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Article IX - Subordinate Bodies (Sections 1-29)

Section 1. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees may charter such subordinate bodies as are provided for in this Article. The charter of each subordinate body shall conform to the Constitution, laws, rules, and regulations of the Federation, and in default thereof such charter may be suspended or revoked in accordance with procedures provided by this Constitution. It shall further provide that should such subordinate body be suspended, expelled, or forfeit such charter, then the persons to whom such charter was granted and their successors bind themselves to surrender the same and also promptly to surrender, deliver and assign to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees all funds, books, records, collective bargaining agreements and any other memoranda of understanding or other agreements concerning the wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment of members of such subordinate body, and other properties of whatever nature or description of such subordinate body. The name and number of each subordinate body are the property of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Upon disaffiliation, suspension or revocation of its charter the name and number of such subordinate body shall revert to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and such subordinate body shall thereupon cease and desist from using such name and number for any purpose whatsoever. The American -Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees shall afford such subordinate bodies all their rights and privileges as chartered unions of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees under the constitution, laws, rules and regulations of this Federation. Charters shall be signed by the International President, the International Secretary-Treasurer, and the members of the International Executive Board.

Section 2. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees may charter local unions in any appropriate jurisdiction, as determined by the International Executive Board or by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Each local union charter shall establish the name, the number, and the jurisdiction of such local union.

Section 3. An application for a local union charter shall contain the names and addresses of not fewer than ten persons eligible for membership in the local.

Section 4. Upon organization of a local union, the secretary of the local union shall submit to the International Secretary-Treasurer a complete list of the names and addresses of all officers and members. The terms of office shall also be included, in the case of officers. The appropriate officer of each local union shall thereafter see that the names of all members and the address of each and any changes in such names and or addresses are reported to the International Secretary-Treasurer. The names, addresses and terms of office of newly elected officers shall also be reported to the International Secretary-Treasurer as soon as such officers are elected.

Section 5. The minimum dues of any local, exclusive of any amounts which may be allocated for any form of group insurance or welfare programs, beginning with the month of January, 1979, shall be not less than eight dollars per month, allocated as follows: one dollar to the local, four dollars and ten cents as per capita tax to any AFSCME council or councils with which the local is affiliated, and two dollars and ninety cents as per capita tax to the International Union. In the case of any local union which is not affiliated with an AFSCME council or which is affiliated only with an AFSCME council which does not have as a primary purpose the providing of staff assistance for organizing, servicing and negotiations at the local union level, the allocation shall be as follows: five dollars and ten cents to the local, and two dollars and ninety cents as per capita tax to the International Union. Effective January 1, 1999, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax established pursuant to this Section and Section 6 of this Article shall be increased by fifty cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by forty cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by twenty-five cents. Effective January 1, 2000, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax established pursuant to this Section and Section 6 of this Article shall be increased by an additional fifty cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by an additional thirty-five cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by an additional twenty-five cents. Effective January 1, 2005, and continuing through June 30, 2006, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax established pursuant to this Section and Section 6 of this Article shall be increased by an additional fifty cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by an additional thirty-five cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by an additional twenty-five cents.

Effective July 1, 2006, and continuing thereafter, the increases in the minimum dues rates that expired on June 30, 2006 shall be restored. Effective January 1, 2007, and continuing thereafter, the increases in the International per capita tax rates that expired on June 30 shall be restored.

Effective January 1, 2007, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax shall be increased by an additional one dollar and twenty-five
cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by an additional ninety-five cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by an additional sixty-five cents.

Effective January 1, 2008, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax shall be increased by an additional seventy-five cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by an additional fifty-five cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by an additional forty cents.

Effective January 1, 2009, the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax shall be increased by an additional fifty cents; the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be increased by an additional thirty-five cents; and the minimum dues rate and the rate of International per capita tax for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be increased by an additional twenty-five cents.

Section 6. The dues of each local union shall be adjusted annually in accordance with the average percentage increase in pay of AFSCME members and persons making service or similar payments to a local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions as determined in accordance with Section 7 of this Article (“average percentage increase”). For purposes of this section, the term “increase in pay” shall have the meaning provided in Article XII, Section 6 of this Constitution. That percentage increase shall be applied to the existing minimum dues amount in order to determine the amount of increase in dues and thereby establish a new minimum dues rate. The increase shall be allocated as follows: ten percent to the local union, sixty percent to the AFSCME council or councils with which the local is affiliated, and thirty percent to the International Union, except that the portion of such increase that would otherwise be allocated to the International Union in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 shall, instead, be allocated to the council; provided that in the case of any local union which is not affiliated with an AFSCME council or which is affiliated only with an AFSCME council which does not have as a primary purpose the providing of staff assistance for organizing, servicing and negotiations at the local union level, the increase shall be allocated seventy percent to the local union and thirty percent to the International Union, except that the portion of such increase that would otherwise be allocated to the International Union in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 shall, instead, be allocated to such local; and provided further that in the case of a local union which is affiliated both with an AFSCME council which has as a primary purpose the providing of staff assistance for organizing, servicing and negotiations at the local level and with an AFSCME council that does not have such a primary purpose, the council portion of the increase shall be allocated entirely to the council that has the described purpose, and in all cases the amounts to be allocated shall be rounded to the nearest five cents. The International Secretary-Treasurer shall each year notify each subordinate body of the increased amount of dues as soon as possible after the certified calculation pursuant to Section 7 of this Article has been completed, and the increased dues shall be effective beginning with the month of January of the following year.

Effective January 1, 2015 and annually thereafter, the dues of each local union shall be adjusted by applying the average percentage increase to its established dues rate: provided however, that the increase in the local union dues rates shall be no less than the minimum dues rate increase established above by the International Union and allocated to local unions. The established per capita tax of councils shall be adjusted by applying the average percentage increase to its established per capita tax rates; provided however, that the increase in the council per capita rate shall be no less than the Council’s share of the minimum dues increase established above by the International Union and allocated to councils.

Any local union that has increased its dues within the preceding calendar year by an amount greater than that required by the formula herein shall be credited with that excess amount as an offset against any increase that may be required hereunder. Further, for any local union which has a progressive or percentage dues structure which continues to remain in effect, the local union shall receive, on an accrual basis, credit for all dues increases since June 30, 1976, that put its dues above the minimum established in Section 5 above, and said credit shall be used as an offset, to the extent required, for all increases in or after January, 1980, that would otherwise be required under the dues structure set forth herein, except that the International Union per capita taxes as adjusted must in any event be paid and that the local and council shares are no lower than the minimum.

Any future dues increases of any local union which exceed in amount any dues increases required hereunder in or after January, 1980, shall accrue to the credit of said local union on a cumulative basis and may, to the extent of such accrued amount or any portion thereof, and to the extent required, be used as an offset to any dues increase that may be required hereunder, except that the International Union per capita tax as adjusted must in any event be paid and that the local and council shares are no lower than the minimum.

By January 31 of each year, each subordinate body shall notify the International Secretary-Treasurer of any credits which it claims and the steps that it has taken to make the adjusted dues effective. The schedule of local union dues shall be specified in the local union constitution.

Under special circumstances, which shall be clearly described in the request, the International Executive Board or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may at the request of a subordinate body, approve for limited and specifically defined periods of time the establishment of a different dues or per capita rate for a subordinate body, except that in no case may the International Union per capita tax rate be diminished. The International Executive Board, or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, shall also have the authority, except as limited by the provisions of Section 12 of this Article, at the request of a subordinate body and where necessary to prevent injustice, to issue rulings with respect to the levying of agency shop or similar service fees.

Any local union or portion thereof that, prior to January 1, 2000, had received an exemption from an otherwise required increase in dues on the basis of hardship, shall, no later than January 1, 2000, increase its dues rate, and the rates of per capita tax it pays to the International Union and to the council, if any, with which such local is affiliated, to the minimum rates then in effect pursuant to this Section. Under special circumstances, which shall be clearly described in the request, the International Executive Board or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may, at the request of a local union, grant such local union additional time, not to exceed four years, to increase its dues rate, and the rates of per capita tax it pays to the International Union and to the council, if any, with which such local union is affiliated, to the minimum rates then in effect pursuant to this Section.

Section 7. Each subordinate body shall submit a copy of any collective bargaining agreements, memoranda of understanding or other agreements affecting the wages of its members to the International Secretary-Treasurer within thirty days after their ratification. In any case in which wage adjustments are made through interest arbitration, factfinding, or any similar process, the award or report resulting from such process shall be submitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer within thirty days after its issuance. In any case in which wage rates are established by law, ordinance, regulation, or similar public enactment, a copy of such law, ordinance, regulation or similar public enactment shall be submitted to the International Secretary- Treasurer within thirty days after its enactment. With the documents referred to above, each subordinate body shall also submit, on a form prescribed by the International Secretary-Treasurer, such information regarding any wage adjustments received by its members as may be required by the Secretary-Treasurer.

From the above document and reports, the International Secretary-Treasurer shall determine, by September 30 of each year, the average percentage increase in pay received by AFSCME’s members and persons making service or similar payments to a local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions over the twelve month period ending with the preceding July 31; provided, that the International Secretary-Treasurer shall not make such determination unless it is based on wage data covering at least 75 percent of AFSCME’s membership, including persons making service or similar payments to a local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions, as of the preceding July 31. Upon completion of this calculation, the International Secretary-Treasurer shall cause it to be audited by an independent certified public accountant not otherwise connected with AFSCME, who shall be appointed by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Such audit shall certify the accuracy of the International Secretary- Treasurer’s calculation and advise the International Secretary-Treasurer of any errors in the calculation which may have affected the resulting figure. Upon receipt of such certification, the International Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the International Executive Board and each subordinate body of the resulting adjustment in dues and per capita tax required to be implemented the following year.

Section 8. The minimum dues for members who have regular work schedules of twenty or fewer, but more than twelve, hours per week shall be three-quarters of the minimum dues established in Section 5 of this Article, with the same proportionate allocation, and this three-quarters rate shall also apply to the annually adjusted dues amount established in Section 6. The minimum dues for members who have regular work schedules of twelve or fewer hours per week shall be 50 percent of the minimum dues established in Section 5 of this Article, with the same proportionate allocation, and this 50 percent rate shall also apply to the annually adjusted dues amount established in Section 6. The International Secretary-Treasurer is authorized to establish such rules and procedures as deemed necessary to carry out effectively the provisions of this Section.

Section 9. Local unions may, by appropriate constitutional provision, establish initiation fees and/or reinstatement fees, which fees shall not exceed twenty-five dollars.

Section 10. The appropriate fiscal officer of each local union shall, at the end of each month, remit to the International Secretary-Treasurer one-half of any amounts collected by the local as initiation fees and/or reinstatement fees and the per capita tax pursuant to Section 5 and Section 6 of this Article, except as provided in Section 15 of this Article. Per capita tax shall be paid on the number of individual monthly dues payments received by the local during the month, and an amount equal to the basic minimum per capita tax shall be paid by the local union in the same manner for each person making service or other similar payments to the local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions. The appropriate fiscal officer shall certify on the report form that the report is accurate. The appropriate local union officer shall read at a regular local union meeting any communication from the office of the International Secretary-Treasurer regarding the failure of the local to remit its per capita tax or failure to do so promptly and in accordance with the Constitution. Failure of a local union to remit its International per capita tax for any month by the 15th day of the following month shall result in the local being declared delinquent. Failure of a local union to remit its International per capita tax for any month within sixty days after such local is declared delinquent shall result in the suspension of the local, and the International Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the local of its suspension. The International President may order any local union which remains suspended under this section for more than thirty days disbanded, and all funds and properties of the disbanded local shall be transmitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer in accordance with the provisions of Section 35 of this Article. Any such disbandments shall be reported by the International President to the International Executive Board. In the case of a local union or other subordinate body whose dues are paid to the council with which such local or subordinate body is affiliated, as provided in Section 11 of this Article, the obligations to pay International Union per capita tax and submit reports established by this Section shall be carried out by the appropriate fiscal officer of such council.

Section 11. If the dues of members of a local union are collected by the council with which such local is affiliated through a system of central collection on or after July 1, 2000, the dues of members of that local shall continue to be collected in the same manner thereafter. In the case of any subordinate body that is affiliated with a council, whether such subordinate body is chartered or not, which does not pay its per capita tax to the International Union or to such council, as provided in this constitution, for three consecutive months, the International President shall require that, thereafter, the dues of the members of such subordinate body shall be received directly by such council through central collection. Under central collection, when dues are collected by payroll deduction, the full amount of such dues shall be transmitted directly by the employer of such members to the appropriate fiscal officer of such council, or, in the case of any such subordinate body that cannot cause the dues of its members to be paid directly to the council with which it is affiliated or does not collect dues by payroll deduction, the full amount of all dues collected by such subordinate body shall be transmitted to the appropriate fiscal officer of such council within thirty days after the receipt of such dues. As used in this Section, the term “council” shall be deemed to include any local union that is not affiliated with a council, and the term “subordinate body” shall be deemed to include any local union, chapter or similar organization that is affiliated with a council, as defined in this sentence, whether such subordinate body is chartered or not. All dues received by a council shall, immediately upon receipt, be deposited in a dues trust account. The term “dues trust account” shall have the meaning provided in Section 12 of this Article. Within forty-five days after the receipt of dues paid by members of its affiliated subordinate bodies as provided in this Section, a council shall deduct and remit to the International Secretary-Treasurer all amounts due as International Union per capita tax and shall distribute the remainder of such dues as provided in the constitution of such council; provided, that a council shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this sentence if it remits the full amount of International Union per capita tax and then distributes the remainder of such dues for any month no later than the fifteenth day after the council has received all dues for such month that are paid by payroll deduction or transmitted in full to the council by its affiliated subordinate bodies. The appropriate fiscal officer of each council shall be responsible for preparing and submitting, on behalf of its affiliated subordinate bodies for which it centrally collects dues, all reports required by this Constitution regarding receipt of dues and the payment of International Union per capita tax. For purposes of this Section, the term “dues” shall be deemed to include all amounts paid as service or other similar payments in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions.**

**Effective January 1, 2010, the language of this provision will be replaced by the language contained in Appendix E, Section 1B.

Section 12. The term “dues trust account” shall mean an account of a subordinate body into which all dues, including payments in lieu of dues made pursuant to agency shop or similar provisions, and all per capita taxes or similar payments, are deposited upon their receipt by such subordinate body. A dues trust account shall be separate from the subordinate body’s general treasury, operating or other accounts. Prior to transferring any funds from its dues trust account to its general treasury or other accounts, all per capita taxes payable to the International Union, to any AFSCME council or to any other affiliated organization, any rebates payable to affiliated subordinate bodies and any funds included in, or deducted and paid to the union with, such dues that are required to be paid to any benefit fund or trust or insurance company shall be paid from the dues trust account.

Section 13.In any case in which a council or local union received funds from its affiliated local union or other subordinate bodies, or from employers of their members, pursuant to Section 11 of this Article or otherwise, the amounts so received shall be deposited immediately in a dues trust account and the amounts so deposited shall not be withdrawn or otherwise transferred or paid except as provided in this Constitution. In the event that any subordinate body does not maintain or operate its dues trust account as required by this Constitution or fails to make payments from such account in a timely manner as required by this Constitution, the International President shall have the authority to require that a cooperative dues trust be established for such subordinate body, either in addition to or in place of its regular dues trust account. When a cooperative dues trust is established, all funds that would otherwise be required to be deposited in the subordinate body’s dues trust account shall first be deposited in the cooperative dues trust account. A cooperative dues trust shall be maintained in an account that requires the signatures of an authorized representative of the subordinate body and a representative of the International Union designated by the International President to transact business on such account. When a cooperative dues trust has been established, no funds may be withdrawn, transferred or paid from such account without the consent of the subordinate body and the International Union. The subordinate body shall be required to continue using a cooperative dues trust until the International President determines that its use is no longer necessary. A subordinate body may appeal to the International Executive Board for termination of the requirement that it use a cooperative dues trust on the ground that it has been continued longer than is necessary; provided, that no such appeal may be made within six months of a prior decision by the International Executive Board regarding the continuation of a cooperative dues trust.

Section 14. Any member, except those who are members pursuant to a union shop or similar provision, who objects to the expenditure of any portion of dues for partisan political or ideological purposes shall have the right to dissent from such expenditures. The amount of the Union’s expenditures for such purposes shall be determined annually in the following manner. For the International Union, the International Secretary-Treasurer shall by April 1 each year ascertain the total expenditures of the described kind during the preceding fiscal year, and shall determine therefrom mathematically the portion of per capita payment or its equivalent which is subject to rebate. For each council and local union which has made expenditures of the described kind, its chief fiscal officer shall make like calculations by April 1 or, if some other date is more appropriate to the council or local fiscal year, then by such other date. An objector shall file written notice of an objection by registered or certified mail with both the International Secretary-Treasurer and the appropriate subordinate body between April 1 and April 16 of each year, stating those subordinate bodies to which dues payments have been made. An objection may be renewed from year to year by written notification by registered or certified mail to the International Secretary-Treasurer during the stated period each year. Each year, during February, the International Union shall set forth in its regular publication a description of this system including the dates within which notice of objection must be filed. An application for partisan political or ideological rebate shall be forwarded to the objector to be completed and returned in accordance with procedures that shall be established by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Such application shall require the objector to identify the partisan political or ideological activities to which objection is being made.

The International Secretary-Treasurer shall transmit each approved application to the chief fiscal officer of each subordinate body that received a portion of the objector’s dues. Each subordinate body and the International Union shall provide a rebate to each objector who has filed a timely objection and an approved application for a rebate; provided that such rebate may be limited to the objector’s pro rata share of those partisan political and ideological activities of the Union that have been identified in the application filed by the objector.

If an objector is dissatisfied with the proportional allocation that has been established on the ground that assertedly it does not accurately reflect the expenditures of the International Union or subordinate body in the defined areas, an appeal may be taken to the Judicial Panel. Any such appeal must be filed in writing within fifteen days of receipt of the rebate check from which appeal is made. If an appeal has been timely filed, the Judicial Panel shall schedule a hearing under the rules of procedure of the Judicial Panel. The decision of the Judicial Panel on such appeal shall be issued within a reasonable time. If an objector is dissatisfied with the decision of the Judicial Panel, a further and final appeal may be taken to the next International Convention.

Section 15. The International Executive Board shall establish procedures to protect the constitutional and statutory rights of persons who are members pursuant to a union shop or similar provision, and other persons making service or similar payments to a local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions, to object to the expenditures of any portion of their dues or fees for partisan political or ideological purposes not germane to collective bargaining or for such other purposes as to which they may have a right to object under applicable law. The procedure shall be established and operated so as to insure compliance with applicable law, and its requirements shall include:

  1. Notice to all persons of the portions of dues or fees that have been determined to be chargeable to them, and of those portions which may be subject to their objection, including appropriate financial information which will allow them to evaluate that determination;
  2. An opportunity for such persons to challenge such determination and receive a prompt decision by an impartial decision-maker; and
  3. An independently verified escrow of all portions reasonably in dispute of the dues or fees of those who challenge such determination, pending completion of the challenge procedure.

The procedure required by this Section shall establish the criteria to be used in determining whether expenditures are chargeable or subject to objection, which criteria shall be applied unless different criteria are required to be used under applicable law.

For any person who is permitted to pay a reduced service fee or dues, or who receives an advance rebate, pursuant to the procedure established under this Section, the per capita taxes otherwise payable to the International Union and the council shall be reduced to that percentage of the per capita tax which is determined by or on behalf of each of those bodies, respectively, to be chargeable to objectors. For any person paying a reduced service fee pursuant to a law limiting such fees to a stated percentage of dues, the per capita tax otherwise payable to the International Union shall be limited by the same percentage. If a challenge to the International Union’s determination of its chargeable expenditures results in a decision requiring a reduction in the dues or fees received by a local union, or an increase in the amount of its advance rebates, the International Union shall, promptly after receipt of any per capita tax payment from such local union, rebate to such local union an amount equal to the reduction in dues or fees, or the increase in advance rebates, incurred by such local union in connection with the dues or fees on which such per capita tax payment was made.

Section 16. Any local union which, at the time of the adoption of this provision, is governed by a local union constitution which has been approved in writing by the International President may continue to be governed by such constitution, subject to the further provisions of this Constitution. Any local union which, at the time of the adoption of this provision, is not governed by a local union constitution which has been approved in writing by the International President, and any local union which shall be chartered after the adoption of this provision, shall be governed by the provisions of the Constitution for Local Unions contained in Appendix C of this Constitution.

Section 17. The constitution of each local union shall contain a provision establishing a quorum for local union meetings. In the case of any local union whose constitution does not contain a provision establishing a quorum, the quorum for meetings of such local union shall be ten percent of the membership in good standing in such local union.

Section 18. The constitution of each local union shall provide for the election of local union officers. No officer may be elected for a term of office to exceed three years. The constitution of a local union may prescribe reasonable eligibility requirements, including a requirement regarding length of membership, for candidates for local union offices, which requirement shall in no case be greater than the length of the term of the office sought. The appropriate officer of each local union shall report the names, addresses and terms of office of each newly elected officer to the International Secretary-Treasurer as soon as such officers are elected. The International Secretary-Treasurer shall then issue credential cards to each officer. Such cards shall contain the name and term of office of the officer and shall be in force only during said term of office. They shall not be issued until the International Secretary-Treasurer is notified in writing of the name, address, and term of office of the newly elected officer and, once issued, they shall constitute valid evidence of the incumbency of the local union officer holding such card.

Section 19. Any local union wishing to amend, revise, replace or otherwise change its constitution may do so by a two-thirds vote of the members voting, providing proper and adequate notice has been given to all members of the proposal to amend, revise, replace or otherwise change such local constitution and subject to the provisions of Section 49 of this Article. A local union may amend its constitution to provide that said constitution may be amended, revised, replaced, or otherwise changed by a majority vote of the members voting subject to the following procedure: Proposed amendments must be read at a regular or special meeting of the local union and read and voted on at a subsequent meeting of the local union. Adequate and proper notice must have been given to the membership prior to the date on which the vote is taken. A written copy of the proposed amendment shall be furnished to each eligible voter at the meeting at which the vote is taken.

Section 20. Local unions shall affiliate with and actively participate in the affairs of central, area and state bodies of the AFL-CIO in their respective localities, except when a local union applies for permission to abstain from such affiliation and permission is granted by the International Executive Board or by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Beginning with the month of January 2007, councils, as defined in Section 11 of this Article, that receive dues for their affiliated local unions, shall be authorized to deduct from such dues and pay on behalf of each local the amounts owed by such local as per capita tax to the appropriate AFL-CIO central body or area labor federation, and any council that exercises this authority shall be required to promptly report to each local all such deductions and payments made on its behalf. Beginning with the month of January 1989, and each month thereafter, the International Union shall pay to the AFLCIO, on behalf of each local union, such amounts as per capita tax as may be required to insure that each local union is fully affiliated, and maintained in good standing, with the appropriate state body of the AFL-CIO.

Section 21. Any local union having, for three consecutive months, a paid membership of fewer than ten members or having, for any three consecutive months, an average of fewer than ten members, shall be considered to have disbanded, and all funds and properties of the disbanded local shall be transmitted to the International Secretary -Treasurer in accordance with the provisions of Section 36 of this Article. This Section, however, shall not apply where membership fluctuates because of seasonal employment; provided, however, the International President may, under special circumstances permit exceptions to the provisions of this section.

Section 22. To extend the membership, to coordinate the activities of local unions, and to render greater service to the membership, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees may charter councils composed of local unions in any appropriate jurisdiction, as determined by the International Executive Board or by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Each council charter shall establish the name, the number, and the jurisdiction of such council.

Section 23. The council constitution shall clearly define the purpose and functions to be fulfilled by the council, and shall establish the rate of per capita tax to be paid by the affiliated locals, which rate shall also be paid by the affiliated locals in the same manner for each person making service or other similar payments to the local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions, unless the council constitution provides otherwise. The constitution of a council may prescribe reasonable eligibility requirements, including a requirement regarding length of membership, for candidates for council offices, which requirement shall in no case be greater than the length of the term of the office sought. The appropriate officer of each council shall report the names, addresses and terms of office of each newly elected officer to the International Secretary-Treasurer as soon as such officers are elected. The International Secretary-Treasurer shall then issue credential cards to each officer. Such cards shall contain the name and term of office of the officers and shall be in force only during said term of office. They shall not be issued until the International Secretary-Treasurer is notified in writing of the name, address and term of office of the newly elected officer and, once issued, they shall constitute valid evidence of the incumbency of the council officer holding such card.

Section 24. Any council wishing to amend, revise, replace, or otherwise change its constitution may do so by a two-thirds vote or by majority vote, as provided in the council constitution. In the case of any council which has regular meetings more frequently than once a year, or in any case where an amendment is to be adopted by a majority vote, notice must be given to all locals of the proposal to amend, revise, replace or otherwise change such council constitution at least thirty days prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendments are to be considered. All amendments shall be subject to the provisions of Section 48 of this Article.

Section 25. Local unions shall affiliate and maintain affiliation with the proper council or councils unless, on application to the International Executive Board, permission is granted the local union not to affiliate with a council or to discontinue affiliation with a council. The appropriate fiscal officer of each local union shall, at the end of each month, remit to the appropriate council financial officer the constitutionally established amounts required for the payment of per capita tax to the council with which the local is affiliated, except as provided in Section 15 of this Article. Per capita tax shall be paid on the number of individual monthly dues payments received by the local during the month, and an amount equal to the basic minimum per capita tax shall be paid by the local union in the same manner for each person making service or other similar payments to the local union in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions. The obligation of a local union to pay per capita tax to the council with which such local is affiliated shall be deemed to have been met if the dues of members of such local, including any payments by persons making service or other similar payments in lieu of dues under agency shop or similar provisions, are paid to such council as provided in Section 11 of this Article.

Section 26. Each council shall pay an annual affiliation fee of five dollars, to be remitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 27. In any case where the International President determines that an organizational opportunity requires the establishment of a structure to conduct organizational and related activities in a jurisdiction because there is no existing affiliate in such jurisdiction or because the existing affiliate does not have the capacity to successfully conduct such activities, the International President, subject to the advice and consent of the International Executive Board, may establish an organizing committee covering such jurisdiction. The International President shall promptly notify each subordinate body in the affected jurisdiction of the decision to establish an organizing committee, which shall not be effective until at least sixty days after the date of notice to the subordinate bodies in the affected jurisdiction. Any such subordinate body may, by action of such subordinate body, appeal the International President’s decision to the International Executive Board by filing such appeal with the International Secretary-Treasurer within forty-five days after the date of notice of the International President’s decision. The International President’s decision may, upon the request of any subordinate body appealing from such decision, be stayed pending the International Executive Board’s consideration of such appeal. If such a stay is requested, the International President may grant the stay or refer the request to the Executive Committee of the International Executive Board for consideration, in which case the decision of the Executive Committee on the request for a stay shall be final. If no stay is granted, the decision of the International President shall be effective on the date specified in the initial notice issued by the International President. Upon the establishment of an organizing committee in a jurisdiction where there is an existing council, such council shall be dissolved and the property of such council, including its right to receive per capita tax from its affiliated local unions, shall revert to the organizing committee to be used in connection with such organizing activities. Upon the establishment of an organizing committee in a jurisdiction where there is no existing council, the organizing committee shall be entitled to the payment of per capita tax from the local unions in its jurisdiction as if it were a council, as provided in Section 25 of this Article, at a rate equal to the minimum council rate as determined in accordance with Sections 5 and 6 of this Article, to be used in connection with such organizing activities. The International President shall, in consultation with the subordinate bodies in the affected jurisdiction, appoint the members of any organizing committee established pursuant to this Section, who shall serve in an advisory capacity, and such staff as may be needed to conduct the affairs of such organizing committee, who shall serve under the direction of the International President and such representatives as may be designated by the International President. Upon the completion of the activities of the organizing committee, the International Union shall charter such subordinate body or bodies as it deems appropriate for the affected jurisdiction as otherwise provided in this Article, and any remaining property of any council that was dissolved in the course of establishing the organizing committee shall be assigned by the International Union to such subordinate body or bodies as determined by the International President.

Section 28. In any case where a multi-state employer conducts operations within the jurisdiction of more than one council or unaffiliated local and more than one council or unaffiliated local has a collective bargaining relationship with such employer, the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may, if it is determined that the interests of the affected employees will be served by such action, establish a national bargaining committee covering all affiliates having a collective bargaining relationship with such employer. In determining whether the interests of the employees will be served by the establishment of a national bargaining committee, the factors to be considered shall include the number of jurisdictions in which such employer operates facilities; the number of AFSCME affiliates that have or are seeking a collective bargaining relationship with such employer; and the number of AFSCME members and employees that are covered and potentially may be covered by such collective bargaining relationships. When a national bargaining committee has been established, all affiliates having or seeking a collective bargaining relationship with such employer shall be required to participate in the national bargaining committee. All collective bargaining certificates, recognitions and agreements shall, as soon as practicable after the formation of the national bargaining committee, be assigned to and held in the name of the International Union, and any requests for recognition or petitions for certification as the representative of employees of such employer shall be made in the name of, and filed only with the authorization of, the International Union. In order to maintain employment standards thereafter, no collective bargaining agreement with such employer, including any local supplements to such agreement, shall be effective without the signature of an authorized representative of the International Union. The activities of each national bargaining committee shall be directed by the International President or an authorized representative of the International President. The establishment of a national bargaining committee with respect to any employer shall not affect the charter jurisdictions of the participating affiliates or their right to receive dues, fees or per capita taxes from the employees of such employer who are employed within their jurisdiction or the rights of the participating affiliates or their members to participate in decisions affecting their wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment as otherwise provided in this Constitution.

Section 29. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees may charter appropriate retired employee chapters and subchapters as determined by the International Executive Board or by the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. Retired employee chapters and sub-chapters shall consist of retired persons who, prior to such retirement, were eligible for membership in AFSCME, and of the spouses of such persons. Each retired employee chapter or sub-chapter charter shall establish the name and the jurisdiction of such chapter or sub-chapter. Councils and/or local unions not affiliated with councils, acting singly or in joint action with other such subordinate bodies in the same state, may sponsor organizations of retired persons who, prior to retirement, were eligible for membership in AFSCME and the spouses of such persons to carry on programs of interest to the sponsoring subordinate body or bodies and/or of special interest to retired persons. The sponsoring of such organizations shall be subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, or of the International President, subject to approval of the International Executive Board, and upon the granting of such approval the International Union shall issue a retired employee chapter or sub-chapter charter to such organization.

In appropriate circumstances the International Executive Board or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may establish more than one retired employee chapter or sub-chapter in which a retired person may become a member, and, under such circumstances, may require a retired person to hold a membership in more than one chapter or sub-chapter as a condition of membership in any one chapter or sub-chapter. Under such circumstances, the International Executive Board or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may make special provision for the dues which must be paid by a retired person who shall be eligible for membership in the relevant retired employee chapters or sub-chapters or who shall be required to be a member of more than one retired employee chapter or sub-chapter and for the per capita tax, if any, which must be paid upon the retired person’s chapter or sub-chapter memberships.

The factors to be considered in determining the appropriateness of any charter for a retired employee chapter or sub-chapter shall include, but not be limited to, the concentration of eligible retirees in a given area, the prior work location of the relevant retirees and the source or sources of the relevant retirees’ retirement income or retirement related benefits. All retired employee chapters and sub-chapters shall function under rules adopted by the International Executive Board. Such rules may recognize the special circumstances or needs of a given retired employee chapter or sub-chapter but shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, including the Bill of Rights for Union Members, and shall, among other things, establish:

  1. The rules and procedures to govern elections and election protests in retired employee chapters and sub-chapters;
  2. The rules and procedures to govern the filing and processing of charges in retired employee chapters and sub-chapters;
  3. Such other rules and regulations as it may deem desirable and appropriate for the proper functioning of retired employee chapters and sub-chapters.

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