1998 FOUNDERS CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS


CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE FLORIDA SUNCOAST RETIREE CHAPTER, SUNCOAST AREA LOCAL, OF THE AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION RETIREES DEPARTMENT, AFL-CIO

First Adopted: Thursday, November 19, 1998

MEMBERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS

1. Every member has the right to be respected as a human being.
2. Every member has the right to be respected as a brother or sister of this union.
3. Every member has the right to freedom of speech and the right to be heard.
4. Every member has the right to the freedom to listen.
5. Every member has the right to the freedom of the press.
6. Every member has the right to participate in the activities of this Union.
7. Members shall not be denied the right to seek any office or the right to vote in this Union because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, handicap, political affiliation, age or religion.
8. Every member has the right to support the candidate of his/her choice and to participate in that right with others.
9. Every member has the right to a fair trial, to be represented by an individual of his or her choice and to proper appeal procedures.
10. Every member has the right to be secure in his or her basic rights without fear of political, economic, physical or psychological intimidation.

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the FLORIDA SUNCOAST RETIREE CHAPTER, SUNCOAST AREA LOCAL, OF THE AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO, hereinafter referred to as the CHAPTER. The address of the organization shall be the office of the Chapter President, Suncoast Area Local, APWU, AFL-CIO.


ARTICLE II
OBJECTIVES AND DEFINITION

Section 1. Objective.
The primary objective of this local Chapter of Retirees of the U.S. Postal Service is to be aware of and protect the social and economic welfare of the Retiree and his/her family, on a local and national level, to conduct the business of this Chapter to that end, and through legislative effort maintain a healthy retirement climate and a better standard of living for Retirees of the APWU and their families, and to carry out, on a local basis, the objectives of the National American Postal Workers Union Retiree Department.

On a National level, objectives of the National APWU Retiree Department is as follows, but not limited to the following:
(a) To provide APWU Retirees a continuing link to the labor movement.
(b) Organizing new and longtime Retired APWU Members.
(c) Providing assistance to Retired APWU Members, their surviving spouses and family.
(d) Education, picketing, and legislative rally involvement.
(e) Further the social and economic welfare, safety, and health of Retiree Members.

Section 2. Definition.
(a) As a member of the Suncoast Area Local, APWU family, a subordinate, fully autonomous body of the National APWU, this Chapter shall be entitled to title, possession, control of, and responsibility for it’s assets, funds, property, finances, budgets, issues and programs, policies and procedures, including but not limited to all National APWU Retiree Department rebate checks, all other receipts, and all disbursements of the Chapter to which it is entitled to by law and the Local and National APWU Constitution and By-Laws.
(b) Through it’s Legislative Director, the Chapter will work in close cooperation with the Legislative Director of the Suncoast Area Local, APWU, where interests do not conflict with the objectives and interests of the Chapter.

ARTICLE III
MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

Section 1. Eligibility.
Any employee of the Postal Service who retired or retires in good standing shall be eligible for membership in this Retiree Chapter, subject to the requirements of the National and Suncoast Area Local, APWU Constitutions and By-Laws.

Section 2. Application.
Application for membership shall be made on a standard application form, Form 1187-Retired Member, in accordance with rules established by the National APWU Retiree Department. Unless such form includes a valid authorization for pension check deduction of dues, the application shall be accompanied by membership dues.

Section 3. Amount and Payment of Dues.
The monthly membership dues shall be set by the National APWU Retiree Department. Retiree membership dues shall be payable in accordance with rules established by the National APWU Retiree Department. The Local Union President and the Local Union Treasurer of the Suncoast Area Local, APWU shall be the Fiduciary Officers of the Chapter. The IRS and Dept. of Labor Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) shall be the same as the Suncoast Area Local, APWU. The Fiduciary Officers, the Chapter President, and the Chapter Treasurer shall be bonded under the National APWU Bonding procedures.


ARTICLE IV
MEETINGS

Section 1. Regular Meetings.
Regular meetings of the Chapter shall be held bimonthly with the exception of July, December, and National and State convention months, at a time to be fixed by the membership of the Chapter Executive Board.

Section 2. Quorum.
Five (5) members, one of whom must not be a member of the Executive Board, present at a membership meeting or a special called meeting, shall constitute a quorum, which “cannot be lost.”

Section 3. Special Meetings.
Special meetings may be called by the Chapter President, the Chapter Executive Board, or by petition filed with the Chapter President and signed by twenty (20) of the members of the Chapter. Special meetings may also be requested to the Chapter President by the APWU Local President.


ARTICLE V
OFFICERS, DELEGATES, NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS, APPOINTED OFFICERS, AND DIRECTORS

Section 1. Titles and Terms of Elected Officers, Trustees, and Delegates.
(a) The Chapter Executive Board shall consist of the following eight (8) Elected Officers: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Trustee Chairperson, Editor, and APWU Local President or his/her elective Representative. Officers shall be elected to two-year terms, beginning with the two-year term of January 1, 2000 and ending on December 31, 2001.
(b) Two (2) additional Trustees shall be elected for the same two-year terms.
(c) Two (2) Convention Delegates shall be elected to represent this Chapter at State and National Conventions for the same two-year terms.
(d) Interim appointments, prior to the first election, shall be made by the APWU Local President.

Section 2. Appointed Officers or Directors.
(a) The six (6) appointed Chapter Officers or Directors shall include the following but not necessarily in the order of ranking: Health Plan Representative, Human Relations Director, Legislative Director, Membership Director, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Social and Recreation Director. These Officers or Directors shall be appointed by the Chapter President with Chapter Executive Board approval and may be removed the same way.
(b) The Chapter President may also appoint or remove, with Chapter Executive Board approval, other additional Officers or Directors as needed, including but not limited to the following and not necessarily in the order of ranking: Benefits Director, Carpool Director-Down County, Carpool Director-Up County, COPA Director, Education Director, Historian, and Parliamentarian.

Section 3. Nominations.
Nominations shall be made at the Chapter membership meeting in the month of September. Notice of nominations shall be advertised in the Chapter publication in the month preceding the nominations. Nominations will not be accepted after the close of the September membership meeting. A nominating committee may be appointed or elected to make nominations. Nominations shall be permitted from the floor at the September Chapter membership meeting in which nominations are made. The names of those nominated shall be listed in the October Chapter publication.

Section 4. Eligibility.
(a) To be eligible for office, a member must be in good standing and shall be current in their dues immediately preceding the election, as certified by the Treasurer of the Chapter.
(b) To be eligible to vote in an election of Officers or Delegates, a member must be in good standing and shall be current in their dues immediately preceding the election, as certified by the Treasurer of the Chapter.
(c) Once a retired postal employee accepts re-employment with the Postal Service, he/she is ineligible to be a member of the Retiree Department or Chapter for that period of time. However, once a member retires again from the Postal Service, he/she is again eligible to be a member of the Retiree Department or Chapter without a waiting period.

Section 5. Conduct of Election.
All regular elections shall be held in the months of October and November. Officers, Trustees, and Delegates shall be elected by secret ballot vote. A named candidate for Elected Office or Delegate whose name is listed on the secret ballot may not serve as an Elections Committee member on the Elections Committee. Notice of election shall be advertised in the two (2) months preceding the election. However, the Retiree Chapter shall decide where to advertise the outcome of the elections, such as in the Chapter publication, at the Chapter regular monthly meeting in the month(s) after the elections outcome, and so forth. Any appeals to the conduct of elections shall be in accordance with the election appeal procedures of the Suncoast Area Local and National APWU Constitutions and By-Laws.

Section 6. Vacancies.
(a) The Chapter President shall recommend the names of members to fill all vacancies in Chapter Elected Offices, except for the Office of President, which vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a majority vote approval of the Suncoast Area Local, APWU Chapter Executive Board.
(b) The Chapter President shall fill all vacancies of Appointed Administrative Officers or Directors, subject to a majority approval of the Chapter Executive Board.

ARTICLE VI
DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE BOARD, OFFICERS, AND DIRECTORS

Section 1. Constitution Requirements.

All Executive Board Members, Officers, and Directors shall act in accordance with the provisions of these Constitution and By-Laws and with the provisions of the Suncoast Area Local and National APWU Constitutions and By-Laws.

Section 2. Executive Board Elected Officers.

The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the Retiree Chapter, except when meetings of the Retiree Chapter are in session. The Board shall meet once a month with the exception of July, December, and on State and National Convention months, and at a time fixed by the Chapter Executive Board. The Board may also meet at the call of the Chapter President or a majority of members of the Chapter Executive Board, or at the request made to the Chapter President by the Local Union President. A report on all actions taken by the Chapter Executive Board shall be made to the membership at the next regular monthly meetings of the Chapter. A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall be required for a quorum.

Section 3. President.

The President shall:
(a) Preside at all membership meetings of the Retiree Chapter and at meetings of the Chapter’s Executive Board.
(b) Be an ex-officio member of all committees except election committees.
(c) Countersign all checks drawn against the funds of the Chapter.
(d) Appoint all standing committees and all special committees of the Chapter, subject to the approval of the Chapter Executive Board.
(e) Be and is the Publisher of the Chapter publication.
(f) Report to the membership regarding the progress and standing of the Chapter, subject to the approval of the Chapter Executive Board, at least once a quarter.

Section 4. First Vice President.

The First Vice President shall:
(a) Assist the President in the work of the President’s office.
(b) In the temporary absence of the President, preside at all meetings and perform all duties otherwise performed by the President.
(c) Upon approval of the Chapter Executive Board, be authorized to be co-signer of checks drawn on Chapter funds in place of the President.
(d) Succeed to the office of President in the event of the President’s disability, death, resignation, or removal from office, to complete the unexpired term.
(e) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 5. Second Vice President.

The Second Vice President shall:
(a) Duplicate the duties of the First Vice President when the First Vice President cannot or will not serve.
(b) In the event the office of President is vacant, and the First Vice President cannot serve for whatever reason, the Second Vice President shall assume the office of President for the unexpired term, shall preside at all meetings, and perform all duties otherwise performed by the President.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 6. Secretary.

The Secretary shall:
(a) Keep a record of the proceedings of all Chapter meetings and of all Executive Board meetings.
(b) Upon approval of the Chapter Executive Board, be authorized to be co-signer of checks drawn on Chapter funds in place of the Chapter Treasurer.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.
(d) Attempt to maintain an accurate master membership list, including addresses and phone numbers.

Section 7. Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall:
(a) Receive and receipt for all funds of the Retiree Chapter.
(b) Deposit all money so received in the name of the Retiree Chapter in a separate account at a federally insured institution selected by the Chapter Executive Board, and money so deposited shall be withdrawn only by check signed by the Chapter President and Chapter Treasurer, and only for necessary expenditures, as authorized by the Chapter Executive Board and/or the Body.
(c) Prepare and countersign checks, which shall require two signatures, for such purposes as are by the Chapter Constitution and By-Laws or are authorized by the membership at any called Chapter meeting or the Chapter Executive Board.
(d) Shall be bonded.
(e) Keep an accurate record of receipts and disbursements, and once each month submit to the membership a state of the financial transactions of the Chapter for the previous month.
(f) Provide information on all Chapter receipts, disbursements, assets, liabilities, and any audits for the calendar year, and this information shall be furnished timely to the APWU Suncoast Area Local Union President and Local Union Treasurer, at least annually, or may be quarterly, as the Local Union President and Local Union Treasurer must include these on the IRS Form 990 and Dept. of Labor Form LM-2 or LM-3 annual reports which is a requirement of the federal financial disclosure laws.

Section 8. Trustee Chairperson and Trustees.

The Trustee Chairperson and Trustees shall make or cause to be made, at least once a year, or when required by the Chapter Executive Board, an audit of finances of the Chapter and shall report to the Chapter Executive Board and the Chapter Membership on the results of such audit. A copy of the Audit shall be given to the President of the Suncoast Area Local, APWU.

Section 9. Editor.

The Editor shall:
(a) Be responsible for the editing and publication of the Chapter’s organ Newsletter or Newspaper, it’s timely publication and distribution. Although the President is the Publisher, the Editor is responsible for the operation of the Newsletter/Newspaper.
(b) Be guided by the ethics known as “Canon of Journalism” and shall be a member of the National and State APWU Postal Press Associations.
(c) Maintain a complete file of past issues for reference and historical purposes.
(d) Perform such other Publications/Media duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require. PAGE 8
Section 10. APWU Local President or his/her Elective Representative.

The APWU Local President or his/her Elective Representative shall:
(a) Represent the Local Union Executive Board and Local Union Membership as a member of the Chapter Executive Board.
(b) Act as Local Union Support for the Retiree Chapter in all it’s endeavors and serve as the link between the Local Union Membership and the Chapter.

APPOINTED OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

Section 11. Health Plan Representative.

The Health Plan Representative shall:
(a) Assist members with their APWU Health Plan questions and problems and maintain an adequate supply of Health Plan literature to fill the Chapter’s needs.
(b) Promote awareness among Chapter members of the benefits of being a member of the APWU Health Plan.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 12. Human Relations Director.

The Human Relations Director shall:
(a) Prepare and direct programs in the area of retirement counseling.
(b) Aid and/or direct members needing community services to the proper agency.
(c) Coordinate and cooperate with other community services in our area in the best interest of the Chapter membership.
(d) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 13. Legislative Director.

The Legislative Director shall:
(a) Maintain liaison through correspondence and personal contact with all of this area’s legislators.
(b) Be charged with the responsibility, under the direction of the Chapter President, of directing all activities of the Chapter in regard to legislation of interest to the Chapter’s members and their families.
(c) Work in close cooperation with the APWU Suncoast Area Local’s Legislative Director.
(d) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 14. Membership Director.

The Membership Director shall:
(a) Set up and promote programs in the area of new Retiree orientation and new Chapter membership sign up drives.
(b) Coordinate with the National APWU Retiree Department on new recruitment incentive programs to sign up the non-member APWU Retiree.
(c) Perform such other Membership and Organization duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 15. Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Sergeant-at-Arms shall:
(a) Ensure that all present are members or invited guests of the members.
(b) Take a roll of members present at all meetings and shall submit same to the Secretary at the end of the meeting.
(c) Be keeper of the American Flag and Chapter Colors and Banners and be responsible that they are properly displayed.
(d) Preserve order and exact respectful deference to all.
(e) Confirm, at the Chair’s request, if a quorum is present.
(f) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 16. Social and Recreation Director.

The Social and Recreation Director shall:
(a) Plan events for the members of the Chapter. These events shall include, but not be limited to social events, shows, trips, and other events or entertainment for the welfare and enjoyment of the Chapter members, spouses, and their families.
(b) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 17. Benefits Director.

The Benefits Director shall:
(a) Set up and promote programs in the areas of consumer affairs, insurance, retirement savings, and investments and may communicate with the Local Union Benefits Director and the National APWU Retiree Department to ensure maximum benefits information for all Chapter Retirees.
(b) Coordinate with OPM, Social Security, Medicare, and other agencies in the protection of current and future Retiree benefits and to achieve other benefits for active Local Union and Chapter members, spouses, and families.
(c) Perform such other Benefits duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.
PAGE 10

Section 18. Carpool Director-Down County.

The Carpool Director-Down County shall:
(a) Coordinate and maintain a list of Chapter members living in Zip Code 337 area and who are interested in a carpool.
(b) Establish a route of travel using a map for pickup and dropoff of Chapter members needing this service to attend Chapter meetings.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 19. Carpool Director-Up County.

The Carpool Director-Up County shall:
(a) Coordinate and maintain a list of Chapter members living in Zip Code 346 area and who are interested in a carpool.
(b) Establish a route of travel using a map for pickup and dropoff of Chapter members needing this service to attend Chapter meetings.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 20. COPA Director.

The COPA Director shall:
(a) Promote and assist the National APWU COPA programs and drives on the Local Union and the Retiree Chapter levels.
(b) Perform such other COPA duties as the National APWU and Retiree Chapter Executive Boards may require.

Section 21. Education Director.

The Education Director shall:
(a) Promote and set up education programs for the Chapter Members and their families.
(b) Coordinate with the schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in order to assist Chapter Members with new ideas in learning, such as but not limited to Computers, the World Wide Web, and the Internet technology.
(c) Perform such other education duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 22. Historian.

The Historian shall:
(a) Be the keeper of the historical archives of the local Retirees Chapter, the National APWU Retirees Department, the APWU, and the AFL-CIO on all levels, and the Labor Movement in all the countries of the world.
(b) Be the link to keep up with the growth in the Local and National APWU historic programs and relate to the history of the AFL-CIO and other coalitions in the labor movement.
(c) Perform such other duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.

Section 23. Parliamentarian.

The Parliamentarian shall:
(a) Advise the President on points of Parliamentary Law in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised Edition, when not covered by the Chapter Constitution and By-Laws, the Local and the National Constitutions and By-Laws.
(b) Perform such other Parliamentary duties as the Chapter Executive Board may require.


ARTICLE VII
CONSTITUTIONS

Section 1. National and Local Constitutions and By-Laws.
This Retiree Chapter shall at all times be subject to the provisions of the Local and National Constitutions and By-Laws of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.

Section 2. Authorization Necessary to Represent Retiree Chapter.
Except to the extent specified in these Constitution and By-Laws, no Officer, Delegate or Director of the Retiree Chapter shall have the power to act as agent for or otherwise bind the Retiree Chapter in any way whatsoever. No member or group of members or other person or persons shall have the power to act on behalf of or otherwise bind the Retiree Chapter, except to the extent specifically authorized by the Executive Board majority vote approval of the Retiree Chapter, including the APWU Local President’s approval, and the majority vote approval of the Chapter Body Membership.

Section 3. Rules of Order.

A. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised Edition, shall be the guide in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and By-Laws or with the Local or National Constitutions and By-Laws of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.

B. ORDER OF BUSINESS FOR REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS.

1. Call to Order by Chairperson.
2. Pledge of Allegiance lead by Sgt.-at-Arms/Moment of Silence.
3. Invocation (Generic).
4. Roll Call of Executive Board Officers by Secretary.
5. Confirmation of Quorum by Sgt.-at-Arms as requested by the Chairperson.
6. Reading of Minutes of last Executive Board meeting and previous Chapter membership meeting by Secretary.
7. Reading of Communications by Secretary.
8. Report of Treasurer.
9. President’s Report.
10. Officer’s and Director’s Reports.
11. Standing Committee Reports, including the introduction of new members and their guests.
12. Committee (Ad-Hoc) Reports.
13. Old/Unfinished Business.
14. New Business.
15. Installation of newly Elected Officer(s) and/or newly Appointed Officer(s) and Director(s).
16. “Good of the Order.”
17. Closing/Adjournment.

C. ORDER OF BUSINESS FOR SPECIAL CALLED MEETING.
A special called meeting may only deal with the subject(s) or circumstances for which it was specifically called. The Secretary shall take minutes which will be read at the next Chapter business meeting.

1. Call to Order by Chairperson.
2. Pledge of Allegiance lead by Sergeant-at-Arms/Moment of Silence.
3. Invocation (Generic).
4. Confirmation of a Quorum, by Sergeant-at-Arms.
5. Reading of subject(s) of special called meeting by Secretary.
6. President’s caution to members that meeting may take action only on specific subject(s) of special meeting call and for discussion.
7. Discussion of Subject(s).
8. Request by Chair, for the “Question.” (Vote)
9. Further subject(s) related to special meeting call, if any, handled as in #7 and #8.
10. Chair may request a Motion to Adjourn.
11. Close/Adjournment.

ARTICLE VIII
OATHS

OATHS OF INITIATION AND INSTALLATION OBLIGATION OF:
A. NEWLY ELECTED OFFICER(S), AND
B. NEWLY APPOINTED OFFICER(S) AND DIRECTOR(S).

[[“The newly Elected Officer(s) and newly Appointed Officer(s) and Director(s) will take their places in front of the President’s chair; the President-Elect on the right, First Vice President-Elect, Second Vice President-Elect, Secretary-Elect, Treasurer-Elect, Trustee Chairperson- Elect, Editor-Elect, and APWU Local {resident or his/her Elective Representative, with the newly Appointed Officer(s) and Director(s) to the right or left of the newly Elected Executive Board Officer(s), in the order here stated.”]]

[[“All members will rise and remain standing while the Presiding Officer administers to the newly Elected Officer(s), newly Appointed Officer(s), and Director(s) collectively the following Obligation:”]]

OATH OF OFFICE
[[Raise your Right Hand and Repeat these Words After Me.”]]

Section 1. [[“I …..(your name)…..do hereby sincerely pledge my honor…..
to perform the duties of the office…..that I have been Elected or Appointed to…..as prescribed by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Retiree Chapter,…..and to bear true allegiance…..to the Chapter, the local, and the National American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.”]]

Section 2. [[“I will deliver to my successor in office…..all books, papers, and other property of this Chapter…..that may be in my possession…..at the close of my official term.”]]……….[[“I will also deliver all property of the Chapter…..to the President of same upon demand.”]]

Section 3. [[“All of this I solemnly promise…..with the full knowledge…..that to violate this pledge…..is to stamp me as a person…...devoid of principal and destitute of honor.”]] [[“This I Pledge!!”]]

[[“You will now proceed to your respective positions and perform the duties devolving upon you.”]]……………(The outgoing Chapter President then surrenders the Chair to his or her newly Elected Chapter Successor.)

ARTICLE IX
AMENDMENTS

These Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members voting at a regular or special Retiree Chapter membership meeting, provided that such proposed amendments are read at a regular or special Retiree Chapter membership meeting, and read and voted on at a subsequent meeting of the Chapter, adequate and proper notice [Said notice shall be written and mailed to the Chapter Member] having been given to the Chapter membership prior to the date on which the vote is taken, and provided that such amendments are not inconsistent with the APWU Local and National Constitutions and By-Laws or with other rules and regulations established by the National APWU Retiree Department.


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