Article XII - Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 1. No local union or other subordinate body affiliated with the International Union, or any officer or member thereof, or any other person or group of persons shall have the power to act as an agent for the International Union or otherwise bind the International Union except insofar as specifically authorized in writing by the International President or the International Executive Board or by this Constitution.

Section 2. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the terms “International Union” and “Federation” and the initials “AFSCME” are used interchangeably in this Constitution to mean the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Section 3. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the terms “International Executive Board,” “Executive Board” and “Board” are used interchangeably in this Constitution to mean the elected officers of the Federation acting jointly as an official body.

Section 4. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term “subordinate body” is used in this Constitution to mean any local union or any council, or any retired employee chapter or subchapter.

Section 5. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the terms “local” and “local union” are used interchangeably in this Constitution to mean a basic individual membership organization chartered by the Federation, other than a retired employee chapter.

Section 6. For purposes of Sections 6 and 7 of Article IX of this Constitution, the term “increase in pay” shall mean any increase in wages or salaries, whether payable hourly, weekly, bi-weekly, semimonthly, monthly, annually, or on some other basis, which is generally applicable to the members of a bargaining unit, or other clearly identified group of employees, and any lump sum bonus or similar payment which is paid to any such group of employees; but shall not include step increases, longevity pay, merit increases or bonuses, or similar increases or bonuses, which are paid on an individual basis.

Section 7. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Federation in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution or with any legally adopted special rules of the Federation.

Section 8. For purposes of applying the Legislative District lines established in Article IV, Section 27, where such districts are defined in terms of locals or councils, they shall be deemed to include any retiree chapter which is sponsored by or affiliated with such locals or councils or whose jurisdiction is based upon or otherwise relates to the jurisdiction of such locals or councils.

Section 9. A Preamble, including a Bill of Rights for Union Members, is attached at the beginning of this Constitution and is, by this reference, made a part of this Constitution.

Section 10. No member or subordinate body shall institute any civil action, suit or other proceeding in any court or other tribunal outside of the Federation against the Federation, any subordinate body, or any officer of the Federation or of any subordinate body on account of any controversy or dispute for which a remedy is provided in this Constitution or the constitution of any subordinate body without first exhausting all such remedies, including all available appeals; provided that the foregoing shall not apply where the action was instituted to prevent the loss of rights under an applicable statute of limitations and the member has diligently pursued available internal remedies; and provided further that violation of this provision shall not be a basis for the filing of charges pursuant to Article X of this Constitution.

Section 11. Appendix A, Entitled “Membership Obligation,” and Appendix B, entitled “Obligation of an Officer,”  and Appendix C, entitled “Constitution for Local Unions,” and Appendix D, entitled “Elections Code,” and Appendix E, entitled “Policy for Conducting Audio and/or Video Teleconference Meetings of a Subordinate Body,” are attached to this Constitution and are, by this reference, made a part of this Constitution.

Section 12. The application of the provisions of this Constitution shall, at all times, be subject to the provisions of any applicable laws. If any article, section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Constitution is found, by any court of final and competent jurisdiction, to be illegal or invalid, for any reason whatsoever, such finding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Constitution. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention hereby declare that they would have adopted this Constitution, and each article, section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more of the same shall be declared illegal or invalid.

Section 13. The language of this Constitution, including the Bill of Rights for Union Members, shall be liberally construed, and shall be interpreted in a manner designed to fully protect the fundamental rights of members.