Constitution and Bylaws

What you need to know

All unions create a set of rules and principles by which they govern their organizations. These rules and principles establish the Constitution and By-laws that members abide by.

VFNHP Constitution

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VFNHP Bylaws

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Our constitution and by-laws are based upon those of our parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), with a particular emphasis on member engagement, political and legislative activism, communications, community engagement, and member knowledge and ideas.

The VFNHP constitution may be changed at any time to better reflect the needs of our union, but the members must vote on any changes before those changes can be made. Article 14 of our constitution outlines the procedures required to make changes to the constitution. The most recent amendments to the Constitution were ratified at out membership vote in April 2016.

Get to know the constitution and bylaws

It is important to familiarize yourself with the constitution and by-laws as they address details and information important to all of us, including such things as:

Membership Eligibility, Membership meetings

Constitution Article IV Membership 

Section 1: Eligibility 

  • To be eligible for active membership an individual must be a bargaining unit member in good standing or on an approved leave of absence. 
    • Membership in good standing shall constitute all of the following: 
      • Payments of all dues 
      • A signed membership card 
      • Adherence to this Constitution and Bylaws 
  • A member who leaves a bargaining unit for any reason except supervisory status, shall be eligible to continue membership by complying with Article IV Section 1(a) above. Only the active members in good standing may vote in bargaining unit business and run for elected office. 
  • Personnel with a primarily supervisory role shall not obtain membership. Members who are promoted to positions with the rank of supervisor are automatically removed from membership on the effective date of the promotion.

Bylaws Article VI: Membership Meetings 

Section 1: Regular Meetings 

  • Regular membership meetings will be held at least every 6 months. 
  • The Executive Board will be expected to attend unless the President has been notified in advance. 
  • All members are encouraged to attend.
Retiree Information

Constitution Article IV Membership 

Section 2:

Retirees The Local will establish a retiree chapter. Membership in the chapter will be available to all Local members, current and past, who have retired and no longer work in the bargaining unit. The chapter will establish Bylaws to address officer structure, meetings and a formal program. Members of the retiree chapter will not be required to pay dues to the Local. Members of the retiree chapter will have the right to participate in the AFT benefit programs available to the general membership. Retirees are not active members and therefore shall not be eligible to run for office in Local Executive Board elections or participate in voting on Local business.

Nondiscrimination

Constitution Article IV Membership

Section 4:

Nondiscrimination No discrimination shall ever be shown toward individual members or applicants for membership on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, place of birth, age, disability, military service or status as a Vietnam veteran as defined by applicable law, marital status, sexual orientation, or political views.

 

Duty of Officers

Constitution Article VII: Duties of the Executive Officers 

Section 1: President 

Duties of the President shall be: 

  • Serve on the Executive Board of the Local, 
  • Preside over all regular and special meetings of the Local, 
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for the Local in accordance with this Constitution/Bylaws, 
  • Serve on the Labor/Management Committee, 
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees, 
  • Appoint new committees that are deemed necessary, 
  • Retain counsel, accountants and any other employees as deemed necessary 
  • Attend negotiations and act as a Negotiating Committee chairperson, 
  • Convene negotiating committee members with approval of a majority of the Executive Board at least six months prior to the expiration of the contract, 
  • Report results of negotiating activity to the Local, 
  • Act as a liaison officer between the hospital administration and the Local, 
  • Serve as co-signer for financial instruments with the Treasurer, 
  • Delegate responsibilities of the office except as limited by this Constitution, and 
  • Represent Local 5221 at the State and National affiliates 

 

Section 2: Vice Presidents 

Duties of the Executive Vice President shall be: 

  • The same as the Vice Presidents, except as follows: 
  • To assist the President in the execution of her/his duties 
  • To act in the absence of the President 
  • To perform all other duties as authorized by the Executive Council and/or the Membership 
  • Serve as co-signer on financial instruments in the absence of the President or Treasurer 
  • Serve as Co-Chair of the Political Education Committee, and assist with legislative activities and COPE recruitment 
  • Oversee union activities related to community engagement 

 

Duties of all Vice Presidents shall be: 

  • Serve on the Executive Board of the Local, 
  • Serve on the Labor/Management Committee, 
  • Attend negotiating sessions 
  • Preside over any regular or special meetings of the bargaining unit in the President’s absence, 
  • Assume duties of Vice President of Communications during regular/special meetings of the Local 
  • Share the duties of the President with the other Vice Presidents in the event of the President’s absence, illness, or death; 
  • Other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board, h) Assume duties of spokesperson in the absence of the President or her/his delegate 

 

Duties of the Vice President for Political Education shall also include: 

  • Co-Chair Political Education Committee 
  • Oversee PEC membership and COPE recruitment 
  • Assume duties as required, in collaboration with President VFNHP and President AFTVT, in the legislative and political activities of the union, including representing the union in state and federal legislative and political activities. 

 

Duties of the Vice President for Organizing shall also include: 

  • Orient new members to the Local, assisted by Chief and unit stewards b) Work with Divisional Chief Stewards to maintain current list of local members and current list of stewards and steward structure 
  • Oversee scheduling of, and attend, regular division and unit meetings 
  • Assist with new organizing as instructed by President or AFT National delegate 
  • Be a member of the Grievance Committee 
  • Oversee New Employee Orientation 
  • Ensure the membership list is reconciled with the monthly reports received from the employer 

 

Duties of the Vice President of Communication shall be: 

  • Record minutes of all regular and special Local meetings, Executive Board and membership meetings; 
  • Maintain permanent records of all Local meetings, Executive Board meetings, membership meetings and committee meetings; Constitution of Local 5221 6 Approved 4/9/16 
  • Be responsible for the preparation of and oversee the distribution of the all member communications including quarterly newsletters; 
  • Be responsible for the maintenance of the Local website and social media; 
  • Notify the Local members of the time and place of regular and special meetings; 
  • Send to AFT, AFT-Vermont, Vermont State AFL-CIO, Champlain Valley Labor Council the names of all officers and delegates following their election or appointment, 
  • Keep on file all ballots for all elections in accordance with federal regulations, 
  • Act as parliamentarian 
  • Coordinate the rapid response communications team (for e.g contacting media sources and internal communications) 

Section 3: Treasurer 

Duties of the Treasurer shall be: 

  • Maintain records of monies and financial transactions of the Local to include any state and/or national requirements, 
  • Collect and disperse monies and make reports as required by Executive Board, 
  • Present a Treasurer’s report to the Local membership at each regular or special meeting of the Local, 
  • Present a report to the Executive Board at each regular/special meeting of the Local, 
  • Present an annual budget for the review and approval of the Executive Board; 
  • Preside as chairperson of the Finance Committee; 
  • Serve as preferred signer on all financial instruments, 
  • Make herself/himself and all required materials available to the Financial and Audit Committees, and 
  • Arrange and certify for an annual audit of the Locals finances for presentation to the Executive Board and the membership. 

Section 4: Grievance Chairperson 

Duties of the Grievance Chairperson shall be: 

  • Oversee the processing of Step III grievances and serve as a resource to the Divisional Chief Stewards, Lead and Unit Stewards for Step II and Step III grievances, 
  • Ensure all group grievances are coordinated, 
  • Serve on the Labor Management Committee, 
  • Recommend to the Executive Board the grievances that should be considered for arbitration with the final decision made by a majority vote of the Executive Board, 
  • Ensure proper training and mentorship for Stewards, Constitution of Local 5221 7 Approved 4/9/16 
  • Present a report to the Executive Board at each regular/special meeting, and 
  • Present a report to the Local membership at each regular and special meeting. 
  • Chair the Grievance Committee.
Negotiating

Constitution Article XI: Committees

Section 1: Negotiating Committee 

  • The committee shall seek representation from each unit within the local membership. 
  • Nominations and elections will follow procedures outlined in the Bylaws. 
  • The President of Local will serve as the Negotiating Committee Chairperson, along with the Vice Presidents from the units covered by the contract.
  • The purpose of the committee will be to negotiate contracts.

Bylaws Article X: 

Negotiating Committee 

  • Each unit will elect one (1) Negotiating Committee team member as a representative for every 50 bargaining unit members, or fraction thereof, working on their unit. 
  • There will be “at-large” members elected by specialty groups as determined by the Negotiating Committee at their first meeting. (For example: Nurse Practitioners, Per Diems, etc). Approved by the Executive Board 5/5/10 
  • All negotiating team members will have attended Negotiating Team training in order to be able to participate in negotiations. 
  • All negotiating team members must sign the Negotiating Team Pledge in order to serve on the Negotiating Team. The Negotiating Team pledge will be approved by the Executive Board.
Steward Responsibilities

Constitution Article X section 1-2

Section 1: Composition 

  • Each Unit Steward shall be elected or selected by the bargaining unit members on his/her unit. The numbers of unit steward positions and the list of units exist in the Bylaws. 
  • Nomination and election procedures exist in the Bylaws

 

Section 2: Duties of the Unit Steward Duties of the Unit Steward shall: 

  • Attend steward trainings. 
  • Assist the Chief Steward with grievance processing, contract enforcement. She/he will submit all grievances processed on their unit to the area Chief Steward for review. 
  • Attend Weingarten and grievance meetings between bargaining unit employees and supervisors, when requested, to do so by a bargaining unit employee in order to represent the bargaining unit employee. 
  • Attend membership and steward meetings. In the event that a steward is unable to attend a meeting, she/he shall designate a bargaining unit member on the unit to attend.

Bylaws Article IV: 

Divisional Chief Steward Structure 

  • There will be twelve (15) Divisional Chief Stewards who will serve on the Executive Board of the Local: 1. two (2) Chief Stewards in Peri-Op 2. two (2) Chief Stewards in Women’s-Children’s-Specialty. 3. two (2) Chief Stewards in Medical/Surgical 4. three (3) Chief Stewards in Outpatient 5. three (3) Chief Stewards in Critical Care 6. three (3) Chief Stewards for Technical Professionals 
    • The Divisional Chief Stewards will be elected by the members within their division every three (3) years during the local election.
Nominations, Elections and Voting

Constitution Article VI Nomination and Election of Executive Officers Local 5221 

Section 1: Conducting Nominations and Elections

  • Nominations and elections shall be conducted in accordance with this Constitution, the Constitution of the AFT, the standards set by the Labor-Management Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and Department of Labor regulations. 
  • The Local shall have a Nominations and Election Committee (see Article XI Section 4) 
  • Nominations and elections shall be conducted according to the procedures in this Constitution and Bylaws. 

Section 2 Composition: The elected Officers of the Local shall be elected in the spring every three (3) years. 

The organization will elect the following officers: 

  • President 
  • Executive Vice President (nurse position) 
  • Vice President of Political Education 
  • Vice President of Organizing 
  • Vice President of Communications 
  • Vice President of Technical Professionals (technical professional position) 
  • Treasurer 
  • Grievance Chairperson 

These members shall constitute the Executive Officers. 

 

Section 3: Eligibility for Office To be eligible for office, a person must be a member in good standing, as defined in Article IV Section 1(a), of the Local. The President, Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents, Treasurer, and Grievance Chairperson shall be nominated and elected by the general membership of the Local in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws. 

 

Section 4: Assuming Office Successful candidates shall assume office on July 1 following the election. 

 

Section 5: Vacancies With the exception of the President, or in case of a recall, the Executive Board shall have the power to fill vacancies in its membership, by appointment, until the next general election. 

 

Section 6: Outgoing Officers Outgoing Executive Board Members shall turn over to the incoming President all files, records and materials for distribution to incoming Executive Board members.

 

Bylaws Section 2: Nominations 

  • Sixty (60) days prior to the date of the election, the Nomination and Election Committee shall notify all members of the opening of nominations for the Executive Board positions to be filled, the necessary qualifications for nomination and election to such offices, and the date of the election by first class U.S. Mail to the members last known home address. 
  • To be nominated for all offices, a candidate must submit to the Nomination and Elections committee a petition containing the signatures of twenty-five (25) members. Said petitions must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days following the notice of the opening of nominations. A member may nominate him or herself. 
  • Members nominated to run for office must affirmatively accept their nomination in writing to the Nomination and Election committee. 
  • The Nomination and Election committee shall determine whether the nominations were timely and if each nominee is eligible to run for office. 
  • The statements by eligible candidates may be posted on Union bulletin boards and will be made available by publication for the members. 
  • The monthly Executive Board meeting prior to the election will afford nominees time to present their platform for office. 
  • There will be a full membership meeting to allow the nominees to present their platform and answer questions from members.

 

Bylaws Article 1 [Election Process]

Section 3: The Ballots 

  • The Nomination and Elections committee shall prepare the ballots and determine the method of voting consistent with the DOL guidelines. Approved by the Executive Board 5/5/10 
  • The method, time, and date of voting will be mailed to all members at their home address at least two (2) weeks before the voting. 

 

Section 4: Run-off 

  • The Ballots shall be tabulated by the Nomination and Elections committee, and a majority of the ballots cast shall determine the outcome of the election. 
  • In absence of a majority, the Nomination and Election Committee shall conduct a run-off election between the two candidates who have received the most votes for the office in question. 
  • The run-off election shall be conducted according to the provisions for elections within the Constitution and Bylaws. 

 

Section 5: Challenges and Objections 

  • Challenges and objections to the election must be submitted in writing, with a statement of supporting reasons that includes specific facts. The objection should include any and all evidence to support the challenge or objection. 
  • The written challenge/objection must be given to the Nomination and Election Committee within five (5) days of the vote count. 
  • The Nomination and Elections Committee shall issue its written opinion regarding the objections no later than ten (10) days after receipt of such objections. 

 

Section 6: Election Results

  • The election results will be published for the membership within thirty (30) days of the count. 
  • All election materials, including the ballots will be kept sealed and in a secure location for one (1) year.

 

[Unit Elections]

Bylaws Article II: Nominations and Elections for Unit Elections 

Section 1: Nominations

  • Each unit shall develop and implement a procedure for nomination of candidates for Unit Lead Steward. 
  • An alternate may be chosen if the unit deems necessary. 

Section 2: Elections 

  • Each unit shall develop and implement a procedure for the election of a Unit Lead Steward. 

 

[Nomination and Election Committee]

Constitution Section 4: Nomination and Election Committee 

  • The Nomination and Election Committee will consist of at least 5 members in good standing selected by the membership and approved by the Executive Board, at its first meeting of the year. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall be open to the general membership. 
  • Any member of the Nomination and Election Committee nominated for or seeking office must vacate their position. 
  • A vacancy on the Nomination and Election Committee will require the committee to nominate a member to serve as a replacement. The new member of the Nomination and Election Committee will be approved by the Executive Board. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall elect a chairperson, who shall report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The Executive Board shall appoint a current Executive Board Member who is not seeking re-election or a previous Executive Board Member to act as a resource for the Nomination and Election Committee for guidance and support. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall conduct all general and special elections of the organization in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws and report to the Executive Board. 
  • Additional information and procedures for conducting nominations and elections exists in the Bylaws. 
  • After the Nomination and Election Committee has given the official report to the Executive Board on the outcome of the election, the Executive Board shall discharge the members of the Nomination and Election Committee from their duties for the election.

Bylaws Article 1

Section 1: Nomination and Election Committee 

The Local shall have a Nomination and Election Committee (see Article XI Section 4). Members of the Nomination and Elections Committee will be provided with the: 

  • LMRDA 
  • A copy of the constitution and by-laws 
  • Current DOL guidelines for running an election 
  • A copy of the current membership

 

[Filling vacancies on the Executive Board]

Constitution Article 6 Section 5: 

Vacancies With the exception of the President, or in case of a recall, the Executive Board shall have the power to fill vacancies in its membership, by appointment, until the next general election.

 

Bylaws Article III: 

Filling Vacancies on the Executive Board As stated in the Constitution (Article VIII Section 3 (L): “With the exception of the office of the President, the Executive Board will have the power to fill vacancies in its membership until the next general election of Executive Board members, consistent with this Constitution and Bylaws;” 

  • The Executive Board shall receive the nomination for a vacant Executive Board position. 
  • The member who was nominated will be notified of the nomination and will state if she/he accepts or rejects the nomination. 
  • The member will be asked to attend the next regular Executive Board meeting to present her/his reasons for seeking appointment to the Executive Board position. 
  • The Executive Board will go into Executive Session to consider the nomination before a motion is made during the regular session to approve a nomination.
Miscellaneous

Discipline

Constitution Article 4 Section 3: Discipline of members 

A member, including Officers and Executive Board members, may be disciplined by the organization for actions contrary to this Constitution or to the interests of the Local or its membership. The procedure exists in the Bylaws.

Bylaws Article V: Discipline of a member 

  • Such action may only be initiated by the bringing of written and signed charges to the Executive Board by two (2) or more members of the Local. These charges must include a specific and detailed accounting, including and documentation of the allegations against the member. 
  • Upon receipt of such charges, the Executive Board shall cause a preliminary investigation to be conducted in order to determine whether the charges against the member have merit. In addition, at this time, the Executive Board shall give a copy of the charges to the accused member. 
  • Following the preliminary investigation, the Executive Board shall vote on the question of whether a disciplinary hearing should be held. If a majority of the Executive Board votes to hold a hearing, the member shall be given at least ten (10) days written notice of the hearing. 
  • At a disciplinary hearing, the accused member shall have the right to be represented by a person of his/her choice, and shall have the right to question the charges and present evidence and witnesses to support their defense. At the conclusion of the hearing, a two thirds (2/3) vote of the entire Executive Board shall be required for discipline. If a member of the Executive Board has brought the charges against the member the person will recues herself/himself from the vote. 
  • A disciplined member may appeal the decision of the Executive Board to the membership by requesting a vote at the next regular membership meeting. A simple majority of the members voting shall be sufficient to overrule the decision of the Executive Board. 
Political Rights/Education

Constitution article IV Section 5: Political Rights 

Bargaining unit members selecting service fee status do not have voting rights, do not have a voice in meetings, do not have the right to serve on a union committee and are not eligible to participate in union activities not directly related to their representation.

Constitution article XI Section 6: Political Education Committee

  • The Political Education Committee shall be open to the general membership. 
  • The Political Education Committee shall report to the Vice President of Political Education, who will report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The purpose of the Political Education Committee shall be to 
    • Monitor and promote legislation and government actions which affect the delivery of health care, the interests of the members, and the health and welfare of the communities we serve. 
    • Screen and recommend endorsement of candidates for local and state offices 
    • Secure voluntary contributions to support the political work of the local

The Political Education Committee shall coordinate with the AFT-Vermont and other unions and coalitions on legislative and political activity whenever possible.

Charters/Chapters

Constitution Article V Charters and/or Chapters 

Section 1: Eligibility for Charters and/or Chapters There shall be available to retirees and other groups not recognized as a bargaining unit for the purposes of collective bargaining, the ability to form a chapter and apply for a charter from the AFT. Our local supports the formation of chapters and/or charters in accordance with the AFT constitution and any state or federal regulations. 

Section 2: Procedure for Charters and/or Chapters The procedure for forming a chapter or obtaining a charter exists in the AFT Constitution and in the Local’s Bylaws.

Finances

Constitution Article XI 

Section 3: Finance Committee: 

  • The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer and up to three regular members, appointed by the Executive Board. 
  • The Treasurer shall serve as the Chairperson for the Finance Committee. 
  • The Finance Committee shall assist the Treasurer in the financial operation of the Local. 
  • The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the presentation to the Executive Board and the membership.

Constitution Article XII: Revenues 

Section 1: Dues 

  • Dues for each member shall be not less than one 1% of his/her gross pay plus mandated increases in required affiliation fees or “pass through” amounts in accordance with the AFT Constitution for the AFT, AFT-Vermont and AFL-CIO. 
  • Other procedures regarding dues are as stated in the Bylaws. 

Section 2: Service Fee (Agency Fee) 

  • There shall be a service fee (agency fee) for all non-members. 
  • The percentage shall be determined annually based on the previous year’s audit of the Local and the affiliates and will reside in the Bylaws.

Section 3: Reimbursement of members: 

  • a) Any Executive Board member, member or other person employed by the local may receive financial compensation as determined in Article VIII, Section 3(c). 
  • b) Any member or officer who shall lose time or incur expenses to attend to Local business, authorized by Executive Board, shall be reimbursed.

Section 4: Office Space/ Staff Office space and staff requirements will be determined by Executive Board.

 

Bylaws Article VII: Dues 

  • Dues will be automatically withdrawn from bargaining unit member’s paychecks.
  • Those individuals not willing to pay dues or fees will be discharged from the bargaining unit, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 
  • Dues are currently 1% of an employee’s total gross wages plus $2.50 per pay period. When AFT or United Professions AFT VT dues are increased the VFNHP Executive Board shall vote to determine if they will pass through the increase to the membership per the AFT Constitution. 

Article VIII: Service Fee 

  • The service fee for all non-members shall be set based on an annual audit of chargeable and non-chargeable expenses. 
  • Service fees will be automatically withdrawn from non-members paychecks 
  • Service fees are currently .085% of an employee’s total gross wages plus $2.50 per pay period. When AFT or United Professions AFT VT dues are increased the VFNHP Executive Board shall vote to determine if they will pass through the increase to the membership per the AFT Constitution. 

Article IX: Defense Fund 

  • The Local shall maintain a defense fund to be used in accordance with all AFT and state and federal regulations and shall put in $.50 per member per month. 
  • The defense fund may be used for strikes, arbitrations and litigation of unfair labor practices. 
  • The Treasurer shall maintain records of the defense fund and its use 
  • The Treasurer shall report activity and data concerning the Defense Fund to the Local Executive Board at the regular and special meetings. 

 

Constitution Article XIV: Fiscal Year, Records and Reports 

The fiscal year of this organization shall begin July 1st and end June 30th.

Amendments

 Bylaws Article XIII: Amendment to the Constitution 

  • The Constitution shall be amended according to the procedures in the Constitution and Bylaws. 
  • The Executive Board shall ensure that all members have an opportunity to review proposed amendments to the Constitution and that all members have an opportunity to vote on amendments. 

Bylaws Article XIV: Amendment to the Bylaws 

  • Any member may initiate an amendment to the Bylaws. The Executive Board may initiate an amendment to the Bylaws. 
  • The Executive Board may decide to amend the Bylaws by a 2/3 vote. 
  • If the issue is deemed by the Executive Board to require full membership ratification, the Executive Board may decide to bring the amendment of the Bylaws to the general membership in the same way a Constitutional amendment is handled.

Who to contact

If you should have any questions or concerns with regards to the constitution and by-laws, please contact the Union Office at 802.657.4040 or email info@vfnhp.org.

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Finances

Constitution Article XI 

Section 3: Finance Committee: 

  • The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer and up to three regular members, appointed by the Executive Board. 
  • The Treasurer shall serve as the Chairperson for the Finance Committee. 
  • The Finance Committee shall assist the Treasurer in the financial operation of the Local. 
  • The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the presentation to the Executive Board and the membership.

Constitution Article XII: Revenues 

Section 1: Dues 

  • Dues for each member shall be not less than one 1% of his/her gross pay plus mandated increases in required affiliation fees or “pass through” amounts in accordance with the AFT Constitution for the AFT, AFT-Vermont and AFL-CIO. 
  • Other procedures regarding dues are as stated in the Bylaws. 

Section 2: Service Fee (Agency Fee) 

  • There shall be a service fee (agency fee) for all non-members. 
  • The percentage shall be determined annually based on the previous year’s audit of the Local and the affiliates and will reside in the Bylaws.

Section 3: Reimbursement of members: 

  • a) Any Executive Board member, member or other person employed by the local may receive financial compensation as determined in Article VIII, Section 3(c). 
  • b) Any member or officer who shall lose time or incur expenses to attend to Local business, authorized by Executive Board, shall be reimbursed.

Section 4: Office Space/ Staff Office space and staff requirements will be determined by Executive Board.

 

Bylaws Article VII: Dues 

  • Dues will be automatically withdrawn from bargaining unit member’s paychecks.
  • Those individuals not willing to pay dues or fees will be discharged from the bargaining unit, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 
  • Dues are currently 1% of an employee’s total gross wages plus $2.50 per pay period. When AFT or United Professions AFT VT dues are increased the VFNHP Executive Board shall vote to determine if they will pass through the increase to the membership per the AFT Constitution. 

Article VIII: Service Fee 

  • The service fee for all non-members shall be set based on an annual audit of chargeable and non-chargeable expenses. 
  • Service fees will be automatically withdrawn from non-members paychecks 
  • Service fees are currently .085% of an employee’s total gross wages plus $2.50 per pay period. When AFT or United Professions AFT VT dues are increased the VFNHP Executive Board shall vote to determine if they will pass through the increase to the membership per the AFT Constitution. 

Article IX: Defense Fund 

  • The Local shall maintain a defense fund to be used in accordance with all AFT and state and federal regulations and shall put in $.50 per member per month. 
  • The defense fund may be used for strikes, arbitrations and litigation of unfair labor practices. 
  • The Treasurer shall maintain records of the defense fund and its use 
  • The Treasurer shall report activity and data concerning the Defense Fund to the Local Executive Board at the regular and special meetings. 

 

Constitution Article XIV: Fiscal Year, Records and Reports 

The fiscal year of this organization shall begin July 1st and end June 30th.

Amendments

 Bylaws Article XIII: Amendment to the Constitution 

  • The Constitution shall be amended according to the procedures in the Constitution and Bylaws. 
  • The Executive Board shall ensure that all members have an opportunity to review proposed amendments to the Constitution and that all members have an opportunity to vote on amendments. 

Bylaws Article XIV: Amendment to the Bylaws 

  • Any member may initiate an amendment to the Bylaws. The Executive Board may initiate an amendment to the Bylaws. 
  • The Executive Board may decide to amend the Bylaws by a 2/3 vote. 
  • If the issue is deemed by the Executive Board to require full membership ratification, the Executive Board may decide to bring the amendment of the Bylaws to the general membership in the same way a Constitutional amendment is handled.
Executive Board and Duties

Constitution Article VIII: Executive Board and Duties 

Section 1: Purpose The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the Local. All Executive Board Members must be members elected or appointed as stated in this Constitution and the Bylaws. 

Section 2: Composition The Executive Board shall consist of: 

  • President 
  • Executive Vice President (nurse position) 
  • Vice President of Political Education 
  • Vice President of Organizing 
  • Vice President of Communications 
  • Vice President of Technical Professionals 
  • Treasurer 
  • Grievance Chairperson 
  • Divisional Chief Stewards (number of determined in the Bylaws) 
  • Additional Vice Presidents may be added when additional bargaining units organize into the local. 

 

Section 3: Duties of the Local 5221 Executive Board 

  • The Executive Board shall meet regularly, no less than ten (10) times per year, but no more than once per month except when the Executive Board or President deem it to be necessary. Additional procedures concerning Local meetings exist in the Bylaws. 
  • A simple majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum. 
  • The Executive Board may fix the compensation to be paid to any member, officer or other person employed by Local 5221, provided such compensation shall not exceed the top of the scale paid the member in the bargaining unit. 
  • The Executive Board shall determine the financial arrangements necessary to ensure that the business of the Local functions in an orderly manner. 
  • The Executive Board shall approve the budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year and adjust the budget during the fiscal year. 
  • The Executive Board shall determine which grievances will be taken to arbitration. Any bargaining unit member may appeal the decision of the Board concerning arbitration by submitting a request in writing at least 1 week before the arbitration deadline outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to the Local Officers. 
  • The Executive Board shall establish such committees as may be needed to promote the interests of the Local. 
  • The Executive Board shall appoint members to committees which are outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), any committee with a shared mission within the hospital, and external committees on which the Local serves, 
  • The Executive Board shall act in cases of emergency which may arise between regular meetings of the Local, 
  • The Executive Board may advise or control the course of action of any or all Local Officers and Committees, except as otherwise herein provided, subject to the approval of the membership; 
  • The Executive Board may at any time require from any officer or committee a full and detailed statement of account of any action or business done in the name of the Local; 
  • With the exception of the office of the Presidents, the Executive Board will have the power to fill vacancies in its membership until the next general election of Executive Board members, consistent with this Constitution and Bylaws; 
  • The Executive Board shall approve the Bylaws governing the administration and distribution of the defense fund prior to the distribution of any defense funds; n) The Executive Board shall approve the Chairperson and membership of all standing committees of the organization, except the Nominations and Elections Committee, and receive regular reports from such committees; 
  • The Executive Board shall be responsible for adherence to and enforcement of this Constitution and Bylaws of the Local, and 
  • The Executive Board shall issue regular reports, including an annual report, to the membership. 
Committees

Constitution Article XI: Committees 

Section 1: Negotiating Committee 

  • The committee shall seek representation from each unit within the local membership. 
  • Nominations and elections will follow procedures outlined in the Bylaws. 
  • The President of Local will serve as the Negotiating Committee Chairperson, along with the Vice Presidents from the units covered by the contract. 
  • The purpose of the committee will be to negotiate contracts. 

 

Section 2: Grievance Committee: 

  • The Grievance Committee shall consist of the Grievance Chairperson, the Vice President of Organizing, and three (3) Chief Stewards 
  • The Grievance Chairperson shall serve as the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee. 
  • The Grievance Committee shall meet when the Grievance Chairperson deems necessary to plan steward trainings, review grievances, review contract enforcement issues, plan and execute group grievances, plan arbitration hearings, and other issues related to contract enforcement and/or membership representation. 

Section 3: Finance Committee: 

  • The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer and up to three regular members, appointed by the Executive Board. 
  • The Treasurer shall serve as the Chairperson for the Finance Committee. 
  • The Finance Committee shall assist the Treasurer in the financial operation of the Local. 
  • The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the presentation to the Executive Board and the membership. 

Section 4: Nomination and Election Committee 

  • The Nomination and Election Committee will consist of at least 5 members in good standing selected by the membership and approved by the Executive Board, at its first meeting of the year. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall be open to the general membership. 
  • Any member of the Nomination and Election Committee nominated for or seeking office must vacate their position. 
  • A vacancy on the Nomination and Election Committee will require the committee to nominate a member to serve as a replacement. The new member of the Nomination and Election Committee will be approved by the Executive Board. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall elect a chairperson, who shall report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The Executive Board shall appoint a current Executive Board Member who is not seeking re-election or a previous Executive Board Member to act as a resource for the Nomination and Election Committee for guidance and support. 
  • The Nomination and Election Committee shall conduct all general and special elections of the organization in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws and report to the Executive Board. 
  • Additional information and procedures for conducting nominations and elections exists in the Bylaws. 
  • After the Nomination and Election Committee has given the official report to the Constitution of Local 5221 11 Approved 4/9/16 Executive Board on the outcome of the election, the Executive Board shall discharge the members of the Nomination and Election Committee from their duties for the election. 

Section 5: Labor Management Committee 

  • The Grievance Chair shall serve on the Labor Management Committee as outlined in Article VII of the Constitution. 
  • Additional members shall be appointed annually by the Executive Board, their number and representation will be in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 
  • The Labor Management Committee will elect a chairperson, who shall report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The purpose of the Labor Management Committee shall be to address issues of mutual concern related to patient care and to facilitate the ongoing collaborative relationship between the members and the employer. 

Section 6: Political Education Committee 

  • The Political Education Committee shall be open to the general membership. 
  • The Political Education Committee shall report to the Vice President of Political Education, who will report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The purpose of the Political Education Committee shall be to 
    • Monitor and promote legislation and government actions which affect the delivery of health care, the interests of the members, and the health and welfare of the communities we serve. 
    • Screen and recommend endorsement of candidates for local and state offices 
    • Secure voluntary contributions to support the political work of the local
  • The Political Education Committee shall coordinate with the AFT-Vermont and other unions and coalitions on legislative and political activity whenever possible. 

Section 7: Staffing Committee 

  • The members of the Staffing Committee shall be nominated by the Executive Board and shall be consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 
  • The Staffing Committee shall elect a chairperson, who will report to the Executive Board and general membership at the regular meetings. 
  • The purpose of the Staffing Committee shall be to discuss staffing issues; review data related to staffing and make recommendations to the Labor Management Committee.

Who to contact

If you should have any questions or concerns with regards to the constitution and by-laws, please contact the Union Office at 802.657.4040 or email info@vfnhp.org.

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We are a strong union of health care professionals organized to ensure access to high-quality health care for everyone in the communities we serve.
 
 

Call: (802) 657-4040

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Email: info@vfnhp.org

Address: 121 Park Avenue #10 Williston, VT 05495