LOCAL CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
APWU LOCAL 451, AFL-CIO
We, the Postal Workers of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish this Constitution.
We, who come from the diverse crafts, believe that in unity there is strength.
We believe that all postal workers and all members of labor have the right to economic, political and social justice.
That all men and women have the inherent right to earn a living and be justly paid for the services they perform.
That all postal workers have the right to expect to have decent shelter, food and clothing. That they have the right to see that their children have the best of education. The investment of the worker’s lifeblood in giving service gives him/her that right.
We further believe that all men and women are created equal with the right to determine their own destiny and to participate in the forces and events that affect them.
We believe that all postal workers have the right, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, handicap, political affiliation, age, or religion to hold their heads high and to have respect for themselves as individuals.
We believe, therefore, that in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, all men and women are free and have the right to come together to promote the common cause of all.
We also believe that all members have certain basic rights within our Union and shall be secure in those rights. In order to give life to the Preamble to this Constitution, and to the Constitution itself, the Members’ Bill of Rights has been established.
MEMBERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
1. Every member has the right to be respected as a human being.
2. Every member has the right to be respected as a brother or sister of this Union.
3. Every member has the right to freedom of speech and the right to be heard.
4. Every member has the right to the freedom to listen.
5. Every member has the right to the freedom of the press.
6. Every member has the right to participate in the activities of this Union.
7. Members shall not be denied the right to seek any office or the right to vote in this Union
because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, handicap, political
affiliation, age or religion.
8. Every member has the right to support the candidate of his/her choice and to participate in
that right with others.
9. Every member has the right to a fair trial, to be represented by an individual of his or her
choice and to proper appeal procedures.
10. Every member has the right to be secure in his or her basic rights without fear of political,
economic, physical or psychological intimidation.
Article One: The Union
Section One: The name of this Union shall be "Waterloo Local #451" and shall be referred to as "Union" hereafter. The Union shall be affiliated with the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO and all other labor organizations as determined by the membership.
Section Two: The Union’s objective and purpose are to unite postal workers into one organization for their social and economic advancement and to aid the improvement of the United States Postal Service.
Article Two: Membership
Section One: Full membership in this Union shall be limited to any active or retired dues-paying career Postal employee except those exercising permanent supervision.
Section Two: Limited membership shall be limited to non-dues paying retired career Postal employees.
Section Three: Social membership shall be available to permanent management personnel and full members leaving the USPS. Social members must pay dues, but shall have no right to hold office, be a delegate or vote in matters concerning this Union.
Section Four: All candidates for membership in this Union must be submitted on POD 1187.
Section Five: No eligible member shall be denied membership in this Union because of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion or political beliefs.
Article Three: Officers
Section One: The elected officers of this Union shall be President, Vice-President, Stewards Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, and Trustee (3). This order represents the chain of command, with the Trustees in descending order by length of time in position, then by the votes when elected.
Section Two: The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers. A meeting of the Executive Board shall require a quorum of five.
Section Three: The appointed officers of this Union shall be all Stewards, one of whom shall be designated by the President as Chief Steward and shall act as liaison between the Stewards and the Stewards Director.
Article Four: Duties of Officers and Delegates
Section One: Attendance of officers is required at monthly meetings. This shall be waived for the following reasons: (1) Official Union business, (2) Official USPS business, (3) Family emergency, (4) Military duty. Two or more unexcused absences in a calendar quarter shall result in forfeiture of that quarter’s salary.
Section Two: The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committee and committee chairpersons except the Election Committee, appoint all stewards and be responsible for their training, submit an article for each issue of the paper, and assign other duties to officers as necessary. S/he shall be a delegate to State and National Conventions and all other special meetings with funding as outlined under "Funds of the Union" below.
Section Three: The Vice-President shall perform the duties of President in the President’s absence, shall perform the duties of Hospital Plan and OWCP Representative and submit an article for each issue of the paper.
Section Four: The Stewards Director, as normal Step 2 designee, shall be responsible for the overall welfare, working conditions, grievances, safety and health of members in this Union, shall assist stewards in their duties and shall submit an article for each issue of the paper.
Section Five: The Secretary shall record minutes and attendance of each meeting in a bound book and submit these minutes to be published in the paper.
Section Six: The Treasurer shall keep records of funds and expenses of this Union in a bound book and submit financial reports to be published in the paper.
Section Seven: The Editor shall publish the paper at least ten months each year with complete editorial control; be a member of the APWU National Postal Press Association, with annual dues to be paid by the Union; be a delegate to the National Editor’s Conference with funding as outlined in "Funds of the Union" below; and display proper disclaimer advising the reader that the articles published in the newsletter are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of the Editor or the Union.
Section Eight: The Trustees shall have custody of all Union property and shall examine the condition of the Union, including but not limited to, a semi-annual audit and report of Union funds.
Section Nine: Delegates shall be selected and have duties as listed and as follows: Other delegates shall be elected at a regular meeting for which advance notice has been given. All delegates shall be required to present a timely report to a general meeting following their attendance as delegate.
Article Five: Nominations and Elections
Section One: Candidate eligibility shall be limited to any member in good standing who is eligible as defined in Article 10, Section 12 of the APWU Constitution and By-Laws. Upon nomination, the candidate shall certify that s/he meets these requirements. No member will be on the ballot for more than one office.
Section Two: Terms of office will be two years, unless completing an unfinished term. After a general election, duties will be assumed on January 1 with installations at the January or February meeting.
Section Three: Nominations will be accepted at the September and October meetings. Verbal and written nominations shall be accepted and posted on the Union bulletin board and published in the paper.
Section Four: The Election Committee shall consist of five members appointed by the Election Committee Chairperson. Committee members shall not appear on the ballot. The Election Committee shall mail out ballots and count votes, shall ascertain that all by-laws and regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor are followed, and shall post nominations and election results on the Union bulletin board and submit these results to the Editor for publication.
Section Five: General Elections shall be by referendum every two years. Ballots shall be mailed out no later than November 15 and counted after 1000 hours on November 30. Each member in good standing as of November 14 shall receive a ballot. The Treasurer will determine if a member is in good standing and will supply a list of members in good standing to the Election Committee in adequate time. Candidates will appear on the ballot in the order nominated for each office. All ballots shall be mailed to members and shall include a secret envelope in which the member places the complete ballot, and return envelope with member’s name and address label attached to the back side. Upon receipt of the complete ballot, the member’s signature must appear in the upper left hand corner of the outer return envelope. A subcommittee from the election committee shall verify envelopes by comparing to the most recent membership list. The election committee shall open returned envelopes and separate the ballots from the return envelope. The secret ballot will then be opened and counted. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each position shall be declared elected. In the case of a tie, a runoff referendum election shall be held.
Section Six: A special election shall be held to fill an office which is vacated before the normal end to term, except in the case of vacancy of the Presidency, in which case the Vice-President shall fill the position until after the next general elections. Nominations for special elections shall be taken at the next general meeting. Notification shall be posted on the bulletin board, and in the paper if time allows. Election of the officer shall be held at the second general meeting after the office is vacated. Voting shall be by paper ballot by those members present at the meeting. The winner shall be the member who receives the highest number of votes.
Article Six: Meetings
Section One: General membership meetings shall be required each calendar month except August and December. The date and time of each meeting shall be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Board before the meeting prior to the one being set. In the event the Executive Board has not set the meeting date and time, the meeting shall default to 1100 hours on the third Saturday of the month, unless by a three-fourths majority members at a meeting determine otherwise. Advanced notice of date, time and place of general membership meetings shall be printed in the newsletter and posted.
Section Two: Special meetings may be called by the President or the Trustees or a petition signed by at least twenty members with date, time and place posted on the Union bulletin board. Special meetings shall be limited to one announced subject, with the exception that the members present at a special meeting may consider additional subject(s) by three-fourths majority.
Section Three: A quorum shall consist of ten members who are present within one hour of the scheduled meeting time.
Section Four: Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern all things not covered by the Union by-laws.
Article Seven: Funds of the Union
Section One: Dues increases shall be determined by membership at a regular meeting with advance notice given. A two-thirds majority of eligible voting members present at the meeting shall be necessary to pass a dues increase.
Section Two: Bank account(s) shall be established at the direction of the membership. All canceled checks shall be returned to the Union. Two signatures shall be required on all checks with the President, Vice-President and Treasurer authorized.
Section Three: The salaries of the officers shall be paid quarterly in the following amounts: President, $500.00; Vice-President, $125.00; Steward’s Director, $325.00; Secretary, $75.00; Treasurer, $300.00; Editor, $75; and Stewards (but not alternates), $150.00.
Section Four: In addition, the President shall be granted up to forty (40) hours of LWOP per quarter at the hourly rate for arbitration work and other necessary Union business, to be paid upon presentation of documentation. The Editor or officer performing as Editor shall receive $40 per issue published, paid quarterly. Any officer incurring lost leave due to being in an LWOP status solely for the performance of union duties and/or responsibilities shall be re-imbursed for said lost leave at his/her normal USPS hourly rate.
Section Five: No officer shall receive more than one salary for performing the duties of two or more officers. The highest or higher of the salaries shall be paid.
Section Six: Delegate expenses shall be determined by the membership at a regular meeting. Reimbursement shall not be made without a receipt, though advance checks may be paid to delegates.
Article Eight: Amendments
Section One: Proposal amendments, signed by at least ten members, shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary and shall be read at the next general meeting. The amendment(s) shall then be posted on the Union board and published in the paper to be acted upon at the following general meeting, with a two-thirds majority of eligible members at the meeting necessary for adoption.
Section Two: Adopted amendments shall stand immediately unless specified otherwise within.
Article Nine: Recall
A petition for recall may be filed by the signature of at least ten members who have sufficient proof that an officer of this Union has acted dishonestly or otherwise detrimentally to the interests of this Union. The charges shall be submitted in duplicate with the petition for recall to an elected officer. The Executive Board shall send one copy of the charges to the officer being charged. Fifteen days shall be allowed the officer to reply to the charge in writing. After the fifteen day period, the Executive Board shall call a special meeting to be held within the next fifteen days for the purpose of reading the charges and the reply, and for discussion of these only. Within five days following the special meeting, the Executive Board shall mail to each member a copy of the special meeting minutes and a referendum ballot as prescribed for a general election. Ballots shall be counted after 1000 hours on the fifteenth day after the special meeting. A two-thirds majority of the votes cast shall be required to recall the officer.
Article Ten: Deaths of Members
In the event of the death of any member of this Union, the President or her/his designee shall present to the member’s family a suitable arrangement of flowers, or a Holy Bible or other book of the member’s religion in the name of the Union. A special committee of members shall be named by the President to assist the deceased member’s family, if the family desires such help.