Constitution of The Canadian Union of Skilled Workers
Amended: Sixth Convention of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers
April 18 & 19, 2015
VALUES AND BELIEFS:
Honesty, Integrity, Fairness, Equality, Respectful Treatment, Family Consideration, Common Sense, Decisions Benefiting the Members, Decisions Promoting the Workers, Involvement (including stakeholders), Democratic Processes
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ARTICLE 07 - Officers and Duties
OFFICERS AND DUTIES
The Officers of the Union shall consist of the President, Immediate Past President, Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Recorder, and three National Executive Board Members.
The National Executive Board of the Union shall consist of the President, First VicePresident, three National Executive Board members, Treasurer and Recorder.
The President shall be the full time representative of the Union and will be paid wages and expenses as determined by Article 18 of the Constitution.
When the Union or the National Executive Board on behalf of the Union determines that the President requires assistance to carry out the duties and obligations assigned hereunder, the First Vice President will become a representative of the Union and will be paid wages and expenses as determined under Article 18 of the Constitution. The First Vice President will fulfill the duties of the President in his/her absence.
When the Union or the National Executive Board on behalf of the Union determines that the President requires assistance, in addition to the First Vice President, to carry out the duties and obligations assigned hereunder, the National Executive Board will cause an election for an additional Vice President. Vice Presidents shall be elected from the membership in the same manner as other Union Officers and the list of Officers will be expanded to include such elected members. The term of office for the Vice Presidents elected interim of the regular election will be for the period until the next Election of Officers. Wages and expenses shall be paid in accordance with Article 18 of the Constitution.
National Executive Board
(i) The National Executive Board shall be the highest authority of the Union between Conventions and shall be empowered to act on behalf of the membership to the extent business requires prompt and decisive action affecting the interests of the Union.
(ii) All decisions of the National Executive Board shall be made by consensus where possible. When a vote is required to resolve an issue the President shall break all tied votes.
(iii) Actions of the National Executive Board, except for commitments and disbursements for the regular, recurrent and incidental expenses of the Union, shall be binding until and unless modified by vote of the membership at Convention when the report of the National Executive Board is made to it.
(iv) The presence of at least four members of the National Executive Board shall constitute a quorum; a majority of those present and voting shall be required for all official acts.
(v) The National Executive Board shall meet at least once a month it shall also hold such special meetings or conference calls as, in its judgement, it may deem appropriate or necessary.
(vi) The National Executive Board shall make available the minutes of all NEB meetings.
(vii) It shall be the duty of the National Executive Board to see to it that the affairs and business of the Union are being properly conducted, in accordance with the Constitution.
(viii) When the Union, or the National Executive Board on behalf of the membership, has decided that a representative of the Union is needed to support the short term needs of the Union, the National Executive Board shall appoint such Representatives and it shall determine the salary and other compensation to be paid.
(ix) The National Executive Board shall ensure that a bond is provided which protects against loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty covering every Officer, agent, shop steward, or other representative who handles funds or other property of the Union, in an amount not less than the minimum required by the provisions of applicable law, or as set by the membership.
(x) The National Executive Board shall sit as the Judicial Committee in panels of three, chosen by lot, and shall conduct its Judicial Committee functions in accordance with Article 7.14.
(xi) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to determine whether the Union will be represented at conventions of labour and other organizations, and shall have the authority to determine how delegates to such conventions shall be chosen. The President shall be an exofficio delegate to any convention or meeting to which the Union chooses to send delegates.
(xii) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to appoint Trustees from the membership to all union, pension, benefit, promotion, training, apprenticeship, legal aid, or any other benefit in respect of whom Union members are beneficiaries, provided such persons shall serve for not more than three (3) years, but are eligible for reappointment at the end of each three (3) year term. Nominations and appointments will occur in the year prior to Elections. During the three (3) year term, such Trustees may be removed only for just cause.
(xiii) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to fill a vacancy on the National Executive Board by causing an election for the vacated position. Such elections, by the members, shall be held no later than ninety (90) days from the time the vacancy occurs. When a vacancy occurs with less than 12 months remaining in the regular term, the elected National Executive Board shall have the authority to fill the vacancy.
(xiv) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to affiliate with any central labour organization in Canada or Internationally, with the approval of the membership.
(xv) The National Executive Board shall have the power to authorize the Union to grant human, financial, or any other assistance to any other union, organization or charity requesting such assistance.
(xvi)The National Executive Board shall have the power to hire or retain office, administrative, and professional employee staff and services as it deems appropriate to the objects, purposes, and policies of the Union, to establish and modify their compensation expense allowance so as to ensure they are properly compensated for their services to the Union.
(xvii) The National Executive Board shall have the power to obtain and instruct counsel on behalf of the Union, and to retain and instruct any other professionals or consultants.
(xviii) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to lease, buy, sell, mortgage or dispose of, when authorized by the Union to do so, any property or property rights it deems desirable to meet the objects, purposes, and policies of the Union, and shall direct the management and investment of the property and funds of the Union, provided the National Executive Board shall ensure that any real property owned is held by a corporation based on not-for-profit in respect of which each member of the Union is a member of the corporation. The National Executive Board may deposit other property and funds of the Union in the not-for-profit corporation. The National Executive Board members of the Union shall be the National Executive Board members of the not-for-profit corporation.
(xix) The National Executive Board shall have the authority to establish the following committees: Constitution Committee, Audit Committee, Negotiating Committee, Health, Safety & Wellness Committee, Communication Committee, Values and Beliefs Committee, Political Action Committee, Apprenticeship Committees as required, Social Committee, Sick Benefit Committee, Working Rules and Membership Committee, Growth and Opportunity Committee, Training and Education Committee, Technology Committee, Retirees Committee, a Sergeant-at-Arms, and such other committees the Union deems necessary.
(xx) The National Executive Board may remove any member from any shop or job (when not in violation of an agreement) for not complying with the Constitution, Policies or rules of the Union, or when the National Executive Board determines the best interests of the Union requires such removal. Any such removed member shall be entitled to a review by the Judicial Committee of the National Executive Board and or the Independent Hearing Tribunal.
(xxi) The National Executive Board shall have the responsibility of protecting the rights of members under this Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and any other laws that may be applicable under the law of our country.
(xxii) Any member of the Union shall have the right to make presentation to the Union National Executive Board. Any member requesting such a meeting will notify the Union National Executive Board fourteen (14) days prior to the next Union National Executive Board meeting. This shall be done in writing and shall identify the issues to be addressed.
(i) He/She shall advance the objects in the best interests of the Union.
(ii) The President shall be responsible to the membership of the Union in all matters pertaining to the Operation of the Union and shall fulfil the following duties in accordance with the direction of the National Executive Board.
(iii) He/she shall see to it that the affairs and business of the Union are being properly conducted in accordance with the direction of the National Executive Board, and within the rules, regulations, policies and practices of the Union and in accordance with legal requirements and lawful orders;
(iv) He/She shall preside as Chairperson at all National Executive Board meetings or meetings specially called by the National Executive Board and exercise all authority and responsibility as such chairperson.
(v) A report on his/her activities and the activities of his/her assistants, if any, at each meeting of the National Executive Board, and such other times as the National Executive Board may require.
(vi) Negotiations with employers shall be through a Negotiating Committee of which the President or his/her delegate shall be a member ex-officio;
(vii) He/she shall see to it that the provisions of all agreements are enforced and respected by all persons affected thereby. All instances of non-compliance, which are not amicably adjusted by him, shall be reported to the National Executive Board of the Union.
(viii) He/she shall direct and supervise the activities of Representatives in accordance with the direction of the National Executive Board. The President shall have the authority to discharge Representatives when required for just cause subject to appeal to the National Executive Board and the Independent Hearing Tribunal. The decision to hire Representatives shall be the decision of the National Executive Board.
(ix) He/She shall keep informed of all contemplated work to be done within the jurisdiction of the Union.
(viii) He/She shall be a member of the National Growth and Opportunity Committee. The Committee shall use all proper and lawful means of organizing the work coming within the territorial and work jurisdictions of the Union.
(ix) For all monies collected in the field, he/she shall give an official receipt of the Union, which monies shall then be turned over to the Treasurer of the Union, as soon as is practicable, and obtain a receipt therefor.
(xi) By virtue of his/her election, he/she shall serve as a delegate to any labour body with which the Union is affiliated.
(xii) He/she shall, together with the Treasurer, sign all checks or orders for payment of monies from the Union's accounts, and sign all official documents of the Union, except as herein otherwise provided.
(xiii) He/she shall call special meetings of the Union or of the National Executive Board, when requested to do so by the National Executive Board of the Union.
Immediate Past President
(i) During the first term of a new President, if the Immediate Past President is available, the Immediate Past President may continue as an Officer of the Union and shall fulfil such duties as the National Executive Board and membership determine necessary to advance the objects and best interests of the Union.
(i) Vice Presidents, including the First Vice President, shall fulfil such duties as the National Executive Board and the membership determines necessary to advance the objects and best interests of the Union. Without limiting the foregoing, the Vice President may be assigned duties similar to the President for a geographic region of the Unions' jurisdiction or for specific sectors of work covered by this constitution. In support of the principle of Article 2.01 (iii) a Vice President may also be assigned to specific tasks such as directing the external affairs of the Union.
(i) The Recorder shall be responsible for the preparation and signing of the minutes of all National Executive Board meetings and conference calls which shall be turned over to the Treasurer as part of the records of the Union.
(ii) He/she shall submit his/her books to the auditors of the Union for inspection once a year or to a Certified Public Accountant when the Union has retained such accountant for the purpose of auditing the financial records of the Union.
(iii) He/she shall, together with the President, sign all credentials of delegates of the Union.
(i) All monies payable to the Union shall be turned over to the Treasurer, who shall give a proper receipt therefor.
(ii) He/she shall make and keep a proper record of all such monies received and deposit same in the name of the Union, in such banks or depositories, as the National Executive Board shall determine.
(iii) He/she shall make disbursements in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.06 (xvi) herein.
(iv) He/she shall, once each month, at a meeting of the Union, make a written, categorical financial report of the monies received and disbursed since his last report to a meeting.
(v) He/she shall, together with the President or First Vice President, sign all checks or orders for the payment of monies from the Union's accounts.
(vi) He/she shall submit books and records to the Audit Committee of the Union for inspection on a quarterly basis, and to a Chartered Accountant for the purpose of auditing the financial records of the Union on an annual basis.
(vii) The Treasurer shall pay directly to a pension fund for the officers of the Union, if such is established, an amount directed by the National Executive Board.
(viii) The Treasurer shall register all Union Members in the appropriate registries.
(ix) All minutes of meetings, property, books, papers, and records of all financial transactions within the Union shall be in the custody of the Treasurer.
(x) The day to day activities of the Treasurer shall be carried out on behalf of the Treasurer by one of the full time Representatives of the Union as directed by the National Executive Board.
The Sergeant-at-Arms shall determine the right of those who shall be permitted to enter the meeting hall of the Union Convention or Special Meetings of the membership called by the National Executive Board of the Union; he/she shall execute such orders given to him/her by the President for the maintenance of order and decorum at meetings.
(i) The Audit Committee shall be a standing committee of the Union and will consist of three members appointed by the National Executive Board. The Audit Committee will be appointed for a period of three years with nominations in March and appointments in May prior to the Union's regular election year. Members are eligible for reappointment at the end of each term. Audit Committee members may be removed only for just cause.
(ii) The Audit Committee shall at the end of the year audit books of the Treasurer and check the entries with bank deposits, statements and other data or memoranda. They shall render a detailed report annually to the Union, showing financial transactions and the financial condition of the Union for the preceding year.
(iii) The Audit Committee shall have the right to require the production of books, records and other data or memoranda from all officers, officials or employees who participated in any financial transaction and to request their appearance for the purpose of making such report or explanation as may be deemed necessary by them.
(iv) The Union shall retain a Chartered or Public Accountant to prepare an annual audit, which shall be carried out under the direction of the Audit Committee. The Accountant shall report to the Audit Committee.
National Executive Board Judicial Functions
(i) The National Executive Board shall establish a Judicial Committee composed of all members of the National Executive Board who shall act in panels of three (3), chosen by lot for the purpose of hearings conducted by the Judicial Committee as described in the Judicial Code, Article 16.
(ii) The Judicial Committee of the National Executive Board shall establish an Independent Hearing Tribunal ("IHT"). The IHT will be composed of members of the Judicial Committee, three respected persons appointed from other trade unions in the trade union movement, and two (2) independent arbitrators. The IHT will sit in panels of three, one member chosen by lot from the Judicial Committee, one member chosen by lot from among the persons appointed from other trade unions, and a Chair, which will be one of the independent arbitrators who will alternate as Chair of hearing panels of the IHT, with the first Chair chosen by lot. The IHT will conduct hearings as set out in the Judicial Code. The member of the Judicial Committee sitting on the IHT cannot be a member of the Judicial Committee who heard a matter, which is under appeal to the IHT.