The Constitution

of the

Caddo Federation of Teachers

& Support Personnel

Local 4995

America Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

Louisiana Federation of Teachers

Amended April 1998

Amended April 29, 2000

Amended April 17, 2004

Amended December 14, 2004

Amended March 9, 2006

Amended October 13, 2008

Amended August 31, 2009

Amended October 29, 2011

Amended December 8, 2012

Amended April 3, 2014

ARTICLE I

NAME

This organization shall be known as the Caddo Federation of Teachers and Support Personnel, Local 4995 of the American Federation of Teachers, hereinafter referred to as the CFT/SP.

ARTICLE II

OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this organization shall be:

Section 1.        To achieve collective bargaining for all teachers and support personnel.

Section 2.        To promote the welfare of all children through quality educational programs.

Section 3.         To bring teachers and support personnel into relations of mutual assistance and cooperation.

Section 4.        To advance the economic, social, and political well being of the membership.

Section 5.         To raise the standards of the teaching profession by securing the conditions essential for the professional service.

Section 6.        To promote democracy and the elimination of all forms of bias in education due to race, creed, sex, political or economic status, or national origin.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.  This organization shall consist of primarily, but not exclusively employees of the Caddo Public Schools.  Any elected officer or member of the professional staff of CFT/SP and any member who is a full time staff employee or officer with any state or national affiliate of CFT/SP may be a member of CFT/SP during the period of their employment in CFT/SP.

Section 2.  Employees of this organization shall be eligible for staff membership.  Persons with staff membership are prohibited from seeking election to any position within the organization or any of its affiliates.  However, staff members who return to the school system as a full time employee for a period of at least one year will be eligible to seek election to position within the organization.

Section 3.  All rights, titles, and interests legal and equitable as a member and the possession of property shall end at termination of membership.  

Section 4.  No one who holds an administrative or supervisory position with the rank of assistant principal or higher shall be eligible for membership in CFT/SP.

Section 5.  No person shall be denied membership in CFT/SP on the basis of sex, race, age, national origin, religious or political belief, or social status.

Section 6.  No person who is otherwise eligible to run for office will become ineligible by virtue of the school or the superintendent denying him/her a leave of absence to serve as an officer of the local.

Section 7.  A member may be expelled from the organization upon the bringing of written and signed charges by two or more members, who shall present such charges and documentation to the Executive Board.  A majority vote of the Executive Board shall cause an expulsion hearing to be held at which the accused member shall have the right to examine and question the charges and be represented by a person of his/her choice.  At the conclusion of the hearing, a three-fourths vote of the Executive Board shall be required for expulsion.  A person who has been expelled from the organization may appeal the decision of the Executive Board to the membership, by requesting a vote at the next annual meeting or election.  A simple majority of the members voting shall be sufficient to over-rule the decision of the Executive Board to expel.

Section 8.  A member shall automatically be dropped from the rolls of the organization upon being two (2) months in arrears in the payment of his/her dues.

Section 9.  Persons who have been regular members of CFT/SP and who become retired may continue their membership by joining the Retiree Unit.

ARTICLE IV

ELECTED OFFICERS

Section 1.  The CFT/SP shall elect the following officers:

  1. President
  2. Executive Vice President
  3. First Vice President
  4. Secretary-Treasurer
  5. Vice President for High Schools
  6. Vice President for Middle Schools
  7. Vice President for Elementary Schools
  8. Vice President for Support Personnel
  9. Vice President for Retiree Unit
  10. Two Executive Board Members at large.

Section 2.  To serve on the Executive Board as a Vice-President of High Schools, the candidate must be from the high school level.

Section 3.  To serve on the Executive Board as a Vice-President of Middle Schools, the candidate must be from the middle school level.

Section 4.  To serve on the Executive Board as a Vice-President of Elementary Schools, the candidate must be from the elementary school level.

Section 5.  To serve on the Executive Board as a Vice-President of Support Personnel, the candidate must be from the ranks of support personnel.

Section 6.  To serve on the Executive Board as a Vice-President of Retirees, the candidate must be retiree in good standing.

Section 7.  All officers, Executive Board members, CFT/SP staff, and committees with governing Board-Delegated powers shall make an annual disclosure of on-going relationships and interests that may present a conflict of interest.  Signed copies of the “Conflict of Interest (and Ethics) Policy shall be kept on file by the CFT/SP secretary.

ARTICLE V

ELECTIONS

Section 1.  All officers and Executive Board members shall be elected for three-year terms.  Elections shall be in April every third year.

Section 2.  Nominations for office shall be made at the spring membership meeting immediately preceding the April elections.

Section 3.  The Elections Committee shall conduct all general and special elections of the CFT/SP.

Section 4.  The Elections Committee and chair shall be elected at the winter membership meeting immediately preceding the April elections.

Section 5.  Should a member of the Elections Committee seek or be nominated for office, that person shall resign from the committee and be replaced promptly by the Executive Board.

Section 6.  Thirty (30) days prior to nominations for office all members shall be notified of the opening of nominations and the time and place of the meeting for that purpose.

 

Section 7.  A nominating committee appointed by the president of the CFT/SP and approved by the Executive Board may submit to the membership a proposed slate of officers. Other candidates may be nominated by submitting a petition for nomination signed by at least ten (10) members in good standing.  Such petitions for nomination must be submitted to the Nominating Committee no later than the beginning of spring membership meeting in odd numbered years.

Section 8.  If there is only one nomination for a specific office that person shall be deemed as elected without balloting.

Section 9.  The Elections Committee shall prepare and send ballots in such a manner as to insure the secrecy of the ballot no later than fifteen (15) days following the close of nominations at the spring membership meeting.

Section 10.  The Elections committee shall prepare rules for the elections which shall be submitted to the membership for approval at the spring membership meeting immediately preceding the April elections.

Section 11.   Majority of the ballots cast shall determine election.  In the absence of a majority, the Elections Committee shall conduct a run-off election between the two candidates who have received the most votes for the office in question.  If a run-off election is necessary, the procedure specified in Section 9 shall be used for that run-off election, and if the run-off election fails to provide a majority vote for any at large Executive Board position(s) the candidate(s) with the largest plurality shall be declared the winner(s).

Section 12.  Successful candidates shall assume office on June 1 following the election.  However, in the event of a run-off election, the time may be extended beyond June 1.  If the run-off election should be after June 1, the winner shall assume office immediately upon being declared the winner by the elections committee.

Section 13.  With the exception of the office of President or in case of a recall, all vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section 14.  A petition signed by sixty (60) members or thirty percent (30%) of the membership, whichever is smaller, and stating specific grounds shall be sufficient to require the Elections Committee to conduct a re-call election of any officer specified in the petition under the procedures in Section 6. If an officer is recalled, the Elections Committee shall hold a special election with nominations at the next regular CFT/SP membership meeting.  The procedures in Sections 7 and 9 of this article shall be followed for the special election.  

Section 15.  To be elected as a delegate to an affiliated organization, candidates shall meet the same requirements as officers of the CFT/SP.

ARTICLE VI

DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1.  The President shall:

  1. be the chief executive officer of the CFT/SP.
  2. be the presiding officer at all meetings of the membership and the Executive Board.
  3. be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Elections Committee and the Nominating Committee.
  4. appoint, with the approval of the Executive Board, the chairs and members of all standing and special committees except the Elections Committee and the Nominating Committee.
  5. be responsible for the ongoing administration of the organization.
  6. supervise all employees of the organization.
  7. be one of the responsible financial officers of the organization and shall be authorized to co-sign financial instruments and make regular and usual disbursements of funds.
  8. represent the organization before bodies of the employer, executive and legislative officials.
  9. represent the organization before bodies the public, community organizations, and the new media.
  10. be, by office, a delegate to the Central Labor Council.
  11. be, by office, a delegate to the convention of the American Federation of Teachers and meetings or conventions of its affiliated subordinate bodies.
  12. make an annual report to the membership of the organization.
  13. be able to delegate the responsibilities of the office except where otherwise specified by the constitution.
  14. Be, by virtue of office, on the RRU Executive Board.

Section 2.  The Executive Vice-President shall:

  1. assume the duties of the President in the event of the absence, illness, or death of the President.
  2. perform other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board.
  3. co-sign financial instruments in the absence of the President or Treasurer.
  1. Be, by virtue of office, on the RRU Executive Board.

Section 3.  The First Vice –President shall:

  1. assume the duties of the President in the event of the absence of the President and the Executive Vice President.
  2. perform other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board.

Section 4.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall:

  1. record and keep accurate minutes of meetings of the membership, and the Executive Board.
  2. assist the President in handling the correspondence of the organization.
  3. receive and certify the reports of the elections Committee,
  4. perform other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board.
  5. receive, record and deposit all dues monies and other income in the name of the organization,
  6. maintain accurate membership records.
  7. issue membership cards and notices of delinquency,
  8. be one of the responsible financial officers of the organization and be authorized to co-sign financial instrument and make regular and usual disbursement of funds.
  9. maintain all financial records of the organization.
  10. arrange for an independent audit of the finances of the organization annually and make available same to the Executive Board and Membership.
  11. transmit per capita payments on a regular basis to the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers and similar officer of affiliates, other bodies with which the organization is affiliated.
  12. chair the Budget Committee.
  13. perform other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board.
  14. perform duties of the office as required by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.
  15. shall maintain audio copies of each of the Executive Board meetings. These audio copies are to be kept on file for a period of no less than five years.

Section 5.  The Vice-President for High Schools, Middle Schools, Elementary Schools, and Support Personnel shall perform duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board, as deemed appropriate for their designated school level or employee division.

ARTICLE VII

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1.  All officers elected by the general membership of the organization shall serve as members of the Executive Board.

Section 2.  The Executive Board shall meet every other month during the school year during the months of September, November, January, March, and May, and once during the summer break, or at the call of the President, or at the call to two (2) or more of its Executive Board members, for the purpose of initiating, overseeing, or revising the program of the CFT/SP and to conduct other business of the CFT/SP that is within this authority.  A quorum shall be a majority of Executive Board Member.

Section 3.  The Executive Board shall approve an annual budget for each fiscal year.  The fiscal year shall be from July 1 through June 30.

Section 4.  The Executive Board shall employ all professional, technical, clerical, and support staff of the organization.

Section 5.  The Executive Board shall establish the salary, benefits, and expense guidelines of any general officer who is employed by the organization; except that no such person shall suffer loss of income as a result of such action.  

Section 6.  Consistent with the approved budget, the Executive Board shall be empowered to make contracts and incur liabilities including the purchase of services, equipment, and real property, to borrow money, to secure such obligations by mortgage or other instrument, and to otherwise engage in financial transactions to the extent permitted by applicable law or statute.

Section 7.  The Executive Board shall approve the chairperson and membership of all standing and special committees of the CFT/SP, and receive regular reports from such committees.

Section 8.  The Executive Board shall review grievances processed by the CFT/SP in behalf of members.  The board shall approve any grievances or dispute which will require litigation or arbitration.

Section 9.  The Executive Board shall nominate members of the Elections Committee.

Section 10.  The Executive Board shall be responsible for adherence to and enforcement of the Constitution of the organization.

Section 11.  The Budget and Finance Committee chaired by the Secretary/Treasurer of the CFT/SP shall issue reports concerning the finances of the CFT/SP at each Executive Board Meeting.  A quarterly report of “actual to budget” will be completed by the CFT/SP Certified Public Accountant and issued to all Board members at an Executive Board meeting. A required annual report of the finances of the CFT/SP will also be made available to the entire CFT/SP membership.

Section 12.  Any Executive Board Member who misses three (3) consecutive Executive Board meetings may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.  A written appeal to the President and a two-thirds vote of the Board will be required to reinstate any officer removed under this action.

Section 13. Board members may participate in the Board meeting by teleconferencing or video conferencing no more than two times a year with notification to the President of at least 24 hours prior to the Executive Board meeting.

ARTICLE VIII

COMMITTEES

Section 1.  The standing committees of the CFT/SP shall be:

a) Insurance and Benefits; b) Contract Development; c) Elections; d)Budget and Finance; e)Educational Issues(ER&D; f)Legislation; g) Membership; h) Political Education(COPE); i)Professional Development; j)Publications and Public Relations; k) Social; l) Paraprofessional and School Related Personnel; and m)Retirement.

Section 2.  The Executive Board on its own initiative, or the direction of the membership, may establish special committees.

Section 3.  The Insurance and Benefits Committee shall be responsible for studying researching, and recommending insurance programs and benefits which are of advantage to the membership.

Section 4.  The Contract Development Committee shall conduct research, survey, hearings, and other activities which shall assist CFT/SP in its collective bargaining, or similar programs.

Section 5.  The Elections Committee shall conduct and supervise all elections and referenda of the CFT/SP as stated in Article V.

Section 6.  The Budget and Finance Committee shall assist the Executive Board in the preparation of the annual budget, and shall review the implementation of the budget.

Section 7.  The ER&D Committee shall identify research and study relevant educational issues that affect the members.  The committee shall provide information, make recommendations, and conduct professional development workshops on behalf of the membership.  The ER&D Committee shall research, study and address topics concerning professional standards for teachers and other school personnel.  Periodically, this committee shall present programs that promote and address high standards.

Section 8.  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 CFT/SP; 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 9.  The Membership Committee shall assist the Executive Board in developing programs and activities which shall promote membership growth of the CFT/SP.

Section 10.  The Publications and Public Relations Committee shall assist and plan in the design, development, and distribution of regular printed communications to the membership of the CFT/SP and to all teachers and support personnel as deemed appropriate.  The Committee shall assist in the presentation of the views and positions of the CFT/SP to the new media, other labor and community organizations, and the general public.

Section 11.  The Social Committee shall plan and assist in providing refreshments and amenities at meetings and activities of the CFT/SP as deemed appropriate by the CFT/SP Executive Board.  The committee shall promote fellowship and the social well being of the membership.

Section 12.  The Paraprofessional and School Related Personnel (PSRP) Committee shall work toward the interests of school support personnel.

Section 13.  The Retiree Committee shall work toward the interests of the retired school personnel.  


ARTICLE IX

BUILDING REPRESENTATIVES

Section 1.  Building Representatives and Assistant Building Representatives shall be:

  1. elected by the members at the school or worksite each April.  By April 30th the Chair of the CFT/SP Elections Committee should be notified in writing the name of the duly elected Building Representative and Assistant Building Representatives for the following school year.
  2. appointed by the CFT/SP President in the event that the school or worksite membership does not elect a Building Representative and Assistant Building Representative(s).

Section 2.  The duties of Building Representatives shall be to:

  1. attend all regular CFT/SP Building Representative meetings and CFT/SP membership meetings.
  2. distribute all information from the CFT/SP office to the members, and when appropriate, to all teachers and support personnel at the school or worksite.
  3. recruit eligible persons to membership.
  4. maintain the CFT/SP bulletin board in the school or worksite.
  5. hold meetings of the membership at the worksite, or other appropriate place, for the purpose of making reports, discussing organizational and work place concerns, receiving instruction from the membership, and other activities as may be required.
  6. assist in grievance processing and problem solving at the work place.
  7. seek and establish regular communication and consultations with worksite management regarding matters of teacher/employee interest and/or concern.

Section 3.  Assistant Building Representatives shall:

  1. assist the Building Representative in the conduct of all duties.
  2. attend all regular CFT/SP Building Representative meeting and meetings of the CFT/SP membership.
  3. serve in place of the Building Representative in the event of illness of absence.

ARTICLE X

MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Section 1.  There shall be a membership meeting held quarterly as determined by the Executive Board.

                

Section 2.  The Executive Board shall determine the time and place of membership meetings, and shall give not less than fifteen (15) days notice.

Section 3.  Special meetings of the membership may be called by:

  1. the Executive Board
  2. the petition of twenty-five (25%) percent of the members

A special meeting shall discuss only those matters for which the meeting was called.

Section 4.  The membership meeting shall have the right to initiate referenda.  The voting shall be conducted by the Elections Committee.

Section 5.  Persons present at a properly noticed meeting shall constitute a quorum for all business before them without regard to the percentage of overall membership.

ARTICLE XI

REVENUES

Section 1.  The dues of CFT/SP shall be in compliance with the policies of RRU.

Section 2.  Support Personnel dues beginning in the 1998-99 school year shall be 50% of the teacher dues for those members designated as PSRP.

Section 3.  CFT/SP shall automatically increase dues to equal any increase in per capita payments.

Section 4.  Retirees of CFT/SP; student teacher and college student’s yearly dues are to be established by the executive board.

ARTICLE XII

AFFILIATIONS OPTION

This organization shall maintain affiliation with the following organizations:

  1. The American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.
  2. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers.
  3. The Louisiana American Federation of Labor –Congress of Industrial Organizations.
  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 CFT. The procedures for such a vote shall be determined by the CFT 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 RRU Retiree Unit, subject to the RRU Retiree Unit’s policies.

ARTICLE XIII

RULES OF ORDER

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern this organization and all of its subordinate bodies in all matters not covered by this constitution.

ARTICLE XIV

AMENDMENT

Section 1.  Ten (10) members can present amendments to the Executive Board to be properly noticed for the spring regular membership meeting.

Section 2.  The Executive Board may submit a proposed amendment for any membership meeting.

Section 3.  Written notification of a proposed amendment shall be mailed to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the next regular membership meeting.

Section 4.  A majority vote of the members present at a full membership meeting shall be required for passage of the amendment.    

ARTICLE XV

AVAILABILITY OF CONSTITUTION

Section 1.  Three copies of this Constitution and all subsequent amendments shall be submitted to the office of the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers.

Section 2.  One copy shall be sent to the similar officer of each organization with which this organization is affiliated.

Section 3.  The Secretary shall make available upon request a copy to any member of the organization.

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