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Union Veterans Council Bylaws

The Union Veterans Council (UVC) was established by the AFL-CIO pursuant to the resolution adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council in March 2009. Each of the UVC member unions is an autonomous organization governed separately by its own constitution and by-laws. The UVC shall not have authority or control over member unions or their constituent bodies.

1) Mission

The purpose of the Union Veterans Council is to bring together union leaders and union members who are veterans to speak out on veterans issues and influence public policy to improve the quality of life for U.S. veterans and their families. The two primary areas of focus for the work of the UVC are access to good jobs and to quality health care for our veterans.

The Union Veterans Council will hold government officials, candidates and elected officials accountable to the needs of military veterans and their families. The UVC will make our positions on veteran issues known to candidates for public office and support the appointment of labor-friendly veterans to government agencies at all levels. The UVC will also encourage union veterans to take leadership roles in other veteran organizations and will strive to form coalitions and alliances with other veteran groups around union veteran issues.

2) Governing Board

The Governing Board will be made up of the President of each labor organization (or his/her designee) making financial contributions to the UVC. A quorum for conduct of business at any Governing Board meeting shall be defined as representation from 60% of member unions.

The Governing Board will hold at least one meeting per calendar year and may convene special meetings as needed. Meetings may be held in person or by conference call. When necessary, decisions may be made by a written polling of the members of the Governing Board, subject to the quorum requirements for the UVC. Meetings of the governing board will be governed by Roberts Rules of Order.

At the annual meeting, the Governing Board will elect the following officers: A Chair who will preside over meetings and two Vice-Chairs. The Chair and the Vice-Chairs will serve for two-year terms.

The Governing Board will establish procedures for and approve the hiring of the UVC Director. The Director will be an ex officio member of the Governing Board.

The Governing Board will approve an annual budget, dues formula, allocate additional financial resources as needed, and provide guidance and direction on implementation of organizational goals.

Decisions will be by consensus. If consensus is not possible, decisions will be made by vote. Each UVC union will have one vote. Organizations that are significantly in arrears, as determined by the officers, in payment of their base annual contribution or quarterly payments shall not be eligible to vote.

Beginning each January, participating UVC unions will make quarterly payments by the last day of the first month of each quarter, to finance the approved annual calendar year budget.

The base contribution for each participating union will be determined by the Governing Board at the annual meeting.

3) Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Governing Board will consist of the three UVC Officers and 6 members of the Governing Board. The 6 non-officer members of the Executive Committee will be chosen by the Governing Board and serve a term of three years. At the inception of the first Executive Committee in the year 2010, the initial terms of the non-officer members will be; two members for a term of two years, two members for a term of three years, and two members for a term of four years. Following the initial 2-year period, 2010-2012, two new members will be selected each year for a term of three years.

If a mid-term vacancy should arise on the Executive Committee, the President or top officer of the union or organization represented by the now vacant position will have the option of naming a person to replace the vacated person for the remainder of his/her term. If the union President or top officer relinquishes the seat to other member organizations, the Executive Committee will name a person to fill the remainder of the term.

The Executive Committee will make recommendations to the UVC Governing Board on matters of budget, staffing and organizational goals.

Between meetings of the Governing Board, the Executive Committee of the UVC will have final responsibility and authority over the work of the UVC and its staff.

In order to promote full participation of all labor organizations in the Union Veterans Council, the Executive Committee will have the authority to consider and approve annual dues in amounts other than those approved by the Governing Board at the annual meeting for that year, based on demonstrated economic hardship or other extenuating circumstances.

The Executive Committee has the authority to make determinations regarding permitting organizations not affiliated with the AFL-CIO to become members of the Union Veterans Council.

4) Staff Committee

The Staff Committee will be made up of at least one officer or staff person from each of the affiliate labor organizations. The Staff Committee will meet on a bi-monthly basis, or as necessary and scheduled by the Director, who will serve as Chair of the Staff Committee.

Meetings of the Staff Committee will be governed by Roberts Rules of Order.

The Staff Committee, through the Director, will be responsible for conducting the day-to-day operations of the UVC, and is responsible for developing and carrying out programs and other campaigns as agreed to by the Governing Board or the Executive Committee.

Decisions of the Staff Committee will be by consensus. If consensus is not possible, decisions will be made by vote, with each participating union having one vote. The Director does not have a vote.

Organizations that are significantly in arrears in payment, as determined by the officers, of their base annual contribution or quarterly payments shall not be eligible to vote.

The Staff Committee will report to the Executive Committee of the Governing Board through the Director.

5) Responsibility of Member Unions

In addition to financial support, it is understood that member unions will contribute staff time and other in-kind resources as is necessary and practicable for carrying out program activities of the UVC.

6) The Director

The Director will report to the Officers of the Union Veterans Council.

Except for meetings of the Governing Board and Executive Committee, the Director of the UVC will be responsible for convening and chairing meetings related to the organization’s work. The Director will also be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the organization’s programs and activities, working with leaders to set priorities, assisting in the development of work plans, and facilitating communication among member unions.

The Director will be responsible for notifying member unions of their base contribution obligations and any arrearages. Funds received by the Director shall be deposited into an account maintained by the AFL-CIO, which will maintain a separate cost center for these funds and which will make payments from these funds in accordance with procedures established by the AFL-CIO in consultation with the UVC. The Director will make regular quarterly financial reports to the officers and Executive Committee.

The Director will assist UVC committees in developing strategic goals and activities and will work with the Staff Committee and the officers to ensure the implementation of these activities.

The Director will work in collaboration with member unions through the Staff Committee and assigned staff of the AFL-CIO as projects demand.

7) Additions, Modifications and Amendments to By-Laws of the UVC

Additions, modifications and amendments to these rules, require the approval of the Governing Board of the UVC based upon recommendations from the Staff Committee. Approval for additions, modifications or amendments of the rules will follow the Staff Committee and Governing Board decision-making procedures in place at the time of the proposed addition, modification or amendment.

Adopted June 17, 2009

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