to become active in the union;

(g) attending the General Membership and Executive Council meetings of the GTFF, a mandatory one-time Stewards’ orientation, and caucus-led training events;

(h) exerting due diligence in attempts to send at least one departmental steward (or an alternate representative) to each caucus-led training event, as well as responsibly facilitating pertinent training materials back to fellow stewards and their respective departments’ GEs;

(i) representing the members in their worksite at Executive Council meetings;

(j) attending meetings and, if necessary, organizing meetings of union members or GEs in their work site; and

(k) attending or serving on assigned Committees, as well as attempts with due diligence to serve on one active caucus (particularly when relevant to the needs of the steward’s department).

Section Three – Lead Stewards

Four lead stewards will be elected to support stewards in Arts & Education, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Which department, institute, or hiring body will be supported by which Lead steward will be determined by the Vice President for Membership in conjunction with the Vice President for Organizing.

Section Four – Lead steward elections will be elected along with Executive Board members as outlined in Article Six Section One. If a vacancy arises prior to the annual election, the Vice President of Operations in conjunction with the Executive Council will conduct a vote.

Section Five ​–​ The duties of a Lead steward include supporting the duties of stewards as outlined in Section Two, and additionally:

(a) reporting monthly on the status of their assigned area to VP for Organizing;

(b) holding at least one meeting per term with all stewards in their area to review the organizing goals, issues, and needs of stewards;

(c) working to develop and maintain inclusive organizing practices and specific organizing challenges faced by their given area in tandem with concerns raised within the Equity and Inclusion Committee;

(d) to assist departments without stewards in hosting department meetings, and act as interim steward in disseminating information to these departments;

GTFF Lead Stewards will receive a $50 stipend for each full Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter they serve in their position.

 

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ARTICLE SIX – ELECTIONS, TERMS OF OFFICE, AND RECALLS

Section One- Officers

(a) Eligibility and Nomination

1) Elections for the positions outlined in Article 4, Section 1 shall be conducted annually by sealed ballot box in the GTFF Office or by a method to be determined by the Executive Council.

2) Notice of nominations for officer positions shall be made no less than 14 calendar days prior to the nominations meeting.

3) Nominations shall be made during the Spring Term General Membership meeting, in writing to the Vice President for Operations, or submitted via an anonymous online submissions process.

4) Only Regular, Associate, or Legacy Members in good standing will be allowed to nominate or be nominated.

(b) Elections

1) Elections shall be based on the names placed in nomination and shall take place no sooner than 14 calendar days following the Spring General Membership meeting .

2) At least one week prior to the election meeting or tallying of ballots, absentee ballots and a sealed ballot box will be made available.

3) Elections shall be by plurality.

4) A quorum of at least 10% (5% in cases of uncontested elections) of the General Membership, is required.

5) In the absence of quorum, a re-election shall be conducted within 14 days of ballot counting.

6) Results of the election will be made public within 72 hours of the ballot count.

(c) Term of Office

1) New officers shall begin training under the sitting officer for their duties on the Monday following the tallying of ballots of an officially sanctioned election as defined by Article Six, Section One, Part b and shall assume full responsibility for said duties on the first official day of the next academic term (usually summer term). Officers will serve for 13 months or until duly elected successors’ term of office begins.

2) No Member may serve on the Executive Board for more than four consecutive years.

(d) Recall

1) Any elected officer will be recalled when at least 30% of the General Members sign, within a period of 30 calendar days, and submit a petition to the Executive Council requesting the recall of an officer, and the following procedures are followed:

a) Representatives of the petitioners must attend the Executive Council Meeting when the petition is presented. If such persons do not appear, the petition may be declared invalid by the Executive Council.

b) The Executive Council must verify the signatures of the petition within seven (7) days of the Executive Council Meeting.

c) The Executive Council shall call for a special General Membership meeting, within thirty (30) days of their resolution convened to discuss the recall of the officer.

d) A secret ballot election will be held after the meeting. A quorum of at least 15% of the membership and a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast shall be necessary for the recall initiative to succeed.

Section Two- Delegates
(a) Eligibility and Nomination

1) Elections for Delegates to state and national conventions shall be conducted annually by sealed ballot box in the GTFF Office or by a method to be determined by the Executive Council.

2) Notice of nominations for Delegate positions shall be made no less than 30 calendar days prior to the nominations meeting.

3) The nomination notice must include the number of Delegates to be elected, the number of top ranking Delegates whose convention expenses will be paid and the amount that will be paid per Delegate. The Executive Board shall submit its recommendation for these amounts to the Executive Council for its approval.

4) Nominations shall be made during the Winter General Membership meeting.

5) Only Regular Members, Associate Members, and Legacy Members in good standing will be allowed to nominate or be nominated.

(b) Elections

1) Elections shall be based on the names placed in nomination during the Membership meeting, as described in (a) 3 and (a) 4 above, and shall take place no sooner than 14 calendar days following nomination.

2) Elections shall be conducted according to the GTFF Election Handbook, requirements of the various affiliations and to be determined by the Executive Council.

3) At least one week prior to the election meeting or tallying of ballots, absentee ballots and a sealed ballot box will be made available.

4) Delegates shall be ranked according to the number of votes received. Candidates that receive an equal number of votes shall draw lots to determine their ranking. Write-in candidates must receive at least 5% of the votes cast in order to be ranked as a Delegate.

5) The duly-elected President of the GTFF shall be the highest-ranking Delegate, in the absence of the President a new highest-ranking Delegate shall be determined from the pool of elected delegates by a vote of the elected delegates.

6) A quorum of at least 5% of the General Membership is required.

7) Results of the election will be made public within 72 hours of the ballot count.

(c) Term of Office

1) New Delegates shall assume their duties on the Monday following the tallying of ballots, and shall serve for one calendar year, an amount of time to be determined by the Executive Council, or until their duly elected successors’ term of office begins.

Section Three- Stewards

(a) Eligibility

1) Any Regular, Associate, or Legacy Member in good standing may be eligible to serve as a work site steward.

(b) Nominations

1) Notice of nominations for worksite steward positions shall be made at the Spring General Membership Meeting as defined by article 11, section 1.

2) Nominees must accept or reject their nomination in writing within 7 days of notice of nomination.

(c) Elections

1) Nominations for new stewards shall occur once annually at the Spring General Membership Meeting or in writing to the Vice President for Operations or department steward following the Spring GMM; however, stewards may be nominated and elected by the executive council at any point during the calendar year so long as the department for which the new steward is nominated has fewer than its allotted number of stewards (see Article 5, Section 1)

2) Elections shall be based on the names placed in nomination during the Spring General Membership meeting or in writing to the Vice President for Operations or steward and shall take place no sooner than 14 calendar days following the nominations.

3) Steward elections will then be held by the current stewards of the department, or when there is no steward available by sealed ballot box, in the GTFF office, electronic ballot or by a method to be determined by the Executive Council.

4) Elections shall be by plurality of each work site.

5) Results of the election will be made public within 72 hours of the ballot count to the department and to the VP of organizing and Executive Council.

(d) Term of Office and Recall

1) New stewards shall assume their duties according to Section 1, Part C.

2) Stewards who are absent from three consecutive meetings of the Executive Council, without adequate excuse made to the Executive Council Chair, shall be considered to have vacated their office and may be replaced by the chair of the Executive Council with the approval of the Executive Council.

3) Stewards who are no longer members in good standing are considered to have vacated their position and may be replace by the chair of the Executive Council with the approval of the Executive Council.

4) Stewards may be recalled at any time by a 2/3 vote of all members working in the Steward’s work site. This vote must be initiated by a petition and the petition must set forth the reason why the recall is sought. The petition must be signed by at least 25% of the current members working in the Steward’s work site.

5) Once elected stewards will serve for one year. If no other candidate is nominated at the Spring General Membership Meeting to replace a steward, then that person shall maintain their position as long as they continue to be enrolled in and/or work in the department they were elected or appointed to represent.

6) Stewards may serve as many years as they are elected

 

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ARTICLE SEVEN – EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section One- The Executive Board shall meet at least bimonthly, except during the months of July through September, to conduct and monitor the on-going business of the GTFF.

Section Two- The President, with the aid of the Executive Board, shall have the power to fill vacancies on the Executive Board by appointing qualified replacements subject to the advice and consent of the Executive Council. These replacements shall serve until the next regularly scheduled election.

Section Three-

(a) In the event that the President is temporarily or permanently unable to perform his or her duties, the order of succession shall be: Vice President for Organizing; Vice President for Grievance; Vice President for Political Education; Vice President for External Relations; Vice President for Operations; Vice President for Member Communications; Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Vice President for Membership; and Treasurer.

(b) If the President is unable to permanently perform their duties or resigns the position, the new president shall be the Vice President for Organizing (except in the case of Article Seven, Section Three(c) of these Bylaws) and shall appoint, with the aid of the Executive Board and with approval of the Executive Council, a replacement for their vacated office upon assuming the position of President.

(c) If the President is unable to permanently perform their duties the Vice President for Organizing shall not become President if the Vice President for Organizing was not an officer elected to the position by the General Membership. In this situation the new President will be the next available elected officer following the order of succession in Article Seven, Section Three(a) of these Bylaws.

Section Four- Absence of Officers

If any Board member foresees an absence exceeding thirty days, the member shall endeavor to maintain communication with the board during the absence, and arrange with the Board for another Regular Member or staff person to assume their non-voting responsibilities.

If any Board member is absent exceeding thirty days and does not communicate this absence to the Executive Board, the President may assume the officer has resigned the office and appoint a replacement.

Section Five- Vacancy of Office positions

If a Board position, with the exception of the President, is unfilled or becomes vacant, the Executive Board shall reassign all duties assigned to that position as deemed necessary until such time as the position becomes filled. No Board position shall remain vacant for more than 60 days.

Section Six- Quorum

The required quorum for binding Executive Board decisions shall be set at six voting members. (The President or acting President does not vote, except in the case of a tie).

Section Seven- Officer Stipend

GTFF Executive Board members will receive a $100 stipend for each of Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters while they are on the board.

The stipend will be distributed first during Fall term, then again during Winter and Spring terms, for a total of three (3) $100 stipend payments per board member.

 

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ARTICLE EIGHT – EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Section One- The Executive Council shall be composed of union officers, stewards, and caucus representative(s) in good standing and each shall have a voting seat. Any Full, Associate, or Legacy Member in good standing who is representing the GTFF within a recognized affiliate organization (such as AFT-Oregon, AGEL, AFL-CIO, etc.) shall have a non-voting seat on the Executive Council.​ ​The Executive Council shall meet at least once per month, except during the months of July and August, to set union policy, to administer union policy in coordination with the Executive Board, to oversee organizing efforts, to plan for speakers, films, workshops, social activities, etc., to plan for General Membership meetings, and to conduct other business as necessary and appropriate.

Section Two- Each Council Member with a voting seat is entitled to one vote on issues addressed by the Executive Council. In the case where one steward position is shared by two individuals, only one individual may vote.

Section Three- COPE Committee will make recommendations to the Executive Council for endorsements of political candidates. The Executive Council shall use this information in making recommendations to the General Membership. All endorsements must be approved by majority vote through digital ballot no less than 4 weeks before a particular election.

Section Four- Quorum

The required quorum for Executive Council meetings shall be eight Stewards, no more than three of whom are also Officers.

 

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ARTICLE NINE – COMMITTEES

Section One- The following are the Standing Committees of the GTFF.

(a) Budget Committee
(b) Grievance Committee
(c) Organizing Committee
(d) Committee on Political Education
(e) External Relations Committee
(f) Operations Committee
(g) Equity and Inclusion Committee

Section Two- Budget Committee

(a) Composition

The Treasurer shall chair the Budget Committee and may not delegate this responsibility. In addition to the Treasurer, the Budget Committee shall consist of up to as many members as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Treasurer. Only Members in good standing shall be eligible, but no limitation on the number of terms a person may serve on the committee. Members shall be appointed by the Treasurer with the aid of the Vice President for Organizing on the advice of the Executive Board.

(b) Duties

1) The Budget Committee shall begin to prepare an annual budget each March for the forthcoming fiscal year. The Budget Committee shall consult the Executive Council in preparing the budget and shall submit proposed budgets to the Executive Council. The budget shall be presented to the Executive Council meeting prior to June 1, and if approved, shall be monitored by the Treasurer and Budget Committee.

2) If the Budget fails to be approved, the Executive Council may require that it be revised by the Budget Committee and make recommendations to that end. The final budget shall be presented at the next available Executive Council meeting for approval.

3) The Budget Committee shall hear all requests for additional appropriations beyond those set out in the annual budget and make recommendations to the General Membership as to whether these requests should be approved.

4) Emergency requests for financial allocations may be made from the floor of the General Membership meeting and approved by a majority vote of those present at the meeting. However, emergency requests may not exceed $200.00 in any one instance, and all emergency requests exceeding this limit must be referred to the Treasurer or Budget Committee for recommendation to the Executive Council for approval.

5) The Budget Committee shall help facilitate the annual audit of GTFF finances.

Section Three- Grievance Committee

(a) Composition

The Vice-President for Grievance shall chair the grievance committee and may not delegate this responsibility. In addition to the Vice President for Grievance, the Grievance Committee shall consist of up to as many Members as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Vice President for Grievance. Only Members in good standing shall be eligible, but there shall be no limitation in the number of terms a person may serve on the committee. Members shall be appointed by the Vice President for Grievance with the aid of the Vice President for Organizing and on the advice of the Executive Board.

(b) Duties

The Grievance Committee shall handle or advise on all grievances brought to its attention by members of the bargaining unit.

(c) Authority

The Grievance Committee shall have the authority to recommend to the Executive Council whether grievances not resolved at step 3 of the grievance procedure (the University

President’s level) will be taken to binding arbitration. Such decisions shall require a quorum of at least three (3) members. In the event the Grievance Committee decides not to recommend taking a grievance to arbitration, the grievant may appeal the decision to the Executive Council. In the event that the Executive Council will not meet in a timely enough manner for requesting arbitration according to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement(s), the Executive Board shall have the authority to take a grievance to arbitration.

Section Four- Organizing Committee

(a) Composition

The Organizing Committee shall be chaired by the Vice-President for Organizing and may not delegate this responsibility. The committee shall consist of as many Members as deemed appropriate by the chair. Members of the organizing committee do not require Executive Council approval.

(b) Duties

The committee shall assist the Staff Organizer and the Vice-President for Organizing in ongoing efforts to mobilize and organize the GTFF membership.

Section Five- Committee of Political Education (COPE)

(a) Composition

COPE shall be chaired by the Vice-President for Political Education and may not delegate this responsibility. In addition to the chair, COPE shall consist of as many Members as deemed appropriate and necessary by the chair. Members of COPE do not require Executive Council approval.

(b) Duties

1) To keep the General Membership informed about political issues that affect the GTFF.

2) To meet prior to an election cycle and research possible recommendations to the Executive Council on political endorsements.

3) Political contributions are subject to financial limitations established in the annual budget and must be approved by the Executive Council.

4) COPE Committee will make recommendations to the Executive Council for endorsements of political candidates. The COPE committee will develop an appropriate endorsement timeline that will be consistent with in Article 8, section 3.

5) The Vice President for Political Education shall inform the General Membership of all endorsements at the next available meeting. All endorsements may be vetoed by a majority vote during a General Membership Meeting.

Section Six – External Relations Committee

(a) Composition

The External Relations Committee shall be chaired by the Vice President for External Relations and may not delegate this responsibility. In addition to the chair, the committee shall consist of as many members as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.

(b) Duties

1) The External Relations Committee shall attend meetings within the local labor movement including Lane County Central Labor Council and ESSN.

2) To encourage members to become active within local and national labor movements.

Section Seven– Operations Committee

(a) Composition

The Operations Committee shall be chaired by the Vice President for Operations or their designee. In addition to the chair, the committee shall consist of as many members as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.

(b) Duties

To help plan social activities including General Membership meetings in accordance with all resolutions passed by the membership. Ensure that the tenets of the Responsible Consumer Resolution or any further resolutions are upheld.

(c) Authority

The Responsible Consumer Committee shall have the power to enforce Responsible Consumer Resolution or any future resolutions related to union purchasing.

Section Eight – Equity and Inclusion Committee

(a) Composition

The Equity and Inclusion Committee shall be chaired by the VP of Equity and Inclusion, or their designee. In addition to the chair, the committee shall consist of as many members as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board. Caucus representatives shall be part of the committee, or contacted regularly by the committee chair for updates on caucus concerns and priorities.

(b) Duties

1) To critically evaluate union bylaws, meetings, and elections of Executive Board members for dynamics which may prevent or discourage the full participation of underrepresented members. In the case that time-sensitive, equity-related evaluations are sent to the Executive Board, it is expected that Executive Board will provide a written response within 2 weeks to the Chair, who will be responsible for disseminating this information back to the Committee members.

2) To suggest changes to General Membership and/or Executive Board regarding non-inclusive and inequitable aspects of union climate and structure.

3) To develop short- and long-term goals to cultivate and sustain the union a more welcoming and equitable union culture for all members in tandem with the Executive Board.

4) To work closely with caucuses in order to promote training series events when related to equity and inclusion topics.

Section Nine – Ad Hoc Committees

The Executive Board or Executive Council may set up Ad-hoc committees on either a temporary or an on-going basis. The new committees chair, composition, and duties will be defined at the creation of the committee. The duration, composition, duties, and chair may be modified at the discretion of the executive council.

Section Ten – Committee Compositions

All Members in good standing may participate in committees by petitioning the Vice President for Organizing or the Chair of the committee. No Member in good standing may be denied a representative and full voting right on the committee they petition to serve on other than due to capacity limitation or special circumstances and not on a permanent basis. If any individual Member is excluded from a committee, the chair of the committee must present the arguments for exclusion to the Executive Board for approval. The Executive Board must notify the Executive Council of their decision and the Executive Council or the General Membership may override the Executive Boards ruling by a majority vote of either body.

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ARTICLE TEN – GTFF CAUCUSES

Section One – Eleven standing GTFF Caucuses shall exist to address the issues of traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups in order to provide a space for advocacy, support, inclusion, and full representation of these union members.

(a) Leadership

  1. (i)  A member will be appointed to serve as Caucus Chair each academic year in order to represent the needs and mission statement of the caucus;

  2. (ii)  An additional member may be appointed to serve as a Co-Chair, wherein caucus leadership responsibilities may be split between Co-Chairs;

  3. (iii)  The election of Chair(s) should be a transparent, internal process that exerts due diligence in consulting its membership prior to making a Chair appointment;

  4. (iv)  Caucus leadership is responsible for keeping a record of caucus documents and revisions to mission statements to the best of their abilities, in coordination with the Vice President for Organizing;

  5. (v)  Each caucus shall annually appoint one person to the Executive Council with voting privileges to represent the body on the Council;

  6. (vi)  As outlined in Article 9 Section 10, caucus leadership (or a pertinent representative) should work closely with the Equity and Inclusion Committee.

(b) Expectations

  1. (i)  All members in good standing may be a member of a caucus;

  2. (ii)  Caucuses should operate in a manner that considers the bettering of the union as a whole, as well as the empowerment of groups as outlined in the Caucus Structure;

  3. (iii)  In certain circumstances, a caucus may determine that it is in the benefit of the caucus and thus the benefit of the union as a whole to make a caucus meeting only available to certain group(s) of people. The caucus should attempt to limit these meetings as much as possible and make every effort to communicate their needs and goals with the union as a whole.

  4. (iv)  Each caucus is responsible for upholding its mission statement, to be recorded on the union website in coordination with the Vice President for Member Communications;

  5. (v)  A caucus mission statement may be revised in consultation with its members;

  6. (vi)  A representative from each caucus, ideally its Chair, is expected to meet with other caucuses for a Caucus Chair Meeting for the purposes of collaboration, transparency, budget use, and the upholding of caucus values. Meetings are suggested to be once per term but are up to the discretion and needs of caucus leadership in consultation with the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. (In the event that a caucus cannot attend, the caucus should exert due diligence in sending a report to the other chairs, which will be read and discussed.)

  7. (vii)  Each caucus will appoint one person to attend Executive Council meetings who will have voting privileges at these meetings.

  8. (viii)  Public statements made on behalf of a caucus requires consultation of caucus membership. If membership cannot be contacted prior to the release of public statements, including caucus reports by Chairs, the representative should exert due diligence in order to abide by the caucus’s most recent mission statement.

  9. (ix) If there is an unjustified exclusionary practice within the caucus membership (including leadership), any union member may contact the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, who will be tasked with mediating this conflict

(c) Active Status

  1. (i) “Active status” refers to any caucus in good standing that has an appointed Caucus Chair and fits the criteria outlined in caucus bylaws under Section 1A and 1B; as well as:
  1. (ii)  An active caucus must meet at least once per term, have at least three members in the caucus, and ensure that their Executive Council representative does not miss more than three consecutive Executive Council meetings. In extenuating circumstances that prevent a caucus from fulfilling this criterion, a caucus may consult the Executive Board in order to continue to be granted active status;

  2. (iii)  In order to be recognized as a caucus with voting privileges in the Executive Council, a caucus must fit the description of an active caucus;

  3. (iv)  In order to make use of the union’s caucus budget, a caucus must fit the description of an active caucus. Each caucus will appoint one person to attend Executive Council meetings who will have voting privileges at these meetings.

Section Two – Caucus Structure

(a) People of Color Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to discuss the needs and concerns of GEs of Color.

(b) International GEs Caucus – This Caucus is committed to advocate rights, strengthen voices, promote common interests, and build collective solidarity of and across international GEs. (c) Queer Caucus – This Caucus is committed to representing, empowering, and fostering social opportunities and a voice for members of the LGBTQIA+ community within and beyond the GTFF.

(c) Womxn’s Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to discuss the needs and concerns of GEs who identify as womxn.

(d) Latinx GEs Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to discuss the needs and concerns of Latinx GEs.

(e) Asian and Pacific Islander GEs Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to identify and advocate for the needs and concerns of Asian and Pacific Islander members of ALL subregions, including Asian Americans, as well as less-represented and indigenous communities..

(f) Survivor Support Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to discuss the needs and concerns of survivors of gender-based, interpersonal violence, and sexual violence. The caucus supports survivors advocating for survivor-centered policies and practices in order to promote an accessible and safe learning and working environment within and beyond the University of Oregon. The caucus chair will serve as the point person for educating the membership on survivor support services on campus and in the community.

(g) Disability Access Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to improve accessibility to the union by fostering space for discussion and a platform for advocacy for GEs with disabilities. (i) Environmental Justice Caucus – This Caucus shall meet to overcome unequal exposure to environmental risks, and distribution of benefits in the context of racism, classism, and sexism.

(h) Workers’ Caucus – This Caucus advocates for the recognition of the value and needs of GEs as workers through constructing an anti-capitalist class consciousness within the GTFF. In executing these objectives, the WC aims to function as a bridge between the union and the community through the utilization of members’ creative and theoretical skills as researchers and activists.

(i) Parents’ Caucus – This Caucus advocates parents, families of GEs, and non-traditional students, organizing around issues including parenting resources.

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ARTICLE ELEVEN – MEETINGS

Section One- All meetings shall operate under the Graduate Employees’ Union Rules of Order, described as follows:

1) Queues with more than fifteen members in attendance shall be managed as follows:

(a) Individuals will raise their hands indicating whether they wish to speak in favor of a motion (thumbs up), against a motion (thumbs down), or to ask a question, request clarification, or otherwise speak neutrally about a motion (thumbs sideways).

(b) The queue shall cycle through categories of opinion – favored, opposed, and neutral – in the order of speakers. If a category has no speakers during a round, the queue shall go to the next category.

(c) Speakers will not repeat opinions. If their opinion has been voiced, speakers should remove themselves from the queue to expedite meetings.

(d) When questions are asked by a member they shall be answered by the member who brought the motion (if applicable) or the meeting leader. If the meeting leader requires additional assistance in clarification, they can deviate from the queue to ask other members who may be experts in the issue.

2) Agreeance with a motion, issue, or member comment should be demonstrated using some sort of auditory or visual cue – snapping fingers, clapping, sparkle-hands, etc. Members should know that this signal indicates agreement, so that opinions do not need to be re-stated in the speakers’ queue for emphasis.

3) The choice to take a discussion into motion-making, motion-editing, or voting phases shall be made when either discussion has ended, or when the queue list begins to repeat opinions – as decided by the leader of the meeting.

4) The flow of meetings shall proceed as follows:

(a) Open discussion of an issue . This may follow specified queue procedure or not, depending on the contentious nature of the discussion.

(b) Once general discussion has exhausted and/or has reached the allotted time for the agenda item, the meeting leader will ask for motions (suggested changes or responses to the issue being discussed).

(c) Any member in good standing may suggest a motion.

(d) Members will discuss this motion through use of the queue system.

(e) During this discussion, members may suggest changes to the motion at hand. These will be recorded and discussed. Members should not suggest minor edits to motions, as these will be edited for grammar after the meeting.

(f) Once discussion has come to a close, the leader of the meeting shall call for a vote.

i) If more than one option for an alteration to the motion has been offered, then members are able to vote on all of them in turn. Each member should vote for their preferred motion(s), bearing in mind that voting for more than one alternative may lead to ties that will require further voting.

ii) In the case of multiple popular options, the meeting leader shall hold subsequent elimination votes, either by voting as above on all remaining motion options, or by voting “yes” and “no” in sequence.

iii) If only the original motion has been offered, without suggested changes, members shall vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a motion.

iv) When there is not a clear majority in a vocal vote, there will be a hand count for the options which the vocal vote could not choose between.

(g) If all votes and subsequent votes on a motion yield a tie, or close to a tie, then the membership will vote on one of the following options:

i) Table the discussion, think about it, and bring it up at the next meeting.

ii) Ask the Executive Council and the Executive Board to discuss the issue, change the resolution as needed, and vote on it.

iii) Re-open discussion, and vote on it again at this meeting.

5. Agendas will be set by the Executive Council for General Membership meetings, and by the Executive Board for Executive Council meetings. Time will be allotted to each item. If more time is required during a discussion point, the meeting leader will ask for a vote to extend the conversation by five (5) or ten (10) minutes. A simple majority vote is required to add time to discussion; if the motion for additional time fails, the agenda item proceeds to a vote if a motion is being considered, or onto the next discussion point.

6. This is a new rules system (2016). If members have suggested improvements or alterations to this rule system, they or their steward may propose alterations at any Executive Council meeting. If the suggested changes pass with a simple majority vote, then they will be implemented for the rest of the year. If they work well, they should be voted on by the membership for incorporation into the bylaws.

Section Two- The General Membership of the GTFF shall meet at least once per term of the academic year (excluding summer). Special meetings may be scheduled as necessary or as dictated by these bylaws. General Membership meetings shall be chaired by the President or their designee and shall be open to all Members in good standing. In the absence of the President, the Vice President for Organizing shall act as Chair. In the Absence of the Vice President for Organizing the Chair shall follow the order of succession in Article Seven, Section 3 of these Bylaws. The agenda for the General Membership Meetings shall be prepared by the President or their designee and distributed at the meeting. The Agenda shall be approved prior to discussion of any items outlined in it. A motion from the floor may modify the Agenda. The Membership shall have the power to bring motions from the floor. The Chair shall have the power to recognize all motions. A motion not recognized by the Chair may be brought to discussion by a motion from the floor to open discussion and a 2/3 vote of the members. An individual appointed by the President shall take minutes.

Section Three- The Executive Council shall meet as per Article 8, Section 1. The chair of the Executive Council shall be the Vice President for Organizing. An individual appointed by the Executive Council Chair will take accurate and complete minutes of the meeting. In the absence of the Vice President for Organizing, the President will serve as chair or in the absence of the president; the chair will be determined by the order of succession in Article Seven, Section Four.

Section Four- The Executive Board shall meet as per Article 7, Section 1, and an individual appointed by the Chair shall take minutes.

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ARTICLE TWELVE – COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT RATIFICATION

Section One- Any collective bargaining agreement may only be ratified by the Regular Membership. Upon reaching a tentative agreement, the Bargaining Team shall present the collective bargaining agreement to the Membership at a General Membership meeting. The vote shall be in accordance with the GTFF Election Handbook or in a manner to be determined by the Executive Council. Ratification of the contract shall require a simple majority of those voting. A quorum of at least 30 percent of the Regular Membership must participate in the vote.

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ARTICLE THIRTEEN – STRIKE VOTE

Section One- If the Bargaining Team decides that negotiations have been discontinued it may request the Executive Board to call a General Membership meeting for the purpose of authorizing the Executive Board to call a strike. The vote shall be in accordance with the GTFF Election Handbook or in a manner to be determined by the Executive Board. Strike authorization shall require a quorum of at least 30% of the Regular Membership with 60% in support of the strike. The time limitation of strike authorization shall be voted on by the Regular Membership and is amendable by future votes.

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ARTICLE FOURTEEN – DUES

Section One- Regular, Associate, and Legacy Members are required to pay dues.

Section Two- Dues for all members shall be determined by their monthly income. A progressive structure will prescribe dues percentages by income brackets as follows:

  • Below $1110/mo: 2.1%

  • $1111 to $1944.99/mo: 2.2%

  • $1945 or higher/mo: 2.3%

This amount will only be adjusted by any changes in affiliation fees.

Section Three- Fair share dues shall be determined by a formula based on the percentage of annual GTFF expenditures for bargaining unit representation. Fair share dues shall be adjusted within 45 calendar days of completion after each audit of GTFF finances.

Section Four- Legacy Members will remain in good standing as long as they continue to pay dues equivalent to the Regular Member dues rate of a .2 FTE appointment earning the minimum wage at GE level 1 or flat fee to be determined by the Executive Board. Legacy Member dues must be paid for a full term, or longer, and are due by the fifteenth of the month following the beginning of the term (October 15th, January 15th, or April 15th). Legacy Member dues must be paid before Legacy Members are eligible to participate in union functions that require membership.

Section Five- Associate Members will remain in good standing as long as they continue to pay dues equivalent to the Regular Member dues rate of a .2 FTE appointment earning the minimum wage at GE level 1 or a flat fee to be determined by the Executive Board. Associate Member dues must be paid for a full term, or longer, and are due by the fifteenth of the month following the beginning of the term. Associate Member dues must be paid before Associate Members are eligible to participate in union functions that require membership.

Section Six- The amount for initiation fees will be set by the Executive Council annually and approved by the General Membership at the next available meeting.

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ARTICLE FIFTEEN – FINANCE AND BUDGETING

Section One- The Treasurer shall monitor the day-to-day financial business of the union. The Treasurer shall write checks on behalf of the union, for amounts allocated in the annual budget. Such checks are subject to the approval of the Executive Board, and must be co-signed by another union officer. The Treasurer may delegate their check-signing authority to another officer(s).

Section Two- The Treasurer, acting with the approval of the Executive Board, has the authority to disburse the amounts allocated in the annual budget. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Board may override the approved budget and authorize the Treasurer to exceed the allocated annual budget item amounts within the following limits:

a) payment of allocated budget items (except the payment of percapita dues to affiliate organizations) may not exceed the budgeted amounts by more than 10 percent of the amount allocated on an annual basis without the approval of the Executive Council on an expense by expense basis;

b) the payment of per capita dues to affiliate organizations must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Board if they are in excess of 15 percent above the allocated amount per year;

c) all instances in which the Executive Board overrides the approved budget must be reported to the Executive Council and the General Membership at their next meetings.

d) the Executive Council may approve an increase to any one budget line-item or the creation of an additional budget line-item upon the request of the Treasurer or Budget Committee. This increase may not exceed 35% for individual line item increases or $500.00 for new line items. All changes to the budget must be approved by the general membership at their next meeting.

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ARTICLE SIXTEEN – AFFILIATIONS

Section One- Should reason for disaffiliation occur due to a lack of common interest of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation with its affiliates, disaffiliation may be attained through a vote of a two-thirds majority of the Regular Members in good standing. At such time, the local shall become an independent union, free to affiliate or not affiliate with other organizations. A quorum of at least 40% of the Regular Membership must participate in such a vote.

Section Two- Those Regular Members in good standing, as measured at the end of the month preceding the vote, shall be eligible to vote in a disaffiliation election.

Section Three- Affiliation procedures involving any other organization require the same majority and quorum requirements as specified in Article 16 Sections 1 and 2 for disaffiliation.

Section Four- Delegates from this local shall be sent to state and national AFL-CIO and AFT conventions in accordance with their by-laws stipulating the number to be sent.

Section Five- Any Delegate from this local must be a Member in good standing.

Section Six- The local may choose by simple majority vote to send Delegates to conventions of other organizations when deemed appropriate. This process is outlined in Article 16 Section 2.

Section Seven- Delegates may be sent to conventions either as instructed or non-instructed Delegates, depending on a vote of the Membership.

Section Eight- The Delegate or Delegates, as the case may be, shall upon return make a report to both the Executive Council and the General Membership.

Section Nine- The delegation to the Lane County Central Labor Council shall consist of the Vice President for External Relations and such additional Delegates and alternates as the union is allowed. These Delegates and alternates shall be appointed by the Executive Council or be a member of the external relations committee.

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ARTICLE SEVENTEEN – AMENDMENTS

Section One- The by-laws may be amended by a simple majority vote.

Section Two- A quorum of at least 15 percent of the Membership is required for the changes to take effect.

Section Three- Notice of intent to amend the by-laws must be made 30 calendar days prior to such action.

Section Four – Proposed by-law amendments must be submitted within the timeframe set forth by the VP for Operations, and must be signed by at least then (10) members in good standing.

 

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ARTICLE EIGHTEEN – HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF THE MEMBERSHIP

Section One – If any union member believes that an individual member of the GTFF has exhibited misconduct, or poses a threat to the health and/or safety of another member or group of members of the GTFF, they can petition the President or Vice President for Organizing to call a special session of the Executive Council to revoke the “good standing” status of the individual member.

The President or Vice President for Organizing shall inform the charged member of the petition and charges being brought against them within 2 days of receiving the petition.

The President or Vice President for Organizing shall call the special session no later than 10 days after receiving a request for a special session.

The President or Vice President for Organizing will act as the chair for the special session and will not be allowed to vote.

The process of the special session will afford the charged member a full and fair hearing at the special session of the Executive Council before the Executive Council votes at the end of the special session on revoking the good standing of a member for health and/or safety reasons.

Section Two – It requires a 3/4 vote of the full body of the Executive Council to revoke good standing for health and/or safety reasons. To protect privacy, this vote shall be carried out by secret ballot, either on paper or electronically.

Section Three – In the event of the Executive Council voting to revoke the good standing of a member for health and/or safety reasons, the President or Vice President for Organizing will notify the member within two days of the vote.

Section Four – A member who has had their good standing revoked by vote of the

Executive Council may petition the Executive Council to reinstate good standing no sooner than 60 calendar days from the revocation. The member can petition the President or Vice President for Organizing to call a special session of the Executive Council to re-instate their good standing. Should this period transpire during the summer term, the re-instating of a given member will not occur until Executive Council members return for fall term.

The President or Vice President for Organizing shall call the special session no later than 10 days after receiving a request for special session.

The President or Vice President for Organizing will act as the chair for the special session and will not be allowed to vote.

Should this process of re-instating a given member occur after the President and Vice President for Organizing’s terms of office have ended, those previous officers will remain the chairs for this special session. If either the former President and/or Vice President for Organizing are no longer official union members, the newly elected President or Vice President for Organizing will assume these chair responsibilities.

 

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ARTICLE 19 – MUTUAL HARDSHIP FUND

Beginning in AY 2020-21, a portion of GTFF member dues will be allocated towards constituting and maintaining a Mutual-Aid Hardship Fund (from now on “the Fund”).

  1. a)  The amount allocated to the Fund is voted annually as part of the yearly budget of the union, but under no circumstances can fall below $10,000.

  2. b)  The union recognizes the hardship that many of our members face during the summer due to a lower number of GE appointments. The Fund is primarily meant to address this hardship.

  3. c)  A Hardship Fund Committee is constituted every year following the approval of the budget in May and holds a mandatory meeting BEFORE July 1 (start of new budget year).

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DEFINITIONS

As used in these by-laws and in related contexts:

“Affiliation” means an official association (i.e. payment of dues) with a labor organization. “Approval” or “Advice and Consent” means the question has been called to a vote.

“Bargaining unit” means all GEs who are employed as such by the University of Oregon as specified in its Collective Bargaining Agreement and as clarified by the Employment Relations Board.

“Executive Board” or “Board” is comprised of the duly elected and appointed officers of the union.

“Executive Council” or “Council” is comprised of the duly elected and appointed officers, stewards, and caucus chairs.

“General Membership” or “Membership” is comprised of the Regular Members,Associate Members, and Legacy Members of the union.

“In good standing” means either:

a) a Regular, Associate or Legacy Member who has paid dues by the last day of the preceding month; or

b) a Regular, Associate or Legacy Member who has paid an initiation fee and signed a dues deduction authorization form.

“Majority” means in excess of fifty percent.

“Motion” means suggested changes or responses to an issue being discussed.

“Plurality” means the most votes received.

“Quorum” means the minimum number of members who must be present in order for a vote to be valid.

“Regular Member” a GE who has signed a membership card, otherwise known as a dues deduction authorization form

“Work site” means any department or non-departmental unit that has bargaining unit members.

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