CONSTITUTION OF THE SCRANTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
The name of this organization shall be the Scranton Federation of Teachers, Local 1147, American Federation of Teachers.
The objectives of the Scranton Federation of Teachers shall be:
1.To promote and protect the rights of teachers and other educational employees.
2.To act as representative of teachers and other educational employees in matters affecting public schools.
3.To advance the economic security and professional interests of teachers and other educational employees, and to secure their active participation in the formulation and administration of educational policies.
4.To promote the welfare of children by providing progressively better educational opportunities for all, regardless of race, color, creed, sex; social, political, or economic status.
5.To develop in schools and community a devotion to democracy and to education as the foundation of democracy.
6.To work actively with organized labor and all other citizen groups who seek to advance the interests of education.
7.To support the principles of the labor movement.
8.To protect the schools against unsound economy and against efforts at domination by political, economic, religious, or military groups.
a)Membership in the Federation shall be open to those employees described in this article.
b)Except for those employees in promotional positions for which a Principalís or Supervisorís certificate is required, membership shall be open to currently active professional and paraprofessional employees of the Scranton School District or another educational foundation or institution, provided that such institutions are not conducted primarily for religious purposes.Other persons who are eligible to become new members of the AFT may by a 2/3 vote of the Executive committee become members of the Scranton Federation of Teachers.(Principals shall include vice-principal, assistant principal, etc.).
(c)Active membership status will be continued for elected officers and Executive Committee members who are retired from any of the groups listed in section 1 b with the obligation of paying full membership dues based on current dues structure and final active status salary.
(d) Laid-off employees, and employees on leave shall also be eligible for membership.
(e) No person, otherwise qualified, shall be denied membership in this Federation by reason of race, color, religion, sex, or political affiliation.
(f) A member or official may be expelled or suspended for acts detrimental to the Federation.
1)No member shall be suspended or expelled until he/she has been given an impartial hearing and the charges that have been preferred against him/her have been upheld.
2)A suspended member may not run for office for a period of two (2) years from the date of reinstatement.
3)An expelled member may not reapply for membership.
4)Officers removed from office for cause shall not be eligible to run for office for four (4) years following removal.
(g) The following procedures shall be applied in conducting hearings.
1)Charges against a member or official must be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing, one copy to the Secretary and another copy to the President.Should the charges be preferred against any of these officers, then the copy (copies) whichever is applicable, shall be sent to the First Vice-President.
Hereafter in this Article, President shall mean President or the replacement, and Secretary shall mean Secretary or the replacement.
2)The President and Secretary shall set a date for the hearing, not earlier than 2 weeks or later than 4 weeks from the date of notification to the accused member.The Secretary shall notify the member in writing of the charges brought against him/her and shall advise him/her of the date of the hearing.The accused member shall also be advised that he/she shall have the right to counsel and shall be confronted by the accuser(s).A copy of the charges as preferred and of the notification to the accused member shall be furnished to each member of the Executive Committee.
3)The President shall conduct the hearing. The Executive Committee (including the President) shall act as jury, except that neither accused or accuser may participate as a member of that jury.The jury shall hear all evidence and render judgment.A two-thirds (2/3ís) majority vote of the jury is required to uphold the charges.A member against whom charges have been upheld may be suspended or expelled by the Executive Committee.
4)If the member is unwilling to accept the decision of the jury and/or the actions of the Executive Committee, he/she may request that the juryís and/or Executive Committeeís decision be submitted to the next regular meeting of the Union. The decision may be changed by a 2/3ís majority vote of the members present at that membership.
5)Further appeals from the decision at the membership meeting shall be taken under the appeal procedures then in effect under the Constitution and By-Laws of the American Federation of Teachers.
OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The officers shall be President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Third Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and three (3) Trustees.In addition to these officers, the Executive Committee shall consist of elected representatives from electoral groups specified in Article V and apportioned as follows:6 from the Elementary electoral group at large, but no more than one per school; one from the Scranton High School electoral group; one from the West Scranton High School electoral group; one from the South Scranton Intermediate School electoral group; one from the Northeast Scranton Intermediate School electoral group; one from the West Scranton Intermediate School electoral group; one from the Professional Support electoral group; one from the Paraprofessional electoral group and one retiree as described in this articleís section 3b.
All current officers and Executive Committee members shall complete their terms of office.
The following are the duties of officers:
a)The President shall preside at all meetings of the Federation, any negotiating committees, and the Executive Committee.He/she shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, shall sign all necessary papers and documents, and represent the local when and where necessary.He/she shall be a co-signer of any legally or financially binding document of the SFT and oversee day to day financial of the Federation. He/she shall employ with the approval of the Executive Committee and dismiss with the approval of the Executive Committee all staff.
The President shall with the approval of the Executive Committee appoint all delegates, except as otherwise specified in this Constitution. In situations where an election results in a change of officers, the President shall appoint with the approval of the Executive Committee a transition committee to begin its work on April 1st following the general election and to complete its work no later than July 31st of the same year. The President shall be a member of the transition committee.
b)The 1st Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President in theabsence of that officer. He/she shall serve on the Executive Committee.
c)The 2nd Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President/or the 1st Vice-Presidentin theabsence of that officer.He/she shall serve on the Executive Committee.
d)The 3rdVice-President shall perform all duties of the President/or the 1st Vice-President/or the 2nd Vice-President in theabsence of that officer.He/she shall serve on the Executive Committee.
e)The Secretary/Treasurer shall issue all notices, shall answer correspondence at the direction of the President, and shall report outside correspondence to the President and Executive Committee.He/she shall be the custodian of the seal and charter of the Federation.The Secretary shall record the minutes of the Executive Committee and of general membership meetings.The Secretary shall keep a record of all negotiations.
f) The Secretary/Treasurer shall receive, record, and deposit in the name of the Federation all monies from dues and all other sources.He/she shall keep the membership rolls, issue receipts and dues notices.He/she shall forward all per-capita dues and current membership to AFT and PaFT and to other affiliated organizations to keep this Federation in good standing at all times.He/she shall be co-signer with the President on any financially binding document of the SFT.He/she shall pay all authorized bills, and present to the Executive Committee for authorization any bills not authorized.He/she shall make financial reports to the President or Executive Committee on request.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall annually establish a budget committee consisting of those willing to serve from the Executive Committee. This committee shall produce an annual budget to be amended and/or approved by the executive committee.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall make a quarterly financial report to the Executive Committee and shall make available an annual financial report to the membership.
(g) The Trustees shall annually audit the financial records of the Federation. A certified public accountant shall be employed for this purpose.
a)The Executive Committee shall administer the affairs of the organization subject to the decision of a membership meeting.The Executive Committee shall meet regularly on a date specified by the President.It shall have the power to act for the good of the Federation in emergency situations where the policy cannot be set by the membership. All Executive Committee members will be Negotiating Committee members.
b)The Executive Committee may propose one retired SFT member, subject to the affirmative vote of the Executive Committee, to serve as a non-voting advisory member of the Executive Committee.
c)The Executive Committee, or a special committee appointed by it shall serve as the Federationís negotiating team, except as otherwise specified in this constitution.
d)The Executive Committee shall appoint delegates to organizations with which the Federation is affiliated, except as otherwise specified in this constitution.
NOMINATION & ELECTION PROCEDURES
The membership of the Federation shall be divided into groups for electoral purposes.
1)The elementary group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in the Scranton public elementary schools
2)The ScrantonHigh School electoral group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in ScrantonHigh School.
3)The WestScrantonHigh School electoral group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in WestScrantonHigh School.
4)The SouthScrantonIntermediateSchool electoral group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in SouthScrantonIntermediateSchool.
5)The EastScrantonIntermediateSchool electoral group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in EastScrantonIntermediateSchool.
6)The WestScrantonIntermediateSchool electoral group shall consist of all members assigned to professional positions in WestScrantonIntermediateSchool.
7)The Professional Support electoral group shall consist of all members with itinerant professional assignments, including nurses, dental hygienists, speech and hearing therapists, teachers of music, library, gifted, physical education, home bound, and all other members serving in professional assignments and not otherwise provided for in any of the other electoral groups.
8)The Paraprofessional Support electoral group shall consist of all members serving in paraprofessional positions.
Officers, Executive Committee members, and delegates to the PaFT and AFT conventions will be elected by the membership.
A nominee for any office in the Scranton Federation of Teachers shall have been a member for two years.
(A)Officers, members of the Executive Committee and delegates requiring election may be nominated by committee or from the floor at a general membership meeting to be held on a date set by the Executive Committee for the month of February. The membership shall receive written notification of the February membership meeting date at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.
(B)The election may be by acclamation for any office for which there is only one nomination.
(A)The President shall name the Chairperson of the Election Committee. The Chairperson shall then select two other members to serve on the Election Committee. No candidate for any office shall serve as a member of the Election Committee.
(B)Officers, members of the Executive Committee, and delegates requiring election will be elected by secret ballot on a March date set by the Executive Committee. The election shall take place no less than fifteen (15) days following the date of the nomination.
(C)The membership will be given written notice of a single polling place, with the time and date of the election, at least five (5) days in advance of the election.
The terms of all officers and executive committee members shall be four years, beginning July 1 following their election.
a)In all contests where there is more than one candidate, those candidates receiving a plurality of the votes shall be declared elected.
(b) In the event of a tie vote for an office a flip of the coin will determine which candidate will fill the position. The Executive Committee will be present for the flip.
No member shall run for more than one office.
The Executive Committee will provide ballots and appoint a committee to count votes.
A vacancy occurring on the Executive Committee or in an elected office shall be filled for the balance of that term of office by the Executive Committee.
The Building Representatives shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.
The duties and responsibilities of the Building Representatives shall be as follows:
a)To chair all building meetings which he/she shall call at his/her discretion or at the request of 25% of the members of his/her building.
b)To be responsible for the SFT bulletin board in his/her school.
c)To process all grievances in consultation with the SFT President or his/her designee.
d)To attend or send alternates to all membership meetings and any other meetings he/she is requested to attend.
e)To be responsible for the distribution of all information from the SFT office to teachers in his/her school.
f)To take final responsibility for recruitment of new members in his/her school and for maintaining members in good standing.
g)To see that the building committee is organized and functioning.
All officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be subject to recall for failure to carry out the duties and responsibilities of their respective office and/or failure to uphold the constitution of the SFT.
Petitions for recall of officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be signed by not less than 25% of the general membership and shall state the reason for the recall.They shall be presented to the Executive Committee, including reasons for the proposed recall.
An officer shall be removed after a 2/3ís vote of the members at a general membership meeting.
The reasons for removal must be presented to each member in writing before voting takes place.
This Constitution and every part thereof shall take precedence over any By-Law, Motion, Resolution, or any other act or measure adopted by the membership of SFT.
Constitutional amendments may be proposed either by a majority of theExecutive Committee or a petition signed by 20% of the membership in good standing and submitted to the Executive Committee.The Executive Committee shall submit the amendments in writing to the general membership at least five (5) days before the next general membership meeting at which time the proposal shall be considered.A 2/3ís majority of the members present shall be required for adoption.
All amendments to this constitution shall be effective upon ratification by the membership unless otherwise noted in this constitution.
A separate chapter of retirees, SFT Retiree Chapter 1147R, shall consist of retirees in good standing in that chapter.
By-laws to implement this constitution shall be enacted by a majority of the membership meeting.
Robertís Rules of Order, revised edition, shall govern all meetings of SFT, except where otherwise provided in the Constitution or in the By-laws.
At least four regular meetings of the general membership of the Federation shall be held annually on dates determined by the Executive Committee
A special meeting may be called by the President, a majority of the Executive Committee, or at the request of 25% of the membership made to the Executive Committee.Only the business about which the members were notified can be discussed at this meeting.
Not less than 50 members shall constitute a quorum at all general membership meetings or special meetings.
Only members in good standing shall have the right to vote on any question presented at these meetings.
The order of business shall be arranged by the Executive Committee.
Committees may be established by the Executive Committee or the membership and report to the body that has established them.Membership ofsuch committees shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.
Membership on committees with the exception of the Negotiating Committee and Grievance Committee shall be open to any member in good standing who wishes to serve.The chairman of each committee must be in continuous good standing for at least one year and shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee.
Dues in the Scranton Federation of Teachers shall be in an amount set from time to time by the membership, plus mandated increases in required affiliation fees and insurance.
Except for those members now on a cash payment basis who remain in good standing, all members where a system of payroll deduction of dues is provided shall pay dues in this manner.
Any member in arrears of more than two months shall be designated as not in good standing and shall be notified to that effect. Conditions of reinstatement of a dropped member shall be made by the Executive Committee.
Cash members who fail to remain in good standing as defined in this article shall, as a condition of reinstatement be required to utilize payroll deduction for payment of dues or to be paid at least two months in advance when the use of payroll deduction is not possible.
All proposed collective bargaining agreements shall be brought to the General Membership after being recommended by no less than 75% of Executive Committee members present at an Executive Committee meeting.
All General Membership votes to ratify a contract shall be done by secret ballot.
Executive Committee Quorum
A quorum of the Executive Committee is required for all votes and recommendations to the general membership. A quorum is defined as 50% plus one of the Executive Committee.