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20111014 Charter Draft
Revised Sunday, 17 January 2010.
In response to a vote of the Cornell community and as requested by the President, this document sets down rules and regulations requisite for establishing an Employee Assembly, to be peopled by employees and to be concerned with those matters directly affecting employees of Cornell University. Furthermore, this body will interact with and discuss issues of common interest with the Student Assembly and the Faculty Senate.
The purpose of the Employee Assembly is to ensure a direct focus for the continued involvement of exempt and non-exempt staff members in the governance of non-academic affairs and in the life of the University. The Employee Assembly will bring about a higher visibility for employees as community members, more equal participation with faculty and students in the policy-making process, and an increased sense of community among all constituencies through shared responsibilities.
The Employee Assembly will actively seek to involve all segments of Cornell’s diverse employee population in the Assembly’s decision-making activities. Particular effort will be made to ensure that women and minority persons have equal access to Employee Assembly positions.
ARTICLE 1 Establishment
Pursuant to the authority delegated by the Board of Trustees, the President hereby establishes the Employee Assembly. Articles 1 through 7 of this document constitute the Charter of the Employee Assembly.
1.1 Employee Defined
For the purposes of this Charter, employees are any regular full-time and part-time staff members in non-exempt, exempt, or academic non-professorial staff categories who are employed at the Ithaca or Geneva campuses of the university.
1.2 Session Defined
A session of the assembly shall be from June 1 until May 31 of the following calendar year.
ARTICLE 2 Authority and Responsibility
The Employee Assembly, hereinafter referred to as the assembly, explores opportunities to enhance the role, function and contribution of employees to the well being of the University. The assembly:
2.1 University policies affecting employees
examines University policies affecting employees of the University and recommends changes to the President;
2.2 Information exchange
facilitates communication between employees and the President of the University;
2.3 Establishing committees
establishes standing and ad hoc committees as needed;
2.4 Committee membership selection
selects employee members for standing and ad hoc committees of other representative bodies and units when directed to do so by those groups;
2.5 Conduct public hearing
conducts public hearings and forums concerning topics of current employee interest and identifies in other appropriate ways employee needs and opinions;
2.6 Internal maintenance
controls its own operations and maintenance, including bylaws, procedures and amendments;
2.7 Interface with the University Assembly
interacts with the University Assembly in accordance with the rules of that assembly;
2.8 Interface with the Student Assembly, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, and Faculty Senate
interacts with the constituent assemblies, including:
- Student Assembly,
- Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA), and
- Faculty Senate.
2.9 Representation exclusions
may not represent any interested party, including either the University or its employees, in matters concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or terms and conditions of employment, and may not investigate the merits of individual grievances.
ARTICLE 3 Membership
Except in the case of an incidental vacancy, members of the assembly must also be members of the constituency associated with their respective seats. Changes of status with the university do not alter the eligibility of a member to serve as long as that member remains an employee of the University.
A voting member of the assembly may not serve concurrently as a trustee of the University.
3.2 Seat allocation
The Assembly consists of nineteen voting members, of whom six represent exempt employees, six represent non-exempt employees, one represents the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, hereafter referred to as the Geneva campus, and six represent all employees, regardless of job classification or location.
3.3 Ex-officio members
The following serve as members of the assembly ex-officio without vote:
- the Employee Elected Trustee,
- the Editor of PawPrint, and
- the Vice President of Human Resources or a designee.
3.4 University Assembly
The assembly appoints five employees, of whom at least two are also members of the assembly, to serve on the University Assembly before May 1 of each year.
3.5.1 Vacancy Defined
A regular vacancy occurs when the term of a member expires, and may be filled by election.
An incidental vacancy occurs when:
- a seat remains vacant after a regular election;
- a member resigns or is removed from membership; or,
- a member ceases to be eligible for membership.
3.5.2 Filling Regular Vacancies by Elections
Leave assignment of responsibility to be defined in bylaws without changing specifications regarding conflict of interest.
The Elections Committee conducts elections according to the following process:
- The assembly reviews and approves election rules, procedures, and a publicity plan for elections in the semester prior to the elections.
- Candidates may stand for election only to those seats designated to represent their own population.
- Employees may vote only in elections for seats designated to represent their own population.
- To mitigate potential conflicts of interest,
the Elections Committee resolves any disputes raised regarding election rules without review by the assembly.
- Elections must be completed and results tabulated no later than the last day of April.
3.5.3 Filling Incidental Vacancies
Should an incidental vacancy occur for any seat, the assembly seats the highest-ranked, unseated candidate from the most recent election for the seat.
Should an incidental vacancy occur and no eligible candidates remain to be seated from the most recent election for that seat, the Assembly may seat a member to fill the vacancy by the following process:
- The assembly solicits interest from the employee community within two weeks of the vacancy’s occurrence. The solicitation proceeds for no less than one month, and continues until it is closed by the assembly.
- At the next meeting after solicitation has been closed
, the Vice Chair for Internal Operations presentsa slate of eligible candidates to the Assembly.
- To conduct the election the chair of the meeting:
- allows each candidate to make an opening statement;
- allows all members present to ask questions of the candidates, including the candidates for the office;
- closes question and answer period;
- moves to a vote by secret ballot; and,
- repeats voting as needed until one candidate receives a majority of votes cast, eliminating the candidate receiving the fewest votes in each round of voting.
Members who fill incidental vacancies shall serve the full remainder of the term.
The term of membership is two consecutive sessions of the assembly. Terms are staggered such that only half of the members’ terms expire each year.
Any member of the assembly may motion to impeach another member for conduct that is unethical, illegal, disruptive, or otherwise in conflict with charter and bylaws of the assembly or the University. The assembly must allow the impeached member to attend any discussion, deliberation, or vote related to the impeachment and must inform all members at least one business week in advance of any meeting where it will consider such a motion. The assembly may remove the impeached member by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the seated membership.
ARTICLE 4 Amendment
The assembly may amend this Charter by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the seated members. The assembly may not approve proposed amendments on the same date that they are proposed or modified. Amendments are subject to approval by the President of the University.