By-Laws Vote Results – 7/1/20
I am very pleased to announce that all of the 9 proposed changes to the by-laws were overwhelmingly passed by the members who sent in ballots. These changes will improve benefits for members, and also help the union going forward. I’m very pleased members took the time to read the information in our magazine and that was sent with the ballots, attended the benefits meetings this past spring where these issues were discussed, and also asked questions to the Business Agents and myself over the last few months. Per the By-Laws, these changes will take effect on the first day of the month following approval by the General President. In addition, we have posted the results in their entirety below so members can see them which has never been done before. As you will see, the vote was decisive in favor of all ballot questions.
Local 49 Business Manager
Ballot Recap: Number of Ballots
Valid ballots counted: 1,461
Totally void ballots: 27
Total ballots cast: 1,488
Proposal 1: Accept 1,363 Reject 92
Proposal 2: Accept 1,381 Reject 71
Proposal 3: Accept 1,299 Reject 153
Proposal 4: Accept 1,402 Reject 52
Proposal 5: Accept 1,293 Reject 159
Proposal 6: Accept 1,148 Reject 300
Proposal 7: Accept 1,312 Reject 134
Proposal 8: Accept 1,299 Reject 149
Proposal 9: Accept 1,282 Reject 168
By-Laws Vote Update – 6/12/20
The By-Law Committee invites members in good standing to attend the retrieval of ballots and the ballot count on June 30, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Members that wish to do so should be in the lower parking lot of the Main Hall located at 2829 Anthony Lane South, Minneapolis, MN 55418 by 8:30 a.m.
The process for retrieval and tallying of the ballots will be as follows:
On June 30, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. the By-Law Committee and two rank-and-file members in good standing will pick up all returned envelopes from the P.O. box. The returned envelopes will be transported to the Main Hall, and the total number of returned envelopes will be recorded. For security purposes and to verify one vote per member in good standing, each member in good standing was given a unique code that was placed on the return envelope. The By-Law Committee and the two rank-and-file members will confirm that each of the returned envelopes has one of the unique codes that belongs to an eligible voter and that there are no duplicates. The anonymous secret ballot envelopes will then be removed from the return envelopes and placed into a secure ballot box unopened, ensuring anonymity. Once all secret ballot envelopes have been removed from the return envelopes and placed into the ballot box, the secret ballot envelopes will be opened, and the ballots will be removed. Ballots will then be tallied, and the final counts will be verified.
Note: Per Article XXIV, Subdiv. 1, Section (a) of the International Constitution (Page 78), the Business Manager has the authority to appoint committees (with the exception of the Committee for the election of officers which is governed by the By-Laws).
If you have questions or would like to attend the ballot count please notify Chris Chantry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-900-5651.
– The By-Law Committee
Proposed By-Laws Mailing – 6/8/20
- Cover letter;
- Proposed Changes to the By-Laws of Local 49;
- Reasoning for the Proposed By-Laws Changes;
- Official Ballot;
- Secret ballot envelope; and
- Return envelope.
Reasoning for Proposed By-Laws Amendments, Revisions and Changes
*Numbers and reasoning on this document correspond with the “Proposed Amendments, Revisions and Changes to the By-Laws of Local 49” document.
- International has issued Local 49 a new charter, 49L, and the cover page should reflect this. Simple clean up language.
- Table of Contents created so that the By-Laws are more easily navigated. Simple clean up language.
- Reflects the 49L charter and the replacement of the Good Standing Fund with the Catastrophe Relief Fund. (See #5 below for more on the Catastrophe Relief Fund). Simple clean up language.
- The current death benefit has a maximum payout of $2,500 which is taxable. Local 49 proposes to use money currently in the death benefit fund to purchase a new benefit for members that would replace the current system. Local 150 in Illinois has created a member only benefit program that includes a death benefit for members. A number of IUOE Locals have joined this program as well as other trades. More than 90,000 union members are currently in this program. If Local 49 joins this program, members will get a $5,000 death benefit, non-taxable, and will also get $2,500 of accidental death insurance. Members in good standing, and retirees on death benefit withdrawal will get this on day one. If you are a member in good standing or a retiree on death benefit withdrawal when you die, your beneficiary will get the full benefit. This will provide greater financial support to the family of deceased members than what is currently provided. There are other benefits of the members only program in addition to the increased death benefit that all will receive as well. All of this will not cost the local more than what we are currently paying out each year from the death benefit and therefore doesn’t require any increase in funding.
- The current Good Standing Fund is limited in the help it provides members. Currently the Good Standing Fund can only be used to pay six months of dues for members with injury and/or illness. Local 49 gets calls for help from members in serious financial trouble due to catastrophic events. Creation of the Catastrophe Relief Fund would give Local 49 greater ability to support members in need with less restrictions than the Good Standing Fund. There is already a funding stream set aside from our current dues to pay for this fund, so this will not cost any more money from members or the union.
- There is currently no Strike Fund in the event that members go on strike. This language would legally grant Local 49 the ability to create and fund a Strike Fund to benefit the membership if we ever have to go out on strike.
- Clarifies that if any part of the By-Laws are inconsistent with the International Constitution the Constitution will supersede the conflicting By-Laws and the remaining By-Laws are not affected. This is simple housekeeping language.
- Clarifies that if any part of the By-Laws are inconsistent with any state or federal law the state/federal law will supersede the conflicting By-Laws and the remaining By-Laws are not affected. This is simple housekeeping language.
- Local 49 does not have the ability right now to establish a comprehensive system to ensure that those who are admitted to membership meet the high standards of Local 49. Local 49’s attorney, the International, and other IUOE Locals all recommend Local 49 create a Membership Standards system using a permit procedure. They also advise that it must be done through the By-Laws. This gives Local 49 a tool to more closely control membership access, meaning who is admitted into the Union as an official card-carrying member. Right now, the way access to membership works is the following:
A contractor calls the hall looking for a worker for a specific piece of equipment. If Local 49 can’t supply that worker within 48 hours, they have the right to hire whoever they want off the street. Local 49 then has 8 days to sign them up into the Union. If that worker, ends up not working out, doesn’t have the skills necessary to do the job, or for any other reason gets laid off or dismissed they are a full card carrying member of Local 49 and have full access to our Union.
A Membership Standards system would give Local 49 a different option for contractor hires using a permit procedure. It would allow Local 49 to come out before the 8 days and sign them up to a permit. Think of it as a try out. Everything else is the same, but they do not get a membership card immediately. Local 49 evaluates them, see how they do, and at some point sign them into the Union if they have passed certain criteria, which could include: attending union meetings, attending training at the training center, and other things that demonstrate they have the character and qualifications required to carry a Local 49 Membership Card.
Local 49 would also have the option to place them in the apprenticeship program if that was a better fit than journey status. The permit procedure gives Local 49 options. It also would mean that if someone doesn’t work out, they get let go, the permit is cancelled, and they go on the out of work list for permit holders. They can still be referred to jobs but would go back on permit status again until they meet the criteria Local 49 establishes for advancement on the list.
A few facts to know:
- Almost every IUOE Local Union in the nation has a permit procedure; this is not a new idea.
- This only impacts new hires – if you are a member right now, this doesn’t impact you.
- The language comes from other IUOE Locals that have permit procedures.
- This is something the International, other IUOE Locals, and Local 49’s attorneys have all recommended would be a good thing for the Union to do.
- Local 49’s attorneys and the International have suggested that establishing the basis for this Membership Standards system and permit procedure must be done in the By-Laws.
- This does not limit any other options, Local 49 still will put people in the apprenticeship program and Local 49 can still sign people up right away if they meet the standards set to carry a card.
This is something Local 49 should have done years ago. It’s a valuable tool that will allow us to better screen potential members which will make things safer out there for you, and for our contractors.
- Mandatory Change. By-Laws Article VI, Section 2,currently contains a separate eligibility section for the Executive Board. The eligibility requirements in Article VI, Section 2, do not exactly track the eligibility requirements in Article XXIV, Subdivision 1, Section (b), pages 79-81, of the International Constitution. This change is required by International and will be implemented.
- Mandatory Change. By-Laws Article XI, Section 1(c),currently provides that no member “receiving any pension” shall be eligible for certain conventions and committees. To be consistent with the eligibility requirements in Article XXIV, Subdivision 1, Section (b), page 81, of the International Constitution, this change must be made. This change is required by International and will be implemented.
Proposed Amendments, Revisions and Changes to the By-Laws of Local 49
- Amend Cover Page: Include 49L Charter
49A, 49B, 49C, 49D, & 49E & 49L
- Add Table of Contents
- Amend Article IX – INITIATION FEES AND DUES: Amend Section 2 to read as follows:
Section 2. Full dues shall be paid by all members of Local 49, 49A, 49B, 49C, and 49D, 49E and 49L except as provided in Article XIV (Good Standing Fund Catastrophe Relief Fund), and those members who have been granted lifetime membership, or may hereafter be granted lifetime membership.
- Amend Article XIII – DEATH BENEFIT FUND: Add new language prior to Section 1:
The Executive Board may enter into a contractual arrangement with an established insurance carrier, either through a member’s only benefit program or independently, to assume all outstanding liabilities and obligations to all members eligible under the terms of this Article for benefits. The Executive Board may transfer amounts necessary to the retained insurance carrier or members only benefit program to ensure coverage as part of the contractual agreement.
All death benefits, or claims shall be paid from the Death Benefit Fund (or by any insurance carrier retained pursuant to the language above) in conformity with the provisions of this Article only, and no other Funds or property of the Local Union or International Union shall be liable for the payment thereof, nor the Local Union or the International Union be liable beyond the amount at any time available in the Local Union Death Benefit Fund.
- Amend Article XIV – GOOD STANDING FUND: Amend Article title and Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 to read as follows:
Article XIV – CATASTROPHE RELIEF FUND
Section 1. The Good Standing Fund will become the Catastrophe Relief Fund and all monies of the Good Standing Fund will be kept with the Catastrophe Relief Fund. The Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund is hereby perpetuated and will be maintained by the payment of ten cents (10¢) per month from the dues of each regular member. New members, whether accepted on applications, clearance or withdrawal cards, or reinstatements shall in addition to regular charges pay the sum of thirty cents (30¢) to the Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund.
Section 2. This Fund shall be known as International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49 Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund and maintain its own title depository in an established bank in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Good StandingCatastrophe Relief Fund shall be kept separate and apart from the regular union fund and shall be accounted for by a separate set of books of account. The Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund shall be administered by the Executive Board. All checks for payment out of the Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund shall be signed by the President, Business Manager-Financial Secretary and Treasurer. In the event they are already bonded, such bond shall be appropriately amended so as to cover responsibility for payment out of the Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund.
Section 3. The purpose of this fund is to provide a means to financially assist members in need who are sick and stricken with an extended illness or disability for a prolated period by accident and injury with the payments by this fund of their monthly dues and assessments and thereby securing their membership and protecting their benefits in this Local Union and the International Union subject to any rules and regulations promulgated by the Executive Board. The Executive Board will appoint a Catastrophe Relief Fund Committee to establish policy for the Fund, establish criteria for the Fund, receive applications to the Fund and make recommendations on the applications received to the Executive Board for final approval of disbursements.
Section 4. There will be paid from this fund and transferred to the credit of the account of the entitled members, upon the approval by the Executive Board of their individual claims, the sum equivalent to their membership dues and assessments in the amount approved for the period of illness or disability for six (6) months at any one time approved by the Executive Board. Applications for consideration of the extended good standing fund benefits beyond the six (6) month period must be approved by the Executive Board.
Section 5. Members making applications to this fund must be in compliance with the following:
(a) Have been sick or disabled for more than one (1) month.
(b) Present a claim accompanied by a doctor’s certificate showing dates of illness, nature of sickness, and duration. Claim should be presented to the local office within sixty (60) days of sickness or disability. The claim must be submitted within six (6) months of date of illness or injury occurrence or it will not be eligible for consideration.
(c) A member must be in good standing in order to submit a claim for consideration to the Good Standing Catastrophe ReliefFund. A member is not eligible for Good Standing if they remain on the employer’s payroll, receive sick pay or who are receiving a pension. A member on worker’s compensation or receiving the Accident and Sickness Weekly Benefit shall be entitled to Good Standing according to the By-Law Rules.
Section 7. The operation of the Good Standing Catastrophe Relief Fund (formerly the Good Standing Fund) became effective on January 1, 1956, the first calendar month following the adoption of this Article in the By-Laws. The Executive Board was authorized to transfer five hundred dollars ($500.00) from the general union funds to the Good StandingCatastrophe Relief Fund on the adoption of this Article by the membership.
- Create New Article XVII – STRIKE FUND
The Executive Board may maintain a Strike Fund. Dues and other income of the Local Union may be allocated to this fund and/or monies may be transferred into or out of this fund as the Executive Board so determines.
- Create New Article XVIII – CONFORMANCE with INTERNATIONAL CONSTITUTION
In the event there is any conflict between the provisions of these By-Laws and the provisions of the International Constitution, the provisions of the International Constitution shall prevail.
- Create New Article XIX – SAVINGS CLAUSE
If any provision of these By-Laws shall be declared invalid or inoperative by any competent authority of the Judicial, Legislative or Administrative Branch of Federal or State Government, the Local Union Executive Board shall have the authority to suspend the operation of such provision during the period of its invalidity and to substitute in its place and stead a provision which shall meet the objections of invalidity and which will be in accord with the intent and purposes of these By-Laws. If any article or section of these By-Laws should be held invalid by operation of law or by any tribunal of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of these By-Laws or the application of such Article or Section to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it had been held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.
- Amendments to Adopt a Permit System:
Create Section 6 under Article IX:
Section 6. Applicant Service Dues – In lieu of requiring payment of initiation fees as set forth in section 1 of this Article, the Executive Board may, at its discretion, require applicants to pay Applicant Service Dues. Such Applicant Service Dues will be in the amount of twenty dollars ($20.00) per month, and, in addition, any amount paid by members of the Local Union as administrative, supplemental, or working dues.
Amend Article III to read as follows:
Section 1. Qualifications for Membership in Local 49 – To qualify for membership in Local 49, an individual must: (a) be of good character; (b) desire to engage in the work over which Local 49 exercises craft jurisdiction; (c) complete the necessary application forms and meet the appropriate financial obligations; (d) be well qualified to perform the journeyman functions of the craft; (e) demonstrate a commitment to building and maintaining a strong Local Union; (f) not be a member of any organization having as its aim the overthrow by force or violence of the Constitution or Government of the United States; (g) relinquish membership in any organization, the interests of which are inimical to those of Local 49; and (h) be accepted for membership by the Executive Board of Local Union 49. The acquisition of membership shall not be a matter of right and the decision of the Executive Board as to final acceptance or rejection of an applicant shall be binding and conclusive, provided that Executive Board approval is not necessary for individuals who obtain membership through organizing an employer.
Section 2. Application for Membership – Every application for membership in Local 49 shall be made on an official form and provided to the Business Manager-Financial Secretary of Local 49 or his/her authorized designee. Applications for membership shall be referred to a Regional Advisory Board in accordance with Article XI, Section 2 of these By-Laws. The Regional Advisory Board shall investigate and make a determination as to the character and qualifications of the applicant for membership in the Local Union. This determination shall be made on the basis of uniform standards, shall not be discriminatory in any manner, and shall be in accordance with all applicable law. If recommended by the Regional Advisory Board and approved by the Executive Board, the applicant shall be so notified and his/her name and address shall be placed in the Local Union’s records. The applicant shall be required to visit one of the Local Union’s offices in person to obtain a copy of the Constitution and these By-Laws, receive his/her membership card, and accept the obligation of membership. If an applicant is rejected, his/her initiation fee shall be returned. A rejected applicant may reapply for membership after a lapse of ninety (90) days following rejection.
Section 3. Initiation – No person shall be deemed admitted to membership in this Local Union until he/she has met the requirements set forth in this Article. No person shall be initiated or accepted to membership until he/she has paid any amounts due for the initiation fee and accepted the obligation of membership.
Amend Article XI, Section 2 to read as follows:
Section 2. Examining Regional Advisory Boards shall be selected each year, in each region of Local 49, for the purpose of examining all members desiring to transfer from branch or apprentice locals to the parent local investigating the character and qualifications of all applicants for membership. These Boards shall be selected by the membership in each region where regular monthly meetings are held. These Examining Boards can also be maintained as an Advisory Board for that region and shall make recommendations, for that region, to the Executive Board. It shall be their duty to examine the aspirant as to his qualifications as an engineer and shall make recommendations to the Executive Board. No member shall receive a membership in the parent local without recommendation of the Executive Board. The Regional Advisory Board shall consist of three (3) members, including the Regional Executive Board member and the Regional Business Agent assigned by the Business Manager-Financial Secretary. The third member shall be nominated and elected by the membership in each region. The Regional Advisory Boards are authorized to recommend uniform standards for investigating the character and qualifications of applicants for membership for adoption by the Executive Board, provided that such standards are consistent with the Constitution, these By-Laws, and applicable law. These standards may be based on evaluation of the applicant’s experience and performance in the trade, examination of skills and abilities, employer performance evaluations, applicant self-evaluations, participation in skills training, participation in organizing and labor history education, obtaining appropriate licenses or certifications, or other relevant factors. The Regional Advisory Boards are authorized to recommend a permit procedure for adoption by the Executive Board to ensure proper preparation and evaluation of applicants for membership and to maintain the quality of work performed by those referred for work by the Local Union. The Examining Board or Regional Advisory Boards shall meet at such times and places as determined by the Regional Business Agent with approval of the Business Manager-Financial Secretary. All final decisions regarding applications for membership shall be made by the Executive Board.
- REQUIRED BY INTERNATIONAL: Amend Article VI, Section 2 to read as follows:
No member shall be eligible for election, be elected, nor hold office unless he or she shall have been a member continuously in good standing in the Local Union electing him or her for one (1) year preceding the month of nominations; and provided that no member shall be eligible for election, be elected, nor hold office unless he or she shall also have been a member of Local 49 for two (2) years immediately prior to election. No member shall be eligible for election for election to, be elected to, nor hold the office of Business Manager, unless he or she shall have been continuously in good standing in Local 49 for a period of two (2) years preceding the month of nominations, in addition to fulfilling the qualifications for other Local office. As consistent with Article XXIV, subdivision 1, section (b) of the International Constitution, no member retired from work at the trade, shall be eligible for election, be elected, nor hold Local 49 office. The receipt of a pension which is not suspended based upon the number of hours worked at the trade shall not disqualify a member from being elected to or holding any Local Union office.
The rules governing the eligibility of candidates for the Executive Board shall be the same as provided in Article IV, Section 2 of these By-Laws, and as defined in Article XXIV, Subdivision 1, Section (b), of the International Constitution and federal law.
- REQUIRED BY INTERNATIONAL: Amend Article XI, Section 1(c) to read as follows:
No member receiving any pension retired from work at the trade shall be eligible for election to other conventions (other than the General Convention) or appointment or election to a committee, except for committees that act in a representative capacity on behalf of the Local Union.