Warren Township Education Association
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
Revise and Adopted 2023
NAME AND INCORPORATION
The name of this Association shall be Warren Township Education Association, hereafter referred to as the Association.
The Association 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 the Internal Revenue Code 50Ic (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 affiliate with the Somerset County Education Association (SCEA), the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), and the National Education Association (NBA) under their representative Standards of Affiliation. Affiliation shall not legally carry any liability for damages on the Association or NJEA due to actions taken independently by either.
To unify all employees eligible for membership so as 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 represent its members in negotiations and grievances with the School Board and to promote the general welfare of members, to advance standards and to establish and maintain good community relations.
The Association shall be the recognized bargaining agent for all members to the full extent of the provisions of Chapter 123, Public Law of 1974 unless another organization has been officially designated as the bargaining agent.
To develop and promote continuing programs to secure and maintain better employment benefits, sound retirement systems, and improvements in terms and conditions of employment.
To work for the welfare of the students, the advancement of education, and the improvement of instructional opportunities for all.
All contractually employed teachers, secretaries, and paraprofessionals of Warren Township Public Schools may become active members of the Association.
Membership shall be continuous until the member leaves employment, resigns from the Association, or fails -to pay membership dues.
Members of the Association shall also be members of SCEA, NJEA, and NEA .
SECTION IV-Rights of Membership
- Every member shall have equal rights and privileges within the organization to nominate candidates for office to—vote in elections, or on referenda of the association, to attend meetings, to participate in deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings.
- Every member shall have the right to meet and assemble fully with other members; to express any views, arguments or opinions; to express view at meetings upon candidates in an election of the Association, or upon business properly brought before the meeting.
- No member shall be fined, suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined except for nonpayment 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 Association will use the one person-one vote policy. The vote of each member of the Association shall carry the same weight.
The officers of the Association shall consist of a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer.
The officers shall be elected in May and be installed for a term of three years.
Whenever an officer is no longer employed in the Warren Township School District or is incapacitate, the Executive Board shall elect a replacement until the next election period except in the case of a presidential vacancy which shall be filled by the vice president who shall serve until the next election.
Officers of the Association shall serve their terms so long as they ethically and satisfactorily perform the duties of their office. When 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 30% of the membership of the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board shall notify, in writing, any officer who has been recommended for recall.
- Any officer may appeal, in writing, to the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board 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 the report.
- Such recall shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership in attendance at said meeting.
Noting in this Article shall be construed as precluding officers from succeeding themselves in office, if duly elected.
The Executive Board of the Association shall consist of the four officers, standing committee chairpersons, and the two representatives from each building in the Warren Township School District.
- All WTEA Executive Board members, with the exception of the elected officers, shall be appointed by the president with the approval of the Executive Board.
- Executive Board members that hold more than one positions on the Board may only have one vote on matters that come before the Board.
Amendments to the Constitution and or By-Laws may be proposed by thirty
percent (30%) of the general membership or by a majority vote of the xecut1ve Board. The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members attending a general membership meeting or by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members voting by secret ballot at their home schools. It may also be amending by (2/3) majority vote of members of the Executive Board attending an Executive Board meeting. If the Executive Board is going to vote on Constitution or By-Law change(s), notice of the proposed change(s) must be posted in each building at least two weeks prior to the Executive Board meeting in which the vote will take place.
- If 5% of the general membership feels that a proposed constitutional or by-law change should be voted on by the entire membership and not just the Executive Board, a signed petition must be in the hands of the president 24 hours prior to the scheduled Executive Board vote.
- The vote will then be open to the general membership and voted upon by secret ballot in the member’s home school.
WTEA BY LAWS
The WTEA_ Executive Board shall meet once per month during the school year. The Executive Board shall determine the time and place for these meetings.
Special Executive Board meetings may be called by the president or at the request of at least four Executive Board members.
General membership meetings may be called by the president or a majority of the Executive Board. Meetings may be also called upon request by one quarter (1/4) of the general membership for a specific purpose, but no business other than that for which the meeting is called may be transacted.
The majority of the Executive Board members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Board meetings.
The members present shall constitute a quorum for a General Membership meeting.
POWERS OF OFFICERS AND NEGOTIATORS
SECTION I: President
The President shall preside over meetings of the Executive Board and of the
General Membership. The President shall appoint, with approval of the Executive Board, the chairperson and members of all committees and shall, along with the Treasurer, sign all checks drawn upon the treasury. The President shall represent the Association before the public either personally or through delegates and shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office.
SECTION II: Vice President
The Vice President shall assume all duties of the President in the President’s
absence and shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office. Vice President shall work closely with one or more standing committees as the President may suggest. In the case of a presidential vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled by the vice president who shall serve until the next election.
SECTION III: Secretary
The secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and General Membership meetings; shall prepare such minutes for reproduction and distribution within 14 calendar days of the meeting; shall maintain official files of agendas and minutes of all meetings and shall perform any other duties relative to the position of secretary. In an election year, the secretary shall forward election results to the SCEA, NJEA, and NBA.
SECTION IV: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Association and disburse them accordingly upon submission of vouchers approved by the President; shall sign all checks along with the President; shall report at each meeting of the Executive Board and General Membership; shall keep the President and the Executive Board informed of the financial condition of the Association.
The Treasurer shall prepare an annual financial statement which shall be made available to all members with a copy forwarded to NJEA; shall file the appropriate federal and state forms; shall serve on the Budget Committee and shall be bonded under a policy provided by NJEA.
The bank account(s) in which all deposits are made shall be in the name of the Association. Notification of the name of the bank in which dues are deposited shall be sent to NJEA. Any change of bank in which dues are deposited shall be sent to NJEA within thirty (30) days of the change.
Endorsement of checks shall be limited to endorsements for deposit to the credit of the Association only. No payments in cash (including checks made out to “cash”) shall be made from funds of the Association. Association bank accounts shall be reconciled by someone other than the treasurer. The books and accounts of the treasurer shall be examined at least once a year.
SECTION IV: NEGOTIATORS
The negotiating teams shall b e selected by the President with approval of the Executive Board.
The negotiating teams shall negotiate a recommended contract agreement with the Warren Township Board of Education pending ratification by the members of the Assoc1ation. .
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
SECTION I: The Executive Board shall:
- Approve the budget
- Set the dues of the Association
- Be responsible for the management of the Association
- Establish the policies of the Association
- Act on reports of the committees
- Establish such special committees as may be necessary
- Authorize all expenditures that exceed $250.00 when said expenditures are non-budgeted items.
- Have input in setting agenda for Executive Board and General Membership meetings.
In the event of vacancy in the office of the president, the vice president shall become president and serve until the next annual election.
Whenever the offices of both the president and vice president shall become vacant between elections, the remaining members of the Executive Board shall choose one of their own members to serve as president pro tempore until the Executive Board can fill the vacancies.
SECTION I: Nominations
The president shall appoint, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, at its February meeting, an Elections Committee. .No officer of the Association shall serve on this committee. A list names of candidates, with the candidate’s approval, shall be prepared by the Election Committee and presented to the Executive Board by the April Executive Board meeting. Upon approval of this list, it will be presented to the general membership two week, fourteen days (14) days before a vote which will be held in each members school, by secret ballot. This voting will be done on the day of the election which will be run by the building association representatives. The building association representatives will bring the sealed ballots to a meeting to be counted.
- Members of the Elections Committee shall collect and tabulate the votes and present their written report to the chairperson, who will announce the results.
- A new president, vice president, and secretary will take office as of June 30t•h A new treasurer will take office as of August 30th of the year in which the election was held.
- Results of the elections of officers shall be reported by the corresponding secretary to SCEA, NJEA, and NEA.
BUILDING REPRESENTATIVES AND COMMITTEES
SECTION I: Structure
- Building Representatives: There shall be two representatives from each elementary building and three representatives from the middle school building. The representatives shall be the liaisons between the building membership and the Executive Board. They will perform duties deemed necessary by the President and Executive Board. The building representatives are expected to attend the monthly meetings.
- Committees: There shall be standing committees appointed by the president and approved by the Executive Board. The committees will have .a chairperson and as many members as the chairperson deems necessary. They will carry out the specific functions listed below.
- The chairperson is expected to attend the monthly Executive Board meetings.
- The chairperson is expected to submit a brief written report at the end of the year outlining the committee’s activities.
SECTION II: Committee’s Duties
- Budget-the Budget Committee shall prepare and submit to the Executive Board a proposed budget for the coming year. Upon approval of the Executive Board, it will submit the proposed budget to the general membership at least three days before the vote in May. The chairperson will explain the budget and answer any questions prior to the vote on the budget in May. The Budget Committee will have access to all financial and other records of the Association pertinent to the preparation of the annual budget.
- Grievance-the Grievance Committee shall explore and prepare programs for securing satisfactory policies and procedures for the redress of grievances. It shall process all grievances filed in accordance with Agreement and policies adopted by the Association. It shall advise the Executive Board in situations involving the defense of individual rights
- Legislative-the Legislative Committee shall have broad concern for the local, regional, state, and national legislation affection the interests of the Association. It shall inform members about newly proposed and enacted legislation related to their welfare, promote activities leading to the passage of desirable legislation, encourage members to exercise their responsibility for voting and right to participate in political activity at all levels.
- Member Relations-the Member Relations Committee shall solicit names of members and other staff who have had a death or illness in the family and those who have had a new baby. Appropriate acknowledgements will be sent.
- Membership-The Membership Committee shall organize and conduct membership enrollment (if necessary) and shall communicate with members about programs and benefits of the Association.
- Negotiations-The Negotiations Committee shall survey the members and prepare the proposed package to be negotiated with the employer by the Associations’ negotiating team in all areas of member welfare and general working conditions.
- Pride-The Pride Committee shall solicit from the membership any programs they would like to have paid for with Pride funds. These will be tabulated and submitted to the NJEA. When the programs are accepted by the NJEA, materials will be purchased and delivered to the Pride recipients where needed. A report will be submitted to the state at the end of the year.
- Social-The Social Committee will organize such activities as may serve the needs of the Association and promote team building and member involvement in the Association.
- SAC-The SAC Committee shall solicit issues and concerns from each building. These will be brought to the individual principals and then on to the Superintendent, if necessary. They will seek a resolution and report back to the Executive Board via a written report.
- Webmaster-The webmaster shall maintain our WTEA website and shall insure a password protected site for sensitive WTEA issues.
SECTION III-Special Committees
The president shall, with approval of the Executive Board, appoint other special committee, as may be necessary, and shall disband them upon completion of their duties. These committees shall operate according to rules approved by the Executive Board.
Any increase in the rate of dues or levy of general or special assessment must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board using the one-person-one-vote principle. ·
The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on July 1 and end June 30 with
The exception of the treasurer. The treasurer’s fiscal year shall begin September 1 and end August 31.
The most recent edition of Roberts 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 Executive Board may adopt.
The Association shall adhere to those NJEA policies wherein non- · compliance would constitute a danger for the welfare of the members of the Association or to NJEA. The NJEA Delegate Assembly shall determine what-constitutes danger to the NJEA.
*Policies may be added or deleted with a 2/3 vote of the members of the Executive Board.
Policy I-Annual Recognition Party to honor members employed by the Warren Township Board of Education who are leaving the district.
- Every effort will be made to hold this party on the first Thursday in June
- If an honored member does not want a party, the member will be recognized during their school’s end of year party.
Policy 2-Stipends for all building reps and committee chairpersons shall be decided upon by a majority vote of the Executive Board. These will be included in the budget to be voted upon by the entire membership in May.