Staff Council

Staff Council By-laws

Revised by-laws approved by Staff Council as of February 18, 2015 – edited at Staff Council Retreat and approved on December 16, 2015

Articles

Article I Name
Article II Authority
Article III Membership
Article IV Purposes
Article V Officers
Article VI Duties of Officers
Article VII Restrictions
Article VIII Committees and Appointments
Article IX Executive Committee
Article X Term of Office
Article XI Elections
Article XII Meetings
Article XIII Ad-hoc Committees/Appointments
Article XIV Procedures
Article XV Parliamentary Authority
Article XVI Ex-Officios
Article XVII Amendments

Introduction

The West Virginia University Staff Council was created by the West Virginia Legislature under §18B-6-6, to provide the classified staff employees of West Virginia University a means to convey their concerns on employee-employer relations. This council was formed with the recognition that all matters at West Virginia University are governed by state law, West Virginia University Board of Governors (BOG), and West Virginia University policies and procedures.

The term “Classified Staff Employees” as used herein will mean those employees designated by the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) as classified, and does not include faculty, Faculty Equivalent/Academic Professionals (FE/APs) or non-classified personnel, per West Virginia Code 18B-9-2.

Article I – Name

The name of this organization will be the West Virginia University Staff Council, hereafter referred to as the Staff Council.

Article II – Authority

  1. Authority for the Staff Council is granted by West Virginia State Code§18B-6-6. The Staff Council shall at all times conduct its affairs as defined by prevailing state law.
  2. The organization of the Staff Council will in no way affect the right of the University employees to belong to other organized groups of their choice, nor will it preclude the functioning of such organizations.

Article III – Membership

The Staff Council may consist of up to (5) members from each of the five major occupational classifications (sectors) as defined by the Division of Human Resources. These classifications (sectors) are: Administrative/Managerial, Professional/Non-teaching, Paraprofessional/Technician, Clerical/Secretarial, Physical Plant/ Maintenance/Service. In addition to the above members, two ex-officio positions will be included in the Staff Council meetings. The Advisory Council of Classified Employees (ACCE) representative will have voting power and serve as ex-officio. The remaining ex-officio position is non-voting and is represented by the Vice-President for Human Resources or designee.

Article IV – Purposes

The purposes of the Staff Council are:

  1. To serve as a representative body for classified staff employees of the University.
  2. To participate in such policy matters of the University as may directly affect the classified staff employees.
  3. To provide a two-way medium for the exchange of information between employees and employers relative to problems of mutual concern.
  4. To consider methods and means by which employment conditions may be improved and operating efficiency of the University increased.
  5. To act in an advisory capacity to the President of the University.

Article V – Officers

1. The officers of the Staff Council will be: Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and two Members-at-Large. These officers will serve on the Executive Committee.

a. The election of officers of Staff Council will take place at the first regular meeting in July.

b. The non-voting ex-officio member of the Staff Council will conduct the election of officers.

c. Nominations may be submitted, in writing, to the Staff Council Chair and to the Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) prior to the meeting. Nominations of officers will also be taken from the floor at the July meeting. Voting will be by secret ballot unless only one person is nominated. The nominee receiving the highest number of votes will be elected.

d. The non-voting ex-officio member will document the vote tally to be recorded by the Staff Council secretary.

e. The non-voting ex-officio member will announce the officers.

f. In the event that an officer position becomes vacant, an election by members of Staff Council will be held in accordance with provisions of Article XII and will take place at the first meeting after notice of a vacancy is given. This section will not apply to the office of the Chair of Staff Council.

2. The Staff Council may relieve any officer of the Staff Council, except the Chair, of his or her duties by a two-thirds vote of the total body of Staff Council

.

Article VI – Duties of Officers

1. The Chair will:

a. Preside at all regular and special meetings and enforce all regulations and policies of the Staff Council.

b. Preside over the Executive Committee and be responsible for preparing the committee structure and the Staff Council budget. Call special meetings when it is deemed necessary.

c. Vote only in the event of a tie.

d. Participate in the interview and recommend for hire the Staff Council’s Secretary.

e. Review the Staff Council Meeting minutes prior to distribution and ensure that the minutes are distributed to the members of Staff Council at least five (5) working days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

2. The Vice-Chair will:

a. Preside in the absence of the Chair.

b. Fulfill any unexpired term vacated by the Chair.

c. Chair the Staff Council Legislative Committee and coordinate councils legislative activities.

d. Coordinate with the Legislative Committee the development of the Staff Council legislative brochure.

e. In the event of the absence of both the Chair and Vice-Chair at a regularly scheduled Staff Council meeting, the next officer present will conduct the meeting. Officers will serve in the order outlined in Article V Section 1.

3. The Secretary/Treasurer will:

a. Record and prepare minutes of Executive Committee meetings.

b. Be responsible for fiscal records (Treasurer’s Report) of the Staff Council.

c. Present the Treasurer’s Report to Council at regular meetings.

d. The Secretary/Treasurer will, in the absence of the Staff Council secretary:

* Prepare and keep in permanent form the minutes of all meetings of Staff Council.

* Send a draft copy of the minutes to the secretary of the Staff Council within seven working days after the meeting. The secretary of Staff Council will distribute the minutes to the Staff Council at least five working days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

4. The Parliamentarian will:

a. Advise the Chair and Council regarding parliamentary procedure in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, in the most current edition.

5. The Members-at-Large will:

a. Perform duties as assigned.

Article VII – Restrictions

  1. No agreement made by the officers or members of the Staff Council will be considered to be the Staff Council’s position until it has been approved by Staff Council.
  2. Expenditures of Staff Council funds must be approved by a quorum of Council. Between regular monthly Council meetings, the Executive Committee will have authority to incur costs. In addition, office supplies not exceeding $300 per fiscal year may be purchased with the approval of the Chair.
  3. No proxy votes will be permitted.
  4. When the ACCE representative also holds a sector member position, he/she will only have one (1) vote.

Article VIII – Committees and Appointments

Standing Committees

1. Unless specifically differentiated in the specific committee sections below, the following general terms apply to all standing committees:

a. Members of Staff Council standing committees are appointed by the Staff Council Chair and will serve for a two year term or the balance of the term of the vacated position.

b. The standing committees will elect a Chair after the Staff Council Secretary has notified all appointed members and has set up the initial meeting of the committee.

c. Each committee chair can recommend to the Staff Council Chair three individuals not serving on Staff Council (preferably one from each campus) to serve on his or her committee.

d. Each committee chair will bring all proposals in writing to the Staff Council for approval prior to implementation. Each committee chair will report at each regular monthly Staff Council meeting.

e. Each member of Staff Council will serve on at least one standing committee but no more than two. Standing committees will be known as:

* Legislative

* Welfare

* Tuition Assistance

* Election Committee

* Compensation Committee

2. Committee charges are:

a. Legislative

* Review, research, and inform Staff Council on issues pending executive or legislative action that could affect classified staff employees.

* Maintain and provide a list of key members of the Executive and Legislative branches of state government for distribution.

* Assist the Staff Council Chair through oral and written presentations regarding legislative matters and convey Staff Council’s position on issues.

b. Welfare

* Review and research issues concerning the welfare and benefits of classified staff employees.

* Review and research proposed changes in personnel policy and procedures that may affect classified employees.

* Recommend actions for Staff Council regarding welfare and benefit issues, as well as personnel policies and procedures

c. Tuition Assistance

* Provide information, assistance and applications for tuition assistance to eligible classified staff employees who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree.

* Review and approve applications. The Staff Council Secretary will notify employees of their approval status.

* Inform Staff Council of necessary changes in procedures and policies in the Tuition Assistance Program as warranted.

* Administer the Scholarship Fund for Children of WVU Classified Staff, consistent with the WVU Foundation contract.

d. Election Committee

General

1. The Election Committee oversees and advises on all Classified Staff elections.

2. The Election Committee is comprised of five (5) individuals who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below. In addition, a representative from the Division of Human Resources will serve in an advisory capacity to the Election Committee, and the Staff Council Secretary will be available to provide support to them as needed.

4. The Staff Council Secretary will keep an official file regarding the activity of the Election Committee including all notes, correspondence, recommendations, forms used, press releases , meeting minutes, etc. This file will be retained at the Staff Council office and it will be available to the public for review upon request.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to serve on the Election Committee, the individual must meet all of the following criteria:

1. He/she must be currently employed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors in a regular Classified Staff position; and

2. He/she is not currently a member of Staff Council, the Staff Council Chair, the ACCE member, or the WVU Board of Governors Classified Staff member.

Members of the Election Committee must remain employed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors in a regular Classified Staff position at all times while serving. In addition, if a member of the Election Committee applies for a vacant position or decides to run for a position in an upcoming election that is subject to the oversight of the Election Committee, he/she must immediately resign from the Election Committee.

Selection Process & Terms of Service

Selections for the Election Committee will occur in the month of September of each even-numbered year. Any eligible individual who expresses an interest in serving on the Election Committee will be invited to the September Staff Council meeting. During this meeting, the members of Staff Council will have the opportunity to speak with those individuals up for selection before the selection process occurs. The selection of the members of the Election Committee, including selection of the individual who will serve as Chair of the Election Committee, will be decided by a majority vote of the full Staff Council.

Members of the Election Committee will serve for a period of two (2) years, beginning on the first day of the month of October following the September selection process.

A member of the Election Committee may resign his/her position at any time by submitting a written letter of resignation to the Chair of Staff Council. In addition, Staff Council, by a majority vote, may vote to remove an individual from the Election Committee mid-term, if needed.

If a vacancy on the Election Committee occurs mid-term, the Chair of the Staff Council will notify all members of Staff Council that the selection process, as described above, will need to be held to fill the vacancy. The notice given to the members of Staff Council must be at least a minimum of two (2) weeks before the selection process is to occur. The individual selected will serve the remainder of the term.

Duties

1. Provide general oversight and advice regarding all Classified Staff election processes. This responsibility includes reviewing and maintaining a basic understanding of the applicable laws and Staff Council procedures that govern the election processes.

2. During the month of October of each even numbered year, the Election Committee will meet with the Division of Human Resources to review the election procedures.

3. During the month of November of each even numbered year, the Election Committee will meet with Staff Council to discuss the upcoming election and provide recommended changes to the election procedures, if needed. Official changes to the election procedures will require Staff Council approval.

4. During the active election process, the Election Committee shall be authorized to make decisions regarding any questions or concerns posed to the Committee by the Division of Human Resources regarding election administration. The Election Committee may seek the opinion of the Staff Council Executive Committee, if needed. Decisions will be made by a majority vote. If this authority is exercised during the active election process, the Election Committee will document all decisions made and present a report of such activity to Staff Council in the month of May following the election.

e. Compensation Committee

1. The Compensation Committee meets with central Human Resources – Classification and Compensation quarterly to keep abreast/discuss any compensation issues or changes.

2. Review and research issues concerning compensation philosophy, structure, and systems in regard to the classified staff employees.

3. Works with the Legislative Committee and the ACCE representative to coordinate recommendations made to the state legislators regarding the compensation of classified staff employees.

4. Recommends actions for Staff Council regarding compensation related communications to the WVU President and the classified staff employees.

Article IX – Executive Committee

1. Membership

a. Chair

b. Vice-Chair

c. Secretary/Treasurer

d. Parliamentarian

e. Two Members-at-Large

2. Duties

a. Members will serve as a channel through which classified staff employees may introduce matters for consideration by the Staff Council.

b. Act for the Staff Council on an emergency basis between meetings of the Staff Council and report on these actions at the next regular Staff Council meeting.

c. May assist the Staff Council Chair in making appointments to Staff Council standing committees.

d. Assist in carrying into effect the rules, regulations and interpreting the By-laws of the Staff Council.

Article X – Term of Office

Per WV Code 18B-6-6 c

  1. The term of office for a member of Staff Council will be two years and shall begin with the July meeting following election to Staff Council. Members of Staff Council are eligible to succeed themselves.
  2. Elections of members will be done in the manner prescribed in Article XII of the By-laws.
  3. Transfer of a Staff Council member from one occupational group to another shall not affect his/her unexpired term on the Staff Council.
  4. Vacancies will be created by death, termination of service to the University, resignation, or a combination of six (6) unexcused absences of regularly scheduled Staff Council meetings and/or Staff Council meetings with the President of WVU during a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The decision to remove a Staff Council member due to unexcused absences will be determined by a quorum of Staff Council members who will review and vote based upon the entire set of circumstances. University approved leave will not be counted as an absence. Verification of leave being approved may be confirmed through the Human Resources representative on the Council. One requirement for an absence to be approved is notification by email (at least 24 hours in advance or 24 hours after the meeting) to the Chair of Staff Council that the member will not be in attendance at a specific meeting. After a member has four (4) unexcused absences, the Staff Council secretary will notify the member in writing that two (2) additional unexcused absences will result in their removal from Council by vote of a simple majority of Council members present (providing a quorum is present). Vacancies will be filled according to the Staff Council Election Procedures, Article XII. Members who work less than 12 month periods will have absences prorated according to their working months.
  5. The retiring Chair of the Staff Council may serve as advisor during the transition from one administration to another upon approval of the Council. If the retiring Chair is no longer serving as an active member of Staff Council, voting privileges will not be extended.

Article XI – Elections

Section I – General

During the month of April of each odd-numbered year, each president of a state institution of higher education, at the direction of the Staff Council and in accordance with procedures established by the staff council, shall convene a meeting or otherwise institute a balloting process to elect members of the staff council. Members are elected as follows:

  1. Five (5) classified employees from the administrative/managerial sector;
  2. Five (5) classified employees from the professional/non-teaching sector;
  3. Five (5) classified employees from the paraprofessional/technician sector;
  4. Five (5) classified employees from the clerical/secretarial sector;
  5. Five (5) classified employees from the physical plant/maintenance/service sector;
  6. One (1) classified employee to serve as ACCE member.
  7. One (1) classified employee to serve as Staff Council Chair.

In addition, W. Va. Code §18B-2A-1 requires the selection of “a member from the institutional classified employees duly elected by the classified employees of the respective institution” to serve as a member of the WVU Board of Governors. The election of this position does not fall under the jurisdiction of Staff Council. However, Staff Council will provide advice and support regarding the election of this individual.

Section II – Position and Terms

  1. Staff Council occupational sector members will serve two (2) year terms beginning on July 1 and ending June 30.
  2. Staff Council Chair will serve a two (2) year term beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.
  3. The ACCE member will serve a two (2) year term beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.
  4. The BOG member will serve a two (2) year term beginning July 1 and ending on June 30.

Section III – Authority and Administration

The authority that governs Classified Staff elections is found in:

1. W. Va. Code §18B-2A-1. Findings; composition of boards; terms and qualifications of members; vacancies; eligibility for reappointment

2. W.Va. Code §18B-6-1a. Definitions;

3. W. Va. Code §18B-6-5. State advisory councils of classified employees; and

4. W.Va. Code §18B-6-6. Institutional classified employee council.

Elections will be administered by the Division of Human Resources according to the election procedures below. The Election Committee will be responsible for oversight and will have decision making authority during the active election process. The active election process begins when the first notice for nominations is officially posted and ends once the election results have been finalized. For more information on the Election Committee, please see Article VIII – Committees and Appointments.

Section IV – Eligibility

A. General Eligibility Requirements

The Division of Human Resources will generate a list from MAP records of all full-time regular and part-time regular classified staff employed by the WVU Board of Governors as of February 1st of each odd numbered year. In order to be eligible to participate in any part of the upcoming election process (e.g. nominations, voting, running for a position, etc.) an individual’s name must appear on the list generated by the Division of Human Resources. Faculty, FE/AP, Non-Classified, Mountaineer Temps, and Student employees are not eligible to participate in the election process in any manner.

B. Position Specific Eligibility Requirements

1. West Virginia University Staff Council

Service on the West Virginia University Staff Council, including the position of Staff Council Chair, is generally open to any eligible employee, as described above. However, the law requires that certain locations have their own Staff Council, separate from the main campus. Therefore, employees who work at the following locations are specifically excluded from eligibility: WVU Institute of Technology, WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Charleston Division, and Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

Members of the West Virginia University Staff Council, including the Staff Council Chair, are eligible to succeed themselves.

2. West Virginia University ACCE Member

Service as the West Virginia University ACCE member is generally open to any eligible employee, as described above. However, the law requires that certain locations have their own ACCE member, separate from the main campus. Therefore, employees who work at the following locations are specifically excluded from eligibility: WVU Institute of Technology, WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Charleston Division, and Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

The West Virginia University ACCE member is eligible to succeed himself/herself.

3. West Virginia University Board of Governors Member

Service as the West Virginia University Board of Governors member is open to any eligible employee, as described above. Work location restrictions do not apply to this position.

The West Virginia University Board of Governors member serves for a term of two (2) years, beginning on July 1. The individual is eligible to succeed himself/herself for three additional terms, not to exceed a total of eight (8) consecutive years.

Section V – Election Procedures

A. Nominations

  1. A sample nomination form, the election procedures and the time line will be advertised during the month of February of each odd numbered year. Additional copies will be distributed upon request from the Staff Council office.
  2. Nominations may be made during the last two (2) weeks of February. Nominations can only be made during this period. Nominations forms may be submitted by online form, mail, e-mail, or in person. All nomination forms must be received by the Division of Human Resources Election Coordinator by 4:00 p.m. on the last standard business day of February.
  3. An eligible classified staff employee may make nominations as follows:

a. One (1) person for each of the five (5) occupational sectors of Staff Council;

b. One (1) person for Staff Council Chair;

c. One (1) person for ACCE member;

d. One (1) person for WVU Board of Governors member

  1. The Division of Human Resources will verify the eligibility of the nominator, as well as the nominees, and confirm in writing or by e-mail whether or not each nominee accepts the nomination. The Chair of the Election Committee will be notified of the nomination results.

B. Ballots and General Election Procedures

  1. Ballots will be available electronically.
  2. Write in candidates will not be accepted.
  3. Ballots will contain clear and concise instructions specifying cut off dates and voting procedures.
  4. Each candidate will be given the opportunity to submit a short statement of no more than fifty (50) words. The statements will be posted on-line.
  5. Announcements regarding the election will appear in various University communications media. Such announcements will include instruction for electronic voting.
  6. Employees may vote only once.
  7. Electronic ballots will be counted automatically by the election software.

C. Election Results

  1. Both preliminary and final election results will be posted immediately outside the Staff Council office and reported in writing to the University President and announced through various University communications media.
  2. If no request for recount is made as provided herein within five (5) working days of the posting of the preliminary results, the preliminary results become the final results.
  3. The Election Committee will submit a written report during the May Staff Council meeting regarding the election. The report should include any suggested changes for the identified difficulties during the election.
  4. Names of the elected members will appear in the minutes of the May Staff Council meeting.
  5. A list of the candidates’ names will be released after the election. The names will be listed in order from highest votes obtained to lowest within each sector. Actual vote counts will not be published on this list.

D. Election Audit

If there is a request for review regarding the election system, VoteNet can produce a “fingerprint report” which lists all activities on the active ballot taken by the WVU administrator of the VoteNet system (WVU Human Resources – Employee Relations). This report would be presented to the Election Committee for review and any further action.

E. Tie-Breakers

In the event of a tie between two (2) or more candidates the winner will be decided using a deck of cards. Each candidate will draw a card in the order in which his/her name appeared on the paper ballot. The candidate holding the highest card will be declared the winner. An ace is the highest card.

Section VI – Vacancies

A. West Virginia University Staff Council and ACCE Member

  1. If a vacancy exists or occurs mid-term, the last election results will be reviewed and the position will be offered to the individual with the highest vote tally in descending order.
  2. If no previous candidate accepts the position, then an announcement will be made through various University communications media, requesting applications from interested candidates.
  3. The application period will be open for one (1) calendar week, and application will be sent to the Division of Human Resources.
  4. The Division of Human Resources will verify the applicant’s eligibility to serve in the position.
  5. Eligible applicants will be invited to the next Staff Council meeting, and Staff Council will elect an individual to fill the vacancy by majority vote.

B. West Virginia University Board of Governors Member

Per W. Va. Code §18B-2A-1(d)(5), “a vacancy in an unexpired term of a member shall be filled for the unexpired term within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy in the same manner as the original appointment or election.”

Article XII – Meetings

  1. Regular meetings of Staff Council will be held once a month. This meeting will be held on a day and during a week of the month to be determined by Staff Council at its July meeting. In addition, at the call of the Chair, the Staff Council may meet as needed. With appropriate notification to the President of the institution, the Chair may convene Staff Council meetings for the purpose of sharing information and discussing issues affecting the classified employees or the efficient and effective operations of the University.
  2. An agenda must be prepared and distributed to all Staff Council members at least five (5) working days prior to the next regular meeting.
  3. The Staff Council will meet with the President of the University at least six times per fiscal year.
  4. A quorum at a regular meeting will be a majority of the total membership.
  5. All meetings will be open to the public with the exception of the Staff Council meetings with the WVU President and Executive Committee meetings. Non-members of Staff Council may participate in discussions upon recognition by the Chair of Staff Council.
  6. The Staff Council will meet at least annually with the BOG to discuss matters affecting classified employees and the effective and efficient management of the institution.
  7. Attendance – see Article X section 4.

Article XIII – Ad-Hoc Committees/Appointments

The Staff Council will create Ad-Hoc committees as necessary. The Staff Council Chair will appoint all Ad-Hoc committees and designate a chair. Ad-Hoc Committee appointments will end June 30th of each fiscal year. No agreement made by any Ad-Hoc Committee will be considered to be the Staff Council’s position until it has been approved by the Staff Council.

Article XIV – Procedures

  1. Any classified staff employee can submit items in writing to any member of Staff Council or the Staff Council Office to consider for inclusion to the agenda. The Staff Council member or the Staff Council Secretary will inform the Chair of the proposed agenda item at least seven (7) working days prior to the next Staff Council meeting.
  2. The Staff Council member receiving the request will respond to the employee in writing as to the disposition of the Council on the matter upon notification by the Staff Council Chair within five (5) working days following the meeting.

Article XV – Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order, in the most current edition, will govern the business proceedings of Staff Council unless otherwise specified in these By-laws.

Article XVI – Ex Officios

  1. The Vice-President for Human Resources or designee will serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Staff Council.
  2. The ACCE member will serve as voting ex-officio member of the Staff Council.
  3. The West Virginia University Board of Governors member will be invited to serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Staff Council.

Article XVII – Amendments

  1. Amendments to the By-laws may be made by a two-thirds vote of the total body of Staff Council.
  2. A notice that an amendment is to be proposed must be given to all members of the Staff Council at least five (5) work days before the meeting at which the amendment is to be proposed. The notice will contain the proposed amendment in context. Friendly amendments to the proposed amendment may be suggested and voted upon to any amendment being proposed.