Constitution

The Constitution is HSAA’s highest expression of the collective will of the membership of the Union. It stands as the ultimate authority upon which every decision is based. As such, it can only be amended by a 2/3 vote of the delegates at Convention or a special meeting.

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DELEGATION OF DUTIES AND AUTHORITY

40.01

The Board and Executive Officers may delegate to the Executive Director full authority:

  1. To manage and direct the business affairs of the Union, except such matters and duties as by law or the Constitution may only be transacted or performed by the Board or by the members in a general meeting; and
  2. To employ and discharge agents and employees of the Union.

40.02

The Executive Director shall conform to all lawful directives of the Board, and shall at all reasonable times give to the Board, or any of its members, all information they may require regarding the affairs of the Union.

REMUNERATION

41.01

Members of the Board and Executive Officers will be remunerated for their expenses as per applicable policy.

ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT

42.01

The books, accounts, and records of the Union shall be audited at least once a year by an auditor appointed by the Board and the audit report shall be made available to the membership prior to the convention

42.02

The books and records of the Union may be inspected by any member of the Union upon request to the Board after giving reasonable notice.

SAVE HARMLESS

43.01

The Union shall indemnify and save harmless any member of the Board, or any person appointed or employed by the Board, from personal liability incurred by such person in the administration of the affairs of the Union, provided that such protection shall extend only to persons properly authorized and acting bona fide in the interest of the Union.

COMMITTEES

44.01

The Board shall establish the following standing committees:

  1. Finance Committee;
  2. Elections/Credentials Committee;
  3. Constitution, Bylaws, Resolutions and Policy Committee;
  4. Members’ Benefits Committee;
  5. Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Committee; and
  6. Members’ Appeals and Review Committee; and
  7. Discipline Committee

45.01

The Board shall establish such other committees as the Board, in its absolute discretion, shall deem necessary.

MEETINGS

46.01

The parliamentary authority for all meetings of the Union shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.  A simplified form of these rules may be adopted by a majority vote of the members present.  Where such simplified rules do not sufficiently deal with an issue, the main text will apply.

47.01

Members of the Board will have twenty-one (21) days’ notice of regular meetings of the Board. Such notice may be verbal or written.

47.02

Special meetings of the board may be called by the President or any three (3) members of the Board. Members of the Board shall be given seven (7) days’ notice (verbal or written).  In urgent situations, this notice requirement may be waived by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board.

47.03

Quorum of the Board shall be fifty percent plus one (50% +1) of the Board, including the President and Vice-President.

47.04

All votes shall be by a show of hands, unless a secret ballot is demanded by any District Board Member:

  1. The results of the votes will be recorded in the minutes
  2. In case of a tie vote, the resolution is defeated.

48.01

In-Person Meetings

HSAA believes that meeting in person is our preference when conducting business. When this is impossible due to circumstances set forth in the Article – Postponement of Annual Convention or Called Special Meeting, meetings may be conducted via online technology provided every reasonable attempt is made to address delegates’ privileges.

48.02

Convention

The Union shall hold an annual Convention.

The convention is the highest decision-making authority for the union. At such meetings, members have the opportunity to make, ratify or reverse any decisions to the extent that such action would not violate the Constitution or any collective agreement in force between HSAA and any employer. The convention will mandate the activities of the board of directors between conventions.  The membership will be represented at these meetings by delegates.

48.03

Notice

  1. All members shall be given notice of the date and place of the convention no later than January 1.
  2. The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting or the non-receipt thereof by any member(s) or Local Unit shall not invalidate any resolution or constitutional amendment passed or proceedings taken at the convention.
  3. HSAA will provide notice to the last-known address or email address of each member and will be posted to the public-facing portion of the website.  Such notice will be deemed sufficient for the purpose of conducting union business.

48.04

Resolutions

  1. Delegates may bring matters before a Convention for consideration by means of resolutions submitted to the Constitution, Bylaws, Resolutions & Policy Committee.  These resolutions may include proposed constitutional changes, policy matters or position statements.
  2. The Board of Directors may submit its own resolutions to Convention.
  3. All resolutions for submission to Convention must be received at Union head office at least forty-five (45) days prior to Convention or they will not be considered.
  4. All policy resolutions shall not exceed 150 words.
  5. Copies of resolutions shall be provided to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to Convention.
  6. Emergency resolutions may be submitted in writing to the table at convention at the close of the first day.  An emergency resolution must deal with a subject matter that has arisen during the forty-five (45) days immediately preceding the opening of the convention.  The Constitution, Bylaws, Resolution & Policy Committee will determine whether it is an emergent resolution or not and proceed accordingly.

48.05

Delegate Status at Convention

Credentials shall be granted to Local Units based on one (1) delegate per fifty (50) members, or portion thereof, in good standing as of October 1st of each given year.

Local Units will distribute credentials to its members as per policy.

Members who are not selected to receive credentials from their Local Unit but wish to attend may enter their names on a waiting list within their district.

Should a Local Unit not use all of their allotted credentials, the unused credentials will be offered by random draw to those on the waiting list from within their district.

48.06

Delegate credentials shall be granted to active Local Units only, meaning that they have held at least one (1) general meeting of the local unit members in the calendar year prior to December 1st of each given year and a local unit executive was duly elected.

48.07

Current members of the HSAA Board of Directors will automatically be granted delegate status separate from Local Unit or District distributions.

48.08

Current members of HSAA Board Committees who are not delegates through the process may attend as non-voting delegates.

48.09

Board members-elect are entitled to attend and participate however, they do not have voting rights unless they are otherwise attending as a delegate within their Local Unit.

48.10

Quorum

Quorum at convention shall be fifty per cent (50%) of the registered delegates.

48.11

Voting

  1. Only delegates in attendance at convention are entitled to vote and they are entitled to cast one (1) vote on each issue.
  2. A simple majority vote of the delegates present and voting shall be sufficient to pass any resolution presented to convention except those which change the Constitution for which a two-third (2/3) majority is required.
  3. In case of a tie vote, the resolution is defeated.

48.12

Special Meetings

A special meeting shall be at the call of the board of directors with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote or more than 25% of the membership in writing provided that the nature of the business is stated in the request. Electronic signatures will be deemed acceptable. For the purposes of this provision, the size of the membership is determined by the number of active members on the last day of the preceding month of the petition.

A special meeting may be called by the board or a group of members to deal with a matter of business that cannot be delayed until the ensuing convention. Such a meeting shall deal only with the subject matter contained in the written request of the membership or the board of directors.

Upon the receipt of a written request of the membership with the required number of signatures, the board of directors shall call a special meeting within 21 days.

48.13

Notice

  1. Members were listed as delegates at the previous convention shall be given fourteen (14) days’ notice of the special meeting and will be invited to attend provided that the nature of the business is stated. This may be done electronically.
  2. The notice shall state the date, hour and place of the meeting, and the nature of the business to be transacted.
  3. The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting or the non-receipt thereof by any member(s) or Local Unit shall not invalidate any resolution or constitutional amendment passed or proceedings taken at the special meeting.
  4. HSAA will provide notice to the last-known address or email address of each member and will be posted to the public-facing portion of the website. Such notice will be deemed sufficient for the purpose of conducting union business.

48.14

Quorum

Quorum at any special meeting shall be fifty per cent (50%) of the registered delegates or 100 delegates, whichever is greater.

48.15

Voting

  1. Only delegates in attendance at the special meeting are entitled to vote and they are entitled to cast one (1) vote on the issue.
  2. A simple majority vote of the delegates present, and voting, shall be sufficient to pass any resolution presented at the special meeting except those which change the Constitution for which a two-third (2/3) majority is required.
  3. In case of a tie vote, the resolution is defeated.
  4. The removal from office of an Executive Officer of Board Member requires two thirds (2/3) majority vote.

48.16

Postponement of Annual Convention or Called Special Meeting

Once the call for the annual convention or special meeting has been made, every reasonable effort must be made to adhere to the date, time and place of the meeting stated. The board, by a two-thirds majority vote, may postpone a meeting only due to public order by an official government body or an emergent situation. In such a case, the postponed meeting must be held within six months of the originally scheduled meeting. The postponed meeting may be held via online technology.

49.01

  1. Labour conferences are an annual educational opportunity for members to learn about labour and workplace issues, collective bargaining proposals and/or other relevant matters to the membership.
  2. The Labour Relations Conference may be held on a regional basis as deemed appropriate by the Board.

NEGOTIATIONS

50.01

The Board or its delegate may sign memoranda of agreement, subject to ratification by the members affected by the relevant collective agreement.

50.02

Ratification votes may be taken at a duly convened meeting of the membership, by secret ballot, which may include electronic methods, or as directed by the Alberta Labour Relations Board or equivalent authority.

CODE OF ETHICS

51.01

One or more of the following acts shall constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the Union:

  1. Crossing a picket line established by the Union;
  2. Obtaining or soliciting membership by misrepresentation;
  3. Knowingly failing to comply with the Constitution;
  4. Attempting to bring about the withdrawal of any member or group of members from the Union;
  5. Knowingly publishing or circulating false reports or misrepresentations among the members of the Union;
  6. Working in the interests of another union to the detriment of the Union;
  7. Without proper authority using the name of the Union to solicit funds or to advertise;
  8. Misappropriating assets belonging to the Union;
  9. Furnishing to anyone, without proper authority or for any purpose not in the best interest of the Union, a list or a portion of a list of members of the Union;
  10. Failing, without reasonable excuse, to pay membership dues, assessments or other fees of the Union;
  11. Slandering or libeling, that is, spreading defamatory comments, either verbally or in writing, which would tend to injure the reputation of a member or an officer of the Union or any of the component parts of the Union;
  12. Failing to follow the lawful order of the chair of any meeting of the Union or its component parts to the point where business of the meeting may not be fairly and reasonably conducted;
  13. Interfering with the performance of the duties of any officer of the Union or its component parts;
  14. Engaging in conduct detrimental or prejudicial to the best interest of the Union;
  15. Willfully neglecting the duties of an elected Union position;
  16. Failing to follow the lawful directions and ruling of the Board and/or an Executive Officer;
  17. Filing frivolous, unnecessary or vindictive charges against a member of the Union
  18. Harassing any member or staff member of HSAA;
  19. Actively interfering with contractual or other rights of members;
  20. Violating the published policies of the Union;
  21. Knowingly failing to declare a conflict of interest, and/or participating in decisions where a conflict of interest exists; or
  22. Knowingly breach the Oath of Office.
  23. Knowingly breach confidentiality.

COMPLAINT(S) OF A CONSTITUTIONAL BREACH

52.01

Any member(s) who has (have) reasonable grounds to believe that another member or a member of a Local Unit Executive has been guilty of a breach of the Code of Ethics, or a breach of any of the Constitution of the Union may make a complaint thereof in writing to the Executive Officers of the Union within twenty-one (21) days of becoming aware of the circumstances which are the basis of the complaint.

Any member(s) who has (have) reasonable grounds to believe that a member of the Board of Directors has been guilty of a breach of the Code of Ethics, or a breach of any of the Constitution of the Union may make a complaint in writing to the Executive Assistant, to the Board of Directors, of the Union within twenty-one (21) days of becoming aware of the circumstances which are the basis of the complaint.  Upon the receipt of the complaint, the Executive Assistant shall forward the complaint immediately to the President and/or Secretary Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees. One of them, or their designate, will then act in the role of the Executive Officers for the purposes of this Article.

52.02

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Officers shall determine if the identity of the complainant(s) will be kept confidential at the investigation stage. The Executive Officers shall consider the best interests of the Union, the interests of the complainant(s), the interests of the respondent(s) and any other relevant factors.

52.03

Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the complaint, the Executive Officers shall assign an investigator who shall be supplied with:

  1. A copy of the complaint;
  2. A copy of the relevant sections of the Constitution;
  3. Contact information for the complainant(s) and respondent(s) and known witnesses; and
  4. Any other relevant information or documentary evidence.

52.04

Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the complaint, the Executive Officers shall provide the respondent(s) with a copy of the complaint or, in the event that the identity of the complainant(s) is to be kept confidential at the investigation stage, a summary of the complaint, edited to maintain the confidentiality. The Executive Officers will also provide the respondent(s) with the name and contact information of the investigator.

52.05

The investigator shall inquire into the complaint by contacting the complainant(s), respondent(s), and witnesses to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support the referral to the Discipline Committee.

52.06

The investigator may, at their discretion, determine the scope of the investigation and may, where there are multiple complainants, respondents, or witnesses, determine that it is not necessary to interview each complainant, respondent, or witness.

52.07

The investigator shall make every effort to conduct interviews outside the member’s workplace and hours of work.

52.08

The investigator shall report to the Executive Officers in writing, within forty-five (45) days of the appointment, summarizing their findings and providing any documentary evidence gathered during the investigation and shall recommend that:

  1. Disciplinary action should be imposed; or;
  2. The complaint be dismissed; or
  3. An alternative dispute resolution mechanism be utilized.

52.09

If the investigator’s report recommends dismissal of the complaint the Executive Officers will inform the complainant and respondent within fifteen (15) days of its receipt.

52.10

If the investigator’s report recommends an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) the Executive Officers will inform the complainant and respondent within fifteen (15) days of its receipt.  The Executive Officers shall implement an ADR without delay.

52.11

If the investigator’s report recommends disciplinary action, the Executive Officers will select five (5) members from the Discipline Committee within fifteen (15) days of its receipt.

52.12

An Executive Officer shall give notice in writing to the respondent(s) and to the complainant(s) specifying the date and place of the hearing, with particulars of the charge.

52.13

Notice by registered mail, email or courier, requiring a signature or electronic acknowledgement, upon receipt, shall be given to the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) not less than thirty (30) days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall be sent to the last address listed with the Union.

52.14

Should the respondent(s) or complainant(s) be unable to attend because of circumstances beyond their control, they should notify the Discipline Committee within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice provided above, whereupon a new date for the hearing will be fixed by the Discipline Committee. Should the respondent(s) or complainant(s) then fail to attend:

  1. In the case of the respondent(s), the hearing may proceed in their absence, upon proof of service of the notice upon them.
  2. In the case of the complainant(s), the complaint may be dismissed, upon proof of service of the notice upon them.
  3. In exceptional circumstances satisfactory to the Discipline Committee, a further adjournment may be granted.

52.15

The Discipline Committee shall hear and determine the disposition of the complaint.

52.16

The Discipline Committee shall determine its own procedures and,

  1. May accept oral or written evidence that it considers proper, whether admissible in a court of law or not;
  2. Is not bound by the law of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings;
  3. Shall follow the rules of natural justice in the conduct of its hearing;
  4. Shall allow witnesses to be called and cross-examined;
  5. Shall deliberate upon its decision in private, considering only the evidence and submissions raised during the hearing, to reach its decision; and
  6. May retain legal counsel to advise it regarding its procedures and practices before and during the hearing.

52.17

The Executive Director, or designate, shall represent the interests of the Union in the disciplinary hearing.  They shall present the evidence of the complaint at the hearing on behalf of the Union and shall make submissions at the hearing.

They shall be guided by the principle of making every effort to ensure that the whole truth, whether in support or against the complaint, is presented to the Discipline Committee. At the discretion of the Executive Director, or their delegate, legal counsel may be hired to assist.

52.18

The Executive Director shall make every effort to provide pre-hearing disclosure of the case that will be presented on behalf of the Union to the respondent(s) and complainant(s) prior to the hearing.

52.19

The respondent(s) charged shall have the right, subject to the provisions of the Labour Relations Code and applicable privacy legislation:

  1. To be informed of the charges and provided a full and complete copy of the complaint and any amendments or additions thereto;
  2. To know the identity of the complainant(s);
  3. To be provided with a copy of the investigator’s report;
  4. To be provided with any additional documentary evidence gathered by the investigator;
  5. To call and cross-examine witnesses;
  6. To be heard; and
  7. To be represented by legal counsel.

52.20

The Discipline Committee shall, within fifteen (15) days render a decision, in writing, explaining the rationale for its decision and for any penalty assessed, that may include:

  • A written reprimand
  • A fine based on an hourly rate of pay
  • A suspension of some or all membership privileges
  • Expulsion from membership
  • Any other discipline that is deemed appropriate

A copy of the decision will be submitted to:

  1. The Board;
  2. The respondent(s);
  3. The complainant(s); and
  4. The Executive Director, designate or legal counsel.

The decision shall be sent to the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) by registered mail, email or courier, requiring a signature, or electronic acknowledgement, upon receipt.

52.21

Should either party wish to appeal the decision of the investigator or the Discipline Committee, they shall inform the Executive Officers in writing within fifteen (15) days of receiving the decision.  Any appeal must be related to:

  1. the discipline process; or
  2. the findings of the Discipline Committee; or
  3. the severity of the sanction.

52.22

The Members’ Appeals and Review Committee (MARC) will hear any appeal within fifteen (15) days.  This shall be completed by documentary review.  The decision of the MARC is final.

52.23

The complainant(s) and the respondent(s) shall be notified of the decision and rationale of the MARC without delay by registered mail, email, or courier, requiring a signature or electronic acknowledge upon receipt.

52.24

Any member who has been expelled from the Union shall forfeit all rights and benefits of membership.

52.25

Any member who has been expelled from the Union may apply to the Board of Directors for reinstatement after five (5) years.  This may be granted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

53.01

HSAA will cover reasonable and substantiated expenses and other costs judged to be reasonable by the Board of Directors in the circumstances of the case.  Legal costs of the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) at any stage of the process will be considered for reimbursement only in those exceptional cases deemed by the Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, to warrant reimbursement.

LIABILITY OF MEMBERS

54.01

No member of the Union, in his or her individual capacity, shall be liable for any debt or liability of the Union.