Section 1. This organization shall be known as the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.
Section 2. The Department shall, in accordance with Article XII, Section 5 of the AFL-CIO Constitution, be considered the official method of the Federation for transacting the portion of its business indicated by the name of the Department.
Mission and Goals
Section 1. The Mission of this Department shall be to assist its affiliated unions to achieve their objectives on behalf of professional and technical workers. It will do so by:
- Offering a forum for discussion, collaboration, and action;
- Promoting the efforts of professional and technical workers to organize, bargain collectively, and provide mutual support;
- Showing the high value of union membership to professional and technical workers and to the public;
- Building alliances with professional associations and societies promoting the interests of professional and technical workers;
- Fostering diversity in the professional and technical workforce; and
- Advancing public policies strengthening the security, well-being and status of professional and technical workers.
Section 1. This Department shall consist of national and international unions and national councils having a national jurisdiction that are directly affiliated with the AFL-CIO, whose membership in whole or in part, includes professional, technical and other highly skilled, white collar workers.
Section 2. Such organizations desiring membership in this Department either upon their total membership, if eligible, or upon that portion which is eligible for affiliation, shall first request of the President consideration of their application. The President shall refer the application to the Executive Committee which may then approve or disapprove the application for affiliation.
Section 3. Upon enrollment, the Department shall issue a certificate of affiliation to new member organizations.
Section 4. Any member organization seeking to disaffiliate from the Department shall provide 120 days advance written notice to the President prior to its disaffiliation.
Section 5. Any former member organization that disaffiliated from the DPE that seeks to rejoin shall not be considered for reinstatement unless payment of all outstanding back per capita taxes owed to the Department accompanies the formal request for reinstatement.
Section 6. Should the General Board dissolve the Department, the member organizations of the Department shall pay their fair shares of the dissolution costs. A member organization affiliated with the Department less than four years, “a recently affiliated member organization,” shall pay its fair share on a pro rated basis as detailed below. Any “former member organization,” one that was affiliated with the Department for at least four years and that disaffiliated in the four years preceding dissolution, shall also pay its fair share of the dissolution costs. A member organization, a recently affiliated member organization, or a former member organization shall pay its fair share 1) immediately or 2) one-half immediately and the other half one year later.
The dissolution costs shall include but not be limited to outstanding rent and lease obligations, health and life insurance funding for retired officers and staff, and obligations to current officers and staff for outstanding compensation and benefits including but not limited to vacation, severance, health insurance, and life insurance.
The fair share of the dissolution costs for a former member organization shall be calculated by the percentage of the total per capita income of the Department that the organization contributed at the organization’s disaffiliation, times the dissolution cost most recently announced by the President of the Department before the effective date of the disaffiliation of the former member organization. For these purposes, the President of the Department shall state to the General Board the dissolution cost as of June 1, 2008 and then once every four years thereafter.
Once payments by former member organizations have been applied to the current dissolution costs, the fair share of the dissolution costs for recently affiliated member organizations shall be calculated as follows: A recently affiliated member organization in the Department for less than one year is not obligated to contribute to the dissolution costs. A recently affiliated member organization in the Department for one but fewer than two years shall pay one-quarter of the percentage of the total per capita income of the Department that the organization contributed at the time of dissolution; for two but fewer than three years, one half of that percentage; and for three but fewer than four years, three quarters of that percentage.
Once payments by former member organizations and recently affiliated member organizations have been applied to the current dissolution costs, member organizations shall pay the remaining dissolution costs in proportion to their contribution to the total per capita income of the Department.
The Department shall ask the AFL-CIO to administer the fund created by the payment of dissolution costs. The reserve fund established and maintained under Article VIII, Section 6 shall not be applied to reduce the dissolution costs, but shall be held for four years by the AFL-CIO or other administrator for payment of any unanticipated expenses. If there are none, it shall be returned to the organizations belonging to the Department as of the dissolution in proportion to their payments for the dissolution costs.
Officers and Duties
Section 1. The officers of the Department shall be the Chair of the General Board, the President, the First Vice President, nine (9) General Vice Presidents, and a Treasurer along with a number of Vice Presidents equal to the number of affiliated organizations. Each officer shall be a member of an affiliated organization.
Section 2. The Chair of the General Board shall:
- Preside at Board meetings. The Chair may designate the President or, in the absence of the President, another officer of the Department to perform such duties;
- Appoint, in consultation with the President, such committees as are necessary to conduct the affairs of the Department;
- In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Chair–in consultation with the Executive Committee–appoint an Acting President to assume the duties and functions of the office until that office is filled as provided in this Constitution.
Section 3. The President shall:
- Serve as the only full-time officer of the Department and supervise the affairs of the Department;
- Direct the appointment, compensation, supervision, suspension and removal of DPE employees and agents;
- Have the authority to interpret this Constitution between meetings of the Executive Council, and his or her interpretation shall be conclusive and in full force unless reversed or changed by the Executive Council or General Board;
- Preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for providing an accurate record of their proceedings as well as General Board meetings;
- Take charge of, and conserve, all properties, records and files of the Department which shall be subject to inspection at all times by the Chair and the Executive Committee;
- Report on the administration of his or her office and the affairs of the Department at the meetings of the Executive Council and General Board. In compliance with the AFL-CIO Constitution, he or she shall also provide to the Federation, in advance of its convention a written biennial report on the activities of the Department. This report shall be circulated to all of the affiliated unions of the DPE.
- Be the Department’s delegate to AFL-CIO conventions and general board meetings and designate the Department’s alternate delegate.
Section 4. The First Vice President shall preside at meetings in the President’s absence.
Section 5. General Vice Presidents shall assist the President and serve as members of the Executive Committee and the General Board.
Section 6. The Treasurer shall:
- Serve as the financial officer of the Department and shall receive and collect all monies due the Department. All monies shall be paid by the Treasurer or the Treasurer’s designee only with the approval and countersignature of the President or the President’s designee;
- Provide for an annual audit by a certified public accountant of all books, accounts and financial transactions of the Department. Copies of the accountant’s audit shall be provided to the Executive Committee and the General Board as appropriate;
- Assure that all officers, employees or representatives who handle funds or other property of the Department to be adequately bonded for the faithful discharge of their duties;
- Make available periodic financial reports to the Executive Committee and the General Board and shall present to the General Board a proposed annual budget for its review and approval.
Section 7. The Chair of the General Board, President and Treasurer shall, by virtue of their offices, be considered the fiduciary trustees of the Department and therefore generally responsible for all of the property, bank accounts and other assets of the DPE.
Section 8. Before assuming office, each officer of the Department shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office to which I have been elected and will, to the best of my ability, uphold and observe the Constitution of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.”
Section 1. The Chair of the General Board, the President, the First Vice President and the Treasurer shall be elected at each quadrennial meeting of the General Board as provided by Article VI and shall serve until their successors are elected and installed. A majority of all votes cast shall determine the candidate so elected. In the event that more than two candidates are nominated for these positions and no one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, all except the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be eliminated and subsequent votes shall be taken until one of the remaining candidates has received a majority vote.
Section 2. The nine (9) General Vice Presidents shall be elected at each quadrennial meeting of the General Board and shall serve until their successors are elected and installed. In the event more than nine (9) candidates are nominated, the nine (9) receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.
Section 3. Each affiliate shall name a Vice President and alternate at least thirty (30) days prior to the quadrennial General Board meeting.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall have the power to fill vacancies in the offices of Chair of the General Board, President, First Vice President, Treasurer, and General Vice President until the next quadrennial meeting of the General Board. Vacancies among the other vice presidents shall be filled by the appropriate affiliated union.
Section 5. Not more than two (2) at-large officers as called for in Sections 1 and 2 shall be elected from the same union.
Section 1. The General Board shall be the governing body of the Department and be composed as follows: the Chair of the Board, the President, the First Vice President, the Treasurer, the nine (9) General Vice Presidents and the Vice Presidents designated by the affiliates of the Department.
Section 2. Meetings:
- The General Board shall meet at least once in each calendar year to receive reports on the activities of the Department and to decide all matters brought before it.
- Regular meetings of the General Board shall be held at such time and place as the Chair may select.
- A majority of the members of the General Board shall constitute a quorum.
- In all matters requiring action by the General Board, when the Board is not in formal session, it may act by fax, e-mail or letter. Any action, so taken, shall constitute action by the General Board as though the Board were in formal session.
- Special meetings of the General Board may be held upon the call of the Chair or the President provided at least seven (7) days notice is given.
Section 3. Voting: At all meetings of the General Board
- Except as provided hereunder, questions shall be decided by a voice vote by a majority of members present and voting.
- A per capita vote may be demanded by no less than 10% of the members present and voting. Upon such per capita vote the Chair, President, First Vice President, General Vice Presidents and Treasurer shall each be entitled to cast one vote. The remaining members of the General Board shall be entitled to cast one vote for every member which he or she represents as specified in this Article.
- For per capita votes, the number of members of each affiliated union shall be the average monthly number on which per capita tax is paid for the 24-month period prior to and including the fourth month preceding the month of the meeting; one (1) vote per member for the first 150,000 members and one-quarter (¼) vote for each member in excess of 150,000. When affiliation has occurred during the 24-month period, the average shall be computed from the month of affiliation and the number of members shall be determined to be 1/24th of such average for each month for which the per capita tax has been paid. The President shall have available at all General Board meetings a list delineating the per capita voting strength of each affiliated union.
Section 4. No organization shall be entitled to representation at any meeting of the General Board unless such organization has applied for and obtained approval for affiliation at least five months prior to the meeting.
Section 5. Elections: Every four (4) years, at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee, the General Board shall hold its quadrennial meeting to elect the officers of the Department and decide all other matters brought before it.
- Notice: Not less than ninety (90) days notice shall be given to each affiliated organization prior to the date of the quadrennial meeting.
- Resolutions and policy: Resolutions submitted to the quadrennial meeting of the General Board shall be filed with the President not later than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting except that the Executive Committee and affiliated unions whose conventions are held after this deadline may submit resolutions during the thirty (30) day period. Resolutions may be accepted at the quadrennial meeting of the General Board with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
- Committees: The President shall appoint, in consultation with the Chair of the General Board, prior to the date of the quadrennial General Board meeting such committees as are useful to the conduct of the meeting. Such committees may meet before the date of the quadrennial meeting to consider resolutions, reports, nominations, constitutional amendments or other appropriate business submitted for consideration at the meeting and shall report thereon to the meeting.
Section 1. There shall be an Executive Committee composed as follows: the Chair of the General Board, the President, the First Vice President, the nine (9) General Vice Presidents, and the Treasurer.
Section 2. Between meetings of the General Board, the Executive Committee shall exercise all of the powers of the General Board except those explicitly reserved to the General Board by this Constitution or by action of the General Board.
Section 3. Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held twice in each calendar year at such times and places as the President may select. Special meetings of the Committee may be held upon the call of the President provided at least seven (7) days notice is given.
Section 4. A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Department. A member of the Executive Committee who will be absent from a meeting may designate an alternate from his or her union, who will count toward a quorum. Notice of participation by an alternate shall be given to the President prior to the meeting. In all matters requiring action by the Executive Committee, when the Committee is not in formal session, it may act by fax, e-mail or letter. Any action so taken shall constitute action by the Executive Committee as though the Committee were in formal session.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall set the President’s salary and expenses and shall determine the duties of the President not otherwise provided in this Constitution.
Section 1. Effective July 1, 2010, each affiliate shall pay monthly a per capita tax on its affiliated membership of eighteen cents (18¢) per member per month on the first 20,000 members; seven cents (7¢) per member per month in excess of 20,000 members but less than 100,000 members and one and one-half cents (1½¢) per member per month in excess of 100,000 members.
Section 2. Affiliates shall pay a per capita tax on not less than 10,000 members, except an affiliate having a total national or international membership of less than these minimum membership figures may pay a per capita tax on its total membership.
Section 3. The General Board may declare an assessment of not more than four cents (4¢) per member per month on all affiliated unions for a period not to exceed six months in any one year when the interests of the Department require it and when funds available from per capita tax are insufficient to meet the needs of the Department.
Section 4. Any affiliated union that is more than two months delinquent in the payment of its per capita dues shall make application for: 1) a delay in the full payment of any arrearages, or 2) a schedule to make full or partial payments of such arrearages, or 3) full or partial exoneration of the arrearages due. The procedures for such requests shall be as follows:
- Upon written request to the President, the Executive Committee shall consider and approve or reject any request from an affiliated union to be exonerated from or delay paying all or part of its per capita payments due to the DPE for a period of up to three months for reasons of economic hardship or other appropriate exigent circumstance.
- Actions taken by the Executive Committee shall be immediately reported to the General Board.
- Extensions of a period of exoneration or delayed payments approved by the Executive Committee may, however, only be granted upon approval by the General Board and are limited to an additional three months.
- Exonerated affiliates or those approved for delayed payments shall be regarded, for the purposes of this constitution, as members in good standing for the period of exoneration.
- If requested by an affiliated union, the schedule for payment of back per capita taxes shall be developed in consultation with the President and Treasurer and submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.
Section 5. The General Board may suspend affiliates that are more than four (4) months in arrears in payment of per capita tax or assessments.
Section 6. The Department shall maintain a reserve fund in a minimum amount equal to three months (one-quarter year) of operating funds. To maintain or replenish the reserve fund, the Department shall contribute up to three percent (3%) of its annual per capita revenue to the fund until such time as the quarterly benchmark is achieved. When necessary, and with the approval of the Executive Committee, the President shall be authorized to expend up to ten percent (10%) of the reserve fund for appropriate expenditures.
Section 1. This Constitution may be amended by majority vote at any meeting of the General Board. Between the annual meetings of the Board, a proposal to amend the Constitution may be submitted to the General Board for approval by mail ballot upon authorization by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be filed with the President not later than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled Board meeting. The President should submit copies of proposed amendments to affiliates not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting.
Robert’s Rules of Order
Section 1. Meetings shall be conducted generally in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution.
As Amended June 18, 2015