Our complete by-laws are below. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. We have no issue amending them and providing an updated copy to the Department of Labor.
United Federation of K9 Handlers
ARTICLE 1: NAME OF UNION
The name of this Union shall be The United Federation of K9 Handlers ("Union.")
ARTICLE 2: AFFILIATION
The Union may affiliate with such other organizations as the Board of Directors may from time to time deem advisable.
ARTICLE 3: PURPOSE
The Union shall have as its particular object and purpose to represent and advance the interests of Explosive Detection Canine Handlers ("EDCH") employed by Michael Stapleton Associates, LTD, d/b/a MSA Security ("MSA"), and to engage in such other activities which may reasonably further the interests of its Membership.
ARTICLE 4: JURISDICTION and MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: The Union shall have jurisdiction over all MSA EDCH, and its Membership shall consist of such Members. The Union may extend its jurisdiction at any time to include other geographic regions, and/or to include other classes of employees working for MSA, consistent with prevailing law and regulation and these By-Laws. The Union may extend its jurisdiction, and/or may extend its Membership to other classes of MSA employees, after vote and assent by a majority of its Board of Directors.
Section 2: Any current or former MSA EDCH may be admitted as a Member, is eligible to vote in such matters as may be presented to the Membership by the Board of Directors, and shall pay such dues and assessments and perform such duties as the Board of Directors by majority vote requires, or as is otherwise required by these By-Laws. Such Members shall be subject to these By-Laws and any Amendments thereof, and may participate and attend in any general meeting of the Membership. The fact that a person may be eligible for Membership does not mean that the Union must admit him or her to Membership.
Section 3: There shall be no discrimination against any Member, or any applicant for Membership by reason of race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, marital status, ancestry, age or disability.
ARTICLE 5: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1: The Board of Directors shall consist of one President, two Vice Presidents, one Secretary, one Treasurer and one Sergeant-at-Arms.
Section 2: A majority of the members of the Board of Directors attending any such meeting of same shall constitute a quorum, and shall meet quarterly or as otherwise scheduled by the President or his designee. A Board Member may attend such meeting by Proxy unless objected to by the President.
Section 3: In the periods between general Membership meetings of this Union, the Board of Directors shall have full power to act on behalf of all of the Members of this Union.
Section 4: The President of the Union, or such Committee or Designee as the President shall establish or appoint, shall pass on any disputes involving new applicants, re-admittances or expulsions, and shall create such procedures and/or working rules as may be necessary to govern same.
Section 5: The Board of Directors shall establish policy for the Union and oversee the overall activities and affairs of this Union, utilize the property and funds of the Union consistent with its purposes and the interests of its Members in its discretion, and establish, adopt, prescribe and order such procedures or working rules, and establish such Committees consistent with these By-Laws as are required for the direction and management of the affairs of the Union.
Section 6: The term of office for all Board Members shall be three (3) years, or as soon thereafter as such successors are duly elected and installed.
Section 7: No Member of the Board of Directors (including a prospective candidate for same) may solicit or accept financial support of any kind from any non-Member of the Union (excluding salary associated with regular employment from MSA or other employer.)
Section 8: Any Board Member may nominate, and The Board may elect by majority vote, such Delegates as it deems necessary in its discretion to represent the interests of individual Members, and to act as liaisons between the Membership and the Board. The Board may assign to them such duties as it deems necessary to competently represent the interests of the Membership.
Section 9: The Members of the Board of Directors will serve without pay or compensation. Any salary of the board shall be established by a majority vote of the membership (with the board excluded from the vote).
Section 10: A "Working Committee" comprised of proposed Board Members shall be formed prior to the first election of the Board, in order to further the interests of the prospective Membership, and facilitate the formation of this Union.
Section 11: The Board of the Union shall be the only persons authorized to act for or on behalf of the Union, and the actions, declaration or conduct of any other person shall not be considered to be the acts of any Officer of the Union, or the Union, nor shall they cause or form the basis for liability of any nature whatsoever on the part of the Union.
Section 12: Actions taken by the Board can be overturned by the submission of a Petition, signed by twenty percent (20%) of the Membership, filed with the President, calling for a vote on any specific action taken by the Board. If the twenty percent (20%) signature requirement is satisfied, the matter the subject of the Petition will be referred to the full Membership for a vote at the next membership meeting, or within ninety days, whichever is earlier. Such vote will be decided by a majority vote of a quorum, as defined herein, of Members returning their ballots.
Section 13: Any current or former MSA EDCH with an excess of three (3) years of experience working for MSA may be voted in as a Member of the Board of Directors or as a Delegate.
Section 14: Committees may be formed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by the President as may be necessary and advisable to further the business of the Union or the interests of the Membership. Such Committees may consist of Members and/or Board Members and granted such reasonable powers and authority as the President may designate.
ARTICLE 6: DUTIES OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Board, preserve order, enforce these By-Laws, and watch vigilantly over the affairs of the Union. When Board Members are equally divided on any question, the President shall cast the deciding vote. He shall sign all contracts and other legal documents on behalf of the Union, except that checks drawn on any Union Bank Account shall require the signatures of both the Treasurer and the President. The President shall have charge of the welfare and general business of the Union. He shall have the power to call special meetings in his discretion. He shall have the power to hire or terminate any employees, agents, attorneys or consultants to the Union and establish their wages consistent with the then-ability of the Union to pay same after consultation with the Board, and shall request approval of the Board to adjust same. In the event one of the offices of the Union becomes vacant, the President shall fill such office by appointment until such time as an election may be held, as regularly scheduled, to permanently fill the vacancy.
Section 2: The Vice Presidents shall perform such duties as the President designates. The First Vice President shall act in the place of the President in the event of his absence from any meeting, or his death, incapacity or disability.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a correct, full, accurate and impartial account of the proceedings of each meeting of the Board. The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of all Members, including their names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, their status as Members in Good Standing, and whether they are current employees of MSA. The Secretary shall be principally responsible for communicating with the Membership, and for coordinating and managing the election of Board Members, as applicable, in a fair and impartial manner.
Section 4: : It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive all monies on behalf of the Union; to keep true and accurate account of all receipts and expenditures in such separate funds as may be provided for, to make all necessary reports pertaining to the finances and financial condition of the Union, and to balance and submit books for audit and accounting as may be required.
Section 5: It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to take charge of the doors at all meetings and to see that only members in good standing enter unless otherwise ordered, and to preserve peace and harmony in said meetings, and to perform such other duties as the President may designate.
ARTICLE 7: ELECTIONS
Section 1: The Membership shall elect the Officers of the Board of Directors. Such elections shall be decided by a majority vote of a quorum, as defined herein, of Members returning their ballots.
Section 2: Any candidate who announces in writing his wish to run for any office, shall be permitted, with the assistance of the Secretary, to submit a written statement that shall be communicated to the Membership. If practicable, any statement submitted by any candidate shall be communicated contemporaneously with the statements of other candidates. Any such statements to the Membership shall be submitted to the Secretary, who shall promptly distribute same to the Membership. No more than two such statements shall be submitted by any candidate.
Section 3: The date of any election shall be communicated to the Membership at least twice: sixty (60) days in advance, and thirty (30) days in advance of any election.
Section 4: No candidate for any Office of the Board of Directors shall be eligible to serve on any Election Committee, as may be applicable.
Section 5: The President, in his sole discretion, after consultation with the Board, shall have the right to determine that any candidate for any Office of the Board of Directors, except a candidate the office of President, shall be unqualified to run for office.
Section 5: The Vice Presidents, collectively and jointly, in their sole discretion, shall have the right to determine that any candidate for the office of President shall be unqualified to run for office. If both Vice Presidents do not concur and agree with any such determination, the decision of the First Vice President shall prevail.
Section 6: The Board, or its designated Committee, shall develop and adopt such election forms and procedures it deems necessary to serve the Membership. Any procedures attendant to any election shall be clearly and specifically communicated to the Membership. Ballots may be submitted by mail and/or e-mail. There shall be no proxy voting. All Members in good standing and qualified shall be entitled to vote. Hard copies of all ballots shall be created by the Secretary, or such Committee or Committee Member as has been designated, and preserved by the Secretary for a minimum of three (3) years following any election. All ballots shall be returnable to the Secretary or such Committee or Committee Member as has been designated, as applicable. Results shall be certified in writing by the Secretary and the results promptly communicated to the Membership. Candidates for office may be present or have a proxy as an observer present at the counting of the ballots. Candidates shall be put on notice by the Secretary of the date, time and place of the counting of ballots.
ARTICLE 8: COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Section 1: The results of any collective bargaining negotiations shall be subject to ratification by the Members by a majority vote of a quorum, as defined herein, of Members returning their ballots.
Section 2: The Membership shall be notified in writing when any collective bargaining negotiations or memorandum of understanding have been concluded.
Section 3: A true copy of all executed collective bargaining agreements and contracts entered into by this Union shall, as soon as is practicable, be available to all Members.
Section 4: Each Member shall adhere to the terms and conditions of pertinent collective bargaining agreements and shall refrain from any conduct that would interfere with the performance by this Union and its Membership of its legal and contractual obligations.
ARTICLE 9: GOOD STANDING
Section 1: In order for a Member to be in good standing, his dues, and any assessments, must be paid within thirty (30) days of when due.
Section 2: Any member failing to pay dues and assessments of the Union within thirty (30) days of when due shall stand automatically delinquent in Membership and shall lose all rights and privileges of good standing Membership.
Section 3: Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2, above, when a Member is laid-off from employment or is absent from work due to employer lockout or union-authorized strike for more than twenty days consecutive days, such member will be credited for Membership dues for the period of unemployment, but not to exceed six (6) months.
ARTICLE 10: MEETINGS
Section 1: This Union shall convene regular General Membership Meetings in its discretion, but not less than once a year.
Section 2: A Special Meeting of the Union may be called for any purpose upon a written request submitted and signed by ten percent (10%) of the Membership to the President. The request shall state clearly the purpose for which the meeting is called. No other business shall be transacted on that occasion.
Section 3: A Special Meeting may also be called by the President or by a majority vote of a quorum of the Board of Directors.
Section 4: The time, date and place of any General Membership Meeting or Special Meeting shall be communicated to the Membership by the Secretary or his designee at least sixty (60) days in advance of any such Meeting.
ARTICLE 11: QUORUM OF THE MEMBERSHIP
A quorum of the Membership shall consist of a minimum of ten (10) members voting at any General or Special Meeting, or returning their ballots in response to a Petition distributed in accordance with Article 5, Section 12 of these By-Laws, or returning their ballots at Elections pursuant to Article 7, Section 1 of these By-Laws, and they shall be qualified to transact such business as may properly be considered at such Meeting, or by such Petition, or at such Election.
ARTICLE 12: AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended at any General Membership Meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a quorum of the Membership, provided: (1) that the amendment to be voted on has been put in writing and filed, with the President at least ten (10) days prior to a General Membership Meeting; and is signed by signatures of twenty percent (20%) of the Membership.
ARTICLE 13: DUES
Section 1: Annual Dues and any Assessments, as applicable, shall initially be established by majority vote of the Board of Directors, with input from the Membership, and which shall remain in effect for a period of one year after implementation, or for such lesser period as may be determined by the President. Any increases in Dues, or any additional Assessments, shall thereafter be approved by a simple majority vote of eligible Members in good standing who return their ballots, in such manner as may be designated by the Board or its designated Committee, as may be applicable.
Section 2: Any proposed increase in Dues, and any proposed Assessments, shall be communicated to the Membership by the Secretary or his designee at least sixty (60) days in advance of the proposed effective date of said increase in Dues or said Assessment. In communicating to the Membership, the Secretary shall explain the reasoning for and purpose of the proposed increase in Dues, or Assessment.
ARTICLE 14: STRIKES
Section 1: The Board shall establish policies regarding strike authorization procedures. Where practical, a forty-eight (48) hour strike vote notice shall be given to Members. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those Members affected by such strike must vote in favor of authorizing a strike in order to proceed with strike activity after Petition by the Board. .
Section 2: No Member shall work as a strikebreaker or violate wage or work standards established by the Union.
ARTICLE 15: EFFECTIVE DATE
These By-Laws shall be in full force and effect from the date of their adoption by majority vote of a quorum of the Members who return their ballots after Petition by the Board, and Article 5, Section 10 of these By-Laws shall be given retroactive effect thereby.