AFGE Local 1637                                              FCI Seagoville/SCRO

                                                                                                                                                                           
                    
 CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

AFGE LOCAL 1637
 

PREAMBLE 

For the purpose of promoting unity of action in all matters affecting the mutual interest of governmental civilian employees in general, and for the improvement of the governmental service, we, as members of Local No.: 1637 American Federation of Government Employees, adopt this Constitution and Bylaws.

Article I

NAME


Section 1. This organization shall be known as: the Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas, Local No.: 1637, American Federation of Government Employees. 


Section 2. The headquarters of this Local shall be Seagoville, Texas.


Article II

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS

Section 1. The objective of this local shall be to promote the general welfare of civilian governmental employees. 

Section 2. The local shall strive to promote efficiency in the governmental service and shall advance plans of improvement to be secured by legislative enactment through cooperation with governmental officials and by other lawful means. 

Section 3. The local does not advocate the overthrow of the Constitutional form of government in the United States, does not discriminate with regard to the terms of conditions of membership because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, political affiliation, handicapped condition, marital status, sexual orientation, or preferential or nonpreferential civil service status and is not subject to corrupt influences or influences opposed to basic democratic principles. 

Section 4: This local subscribes to the Standards of Conduct for Labor Organizations as provided for in the Civil Service Reform Act (5 U.S.C. §7101, et sec.) with particular reference to 5 U.S.C. §7120 thereof which provides as follows: 

(a) the maintenance of democratic procedures and practices including provisions for periodic elections to be conducted subject to recognized safeguards and provisions defining and securing the right of individual members to participate in the affairs of the organization, to receive fair and equal treatment under the governing rules of the organization, and to receive fair process in disciplinary proceedings; 

(b) the exclusion from office in the organization of persons affiliated with Communist or other totalitarian movements and persons identified with corrupt influences; 

(c) the prohibition of business or financial interests on the part of organization officers and agents which conflict with their duty to the organization and its members; and

(d) the maintenance of fiscal integrity in the conduct of the affairs of the organization, including provisions for accounting and financial controls and regular financial reports or summaries to be made available to members. 

Section 5: This local will comply with the reporting requirements of the CSRA where applicable.


Article III

MEMBERSHIP, DUES, AND EXPENSES


Section 1: Civil employees in the actual service and continuous membership retirees of the Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas, and other Bureau of Prison employees within the South Central region where no prison local exists, shall be eligible for membership in this local as provided for in Article III, Section 1, of the AFGE National Constitution. The local shall have full power to elect or reject eligible applicants for membership. However, in any unites) which the local has been accorded exclusive recognition rights, it will abide by the provisions of 5 U.S.C. §7l16(c). 

Section 2 (a) The initiation fee shall be: $2.35. 

(b) The dues of all members, unless otherwise stipulated in this Article, shall be an amount greater than the per capita tax to allow for operating expenses. This Local's dues and fees may be raised and assessments imposed only by a majority vote by secret ballot of the members in good standing at a special or regular meeting after a reasonable notice of the proposal has been given. 

(c) All currently employed bargaining unit staff will utilize payroll deduction for dues payment. All other members (retirees, non-bargaining unit) will pay dues quarterly, semiannually or annually in advance. 

(d) Any members who are in arrears on dues first shall receive written notice and then be dropped from membership should they not bring their dues up to date within 30 days from date of notice. 

Section 3. All receipts, checks, and cash disbursements shall be properly recorded and accounted for in the financial records of this local. The Treasurer shall sign and the President shall countersign checks covering proper expenditures for the Local. In the absence of the Treasurer, the President shall sign and the First Vice President countersign. The officers, agents, shop stewards or other representatives or employees of this local who handle funds or property thereof shall be bonded in accordance with 5 U.S.C. §7120(c) and regulations issued by the Assistant Secretary of Labor pursuant thereto. 

Section 4. The local membership will establish an Audit Committee during the December monthly meeting to conduct the local's annual audit of all books, expenditures and funds. This audit will be initiated in January of each year and a certificate of audit shall be properly executed and a copy mailed to the National Secretary-Treasurer within 90 days. 

Section 5. All books, records, and fiscal accounts of a local or council shall be open at all times to the inspection of the national officers or accredited representative of the NEC and any duly authorized and accredited representative of the local.


Article IV

OFFICERS AND DUTIES

Section 1. The elected officers of this Local shall consist of:

President

First Vice President

Second Vice President

Treasurer

Secretary


Section 2. The officers shall be elected by secret ballot and by a majority vote of the valid ballot cast. All officers must be elected in accordance with election provisions of the AFGE National Constitution. All election protests must be filed in accordance with the provisions of the AFGE National Constitution. 

Section 3. To be qualified for an office or candidate for office, an individual must meet the following qualifications: 

(a) Be a member in good standing;

(b) Be a member for one year of an AFGE local, immediately preceding the closing of the nomination process. This requirement does not apply to newly created locals;

(c) Must not be a member of any labor organization not affiliated with the AFL-CIO. 

Section 4. The membership shall elect an Election Committee to conduct the election. The Election Committee shall consist of not less than three members and if a larger committee is required, it shall contain an odd number of members. No member of the Committee may be an incumbent of or candidate for the office for which the election is being conducted. If a member is disqualified, a successor shall be selected from among those members of the local who are not an incumbent of or candidate for the office. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to conduct all aspects of the election, including the mailing of notices of election to all members in good standing, printing the ballots, and adjudicating all conflicts which arise out of the election procedure. 

Section 5. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure designated in Appendix "A" of the AFGE National Constitution, AFGE Rules of Conduct for an Election (mail ballot). 

Section 6. (a) Regardless the method of the election, the local will comply with all reasonable requests of any candidate to distribute by mail or otherwise at the candidate's expense campaign literature in aid of such person's candidacy to all members in good standing, and refrain from discrimination in favor of or against any candidate with respect to the availability of lists of members, and whenever the local Election Committee authorized the distribution by mail or otherwise to members of campaign literature on behalf of any candidate or the local itself with reference to such election, similar distribution at the request of any other bona-fide candidate shall be made by the Election Committee, with equal treatment as to the expense of such distribution. Adequate safeguards to insure a fair election will be provided. Each candidate shall be afforded an opportunity to have a reasonable number of observers who are members present throughout the election procedure, including the tally of ballot


(b) In any election held by secret ballot, a reasonable opportunity shall be given for the nomination of candidates, and every member in good standing and otherwise qualified shall be eligible to be a candidate and to hold office and shall have the right to vote for or otherwise support the

candidate or candidates of his choice, without being subject to penalty, discipline, or improper interference or reprisal of any kind by the local or any member thereof. Not less than 15 days prior to the election, notice thereof shall be mailed to each member at his last known home address. Each member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. No member whose dues have been withheld by the employer for payment to the local pursuant to his voluntary authorization provided for in a collective bargaining agreement shall be declared ineligible to vote or be a candidate for office by reason of alleged delay or default in the payment of dues. The votes cast by members of the local shall be counted and the results published separately. All election-related documents (including those pertaining to nominations and the minutes of any meetings) must be sealed and preserved by the Election Committee (who has authority to reopen the records) through the protest period and then turned over to the local secretary for one year after the election, unless the records are requested by higher authority in the appeal process or are still relevant.  

(c) No monetary or other resources of AFGE or any employer shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any candidate in an election. Such monies may be utilized for notices, factual statements of issues not involving candidates, and other expenses necessary for the holding of an election.


Section 7. All duly elected officers will be sworn in at the regular January meeting following the election. All elected officers shall hold office until their successors shall have been elected and duly installed, unless sooner disqualified under Section 9 of this Article. 

Section 8. In the case of vacancy in the office of President, the First Vice President shall fill the office for the unexpired term, and the Second Vice President shall move up to First Vice President. The Executive Committee then shall appoint an interim Second Vice President to serve until the next regular election. In the event the Secretary or Treasurer positions become vacant prior to the end of their terms, the Executive Committee shall appoint a person into the position until the next regular election. All appointments must be ratified at the first regular meeting following such vacancies. 

Section 9. Any officer who moves beyond the jurisdiction of the local during his term of office or who ceases to be a member in good standing shall there by automatically forfeit said office. The vacancy caused thereby shall be filled under the provisions of Section 8 of this Article. 

Section 10. The President shall be the Executive Officer of the local, and as such, shall preside at all local meetings; make appointments of committees established by the local, provided all appointments, if made between local meetings shall be subject to approval at the next meeting of the local following such appointments; plan and pursue policies within the frame-work of the AFGE National Constitution that will promote the welfare of the local; and sign all documents pertaining to the office.

Section ll (a). If the President is not present at a meeting, the First Vice President will preside; if the First Vice President is not present, the Second Vice President will preside. In the absence of the First and Second Vice Presidents, a President pro tempore will be chosen by the members from among those in attendance. 

(b) If the President is unable to perform his regular duties because of sickness, leave, TDY or for some other legitimate reason, all presidential responsibilities will be delegated to the First Vice President. 

Section 12. The duties of the Treasurer shall consist of preparing the financial report at each regular meeting; receiving all funds and/or dues paid into the local, and all receipts thereof; keeping records of all financial transactions; depositing money in the local account to the credit of the local; making regular monthly financial reports and furnishing names and addresses of all new members, or members who have severed their affiliation with the local, to the National Secretary- Treasurer; ensuring all initiation fees and per capita taxes are forwarded to the National Headquarters; disbursing all payments authorized by the local; conducting any additional responsibilities outlined in the AFGE Financial Officer’s Manual; and coordinating changes to the list of local dues paying members with the Local Secretary for correspondence purposes.

Section 13. The duties of the Secretary shall consist of compiling and maintaining complete minutes of all meetings conducted by the local; keeping an up-to-date official copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of the local; maintaining custody of the local seal; conducting correspondence when directed by the President; sending out notices of meetings; coordinating with the Local Treasurer up-dates to the member lists for correspondence purposes; and handling any other clerical responsibilities needed by the Local. 

Section 14. The Executive Committee shall appoint a current union steward to serve as the Chief Steward for the local on an annual basis. The duties of the Chief Steward are to direct the activities of local stewards; assign the areas in which the stewards will be responsible for the increase of membership; and keep the local informed of matters of interest brought to the attention of stewards by members.

Section 15. If it is deemed necessary, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Sergeant-at-Arms for the local on an annual basis. The duties of the Sergeant-At-Arms shall be to attend the outer door at the local meetings and ensure no one enters the meetings without proper authority; assist the presiding officer in the maintenance of order, welcome and introduce guests, see that each member's presence is recorded in a log, ascertain a quorum is present, provide a roll to call should the recording of individual votes be necessary, and perform such other duties as may be assigned.


Section 16. Graves B. Wester shall be President Emeritus.


Article V


COMMITTEES AND DUTIES 


Section 1. Only elected officers of this local shall constitute the Executive Committee. They shall meet at the call of the President. 

Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to devise and initiate such actions as may be necessary in the interim between the local meetings, not inconsistent with the objectives of the Federation and subject to the local approval. Expenditures by the Executive committee in excess of $500 per month must have prior approval of the local membership. All expenditures authorized by the Executive Committee will be reported in writing at the next regular meeting of the local. 

Section 3. In the case of vacancy in any office of this local, the Executive Committee may appoint a temporary officer to fill such vacancy in accordance with the provisions of Article IV,
Section 8. 

Section 4. Special committees may be established as the local may direct, and the membership of such committees with the exception of the Election Committee shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. 


Article VI


MEETINGS


Section 1. Regular meetings of the local shall be held once a month at a time and place selected by the local. 

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the President or upon written petition of at least ten per cent of the membership. Five day written notice of the specific purpose of the meeting must be given to the membership. No business other than that specified in the notice will be discussed. 


Section 3: Only members of the local in good standing shall be allowed to vote.


Article VII

DELEGATES


Section 1. Such delegates, alternate delegates, and proxy delegate to the AFGE National Convention, district caucus, council meetings, or other meetings participated in by this local, as the local may be entitled, shall be elected at a meeting called for such purpose by plurality vote by secret ballot of the members in good standing present and voting, providing proper notice of such election has been given. The President and Treasurer, by virtue of election to their office, are automatically delegates. The First and Second Vice .Presidents by virtue of election to their office, are alternate' delegates. If these delegates and alternate delegates cannot attend, and the local desires to send a delegate, the election described above will be in order.


Section 2. To be qualified as a candidate for local delegate, an individual must meet the following qualifications:


(a) Be a member in good standing;

(b) Be a member for one year of an AFGE local, immediately preceding the closing of the nomination process. This requirement does not apply to newly created locals;

(c) Must not be a member of any labor organization not affiliated with the AFL-CIO.


Article VIII

OFFENSES, TRIALS, PENALTIES, APPEALS

Section 1. All offenses, trials, penalties, arid appeals shall be accomplished in accordance with the AFGE National Constitution.


Section 2. The Constitution and Bylaws of AFGE Local 1637 shall not be inconsistent with the National Constitution of the American Federation of Government Employees. In the event of a dispute, the question at issue will be submitted to the National Executive Council where the decision will be final and binding on the officers and members of this Local.


Article IX

AMENDMENTS


Section 1: With the exception of a change in dues, the Constitution and Bylaws of this local may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regular meeting, provided the amendment to be voted on has been presented in writing and read at the preceding regular meeting of the local.


Section 2. All amendments adopted by the local shall become effective immediately following notice of approval by the National Executive Council, unless otherwise specified.


Section 3. A change in dues structure will be accomplished by majority vote by secret ballot of the members in good standing voting at a general or -special membership meeting after reasonable notice of the intention to vote upon such question or by majority vote of the members in good standing voting in a membership referendum conducted by secret ballot.


BYLAWS


Section 1. Regular meetings of the local will be held monthly on the first Thursday at the Staff Training Center, FCI  Seagoville, at 4:30 p.m.


Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the President when necessary in the interest of the local or when properly requested by the members as provided in Article VI, Section 2.


Section 3. The regular order of business will be:


(a) Roll call of officers

(b) Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting

(c) Report of financial condition by Local Treasurer

(d) Reports of committees

(e) Unfinished business

(f) New business

(g) Comments for the good of the local

(h) Adjournment


Section 4: A quorum of this Local shall consist of not less than six members. A quorum of any committee shall consist of a majority of the members thereof.


Section 5. Unless otherwise specified by law (e.g., secret ballot election or dues) or by constitution, all questions before the local will be decided by vote of the members present first by voice vote then by a showing of hands and then by roll-call if requested by 25% of members present.


Section 6. The time allowed for debate of any particular issue before the local and the time allowed for speeches will be governed by circumstances and by majority vote of those present. Any limitation as to time allowed for debate may be extended by a majority of those present and voting.


Section 7. Each year, a volunteer Election Committee shall be established at the September meeting with the purpose to notify and recruit nominees for the elected officers of the local. Nomination of officers for placement on the ballot shall be submitted at the November meeting. Election tallies will be recorded at the December meeting and installation of elected officers will be conducted in January of the following year. (These functions may be combined if the local so desires.)


All election rules applicable under Appendix A of the AFGE National Constitution, AFGE Rules of Conduct for an Election, shall be followed for the local elections. Reference will be made to  the AFGE Election Manual if additional guidance is required to conduct local elections.


Section 8. All officers will be administered the "Oath of Union Officers" contained in the AFGE National Constitution upon their installation in office. The oath shall be administered by the outgoing President, the National Vice President, or his designee.


Section 9. Members shall be deemed to be in good standing, subject to all other provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of this local, when not more than 30 days in arrears in payment of dues.


Section 10: Robert's Rules a/Order Newly Revised shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the local, when not inconsistent with the :provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the local.


Section 11. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members as provided in Article IX of the Local Constitution.

Section 12. Copies of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be available to all members in good standing upon request to the Secretary.



ADOPTED: October 7, 2004