Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory General Membership Branch Bylaws
Article I: Structure
- The name of this Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World shall be Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory General Membership Branch (GMB).
- Membership shall be by voluntary association of IWW members in good standing, however this body shall encourage local autonomy by spinning off new Industrial Union branches wherever and whenever possible.
- These bylaws shall be made available to every IWW Vancouver member as soon as possible upon initiation.
Article II: Membership
- Members are subject to all constitutional provisions set forth in the constitution most recently ratified and amended by the membership of the Industrial Workers of the World.
- The Branch Secretary shall be responsible for providing a current membership list to any member in good standing who requests it unless individual members request to be unlisted on the Application For Membership form at the time of initiation or any time after that.
Article III: Elections
- The branch shall elect a Branch Secretary, Branch Treasurer, Stewards, Administrative Stewards, ‘Canada’ Delegates, and Special Representatives every year at the regular business meeting in May. The branch shall elect Delegates every year at a regular business meeting in February.
- All officers and delegates must be members in good standing of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB. If any officer falls more than three months behind on his or her dues, they shall be given the option of catching up or being replaced.
- All bylaws and policies must be ratified by a majority of eligible voters (including signed proxies) present in a regular business meeting.
- Elections will be held annually at a regular scheduled branch meeting with at least one month of notice (oral or written) to all eligible voters.
- Eligible voters shall include all members in good standing of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB. Any eligible voter may vote in person at the meeting or by signed proxy.
- Prior to elections, nominations must be opened for at least one month. Election notices must include all nominations made at the time of notice.
Article IV: Officers
- Terms of office for all officers shall be one year in length.
- There shall be no limit to the number of terms served.
- Unfilled positions may be assigned to willing volunteers at a regular scheduled branch meeting. Special elections, referenda, ratifications, and recall elections may be called for by any eligible voter willing to give proper notice to all eligible voters.
- All elected roles are accountable to the membership and subject to its guidance, democratically decided instructions, and progressive discipline up to and including recall.
- Branch Secretary: Maintains a record of meeting minutes including a written record of meeting decisions and proposals. Helps draft communication with members, potential members, and supporters. Oversees the initiating and following up on contacts in the industries, recruiting new members, formation of organizing committees, and general strategy. Speaks at least monthly with all stewards from Job Branches. Also responsible for checking the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB whenever possible as well as all special meetings.
- Secretary Treasurer: Keeps a regular accounting of all IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB funds. Completes the Branch Financial Report and sends it with per capita to GHQ by the fifth of every month. Attends monthly meetings of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB whenever possible as well as all special meetings.
- Delegates: (see also the IWW delegates’ manual) Signs up new members, takes dues, maintains regular contact with members and other fellow workers. Listens for and, when appropriate, helps solve problems, sometimes by means of a grievance process, sometimes by more informal means. Distributes union publications and literature. Reports to the Secretary Treasurer at the monthly meeting or the last day of the month. As many delegates are elected as needed (preferably one delegate per 10 members). Attends monthly meetings of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB whenever possible as well as all special meetings.
- Steward/Alternative Steward: The Steward’s duty is the same as the Delegate’s without the responsibility of signing up new members and collecting dues. Alternate is the same as Steward without as much expectation of consistent participation. Acts as Stewards or workplace representative when a Steward is not available. Attends monthly meetings of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB whenever possible as well as all special meetings.
- Collective Bargaining Team: Includes everyone in an affected bargaining unit who wishes to participate in bargaining. Also includes anyone designated by the branch as a representative. Surveys desired changes from worker in the unit. Tries to achieve these changes at the bargaining table, as well as through agitation and through direct action. Reports to branch meetings and as actively as possible to all affected workers.
- 'Canada' Delegates: Liaison to enhance communication between other ‘Canadian’ branches and the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB. Three delegates elected per branch. All are encouraged to attend online 'Canada' meetings. Attends monthly meetings of the IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB whenever possible as well as all special meetings.
- Special Representative: Issue by issue, for instance childcare.
Article V: Meetings
- IWW Vancouver - Coast Salish Territory GMB meetings to be held once per month. All members will be notified of the meeting beforehand.
- Rusty’s Rules of Order should be used to organize decision-making.
- Meetings must be publicized to members at least by email and preferably also by face-to-face contact and telephone.
- Meeting agendas are to be released by the chair at least one week in advance of the meeting.
- For the purposes of voting there must be a quorum of no less than five members in good standing.
Article VI: Finances
- Voluntary payments, donations, and assessments are welcome and must be accounted for, as must any other funds.
- Branch accounts shall be available for inspection and audit by any branch members within one week of request.
- The fiscal year shall be from May 1st to April 30th
- In May there shall be an audit and report of the branch Treasury for the previous fiscal year. Three members invited by the branch shall conduct the audit.
- The Secretary Treasurer will be authorized to disburse funds less than $24.00 CDN at her or his discretion, which will always be set aside as petty cash.
- Irregular disbursements in excess of $24.00 CDN must be approved by a majority of branch members at a regular scheduled or publicized special meeting.
- The Secretary Treasurer shall be responsible for issuing calls for fundraising.
- The branch shall make a budget for the fiscal year.
- Hardship funds are a limited resource, and should be conserved as far as possible. At the same time, they are collected for the benefit of the membership in times of need and should not be hoarded. In order to reconcile the opposing imperatives, hardship funds shall be disbursed as long-term unsecured loans, rather than as grants. That is, a worker receiving hardship funds assistance is expected that the recipient will maintain membership as long as this loan is outstanding.
- Strike funds shall be collected at ten percent of per capita collect and shall be set aside in a special account specifically for strike funds. This account shall never be used for anything else.
Article VII: Job Branches
- Job Branches shall be formed when three or more members are working in one workplace. Job Branches exist as the workplace organization of the IWW.
- The Job Branch shall meet with the Branch Secretary to assess and develop a strategy for the workplace. All strategies will be within the context of the larger industrial strategies.
- Job Branches may meet as necessary as long as a good-faith effort is made to notify all members.
- Job Branches may elect Stewards and other officers as needed. Terms for all officers will be for a set time and subject to recall.
Article VIII: Bargaining Units
- A bargaining unit is the legal workplace as defined by the BC Labour Relations Code, Employment Standards Act or the Canada Labour Code.
- Where representation elections have been won, members and bargaining unit members shall be equally welcome to elect officers and a contract bargaining team. The bargaining team may simply consist of every member and bargaining unit member willing to participate.
- Officers and representatives are elected by the membership and bargaining unit by members who are either present (including signed proxies) to the regular business meeting. Any officer or representative may be specifically instructed by a majority of members and bargaining unit members at a regular business meeting. Officers may be recalled and replaced by a single majority at a regular business meeting with one month of notice. Officers must act in accordance with the IWW constitution.
- Any bargaining demand or offer is subject to the direct vote of the bargaining unit membership at a regular or special publicized meeting of the membership and bargaining unit membership. No contract shall be agreed to without a favourable majority vote of the membership and bargaining unit membership.
- Any bargaining demand or offer is subjected to the direct vote of the bargaining unit membership at a regular or special publicized meeting of bargaining unit membership. No contract shall be agreed to without a favourable majority vote of the bargaining unit membership.
Article IX: Job Actions
- For any strike or job action to enjoy the support or sanction of the Industrial Union Branch, it must be directly approved at a regular or publicized special meeting of the branch.
- Job Branches and bargaining units are free to act on their workplace issues providing they make a good faith effort to consult with the Branch Secretary.
Article X: Amendments
- These bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 majority of the branch at any regular monthly business meeting.
- Amendment proposals must be distributed over email at least one week in advance of the branch meeting where they are to be voted on.
Article XI: Operations Manual
- The Operations Manual shall function as a more flexible document for the more mundane guidelines the branch creates for itself.
- The Operations Manual can be amended at branch meetings by 50% + 1 of attending members in good standing.