ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The term Employee shall include those who are certified as teachers, supervisors, principals, directors of vocational education, home-bound teachers, school librarians, dental hygienists, school counselors, school nurses, clinical staff and shall also include support staff employees of the school district including, but not limited to, the following personnel: secretaries, custodians, maintenance personnel, aides, cafeteria personnel and transportation personnel.
Section 2. Upon recommendation of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee containing evidence that written notice and a detailed written statement of the charges have been supplied to the alleged violator, the Executive Council may initiate procedures to censure, suspend or expel any member for violation of the Code of Ethics or other conduct believed to be contrary to the Constitution, By-Laws or policy of the Association.
Section 3. Authority to discipline and reinstate Retired and Substitute employees is vested in the Executive Council of LMEA.
Section 4. The membership year for all categories of membership shall be September 1 to August 31.
ARTICLE II - MEETINGS
Section 1. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL -The Executive Council shall meet on the second Monday of each school month at a time set by the members thereof.
Section 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS - Special meetings of the Executive Council may be held at the call of the President, or by any three of the other officers. Business to come before special meetings shall be stated in the call, which shall be sent in writing to each representative. Only business stated in the call shall be included on the agenda. The President may call meetings of the Association officers at any time with reasonable notice.
Section 3. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS - General Membership Meetings shall be held four times during the school year in the months of September, October, March, and May; the dates to be set by the President and written notice to be posted in each building at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
Section 4. SPECIAL MEETINGS OF THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP - Special meetings of the General Membership may be called by the President with a minimum of three days notice to the General Membership. Only business stated in the call shall be included in the agenda. A special meeting shall be called at the request of 25 percent of the Executive Council and/or a petition of 150 members of the Association.
Section 5. ADDITIONAL MEETINGS OF PARTICULAR GROUPS OR CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP -Additional meetings of any specific group(s) or category(ies) may be called by the President with a minimum of three days notice to those members. Moreover, additional meetings shall be called at the request of 25 percent of the Executive Council and/or a petition of 30 percent of the members of the particular group(s) or category(ies).
Section 6. REPRESENTATION
A. All delegates (and alternates) to the NEA Representative Assembly (annual convention) and to the PSEA House of Delegates shall be elected by the General Membership by secret ballot, from open nominations, with one-person one-vote principle, and majority of votes wins. The term for delegates shall be one year. The NEA delegates will be elected at the March General Membership Meeting and the PSEA delegates at the October General Membership Meeting. Minority representation shall be in accordance with NEA and PSEA guidelines. The Elections Committee shall conduct the nominations and elections, provided that there shall be opportunity for nominations from the floor. The President shall have the authority to appoint delegates to represent this Association at all regional, state, and national meetings, conferences or conventions other than the NEA Representative Assembly and the PSEA House of Delegates. LMEA shall reimburse these representatives for all expenses reasonably incurred when a proper bill, countersigned by the President is submitted to the Treasurer. Pre-payment of certain fixed costs shall be arranged.
B. The number of delegates representing the Association at the PSEA House of Delegates shall be determined by PSEA guidelines. Professional and support nominees shall be on the same ballot and all delegates to the PSEA shall be elected by the General Membership.
C. The number of delegates representing the Association at the NEA Representative Assembly shall be determined by NEA guidelines. The delegation shall consist of professional and support representation proportional to the ratio of professional to support members. Should the number of nominees in either category be less than the proportional amount, more than the proportional amount of representatives from a category may represent the Association. The additional representatives from a category shall be determined by the most votes.
D. If an elected delegate seat to the PSEA House of Delegates or NEA Representative Assembly is vacated during the delegate’s term, the alternate delegate may fill the vacancy.
ARTICLE III - QUORUM
The members present shall constitute a quorum at all properly called meetings of the General Membership or group(s) or category(ies) thereof, the Bargaining Units, the Executive Council, and all other committees of this Association.
ARTICLE IV - OFFICERS
Section 1. PRESIDENT - The President shall preside over meetings of the Executive Council and the General Membership or group(s) or category(ies) thereof, shall prepare the written agenda to be distributed prior to the start of the meeting; shall appoint committee chairpersons and three delegates-at-large to the Executive Council; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees; shall represent the Association before the public personally or through delegates; and shall be the executive officer of the Association performing the functions usually attributed to this office.
Section 2. VICE PRESIDENTS
A. 1ST VICE PRESIDENT - The 1st Vice President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall work closely with one or more of them as the President shall direct. In addition, the 1st Vice President shall be primarily responsible for the education and professional development elements of LMEA activities.
B. VICE PRESIDENT PROFESSIONAL - The Vice President Professional shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall work closely with one or more of them as the President shall direct. In addition, the Vice President Professional shall be primarily responsible for leadership development within the LMEA.
C. VICE PRESIDENT SUPPORT - The Vice President Support shall be an ex-officio member of all the committees; and shall have the right to attend all Support Staff grievance hearings and attend any other meeting on matters that concern the Association.
Section 3. SECRETARIES
A. SECRETARY PROFESSIONAL. The Secretary Professional shall keep a record of all meetings of the Association and the Executive Council; shall keep a record of attendance at all Executive Council meetings; shall conduct the correspondence of the Association; and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
B. SECRETARY SUPPORT. The Secretary Support shall maintain an accurate list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of all members of the Association; shall send all regular notices to the membership; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees; and shall have the right to attend all Support Staff grievance hearings and attend any other meeting on matters that concern the Association.
Section 4. TREASURER - The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Association and disburse them on the authorization of the President with the approval of the Executive Council, following the rules specified by Policies and Practices; shall collect the annual dues from the members and transmit the proper amounts to NEA and PSEA; shall present a written report on the condition of the treasury at each regular meeting of the Executive Council and the General Membership; shall keep an itemized record of all receipts and expenditures and prepare an annual financial statement for publication as directed by the Executive Council; shall be a member of the Budget Committee, and chairperson of the Membership Committee; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall be bonded by the Association if not covered by the PSEA bond.
Section 5. SUCCESSION.
A. Whenever the office of President should become vacant between elections, the Ist Vice President shall assume the duties and office of President, and a new 1st Vice President shall be elected as soon as possible. In the event that the 1st Vice President is unable to serve the members of the Executive Council shall elect one of their number to serve as President Pro Tempore until a meeting can be held to elect a new President and 1st Vice President.
B. In the case of the resignation of a Vice President, a special General Membership Meeting shall be called for the purpose of electing a Vice President.
ARTICLE V - EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Section 1 . Representation on the Executive Council shall be on the basis of building membership in the ratio of one to thirty, or any fraction thereof, for each faculty; representation on the Executive Council for Support Staff, with the exception of the Transportation and Maintenance sub-groups, shall be on the basis of building membership in the ratio of one to thirty, or any fraction thereof; the Transportation and the Maintenance sub-groups shall each be represented on the Executive Council in the ratio of one to thirty, or any fraction thereof. Minority representation shall be in accordance with NEA and PSEA guidelines.
Section 2. In addition to the duties listed in the Constitution the Executive Council shall approve the budget and all expenditures and shall set only LMEA dues for the Association and refer the budget and dues to the General Membership for final vote; shall carry out policies established, receive reports of committees, report its transactions to the General Membership; and shall be the final judge of qualifications of elected officers and representatives.
Section 3. All members of the Executive Council as specified in Article V, Section 1, of the Constitution shall have the right to floor privileges including the right to make and/or second motions.
Section 4. The right to vote shall be granted to the Association officers, and all members of the Executive Council as specified in Section 1 above.
ARTICLE VI - REPRESENTATIVES ON THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Section 1. LMEA Active Members in good standing shall elect their representatives and alternates to the Executive Council for a period of two years, on a rotating basis. Elections, by secret ballot, from open nominations, with one-person one-vote principle, and majority of votes wins, shall be in May and the Representatives shall take their seats in the June meeting of the Executive Council.
Section 2. Representatives shall attend the regular and special meetings of the Executive Council. In the absence of the Representative, the Alternate Representative shall attend and exercise all rights and privileges of the Representative.
Section 3. For purposes of communication Active Member Representatives shall call Association meetings in their buildings within one week following each Executive Council Meeting. Maintenance and transportation Representatives shall call similar meetings of their respective groups. In addition, Representatives shall conduct elections to committees as the Association may require; shall organize and oversee the election of subsequent Representatives; shall serve on the Membership Committee; shall maintain two-way contact with their groups; shall be responsible for submitting suggested policies to the Executive Council as proposed by their groups; and shall transmit approved policy decisions to the membership for their information.
A. If a Representative, because of absence or negligence, fails to fulfill his/her duties, the Executive Council shall declare his/her seat vacant and shall inform the Representative and his/her group of the reasons for this action. The Alternate will fill the vacancy created. The Representative so removed shall, upon request, receive written cause for dismissal and a due process hearing from the Executive Council.
B. A Representative may be recalled by a two-thirds vote of the members of his/her building or sub-group. Recall shall be initiated by a written request signed by 25 percent of the members of the building or sub-group. Upon receipt of the written request by the President, he/she shall appoint one of the officers to conduct the recall vote, which shall be by written ballot. The Alternate will fill the vacancy created.
Section 5. Representatives shall be Active Members of the Association when elected, and shall maintain their membership during their term of office.
ARTICLE VII - ELECTIONS
Section 1. The Association officers and members of the Elected Committees shall be nominated at the March General Membership meeting. The slate shall then be closed except for any position that remains without at least two candidates. At the May General Membership meeting the Elections Committee may provide any additional nominations needed for any position that remains open. Nominations from the floor shall be taken for any such open position before that portion of the slate is closed. If there are any positions with only one candidate, the secretary will cast the ballot and the candidate will be elected at that time. Voting for positions with no candidates or 2 or more candidates shall occur in each building not later than four (4) working days following the May General Membership meeting, at times established by the Elections Committee, according to a schedule and procedures as set forth in Article VII, Section 2 of these By-Laws. Installation of elected individuals shall take place at the June Annual Banquet with the term of office to begin on September 1.
Section 2. The nominations, elections, and installation under Section 1 above shall be conducted by the Elections Committee in accordance with rules designed by the Committee. Any changes to current rules regarding nominations and elections and the proposed dates of the May election shall be presented to the Executive Council and approved by the Executive Council not later than its January meeting. Rules shall provide for nominations from the floor at the March General Membership meeting in addition to any other methods, shall provide for a secret ballot at the election, one-person one-vote principle, and shall provide for a majority vote of those voting.
Section 3. Members shall be notified of open positions on the Association website, in the March General Membership and April Executive Council minutes, and in the April newsletter.
ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES
Section 1. TYPES OF COMMITTEES - The Committees of this Association shall be of three types: Elected Committees, Standing Committees, and Ad Hoc Committees.
Section 2. COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
A. All Committee Chairpersons, except for the Finance Committee Chairperson, shall be named by the President with the approval of the Executive Council and may be removed by the Executive Council for cause; provided that if an elected member of either the Negotiations Committee, the Financial Advisory Committee, or the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee is appointed to the Chair, a special vacancy is thereby created which shall be filled by the President who shall appoint annually a temporary replacement until the Chairperson's elected three year term expires.
B. All Chairpersons and Committee members shall be members of the Association, and remain members while serving.
Section 3. ELECTED COMMITTEES
A. The Elected Committees shall be the Combined Negotiations Committee, the Financial Advisory Committee, and the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee.
B. The Combined Negotiations Committee members shall be elected by the Active Members for three year terms on a rotating basis; three by and from the High Schools, two by and from the Middle Schools, three by and from the Elementary Schools and one by and from each of the following eight support sub-groups: Building and Grounds, Custodians, Transportation(drivers only), Clerical, Secretarial, Technicians, Campus/Bus Assistants and Food Service (including campus assistants, parking, and bus assistants, cafeteria and recess assistants and food service employees) and Assistants (including instructional assistants, audio-visual assistants, and nurse’s associates).
C. The Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee members shall be elected by the Active members for three year terms, on a rotating basis; four by and from the High Schools, two by and from the Middle Schools, four by and from the Elementary Schools, and one by and from each sub-group of the Support Staff.
D. The Financial Advisory committee members shall be elected by the Active members for three year terms on a rotating basis.
E. If a member of an elected committee because of absence or negligence fails to fulfill his/her duties, the Executive Council shall declare his/her seat vacant and shall inform the member and the group he/she represents of the reason for this action. The member so removed shall upon request receive written cause for dismissal and a due process hearing from the Executive Council.
F. If a vacancy occurs on an elected committee, the President, with the approval of the Executive Council shall appoint someone to fill the vacancy until an election is held to fill the vacancy at the next general membership meeting. If such vacancy occurs due to a change in assignment from one level/category to another, the position will not be considered vacant until the time of the election.
Section 4. STANDING COMMITTEES
A. The Standing Committees shall be: Constitution, Elections, Health and Safety, Instruction and Professional Development, Intergroup Relations, Legislative, Membership, Minority Affairs, Public Relations, Social, Special Services, Sunshine and Finance.
B. In May, the Active Members in each building and sub-group shall elect one member to each committee except the Membership Committee and the Finance Committee.
C. Standing Committees shall have one Support member appointed by the President and the Vice President Support as "Assistant to the Committee Chairperson".
Section 5. AD HOC COMMITTEES
A. The Ad Hoc Committees shall be the Audit Committee, with a minimum of three (3) persons, and the Budget Committee.
B. The President, with the approval of the Executive Council, may appoint such other Ad Hoc Committees as may be necessary.
C. The President, with the approval of the Executive Council, shall name the members of all Ad Hoc Committees, provided that no officer may serve on the Audit Committee.
Section 6. MEETINGS
Each committee shall meet at the call of the chairperson. Elected and Standing Committees shall meet at least once per month during the school year. Special meetings of committees may be called by the President or the Executive Council.
Section 7. REPORTS - Committee Chairpersons shall report at each regular meeting of the Executive Council and of the General Membership, and shall present an annual written report at the May General membership meeting.
Section 8. FUNCTIONS
A. COMBINED NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE
1. The Combined Negotiations Committee shall negotiate for this Association as recognized by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and as provided for by Act 195, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1970.
2. Voting on a proposed contract with the Lower Merion Board of School Directors shall be by secret ballot. Those present at the meeting when a proposed contract is presented shall determine the place of balloting. Only Active Members of this Association may vote on any matter relating to the contract. At least three days advance notice shall be given to the Active Membership of the intention to present a proposed contract. At the meeting where the proposed contract is presented each member shall receive in writing all proposed changes including the complete proposed salary schedule, by steps. The voting on the proposed contract shall take place at a meeting to be held at least three days after the meeting where the proposed contract is presented.
B. PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES COMMITTEE
The Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee shall be responsible for the implementing the Association's Grievance Procedure Contract with the Lower Merion School District; shall provide assistance to all members of the Association with regard to grievances; shall develop a program of education for the members of the Association concerning the Code of Ethics; shall advise the Executive Council in cases involving infraction of the Code of Ethics; and shall advise and assist members in all matters relating to their contractual rights.
C. FINANCIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The financial Advisory Committee shall be responsible for advising the Association on investments apart from the operating funds, coordinating monetary policy with the Treasurer, and reporting to the Executive Council in October, February, and June.
D. CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE
The Constitution Committee shall regularly review the Constitution and By-Laws of this Association and propose changes to the Executive Council and General Membership; shall study the Mideastern Region, PSEA and NEA Constitutions and By-Laws and recommend necessary changes to keep this Association's Constitution and By-Laws in accord with the above; shall]write up all proposed changes in proper technical form, showing the original as well as proposed additions and deletions; shall make those changes necessitated by newly approved amendments; shall consider constitutional questions referred to it by the General Membership or the Executive Council; shall, through its Chairperson, serve as Parliamentary Advisor to the President in all meetings; and shall prepare and preserve an up-to-date copy of this Constitution and By-Laws, dated and certified by members of the Committee and kept on deposit in the Association's safe deposit box.
E. ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
The Elections Committee shall perform the duties outlined in Article VII, Section 2 of these By-Laws; and shall prepare and preserve an accurate record of the terms and rotation schedules of the Combined Negotiations Committee, the Financial Advisory Committee, and the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, dated and certified by members of the Committee and kept on deposit in the Association’s safe deposit box.
F. THE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE
The Health and Safety Committee shall promote a safe and healthful environment for all employees and students by advocating health and safety education, reviewing and analyzing accidents, illnesses, and potential hazardous conditions and recommending actions to the Executive Council to meet these needs.
G. INSTRUCTION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
The Instruction and Professional Development Committee shall promote the educational objectives of the Association, and advise and make recommendations to the Executive Council; shall check for proper certification and assignment of all professional employees, shall develop worthwhile in service education programs and proposals for instructional improvement; shall recommend proper evaluation procedures for evaluation of professional and supportive employees; shall support programs relating to professional autonomy; shall develop and foster local high school student affiliates of the Association and exercise professional concern in programs involving student teachers or interns; and shall cooperate with parent and other groups to improve the district educational programs.
H. INTERGROUP RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The Intergroup Relations Committee shall explore the areas of intergroup dynamics within the school community in an attempt to foster better human relations; shall identify problems and concerns; and shall develop methods and programs to meet these needs.
I. LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
The Legislative Committee shall be responsible for studying proposed local, state and national legislation affecting the interests of the Association; shall interpret legislative programs to the membership, shall make legislative contacts; shall encourage the registration, voting, and civic involvement of all members, shall arrange Association or public meetings on legislation; shall promote activities leading to the passage of legislation beneficial to education; and shall advise members on matters relating to retirement law.
J. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
1. The Active Building Representatives, both Professional and Support, and the Representatives of each sub-group of the Support Staff shall serve as members of the Membership Committee.
2. The Membership Committee, on a continuous, year-round basis, shall conduct the membership enrollment; shall compile a complete and accurate roll of the names, addresses and phone numbers of the members and supply the same to the Secretaries and President; shall collect the dues withholding authorizations and transmit them to the Treasurer of this Association; and shall perform such other duties as are required by PSEA and NEA.
K. PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The Public Relations Committee shall seek to develop public understanding of the purposes and programs of the Association, the values and importance of education, and the educational philosophy and program of the school district; shall develop procedures by which the Association can work cooperatively with parents and the public in civic and social organizations; shall assume responsibility for the Association newsletter, American EducationWeek and Teaching Career Month programs; and shall conduct relations with the press, radio, television and other public relations activities as outlined in the guidelines of the Public Relations Committee of the state and national associations.
L. SOCIAL COMMITTEE
The social committee shall organize such social activities as may serve the needs of members and promote fellowship within the Association; shall organize the annual banquet to be held in June following the annual elections; shall maintain personal contact with retirees; shall encourage retirees to participate in all Association functions; and shall submit to the Executive Council itemized financial reports on each function it conducts.
M. SPECIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
The Special Services Committee shall bring to the attention of the membership the special services made available through LMEA, the Mideastern Region of PSEA, PSEA and NEA;shall assist members in availing themselves of these special services; and shall organize and administer the Lower Merion School District Blood Assurance Program.
N. SUNSHINE COMMITTEE
The sunshine committee shall send cards, flowers, donations, etc, for an illness of long term to members, or death in the immediate family. The appropriate costs to be fixed by the Executive Council.
O. FINANCE COMMITTEE
1. The Finance Committee shall be composed of the Treasurer, as Chairperson, the President, the Vice Presidents, the Secretaries, the Financial Advisory Committee Chairperson, and the Chairs of all committees which have items in the budget.
2. The committee shall help to determine what expenses come under the different budget items; shall keep the Chairs informed of details concerning their budget item; and shall recommend items and amounts to the budget committee concerning the following year’s budget.
P. AUDIT COMMITTEE
1. The Audit Committee shall audit the financial records of the Association as of February 1 a present a written report to the March Executive Council meeting and to the March General Membership Meeting
2. The Executive Council shall arrange for an audit, by a professional accounting firm, of the financial records of the Association following the close of the fiscal year on August 31. The auditors’ written report shall be presented to the October Executive Council meeting and to the October General Membership meeting.
3. The written report of each audit shall include, but not be limited to, the balance in all accounts, the interest earned in all accounts since September 1, and other pertinent information as requested by the Executive council.
4. The President, or the Executive Council, may order a special audit at any time.
Q. BUDGET COMMITTEE
1. The Budget Committee shall prepare and submit to the April Executive Council meeting s proposed dues schedule for all categories of membership and a proposed budget for the following year.
2. Upon approval by the Executive Council, the report of the Budget Committee shall be submitted to the May General Membership Meeting.
R. MINORITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1. The Minority Affairs Committee shall explore the areas of need and interest of minorities to better foster human relationships; shall identify problems and concerns; and shall develop methods and programs to meet those needs. The Committee chairperson shall act as a liaison to the officers and other committee chairs.
2. To be eligible for the position of chairperson of Minority Affairs, the employee must be a minority member of either the professional or support staff.
ARTICLE IX – DUES
Section 1. Dues for all categories of membership shall be determined by the May General Membership meeting as outlined in Article VIII, Section 8.
Section 2. All dues are payable at the beginning of the membership year ort through dues deduction and there shall be no refunds for any reasons.
ARTICLE X – PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES
Section 1. At all meetings of this Association Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised Edition) shall be the Parliamentary authority on all questions not covered by the Constitution and By-Laws and such standing rules as the Membership shall adopt.
Section 2. The final interpretation of these rules shall be the opinion of the President.
ARTICLE XI – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. No alteration, addition, deletion, or amendments shall be made to these By-Laws unless by a two-thirds vote of the members attending a regular meeting of the General Membership, or at a special meeting of the General Membership, called for that purpose.
Section 2. Such change shall be proposed in writing, either by the Constitution Committee or endorsed by a minimum of ten members, be drafted in proper technical form by the Constitution Committee, be presented to the Executive Council, and be posted in each building one week prior to the meeting.
Section 3. When a proposed amendment has been approves by the Association, the Constitution Committee is authorized to make those necessary changes in wording of any and all other sections which are affected by that change.
ARTICLE XII – REMEDIES
Section 1. Trusteeship – the PSEA Board of Directors shall have the power to place a local association in trusteeship in accordance with the PSEA Bylaws.
Section 2. Member Discipline – A member may be censured, suspended, or expelled for the reasons and in the manner set forth in the PSEA Constitution and Bylaws. Only the PSEA Board of Directors shall have the authority to censure, suspend, or expel a member.
A. Any member who is not current with their financial obligation to the Association, PSEA, or NEA shall not be entitled to represent the Association in any elected, appointed, or official capacity.
B. A charged member shall be provided with due process in accordance with PSEA.
ARTICLE XIII – EFFECTIVE DATE
The Effective Date of these amended By-Laws shall be May 15, 2019.