West Springfield Education Association WSEA/MTA/NEA
Constitution and Bylaws

Adopted May 15, 2002
Last Amended May 15, 2006

ARTICLE I
Name of Association
The name of the association shall be “the West Springfield Education Association/MTA/NEA,” hereinafter referred to as “the Association.”

ARTICLE II Objectives
We, the members of this Association, in order to fulfill our responsibilities to our profession, do hereby adopt the following general objectives:
Section 1. General Objectives:
a. To maintain and improve the quality of public education for all.
b. To uphold high professional standards.
c. To advance the socioeconomic well-being of educational employees.
Section 2. Specific Objectives:
a. To promote the interests of Association members.
b. To form a closer bond among Association members by means of social interaction and friendly cooperation.
c. To create a deeper sense of the dignity of the profession and the importance of the interests that it represents.
d. To increase awareness of the importance of education as a public resource.
e. To represent the members in collective bargaining with the West Springfield School Committee.

ARTICLE III  Membership
Section 1. General. Membership status in the Association shall be “Active,” “Associate,” “Retired Honorary,” “Honorary” or “Social,” as described in paragraphs a. through e. below. Membership shall be available to those qualified individuals who pay the required dues.
a. Active Membership.
(1) Eligibility. Active membership shall be available to educational professionals employed by the West Springfield (Massachusetts) Public Schools. Such educational professionals shall include teachers, counselors, school psychologists, clerks, secretaries and paraprofessionals.
(2) Unit Classification. Upon enrollment, active members shall be placed in their appropriate units of the Association as follows:
(a) Unit A – teachers, counselors, school psychologists and school librarians.
(b) Unit C – clerks and secretaries.
(c) Unit D – full-time paraprofessionals.
(3) Due-Process Rights of Active Membership. The Association shall guarantee that no member may be censured, suspended or expelled without a due-process hearing, which shall include provisions for an appropriate appellate procedure.
(4) Privileges of Active Membership. Active members shall have the privileges of voting in Association elections and referenda and holding office in the Association. They are the only Association members to have those privileges. In addition, active members shall be entitled to all contractual, communication and social privileges of membership in the Association.
(5) MTA and NEA Membership. Active members of the Association shall also be members of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).
(6) Dues. Active members of the Association shall pay dues to the Association, to the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and to the National Education Association (NEA). The amount of such dues shall be based upon local, MTA and NEA guidelines and subject to change each year.
b. Associate Membership.
(1) Eligibility. Associate membership shall be available to those formerly active members of the Association who are on leave or have been laid off by the West Springfield Public Schools due to a reduction in force and are eligible for associate membership in the MTA and NEA. Eligibility for associate membership in the Association shall continue for as long as such members are eligible to be return to active employment (at the end of their leaves or through recall) or for three years, whichever is longer.
(2) Privileges. Associate members shall be entitled to all contractual, communication and social privileges of membership in the Association, but shall not be eligible to vote or hold office.
(3) MTA and NEA Membership. Associate members of the Association shall also be associate members of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).
(4) Dues. The dues for associate members shall fifty percent (50%) of the annual Association, MTA and NEA dues for active members.
c. Retired Honorary Membership.
(1) Eligibility. Lifelong honorary retired membership in the Association shall be automatically conferred upon members officially retiring from the West Springfield Public Schools after five (5) or more years of active membership in the Association.
(2) Privileges. Retired members shall have all the privileges of active membership, except voting and holding office. They shall also have all communication and social privileges of membership in the Association.
(3) Dues. Retired members are not required to pay Association dues.
d. Honorary Membership.
(1) Eligibility. Honorary membership may be conferred upon individuals having past or present connections with the Association. Honorary membership in the Association shall be extended in recognition of noteworthy contributions made by those individuals toward the good of the Association and its members and/or the students in the West Springfield Public Schools.
(2) Nomination and Approval. Candidates for honorary membership must be nominated by the Executive Board and approved by a two-thirds vote of either the Board of Directors or the general membership.
(3) Benefits. Honorary members are not entitled to the benefits of active membership.
(4) Dues. Honorary members are not required to pay Association dues.
e. Social Membership.
(1) Eligibility. Social membership may be extended to those persons engaged in the West Springfield Public Schools who are ineligible for regular membership in the Association.
(2) Nomination and Approval. Candidates for social membership must be nominated by the Executive Board and approved by a two-thirds vote of either the Board of Directors or the Executive Board.
(3) Benefits. Upon payment of annual dues as specified in paragraph (4), social members shall be entitled to all social privileges of membership in the Association.
(4) Dues. The amount of annual Association dues for social members (“social dues”) shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Membership Year.
The membership year for the Association shall be from July 1 to June 30.

Section 3. Continuing Membership.
a. Definition. All members shall be considered continuing members; accordingly, all memberships shall continue from year to year until the member:
    (1) changes membership status (from active to retired, for example);
    (2) resigns from the Association;
    (3) fails to pay membership dues; or
    (4) becomes ineligible for membership.
b. Changes in Status. Each time a member changes status (as specified in paragraph a.(1) above), his or her membership in his or her new status shall be continuous under the provisions of paragraph a.

Section 4. Membership Records.
a. Updating and Maintaining Membership Records. It shall be the responsibility of the Membership Committee to maintain and update membership lists. See also Article VII, Section 2., paragraph f.
b. Contents of Membership Records. The Association’s membership records shall include the following information about members.
(1) name;
(2) home address;
(3) mailing address (if different from home address);
(4) primary work address, such as a specific school within the West Springfield Public Schools or the Municipal Office Building. (Note: this category may not apply to some members, such as retired members or members who work throughout the school system.);
(5) job title (teacher, counselor, secretary, etc.). (Note: this category may not apply to some members, such as retired members, social members or associate members.);
(6) membership status (active, associate, retired, social or honorary); and
(7) membership unit. (Note: this category applies to active members only.)

Section 5. Non-Member Records.
a. Updating and Maintaining Non-Member Records. It shall be the responsibility of the Membership Committee to maintain and update lists. See also Article VII, Section 2., paragraph e.
b. Contents of Non-Member Records. The Association’s non-member records shall include the following information about individuals who are members of the bargaining unit but not members of the Association -- that is, individuals who, under the terms of the contract between the Association and the West Springfield School Committee, pay “fair-share fees” (agency fees) to the Association for acting as their collective-bargaining agent.
(1) name;
(2) home address;
(3) mailing address (if different from home address);
(4) primary work address, such as a specific school within the West Springfield Public Schools or the Municipal Office Building. (Note: this category may not apply to some payers of “fair-share fees” (agency fees), such as those who work throughout the school system.);
(5) job title (teacher, counselor, secretary, etc.); and
(6) membership unit (by contract of payment; agency fee payers are not members of the Association).

Section 6. Suspension of Membership.
The Executive Board may, by two-thirds vote and in accordance with Section 1., paragraph a.(3), suspend from membership or expel any member who violates the ethical standards of the education profession or is convicted in a court learned in the law of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Section 7. Reinstatement of Membership.
The Executive Board may, by two-thirds vote and in accordance with Section 1., paragraph a.(3), reinstate a member who has been previously suspended or expelled from the Association.

ARTICLE IV Officers

Section 1. Definitions.
a. The elected officers of the Association shall be the President, and the Vice President (or in certain cases specified in Section 3. below, the Co-Presidents); the Immediate Past President; the Recording Secretary; the Corresponding Secretary; and the Treasurer.
b. The appointed officer of this Association shall be the Newsletter Editor, a member appointed by the President to that office. (NOTE: the Newsletter Editor shall sit on the Board of Directors but have no vote.)

Section 2. Powers and Duties of Officers.
a. Co-Presidents. Under certain circumstances specified in Section 3. below, the offices of President and Vice president may be combined into two Co-President positions. In that case, the Co-Presidents will share the duties of President and Vice President as they see fit, unless this Constitution and Bylaws specifies a certain division of particular duties. (The two salaries of the President and the Vice President, however, will be split evenly between the Co-Presidents, as specified in Section 5., paragraph c.)
b. President.
The President shall:
(1) be the Executive Officer of the Association;
(2) preside at meetings of the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and the general membership;
(3) appoint the Chairpersons of Standing Committees, except the Professional Procedures (“Negotiations”) Committee for Unit A, from among those elected to said committees if the committees’ members are unable to elect Chairpersons;
(4) appoint the members of all Special Committees and, from those appointed to said committees, appoint the Chairpersons;
(5) appoint the Newsletter Editor. (See paragraph g. below.);
(6) represent the Association before the public and the press, whether personally or through delegates;
(7) serve as Chairperson of the Professional Procedures (“Negotiations”) Committee for Unit A;
(8) represent the Association in Units C and D negotiations or direct the Vice President to do so;
(9) serve as ex officio member of all other committees, although he or she shall be under no obligation to attend all committee meetings. (Note: the President may designate another member, such as the Vice President, or members to serve as ex officio member of some or all committees in his or her stead.);
(10) fill by appointment from among the membership of the Association offices that become vacant or are vacant after an election due to lack of candidates;
(11) oversee and direct the publication of the WSEA Newsletter per Article XIII. (The Newsletter Editor shall have day-to-day charge of preparing and publishing the Newsletter. See paragraph h. below.);
(12) prepare an agenda for each Board of Directors meeting and circulate said agenda so that the Directors shall have reasonable time before the meeting to discuss the agenda with their faculties (or other groups they represent). (Note: The President may delegate this task to the Recording Secretary, but shall retain ultimate responsibility for it.); and
(13) perform all other functions usually charged to this office.

c. Vice President.
The Vice President shall:
(1) become the President in case the President resigns, dies or becomes incapacitated;
(2) assist the President as requested;
(3) act in the President’s stead in his or her absence;
(4) meet as needed with the Committee Chairpersons to discuss committee activities;
(5) prepare progress reports on committee activities for the members as needed. Such reports may be distributed to the members by any convenient means, such as the Association newsletter;
(6) serve as chairperson of the RIF and Recall Committee, when and if such committee is in place;
(7) attend West Springfield School Committee meetings and budget hearings (or designate another member to perform this function in his or her stead), and keep the Association officers informed regarding the content of those meetings;
(8) represent the Association in Units C and D negotiations if the President does not; and
(9) perform the functions usually ascribed to this office.

d. Immediate Past President.
The Immediate Past President shall:
(1) attend meetings of the Executive Board and the Board of Directors;
(2) advise the Executive Board and the Board of Directors at the request of those groups;
(3) assist and/or advise the President at the President’s request; and
(4) represent the Association at meetings of the Western Massachusetts Caucus.

e. Recording Secretary.
The Recording Secretary shall:
(1) record accurate minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and the general membership;
(2) maintain complete and well organized files of said minutes;
(3) distribute copies of the minutes of Executive Board and Board of Directors meetings to members of the respective groups before their subsequent meetings;
(4) maintain the official files of the Association;
(5) provide information from the Association files to Association members and Committees as needed;
(6) make arrangements for members of the Executive Board to attend Teachers Action Study Committee (TASC) meetings, at such members’ requests. (See Article V, Section 4.);
(7) deliver, at the President’s request, Association materials to the various buildings where Association members work; and
(8) if so directed by the President, prepare an agenda for each Board of Directors meeting and circulate said agenda so that the Directors shall have reasonable time before the meeting to discuss the agenda with their faculties (or other groups they represent).

f. Corresponding Secretary.
The Corresponding Secretary shall:
(1) be responsible for those secretarial duties not assigned to the Recording Secretary;
(2) assist the President with Association correspondence and the distribution of materials to various boards and committees; and
(3) be responsible for the organization of the Association Socials specified in Article XI.

g. Treasurer.
The Treasurer shall:
(1) hold the funds of the Association and disburse them upon authorization;
(2) keep accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements and report on same at each meeting of the Board of Directors;
(3) prepare monthly and annual financial statements for distribution to the Board of Directors and make copies of same available to the membership as directed by the Executive Board;
(4) be responsible for collecting membership dues and “fair-share fees” (agency fees), including:
(a) billing Association members for their annual Association, MTA and NEA dues and collecting same;
(b) arranging, with the approval of the Executive Board, for outside audits of Association financial records and other steps as needed to determine the annual amount of the “fair-share fee” (agency fee). (See also paragraph (7) below.);
(c) billing members of the bargaining unit who are not Association members for their “fair-share fees” (agency fees) and collecting same;
(d) coordinating, with the Membership Committee, the payment of dues and “fair-share fees” (agency fees) through payroll deduction with the Town of West Springfield;
(e) ensuring that all payments of dues and “fair-share fees” (agency fees) are made in accordance with the contract currently in force between the Association and the West Springfield School Committee;
(f) transmitting appropriate amounts of dues and “fair-share fees” (agency fees) to the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA); and
(g) depositing or transmitting to a scholarship fund, as stipulated by Association contract with the West Springfield School Committee, the “fair-share fees” (agency fees) collected as specified in paragraph (c) above.
(5) Prepare the initial draft of the annual Association budget for the approval of the President and the Executive Board. The budget shall include specific amounts for:
(a) Association Socials, as defined in Article XI;
(b) conference expenditures, including specific amounts for Association members’ participation in:
(i) the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA);
(ii) the Leadership Conferences and/or Conventions of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA);
(iii) meetings and/or conventions of the National Education Association (NEA); and
(iv) Teacher Action Study Committee (TASC) meetings.
(c) the standing committees and boards of the Association, such as:
(i) the Executive Board;
(ii) the Board of Directors;
(iii) the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee;
(iv) the Professional Procedures Committee;
(v) the Public Relations/Political Education Committee;
(vi) the Membership Committee; and
(vii) Units C and D (at their requests).
(d) salaries for the Executive Committee officers and the Newsletter Editor;
(e) American Education Week;
(f) required audits of Association records;
(g) a contingency fund;
(h) National Education Association (NEA) dues;
(i) Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) dues;
(j) miscellaneous expenses that shall include:
(i) printing and distribution of this Constitution and Bylaws and other Association documents to members;
(ii) printing and distribution of the Association’s newsletter;
(iii) printing and distribution of a directory of educators in the West Springfield Public Schools;
(iv) contract printing;
(v) office supplies and postage;
(vi) Sunshine Committee;
(vii) retirement; and
(viii)the good and welfare of the Association.
(6) ensure that all disbursements that exceed one-half the President’s annual salary as specified in Section 5., paragraph a. (even if that amount is rolled into the combined salary of the Co-Presidents, as described in Section 5, paragraph c.) are countersigned by the President;
(7) arrange for and present to the President and the Board of Directors an annual written, certified audit of the funds of this Association as close as possible to the September meeting of the Board. Such audit may be performed in conjunction with the audit specified in paragraph (4)(b) above. (Note: To facilitate the preparation of both audits together, this audit may be delayed until such time as full information necessary for the determination of the “fair-share fee” (agency fee) is available.);
(8) keep the President, the Executive Board and the Board of Directors informed of the financial condition of the Association; and
(9) be bonded by the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA).

h. Newsletter Editor.
The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible, under the guidance of the President, for publishing the Association Newsletter in accordance with Article XIII.Section 3. Terms. (See also Article X – Elections.)

a. President and Vice President. The President and Vice President shall serve a two- (2-) year term and shall run together on a ticket and be elected as a block. Under no circumstances may members elected as President and Vice President change their status to Co-Presidents or vice versa.
b. Co-Presidents. If two members wish to run as Co-Presidents, rather than President and Vice-President, they may do so. Co-Presidents shall run together on a ticket and be elected as a block. Under no circumstances may members elected as President and Vice President change their status to Co-Presidents or vice versa.
c. Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary. The Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary shall serve two- (2-) year terms and shall run and be elected independently.
d. Newsletter Editor. The Newsletter Editor shall be appointed to a two-year term concurrent with the term of the President and Vice President or Co-Presidents.

Section 4. Resignations and Other Vacancies.

a. President and Vice President.
(1) Transfer of Presidential Power. At the effective date and time of the President’s resignation, death, or other vacation of office, he or she shall forfeit the rights and privileges of office. At that time, the Vice President shall become President and assume said rights and privileges.
(2) Selection of New Vice President. After the former Vice President becomes President, the Board of Directors will choose a new Vice President.

b. Co-Presidents.
(1) Transfer of Presidential Power. At the effective date and time of the resignation, death, or other vacation of office of either Co-President, he or she shall forfeit the rights and privileges of office. At that time, the remaining Co-President shall become the sole President.
(2) Selection of New Vice President. After the remaining Co-President becomes President, the Board of Directors will choose a new Vice President.

c. Vice President and Other Elected Officers. If any elected officer other than the President or one of the Co-Presidents resigns, dies or otherwise vacates his or her office, he or she shall forfeit the rights and privileges of that office on the effective date of his or her vacation of office. The President will appoint a member to serve the remainder of the vacating officer’s term, as specified in Article IV, Section 2., paragraph a.(10).

d. Appointed Officers. If any appointed officer resigns, dies or otherwise vacates his or her office, the President shall appoint a replacement at his or her earliest convenience. The appointed replacement shall serve the remainder of the vacating officer’s term.

e. Salaries of Paid Officers.
(1) If any paid officer resigns, dies or otherwise vacates his or her office, his or her salary shall be pro-rated to the effective date of his or her vacation of office and paid to him or her (or to his estate, in the case of his or her demise) within two weeks of that date by the Treasurer. This includes a Vice President or Co-President who accedes to the Presidency under paragraph a.(1) or b.(1) above; his or her Vice President’s or Co-President’s salary shall be paid to him or her on a pro-rated basis up to the date he or she assumes the office of the President. Such payments shall be made by the Treasurer.
(2) A Vice President or Co-President who becomes President under paragraph a.(1) or b.(1) above shall be paid the President’s salary on a pro-rated basis from the date he or she assumes the office of the President. Such payments shall be made by the Treasurer according to the regular payment schedule specified in Section 5., paragraph a., below.
(3) If the Immediate Past President resigns, dies or otherwise vacates his or her office, the office of Immediate Past President shall remain vacant until after the next election at which a new President is elected. (At that time the member leaving the office of the President shall become the Immediate Past President.)
(4) A member appointed by the President to serve as the replacement for an officer, other than the President or one of the Co-Presidents, who resigns or otherwise leaves office shall be paid on a pro-rated basis from the date he or she assumes office. Such payments shall be made by the Treasurer according to the regular payment schedules specified in Section 5., paragraphs b. and d. through g. below.
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Section 5. Salaries of Elected and Appointed Officers.
a. President. The President shall be paid four thousand five hundred dollars ($4500.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of two thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($2250.00).
b. Vice President. The Vice President shall be paid one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1800.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of nine hundred dollars ($900.00).
c. Co-Presidents. If Co-Presidents serve in place of the President and Vice President, the Co-Presidents shall split the salaries of the President and Vice President evenly between them. That is, each Co-President shall be paid three thousand one hundred fifty dollars ($3150.00), in two semi-annual installments of one thousand five hundred seventy-five dollars ($1575.00).
d. Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President shall be paid two hundred dollars ($200.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of one hundred dollars ($100.00).
e. Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall be paid four hundred ninety-nine dollars ($499.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of two hundred forty-nine dollars and fifty cents ($249.50).
e. Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary shall be paid two hundred dollars ($200.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of one hundred dollars ($100.00).
f. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be paid one thousand two hundred dollars ($1200.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of six hundred dollars ($600.00).
g. Newsletter Editor. The Newsletter Editor shall be paid four hundred dollars ($400.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of two hundred dollars ($200.00).

ARTICLE V Executive Board

Section 1. Definition. The Executive Board shall be the executive authority of the Association.
Section 2. Membership. The Executive Board shall consist of:
a. the following elected officers of the Association:
(1) Either (as applicable):
(a) the President and Vice President; OR
(b) the Co-Presidents;
(2) the Treasurer;
(3) the Recording Secretary; and
(5) the Corresponding Secretary.
b. the chairpersons of the following standing committees:
(1) the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee;
(2) the Professional Procedures Committee;
(3) the Political Education/Public Relations Committee; and
(4) the Membership Committee.
c. the Immediate Past President;
d. a representative from Unit C;
e. a representative from Unit D; and
f. the Parliamentarian, who shall have no vote unless he or she also holds another office that entitles him or her to a vote.
Section 3. Powers and Duties of the Executive Board.
a. General. The Executive Board shall be responsible for the management of this Association and shall carry out policies of this Association.
b. Specific Powers and Duties. The Executive Board shall:
(1) approve expenditures based on the annual Budget;
(2) report its transactions to the members;
(3) propose policies for the consideration of the Board of Directors;
(4) review the draft of the annual budget for the operation of the Association, as presented by the Treasurer, and submit a final Budget to the Board of Directors in May or June of each year;
(5) ensure that the Treasurer arranges for audits of the Association’s financial records as specified in Article IV, Section 2., paragraphs 4.(b) and 7.;
(6) establish committees and create policies governing them, in cooperation with the President;
(7) declare an office vacant when the officeholder is incapacitated or grossly negligent;
(8) assist the President at his or her request in establishing committees and fulfilling unexpired terms and/or vacancies;
(9) adopt procedures for censuring, suspending, expelling and reinstating members;
(10) adopt rules for the conduct of Association business that are consistent with this Constitution and Bylaws;
(11) adopt rules and procedures for the conduct of Association meetings, including general meetings, Board of Directors meetings and Executive Board meetings, that are consistent with this Constitution and Bylaws; and
(12) take general charge of the affairs of the Association when it is not possible for the entire Board of Directors to meet, such as during school vacations and in cases of emergency.
Section 4. Teachers’ Action Study Committee (TASC) Meetings. The members of the Executive Board shall have the opportunity to attend TASC meetings conducted by the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA), with the expenses of such attendance paid by the Association. (Note: If any member of the Executive Board is unable to attend a scheduled TASC meeting but believes the meeting will be of particular benefit to the Association, he or she may designate another member to attend in his place. In the case of a committee chairperson, it shall be preferable that the designee be a member of his or her committee.)

ARTICLE VI Board of Directors

Section 1. Definition. The Board of Directors shall have all powers and responsibilities not specifically delegated in this Constitution and Bylaws to the Executive Board, the elected officers and committees or the appointed officers and committees.
Section 2. Membership. The Board of Directors shall consist of:
a. the members of the Executive Board;
b. the elected Directors of the Association. (See Section 3.) (Note: Directors are sometimes informally referred to as “building reps.”); and
c. the Newsletter Editor, who shall have no vote.
Section 3. Distribution and Election of Directors.
a. Each West Springfield Public Schools building with fifteen (15) or fewer members of the Association among its staff shall be entitled to elect one (1) Director.
b. Each West Springfield Public Schools building with fifteen (15) or more members of the Association among its staff shall be entitled to elect one (1) Director for the first fifteen (15) members and one (1) Director for each additional fifteen (15) members or major fraction thereof. (For example, a school building with 32 members of the Association on its staff would be entitled to two Directors, while a school building with 38 members of the Association on its staff would be entitled to three Directors.)
c. Unit C is entitled to one Director.
d. Unit D is entitled to one Director.
e. Directors shall be elected to serve their respective schools or groups for two- (2-) year terms. Efforts should be made to stagger these terms when possible.
f. Vacancies in Director positions shall be filled by the President by appointment from the affected constituency of members. Each director so appointed will serve until the expiration of the term he or she was appointed to fill.
Section 4. Meetings.
a. Scheduling of Meetings.
(1) The Board of Directors shall meet at the call of the President, which may be a standing call for regular meetings or a special call for a special meeting. Note: Typically, the Board meets monthly.
(2) The President must call a special meeting of the Board of Directors upon written request of five (5) or more members of the Board.
b. Attendance.
(1) Elected Directors.
(a) Elected Directors are expected to attend meetings of the Board of Directors, or to send an alternate who is also a member of the Association and the constituent group (as defined in Section 3., paragraphs a. through d., above), unless they are excused by the President.
(b) After unexcused absences of an elected Director from two Board of Directors meetings, the Board of Directors may ask the President to declare that Director’s office vacant and appoint a replacement director from the affected constituency of members.
(2) General Members. Any member of the Association may attend Board of Directors meetings. Association members who are not members of the Board of Directors shall have no vote and must sit apart from the voting body, but may be recognized by the President to speak.
Section 5. Powers and Duties.
a. As a group, the Board of Directors shall:
(1) have general charge of the Association during the academic year;
(2) receive reports from the Chairpersons of the standing committees;
(3) pass the annual budget. (See Section 6. below and Article IV, Section 2., paragraph g.(5), for details.);
(4) approve resolutions and other policy statements;
(5) report its transactions to the members; and
(6) elect, by majority vote of those Directors present, a new Vice President after the former Vice President or Co-President accedes to the office of the President in accordance with Article IV., Section 4., paragraph a.(2) or b.(2).
b. As individuals, all elected Directors shall be responsible to both the Association and their constituent members (as defined in Section 3., paragraphs a. through f., above) for:
(1) distributing Association communications to their constituent members at the direction of the President or the Board of Directors;
(2) keeping their constituent members informed about Association business;
(3) acting two-way liaisons between their constituent groups of members and the Executive Board as needed. (Note: the meetings of the Board of Directors are the primary forum for such two-way communication via the Directors.);
(4) distributing election forms and materials to, and collecting them from, their constituent group at the request of the Election Committee; and
(5) assisting the President by encouraging active participation in Association activities by the general membership.
c. Powers not specifically delegated in this Constitution and Bylaws to the Executive Board, the elected officers of the Association or the appointed committees of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Directors.
Section 6. Budget.
a. General. The Board of Directors shall annually, in May or June after the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, authorize an Association budget for the year beginning July 1. This budget shall provide for specific amounts for each category of Association expenses as listed in Article IV, Section 2., paragraph g.(5)., based on the Association’s previous budget and considering anticipated activities, needs and expenses for the coming year.
b. Transportation Expenditures. The Board of Directors may authorize the inclusion in the budget of transportation expenses the Board deems necessary to allow the Association to be represented at any local, state or national conference or convention. The mileage fees for personal-car miles shall be calculated according to the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association’s (MTA’s) rate, and tolls shall be included.
c. Other Expenditures. The Board of Directors may authorize, by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those present and voting, the inclusion in the budget of other expenses not listed above that the Board deems necessary and prudent.

ARTICLE VII
Standing Committees
Section 1. General. The information in this Section applies to all the standing committees described in Section 2. below, unless contradicted by specific information in Section 2.
a. Meetings.
(1) Each standing committee shall meet regularly according to its needs.
(2) Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson.
b. Reports.
(1) Each standing committee shall elect a secretary who shall keep a continuing record of the committee’s activities.
(2) The Chairperson of each standing committee shall report as necessary to the Board of Directors during the regular meetings of the Board. These reports shall thereby become part of the minutes of the Board meetings and be recorded in the Association’s files.
c. Relationship to the Executive Board and Other Standing Committees. The Executive Board shall decide any jurisdictional conflicts between or among standing committees.
d. Relationship to State and National Associations. The standing committees shall seek to understand and relate to the objectives and programs of the corresponding standing committees (or comparable units) of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) and shall counsel with such groups.
e. Subcommittees and Task Forces. Each standing committee may, with the approval of the Board of Directors, establish and organize special subcommittees (whose members shall be drawn from the membership of the standing committee itself) and task forces (whose members shall be drawn from the membership of the whole Association) for specific activities on behalf of the Association and its members.
Section 2. Titles, Descriptions and Duties.
a. The Professional Procedures Committee (“Negotiating Committee”) for Unit A.
(1) Duties. The duties of the Professional Procedures Committee for Unit A are to negotiate, in accordance with Chapter 763 of the Acts of 1965 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all matters of wages, hours, working conditions and other conditions of employment for the professional employees of the West Springfield Public Schools who are members of Unit A of the Association.
(2) Membership. The membership of this committee shall number nine (9) and consist of:
(a) Either
i. the President and the Vice President; or
ii. the Co-Presidents.
(b) one (1) educator from the early-childhood grades (pre-K through K), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below;
(c) two (2) educators from the elementary grades (1 through 5), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below;
(d) two (2) educators from the middle-school grades (6 through 8), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(e) two (2) educators from the high-school grades (9 through 12), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Election. (See also Article X – Elections.)
(a) Members (except the President and Vice President or the Co-Presidents) shall be elected for two- (2-) year terms at the annual election.
(i) Terms shall be staggered for members from the elementary, middle and high-school grades (specified in paragraphs (2)(d), (2)(e) and (2)(f) above) so that one of the two educators from each of these levels is elected at each annual election. Note: Exceptions to this rule may be made, by the Executive Board, only when the timing of vacancies (due to resignations or other unforeseen events) is such that compliance with this rule is impossible. Any such exceptions should be structured to restore the staggered-term provisions of this rule as soon as possible.
(ii) Since there is only one member from the early-childhood grades, staggering does not apply to that position. The member from the early-childhood grades shall be elected at the annual election when the President and Vice President or Co-Presidents are elected.
(b) During contract negotiations, the Negotiations Committee shall remain intact until such time as a contract is finalized. (Elections shall be held as scheduled, but newly elected members shall not take office until the first day after ratification of the contract negotiated by the incumbent Negotiations Committee.)
(4) Chairperson. The President shall serve as chairperson. In the case Co-Presidents serve in place of the President and Vice President, one of the Co-Presidents shall serve as Chairperson. If the Co-Presidents are unable to agree upon which of them should chair the committee, the question shall be decided by a coin toss witnessed by a majority of the members of the committee.
(a) Voting Privileges. The Chairperson shall vote only to break a tie vote among the other committee members.
(b) Salary. Since serving as Chairperson of the Negotiations Committee for Unit A is one of the duties of the Presidency, the President (or Co-President, as applicable) shall draw no additional salary for serving as Chairperson of this Committee.
b. The Professional Procedures Committees (“Negotiating Committees”) for Units C and D.
(1) Duties. The duties of the Professional Procedures Committee for Units C and D are to negotiate, in accordance with Chapter 763 of the Acts of 1965 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all matters of wages, hours, working conditions and other conditions of employment for the professional employees of the West Springfield Public Schools who are members of those respective Units of the Association.

(2) Membership. The memberships of these committees shall be chosen by the members of the respective Units, with the President or Vice President (or one of the Co-Presidents, if Co-Presidents are serving in place of the President and Vice President) being one of the members.
c. The Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee (“Grievance Committee”).
(1) Duties. The duties of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee are to set and produce prompt and equitable solutions to problems arising out of possible contract violations.
(2) Membership. The membership of this committee shall number seven (7) and consist of:
(a) two (2) educators from the elementary grades (pre-K through 5), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below;
(b) two (2) educators from the middle-school grades (6 through 8), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(c) two (2) educators from the high-school grades (9 through 12), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(d) one (1) educator from the early-childhood grades (pre-K through K), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Election. (See also Article X – Elections.)
(a) Elected members shall be elected for two- (2-) year terms at the annual election.
(b) Terms for the six committee members from elementary, middle and high-school grade levels (as specified in paragraphs (2)(a) through (2)(c) above) shall be staggered so that the annual ballot provides for one elected member from the elementary grades, one elected member from the middle-school grades and one elected member from the high-school grades every year. Note: Exceptions to this rule may be made, by the Executive Board, only when the timing of vacancies (due to resignations or other unforeseen events) is such that compliance with this rule is impossible. Any such exceptions should be structured to restore the staggered-term provisions of this rule as soon as possible.
(c) Since there is only one member from the early-childhood grades, staggering does not apply to that position. The member from the early-childhood grades shall be elected at the annual election when the President and Vice President or Co-Presidents are elected.
(4) Chairperson.
(a) Eligibility. Any member of this committee who has a demonstrated understanding of the current contracts is eligible to be Chairperson.
(b) Selection. The Chairperson shall be elected by the members of this committee after consideration of any recommendations the President may make. If the members are unable to elect a Chairperson, the President shall appoint a Chairperson from among the elected members.
(c) Responsibilities. The chairperson of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee shall be available to address Grievance matters with any members of the Association.
(d) Salary. The Chairperson of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee (“Grievance Committee”) shall be paid one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1800.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of nine hundred dollars ($900.00)
d. The Political Education/Public Relations Committee
(1) Duties. The Political Education/Public Relations Committee shall:
(a) organize activities for National Education Week;
(b) coordinate and act upon other Association committees’ requests for publicity; and
(c) follow or implement directives from the President, the Executive Board and/or the Board of Directors regarding public relations for the Association.
(d) maintain and update the Association’s political education files;
(e) keep the President, the Executive Board and the Board of Directors informed about the activities of the various branches of the government of the Town of West Springfield regarding education-related issues;
(f) research and publish for Association members a political information sheet on candidates running for local and regional offices that impact education. Such offices would likely include Mayor, Town Council and School Committee for the Town of West Springfield and statewide offices such as Massachusetts and United States Senators and Representatives; and
(g) follow or implement directives from the President, the Executive Board and/or the Board of Directors regarding political education for the Association.
2) Membership. The membership of this committee shall number seven (7) and consist of:
(a) two (2) educators from the elementary grades (pre-K through 5), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below;
(b) two (2) educators from the middle-school grades (6 through 8), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(c) two (2) educators from the high-school grades (9 through 12), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(d) one (1) educator from the early-childhood grades (pre-K through K), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Election. (See also Article X – Elections.)
(a) Elected members shall be elected for two- (2-) year terms at the annual election.
(b) Terms for the six committee members from elementary, middle and high-school grade levels (as specified in paragraphs (2)(a) through (2)(c) above) shall be staggered so that the annual ballot provides for one elected member from the elementary grades, one elected member from the middle-school grades and one elected member from
the high-school grades every year. Note: Exceptions to this rule may be made, by the Executive Board, only when the timing of vacancies (due to resignations or other unforeseen events) is such that compliance with this rule is impossible. Any such exceptions should be structured to restore the staggered-term provisions of this rule as soon as possible.
(c) Since there is only one member from the early-childhood grades, staggering does not apply to that position. The member from the early-childhood grades shall be elected at the annual election when the President and Vice President or Co-Presidents are elected.
(4) Chairperson.
(a) Eligibility. Any member of this committee is eligible to be Chairperson.
(b) Selection. The Chairperson shall be elected by the members of this committee after consideration of any recommendations the President may make. If the members are unable to elect a Chairperson, the President shall appoint a Chairperson from among the elected members.
(c) Salary. The Chairperson of the Political Education/Public Relations Committee shall be paid four hundred dollars ($400.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of one hundred fifty dollars ($200.00).
e. Membership Committee.
(1) Duties. The Membership Committee shall:
(a) maintain membership records, as specified in Article III, Section 4.;
(b) submit an updated, current membership list to the President by December 31 of each year;
(c) coordinate with the Treasurer to ensure that such records are consistent with dues payments;
(d) maintain records of non-members who pay “fair-share fees” (agency fees) to the Association, as specified in Article III, Section 5.;
(e) coordinate with the Treasurer to ensure that such records are consistent with fair-share-fee (agency-fee) payments;
(f) coordinate with the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to ensure that Association members are properly enrolled as MTA and NEA members;
(g) maintain and update records of the names of members holding offices and serving on committees and boards of the Association, both elected and appointed;
(h) submit to the President and the Executive Board an updated, current list of officeholders and their respective offices by September 15 of each year and by the last day of every month in which any change in officers occurs;
(i) encourage enrollment in the Association; and
(j) provide membership lists and lists of officeholders to the Election Committee and other Association committees as necessary.
2) Membership. The membership of this committee shall number seven (7) and consist of:
(a) two (2) educators from the elementary grades (pre-K through 5), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below;
(b) two (2) educators from the middle-school grades (6 through 8), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(c) two (2) educators from the high-school grades (9 through 12), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below; and
(d) one (1) educator from the early-childhood grades (pre-K through K), elected as specified in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Election. (See also Article X – Elections.)
(a) Elected members shall be elected for two- (2-) year terms at the annual election.
(b) Terms for the six committee members from elementary, middle and high-school grade levels (as specified in paragraphs (2)(a) through (2)(c) above) shall be staggered so that the annual ballot provides for one elected member from the elementary grades, one elected member from the middle-school grades and one elected member from the high-school grades every year. Note: Exceptions to this rule may be made, by the Executive Board, only when the timing of vacancies (due to resignations or other unforeseen events) is such that compliance with this rule is impossible. Any such exceptions should be structured to restore the staggered-term provisions of this rule as soon as possible.
(c) Since there is only one member from the early-childhood grades, staggering does not apply to that position. The member from the early-childhood grades shall be elected at the annual election when the President and Vice President or Co-Presidents are elected.
(4) Chairperson.
(a) Eligibility. Any member of this committee is eligible to be Chairperson.
(b) Selection. The Chairperson shall be elected by the members of this committee after consideration of any recommendations the President may make. If the members are unable to elect a Chairperson, the President shall appoint a Chairperson from among the elected members.
(c) Salary. The Chairperson of the Membership Committee shall be paid eight hundred dollars ($800.00) annually, in two semi-annual installments of four hundred dollars ($400.00).

ARTICLE VIII
Special Committees
Section 1. General. The President shall, each year, appoint Special Committees as required and/or needed, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Such committees shall operate according to rules and procedures established by the Board of Directors; in the absence of such rules and procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall prevail.
Section 2. Required Special Committees.
a. The Election Committee.
(1) Purpose and Duties. The Election Committee shall administer the annual Association election in accordance with Article X. and the annual elections for Association delegates to the state and national conventions and meetings in accordance with Article IX, Section 1., paragraph b.
(2) Appointment. The President shall, with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoint and make operative an Election Committee, constituted as described in paragraph (3) below, at the January meeting of the Board of Directors each year.
(3) Membership.
(a) The Election Committee shall consist of three members of the Association, at least one of whom shall be from the elementary grades (pre-K through 5) and at least one of whom shall be from the secondary grades (6 through 12).
(b) No Association officer or member of the Board of Directors shall serve on the Election Committee.
(c) No member of the Election Committee may be a candidate for any office on the ballot of the annual election for which that committee is responsible.
(d) When possible, the President shall endeavor to appoint one person from the previous Election Committee to promote continuity.
(4) Dissolution.
(a) The Election Committee shall be dissolved after it completes its duties in administering the annual election, as specified in Article X, unless the Board of Directors determines that unfinished election business requires the Election Committee to work beyond that time.
(b) Under no circumstances shall the Election Committee be continued until the next annual election. A new Election Committee shall be established, in accordance with paragraph (2) above, for each annual election.
b. The WSEA Scholarship Committee.
(1) Purpose. The WSEA Scholarship Committee shall plan, promote and award one or more annual stipends to selected graduating high-school seniors planning to attend institutions of higher learning who meet the requirements of paragraph (5) below.
(2) Duties. The WSEA Scholarship Committee shall:
(a) solicit from the Board of Directors an amount of money to be awarded in WSEA Scholarships. Such funds shall be from the Scholarship line item in the annual Association budget, but may be increased or reduced by the Board of Directors as circumstances warrant;
(b) prepare an application blank for the approval of the Board of Directors. The application shall include information about the manner in which the scholarship shall be paid, as defined in paragraph (6) below;
(c) solicit applications from qualified candidates (as defined in paragraph (5) below);
(d) evaluate applications and select one or more candidates to receive WSEA Scholarship Awards. Note: Scholarship awards shall not exceed the amount authorized by the Board of Directors;
(e) notify each scholarship recipient that he or she has been awarded a WSEA scholarship and inform him or her of the manner in which the scholarship shall be paid, to ensure that each recipient secures the required written confirmation from his or her institution of higher learning;
(f) notify the Treasurer, upon receipt of each confirmation letter, that the student(s) should be paid the applicable amount(s); and
(g) notify the Public Relations Committee of the scholarship award(s) that have been made so that they can be publicized appropriately for the good of the recipient(s) and the Association.
(3) Appointment. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint a committee, constituted as in paragraph (4) below, each year in October.
(4) Membership. The WSEA Scholarship Committee shall be composed of three members of the Association.
(5) Qualifications for Scholarship Recipients. To be considered for a WSEA Scholarship, an applicant must:
(a) be the son, daughter or legal dependent of an Association member who has been a member of the Association from date of hire OR for five or more consecutive years immediately prior to the filing of the scholarship application;
(b) fill out an application form as specified by the WSEA Scholarship Committee; and
(c) show proof of acceptance into a program of studies leading to a degree from an institution of higher learning.
(6) Payment of Scholarships. The WSEA Scholarship will be paid directly to the recipient.
c. The WSEA “RIF [Reduction in Force] and Recall” Committee.
(1) Purpose. The WSEA “RIF and Recall” Committee shall work to ensure that any layoffs or reductions in force affecting members of the bargaining units represented by the Association, and any subsequent recalls of such bargaining-unit members, are in accordance with the requirements of the contract(s) in force between the Association and the School Committee or other agency of the Town of West Springfield.
(2) Duties. The WSEA “RIF and Recall” Committee shall:
(a) monitor layoffs and reductions in force as specified in paragraph (1) above;
(b) assess, on a case-by-case basis and/or in general, whether such layoffs and reductions in force are in accordance with the requirements of
the contract(s) in force between the Association and the School Committee or other agency of the Town of West Springfield;
(c) work with the Professional Rights and Responsibilities (“Grievance”) Committee, the President and other applicable Association personnel to correct any layoff and/or RIF procedures not in compliance with the contract(s);
(d) accept input from Association members about any layoff and/or RIF procedures used by the School Committee or other agency of the Town of West Springfield that such members believe are not in compliance with the contract(s); and
(e) keep the Board of Directors and all Association members who are directly involved in any layoff and/or RIF procedures used by the School Committee or other agency of the Town of West Springfield informed about their activities and their results.
(3) Appointment. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint a “RIF and Recall” Committee, constituted as in paragraph (4) below, when there is need (i.e., when the School Committee or other agency of the Town of West Springfield is engaging in layoffs or reductions in force affecting Association members).
(4) Membership. The WSEA “RIF and Recall” Committee shall be composed of three members of the Association, one of whom shall be from the elementary grades (pre-K through 5), one of whom shall be from the middle-school grades (6 through 8) and one of whom shall be from the high-school grades (9 through 12).

ARTICLE IX
Delegates to the State and National Associations
Section 1. Selection.
a. Each year the members of the Association shall elect delegates to represent the Association at state and national conventions and meetings.
b. The elections for said delegates will be run by the Association’s Election Committee, according to procedures and membership counts determined by the MTA and NEA.
Section 2. Responsibilities.
a. Members who attend state and national conventions and meetings shall report orally on said meetings and conferences at a regular meeting of the Board of Directors soon after returning. At the request of the Board, such members shall prepare written reports.
b. Delegates shall assist the Board of Directors in disseminating to the membership any information from the meetings or conferences that the Board shall direct.
Section 3. Expenses. Any Association members who attend conferences and/or meetings as duly selected delegates (as specified in Section 1. above) shall be reimbursed for their legitimate expenses incurred for travel to and from and attendance at such conferences and meetings, provided that they submit to the Treasurer written documentation substantiating said expenses.

ARTICLE X
Elections
Section 1. General. The Association’s annual election shall be held in June of each year, administered by the Election Committee (as described in Article VIII, Section 2., paragraph a.).
Section 2. Nomination of Candidates.
a. General Procedure.
(1) In February, the Election Committee shall determine, with the approval of the Board of Directors, which elected offices, as held by which persons, are to appear on the annual ballot. Such determinations should be made based on the list of officeholders and their respective term expirations prepared by the previous election committee per paragraph c.(8), below and, if necessary, the records of the Membership Committee. Note: Such determinations shall be made solely to ensure proper staggering of elections as described in Article VIII.
(2) The Election Committee shall solicit applicable nominations and shall establish procedures and timetables for such nominations, consistent with the requirements of this Constitution and Bylaws. Note: Any Association member may nominate candidates for any or all offices that will appear on the ballot.
(3) At the April meeting of the Board of Directors, the Election Committee shall report to the Board the names of all nominees and the offices for which they have been
nominated. NOTE: Candidates nominated by the membership must indicate their acceptance of their nominations per paragraph b.(3) below before their names can be placed on the ballot.
(4) At that meeting, the Board of Directors may, by majority vote, nominate other candidates. Such nominees must meet all eligibility requirements in paragraph b. below.
(5) After the Board of Directors has nominated any candidates it wishes to, the Election Committee shall prepare a finalized list of nominees and the offices for which they have been nominated. NOTE: Candidates nominated by the Board must, like candidates nominated by the membership, indicate their acceptance of their nominations per paragraph b.(3) below before their names can be placed on the ballot.
(6) The Election Committee shall solicit from each nominated candidate a brief -- approximately one-hundred- (100-) word -- statement of qualifications and positions.
(7) The Election Committee shall prepare a written outline of the offices that will appear on the ballot and the names of all duly nominated candidates for each office. Any statements submitted in accordance with paragraph (6) above shall be included in the outline. The outline shall be presented to the Board of Directors for approval at the May meeting of the Board.
(8) The Election Committee shall distribute the election outline, as approved by the Board of Directors, to all active members of the Association no later than one week preceding the election.
(9) The Directors (“Building Reps”) shall assist the Election Committee as requested in tasks such as:
(a) soliciting nominations from members;
(b) distributing and collecting nomination forms; and
(c) distributing ballot information briefs.
b. Eligbility for Nomination.
(1) All active members of the Association are eligible for nomination for elected office.
(2) Members may nominate themselves.
(3) To be placed on the ballot, any nominated member must indicate in writing his or her acceptance of the nomination.

Section 3. Balloting.
a. General.
(1) Procedures. The Election Committee shall determine the procedures for the annual election, consistent with the requirements of this Constitution and Bylaws. Such procedures must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval at or before their April meeting.
(2) Ballot. The Election Committee shall prepare the ballot for the election.
(a) All offices that are to be filled at the election (as determined in Section 2., paragraph a.(1), above) shall appear on the ballot, along with the names of all duly nominated candidates for the respective offices.
(b) The ballot shall explicitly prohibit write-in candidates.
(3) Eligibility. Only active members of the Association shall be permitted to vote. A current membership list shall be available at each polling place.
b. Election.
(1) The annual election shall be held on the first school day in June.
(2) The election shall be by secret ballot, in accordance with procedures developed by the Election Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
(3) The election shall be held at such places and for such times that all active members of the Association shall have reasonable opportunity to vote.
(4) Adequate care shall be taken to ensure that only active members of the Association vote and that members vote only once each.
c. Determining and Documenting Results.
(1) After the polls have closed, the Election Committee shall collect and count the ballots.
(2) Determinations of winners shall be made by the Election Committee as follows:
(a) To be elected to an office for which there are three or more choices, a candidate (or block of candidates, in the cases of the offices of President and Vice President and the offices of Co-Presidents, both of which are elected as blocks) must receive a plurality of votes cast.
(b) To be elected to an office for which there are only two choices, a candidate (or block of candidates, in the case of the offices of President and Vice President, which are elected as blocks) must receive a simple majority of the votes cast for that office.
(c) To be elected to an office for which there is only one choice, a candidate (or block of candidates, in the case of the offices of President and Vice President, or the offices of Co-Presidents, both of which are elected as a blocks) must receive at least one vote.
(3) The Election Committee shall deliver a written statement of the results, signed by the members of the committee, to the President as soon as possible.
(4) The Election Committee and/or the President shall make reasonable efforts to notify candidates of the election results before publishing them per paragraph (5) below.
(5) The President shall publish the results of the election to the members within twenty-four (24) hours of the election.
(6) In case of a tie or other indeterminate result -- such as the failure of a candidate (or block of candidates, in the case of the offices of President and Vice President, or the offices of Co-Presidents, both of which are elected as blocks) in a single-choice race to receive a single vote -- a special runoff election shall be held.
(a) The special election shall be held on a school day within ten days of the annual election.
(b) The special election shall be held by secret ballot, in accordance with procedures developed by the Election Committee.
(c) The special election shall be held at such places and for such times that all active members of the Association shall have reasonable opportunity to vote.
(d) Adequate care shall be taken to ensure that only active members of the Association vote and that members vote only once each.
(e) The results of the special election shall be determined and publicized as specified for the annual election in paragraphs (1) through (5) above.
(7) The announced results of the election and any runoff elections are binding upon the Association and all its members, boards, officers and committees.
(8) After the election, the Election Committee shall prepare a complete list of offices and the respective officeholders. The list shall also document when each officer’s term of office expires for the purpose of establishing the ballot for the next election. The Election Committee shall transmit a copy of this list to the Recording Secretary for filing.
d. Transfer of Power. The newly elected officers and members of standing committees shall take over their official duties ten (10) days after the election is held, except as specified in Article VII, Section 2., paragraph a.(3)(b).
ARTICLE XI
Social Calendar
Section 1. Fall Social.
a. General. The Fall Social shall be held as soon as possible after school starts in September. Ideally, the Fall Social shall be held as a breakfast or luncheon on the first day of school for educators.
b. Purpose.
(1) To welcome returning educators back to the West Springfield Schools.
(2) To encourage newly hired educators to become members of the Association.
(3) To reinforce professional relationships among Association members.

Section 2. Spring Social.
a. General. The Spring Social shall be held in May or June when possible.
b. Purpose.
(1) To recognize and honor retiring and retired educators, including:
(a) educators who have retired from the West Springfield Public Schools between the previous Spring Social and the current one;
(b) educators planning to retire from the West Springfield Public Schools in the current calendar year;
(c) educators whose retirements from the West Springfield Public Schools were previously unannounced; and
(d) all other educators retired from the West Springfield Public Schools.
(2) To reinforce professional relationships among Association members, including both retired and active members.
(3) To encourage educators who are not members of the Association to join.

ARTICLE XII Rules and Procedures
Section 1. Authority. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the authority of the Association with regard to parliamentary rules and procedures.
Section 2. Parliamentarian.
a. Selection. The President shall appoint a Parliamentarian from among the membership of the Association. The Parliamentarian may hold other elected or appointed office in the Association.
b. Duties. The Parliamentarian shall:
(1) sit on the Executive Board and the Board of Directors, but shall have no vote on either Board, unless he or she is also a member of one or both Boards by virtue of other office(s) held;
(2) interpret this Constitution and Bylaws in the event there is a dispute about their provisions during a meeting of the Executive Board or the Board of Directors. (Note: In the event of his or her absence when a dispute arises, the related issue or issues shall be tabled pending his or her report on the applicable provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws.);
(3) provide interpretation of this Constitution and Bylaws for standing or special committees of the Association and for the general meetings of the Association. (Note: In the event of his or her absence when a dispute arises, the related issue or issues shall be tabled pending his or her report on the applicable provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws.); and
(4) settle disputes over parliamentary procedure at various Association meetings using Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.
c. Provisions. The Association will provide, for the Parliamentarian’s use, a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

ARTICLE XIII Publication

Section 1. General. The official publication of this Association shall be the WSEA newsletter, Focus on the WSEA.

Section 2. Publication.
a. The publication of the WSEA newsletter shall be the responsibility of the Newsletter Editor in consultation with the President.
b. The newsletter shall be published regularly during the academic year.
c. The President may direct that special editions or bulletins be published when necessary.

Section 3. Purpose. The primary purpose of the Association newsletter shall be to inform the membership about Association business. It shall:
a. circulate news pertaining to meeting results of the Board of Directors and, as directed by the President, meeting results of the Executive Board and various Association committees;
b. carry items of interest from meetings of the West Springfield School Committee, Town Council and other Town bodies; and
c. keep members informed about issues, actions and events that impact education and the educational climate in West Springfield and in general.

ARTICLE XIV
Amendments to This Constitution and Bylaws

Section 1. Approval Requirements. This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended only by a two-thirds vote of active members present at a general meeting of the Association called in accordance with Section 2. below.

Section 2. Scheduling of Amendment Meetings.
a. All members must be informed at least two weeks in advance of any general meeting at which a vote to adopt any amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws is to be taken.
b. All members must be provided with an exact written copy of all proposed amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws at least two calendar weeks before any general meeting at which a vote to adopt any amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws is to be taken.

Section 3. Documentation and Distribution of Amendments. Within four calendar weeks following the adoption of any duly voted amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws, the Recording Secretary must document those amendments as follows:
a. Prepare an updated typed copy of this complete Constitution and Bylaws, incorporating all amendments exactly as voted by the membership. All pages shall be numbered sequentially, including the total number of pages (e.g., “Page 1 of 38”), and shall carry the date of adoption of the updated Constitution and Bylaws.
b. Place the updated Constitution and Bylaws in the files of the Association.
c. Distribute copies of the updated Constitution and Bylaws to all members of the Board of Directors.
d. Prepare a written summary of the changes.
e. Place the change summary in the files of the Association.
f. Distribute the change summary to all members of the Association, including the Board of Directors, along with a letter informing them that the full text of the current Constitution and Bylaws is available in the Association files for review by any member of the Association.

Section 4. Prior Versions of the Constitution and Bylaws.
a. All previous versions of the Constitution and all previous versions of the Bylaws, which two were previously separate documents, shall be null and void upon adoption of this unified Constitution and Bylaws.
b. After any amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws are approved in accordance with Sections 1. and 2. above, the updated Constitution and Bylaws, prepared and distributed per Section 3., paragraphs a. through c., shall supersede all previous versions. This supersedure shall take effect immediately after the amendments are approved, not when the updated copy is actually completed and distributed.
Section 5. Transition Provisions for New Versions of the Constitution and Bylaws. To ensure smooth and effective transition from the existing (pre-amendment) version of the Constitution and Bylaws to the newly amended version, all future versions of this Constitution and Bylaws shall specify transition procedures wherever applicable.