Post Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019
The vote is in and the Consitutional Amendments have been approved.
Thank you for voicing your concerns and questioning the amendments to the Discipline Procedures covered under Article 19 and other Articles of the Constitution.
In response to concerns regarding Article 5.4 – nowhere in the current language (that has not been changed in the amendments) does it mandate continued dues payment when someone is off on an approved leave. The Member may choose to continue to pay dues in order to stay an active member… however, as a member on a contractually provided leave they are still a member of COPE Local 397.
The concept of an Accountability Committee was brought forward at the September 2016 Prairie Council Meeting (your governing body). This committee would address Member concerns coming forward regarding things like conduct, e.g., maligning Local 397 and the duly elected officers in the general public and with our respective employers, undermining the ability for us to fairly represent you, the Members.
The National advised that our current Constitution did not allow for this Committee without amendments to Article 19 regarding discipline procedures. The Constitutional Change Committee reviewed the Discipline Procedures found in our sister Local MoveUp’s Consitution and the National Constitution.
After investigation and research, the Constitutional Change Committee moved to co-opt language from MoveUP/Local 378’s Constitution (the Local representing ICBC Members) and the National COPE-SEPB Constitution to:
house disciplinary procedures in our Local Constitution; properly include all Members of Local 397 in the disciplinary process and not just the Officers; protect all Members with the multi-tiered appeal process at both the Local and National level.
COPE-SEPB has approved the changes pending acceptance by the Local 397 membership.
The current Constitution under Article 19.3 already has the ability, under the worst-case scenario, to remove someone’s membership, but the new language serves to protect all members with the multi-tiered appeal process.
We are required to obtain National approval of any amendments to the COPE Local 397 Constitution to ensure that we complying with their requirements. Upon obtaining the National’s approval all Amendments are sent out to the membership for your review and approval.
With respect to Article 25.7 where there are amendments to the National Constitution that affect our Local, we are required by our National body to include those amendments in our Local Constitution and implement them. Those amendments would be included in the document sent out for the membership review and approval.
Submitted on Behalf of the Constitutional Change Committee
The COPE Local 397 Constitution is used to govern the operations of your Union. Any amendment to the Constitution requires your vote.
Ballots will be mailed out to each of you on March 19th. You will receive a ballot, a self-addressed stamped envelope and covering letter. Please note Ballots must be returned and received at the Union office no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019.
Constitutional review is not generally the most exciting of processes, we know, but please take a moment and read through the documents below.
These amendments have been endorsed by your Executive Board and Prairie Council.
Please feel free to contact any of your elected representatives if you have any questions relating to the information contained in the Proposed Constitutional Amendment document.
The Proposed Amendments document is posted here » Proposed Constitutional Amendments
The ‘Telephone Listing’ is posted here » Executive Board and Prairie Council Telephone Listing
Both the current COPE Local 397 Constitution and the COPE National Constitution are posted here for your information.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.