Minnetonka Teachers Association
Members of Education Minnesota, NEA, AFT, Minnesota Local #7173
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
MINNETONKA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
AMENDED FEBRUARY 2006
The name of this organization shall be the Minnetonka Teachers Association (MTA), hereafter known as the Association.
We, the members of the Minnetonka Teachers Association, Education Minnesota, National Education Association, and American Federation of Teachers, believing that the active participation of non-supervisory licensed education personnel in the development of educational policy is essential for sound education in a democratic society, have joined together, as herein defined in this Constitution and Bylaws, for the purpose of exerting a collective and positive influence on education in Independent School District No. 276.
The Minnetonka Teachers Association shall provide a united voice for public education, leadership in education innovation, dedication to Minnetonka students and families, and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of our members.
The Minnetonka Teachers Association shall be a local organization that provides professional service to its members by building and maintaining a strong, effective Local and by promoting instructional advocacy. The Minnetonka Teachers Association shall be committed to democracy in the workplace and within the organization.
If any provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws conflict with or violate the Constitution and Bylaws of Education Minnesota, NEA, or AFT, the provisions of the state and national organizations shall supersede those contained herein.
The Minnetonka Teachers Association is affiliated with Education Minnesota, the National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of these bodies. Individuals will be members of Education Minnesota, the National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers. The MTA is also affiliated with and a representative to the appropriate UniServ unit.
ARTICLE IV: PURPOSE.
The purpose of the Association shall be to:
1.†††††††† Serve all teachers of Independent School District 276 as the exclusive representative whenever such authority exists in accordance with MS Chapter 179A Public Employee Labor Relations Act;
2.†††††††† Represent its members in collective bargaining with Independent School District 276 and to process grievances;
3.†††††††† Improve the professional, civic, economic, and social status of its members;
4.†††††††† Promote the improvement of public education;
5.†††††††† Establish and maintain an ongoing public relations effort within the teacher ranks and the community.
Section 1.†††††††† Membership in the Association shall be in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of Education Minnesota, NEA, and AFT. The membership year shall be September 1 to August 31. No one shall hold office in the Association who is not an active member of Education Minnesota, NEA, and AFT.
Section 2.†††††††† The Association shall not deny membership to individuals on the basis of race, creed, national origin, or sex.†
The officers shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The governance of the Association shall be vested in the Governance Board, which shall consist of the officers of the Association and Building Representatives, who shall be elected from the buildings.
ARTICLE IX: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY.
The latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be used as a guideline for conducting meetings when not in conflict with special rules of order adopted by the Associationís Governance Board.
Section 1.†††††††† The Governance Board may propose amendments to this Constitution. The MTA membership shall have at least fourteen (14) days in which to consider the proposed amendments. The Constitution shall be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members voting. The vote shall be by secret ballot.
Section 2.†††††††† Any member may present a proposed amendment to the Governance Board with a request that the amendment be put before the membership for a vote. If the Governance Board does not act upon the request, a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the membership will place the amendment before the membership for a vote. The Constitution will be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members voting.
Minnetonka Teachers Association
Members of Education Minnesota, NEA, AFT, Minnesota Local #7173
MINNETONKA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
AMENDED FEBRUARY 2006
Paragraph 1:† †† Membership
1.1†††††† Membership in the Association shall include full affiliation and shall include all services and responsibilities of the Association and its affiliations. Membership shall also be considered continuing, subject only to resignation or termination as stated in this Constitution or as constituted in the Bylaws of the affiliated organizations.
1.2†††††† Payment of annual dues shall constitute membership. A member whose dues payments are delinquent shall be terminated from the membership in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of its affiliated organizations. Dues may be paid through 1) payroll deduction in installments over the course of the school year, or 2) in a one-time cash or check payment for the entire amount due within thirty (30) days of the start of employment.
1.3 Resignation from the Association and its affiliations shall be in written form. There shall be no refund of Local, UniServ, state, or national dues. Resignation shall be automatic should the member cease employment with Independent School District 276.
Paragraph 2:† †† Disciplinary Actions
2.1 The Governance Board may discipline any member of the MTA. Discipline could be in the form of (a) censure for a period of time not to exceed one year, (b) suspension for a period of time not to exceed one year, or (c) expulsion for the duration of the memberís employment with Independent School District 276. Disciplinary action shall not be taken against any member except for cause. Cause shall relate to conduct prejudicial to the purposes of the Local which may include any one or more of the following:
1. Failure to remain a member in good standing with Education Minnesota, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
2. Substantial violation of the Code of Ethics of the Board of Teaching or other licensing agency.
3. Violation of a local policy in a crisis situation affecting the entire school district.
4. Other good and sufficient cause whereby the conduct of the member would be prejudicial to the purposes of the Local.
2.2†††††† Proposed disciplinary action may be initiated by one or more members of the MTA through a written complaint to the Governance Board.
2.3†††††† Subjects of disciplinary action shall be notified by registered mail. Notice shall include the charges and the statement that the accused has ten (10) calendar days in which to request a hearing before the Governance Board, at which time the member is entitled to a representative of his or her choice, to answer the charges and examine those making them. A quorum must be present. The hearing shall be private or public at the choice of the accused. The decision shall be made by a majority of the Governance Board who is present and voting by secret ballot. A tie vote shall be broken by the Presidentís ballot. The President must hold his/her ballot until the result of the vote is announced. Then the President will announce the result vote with his/her ballot.
The decision shall be communicated in writing to the member accompanied by a Memorandum of Findings of Fact within ten (10) calendar days of the close of the hearing.
Action to suspend or expel shall be communicated in writing to the Education Minnesota President and the Executive Director.
2.4 A member who is suspended or expelled from membership in the Local shall have the right of appeal to the Education Minnesota Governing Board in accordance with such policies and procedures as the Board may adopt.
2.5 Appeal to the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association shall be governed by the policies and procedures adopted by the AFT and NEA.
2.6 Lawsuits:† No person shall initiate a civil action suit or proceeding in any court against the Local or any of its officers, members, or employees on account of any discipline unless such person has exhausted the remedies of hearing and appeal as provided in this Constitution.
†Paragraph 3:† † Membership Obligation
3.1†††††† Action taken by the Governance Board with the intent of binding every member must be approved by at least three-fourths (3/4) of the whole membership or Governance Board.† Approval will then bind all members.
3.2†††††† A majority vote of the quorum present on the Governance Board shall release members from a binding action.
Paragraph 1:† †† General Membership
1.1†††††† General membership meetings shall be called at the direction of the Governance Board.
1.2†††††† General membership meetings shall be chaired by the President and announced at least one week in advance, except in cases of emergency as declared by the Governance Board.† Upon approval by the Governance Board, other specified employees of Independent School District 276 or other guests may be in attendance.
1.3†††††† Ten percent (10%) of the membership, by petition, will require the Governance Board to hold a meeting of the general membership.
Paragraph 2:†††† Governance Board
2.1†††††† The Governance Board shall prepare and publish a calendar of meetings annually.
2.2†††††† The President or twenty percent (20%) of the Governance Board membership may call special meetings of the Governance Board.
Paragraph 3:† †† Quorum
3.1†††††† A majority of the members shall be a quorum for any Association body.
3.2†††††† If a quorum is present at the call of a meeting, the members may continue to transact business until adjournment notwithstanding the withdrawal of enough members to leave less than a quorum.
Paragraph 1:†††† Officers
1.1†††††† The candidates for President and Vice-President shall run for office as a team. They shall be elected in May to a term of two years beginning at the first Governance Board meeting in June.
1.2†††††† The Secretary shall be elected from the Governance Board at the first meeting in June to a term of one year effective upon election.
1.3†††††† The Treasurer shall be elected from the Governance Board at the first meeting in June to a term of one year effective upon election.
Paragraph 2: ††† †Building Representatives
2.1†††††† There shall be one Building Representative for every thirty-five (35) members or major fraction (18) thereof.†
2.2†††††† Building Representatives shall be elected in May to a term of two years effective the first meeting in June. Buildings with multiple representatives shall elect one-half each year.
Paragraph 3: ††† †Elections Committee
3.1†††††† Annually, at the first meeting in June, the Governance Board shall appoint an Elections Committee.
3.2†††††† The Elections Committee will meet prior to each election.
3.3†††††† The Elections Committee shall establish and oversee rules, procedures and dates for all elections including Local, UniServ, state and national.
Paragraph 4:† †† Eligibility
††††††††† 4.1†††††† Only members may vote in all elections.
††††††††††† 4.2†††††† Only members may be elected to MTA offices and positions.
5.1 All elections shall be governed by applicable state and federal laws.
5.2†††††† To file as a candidate for an election, each member must receive at least fifteen (15) days notice of the procedures and deadlines and the date and time of the election. A candidate must submit written notification (may be via e-mail) to the Election Committee stating the office/job to which he/she wishes to be a candidate.
5.3††††† Every member must have a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the election without unreasonable impediments.
5.4†††††† There shall be an open nomination process for all elections.
5.5†††††† No Association funds may be used to support any candidate. Any expenses incurred in campaigning are the sole responsibility of the candidate.
5.6 ††††† The Association should comply with reasonable requests to allow candidates to distribute campaign literature at their own expense. Building Representatives are not responsible for dissemination of campaign materials.
Paragraph 6: ††† Voting
6.1 ††††† Candidates have the right to inspect the membership list once within thirty (30) days prior to the election.† No candidate can have preferential access to the list.
6.2†††††† The Election Committee will notify the Building Representative of the candidates as they file.
6.3†††††† The Building Representative will in turn notify their membership of the candidates who have filed, as the names become available to them.
6.4 Voting must be done by secret ballot.
6.5 Members who know in advance that they will be absent on the voting day(s), may request an absentee ballot from their Building Representative.
6.6 In an election, candidates must be allowed to station any MTA member as an observer at any of the official MTA polling places. Candidates may not appoint themselves as observers.
6.7†††††† Representatives of candidates should be allowed to observe, but not actually participate in, the counting of ballots. Candidates may not appoint themselves to observe.
6.8††††† The following items should be safely stored with the MTA Secretary for one year: 1) the used, unused, and challenged ballots, 2) the envelopes used to return ballots to the Election Committee, and 3) any other documents related to the election.
6.9 †††† If there is only one candidate for a position, the election for the position may be waived and the candidate declared elected.† In order to waive such an election a reasonable period of time must have been provided for nomination and there shall be no provision allowed for write-in votes for any election.
Section IV: OFFICERS
Paragraph 1:† †† President
1.1†††††† The President shall chair the meetings of the Governance Board and the general membership.
††††††††††† 1.2†††††† The President shall be the spokesperson for the MTA.
1.3†††††† The President shall insure that Governance Board actions are carried out.
††††††††††† 1.4†††††† The President shall serve on the Meet and Confer Committee.
1.5†††††† The President by virtue of his/her election to the office of President shall also be elected to be a delegate to the Education Minnesota Representative Convention and the NEA Representative Assembly and/or the AFT Convention.
1.6 The President shall be the chief executive officer with the power to sign documents on the Association's behalf.
1.7 The President cannot be Building Representative concurrently.
Paragraph 2:†††† Vice-President
2.1†††††† The Vice-President shall perform the duties of and have the powers of the President during any absence or inability of the President to act.
2.2†††††† In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall assume the office of the President. A special election shall be held to fill the vacancy of the Vice-President.
2.3†††††† The Vice-President shall oversee the work of the councils, committees and other groups established by the Governance Board.
2.4†††††† The Vice-President cannot be Building Representative concurrently.
Paragraph 3:† †† Secretary
3.1†††††† The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the Governance Board and general membership meetings.† Copies of minutes shall be prepared and distributed.
††††††††††† 3.2†††††† The Secretary shall maintain the official files of the MTA.
3.3†††††† The Secretary shall conduct correspondence as directed by the President, the Governance Board, or the general membership.
Paragraph 4:† †† Treasurer
4.1†††††† The Treasurer shall receive and hold the funds of the MTA and shall disburse them upon the authorization of the Governance Board.
4.2†††††† The Treasurer shall keep accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements and make monthly financial reports to the Governance Board.
††††††††††† 4.3†††††† The Treasurer shall chair the annual Budget Committee.
4.4†††††† The Treasurer shall be responsible for submitting the books for an annual audit.
Paragraph 1:† †† Organization
1.1†††††† The Governance Board shall organize itself at the first meeting in June and shall meet regularly at least once each month, September through June, and at other times as deemed necessary by the President or any three members of the Governance Board.
Paragraph 2:† †† Duties and Responsibilities
2.1†††††† The Governance Board shall be responsible for the management of the Association, approve all expenditures, establish policies, and report its actions to the members.
2.2†††††† Building Representatives shall report the proceedings of the Governance Board to his/her constituents. He/She shall ensure representation of his/her constituency on the councils, report membership concerns as are appropriate and act as an information liaison. Building Representatives shall conduct monthly building meetings.
2.3†††††† The Governance Board shall be responsible for the negotiation of the Master Agreement.
2.4†††††† The Governance Board may authorize reimbursement to the officers or agents of the MTA for fines or legal judgments levied by a court of law as a result of actions committed while fulfilling the responsibilities of an office or assignment.
Paragraph 3: ††† Dues and Budget
3.1 State and national dues will be assessed in accordance with the dues categories and policies of Education Minnesota, NEA, and AFT.
††††††††††† 3.2†††††† The Governance Board shall set the dues for the MTA.
3.3†††††† The Governance Board shall assess Fair Share fees according to
Minnesota state law.
3.4†††††† The MTA budget for the following year will be adopted in June.
3.5†††††† No net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any member.
Section VI: COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES
Paragraph 1:†††† Councils
1.1†††††† There shall be councils that shall have the duties of developing and implementing programs. Each council shall submit annual program and budget proposals to the Governance Board, and involve the membership in training and information of its activities and responsibilities.
1.2†††††† The President, subject to the approval of the Governance Board, shall appoint Chairperson(s) to each council. Council Chairpersons shall report their proceedings to the Governance Board and prepare an annual report for the General Membership. Council Chairpersons shall serve for a term of two years from their appointment or until a successor is appointed. Council Team Members shall serve a term of two years, and it shall be the responsibility of the Council Chairpersons to ensure that such terms are overlapping, if possible.
Paragraph 2:† †† Committees
2.1†††††† There shall be a Meet and Confer Committee composed of the President, Vice President, Negotiator(s), Teacher Rights Chair(s), and a representative from early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school. Special representatives may request the Governance Board to attend a Meet and Confer meeting. The Meet and Confer Committee shall have the duties as outlined in MS Chapter 179A as amended. The agenda for Meet and Confer shall be reviewed at the Governance Board meeting prior to the Meet and Confer session. The Governance Board may delete or add items to the agenda.
2.2†††††† The Governance Board shall establish other special committees as needed.
Paragraph 1: Contract Ratification
1.1†††††† The Governance Board shall authorize presenting a tentative agreement to the membership for a contract ratification vote.
1.2†††††† A copy of a proposed Master Agreement or a copy of the proposed changes with explanations shall be distributed to each member as soon as possible.
1.3†††††† A general meeting of the membership shall be held for the purpose of discussing the proposed Master Agreement.† The meeting shall be held no
sooner than twenty-four (24) hours after the members have received the materials described in 1.2.
1.4†††††† No fewer than four (4) days after the general meeting, the membership shall vote on ratification.
1.5†††††† The Contract Ratification vote will be by secret ballot.
1.6†††††† Absentee ballots may be provided by the Election Committee, if necessary. The President or his/her designee may record a ballot over the telephone.
1.7†††††† Ratification of the Master Agreement requires the approval of a simple majority of the members who have voted.
1.8†††††† In the event of a strike, the Governance Board may modify the timelines of 1.3 and 1.4.
Paragraph 2:† †† Strike Authorization
2.1†††††† The Governance Board has the authority to call for a strike authorization vote.
2.2†††††† Authorization for a strike shall be given by an eighty-percent-plus-one (80% + 1) vote of all Association members.
††††††††††† 2.3†††††† The strike authorization vote will be by secret ballot.
2.4†††††† The Governance Board will make provisions for absentee ballots through the Election Committee.
Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority for the MTA on all questions not covered by the constitution and bylaws and such standing rules as the Governance Board may adopt.
1.1. The Governance Board may propose amendments to these Bylaws. The MTA membership shall have at least fourteen (14) days in which to consider the proposed amendments. The Bylaws shall be amended by a simple majority (50% + 1) vote of the members voting. The vote shall be by secret ballot.
1.2 Any member may present a proposed amendment to the Governance Board with a request that the amendment be put before the membership for a vote. If the Governance Board does not act upon the request, a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the membership will place the amendment before the membership for a vote.† The Bylaws shall be amended by a simple majority (50% + 1) vote of the members voting. The vote shall be by secret ballot.