PPSTA Constitution

ARTICLE I NAME

This Association shall be known as the Poughkeepsie Public School Teachers’ Association (PPSTA) and shall be affiliated with NYSUT and all its national affiliates.

BYLAW I MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Obligations of Membership.

Members of the PPSTA shall have the following obligation: To subscribe to support the stated purpose of the Association as contained in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. Definitions of Membership.

Members shall be Active or Special

a. Active membership in the Association shall mean unified membership in the PPSTA and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and its affiliates. It shall be open to any professional employee of the Poughkeepsie Board of Education who is a member of the bargaining unit represented by the PPSTA.

Special
Leave and Recall.
Persons on temporary leave and/or on the District’s recall list.

Retired Members.
Persons who have retired from the teaching profession after having been active members of the Association for at least five (5) consecutive years prior to their retirement.

Honorary Members.
Persons deemed worthy of this distinction by the membership upon recommendation of the Representative Board.

Other District Personnel.
All employees of the Poughkeepsie Board of Education whose bargaining unit becomes affiliated with PPSTA, the criteria for admission to be determined by the Representative Board.

Section 3. Dues.

Single (unified) dues shall include the member’s dues for PPSTA, NYSUT, and its affiliates as fixed in their bylaws.

Active annual PPSTA dues shall be equal to 0.5% of Step 1 on the salary schedule rounded to the nearest dollar. The dues to NYSUT and its affiliates shall be the amounts fixed in their bylaws.

Special
Leave and Recall.
PPSTA dues shall be the same as for active members. The dues to NYSUT and its affiliates shall be the amount fixed in their bylaws.

Retired and Honorary.
These members are exempt from the payment of dues and other fees to PPSTA. The dues to NYSUT and its affiliates shall be the amount fixed in their bylaws.

Other District Personnel.
PPSTA dues for non-professional personnel shall be equal to 0.5% of Step 1 on the PPSTA salary schedule rounded to the nearest dollar. The dues to NYSUT and its affiliates shall be the amount fixed in their bylaws.

Section 4. Membership Rights, Privileges, Disciplining, Reinstatement.

Services for All Members.
Every member shall have the right to receive all printed materials of the Association, to attend all meetings, and to avail him/her of any services which the Association may provide for all members.

Rights of Active Members.
Every active member of the Association shall have the right to attend and vote at all general meetings; shall be eligible to serve in any office, or as a member of any committee or council of the Association as provided elsewhere in these bylaws.

Disciplining.
An Association member may not be disciplined, fined, suspended or expelled from PPSTA unless he/she first is served with a written list of the specific charges against him/her, given a reasonable time to prepare his/her defense, and afforded a full and fair hearing. A 2/3 vote by the Representative Board will be necessary to initiate such action against a member.

Reinstatement.
The Representative Board shall have the power to reinstate by a 2/3 vote, a person whose membership has been terminated.

Section 1. President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer.

a. Duties of the President. The President shall:

Call meetings of this Association, its Executive Council and the Representative Board as provided in these bylaws. Preside at all general meetings of the Association, of the Executive Council, and Representative Board.

Appoint with recommendations from the Executive Council all committees except as otherwise provided in these bylaws.

Be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Appoint a parliamentarian who shall be responsible for enforcement of the Constitution, Bylaws, and proper parliamentary procedure.

Appoint an auditing committee of three to audit the books of the Treasurer no later then the first week in May of each year.

Be a delegate to all Representative Assemblies held by NYSUT and its affiliates during his/her term of office.

b. Duties of the First Vice President. The 1st Vice President shall:

Assume the duties and responsibilities of the President in case of his/her absence or disability. Attend all meetings of the Association, Executive Council, and the Representative Board. Act as Chair of the Negotiations Committee.

Oversee the regular publishing of an Association newsletter.

Perform such other duties as customarily pertain to his/her office, or as may be properly required by the Association, the Executive Council, or the Representative Board.

Be a delegate to all NYSUT Representative Assemblies held by NYSUT and its affiliates during his/her term of office.

c. Duties of the Second Vice-President. The 2nd Vice President shall:

Assume the duties and responsibilities of the First Vice President in case of his/her absence or disability. Attend all meetings of the Association, Executive Council, and the Representative Board.

Inform members of the policies, programs, and accomplishments of PPSTA, NYSUT and its affiliates. Coordinate the VOTE/COPE Drive.

Act as coordinator of all faculty advisors.

Perform such other duties as may be properly required by the Association,the Executive Council, or the Representative Board.

d. Duties of the Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall:

Record the minutes of all meetings of the Association, Executive Council and Representative Board and make available copies to the membership no later than 5 school days after such meetings have been held. Keep a record of attendance of all meetings of the Executive Council and Representative Board. Assist Second Vice President in coordinating VOTE/COPE Drive Perform such other duties as may be properly required by the Association, Executive Council, or the Representative Board.

e. Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:

Attend all meetings of the Association, Executive Council, and the Representative Board. Prepare the annual budget of the Association to be presented to the Representative Board by the last meeting of the school year.

Maintain complete records and accounts of monies received and disbursed. Keep the Executive Council and Representative Board informed of the financial condition of the Association. Organize and conduct, with the help of the faculty advisors, unified local, state, and national membership enrollment among non-members.

Perform such other duties as may be properly required by the Association, Executive Council, or the Representative Board.

Section 2. Other Officers, Parliamentarian and Corresponding Secretary Parliamentarian.

The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President of this Association and shall enforce and interpret the rules and procedures governing this association at all general meetings, Executive Council meetings, and Representative Board meetings.

Corresponding Secretary.

In the event PPSTA discontinues the services of a paid secretary, a Corresponding Secretary shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Representative Board until the next election when this office shall be treated in the same manner as the other elected positions of the Executive Council.

Duties of the Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary shall:

Assist the President, Executive Council, and Representative Board with Association correspondence. Distribute notices of all meetings a prescribed in these bylaws.

Maintain a calendar of events for the Association.

Perform such other duties as may be properly required by the Association, Executive Council, or the Representative Board.

Section 3. Removal of Officers.

Any thirty (30) members may, at any general meeting of this Association, move that a vote of confidence be given to a particular officer. Should a majority of those present on such an occasion express a lack of confidence in the officer in question, a special vote of the entire membership shall be taken by secret ballot in the separate schools within five (5) school days. The exact date shall be fixed by a majority of the Executive Council. Should the officer in question fail to receive a majority of the votes cast he/she shall be removed from office immediately.

Section 4. Vacancies. President.

Should the office of President become vacant for any reason, it shall be filled by the First Vice President. First Vice President. Should the office of the First Vice President become vacant for any reason, it shall be filled by the Second Vice President.

Other Elected Officers.

Should the office of the Second Vice President, Treasurer or Recording Secretary become vacant for any reason, it shall be filled within fifteen (15) school days by the President’s appointee. Such appointee shall assume office upon the approval by majority vote of the Representative Board.

Section 1. Composition of the Executive Council.

The Executive Council shall be composed of the officers, grievance chairperson, the most recent delegates to the Representative assemblies of NYSUT and its affiliates, one representative from each bargaining unit affiliated with PPSTA, and the immediate past President of the Association.

Section 2. Voting Privileges of Members of the Executive Council.

Those active members excluding the Grievance chairperson, named in Section 1 shall have voting privileges on the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Duties. The Executive Council shall:

Conduct the routine business of the Association.

Make recommendations to the President for appointments he/she makes.

Carry out the wishes of the Representative Board.

Recommend an annual budget to the Representative Board for its approval.

Review proposals submitted by the Association members and committees, and make recommendations regarding their disposition.

Make recommendations relating to Association policy and program.

Prepare the agenda for all meetings of the Representative Board and of the general membership.

Section 1. The Representative Board shall consist of the Executive Council and the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Voting Privileges of Members of the Representative Board.

Those members named in Section 1 shall have voting rights on the Representative Board.

Section 3. Duties.

The Representative Board shall:

  • Approve the budget.
  • Act on reports of committees.
  • Act on appointments to the Executive Council made by the President.
  • Adopt such rules governing the conduct of the Association and the conduct of meetings as are consistent, with this Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Be the final judge of the qualifications and elections of officers, trustees, and advisors.
  • Powers not delegated to the Executive Council, the officers, or other committees in the Association shall be vested in the Representative Board.
Section 1.

In each elementary school, employees who are members in good standing of this Association shall elect for a term of two years, one trustee from their staff to the Board of Trustees.

Section 2.

As long as the high school shall be composed of grades 9 through 12, the employees who are members in good standing of this Association, shall elect for a term of two years, four (4) trustees from their staff to the Board of Trustees.

Section 3.

As long as the Middle School shall be composed of grades 6 through 8, the employees who are members in good standing of this Association, shall elect for a term of two years, three (3) trustees from their staff to the Board of Trustees.

Section 4.

Trustees shall be members of the PPSTA, shall have tenure at the time they run for office and shall maintain their membership in good standing during their term of office.

Section 5.

Trustees shall attend all meetings of their Building Advisory Council. The trustee is responsible for disseminating the information from Representative Board Meetings to his/her Chief Building Representative and members of the building.

Section 6.

Trustees shall attend the regular meetings of the Representative Board unless they are excused by the President. After two unexcused absences of a Representative, the President may declare the seat unfilled and call for a faculty election to fill out the term. The President may designate a member in good standing to organize this special election.

Section 7. Removal of Trustees.

1/3 of a building’s Association membership may, at any building meeting, move that a vote of confidence be given to its trustee(s). Should the majority of those present express a lack of confidence in the trustee, a special vote of the school membership shall be taken by secret ballot. The voting shall take place no more five (5) school days after the vote of no confidence, the exact date to be set by the President.

Section 8. Vacancies.

Should a vacancy occur for any reason in the representation of a school to the Board of Trustees, it is to be filled by an election to be called before the next meeting of the Representative Board. The date of such an election is to be determined by the membership of the school.

The Association shall elect, as per the rules set forth in the NYSUT Constitution, delegates to the NYSUT Representative Assembly and any of its Affiliates’ conventions.

Section 1. Executive Council.

The Executive Council shall meet once a month during the school year at the call of the President, or at the request of three members of the Council.

Section 2. Representative Board.

The Representative Board shall meet in September and at least once a month thereafter during the school year at the call of the President, or at the request of four (4) members of the Board. The Executive Council shall prepare the agenda for each meeting and shall circulate it to all members of the Board so that members have time to discuss it with their faculty members in advance of the Board meeting.

Section 3. Special Meetings.

Special meetings of the Executive Council or the Representative Board may be held at the call of the President or upon written request to him/her by a majority of the members. Business to come before special meetings must be stated in the call, which shall be sent in writing to each member.

Section 4. General Membership Meetings.

There shall be at least two meetings of the general membership each year.

Section 5. Quorum.

A majority of their members shall be a quorum for the Representative Board, Executive Council and committees.

Section 6. Notice and Agenda for General Membership Meetings.

At least three school days advance notice must be given on all general membership meetings, unless an emergency arises requiring immediate action by the membership.

Business to come before general membership meetings must be stated and posted in each school in advance of the meeting. Membership present at general membership meeting shall receive individual copies of the agenda. A quorum at general membership meetings shall be 10 members.

Section 1.

Each school shall have an advisory council consisting of one member for every ten (10) PPSTA members or major fraction thereof.

Section 2. Duties.

Each Building Advisory Council shall:

Elect Chief Building Representative from among the Building Advisory Council members. Serve as a means of communication between its building faculty and PPSTA’s Executive Council, Board of Trustees, and committees.

Cooperate with and advise the building principal in the establishment of building level policies.

Assist the Treasurer in the enrollment of non-members.

Perform such other duties as may be properly required of it.

Section 3.

Building Advisors shall have been members of the PPSTA, be tenured at the time of their election and shall maintain their membership in good standing during their term of office.

Section 4.

Removal of Building Advisors. After council from the President, 1/3 of a building’s Association Membership may, at any building meeting, move that a vote of confidence be given to its building advisor(s). Should the majority of those present express a lack of confidence in the building advisor, a special vote of the school membership shall be taken by secret ballot. The voting shall take place no more than five (5) school days after the vote of no confidence, the exact date to be set by the President.

Section 5. Vacancies.

Should a vacancy occur on a school’s advisory council, it should be filled as soon as possible by an election, the date to be determined by the membership of the school under the direction of their trustee(s).

Section 1. Authorization.

There shall be operation committees, professional committees, advisory councils, and such special committees as may be deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this Association. These committees shall include:

  • Negotiations Committee
  • Grievance Committee
  • Public Relations Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • Social Committee
  • New Member Committee
  • Political Action Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • Mentoring Committee
Section 2. Titles and Duties Negotiations.

This committee shall consist of 9 members with the First Vice President serving as chair. Five members shall be appointed from the secondary level and four from the elementary unless the number of PPSTA members at the elementary level exceeds the number of PPSTA members at the secondary level by 10% or more in which case five members shall come from the elementary level and four members from the secondary. It shall explore and prepare programs as needed in all areas of teacher welfare. When necessary, it shall create subcommittees with particular responsibility for salaries, leave, fringe benefits, insurance, and general working conditions. It shall provide copies of any tentative agreement to the membership at least 5 school days before the ratification vote. A subcommittee consisting of no more than five committee members shall contain three (3) secondary and two (2) elementary representatives unless the PPSTA membership of the elementary level exceeds the PPSTA membership at the secondary by 10% or more in which case there shall be 3 elementary and 2 secondary members of the subcommittee.

Grievance.

This committee shall consist of at least three (3) members. Each level- elementary, middle, and high school, shall have a representative. The committee may initiate a grievance or shall receive a member’s grievance and seek to gain a solution through the stages of the grievance procedure up to arbitration. It shall advise the Executive committee and/or Representative Board of each grievance and make a recommendation to the Association.

Public Relations.

This committee shall seek to develop public understanding of the purposes and programs of the Association, the values and importance of education, and, in cooperation with the administration, the educational philosophy and programs of the schools. It shall work cooperatively with parents and public in civic, fraternal, and social organizations, and through all available channels of communication.

Scholarship.

This committee shall prepare and develop scholarships to be offered to students in the school system in such ways as are approved by the Representative Board.

Social.

This committee shall organize such social activities as may serve the needs of members and promote fellowship within the Association.

New Member Committee.

This committee shall promote the understanding among new unit members of the PPSTA, NYSUT, and its national affiliates and of unionism in general. This committee will seek ways of easing the transition of new members to our district and to our union.

Political Action Committee.

This committee shall have broad concern for local, state, and national legislation affecting the interests of education. It shall send a member to the annual committee of 100 and promote activities leading to the passage of desirable legislation, and the election of candidates supportive of public education on the local, state, and federal levels.

Professional Development Committee.

This committee shall discuss and recommend to the PDP (Professional Development Plan District Committee), the PPSTA Executive Council and to the appropriate teacher center policy board, professional development opportunities for unit members that are in keeping with union and district philosophies and that serve unit members’ needs. This committee shall make recommendations to the Executive Council of the PPSTA on union funding of professional development.

Mentoring Committee.

This committee will seek ways of easing the transition of new members to our district and to our union. This committee consists of an elementary mentor coordinator, a secondary mentor coordinator, teacher members and administrators. The committee conducts interviews to find mentors for new teachers entering PCSD. The coordinators recommend the mentor/new teacher pairing to the Board of Education for approval.

Section 3. Composition, Appointment, and Term of Appointment Composition.

Numbers of members shall be set by the Executive Council except as specifically named in these bylaws Appointment. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, all standing committee members shall be appointed by the President with the recommendation of the Executive Council. The Chair, unless specifically named by the President, shall be elected by the committee members.

Terms of Appointment.

Members of committees shall serve until their successors are appointed.

Section 4. Special Committees.

When appropriate, the President shall appoint and charge an Elections Committee and a Constitution and Bylaw Committee and such other special committees as may be necessary and shall discharge them upon completion of their duties.

Elections Committee.

This committee shall consist of seven (7) members none of whom shall have served on the Executive Council during the year the committee operates. It shall prepare a slate of officers which shall be posted in each district building at least two (2) weeks prior to the April elections. This committee shall also be responsible for the preparation of ballots, submission of the names of two (2) tenured PPSTA members, from each building, who are not on the ballot to carry out balloting process, and the tabulation of election results.

Constitution and Bylaw Committee.

This committee shall perform a review of the entire Constitution and Bylaws of this Association every five (5) years and shall make recommendations of potential revisions or amendments thereto to the Executive Council. This committee shall consist of seven (7) members with a minimum of three (3) members from the elementary level and three (3) members from the secondary level.

Section 1. Nomination of Officers.

Any member who wishes to run for office shall put this in writing and deliver it to the Elections Committee for its consideration by the third (3rd) Wednesday in March.

A member may run for no more than one (1) elected position on the Representative Board.

The slate of officers offered by the Elections Committee must be posted in each district building at least two (2) weeks prior to the election in April. During these two weeks, school must have been in session for at least eight (8) days.

The active members of the Association may nominate, at a general membership meeting or by written petition signed by at least 15 members, a candidate for any elected position on the Executive Council. Such petitions must be delivered to the Elections Committee no later than five (5) school days after the posting of the slate of officers.

All nominees may submit to the Elections Committee a brief statement or resume to be published in the Association newsletter.

Section 2. Nomination of Trustees and Building Advisors.

The members of the Association in each building may nominate any member from that building for trustee and/or advisor.

Section 3. Election of Officers, Trustees, Advisors, and Delegates.

The election of Officers, Trustees, Advisors, and Delegates shall take place the last Wednesday in April. Members shall vote for officers, trustees, advisors, and delegates by secret ballot in each district building.

Sections 4. Voting Procedures.

Elections shall be held every two (2) years during April.

Balloting shall take place on the same day(s) in all buildings and shall begin and end with the school day.

In the event that a member is absent, absentee ballots will be available in the official PPSTA Office on the day before the election. The member must initial next to his/her name on a list in the official PPSTA office and return his/her ballot to the PPSTA Office secretary.

To receive a ballot, each PPSTA member shall sign or initial his/her name on a list provided by the Elections Committee.

The balloting process will be carried out by two (2) tenured PPSTA members, who are not on the ballot, appointed by the election committee, under the advisement from the Executive Board.

Ballots and ballot boxes will be available 30 minutes before and 10 minutes after the school work day. Ballots and Ballot boxes will be secured by the appointed representative during the day until they are returned to the Election Committee at the official PPSTA office.

A majority of votes cast shall be necessary for election of Officers and Trustees. Should no candidate receive a majority vote, a special election shall be held between the two (2) candidates receiving the greatest number of votes: such election to take place within three (3) school days after the regular election.

A plurality of votes cast shall be necessary for election to Faculty Advisory Council.

In matters of potential conflict of interest, the decision of the Elections Committee shall be final.

All building advisors, other than the Chief Building Representative who have their full dues paid, as well as all Building Trustees, Chairs of the PPSTA Social, Public Relations, New Member, Political Action and Scholarship Committees, as well as, the Chairs of the district In-Service and Curriculum Committees (in years there is a PPSTA member chair) shall be paid a stipend of $173.00 per school year in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the union. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, these stipends shall increase yearly by the same percentage that the PPSTA collectively negotiated agreement increases.

Simplified Parliamentary Procedure based on Roberts Rules of Order shall be the Parliamentary Authority for the Association on all questions not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws and such standing rules as the Representative Board may adopt.

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of those members voting by secret ballot in the separate buildings provided that a resolution to consider the proposed amendments has been passed by a majority vote of the Representative Board or upon receipt of a petition signed by ¼ of the membership. The proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to all members at least five (5) school days before the vote is taken. If defeated, the proposed amendment cannot be resubmitted for at least two (2) years.

This revised Constitution shall be effective as of June 1, 2015