News Media Guild members to vote on bylaws changes

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The News Media Guild is sending proposed bylaw changes to all members for a referendum vote. Ballots will be mailed no later than May 21, 2013, and will be collected and tallied on June 19, 2013.

The changes would:

_provide an expedited grievance appeals procedure.

_realign the AP New York City Representative Assembly seats. The two RA seats there would now be open to any New York City member. Currently, one of the two seats is for an editorial employee and the other is for a non-editorial staffer.

_have NMG’s Elections Committeedecisions rule on whether elections are null and void because of election rule violations. That’s now decided by the Executive Committee.

_delete trial board terms from our bylaws.

_allow for non-ballot voting, which could be used for small shops. They would be able to meet and vote by conference call or meetings.

_state that the administrator is responsible to the Representative Assembly as well as the EC and the membership.

_make a few terms consistent and in compliance with the law as suggested by counsel.

PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGES

Article 2, Representative Assembly, Section (c):  Effective with the 2014 elections, it will read: One delegate shall be elected by each of the following districts: AP New York Editorial; AP New York Non-Editorial; AP Northeast; AP Washington, D.C., and adjacent areas; AP South; AP Southwest; AP Midwest and AP West, AP Northwest, and at-large seats for AP Television, AP Broadcast News Center, and AP photographer members, AP Technology Unit At-Large 1, AP Technology Unit At-Large 2, UPI, and EFE News Service. AP New York will have two delegates. Members working as photographers, for AP Television, or at the Broadcast News Center shall only cast ballots for their respective at-large delegates, but may nominate candidates for the geographic district in which they work. Additional districts may be created as provided for in Article 7 of these bylaws.

Article 2, Representative Assembly, Section (d): Effective with the 2014 elections, AP New York City EditorialAll AP editorial unit members Newspersons and Artists working in New York City.

Article 2, Representative Assembly, Section (d): Effective with the 2014 elections, AP New York Non-Editorial: AP editorial unit members working in classifications other than Newsperson or Artist in New York City. However, any New York City editorial unit member may nominate a non-editorial member for this post.

Article 3, Executive Committee, Section 1, EC Composition – The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Local.  These officers shall be:  President, First Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, and TU Vice President (who shall be elected by and from the Technology Division), with such other additions as provided for in Article 7 of these bylaws.

Replace with Article 3, Executive Committee, section 1 (b), which states,

Effective with the 2011 elections, The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Local.  These officers shall be:  President, First Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, Fourth Vice President, Fifth Vice President, with such other additions as provided for in Article 7 of these bylaws.

Delete Section 1 (b).

Re-letter remaining subparagraphs.

Article 5, Administrator, last sentence should read:  “The Administrator shall be responsible to the EC and shall carry out the directives of the EC, the RA, and the membership.

Article 7, New Division, Section 1.(b): Collective bargaining negotiations with New Division Employers shall be conducted in Accord with Article 10 12, Sections 1 and 2 of these Bylaws.

Article 8, Elections, Section 3, Convention Delegates (a) should read:  The number of delegates to the TNG Sector Conference and the CWA Convention shall be determined on an annual basis by the Executive Committee in accordance with the TNG and CWA Constitutions.

Article 8, Elections, Section 5, Majority Vote, Runoffs:  In the event that at the time of election there is only one candidate for any post, his or her name shall be left off the ballot and he or she be declared elected without vote. In the event there are two or more candidates, a majority of those voting shall be required to elect.

(b) In the event that no candidate receives a majority of votes for any EC or RA post, the Executive Committee immediately shall call a run-off election between the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes for that post. Such a run-off election shall be called to start no sooner than within ten (10) fifteen (15) days after the announcement of the results of the original vote; and written notice of the new election is mailed to eligible voting members. Balloting shall be completed within fifteen (15) days.

Article 8, Elections, Section 7, Vacancies, (a):  Elections to fill a vacancy in the EC or RA or RA alternate position shall be called within sixty (60) days after the vacancy is created unless fewer than 120 days remain between creation of the vacancy and expiration of the term. Any RA alternate seat that becomes vacant shall be filled by a special election at least 90 days prior to the next regular meeting of the RA.

Article 8, Elections, Section 9, Voting Procedures:  Subsection (d): In the event of violations of election rules by a candidate, the Executive Elections Committee may at its discretion declare an election null and void and call for new nominations.

Article 8, Elections, Section 9 Voting Procedures: (a) All Local voting for the EC, RA, referenda and, when required, TNG Sector Conference and CWA Convention delegates shall be by secret direct mail ballot under direction of the Executive Committee. The EC shall appoint a non-partisan Elections Committee. In lieu of a direct mail ballot, the EC may set, through the Election Rules, procedures for secret ballot contract ratification or strike action referenda for Divisions of less than 200 members at bureau meetings.

(b) All voting shall be secret. All ballots shall be returned to the designated Post Office Box, where they shall remain until collected by the Elections Committee, at the time fixed by the Election Rules. The ballots so collected shall be counted by the Elections Committee. Results shall be announced promptly.

(c) Rules for the conduct of elections shall be drawn by the Executive Committee, subject to review by the RA, and published in WiReport, or distributed by first class mail to the last known address of all members. Alternatively, publication on the NMG’s Web site shall fulfill the requirements of this section.

(d) In the event of violations of election rules by a candidate, the Executive Elections Committee may at its discretion declare an election null and void and call for new nominations.

(e) Unchanged

(f)  Unchanged

(g) Consistent with Article 12, Collective Bargaining, Grievances and Arbitrations, Section 2, any agreement reached in negotiations shall be submitted to the membership of the division or divisions concerned for approval. Before signing, it also shall require ratification of the EC.

Article 12, Section 3.  (a) The EC, in consultation with the Representative Assembly, shall appoint a National Grievance Committee, which shall be available for processing grievances on the national level. Grievances raised on the bureau level shall be initiated by Stewards or initiated by the RA or its designee.

(b) Decisions Recommendations of the National Grievance Committee to close or not arbitrate a grievance shall be appealable to promptly reviewed by the EC. Decisions of the EC to close or not arbitrate a grievance shall be appealable to the RA provided if a grievant submits written notice of appeal to the NMG Administrator within 30 days after notice of the decision is provided to the grievant, provided that there is an applicable tolling agreement with the employer. In the absence of such agreement, notice of appeal must be filed within seven (7) calendar days after notice of the decision is provided to the grievant.

(c) Decisions of the Executive Committee to close or not arbitrate a grievance may be appealed to the Representative Assembly, provided a grievant submits written notice of appeal to the Administrator within 30 days after notice of a decision is provided to the grievant.

The decision of the RA shall be final and binding, the provisions of Articles 15 and 18 of these By-Laws notwithstanding.

Article 13, Discipline, Section 2, Trial Boards – (a) The President, in consultation with the EC, shall appoint standing trial board panels in each city with twenty (20) or more members in good standing. These panels shall consist of nine (9) members each in cities of more than 50 members and five (5) members in cities of 50 or fewer members.

(b) For cities where no trial board panel has been named, the trial board of the nearest city having such a panel shall be considered the regional trial board panel.

(c) For purposes of this Article a region shall consist of the state or states incorporating both the city of employment of the accused and the nearest city with a trial board panel.

 (d) Trials in cities or regions with 50 or fewer members shall be before a trial board of three (3) members, chosen from a panel of five.

 (e) The President, in consultation with the EC, shall appoint four regional trial board members. They shall constitute part of the trial board panel in a city of 50 or fewer members when such board becomes a regional trial board panel for a trial requiring a five (5)-member board.