Constitution/Bylaws

The Constitution of the National Union is available online on the Unifor National website.

The Bylaws of the Local Union are available below or as a PDF.

Bylaws of Unifor Local 567

Approved by the membership on November 9, 2022

Approved by the National Executive Board on January 31, 2023

Article 1 – Name
This organization shall be known as “Unifor Local 567”.

Article 2 – Objectives
The objectives of the Local are to regulate labour relations and collective bargaining between employees and employers, to secure adequate remuneration for work performed by its members, to improve on members’ working conditions, to advance the social and economic welfare of its members, and to pursue any issues that arise under the collective agreements.

Article 3 – No Discrimination
There shall be no discrimination, harassment, interference or coercion exercised or practiced with respect to any member based on age, race, creed, colour, national origin, citizenship, religious or political affiliation or belief, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or any other prohibited ground of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Article 4 – Adherence to the National Constitution
1)    The Constitution of this Local Union shall be the Constitution of the National Union. The Local Union Bylaws shall conform to the Constitution of the National Union. Where conflict occurs between the Bylaws of the Local and the National Constitution, the latter shall prevail.

2)    Strikes shall only be called or terminated in strict conformance with Article 17, Section B of the Constitution.

Article 5 – Union Dues
1)    Each new member to an existing bargaining unit shall pay an initiation fee of ten (10) dollars.

2)    Each member shall pay 1.35% of their regular wages as monthly dues to the Local Union (0.735% as dues to Unifor National, 0.0135% as dues to the Unifor Ontario Council, and 0.6015% paid to the Local).

Article 6 – General Membership Meetings
1)    The highest authority for any decision of the Local shall be the general membership. It shall be empowered to take or direct any action not inconsistent with the Constitution or Bylaws.

2)    There shall be a regular membership meeting at least once every ninety (90) days.

3)    The Annual General Meeting shall be the first membership meeting in the calendar year.

4)    The quorum at a General Membership Meeting shall be a minimum of nine (9) people with at least 50% of the total number of bargaining units represented.

5)    A special membership meeting may be called at any time by the President or on petition of five (5) members. At least three (3) days’ notice shall be provided for a special membership meeting.

6)    Questions of a parliamentary nature at membership meetings shall be decided by Bourinot’s Rules of Order.

7)    An agenda shall be circulated at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to each membership meeting setting out the order of business for that meeting. Agendas are subject to ratification by members at the membership meeting.

8)    Motions to approve the agenda and previous minutes may be voted on by a show of hands. However, at the request of a member, other motions will be voted on by secret ballot.

9)    All attendees of a membership meeting must provide their full name so that their membership in the union can be confirmed prior to the start of the meeting.

Article 7 – Bargaining Units
The bargaining units of the Local are:

1)    Amnesty International – Canadian Division English Speaking

2)    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

3)    Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

4)    Canadian Health Coalition

5)    Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2424

6)    Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4000

7)    Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4600

8)    Carleton University Academic Staff Association

9)    Ecology Ottawa

10)  St. Matthew’s Harmony House

11)  The Council of Canadians

New bargaining units shall be automatically added to this list as they are certified and assigned to the Local Union.

Article 8 – Membership
1)    The Local Union shall be composed of workers eligible for membership in Unifor, over whom the Local Union has jurisdiction.

2)    The membership shall strive to obtain the objectives set forth in the Constitution and additional objectives as established as the policy of the National Union; to maintain free relations with other organizations; to do all in its power to strengthen and promote the labour movement; to cooperate with National Board Members, National Representatives, and to help promote organizational activities.

Article 9 – Officers of the Local
1)    The officers of the Local shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Chief Steward. In addition, there shall be two Trustees, an Organizing Liaison, and a Community Chapter Coordinator.

2)    The Officers, Trustees, Organizing Liaison, and Community Chapter Coordinator shall be elected every three years by a vote of the members at the Annual General Meeting.

3)    All Local Union officers, committees, stewards and other members handling funds or other property of the Local Union shall, at the completion of their duties, turn over all papers, documents, funds and/or Local Union property to the properly constituted Local Union Officers.

Article 10 – Duties of Officers
President
The President shall:

1)    Act as the principal spokesperson and leader of the Local Union;

2)    Work to protect and advance the interests of the Local Union;

3)    Coordinate the efforts of the Local Union Executive Board and membership to achieve the objectives of the Union;

4)    Between meetings of the Executive Board, act as the general administrative authority of the Local and shall be empowered to act on behalf of the Executive Board subject to subsequent approval of the Executive Board;

5)    Preside at all meetings of the Local Union;

6)    Coordinate with the National Representative to lead and/or participate in all bargaining of the Local’s bargaining units;

7)    Sign all requisitions for expenditures authorized by the Local Union and countersign all cheques issued by the Treasurer; and,

8)    Transact any other business as may be required by the office of the President and which may be necessary for the proper functioning of the Local Union.

Vice President
The Vice President shall:

1)    Assist the President in their duties and attend all Local Union meetings;

2)    Be the Acting President in the absence of the President; and,

3)    Undertake political action as directed by the Local.

Should the office of President become vacant between Annual General Meetings, the Vice President shall become the President.

Treasurer
The Treasurer shall:

1)    Keep all financial accounts of the Local Union;

2)    Maintain correct and proper financial records in accordance with the requirements of the National Constitution;

3)    Receive all initiation fees, dues, assessments and fines from members of the Local Union and deposit them in the name of the Local Union in such Credit Union or Bank as the Union may direct.

4)    Make all disbursements for the Local Union;

5)    Write and sign all cheques;

6)    Report in writing to each regular meeting of the Local Union including amounts received and spent since the last report listed by kind of income and expenditure, as well as the amounts remaining in the Local Union’s funds;

7)    Maintain the membership list;

8)    Remit all dues as required by the National Union;

9)    Process monthly honorarium payroll for the officers, including distribution of Pay and maintaining CRA remittances, as per payroll legislation; and

10) Be the main contact point for CRA on its payroll accounts and administer those accounts on behalf of the Local.

Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary shall:

1)    Keep a correct record of the proceedings of the Local;

2)    Read all documents and conduct the general correspondence of the Local;

3)    Bring to the attention of the membership correspondence upon which the membership must take action;

4)    Make available to each member a copy of the National Constitution and Local Union Bylaws;

5)    Communicate to the National Union the names and other information of the Local’s Officers as required.

Chief Steward
The Chief Steward shall:

1)    Ensure that the provisions of all collective agreements are enforced in a fair and equitable manner;

2)    Ensure communication between the Local and the Stewards;

3)    Receive complaints and grievances from the Stewards; and,

4)    Where necessary, file and pursue grievances in support of the Local’s members.

Trustees
The Trustees shall perform quarterly audits of the books of the Local Union in accordance with the National Constitution.

Organizing Liaison
The Organizing Liaison shall be responsible for coordinating the Local’s organizing activities (including the community chapter with the Community Chapter Coordinator), liaising with the National Organizing Department, and reporting to the membership on organizing activities. The position of Organizing Liaison may be held jointly with another position.

Community Chapter Coordinator
The Community Chapter Coordinator shall be a member of the of the Local’s Community Chapter, elected by the membership of the Community Chapter. The Community Chapter Coordinator is responsible for initially organizing the Ottawa non-profit workers community chapter (with the Organizing Liaison), coordinating the activities of the community chapter, and reporting to the membership on the activities of the community chapter. Other duties shall be assigned by the bylaws of the community chapter.

The Community Chapter Coordinator may attend all meetings of the Local Union but shall not be entitled to vote on any issue relating to the negotiation of collective agreements or labour relations.

Until the Ottawa non-profit workers community chapter is established by amendment of these bylaws and approval of the National Executive Board, the position of Community Chapter Coordinator will be appointed by the Local Executive Board. The individual appointed shall be a member of the target group for the community chapter.

Article 11 – Executive Board
1)    The Executive Board shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Chief Steward. The Organizing Liaison and Community Chapter Coordinator shall be non-voting members of the Executive Board.

2)    The Executive Board shall:

1)    Be the governing body of the Local between membership meetings;

2)    Be responsible for the work of the Health and Safety, Community Services, Constitution and Bylaws and Recreation Committees as required under the National Constitution;

3)    Ensure that all communications and obligations of the Local Union toward the National Union required by the National Constitution are fulfilled; and,

4)    Report on their actions at each membership meeting.

3)    The Executive Board shall meet at least six (6) times per calendar year.

4)    A quorum will constitute three (3) voting members of the Executive Board.

5)    Executive Board meetings shall be called by the President or at the request of a majority of Executive Board members.

6)    Minutes of Executive Board meetings shall be kept by the Recording Secretary and shall be available at membership meetings.

7)    The spending authority of the Executive Board shall be no more five hundred ($500.00) per item unless otherwise determined by the membership through a yearly budget. The Executive Board will report all expenditures at the next General Membership Meeting for approval of the membership.

8)    All Executive Board members of this Local shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred for travel, accommodations, and meals in the commission of their duties.

Article 12 – Honorarium for Executive Members of the Local
The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Chief Steward shall receive an annual honorarium per position, which will increase every subsequent January by the annual rate of inflation at that time. In the event that inflation is negative, the honorarium will remain the same. Inflation rates can be found here: https://inflationcalculator.ca/cpi-release-schedule/. Half of the honorarium will be paid in July and half will be paid in December. An honorarium will be paid on a pro-rated basis if the officer receiving it does not serve the full period for which it is being paid.

The starting honorarium for each position is $3,000.

Article 13 – Stewards
1)    Stewards shall act as representatives of the Local in each workplace, ensuring issues of members are brought to the Executive and that the activities of the Local are communicated to the membership. Stewards ensure Collective Agreements are being followed and, in conjunction with the Executive, work to address any violations or issues arising from its application.

2)    Stewards shall be elected by each workplace following the annual meeting or within thirty (30) days of a vacancy in the office.

3)    A vote on the question of recalling a Steward may be initiated by a petition setting forth the reasons why the recall is sought and signed by at least 25% of the current members working under the jurisdiction of the Steward.

Twenty-five percent of the current members working under the jurisdiction of the Steward must be present at the recall meeting to establish a quorum.

A two-thirds vote of those present and voting is necessary to recall.

Article 14 – Committees
1)    There shall be two standing committees of the Local Union which shall be the Human Rights and Political Action Committee and the Organizing Committee.

2)    The Human Rights and Political Action Committee shall be responsible for advocating on behalf of the Local Union on issues including, but not limited to, the environment, human rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, aboriginal workers, racialized workers, workers with disabilities, women and young workers. It shall also be responsible for the union’s political advocacy. The Vice President shall chair this committee.

3)    The Organizing Committee shall be chaired by the Organizing Liaison and shall work with the National Union’s Organizing Department to organize new workplaces and the Local Union’s Community Chapter.

4)    Membership in either of the Local’s Standing Committees shall be open to all members. The Executive Board shall ratify membership of the committees.

5)    These committees shall perform all duties assigned to them by the Constitution and Bylaws and such additional duties they may be directed to perform from time to time by the Executive Board or the membership.

Article 15 – Elections
1)    Elections for Officer positions and delegate/alternate status at conventions and other meetings shall take place at a membership meeting.

2)    All elections, unless otherwise noted in these Bylaws, will be conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations governing elections contained in the Unifor National Constitution.

3)    The membership meeting shall, prior to an election, choose an Electoral Officer who is responsible for carrying out the election in accordance with these Bylaws. The Electoral Officer shall not be eligible for election.

4)    All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.

Article 16 – Vacancies and Removal of Officers
1)    In the event that an Executive member or Steward of the Local is absent from three (3) consecutive meetings of the Local without being excused for good cause, the Executive Board shall consider their position vacant and move to conduct an election in accordance with Article 15. The Chair of the relevant meeting shall have the authority to excuse members.

2)    Should there be a vacancy in an Executive position other than the President during the term of office, the President shall call a special membership meeting as soon as it is practical for the purpose of electing a replacement. The election shall take place in accordance with the procedures governing normal elections.

Article 17 – Conventions, Conferences and Educational Seminars
Any member wishing to attend a conference, convention, or other event as a delegate of the Local shall put their name forth at a General Membership Meeting and be elected by the membership via secret ballot. Acclamation will occur automatically in the event there are no other candidates.

The Executive of the Local, in consultation with the Treasurer, will have the authority to determine whether the Local will reimburse some or all of any expenses related to attending the event.

Article 18 – Finance
1)    The fiscal year of this Local Union shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December.

2)    Per diem and travel expenses shall be paid for approved travel at the National Executive Board rates.

3)    The Local Union shall pay a representative or member lost time only when that representative or member is performing necessary duties for and on behalf of the Local Union during the time for which they would otherwise be compensated by the employer. The amount of lost time should never exceed the amount which the Local Union representative or member would otherwise have received from their employer for the same period of the time which they are being compensated by the Local Union. Lost time shall only be paid if approved in advance by the Executive Board.

Article 19 – Review of Decisions
1)    A member that feels aggrieved by an action of the Local Union or one of its representatives must initiate their complaint or appeal of that action within 30 days of the time they are or could reasonably have been aware of the action.

2)    The Executive Board shall consider complaints made by members under this bylaw. It shall consult with the grievant, permit them full opportunity to be heard, and shall reach a decision on the grievance.

3)    Within 30 days of receiving the Executive Board’s notice of decision, the grievant, if wishing to appeal further, shall submit their appeal to the Vice President in writing for consideration by the earliest possible membership meeting. At the membership meeting, the grievant shall have full opportunity to be heard. Votes by the membership regarding appeals made under this article will be held by secret ballot.

Article 20 – Amendments to the Bylaws
1)    Notice of amendment(s) to these Bylaws must be given at a membership meeting, to be debated at the next membership meeting. The Recording Secretary shall ensure that all members of the Local receive notice of the proposed amendment(s) prior to the meeting at which the amendment(s) will be debated.

2)    Amendments must be passed by two-thirds of the members present at the membership meeting. Amendments may not conflict with the National Constitution and must be approved by the National Executive as required by the National Constitution.