By-Laws

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OF FIRE FIGHTERS

LOCAL 1951 CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

ARTICLE 1 - NAME

SECTION 1

The name of this organization shall be Local 1951, Melbourne Fire Fighters Association, Melbourne Florida, International Association of Fire Fighters.

SECTION 2

References in this constitution and By-Laws to "Local or Local Union" shall refer to the Local as set forth in Section 1 and references to "Association" or "International" shall refer to the International Association of Fire Fighters.

SECTION 3

This Local Union, its Officers, Representatives and members shall recognize, observe and be bonded by provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association of Fire Fighters and the interpretations rendered by the General President, the resolutions, decisions and directives of the Executive Board or Officers of the Association when made in conformity with the authority granted by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association, and rules and regulations adopted and policies established by the delegates at Conventions. Article13 of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association of Fire Fighters is recognized as providing basic rules governing this Local.

SECTION 4

The fiscal year of this Local shall begin on the first day of April and end on the thirty-first day of March of each year. This Local shall operate on a line item budget. The budget shall be approved by a majority vote of the members at the January membership meeting or any special meeting called for the budget approval.

SECTION 5

Policy and Procedures shall be established for the daily operation of the Local. Policy and Procedure memorandums shall be recorded and maintained by the Secretary of the Local.

ARTICLE 2 - JURISDICTION

SECTION 1

Jurisdiction of this Local shall be all full time, paid employees engaged in fire fighting, emergency medical or rescue service activities, or related service.

ARTICLE 3 - MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1

Active - Any person of good moral character who at the time of making application is engaged in service within the jurisdiction of this local, as given in Article 2, will be eligible for active membership. All applicants will be accepted into membership after a majority vote of the members in attendance at the meeting. Anyone eligible for membership in the Association shall not be refused membership or upon acceptance be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or by reason of being handicapped.

SECTION 2

Honorary - For meritorious services to this Local or for distinguished public services, persons may be elected Honorary members by majority vote of the members in attendance at the meeting. Honorary members shall not pay initiation fees, dues or other charges and shall no voice or vote in the Local. Such membership may be revoked for cause. Affiliate - Any person of good moral character who at the time of making application is engaged in the prevention and/or extinguishment of fires and/or emergency medical services, as paid professional, and who is not employed by the City of Melbourne is entitled to join this Local as an Affiliate member when approved by the regular membership. Affiliate members are entitled to attend meetings of this Local with full voting privileges. The attendance by affiliate members at a meeting(s) shall constitute a quorum of this Local. This Local will represent affiliate members as the exclusive bargaining agent and assist in the processing of grievances and unfair labor practices, contract  negotiations, providing technical support and educational seminars etc. as needed and permitted by their exclusive bargaining agent.

SECTION 3

Maintenance of Good Standing - Membership in good standing includes any person who has fulfilled the requirements of membership in this Local and has not voluntarily withdrawn; has not become ineligible for continued membership; or has not been suspended or expelled as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association of Fire Fighters or the Constitution of this Local.

SECTION 4

Separation - When any person in good standing becomes separated from the fire service, the Local Union may allow said member to retain his active membership or in lieu thereof, upon request of said member, shall issue him or her a withdrawal card. This local union may issue withdrawal cards only to those members who leave the fire service or EMS in good standing or who are precluded by law or local ordinance or contractually from maintaining union membership by virtue of their fire department position. A former member holding a valid withdrawal card will not be charged a reinstatement fee upon reentry into the organization. A member who is duly properly elected as an Officer of the International Association of Fire Fighters or elected or appointed as a Representative of or an affiliated labor organization shall retain his or her active membership in this Local.

SECTION 5

Delinquent Members - Members who fail to pay their monthly dues or assessments by the fifteenth day following the month such dues are payable, shall be notified by the Local Officer whose duty it is, that they are delinquent and will be automatically suspended and lose their good standing if payment is not made within sixty days following such notification. Delinquent and suspended members are not entitled to voice or vote in the Local. Members that have been suspended because of delinquent dues may make up said dues to retain their continuous good standing. This option expires after one year from date of suspension.

SECTION 6

Discontinuance of Membership - When any member voluntarily discontinues his or her membership in this Local, without leaving the fire service, he or she shall be required, upon his or her application for reinstatement, to pay the reinstatement fee as prescribed in Article 8, Section 1, of this Constitution and By-Laws. Members will be reinstated after a majority vote of the members in attendance at the meeting in which the reinstatement is considered. Reinstated members may not become candidates for office for a period of two years from the time of their acceptance into membership

SECTION 7

Active-Retiree - Members who have retired from this union or have otherwise withdrawn as members in good standing, may be allowed to return to this local within one year as active retired members.

ARTICLE 4 - MEETINGS

SECTION 1

Regular meetings of this Local shall be held quarterly. The meetings shall be held on the first week of April, July, October and January. An agenda with date, time, and place will be posted at each station at least ten days in advance of the meeting. The quarterly meeting shall not be held on the same shift as the previous meeting.

SECTION 2

Special meetings may be called by vote of a majority of the Executive Board, providing for at least seven days notice. Special meetings may be called by a request signed by majority of the membership and presented to the President, providing for at least seven days notice. The notice shall state the business to be considered in order. Emergency meetings may be called by proclamation of the President. No other business than that stated shall be in order at such meeting.

SECTION 3

The quorum for any regular meeting of this Local shall be eight in good standing. The quorum for an Executive Board meeting shall be a majority of the Board Members.

SECTION 4

Every member in good standing shall have the right to attend any regular or special membership meeting and to participate in such meetings in accordance with the recognized rules and regulations as set forth in the authorized manual of parliamentary procedures. Members shall conduct themselves in such a manner as not to interfere with the legal or contractual obligations of the International or this Local.

SECTION 5

The rules contained in Atwood’s Rules for meetings shall govern the meetings of this Local in all cases not in conflict with this Constitution and By-Laws or the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association or interpretations of those documents.

ARTICLE 5 - OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

SECTION 1

The Executive Board of this Local shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Affiliate Members Coordinator, Public Information Officer, and four Trustees. The Executive Board members shall hold office for two years on a rotation basis. The election for President, Treasurer, Public Information Officer, 1st Trustee and 3rd Trustee shall be held in April of every odd year and the election of Vice President, Secretary, 2nd Trustee and 4th shall be held in April of every even year. The Affiliate Members Coordinator shall be elected in accordance with Article 5 Section 4. The Executive Board members shall hold office until the election and installation of their successors unless removed from office as prescribed in the Constitution and By-Laws of the International or this Constitution and By-Laws.

SECTION 2

Any member in good standing shall be eligible to be a candidate for office in this Local. No two offices can be held simultaneously by one person. Candidates must be a member of this Local in good standing for one continuous year.

SECTION 3

Every candidate for office shall have the right to request distribution of campaign literature by mail or otherwise to all members in good standing. "A candidate for office" includes a candidate for membership on the Executive Board. There shall be no discrimination in favor or against any candidate in regards to the use of membership lists.

SECTION 4

No funds received by the Local though initiation fees, dues, and assessments or otherwise, shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in the election of Officers. This section does not prevent the expenditures from Local funds for notices, factual statements of issues and other necessary expenses to conduct elections so long as they do not involve promotion of any candidate. The Affiliate Members Coordinator shall assist the President in such a manner as the President may determine concerning maters of the affiliate members. The shop steward representing the affiliate members in their certified bargaining unit shall be elected Affiliate Members Coordinator by virtue of his shop steward position. The current shop steward shall notify the President of any changes in his or her position with the exclusive bargaining agent.

SECTION 5

A notice shall be posted at each station stating date, time, and place of elections at least thirty days prior to the first meeting at which voting will take place. This notice will also indicate that absentee’s ballots are available. A nomination sheet shall be attached to the notice, which shall be picked up by the election committee after twenty days. The election committee shall confirm acceptance / eligibility of each member nominated, prepare ballots. Any member in good standing for one continuous year is eligible for nomination.

Each member in good standing shall be given at least thirty (30) days advance notice, in writing of the date, time and place at which nominations shall be made, and at least thirty (30) days advance notice, in writing, of the date, time and place at which elections shall be held.

Elections shall be by secret ballot and shall take place at a membership meeting, and the 2 days prior. The election committee shall count the ballots and the results will be announced at the end of the membership  meeting. If only one candidate is nominated, that candidate shall be declared elected by acclamation, write in voting shall not be permissible and shall be declared invalid by the election committee. Members must sign the roster of "members in good standing" to receive a ballot. The members must initial a roster when the ballot is placed in the ballot box.

Absentee ballots shall be allowed for members who will be out of town or physically unable to attend. The President or his or her designee must sign the roster to receive the absentee ballot from the election committee. After the absentee ballot is filled out, the member will put the ballot in a sealed envelope. Then the President or his or her designee will give the envelope to the election committee who will sign the roster by the member’s name. Absentee ballots shall not be commingled with other ballots and shall be counted first. The election committee shall account for all unused absentee ballots.

SECTION 6

The President shall appoint an election committee, which shall be responsible for distributing and tabulating the ballots. Each candidate for office shall be entitled to appoint one observer who shall be permitted to witness the manner of distribution and casting of ballots and attend the meeting of the election committee at which the votes are tabulated.

SECTION 7

The ballots and all other records of an election shall be preserved by the Secretary for two years following such elections.

SECTION 8

When an office becomes vacant by reasons of death, resignation, or removal of the incumbent, the Local membership shall elect the successor by majority vote no later than thirty days from the date the office is vacant. The successor shall only serve for the duration of the vacated office.

SECTION 9

Electronic/Online voting may be used for the election of officers who are not to serve as delegates to the IAFF Convention, or for any issue submitted to the entire membership for a vote. The computer program shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements: (1) sufficient encryption to ensure security and authenticity of the vote; (2) a mechanism to ensure each member votes only once on each issue and that the member's identity is secret; (3) password protection; and (4) the ability to calculate total votes. Online voting shall be available on the Internet, and only accessible to members of the local.

ARTICLE 6 - DUTIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1

It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Local and at the meetings of the Executive Board. He or she shall be the Executive head of the Local. He or she shall be a member ex officio of all committees. He or she shall appoint such committees as may be provided for in the Constitution and By-Laws and such special committees as may be authorized by the Local. Together with the Treasurer, he or she shall sign all orders and checks lawfully and properly drawn. He or she shall enforce strict observance of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International as this document relates to the Local, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the Local. He or she shall have general supervision of the activities of the other Officers and chairperson of all committees. The President shall discharge on behalf of the Local such duties as may be imposed upon him or her by applicable law including the execution and filling of any report to Federal or State authorities, and he or she shall cause to be maintained by the Local, such reports as the law requires to be kept in support of records filed by it. The President, by virtue of his or her election, shall be a delegate of this Local to the Convention of the International.

SECTION 2

The Vice President shall assist the President in such a manner as the President may determine. In the absence of the President, he shall preside at meetings of the Local and of the Executive Board. If the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall become acting President until the Office of the President is filled by election by the Local membership. He or she shall have general supervision of the activities of the public affairs and fund raising activities of this Local. He or she shall submit a written report to be attached to the quarterly membership meeting Agenda, stating the status of all current projects, giving specifics on future projects, and detailing all P.R. received in the past quarter. He or she shall serve  as the office/building manager and be accountable for and oversee all functions of maintenance, cleaning, and schedule all rental(s) of the hall and office.

SECTION 3

The Secretary shall have custody of all documents, records, books, and papers belonging to the Local, except as may be otherwise provided by this Constitution and By-Laws. He or she shall keep accurate records of all meetings of this Local and Executive Board of which he or she shall be Secretary. He or she shall prepare minutes of previous membership meetings and Executive Board meeting to be attached to the agenda. He or she shall attest all official documents with his or her signature and the seal of the Local. He or she shall conduct the correspondence of the Local promptly. He or she shall maintain the official list of "members in good standing" which shall be kept accurately and on a current basis. The Secretary shall discharge on behalf of the Local such duties as may be imposed upon him or her by applicable law, including the execution and filing of any records to Federal or State authorities and he or she shall cause to be maintained by the Local, such records, as the law requires to be kept in support of reports by it.

The Public Information Officer shall preside as managing editor of all information released by this Local or the Executive Board of this Local and any public releases or newsletter issued by this Local and shall maintain the Local’s web page with current information. He or she shall assist the Vice President with the various fund raising and public relation projects.

SECTION 4

The Treasurer shall receive all money due the Local, from whatsoever source, and shall disburse the same in conformity with the line item budget of this Local. Such disbursement shall be by check or Electronic Funds Transfer, which shall also be signed or approved by the President or Vice President in his absence. He or she shall maintain and keep current, a record of members with their dues payments, assessments and all financial transactions promptly and accurately entered. He or she shall be prepared to exhibit receipts upon the audit of the books. He or she shall forward the annual audit of the Local to the General Secretary-Treasurer, over the seal of the Local, within 180 days of the close of the Local’s fiscal year. He or she shall prepare a quarterly budget review for the membership meetings.

SECTION 5

The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Affiliate Members Coordinator, Public Information Officer, and four Trustees who are elected in accordance with Article 5 Section 1. It shall provide for an annual line item budget and quarterly review of the budget. It shall meet at the call of the President or on call, signed by a majority of its members. A majority shall constitute a quorum. All Executive Board officers shall attend all Executive Board meetings and quarterly membership meetings. Failure to do so on a regular basis without justification is grounds to reduce that officer’s salary on a pro rated basis. Similar reduction shall be invoked for failure to perform their prescribed duties. This reduction shall be authorized by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

SECTION 6

All officers and employees of the Local who handle funds or property of the Local shall be bonded in such amounts as may be required by the Board of Trustees and the General Secretary-Treasurer, in compliance with applicable law. The expense of the first $2,500 shall be borne by the International. If additional bond is necessary, the Local shall pay the additional premiums. The local shall have sufficient bond to cover at least ten (10%) percent of its current liquid assets.

ARTICLE 7 - DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES TO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS

SECTION 1

At a membership meeting, the members shall decide whether the Local will send it’s own delegate or delegates, to the convention, and whether the Local will send an alternate or alternates, in accordance with Article 4, Section 2, of the International Constitution and By-Laws. The members shall decide whether the Local will pay full or partial expenses, or whether the delegate(s) or alternate(s) will have to attend entirely at personal expense.

SECTION 2

If a delegate(s) and alternate(s) are going to attend the convention other than the President, a notice shall be posted at each station stating how many delegate(s) and alternate(s) will be sent to the convention, and to what extent the Local will pay to cover expenses. The notice shall be posted at least  thirty days prior to the first meeting at which voting will take place. This notice shall indicate date; time, place, and that absentee ballots are available.

A nomination sheet shall be attached to the notice of election, which shall be left up for twenty days, after which the nomination sheet will be picked up and the election committee will confirm acceptance of the member nominated. Will also have space for nomination of delegate(s) and alternate(s). Any member in good standing is eligible for nomination. Members who will be out of town for any reason will be able to submit written acceptance in advance.

Elections shall be by secret ballot and shall take place at a membership meeting, and the day prior. The election committee shall count the ballots and the delegate(s) and alternate(s) receiving the most votes shall be declared elected at the end of the membership meeting. Members must sign the roster of "members in good standing" to receive a ballot. The member must initial the roster when the ballot is placed in the ballot
box. The Secretary will maintain the ballots and the roster for two years. The credentials of delegates and alternates must certify to this method of election.

A notice shall be posted at each station stating date, time, and place at least fifteen days prior to the first meeting at which voting will take place. Absentee ballots shall be allowed for members who will be out of town or physically unable to attend. The President or his or her designee must sign the roster to receive the absentee ballot from the election committee. After the absentee ballot is filled out, the member will put the ballot in a sealed envelope. Then the President or his or her designee will give the envelope to the election committee who will sign the roster by the member’s name. Absentee ballots shall not be commingled with
other ballots and shall be counted first. The election committee shall account for all unused absentee
ballots.

ARTICLE 8 - INITIATION FEES, DUES, ASSESSMENTS AND SALARIES

SECTION 1

Qualified employee’s of the Melbourne Fire Dept. may join Local 1951 up to one year from date of hire with an initiation fee of $10.00. After this period, a fee of $25.00 will be assessed for every month of employment.

SECTION 2

Member and Affiliate dues shall be one point three percent of the Bi-weekly salary to be deducted through the established payroll deduction system or other approved system. Local members that have voluntarily withdrawn and wish to rejoin the Local will be assessed a Reinstatement fee of $25.00 per month from the date of withdraw.

SECTION 3

Changes in dues, assessments, initiation fees, and reinstatement fee may be imposed by a majority vote of the members in attendance at the meeting. Such voting shall be by secret ballot. A notice shall be posted at each station at least thirty days in advance of the membership meeting at which the vote will be taken.

SECTION 4

Executive salaries shall be paid in accordance with the line item budget of this Local, such disbursements shall be paid for the previous month. Changes in executive salaries shall require a majority vote of those in attendance at the meeting. A notice shall be posted at each station at least thirty days in advance of the membership meeting at which the vote will be taken.

SECTION 5

Assessments may be made only in the following manner: Each member in good standing shall be notified in writing at least thirty (30) days in advance of the date on which the vote for an assessment is to occur. The proposed assessment shall become effective upon a majority vote of the members in good standing by secret ballot at a general or special meeting.

ARTICLE 9 - MISCONDUCT, TRAILS AND APPEALS

SECTION 1

Any member charged with misconduct as defined in Article XV of the International Constitution and By-Laws shall be served with written specific charges as required in Article XVI of the Association Constitution. Such member shall be given reasonable time to prepare his/her defense and afforded a hearing as provided in the International Association’s Constitution.

SECTION 2

Appeals may be made in accordance with Article XVIII of the International Constitution and By-Laws; such appeal must be filed with the President of the Association within thirty days of the action appealed.

ARTICLE 10 - BOOKS AND ACCOUNTS

SECTION 1

The books and accounts of this Local shall be audited annually and the last such report shall be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer over the seal of the Local, within one hundred eighty days of the close of the Local’s year and shall include an accurate accounting of all employees within the Local Union Fire Department.

SECTION 2

Union Banking Credit/Debit Cards may be issued to The President, Vice President, and Treasurer. Each use of the Banking Card will require the Officer’s submittal of an Expense Report with receipts for verification. Banking Cards will be used only for Union Business, no personal charges will be allowed. Misuse of Banking Cards will result in a full investigation by the Executive Board or appointed committee by the membership. The pending investigation may result in removal from office or other appropriate actions.

ARTICLE 11 - AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1

This Constitution and By-Laws made under its provisions may be amended by a two-thirds vote of ballots cast (except as provided in Article 8). Voting will be held by secret ballot and shall take place at a membership meeting, and the day prior, provided a notice is posted at each station thirty days in advance of the membership meeting at which the voting will be held.

The ballots shall be counted and the results announced at the end of the membership meeting. Members must sign a roster of "Members In Good Standing" to receive a ballot. The member must initial the roster when the ballot is placed in the ballot box. The Secretary shall retain the ballots and the roster for two years.

Electronic/Online voting may be used for any issue submitted to the entire membership for a vote. The computer program shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements: (1) sufficient encryption to ensure
security and authenticity of the vote; (2) a mechanism to ensure each member votes only once on each issue and that the member's identity is secret; (3) password protection; and (4) the ability to calculate total votes. Online voting shall be available on the Internet, and only accessible to members of the local.

SECTION 2

A proposed amendment to this Constitution, or any By-Laws made under its provision, shall be submitted for approval to the General President prior to its printing, or issuance, after it has been adopted by the membership

ARTICLE 12 - RATIFICATION OF CONTRACT TERMS

SECTION 1

Voting on Ratification of Contract terms shall take place at two consecutive meetings, time and place to be designated by the Executive Board. Notification of the voting on Ratification of Contract terms shall be posted in each station at least five days prior to the first meeting. Acceptance or rejection of the negotiated contract terms shall be by a majority vote of those in attendance at the meetings.

Members must sign a roster to receive a ballot form. Members must initial the roster when the ballot is placed in the ballot box. The Secretary will maintain the ballots and roster for two years.

SECTION 2

Absentee ballots shall be allowed for members who will be out of town or physically unable to attend. The President or his or her designee must sign the roster to receive the absentee ballot(s) from the election committee. After the ballot is filled out the member will put the ballot in a sealed envelope. The President or his or her designee will give the envelope to the election committee who will sign the roster by the member’s name. Absentee ballots shall not be commingled with other ballots and shall be counted first. The election committee shall account for all unused absentee ballots.