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Article III - Membership

Section 1. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, any person, without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, or political belief, who meets one or more of the requirements hereafter listed shall be eligible for membership in a local union duly chartered by and regularly affiliated with this Federation.

  1. An employee of any state, territory, commonwealth, county, district, school board, city, town, village, township, or other public authority or of any governmental subdivision of any such government or authority, except elected officials who are not otherwise eligible under this Article, or of any quasi-public agency or any non-profit or tax-exempt agency of a public, charitable, educational, or civic nature.
  2. A full-time staff employee of any subordinate body of the Federation. If employed by a local union, such employee shall be eligible for membership in the local union by which such employee is employed. If employed by any other subordinate body, such employee shall be eligible for membership in any local union which is affiliated with such subordinate body and which is willing to accept such employee into membership.
  3. A full-time staff employee of the International Union. If such employee was, at the time of becoming an employee of the International Union, a member of a local union, such employee may maintain membership in such local or may transfer such membership to any other local union which is willing to accept such employee into membership and which is encompassed by such employee’s job assignment. If such employee was not a member of a local union at the time of becoming an employee of the International Union, such employee may establish membership in any local union which is willing to accept such employee into membership and which is encompassed by such employee’s job assignments.
  4. Any full-time employee of the International Union or of a subordinate body who was, prior to the acceptance of such employment, or at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, a member of a local union, may continue such membership.
  5. A full-time elected or appointed officer or representative of any labor body or labor organization with which the Federation is affiliated or with which subordinate bodies of the Federation are constitutionally affiliated or are constitutionally authorized to affiliate, who, at the time of such election or appointment, was a member of a local union of this Federation.
  6. A person appointed or elected to serve, on a full-time basis, as an official representative of organized labor, on or for a governmental or civic board, commission, or agency, who, at the time of such appointment or election, was a member of a local union of this Federation, unless the acceptance of such appointment or election results in placing the person in a position as an employer of other members of this Federation or creates a clear conflict of interest between the person’s official duties and the person’s fealty to the union.
  7. Individuals not within a local union jurisdiction but otherwise eligible for membership may become members-at-large of this Federation. Dues for members-at-large shall be an amount equal to the minimum International Union per capita tax plus one dollar per month, payable directly to the International Secretary-Treasurer.
  8. The International President is authorized, with the approval of the International Executive Board, to establish alternative forms of membership, including special rules governing the rights and obligations of such members, for groups of workers for whom regular membership is determined to be inappropriate based upon the nature of the workers’ employment relationship or limitations on their legal rights in the workplace. Any special rules governing the rights and obligations of such members shall, to the extent required by law, be subject to the approval of the next regular biennial convention.
  9. Any person who is retired and who, prior to such retirement, was eligible for membership in AFSCME and the spouse of any such person may become a member of an appropriate retired employee chapter chartered by AFSCME or may become a retired member-at-large if there is no retired employee chapter or subchapter to which such person can appropriately belong. Retired members-at-large shall pay dues on an annual or monthly basis in such amounts as are established by the International Executive Board. These dues shall be payable directly to the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 2. Any member who retires may continue membership in AFSCME in the following manner:

  1. If the retiring member is an incumbent officer of a local, council or the International Union, such retiring member may, by the payment of the full amount of dues, retain full membership status until the end of the term of such office, except as provided below. At the end of said term, the retiring member shall be eligible to become and to remain a retired member with the rights specified below, and shall lose eligibility for full membership status. If the retiring member is an International Vice President, and such retirement occurs prior to a regular International Union convention at which elections are not scheduled, such member shall lose eligibility for full membership status at the conclusion of that convention, and an election shall be held at that convention to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term of office, unless the vacancy shall have been filled earlier pursuant to Article VIII, Section 11 of this Constitution. Notwithstanding the contrary provisions of this Section, a subordinate body may provide in its constitution that retiring incumbent officers of such subordinate body are not eligible to continue as full members or officers of such subordinate body following their retirement.
  2. If the retiring member is not an incumbent officer of a local, council, or the International Union, said retiring member shall be eligible to become and to remain a retired member with the rights specified below, and shall lose eligibility for full membership status.
  3. A retired member shall have the right to membership in the appropriate AFSCME retired employee chapter or sub-chapter. No retired member or member of a retired employee chapter or sub-chapter shall be a candidate for any elected office in a local, council or the International Union.

Section 3. The International Executive Board, or the International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may issue local union charters or authorize the enlargement of the jurisdiction of existing local unions to include other appropriate groups of workers not specifically enumerated in this Article, and such workers shall be eligible for membership.

Section 4. No local union shall accept dues payments from any individual who does not meet the eligibility requirements set forth in this Article. Should dues payments be offered by such an individual and accepted by a local union, the individual shall, nevertheless, not be a member of this Federation. Any challenge regarding eligibility for membership shall be decided by the International President; provided, however, that decisions of the International President may be appealed to the International Executive Board. Any individual who is determined by the International President to have ceased to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in this Article shall thereby automatically cease to occupy any office in the International Union or any council or local union; provided, however, that the decision of the International President may be stayed by the International Executive Board upon appeal being filed to such body, and during the period of such stay, the individual involved shall be entitled to remain in office.

Section 5. If a member remains eligible for membership and pays dues by the 15th day, or such other day specified in the local union constitution, of the month in which they become due, that individual shall be considered in good standing; provided however, a member who pays dues through a system of regular payroll deduction, bank draft, or similar system, shall be considered in good standing for so long as the member continues to pay dues through such deduction method. Any member who fails to pay dues by the day of the month in which they become due shall be considered delinquent, and upon failure to pay dues for two consecutive months shall lose their good standing status and stand suspended.

Section 6. A member in good standing shall, at said member’s request, receive a withdrawal card from the local union under the following circumstances:

  1. If the member is separated from service with the employing agency.
  2. If the member becomes ineligible for membership in the local union as a result of a promotion, demotion, or transfer.
  3. If the member retires.
  4. If the member enters military service.

Section 7. No person may, at any one time, be a member of more than one local of this Federation unless such person is actually employed within the jurisdiction of each local union to which such person belongs. A member in good standing who transfers to the jurisdiction of another local union of this Federation shall be issued a transfer card by the local from which said member is transferring which shall, for a period of thirty days, entitle the member to join the local union in the jurisdiction in which said member is newly employed without payment of an initiation fee. Transfer cards shall also be issued to members who, as a result of their employment by the International Union or a subordinate body, request such transfer cards.

Section 8. No person who has been expelled from membership in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution may be admitted to membership in or employed by the Federation or any of its subordinate bodies for one year following such expulsion, and may thereafter be admitted to membership or offered such employment only with the prior approval of the International Executive Board.

Section 9. When a member is unemployed, on leave for military service, or on unpaid leave for more than twenty days in any calendar month, such member shall, upon request, be entitled to credit for membership dues for the period of unemployment, military service, or unpaid leave but not to exceed six months within any twelve-month period.

Section 10. Each new member shall subscribe to the Membership Obligation contained in Appendix A of this Constitution.

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