Constitution of The Canadian Union of Skilled Workers

Amended: Sixth Convention of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers
April 18 & 19, 2015

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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 10 - Units

ARTICLE 10

UNITS

10.01

Units will be established on a Geographic, Sector or Bargaining Unit, basis as determined necessary by the National Executive Board to enhance the participation of the Membership and promote the Union within the community.

10.02

(i) Unit officers shall be members of their respective Units. Each Unit shall have the following officers, who shall be known as the Unit Executive: Chair, Vice Chair, Recorder, Treasurer and 3 Executive members.

(ii) The Unit is responsible for establishing its voting constituency, which shall include working members, unemployed members and retired members.

(iii) Units shall establish their own budgets, business plan and long term goals. They can also affiliate with local labour groups or organizations. The above however, is subject to approval of the Unit Membership.

(iv) Unit decisions impacting other Units will be resolved between the Units involved. Those issues, which can not be resolved at the Unit level, will be directed to the Union National Executive Board.

(v) The Units may raise funds for charitable donations. Disbursement and distribution of such funds will be in accordance with Approved Terms of Reference and the approval of the members of that Unit attending such Unit meeting.

10.03

The duties of Unit officers within the Unit shall be as follows:

(i) Unit Executive

(a) The Unit Executive shall be the governing body of the Unit and shall be empowered to act on behalf of the membership of the Unit to the extent business requires prompt and decisive action affecting the interests of the Unit.

(b) All decisions of the Unit Executive shall be made by consensus where possible. When a vote is required to resolve an issue the Unit Chair shall break all tied votes.

(c) The presence of at least four members of the Unit Executive shall constitute a quorum; a majority of those present and voting shall be required for all official acts.

(d) The Unit Executive shall meet regularly as such time as it may decide.

(e) The Unit Executive shall provide notification prior to all meetings of the Unit.

(f) It shall be the duty of the Unit Executive to see to it that the affairs and business of the Unit are being properly conducted, in accordance with the Constitution.

(g) The Unit Executive shall have the authority to fill a vacancy on the Unit Executive 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.

(h) The Unit shall establish a Unit Events Committee to provide opportunities for Members to come together in their Communities, a Unit Growth Committee with a focus on sustainable energy initiatives in their Communities, a Unit Training Committee to organize opportunity to further skill development, a Unit Grievance Committee to ensure Workers are fairly represented in the Workplace and have the authority to establish such other Committees, as the Unit deems necessary.

(i) Selection of Unit Committee Members is the responsibility of the Unit Executive. Selection criteria and committee terms shall be as per Article 19.

(j) Each Unit Committee will hold a first meeting to set up committee positions within forty five (45) days of their appointment of each new three (3) year term.

(k) Any Member of the Union shall have the right to make presentation to the Unit Executive. Any member requesting such a meeting will notify Unit Executive fourteen days prior to the next Unit Meeting. This shall be done in writing and shall identify the issues to be addressed.

(ii) Unit Chair

(a) The Unit Chair shall be responsible to the membership of the Unit in all matters pertaining to the operation of the Unit and shall fulfil the following duties in accordance with the direction of the Unit Executive.

(b) She/he shall see to it that the affairs and the business of the Unit are being properly conducted in accordance with the direction of the Unit Executive, and within the Rules, Regulations, Policies and Practices of the Union and in accordance with lawful orders;

(c) She/he shall preside as chairperson at all meetings of the Unit and exercise all of the authority and responsibility as such chairperson;

(d) She/he shall preside at all meetings of the Executive of the Unit as its chairperson;

(e) The Unit Chair shall report on his/her activities and the activities of his/her assistants, if any, at each meeting of the Unit Executive and meetings of the Unit, and at such other times as the Executive of the Unit may require.

(f) By virtue of his/her election, she/he shall serve as a delegate to any labour body with which the Unit is affiliated.

(g) She/he shall, together with the Unit Treasurer, sign all checks or orders for payment of monies from the Unit's accounts, and sign all official documents of the Unit, except as herein otherwise provided.

(h) She/he shall call special meetings of the Unit or of the Unit Executive, when requested to do so by the Unit Executive.

(i) The Unit Chair shall be responsible to keep an updated membership list for her/his Unit.

(iii) Vice Chair

The Vice Chair shall carry out duties and responsibilities similar to those of the Unit Chair in accordance with the direction of the Unit Executive. The Vice Chair shall carry out the duties of the Unit Chair in his/her absence.

(iv) Unit Recorder

The Unit Recorder shall supply a copy of the minutes of Unit meetings as soon as possible. 

  1. The Unit Recorder shall be responsible for the preparation and signing of the minutes of all Unit meetings and conference calls which shall be turned over to the Unit Treasurer as part of the records of the Union.
  2. The Unit Recorder shall make available the records of the Unit for inspection a minimum of once per year for the purpose of auditing the financial records of the Unit.

(v) Unit Treasurer

(a) All monies payable to the Unit shall be turned over to the Unit Treasurer, who shall give a proper receipt therefore.

(b) She/he shall make and keep a proper record of all such monies received and deposit the same in the name of the Unit, in such banks or depositories, as the Unit Executive shall determine.

(c) She/he shall, once a month, at a meeting of the Unit, make a written, categorical financial report of the monies received and disbursed since his/her last report to a meeting.

(d) She/he shall, together with the Unit Chair, sign all checks or orders for the payment of monies from the Unit's accounts.

(e) She/he 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.

10.04

Members of CUSW are eligible to attend any scheduled Unit Membership meeting(s) or participate in any Unit activities.

Attendance at Unit meetings shall be considered attendance at Union meetings.

10.05

There are hereby established in the jurisdiction of the Union the following Units:

  • Atlantic
  • BC/Alberta
  • Bruce
  • Cariboo Northern
  • Central
  • Greater Durham Region
  • Greater Vancouver Area
  • Niagara Falls-Hamilton
  • Northern
  • Ottawa
  • Sask
  • South Western

and such other Units as established by the Union.

10.06

(i) The Unit shall establish a Unit Grievance Committee, a Unit Training Committee and have the authority to establish such other Committees, as the Unit deems necessary.

(ii) Each Unit Committee will hold a first meeting to set up committee positions within forty five (45) days of their appointment of each new three (3) year term.

10.07

Where there is no established Unit Executive, the National Executive Board shall act in place of the Unit Executive.

10.08

Any Member of the Union shall have the right to make presentation to the Unit Executive. Any member requesting such a meeting will notify Unit Executive fourteen days prior to the next Unit Meeting. This shall be done in writing and shall identify the issues to be addressed.