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Staff Council Constitution

Article I. Establishment

The representative council for SHRA/EHRA non-teaching staff (hereafter referred to as “employees”) at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be known as the Staff Council.

Article II. Purpose

The Staff Council serves at the request of and in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor. It represents employees. The purposes of the Council are to:

Section 1. Provide a regular, open forum to facilitate communication among employees and University administration regarding identifying and discussing general employment interests and concerns, exchanging information to clarify and coordinate policies, identifying current problems within university operations, and presenting plans or proposals for improvement of working conditions, as directed by the president of the University of North Carolina system.

Section 2. Advise the Chancellor on issues about which the Chancellor may request input.

Section 3. Initiate the review of University policies and/or procedures and make recommendations regarding interests/concerns that affect staff members.

Section 4. Serve as liaison between staff members and the Chancellor and other governing bodies, and as ombudsman when requested during the grievance process.

Article III. Participation

Supervisors and managers shall support participation, including permitting reasonable release time for Council activities, including committee meetings. Staff Council delegates and first alternates engaged in regularly scheduled Council activities during regular work schedule will report such activity as work time. All employees are encouraged to participate in Council activities with the following provision:

Attendance and participation by employees other than delegates and alternates in the Council’s monthly meetings is on a volunteer basis, and shall not be reported as work time, or conflict with work assignments.

Article IV. Committee Service

Delegates are required to serve actively on at least one Council committee. Each voting area should have at least one representative on each committee. Only Council delegates may serve as Chair or Co-Chair of these committees, with the exception of the Employee Recognition Committee. Standing Committees established by the Council will be reviewed by the Executive Committee when warranted, but at least bi-annually, to determine their continuing relevance.

The Executive Committee may recommend discontinuation of a standing committee to the Council.

Article V. Membership

Section 1. Delegates and alternates shall be permanent full-time employees of UNC Pembroke who have completed (at least) one year of continuous employment.

Section 2. Delegates

  1. A. Elected—The Council will be comprised of twelve elected delegates. The Chancellor may appoint a maximum of two delegates. The Executive board of the Council may add delegates as needed to ensure ethnic representation. These should be selected from individuals who received the largest amount of votes in the general election, if possible.

1. Representation—Representation shall be based on proportional distribution across the four University administrative divisions: Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Student Affairs and the combined Office of the Chancellor and Advancement. The election committee will periodically adjust proportional representation to reflect employee make-up by division. The current employee census by division indicates that five delegates represent Academic Affairs, four delegates represent Finance and Administration (at least one of whom must come from Facilities Operations), two delegates represent Student Affairs and one delegate represents either the Chancellor’s Office or Advancement.

2. Term in Office— Each elected delegate shall be elected to serve a twenty-four month term, from the January meeting of the year of his or her election to the January meeting two years hence inclusive. If the delegate transfers to another electoral division, he/she is allowed to complete his/her elected term. To ensure continuity, terms will be staggered so that approximately one-half of the delegates are elected each year. Delegates take office and assume voting rights at the January meeting following the year in which they are elected.

3. Re-election—Elected delegates who complete twelve months or more of their terms are not eligible for re-election until the second annual delegate election after the completion of their term. Elected delegates completing unexpired terms and who have completed less than twelve months of service will be eligible for re-election at the next regularly scheduled election. Alternates may only serve two consecutive terms.

B. Appointed— The Chancellor, at his/her discretion, may appoint up to two additional voting delegates who may be drawn from EHRA non-teaching staff to make up for a lack of proportional campus representation. If the Chancellor chooses to appoint Council members, the appointments shall be made by December 31 each year. Each appointed delegate will serve a one-year term. Appointed delegates are not eligible for reappointment for one year after the completion of their terms. However, appointed delegates may be nominated and elected at any regularly scheduled election.

  1. C. Alternates— Four alternates, one from each division, will be selected from the highest vote getters (after the elected delegates) and will move up when a member from a corresponding division resigns or is replaced for cause. The next highest vote getter in the same division will then move to alternate position.

First Alternate — Shall be the alternate with the highest number of votes after the elected delegates.

Second Alternate — Shall be the alternate with the second highest number of votes after the elected delegates.

Additional Alternates — When an alternate moves up, an additional alternate must be picked to replace him/her. This is done by selecting the person who received the next largest number of votes in the general election. At all times, the Council should seek to maintain a representative from the division of the previous member.

1. Term in Office—Each alternate will serve a one-year term. If during the year an alternate changes electoral division, he/she no longer serves as an alternate. Upon changing electoral division, alternates are required to notify the Council chair and submit their resignation from the Council.

2. Duties— Alternates will be non-voting members of the Council, who may serve on committees and serve the Council in other capacities and become full delegates if a delegate, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfill his elected term in office.

D. Ex-Officio

The immediate past chair of the Council shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting, member of the Council for one year after the end of his/her term as a delegate.

E. Honorary Delegates

The Council may choose to bestow honorary delegate status upon individuals as it sees fit, limiting itself to one individual honored per calendar year. Petition for such recognition shall be made by general resolution, with a two-thirds majority required for passage. Such an individual shall serve a one-year term on the council. Honorary delegates are to be non-voting members of the Council.

Article VI. Quorum and Voting

Fifty percent of the Council delegates shall constitute a quorum, excluding ex-officio and honorary members. A simple majority (more than 50 percent) of delegates present is required to rule on measures except amendments to the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote. Other measures requiring a two-thirds vote include the installation of honorary delegates, motions to suspend the rules, and other parliamentary motions. Robert’s Rules of Order are to be applied. The Chair shall abstain from voting except when necessary to break a tie.

Article VII. Election Procedure

Section 1. Election Committee—Each year the delegates shall select an Election committee from their own membership. The Election Committee is charged with developing a representative slate of candidates from each district by actively soliciting open nominations. The Committee shall have at least one open public meeting set at a time during normal working hours (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). During the open meeting, the candidates will be given the opportunity to present information to staff about their candidacy. Only employees who have agreed to serve shall be nominated.

A. Election Committee — The Election Committee shall present a list of nominees to the University community by October 15 of each year. Elections shall be completed by November 15, according to procedures approved by the Council and the Chancellor. The names of new delegates and alternates shall be reported to the Council Chair, the Chancellor and to the staff by November 20. There shall be no limit to the number of nominees for a given position.

B. Ballots — Ballots cast in an annual general election must be kept in a secure location and counted as soon as possible. The Council appoints poll registrars, judges and other workers. The Chancellor may, at his/her discretion, appoint election observers, whose responsibility will be to monitor election procedures. Each staff member will be allowed to vote for each open position. The Election Committee will be responsible for counting the votes. The Chair of the Election Committee will keep the original ballots in a secure location. The Chair of the Election Committee will keep the original tally sheets. The Chair of the Staff Council and the Secretary/Treasurer will keep copies of tally sheets.

Section 2. Special Elections—In the event that any electoral division cannot fill each of its apportioned delegate positions due to the resignation and/or termination of that division’s elected delegates and alternates, a special election shall be held to fill the vacant delegate and alternate positions. The Election Committee, in consultation with the Council, and remaining representatives of said division, is charged with initiating and conducting this special election in accordance with instructions for general elections.

Section 3. Election of Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary/Treasurer and Parliamentarian)

A. When and By Whom—Election of officers shall be held at the January monthly meeting and conducted by the outgoing Chair. The election of the Chair shall be conducted by the Chair-Elect, and then the elected Chair shall conduct the balance of the elections. In the event the Chair is nominated for re-election, the responsibility shall pass to the Vice Chair, then the Secretary. In the event that both of these officers also are nominated for re-election or are no longer delegates, a delegate of the Council appointed by the Executive Committee shall conduct elections.

  1. B. Eligibility—Officers must be elected delegates at the time of their election and during their term in office.

C. Term of Office—Each officer will serve a one-year term and assume his/her duties immediately after election. An officer may be re-elected during his/her two-year delegate term.

D. Leadership Continuity — In order to ensure continuity of leadership, the Council shall also elect, at the January meeting, a “Chair-elect,” who will be considered “Chair-in-Training” to be considered for the position of chair when the current Chair’s term expires. This does not preclude the right of others to be nominated for that position when it actually comes open. Nor does it change the order of succession if the current Chair resigns or is removed from office. The Chair-Elect must be a two-year member serving in their first year.

Article VIII. Operating Procedure

Section 1. Operating Year—The Staff Council’s operating year shall be a calendar year.

Section 2. Monthly Meetings—The Council shall meet monthly at a date, time, and place set by the current council. An agenda will be provided to all Council delegates prior to each meeting.

Section 3. Open Meetings—Public councils shall be held by the Staff Council at least twice a year to allow for feedback and input from employees at large. Attendance at the public meetings by employees is voluntary and shall be considered work time when it falls within their regularly scheduled work hours if an employee submits a request to be on the agenda for a public meeting.

Section 4. Council Responsibility—The activity of the Council is intended to ensure equitable application of University policies. The Council will, if applicable, present suggestions, comments, problems, and recommendations to the Chancellor so that he/she may refer them to the appropriate department for review and timely action.

Section 5. Delegate Responsibility

  1. A. General — It is the responsibility of each Council delegate to be aware of the needs and concerns of those whom he or she represents and to present to the Council those items that are pertinent to his or her unit of representation or to the University at large. Council delegates should endeavor to develop a thorough understanding of personnel policy matters such as employment opportunities, affirmative action, quality supervision, fringe benefits, grievances, and appeals procedures by asking for informational presentations to the Council. Names of delegates should be posted in easily accessible places to ensure that staff members are aware of who they are.

B. Attendance — Each Delegate is expected to attend monthly Council meetings, University- wide meetings, and Council committee meetings on which they serve. When a Council member misses three consecutive Staff Council meetings, he/she will meet with the Executive Committee who will decide if such absences are excused or unexcused. If excused, member remains on Council; if unexcused, he/she is removed from Council and the first alternate from that electoral division will be appointed to complete the term of the delegate removed. The first alternate from the same electoral division (if possible) will be invited to complete the unexpired term of the replaced delegate.

C. Resignation — In the event any delegate feels that he/she cannot fulfill his/her responsibilities, it is his/her obligation to notify the Council’s Chair immediately.

D. Change in Delegate Information—Any change in delegate information (office phone, home phone, job title, etc.) should be reported immediately to the Council’s Chair.

E. Alternates Responsibility

  1. 1. General—Since alternates may be called upon to complete the unexpired terms of elected delegates, it is essential that they are well informed about Council activities. Alternates will be included on the mailing list for Council meeting agendas, minutes, and other correspondence routinely sent to Council delegates.
  1. 2. Attendance—The alternates’ attendance at monthly meetings is considered work time when it falls during his/her regular work schedule. If a meeting falls outside normal working hours, that person’s supervisor should adjust the work schedule as needed (to count time as work time.) All alternates are encouraged to attend all meetings.

3. Resignation—In the event any alternate feels that he/she cannot fulfill his/her responsibilities, it is his/her obligation to notify the Council’s Chair immediately of this decision.

4. Change in Alternate Information—Any change in alternate information (office phone, home phone, job title, etc.) should be reported immediately to the Council’s Secretary/Treasurer.

F. Annual Reports—A report of the business of the Staff Council and reports from standing and special committees shall be prepared and made public annually at the December meeting.

Article IX. Officers

Section 1. Chair—The Chair is responsible for presiding at Council meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee. The Chair will appoint committee chairs and serve as an ex-officio member when requested by other University committees and other University officials.

Section 2. Vice Chair—The Vice Chair shall chair the Council in the Chair’s absence.

Section 3. Secretary/Treasurer — The Secretary of the Council is responsible for the accuracy of the minutes for all Council meetings. The Secretary shall maintain a roster of Council delegates and alternates, with the alternate list maintained for each district in order of vote count. The Secretary shall serve as chair of the Election Committee and shall be responsible for overseeing elections and for overseeing attendance.

Section 4. Parliamentarian - The Parliamentarian is responsible for advising Council members on Robert’s Rules of Order and acting to ensure that meetings are carried out in an orderly manner. This individual will be responsible for ensuring that committees are formed as directed and that other actions follow proper procedures.

Section 5: Chair-Elect—The Chair-Elect is responsible for calling the January meeting to order and proceeding with Council Elections. Once a Chair has been elected, the Chair-Elect is replaced by a newly elected Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect is to be part of the Executive Committee.

Section 6. Succession — In the event that the Chair cannot continue with the duties of office, the Vice Chair shall succeed to serve in that office. The succeeding Chair then shall have the authority to designate a new Vice Chair to serve in his or her place subject to ratification by the entire Council. Should the Vice Chair be unable to assume this new post, the Council shall hold a special election for the position of Chair at the monthly meeting following resignation in accordance with the established procedures for electing Council officers.

In the event that the Vice Chair cannot continue with the duties of office, the Secretary shall succeed to serve in that office. The Chair then shall have the authority to designate a new Secretary to serve in his/her place, subject to ratification of the entire Council. Should the Secretary be unable to assume this new post, the Council shall hold a special election for the position of Vice Chair at the next monthly meeting following resignation, in accordance with the established procedures for electing Council officers. Until a successor is found, the Executive Committee shall work to fulfill this position’s duties.

In the event that the Secretary cannot continue with the duties of office, the Chair shall have the authority to designate a new Secretary, subject to ratification of the entire Council. Until a successor is found, the Executive Committee shall work in coordination with the Council to fulfill this position’s duties.

In the event that any member of the Executive Committee fails to perform their required duties in a satisfactory manner, the Council may choose to remove that person by a vote of 50% + 1.

Article X. Administrative Committees

Section 1. Responsibilities of Committees — Committees shall meet as needed, but at least once a year. Each committee shall keep minutes of its proceedings and distribute copies to its members and to the Council. Each Committee shall report to the Staff Council after each meeting. Committees may report directly to the Chancellor at his/her request.

Section 2. Election Committee—The Council will select an Election Committee, with at least one member from each division, at the first meeting in January. The Chancellor, at his or her discretion, may appoint an additional voting member to the Election Committee. The committee is responsible for conducting Council elections, including the periodic review of representation and electoral divisions to determine equitable allocation of delegates. The committee will also present a slate of officers.

Section 3. Executive Committee—An Executive Committee will be comprised of the Council Chair and one delegate from each of the remaining electoral divisions and shall be established each year to set the agenda for monthly Council meetings and to handle business between meetings of the Council. Officers of the Staff Council will serve as the Executive Committee of the Staff Council.Decisions made for the Council by the Executive Committee are subject to approval of the full Council at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. The Vice Chair and Secretary shall serve as representatives for their electoral divisions. The other electoral divisions shall elect their Executive Committee representative at the January meeting. In the event that such a representative leaves the Council before the end of their term, the remaining delegates from that division shall select from their number a new representative to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is also responsible for meeting with the Chancellor quarterly, and other times as needed, to discuss issues before the committee

Section 4. Employee Recognition Committee —The Employee Recognition Committee is responsible for programs designed to boost employee morale. They will be responsible for conducting the balloting for the Employee of the Year. In addition to the members chosen by the Council for the committee, all Council members are expected to serve when called upon. Volunteers from campus will be solicited to augment the committee. This committee shall determine, with Council approval, how the Council will recognize employees for achievement. The committee should strive to maintain a minimum of ten active members.

Section 5. Constitution Committee — This committee writes and submits to the Council any revisions to the Constitution or other by-laws, which have been suggested by the Council. The committee reviews the Constitution for possible amendment and submits changes to the Council for its consideration. In its first year of operation, the Constitution Committee shall be responsible for holding a public meeting of employees to obtain employee ratification of the finalized Constitution. Prior to ratification, the Council shall operate under this provisional Constitution.

Section 6. Publications and Information Committee - This committee is responsible for a periodic newsletter and, with Council approval, is liaison for employee related information and communication of suggestions and concerns to the appropriate person or appropriate office, including UNC General Administration, the Governor’s office or ombudsman, the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), or any other agency as deemed necessary.

Section 7. Human Resources Committee — This committee is responsible for gathering information about personnel concerns, presenting those concerns to the Council for a vote as to what issues should be brought to the Chancellor’s attention, and taking those concerns to the Chancellor. A Human Resources staff member must be invited to participate in this committee.

Section 8. Scholarship Committee - This committee will recommend scholarship recipients for approval by the Council and review and revise policy relating to the Staff Council Scholarship

Section 9. Budget Committee - This committee will recommend to the Council a proposed plan for expenditures from the Staff Council budget.

Approved: August 12, 1999 (Rev. May 17, 2016)