By-Laws of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
Approved September 30, 2014.
The unit is incorporated by Letters Patent dated October 28, 1997.
Article 1: GENERAL
1.1 The name of the unit shall be the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, Hamilton- Wentworth Unit hereinafter known as the unit.
1.2 The objectives of the unit shall be:
1.2.1 to secure for teachers a leading role in education;
1.2.2 to represent members in all matters relating to collective bargaining;
1.2.3 to cooperate with other teacher organizations in improving the standards of education.
1.3 The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, where they are not inconsistent with these by-laws or with any special rules of order the Association or the unit may adopt, shall govern the unit.
Article 2: MEMBERSHIP
2.1 The members of the unit shall be:
2.1.1 teachers employed in the elementary panel by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for the regular school day program, in and out of the classroom;
2.1.2 teachers employed by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board as an occasional teacher, elementary and secondary.
2.2 The rights, privileges, and responsibilities of unit members shall be as stated in the by-laws of the provincial Association.
Article 3: UNIT EXECUTIVE
3.1 The unit executive shall consist of the president, immediate past president, first vice-president, second vice-president, third vice-president, treasurer, recording secretary, and four councillors.
3.2 Except for any unit executive officer who is a member of the OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Occasional Teachers' Bargaining Unit, the officers of the unit shall hold corresponding positions on the OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Bargaining Unit.
3.3 There will be one election of unit officers; and those candidates elected or acclaimed who are also members of the OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Bargaining Unit shall be installed and serve concurrently as the executive officers of the OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth the OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Bargaining Unit.
3.4 The president shall be released from full-time teaching responsibilities for as long as he/she holds the office.
3.5 The president shall be paid 1.329 times the A4 maximum rate of the collective agreement in effect during the president's term of office.
3.6 The first vice-president shall be released from full-time teaching responsibilities for as long as he/she holds the office.
3.7 The first vice-president shall be paid 1.10 times the A4 maximum of the collective agreement in effect during the first vice-president's term of office effective July 1, 2014.
3.8 If the president's position becomes vacant, the executive shall meet and by resolution appoint the acting president for a specific period of time in order of rank starting with the first vice-president.
3.9 The treasurer shall receive an honourarium of 0.055 times the A4 maximum rate in the collective agreement in effect during his/her term of office.
3.10 In the absence of the president, those duties shall be performed by a vice-president in order of rank.
3.11 The duties of the unit executive shall be:
3.11.1 to promote the interests of the Association;
3.11.2 to receive and consider reports of alleged unfairness on the part of the school board and reports of professional difficulties between members of the unit and, if necessary, to work with the Counselling and Member Services Department in the resolution of these matters;
3.11.3 to report in writing to the provincial executive any case of alleged unprofessional conduct by a member of the unit and, at the same time, to provide the member with a copy of the report. Notwithstanding the above, if the adverse report is about a member respecting suspected sexual abuse of a student, then it is not necessary to provide him or her with a copy of the report or with any information about the report.
3.11.4 to refer to the general secretary all matters requiring legal advice;
3.11.5 to encourage each school to be represented by an experienced, responsible member;
3.11.6 to conduct a workshop for Association representatives when deemed necessary;
3.11.7 to fill vacancies in the membership of the unit executive which occur between annual elections as deemed necessary by the executive;
3.11.8 to choose the delegates and alternate delegates to the provincial annual general meeting and to other provincial conferences;
3.11.9 to hold general meetings when deemed necessary for the welfare of the unit and when required by the unit by-laws and procedures;
3.11.10 to appoint, twelve weeks prior to the general meeting when elections take place, the chair of the nominating committee and a minimum of two other members all of whom are either members or former members of the unit who do not wish to be a candidate for an office on the next executive;
3.11.11 to supervise the compilation of the unit budget and authorize and approve unit expenses;
3.11.12 to levy, with the approval of the unit membership any necessary additional local fee;
3.11.13 if a grant is required to supplement fee income, to submit to the provincial executive a grant application along with the proposed annual budget;
3.11.14 to borrow funds on behalf of the unit, if such action is authorized by the unit membership and provincial executive;
3.11.15 to run the affairs of the unit between general meetings;
3.11.16 to designate that the unit president be the official spokesperson for all matters to be released by the media.
3.11.17 A quorum of any meeting of the unit executive shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members.
3.12 The unit executive may:
3.12.1 establish a subcommittee of its own members to investigate, discuss, and formulate recommendations on any matter relevant to the performance of its duties or the ongoing business of the unit. When forming such a subcommittee or task force, the executive shall set terms of reference and time lines for completion;
3.12.2 recommend any course of action which it deems to be in the best interests of the unit or its members;
3.12.3 formulate procedures to expedite unit business;
3.12.4 appoint a steering committee, house resolutions committee or speaker for executive or unit meetings, as necessary;
3.12.5 call for reports and minutes from any officer or committee of the unit;
3.12.6 recommend action to be taken by any officer or committee of the unit, subject to bylaw, policy, the executive or the general membership;
3.12.7 call for the minutes of any committee and consider those minutes at a meeting of the executive;
3.12.8 seek the advice and counsel of any member of the provincial secretariat;
3.12.9 meet with the director or trustees of the Board to discuss any matter that is not specifically related to negotiations for a collective agreement that may be in progress at the time;
3.12.10 appoint at its discretion additional non-voting advisors to the executive.
3.13 The unit executive shall be elected at the last unit general meeting of the school year.
3.14 The officers shall take office on July 1" of each year.
3.15 The term of office for the president, the first vice-president, and the treasurer shall be for two years or until each of their successors is elected.
3.16 The term of office for all other members of the unit executive shall be for one year or until each of their successors is elected.
Article 4: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
4.1 No member of the nominations committee shall be on the election team of any candidate. No officer of the unit with full-time or part-time paid release shall campaign for any candidate in their capacity as a release officer.
4.2 Eight weeks prior to the date of the general meeting when elections take place, the nominations committee shall publish a first call for interested candidates for all offices open for election.
4.2.1 Six weeks prior to the date of the general meeting when elections take place,the nominations committee shall publish the names of everyone who has indicated that he/she wishes to be a candidate for an office on the next executive after receiving written notice of the candidacy. The nominations committee shall publish a second call for interested candidates.
4.2.2 Three weeks prior to the date of the general meeting when elections take place, the nominations committee shall publish a flyer listing in alphabetical order all the known declared candidates for each office. The committee shall include in this flyer an election statement of no more than 250 words prepared and submitted by the candidate or his/her election team.
4.2.3 One week prior to the date of the general meeting when elections take place, the nominations committee shall publish a third call for interested candidates.
4.3 The unit shall not distribute any other election materials for any candidate.
4.4 No candidate shall distribute election materials before the March break nor shall he/she use school supplies for election materials. Candidates may arrange to use unit office materials and equipment to produce their election materials, but they shall provide their own campaign workers to produce the materials and they shall reimburse the unit for any materials and equipment charges.
4.5 The Association representatives in each school shall distribute, at the request of a candidate, election material delivered to the school into the staff mailboxes.
4.6 No election materials shall be distributed or displayed in the building where the election takes place, but candidates may greet unit members and distribute election materials outside the building.
4.7 The election procedure shall be as follows:
4.7.1 The chair of the nominations committee shall supervise the elections at the unit general meeting.
4.7.2 A unit member shall be present to vote in any of the elections for unit office; no proxy or advance votes shall be allowed.
4.7.3 Elections to fill vacancies on the following year's executive shall be held at the general meeting in the following order: president, first vice-president, second vice-president, third vice-president, treasurer, recording secretary, councillors.
4.7.4 The nominations committee shall recruit tellers to help them with the distribution, collection, and counting of ballots for each election; a candidate may appoint a scrutineer to monitor the count of the ballots.
4.7.5 The nominations committee chair shall report the names of all declared candidates for each office immediately after Business Arising in the agenda.
4.7.6 Elections shall be a special order of business on the agenda of the general meeting, and the agenda shall be structured, and if necessary altered, so that no candidate shall make a report to the meeting before voting for the office for which he/she has been nominated has been completed.
4.7.7 Additional nominations may be submitted to the nominations committee chairperson at the general meeting on forms signed by 3 members representing3 different work sites. Those nominated must be in attendance at the annual general meeting. Such additional nominations shall be submitted prior to the commencement of the annual general meeting.
4.7.8 Unsuccessful candidates for the office on the unit executive may declare their candidacy for another office on the unit executive. Such declaration shall be made at least 5 minutes prior to the balloting for the other office and shall be announced as soon as it is made known to the nominations committee chairperson.
4.7.9 Notice of withdrawal of a candidate shall be submitted prior to the commencement of the annual general meeting and shall be announced as soon as it is made known to the nominations committee chairperson.
4.7.10 After nominations for each office have been declared closed by the speaker, the candidates shall have the right to address the meeting. Candidates for president shall be allowed five minutes for their speech, while candidates for all other offices shall be allowed three minutes.
4.7.11 The chair of the nominations committee may, upon request of a candidate who is not able to be in attendance, read the speech of that candidate.
4.7.12 The chair of the nominations committee shall enforce the time limits for candidates speeches; the chair may designate another unit member for this duty. When 30 seconds remain of the time allowed for the candidate's speech, the speech timer shall stand in full view of the candidate and the meeting as a signal that the remarks should be concluded within the allotted time. If the candidate's time expires and the candidate continues to speak, the speaker of the meeting shall interrupt and end the candidate's speech.
4.7.13 The order of speeches by the candidates for each office shall be decided by drawing lots once nominations for that office have been closed.
4.7.14 There shall be no opportunity to question the candidates during or after the election speeches.
4.7.15 Once the speaker has declared that the voting for any office has been completed, the tellers and any candidate's scrutineers ,shall leave the meeting room to count the ballots and shall remain outside the meeting room until after the chair of the nominations committee has announced the results of the vote.
4.7.16 The chair of the nominations committee shall determine whether a ballot is spoiled. A ballot shall be spoiled if the voter's intention is unclear. A ballot shall not be considered spoiled if the voter has voted for fewer candidates than there are offices to be filled by that election ballot.
4.7.17 For the office of councillor, four to be elected, a plurality shall elect; for the other executive offices, one each to be elected, a majority shall elect.
4.7.18 For an office for which a majority is required, if no candidate obtains a majority of the votes cast in the first ballot of an election, the candidate with the fewest votes on the previous ballot shall be dropped on the second and subsequent ballots until one candidate obtains a majority and is there by declared elected.
4.7.19 The chair of the nominations committee shall announce the results of the ballot for each candidate, including the vote count, in alphabetical order.
4.7.20 If the announced difference between an apparently winning candidate and another candidate is less than 10 votes, the other candidate may request a recount.
Article 5: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
5.1 The duties of the unit president shall be:
5.1.1 to represent the unit membership;
5.1.2 to call unit general meetings and executive meetings, plan and prepare their programs and agendas, and chair these meetings;
5.1.3 to file and keep in order all unit records;
5.1.4 to keep a file and to make available to the unit executive the minutes of executive and general meetings;
5.1.5 to provide for the distribution of unit executive minutes;
5.1.6 to keep on file a record of all members;
5.1.7 to serve on the Council of Presidents;
5.1.8 when unable to perform this duty, the unit president shall ensure a designate is chosen according to procedures established by the unit membership;
5.1.9 to forward the names of unit delegates and alternate delegates to the provincial annual general meeting and other provincial conferences to organize the preparation of the delegation to the provincial annual general meeting to discharge its duties and responsibilities;
5.1.10 to be one of the signing officers of the unit;
5.1.11 to attend to all correspondence;
5.1.12 to be the communications officer;
5.1.13 to keep the membership informed of unit business through the Association representatives;
5.1.14 to notify the provincial office of all Unit meetings;
5.1.15 to forward by the prescribed date to the general secretary the names and addresses of the unit executive immediately following their election;
5.1.16 to submit amendments to the unit by-laws passed by a unit general meeting to the provincial executive for approval;
5.1.17 to prepare an updated version of the by-laws whenever necessary; and to provide a copy of the by-laws as most recently amended to all Association representatives at the beginning of each school year and to any other member of the unit whenever requested;
5.1.18 to be an ex-officio member of all committees except the nominations committee;
5.1.19 to carry out additional duties as assigned by a motion of an executive or general meeting.
5.2 The president may delegate another member to carry out one of the duties of the president listed above.
5.3 The duties of the first vice-president shall be:
5.3.1 to assist the president with his/her duties when requested;
5.3.2 to call a mandatory meeting of the unit if the president does not do so and notify the unit president and the Association general secretary of this action;
5.3.3 to perform such other duties as may be specified by a motion of an executive or general meeting;
5.3.4 to report regularly to the unit executive and general meetings, and to produce regular newsletters, subject to the approval of the president, on developments relevant to collective bargaining for the membership at large;
5.3.5 to act as the liaison with the provincial secretariat members assigned to work with the unit;
5.3.6 to research future directions in education and negotiations, to be well informed about current legislation, and to design and maintain systems giving access to information about the variety of issues and initiatives relevant to unit members;
5.3.7 to be one of the signing officers of the unit.
5.4 The duties of the other unit vice-presidents shall be:
5.4.1 to assist the president in his/her duties when requested;
5.4.2 to call a mandatory meeting of the unit if the president or the first vice-president does not do so. The vice-presidents, in order of rank, shall call the meeting and notify the unit president, the first vice-president, and the Association general secretary of this action;
5.4.3 to perform such other duties as may be specified by a motion of an executive or general meeting.
5.5 The duties of the unit treasurer shall be:
5.5.1 to receive and acknowledge all money from the provincial treasury;
5.5.2 to deposit all funds in the name of the unit in an accredited financial institution;
5.5.3 to be chairperson of the finance committee;
5.5.4 to be one of the signing officers of the unit;
5.5.5 to keep an account of all money received and expended;
5.5.6 to pay all authorized accounts and expenses incurred by the unit;
5.5.7 to present the unit budget to the membership for approval at the first general meeting;
5.5.8 to give an annual financial report to the membership at the first general meeting of the subsequent year;
5.5.9 to submit the books and financial statements to an accredited auditor no later than four (4) months after the close of the fiscal year;
5.5.10 to submit an annual financial report audited by a licensed public accountant to the membership at the first general meeting following such audit and to the provincial office;
5.5.11 to present a financial statement at all unit executive meetings;
5.5.12 to provide counsel for the new incoming treasurer;
5.5.13 to perform such other duties as may be specified by a motion of an executive or general meeting.
5.6 The duties of the unit recording secretary shall be:
5.6.1 to record the minutes of all executive and general meetings;
5.6.2 to forward the minutes to the unit president prior to the next meeting;
5.6.3 to perform such other duties as may be specified by a motion of an executive or general meeting.
5.7 The duties of the unit councillors shall be:
5.7.1 to assist the unit executive in its duties;
5.7.2 to perform such other duties as maybe specified by a motion of an executive or general meeting.
5.8 A member of the unit executive who fails to perform the duties inherent to his/her office may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the unit executive, provided at least ten (10) days notice in writing of such impending action and meeting date shall be given to him/her, such a member, if removed, may appeal to the unit membership at its next general meeting.
Article 6: COMMITTEES AND ASSOCIATION REPESENTATIVES
6.1 Duties that shall apply to all local committees of the unit:
6.1.1 Membership in all committees shall be advertised.
6.1.2 Chairpersons of all committees shall be appointed by September 30 or approved by the appropriate executive; where there is no appointment of a committee chair, the executive shall make that appointment.
6.1.3 A list of all members of all committees shall be submitted to the executive by September 30 for appointment or approval for a one (1) year term; only current unit members shall be eligible for committee membership.
6.1.4 Each committee shall report regularly through its chairperson to the executive.
6.1.5 Each committee appointed by the executive is responsible to the executive.
6.1.6 Each committee chairperson shall present a tentative program and budget request in writing to the executive by June 30.
6.1.7 All committee budgets require approval of the executive;
6.1.8 All financial transactions conducted by the committees shall be directed to the unit treasurer.
6.1.9 The following shall be designated as unit standing committees: Finance.
6.1.10 The unit may maintain the following special committees: Christian Action, Christmas Charities, Communication, Education,
6.1.11 Political Action, Retirement Tea, Right to Life, Social Justice.
6.1.12 A unit general meeting may create or disband a committee by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
6.1.13 The standing and special committees shall take office on July 1" of each year, if possible.
6.1.14 The unit executive may approve any ad hoc committee as may be necessary from time to time; this committee shall be dissolved upon completion of assignment or task.
6.1.15 Any committee wishing to meet with persons or organizations outside the unit requires the authorization of the executive.
6.1.16 The chairperson of the committee shall send notice of the meeting and copies of the minutes to members of the committee and the president.
6.1.17 Chairpersons of the committees may attend all unit executive meetings.
6.1.18 Each committee should have at least one (1) executive member appointed by the executive.
6.1.19 Each committee chairperson shall present a written report at the appropriate general meeting(s).
6.1.20 Each committee should keep minutes of their respective committee meeting; these minutes shall be transferred to the succeeding chairperson.
6.1.21 No member should serve more than three (3) consecutive terms as chairperson of the same standing or special committee unless otherwise directed by the executive.
6.1.22 Submission of claim for distance travelled shall be calculated as a return trip between school and meeting location.
6.1.23 All expenses for distance travelled shall be paid in accordance with the unit rate.
6.1.24 Travel claims shall be paid by the unit treasurer to committee members upon receipt or an itemized claim verified by the committee chairperson and a unit cheque signing officer.
6.1.25 All communication to the teachers shall be forwarded through the president.
6.2 Duties of standing committees:
6.2.1 Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall:
184.108.40.206 assist the unit executive in preparing the unit budget;
220.127.116.11 act as financial advisors to the executive;
18.104.22.168 have as chairperson of the Finance Committee, the unit treasurer.
6.3 Duties of special committees:
6.3.1 The duties of the special committees shall be reviewed by the unit executive by November 30 each year. Any changes or modifications to the duties can be recommended to the unit executive for approval.
6.4 Unit representation on committees outside the unit:
6.4.1 The following shall apply to committees or study groups not established by the unit, but where unit representation has been requested.
22.214.171.124 All members appointed to represent the unit to these committees or study groups shall be at the 6.4 6.4.1 discretion of the unit executive.
126.96.36.199 The unit executive shall have the option of the following:
188.8.131.52.1 appoint to the committee or study group;
184.108.40.206.2 advertise to the general membership and subsequently appoint;
220.127.116.11.3 elect not to participate in the committee or study group.
6.4.2 The unit president may appoint a member to the committee or study group; however, such an appointment is to be subject to ratification by the unit executive.
6.4.3 Any member appointed to such a committee or study group shall report on a regular basis to the unit executive.
6.5 Association Representative Elections
18.104.22.168 Each staff shall elect its Association representative in June if possible and no later than September 15.
22.214.171.124 To qualify as an Association representative, a teacher shall be a member of the staff.
6.5.2 It shall be the duty of the Association representative:
126.96.36.199 to attend all meetings for Association representative called by the unit executive. In the event that an elected Association representative is unable to attend, another unit member may be sent as a replacement;
188.8.131.52 to bring to the attention of the president or the first vice-president issues requiring attention as requested by staff members;
184.108.40.206 to bring to the attention of staff members all communications received from the unit executive;
220.127.116.11 to act upon notices requiring such action, as directed;
18.104.22.168 to act as direct liaison between the unit executive and staff members by:
22.214.171.124.1 distributing to the staff members information items;
126.96.36.199.2 retaining on a yearly basis minutes of executive and general meetings;
188.8.131.52.3 actively promoting unit activities and services;
184.108.40.206 to act as a liaison between the provincial executive and members of the unit by:
220.127.116.11.1 distributing to the members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association and Ontario Teachers' Federation publications and correspondence;
18.104.22.168.2 notifying the appropriate authority regarding any shortages thereof;
22.214.171.124.3 actively promoting the Associations and its services among members;
Article 7: UNIT GENERAL MEETINGS
7.1 The unit shall hold a minimum of four (4) unit general meetings per year.
7.1.1 The first shall be in the first term, with its main purpose being to discuss and approve the unit budget; the auditor's report shall also be presented, if available.
7.1.2 The second shall be in November or December, with its main purpose being to consider resolutions to be sent to the provincial Annual General Meeting (AGM).
7.1.3 The third shall be before the AGM, with its main purpose being discussion of AGM resolutions.
7.1.4 The fourth shall be held in May or June, with its main purpose being the electing of a new unit executive.
7.2 Other general meetings shall be called at the discretion of the unit president or unit executive.
7.3 Any member of the unit present at the meeting shall be entitled to vote.
7.4 General membership meetings may receive reports from officers or committees of the unit, question those reports, and debate motions to conduct business of the unit.
7.5 Notice of meeting and the major agenda items shall be sent to the membership prior to the meeting date except in the case of an emergency meeting.
7.6 A quorum at any general meeting shall be 50% plus one (1) of the membership present at the beginning of the meeting.
Article 8: DELEGATES TO THE PROVINCIAL AGM
8.1 Delegates to the annual general meeting:
8.1.1 The following guidelines are recommended in the selection of delegates:
126.96.36.199 executive members
188.8.131.52 committee members
184.108.40.206 Association Representatives
220.127.116.11 membership at large.
8.1.2 The final approval and selection of all delegates shall be the responsibility of the unit executive.
8.1.3 The selection of delegates by the unit executive should be completed by January 30 of each year.
8.1.4 The unit executive should hold at least two (2) workshops to prepare the delegates.
8.1.5 All delegates and alternates are obliged to attend all assigned sessions and unit caucus meetings.
Article 9: AMENDMENTS TO BY-LAWS
9.1 By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at any general meeting of the unit. The unit president will distribute the proposed amendment to the members at least ten (10) school days prior to the meeting.
9.2 The unit president shall make any proposed amendments a special order of business on the agenda of the unit general meeting at which they are to be considered, and shall schedule consideration of any proposed amendments early enough in the meeting that they will take effect before any later business that would be affected by their adoption.