News / Publications » Publications

Article IX - Subordinate Bodies (Sections 30-53)

Section 30. Officers and employees of all subordinate bodies of the Federation shall be bonded at the expense of the subordinate bodies through the International Union office for amounts to be determined by the executive boards of the respective subordinate bodies, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board. The minimum bond shall be not less than 10 percent of the assets handled by a subordinate body annually, except that no bond shall be required in an amount greater than $500,000. Each subordinate body must, by March 1 of each year, submit to the International Secretary-Treasurer a statement of assets handled during the previous calendar year for the purpose of computing the amount of the bond. Such reports shall be on forms supplied by the International Secretary-Treasurer. The bonds shall be retained in the files of the International Union office. In the event a subordinate body suffers a monetary loss as a result of the dishonest or otherwise unlawful conduct of one or more of its officers or employees and such loss is not fully compensated under the subordinate body’s bond, the International Union shall be authorized to initiate legal action on behalf of and in the name of such subordinate body for the recovery of such amounts as were not recovered under the bond unless the subordinate body initiates such action on its own within a reasonable time after the subordinate body is informed by the International Union that the loss will not be fully compensated under the bond; provided that the International Union shall be required to notify such subordinate body of the International Union’s intent to initiate such legal action at least thirty days prior to taking such action.

Section 31. The financial books and other records of subordinate bodies, including financial books and other records concerning any health and welfare, pension, insurance or other benefit programs covering members of such subordinate bodies, shall be open to inspection at any time by representatives accredited for the purpose by the International President or the International Secretary-Treasurer. Such inspection may be made at reasonable places and times designated by the accredited representatives for the purpose and the books and records may be taken into possession by the representative upon giving receipt therefor. The principal financial officer of each subordinate body shall see that any financial reports required by this Constitution to be submitted to the International Union are submitted in accordance with this Constitution. At least once each year, the International Union shall review and, where appropriate, audit the financial books and other records of each council and each local having 2,000 or more members. Such review or audit shall be conducted in accordance with the AFSCME Financial Standards Code and generally accepted accounting, administrative and management principles. Prior to or during such review or audit, the International Union may require that the council or local provide such financial reports and other information as may be needed to properly conduct the review or audit. Upon the completion of the review or audit, the International Union shall issue a report to the subordinate body containing the findings of the review or audit. Such report shall advise the subordinate body of any deficiencies or improprieties found, any actions required to remedy such deficiencies or improprieties and any recommended actions to improve the financial practices of the subordinate body. An audit conducted pursuant to this provision shall not be in lieu of the audit that would otherwise be required under the subordinate body’s constitution unless the International Union specifically notifies the subordinate body that the audit satisfies the requirements of the subordinate body’s constitution. Each council and unaffiliated local shall be authorized to review and, where appropriate, audit the financial books and records of any of its affiliated subordinate bodies, whether chartered or not, having less than 2,000 members and, in exercising this authority, shall apply the same standards and procedures as are applicable to the International Union in conducting reviews or audits pursuant to this Section. Meetings of subordinate bodies shall be open to accredited representatives of the International Union. Meetings of subordinate bodies, whether chartered or not, that are affiliated with a council or unaffiliated local shall be open to accredited representatives of such council or local. Shall any officer or officers of any subordinate body refuse or fail to permit any accredited representative to carry out the duties set forth in this section, the International Union, or, where appropriate, the  council or local with which such subordinate body is affiliated, may take appropriate legal or disciplinary action. All financial records of subordinate bodies of the Federation, including financial records concerning any health and welfare, pension, insurance or other benefit programs covering members of such subordinate bodies, shall be retained, in their original form, for a minimum of six years from the date of such records. The International President, upon reasonable notice, may call a special meeting of a subordinate body, its executive board or any other governing body to transact such business as the International President or an accredited representative of the President shall bring before it.

Section 32. No subordinate body shall incorporate under the laws of any state, commonwealth, or territory, or function as an incorporated organization without the permission of the International Executive Board.

Section 33. No subordinate body shall issue or sponsor any publication of any kind which is financed in whole or in part from revenues received through the sale of advertising without advance approval of the International Executive Board.

Section 34. No subordinate body shall expend its funds or other resources directly or indirectly for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence any public election, legislation or referendum which is being held in a governmental entity outside the geographic area of its jurisdiction if the position supported by such subordinate body is inconsistent with the established policy of the International Union or of any subordinate body whose jurisdiction is within or includes such governmental entity; provided, that nothing in this Section shall prohibit any expenditure by a subordinate body in connection with any public election, legislation or referendum the outcome of which may directly affect the membership of such subordinate body or the employees it represents.

Section 35. The International President, subject to the approval of the International Executive Board, may require that any existing subordinate bodies of the Federation, whether presently or hereafter chartered, merge or consolidate with one or more other subordinate bodies in the same area, such consolidated or merged subordinate bodies to function thereafter as a single subordinate body under an existing or newly granted charter. Any subordinate bodies so directed to merge or consolidate shall, at their request, be granted a hearing before the International Executive Board prior to the effective date of the required merger or consolidation, and shall, in any case, be given a reasonable period of time in which to accomplish such merger or consolidation.

Section 36. The funds or property of a subordinate body, whether chartered or not, shall not be divided among the members, but shall remain intact for the use of such subordinate body for its legitimate purposes while such subordinate body exists. When any such subordinate body secedes or discontinues its affiliation, all monies, books, collective bargaining agreements and any other memoranda of understanding or other agreements concerning wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment of members of such subordinate body and other properties shall be transmitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer and assigned to the International Union. If such subordinate body is reorganized within a period of two years following transmission of its assets to the International Secretary-Treasurer, then an amount of funds equal to the value of such assets shall be provided to such reorganized body by the International Union. No property of any subordinate body and no property in the possession, custody or control of any such subordinate body or any of its officers or employees, and no property held in trust, express or implied, which was created or established by any such subordinate body and whose primary purpose is to provide benefits for the members of such subordinate body or their beneficiaries, shall be given, contributed, assigned, donated or result to, or be given to the control of, either directly or indirectly, any seceding, dual or antagonistic labor organization or group or to any subordinate body which is in violation of the International Constitution, but any such property shall remain in the custody or control of the subordinate body as indicated above, regardless of whether a majority of the membership may have seceded or disaffiliated.

Section 37. If the International President shall find (1) that a subordinate body has seceded or purported to secede, or (2) that dissolution or secession of a subordinate body is threatened, or (3) that dissipation or loss of the funds or assets of a subordinate body is threatened, or (4) that the subordinate body has deliberately filed false per capita tax or other financial or audit reports with the International Union, or (5) that a subordinate body interferes publicly with the organizing campaign of another subordinate body, or (6) that a subordinate body is acting in violation of this Constitution or of any lawful order of the Convention, the International Executive Board, or the International President, so that in the opinion of the International President an emergency situation exists, the International President is empowered to place such subordinate body under administratorship pending notice and hearing. For purposes of this Section and Section 38 of this Article, a subordinate body shall not be deemed to be interfering with the organizing campaign of another subordinate body if it asserts a good-faith claim of jurisdiction over the workers involved. The International President shall immediately refer the matter to the Judicial Panel for hearing in the manner hereinafter provided, shall notify the subordinate body, and shall promptly submit a written report to all members of the International Executive Board notifying them of such action and the reasons therefor.

Section 38. If the International President shall have reasonable cause to believe that a subordinate body or the officers, employees, or members thereof are (1) engaged in financial malpractice or corruption, or (2) violating the obligations of a collective bargaining agreement, or (3) acting in violation of this Constitution or any lawful order of the Convention, the International Executive Board, or the International President, or (4) threatening secession or dissolution, or (5) conducting the affairs of the subordinate body in such a manner as directly and seriously to jeopardize the fundamental rights and interests of the membership of the subordinate body or the International Union, or (6) interfering with the organizing campaign of another subordinate body, or (7) conducting the affairs of the subordinate body in such a manner as to deprive members of the subordinate body of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights for Union Members contained in this Constitution, or potential members of the right to become members of appropriate subordinate bodies, and that such conduct cannot or will not be immediately remedied by the subordinate body, the International President shall refer the matter to the Judicial Panel for hearing and/or investigation in the manner hereinafter provided and shall notify the subordinate body.

Section 39. Immediately upon the International President’s taking any action under Section 37 above, the Chairperson of the Judicial Panel shall appoint from among the members of the Panel an Administratorship Hearing Board. If the affected subordinate body is a local union, not more than three members shall be appointed. If the affected subordinate body is a council, three members shall be appointed. If the Administratorship Hearing Board consists of more than one member, the Chairperson of the Judicial Panel shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Administratorship Hearing Board shall be responsible for making all hearing arrangements and for giving adequate notice.

Section 40. A hearing shall be held before the Administratorship Hearing Board as soon as is consistent with due process, but with not less than seven days’ notice, and not later than twenty-one days after the imposition of any administratorship pursuant to Section 37 herein. All interested parties shall be given a fair opportunity to present their views on the matter.

Section 41. The Administratorship Hearing Board shall as expeditiously as possible decide whether the subordinate body has committed any of the acts enumerated in Section 37 above.

Section 42. Should a majority of the Administratorship Hearing Board decide that the subordinate body has not committed any of the acts enumerated in Section 37, the appointment of the Administrator shall be vacated and the International President shall not have power to appoint an administrator over the subordinate body involved or to declare the subordinate body expelled; provided, however, that the International President may appeal such action to the International Executive Board. Should a majority of the Administratorship Hearing Board decide that the subordinate body has committed any of the acts enumerated in Section 37, the International President shall take such action as the President considers appropriate; provided, however, that the subordinate body may appeal such action to the International Executive Board.

Section 43. In case of an expulsion of a subordinate body, all funds, properties, books, and other assets of the subordinate body or of the International Union in the possession of such expelled subordinate body shall vest in the International Union and shall be delivered to a duly authorized representative of the International Union.

Section 44. When the International President refers a matter to the Judicial Panel for hearing and/ or investigation under the provisions of Section 38 above, the Chairperson of the Judicial Panel shall appoint an Investigating Committee in the same manner as is provided for the appointment of an Administratorship Hearing Board. If the Investigating Committee determines to hold a hearing, or any directly interested party requests a hearing, the Investigating Committee shall hold a hearing within thirty days thereafter and with not less than seven days’ notice to the subordinate body. The Investigating Committee shall use such other investigative procedures as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. The Investigating Committee shall, as expeditiously as possible, make a written report and recommendations to the International President. Should the Investigating Committee or a majority thereof recommend that the subordinate body be expelled or that an administratorship is appropriate, the International President may, if the President considers such action appropriate, expel the subordinate body or place the subordinate body in administratorship. The subordinate body may appeal such action to the International Executive Board. Should the Investigating Committee or a majority thereof fail to recommend that the subordinate body be expelled or that an administratorship is appropriate and should the International 106 ARTICLE IX107 ARTICLE IX President nevertheless take either of such actions, the President shall immediately refer the matter to the Judicial Panel under the provisions of Section 37 above.

Section 45. In all cases where a subordinate body has been placed under administratorship, the International President shall assume charge of the affairs and business of such subordinate body and may appoint an administrator for such purpose. All actions of the administrator shall be subject to the direction, instructions and approval of the International President. Such administrator shall have the right, upon demand, to take possession of all the funds, properties, books and other assets of such subordinate body for the period that the administrator is in charge, such assets to be held in trust for the benefit of the subordinate body and to be expended only to the extent necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of the subordinate body. The administrator shall institute all necessary action to recover money or other property of the subordinate body. The administrator shall be adequately bonded to safeguard the subordinate body’s assets and for the faithful performance of the administrator’s duties. The administrator shall be authorized and empowered to suspend from office any or all the officers and appoint temporary officers, from among the members in good standing of such subordinate body, for the duration of the administratorship; to remove or replace representatives or other employees of such subordinate body; and to take such other actions as in the administrator’s judgment are necessary for the preservation of the rights and interests of the members of the subordinate body and of the International Union. The administrator shall be empowered to conduct and manage the affairs of the subordinate body with the assistance of the officers or temporary officers herein provided for until the administratorship is terminated. The administrator shall submit complete monthly reports of the administrator’s actions and of the affairs of the subordinate body to the International Executive Board and to the membership of the subordinate body under administratorship. Expenses of the administrator shall be paid out of the funds of the subordinate body if they are available; otherwise they shall be borne by the International Union. Such administratorship shall be continued no longer than is necessary to remove the causes of its establishment. The subordinate body shall have the right to appeal to the International Executive Board for removal of the administratorship on the ground that such administratorship has been continued longer than is necessary; provided, that no such appeal may be made within six months after a prior decision by the International Executive Board.

Section 46. When an administratorship is to be terminated, the administrator shall conduct elections of officers of the subordinate body except for those elected officers whose terms shall not have expired and who have not been expelled, suspended or otherwise barred from office during the period of administratorship and shall install such officers on the day the administratorship is terminated. The administrator shall return all funds, books, property and other assets of the subordinate body to its appropriate officers who shall give appropriate receipt for same. The administrator shall make a final accounting of the administratorship and submit it to the International Executive Board and to the subordinate body. 108 ARTICLE IX109 ARTICLE IX

Section 47. No financial obligation or liability of the subordinate body which may exist at the time the administratorship is instituted or which may have been incurred before that time shall be assumed by, or become an obligation of, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Section 48. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution or of the constitution of any subordinate body, the executive board of any subordinate body shall have the authority to order the immediate suspension, pending full investigation, of officers or staff employees of such subordinate body who in its opinion are engaging in conduct imminently dangerous to the welfare of such subordinate body or of the International Union. Such action shall not affect the membership rights of any officer or staff employee so suspended. In any such case, the executive board shall immediately notify in writing the suspended officer or staff employee, as well as the International President, of its action and of the reasons therefor. In any such situation, the order of the executive board shall be in effect for no more than thirty days, and may not be renewed unless formal charges have been filed against the officer or staff employee so suspended within the thirty-day period. Upon receipt of notice of the imposition of such a suspension, the International President shall immediately designate a representative to conduct an investigation. The findings of the investigation shall be reported to the International President not later than fifteen days after such representative was designated, and the International President shall determine whether the subordinate body executive board had a reasonable basis for imposing the suspension. If the International President finds that the subordinate body executive board lacked a reasonable basis for imposing the suspension, the International President shall order the immediate reinstatement of the suspended officer or employee. Notice of the International President’s determination shall be sent to the suspended officer or staff employee and to the subordinate body executive board which imposed the suspension. Decisions of the International President pursuant to this Section shall not be subject to appeal. Such decisions shall not affect the processing of any charges which may be filed against the suspended officer or staff employee and shall not constitute a determination of the merits of such charges.

Section 49. The constitution of every subordinate body and any change of any nature in the constitution of any subordinate body shall conform to the provisions of the International Constitution including the provisions of the Bill of Rights. The adoption of a new constitution by any subordinate body and any change of any nature in the constitution of any subordinate body shall be subject to the approval of the International President, and shall become effective only upon the granting of such approval by the President in writing. Regardless of such written approval, if a conflict between such subordinate body constitution or amended constitution and the International Constitution including the provisions of the Bill of Rights is found, the provisions of the International Constitution shall prevail. Unreasonable refusal or delay in granting approval by the International President shall be reviewable by the International Executive Board at the request of the subordinate body.

Section 50. The constitution of every subordinate body of the Federation shall contain the following provisions:

  1.  “This local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter] shall at all times be subject to the provisions of the Constitution of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.”
  2. “Except to the extent specified in this constitution, no officer of the local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter] shall have the power to act as agent for or otherwise bind the local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter] in any way whatsoever. No member or group of members or other person or persons shall have the power to act on behalf of or otherwise bind the local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter] except to the extent specifically authorized in writing by the president of the local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter], or by the executive board of the local union [or council or retired employee chapter or sub-chapter].”

Section 51. Any subordinate body may convene its regular or special meetings of  officers, executive board, or membership in person and/or by audio and/or video teleconference provided that, before a subordinate body may convene such a virtual meeting, its executive board shall adopt and adhere to the written policy contained in Appendix F of this Constitution. Audio and/or video teleconference meetings shall not be permitted for conventions or elections. 

Section 52. All elections of officers and delegates in subordinate bodies shall be subject to the provisions of Appendix D of this Constitution.

Section 53. Each elected officer of each subordinate body shall, upon assuming office, subscribe to the Obligation of an Officer contained in Appendix B of this Constitution.

Section 54. This Constitution shall constitute a contract between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and each of its subordinate bodies individually. All subordinate bodies shall at all times be subject to the provisions of the International Constitution.

Get news & updates from AFSCME