American Association of University Professors
University of Delaware Chapter

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December 2004 aaUPBEAT

Recommended Bylaws Changes

Background on Recommended Bylaws Changes

A revision was made to the local AAUP bylaws in 1999, but no major revisions were made prior to that for approximately 15 years.

Since 1969 the AAUP has grown in membership size and has developed organizationally. For these reasons, the Executive Council formed a subcommittee (Linda Bucher, President; Sheldon Pollack, Treasurer; Danilo Yanich, Vice-President) in Spring 2004 to review the bylaws and develop amendments if necessary. The subcommittee did its work and presented a group of suggested alterations (both major and minor) to the full Executive Council in September 2004. During Council discussion the suggested changes were further fine-tuned and approved. In October, the Council's recommendations for bylaws changes were shared with the Steering Committee. This was the last step taken before the suggested alterations are submitted to the AAUP membership.

In early February, an open faculty meeting will be scheduled to allow the membership to discuss the recommended changes to the bylaws with the Executive Council. Within two weeks of this meeting, a ballot will be distributed to the membership and two-thirds of those voting must agree to the changes for the changes to be ratified. The exact dates of these meetings will be forthcoming.

The purpose of this issue of the newsletter is to provide you with the information needed to make your decision on how to vote. Below you will find the language of each suggested alteration as well as our explanation of each alteration's function. Additionally, the newsletter contains an insert of the suggested new version of the full bylaws, including changes.

Any further questions pertaining to the recommended changes or voting should be directed to any of the subcommittee members mentioned above.

For your convenience, we have divided our recommendations into two groups: (a) Major Changes and (b) Minor Changes.

Our Reasons for Suggesting Changes

First, the recommended changes legitimatize three AAUP positions that are crucial to union operations but are not mentioned in the bylaws (Contract Maintenance Officer, Grievance Officer, Newsletter Editor) nor adequately defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Second, the recommended changes expand Executive Council and Steering Committee membership in order to encourage greater faculty participation in AAUP matters.

Third, the recommend changes redefine term lengths for several positions (Executive Council and Departmental Representatives) to make the organization more vibrant by facilitating the emergence of new leadership.

Major Changes

Recommended Change No. 1. Rationale: The size of the Executive Council is increased to seven from six. According to the current bylaws, the Executive Council has six members: the four officers and two at-large members (one of whom is the immediate past president). The suggested alteration will increase the total number of members to seven, comprised of the four officers, the immediate past president, and two at-large members. In the event that the immediate past president is unavailable to serve, a third at-large member will be selected to preserve the total membership at seven.

The change:

III.A.1. The seven (7) members of the Executive Council shall consist of the officers of the Executive Council and two (2) Members-at-large. The officers of the Executive Council are the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the immediate Past-President. If the immediate Past-President is not available to serve, a third Member-at-large will be chosen according to the procedures described in Article III.A.3.

Recommended Changes No. 2-5. Rationale: The following bylaws additions define the previously undefined roles of Newsletter Editor, Contract Maintenance Officer and Grievance Officer.

The changes:

III.A.2. In addition to the members of the Executive Council provided for in Article III.A.1, the Contract Maintenance Officer (provided for in Article III.C.5 below), the Grievance Officer (provided for in Article III.C.6) and the Newsletter Editor (provided for in Article III.C.8 below) shall serve as non-voting Ex Officio members of the Executive Council.

III.C.5. The Contract Maintenance Officer shall be appointed by the Executive Council for the term of a Contract (the "Contract Period"). The Contract Maintenance Officer shall represent the UD-AAUP in matters involving the interpretation or implementation of the Contract. The Contract Maintenance Officer is responsible to the President and Executive Council and shall submit regular reports concerning all matters that arise with respect to Contract enforcement.

III.C.6. The Grievance Officer shall be appointed by the Executive Council for each Contract period. The Grievance Officer shall represent the UD-AAUP in matters concerning faculty grievances that arise under the Contract. The Grievance Officer shall meet with faculty as required and process grievances according to the guidelines established by the Contract. The Grievance Officer is responsible to the President and Executive Council and shall submit regular reports concerning faculty grievances. The Grievance Officer shall also chair the Grievance Committee as authorized by the Executive Council.

III.C.8. The Newsletter Editor shall be appointed by the Executive Council for each Contract period. The Newsletter Editor shall prepare a newsletter at such intervals as the Executive Council shall decide for the purpose of informing the membership of the UD-AAUP of all matters relevant to the Contract, negotiations, union representation of the members of the Bargaining Unit, and all other matters of importance to the faculty of the University of Delaware. From time to time, the Newsletter Editor shall solicit ideas and suggestions for articles from members of the Executive Council, the Steering Committee, and the members of the Collective Bargaining Unit. The viewpoints expressed in such Newsletter shall fairly represent the interests and concerns of the members of the Collective Bargaining Unit and shall be subject to the review of the Executive Council. The Newsletter Editor may hire support staff to assist with the preparation of the newsletter, subject to the approval of the Executive Council.

Minor Changes

Recommended Change No. 6. Rationale: This change alters the term of service of departmental representatives from one year to one contract period, thereby making the term of service more realistic and in line with the terms of the Steering Committee.

The change:

II.C. In order to assure a close and regular exchange of information and opinions between the Steering Committee and the members of the Bargaining Unit, each department or other suitable faculty unit shall select a representative who is a member in good-standing in the UD-AAUP to serve for one Contract period (defined as the term of the current Contract).

Recommended Change No. 7. Rationale: This change includes one deletion from and one addition to the below paragraph. The deletion (see crossed-out words) clarifies the bylaws' role as the AAUP's ultimate authority for defining the Executive Council's operations. The addition (see bolded words) defines the Executive Council's relationship to the formation of committees and subcommittees.

The change:

III. B. Powers

The Executive Council has the authority to act on behalf of the UD-AAUP as it deems necessary, unless restricted by these Bylaws or instructed to the contrary by a 2/3 vote of the Steering Committee. All decisions concerning Contract administration, including grievance processing, shall be vested in the Executive Council. The Executive Council shall have the authority to create committees and subcommittees to carry out the functions and powers of the Executive Council. The President shall also appoint all chairpersons of committees and subcommittees other than the Grievance Committee.

Recommended Change No. 8. Rationale: To make it easier for new leaders to rise within the union, the following change reduces from the number of terms an Executive Council member may serve and also the amount of time for which an Executive Council member can fulfill the same function (e.g., grievance officer) within Council.

The change:

III.A.6. No member of the AAUP Executive Council may serve in the same capacity for more than three (note: previously four) consecutive contract periods, with the exception of the president who may serve no more than two consecutive terms. No one may serve on the Executive Council in any capacity for more than five (note: previously six) consecutive contract periods, not counting the term served as immediate Past-President. No member of the Executive Council who has served the maximum number of consecutive terms may be re-elected for the following (one) contract period.

Recommended Changes No. 9-13. Rationale: To more adequately define the individual officers' duties. The current bylaws provide less detail.

The changes:

III. C. Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall be responsible for carrying out the policies of the UD-AAUP as formulated by the Executive Council and/or Steering Committee. The President shall have the ordinary duties of an executive officer with general supervision over the UD-AAUP, subject to the limitations of the laws of the State of Delaware, these Bylaws, and the actions of the Executive Council. The President shall, with the Treasurer, sign all contracts and shall perform such other duties as the UD-AAUP or the Executive Council may direct. The President shall issue notices for all meetings, oversee the correspondence of the UD-AAUP and oversee the records of the UD-AAUP. The President shall preside at all meetings of the membership and of the Executive Council.
  2. The Vice-President shall perform such duties as are assigned by the President and assume the duties of the President in the event that the President is absent or unable to fulfill his/her duties.
  3. The Treasurer shall supervise the collection of all monies due to the UD-AAUP from every source, deposit the same in the name of the UD-AAUP in a bank, trust company, or other investment approved by the Executive Council, keep a complete record of the finances of the UD-AAUP, attend to all correspondence relating to the UD-AAUP's finances and perform such other duties as may be required by the Executive Council or by these Bylaws. The Treasurer shall manage the accounts of the UD-AAUP and report thereon at each regular meeting of the Executive Council and from time to time to the membership. The UD-AAUP's accounts shall be subject to such audit as may be directed by the President or by the Executive Council.
  4. The Secretary or his or her designee is responsible for recording the minutes at each Executive Council, Steering Committee, Department Representatives meetings and Open Faculty meetings and for ensuring that they are typed and distributed. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be required by the Executive Council and these Bylaws.
  5. The Chief Negotiator shall represent the UD-AAUP in contract negotiations and shall lead and direct the Bargaining Team, subject to instructions from the Steering Committee. The Chief Negotiator shall be selected by the Executive Council.

Recommended Change No. 14. Rationale: To broaden the Association's leadership, the Steering Committee is to be expanded from 21 to 28.

The change:

IV.A.1. The 28 members of the Steering Committee shall consist of: the 7 voting members of the AAUP Executive Council (as described in Article III A.1above); the President of the University/Faculty Senate; 10 members chosen by and from the College of Arts and Sciences; 2 members from the College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy; 2 members from the Colleges of Engineering and Marine Studies combined; 2 members from the College of Business and Economics; 2 members from the College of Health and Nursing Sciences; 2 members from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Recommended Change No. 15. Rationale: To increase the quorum number in accordance with the Steering Committee's expansion.

The change:

IV.C.3 Fifteen (15) members shall constitute a quorum for all matters other than the approval of a Contract, in which case seventeen (17) members shall constitute a quorum.

Recommended Change No. 16. Rationale: The time frame within which a vacant union position must be filled should be expanded from two weeks to 60 days to provide a more realistic amount of time to identify a replacement and conduct an election.

The change:

VI. A. Vacancies of a semester or more shall be filled within 60 days (excluding summer months) of their occurrence by the procedures specified in Articles III.A.3, 4 and IV.A.2. Persons elected to vacancies shall be eligible for reelection if they have served for no more than one complete contract period.

Recommended Change No. 17. Rationale: To add more detail to the current bylaws' description of the Bargaining Team.

The change:

V.A. 1. The regular members of the Bargaining Team shall consist of the Chief Negotiator of the UD-AAUP and at least three other persons selected by the Steering Committee. The Executive Council shall propose candidates for the Bargaining Team to the Steering Committee, who shall elect such candidates at the first meeting of the first semester of the academic year during which contract negotiations shall commence.

2. All members of the Bargaining Team, including the Chief Negotiator, shall serve at the pleasure of the Steering Committee and may be removed by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Steering Committee.

Recommended Change No. 18. Rationale: To detail the bylaws' amendment process more adequately.

The change:

VIII. These Bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by the following procedure. The Executive Council must first approve any such proposed alterations, amendments, or repeal by a two-thirds vote at a regularly scheduled Executive Council meeting, or at any special meeting duly convened by the Executive Council. In either case written notice of the time, purpose of the meeting and the proposed alteration, amendment or repeal the Bylaws must be given to the members of the Executive Council. If approved, the Executive Council shall then present to the UD-AAUP members its recommendation in favor of such alterations, amendments, or repeal of the By-Laws. Thereafter, the UD-AAUP members must approve the proposed alterations, amendments, or repeal of the By-Laws by a two-thirds majority of those UD-AAUP members voting by secret mail ballot in a vote held within two weeks after such recommendation shall be discussed at a meeting open to all UD-AAUP members.