Bylaws

HARVARD TEACHERS ASSOCIATION BYLAWS

ARTICLE I: NAME OF ASSOCIATION

The name of the association shall be the Harvard Teachers Association hereinafter referred to as “the Association.”

ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Association are to promote the interests of the teachers, to form a closer professional bond among them, to increase the effectiveness of education as public service, and to act as a representative body empowered to speak with authority for its members.

ARTICLE III: AFFILIATION

This association shall be affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association and the National Education Association.

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

1. Any professional employee (as such employees are defined in Chapter 150E of the General Laws of Massachusetts)  employed in the Harvard  Schools may become an active member.

2. Active members of the Association shall also be members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National   Education Association. 

3. Active membership shall be continuous until the member leaves, resigns, or fails to pay membership dues. 

4. The membership year shall be from July 1 to June 30.

5. Adherence to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession shall be a condition of continuing membership.

6. Revocation of Membership.  According to the procedures adopted by the membership, the Executive Board may suspend from membership or expel any member who has been found in violation of the Code of Ethics of the education profession.

7. Only active members as defined in Section 1 and 2 of this Article shall have the privileges of voting and holding office in the Association.

8.  Dues may be collected or deducted for membership in the Harvard Teachers Association, Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the National Education Association.

9. Membership dues not being deducted should be paid on or before November 15.

10. Teachers hired during the school year may become members upon payment of their dues within 45 days of the beginning of their employment.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS                                                                       

Section 1. OFFICERS

A.   The officers of the Association shall be the President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

B.    No one may hold more than one office at any one time.

C.    The officers of the Association shall assume office on June 1st.  The outgoing treasurer will be responsible for filing end of year financial reports by required deadlines.

Section 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

                A.  PRESIDENT

 1.     The President shall preside over meetings of the Executive Board and the general membership.

 2. He/she shall appoint the Chairmen and members of the standing committees and special committees.

 3. The President shall be an ex-officio member of committees except the Nominating and Elections Committee.

 4. The President shall have the power to call special meetings meetings he/she deems necessary.

 5. The President shall have the power to expend reasonable sums for the execution of his/her duties.

                 6. The President shall enforce the observance of these Bylaws.

                 7. The President and/or his/her designee shall attend the New Staff Orientation.

                 8. The President shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office.

               B. VICE-PRESIDENT

                 1.   The Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President.

                 2.   The Vice-President shall handle all other duties assigned by the President.

 3.     The Vice-President shall meet regularly with Committee Chairmen to discuss committee activities.

 4.     The Vice-President shall serve as communication liaison for the Association. 

C. SECRETARY

1. The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and of the General membership meetings. In the event of the Secretary’s absence, he/she will arrange in advance for another Executive Board member to take the minutes.  In the event of an unanticipated absence, the President will designate someone to take the minutes.

2. The Secretary shall keep a list of officers, building representatives, members of committees, and of members with their present addresses.

3. The Secretary shall keep a mailing list of retired and/or past members.

4. The Secretary shall maintain official files and shall assist the President with the Association correspondence.

                D. TREASURER

1.     The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Association and disperse them in accordance with budgeted authorization.

2.     The Treasurer shall bill the membership for annual dues, collect dues and transmit amounts due the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association.

3.     The Treasurer shall maintain a roll of the members.

4.     The Treasurer shall pay bills after they have been approved by the President and/or the Executive Board and/or the Association.

5. The Treasurer shall keep accurate account of receipts and disbursements and shall report to each meeting of the general membership.

6. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual financial statement for publication to members as directed by the Executive Board.

7. The Treasurer shall keep the President and the Executive Board informed of the financial condition of the Association and recommend to the Executive Board a draft of the annual Budget.

8.     The Treasurer shall be bonded by the Association.

9.     The Treasurer shall file all necessary financial reports required by federal and state agencies.

Section 3. TERMS AND SUCCESSION                                                                       

A.   The Terms of all officers shall be two (2) years. 

B.    A person may be elected to the same office for a maximum of two consecutive terms.

C.    After serving the maximum term limit, a person may be re-elected to the same office provided there is an intervening term.

D.   Any officer of the Association may be terminated in his/her office by a 2/3 vote of the entire membership. The replacement for an officer so removed will be elected by the membership at the meeting at which said officer has been removed.

ARTICLE VI: THE EXECUTIVE BOARD 

Section 1.  THE EXECUTIVE BOARD             

The Executive Board shall consist of the officers and four building representatives elected at large: two from grades K-5 and two from Grades 6-12.  It shall be the Executive Authority of the Association.

Section 2.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

A.   With policies established by the general membership, the Executive Board shall be responsible for the management of the Association and shall carry out policies of the Association.

B.    The Executive Board shall report its transactions to the general membership and suggest policies of the Association.

C.    The Executive Board shall adopt an annual budget for the operation of the Association.  It shall have accounts of the Association audited annually. 

D.   The Executive Board shall establish committees and create policies governing them.

E.   Whenever a majority of the Executive Board shall agree that an officer is incapacitated or have been grossly negligent in his/her duties as defined in these by-laws, it shall recommend immediately to the general membership that the office be declared vacant.  If the general membership so votes by two-thirds (2/3) majority to uphold the recommendation of the Executive Board, it shall immediately elect a replacement to fill the unexpired term.

ARTICLE VII:  BUILDING REPRESENTATIVES                                                           

Section 1.          A.  Members who are in good standing with the association shall elect building representatives.

                            B.    The Terms of building representatives shall be one (1) year, and a person may be re-elected to this office for as many years as he/she is willing to serve.

Section 2.          A.  Building representatives shall attend the Executive Board meetings and the General Membership meetings unless they have been excused by the President.

                            B.  In the event that a building representative has two unexcused absences, the President may declare the seat vacant and call for an election to fill the remainder of the term.

                            C. The President shall designate the Nominations and Elections Committee to conduct such a special election.

Section 3.          A.  The building representatives shall work with the Vice-President to distribute association communications to the members in their areas and to keep their members informed.

                            B.  The Building Representatives shall further act as liaisons from the members to the Executive Board. 

                            C.    The Building Representatives shall inform the new teachers of the benefits of membership in the HTA/MTA/NEA.

                            D.   The Building Representatives shall conduct an active membership campaign among all teachers.

ARTICLE VIII: RULES AND PROCEDURES

                1. Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the authority of the Association.

                2. The President may appoint a parliamentarian who shall attend all general membership meetings of the Association.

ARTICLE  IX: MEETINGS                                                                                               

1.     Executive Board.  The Executive Board shall meet at least monthly, in so far as possible, during the school year, on a schedule to be determined by the Executive Board.  Three members of the Executive Board may request additional meetings.

2.     General Membership Meetings.  There shall be at least two (2) general membership meetings each year which shall be determined by the Executive Board.  The President and/or the Executive Board shall prepare a tentative agenda for each meeting and shall circulate it to all members so that members will have time to discuss it in advance.

3.     Special Meeting.  Special Meetings of the general membership may be held at the call of the President or upon written request to the Executive Board from five (5) active members of the Association and shall be binding upon the Executive Board within ten (10) days of receipt of such petition.  Business to come before special meetings must be stated in the call which shall be sent to each Building Representative for distribution to each member a minimum of three (3) days before such meeting.  Business shall be confined to these items.

4.     A quorum for Executive Board meetings and Committee meetings shall be a majority of their members.

5.     A quorum for general membership meetings shall be 25% of the members.

ARTICLE X: COMMITTEES

Section 1.             All committees, with the exception of the Scholarship Committee, shall have representation from each school. 

Section 2.             Each standing committee shall meet regularly. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman.

Section 3.             The Chairman shall report to the Executive Board and/or the general membership any actions or progress.

Section 4.             Titles and Duties

                A. NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE

1.     Shall negotiate with the School Committee on hours, wages, benefits and other working conditions.

2.     With the aid of appropriate committees, and after soliciting recommendations from the general membership, the negotiating team shall prepare proposals to be placed before     the School Committee.

3.     Upon reaching tentative agreement on all matters under negotiation, the negotiating team shall prepare and submit its report and recommendations to the members at a ratification meeting.                                                                          

               B.  NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

               In so far as possible, no member of the Executive Board should serve on this committee.

1.     The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of at least two representatives, one from Grade K-5 and two from Grades 6-12.

2.     Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.

3.     The Committee shall be responsible for securing candidates for each of the elective offices.

4.     The names of the candidates for elective office shall be published at least three days in advance of the date of the election.

5.     The Nominations and Elections Committee shall be responsible for conducting elections and for meeting the requirements of special elections.

6.     In the event of an uncontested election, elections may be conducted via paper ballot or at a general membership meeting via a voice vote or a show of hands.  All contested elections must be conducted by secret ballot.

7.     Elections shall be conducted during the month of May in so far as possible.

               C. COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES    

1.     Shall recommend to the Association positions on all matters pertaining to rights of Association members especially academic freedom, professional and personal leaves, administrative discipline and dismissal, and grievance procedures; and shall compile data for the support of such positions in negotiations.

2.     Shall make recommendations to the Executive Board in cases of censure, suspension, or expulsions of members.

3.     Shall submit appropriate recommendations to the Negotiating Committee.

4.     Shall work with administration in preparing an annual school calendar.

               D. SICK LEAVE BANK COMMITTEE  

It shall be the function of the three members designated by the Association, together with two designated by the Administration, to administer the Sick Leave Bank.

               E. FUND RAISING 

It shall be the function of this committee to initiate and execute fund raising programs, including but not limited to the Staff-Senior Basketball Game.

               F. SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE  

It shall be the function of this committee to screen applicants and select recipients for scholarship awards.  The Committee shall consist of at least the following:

                         One Administrator                                                The President of the Association or his/her designee

                        The High School Guidance Counselors                A teacher of Senior subjects

                        A Senior Class Advisor                                         A member of the fundraising committee

               G. SOCIAL 

It shall be the function of this committee to provide various social activities for the membership of the Association, including but not limited to a holiday party, and an end-of the year party and/or retirement celebration.

               H.  HEALTH and SAFETY  

It shall be the function of this committee to establish guidelines to prevent health and safety problems and to address health and safety problems in a predictable and expedient manner.  Members designated by the Association, together with appointees designated by the Administration, shall serve together on the Health and Safety Committee.

               I. SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Each year the President may appoint such other special committees as may be necessary and shall discharge them upon completion of their duties.

ARTICLE XI:  DUES

Section 1.            Annual dues for the HTA shall be set by the Executive Board subject to the approval of 2/3 of the membership present and voting at a general membership meeting.

Section 2.            A.  The Association will pay a stipend of $1200 to the President and Treasurer.  In addition, 50% of that stipend will       be paid for the president and the treasurer in the year following the completion of those terms, provided they remain in the system and serve in a mentoring capacity for the new officers. 

                              B.    The Association will pay a stipend of $600 to the Vice-President and the Secretary.

                              C.    The Association will pay a stipend of $300 to the Building Representatives.

                              D.   Dues shall also be underwritten for the Chairman of the Negotiations Committee in any year in which     negotiations are held with the School Committee.

                              E.    In years of unusually heavy responsibilities for the Chairman of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, the Executive Board may vote to pay up to 100% of the dues of the Chairman.

ARTICLE XII: THE AMENDMENT PROCESS

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting provided that copies of the proposed amendments have been sent to all members of the Association at least one calendar week in advance of the General Membership Meeting.