Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the Brookline Educators Union, Inc., hereinafter referred to as the “Union” or the “BEU.”
Article II – Objectives
We the members of this Union in order to fulfill our responsibilities to society and to our profession do hereby adopt the following:
Section 1. General Objectives:
- To maintain and improve the quality of education for all.
- To uphold high professional standards and to advance the socioeconomic well-being of educators.
- To protect and advance the socioeconomic well-being of educators by protecting member rights under the terms of the “Contract”.
Section 2. Specific Objectives:
The Executive Board is authorized and directed to establish specific objectives within the framework of the general objectives in Section 1 above. These specific objectives shall be reviewed annually, revised if necessary, and published.
Article III – Membership
Section 1. The membership of the BEU shall consist of Active, Associate and Retired Members.
Section 2. Active membership shall be composed of all teachers, nurses, administrators and aides and other educational support personnel who have been appointed by the Brookline School Committee, who are currently employed as such, and who have paid the dues of the Union for the current year.
Section 3. Associate members are those persons interested in the advancement of the cause of education, who are not eligible for active membership, and have been admitted to membership by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Executive Board present and voting.
Section 4. Retired membership shall be comprised of all former active members who have retired from the Brookline Public and who have paid the dues of the association for the current year.
Section 5. The membership year shall be from September 1 to August 31.
Section 6. Dues shall be collected for membership in the National Education Association, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, and the BEU.
Section 7. Members of the BEU shall also be members of the MTA and the NEA.
Section 8. In order to acquire the rights and privileges of active membership in the BEU, the membership dues must be paid or dues deduction authorization cards signed.
Section 9. Teachers entering the Brookline School System during the school year with paid membership in the MTA and any local association within the state of Massachusetts shall be granted active membership.
Section 10. Adherence to the NEA Code of Ethics of the Education Profession shall be a condition of continuing 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.
Section 11. All members shall have the privilege of attending, voting, and participating in business meetings and serving on committees in the BEU. Only active members shall be able to hold the position of President or Vice President. Retired members shall not compromise more than 25% of the membership of the Executive Board.
Article IV – Officers
Section 1. The officers of the BEU shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 2. When the President is a high school teacher, every attempt shall be made to select an elementary school teacher as a next president. The reverse will also be true. This is a full-time position and he/she is granted a full release from teaching for the length of his/her term.
Section 3. The officers shall be members of the Executive Board.
Section 4. No officer can hold more than one office at a time.
Section 5. All officers shall serve for two years, concurrently.
Section 6. To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast.
Section 7. Elected officers and members of the Executive Board shall take office on July 1, immediately following regularly scheduled elections their duties.
Section 8. Powers and Duties of Officers:
- He/she shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Union, responsible for carrying out all Union policies.
- He/she shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee, the Representative Council, General Membership meetings and Special Meetings.
- He/she shall be a member ex-officio of all Union Committees.
- He/she shall appoint all committee chairs.
- He/she shall, with committee chair, appoint the members of standing committees and special committees subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
- He/she shall prepare an agenda of all meetings over which he/she presides, distribute said agenda to all members involved three days in advance of the next meeting, whenever possible.
- He/she shall inform each member of the Executive Board and the Representative Council as to the time date, and place of the meetings.
- He/she shall perform all other functions usually attributed to this office.
- He/she shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President when necessary.
- He/she shall be the coordinator of the Representative Council.
- He/she shall be able to assume other duties as directed by the President or the Executive Board.
- He/she shall be the chair of the Logistics and Election Committee.
- He/she shall keep a full accurate record of all business transacted by the Union at any meeting in which the President is presiding. Said minutes shall be circulated to all members of the group involved prior to their next meeting.
- He/she shall keep the following records:
- a list of officers
- a list of the Executive Board
- a list of members of Union Committees
- a list of all members of the Union together with their addresses
- a list of past officers
- approved minutes of all Union meetings at which the President presides
- a list of all Union activities, annual reports of the President and committee chairs
- and any other records that the Executive Board deems worthwhile.
- He/she shall hold the funds of the Union and disperse them in accordance with budgeted authorization.
- He/she shall bill the membership for annual dues, collect dues and transmit the amounts due to the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Education Association.
- He/she shall maintain a role of the members and submit same to MTA and NEA by the required date.
- He/she shall keep accurate account of receipts and disbursements, and shall report to each meeting of the general membership
- He/she shall prepare an annual financial statement for publication to members.
- He/she shall keep the President and the Executive Board informed of the financial condition of the Union and assist the Executive Board in the drafting of the annual budget.
- He/she shall be bonded by the Union.
Section 9. Vacancies. If the event that a vacancy should occur in any of the positions of the officers, the Elections Sub-committee will hold a special election within 30 days of the vacancy. The person so elected shall take office immediately and shall serve for the unexpired portion of the term. In the event of a vacancy within 90 days of the end of the term, the Representative Council may, at its discretion, elect the successor.
Article V – Executive Board
Section 1. The Executive Board, hereinafter called The Board, shall be the Executive authority of the BEU and shall, as part of its function, enforce these by-laws.
Section 2. The Board shall consist of 15 members: the President, the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Negotiations Chair, Grievance Chairs (one High School and one Elementary), Educational Policy Chair, Community Relations Chair, Internal Communications Chair, Health and Safety Chair, Membership/Benefits Chair, a Past-President and a member of any bargaining unit not otherwise represented. The member to serve as a Past-President shall be appointed by the President from the pool of past presidents who are still members of the Union. A Past-President shall serve for one year.
Section 3. Powers and duties of the Executive Board.
- Enforce the by-laws
- Advise and assist the President in the execution of his or her duties.
- Assist in the formation of policy for the BEU.
- Attend meetings of the Representative Council and Membership.
- Assist in the preparation of the agenda for the Representative Council meetings.
- Determine the number of representatives to the Representative Council when there is not an adequate distribution of representatives.
- Take emergency action.
- Establish, with the approval of the Representative Council, policies and procedures for the direction of the employed staff.
- Suspend or expel from the Union any member who violates the ethics of the profession or is convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude.
- Have the power to reinstate any member who has been previously suspended or expelled from the Union. This power shall be exercised if, after the Board conducts a hearing into the cause of a person’s suspension or expulsion from the Union, the Board considers that the circumstances or causes for suspension or expulsion have been removed.
- Call special elections to fill vacancies caused by resignation or inactivity in the position of representative.
- Approve a Parliamentarian, the filling of vacancies which occur on the Board during the months of July and August, and committee chairs and members.
Article VI – Representative Council
Section 1. The Representative Council, hereinafter called the Council, shall be the legislative and educational policymaking body of the BEU.
Section 2. The Council shall consist of the Executive Board and two members from each elementary school, one member from each department/discipline with more than 10 staff members at the High School (Departments with less than 10 members can be combined to form a ‘department’ of more than 10 and all administrators at the high school together form another ‘department’), and one member each from the Lynch Center, BEC, Town Hall and Retirees. While the Freshman Campus exists it will have two members. More Representatives will be added to the Council if necessary to ensure representation from the following groups: nurses, library staff, administrators (2 slots), Para-professionals (3 slots), kindergarten, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-8.
Section 3. Powers and Duties of the Representative Council
- Attend Council meetings.
- Formulate and/or approve the policies and resolutions of the BEU.
- Coordinate membership drives and social activities, conduct opinion polls and surveys, and seek out nominees for positions in the BEU.
- Call and preside over meetings in respective schools/departments after each Council meeting and report to the Council the opinions of teachers on issues discussed.
- Approve policies and procedures as recommended by the Grievance Committee for the suspension, expulsion, and reinstatement of any member who violates the code of ethics of the profession or who is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.
- Approve the Union dues, budget and stipends for the Executive Board.
- Implement Article V of the contract between the BEU and BSC.
Article VII – Committees
Section 1. Organization
There shall be the following standing committees having the specific functions outlined below:
- Members of these committees shall be selected to represent different groups in the Union.
- Each committee, with the approval of the Executive Board, may organize from the membership of the Union special sub-committees and task forces for specific activities. Chairs of sub-committees will be appointed by the committee.
- Committee decisions will be made by consensus where possible and by majority vote when consensus is not possible as decided by majority vote.
Section 2. Meetings
Each standing committee shall meet regularly according to a calendar developed by the committee chair(s).
Section 3. Reports
Each committee shall designate a secretary who shall record the activities of the committee. The chair shall report to the Executive Board any action items. All committee chairs and the President shall prepare an annual written report which the Executive Board shall file as part of the records of the Union.
Section 4. Powers and Duties of the Committees
- Negotiating Committee
- Shall solicit information from the membership and prepare proposals to be placed before the School Committee.
- Shall meet with the School Committee or its representatives to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions for all personnel in each bargaining unit.
- Shall keep the membership informed on the progress of the negotiations.
- Upon reaching tentative agreement, the Negotiating Chair shall prepare and submit a report and recommendations to the members at a general meeting. Ratification shall be by ballot with a majority of those present and voting needed to ratify the tentative agreement.
- Upon reaching a tentative incidental interim bargaining agreement, the Negotiating Chair shall prepare and submit a report and recommendation to the Representative Council for ratification.
- Shall, from its membership, create a Health Care sub-committee to monitor, maintain and expand the health care insurance provisions of the collective bargaining agreements.
- Grievance Committee
- Shall develop the Union’s positions on all matters pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of all members of the bargaining units in accordance with provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
- Shall hear and process all grievances brought to the attention of the Union and shall make recommendations to the Executive Board in cases involving arbitration of grievances and censure or suspension of members.
- Shall, from its membership, designate a sub-committee to administer the Sick Leave Bank in accordance with the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements.
- Educational Policy Committee
- Shall organize and carry out programs designed to foster professional growth of members.
- Shall keep members informed and advocate for reform of such items as licensure regulations, professional status laws, mentoring and induction programs and other professional development activities.
- Shall implement Article V of the contract between the BEU and the BSC.
- Shall gather data about, reflect upon and design courses of action related to the development of sound educational policy in Brookline and the broader educational community.
- Shall honor the expertise of curricular specialization while maintaining a meta-curricular perspective of human development and learning including such independent domains as: the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, moral, aesthetic and spiritual.
- Shall support educational staff in maintaining and refining their visions for schools, education, and the broad community.
- Shall consider, though not exclusively, the following topics related to short and long term educational policy: curriculum, instructional practices, human development, professional development, school financing, learning environments, professional remuneration, educational technology, schooling objectives, discipline, and community involvement.
- Shall monitor and comment upon the deliberations and actions of other organizations in Brookline concerned with educational policy.
- Shall organize and oversee the work of the Diversity sub-Committee which shall develop and implement plans to encourage greater participation and establish goals for leadership and awareness issues within the BEU.
- Community Relations Committee
- Shall have broad concern for local, state, and national legislation and elections affecting the interest of schools, educators, and the Union.
- Shall develop a program to increase public understanding of the role of the BEU in education.
- Shall make every endeavor to publicize widely the accomplishments of teachers, students, and staff of the Brookline School System.
- Health and Safety Committee
- Shall develop the Union’s positions on all matters pertaining to the health and safety of students and members of the bargaining units.
- Shall hear, process and help members with any complaints regarding health and safety issues and shall make appropriate recommendations to the Grievance Committee.
- Shall work to ensure that all construction and renovations of school buildings are planned and executed with the health and safety of occupants as a primary concern.
- Internal Communications Committee
- Shall publish and distribute a monthly newsletter and general information in the form of bulletins, letters, etc.
- Shall develop programs to increase the membership understanding of the role of the BEU in education and their lives.
- Logistics and Election Committee
- Shall help with logistics of all Union activities.
- Shall recruit Executive Board members, Representatives and activists for committees as needed.
- Shall organize and oversee the work of the Elections sub-committee which shall
- consist of at least two representatives from the elementary schools and two from the high school.
- have members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board by December 1. (No officers or members of the Executive Board may serve on this committee.)
- determine the nomination and voting procedure for all local, state, and national elections.
- distribute nomination and voting procedures to the general membership by February 1 for election of the President and by March 1 for Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and delegates to the MTA and NEA Annual Meetings (the latter being dependent on when the NEA and MTA transmit the BEU’s delegate entitlement).
- be responsible for securing candidates for each of the elective officers.
- publish the names and information about the candidates for elective office no later than two weeks preceding the date of the election.
- be responsible for conducting local, state, and national elections and for meeting the requirements of special elections.
- conduct all elections by secret ballot.
- Membership/Benefits Committee
- Shall conduct yearly membership drive.
- Shall organize and carry out programs designed to foster increased membership and membership participation.
- Shall keep members informed on, and advocate for reform of, such items as retirement, insurance and investment programs, financial programs, indemnification laws, benefits provided by the BEU, MTA and NEA, and other service programs.
- Shall run BEU social events.
- Shall maintain and expand local BEU benefits.
Section 5. Chair Functions
- Responsible for obtaining the services of the MTA and the NEA in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their committees.
- To serve as a liaison with other groups in Brookline to keep the Executive Board and Representatives Council informed of the work and concerns of other groups.
- In reviewing the spectrum of issues, to guide the BEU Executive Board via the Council to establish priorities regarding efforts to affect policy constructively.
Article VIII – Meetings
Section 1. Executive Board
The Board shall meet a sufficient number of times during the year to adequately perform its duties. Meetings shall be called by the President. Three Board members may request that the President call a meeting and this request shall be honored by the President.
Section 2. General Membership
The Board shall arrange at least two General Meetings of the membership each year for the discussion of professional issues. One of the General Meetings must include on the agenda the presentations of new officers, the yearly report of the President, and the yearly report of the Treasurer.
Section 3. Representative Council
The Council shall meet once a month September through June. Meetings shall be called by the President. The President shall prepare the agenda for the Council meetings and shall circulate the agenda to all representatives in advance of the meeting.
Section 4. Special Meetings
Special Meetings of the general membership may be held at the call of the President or upon written request to the Executive Board from twenty (20) members. Business to come before special meetings must be stated in the call which shall be sent in writing to each representative for distribution to each member. Business shall be confined to these items.
Section 5. Quorum
- The number of members necessary to constitute a quorum of the Board and Council shall be a majority of the members present.
- Twenty percent (20%) of those eligible to vote on an issue shall be a quorum necessary to transact business at a General Meeting.
Section 6. Minutes
- Minutes shall be kept of all meetings.
- All approved minutes shall be filed with each chair with a copy to the President to be kept on file in the BEU office.
Article IX – Finance
Section 1. The financial business of the BEU shall be conducted according to a budget which shall be presented to the Council by the Executive Board.
Section 2. The budget is subject to the approval of the Council.
Section 3. The fiscal year shall end on August 31.
Section 4. Local dues of the Union:
- Full dues shall be up to 0.00554 of the annual salary for a teacher in Unit A at Masters Step 1
- Dues for all educators represented by the Union shall be based on a proportion of the full dues as determined by the current MTA dues structure.
- Dues for retired members (who are no longer eligible for active membership) shall be $0, but retiree members must maintain their membership with the MTA-R and NEA-R.
Article X – Rules and Procedures
Section 1. Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be the authority of the Union.
Section 2. The President shall appoint a parliamentarian who shall attend all General Membership meetings of the Union.
Section 3. The business year shall be September 1 to August 31.
Section 4. The membership year shall be July 1 to June 30.
Article XI – Amendments
Section 1. These By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at any General Meeting of the Union provided that copies of the proposed amendments have been sent to all members of the Union at least two calendar weeks in advance of the General Membership Meeting.