CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF POTTSTOWN NURSES UNITED
ARTICLE I / NAME
The name of this Association shall be Pottstown Nurses United/Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (“PASNAP”), hereinafter referred to as PNU.
ARTICLE II / PURPOSE
PNU is an informed, motivated, dedicated group of nurses with a mission focused on the patients in their care and to the professional empowerment of one another. We will take collective action to lobby for laws to improve patient and nurse safety and educate the community we serve. We agree to each do our part in maintaining our focus, informing and motivating one another, and to collectively stand strong as we continue to advocate to make the necessary changes in laws effecting nurses and patients alike. We are unwaveringly committed to stand up for the rights of patients and organized staff everywhere and specifically at Pottstown Hospital, utilizing the same determination that united us at the start. PNU recognizes that the only way to accomplish their above purpose is to draw from collective action, collective power and collective bargaining.
ARTICLE III / MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility
Membership shall be available to persons employed by Pottstown Hospital in the units/departments within our bargaining unit, consistent with our contract.
Section 2. Membership Dues
a. PASNAP membership dues are established through a membership vote of the entire PASNAP membership. Such dues cannot be increased without a vote of the entire PASNAP membership.
b. If PNU decides to assess local dues, they must be established by majority vote of those present and voting pursuant to a secret ballot conducted at a regular membership meeting, providing that there has been no less than 30 days’ notice to the membership, that a vote on such local dues will be taken.
c. To remain in good standing, members are obligated to pay membership dues to PASNAP and if assessed, to PNU.
d. Members more than three months in arrears will lose good standing. If a member loses good standing, they lose all voting rights and shall have no interest in any property of the Union.
ARTICLE IV / Elected Officers and Unit Representatives
Section 1. The Executive officers of PNU shall be a President, a Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, Co-Grievance Chairs (one nurse on day shift, and, one nurse on evening or night shift), Labor Management Chair, and an Officer at Large.
Section 2. There shall be no cap on the number of Unit Representatives from each unit.
Section 3. General Roles and Responsibilities (both Executive Officers and Unit Representatives)
a. Responsible for organizing co-workers on own unit and hospital-wide to uphold and carry out the mission, vision and objectives of the union. Coordinate with other elected leaders at the Executive Board and Unit level, as well as PASNAP Staff, to engage co-workers and ensure ongoing high-levels of participation in all the Union's activities, including, but not limited to:
1. Build and maintain a strong union structure and unity throughout the hospital
2. Build alliances and support in the community
3. Win and enforce a strong contract; know the contract
4. Orient and educate members on an ongoing basis
5. Work with members to identify and resolve issues on the unit and throughout the hospital both informally and by utilizing the various forums that have been laid out in the contract (grievance procedure, labor-management meetings, staffing committees, scheduling disputes, etc.)
6. Provide support and solidarity to other units when necessary
7. Attend relevant trainings and internal union meetings
8. Officers and Representatives will read and sign an oath of office
Section 4. Roles and Responsibilities of Executive Board member and Unit Representatives.
a. President: Takes the lead in guiding the Union to achieve its overall mission, vision, and objectives. Serves as Chair of Executive Board. Provides leadership, guidance, and coordination to all officers and unit representative to help ensure the success of all the Union's ongoing efforts. Preside at all Union meetings and negotiation sessions (and shall be a de facto member and chair of the negotiating committee). Lead the Union's effort in building and maintaining the highest percentage possible of full membership (regular membership and political action membership) in the Union. Develop new member packets. Appoint a member or members to vacant positions. Act as a spokesperson of the Union to general membership.
b. Vice President: Assist the President and assume the duties of the President in her/his absence. Assume the President’s roles and responsibilities in the case of his or her removal or resignation. Maintain an accurate list of all names and contact information of all members and non-members. Maintain an updated seniority list, and years of experience list. Coordinate with Unit Representatives to maintain full active membership on each unit. The Vice President shall function as Political and Community Relations Chair.
c. Secretary/ Treasurer - maintains local treasure pursuant to NLRB and IRS regulations. Record minutes and draft summary reports of all leadership and membership meetings. Assist President and Vice President in setting meeting agendas. Assist with the creation of orientation materials and presentation. Communicate with unit organizers to collect/create content for local newsletter/publications. Assist with editing the local newsletter and maintain copies of all official documents/minutes/newsletters.
1. A checking account with two signatures required shall be maintained. There shall not be a debit/credit card associated with the account.
2. A treasury report shall be given and reviewed at each executive board and membership meeting. The account may be reviewed upon request by a member in good standing, at any time.
3. Expenditures over fifty (50.00) dollars must be approved by the executive board in advance.
d. Grievance Chairs: In consultation and coordination with the President, lead the Union's efforts to enforce the contract through the grievance procedure. Provide leadership and coordination among all unit representatives in organizing, investigating, processing, and resolving grievances. Responsible for tracking, recording, and reporting grievances to Executive Board and membership. Attend or designate attendance of representatives at all grievance meetings.
e. Labor Management Chair: provides agenda and coordination for labor management meetings. Maintains records of issues and updates membership on results.
f. Officer at Large: assists in completing duties and responsibilities of the executive board and serves as designee as necessary. Act pursuant to in coordination with and at the direction of the President in establishing Union plans and priorities. Appointed to temporarily assume duties of a Board Member that is absent, resigns or is removed.
g. Unit Representatives: Every unit shall have one or more representative. Representatives are also organizers who work as a team to involve members in activities of the Union, including contract enforcement, and initiation of grievances. Representatives will assist the Executive Board when necessary. Representatives shall be appointed by the president, with consent of the Board. Representatives shall complete training prior to appointment.
ARTICLE V / ELECTIONS/APPOINTMENTS
Section 1. Executive Officers shall be elected for two-year terms, with elections held at least thirty (30) days before the term expirations.
a. Members who want to have their names on the ballot will submit a petition with at least ten (10) members signatures.
Section 2. Unit Representatives shall be appointed.
Section 3. Negotiations Team Elections
a. An election by the membership will be held approximately six months prior to the end of the current contract for the purposes of electing members to represent each unit at negotiations sessions.
b. Negotiations team members shall be members in good standing.
c. All officers shall serve as ex-officio members of the Negotiations team.
Section 4. Elections Process
a. All elections will be by secret ballot and only members in good standing are permitted to vote.
b. Those who sign a membership card the day of the election and give the card to an officer or unit representative will be permitted to vote.
c. Each member will be allowed to cast one vote.
d. The membership will be notified of an upcoming election as soon as reasonably possible by newsletter, email, unit posting, the PNU Facebook page, and/or other forms of widely seen communication.
e. The executive board shall appoint an election coordinator(s). This person(s) may not be running for election. This person shall be responsible for overseeing the election process, including but not limited to: tallying votes, reporting election results, collecting and distributing ballots and nomination forms, creating ballots, etc.
f. Members in good standing who wish to be nominated shall return nomination forms to Election Coordinator, PASNAP Staff, Executive Board or Unit Representatives.
g. All deadlines surrounding elections shall be established by election coordinator and made public using as many forms of communication as possible.
Section 5. Results.
a. Winners will be based on a simple majority.
b. Winners will be posted in newsletter, email, unit posting, the PNU Facebook page, and/or other forms of widely seen communication.
Section 6. Recall of Officers.
An Executive Board Member may be recalled from office by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and then a two-thirds vote of the membership present and voting at a full membership meetings/vote.
Section 7. Vacancies.
Should an officer vacancy occur, the executive board shall make an appointment to fill the unexpired term.
Section 8. Retiree Committee
Retired members who have submitted an application are current on PASNAP retiree dues may be appointed to an honorary board position. The president may make this appointment with consent of the executive board. All retirees in good standing may attend meetings, volunteer, take part in collective action. Retirees will not be permitted to vote.
ARTICLE VI / STRIKES AND RATIFICATION OF AGREEMENTS
Section 1. Ratification of any tentative agreement or strike authorization shall require a majority vote by secret ballot present and voting at a meeting or sessions of a meeting called for such purpose. Any such meeting or sessions called for such purposes shall provide each member with a reasonable opportunity to be present and to vote.
Section 2. The official tally sheet shall be delivered to the president, who shall announce the results of the vote to membership. Members selected to help tally in any manner shall not disclose the results.
Section 3. A strike authorization shall remain in effect until such time a tentative agreement is ratified in accordance with these Constitution and Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX / MEETINGS
Section 1. General membership meetings shall be held no less than one time each calendar year but may be called more frequently by the President/Executive Board. The President will set the time and place of each meeting with at least two weeks’ notice to the members.
Section 2. Executive Board Meetings shall be held no less than every other month but may be called more frequently by the President. The President will set the time and place of each meeting. At least two weeks’ notice will be given to the Executive Board. A quorum of fifty percent plus one will be required to constitute an official meeting.
ARTICLE XI / AFFLIATION
Section 1. PNU shall be affiliated with PASNAP.
Section 2. A person shall not be eligible for membership in PNU unless he or she maintains membership in PASNAP.
Section 3. The Constitution and Bylaws of PNU will not violate PASNAP bylaws.
ARTICLE XII / AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by a two-thirds vote of the membership present and voting, provided the proposed amendments have been known to all memberships at least 30 days prior to the meeting.