NewsGuild Bylaws (viewable by members only)

(Although we've tried our best to ensure the accuracy of this version of the bylaws, we can't rule out the possibility that some minor errors may have occurred in the formatting process. In the unlikely event that there are any discrepancies between the Web-based bylaws and the printed version, the printed version shall prevail. A pdf of the printed bylaws is available below.)

Bylaws of 
The NewsGuild of New York
(As amended April 2015)

Article I - Structure

Section 1

The membership of the Local shall have supreme authority in the Local.

Section 2

Between General Membership meetings, the Executive Committee shall be the legislative and administrative body.  To take effect January 2, 2017.

Section 3

The officers shall be President, Secretary-Treasurer, Local Chairperson, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Third Vice President.

Section 4

The TNG-CWA Constitution, the Constitution of the Communications Workers of America, these Bylaws, and Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail at Guild meetings.

Article II - Membership

Section 1

Applicants for membership shall submit their applications through their units to the President subject to appeal as provided in The TNG-CWA's Constitution.

Section 2

Reinstatement fees and conditions shall be set by the Executive Committee.

Article III - Units

Section 1

Unit elections shall be conducted by mail ballot in those units within the United States.  Balloting in those units outside the United States shall be conducted in their shops.  Before the third Saturday in October every third year, beginning in 1998, in accordance with rules set by the Local Election Committee, each unit shall elect a Chairperson, a First Vice Chairperson, and a Secretary.  The unit may also elect any additional Vice Chairpersons whom it deems necessary.

All unit officers shall be certified to the Local President by the Local Election Committee upon completion of the counting of the ballots, and they shall assume office on November 1.

ALL CHANGES IN ARTICLE III TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 2, 2017.

Section 2

Unit officers and any other members designated by the unit shall form a Unit Council for administrative purposes.

Section 3

The Unit Chairperson, under the direction of the Local President, shall execute the fiscal provisions of the Constitutions of The NewsGuild-CWA and the Communications Workers of America and of these Bylaws.

Section 4

The Unit Secretary, after each meeting of the unit membership, shall file a copy of the minutes with the Local President.

Section 5

Vacancies in a unit office listed in Section 1 above must be filled promptly if they occur more than ninety days before a regular unit election.  Nominations shall accordingly be made promptly pursuant to rules and procedures set by the Local Election Committee.  The unit membership shall be informed of the nominations by notices on the Local website, bulletin board notices and/or shop paper.  Additional nominations may be made in writing to the Local Election Committee on a schedule to be set by the Local Election Committee.  If there is a contest for any Unit Council position, the unit shall, within forty-five days after the Unit Council meeting, hold an election.  If there is no contest for a position, the candidates shall be declared elected.  Vacancies in other unit offices may, at the discretion of the Council, be filled in a like manner.

Section 6

Unit election disputes shall be decided by the Local Election Committee, subject to the right of appeal to the Local Executive Committee and to the membership.

ALL CHANGES IN ARTICLE III TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 2, 2017.

Section 7

Unit meetings shall be held at least twice a year.  A quorum shall be no fewer than five members or ten percent of the unit membership in good standing, whichever is greater.  Any member of the Local may attend meetings of any unit, but only unit members shall have voice, vote, and other rights at their own unit meetings.

Section 8

Additional unit meetings shall be held on petition of ten percent of the unit membership in good standing, and unit referendums shall be held on petition of ten percent of the unit membership in good standing.

Section 9

Associate members and freelance members may form units of not fewer than five persons and send observers to the Executive Committee.

Article IV - Representative Assembly

Effective November 1, 2016, eliminate Article IV – Representative Assembly

Section 1

The Representative Assembly shall consist of Delegates and Alternate Delegates elected by the units as specified in Article III.  Members of the Executive Committee who are not members of the Assembly shall have ex officio membership without vote. 

Section 2

Each unit shall elect one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate for each twenty-five members in good standing, and one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate for any remainder of ten or more.  A unit of fewer than twenty-five members shall elect one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate. 

Section 3

Each unit shall have as many votes in the Representative Assembly as it had members in good standing on the first day of that month.

Each unit's total number of votes shall be divided equally among the Delegates to which the unit is entitled, except in cases where the membership has declined, in which instance the total number of votes shall be divided equally among the elected Delegates. In the event a Delegate or Alternate is not present, the votes he/she represents shall not be cast.

Section 4

Alternates may speak at all meetings but may vote only in place of absent Delegates. 

Section 5

A quorum shall consist of representatives of not less than one-third of the total membership of the Local in good standing who also represent not less than one-third of the total number of units. 

 

Section 6

The Representative Assembly shall meet at least five times a year, but meetings need not be held in July or August.  Special meetings may be called by the President, and shall be called by the President at the request of the Executive Committee or of 16 members of the Representative Assembly, on written notice of not less than three days. 

Section 7

The Representative Assembly may require the Executive Committee, any Local officer, or any committee of the Local to render a report to it.

Section 8

Officers of the Local or other members of the Executive Committee shall not simultaneously hold the office of Representative Assembly Chairperson or Vice Chairperson.

Section 9

A roll-call vote of Delegates shall be mandatory upon a motion seconded by a Delegate from each of four units.

Section 10

The Representative Assembly may revise basic policies as set by the Executive Committee.  Salaries of officers and staff members, as fixed by the Executive Committee, may be revised by the Representative Assembly.

Section 11

The Representative Assembly may call a strike subject to the provisions of The Newspaper Guild Constitution.

Article V - Executive Committee

Section 1

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Secretary-Treasurer, Local Chairperson, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, all Unit Chairpersons, and 16 additional members.

Section 2

The Executive Committee shall meet every month, but meetings need not be held in July or August.  Special meetings may be called by the Local Chairperson or, through notice to the President, by any three Executive Committee members.  A quorum shall consist of 25 percent of the members who represent 25 percent of the units.

Section 3

The Executive Committee shall set basic policies, and shall fix salaries of the paid officers and staff members.

Section 4

All expenditures must be authorized by the Executive Committee's Committee on Finance and Administration, which shall be a standing committee.  The Executive Committee shall arrange for adequate bonding of employees who handle funds and of officers who sign checks.  To be valid, checks must be signed by the President and one other designated officer.

Section 5

The Committee on Finance and Administration shall consist of the President, Secretary-Treasurer, Local Chairperson, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, and any members of the Local holding office on the NewsGuild-CWA Executive Council.  The Committee on Finance and Administration shall review the agenda for the General Membership and Executive Committee meetings, and may make recommendations to the Executive Committee.

Section 6

The Executive Committee may call a strike subject to the provisions of the Constitutions of the Communications Workers of America and TNG-CWA.

Article VI - Local Elections

Section 1

The officers and the other members of the Executive Committee, including the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Representative Assembly, shall be elected every third year, beginning in 1998.  At the September meeting in the year of the election, the Representative Assembly shall adopt rules for the nomination and election of Local officers and the other members of the Executive Committee, and elect a Local Elections Committee of seven members.

Section 2

Nominations for Local officers and the other members of the Executive Committee shall take place at the October meeting of the Representative Assembly.

Section 3

Additional nominations may be made by signed petitions of not fewer than five per cent of the membership in good standing as of October 1.  At least three units must be represented by not fewer than fifteen signers each.  These petitions must be filed with the Elections Committee no later than 6 p.m., November 15.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify all candidates of their nomination and shall receive from them, on or before November 22, written notice of their willingness to serve.

Section 4

In the event of a contest, the Local Elections Committee shall conduct the election beginning the third Thursday of December.  Ballots shall be issued to all members in good standing as of December 1.  The ballots shall show each candidate's unit and the slate, if any, on which the candidate is running.

Section 5

Local elections shall be conducted by mail ballot in those units within the United States.  Balloting in those units outside the United States shall be conducted in their shops.  Election shall be by plurality.  Any election dispute shall be decided by the Representative Assembly, whose decision may be appealed to the next General Membership meeting.

Section 6

Officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall take office on January 2 and be installed at the January Membership meeting.

Section 7

Delegates and Alternates to the convention of The Newspaper Guild and to conventions of groups with which the Local is affiliated shall be nominated annually in the same manner as Local officers and members of the Executive Committee.  Election of such delegates shall be held at least one month before the conventions.  The number of such delegates shall be recommended by the Executive Committee subject to approval by the Representative Assembly.

Section 8

Nominations to fill a vacancy in the Executive Committee shall be made by the Representative Assembly at its first meeting after the vacancy occurs, provided such vacancy has occurred at least five days before the meeting.  If five days have not elapsed, the nominations shall be made at the next meeting.  Additional nominations by petition may be made in accordance with Section 3 of this Article.  In the event of a contest, the election shall take place within thirty days after the close of the period for petition nominations, in accordance with Section 4 of this Article, except that good standing shall be determined as of the first day of the month of the election.

Section 9

At its June meeting every third year, beginning in 1998, the Representative Assembly shall adopt rules for the nomination and election of unit officers and Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the Representative Assembly.

Article VII - Duties of Officers

(Effective January 1, 1984, the title of President in effect as of December 31, 1983, was changed to Local Chairperson.  The title of Executive Vice Chairperson was changed to President.)

Section 1

The Executive Committee shall have general supervision over all Local officers.

Section 2

The Local Chairperson shall preside at General Membership and Executive Committee meetings, supervise the work of other officers, and sign all membership cards.

Section 3

The President shall act in the place of the Local Chairperson when the Local Chairperson is absent.  The Vice Presidents, in their numerical order, shall act in place of the Local Chairperson when both the Local Chairperson and the President are absent.  One of the Vice Presidents shall be designated by the Executive Committee to act as Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, and shall submit a quarterly budget to the Executive Committee.

Section 4

The President shall be the executive officer of the Local, having over-all responsibility.  The President shall be directly responsible for collective bargaining and organizing as directed from time to time by the Executive Committee, and shall report regularly to the membership on the progress of collective bargaining and membership gains.

The President shall hire and discharge Local Representatives and other personnel, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 5

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be custodian of all funds, shall be responsible for all financial records, and shall be custodian of all records of the Guild.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall give regular financial reports to the membership and shall be an ex officio member of the Committee on Finance.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall be directly responsible for contract enforcement and the maintenance of Guild units as directed from time to time by the Executive Committee.

Article VIII - General Membership Meetings

Section 1

The annual General Membership meeting shall be held in January.  At least one other meeting shall be held during the year, upon a date set by the Executive Committee.

Section 2

The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the membership by mail at least five days before any meeting, except that in an emergency the Executive Committee may call a special meeting on two days' notice.

Section 3

General Membership meetings may also be called by the Executive Committee or Representative Assembly, or upon written petition of not fewer than 150 members in good standing.  At least three units must be represented by not fewer than fifteen signatures each.

Section 4

The Secretary-Treasurer shall include in the meeting notice any motion made via petition of not fewer than 150 members in good standing, calling for review or reversal of a decision of the Representative Assembly or the Executive Committee.  At least three units must be represented by not fewer than fifteen signatures each.  No such appeal may be acted upon unless notice has been given by the Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 5

A quorum at General Membership meetings shall consist of not less than five per cent of the members in good standing, representing not less than one-half of the units, except that at regular meetings those present shall constitute a quorum for any business not involving a vote.

Article IX - Collective Bargaining

Section 1

Negotiators in collective bargaining shall be selected by the President.

Section 2

Any agreement, to be valid, must be approved by the unit or units involved and must be ratified by the Executive Committee and the Representative Assembly, as well as by the Sector Executive Council.

Article X - Dues and Assessments

Section 1

The schedule of dues shall be set by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by the Representative Assembly and a general membership referendum.  Initiation fees shall be set by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by the Representative Assembly.

Section 2

When the Local Emergency Fund falls below $500,000, monthly dues shall be increased by 1% of a member's basic weekly salary (shift differential included).  This additional 1% shall be deposited in the Local Emergency Fund.

Section 3

Local assessments may be levied by the Representative Assembly provided that notice of the proposed assessment has been given by mail to Representative Assembly members.

Section 4

All money collected on behalf of the Local, except any collected for The Newspaper Guild or any branch of The Newspaper Guild, shall belong to the Local.

Section 5

The Executive Committee may adopt rules to enforce payment of delinquent dues and assessments.  Such rules may provide that they shall apply to units whose members are working under collective bargaining agreements containing "Guild shop," "preferential shop," or "maintenance of membership" provisions, and in such other units as by majority vote elect to be governed by such rules.  Such rules may establish a system of fines and penalties graduated according to the amount or frequency of the delinquency, but shall not provide for penalties in excess of two and one-half times the total amount of such delinquent dues and assessments.  The establishment of such penalties shall not impair the power granted by The Newspaper Guild Constitution for the discipline of delinquent members, but shall be in addition thereto.

Article XI - Referendum

Section 1

Any question may be submitted to a referendum of the membership by a majority vote at a General Membership meeting or a meeting of the Representative Assembly.  A referendum shall be mandatory if called for in a petition signed by not less than ten per cent of the membership in good standing. Voting shall be conducted by mail ballot in those units within the United States.  Balloting in those units outside the United States shall be conducted in their shops.

Section 2

Provisions for the holding of a referendum shall be made promptly by the Representative Assembly.

Article XII - Amendments

Section 1

These Bylaws may be amended only by a plurality vote in a referendum of the membership, to be held as provided in Article XI.  Proposed amendments shall be mailed to the membership not less than ten days before the referendum date.

Article XIII - Interpretation

Section 1

These Bylaws shall be interpreted by the Representative Assembly subject to appeal to the membership.