CONSTITUTION

Association Of Legislative Employees

 

I. Name of Organization

This organization’s official name is “Association of Legislative Employees.” It shall conduct business as “Association of Legislative Employees,” “The Association of Legislative Employees,” or “ALE.”

II. Purpose

We are staff who unite in solidarity to improve the working conditions, treatment, wages, benefits, job security, and professional standing of legislative employees; protect all members from illegal, improper, arbitrary, harassing, bullying, or discriminatory treatment; and provide members with a meaningful voice in maintaining a safe, respectful, healthy, democratic, and equitable workplace.

 

We defend the right of all members to be free from discrimination in their lives on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and all other protected classes; pledge our collective efforts to secure the welfare, equality, and dignity of all working people; and affirm these principles in solidarity with the labor movement.

 

III. Membership and Dues

  1. Membership shall be open to all employees of legislative bodies within the state of New York who are not managerial or confidential employees within the meaning of the Taylor Law and New York City Collective Bargaining Law.

  2. The Executive Board may establish new membership categories of employees not before set forth herein.

  3. To remain in good standing, all members must pay dues as set forth in the ALE bylaws.  Dues amounts shall be enacted by a vote of all members, and amended by a majority vote of all members.

  4. Any person represented under an ALE collective bargaining agreement shall have a monthly dues rate of at least 0.5% of gross wages.

  5. An ALE member must be in good standing to be eligible to participate in union business, vote in ALE elections, and serve in those union offices not otherwise restricted by this Constitution. As of August 31, 2021, a member in good standing must have a valid, signed membership card and have paid dues for one month; after June 1, 2022, a member in good standing must have a valid, signed membership card and have paid dues for three consecutive months. 

  6. A member may terminate membership pursuant to the procedures set forth in the bylaws and provided on the membership card.

  7. A member may be suspended or removed for cause upon the referring of charges by the Executive Board and the full and fair hearing of the matter pursuant to procedures to be set forth in the bylaws. If charges are sustained, the Executive Board shall impose an appropriate remedy.

  8. Members may be organized into “Chapters” based upon common employment or other criteria as determined by the Executive Board. The Executive Board may establish new chapters not before set forth herein.

  9. The union shall hold no fewer than three General Membership Meetings per year, and the membership shall elect a Parliamentarian to assist in the operation of the General Membership Meetings whose term shall not exceed the length of Executive Board terms. 

  10. General Membership Meetings shall have a quorum of a majority of all members in good standing to make decisions, including to pass a referendum under the procedure in Article IX. Meetings shall not require a quorum to fulfill the meeting requirement. 

  11. Robert’s Rules of Order will apply in all situations not otherwise covered by this Constitution or set forth in the bylaws.

 

IV. Executive Board

  1. There shall be an Executive Board consisting of the Officers of the union, who are as follows: President; Vice President; Secretary-Treasurer; Recording Secretary; Equity Officer; three Trustees; and a Steward’s Representative.

  2. The Executive Board is the highest authority in the union after the membership. The Executive Board shall hold no fewer than one meeting per month. Executive Board meetings must have a quorum, which is defined as a majority of voting members being present. 

  3. Nominations and elections of Officers shall be held pursuant to Article V, with the exception of the Steward’s Representative, who shall be elected pursuant to Article VI. 

  4. The Officers of the Executive Board shall have the rights and privileges and shall perform the duties usually assigned to their respective offices by Robert’s Rules of Order, except as otherwise specifically provided herein or in the bylaws.

  5. President. The President is the chief executive officer of the union. The President shall preside over meetings and be charged with carrying out all resolutions of the membership and Executive Board. Between meetings of the membership and Executive Board, the President shall exercise general administrative authority and shall be empowered to act on behalf of and take action permitted by the respective committees and subject to subsequent approval of the respective committees. The President shall represent the union in dealings with other bodies, organizations and any public entities. The President shall be a member of and lead the Bargaining Committee. The President is an ex-officio member of all union committees. 

  6. Vice President. In case of resignation, illness, removal, death or absence of the President, the Vice President will carry out all duties of the President, until, if necessary, an election for President is held pursuant to this Constitution. The Vice President shall also carry out all duties prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board.

  7. Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall take custody of all union funds, keep records of all receipts and disbursements, and submit monthly accountings of the union’s financial transactions to the Executive Board and quarterly reports to the membership. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the roster of members in good standing in conjunction with the Recording Secretary, and carry out all duties prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board.

  8. Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall attend all meetings and take custody of all votes and minutes of meetings of those bodies. The Recording Secretary shall carry on the official correspondence of the local, except as the Executive Board may direct otherwise. The Recording Secretary shall maintain the roster of members in good standing in conjunction with the Secretary-Treasurer, and carry out all duties prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board.

  9. Equity Officer. The Equity Officer shall advance the democratic representation of all members, work to remove disparities between groups with different levels of social advantage, and help integrate equity into all aspects of governance, operations, and program strategy of the union. The Equity Officer shall monitor the diversity of the membership and leadership through an annual assessment, advise on the development and allocation of people and resources to redress past and ongoing injustices, and submit an annual report to the membership and Executive Board indicating progress towards meeting the union’s equity goals. The Equity Officer shall also carry out all duties prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board.

  10. Trustees. The three (3) Trustee Officers shall assist the President in the discharge of their duties and those prescribed by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board. Trustees shall conduct audits of the Secretary-Treasurer’s monthly financial reports to the Executive Board to ensure the Executive Board maintains its fiduciary responsibilities to the union.

  11. Stewards’ Representative. The Stewards’ Representative shall coordinate with the Executive Board on grievance and workplace issues raised by the membership through the stewards, and shall serve as a liaison to the shop stewards. The Stewards’ Representative shall be democratically elected among the union shop stewards and serve as a full voting member on the Executive Board, and shall also carry out all duties prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board.

  12. The Executive Board shall be authorized to affiliate ALE with other entities and may retain such staff as deemed necessary with funds allocated for such purpose.

 

V. Elections

  1. The union shall elect an Executive Board. 

  2. Executive Board candidates must be members in good standing.

  3. Executive Board terms of office shall be two years, beginning with the first biennial Executive Board elections in 2022.

  4. No person shall be a candidate for more than one elected Office. 

  5. Voting shall be by secret ballot in a manner set forth in the bylaws.

  6. An Elections Committee, shall conduct, oversee and certify biennial Executive Board elections. Members of the Elections Committee may not run for any directly-elected Executive Board office. 

  7. The term of office shall begin on November 1 of even-numbered years, with the exception of any terms prior to the first biennial elections. The precise date of elections shall be set by the Elections Committee in consultation with the Executive Board, but shall take place in September during an even-numbered year.

  8. In the event of the removal or resignation of an Officer whose term has six or more months remaining, there shall be a special election within 60 days of the vacancy occurring. In the event of the removal or resignation of an Officer whose term has fewer than six months remaining, the Executive Board shall appoint a member to serve until the end of the current term of office.

 

VI. Shop Stewards

  1. Each Council Member office and the Central Staff, respectively, shall elect shop stewards to serve as liaisons between the union and workplaces. Shop stewards shall represent workplace needs, encourage union participation, assist with grievances and otherwise carry out the duties as prescribed by the President or by resolutions of the membership or Executive Board. 

  2. Shop stewards shall serve terms not exceeding the length of Executive Board terms.

  3. Each Council Member office shall elect one shop steward. 

  4. Central Staff shall elect one shop steward for every ten members or greater fractional part thereof in good standing. 

  5. The Executive Board may group Central Staff titles together for the purposes of electing shop stewards.

  6. No member, shop steward or group of members or stewards may enact or publicly announce policies of the union without the express approval of the President or the Executive Board.

  7. The election of shop stewards shall be conducted pursuant to the bylaws.

 

VII. Committees

  1. The Executive Board shall establish committees of the union to engage members, promote leadership, and advise on and help implement union policy.

  2. The Executive Board shall appoint and discharge the members and chairs of committees. 

  3. All union members in good standing shall be eligible to seek appointment to serve on a committee. 

  4. Committee chairs may, by invitation, attend Executive Board meetings as ex-officio non-voting members.

  5. Chairs of committees shall provide a report to the General Membership Meeting at least once per year. 

 

VIII. Bargaining

  1. There shall be elected a Bargaining Committee to negotiate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

  2. The Executive Board shall set the total number of Bargaining Committee members, which shall be composed of no fewer than seven people. The Bargaining Committee shall include and be led by the President. A majority of seats shall not be filled by Executive Board members. Central staff shall hold no fewer than two, and at least one-quarter, of the total number of seats on the Bargaining Committee.

  3. Upon the approval of the Bargaining Committee, any proposed contract shall be presented to the union for ratification by a majority of those voting.

 

IX. Referendum

  1. Union members shall reserve the right to propose a referendum. A referendum is a direct vote by the membership to either modify or annul a decision of the Executive Board, or initiate a vote of all members to change the dues rate. 

  2. A proposal to hold a referendum shall commence with a petition sponsored by at least two ALE members in good standing. The petition must be signed by no less than 10 percent of the membership to be considered valid.

  3. A valid referendum petition shall be presented to the Executive Board and scheduled for a General Membership Meeting or Emergency Membership Meeting within no more than 21 days of receipt of the valid petition, with at least seven (7) days notice to members of such a meeting.

  4. The referendum is adopted if the meeting has a quorum and a majority vote in favor of the petition, except in the case of a motion to change the dues rate, which shall not hold a vote at the meeting but instead require a secret ballot vote of all members and a majority voting in favor.

 

X. Removal of Union Officers

  1. An Officer may be removed from Office for deliberately violating this Constitution or the bylaws of this union, undermining democratically established rules, committing financial malfeasance, behaving unethically or illegally, or performing duties with gross negligence.

  2. If an Officer is suspected of having engaged in such conduct, the Executive Committee may, by a majority vote, determine to investigate the matter and appoint an impartial member or members to investigate. Any such investigation must review the evidence and, where appropriate, hear from witnesses. The subject of the investigation may appear in person and present witnesses and evidence in answer to any allegations. The subject of the investigation may select another union member to represent them in the presentation of a defense during the investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, a report shall be presented to the Executive Board containing the findings of the investigation. The Executive Board shall determine appropriate remedial action. The bylaws shall set out a fair process for the conduct of such investigations.

  3. If it is determined that removal is appropriate, the findings of the investigation must be presented at a General Membership Meeting or Emergency Membership Meeting.

  4. A two-thirds majority vote of the membership is required to remove an Officer.

  5. Any member in good standing may submit charges to the Executive Board for consideration of an investigation.

 

XI. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of this union shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31.

 

XII. Amendments

The Constitution may be amended after the Executive Board votes to propose an amendment, notice of at least 30 days has passed, and the membership approves by a two-thirds majority vote; or, by a Constitutional amendment petition that is signed by no less than 30 percent of the membership, notice of at least 30 days has passed, and the membership approves by a two-thirds majority vote.

 

XIII. Bylaws

Bylaws to implement this Constitution shall be enacted by a majority vote of the Executive Board. A bylaws amendment to the dues rate shall require a vote of the membership pursuant to Article III. The bylaws may be amended by referendum. The Executive Board shall have the sole authority to interpret and apply the bylaws.

 

XIV. Savings Clause

A declaration that any provision of this Constitution is null and void will not in any way affect the validity of other provisions or the Constitution as a whole.

 

XV. Adoption

This Constitution will become effective upon its adoption by a majority vote of members in good standing.
 

DUES RESOLUTION

Association Of Legislative Employees

New York City Council Chapter

 

Members of the Association of Legislative Employees shall pay dues of 0.8% of their gross salary if they earn under $50,000 annually, and dues of 1% of their gross salary if they earn $50,000 or more annually.