Upper Township Education Association, Inc.
Guidelines and Policy Booklet
Revised Edition: April 2014
NAME AND INCORPORATION
The name of this organization shall be the Upper Township Education Association. Hereafter referred to as the Association.
It shall be incorporated as a non-profit corporation under Title 15A: 2-8 New Jersey domestic Nonprofit Corporation Act.
The Association shall apply for tax-exempt status under internal revenue code 501c (5) and govern itself in a manner that will not jeopardize its tax-exempt status. The Association may apply to NJEA to be included in a group exemption letter.
The Association shall be an affiliate of the Cape May County Education Association (CMCEA), the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). The Association shall abide by the New Jersey Education’s standards for local association affiliation and shall forward a copy of its constitution to the NJEA. Affiliation shall not legally carry any liability for damages on the Association or the NJEA due to actions taken independently by either.
To work for the welfare of the school children, the advancement of public education, and the improvement of instructional opportunities for all.
To develop and promote the adoption of such ethical practices, personnel policies, and standards of preparation and participation which mark a profession.
To represent its members and other employees in negotiations and grievances with the School District on all matters of compensation and all other terms and conditions of employment. The Association shall be the recognized bargaining agent for all appropriate school district employees to the full extent of the provisions of Chapter 123, Public Laws of 1974, unless another organization has been officially designated as the bargaining agent.
To unify and strengthen the teaching profession, to enable members to speak with a common voice on all matters of mutual concern, and to represent individual and common interests of members before the Board of Education and other legal authorities.
To hold property and funds, to engage services, and employ personnel for the attainment of these purposes.
To promote the general welfare of members, to advance educational standards and to establish and maintain good community relations.
To develop and promote continuing programs to secure and maintain better employment benefits, uniform personnel practices, professional preparation standards, improvements in terms and conditions of employment, and sound retirement systems.
To form a representative body to speak with authority for the members.
To establish cooperation between the educator and the community.
Section 1. Active Members
Active membership shall be open to any member of the professional staff and eligible support staff, excluding administrative and supervisory positions of the Upper Township School District. The member must hold the appropriate certificate issued by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners, when required by state law.
Section 2. Duration of Membership
Membership shall be continuous until the member leaves employment, resigns from the Association, or fails to pay membership dues.
Section 3. Active Affiliations
Members shall also be active members, where eligible, of the Cape May County Education Association, New Jersey Education Association, and National Education Association.
Section 4. Honorary Membership
Honorary membership may be conferred upon members of the teaching profession or other persons for distinguished service to education and the profession. Honorary members may participate in such activities as the Executive Committee may designate. Honorary members shall be exempt from payment of dues.
Section 5. Retired Members
Active members upon retirement may continue to enjoy all rights and services of active members except the right to vote and the right to be elected to office, by payment of annual dues.
Section 6. Rights of Membership
- Every active member shall have the equal rights and privileges within the organization to nominate candidates for office; to vote in elections or on referenda of the Association; to attend membership meetings, to participate in deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings except that in voting on contract ratification only members in the appropriate unit of representation shall have the right to vote.
- Every member shall have the right to meet and assemble fully with other members; to express any views; arguments or opinions; to express views at meetings upon candidates in an election of the Association or upon any business properly brought before the meeting.
- No member shall be fined, suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined except for non-payment of dues without being served with specific written charges and given a reasonable time in which to prepare a defense which may be asserted at a full and fair hearing.
The officers of the Association shall consist of a President*, three (3) Vice-Presidents, [one (1) each from the Primary School, Elementary School, and the Middle School] the immediate Past-President, one (1) Recording Secretary and a Treasurer. A building in which the President is assigned may have, but shall not require a Vice-President.
* The term “president” shall refer to a president or co-presidents.
The officers shall be elected in June and take office September 1, for a term of two years.
Section 3. Terms and Successions
The President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary shall be elected for a two (2) year term and shall be under tenure. The three (3) Vice-Presidents shall be elected for a two (2) year term and shall be under tenure. The President and Treasurer shall be elected in the same year, and the Vice-Presidents and Secretary in the alternate years. All officers may succeed themselves for an indefinite number of terms.
Whenever a majority of the Executive Committee shall agree that an officer is no longer employed in the Upper Township School District, is incapacitated, or has been grossly negligent of the duties defined in the by-laws, except in the case of a presidential vacancy, it shall recommend to the Representative Council that the office be declared vacant. If the Council so votes by a two-thirds majority, it shall immediately elect a replacement to fill the unexpired term. In the case of a presidential vacancy, the position shall be filled by a Vice-President who shall serve until the next election and will receive the balance of the stipend. This shall be agreed upon by the three (3) Vice-Presidents and presented at the next Representative Council meeting. If the vacancy cannot be filled, it will be the responsibility of the Representative Council to determine a successor.
Officers of the Association shall serve their terms so long as they ethically and satisfactorily perform the duties of their office. Where an officer is guilty of misconduct, such officer may be removed for cause (shown after notice and a hearing) and by a majority vote of the members of the Association.
- Recommendation for recall can be made by a submission of petition containing the signatures of the two thirds of the active membership to the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee shall notify, in writing, an officer who has been recommended for recall.
- Any officer may appeal, in writing, to the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee shall schedule hearings, whenever necessary to review the recommendation of recall of an officer.
- The report of those hearings shall be made available to the membership.
- A general membership meeting shall be called two weeks after the issuance of any report.
- Such recall shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership in attendance at said meeting.
In order that those persons elected may take office September 1, the Association shall follow an election calendar and procedures, which will provide for proper conduct and completion of election to the unexpired terms. Nothing in the article shall be construed as precluding officers from succeeding themselves in office, if duly elected.
The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers. It shall be the executive authority of the Association.
Under personnel policies adopted by the Representative Council and within the annual budget, the Executive Committee shall have the power to engage services and employ personnel for the efficient management of the Association and attainment of Association purposes.
The Executive Committee policy-forming body of the Association shall be the Representative Council.
The Representative Council shall consist of the Executive Committee, one or more representatives from each school faculty, and the chairperson of the standing committees.
Any member of the Association who is not a member of the Representative Council may attend its meetings, but shall sit apart from the voting body, and may receive permission to speak.
The Association shall guarantee ethnic minority representation on its Representative Council at least proportionate to its active ethnic minority membership.
Elections shall be held in June and Association representatives will take office September 1 for a term of one year.
A simple majority of their members shall be a quorum for the Representative Council, Executive Committee and other committees.
The members present shall constitute a quorum for the General Membership meeting.
Section 1. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the president, or at the request of any three (3) members of the Committee.
Section 2. Representative Council
- The Representative Council shall meet once a month. Representatives will collect items for the agenda from their constituents and convey them to the President at least two (2) days in advance of the Council meeting.
- Special meetings of the Representative Council may be held upon written request to the Executive committee of five faculty representatives. Business to come before the special meeting shall be limited to items stated in the call which shall be sent in writing to each representative if time permits.
Section 3. General Membership Meetings
- The Vice-Presidents shall arrange at least four (4) meetings of the members each year with prior notification to the executive council, for discussion of professional issues in their respective buildings. If during these discussions it becomes evident that a general membership meeting is needed, then the president shall be notified and set up a meeting.
- The executive committee shall arrange at least two (2) meetings of the total membership. These meetings may be workshops.
Section 4. Order of Business
The order of business at any Representative Council meeting may be as follows:
- Call to Order
- Approval of Minutes
- Report of Treasurer
- Reports of Standing Committees
- Reports of Special Committees
- Old Business
- New Business
A simple majority of their members shall be a quorum for the Representative Council, Executive Committee and other committees.
The members present shall constitute a quorum for the General Membership meeting.
POWERS OF OFFICERS
Section 1. President
The President shall preside over meetings of the Executive Committee, Representative Council, and General Membership; appoint, or accept volunteers for the chairperson and members of all standing committees and special committees not otherwise provided for in the Constitution and By-Laws, be an ex-officio member of all standing committees, and shall be Executive officer of the Association. The President shall represent the Association before the public either personally or through his/her designated representatives, and shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office, and with the Treasurer, shall sign all checks drawn upon the treasury.
Section 2. Vice-President
Each Vice-President will call and will report to the Representative Council the content of their building meetings. The person that will assume the duties and responsibilities of the President during his/her temporary absence shall be determined by the Executive Council at its initial meeting and formally announced to the membership.
Section 3. Immediate Past-President
The Immediate Past President shall advise the Executive Committee and assist the President at the Latter’s request.
Section 4. Recording Secretary
The Secretary shall:
- Keep accurate minutes of all of the Executive Committee, Representative Council and General Membership meetings
- Distribute minutes to all members at the next Representative Council and General Membership Meeting
- Notify the appropriate members as to the time and place of the General Membership meeting
- Maintain official files
- Distribute copies of all proposed amendments to the Constitution as prescribed in Article VIII of the Constitution
- Shall assist the Executive Committee with Association correspondence
- Shall keep and accurate record of all members
- Shall perform any other duties relative to the position of secretary.
Section 5. Treasurers
The Treasurer shall:
- Deposit all monies in a bank in the name of the Association
- Notify NJEA of the name of the bank in which Association dues are deposited
- Hold the funds of the Association and disburse them accordingly in conjunction with the President or their designee
- Sign all checks along with the President
- Report at each meeting of the Executive Committee, Representative Council, and General Membership
- Prepare a budget which shall be distributed to all members
- Serve on the Budget Committee
- Prepare or cause to be prepared an annual financial statement which shall be forwarded to NJEA
- Shall file appropriate Federal and State forms
- Shall be bonded under a policy provided by NJEA
- Shall endorse checks limited to endorsements for deposit to the credit of the Association only
- Shall ensure that no payments in cash, including checks made out to “cash” shall be made from Association funds.
Section 6. Negotiators
The Chairperson of negotiations, negotiators, and the negotiating team shall negotiate a recommended agreement pending ratification by the members of the Association who are members of the bargaining unit.
POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall:
- Be responsible for the management of the Association and approve all expenditures
- By a two-thirds vote, authorize the spending of money for non-budgeted items not to exceed $300.00 in any one case
- Propose policies for consideration by the Representative Council
- Carry out all the policies established by the Representative Council
- Cause to be reported to the members its transactions and those of the Council
- Establish such special committees as may be necessary
- Set the agenda for the Representative Council and all General Membership meetings
- Secure an independent audit annually and a copy of the audit shall become a part of the Association’s permanent record. A copy shall be sent to NJEA.
The Executive Committee shall represent the Association in negotiating any policies of
mutual concern with the governing and appropriating bodies of the school system.
Within policies established by the Representative Council, the Executive Committee
may make decisions binding the Association in these matters.
The Executive Committee may represent to the Representative Council a plan for
electing the “at large” members of the Committee as area representative, each of whom
shall counsel the facility representatives in his area.
POWERS OF THE REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL
Section 1. The Representative Council shall:
- Approve the budget
- Set the dues for the Association
- Act on reports of committees
- Approve resolutions and other policy statements
- Adopt procedures for implementing the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession and those to be followed. In censuring, suspending and expelling members for cause or for reinstating members
- Adopt rules governing the engaging of services and the employment of personnel
- Adopt rules governing the conduct of meetings as are consistent with this Constitution and By-Laws, and
- Be the final judge of the qualifications and election of officers and faculty Representatives.
In each school building in the Upper Township School district, the members in good standing with this Association shall elect for a term of one year one Building Representative to the Representative Council for each ten members or a major fraction thereof. Elections shall be held in June and Representatives shall take their seats on
Building Representatives shall attend the regular meetings of the Representative
Council unless they receive prior excuses from the President. After (2) unexcused
absences of a Representative, the President may declare the seat unfilled, and, subject
to approval by the Representative Council, designate a member in good standing to fill
out the term.
The Building Representatives, with the Vice-President as chairperson, shall call
meetings of the Association members to discuss Association business, appoint such
committees as the Association may require, and organize and oversee the subsequent
elections of Representatives, the enrollment of members, and the two-way Association
communication within the building.
Upon request, the Building Representative shall discuss and attempt to resolve with the
immediate supervisor or principal any grievance under which a member or group of
members feel administrative policies are not justly applied. In an event a grievance is
not resolved after initial discussion, the Building Representative shall forward it to the
Association’s Grievance Committee.
Building Representatives shall have been employed in the Upper Township School
District and have been members of the Upper Township Education Association at least
one year prior to their election and shall maintain their membership in good standing
during their term of service.
Section 1. Functions
There may be standing committees carrying specific functions. They may have a minimum of one member from each building, and a maximum of six members, a
chairperson and have a term of two years. Each committee member shall be
encouraged to attend at least one appropriate workshop during his/her two-year term.
Each committee may, with approval of the Executive Committee, organize special
subcommittees and task forces for specific activities from the membership of the
Section 2. Meetings
Each standing committee shall meet regularly at the call of the chairperson.
Section 3. Reports
Each committee shall choose a secretary who shall keep a continuing record of
activities. The chairperson shall report as necessary to the Representative Council and
shall prepare an annual written report summarizing objectives, action, programs, gains,
and unreached goals which the Executive Committee shall distribute to the members
and which shall become a part of the continuing committee record in the Association
Section 4. Titles and Duties
- The Negotiations Committee shall explore and prepare action programs in all areas of teacher welfare, creating, if necessary, subcommittees on salaries, leave, fringe benefits, insurance, credit, and investment facilities and general working conditions as they pertain to negotiations.
- The Constitution Committee shall meet when necessary and shall review and rewrite articles of the Constitution. The committee shall act as a constitutional interpreter.
- The Grievance Committee shall explore and prepare action programs for achieving satisfactory personnel policies and procedures for redress of grievances. This committee shall advise the Executive Committee in situations involving defense of individual teacher rights, and in situations of censure, suspension, or expulsion of members. This committee shall act as a liaison between faculty and administration to alleviate misunderstandings and to remedy problem situations. The Grievance Committee shall represent the aggrieved member of the Association concerning any contractual breach. The steps of the grievance shall follow the agreement. The representatives shall become the Grievance Committee when a matter passes step one (1) of the grievance process.
- The PRIDE Committee shall seek to develop public understanding of the purposes and programs of the Association. It shall develop procedures by which the Association can present material through newspapers, radio, television and other mass media and work cooperatively with the public in civic, fraternal and social organizations.
- The Educational Council shall consist of four (4) members of the elected Board of Education, the Superintendent, the Building Principals, and six (6) Upper Township teachers appointed by the Association. The Council shall meet at least four (4) times each year to discuss matters of mutual concern that are not grievable.
- Membership ~ to organize and conduct unified local, county, state, and national membership enrollment and to inform members of policies, programs, and accomplishments of all Associations. The responsibility of this committee shall be to file membership forms yearly with the National Education Association. Included in the responsibilities shall be enrolling new members.
- Professional Information ~ to organize and develop professional library services for the benefit of faculties in each building, particularly for distribution of free and inexpensive materials from NJEA and NEA and their respective departments, sections, and affiliated professional Association.
- Socials Committee ~ to organize such activities as may serve the needs of members and promote fellowship within the Association. The Socials Committee shall include planning and execution of those social functions, which are concomitant to the Association. Included in these responsibilities shall be planning of and collection of monies for these functions. The responsibility for this money shall be handed over to the Association Treasurer. All checks should be made out to UTEA.
- Sunshine Committee ~ shall consist of two members from each school. This committee will take care of the following:
- Gift Policy
- Flowers/Fruit Baskets
- The Professional Development Committee shall explore and develop action programs to raise and maintain standards for certification, employment, and assignment; to improve opportunities for pre-service, continuing, and in-service professional education, and to create and maintain rapport between the Association and nearby institutions of higher education and shall develop and foster local chapters of Student Action for Education and programs for student teachers.
- The Legislative Committee shall have broad concern for state and national legislation affecting the interest of the Association. The Committee shall inform members about newly proposed and enacted legislation, encourage members to exercise their responsibility for voting, and their right to participate in political activity.
Section 5. Appointment
The President shall meet with all newly elected and overlapping members of the Rep Council and members of standing committees at the regular meeting in September and ask for volunteers to appoint members to the standing committees. If a vacancy occurs, the Rep council will meet at the next regularly scheduled meeting and fill the vacancy.
Section 6. Relation to Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall require and assist committees to define their immediate and long-range objectives and program of action. It shall review Committee plans as necessary and shall decide any jurisdictional questions between Committees.
Section 7. Relation to County, State, and National Associations
The standing Committees shall seek to understand and relate to the objectives and programs of corresponding units of county, state, and national associations.
Each year the President shall appoint, with the approval of the executive committee, such other special committees as may be necessary, and shall disband upon completion of their duties. These committees shall operate according to rules approved by the Executive Council.
- The President, subject to approval by the Executive council, shall appoint a Nomination/Election Committee on or before February 1. This Committee shall name one or more candidates for President, for the three respective building Vice-Presidents, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Delegate for the National Convention, and Representatives to Rep Council. The Delegate to the National Convention may run for any other office. No officer shall serve on this committee.
- The Nomination/Election Committee shall make its recommendations to the Representative Council. Members of the Representative Council may nominate other candidates from the floor at the May meeting. The Nomination/Election Committee shall post a list of positions and candidates in all schools.
- The Nomination/Election Committee shall be responsible for recommendations for candidates. Individuals desiring to stand for election, as Building Representatives should submit a petition, signed by 10 percent of their active school-based Association Members, to the Nomination/Election Committee. The Nomination/Election Committee shall present a list of candidates, including those who have been nominated by the Committee, as well as by petition, to the Representative council at the May meeting.
Section 2. Voting
- The chairperson of the Nomination/Election Committee shall oversee the actual elections, before the end of the school year in June.
- The election of Officers, Building Representatives and Delegate to the NEA Convention shall take place in each respective building, the ballot boxes shall be secured and all ballots shall be tabulated at the same time and place by designated UTEA members from each school. The Nomination/Election Committee shall set the date of the election.
- The date for the elections shall be posted in each building at least two weeks prior to the actual voting. There shall be no absentee ballots. A simple majority of those voting shall constitute a majority in all cases except where more than two candidates are vying for the same position. In the event that no candidate receives forty percent or more of the vote, the two leading candidates for the position shall engage in a run-off election. This election shall be supervised by the Nomination/Election Committee and shall take place seven days after the original election.
- The Nomination/Election Committee shall be responsible for recording the vote and transmitting the results to the President who shall cause them to be posted in each school within five full days of the vote.
- Any appeals regarding the accuracy and fairness of any election should be made in writing to the President of the Association within five days of the actual election. The Executive Committee shall determine the validity of all complaints and shall decide upon an equitable course of action. Their decision shall be binding.
- Results of the elections of officers shall be reported to the Cape May County Association, NJEA and NEA by the President.
Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for the Association on all questions not covered by the Constitution and By-Laws, and such standing rules as the Representative Council may adopt.
These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of those voting at any regular meeting of the Representative Council, provided that each amendment has been introduced at the preceding meeting of the Representative Council and that copies have been distributed to building Representatives for faculty discussion at least two calendar weeks in advance of the meeting.
The Fiscal year of the Association shall begin September 1 and end August 31.
Any increase in the rate of dues or levy of general or special assessment shall be approved by a majority vote of the Representative Council using the one-person-one-vote principle.
NON-COMPLIANCE AND DISSOLUTION
The Association shall adhere to those NJEA policies wherein non-compliance would constitute a danger to the welfare of the members of the Association or to NJEA. The NJEA Delegate Assembly shall determine what constitutes a danger to NJEA. NJEA may, at the request of the NJEA Executive committee and twenty (20) percent of the members of the Association, conduct an evaluation of the Association under guidelines established by the NJEA Assembly.
In the event of a dissolution, all properties and assets, and assets of this corporation remaining, after paying or providing for all debts and obligations, shall be distributed and paid over to such fund or corporation organized and operated as a labor union as the Board of Trustees shall determine, and as shall, at the time, qualify as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code, or as the same may be amended.