AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (AFT) ADJUNCT/CONTINGENT FACULTYCAUCUS

BYLAWS

ARTICLE  I  Designation

 

The organization will be known as AFT Adjunct/Contingent Faculty Caucus, referred to herein as the “Caucus.”

ARTICLE II Mission

 

Section 1. To bring AFT’S non-tenure-track faculty (variably referred to as "part-time," "adjunct," "contingent," etc.) into a relationship of mutual assistance, advocacy, and cooperation nationally, and to encourage those who are potential members to become members;

 

Section 2. To advance the interests of the community of non-tenure-track faculty in AFT bargaining units by advocating for parity, equitable terms and conditions of employment, and full integration into the life of the colleges and universities where they are employed;

 

Section 3. To promote full representation of non-tenure-track faculty at all levels within AFT and its affiliates;

 

Section 4. To preserve and enhance the quality of higher education by supporting the academic professionals who work in non-tenure-track positions.

ARTICLE III Membership

 

Section 1.  Any higher education faculty whose employment is currently in non-tenure-track positions at AFT bargaining units regardless of their local job titles (such as "adjunct," "lecturer," "contingent," "contract," "visiting," "clinician," "instructor," graduate student, etc.) or FTE designations ("part-time," "full-time," ".99" etc.) are eligible to become members of the Caucus. Agency fee payers may not join the Caucus; members must be full union members able to vote in union elections and hold office at their locals. Any retiree who previously held a non tenure track position shall be eligible for membership. 

 

Section 2. Any other interested person may support the work of the Caucus as an "ally." Allies must pay the same annual dues (once dues are levied) as members. Allies shall not be voting members of the Caucus or hold office, but they may be appointed to serve on any Caucus committee and they may vote in decisions of committees.

 

Section 3. Caucus membership is initially formalized by payment of dues (once dues are levied) and by submission of the following information: email address (non .edu preferred), mailing address, institutional affiliation, and designation of the AFT local(s). It is the responsibility of the member to notify the Secretary of any change in email or contact information, as eligible voters will be determined by the email lists.

 

Section 4. No discrimination shall ever be shown toward individual members or applicants for membership because of race, creed, color, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and social, political or economic status.

 

Section 5. When identifying themselves as members of the caucus, members are expected to comport and express themselves in ways that are not detrimental to the reputation of the Caucus as a professional organization which they represent, according to the AFT Code of Conduct. 

 

ARTICLE IV Officers and Their Duties

 

Section 1. The officers of the Caucus shall be: 

President

Vice President

Secretary

Treasurer

Communications Officer

Organizing Officer

Members at-Large (6)

 

Section 2.  The above officers shall constitute the Executive Board.

 

Section 3.  The general responsibilities of officers are the following:

A. Meet regularly, communicate electronically, and carry out the policies of the  Caucus;

B. Accurately and appropriately represent the interests, positions, and actions of the Caucus in public venues and to national AFT staff and elected leaders.

C. Seek volunteers for all standing committees and ad hoc committees and approve appointments. Serve all members equitably and without prejudice, according to the AFT Code of Conduct.

 

Section 4.  The duties of the President are the following:

 

A. Preside at all meetings of the membership and Executive Board.

B. Be an ex officio non-voting member of all committees.Cannot serve on the Elections Committee.

C. In consultation with the Executive Board, shall have the power to establish ad hoc committees.

D. Be responsible for the ongoing administration of the Caucus.

E.  Supervise any employees of the Caucus.

F.  Be authorized to sign contracts, co-sign financial documents and direct regular disbursements of funds, in consultation with the Treasurer.

G. Make an annual written report to the general membership.

H. Delegate duties to other officers, committees, or members.

 

Section 5.  Duties of the Vice President

A.  Assume the duties of the President when necessary.

B.  Co-sign financial documents/instruments.

C.  Serve as liaison between the Executive Board and the committees.

D.  Perform such duties as delegated/assigned by the President and/or the Executive Board.

E.  Chair the Bylaws Committee.

F.  Oversee accurate membership records.

 

Section 6. Duties of the Secretary

A. Maintain the records of the Caucus.

B. Record and keep accurate minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board and general membership meetings, and make them accessible to the members.

C. Assist the president handling all correspondence of the Caucus.

D. Cosign financial instruments.

E. Coordinate with the communications officer regarding the website and social

media presence of the Caucus and assist with implementing technological options for conducting meetings and voting.

F. Perform such duties as delegated/assigned by the President and/or Executive Board.

 

Section 7. The Treasurer:

A. Record and deposit all income in the name of the Caucus

B. Cosign financial instruments.

C. Maintain all financial records for the Caucus.

D. Chair the Finance Committee.

E. Perform such duties as delegated/assigned by the President and/or Executive Board.

F  .Be bonded in accordance with AFT recommendations.

 

Section 8. Communications Officer

A. Work with the secretary to oversee all communications including web site design 

and maintenance as well as social media operations.

B. Research and implement technological options for conducting meetings and 

voting.

C. Assist the Organizing Officer with communications necessary for creating solidarity.

D. Chair the Communications Committee.

 

9. Organizing Officer

A. Mobilize members in political advocacy campaigns and internal organizing efforts as well as supporting external organizing efforts conducted by AFT.

B. Coordinate member mobilization efforts with the Membership Officer and the Communications Officer. 

C. Chair the Organizing Committee.

D. Perform outreach to new members and refer them to appropriate resources.

 

10. Members-at-Large

The six members-at-large shall each represent one of the following constituencies:

members in the eastern  United States.

members in the western United States.

members in two-year institutions.

members in four-year institutions.

members in private institutions.

members in the central United States.

 

The Members-at-Large shall

A. Represent the viewpoints, interests, and agendas of rank and file members.

B. Attend meetings of the executive board of the Caucus.

C. Inform themselves of current events and issues pertaining to the terms and conditions of employment experienced by non-tenure-track faculty.

D. Support the work of the Caucus officers.

 

ARTICLE V Duties of the Executive Board

 

Section 1. The Executive Board shall meet regularly by appropriate means (See also Article IX Meetings).

 

Section 2. The Executive Board, in consultation with the President of the Caucus, shall seek volunteers for all standing committees and ad hoc committees; committee appointments must be approved by a simple majority vote by the entire Executive Board. The committee chairs will be chosen by the committee members by a simple majority. 

 

ARTICLE VI Elections

 

Section 1. All members shall be given access to all information related to elections as well as the opportunity to vote. The ballot for each office shall be independent of any ballots for any other office, i.e., a candidate's election cannot depend upon being part of a slate of candidates for other offices on a single ballot. All other specific guidelines for elections, including provisions for campaigning and candidate forums, shall be developed by the Elections Committee to ensure the impartiality and legitimacy of all proceedings. Such guidelines may not be amended less than two weeks prior to the deadline for nominations for Caucus offices. 

 

Section 2. Eight weeks before the close of the election, the Executive Board shall appoint an Elections Committee composed of at least three members, none of whom may be a sitting or outgoing officer or a candidate for office in the upcoming election. Once the nominations have been closed, committee members shall declare any potential conflict of interest and shall be prepared to recuse themselves if necessary. The Elections Committee shall conduct the election according to the guidelines developed.by the Elections Committee and approved by the Executive Board.  As an ad hoc committee existing only for the purpose of conducting elections, the committee shall be dissolved immediately following the completion of the duties attendant upon the election.

 

Section 3. Within two weeks after the formation of the Elections Committee they will send out a call for nominations. The nominations period will be open for two weeks from the notice. At the end of that period the election will be open, and the Elections Committee will announce the results at the end of that period. The results of the election must be announced at least ten days before the Caucus meeting at the AFT Convention. 

 

Section 4. Invitations to nominate will be sent to the last known email address. In order to be nominated, a member must send an email to the chair of the Elections Committee, stating his/her name (or another nominee’s name) and the office for which the nomination is being submitted. This communication must be received by the Caucus Secretary chair of the Elections Committee prior to the deadline established in the elections guidelines in order to provide adequate time for campaigning once the nominations have been published.

 

Section 5. The officers of the AFT Adjunct/Contingent Faculty Caucus shall be elected by a verifiable electronic balloting process that will be set up by the Elections Committee.  The results shall be reported to the members immediately after the Elections Committee has tabulated the vote. Successful candidates shall assume office immediately following the publication of the election results unless there is a challenge for the position. If there is no contest for one or more offices, the chair of the Elections Committee shall direct the secretary of the Caucus to cast one vote, and such officers whose candidacy is “uncontested” shall be declared elected.

                                          

Section 6. The winner for each officer position shall be the candidate who has received the majority of votes cast for that position. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of all votes cast, the Elections Committee shall conduct a run-off between the two candidates with the most votes for that office. In the case of an undetermined election for President, if the incumbent President is one of the tied candidates, the newly elected Vice President shall preside over any business meeting that takes place prior to the resolution of the election.

 

Section 7: The term of office for all Executive Board offices shall be two years and in the case of an undetermined election, the term of office shall extend until a successor has been elected. Individuals may hold a single office for a maximum of eight years (four full terms).

 

Section 8. All vacancies which occur during a regular term of election, with the exception of the president, shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Board; a vote by a majority of the seated members of the executive board will be required for the appointee to take office.  That person, so appointed, shall serve in the acting role until the next regular election.In the case of the President becoming incapacitated or resigning, the Vice-President shall assume the presidency.

 

Section 9. Should any officer or member-at-large of the Executive Board accept a position which voids her or his eligibility to be a voting member of the Caucus, she or he will become ineligible to serve as an officer of the Board, and must notify the Board of his or her resignation within 60 days of the beginning of his or her new employment status (the hire date).

 

Section 10. Members at the time of the call for nominations shall be eligible to vote in the election.

 

Section 11, In the event a caucus member or candidate feels that there has been a violation of the election guidelines, he/she will have five days from the announcement of the election results to submit a formal protest to the elections committee. Having been informed of the potential violation the committee shall have an additional five days to investigate and either render a decision or call for a revote on the position. The decision of the Elections Committee is final.

 

ARTICLE VII Removal of a Board Member

 

Section 1. Any member can initiate and file a written complaint petition that includes signatures from at least 30% of the total members of the Caucus or 25 members, whichever is less, or if initiated by an Executive Board member, by 2/3rds of Caucus officers, in order to request that the Executive Board consider the removal of an elected officer for just cause as defined in the constitution of AFT.

 

Section 2: Upon receipt of the petition, the Executive Board will convene a special hearing in order to hear from any member of the Caucus who wishes to participate, including the officer named in the complaint petition.

 

Section 3. This hearing will be scheduled no more than 30 days after the receipt of a petition calling for an officer’s removal.

 

Section 4. The officer named in the petition shall have the right to be heard or represented by someone on his/her own behalf.

 

Section 5. Once a hearing has been held, the Executive Board may decide to recommend removal of the named officer from office by a vote of at least 2/3rds of the remaining members of the Executive Board. 

 

Section 6. The Board's decision in this matter shall be reported in writing to the members and the Board shall conduct an electronic vote of the entire membership within thirty days of reporting its decision regarding the officer in question in this matter unless said officer resigns prior to the commencement of such a vote. By a 2/3rds vote, the membership shall be able to either remove or allow the officer to remain in office. Such removal will take effect immediately upon the report of the results of the vote.

  

ARTICLE VIII Committees

Section 1.  The Standing Committees of the Caucus shall be:

  1. Communications

  2. Finance

  3. Membership

  4. Organizing

   

Section 2.  From time to time the Executive Board may create ad hoc committees as necessary.

 

Section 3.  The Communications Committee shall support the work of the Communications Officer including the Caucus web site presence and social media operations; researching and implementing technological options for conducting meetings and voting; and assisting the secretary in creating internal and external solidarity over specific issues.

 

Section 4. The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the approval of the Executive Board; conduct fundraising activities to augment dues income; and develop financial guidelines and policies, for example, guidelines for authorizing and reimbursing travel on behalf of the Caucus's business.

 

Section 5.  The Membership Committee shall oversee and promote the recruitment of members into the Caucus 

 

Section 6. The Organizing Committee shall mobilize members in advocacy campaigns and internal organizing efforts as well as supporting external organizing efforts conducted by AFT.

 

Section 7. Members and chairs of both standing and ad hoc committees will have specific charges developed and approved by the Executive Board. Committee members shall be appointed by the Executive Board and the Board shall have the power to rescind appointments.

 

Section 8. For the sake of organizational transparency, any member in good standing may attend any committee meeting as an observer, but observers may not speak unless recognized by the committee chair, nor may they make a motion or vote in committee decisions. 

 

ARTICLE IX Meetings

 

Section 1. The Executive Board shall meet at least quarterly. Webinars or teleconferences may be used as a method of meeting.

 

Section 2. A quorum shall consist of 2/3rds of the Executive Board.

 

Section 3. Board members must receive notice of a meeting within ten calendar days of the meeting time and with appropriate directions for teleconferencing.

 

Section 4.  If the President is unable to preside over a board meeting or membership meeting, the Vice President shall preside. If neither the President nor the Vice President is able to preside, the order of succession for the presiding officer shall be as follows: Secretary; Treasurer; Communications Officer; Membership Officer; Organizing Officer; Member-at-Large with the longest term of service.

 

Section 5. The Executive Board shall convene at least one membership meeting every year and to the greatest extent possible provide virtual access to members who cannot be physically present, including the ability to vote on motions being decided in relation to business conducted at the meeting.

 

Section 6. Five percent of the full membership shall constitute a quorum for membership meetings. Both members physically present and those participating by virtual means shall be counted in this percentage to determine a quorum. 

 

Section 7. A parliamentarian shall be appointed to serve during any membership meeting.

 

ARTICLE X Rules of Order

 

Section 1. Robert’s Rules of Order (revised) shall govern the processes used to make decisions and move on actions in all cases not covered by the Bylaws or the AFT Constitution.

 

ARTICLE XI Amendment

 

Section 1. Proposed amendments of the Bylaws may be initiated at any time by any member by a written and seconded motion sent to the Executive Board, or by a motion seconded during a general membership meeting.

 

Section 2. At any time when such a motion to amend has been submitted to the Executive Board, either a majority of the Executive Board or 30% or 25 members of the caucus must consent in order that the Board undertake a vote by the membership via an electronic ballot. Such a membership vote concerning amendment of the Bylaws may be conducted on dates established in relation to membership meetings to afford maximal opportunity for discussion prior to the voting. The Bylaws shall be amended by a simple majority of the members voting.

 

The Executive Board may rule a motion to amend the Bylaws out of order if the motion contradicts the AFT Constitution or AFT policies or if it is impossible for the Caucus to implement, for example, if it requires expenditure of funds the Caucus does not have.

 

ARTICLE XII Dues

 

Section 1. Annual dues in an amount to be determined by the membership shall be levied by the Executive Board at such time as a majority of members vote electronically to endorse such dues. Annual levy of dues shall occur between August 15th and September 15th.

 

Section 2. Once dues have been levied, Caucus members’ dues must be current in order to vote in any balloting conducted by the Caucus, to hold office, or to serve on committees.

 

Section 3. Payment may be made immediately before any vote to the Treasurer or his or her designee.