Bylaws (revised November 2014, pending President's Cabinet approval)

Article I

Name and Constituency of Organization

A. Name
The name of the organization is the Non-Exempt Staff Council (NESC).

B. Constituency
The constituency served by the NESC includes all regular full-time and part-time employees of the University of St. Thomas classified as non-exempt according to the regulatory provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act as amended from time to time, and applicable policies of the university.

Article II

Authority and Objectives

A. Authority
The NESC is an advisory body, authorized by the President of the university and sponsored by the Human Resources Department, which provides support and oversight of the NESC and its budget.

B. Role and Responsibilities
The NESC:

1. Considers and makes recommendations regarding matters of common concern to its constituency that originate with its constituency or that are referred to it by the University of St. Thomas senior administration.

2. Serves as a forum to foster communication and collaboration at all levels of the institution.

3. Seeks to promote and maintain strong employee morale and a high quality work environment that enables its constituency to advance the mission of the University of St. Thomas.

4. Is the recognized body for recommending non-exempt staff as appropriate to serve on standing committees of the university, task forces, and ad hoc committees and other bodies established from time to time by the university that will include non-exempt staff participation.

5. Works to promote opportunities for non-exempt staff development.

6. Works to promote effective communication and issue resolution by inviting the appropriate administrators to participate in informational meetings and discussions to facilitate solutions.

7. Is not responsible for and will not replace channels or processes that would more appropriately be handled by Human Resources or individual departments. For the avoidance of doubt, the NESC does not and will not hold itself out as a labor organization and is in no way a collective bargaining representative, exclusive or not. Rather, it provides a process for the constituency to confer with each other and engage in the university’s dialogue on issues affecting the constituency. The NESC has no representative authority to engage in collective bargaining over, or otherwise deal directly with the university in negotiating, the terms and conditions of employment for the constituency or any subset of it, or to bring for redress by the university or otherwise resolve any grievance or dispute, with or on behalf of any individual or group.

Article III

Membership and Representation

A. Membership

The NESC consists of twelve (12) voting members elected by the constituency in accordance with the election procedures in Article IV. Each member must be in the constituency at the time of election and remain in the constituency for the duration of the term. Effort will be made to encourage candidates from all areas of the university on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses and from among academic, administrative and auxiliary services staff.

B. Term and Term Limits

1. NESC members elected in accordance with Article IV will be elected for a two (2) year term commencing at the May NESC meeting immediately following the election and ending immediately prior to the May NESC meeting that is held two years thereafter. An elected NESC member may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms (4 years in all), except that members elected to fill vacancies may serve longer than 4 years in all as set forth in Section B.2 below. The NESC intends that 50% of the members will be up for election each year. From time to time positions on the NESC may be elected for a term of less than two years as needed in order to achieve such a balance.

2. An NESC member elected to fill a vacancy that occurs between annual elections will serve until the next election. The member may be nominated and eligible to serve up to two full 2-year terms thereafter.

3. A former NESC member may run for another single term of office (2 years) after being off the NESC for at least one term (2 years). No employee may serve on the NESC for more than three terms in all.

C. Mid-Term Vacancies

1. Vacancies on the NESC that occur between elections, as a result of a member’s termination, resignation, removal or otherwise, will be filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the vacating member’s election. Such vacancies will be filled until the next election.

2. If for any reason a vacancy cannot be filled by the above means, the NESC will fill the position for the period until the next election by a majority vote of the remaining NESC members.

3. If an NESC member transfers to a job with a different classification, the member automatically will terminate his or her membership concurrent with the change in classification or position. Similarly, members whose employment with the university terminates during their term automatically will terminate their membership concurrent with their termination of employment (unless their membership is terminated earlier). In both situations, the NESC position will be declared vacant.

D. Removal

The NESC can remove members by a 2/3 majority vote of its members.

Article IV

Elections

A.     Election of Members

Elections for vacant NESC positions will be held annually in March or April, conducted through secret balloting under the supervision of the Elections Committee.

1. Information concerning vacancies and election procedures will be published on the NESC website and distributed via email to the NESC constituency no later than March 1.

2. No later than March 15, constituents will nominate candidates for the available NESC positions. Self-nominations are acceptable. In either case, nominations should include a profile of the nominee including his or her position at the university and a brief explanation of the reasons for the nomination. When candidates are nominated by another party, the NESC will contact the candidate to confirm his or her willingness to serve as a nominee prior to submitting the nomination to the constituency.

3. The identification of all nominees who have consented to run and a profile on each candidate prepared by the nominee and reviewed by the NESC, will be distributed promptly to the constituency.

4. Prior to the end of the first week in April, the NESC will administer an election, and each employee in the constituency may vote for the candidate(s) of her/his choice to fill the open positions. Each voting constituent will be able to vote for a number of candidates that matches the number of open positions.

5. Election to the NESC will be determined by filling the open positions with the candidates receiving the most votes. For example, if there are six open positions, the six candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to fill those positions. In the event of a tie for a vacancy, a second ballot will be cast to determine between the tied candidates who receives the most votes. The individual receiving the most votes on the second ballot will fill the position.

6. Results of the election will be announced promptly to the constituency.

7. Elected members will begin service at the May meeting of the NESC.

B.    Election of Officers

The officers of the NESC will be nominated and elected by the NESC at the May meeting each year and as vacancies occur. Voting will be by secret ballot under the supervision of the Elections Committee. Election to office will be determined by simple majority vote. Self-nominations are acceptable.  Officers serve a one-year term and may be re-elected. Officers who are elected to fill a vacancy that occurs between elections will be elected for the remainder of the vacated term.

1. In the event of a tie, a second ballot will be cast for the two candidates, and the candidate who receives the most votes on the second ballot will fill the officer position.

2. NESC officers may succeed themselves.

Article V

Officers and Duties

A. Officers
The officers of the NESC will be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

B. Duties of Officers

1. Chair

  • Preside at all NESC meetings, and enforce the Bylaws of the NESC.
  • Prepare and distribute an agenda prior to each NESC meeting.
  • Schedule an annual meeting for constituents with the President of the university or other designated administrators.

2. Vice Chair

  • Assume the responsibilities, powers and prerogative of the president during that officer’s absence.
  • Assist the president with services and duties as assigned.
  • Act as chair of the Elections Committee.

3. Secretary

  • Ensure the recording of the NESC minutes during the meeting and publication of the minutes to the NESC members within two weeks of the meeting.  Request publication of minutes on the website by NESC member in charge of updating the website.
  • Ensure any edits are sent to the editor of the website and original minutes are corrected before the next meeting.

4. Treasurer

  • Prepare an annual budget in conjunction with the NESC officers, the Human Resources liaison and with the approval of the NESC members.
  • Maintain records of all financial transactions and expenditures.
  • Handle all disbursements of the NESC funds.

Article VI

Committees

The NESC will accomplish its purpose through the function of two types of committees: Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees. Each member will serve on at least one committee per term. The NESC will approve the establishment of committees and the appointment of committee members and chairpersons by majority vote.

1. Standing Committees

NESC standing committees will be established to consider ongoing matters of appropriate concern to the NESC. These committees will be composed of only NESC members. The standing committees will include, at a minimum, an Elections Committee. Other standing committees may be established from time to time in the discretion of the NESC.

2. Ad Hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees will be established as needed to consider specific items of interest. Membership in such committees is open to any constituency member. An NESC member will chair an NESC Ad hoc committee.

3. University Committees

To the extent university standing committees, ad hoc committees, task forces and other bodies of the university include non-exempt staff members, such membership will be determined by the NESC and may include NESC members or other members of the constituency. Membership on university standing committees as a representative of the NESC will be re-evaluated each year in June or July. NESC members will serve only one year on a committee, unless no other NESC member wishes to assume the assignment and the current committee member consents to continue the assignment.

Article VII

Meetings and Procedures

A. Meetings
The NESC will meet once each month, year round. An annual open meeting for constituents will be scheduled with the President of the university or other designated administrators by invitation of the NESC.

B. Absences
NESC members who cannot attend a scheduled meeting will inform the Secretary prior to the meeting. Members who regularly miss meetings may be removed from office in accordance with these bylaws.

C. Human Resources Participation
The NESC will maintain open communication with Human Resources. NESC will invite its designated HR liaison to at least one regular meeting during the year to request an update of new or ongoing initiatives impacting the non-exempt staff of the university as well as update HR with any feedback we receive from our constituents. 

Article VIII

Amendments

Any member of the NESC may propose amendments to these Bylaws. Proposed amendments must be made in writing at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting, with copies distributed in advance to each NESC member. Adoption will be by a two-thirds majority of NESC members with proxy voting disallowed. Final approval is subject to the action of the President of the university.

Bylaws revised November 2014 from August 2013