NewsGuild Bylaws

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Bylaws of 
The NewsGuild of New York
(As amended 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

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

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.

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.

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 - 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 V - Local Elections

Section 1

The officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall be elected every third year.  The election shall be by secret ballot.  The term of office shall be three years.  For all Local offices, unit offices, and positions as delegate, election shall be by plurality.  The terms of office of Unit Chairpersons shall be as set forth in Article III.

Section 2

For all Local offices, unit offices, and positions as delegate, only members of the Local in good standing shall be eligible to nominate, second, vote, or hold office.

Section 3

Officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall take office on January 2 and shall be installed at the January Membership meeting.  Unit Chairpersons shall serve on the Executive Committee for a period co-extensive with their term of office.

Section 4

The Executive Committee shall elect a Local Election Committee, which shall consist of at least five members in good standing. If the number of members of the Local Election Committee falls below five, the Executive Committee shall elect a replacement member at its next meeting.  The Local Election Committee shall supervise the nomination and election of all officers and members of the Executive Committee, delegates to the CWA convention and the TNG-CWA Sector Conference, as well as the nomination and election of all unit officers.  The Local Election Committee shall have the authority and responsibility to see that nominations and the elections are conducted in accordance with federal law, the NewsGuild-CWA and CWA Constitutions, these Bylaws, and the rules adopted by the  Local Election Committee. The Local Election Committee shall have the authority and responsibility to see that each member is provided with a reasonable opportunity to nominate and vote for the candidate or candidates of his or her choice. The Local Election Committee shall have the authority and responsibility to establish a schedule for voting and counting ballots.  The Local Election Committee shall retain the services of a recognized, neutral organization, with expertise in conducting union elections, to assist it in conducting all elections of officers and members of the Executive Committee, delegates to the CWA convention and TNG-CWA Sector Conference, as well as unit officers.

Section 5

The Local Election Committee shall also conduct any referenda submitted to the membership, and shall adopt rules for any such referenda.  The Local Election Committee shall retain the services of a recognized, neutral organization, with expertise in conducting union elections, to assist it in conducting the referenda.

Section 6

A member shall not be permitted to serve on the Local Election Committee if she or he is a candidate for any office of the Local or a unit or the CWA convention or the TNG-CWA Sector Conference.

Section 7

All questions concerning the conduct and challenges of elections shall be determined by the Local Election Committee, subject to the right of appeal to the Local Executive Committee and to the membership of the local.

Section 8

The Local Election Committee shall adopt rules for the nomination and election of unit officers.

Section 9

On or before August 15 of the year before the elected officers and other members of the Executive Committee take office, the Local Election Committee shall adopt rules for the nomination and election of Local officers and the other members of the Executive Committee.  The Local Election Committee shall be responsible for carrying out the election, counting the ballots, certifying the results of the election, and ruling on post-election protests.  The election of the Unit Chairpersons shall be subject to the rules for the nomination and election of unit officers.

Section 10

Nominations for the election of officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall take place at a meeting or meetings for the sole purpose of nominations to be held on or before October 10 of the year before the elected officers and other members of the Executive Committee take office.  The nomination meeting or meetings and process shall afford members in good standing a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates.  Additional nominations may be made in writing to the Local Election Committee on a schedule to be set by the Local Election Committee.  The Local Election Committee shall notify all candidates of their nomination and shall receive from them, on or before October 25, written notice of their willingness to serve.

Section 11

All Local elections shall be conducted by mail ballot, except that the Local Election Committee may conduct an election using electronic balloting upon approval of electronic balloting by the Department of Labor.

Section 12

Delegates and alternate delegates to the CWA convention  and/or TNG-CWA Sector Conference shall be elected by the membership voting by secret ballot conducted not less than thirty days in advance of the applicable convention.  The number of such delegates shall be determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 13

In case of a vacancy in the office of President on or before December 31, 2016, the Secretary-Treasurer shall immediately assume the position of President.  In the case of a vacancy in the office of President on or after January 2, 2017, the vacancy shall be filled by an election to be held within ninety (90) days.  Vacancies in the office of Secretary-Treasurer and in other Local offices shall be filled by an election to be held within ninety days (90).  Other than as specified in this section, the Local Executive Committee shall appoint a member to temporarily fill any vacancy until the office is filled by an election.  The Local Election Committee shall adopt rules and a schedule to conduct the elections held pursuant to this section, and, in all respects, shall conduct those elections in the same manner as required for regular elections, and in compliance with this Article V and all applicable federal law.

Article VI - 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.  The Local Chairperson shall act as Chairperson of the Committee on Finance and Administration, and the Secretary-Treasurer 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.

The President shall be directly responsible for contract enforcement and the maintenance of Guild units as directed from time to time by the Executive Committee.  This modification is to take effect on the earlier of January 2, 2017 or the date of a vacancy in the office of Secretary- Treasurer.

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 and Administration.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall receive no salary from the Local.  Instead, the Secretary-Treasurer shall receive a stipend from the Local in an amount to be set by the Executive Committee, but not to exceed $500 per month.  This modification is to take effect on the earlier of January 2, 2017 or the date of a vacancy in the office of Secretary-Treasurer.

Article VII - 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 President 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 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 President 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 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 President.

Section 5

A quorum at General Membership meetings shall consist of not less than five percent 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 VIII - 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 as well as by the TNG-CWA Sector Executive Council.

Article IX - Dues and Assessments

Section 1

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

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 Executive Committee.

Section 4

All money collected on behalf of the Local, except any collected for the TNG-CWA or any branch of the TNG-CWA, 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 NewsGuild-CWA Constitution for the discipline of delinquent members, but shall be in addition thereto.

Article X - 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 Executive Committee.  A referendum shall be mandatory if called for in a petition signed by not less than ten percent 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 Executive Committee.

Article XI - 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 X.  Proposed amendments shall be mailed to the membership not less than ten days before the referendum date.

Article XII - Interpretation

Section 1

These Bylaws shall be interpreted by the Executive Committee subject to appeal to the membership.