Article I – Name and Affiliation
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Greeneville Education Association (GEA).
Section 2. This organization shall be affiliated with the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) and with the National Education Association (NEA), and shall meet the minimum standards for affiliation as set forth in the TEA and NEA governance documents. This organization shall also be affiliated with the East Tennessee Education Association (ETEA).
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
Section 1. To work for the welfare of school children, the advancement of education, and the improvement of instructional opportunities for all.
Section 2. To unite and strengthen the teaching profession and to secure and maintain the salaries, retirement, tenure, professional and sick leave, and other working conditions necessary to support teaching as a profession.
Section 3. To develop and promote the adoption of such ethical practices, personnel policies, and standards of preparation and participation as mark a profession.
Section 4. To enable members to speak with a common voice on matters pertaining to the teaching profession and to present their individual and common interests to the Superintendent, to the Board of Education, and to other legal authorities.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership in the Association shall consist of the following classifications: professional, auxiliary, and retired. All questions regarding such matters as classification, eligibility, and privileges of members shall be determined by the Executive Board and approved by the Association.
Section 2. Professional Members
a. Professional membership in the Association shall be open to all professional personnel employed by the Greeneville Board of Education. Professional membership is limited to persons who support the purposes and goals of the Association and who agree to abide by the Code of Ethics of this Association. A professional member is entitled to all rights and privileges of membership in this local Association.
b. Professional members of the Association shall also maintain membership in the Tennessee Education Association. and the National Education Association. Professional members of the Association shall also be encouraged to become members of the East Tennessee Education Association.
c. Membership shall become effective upon payment of annual dues in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and bylaws and with the policies and regulations adopted by the Association. Professional membership shall be continuous until the member leaves the school system, resigns from the Association, fails to pay membership dues, or fails to comply with all rules and regulations of this local Association. Members who desire a change in membership must notify the GEA membership chair, in writing, by the first Friday in September. New members must also be enrolled by this date.
Section 3. Educational Support
Personnel employed and actively engaged as teacher’s aide, clerk, secretary, non-certified cafeteria manager, non-certificated supervisor, non-teaching school nurse, cafeteria worker, bus driver, maintenance person and any other non-certificated employee of the Greeneville City Schools shall, upon payment of dues, enroll as Active members with voting, governance, and full legal rights.
Section 4. Retired Members
Professional members who retire shall continue as honorary members for life. They shall not be eligible to vote, hold office, or represent the Association.
Section 5. Discipline of Members
According to procedures adopted by the Association, the Executive Board, upon recommendation by the local Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, may censure,
suspend from membership, or expel any member who shall have violated the Code of ethics of the education profession and may cancel the membership of any member convicted in a court learned in the law of a crime involving moral turpitude. The member concerned must, however, have been given due notice of such an action and must have had an opportunity for a due-process hearing before the Executive Board. Any disciplinary action taken by the Executive Board may be appealed to the Association. The Executive board may reinstate a member who has previously been suspended or expelled from the Association.
ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall consist of a president, first vice-president who shall be president-elect, the immediate past president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, press reporter, and parliamentarian.
Section 2. Method of Selection
The first vice-president, the recording secretary, the treasurer, the press reporter, and the parliamentarian shall be elected by secret ballot by the membership at large according to the procedures outlined in Article VI of the Bylaws. The corresponding secretary shall be appointed by the president.
Section 3. Terms and Succession
a. The term of office for all elected officers shall be one (1) year.
b. The first vice-president shall automatically become president. In the event there is no vice-president or if the vice-president declines becoming president, the current president or any other eligible member may be elected president following the usual election procedures.
c. Officers shall have been members of the local, state, and national associations for at least one year prior to their election and shall maintain their memberships in good standing during their terms of service.
d. Whenever an office become vacant between elections, except as provided in Article V, Section 3, or Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution, the remaining members of the Executive Board shall choose one of their number to fill the vacancy until the Association can fill the vacancy through a secret ballot election, assuring that proportional ethnic minority and administration representation is maintained.
e. New officers shall be installed at the last yearly executive committee meeting. The term of the officers shall begin with the installation so that they can employ their executive powers during the summer to organize for the ensuing year.
ARTICLE V – EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1 The Executive Board shall consist of the officers and representatives elected to represent those school faculties and central administrative offices who are not already represented by an officer of the Association.
Section 2. Membership of the Executive board shall reflect a representation of ethnic minority and administrative members at least proportional to the minority membership in the Association. There shall be proportional representation of classroom teacher members and administration members.
Section 3. Whenever a majority of the Executive Board shall agree that an officer has been grossly negligent of the duties defined in the Bylaws or is incapacitated, it may recommend to the Association that the office be declared vacant. The officer concerned must have been given due notice of such an action, and must have had an opportunity for a due process hearing before the Executive Board. If the Association so votes by a two-thirds (2/3) majority, it shall immediately elect a replacement to fill the unexpired term.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended or repealed by an affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at any regular meeting, provided, however, that a proposed amendment must be submitted to the Executive Board at least one (1) month preceding the meeting and that a copy of the proposed amendment must be presented to each member at least seven (7) calendar days preceding the regular meeting at which the vote is taken.
ARTICLE I – MEETINGS
Section 1. The Executive Board shall meet monthly on a day and time predetermined by the current board, at the call of the president, or at the request of half the members of the Board.
Section 2. There shall be at least four (4) general meetings of the Association during the school year. The president, with the advice of the Executive Board, shall determine the time and place of these meetings.
Section 3. Special meetings shall be held at the call of the president. The president shall call a special meeting upon written request of one-tenth (1/10) of the membership.
ARTICLE II – QUORUM
A quorum is not required for the Executive Board, General Association, and committees; however, items needing to be voted on by the General Association will be posted online and in schools at least one week before the General Meeting. A majority vote of members present shall be necessary for passage of any motion.
ARTICLE III – POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The president shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees and shall notify the treasurer of all bills to be paid. He/she shall call meetings of the Executive Board of which he/she shall be chairperson, suggest policies and plans of work for all standing and special committees, and shall be held responsible for the progress and work of the Association. The president, by and with the consent of the Executive Board, shall appoint all standing and special committees. He/she shall preside at all regular meetings of the Association and perform all other duties that properly fall upon a presiding officer
Section 2. The first vice-president shall preside in the absence of the president and shall perform any other duties that shall be incumbent on him/her or any other duties delegated to him/her by the president. The first vice-president shall automatically be chairperson of the Legislative Committee.
Section 3. The recording secretary shall have charge of all the proceedings of each meeting. At the close of the year, the secretary shall turn over to the incoming secretary complete records of the Association. A permanent file of Association records shall be maintained.
Section 4. The corresponding secretary shall have charge of all the correspondence of the Association except that which relates to the work assigned to other officers or committees.
Section 5. The treasurer shall receive all funds belonging to the Association, pay out the same on orders when notified by the president, keep an itemized account of receipts and expenditures, and make a written report of same to membership regularly.
Section 6. The press-reporter, as directed by the president, shall furnish articles for news media pertaining to the affairs of the Association. This person shall automatically be chairperson of the Public Relations Committee. The press-reporter shall also be responsible for the publication of an Association newsletter.
Section 7. The parliamentarian shall advise the chair in correct parliamentary procedure.
Section 8. Each officer shall have the obligation of instructing his/her successor in the duties of that office and working with him/her as needed during the year following his/her election.
ARTICLE IV – POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board shall have full authority to speak and to act for the Association between meetings of the entire Association. It will hold such meetings as are necessary to formulate policies for the Association and to devise effective means for carrying out recommendations made to it by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Education Association through its officials. It shall give general direction to the entire Association program, make recommendations to be acted upon by the membership, fill all vacancies which arise between elections as provided in Article IV, Section 3d., of the Constitution, and appoint the Election Committee. It shall be the duty of this board to serve as a liaison between faculties and central office administrators.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES
Section 1. Committees
There shall be standing committees carrying the specific functions below. Members are selected to represent a cross section of the total Association and appointed for overlapping terms. All committees shall reflect the composition of the total membership with at least proportional representation for ethnic minority. Appointments shall be made by the president with approval by a majority of the Executive Board.
Section 2. Meetings
Each standing committee must have an organizational meeting in September and shall hold additional meetings as needed.
Section 3. Reports
Chairpersons shall report as necessary to the president, Executive Board, and/or to the Association when directed by the president.
Section 4. Relation to Executive Board
The Executive Board shall assist the president to appoint members of the standing committees and to fill all unexpired terms as vacancies occur thereafter and shall plan for an organizational committee conference each year. Each committee shall have a representative from the Executive Board as a member or as chairperson.
Section 5. Relation to the State and National Associations
The standing committees shall seek to understand and relate to the objectives and programs of corresponding units of the TEA and NEA and shall counsel with them as needed.
Section 6. Titles and Duties
a. It shall be the duty of the Legislative Committee to cooperate with the Legislative Committee of the Tennessee Education Association in developing and promoting desirable school legislation. This committee is free to initiate legislative proposals and, with the approval of the Association, to submit them to the TEA committee; but the only legislative program which it will publicize or promote locally will be the one finally approved for the entire state by the Tennessee Education Association, unless, for specific reasons, the Associations as a whole veto the TEA legislative program. The committee will act as the local representative of the state committee in contacting local members of the legislature and key people in the community, arranging for proper communication to state officials at strategic times, and securing the active support of all community organizations, subject to directions, suggestions, and assistance from the Legislative Committee of the Tennessee Education Association. The Legislative Committee will be responsible for consideration of all legislative matters of purely local significance.
b. It shall be the duty of the Public Relations Committee to cooperate with TEA Public Relations Division in developing and promoting a program to keep the public continuously informed as to the purposes, accomplishments, conditions, and needs of its schools. The Committee shall be responsible for organizing and overseeing all facets of public relations relating to American Education Week and School Bell Awards.
c. It shall be the duty of the Courtesy Committee to show appreciation and courtesy as directed by the Executive Board.
d. The Committee on Professional Rights and Responsibilities shall explore and prepare action programs for securing satisfactory personnel policies and procedures for the redress of grievances. It shall advise the Executive Board on procedures for the implementation and enforcement of the Code of Ethics. This committee shall advise the Executive Board in situations of censure, suspension, or expulsion of members. It shall develop a program of orientation to the Code of Ethics for all members of the Association. The specific duties of the committee include knowing and interpreting written local and state school board policies and local, state, and federal school policies and laws, and stimulating cooperation in the development of these local and state policies and laws. Additional but equally important duties are to know, to explain, and to defend teacher rights in such matters as tenure, contracts, and liability; to promote and cooperate in the constant development of written school board policies; to hear complaints and advise members, the Association, and the profession against unjust or adverse criticism; to encourage democratic procedures and understanding among board of education, the administration, and the classroom teachers, and other school personnel; to serve as liaison with the state and national professional rights and responsibilities structure; and to accept such other duties as may be needed and assigned.
e. The Committee on Teacher Economic Status shall explore and prepare action programs as necessary in all areas of teacher welfare, with particular emphasis on:
(1) Salary—It shall make salary proposals for presentation to the membership. After acceptance by the membership, the president will present the proposals to the Board of Education for its consideration. They shall develop supportive data and research statistics, develop knowledge and understanding of school finance, property taxation, and other financial resources available from local, state, and federal funds. This research will be used to make recommendations to aid in bringing about adequate financial support for public education and to recommend policies and procedures which will gain community support and community involvement in the campaign for better educational programs.
(2) Fringe Benefits—It shall investigate and recommend available and potential fringe benefits for the membership. Those benefits accepted by the Association shall be presented by the president to the Board of Education for its consideration.
f. The Instruction and Professional Development (IPD) Committee shall be comprised of at least five (5) members.
It shall be the duty of the IPD Committee to:
(1) Determine member needs in the areas of instruction and professional development.
(2) Develop these needs into policies or position statements and set goals and objectives.
(3) Distribute informational materials related to instructional activities of the school system.
(4) Recommend inservice and public relations programs.
(5) Provide a means for interaction with the state and national associations in order to:
(a) Influence legislative, inservice, and policy decision.
(b) Bring to the attention of teachers professional materials and studies available from TEA and NEA.
(6) To develop and foster a local Chapter of the Future Teachers of America.
Section 7 Any other committees deemed necessary or desirable may be set up by the president, if approved by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VI – ELECTIONS
Section 1. Nominations
a. The professional members of the Association in each school or central administration office during the month of March may nominate candidates for first vice-president, recording secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian, and press reporter. The school or central administrative office representative shall deliver all nominations in writing to the Committee on Elections.
b. The Committee on Elections shall report all nominations to the Association at the March meeting. Members of the Association may nominate other candidates from the floor.
c. The Committee on Elections shall be responsible for the preparation and distribution of the ballots to the school and central administration office. It shall also provide to each school and central administrative office representative a list of eligible voters and the exact number of ballots. The distribution of ballots must be completed at least two (2) days prior to the date of the election. This committee shall oversee the preparation of lists and ballots with witnesses to certify that the correct number has been provided.
Section 2. Balloting
On the first school day in April, members shall vote for officers by secret ballot in accordance with procedures developed by the Committee on Elections and approved by the Executive Board. Ballots shall be distributed to individual members in each school and the central administrative office as early as possible on the day of the election. Ballots must be marked and returned to the assigned election official in the school no later than thirty (30) minutes following the end of the school day. Each member returning a ballot shall sign his/her name on a sheet of certified member/voters. All used and unused ballots shall be returned to the Chairperson of the Committee on Elections. The ballots shall be counted by three (3) judges named by the local Association president. If no candidate receives the majority of the votes cast, a run-off election shall be held by the sixth school day between the two (2) candidates who have received the largest number of votes. The Committee on Elections shall report results to the president who shall cause them to be announced immediately.
Section 3. Elections to validate Article V, Section 1, of the Constitution shall be held within one (1) week after the results of the election are announced.
ARTICLE VII – DUES
Section 1. The dues of this Association shall be recommended annually by the Executive Board and approved by the Association.
Section 2. Professional members shall also pay annual dues to the Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association.
Section 3. Dues of auxiliary members shall be equal to one-half (1/2) the amount of professional members.
Section 4. Retired members shall pay no annual dues.
Section 5. Any professional or auxiliary member who is granted an official leave of absence from official duties may retain membership status by paying membership dues directly to this Association. These members shall not be eligible to hold office.
Section 6. The membership year shall extend from September 1 of one year to August 31 of the next year.
Section 7. Teachers who are elected to posts after January 1 of the school year shall be invited and encouraged to become members for the sum of fifty percent (50%) of the local and TEA dues in effect at the time of their appointments, plus appropriate NEA dues.
Section 8. The deadline for joining or changing membership status shall be the first school day of October.
ARTICLE VIII – DELEGATES TO TEA AND NEA
Section 1. TEA Representative Assembly
a. Beginning in 1977 delegates to the annual TEA representative Assembly shall be elected according to the provisions of the TEA Constitution and Bylaws.
b. Names of delegates shall be submitted to TEA at least one (1) month in advance of the dates of the Assembly.
Section 2. NEA Representative Assembly
a. Election of delegates and alternate delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly shall be elected by the Association.
b. Names of elected delegates and alternates shall be submitted to the NEA in advance of the Assembly.
c. Delegates and alternates must be members of this Association.
ARTICLE IX – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of this Association shall be from September 1 of one year to August 31 of the year following.
ARTICLE X – AUTHORITY
Roberts’ rules of Order (most recently revised) shall be the parliamentary authority for the Association on all questions not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws and such standing rules as the Association may adopt.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended or repealed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at any regular meeting; provided, however, that a proposed amendment must be submitted to the Executive Board at least one (1) month preceding the meeting and that a copy of the proposed amendment must be presented to each member at least seven (7) calendar days preceding the regular meeting at which the vote is taken.
The Articles of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon their adoption by the GEA. All present officers, representatives, and committee members shall continue to serve the Association and shall be protected under the Articles of the Constitution and Bylaws in force at the time of their election or appointment. This transitional statement shall be dropped from this document upon its adoption.