Constitution and Bylaws

Preamble

As the welfare of all workers can best be protected and most effectively be advanced by their united action in one union, we have organized this labor union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 31245. The BNG shall be governed by the constitutions of The Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America, their policies adopted by sector conference and convention, and the following bylaws. 

 Article I

1.1 Name

The name of this organization shall be the Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 31245, AFL-CIO, CLC, herein called the Union or the BNG.

1.2 Members

The Union shall consist of its membership; and such affiliated bodies as it may establish (Article IV, Section 2.8 AFFILIATIONS, MERGERS).

The membership shall consist of employees in bargaining units for which the Union is the exclusive representative.

There shall be no discrimination against any member or any applicant for membership.

The highest authority in this Union shall be its members, voting by secret ballot.

1.3 Membership Meetings

Membership meetings shall be called by the President at least twice a year. The President shall also call a membership meeting within 30 days when requested to do so in writing by 10 percent of the membership or by a majority of the Governing Board.

Notice of membership meetings shall be posted on Union bulletin boards at least one week in advance of the meeting.

All membership meetings shall be governed by the rules of debate hereinafter provided.

1.4 Member in Good Standing

In order to be considered in good standing and to be eligible to participate in all of the benefits and activities of the Union, members must pay on time the full dues prescribed by this Constitution.

No member shall interfere with the elected officers of this Union in the performance of their duties, and each member shall, if possible, render such assistance and support in the performance of such duties as may be required of them, provided this does not interfere with their rights as members or under applicable law.

1.5 Dues

Any increase in dues or initiation fees or the levying of any general or special assessment shall be made only in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) Reasonable notice shall be given by the Recording Secretary to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to a general membership meeting called to discuss whether such dues, initiation or reinstatement fees, general or special assessments shall be changed or levied. Such notice shall be posted on Union bulletin boards. The notice shall also indicate that an increase or assessment is to be voted on at a later general or special election.
(b) Members shall also receive notice that an increase or assessment is to be voted on in the notice of elections provided under Section 3.2 of these bylaws.
(c) A majority vote by secret ballot of the members in good standing voting at such an election shall decide the issue.

Any member who fails to pay dues, as established under the authority of the Constitution and Bylaws, for a period of 30 days shall, at the discretion of the Governing Board, be suspended from membership under such terms as the Governing Board may determine, provided that written notice is given at least 10 days in advance of suspension.

1.6 Property Rights

The title to all property, funds, and other assets of the Union shall at all times be vested in the BNG Governing Board for the collective use of the membership of this Union, but no member shall have any severable proprietary right, title or interest therein.

No member of this Union shall have any right, title, or interest in or to the property of this Union, including the funds of this Union.

Article II

2.1 Purposes
The purpose of this Union shall be:

A. To secure and maintain for its members the right to self organization, and the right to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.
B. To designate and select, for the purpose of collective bargaining, representatives who shall be the exclusive representatives of all of its members in any one bargaining unit for the purposes herein described.
C. To negotiate, contract and enter into collective bargaining agreements concerning grievances, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, conditions of work and all other matters of mutual interest to its members.
D. To provide necessary education and training to individual Union members and officers.

Article III

3.1 Election Process

Members in good standing, including members on long-term disability and workers’ compensation, shall elect by secret ballot a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and three at-large members of the Executive Committee. Members of each constituency shall elect by secret ballot their departmental delegate(s). At any election those candidates for office receiving the most votes cast shall be elected. All officers and delegates shall take office immediately upon certification of the results by the election commissioner (Article IV, Section 2.7 ELECTION COMMISSIONER).

Members in good standing may vote for a member who is not on the ballot (write-in or sticker candidate), provided that they list the candidate’s full name and the office being sought and that the candidate was a member in good standing for the six months immediately prior to the nominating meeting.

These elections shall take place every two (2) years on the second Thursday in June except as hereinafter specifically provided in sub-paragraph A and B:

A. If a collective bargaining agreement is scheduled to expire within six (6) months after the scheduled election, elections will be held on the second Thursday of the month six (6) months prior to the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement. In the event that elections are held early, the terms of the officers and delegates so elected shall be extended and the next elections shall be held at the regular time;
B. If negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement are in progress as of the second Thursday in May in any year in which an election regularly is scheduled to take place, the terms of office shall be extended one year, and the elections shall be held on the second Thursday in June.

3.2 Notice of Elections

Not less than 15 days before the election, a notice of the impending election date, place and time shall be mailed to the last known address of each member in good standing. At least one month prior to the election, the election date, time and place will be posted on all Union bulletin boards at any location where the Union is the recognized or certified bargaining agent of its members.

3.3 Nomination Procedure

Two months prior to the election of Union officials, notice shall be posted on all Union bulletin boards of those offices to be filled and the date, time, place and proper form for submitting such nominations.

All members in good standing shall be given a reasonable opportunity to nominate a candidate of their choice at a general meeting called for that purpose. Departmental delegates shall be nominated only by members from the department that the delegate is to represent. Other Union business may be conducted at a nominating meeting.

No member shall be eligible for nomination or election or office unless he or she has been a member in good standing for the six months immediately prior to the date of the nominating meeting. As a condition for being listed on the ballot, each nominated member must sign a statement indicating his or her willingness to serve if elected, and submit such statement to the Recording Secretary within three days following the nominating meeting. No member may run for more than one office in any election.

3.4 Campaign Rules

Use of Union resources to support any candidate is strictly prohibited. All candidates for office may inspect upon request a current list of names and addresses of members eligible to vote for them at least thirty days before an election.

3.5 Absentee Ballots

The Election Commissioner shall have responsibility for preparing ballots for a general election. As soon as such ballots are prepared, the Election Commissioner shall mail with a stamped, addressed return envelope ballots to all members working at Globe satellite locations or on long-term disability, workers’ compensation or leaves of absence who have so notified the Election Commissioner prior to the meeting at which nominations were conducted. In addition, the Election Commissioner shall have the authority to provide absentee ballots upon request to members otherwise unable to vote in the regular manner, subject to rules adopted by the Governing Board consistent with applicable law, except that no absentee ballots shall be mailed out within a week of the election.

Only the Election Commissioner shall cause to be distributed and shall receive absentee ballots, and shall be responsible for ensuring that all absentee ballots are sealed in an envelope and counted with the other ballots on election night.

3.6 Vacancies

An officer or departmental delegate shall automatically vacate office (1) upon no longer being employed in any bargaining unit(s) represented by the Union, (2) in the case of the delegate, upon being transferred from one department to another, or (3) upon his or her appointment to a non-bargaining unit position, except that in the case of (2) the Governing Board may suspend the rule by a two-thirds vote.

In the event the President resigns or must vacate office during his or her term or the office becomes vacant for any other reason, the office shall be filled by the Vice President. Vacancies occurring in all other offices, whether by resignation or as provided in this section, shall be filled by Governing Board appointment. Except as to the offices of president and treasurer, no replacement shall be required within two months of a regular election. The Executive Committee may nominate candidates and make recommendations to the Governing Board prior to all appointments.

Vacancies shall be posted on all Union bulletin boards. Executive Committee vacancies shall be filled by the Governing Board at a meeting held no sooner than four weeks but no longer than six weeks of the date of the vacancy.

Article IV

4.1 Officers and Duties

The officers of this Union shall be a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and three Executive Committee members at large. The officers shall constitute the Executive Committee and shall also serve as the Grievance Committee. The officers shall be required to report to the Governing Board and Executive Committee in a timely manner.

President

It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all General Membership and Governing Board meetings and transact such other duties as may be required by the Union. He or she shall have full power and authority to sign all contracts and agreements or any other documents for or on behalf of the Union, subject to this constitution and bylaws. He or she shall enforce the Constitution of the Union and act as chief negotiator in collective bargaining. The President shall report to the Executive Committee and the Governing Board on all Union business in a timely manner. The President shall prepare an agenda for Executive Committee and Governing Board meetings and distribute this agenda to members of each body 24 hours before the meeting.

Vice President

The Vice President shall act as President in the absence of that officer, and in the case of resignation or death of the President, the Vice President shall perform all duties of President for the duration of the President’s term of office. He or she shall also preside when called upon by the President, and at times when the President may be temporarily unable to discharge his or her duties.

Treasurer

It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect and receive all sums due and paid to the Union and submit to the Governing Board an inventory of all Union property and its purchase price no later than 30 days after the start of each fiscal year. The Treasurer shall keep a complete and up-to-date record of all members of the Union. The Treasurer shall prepare a proposed annual budget and cash flow projection at least 60 days before the start of each fiscal year. The Treasurer shall deposit all funds in the name of the Union in banks approved by the Governing Board. The Treasurer shall make all payments authorized by the Executive Committee or Governing Board by check, which shall also be signed by the President. The Vice President may sign checks in place of the Treasurer or the President in the absence of one or the other. The Treasurer shall keep complete and accurate records and receipts for all expenditures and shall make a monthly report of the same to the Governing Board, along with a current cash balance. The Treasurer shall cooperate in all annual or special audits. At the expiration of his or her term of office the Treasurer shall turn over to his or her successor all money and property and records of the Union that may be in his or her possession.

Recording Secretary

It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to keep an accurate and impartial account of the proceedings of the Governing Board and Executive Committee and the General Membership. He or she shall also distribute minutes of Governing Board and Executive Committee meetings to members of the respective boards and review all correspondence, coordinate posting of the minutes of all Governing Board meetings on Union bulletin boards after they have been approved by the Board, and make available to all Union members the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings after they have been approved by the Committee. Motions approved by the Governing Board or the Executive Committee shall be forwarded to the President in a timely manner.

Executive Committee Members At Large

There shall be three Executive Committee Members elected at large from the membership. Each Executive Committee member shall have equal standing with all other members of the Executive Committee.

4.2 The Governing Board

The Governing Board shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, three Executive Committee Members at large as well as a larger number of delegates elected by constituencies determined before each election by the Governing Board.

4.2.1 Constituencies

The number of delegates and the constituencies to be represented by delegates shall be reviewed by the Governing Board at least four months prior to each regular election.

In setting the number of delegates and determining the constituencies to be represented, all reasonable efforts shall be made by the Governing Board to see that delegates represent an equal number of members.

4.2.2 Meetings

The Governing Board shall meet at least once a month at such times and places as it may decide. An agenda shall be prepared and sent to Governing Board members at least 24 hours prior to each scheduled meeting.

Emergency meetings of the Governing Board may be called by the President or a majority of the Executive Committee, and shall be called by the President at the request of one-fourth of the members of the Governing Board.

All proceedings of an emergency meeting must be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Governing Board.

A notice of all meetings of the Governing Board shall be given to all members of the Governing Board by the President at least 48 hours beforehand and posted on all Union bulletin boards, except as to emergency meetings, for which only such notice as is feasible is required.

A quorum of the Governing Board shall be a majority of its members. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of debate hereinafter provided.

Any member of the Union may attend meetings of the Governing Board. Members may speak with the consent of a majority of the Governing Board. At any time, the Governing Board may decide by majority vote to close its meeting to all but those who are specifically invited to attend by the Governing Board.

4.2.3 Duties of Delegates

It shall be the duty of the delegates:

A. To attend all meetings of the Governing Board.
B. To enroll new employees within his or her department as members of the Union.
C. To represent, when practical, a constituent in a pregrievance meeting or in the first stage of a grievance and report the result to the Grievance Committee.
D. To present to the Governing Board any suggestion, request, question, grievance or complaint relative to rates of pay, wages, hours or other conditions of employment that may be made by a member of the constituency the delegate represents.

4.2.4 Powers

The Governing Board shall have the power to conduct the business and carry out the purposes of the Union.

The Governing Board shall have the power to incur and cause to be paid all reasonable compensation for services of persons whether or not they are members of the Union.

The Governing Board shall not have the power to merge or affiliate the Union with any other organization without the approval of the membership in a secret ballot.

The Union books shall be audited at least annually and a summary of such audit shall be posted on the bulletin boards or made available in a mailing to members. A full copy of the audit report will be available for members at the Union office.

The principal and main office of the Union, as well as such other offices as in the opinion of the Governing Board may be desirable, shall be maintained at such location or locations as are approved by the Governing Board.

The Governing Board shall see to it that a newsletter is published at least three times a year.

4.2.5 Committees

The President of the Union can serve on any appointed committees by virtue of office.

The Executive Committee or the Governing Board may refer any proposal to a committee for investigation and study. Either body may nominate candidates for committees.

The Governing Board shall determine the size of the committees and shall confirm all committee members as well as impose restrictions for completion of their tasks.

Any member of the Union or the Governing Board shall be free to volunteer to serve on any committee not otherwise provided herein. There shall be at least one Executive Committee Member, other than the President, and one Governing Board delegate on all committees that are created.

Each committee shall elect its own chairperson. At the completion of the committee’s investigation and/or study, the committee shall submit to the Governing Board a written report, signed by all members of the committee, both assenting and dissenting. It will also submit all of its records to the Vice President for Union files.

The Governing Board shall create Standing Committees as it deems appropriate.

4.2.6 Collective Bargaining

The Negotiating Committee shall consist of the Executive Committee and such other members as may be nominated by a majority of the Executive Committee. Such nominations shall be approved by a majority vote of the Governing Board prior to the start of negotiations. The President shall act as chief negotiator and spokesperson in bargaining with management.

The Negotiating Committee shall compile information on wages and conditions of employment and such other information as may be requested by the Governing Board. The Negotiating Committee shall see that an accurate record of all bargaining sessions is kept.

Upon the Negotiating Committee’s request, the Governing Board will inform the membership of the proposed contract and set a date for a secret ballot of the general membership (Article III, Section 2 NOTICE OF ELECTIONS). Prior to the special election on whether to ratify the contract, a general meeting of the membership will be called to discuss the proposed contract, and a copy of the proposed contract shall be mailed to all members. Ratification will be by a majority of the members voting.

All members of the Union shall be mailed a printed copy of the ratified contract.

4.2.7 The Election Commissioner

As soon as practicable after taking office, the Executive Committee shall nominate, and the Governing Board shall approve, an Election Commissioner for a term of two years or until a successor is chosen.

The nominees for election Commissioner shall be BNG members in good standing or retired BNG members who were in good standing with the Union at the time of their retirement. He or she may hold no other elected or appointed Union office nor may he or she be named as chairperson of any Union committee. The Election Commissioner may not run for any Union office.

Any member of the Executive Committee may submit the name of a candidate.

The Election Commissioner shall oversee the holding of elections (Article III ELECTIONS) and see that absentee ballots are kept sealed until counted with ballots cast on election day. He or she shall retain from among retired members, who were members in good standing at their retirement, a sufficient number of assistants to oversee the casting of ballots and the prompt tabulation of election results. The Election Commissioner shall give written certification of the results of each election within 24 hours of the close of voting. Results shall also be posted on union bulletin boards.

The Election Commissioner shall preserve for one year the ballots and all records pertaining to the election. The Election Commissioner shall furnish all aforementioned records.

4.2.8 Affiliations, Mergers

Merger or formal affiliation with another labor union must be decided by the membership. A majority of those voting in a secret ballot election is required for approval.

4.3 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will be composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and three At-Large members.

Each member will have one vote in committee. A quorum will consist of four members. The committee shall meet at least twice a month at a time approved by a majority of its members. Any member of the Executive Committee may call a special meeting of the Executive Committee. All members will be notified prior to the meeting of the time and place of such meetings. Minutes of all meetings will be taken and be available on request to the Governing Board members after they have been approved in committee.

The Executive Committee shall faithfully execute the orders of the Governing Board. The Executive Committee shall act for the Governing Board between meetings of the Board.

The Executive Committee may approve bills for payment or refer disputed bills to the Governing Board. The Executive Committee may also review and recommend compensation for others hired or employed by the Union, subject to Governing Board approval.

In any negotiation or bargaining with management, at least two Executive Committee members shall be present.

No request for arbitration, mediation or actions before the National Labor Relations Board shall be filed without approval of the Executive Committee.

4.3.1 Grievance Committee

The Executive Committee shall constitute the Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee shall choose its own chairperson, who must receive the votes of four members of the committee. Neither the President nor the Treasurer may serve as the Grievance Chairperson.

If the Grievance Committee fails to agree on a choice for Grievance Chairperson (i.e. no nominee receives four votes) the choice of a Grievance Chairperson shall pass to the Governing Board. The Board may choose a Grievance Chairperson itself or reduce the field to two nominees and return the matter to the Grievance Committee.

The Grievance Chairperson may be removed at any time by the vote of four members of the Grievance Committee. The Governing Board may also remove the Grievance Chairperson by majority vote of its entire membership.

The Grievance Chairperson shall investigate and file regular and expedited grievances and inform the Grievance Committee in a timely manner. The President may file expedited grievances. The Grievance Chairperson shall keep complete records of all grievance proceedings and hearings. In the absence of the Grievance Chairperson, the Grievance Committee shall designate an acting chairperson.

The Grievance Committee shall vote on the disposition of all grievances, including whether to file for arbitration, and the involved member(s) shall be advised of such disposition. The decisions of the Grievance Committee may be appealed under provisions of Sections 8.4 (Trial Board) and 8.5 (Appeals) of Article VIII.

When necessary, the Grievance Committee shall train Governing Board delegates in the grievance process.

4.4 Budget Committee

The Budget Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer and four other members, two to be nominated by the President, two by the Treasurer, and all approved by the Governing Board. The Treasurer shall serve as chairperson.

The Budget Committee shall assist the Treasurer in preparing budgets and reporting regularly on the income and expenses of the Union. Under the Treasurer, the Budget Committee shall prepare an annual operating budget and a capital budget at least 60 days prior to each fiscal year. The operating budget shall consist of clearly itemized sums sufficient to cover all foreseeable costs of Union business and previously authorized programs for the fiscal year. The operating and capital budgets shall be accompanied by a statement of income and expenses for the previous two years. At least 30 days prior to each fiscal year, the Budget Committee shall report on projections of income for the new fiscal year.

The annual budgets shall be reviewed and amended if necessary by the Executive Committee and the Governing Board.

Proposals for new programs and new capital expenditures shall be submitted to the Budget Committee, which shall prepare an estimate of costs for consideration by the Governing Board.

At each regular monthly meeting of the Governing Board, the Treasurer shall present a current statement of income and expenses. In cases where sums authorized under the annual budget are not sufficient for duly authorized Union business and programs, the Budget Committee shall report on reasons why more money should be appropriated and present a detailed request in a supplementary budget, which shall be reviewed, amended if necessary, and approved by the Governing Board.

The Budget Committee shall also prepare, for the approval of the Executive Committee and the Governing Board, proposed changes, if any, in dues; recommendations of financial institutions for the deposit of Union funds and investments of long-term Union funds, reviewing the same annually, at least 30 days prior to the start of the fiscal year. The Budget Committee shall also recommend to the Governing Board a professionally certified auditing firm to conduct annual and special audits.

The Budget Committee shall annually or whenever requested by the Executive Committee or Governing Board review the regular payments made to Union officers, employees or consultants. Changes in the rate of payment must be approved by the Governing Board.

All officers and employees handling any monies of the Union shall be bonded in the amounts and in the form required by applicable statutes, the premiums to be paid by the Union. The Governing Board may direct an increase in the amount of the bond.

4.4.1 Reimbursed Union Time

The Union shall pay, at the regular rate of pay, the cost of time off provided for its officers and representatives under the contract covering the Union bargaining unit(s). The President shall submit in writing for the approval of the Executive Committee all requests for such payments, prior to the use of time off.

4.5 Posting Vacancies

All vacancies in Union positions shall be posted on every BNG bulletin board.

Article V

5.1 Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws

Amendments may be proposed in writing by any member of the Union to the Governing Board through his or her departmental delegate. The Governing Board shall accept all proposals submitted and must vote on each proposal. If adopted by the Governing Board, the amendments must be submitted in writing to the general membership for ratification by a majority of members voting in a secret ballot (Article III ELECTIONS). If approved by a majority of members voting in secret ballot, the amendment becomes effective immediately upon certification by the Election Commissioner. No provisions of this Constitution can be abridged or otherwise amended as a result of contract negotiations with the employer.

Each new member shall be provided with an up-to-date copy of this Constitution.

5.1.1 Amendment By Referendum

If the Governing Board receives a petition signed by 10 percent of the members who seek a Constitutional amendment, the petition language shall be placed on the ballot at the next general election (Article III ELECTIONS).

Article VI

6.1 Rules of Debate

The presiding officer of all Union meetings shall be guided by Robert’s Rules of Order. It shall be the responsibility of the presiding officer to enforce the rules of debate.

6.2 Order of Business at Governing Board Meetings

A. The presiding officer calls the meeting to order.
B. The Recording Secretary makes the roll call.
C. Reading of the minutes by the Recording Secretary. If there are no questions on the minutes, a motion is made to approve. If the motion passes, the minutes are accepted. If there are any omissions or errors, a member can move to amend the minutes. If the motion passes, the minutes are approved as amended.
D. Report of Officers
Treasurer’s Report
President’s Report
E. Committee Reports
Standing or special committees give their reports.
F. Unfinished Business
Members can take up any unfinished business from previous meetings.
G. New Business
Introduction of new topics.
H. Miscellaneous Matters
Members introduce miscellaneous matters, such as announcements or requests that require no formal action by the group.
I. Adjournment
The meeting ends by voice vote or by general consent.

6.3

With the consent of the Governing Board, the presiding officer shall call upon the Recording Secretary to cite parliamentary procedure under Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article VII

7.1 Strikes

A strike may be authorized by a majority of members voting by secret ballot at a general membership meeting called for that purpose.

7.1.1 Picket Lines

It shall be a violation of this Constitution for any Union officer or member to cross, or advocate crossing, a duly authorized picket line of this union.

In the event of a strike or a lockout, a strike committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee, which shall organize a picket line and call upon the services of members.

7.2 Non-Liability of the Union

Except as is otherwise specifically provided for in this Constitution, no officer, employee or representative of the Union shall make contracts or incur liabilities for or in the name of the Union unless authorized by the Governing Board.

Article VIII

8.1 Charges

Any member or officer, as the case may be, may be charged with:

A. Violation of any specific provision of this Constitution and Bylaws;
B. Financial malfeasance;
C. Gross disloyalty or conduct unbecoming a member;
D. Working for the employer during a lockout or a BNG authorized strike;
E. Willful action interfering with any BNG collective bargaining agreement or other legal obligation;
F. Deliberately interfering with any official of the Union in the discharge of that official’s duties;
G. The wrongful taking or retaining or disclosure of any money, books, papers or any other property belonging to the Union; or the wrongful destruction, mutilation or erasure of any books, records, bills, receipts, vouchers or other property of the BNG; or
H. The willful disclosure of any confidential matter of the Union to any employer or its agents, except to the extent required by law.

8.2 Hearing

No member may be suspended or expelled, or otherwise disciplined except for non-payment of dues, without a full and fair hearing, of which reasonable notice shall be given the charged member, before the Trial Board of the BNG. The hearing shall be based on written charges, specifying the nature of the offense of which the member is accused, and the charged member shall be given a fair opportunity to present his or her defense.

8.3 Notice

Whenever charges are brought against any member or officer of the BNG, the charges shall be filed in writing with the Recording Secretary, and signed by the charging member. A written copy of such charges shall be served on the charged member either personally or by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the accused at least ten (10) days before the hearing of the charges.

8.4 Trial Board

The Governing Board shall be the Trial Board, but it shall not include a member charged or preferring charges or appealing a decision of the Grievance Committee. Any decision pertaining to charges outlined in 8.1 shall require a two-thirds vote of the board members present at the trial.

8.5 Appeals

Anyone appealing a decision of the Grievance Committee shall be permitted to present his or her case to the Governing Board and shall thereafter be temporarily excused from the meeting during the discussion and voting following his or her presentation. A majority vote of the Governing Board shall be required to overrule the decision of the Grievance Committee.

The decision of the Governing Board shall be deemed final unless the individual or individuals against whom said decision shall have been rendered files with the Recording Secretary a written request to appeal the decision of the Governing Board to the general membership of the Union within fifteen (15) days of the date of the decision.

Anyone appealing a decision of the Governing Board shall be permitted to present his or her case to the general membership of the BNG and shall thereafter be temporarily excused from the meeting during the discussion and voting following his or her presentation. A two-thirds vote of the general membership present shall be required to overrule the decision of the Governing Board. The members of the Governing Board shall have a voice but no vote in connection with appeals.

8.6 Counsel

Any member under charges may have another member of the Union act as counsel to represent him or her in the presentation of his or her defense.

8.7 Governing Provisions

Charges and the basis for charges shall be governed by the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the BNG.

Subject to the provision of applicable statutes, every member or officer of the Union against whom charges have been preferred and disciplinary action taken agrees, as a condition of membership and the continuation of membership, to exhaust all remedies provided for in this Constitution and Bylaws and further agrees not to file or prosecute any action in any court, tribunal or other agency until those remedies have been exhausted.

Article IX

9.1 Recall Election

A recall election may be initiated in two ways: (a) The Governing Board, by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership, may initiate a recall election process in the case of some or all union officers or delegates; or (b) the membership may initiate a recall election process with 20 percent of the membership signing a petition to the Governing Board for that purpose.

1. The Governing Board must so inform the membership of this decision and reasons for this decision within 10 days.
2. The Governing Board must call a general membership meeting for the purpose of discussing this decision.
3. The general membership will then have the power to call a special election under the election procedures in Article III.