Bossier Federation of Teachers & School Employees

LFT/AFT/AFL/CIO

Local 4995

Amended October 3, 2011

Amended December 8, 2012

Amended April 3, 2014


ARTICLE I-Name

This organization shall be known as the Bossier Federation of Teachers and School Employees, LOCAL NO. 4995.

ARTICLE II – Objectives

Section 1.        To bring teachers and all school employees into relations of mutual assistance and cooperation.

Section 2.        To obtain for teachers and school employees all the rights to which they are entitled in a free society.

Section 3.        To raise the standards of teachers and school employees by securing the working and teaching conditions essential to provide the best professional service to children and their communities.

Section 4.        To encourage the hiring and retention of competent teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel.

Section 5.        To maintain modern, well-equipped schools and to promote educational programs and conditions in schools to enable students to equip themselves and to take their places in the economic, social and political life of their communities.

Section 6.        To promote a democratization within schools to better equip their pupils to take their places in the economic, social and political life of the community.

Section 7.        To promote the welfare of the students by providing progressively better educational opportunity for all.

Section 8.        To promote democracy and equality in the schools and society at large.

Section 9.        To encourage teachers and school related personnel to be truly professional by setting their own ethical and educational standards.

Section 10.        To encourage and promote laws, policies and behaviors that recognize and respect the dignity and value of all human beings.

SECTION III-Membership

Section 1.        BFT/SE membership is open to Bossier Parish Public School teachers, librarians, counselors and other non-supervisory certified employees as well as all non-managerial permanently employed school support personnel.

Section 2.        Supervisory personnel with the rank of assistant principal or above shall not obtain membership.  Members, who are promoted to positions with the rank of assistant principal or above, automatically shall be removed from membership on the effective date of the promotion.  Individuals who assume such positions on a temporary basis, not exceeding one semester, may elect to remain as an inactive member in order to maintain insurance and other benefits of membership.  However, such individuals will not be entitled to representation in employer-employee disputes, and will not be permitted to influence the operation and/or governance of BFT/SE.

Section 3.        Retired persons and persons on leave may remain members and maintain their memberships by remitting a monthly dues amount set by a majority vote of the Executive Board of BFT/SE.

Section 4.        No discrimination shall ever be shown toward an individual member or applicants for membership because of race, national origin, religious faith or political belief.

Section 5.        A member may be expelled for acts detrimental to the Federation or the educational community upon presentation of written charges signed by at least ¾ of the Executive Board.  The member shall have the right to appeal the decision to the membership at the following membership meeting and shall be reinstated with full rights if a majority of the members present vote to reinstate the expelled member.

Section 6.        Any member whose dues become 30 days delinquent shall be dropped from the rolls of this Federation and their name shall be removed from the records at the National Office.

ARTICLE IV-Officers

Section 1.         The following shall be elected every three (3) years by this Federation beginning in 2013:

  1. President
  2. Executive Vice-President
  3. Vice-President/PSRP
  4. Vice-President/Teachers
  5. Secretary-Treasurer

Section  2.        Membership in good standing for at least six (6) months is required to hold office, however, such requirement may be suspended to address any of the following conditions: a) the resignation of the elected officers of the BFT/SE, b) the recall and subsequent removal of the BFT/SE officers, or c) the restructuring or reactivation of the local if it has become inactive and without leadership.

Section 3.        Nominations for office shall be made at a general membership meeting in March every third year. Notification of the nomination process shall be provided to each member at least fifteen (15) DAYS PRIOR TO THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING THAT NOMINATIONS WILL BE IN ORDER.  Notice of the right to make nominations and of the election may be combined in one notice.  Nominations shall be made from the floor.  Nominees must give their consent to be nominated prior to their nomination.

Section 4.        In the event that the BFT/SE President cannot continue to serve or otherwise vacates her/his office: The Executive Vice-President shall assume the responsibilities of the President for the duration of the unexpired term.

Section 5.        In the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as the resignation and/or removal of both Executive Officers (President and Executive Vice-President), the Vice-President at large shall serve until a special election shall be called to fill these openings for the duration of the term.  The election will adhere to the guidelines specified in Article IV, with the exception that the special election, by necessity, may occur in any year or any month as necessitated by the unexpected resignation/removal of officers.  Officers elected under this provision shall serve until the next regular election, during which nominations shall be made in full accord with Article IV.

Section 6.        Elections:

  1. Date of Elections: Elections of officers shall be conducted not more than sixty (60) days after the time of nominations.  Election shall be conducted by a secret ballot vote of members in good standing.  In the event that there is no opposition for any or all of the listed offices then the secret ballot shall be automatically waived, and such officer(s) shall be elected by acclamation.

  1. Ballots: The matter in which ballots shall be prepared and delivered to each member in good standing shall be determined by the Elections Committee, provided that such procedure provides all members with a fair and equal opportunity to cast their ballots and that proper measures are taken to assure that all ballots are securely handled and accurately counted.

  1. Declaration of Winners: The candidates receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected.  If the majority is not obtained, a run-off election of the two candidates receiving the most votes shall be held within fifteen (15) days according to the above procedure for notice and scheduling.

  1. Eligible Voters: Candidates for office shall be permitted to review the list of eligible voters at the Local Office or other agreed upon venue within thirty (30) days in advance of the election date.  An eligible voter is defined as a member in good standing of BFT/SE.

  1. Observers:  Candidates shall be permitted to have observers present during the counting of the ballots in any election.  The number of observers permitted by each candidate shall be uniform and determined by the Elections Committee.

Section 7.        Election Records: The ballots and all other records pertaining to elections shall be kept by the secretary for a period of not less than one year.

Section 8.        Taking Office: Officers shall take office on July 1, following their elections, with the exception of events governed under Article IV, Section 5.  Officers elected under the provisions of Article IV, Section 5 shall assume office immediately.  Installation of officers shall occur at a regular membership meeting called for this purpose.

Section 9.        Filling Vacancies: With the exception of the office of President, the President and Executive Board shall have the authority to fill any vacancies in any office for the balance of the term.  Any member of the Executive Board may recommend a BFT/SE member in good standing to fill said vacancy.

Section 9.        Executive Board vacancy: An officer who is absent without good cause from three consecutive meetings of the Executive Board shall have his/her position declared vacant.  The position may be filed according to Section 8 of this article.

ARTICLE V-Committees

Section 1.        The following standing committees shall be active in this Federation:

  1. Membership and Social Committee
  2. Budget Committee
  3. Public Relations Committee
  4. Grievance Committee
  5. C.O.P.E. (Committee on Political Education)Committee
  6. Elections Committee
  7. Retirees Committee

Section 2.        Members of each committee will be appointed by the Executive Board and each committee shall elect its respective chair.

Section 3.        Establishing Committees: The Executive Board on its own initiative, or at the direction of the membership, may establish special committees, as may be needed.

ARTICLE VI-The Executive Board

Section 1.        The Executive Board of this Federation shall consist of all elected officers.

Section 2.        The Executive Board shall administer the policy of this Federation as set by the membership at regular meetings.  It shall have the power to act for the good of the Federation in emergency situations where the policy cannot be set by the membership.

Section 6.        The chairman of the Executive Board shall be the President of the BFT/SE.  

Section 7.              The time and place of the Executive Board meetings shall be set by the Executive Board at the previous meeting or called as needed by the President.

Section 8.        The Executive Board shall have the power to employ any and all personnel including an executive director, secretary, clerical staff and other persons on full or part-time basis as may be determined by the needs and finances of the Federation.

Section 9.        The Executive Board may make a contract and incur liabilities which may be appropriate to enable it to accomplish any or all of its purposes; to borrow money for Federation purposes at such rates of interest and terms and conditions as they may determine; to issue notes, bonds, and other obligations and to secure any of its obligations by mortgage, pledge, deed of trust of all or any of its property and income.

Section 10.        The Executive Board shall report its activities at each regular membership meeting.

Section 11.        The Executive Board shall be responsible for adherence to and enforcement of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Federation.

Section 12.        Any Executive Board Member who misses three (3) consecutive Executive Board Meetings without communicating to the BFT/SE President the good cause for each absence shall be removed from the Executive Board.  A written appeal to the BFT/SE President and a two-thirds vote (2/3) of the Board shall be required to reinstate a removed officer.

ARTICLE VII-Affiliations

The BFT/SE shall maintain affiliation with the following organizations:

  1. American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
  2. Louisiana Federation of Teachers
  3. The Louisiana American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organization
  4. The Central Trades and Labor Council of Shreveport and Vicinity, AFL-CIO
  5. Red River United (RRU).  The President and Executive Vice-President shall be delegates on the RRU Executive Board. Additional delegates shall be elected from among the general membership of the BFT. The procedures for such a vote shall be determined by the BFT Executive Board. A delegate to the RRU Executive Board who retires during a term of office may continue to represent CFT for the duration of that term. Upon completion of that term, he or she shall not be eligible for re-election to a delegate position for CFT. He or she may join the RRU Retiree Unit and shall be eligible for election as a delegate for the retiree unit, subject to the RRU Retiree Unit’s policies.

ARTICLE VIII-Duties of Officers

Section 1.        The President shall preside at all meetings of the Federation and of the Executive Board and shall be ex-officio member of all committees.  The President, by virtue of office, shall be a delegate to the RRU Executive Board

Section 3.        The Executive Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President in the absence of that officer. The Executive Vice President, by virtue of office, shall be a delegate to the RRU Executive Board.

Section 5.        The Secretary shall record the minutes of the Executive Board and of general membership meetings.

Section 6.        The Treasurer shall perform the following duties:

  1. Receive, record and deposit in the name of the Federation all monies from dues and all other sources.
  2. Keep the membership roll, issue receipts and delinquent notices.
  3. Forward all per capita dues to the RRU in accordance with the LFT and AFT Constitution and By Laws.
  4. Chair the Budget Committee.
  5. Present a written budget report to all members once each year.
  6. Keep records available at all times for the Executive Board.
  7. Pay all bills authorized by the adopted budget, retaining voucher or invoice for same.  Expenses not authorized in the budget and over fifty dollars ($50.00) must be authorized by a majority vote of the Executive Board. All purchases must be receipted and receipts retained and available for review by any executive Board Member. All reimbursements for authorized expenses by any officer or member must be receipted.

ARTICLE IX-Duties of Standing Committees

Section 1.        The Membership and Social Committee shall plan and execute a dynamic program to ensure growth and vitality of the Federation.  The committee shall also conduct activities with promote the social well being of the membership and attract potential members.

Section 2.        The Budget Committee shall prepare a budget for adoption by the membership at least one month prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.  The fiscal year shall be July 1 through June 30.  Timely reports shall be given concerning the status of the budget.

Section 3.        The Publicity and Public Relations Committee shall prepare and distribute a quarterly bulletin.  The editor of the bulletin shall be a member of the committee.  Every effort shall be made by this committee to make use of all sources for positive publicity, i.e., newspapers, radio, television, etc.

Section 4.        The Grievance Committee shall act on all grievances submitted in writing to the Executive Committee.  It shall present to the Executive Board a procedure for handling grievances.  This committee shall cause the procedure to be publicized as widely as possible.

Section 5.        The Committee on Political Education (C.O.P.E.) shall be responsible for monitoring government actions that may affect the membership and develop appropriate response to such action in cooperation with affiliated organizations. The C.O.P.E. Committee shall secure voluntary contribution to support the political work of the BFT/SE; screen and recommend endorsement of political candidate(s) to the membership; and develop programs to promote the registration of persons to vote and to promote the election of endorsed candidates who support public education.

Section 6.        The Elections Committee shall conduct and supervise all elections and referenda of the BFT/SE as stated according to Federation by-laws. The members will develop a slate of officers to recommend for election; however, after the school year of 2011-2012 committee members will not be allowed to be placed by the committee members on the slate of those recommended for an office.

Section 7.        The Retirement Committee shall maintain contact with retired teachers and keep the Executive Board apprised of their issues and concerns.

ARTICLE X-Meetings

Section 1.        The time and place of membership meetings shall be fixed by the Executive Board.

Section 2.        There shall be at least four (4) general membership meetings annually, with at least one (1) meeting every quarter, beginning in July.

Section 3.        A quorum must be present to address actionable items unless such meeting occurs during any re-organization or revitalization of the Local Federation as addressed under Article IV, Section 2(c).

Section 4.        A quorum for the school year of 2011-2012 shall consist of the membership present at the full membership meeting.

Section 5.        Special meetings of the membership for 2011-2012 may be called by:

  1. The BFT/SE President
  2. The BFT/SE Executive Board by a majority vote, or
  3. Petition of 3 members shall be required for the 2011-2012 school year. After the 2011-2012 school year a petition signed by 10% of the membership shall be required.

ARTICLE XI-Finance

Section 1.        Regular BFT/SE dues shall be in compliance with the policies of RRU.

Section 2.        BFT/SE shall adhere to by-through provisions as mandated by the AFT and LFT Constitutions and By-laws.

Section 3.        Additional finances may be obtained by various fund raising activities.

ARTICLE XII-Rules of Order

Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern in all cases not covered by this

Constitution or the By-Laws of this local.

ARTICLE XIII-Amendments

Section 1.         This constitution may be amended as follows:

  1. The proposed amendment shall be submitted at a membership meeting and read to the assembled members.
  2. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of the following membership meeting shall be sufficient to adopt the amendment.
  3. A proposed amendment may be submitted by the Executive Council or any members.

ARTICLE XIV-Availability of Constitution

Section 1.         Three copies of this Constitution and all future amendments shall be submitted to the National office of the American Federation of Teachers and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

Section 2.        Copies shall be made available to other affiliated organizations upon request.

Section 3.        Copies shall be available to any member of the Federation upon request to the local President and/or Secretary.