This is a non-authoritative transcription of the Bylaws of New Seasons Labor Union, intended for convenience.
Our organization is dedicated to the ideal that all workers deserve fairness, respect, and dignity in their occupation, in their industry, and in their community. As long as the pursuit of these ideals is vibrant and active, the members of this organization are worthy of the name Union. Our Union is composed of a diverse body of workers. We acknowledge that our industry includes the unorganized both internally and externally. Our community begins with the family members of our members and extends to any organization of workers struggling for a just and equitable existence. May our Union both welcome and champion all who identify themselves in this way. We recognize the challenges of the times we live in and the obstructions we face in pursuing these ideals. Nevertheless, we pursue these ideals with compassion towards all, and malice towards none. We stand for these values as the members of New Seasons Labor Union.
Article 1: Name
The name of the Union is New Seasons Labor Union, and it will be referred to hereafter as NSLU.
Article 2: Purposes
Through our unity we aim:
Section 1: To organize and unite in this Union all non-supervisory, employees, as defined by, law at any New Seasons Market location with similar goals and interests.
Section 2: To win economic, social, and political rights for all workers without regard to criteria such as: race, religious beliefs or associations, citizenship status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression, ability, criminal record, social status, political status, economic status, language differences, and/or national origin.
Section 3: To reach and maintain agreements with the employer as to wages, hours of labor, working conditions, and all other matters that affect the welfare of our members.
Section 4: To engage in community activities that will advance the interests of this organization and its members in the community, directly or indirectly.
Section 5: To receive, manage, expend or otherwise use the funds and property of this organization to carry out the duties and to achieve the objectives set forth in these Bylaws.
Article 3: Principles
We shall pursue our purposes guided by the following general principles:
Section 1: The solidarity and unity of all workers within one local unit is central to this effort. NSLU affirms that it shall aim to promote the organizing of any eligible New Seasons Market workers into the same union.
Section 2: NSLU shall oppose racism, sexism, classism, ableism, ageism, and all other forms of discrimination and divisiveness in the pursuit of these goals.
Section 3: Unity of all workers is necessary to achieve the goal of social and economic justice. To that end, NSLU is committed to organizing the unorganized and is also committed to working with the rest of the labor movement to accomplish our goals.
Section 4: NSLU will employ the use of the democratic process throughout our organization and in our decision making.
Section 5: The membership shall be regularly informed of all activities of the Steering Committee and all official bodies.
Section 6: The structure of NSLU and its methods of operation shall be such as to facilitate and stimulate the broadest possible voluntary participation by the membership and in the execution of all of its activities.
Section 7: The Steering Committee shall reflect the diversity of the membership.
Article 4: Alliances
NSLU may seek to strengthen its effectiveness by securing such alliances and associations with other organizations having similar objectives and political perspectives as will advance the goal of unity among all workers and between labor and other sectors of the people.
Article 5: Membership
Section 1: Definition. Membership shall be open to any non-supervisory, full-time and part-time regular employees, as defined by law, of New Seasons Market, that are currently part of an organized Unit as defined in Article 5 Section 2.
Section 2: Organized Unit Membership. Any group of persons specified in Article 5, Section 1, which was organized for the purpose of seeking recognition or certification as the collective bargaining agent for said persons, and has demanded and achieved such recognition or certification, or has achieved majority status, and which is not affiliated with any other union, shall be eligible to join NSLU. Where such a unit joins, each of its members shall become a member of NSLU.
Section 3: Allied Membership. Allied membership shall apply to those persons who are in the process of, or are trying to be in the process of, organizing their New Seasons Market location into NSLU. They shall be entitled to attend all open committee and membership meetings but shall have no vote.
Article 6: Steering Committee (SC)
Section 1: Composition: Co-chairs, Treasurer(s), Secretary(s), Representative(s). All to be elected by membership via secret ballot election. and Chapter
Section 2: Duties and functions of SC members:
A. Set dates and coordinate SC and membership meetings;
B. Create an election committee to conduct all elections. Members of this committee can not be candidates in the election.
Section 3: Co-chairs (2 people) and their duties:
A. Have general supervision over the affairs of NSLU;
B. Coordinate the activities of the SC in carrying out the decisions of the membership;
C. Represent NSLU in its dealings with other organizations and any public bodies;
D. Participate in SC meetings and vote on necessary items; E. Be a co-signer on all accounts along with the Treasurer.
Section 4: Treasurer (2 people) and their duties:
A. Participate in SC meetings and vote on necessary items;
B. Supervise the collection of dues, initiation fees, assessments, and all monies due to NSLU; provide official receipts, including issuing receipts to companies or organizations with checkoff agreements in place; deposit all monies collected into approved NSLU accounts;
C. Make payments from NSLU accounts for proper bills and expenses of NSLU, when evidenced by satisfactory statements or vouchers;
D. Be a Co-signer on NSLU accounts along with at least one SC Co-chair; E. Maintain records based on a January 1st – December 31st fiscal year; F. Turn over all monies, books, financial records, and other documents and property of NSLU in their possession to the successor of the office.
Section 5: Secretary (2 people) and their duties:
A. Participate in all SC meetings, participate as a voting member, and keep a correct record of all meeting proceedings;
B. Be responsible for the maintenance of the recorded proceedings of all NSLU meetings and all records, files, and correspondence of NSLU;
C. In consultation with the Treasurer, supervise the maintenance of such membership lists as may be required by NSLU;
D. Turn over all records, contracts, membership lists, and other documents and property of NSLU in their custody to the successor of the office;
E. Read all documents and conduct general correspondence of NSLU that does not pertain directly to the duties of other officers, and keep these on file for future reference. Bring to the attention of the membership any correspondence upon which membership action is required.
Section 6: Chapter Representatives (2 people per store) and their duties:
A. Must be elected by the membership of their unit/chapter via secret ballot election;
B. Represent their respective chapter/unit’s needs and interests to the larger membership and shares information from SC meetings back to their respective stores; C. Participate in SC meetings and vote on necessary items.
Section 7: Nomination, Elections, Terms of Office, Vacancies:
A. Nominations: All nominations must be posted via email at least 7 days before the secret ballot election.
B. Elections: SC members will be elected by secret ballot vote of the membership.
C. Terms of Office: Elected members will remain in their positions for 1 year.
D. Vacancies: Vacancies will be filled via appointment by the SC as needed until the next election cycle.
Section 8: Qualifications for elected SC positions:
Any NSLU member who has been a New Seasons Market Employee and NSLU member for at least one year prior to nomination and is otherwise in good standing at the time of nomination may be a candidate. Former New Seasons Market workers/NSLU members may hold only non-voting advisory roles to the SC or in other NSLU bodies. (Membership time requirement will be waived for first elections of NSLUSC and chapter representatives should those elections occur prior to 1 year of NSLU’s existence or unit’s membership in the Union.)
Section 9: Removal:
A. If the SC determines a committee member is failing to adequately represent the membership or fails to meet the minimum responsibilities of office ( for example: bylaws violations, fiduciary breaches or acts clearly detrimental to the union) they can remove said officer or committee member from office with a ⅔ majority vote of the SC and all union members present at the meeting.
B. After serving ninety days in office, every officer and committee member, including appointed offices, shall be subject to a recall by a majority vote upon a showing of interest by the union membership. A showing of interest shall consist of a petition alleging bylaws violations, fiduciary breaches or acts clearly detrimental to the union, signed by fifteen percent of members in good standing being submitted to the SC. For removing Chapter Representatives, a showing of interest petition must instead be signed by thirty percent of members in good standing within the Chapter Representative’s bargaining unit. Signatures on a showing of interest petition shall be valid for thirty days from the day of signing. The committee member subject to recall and any SC member signing the petition shall not vote on the question of a recall election. If a majority of the SC approves a recall election, the Election Committee shall supervise the recall election. Recall election will be decided by a simple majority vote of the membership.
Section 10: Bargaining Committee:
A. The NSLU Bargaining Committee can consist of SC members, elected chapter representatives, as well as general membership in good standing.
B. The duties of the Bargaining Committee shall be: a. To determine bargaining demands, b. To keep the membership informed to the maximum extent possible of the progress of bargaining sessions, c. To submit a tentative agreement to the members of the bargaining unit for ratification of the contract.
Section 11: Other or Non-elected/Non-voting positions: A. Communications/social media/website/newsletter B. Networking/community outreach C. Grievances D. Former worker/member E. Department representatives
Article 7: Workers Council (Chapter/Unit Level)
Section 1: Workers councils will consist of no less than three workers from the store who meet monthly to discuss wages, hours of labor, working conditions, and all other matters that affect the welfare of members. Chapter representatives are included in the workers council.
Article 8: Meetings
Section 1: SC Meetings: Regular meetings will be held monthly on the first Thursday of the month. Additional SC meetings will be called at the discretion of the SC.
Section 2: Membership Meetings: A membership meeting will be held at least once per year or as needed.
Section 3: Open Meetings: Meetings of all bodies of NSLU shall be open to any member in good standing.
Section 4: Closed Meetings: Any NSLU body may decide to go into closed session by a 75% vote of those present and voting, a quorum being present. Under such circumstances, they may exclude any person except their own members.
Article 9: Dues and Fees
Section 1: Dues and fees have yet to be determined, however, all decisions regarding dues and fees will require a vote by the membership.
Article 10: Decision Making
Section 1: These Bylaws shall be deemed ratified upon majority vote of those voting in an election called for that purpose by members.
Section 2: Changes to these bylaws will be made as needed by a majority vote of the SC. If the SC believes the matter is of great importance (for example: changes to honoraria/stipends, dues and fees, and SC removals), they should conduct a full membership vote. Proposed amendments must be communicated to the membership at least two weeks prior to the SC vote to allow for membership feedback. The vote may happen electronically or in a SC meeting.
Section 3: Quorum: For all bodies of NSLU, except as otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, a quorum shall consist of 50% of the body's members. For membership meetings of bargaining units of NSLU, a quorum shall consist of no less than 30% of the body’s members or 10 members, whichever is fewer in number.
Article 11: Honoraria/Stipends
Section 1: The purpose of Honoraria or Stipends for a union that is worker run and worker led, is to remove potential barriers to participation in leadership.
Section 2: Honoraria/stipends are yet to be determined. After bargaining the first contract, the SC will decide if NSLU can responsibly afford to offer honoraria/stipends to the members serving the union in compensation for their time and labor.
Section 3: Should NSLU assets be rapidly depleting due to unanticipated expenses, the SC shall have the authority to immediately terminate honoraria/stipends until finances stabilize and new budgeting allows for their adjustment or reinstatement.
Section 4: Any member serving NSLU in a role that offers honoraria/stipends shall have the option to refuse and redirect their honoraria back to the general fund.
Article 12: Contract Negotiations
Section 1: Before an agreement is made the Bargaining Committee will report on the details of such agreement to the SC.
Section 2: The Bargaining Team will negotiate until a tentative agreement has been reached with the employer. Any tentative agreement negotiated by the Bargaining Team must be ratified by a majority of the members in good standing.
Article 13: Severability
Section 1: If any provision of these by-laws is found to be unlawful or void, the remaining shall not be affected.