Table of Contents
I. Name 1
II. Purposes 1
III. Membership 1
IV. Dues 2-3
V. Officers 3-7
VI. Executive Council 7-9
VII. Committees 9
VIII. Conventions 9-10
IX. Referenda 10-11
X. Affiliations 11
XI. Bylaws 11
XII. Amendments 11-12
XIII. AFTPA Health and Welfare Fund 12
AFT Pennsylvania Constitution
(As amended June 2017)
ARTICLE I: NAME
This organization shall be known as the AFT Pennsylvania (AFTPA).
ARTICLE II: PURPOSES
The purposes of the AFT Pennsylvania shall be:
Sec. 1. To promote the welfare of the children and youth of the Commonwealth and to provide progressively better educational opportunities for all.
Sec. 2. To bring the locals of the American Federation of Teachers in Pennsylvania into a relationship of mutual assistance and cooperation and to raise the standards of teaching by securing conditions essential to the best professional services.
Sec. 3. To promote the program and policies of the American Federation of Teachers.
Sec. 4. To promote statewide organization and unionization of public, private and charter school teachers and support staff, college and university faculty and staff; and state employees throughout Pennsylvania.
Sec. 5. To cooperate with organized labor and to promote within the autonomous locals of the AFT Pennsylvania policies and procedures which are consistent with the aims of organized labor.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Sec. 1. Membership in the organization shall be open to all locals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in good standing with the American Federation of Teachers.
Sec. 2. Membership-at-large shall be in accordance with the Constitution of the American Federation of Teachers.
ARTICLE IV: DUES
A. Bargaining locals receiving agency fee/fair share payments from non-members whom they represent shall pay a per capita amount to the AFT Pennsylvania and to the AFT per such non-member equal to the same agency fee/fair share percentage of their full dues which they receive for each non-member, either as prescribed by the Pennsylvania statute authorizing agency fee/fair share or as negotiated by the local, whichever applies.
B. The minimum annual local dues applying to teacher/professional members either shall be no less than one-and-one-half (1 ½ ) times the sum of the per capita of the AFT Pennsylvania, plus the per capita of the American Federation of Teachers, plus the per capita of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, or shall be no less than one (1) percent of salary.
1. This provision shall also apply to the dues for members of any separate locals of non-professional personnel.
2. This provision shall not apply to the dues of non-professional members who are part of a Federation local which combines professional and non-professional personnel. In those cases, the minimum dues for the non-professional members either shall be no less than 1 ½ times the sum of the appropriate per capitas or shall be no less than 1% of salary.
3. Per capita percentages, either full or partial, which apply to per capita payments under Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution shall continue in effect.
Sec. 2. Annual dues for members-at-large shall be set by the biennial convention, but shall be no less than one-and-one-half (1 ½) times the sum of the following:
The per capita of the AFT Pennsylvania, plus the per capita of the American Federation of Teachers, plus the per capita of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, plus the charge for the AFT occupational liability insurance.
Dues for members-at-large shall be payable to the Treasurer of the AFT Pennsylvania. The membership year for all at-large members shall run annually from January 1 through December 31.
Sec. 3. Any affiliated local not paying its per capita tax by the fifteenth of each month shall be notified by the Treasurer and, if at the end of three (3) months it is still in arrears, shall be considered suspended and may be reinstated only by paying its arrearages in full or by special action of the biennial convention or of the Executive Council.
Sec. 4. The fiscal year shall be from June 1 through May 31.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS
A. The officers of the AFT Pennsylvania shall be: a President; and Executive Vice President; a Vice President for Colleges and Higher Education; a Vice President for Area Vocational-Technical Schools; a Vice President for Paraprofessional/School-Related Personnel (who must be employed in that field); a Secretary and an Assistant Secretary; a Treasurer and an Assistant Treasurer; a Legislative Representative and an Assistant Legislative Representative; eight (8) Vice Presidents-at-Large and one (1) Vice President for Retirees and there shall be a PSRP position for schools not of the first class. All members of the Executive Council will be members of the AFT Pennsylvania. An eligible retiree shall be a full dues-paying member of an AFTPA local with the right to vote for local officers. The retiree dues for that local shall be either the same amount charged active members or one (1) percent of their payment from PSERS, SERS, or other pension system; five (5) Regional Vice Presidents, one (1) each for the Northeastern, Southeastern, Central, Southwestern and Northwestern Areas elected under the following provisions:
1. Any region having fewer than 1,000 members, excluding locals with a constitutional entitlement to a Vice President(s), shall be entitled to one (1) Vice President to be elected at large by the convention.
2. Regions having 1,000 or more members, excluding locals with a constitutional entitlement to Vice President(s), shall be entitled to a Regional Vice-President with the Regional Vice President elected at the convention by the eligible members from that region.
3. Any region having 3,500 to 9,999 members, excluding locals with a constitutional entitlement to a Vice President(s), shall be entitled to two (2) Vice Presidents to be elected at the convention by the eligible members of that region.
4. There shall be six (6) Vice Presidents from any region paying per capita on 10,000 or more members, excluding locals with a constitutional entitlement to a Vice President(s), to be elected at the convention by the eligible members of that region.
5. The member requirements must be maintained for at least three (3) months immediately prior to sixty (60) days before the convention.
B. Locals entitled to Vice Presidents:
1. Locals that pay per capita on 1,000 or more members shall be entitled to elect a Vice President. Locals having 3,500 to 9,999 members shall be entitled to two (2) Vice Presidents. Such locals are ineligible to vote for Regional Vice Presidents.
2. There shall be six (6) Vice Presidents from any local paying per capita on ten thousand (10,000) or more members, with such locals ineligible to vote for Area Vice-Presidencies within their region.
3. The member requirements must be maintained for at least a period of three (3) months immediately prior to sixty (60) days before the convention.
These officers shall constitute the Executive Council.
C. No local entitled to a Vice President(s) may vote in regional elections for a Vice President(s).
No local may participate in the election of more than one (1) region for Vice President(s) in addition to the Executive Vice President, the Vice President for Paraprofessional/ School-Related Personnel, and the At-Large Regional Vice Presidents.
Sec. 2. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Federation. It shall be his/her duty to administer all of the affairs of the Federation and execute policies of the Federation as determined by the convention and Executive Council. The President shall preside over the sessions of the biennial convention and the meetings of the Executive Council.
Sec. 3. The following are the duties of the other officers:
A. Vice Presidents
To assist in the President’s duties.
1. To be responsible for maintaining and safekeeping of all financial
records of the AFTPA.
2. To receive and cause to be deposited all monies of the AFTPA in a
federally insured bank.
3. To assist in the preparation of the annual operating budget.
4. To make financial reports to Executive Council on request, as well as those required in Article VI Section 4.1.
5. To be a co-signer with the President on any financially binding document of the AFTPA.
C. Assistant Treasurer
To assist in the Treasurer’s duties.
1. To keep an accurate record of the biennial convention.
2. To keep an accurate record of all Executive Council meetings.
3. To assist with the correspondence of the AFTPA.
E. Assistant Secretary
To assist in the Secretary’s duties.
F. Legislative Representative
1. To keep informed of all legislation affecting teachers and other educational employees.
2. To assist in the operations of the AFTPA on legislation.
3. To assist in introduction of legislation authorized by the AFTPA.
4. To assist in presenting the position of the AFTPA before legislative bodies.
G. Assistant Legislative Representative
To assist in the Legislative Representative’s duties.
H. Vice Presidents-at-Large
To assist the President in his/her duties.
I. Vice-President for Retirees
To assist the President in his/her duties.
Sec. 4. Election of the at-large-elected Executive Council officers shall be held at each biennial convention, with voting by those locals present and properly credentialed and utilizing the roll call method for the conduct of the vote.
A. Nominations of candidates shall be made at the AFTPA biennial convention, either directly by the AFTPA Nominations and Elections Committee or automatically by individual petition to the AFTPA Nominations and Elections Committee signed by at least thirty (30) members representing at least four (4) AFTPA locals in good standing.
B. Newly-elected officers and other Executive Council members shall assume office immediately upon the conclusion of the biennial convention at which they were elected.
Sec. 5. At elections, the candidate receiving a plurality of all votes cast shall be declared elected.
Sec. 6. Should a vacancy occur in the Presidency during a term, the Executive Council shall appoint a President until the next biennial convention.
Sec. 7. Any vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled until the next biennial convention through appointment by the Executive Council.
Sec. 8. If an officer misses two (2) consecutive meetings with the absences not excused by the Executive Council, that officer’s position shall be considered vacant. The procedure for filling the vacancy shall be as outlined in Sections 6 and 7 of this Article.
ARTICLE VI: EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Sec. 1. The Executive Council shall consist of the elected officers.
Sec. 2. When the Executive Council invites to a meeting representatives of any or all
locals not represented among the officers, such representatives shall carry credentials from their locals.
Sec. 3. The Executive Director shall attend Executive Council meetings, have a voice, but no vote.
Sec. 4. Special provisions, regulations and duties applying to the Executive Council.
A. The Executive Council shall meet at least three (3) times annually, not including any Executive Council meeting (s) held in conjunction with the biennial AFTPA State Convention. All locals shall be notified of all Executive Council meetings at the time the officers are notified; a tentative agenda will be included with the notice. Teleconferences, webinars and electronic voting shall be permitted.
B. Special meetings may be called by the President or, upon application to the President, by any five (5) members of the Executive Council.
C. Meetings shall be open to all members in good standing in their locals, provided said locals are in good standing with the AFT Pennsylvania, as well as to members-at-large of the AFT Pennsylvania.
D. The Executive Council shall have charge of all business delegated to it by the biennial convention. It may require any officer or committee to report to it from time to time as it may
E. The Executive Council shall have the authority to employ an Executive Director and assistants and staff representatives and to provide for legal counsel as necessary and feasible.
F. The Executive Council shall present a complete report of its actions for review to the biennial convention and to member locals.This report shall include a statement on the general condition of the AFT Pennsylvania and the Treasurer’s financial report.
G. Any decision of the Executive Council that is contrary to policies established by the biennial convention must be submitted to affiliated locals and to members-at-large before action is taken thereon.
H. The Executive Council shall elect delegates and alternates to the meetings and conventions of the organizations with which the AFT Pennsylvania is or becomes affiliated, observing the constitutional requirements of the organizations with which affiliation is maintained. Locals shall be informed in the notice of an Executive Council meeting of any pending election. The Executive Council shall set the reimbursable expenses for such delegates.
I. The Executive Council shall conduct the financial business of the AFT Pennsylvania, shall authorize payment of proper financial obligations, and may borrow money and authorize loans in the name of the AFT Pennsylvania. It shall receive a financial report from the Treasurer at each meeting as well as at the end of the month preceding the biennial convention. It shall have the Treasurer bonded in an amount large enough to cover the funds handled.
J. Minutes from each Executive Council meeting shall be sent to each Executive Council member by 30 days after said meeting.
Sec. 5. A quorum of the Executive Council shall consist of a majority of the officers.
Sec. 6. A nine (9) member Executive Committee of the Executive Council shall be appointed by the President with approval by the Executive Council.
A. These appointed members shall consist of the following representatives from the Executive Council:
Vice President Representing Higher Education
Vice President Representing Medium-sized Locals
Vice President Representing A Region
Two (2) Other Executive Council Members
B. The Executive Committee shall meet between Executive Council meetings and/or may meet immediately prior to an Executive Council meeting.
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES
Such committees as may be deemed necessary may be set up by the biennial convention and, within the limits of its authority, by the Executive Council.
ARTICLE VIII: CONVENTIONS
A. The conventions of the AFT Pennsylvania shall be held biennially, with each biennial convention being held between the dates of April 15 and August 20 of the year in which the convention is held. Locals shall be notified at least sixty (60) days before the date of the biennial convention.
B. A special convention shall be called upon the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Council, or a petition of two-thirds (2/3) of the locals, or a petition of one (1) or more locals representing at least thirty-three percent (33%) of the membership.
Sec. 2. Each Retiree Chapter of an AFTPA local may elect one (1) delegate to the AFTPA convention and shall be entitled to one vote at the convention.
A. Each delegate to the biennial convention shall be entitled to one (1) vote, except that on roll call votes and in election of officers each local represented shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to the average membership as defined in #15 of the Bylaws.
The total number of votes to which a local shall be entitled shall be distributed among its delegates as evenly as possible without having fractional votes. Each ballot shall contain the name, the local and the signature of the delegate.
B. A motion calling for a roll call vote shall require one-fourth (1/4) vote for adoption
C. A delegate may represent and be credentialed by only one (1) local and must in all cases be a dues-paying member of that local.
Sec. 4. Decisions of the biennial convention and of committees shall be determined by a majority of the votes cast. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the procedure and conduct of the biennial convention and of committee meetings shall be according to Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.
Sec. 5. The locals not represented in the Executive Council shall be entitled to have the expenses paid for one (1) delegate within the provisions of the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX: REFERENDA
Sec. 1. Either the Executive Council or the biennial convention may submit any question(s) to the locals for decision.
Sec. 2. A referendum must be held on any question when called for by one-third (1/3) or more of the locals in good standing, or by two (2) locals representing at least ten percent (10%) of the membership.
Calls for a referendum must be in writing, signed by an officer of the local, directed to the Secretary (or Executive Director) of the AFT Pennsylvania, and state the question exactly as it is to be put to vote.
Sec. 3. At the direction of the Executive Council or of the biennial convention, or when a call is received for a referendum as specified in Article IX, Section 2, from the required number of locals, the Secretary (or Executive Director) shall within ten (10) days send official notice of the referendum, in the same form as given, to all locals, together with an official form for reporting the vote of the local on the question. Within forty-five (45) days after receiving this official notice, each local shall report its vote on the official form to the Secretary (or Executive Director). The envelopes containing the result shall be plainly marked “Referendum Vote” on the outside and shall be opened in the presence of the Executive Council at its next meeting and the outcome of the voting determined. The Secretary (or Executive Director) shall notify each local of the results.
Sec. 4. In no case shall a referendum be held whose termination date is between June 15 and September 15.
Sec. 5. Members-at-large shall be eligible to vote in referenda.
ARTICLE X: AFFILIATIONS
This organization shall be affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. Any other affiliations must be approved by the biennial convention.
ARTICLE XI: BYLAWS
The biennial convention may, by majority vote, adopt such Bylaws as are consistent with this Constitution and the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Federation of Teachers.
ARTICLE XII: AMENDMENTS
A. Proposed amendments shall be presented, in writing, to the Secretary (or Executive Director) at least forty-five (45) days before the biennial convention. The Secretary (or Executive Director) shall send a copy of the proposed amendments to each local at least thirty (30) days before the biennial convention.
Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Council, by the Executive Committee, or by any local through approval of its executive body or its membership.
B. This Constitution may only be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast, either by vote at any biennial convention or as provided in Section 2 of this Article, provided that:
1. The amendment (s) has been presented as prescribed in Article XII, Section 1.A., and
2. A quorum representing at least one-third (1/3) of the locals in good standing is present at the convention.
C. A local in good standing shall be considered present at the biennial convention if any delegate from that local has been credentialed and has not given either the President or the Executive Director an irrevocable notice that he/she has permanently left the convention.
D. Amendments to the Bylaws shall be presented in accordance with the provisions of Section 1.A. of this Article.
Sec. 2. Between biennial conventions, amendments may be proposed either by the Executive Council, or by any ten (10) locals, or by a local(s) representing at least ten (10) percent of the membership. Voting on amendments proposed in this way shall follow the procedure for referenda described in Article IX, Section 3.
ARTICLE XIII: AFTPA HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND
The AFTPA shall establish a PaFT Health and Welfare Fund for Public Employees and a PaFT Health and Welfare Fund for Private Employees. Each Fund may receive contributions from local unions, from health and welfare funds and/or from employers in order to provide benefits for members and/or employees as well as their spouses and dependents.
1. The biennial convention committees shall be: Constitution, Credentials, Legislation, Nominations and Elections, Political Action, Retirees, Resolutions, and Educational Issues. Nothing in the foregoing shall preclude the Executive Council from appointing committees as necessary.
2. When an officer or any member is on authorized business of the AFT Pennsylvania, his/her expenses shall be paid by the AFT Pennsylvania.
3. All bills for expense accounts shall be submitted to the Treasurer within thirty (30) days from the date that the expenses were incurred.
4. Not less than three percent (3%) of the per capita collected per month shall be put into an AFT Pennsylvania Defense Fund, unless the amount in such Fund be one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more. No Defense Fund money may be used or loaned for any other purpose.
5. Credential forms for reporting names of delegates to the biennial convention shall have a space for locals to suggest names of persons able and willing to serve as state officers.
6. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Council to cause the auditing of the financial records of the organization annually.
7. Locals whose dues structure is at least one-and-one-half (1 ½) times the sum of the per capita of the AFT Pennsylvania, plus the per capita of the American Federation of Teachers, plus the per capita of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and which do not have a member of their local on the AFT Pennsylvania Executive Council, may designate one (1) delegate to the biennial convention whose expenses will be reimbursed by the AFT Pennsylvania in accordance with the following:
a. Transportation by auto at the current AFT Pennsylvania mileage rate, or the actual bus or train fare rate, or the most economical airfare rate may be used if pre-approved by the president or his/her designee.
b. Lodging at the single hotel room rate plus tax or one-half (1/2) the double room rate if shared by another delegate.
Daily meal allowance will be set by the Executive Council less any AFT Pennsylvania sponsored meals.
8. a. Effective September 1, 2015, and in accordance with all applicable provisions of Article IV of the Constitution, the annual per capita paid by each local to the AFT Pennsylvania shall be increased by $1.00 (one dollar) per member, per month to $135.60 per year.
Locals in crisis, as designated by AFT, will be exempt from dues increases until such time the designation no longer applies.
b. Locals that employ at least eighteen (18) full-time staffers [at least one (1) full-time staffer for each one thousand (1,000) full-time equivalent members served] shall receive a reduction of $4.50 per month (per full equivalent member) on their full equivalent per capita payments.
Locals that employ fewer than eighteen (18) full-time staffers [at least one (1) full-time staffer per one thousand (1,000) full-time equivalent members] shall receive a reduction of $2.50 per month (per full equivalent member) on their full equivalent per capita payments.
9. Rules for conduct of AFT Pennsylvania elections held under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution, Officers, Sections 4 and 5:
a. Candidates shall be identified by name, AFT Pennsylvania local (only in the case where there are two people with the same name on the ballot), and the position to be voted for. Only delegates to the Convention shall be eligible to be candidates for election. Slate designation and voting shall be permitted.
Approval by the candidate and by the head of slate shall be required for inclusion on any slate. Ballot and slate position shall be determined by lot.
10. With the exception of the President, members of the AFT Pennsylvania Executive Council who are full or part-time AFT Pennsylvania employees or who receive compensation/expenses under any AFT Pennsylvania organization project, shall not be
entitled to vote on questions of staff salary/expenses or personnel matters. An elected
delegate who is unable to attend the Convention due to extenuating circumstances, as
determined by the President, shall be eligible to run for election in the AFT Pennsylvania
at-large officer elections or in the various regional elections.
An explanation of these circumstances shall be provided to the President in writing. Such exceptions should not be unreasonably denied.
12. The following dues/per capita provision will apply to any AFT Pennsylvania minority local where the members of the AFT Pennsylvania minority local, which is not the bargaining representative for its school district or other employment unit, are covered by a fair share provision negotiated by the organization which is the bargaining agent for the school district or other employment unit.
The dues for such AFT Pennsylvania locals either will equal the difference between the fair share payment and the full bargaining organization’s membership dues or will equal 1 ½ times the sum of 1/4th the AFT national per capita and 1/4th the AFT Pennsylvania state per capita, whichever is the greater amount. Per capita payments for members of such AFT Pennsylvania locals to the state and national shall be 1/4th of the regular per capitas.
13. A local collecting “fair share” shall pay per capita to the AFT Pennsylvania and AFT equal to the “fair share” percentage of the full per capita which applies to the AFT Pennsylvania and the AFT.
14. Each local shall pay to the Treasurer of the AFT Pennsylvania such per capita per month for twelve months of the year as is set from time to time in the Bylaws by the biennial convention.
a. Locals shall be permitted to pay one-half (1/2) of the per capitas for members whose salary is less than the beginning teacher’s salary or members whose salary is less than $18,000, whichever salary is higher.
b. Locals shall be permitted to pay one-fourth (1/4) per capitas for members whose salary is under $14,889. This income threshold shall be increased on a yearly basis by a percentage equal to the public sector Employment Cost Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Locals representing part-time faculty in higher education shall be permitted to pay one-quarter (1/4) per capitas for part-time adjunct faculty.
c. Locals shall be permitted to pay one-eighth (1/8) of the per capitas for members whose salary is under $9,040. This income threshold shall be increased on a yearly basis by a percentage equal to the public sector Employment Cost Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor.
15. Each local in good standing shall be entitled to elect one (1) delegate for each seventy-five (75) members or major fraction thereof, with a minimum entitlement of two (2) delegates for each local. For the purpose of this article, membership shall mean the per capita has been paid for the first twenty-four (24) months of the twenty-six (26) month period immediately preceding the month in which the convention is held.
In the case of locals which have been chartered during the year preceding the biennial convention, the average shall be computed on the basis of the above formula or on the basis of the months of affiliation, the minimum for the latter computation to be two (2) months.