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Bylaws

Revised Tuesday, 10 January 2012, Wednesday, 19 September 2012, Wednesday, 5 December 2012.

Preamble

The Employee Assembly (the assembly) establishes these bylaws under the authority granted by its charter (the charter). Except where otherwise indicated, these bylaws are subject to amendment by a regular majority of the assembly. These bylaws are organized into chapters corresponding to articles of the charter.

Article 1 Establishment

Article 2 Authority

  1. The Chair and up to two other EA members selected by the Chair participate in monthly assemblies leadership meetings organized by the Vice President of University Communications.
  2. The Chair and the Executive Vice Chair participate in regular meetings organized by the Vice President for Human Resources with the editor of the PawPrint and the employee-elected trustee of the university.
  3. The assembly appoints one of its voting members to serve as a non-voting liaison to each constituent assembly with which it interacts. Delegates receive the agendas and minutes the constituent assembly to which they are assigned, but only attend those meetings where they anticipate business pertinent to this assembly.
  4. Each constituent assembly with which the assembly interacts may appoint a non-voting delegate to receive updates, including agendas and minutes of meetings, on the assembly’s activities and to attend the open portions of the assembly’s meetings.

Article 3 Membership

  1. The assembly may designate other ex-officio members deemed necessary and appropriate.
  2. If more than five members of the assembly are nominated to fill the seats of the University Assembly, selection will be done by secret ballot. The remaining vacancies may be filled in the same manner as provided for committees.

Article 4 Officers

4.1 Defined

The officers of the assembly are:

  • Chair,
  • Executive Vice Chair,
  • Vice Chair for Internal Operations,
  • Vice Chair for Communications,
  • Vice Chair for Finance, and
  • the Parliamentarian.

4.2 Terms

The term of office is concurrent with a session of the assembly. Officers may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

4.3 Election

The officer elections occur in the following order: Chair, Executive Vice Chair, Vice Chair for Internal Operations, Vice Chair for Finance, and Parliamentarian. For each office, the chair presiding over the meeting:

  1. entertains nominations of members for the position to be filled;
  2. closes nominations;
  3. allows each candidate to make an opening statement of specified duration;
  4. allows all members present to ask questions of the candidates for a specified period of time;
  5. closes question and answer period;
  6. moves to a vote by secret ballot; and,
  7. repeats voting as needed until one candidate receives a majority of votes cast and eliminates the candidate receiving the fewest votes in each round of voting.

4.4 Responsibilities

4.4.1 General responsibilities

Each officer serves as a voting member of the Executive Board and attends all of its meetings.

4.4.2 Chair responsibilities

The Chair:

  • assures the smooth and effective operation and maintenance of the assembly;
  • presides over meetings of the assembly;
  • delegates responsibilities as needed to accomplish the duties of the office and the goals set forth in the this Charter and associated Bylaws;
  • conducts, in conjunction with the Vice Chair for Internal Operations, an orientation meeting with all the chairs of the assembly’s standing and ad hoc committees at the beginning of each session of the assembly;
  • appoints chairs for each of the assembly’s committees;
  • transmits notice of the actions and recommendations of the assembly;
  • reports periodically to the assembly on the disposition or current status of its actions and recommendations; and,
  • serves as spokesperson of the assembly, corresponds with the President of the University, enumerating actions taken by the assembly, and submits an annual year-end report to the University President.
4.4.3 Executive Vice Chair responsibilities

The Executive Vice Chair:

  • assists the Chair as needed;
  • chairs the meetings of the Executive Committee and distributes the agenda and meeting materials for regular and special meetings of the assembly;
  • reviews minutes prepared by the Office of the Assemblies and distributes drafts to assembly members;
  • notifies individuals and units directly affected by pending business of the assembly or its committees;
  • serves on the PawPrint Editorial Board;
  • arranges for advertising, postering, email campaigns and outreach programs; and,
  • presides in the absence of the Chair.

Notification of to affected parties includes:

  1. the chief contact for the for the resolution or committee action being undertaken; and,
  2. the charge to the committee conducting the business and the dates of meetings when the business will be considered, if applicable.
4.4.4 Vice Chair for Internal Operations

The Vice Chair for Internal Operations:

  • chairs the Internal Operations Committee;
  • monitors and supervises the operations of the assembly’s committees and the assembly’s appointees to other committees;
  • advises committee chairs on issues of process and directs inquiries as needed;
  • receives nominations and expressions of interest in membership in the Assembly and presents slates of candidates to fill incidental vacancies as needed;
  • conducts, in collaboration with the Chair, an orientation meeting at the beginning of each election year, with the chairs of each of the assembly’s standing and ad hoc committees; and,
  • presides in the absence of the Chair and Executive Vice Chair.

The agenda of the orientation meeting includes:

  1. dissemination of written and verbal guidelines which articulate expectations for committee members and principles for efficient operation of committees;
  2. continual communication with the Chair and Vice Chair for Internal Operations of the assembly;
  3. the writing and conveyance of committee minutes to the assembly;
  4. the setting of priorities for committee study/action;
  5. the advisory role of the committee;
  6. the method for action/resolutions/concerns to be addressed to the assembly;
  7. the importance of efficient use of committee time;
  8. a review of each committee’s charge;
  9. the hierarchy for reporting and taking action (chain of command);
  10. the expectations for how the committee should function;
  11. the content, function and time frames for annual and final reports; and,
  12. the expected date of the final report for all ad hoc committees.
4.4.5 Vice Chair for Communications

The Vice Chair for Communications:

  • chairs the Communications Committee;
  • develops and executes communications plans for significant assembly actions, projects, and initiatives; and,
  • prepares and distributes the quarterly Employee Assembly E-News email newsletter.
4.4.6 Vice Chair for Finance responsibilities

The Vice Chair for Finance:

  • oversees and tracks the finances of the assembly with assistance of the Office of the Assemblies;
  • monitors financial statements and authorizes expenditures in consultation with the other officers of the assembly;
  • reports periodically to the assembly on the status of the funds;
  • prepares a yearly expenditure report outlining the use of funds for the past fiscal year; and,
  • prepares the annual fund request and budget proposal, creating reports as necessary for the Vice President of University Communications.
4.4.7 Parliamentarian

The Parliamentarian:

  • assures that meetings follow procedures found within this Charter and the Bylaws of the assembly and rules on questions and disputes related to interpretation of those rules.

4.5 Removal

The assembly may remove any officer by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of seated members. The assembly then immediately elects a new officer to serve the remainder of the term.

Article 5 Executive Board

5.1 Defined

The Executive Board consists of the officers of the assembly.

5.2 Responsibilities

The Executive Board:

  1. formulates and approves an agenda for each meeting of the assembly;
  2. formulates, in consultation with the chairs of the assembly’s committees, a budget of expenses for the assembly and presents this budget to the assembly for approval no later than September 15; and,
  3. prepares an annual report to the President of the university containing:
    1. a summary and description of each action taken by the assembly, and
    2. any unfinished or outstanding items remaining for the assembly.

Article 6 Procedures

6.1 Protections

The assembly and its committees shall respect and protect the rights of individuals. When a subject under discussion or examination requires the use of confidential information, all reasonable efforts shall be made to safeguard the confidentiality of this information.

6.2 Regular meetings

Regular meetings of the assembly are on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 12:15 - 1:30 p.m., except University holidays and other dates cancelled at the discretion of the Executive Board. The assembly may adopt a different schedule of regular meetings by majority vote.

6.3 Organizational Meeting

The Chair sets a date for the organizational meeting to occur as soon as possible after conclusion of employee elections, but no later than April 15. In this meeting, the Assembly:

  1. elects the officers of the Assembly for the next session;
  2. receives nominations and appoint representatives to the University Assembly and any other committees or commissions with vacancies that occur in the next session; and,
  3. sets a schedule of regular meetings for the next session.

All members who will be seated as of the start of the next session of the Assembly are voting members for the purposes of the meeting and must make every reasonable effort to attend and participate. The meeting must be held in closed session. The first order of business for the meeting must be appointment of a temporary chair who will preside until the Chair is elected for the next session. The temporary chair may be any voting member who does not seek election as Chair. The second order of business must be election of the Chair for the next session. The temporary chair must yield to the newly elected Chair immediately after his or her election.

6.3 Special meetings

The Chair may call special meetings to consider matters demanding immediate attention, or such meetings shall be called when requested by one-fourth of the seated members of the assembly.

6.4 Quorum

A quorum of members required for the assembly to do business is a majority of the seated members of the assembly.

6.5 Proxy vote

The chair may count any proxy vote that is received before the question to which it pertains is called. Votes submitted by proxy do not count towards quorum.

6.6 Executive session

The assembly may go into executive session to discuss confidential matters by majority vote of those members who are present.

6.7 Minutes

The Office of the Assemblies prepares minutes of each meeting, and makes them available to the university community after approval by the assembly.

6.8 Annual report

The assembly reviews and approves the annual report prepared by the Executive Board. After it is approved, the Chair presents the report to the President of the university and makes it available to the university community.

6.9 Robert’s Rules of Order

Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (current edition) shall be the basis for determining procedures for debate and general conduct of business not covered in this document.

Article 7 Committees

The assembly may establish standing or ad hoc committees as appropriate.

7.1 Generally

The Internal Operations Committee may appoint or remove members from committees as needed. The Chair of the assembly may appoint or remove chairs for each of the assembly’s committees.

Except where otherwise indicated, any employee is eligible to serve on any committee of the assembly and the term of membership on committees is concurrent with a session of the assembly.

7.2 Ad Hoc Committees

  1. The following policies apply to ad-hoc committees:
    1. For each ad hoc committee, the committee charge shall be written prior to the formation of the committee and the appointment of its members.
    2. Every ad hoc committee charge shall include a “sunset” clause with a specific date by which the committee is expected to report back to the EA.
  2. The Communications Committee may designate up to two of its members to serve as voting members on the editorial board of the PawPrint.

7.3 Standing Committees

7.3.1 Internal Operations Committee

The Internal Operations Committee staffs and monitors the committees of the assembly as well as committees partially staffed by the assembly. The Vice Chair for Internal Operations serves as chair of the committee. The chairs of the standing committees of the assembly serve as voting members. The Chair and Executive Vice Chair of the assembly serve ex-officio as non-voting members of the committee.

The committee:

  1. appoints employees to and removes employees from membership in the University Assembly;
  2. appoints and removes employee members for standing or ad hoc committees of the assembly as requested;
  3. solicits applicants from the employee community and appoints employee representatives to ad hoc or standing committees of the university as needed;
  4. solicits from the employee community names of individuals to fill one at-large seat for the editorial board of the PawPrint;
  5. develops a training program for all members of the assembly’s committees and for all new members of the assembly; and,
  6. solicits, at the end of the year, the opinions of all the chairs of all of its committees for the names of those committee members who may wish to continue on the committee and who have demonstrated effective, committed, and responsible membership during the past year.

7.3.2 Elections Committee

The Elections Committee consists of all members of the assembly whose terms continue beyond the current session of the assembly. The committee:

  1. reviews assembly election rules and procedures and recommends changes as needed;
  2. applies election rules and procedures approved by the assembly; and,
  3. plans and supports, in collaboration with the Communications Committee, efforts to solicit candidates for vacant positions in the assembly.

7.3.3 Communications Committee

The Communications Committee consists of the following voting members:

  1. two members of the assembly, one of whom serves as chair; and,
  2. two or more employees who are not members of the assembly.

A representative of the Office of Human Resources serves as a non-voting member of the committee.

The committee:

  1. publicizes the activities of the assembly and its committees, including the agendas of meetings, actions taken, and events organized by the assembly through all available and appropriate media; and,
  2. supports and facilitates activities which raise awareness in the employee community of the assembly’s role and function.

7.3.4 Personnel Policy Committee

The Personnel Policy Committee consists of three members of the assembly. The committee:

  1. reviews and recommends changes to, in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources, personnel policies and other policies affecting the work environment of the university;
  2. solicits from employees and University departments opinions, information, and advice relevant to issues before the committee;
  3. recommends changes to the policies it reviews; and,
  4. provides regular reports concerning its activities to the assembly.

7.3.5 Employee Education Committee

The Employee Education Committee consists of the following voting members:

  1. two members of the assembly; and,
  2. seven employees who are not members of the assembly.

The following serve as non-voting members of the committee:

  1. one representative of Benefit Services;
  2. one representative of Organizational Development Services; and,
  3. one representative of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.

The committee:

  1. reviews programs and proposals affecting employee education, including work-related and elective educational activities, and recommends changes;
  2. identifies employee education needs; and,
  3. recommends actions the university may undertake to address employee education needs.

7.3.6 University Benefits Committee

The University Benefits Committee is chartered jointly by the Employee Assembly and the Faculty Senate, and the committee’s charter is appended to the assembly’s charter.

7.3.7 Staff Recognition and Awards Committee

The Staff Recognition and Awards Committee consists of the following voting members:

  1. two members of the assembly, and
  2. three employees who are not members of the assembly.

The following serve as members ex-officio, without vote:

  1. the Vice President of Human Resources or a designee.

The committee:

  1. identifies and examines opportunities for staff recognition by the assembly;
  2. reviews nominations and approves staff recognition awards according to rules adopted by the assembly;
  3. coordinates staff recognition activities sponsored by the assembly; and,
  4. reviews the assembly’s staff recognition programs and recommends changes for the assembly to adopt.

Article 8 Programs Administered by Employee Assembly

8.1 Cornellians Aiding and Responding to Emergencies Grant Fund

  1. The assembly establishes the Cornellians Aiding and Responding to Emergencies (CARE) grant fund to support and assist employees and faculty experiencing financial hardship from non-medical catastrophic events beyond their control.

8.2 George Peter Award for Dedicated Service

  1. The George Peter Award for Dedicated Service recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate a high degree of excellence in the performance of their duties and who prove their willingness to extend themselves to help others and go above and beyond the normal expectations of their job responsibilities. It is awarded to one employee at a time and may be awarded up to four times per academic year. The Staff Recognition and Awards Committee is charged to develop and maintain criteria for review of nominations. Additionally the committee coordinates the event where the award is presented to its recipient.

Appendix A Charter of the University Benefits Committee

December 7, 1995; revised, October 15, 1996; second revision, March 12, 1997; third revision, March 1998

Actions Taken

Staff
The Employee Assembly voted on December 6, 1995 to adopt the following as the charter of the University Benefits Committee.
Faculty
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Council of Representatives, succeeded by The Faculty Senate in January, 1996, adopted the following as the Charter of the University Benefits Committee.

Mission

The Mission of the University Benefits Committee is to act as the voice of Employees on all matters elating to Benefits.

Scope

The Committee will deal with the entire range of benefits. The complete list of Benefits includes social security, group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement-related benefits, short-and long-term disability, select (health) benefits, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, holidays, military training leave, jury duty, training programs, extramural educational programs, employee assistance program (personal, job related problems), group auto insurance, health insurance and services, dental insurance, vacations, Cornell Children’s Tuition Plan, Employee tuition aid, employee degree program.

The committee will deal with both Endowed and Statutory Benefits.

Goals

The Committee will have four major goals:

  1. As stated above, the committee will be the voice of employees on all matters relating to benefits;
  2. the committee may propose changes in benefits policies, arrangements, and modis operandi that will be forwarded to the Employee Assembly and the faculty for further action by the University Administration;
  3. the committee will react to issues and proposals raised by the same parties; and
  4. the Committee will take both a short-run and long-run view of benefits issues.
  5. While retaining its right to comment on and make suggestions regarding modis operandi the Committee will not seek to “micro-manage” benefits.

Membership

A. The Population Represented: This committee will represent ALL Employees. Both Faculty and Staff.

B. Composition of the Committee:

AffiliationNumberSelected by:
Faculty Appointments
Retired1Emeritus Professor’s Association
Endowed1Faculty Senate
Statutory1Faculty Senate
At-Large2Faculty Senate
Staff Appointments
Retired1Cornell Retiree Association
Union Representative1The Unions
Endowed1Employees Assembly
Statutory1Employee Assembly
At Large1Employees Assembly
Administration ex officio, non-voting
ex officio1Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
ex officio1VP Academic Programs, Planning, Budget OR Director, Statutory Financial and Business Services
ex officio1Dean of the Faculty
ex officio1Director, University Human Resource Services OR Manager, Benefits

C. Terms

Members will be elected to 3-year terms.

D. Officers, Meetings, Subcommittees

  1. Chair and Vice Chair, or Co-Chairs, elected by voting members in the November Meeting for 1-year terms.
  2. Secretary: The Committee will have no “permanent” secretary. Instead, members will take turns in taking minutes of meetings.
    • Before submitting final “minutes”, the secretary will have his/her draft reviewed by two committee members.
  3. Meetings: Normally, once a month. More often, as required.
  4. Ad Hoc Committees: The committee chair may appoint Ad Hoc Committees, as needed, to undertake specialized in investigations and to report back information and recommendations to the parent committee. Each ad hoc committee will have at least one member from the parent committee. Outsiders with relevant experience will be appointed as needed.
  5. Relationship to University Human Resources (UHRS)
    1. The Committee will act as a Sounding Board for UHRS on issues and proposals relating to Benefits. Similarly, UHRS will react to initiatives of the Committee.
    2. As appropriate, UHRS staff members will meet with the Committee to share their expertise, information, analyses, research.
    3. UHRS will alert the Committee as early as possible as to crises (rising health costs, etc.) and incipient developments so that the Committee can respond. In the case of changes in health benefits, the Committee should be consulted at the very beginning of developments, e.g., at the beginning/during summer.

Reporting

  1. The committee will report regularly to the faculty senate and employee assembly.
    1. Committee members will each report to the group that he/she represents.
  2. Periodically:
    1. As appropriate, the committee will prepare a Report to Cornell newsletter (of some such title) to be distributed through campus mail to each faculty member and staff member.
    2. As appropriate, the committee will utilize the Cornell Chronicle, Cornell Work Place, Cornell Daily Sun and Networking (PawPrint) to report on its activities.

Attendance Policy

The goal is active, interested, informed participation. Members missing more than three consecutive meetings will become non-members and the group they represent will be asked to appoint a replacement.

Amendments

The initial Charter of the Committee did not specify how the Committee might modify its Charter or Operating Rules. Nonetheless, the following actions were taken by the committee:

July 18, 1996

Quorum
To take official actions, a Quorum of Six Voting Members must be present.
Terms
Future Terms will be Three Years.

The committee voted to have a Rotating Membership such that about one-third of members would be new each year while two-thirds would be continuing. To effectuate this, the committee conducted a random drawing whose results are recorded in the minutes of July 18, 1996.

March 11, 1997

Quorum
If only 8 positions are currently filled, quorum will consist of Five voting members.

Contact EA

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ph. (607) 255–3715
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ea@assembly.cornell.edu