Table of Contents

    Preamble

    June 8, 2018

    1.01 The Constitution as set forth in this document shall represent the highest expression of the collective will of the membership of the Union and shall be and remain the basis upon which the Union shall function.

    Name

    2.01 The name of the union is the “HEALTH SCIENCES ASSOCIATION OF ALBERTA” (hereinafter referred to as the “Union” or “HSAA”).

    3.01 To secure for members, fair terms and conditions of employment.

    3.02 To apply for certification as a bargaining agent on behalf of employees or groups of employees pursuant to the provisions of the Labour Relations Code, Public Service Employee Relations Act, or the Canada Labour Code and to enter into collective agreements with employers on behalf of employees.

    3.03 To regulate relations between members and their employers.

    3.04 To cooperate and deal fairly with employers in adjusting difficulties which may arise between employers and employees.

    3.05 To promote the continuation of high standards of patient care.

    3.06 To promote progressive and oppose regressive legislation, particularly in the areas of labour relations, labour standards, health care and human rights.

    3.07 To cooperate with professional associations on matters of common interest and concern.

    3.08 To cooperate with unions and organizations of unions in order to promote the above objects 3.06 and 3.07.

    4.01 Subject to its policies and financial capabilities, the Union will:

    1. Support labour education for its members;
    2. Support educational programs to enhance the health-care employment
      skills of its members;
    3. Provide bursaries to members, spouses and children/dependents of
      members enrolled in programs of studies in pursuit of a recognized diploma,
      degree or certificate at any post-secondary educational institution;
    4. Grant financial assistance to members of the Union and their immediate
      relatives who are, or were, dependent on the member.

    5.01

    1. To acquire lands, by purchase, lease, or otherwise, and erect, lease, or
      otherwise provide a building(s) for Union purposes; and
    2. To sell, manage, lease, mortgage, dispose of, or otherwise deal with
      property of the Union.

    6.01 To do all other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above Objects.

    LOCATION

    7.01 The operations of the Union are to be carried on in the Province of Alberta.

    INTERPRETATION

    8.01 In this Constitution, all references to days shall mean calendar days unless expressly stated otherwise.

    9.01 Any person who is employed in a profession or occupation providing services of a health or social sciences nature is eligible for membership in the Union.

    9.02 Any person who is employed in an occupation in support of services of a health or social sciences nature is eligible for membership in the Union.

    9.03 Any person or group of employees deemed by the Board of the Union to share a community of interest with the membership of HSAA is eligible for the class of membership it designates.

    9.04 The members of the Union shall be the subscribers to the Constitution and such
    other persons as are admitted as members of the Union.

    9.05 Any person who is permanently employed in an out-of scope capacity with an employer signatory to a collective agreement with the Health Sciences Association of Alberta is ineligible for membership.

    10.01 Membership in the Union shall consist of the following classes:

    1. Active members;
    2. Inactive members;
    3. Retired members;
    4. Associate members;
    5. Honorary members;
    6. Student members.

    10.02 A member in good standing is one who complies with provisions contained in the Constitution of the Union.

    10.03 A person who obtains membership through fraudulent means is not a member.

    11.01 Active membership is open to any person employed in a bargaining unit represented by the Union, whether through certification, voluntary recognition, or who may be included in an application for certification on behalf of the Union.

    11.02 An active member is subject to the provisions of the Constitution with respect to:

    1. Applications for membership;
    2. Obligations for payment of fees and assessments; and
    3. The provisions for suspension, fines and other discipline.

    11.03 An active member is entitled to hold office and vote on all matters in accordance with the Constitution.

    11.04 Active members will include:

    1. Those on an approved leave of absence;
    2. Those on lay-off/recall from their employer for the longest period of recall rights provided by any HSAA collective agreement;
    3. Those who have been dismissed and are represented by the Union through the grievance/arbitration procedure, until the dispute has been resolved;
    4. Casual employees who have contributed dues in the previous twelve (12) months; and
    5. Those who are serving in an elected position of the union, or its affiliates, where the operation of the applicable collective agreement would lead to a termination of their employment as a result of the leave requirements to fulfill their initial and/or subsequent terms of office.

    11.05 Any member who is in a temporary out-of-scope position shall not be eligible to:

    1. vote; or
    2. hold office; or
    3. attend membership meetings

    11.06 An active member 30 years of age and younger will be considered a young worker.

    12.01 Any member from whom dues are no longer deducted, except one who is an active member as provided in Article 11.04, shall be an inactive member.

    12.02 Inactive members are not eligible to:

    1. vote; or
    2. hold office

    12.03 Subject to the above, the Board may, at its discretion, designate the rights, duties and obligations of inactive members.

    13.01 Any member 55 years of age or older and who ceases employment in a bargaining unit covered by an HSAA collective agreement, is a retired member.

    13.02 Retired members may, at their own expense, attend the convention of the Union.

    13.03 Retired members may, at their own expense, attend a Labour Relations Conference of the Union.

    13.04 Retired members are not eligible to:

    1. vote; or
    2. hold office

    13.05 Retired members may pay an annual membership fee as determined by the Board.

    13.06 Subject to the above, the Board may, at its discretion, designate the rights, duties and obligations of retired members.

     

    14.01 Associate membership is open to:

    1. Any employee who would be eligible for active membership if HSAA were the certified bargaining agent; and
    2. Any person who would, if employed, be eligible for active membership and does not meet the eligibility criteria for any other class of member.

    14.02 Application for associate membership shall be made to the Board. The decision of the Board to grant or deny such membership shall be final.

    14.03 Associate members are not eligible to:

    1. Hold a Board of Director position.

    14.04 Subject to the above, the Board may, at its discretion, designate the rights, duties and obligations of associate members including:

    1. The right to vote at any meeting(s); and
    2. The payment of fees

    15.01 The Board may award honorary membership to a person who has rendered outstanding service to the Union and is not eligible for active membership.

    15.02 Honorary members shall be entitled, at their own expense, to attend the convention of the Union.

    15.03 Honorary members may, at their own expense, attend a Labour Relations Conference of the Union.

    15.03 Honorary members are not eligible to:

    1. Vote;  or
    2. Hold office.

    15.04 Honorary members will not be required to pay any fees or assessments.

    15.05 Subject to the above, the Board may, at its discretion, designate the rights, duties and obligations of honorary members.

    16.01 Student membership is open to any student engaged in a course of studies leading to certification for a discipline for which HSAA is the certified bargaining agent.

    16.02 Student members are not eligible to:

    1. Vote; or
    2. Hold office.

    16.03 Subject to the above, the Board may, at its discretion, designate the rights, duties and obligations of student members.

    17.01 All members of the Union will:

    1. Recognize and observe the Constitution of the Union;
    2. Recognize and respect the right of the Union to adopt and enforce reasonable rules as to the responsibility of every member toward the Union; and
    3. Pay to the Union such lawful fees and assessments as established pursuant to the Constitution.

    18.01 Applications for membership are submitted to the Union. The Board can refuse any application for membership. A membership card will be issued.

    18.02 The Board of Directors may refuse membership for reasonable cause. Reasonable cause shall include, but not limited to, the fact that an applicant for membership has:

    1. crossed a lawful picket line of this or another union without permission.
    2. accepted employment as a replacement for an employee not at work due to a strike or lockout.
    3. acted to prevent a union from obtaining or maintaining a certification for any unit of employees.

    18.03 Every applicant for membership shall have a right to appeal and shall not be denied membership on a discriminatory basis.

    19.01 Anyone applying for membership will pay fees and/or assessments as determined by the Board or the membership.

    19.02 The dues of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta shall be 1.4 percent of gross earnings.

    19.03 Any change to annual dues for the following fiscal year shall be voted upon by the members at convention.

    19.04 Any proposal to decrease annual dues can only be brought to a convention on recommendation of the Board of Directors, to take effect the following fiscal year.

    19.05 With a majority vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its members, the Board of Directors may temporarily increase your current dues by up to 15 per cent of daily gross, if:

    • The Strike Fund drops below 50 per cent of what it was before the strike started or
    • it drops to less than $1,000,000 and
    • the increase is used only for the Strike Fund

    19.06 Extra dues will be assessed if you work within your bargaining unit when your own bargaining unit is on a lockout or strike.  These dues will be deducted from your paycheque.  This includes when you are required by law to provide essential or emergency services.  In these cases, you will pay dues of 30 per cent of your daily gross pay (before deductions).  These dues will be in addition to your regular dues and will be put into the Strike Fund.

    19.07 Extra dues assessed if you work during an alternate job action.  This could include escalating strikes, when increasing numbers of members go out on strike.  This could also include rotating strikes, when different sites go out at different times.  The Board of Directors and bargaining committee may decide together if you will be assessed these dues.  In these situations, you may pay dues of 30 per cent of your daily gross pay (before deductions).  These dues will be deducted from your paycheque.  These dues will be in addition to your regular dues and will be put into the Strike Fund.

    19.08 The monies generated from these higher-level dues shall be used to equalize the impact of the strike among those deemed essential and non-essential employees in accordance with applicable agreements between the Union and the Employer.

    19.09 Any member who is not deemed essential and reports for work shall be fined by HSAA an amount equal to 100 per cent of their daily gross pay (before deductions).  Any member who fails to comply with the payment of the fine imposed under this constitution shall cease to be a member in good standing until such fine is paid.

    19.10 HSAA may, on approval of the Board and subject to a majority vote at a convention, levy special assessments on its dues payers.

    20.01 The Union shall maintain a Strike Fund, whose assets shall be used only for the following purposes:

    1. For strike pay and expenses related to strikes, lockouts and other work stoppage situations involving HSAA members’ and
    2. Upon a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors, to make interest- free loans to other striking unions where the Board deems such loans to be in the interests of HSAA members.

    20.02 The Union shall maintain a Defense Fund, whose assets shall be used only to defend HSAA members in situations that raise fundamental challenges to union principles, standards and practices, and that require the development of legal and/or lobbying and political campaigns.

    21.01 An individual may withdraw from membership by notifying the Board, in writing, and returning their membership card. Anyone who withdraws forfeits all rights and benefits of membership.

    21.02 An individual shall not resign membership in the Union during a strike or lockout if the resignation has or may have the purpose or effect of avoiding obligations under this Constitution with respect to strikes or lockouts.

    22.01 In cases of new bargaining certificates organized using membership cards an initiation fee must be paid, even if the applicant has previously been a member of the Union.

    22.02 Except for an individual who has withdrawn from membership, or as provided in Article 21.01, anyone who:

    1. Has previously been an active member in good standing; and/or
    2. Returns to employment in a bargaining unit represented by the Union is automatically reinstated to active membership.

    23.01 There shall be a Board of Directors (referred to in the Constitution as the “Board”) which shall be composed of:

    1.  President*
    2. Vice-President*
    3. Board members elected to represent their respective districts as provided in Article 24 – Representation.

    * Executive Officers

    24.01 Board Members will be elected to represent the following HSAA districts:

    1. North;
    2. Central;
    3. Edmonton;
    4. Calgary; and
    5. South.

    24.02 Districts shall elect Board Members as follows:

    1. Edmonton and Calgary shall each be entitled to five (5) District Board representatives; and
    2. North, Central and South shall each be entitled to two (2) District Board representatives.

    25.01 Each group of HSAA members may define itself as a “local unit” of HSAA, with consideration to the following principles:

    1. Members covered under the same bargaining certificate existing at the same site are encouraged to amalgamate into one local unit, unless there are historical and/or functional reasons not to do so.
    2. Members covered by separate bargaining certificates existing at the same site may opt to amalgamate, but may be better served with coexistence as two local units, and are encouraged to work jointly on issues not related to their specific bargaining certificate.
    3. Members covered by the same bargaining certificate with small numbers at multiple sites may wish to act as one local unit.

    25.02 Local units must notify HSAA of changes to configuration of their local unit (i.e., amalgamation) and are encouraged to do so in a timely fashion.

    25.03 Local unit reconfigurations and the structure of newly organized units shall be subject to approval by the HSAA Board.

    25.04 Local unit representatives include a local unit chair, or two (2) co-chairs, group representatives and/or other positions as determined by the local unit. These local unit representatives shall form the local unit executive.

    25.05 The role of the local unit executive is to advocate for and engage their members.

    25.06 Local unit representatives are not authorized to bind the organization contractually, except as expressly delegated by a duly authorized officer of HSAA.

    25.07 Local unit representatives are elected by members of the local unit for a term of up to three years, and may be re-elected for successive terms.

    25.08 Stewards

    1. A steward is a member in good standing who represents and defends the members of their local unit.
    2. Elections and Terms of Office:
      1. Stewards shall be endorsed through a vote by their local unit for a term of three (3) years and may be endorsed for consecutive terms.
      2. Voting will be conducted as part of the AGMM process.
      3. If a steward is unable to complete the term of office, the local unit may hold an emergency vote to replace the steward and notify the HSAA office of this change.
      4. Final approval of endorsed stewards shall be at the discretion of the Board of Directors as per policy.

    26.01 Only active members in good standing are eligible for nomination, election or appointment.

    26.02 President or Vice-President

    Any active member in good standing of the Union is eligible for nomination for the position of President or Vice-President.

    26.03 District Board Members

    1. To be eligible for election in a district, a member must be employed in a bargaining unit in that district.
    2. In situations where a member works in more than one district, that member must choose which district to run for in any given year and they cannot represent more than one district at any given time.
    3. A member of the Board whose term does not expire at the next convention may only run for a vacant district board position if they resign their current district board position prior to the call for nominations.

    26.04 Any member who occupies a representative position with HSAA shall automatically vacate the office if they accept an out-of-scope position (management exempt) which places them in a conflict of interest with their union duties.

    26.05 A member may only accept a nomination for one position in each election (i.e., President or Vice-President).

    26.06 Local Unit Executive

    To be eligible for election to the local unit executive, a member must be a member in good standing of that local unit.

    26.07 HSAA Representatives on All Joint Employer/Union Committees

    HSAA representatives on all joint Employer/Union committees, including Joint Workplace Health and Safety and Employee/Management Advisory Committees, must be duly appointed by an appropriate HSAA governing body.

    27.01 All elections shall be determined by a single ballot; the member(s) with the largest number of votes will be declared elected. Where two Board positions are vacant, the member with the second largest number of votes will also be elected.

    27.02 All elections shall be held by secret ballot, which may include electronic methods.

    27.03 President and Vice-President

    Subject to Article 31, election for the office of President and Vice-President shall occur in odd numbered years.

    1. Nomination:
      1. Any ten (10) members in good standing may nominate an eligible member for the position of President or Vice-President.
      2. The nomination must be signed by the nominators and by the nominee to indicate their willingness to stand for election.
      3. Nominations will begin after January 1, as determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee. Nominations must be received by the prescribed deadline.
      4. Where there are no nominations for President or Vice-President, the Board will determine the process of issuing a further call for nominations and elections.
    2. Election:
      1. Each active member in good standing of the Union will receive one ballot for each position.
      2. Ballots will be processed in accordance with the procedure determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee. Except for Vacancies in Mid-Term, or where no candidate is nominated after the first call for nominations, elections for Executive Officers will be completed no later than February 28.
      3. In the event that there is only one candidate, that candidate will be acclaimed.
      4. The President and Vice-President are sworn in and take office at the conclusion of the convention, or June 15, whichever occurs first.
      5. Subject to the above, the election procedure shall be determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee and approved by the Board.
      6. The elections of the President and Vice-President will be on separate ballots.

    27.04 District Board Members

    1. Nomination:
      1. Any five (5) members in good standing in a district in which an election is to be held may nominate an eligible member to the Board.
      2. The nomination must be signed by the five (5) nominators and by the nominee to indicate their willingness to stand for election.
      3. Nominations will begin after March 1, as determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee. Nominations must be received by the prescribed deadline.
    2. Election:
      1. Each active member in a district in which an election is held will receive an electronic ballot.
      2. Ballots will be processed in accordance with the procedure determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee. Except for Vacancies in Mid-Term, or where no candidate is nominated after the first call for nominations, elections will be completed no later than April 30.
      3. In the event that there is only one candidate in a district, that candidate will be acclaimed.
      4. The Board Members so elected are sworn in and take office at the conclusion of the convention, or at the first Board meeting after June 15.
      5. Subject to the above, the election procedure shall be determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee and approved by the Board.

    28.01 The President and Vice-President shall each serve a term of two (2) years.

    28.02 The District Board Members shall each serve a term of three (3) years.

    28.03 The District Board Members take office at the conclusion of the convention, or the first Board meeting after June 15.

    28.04 If elected mid-term the newly elected Executive Officer or Board Member is sworn in and takes office at the next Board meeting.

    29.01 Elections for District Board Members will be held in rotation so that not all positions are vacant in any year. The rotation will be determined by the Elections/Credentials Committee.

    30.01 The following Oath of Office shall be administered to newly elected/or re-elected Board Members and Executive Officers at the convention or at their first meeting of the Board, as appropriate:

    I,______________________. promise that I will truly and faithfully carry out my duties as a member of the Board of Directors to the best of my abilities.

    I promise that I will uphold the Constitution and principles of the Union.

    I commit that in good faith I will support and promote the policies of the Union.

    I will endeavour to build harmony and solidarity in the Union and the labour movement.

    I will promote a harassment-free and discrimination-free environment and work to ensure the human rights of all members are respected.

    I pledge that I will support other affiliates of the Canadian Labour Congress in their struggles and will not attempt to recruit their members.

     

    31.01 Should the President vacate the position in mid-term, the Vice-President will assume the office of President, and:

    1. If the vacancy occurs within the first year of the term, the new President shall complete the term; and
    2. If the vacancy occurs after the first year of the term, but before the final six months of the term, the new President shall complete the term and serve for an additional two-year (2) term.

    31.02 Should the Vice-President vacate the position within the first 18 months of the term, a by-election will be called by the Elections/Credentials Committee within 90 days of the vacancy in order to fill the position.

    1. If the by-election occurs within the first year of the term, the new Vice-President shall complete the term.
    2. If the by-election occurs after the first year of the term, but before the final six months of the term, the new Vice-President shall complete the term and serve for an additional two-year (2) term.

    31.03 Should the Vice-President vacate the position within the final six months of the term, the Board shall elect a replacement from among its membership who will complete the term.

    31.04 In the event that both Executive Officer positions become vacant simultaneously, within the first 18 months of the term, a by-election will be called by the Elections/Credentials Committee within 90 days of the vacancy in order to fill the positions.

    1. If the by-election occurs within the first year of the term, the new Executive Officers shall complete the term.
    2. If the by-election occurs after the first year of the term, but before the final six months of the term, the new Executive Officers shall complete the term and serve for an additional two-year (2) term.

    31.05 In the event that both executive officer positions become vacant within the final six months of the term, the Board shall elect an acting President only, from among its membership, who will complete the term, and a by-election will be called as necessary.

    32.01 If a member of the Board is unable to complete their three-year (3) term, the Elections/Credentials Committee shall arrange for the election of a replacement from that district. If only one member is nominated, the Board shall appoint that person to fill the vacancy.

    32.02 Should the term remaining for the newly elected/appointed Board Member be six (6) months or less they shall serve the balance of the term and, in addition, the following three-year (3) term of office.

    33.01 The President or Vice-President shall automatically vacate their office if:

    1. They resign in writing under their hand or has been deemed to resign under this article;
    2. They are removed from office by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of a duly convened general meeting of the Union;
    3. They are found to be of unsound mind;
    4. They become ineligible for active membership in the Union;
    5. They are no longer employed in an HSAA bargaining unit and the provision of Article 11.04 (e) do not apply; and
    6. They miss more than one-third (1/3) of the regularly scheduled Board meetings during any year of their term without valid reason acceptable to the Board.

    33.02 Any member of the Board shall automatically vacate their office if:

    1. They resign in writing under their hand or has been deemed to resign under this article;
    2. They are removed from office by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of a duly convened general meeting of the Union;
    3. They are found to be of unsound mind;
    4. They become ineligible for active membership in the Union;
    5. They are no longer employed in a bargaining unit in the district in which they were elected; and
    6. They miss more than one-third (1/3) of the regularly scheduled Board meetings during any year of their term without valid reason acceptable to the Board.

    In the event that a member of the Board vacates their office before the annual convention, the vacancy will be filled pursuant to provisions contained in the Constitution.

    34.01 The President, Vice-President or any other member of the Board may be suspended from office by a seventy-five percent (75%) majority vote of members of the Board, where allegations of a breach of the Code of Ethics contained in the Constitution have been made in accordance with Article 52.

    34.02 If the President, Vice-President or any other member of the Board is suspended under this section, a Discipline Committee shall be formed to investigate and dispose of the complaint, as required by Article 52.01 and notice shall be provided as per Article 54.

    34.03

    1. A Special General Meeting to ratify or reverse the decision of the Discipline Committee will be called to convene within thirty (30) days of the decision of the Discipline Committee.
    2. A vote to remove the President, Vice-President or any other member of the Board must carry by a sixty-six and two thirds percent (66 2/3%) majority of those members voting at the Special General Meeting.

    34.04 If a quorum of delegates at a Special General Meeting cannot be achieved, the Board will make a final decision.

    35.01 The Board of Directors shall grant a leave of absence to any of its members in accordance with any applicable legislation.

    35.02 The Board may grant any other leave of absence at its discretion.

    35.03 If the Board approves a leave of absence request from a Board Member of longer than six months, it will arrange for an election of a temporary replacement as per Article 32.01 and 32.02, Vacancies in Mid-term/District Board Members. The term of office of the temporary Board Member so elected shall terminate when the Board Member on leave returns to their position or the term expires.

    36.01 The duties of the Board shall be, in addition to any duties described elsewhere in the Constitution or otherwise implied by the Constitution:

    1. To formulate policy on issues affecting the Union and manage its affairs between general meetings;
    2. To meet to conduct its business as often as required;
    3. To consider all matters placed on the agenda by the District Board Members for such meetings and to take such action on each item as the Board may consider wise;
    4. To appoint such committees as are necessary for the functioning of the Union and to further its objectives;
    5. To appoint a Discipline Committee in the manner provided for in Article 52.10(c) and 52.12(c);
    6. To appoint representatives to affiliated labour organizations and advocacy bodies;
    7. To have in charge the general interests of the Union and its members in the intervals between general meetings;
    8. To ratify the appointment of the Executive Director and Executive Liaison;
    9. To establish the policy governing all Union publications;
    10. To appoint the auditors of the Union and ensure that the books of the Union are audited each year, or as often as required during the year;
    11. To report on its activities to the membership at its general meetings; and
    12. To determine, from time to time, the location of any office of the Union.
    13. To prepare and approve annual budget.
    14. Represent HSAA to external bodies as delegated or assigned.

    36.02 Board of Directors Authority During Job Action

    In case of any job action involving HSAA and its members, the Board of Directors will have the authority and responsibility, subject to express provisions of this Constitution, to determine appropriate policies and procedures. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, and regardless whether the job action is initiated by HSAA, by another Union, or by the employer, the Board of Directors has the authority:

    1. To set and revise job action pay.
    2. To establish conditions for receiving job action pay, which may include a requirement to perform an amount of picket or alternate duty.
    3. To determine which members are assigned to perform essential services.
    4. In the case of a job action initiated by HSAA, to determine the timing and duration of strike at any facility.

    37.01 The Board shall have the right:

    1. To borrow money in the name of the Union and to limit the amount to be borrowed;
    2. To issue bonds, debenture stock, debentures, notes and other negotiable securities in the name of the Union;
    3. To sell, pledge, exchange or dispose of such bonds, debentures, debenture stock, notes and other negotiable securities at such prices, and under such conditions, as may be deemed the most expedient;
    4. To grant, bargain, sell, alienate, convey, confirm, assign, hypothecate, mortgage, pledge or charge, and cede and transfer all or any of the real and movable, freehold and leasehold, undertaking and business and other property, assets and rights of the Union, including uncalled capital, both present and future of whatsoever kind and wherever situate, to secure any such bonds, debentures, debenture stock, notes and other negotiable securities of any money borrowed or any other liability of the Union;
    5. To purchase, lease or otherwise acquire, alienate, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of shares, stocks, rights, warrants, options and other securities, lands, buildings and other property, moveable or immovable, real or personal, or for any right or interest therein owned by the Union for such consideration and upon such terms and conditions as it deems advisable;
    6. For further clarity, the Board shall not authorize the use of HSAA funds or assets, including a loan or other financial support, to a third party in any manner that could reasonably be expected to:
      1. Cause HSAA’s tax exempt/not-for-profit status to be challenged; or
      2. Otherwise place HSAA’s tax exempt/not-for-profit status at risk.
    7. The Board shall exercise the right to issue debentures only under the authority of a Special Resolution which requires twenty-one (21) days’ notice and is adopted at a general meeting by a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of those members present and voting.

    37.02 The Board shall not exercise any of its powers in such a manner as to violate any provisions of this Constitution.

    38.01 Signing Officers for any financial transactions are:

    1. President;
    2. Vice-President;
    3. Executive Director; and
    4. Executive Assistant to the President/Board.

    38.02 Any financial transaction will require the signatures of two (2) signing officers, at least one of whom shall be an Executive Officer.

    39.01 The President of the Union shall:

    1. Preside at general meetings of the Board;
    2. Act as spokesperson of the Union;
    3. Be the chief executive responsible for implementing the policy of the Union;
    4. Be the general coordinator of the Union;
    5. Be an ex-officio member of each standing committee named in this Constitution or discretionary or other committee established by the HSAA Board, with the exception of the Elections/Credentials and Discipline Committees;
    6. Ensure that the Board conducts itself in accordance with its own policies; and
    7. The President may delegate some of their duties.

    39.02 The Vice-President of the Union shall:

    1. Assume the duties of the President in their absence;
    2. Act as Chair of the Finance Committee;
    3. Act as custodian of the funds and books of the Union;
    4. Oversee the expenditures in accordance with the votes of a general meeting, or of the Board;
    5. Ensure that all funds of the Union are deposited in the name of the Union, in a financial institution approved by the Board;
    6. Ensure that all payments by cheque are signed by two signing officers designated in Article 38.01;
    7. Ensure that a financial report is prepared annually, or as often as may be required by the Board;
    8. Ensure that the books of the Union are audited annually;
    9. Present the financial statements and approved budget at the convention of the Union;
    10. Make such reports, relating to the office as shall be required by a general meeting or the Board;
    11. Oversee committee(s) relating to the finances of the Union;
    12. Ensure that an accurate and true record of the membership is kept;
    13. Ensure that a full and accurate record of the proceedings of general meetings of the Union and the Board is kept;
    14. Deal with disciplinary matters as per Article 52;
    15. Chair hiring committees for the Executive Director and Executive Liaison positions;
    16. Chair the bargaining committee for in-scope employees;
    17. Be an ex-officio member of each standing committee named in this constitution, discretionary or other committees established by the HSAA Board with the exception of the Elections/Credentials and Finance Committees; and
    18. The Vice-President may delegate some of their duties.

    DELEGATION OF DUTIES AND AUTHORITY

    40.01 The Board, Advisory Committee and Executive Officers may delegate to the Executive Director full authority:

    1. To manage and direct the business affairs of the Union, except such matters and duties as by law or the Constitution may only be transacted or performed by the Board or by the members in a general meeting; and
    2. To employ and discharge agents and employees of the Union.

    40.02 The Executive Director shall conform to all lawful directives of the Board, and shall at all reasonable times give to the Board, or any of its members, all information they may require regarding the affairs of the Union.

    REMUNERATION

    41.01 Members of the Board and Executive Officers will be remunerated for their expenses as per applicable policy.

    ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT

    42.01 The books, accounts, and records of the Union shall be audited at least once a year by an auditor appointed by the Board and the audit report shall be made available to the membership prior to the convention.
    42.02 The books and records of the Union may be inspected by any member of the Union upon request to the Board after giving reasonable notice.

    SAVE HARMLESS

    43.01 The Union shall indemnify and save harmless any member of the Board, or any person appointed or employed by the Board, from personal liability incurred by such person in the administration of the affairs of the Union, provided that such protection shall extend only to persons properly authorized and acting bona fide in the interest of the Union.

    44.01 The Board shall establish the following standing committees:

    1. Finance Committee;
    2. Elections/Credentials Committee;
    3. Constitution, Bylaws, Resolutions and Policy Committee;
    4. Members’ Benefits Committee;
    5. Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Committee; and
    6. Members’ Appeals and Review Committee

    45.01 The Board shall establish such other committees as the Board, in its absolute discretion, shall deem necessary.

    46.01 The parliamentary authority for all meetings of the Union shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. A simplified form of these rules may be adopted by a majority vote of the members present. Where such simplified rules do not sufficiently deal with an issue, the main text will apply.

    47.01 Members of the Board will have twenty-one (21) days’ notice of regular meetings of the Board. Such notice may be verbal or written.

    47.02 Special meetings of the board may be called by the President, the Advisory Committee or any three (3) members of the Board. Members of the Board shall be given seven (7) days’ notice (verbal or written). In urgent situations, this notice requirement may be waived by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board.

    47.03 Quorum of the Board shall be fifty percent plus one (50% +1) of the Board, including the President and Vice-President.

    47.04 All votes shall be by a show of hands, unless a secret ballot is demanded by any District Board Member:

    1. The results of votes will be recorded in the minutes.
    2. In case of a tie vote, the resolution is defeated.

    48.01 Convention

    The Union shall hold an annual Convention.

    The convention is the highest decision-making authority for the union. At such meetings, members have the opportunity to make, ratify or reverse any decisions to the extent that such action would not violate the Constitution or any collective agreement in force between HSAA and any employer. The convention will mandate the activities of the board of directors between conventions.  The membership will be represented at these meetings by delegates.

    48.02 Notice

    1. All members shall be given notice of the date and place of Convention no later than January 1.
    2. The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting or the non-receipt thereof by any member(s) or local unit shall not invalidate any resolution or constitutional amendment passed or proceedings taken at the convention.
    3. HSAA will provide notice to the last-known address or email address of each member and will be posted to the public-facing portion of the website.  Such notice will be deemed sufficient for the purpose of conducting union business.

    48.03 Resolutions

    1. Delegates may bring matters before a Convention for consideration by means of resolutions submitted to the Constitution, Bylaws, Resolutions & Policy Committee.  These resolutions may include proposed constitutional changes, policy matters or position statements.
    2. The Board of Directors may submit its own resolutions to Convention.
    3. All resolutions for submission to Convention must be received at Union head office at least forty-five (45) days prior to Convention or they will not be considered.
    4. All policy resolutions shall not exceed 150 words.
    5. Copies of resolutions shall be provided to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to Convention.
    6. Emergency resolutions may be submitted from the floor of convention prior to the end of the first day.  The Constitution, Bylaws, Resolution & Policy Committee will decide if it is an emergent resolution or not and proceed accordingly.

    48.04 Delegate Status at Convention

    Credentials shall be granted to local units based on one (1) delegate per fifty (50) members, or portion thereof, in good standing as of December 1st of each given year.

    Local Units will distribute credentials to its members as per policy.

    Members who are not selected to receive credentials from their Local Unit but wish to attend may enter their names on a waiting list within their district.

    Should a local unit not use all of their allotted credentials, the unused credentials will be offered by random draw to those on the waiting list from within their district.

    48.05 Delegate credentials shall be granted to active local units only, meaning that they have held at least one (1) general meeting of the local unit members in the calendar year prior to December 1st of each given year and a local unit executive was duly elected.

    48.06 Current members of the HSAA Board of Directors will automatically be granted delegate status separate from Local Unit or District distributions.

    48.07 Board members-elect are entitled to attend and participate however, they do not have voting rights unless they are otherwise attending as a delegate within their local unit.

    48.08 Quorum

    Quorum at convention shall be fifty per cent (50%) of the registered delegates.

    48.09 Voting

    1. Only delegates in attendance at convention are entitled to vote and they are entitled to cast one (1) vote on each issue.
    2. A simple majority vote of the delegates present and voting shall be sufficient to pass any resolution presented to convention except those which change the Constitution for which a two-third (2/3) majority is required.
    3. In case of a tie vote, the resolution is defeated.

    48.10 Special Meetings

    A special meeting shall be at the call of the board of directors or more than 25% of the membership in writing provided that the nature of the business is stated in the request. Electronic signatures will be deemed acceptable. For the purposes of this provision, the size of the membership is determined by the number of active members on the last day of the preceding month of the petition.

    A special meeting may be called by the board or a group of members to deal with a matter of business that cannot be delayed until the ensuing convention. Such a meeting shall deal only with the subject matter contained in the written request of the membership or the board of directors.

    Upon the receipt of a written request of the membership with the required number of signatures, the board of directors shall call a special meeting within 21 days.

    48.11 Notice

    1.  Members were listed as delegates at the previous convention shall be given fourteen (14) days’ notice of the special meeting and will be invited to attend provided that the nature of the business is stated. This may be done electronically.
    2. The notice shall state the date, hour and place of the meeting, and the nature of the business to be transacted.
    3. The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting or the non-receipt thereof by any member(s) or local unit shall not invalidate any resolution or constitutional amendment passed or proceedings taken at the special meeting.
    4. HSAA will provide notice to the last-known address or email address of each member and will be posted to the public-facing portion of the website. Such notice will be deemed sufficient for the purpose of conducting union business.

    49.01

    1. Labour conferences are an annual educational opportunity for members to learn about labour and workplace issues, collective bargaining proposals and/or other relevant matters to the membership.
    2. The Labour Relations Conference may be held on a regional basis as deemed appropriate by the Board.

    NEGOTIATIONS

    50.01 The Board or its delegate may sign memoranda of agreement, subject to ratification by the members affected by the relevant collective agreement.

    50.02 Ratification votes may be taken at a duly convened meeting of the membership, by secret ballot, which may include electronic methods, or as directed by the Alberta Labour Relations Board or equivalent authority.

    CODE OF ETHICS

    51.01 One or more of the following acts shall constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the Union:

    1. Crossing a picket line established by the Union;
    2. Obtaining or soliciting membership by misrepresentation;
    3. Knowingly failing to comply with the Constitution;
    4. Attempting to bring about the withdrawal of any member or group of members from the Union;
    5. Knowingly publishing or circulating false reports or misrepresentations among the members of the Union;
    6. Working in the interests of another union to the detriment of the Union;
    7. Without proper authority using the name of the Union to solicit funds or to advertise;
    8. Misappropriating assets belonging to the Union;
    9. Furnishing to anyone, without proper authority or for any purpose not in the best interest of the Union, a list or a portion of a list of members of the Union;
    10. Failing, without reasonable excuse, to pay membership dues, assessments or other fees of the Union;
    11. Slandering or libeling, that is, spreading defamatory comments, either verbally or in writing, which would tend to injure the reputation of a member or an officer of the Union or any of the component parts of the Union;
    12. Failing to follow the lawful order of the chair of any meeting of the Union or its component parts to the point where business of the meeting may not be fairly and reasonably conducted;
    13. Interfering with the performance of the duties of any officer of the Union or its component parts;
    14. Engaging in conduct detrimental or prejudicial to the best interest of the Union;
    15. Willfully neglecting the duties of an elected Union position;
    16. Failing to follow the lawful directions and ruling of the Board and/or an Executive Officer;
    17. Filing frivolous, unnecessary or vindictive charges against a member of the Union;
    18. Harassing any member or staff member of HSAA;
    19. Actively interfering with contractual or other rights of members;
    20. Violating the published policies of the Union;
    21. Knowingly failing to declare a conflict of interest, and/or participating in decisions where a conflict of interest exists; or
    22. Knowingly breaching the Oath of Office

    52.01 Any member(s) who has (have) reasonable grounds to believe that another member has been guilty of a breach of the Code of Ethics, or a breach of any of the Constitution of the Union may make a complaint thereof in writing to the Vice-President of the Union within twenty-one (21) days of becoming aware of the circumstances which are the basis of the complaint.

    1. An elected Local Unit executive member may be suspended from office by a seventy-five percent (75%) majority vote of members of the board for the duration of the disciplinary process.
    2. If a Local Unit executive member is suspended under this clause a discipline committee shall be formed to investigate and dispose of the complaint, as required by Article 52.10 and notice shall be provided as per Article 54.

    52.02 Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Officers shall determine if the identity of the complainant(s) will be kept confidential at the investigation stage. The Executive Officers shall consider the best interests of the Union, the interests of the complainant(s), the interests of the respondent(s) and any other relevant factors.

    52.03 Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the complaint, the Vice-President shall assign an investigator who shall be supplied with:

    1. A copy of the complaint;
    2. A copy of the relevant sections of the Constitution;
    3. Contact information for the complainant(s) and respondent(s) and known witnesses; and
    4. Any other relevant information or documentary evidence.

    52.04 If the Executive Officers have determined that the identity of the complainant(s) will remain confidential at the investigation stage, they will direct the investigator to conduct the investigation in a manner that makes every effort to maintain that confidentiality.

    52.05 Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the complaint, the Vice-President shall provide the respondent(s) with a copy of the complaint or, in the event that the identity of the complainant(s) is to be kept confidential at the investigation stage, a summary of the complaint, edited to maintain the confidentiality. The Vice-President will also provide the respondent(s) with the name and contact information of the investigator.

    52.06 The investigator shall inquire into the complaint by contacting the complainant(s), respondent(s), and witnesses to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support the referral to the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee.

    52.07 The investigator may, at their discretion, determine the scope of the investigation and may, where there are multiple complainants, respondents or witnesses, determine that it is not necessary to interview each complainant, respondent or witness.

    52.08 The investigator shall make every effort to conduct interviews outside the member’s workplace and hours of work.

    52.09 The investigator shall report to the Executive Officers in writing, within forty-five (45) days of the appointment, summarizing their findings and providing any documentary evidence gathered during the investigation and may recommend that:

    1. A discipline committee be struck;
    2. The complaint be dismissed; or
    3. That an alternative dispute resolution mechanism be utilized.

    52.10 The Members’ Appeals and Review Committee shall, within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the investigator’s report:

    1. Direct that no further action be taken;
    2. Direct that a recommended, or other, alternative dispute resolution mechanism be utilized including a proposal of a remedy to the parties;
    3. Appoint a discipline committee pursuant to Article 55.01 (Committee Structure); or
    4. Refer the complaint to the Board.

    52.11 The complainant(s) and the respondent(s) shall be notified of the decision of the Members’ Appeals and Review Committee and the rationale by registered mail, email, or courier, requiring a signature or electronic acknowledgement upon receipt.

    52.12 If the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee has referred the complaint to the Board, the Board shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the referral from the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee:

    1. Direct that no further action be taken;
    2. Direct that a recommended, or other, alternative dispute resolution mechanism be utilized including a proposal of a remedy to the parties;
    3. Appoint a discipline committee pursuant to Article 53.

    52.13 The complainant(s) and respondent(s) shall be notified of the decision of the Board and the rationale therefore by registered mail, email or courier, requiring a signature, or electronic acknowledgement, upon receipt

    53.01 The Discipline Committee shall consist of the Vice-President, who shall be its chair, and two (2) other members in good standing appointed by the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee for each hearing. The appointments shall be made so as to avoid conflicts of interest.  If the Vice-President is in a conflict of interest, the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee shall appoint the chair from the Board of Directors.  If the entire Board is in a conflict of interest, the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee shall appoint a chair from the membership.

    54.01 The Vice-President shall give notice in writing to the respondent(s) and to the complainant(s) specifying the date and place of the hearing, with particulars of the charge.

    54.02 Notice by registered mail, email or courier, requiring a signature or electronic acknowledgement, upon receipt, shall be given to the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) not less than thirty (30) days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall be sent to the last address listed with the Union.

    54.03 Should the respondent(s) or complainant(s) be unable to attend because of circumstances beyond their control, they should notify the Discipline Committee within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice provided for in Article 54.02, whereupon a new date for the hearing will be fixed by the Discipline Committee. Should the respondent(s) or complainant(s) then fail to attend:

    1. In the case of the respondent(s), the hearing may proceed in their absence, upon proof of service of the notice upon them.
    2. In the case of the complainant(s), the complaint may be dismissed, upon proof of service of the notice upon them.
    3. In exceptional circumstances satisfactory to the Discipline Committee, a further adjournment may be granted.

    55.01 The Discipline Committee shall hear and determine the disposition of the complaint.

    55.02 The Discipline Committee shall determine its own procedures and,

    1. May accept oral or written evidence that it considers proper, whether admissible in a court of law or not;
    2. Is not bound by the law of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings;
    3. Shall follow the rules of natural justice in the conduct of its hearing;
    4. Shall allow witnesses to be called and cross-examined;
    5. Shall deliberate upon its decision in private, considering only the evidence and submissions raised during the hearing, to reach its decision; and
    6. May retain legal counsel to advise it regarding its procedures and practices before and during the hearing.

    55.03 The Executive Director, or designate, shall represent the interests of the Union in the disciplinary hearing. They shall present the evidence of the complaint at the hearing on behalf of the Union and shall make submissions at the hearing.
    They shall be guided by the principle of making every effort to ensure that the whole truth, whether in support or against the complaint, is presented to the Discipline Committee. At the discretion of the Executive Director, or their delegate, legal counsel may be hired to assist.

    55.04 The Executive Director shall make every effort to provide pre-hearing disclosure of the case that will be presented on behalf of the Union to the respondent(s) and complainant(s) prior to the hearing.

    55.05 The decision of the Discipline Committee shall be by majority vote. If the Discipline Committee finds the charge proved it may, in its absolute discretion, reprimand, censure, remove from office, suspend or expel the member charged as the circumstances of the case may require.

    56.01 If a Discipline Committee is formed, the respondent(s) charged shall have the right, subject to the provisions of the Labour Relations Code and applicable privacy legislation:

    1. To be informed of the charges and provided a full and complete copy of the complaint and any amendments or additions thereto;
    2. To know the identity of the complainant(s);
    3. To be provided with a copy of the investigator’s report;
    4. To be provided with any additional documentary evidence gathered by the investigator;
    5. To call and cross-examine witnesses;
    6. To be heard; and
    7. To be represented by legal counsel

    57.01 The Discipline Committee shall render a decision, in writing, explaining the rationale for its decision and for any penalty assessed, and will submit it to:

    1. The Board;
    2. The respondent(s);
    3. The complainant(s); and
    4. The Executive Director, designate or legal counsel, within forty-five (45) days after conclusion of the hearing.

    57.02 The decision shall be sent to the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) by registered mail, email or courier, requiring a signature, or electronic acknowledgement, upon receipt.

    58.01 Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision, the respondent(s) or complainant(s) may give notice of their intention to appeal the decision of the Discipline Committee to a general meeting of the Union.

    58.02 Such an appeal will be heard at the next general meeting of the Union.

    58.03 If written notification of the decision of the Discipline Committee is given to such appealing member within thirty (30) days of the date of the next general meeting the appellant may request that their appeal be heard at the next following general meeting of the Union.

    58.04 The Vice-President shall provide a copy of the appeal to the complainant(s) and other respondent(s) who attended the Discipline Committee and the Executive Director or designate.

    58.05 At the appeal, the appellant(s), other parties to the complaint and the Executive Director, or designate on behalf of the Union, may make a statement and/or be represented by counsel.

    58.06 The decision of the Discipline Committee will be read to the assembly.

    58.07 Members will confirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Discipline Committee.

    58.08 A vote under this section will be by secret ballot and will be final.

    58.09 The decision of the Discipline Committee shall only be changed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present and voting.

    58.10 The complainant(s), respondent(s), members of the Discipline Committee, and members of the Board shall not be entitled to vote on the appeal.

    59.01 Any person who has been expelled from the Union shall forfeit all rights and benefits of membership.

    59.02 Any member who has been expelled from the Union for a period greater than 5 years shall not be reinstated for membership until the Board, by a majority vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its members, makes this determination.

    62.01 HSAA will cover reasonable and substantiated expenses and other costs judged to be reasonable by the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee in the circumstances of the case.  Legal costs of the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) at any stage of the process will be considered for reimbursement only in those exceptional cases deemed by the Members’ Appeals & Review Committee, in its sole discretion, to warrant reimbursement.

    LIABILITY OF MEMBERS

    61.01 No member of the Union, in his or her individual capacity, shall be liable for any debt or liability of the Union.

    SEAL

    62.01 The Union shall have a common seal which shall be under the control of the Board and the responsibility for its use and the procedures to be followed in its use shall be as determined by the Board. The seal shall be in safe custody within the central office of the Union

    63.01 The Members’ Benefits Committee (“the MB Committee”) shall be appointed by the Board to administer the following funds:

    1. Labour Relations Fund;
    2. Bursary Funds;
    3. Dell Taylor Memorial Education Fund; and
    4. Emergency Financial Assistance Fund,

    as well as any other funds of a similar nature which may be instituted by the Union.

    The policies and procedures of the MB Committee are subject to ratification by the Board. The granting or refusal of any assistance from these funds shall remain solely within the discretion of the MB Committee. The decision of the committee may be appealed to the Board.

    64.01 The purpose of the Labour Relations Fund is for the registration, tuition fees and other related expenses, up to the maximum allowed, for labour relations courses, conferences, and workshops and must be directly related to labour relations, unionism or social justice.

    65.01 The purpose of the Bursary Funds is to provide financial assistance to members, spouses, and children/dependents of members pursuing a recognized degree, diploma or certificate at a post-secondary educational institution.

    66.01 The purpose of the Dell Taylor Memorial Education Fund is to provide assistance to members enrolling in a course of studies related to that member’s discipline.

    Such monies are to be used for the payment of registration, examination and/or tuition fees exclusively.

    67.01 The purpose of the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund is to provide members with financial aid in emergency situations.

    67.02 Financial assistance under the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund shall be available to each member to the maximum lifetime benefit.