CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS
PALM HARBOR/OLDSMAR PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS
LOCAL NO. 2980
International Association of Fire Firefighters
Section 1. The number of this organization shall be Local Number: 2980, Name: Palm Harbor/ Oldsmar Professional Firefighters.
Section 2. Reference to this Constitution and By-Laws to Local or Local Union shall refer to the Local as set forth in Article 1, Section 1, and reference to Association or International shall refer to the International Association of Firefighters.
Section 3. This Local Union, its officers, representatives and members, shall recognize, observe, and be bound by the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association and the interpretations rendered by the General President, the resolutions, decisions, and directives of the Executive Board of officers of the Association when made in conformity with the authority granted by the Constitution and By-Laws of Association, and the resolutions adopted and policies established by the delegates at conventions. Article XIII of the International Constitution is recognized as providing the basic rules governing this Local.
Jurisdiction shall be as follows; all paid employees of the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control District or The City of Oldsmar engaged in fire fighting, emergency medical or rescue service activities, or related services.
Section 1.Active - Any person of good moral character who at the time of making application is engaged in service within the jurisdiction of this Local, as given in Article II, will be eligible for active membership. Anyone eligible for active membership in this Local shall not be refused membership or upon acceptance, be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or by reason of being handicapped.
Section 2. Honorary - For meritorious service to this Local or for distinguished public service, persons may be elected honorary members by majority vote of the membership voting at any regular or special meeting. Honorary members shall not pay dues and shall have no voice or vote in the Local. Such membership may be revoked for cause.
Section 3. Maintenance of Good Standing - Membership in good standing includes any person who has fulfilled the requirements in the Local and who has not voluntary withdrawn, become ineligible for continued membership, or has been suspended or expelled as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws of this Local.
Section 4. Separation - When any member in good standing becomes separated from the fire service, or is precluded by law or local ordinance or contractually from maintaining union membership by virtue of their fire department position, the Local Union may allow said member to retain his active membership or, in lieu of, upon request of said member shall issue him a withdrawal card; provided, however, that a member who is duly elected as an officer of the International Association of Firefighters, or elected or appointed as a representative of or to an affiliated labor organization, shall retain his active membership in this Local. Any member who reenters the organization with a valid withdrawal card shall not be assessed a reinstatement fee. Upon separation from the fire service, it is the policy of this Local Union to allow members to continue their active membership.
Section 5. Delinquent Members - Members who fail to pay their monthly dues or assessments by the 15th day following the month such dues are payable, shall be notified by the Local officer whose duty it is, that they are delinquent and will automatically be suspended and lose their good standing if payment is not made within 60 days following such notification. Delinquent and suspended members are not entitled to voice or vote in the Local or in the affairs of the International.
Section 1. Regular meetings of this Local shall be on a pre-determined Thursday of January, April, July, and October at 1900 hrs. An Executive Board meeting shall be held sometime between each regular meeting, preferably the second or third week of February, May, August, and November. All members in good standing will be notified of the date, time, and place of the Executive Board meetings at least 30 days prior to the date scheduled. Notification will be by posting on all union boards or e-mail.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the president, the majority vote of the executive board, or a petition of at least 10 members. If such a petition is filed, it must include: names, addresses, and signatures of all petitioners; and the petition must be forwarded to the Union office. The president shall set a date for the special meeting as soon as possible, after receipt of the petition, and all members in good standing shall be notified at least 7 days prior to the meeting date. Notification shall be by posting on all union boards, the Local’s web site, and emailed to all members via the Local’s Web Site email broadcast system and shall state the business to be considered at such meeting. No business other than that stated shall be in order unless approved by the majority of the executive board that is in attendance.
Section 3. Quorum - The Quorum for any meetings of this Local, either regular or special, shall be the President or Secretary/Treasure and 7 members in good standing.
Section 4. Rights of members - Every member in good standing shall have the right to attend any meeting and to participate in such meetings in accordance with the recognized rules as set forth in the Policy and Procedure manual and parliamentary procedure adopted by this Local. Members shall conduct themselves in such a manner as not to interfere with the legal or contractual obligations of the International or this Local.
Section 5. The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order shall govern in all cases not in conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws of this Local, or the Constitution and By-laws of the International, or interpretation of these documents.
Section 6. Emergency Executive Board Meetings - If the President or a majority of the Executive Board members declares an emergency, the Executive Board can meet without notifying the members before the meeting. The minutes of this meeting shall be presented to the members at the next regular meeting.
Officers and Elections
Section 1. The officers and Executive Board of this Local shall consist of a President, Secretary/Treasurer and District Vice-Presidents (DVP) of Palm Harbor and Oldsmar. The terms of office shall be for 2 years with the President and DVP-Oldsmar being elected in odd number years, and the DVP- Palm Harbor and Secretary/Treasurer being elected in even number years.
Section 2. Eligibility for Office - Any member in good standing shall be eligible to be a candidate for office in this Local. The President and Secretary/Treasurer shall be nominated and elected at-large. The DVP Palm Harbor will be elected from the members in good standing that work for the Palm Harbor Fire Department. The DVP Oldsmar will be elected from the members in good standing that work for the Oldsmar Fire Department.
Section 3. Rights of Candidates - Every candidate for office shall have the right to distribute campaign literature by mail or otherwise, to all members in good standing, at the candidates own expense. There shall be no discrimination in favor of or against any candidate with regard to the use of membership lists.
Section 4. Use of funds is prohibited in Elections of Officers in Local 2980. No funds received by this Local through dues, assessments or otherwise shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in the election of officers. This section does not prevent the expenditure from Local funds for notices, and other necessary expenses to conduct elections so long as they do not involve promotion of any candidate.
Section 5. Method of Nominations and Elections - Notice of Nomination and Elections shall be posted on all union boards, on the Local’s web site, and emailed to all members via the Local’s Web Site email broadcast system. Notification will include the date, time, and place at which the Nominations shall be made and the dates, which votes may be cast online, as well as the date and time at which the elections results will be confirmed. Furthermore, Each member in good standing shall be given at least fifteen (15) days advance notice, in writing, sent by mail to the last known address of the member, of the date, time and place at which elections shall be held. Any member in good standing may nominate eligible members for office. Eligible members may accept their nomination by proxy if unable to attend the meeting. Nominations shall take place in October. Elections shall take place during the first two weeks of December. Election will take place anonymously, online using the Local’s web site. New officers shall take office January 1. Write-in ballots shall not be permitted. If there is only one nominee for a given office, such nominee shall be declared elected. There shall be no voting by proxy in the election of Local officers. Nominations shall be open for one meeting and closed before the end of that meeting. The candidate receiving the most votes, provided he received a majority of the votes cast, shall be declared elected. If no candidate received a majority of the votes then the 2 candidates with the most votes will compete in a run-off election. This run-off election shall be held as soon as possible after the first election. If the final ballot of any officer election results in a tie between the candidates, the winning candidate for office shall be selected by the drawing of lots in the presence of both candidates.
Section 6. Voting- All voting will be conducted anonymously online using the Local’s web site. All items subject to a vote will be posted on all union boards, on the Local’s web site, and emailed to all members via the Local’s Web Site email broadcast system at least 15 days prior to the vote. Notification will include the dates which votes may be cast online, as well as the date and time at which the results will be confirmed. Each candidate for office shall be entitled to appoint one observer who shall be permitted to attend the meeting at which the votes are tabulated.
Section 7.Records preserved – A copy of the election results will be printed and turned over to the Secretary/Treasurer and preserved for one year following such election.
Section 8. Vacancies in Office - If the office of an elected officer becomes vacant before his term is complete it will be handled accordingly: If the President leaves office before the end of his term then the most senior of the DVP’s will assume the role of President. If there is less than 3 months remaining in the Presidents term the senior DVP will finish out the term of the President and the Executive board will appoint a replacement for the DVP’s position. If there is more than 3 months remaining in the Presidents term the senior DVP will reside as President until an election can be held as set forth in this article. If any Executive Board member other than the President leaves office before the end of his term, and there is less than 9 months left on his term, then a replacement will be appointed by the Executive Board. If there is more than 9 months left on his term then elections will be held as set forth in this article.
Duties of Officers
Section 1. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Local and at the meetings of the Executive Board. He shall be a member ex officio of all committees. He shall appoint such committees as may be provided for in this Constitution and By-Laws and such special committees as may be authorized by the Local. Together with the Secretary/Treasurer, he shall sign all orders and checks lawfully and properly drawn. He shall enforce strict observance of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International as these documents relate to the Local, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the Local. He shall have general supervision of the activities of the other officers and chairmen of committees.
The president shall discharge on behalf of the Local such duties as may be imposed upon him by applicable law including the execution and filing of any reports to Federal or State authorities, and he shall cause to be maintained by the Local such records as the law requires to be kept in support of reports filed by it.
The President, by virtue of his office, shall be a delegate of this Local at both the I.A.F.F. and the Florida Professional Firefighters conventions.
Section 2. The Secretary/Treasurer shall have custody of all documents, records, books, and office equipment belonging to the Local, except as may be otherwise provided by this Constitution and By-Laws. He shall keep an accurate record of the meetings of the Local and of the Executive Board, of which he shall be, the Secretary. He shall attest all official documents with his signature. He shall conduct the correspondence of the Local promptly. He shall maintain the official list of members in good standing, which shall be kept accurately and on a current basis. He shall give a report to the membership at the general membership meeting.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall discharge on behalf of the Local such duties as may be imposed upon him be applicable law including the execution and filing of any reports to Federal or State authorities, and shall cause to be maintained by the Local such reports as the law require to be kept in support of reports filed by it.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall receive all money due the Local, from whatever sources, and shall discharge the same. Such disbursement shall be by check, which shall also be signed by two of the four principal officers. He shall maintain and keep current records of members with their dues, payments, assessments, and all financial transactions promptly and accurately entered. He shall be prepared to exhibit receipts and vouchers upon audit of his books. He shall forward the annual audit of the Local to the General Secretary/Treasurer, within 180 days of the close of the Locals Fiscal year.
Section 3. District Vice Presidents (DVP’s) shall be the Membership chairmen. They shall assist the President in any areas of need as determined by the President. They shall report to the Executive Board the concerns of the membership. They shall make a report on all reinstatement requests for membership. The DVP’s shall be eligible to counter sign checks that are less than $1000. The DVP’s will give a report at each membership meeting. The DVP of Palm Harbor shall serve as the representative of the members in good standing that work for the Palm Harbor Fire Department. The DVP Oldsmar shall serve as the representative of the members in good standing that work for the Oldsmar Fire Department. Each DVP will be elected from the membership of the department they represent.
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to exercise general supervision and control of the invested funds and property of the local. It shall have the authority to act in the name of the local during intervals between meetings such acts being subject to the confirmation by the membership at the next regular meeting of the local. It shall provide for an annual audit of the Secretary/Treasurers books. It shall meet at the call of the president or on call by a majority of its members. A majority shall constitute a quorum.
Anytime the Local fails to have a business meeting, which would result in the local not being able to operate in a business-like manner, the Executive Board shall be empowered to approve funds from the line-item budget that will allow the Local to conduct business until the next scheduled meeting of the general membership.
Section 5. All officers and employees of the Local who handle funds or property of the Local shall be bonded in such amounts as may be required by the Executive Board and the General Secretary/Treasurer, in compliance with applicable law. The first $5000.00 of Bond shall be borne by the International. If additional bond is necessary, the Local shall pay the additional premium. The local shall have sufficient bond to cover at least ten (10%) percent of its current liquid assets.
Delegates and Alternates to International and State Conventions
Section 1. Qualification and election of delegates and alternates shall be done in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws of the International.
Section 2. For International and Florida Professional Firefighters conventions, the principal officers (President and Secretary/Treasurer), shall automatically be delegates and/or alternates by virtue of their office. In the event that more principle officers wish to attend than space allows, selection will be made by vote of the general membership at a regular meeting.
Section 3. If additional delegates or alternates are needed for International convention or state convention they shall be elected by the general membership, at a regular meeting, in accordance with the appropriate Constitution and By-Laws. The credentials of delegates and alternates must certify to this method of election.
Dues and Assessments
Section 1. Dues shall be a minimum of 1% of the top firefighters salary of the Palm Harbor Fire Department. Any adjustments in the salary shall cause an immediate adjustment in dues.
Section 2. All other fees shall be affixed by general meetings. It shall be the policy of the Local to pay the initiation fee of ten ($10.00) dollars to the International for new members, a reinstatement fee of ten ($10.00) shall be assessed any member who incurs such expense to the International.
Section 3. Increases in dues, initiation fees, reinstatement fees, and assessments shall require notice of such proposed increase to be given to the members in good standing at least 30 days in advance of the date on which the vote for such increase is to occur. Increases in the rates of initiation fees, reinstatement fees, dues, or assessments shall be approved by majority vote of the members in good standing voting by secret ballot at a general or special membership meeting, or by majority vote of the members in good standing voting in a referendum conducted by secret ballot. The proposed increase shall become effective upon a majority vote, of the members voting in good standing.
Section 4. Assessments may be made only in the following manner: Each member in good standing shall be notified in writing at least thirty (30) days in advance of the date on which the vote for an assessment is to occur. The proposed assessment shall become effective upon a majority vote of the members in good standing, by secret ballot, at a regular or special meeting
Misconduct, Trials, and Appeals
Section 1. Any member charged with misconduct as defined in Article 15 of the International Constitution and By-Laws shall be served with written specific charges as required in Article 16 of the International Constitution and be given a reasonable time to prepare his defense and afforded a hearing as provided in Article 17 of the International Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 2. Appeals may be made in accordance with Article 18 of the International Constitution and By-Laws, such appeal must be filed with the General President of the International within 30 days of the action to be appealed.
The books and accounts of this Local shall be audited annually by the Board of Trustees, and the last such report of audit shall be forwarded to the General Secretary/Treasurer over the seal of the Local no later than the first day of April annually and shall include an accurate accounting of all employees within the Local Union's Fire Department.
Section 1. This Constitution and By-Laws made under its provisions, may be amended by a two thirds (2/3rds ) vote, of the members voting, as set forth in Article V, Section 6 of these by-laws. All proposed amendments will be posted at all stations for 30 days before the start of voting.
Section 2. A proposed amendment to this Constitution or any By-Laws made under its provisions shall be submitted for approval to the General President prior to its printing, or issuance, after it has first been adopted by the membership.
Section 1. The fiscal year for budget purposes will run from October 1 to September 30 of the next year. A line item budget will be prepared by the Executive Board and submitted to the general membership by August 1. After being posted at all stations for a minimum of 30 days the budget will be voted on in accordance with Article V, Section 6 of these By-Laws. If the budget is not passed then the Executive Board will make changes based on recommendations at the next regular or special meeting and resubmit for approval.
Section 2. The Executive Board will use the line item budget to conduct the business of the Local. The board will not exceed any line of the budget unless approved by a two thirds vote of the members voting at a regular or special meeting, or an emergency exist and that immediate action is necessary then the board may exceed the budget. If this occurs then the Executive Board will seek approval at the next regular meeting.
Constitution and By-Law Availability
A copy of these Constitution and By-Laws shall be forwarded to each station to be posted on the Union Board. Members may acquire an individual copy by contacting any member of the Executive Board. A current copy will be kept in the members section of the Locals web site.
Board of Trustees
Section 1. This Local shall have a Board of Trustees consisting of four (4) members in good standing, nominated and elected in accordance with Article V of these By-Laws.
Section 2. Trustees #1 and #3 shall be elected in odd years and trustee #2 and #4 shall be elected in even number years.
Section 3. This board may at any time call for and examine the records of the Secretary/Treasurer, or any officer of the Local and present irregular findings to the Executive Board of the Local for action.
Section 4. The #1, #2, and #3 Trustees will be elected from within Palm Harbor by the members of Palm Harbor with the #4 Trustee being elected from Oldsmar by the members of Oldsmar in accordance with Article V of these By-Laws.