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February 2019

 

We need your vote on Constitution & Bylaws revisions
Cynthia Eaton

 

  Constitution and Bylaws proposed revisions
   

This spring, the FA needs your voice, your vote, on two important issues. I address the Constitution and Bylaw revisions below and the annual FA elections in a separate article.

At our December 13, 2018, meeting, the FA Executive Council voted to approve some updates and revisions to our Constitution and Bylaws, and now these need to be approved by the general membership to be ratified.

These changes were largely necessitated by the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision last year.

Prior to Janus, we had referred to individuals in our bargaining unit who chose not to become full members as agency fee payers. The law since 1977 had consistently established that anyone working in a unionized workplace must pay their fair share since they benefit from the hard work of the union in terms of their pay, benefits and working conditions.

So, while they could choose not to join the union as a philosophical gesture, they could not choose to avoid paying their fair share. Again, we called such employees agency fee payers, and in the FA it was really only a small group of individuals.

After Janus, we now refer to the few individuals choosing not to be members of our union as nonmembers. Thus, we've had to revise our Constitution and Bylaws to update all such references.

Other revisions include adding that each EC representative will serve as chair of their constituency's member engagement committee. This helps ensure that as new full-time and adjunct faculty come into our unit, they'll be presented with the numerous benefits of membership—and what they'd miss out on as nonmembers—so our union can stay healthy.

The full text of proposed revisions will mailed to your homes along with the elections ballot. Please be sure to vote on these proposed changes.