Reply – Re: ATTENTION ALL CONSTITUTIONAL & PARLIAMENTARY EXPERTS
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Re: ATTENTION ALL CONSTITUTIONAL & PARLIAMENTARY EXPERTS
— by bill lebo bill lebo
     Lets start simple:Section 31 A States; "The officers of a local union SHALL BE (emphasis added) a president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer, conductor, warden, and three trustees." So a local in order to function as a local must have these positions unless dispensation is granted by the locals bylaws which must be approved by the General Vice President is granted to combine two of the positions.
    Furthermore it is important to note that under STANDING DECISIONS OF THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD 1887 FEBRUARY 15, it states; "A union not holding meetings at least once a month forfeits its charter and is not eligible for donations.

    Further down the same section it is stated; " In elections to fill vacancies.......and all existing vacancies, including those left by such resignations (in this case vetoes) shall be filled by the same nominations and election.

    Next under: VACANCIES IN LOCAL AND COUNCIL OFFICES; Section 32 B, It states; "When vacancies occur in any elective office of a local union, the president of the local union MAY (emphasis added) appoint a qualified member to fill the vacancy protem, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS AN ELECTION IS HELD TO FILL THE VACANCY(emphasis added). If no executive-secretary-treasurer exists or such position is vacant, the president of the council may make such protem appointment.

      I would infer from this that in the case of a local it would be the vice president making the protem  appointment, because at the council level the president is second in command.

     It is important to note here, that past practice has shown through letters from the General President , that pro tem offices can be held long as 6 months and in some cases it has been longer. This is usually done to spare the local the cost of an interim election when a regularly scheduled election  is close.

     Then section 32 D states; In the absence of both the president and vice president, the recording secretary SHALL (emphasis added) call the meeting to order and those present SHALL (emphasis added) elect a president pro tem.

     So all that being said, your first question was, who opens the meeting and what should that person say?

     There is no president  (vetoed), there is no vice president (retired), the recording secretary, financial secretary and one trustee are absent.
   
     2 position are permanently vacant, 3 are absent therefore temporarily vacant.

     The next highest position would be one of the trustees, I would say the trustee with the most senority. That would be the person who should open the meeting. That trustee should explain to the members the present the situation at hand and refer to sections 31A and 32D of the UBC constitution.

Your next question was how are those vacancies filled?

     The trustee at chair should call for an election of the 2 permanently vacant offices of president and vice president and chair said election. Once said election is held the president protem should then appoint the rest of the positions pro tem with qualified members from the members at the meeting.

Your next question was, who should record the meeting minutes?
     
     That would be whoever the president pro tem appointed to the recording secretary pro tem position.

     Your next question was, who is in charge of the local union the next business day?

     That would be the president pro tem, vice president pro tem, and the rest of the elected executive committee. If the positions who were not there the night of the meeting remain absent or refuse to work with the president pro tem the president pro tem should bring in the appointed positions to fill the continuing vacancies and try to resolve the problem in the interim so that the local can function.

     We have to remember the local union and its members come first and the locals business must be taken care of regardless of agendas and egos.

      Also the reason I emphasised SHALL and MAY is because they are very specific words. When a document says shall there is no leeway, that is the way it is and there's no other way. When it says MAY there is a choice.