Our Mission and Bylaws

Article I. NAME.

This union shall be known as United Campus Workers – Communications Workers of America, Local _______ (UCW–CWA).

Article II. MISSION.

UCW-CWA local __ at the University of Virginia is a grassroots collective that recognizes the under-compensated value that workers provide to the university and seeks to realize a more just and equitable institution. We work together to improve labor conditions and build worker power at UVA through collective action. Our mission is to protect and promote the social, economic, physical, and mental well-being of all, especially the most vulnerable and exploited among us. We invite the employees of UVA, including staff, faculty, and student workers, graduate and undergraduate, to join us.

Article III. AFFILIATION.

The union shall be affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (AFL–CIO) per the affiliation agreement signed MONTH DAY, YEAR.

Article IV. JURISDICTION.

The jurisdiction of the union shall be workers employed on any higher education campus or office across the University of Virginia Campus System.

Article V. STRUCTURE.

The structure of the union shall consist of the following:
1) The Membership.
2) The Executive Board.
3) The Local Officers.
4) Various Work Committees.

Article VI. GOVERNING AUTHORITY.

The affairs of the union shall be governed by its membership in accordance with the Constitution and policies of CWA in the following manner:
(a) Through action taken in membership meetings or by referendum of the membership.
(b) Through actions and decisions of the Executive Board between membership meetings.
(c) Through actions of the Local Officers between meetings of the Executive Board.




Article VII. MEMBERSHIP.

Section 1. Eligibility.
(a) All workers within the union’s jurisdiction who support the organization’s mission are eligible for membership, regardless of employer, craft, skill, age, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs or affiliation, disability, or immigration status. Even workers with disciplinary power over other workers are eligible for membership. Wherever possible, in the event of a dispute between union members that are supervisors/managers and regular employees, the dispute shall be mediated by a union member from another section of campus.
(b) Partners and spouses of members, workers who have retired from public service employment, and other supporters may join as regular members with minimum dues set at the part-time rate.
(c) Employees ineligible for membership include 1) those who work in university administration and/or executive roles (including but not limited to the President, Vice-Presidents, COOs, etc.) with hiring and firing power, 2) those who work for the University Police Department and the UVA Ambassador Program, and 3) those who actively collaborate with or support law enforcement agencies (e.g. University Police Department, Charlottesville Police Department, Albemarle police department) as part of their work duties. Eligibility for administrators and those involved in policing can be determined and approved by a Membership Committee (see section 2).

Section 2. Admission to Membership.
Membership in the union shall be obtained upon the approval of a Membership Committee authorized to accept or reject membership on behalf of the union, subject to the right of the membership to overrule the decision of the Membership Committee, and upon payment of an initiation fee of two dollars ($2.00). The union’s portion of the initiation fee may be waived by the Executive Board and CWA’s portion of the initiation fee may be waived by the CWA Executive Board.

Section 3. Retirement and Resignation.
(a) Members in good standing (see article XI, section 2 for definition) who retire or otherwise leave public service employment may have their membership continue with minimum dues set at the part-time rate.
(b) A member may resign in writing to their Chapter Vice-President or member of the organizing staff.

Section 4. Membership Meetings.
(a) Membership meetings shall be held at least quarterly. The membership shall have the power to determine the actual frequency and/or number of membership meetings to be held each year.
(b) All decisions made in membership meetings shall be by majority vote of the members present.
(c) The time and place of membership meetings shall be set by the Executive Board.
(d) Special membership meetings may be called by the Executive Board, or by petition of ten percent (10%) of the members.
Section 5. Membership data
(a) Membership data shall include but is not limited to information collected on membership forms, through grievance processes, and interest lists.
(b) Collected membership data shall become property of the local.
(c) Membership data will not be disclosed to any outside organization for any reason except as required by administrative processes.
(d) The local’s Executive Board and staff shall take reasonable care to maintain the confidentiality of membership data.

Section 6. Rights of Membership.
(a) The membership shall have full power over all matters, including the election of Local Officers, setting the amount of local monthly dues, and otherwise amending these Bylaws.
(b) The membership may at any time require from any union member or body a full and detailed statement of account of any action or business done in the name of the union.
(c) No member(s), Local Officer(s), or staff may enter into any agreement in the name of the union without approval of the Executive Board and/or the membership.

Article VIII. LOCAL OFFICERS.

Section 1. Definition.
The Officers of the union shall be Local President, Local Vice President, Local Treasurer, and Local Secretary. During the initial organizing period, the officers may be substituted by a general Steering Committee, to be elected by the membership.

Section 2. Responsibilities.
(a) The Local President shall serve as the primary contact person for the union, shall enforce these Bylaws, shall report all actions of the Executive Board and Local Officers to the membership, and shall preside at all meetings of the union or arrange otherwise.
(b) The Local Vice President shall assist the Local President, help coordinate activities throughout the Local, and perform the duties of the Local President in her/his/their absence.
(c) The Local Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of all bank accounts and for the account of all receipts and expenditures to the membership and Executive Board in the form of monthly and annual financial reports and shall cause the proper filing of all reports or filings required by federal, state or local law.
(d) The Local Secretary shall be responsible for the recording and distribution of the minutes of membership and Executive Board meetings, for the maintenance of member and mailing lists and files, for furnishing the CWA District Vice-President and the International Secretary-Treasurer with copies of any changes to these Bylaws within ten (10) days after such changes are adopted, and for certifying the Local delegates to the CWA Convention to the International Secretary-Treasurer within the time limits specified in Article VIII of the CWA Constitution.


Section 3. Eligibility.
Any member in good standing (see article XI, section 2 for definition) shall be eligible for election as an Officer, however no member may serve in more than one (1) office.

Article IX. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LOCAL OFFICERS.

Section 1. Nomination.
(a) Nominations shall be made from the floor at any meeting of the union held during the month of July of an election year. It is the responsibility of the nominating member(s) to ensure beforehand that each nominee has agreed to stand for the position for which she/he/they is being nominated.
(b) All members must be notified of the offices to be filled and the proper method of submitting nominations at least fifteen (15) days prior to the first union meeting scheduled during September of an election year.

Section 2. Election.
(a) The election of Local Officers shall be held during the month of September of an election year by either secret ballot vote of the membership or by mail referendum as decided by the Local Election Committee and upon approval of the Executive Board.
(b) Notice of elections (and referendum ballots when applicable) shall be mailed to each member’s last known home address and/or emailed electronically to each member not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the date and time set for the return of the ballots.

Section 3. Local Election Committee.
(a) The nomination and election of Local Officers shall be conducted under the supervision of the Local Election Committee. This committee shall have the authority and responsibility to see that nominations and elections are conducted in accordance with federal law, the CWA Constitution and these Bylaws, with reasonable opportunity for each member to nominate and vote for the candidate of their choice.
(b) The Local Election Committee shall also conduct any referenda submitted to the membership.
(c) 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 governing body and membership of the union in accordance with Article XV of the CWA Constitution.

Section 4. General Provisions.
(a) Only members of the union in good standing (see article XI, section 2 for definition) shall be eligible to vote for Local Officers.
(b) The nominee in any election for Local Officer receiving the majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected. If no one nominee has a majority on the first ballot, the vote shall be taken again and the two (2) nominees having the greatest number of votes shall be nominees on the second ballot.
(c) The nominees in any other election receiving the greatest number of votes cast shall be declared elected. If no one nominee has a majority on the first ballot, the vote shall be taken again and the two (2) nominees having the greatest number of votes shall be nominees on the second ballot.
(d) The term of office shall be for one (1) year.
(e) The term of office of outgoing Officers shall expire thirty (30) days after certification of the election results, by which time they shall have delivered all books, records, monies and property to the newly elected Officers.
(f) The membership and/or Executive Board shall have the power to define additional responsibilities for Officers as needed.
(g) Officers shall serve in an administrative capacity only, with all the rights and responsibilities of membership, but no special authority over non-administrative matters.

Section 5. Resignation and Vacancies.
(a) An Officer may resign in writing to the Local President or by verbal announcement at an Executive Board meeting or membership meeting.
(b) In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Local President, the Executive Board shall select a new Local President from among the members.

Article X. EXECUTIVE BOARD.

Section 1. Definition.
(a) The Executive Board shall be a body of members that coordinates work, ensures that all decisions of the membership are carried out in a timely and effective manner, and otherwise carries out the administration of the union between membership meetings.
(b) The Executive Board shall act as the decision-making body of the union between membership meetings as long as its decisions follow the policies set by the membership and do not contradict these Bylaws. Its decisions will be subject to democratic mechanisms, such as, any decision can be transformed into a referendum or any decision can be rescinded by a majority vote of union members.

Section 2. Composition and Responsibilities.
(a) The Executive Board shall be composed of the Local Officers and elected Board members. Elected Board members shall number in such an amount as to ensure that the total number of Board members be no less than seven (7) persons.
(b) The procedures for nominating and electing members to the Executive Board shall be the same as apply to Local Officers. The term of office shall be the same as the term of office for Local Officers.
(c) In the event of a vacancy for any reason, the membership shall have the power to elect a new Board member by majority vote at any membership meeting to serve the remainder of the term.
(d) The membership shall strive to elect members to the Executive Board that reflect the diversity of the membership in all respects. Towards this end, the membership shall have the power to specify the number of Board members and from which work areas, geographic locations, and/or job classifications individual Board members may be elected. If the Executive Board is in any manner insufficiently diverse, there will be a procedure to redress it.

Section 3. Executive Board Meetings.
(a) The time and location of Executive Board meetings shall be set by the Local President.
(b) Special Executive Board meetings may be called by a majority of its members.
(c) Executive Board meetings shall be open to all members of the union.
(d) All decisions of the Executive Board shall be by majority vote of its members.
(e) Executive Board members may make motions and vote by electronic mail or telephone, provided all Executive Board members have equivalent access to whatever means is employed and reasonable opportunity to vote on all motions.
(f) The Local Secretary shall ensure that all actions and decisions of the Executive Board and the votes of each member are reported to the membership in a timely manner.

Article XI. DUES AND GOOD STANDING.

Section 1. Monthly Dues.
(a) Members shall pay monthly dues in an amount recommended by the Executive Board and ratified by the membership. Our dues orient themselves at a value of two hours of the member monthly income. That means for all full-time employees, minimum monthly dues are $15. For employees making at least $60,000 annually (gross), but less than $100,000, dues are $30 a month. For employees making at least $100,000 annually (gross), dues are $50 a month.
(b) Members who are employed part time (less than 75% time) or who are retired shall pay a lower rate than members who are employed full time. Roughly, their dues should be 0.5% of their total monthly pay, even if this is below the monthly minimum for full-time employees. This can be modified at the discretion of the local. Decisions about part-time employees are at the discretion of the Executive Board.
(c) Members who are temporarily unemployed due to injury, illness, downsizing, privatization, or a suspension or termination that is being appealed shall find their obligation to pay monthly dues suspended. Other circumstances not detailed here may be appealed to and applied at the discretion of the Executive Board.

Section 2. Good Standing.
(a) A member in good standing is one whose dues are not more than sixty (60) days in arrears.
(b) Members in default without good cause for ninety (90) days, after notice in writing by the Local Secretary, shall be automatically dropped from membership. Good cause shall be defined by the Executive Board.
(c) During organizing drives, the membership and/or Executive Board shall have the power to waive temporarily the requirement of good standing.
(d) If members retain good financial standing but are known to violate any agreed upon codes of conduct or otherwise become detrimental to the mission of the Union, they may be sanctioned or expelled by procedures agreed upon by the affected membership and the Executive Committee.



Article XII. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS AND LOCAL BUSINESS.

Section 1. Conduct of Business.
Membership meetings and any other business of this union shall be conducted under these Bylaws and rules of the union and in conformity with the CWA Constitution.

Section 2. Due Notice.
Due notice of at least seven (7) days must be given prior to any union meeting.

Section 3. Quorums.
(a) The  number constituting a quorum for all membership meetings shall be at least ten members or 20% of total membership, with whichever is lower being the qualifying number.
      (b) The percentage constituting a quorum for all membership votes shall be 50% of all total   members.
(c) A majority of the members of a work committee shall be the quorum for those bodies.

Article XIII. RECALL OF LOCAL OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS.

Section 1. Recall of Local Officers.
Any elected Officer of the union may be recalled in accordance with the provisions of Articles XXI, Section 2, and XXII, Section 8, of the Union Constitution. A recall petition must be preferred by twenty percent (20%) of the membership.

Section 2. Recall of Executive Board Members.
Executive Board members may be recalled by the same process described in Section 1 of this Article.

Article XIV. REFERENDUM.

A union-wide referendum on any organizational question may be initiated by the Local Election Committee when directed to do so by the Executive Board or membership, or by petition of ten percent (10%) of the members. Questions submitted for referendum shall be decided by majority vote of those voting on the question.

Article XV. FINANCES.

Section 1. Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the union shall be from October 1st of each year to and including September 30th of the succeeding year.

Section 2. Bank Accounts.
All bank accounts shall be in the name of the union and shall bear the signatures of the Local President, Local Treasurer, and up to two others designated by the Executive Board.

Section 3. Allocation of Funds.
The Executive Board and Local Officers shall be responsible for allocating funds according to budgets ratified by the membership. The membership, Executive Board, or any committee may request a full account of all receipts and expenditures from any member or body of members.

Article XVI. AMENDMENTS.

After adoption, these Bylaws may be amended by either referendum of the membership or by majority vote of the members present in a membership meeting, provided the proposed amendment has been introduced at a previous membership meeting or has been advertised by use of a union newsletter or by U.S. mail, postage prepaid, at least seven (7) days in advance of the date voting takes place. The Executive Board will strive to convene a meeting annually to reconsider these by-laws.