P-fac Constitution & Bylaws

CONSTITUTION
PREAMBLE
Article 1. MEMBERSHIP
Article 2. SELECTION OF DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES AND STEERING COMMITTEE
Article 3. DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES
Article 4. STEERING COMMITTEE
Article 5. MEMBERSHIP VOTES
Article 6. BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS

BYLAWS OF THE PART-TIME FACULTY ASSOCIATION AT COLUMBIA, IEA/NEA
1. ELECTIONS
2. OPEN MEETINGS
3. COMMITTEES
4. DUES
5. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
6. DUTIES OF OFFICERS
7. VACANCIES IN DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES
8. PROCEDURES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.
9) ELECTIONS OF AT-LARGE STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND BEG. OF TERM OF STEERING COMMITTEE

CONSTITUTION OF THE PART-TIME FACULTY ASSOCIATION AT COLUMBIA COLLEGE
(approved May 2, 1998; amended January 21, 2015)

PREAMBLE
The Part-Time Faculty Association at Columbia (P-fac), hereby formally established, exists to ensure respectful treatment and achieve just compensation for the part-time faculty, to provide a voice for part-time teachers within the Columbia College community, and thus to promote quality education for students at Columbia College.

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Article 1. MEMBERSHIP

A. Membership is open to all part-time teachers at Columbia College, without respect to race, religion, nationality, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Persons who have taught part- time at Columbia, but who have had classes canceled, are on sabbatical, are actively contesting termination, are pursuing other, temporary work, or who ordinarily teach a seasonal class or classes, and who expect to return to part-time teaching at Columbia, are also eligible on the same basis as current part-time teachers.

B. P-fac is an independent union not affiliated with any labor organization or professional association. (Amended January 21, 2015)

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Article 2. SELECTION OF DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES AND AT-LARGE MEMBERS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE

A. Every two years on October first (amended September 1, 2013) (and initially at a General Meeting of members), P-fac members shall elect four At-Large Members of the Steering Committee, and the P-fac members in each department shall elect Department Representatives, who shall be members of their departments. Each department shall have one representative for every 10 enrolled P-fac members (or fraction thereof), the number to be determined by the Steering Committee (initially, by the Convening Meeting) on the basis of the best available information.

B. Nomination shall be open to all eligible to vote. The date of the election shall be determined by the Steering Committee, and the election shall be conducted by an Elections Committee, appointed for the purpose by the Organizing Committee, and thereafter by the Steering Committee.
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Article 3. DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES
A. The Department Representatives shall meet immediately after the General Meeting that adopts this Constitution, and after that during November and March, on a date chosen by the Steering Committee. They shall act as a representative assembly to determine overall policies, adopt bylaws, initiate amendment of the constitution and determine dues.

B. The Assembly of Department Representatives shall choose three members of the Steering Committee from among the members to chair the Publications Committee, the Negotiations Committee and the Membership Committee. If any person chosen to chair these committees shall have been elected as an At-Large Member of the Steering Committee, then the Assembly shall replace him or her with another person as At-Large Member of the Steering Committee.

C. Department Representatives within each department shall divide the list of P-fac members evenly among themselves so that each representative will have up to ten names of P-fac members in his or her own department, whom they shall keep informed of all P-fac activities.

D. Department Representatives within each department as a group shall meet periodically with the Chairs of their departments to discuss concerns of the part-time faculty, and they shall initiate any grievances from their members arising from any dispute over contractual rights.

E. Emergency meetings of the Assembly of Department Representatives may be called by the Steering Committee to address urgent or divisive issues that cannot be put off until the Assembly’s next meeting.
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Article 4. STEERING COMMITTEE
A. The Steering Committee shall meet at least once a month during the academic year. It shall consist of four At-Large Members of the Steering Committee and three members chosen by the Assembly of Department Representatives to chair the Negotiations, Membership and Publications Committee. A quorum shall consist of four members.

B. The Steering Committee shall have general executive powers subject to the Constitution and Bylaws. The Steering Committee shall choose a spokesperson, records-keeping office, and financial officer, and shall divide such other tasks as seems necessary. Whenever contracts, charters, and other official documents require the signature or authorization of a “president,” the spokesperson shall be empowered to exercise that power. The Steering Committee may appoint a liaison to communicate regularly with the Board of Trustees, President or their designee.

C. Vacancies in the Steering Committee shall be filled by the Steering Committee until such time as the Assembly of Department Representatives shall appoint replacements.

D. The Steering Committee shall create other committees as needed. Committee chairs (other than Membership, Negotiations and Publications) shall be appointed by the Steering Committee; members of all committees may be appointed as provided by the Steering Committee.

E. Department Representatives shall be ex officio members of the Steering Committee.
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Article 5. MEMBERSHIP VOTES
No strike shall be authorized without a vote by secret mail ballot of the entire membership of P-fac, and no contract shall be approved without a secret mail ballot vote of all members of P-fac who are currently in the bargaining unit. The Steering Committee shall authorize such votes, and it shall have the power to set a specific strike date (once the members have authorized a strike), postpone a strike or call strikers back to work.
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Article 6. BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS
A. This Constitution shall go into effect if approved by two-thirds of those voting at a General Meeting open to all members.

B. Bylaws may be adopted by a majority of the Assembly of Department Representatives at any meeting.

C. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership.

Amendments may be initiated by a majority of the Assembly of Department Representatives, or by petition of 20 percent of the members of P-fac, presented to the Steering Committee. In either case, a vote by secret mail ballot shall take place within one month respectively of the vote of the Assembly of Department Representatives or the submission of a petition to the Steering Committee.
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BYLAWS OF THE PART-TIME FACULTY ASSOCIATION AT COLUMBIA
(approved May 2, 1998; amended September 1, 2013, February 27, 2015)

1. ELECTIONS

The duration of Steering Committee member terms shall be two years. (Amended September 1, 2013). Every two years on October first, the Elections Committee shall submit by U.S. or campus mail a solicitation to nominate members for the posts of Department Representative and At-Large Member of the Steering Committee, as provided in the Constitution. Any member of a department may nominate himself or herself or any other member of the department for Department Representative, and any member of P-fac for At-Large Member of the Steering Committee. A single nomination shall suffice. Nominations shall close two weeks later. The Elections Committee promptly present the Steering Committee with a list of all nominees. The Elections committee shall within three days forward ballots to the members of each department, with adequate explanations, and return postage if US mails are used. Two weeks afterwards, the Elections Committee shall send ballots to all members. If there are no nominations, blank ballots shall be sent, with invitation to write in names of candidates. The Elections Committee shall count the ballots two weeks following their distribution, and shall promptly distribute to all members a complete list of those elected. Department Representatives shall undertake their duties immediately.
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2. OPEN MEETINGS
Meetings of the Assembly and the Steering Committee shall be open to all P-fac members who are up to date in their dues, but the Assembly and Steering Committee themselves shall determine who, if anyone, may speak.
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3. COMMITTEES
A) NEGOTIATIONS. Upon approval of these bylaws, and thereafter in the semester prior to the expiration of a contract, the Steering Committee shall appoint members of the Negotiations Committee, with at least one representative from every department if possible. The Steering Committee shall appoint a Negotiating Team when appropriate.

B) GRIEVANCE. The Steering Committee shall appoint a Grievance Committee to carry out functions specified in the contract.
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4. DUES
Local dues shall be $130.00 per semester during fall, spring and summer; but a member who has taught, but does not currently teach at Columbia because he or she has had classes canceled, is on sabbatical, has been terminated but is actively contesting termination, is pursuing other, temporary work, or ordinarily teaches a seasonal class or classes, and who expects to return to part-time teaching at Columbia, shall be exempt from dues during that period of non-employment by Columbia.
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5. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
An annual meeting shall be held at or immediately before the beginning of every academic year, and it shall include:

A) new members’ orientation;

B) an address on the state of the part-time faculty, to be given by one or more of the Steering Committee members, chosen by them;

C) questions, answers, and discussion of major issues; and it may vote to instruct the Assembly of Department Representatives to discuss specific issues at its meeting in November;

D) a social event.
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6. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

The spokesperson or publications chair shall be available for media interviews and presentations and should edit and oversee the publication of the union’s newsletter. The publications chair should also contact the media about news regarding the union. The membership chair shall contact new members, answer questions from members, oversee email messages to members and organize meetings with departments when requested.

The grievance chair shall oversee grievances filed by the union on behalf of members. The records-keeping officer, or secretary, is responsible for recording the decisions of the Steering Committee and posting the notes from each meeting.

The financial officer, or treasurer, shall maintain records of all P-fac income and spending, and of payment of dues by members. The vice president of the union shall assist the president with duties and be prepared to take over the leadership of the union in an emergency or in the absence of the president.

The president of the union shall oversee and lead all meetings of the steering committee, prepare an agenda for all meetings of the steering committee, lead the negotiations committee, represent the union at meetings with the college administration, lead the meetings of the department representatives, and speak to members when requested.
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7. VACANCIES IN DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES
Upon the resignation or death of a Department Representative, the Steering Committee, after consulting with the Membership Committee Chair, shall provide for election or appointment of an Interim Department Representative.

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8. PROCEDURES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. Consistent with Article 6, Section C of P-fac’s Constitution, the following procedures must be followed in order to initiate an amendment to the Constitution. For any vote or petition to initiate an amendment that began prior to the passage of this section on February 27, 2015, the time periods set forth below will begin to run on February 27, 2015.

A. In order to initiate the amendment process through a vote of the department representatives, a majority of department representatives must vote in favor of initiating the amendment process. The vote to initiate the amendment process shall be made on a motion that sets forth the language of the proposed amendment. The vote to initiate the amendment process may be conducted in person at a meeting, remotely via email or other written communication, or in some combination. No matter how the voting is conducted, all votes used to satisfy the majority requirement set forth in the constitution must be cast within a 30-day period. The vote will be considered complete after thirty days have passed since the motion initiating the vote was made.

B. In order to initiate the amendment process through a petition of the members, a petition must contain the signatures of 20% of the P-fac members eligible to vote in elections at the time the signatures are collected. The petition must set forth the language of the proposed amendment. All of the signatures used to satisfy the 20% requirement set forth in the constitution must be collected within a 30-day period. The petition must be presented to the Steering Committee within 60 days of the date of the first signature used to satisfy the 20% requirement set forth in the constitution.

C. The vote by secret mail ballot set forth in the Constitution shall be administered by the Elections Committee.

D. In order to conserve the union’s resources used to conduct the amendment process, the membership shall not vote on amendments addressing substantially the same issue more than once in any twelve-month period. The Steering Committee shall have discretion to determine whether a proposed amendment concerns substantially the same issue as one previously considered in the preceding twelve months.

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9) ELECTIONS OF AT-LARGE STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND BEGINNING OF TERM OF STEERING COMMITTEE

Every two years on October first, the Elections Committee shall solicit from each nominee a statement of qualifications and reasons for seeking the post. The committee shall distribute this statement with the ballot, provided the statement is offered in a timely manner; and in any case it shall place such nominee statements on the P-fac website. Newly elected members of the steering committee (both those elected at large and those elected by the assembly of department representatives) shall take office following the last day of the fall semester.
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