GEO Bylaws

GEO Bylaws
Last revised: April, 2014

Article 1
NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Employee Organization of the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst or GEO, a unit within Local 2322 of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Article 2
PURPOSE

A. GEO is a democratic union that aims to organize and represent all graduate employees at
the University of Massachusetts at Amherst over issues related to their employment and the
improvement of their working conditions. GEO supports the struggle of all workers, and stands
in solidarity with other unions and progressive organizations in their fights for social and
economic justice.

B. GEO is authorized to negotiate on the employment practices and policies of the University as
they relate to graduate employees including, but not limited to, affirmative action; appointment
and reappointment process; childcare; contract length; disciplinary policy and codes of
conduct; dues check-off and agency fee; evaluations; fee waivers; grievance and arbitration;
health and safety, including health benefits and sick leave; hours of work and workload;
job descriptions, retrenchment, salary, seniority, sexual harassment, and training. GEO is not
authorized to negotiate on academic practices and policies as they relate to graduate
employees in their simultaneous capacity as students, such as salary maximums or limitations
on employee’s rights to choose the time and manner of their work.

C. GEO follows an equal opportunity policy and employs personnel and serves its
members without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex,
sexuality, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, HIV
status, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, veteran status, military obligations, and
marital or relationship status. GEO Strives to be an inclusive union and build a broad
based unity among its members. It will actively seek to promote the participation and
engagement of oppressed groups and underrepresented work sites at all levels of the
union.

This policy also applies to internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement,
terminations, members, and where possible, outside vendors, service clients, use of
contractors and consultants, and dealings with the University of Massachusetts and
general public.

D. Social Justice and/or Ally Trainings on the topics of racism, sexism, heterosexism,
cissexism, classism, and ableism will be mandatory for all GEO Staff, Elected Officers,
and Steering Committee members. GEO staff and elected officers will coordinate five
trainings (one on each of the above noted topics) over the course of two semesters, with
no less than two trainings a semester. Where appropriate, these trainings will be
coordinated in partnership with campus and community resources (i.e. The Stonewall
Center, Center for Women and Community, Disability Services, Center for Multicultural
Advancement and Student Success, etc.).

E. GEO understands marginalized, traditionally underrepresented, and oppressed groups
to include but not be limited by the following: racial and ethnic minority groups; women;
religious minority groups; people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual queer,
transgender, gender queer, gender non-conforming, gender variant, intersex; people with
disabilities, youths and seniors; people with low-incomes, the working poor, people
experiencing poverty, and people experiencing homelessness; immigrants; people for
whom English is a not a primary language; single parents; veterans; and people with
limited education or literacy.

Article 3
MEMBERSHIP

A. The Membership consists of all full and associate members in good standing of the
bargaining unit.

B. A graduate employee of the University of Massachusetts who is included in the bargaining
unit is eligible for full membership during the term of employment.

C. A full member in good standing who ceases to be included in the bargaining unit may remain
a full member through the next semester plus one day, provided they retain their graduate
student status. Summer session is not defined as a semester.

D. Any graduate student who does not meet the above criteria shall be eligible for associate
membership.

E. A member is considered to be in good standing if they are current in their payment of dues. A
member is considered to be a full member if they have paid their initiation fee.

F. An associate member is in good standing if they pay dues and the initiation fee.

G. The initiation fee is set in accordance with the UAW constitution and Local 2322 bylaws.

H. A full member in good standing is entitled to full voice and a single vote on all questions and
to hold any elected or appointed position.

I. An associate member in good standing is entitled to full voice and a single vote on all
questions, exception contract ratification, and where specifically noted in this Bylaws. Associate
members are not eligible to hold elected offices and they may not serve on the Negotiating or
Grievance Committees.

Article 4
OFFICERS

A. Election of officers shall be held during the spring semester. Members are asked to consider
the requirements of Article 2(C) when voting.

B. All officers are elected for one year terms. They will take office on June 1 of the year in which
they were elected.

C. Officers may only be removed by following procedures outlined in Articles 30 and 31 in the
UAW International Constitution.

D. For the academic year in which they serve, the three officers will each receive one full time
equivalent(FTE) stipend so long as such stipends are provided by the University.

E. There are three officers:

1. Two (2) GEO Co-Chairs

Responsibilities will include but are not limited to: organizing and overseeing the election of
Stewards in departments and/or work sites; chairing Steering Committee meetings and general
membership meetings and ensuring agendas are set for both; and acting as primary GEO
representatives to the Joint Council of Local 2322 and therefore attending Joint Council
meetings. Except where otherwise noted, the co-chairs shall be considered to be the official
representatives of GEO to the Administration and in all external relations; sign agreements
between GEO and the University (with approval of the General Membership and/or Assembly of
Stewards); serve as liaisons for the Steering Committee to the Staff; ensure GEO
representation at Central Labor Council meetings; speak on behalf of GEO to media, the
University, etc., and manage the production of media and publicity; act as primary liaisons
between GEO and other Unions;; oversee publication of GEO newsletter and web page;
organizing Standing Committees; and assist the union in achieving its overall mission in the
workplace.

2. Mobilization Coordinator

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: supervising membership drives; assisting in
boosting attendance; attending Steering and Assembly of Stewards meetings; introducing all
new members and visitors; assisting the GEO Co-Chairs in preserving order when called upon
to do so; ensuring that minutes are taken at all GEO meetings; maintaining records of
organization; submitting requisitions to the Local and International as needed; planning and
administering GEO operating budget and chairing the GEO Finance Committee; facilitating
GEO sponsorship of events and organizations; taking charge of all property of GEO not
otherwise provided for; monitoring and giving guidance on procedural questions and rules;
ensuring that those attending GEO meetings are either members or invited visitors; assuming
duties of the Co-Chairs if they are unavailable; and assisting the union in achieving its overall
mission in the workplace.

F. Although each officer has her or his specific job responsibilities, all three officers are jointly
responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of GEO and are collectively responsible for all
the duties mentioned above.

Article 5
STAFF

A. GEO will hire at least five full time equivalent (FTE) employees in a given academic year.
One of these shall be the Grievance Officer as stipulated in the contract between GEO and the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

B. Officers and staff shall be paid at the average hourly stipend rate of FTEs.

C. GEO shall determine GEO related duties of all local personnel assigned to work at GEO.

Article 6
STEERING COMMITTEE

A. The Steering Committee will consist of the three officers; two Stewards, elected by the
Assembly of Stewards; and two members at-large elected by the Membership. Each member of
the Steering Committee will be entitled to one vote on any issue raised at any Steering
Committee meeting. In addition, all staff members of GEO are ex-officio, non-voting members of
the steering committee.

B. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the unit
including, but not limited to: the direction of the day-to-day operations of the organization; the
oversight of the staff; preparation and submission of all proposals, budgets, budget requisitions
and budget modifications to the Assembly of Stewards for approval; coordination and oversight
of standing committees; the appropriate maintenance of the health of the organization;
management and execution of the budget; all correspondence and relations between the
leadership, the Assembly of Stewards and the membership; and all external relations excepting
those duties specifically proscribed for other committees (such as the Bargaining Committee).

C. The Steering Committee shall meet at least two times a month during the academic year.
The committee shall meet once a month at other times. Additional meetings can be called as
needed by the officers.

D. A quorum of one half (rounded upward) of the voting members of the Steering Committee is
necessary to conduct business.

E. The Steering Committee shall be empowered to make decisions on behalf on the
membership, except as limited by these bylaws. The Steering Committee shall not make any
decisions which contradict those made by the Assembly of Stewards or the membership or
contradict the will or intent of the Assembly of Stewards or the membership.

F. All Stewards are welcome to attend Steering Committee meetings and shall be considered
ex-officio non-voting members of the Steering Committee.

Article 7
STEWARDS

A. A group of graduate employees who share a common employing department or unit are
considered a work group. The Steering Committee is authorized to determine the work group
divisions in the event there is a dispute.

B. The membership of each work group shall elect one Steward for each 25 employees or
fraction thereof. Stewards shall be elected at the start of each Fall semester and shall serve
until the next elections. If no members in the work group are able to serve as Stewards, the
graduate students from the same department who are employed in a different work group may
be elected instead. The stewards shall be democratically elected by all GEO members in the
work group. When an election occurs by secret ballot, outside of a meeting, a reasonable period
shall be provided for return of ballots. The election shall be conducted by any two members who
are not candidates in the election. Stewards may be recalled at any time by a vote of all
members working under the Steward’s jurisdiction. This vote must be initiated by a petition and
set forth the reasons why the recall is sought. The petition must be signed by at least 25 percent
of the current members working under the jurisdiction of the Steward.

C. Two or more work groups, each with fewer than 25 members, may choose to combine for
purposes of Steward election, by majority vote of each such group. Such combined work groups
shall then be treated as a single work group.

D. The Stewards shall be responsible for: organizing and mobilizing departments, assisting
members with grievances, calling meetings of the group, distributing literature to the members,
recruiting new members, serving on committees, and attending the Assembly of Stewards.

Article 8
ASSEMBLY OF STEWARDS

A. The Assembly of Stewards shall be composed of elected stewards from GEO work sites, as
well as various ex-officio members as specified by these bylaws. The assembly shall meet at
least twice during the semester. Additional meetings can be called by the Steward Assembly
Chair(s) or 20% of the Stewards by means of a signed petition to the Steering Committee.

B. A quorum of either 25% of stewards, or 17 of the total voting members of the
Assembly of Stewards, is necessary to conduct business. In accordance with Robert’s
Rules, quorum must be called at the meeting in order to be activated.

C. The Assembly will have the ability to make decisions on behalf of the General Membership,
which includes the ability to override decisions made by the Steering Committee. However, The
Assembly Of Stewards cannot override a decision made by the General Membership at a
membership meeting. Except as limited by these bylaws, the Assembly can draft its own rules,
including those for the election of Assembly meeting chairs.

D. The Assembly of Stewards aims: to create and develop shop floor activism and to organize
and mobilize rank-and-file participation and coordinate their struggle, to develop a team of
activists and union leaders, to increase the communication between the leadership and the
membership, to get the stewards involved in decision-making regarding union policy, contract
administration, contract negotiations, and other work related issues, to bring the stewards
together, to share information, to learn from one another, and to support each other.

E. Non-steward members of the Steering Committee (i.e. the four officers and the three elected
at-large members) and committee chairs as designated in Article 9(C), are ex-officio, full-voting
members of the Assembly.

F. Each semester the Assembly shall appoint two Stewards to serve as voting members of the
Steering Committee.

G. The Chair of the Assembly shall be elected by all members of the Assembly at the first
Assembly meeting of each semester. Ex officio members if the Assembly are not eligible to
serve as Chair. In the absence of an elected Chair, the GEO Co-Chairs may appoint an interim
Chair.

Article 9
STANDING COMMITTEES

A. Committees carry out and facilitate the various functions of the union in a way that promotes
greater consistency and continuity among all union members. In addition, they are instrumental
in engaging rank and file members and increasing their participation in union activity and
decision making. These committees are not meant to replace the standing committees outlined
in the bylaws to the UAW Local 2322, but to supplement them where appropriate. All members
are eligible to serve on all committees except where noted in these bylaws. Every effort shall be
made to ensure the membership of all committees and caucuses is representative of the
diversity of GEO.

B. All committees and positions responsible for the hiring of staff and elected union leadership
positions (e.g. officers, stewards, steering committee members) must meet with union members
of marginalized groups (e.g. LGBTQ, ALANAA, women students in GEO) to inform them of
open positions on committees, and solicit applications and nominations. Members will be
elected to committees by the general membership, but between membership meetings may be
elected at Steering Committee or Stewards’ Assembly meetings, subject to ratification at the
next membership meeting.

C. Committees will collaborate with the UAW’s standing committees, as well as other
committees and caucuses in GEO, GSS, and other graduate student organizations on campus
comprised of and representing the interests of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

D. Except where specifically noted in Article 9(E), the steering committee will appoint acting
chairs to the standing committees until such time as the committee meets to elect a formal
chair.

E. Chairs of Committees are ex-officio, non-voting members of the Steering Committee and are
ex-officio, full voting members of the Assembly of Stewards, except where noted in Article 9(D).

F. The standing Committees include, but are not limited to:

1. Organizing Committee

which shall be chaired by the GEO staff person responsible for internal organizing. This
committee will also consist of all lead organizers as well as at least one elected officer. The
committee will be responsible for signing up new members, working with stewards and
developing leadership in departments and clusters. The goal of the committee will be to build a
strong internal organizing structure able to lead and support a contract campaign, respond to
and prevent grievances, create a stronger union presence and awareness in individual
departments campus-wide.

2. Bargaining Committee

which will consist of nine members and an unspecified number of alternate members elected by
the membership. The chief and the co-chief negotiators will be elected by the bargaining
committee members. All bargaining committee members shall serve throughout the duration of
a contract negotiation and shall not be required to seek re-election if contract negotiations go
beyond a year. If bargaining committee members resign or are recalled, new members of the
committee will be elected by the membership as needed. A quorum of five is needed to make
decisions. All decisions shall be made by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, the
decision in question shall be brought to the membership for final determination. Membership
has oversight over the bargaining committee. The bargaining committee shall be responsible for
assessing membership needs and concerns prior to contract negotiations, and issuing regular
written bargaining updates to the membership during negotiations. These updates shall also be
posted regularly on the GEO web site.

3. Grievance Committee

which will consist of not less than five members. Committee members must be trained in labor
grievance procedure. Any graduate employee coming forward with a grievance shall be

interviewed by the Chair of this committee and one member of the committee, apprising them of
their rights according to the contract and advising them on how to proceed; the committee shall
meet to decide which grievances will be filed. All grievance requests must be kept on file and
the Chair will ensure that these records are in order. The Chair of this committee shall be the
staff person hired by GEO.

4. Communications Committee

which shall be chaired by the Co-Chairs of GEO, shall be responsible for generating the
newsletter; drafting and distributing press releases; maintaining the GEO web page; and the
creation and distribution of posters, flyers and billets.

5. Finance Committee

which will be composed of the Mobilization Coordinator (as Chair) and two members in good
standing. The Finance Committee is responsible for communicating with the Local 2322
Finance Committee, [attending Joint Council meetings,] drafting the annual budget for the unit,
and preparing requisitions for the Joint Council. The annual budget for the unit will be presented
at the first membership meeting of the spring semester and passed by a simple majority.
All members have responsibilities that include serving on Local 2322 Finance Committee,
attending all Joint Council meetings, drafting the annual budget for the unit, and preparing
requisitions for the Joint Council. The annual budget for the unit will be presented at the first
membership meeting of the spring semester and passed by a simple majority.

6. Elections Committee

The membership will annually elect an Elections Committee to oversee the election of officers
and at-large members of the Steering Committee. This committee must be composed of at least
five members, none of whom are seeking office or are currently elected officers or at-large
members of the Steering Committee. The chair of this committee is not an ex-officio member of
the stewards assembly or the steering committee. In the event that two or fewer candidates run
for the co-chairs positions, then there will be a vetting process rather than a de facto election of
the unopposed candidates. The Stewards’ Assembly will convene and ask the candidates
questions, and then excuse the candidates while stewards vote on whether or not to approve
the candidates for co-chairs. If either one or both of the candidates is a steward, then he or she
will recuse herself from the vote. A simple majority wins. In the event that stewards vote “No,”
on one or both of the candidates, the nominations process will be extended, and stewards will
aggressively recruit nominees for the elected positions. The elections process will then repeat.

7. Social Justice Committee

which will oversee all issues concerning discrimination and defamation against GEO members.
The committee will assist any GEO member submitting a grievance involving a violation of the
campus Harassment Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, and/or the Affirmative Action Office. It
will actively investigate accusations of harassment, sexual harassment, and discriminatory or
defamatory action on the part of GEO members against other GEO members, i.e. racism,
sexism, homophobia, etc. If any incident of such behavior is verified by this committee, that
incident will be reported to the Steering Committee along with recommendations for appropriate
action, including sanctions. Sanctions may include expulsion from the unit. All parties involved in
any aspect of this process will act at all times to preserve the confidentiality of these proceedings.
Information will be shared with those individuals who have a legitimate and operational need to be
informed, and to the extent that it is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of this process.
Members submitting complaints concerning discrimination, defamation, harassment, sexual
harassment, may at any time withdraw their complaint, and may request closed meetings.
Committee members may also request closed meetings to discuss individual cases.
.
8. Coalition and Political Action Committee

which shall be responsible for organizing GEO participation in local, state, national, and
international concerns, as well as building coalitions with campus and local unions, student
organizations, community organizations, and caucuses including but not limited to those in our
union representing marginalized and oppressed groups. GEO resolves to actively support
legislation which seeks to improve the higher education system, including the principle of
educational access and promotes free collective bargaining. This committee shall recommend
proposed actions or endorsements to the Assembly of Stewards. Political endorsements and
expenditures shall require a two-thirds vote of approval by the Assembly of Stewards or the
membership.

9. Family Issues Committee

which is responsible for providing the membership with information concerning child care,
housing, and other family concerns, as well as discussing with individual members how GEO
can improve the living conditions of members who have families. This committee shall have at
least three members (from either the Assembly of Stewards or the Membership).The committee
shall be chaired by the family issues advocate.

10. Personnel Committee

which will be composed of five representatives elected by the Membership and two members of
the Steering Committee, selected by the Steering Committee. This committee may include
elected officers and current staff members who are not seeking re-appointment. Quorum is five
members.
The primary responsibility of this committee is to hold interviews for applicants interested in staff
positions. The Personnel Committee will select three committee members to conduct interviews
for all open positions. Upon completion of the interview process, the committee will submit a list
of recommended candidates to the Assembly. The final hiring decision is made by the Assembly
of Stewards. Interim and temporary appointments for periods no longer than six weeks, may be
made directly by the Steering Committee. An Evaluation Subcommittee will be appointed to
evaluate the performance of the staff at least once per semester. These evaluations will be used
in future hiring decisions. The subcommittee will be composed of at least three members of the
personnel committee.

11. By-Laws Committee

All GEO members are invited to meetings of the By-Laws Committee. The responsibility of the
by-laws committee is to try to achieve broad consensus about procedures in GEO, to educate
people holding positions in GEO about their rights and duties according to the bylaws and
established practices and to resolve, on the basis of consensus, conflicts related to the bylaws.
The bylaws committee has the right and the duty to give recommendations on:
(a) Changes of the by-laws, from general concepts to final drafts
(b) Disputes over interpretations or implementations of the by-laws
(c) Conflicts between actual procedures and procedures as outlined in the by-laws
G. The Assembly of Stewards shall decide if any additional committee chairs shall have a vote
in the stewards assembly.

H. The committees may decide upon their own operational procedures, except when specified
by these bylaws.

I. The following procedure shall be followed when electing members to the bargaining and
personnel committees.

1. Appropriate notification will be given two weeks prior to when such elections are due to take
place.

2. Nominations are due at the membership meeting at which the elections are scheduled to take
place. If the nominee is present in person, s/he is required to make a short statement to the
meeting prior to the elections. If the nominee is not present in person, s/he is required to submit
a written statement to the co-chairs, who shall ensure that the statement is read out to the
meeting, prior to the elections.

J. In order to recall any member from a committee a petition which sets forth the reason why
recall is sought must be signed by twenty members and submitted to the co-chairs no less than
ten days before a membership meeting in order to be put on the agenda of that meeting. The
co-chairs will see to it that this agenda item is announced ten days prior to the meeting. A twothirds vote of the membership is required to recall a committee member.

Article 10
CAUCUSES

A. Caucuses are formed around issues of social oppression. They exist to provide safe spaces
for marginalized groups of people to share experiences and problems they have experienced as
graduate student workers; to brainstorm potential solutions to those problems; and to advise
Standing Committees, the Steering Committee, and Stewards of their ideas as needed so that
appropriate actions can be taken. Standing Committees exist to plan policies and campaigns
that Steering, Stewards, and General Membership can put into action effectively and
democratically. Caucuses should be in touch with the Organizing Committee, Political Action
and Coalition Committee, and the Social Justice Committee as is appropriate, in particular
whenever a topic comes up requiring policy-making or collective action.

B. Chairs of caucuses are ex-officio non-voting members of the Steering Committee and full
voting members of the Stewards Assembly.

C. The Steering Committee will appoint acting chairs to the caucuses until the caucus meets to
elect a formal chair.

D. The Caucuses include, but are not limited to:

1. ALANA and International Students Caucus

which will consist of ALANA graduate employees and International graduate employees of color.

2. Women’s Caucus

which will consist of graduate employee women.
3. Queer Caucus

which will consist of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered graduate employees.

E. Caucus members may choose to expand the scope of their membership.

F. The Assembly of Stewards shall decide if any additional caucus chairs shall have a vote on
the Stewards Assembly and ex-officio non-voting status on the Steering Committee.

Article 11
MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

A. A general meeting of the membership shall be held at least twice each semester.

B. Additional meetings can be called as needed by the Steering Committee, the Assembly of
Stewards, or by petition of one-tenth of the membership.

C. Decisions of the Membership override decisions made by any other GEO body.

D. The quorum for Membership meeting will be 10% of the Membership or 30 members,
whichever is less.

Article 12
PROCESS AND PROCEDURES AT MEETINGS

A. Whenever a decision is to be made in a meeting of the Assembly of Stewards, the Steering
Committee, or the Membership, the following process and procedures will apply.

B. The Chair (The title Chair refers to the individual conducting the meeting.) will ensure broad
participation and open discussion at these meetings. Members wishing to speak at such
meetings, who have not spoken already will be given priority over members wishing to speak,
but have already spoken. The Chair may set a time limit, applied to all speakers uniformly, on
the duration of speeches.

C. The Chair will recognize motions, and amendments thereof, made by anyone in the group.

D. Motions or amendments are proper only after they have been offered to and accepted by the
Chair, and seconded.

E. Debate over motions is closed by a call from the group, which must be supported by a
second. When the Chair puts this to a vote of the body, a two-thirds majority of the voting
members present is required to end debate. If enough votes are cast to end debate, the chair
must call for an immediate vote on the motion and the amendments.

F. Motions to table debate are made from the group, and if seconded, must be put to an
immediate vote.

G. Any member may at anytime call upon the Chair for a Point of Information to clarify business
being discussed.

H. If any member disagrees with a ruling of the Chair, s/he may raise a Point of Order and state
his/her objection to the Chair. The Chair must then rule on this Point of Order.

I. If any member disagrees with a ruling of the Chair on a Point of Order, then s/he may, if
supported by a second, appeal from the decision of the Chair. The member appealing the
Chair’s decision will be recognized by the Chair, and given an opportunity to state his or her
reasons for believing the Chair should be overruled, after which the Chair will also have an
opportunity to give his or her reasons for ruling against the appealing member. No one else may
participate in this discussion. The Chair will then place the appeal before the group for a vote. A
simple majority vote is necessary to sustain the appeal. A tie vote sustains the Chair.

Article 13
AFFILIATION

A. Affiliation with another organization, for purposes of better realizing the goals and objective of
GEO, or conversely, disaffiliation with another organization, may be initiated by Referendum (as
provided in Article 17).

B. The affiliation or disaffiliation shall be approved if more than one-half of the votes cast are in
favor of affiliation or disaffiliation.

Article 14
DUES

A. GEO dues will be set in accordance with the UAW and Local 2322 constitution and bylaws.

B. Full members who do not hold current employment (as provided in Article 3(C)) shall pay
dues at the same rate as associate members.

C. Associate members pay $1/month in dues.

Article 15
MEMBER RIGHTS

A. GEO derives all of its power from the members. The membership reserves the right to
override any decision of the Steering Committee, the Assembly of Stewards or any other
Committee at any time.

B. All GEO meetings are open to all members and all GEO members have the right to
participate in the discussion of all decisions, with the exception of confidential personnel matters. This right includes notification of meetings, when feasible.

C. While the Steering Committee and the Assembly of Stewards are empowered to make
decisions on behalf of the membership, they shall not make any decisions which contradict
decisions made by the membership or contradict the will or intent of the membership.

D. The Steering Committee is authorized to disperse funds in an amount that cannot exceed
$500. The Assembly of Stewards is authorized to disperse funds in an amount not to exceed
$1000. Any dispersal of funds exceeding $1000 must be approved by the General Membership.
Expenditures for political activity may be made only by the Assembly Of Stewards or the
General Membership and shall not exceed $500 per semester.

E. GEO does not prevent people from holding elected positions including becoming officers
based upon their political affiliations.

F. GEO is a union made up of graduate employees from many different countries. We do not
condone or operate under the patriotic notions of any one of these represented countries, but
are instead steered by the common interests of our members as academic workers.

Article 16
BYLAWS

In order to change a bylaw, the Bylaws Committee must first post the proposed change(s)
online for at least a ten-day (including weekends and holidays) comment period. GEO
leadership and staff must notify membership by email that the change(s) are available online.
Membership will have the opportunity to submit comments and concerns by email to the Bylaws
Committee. Second, the Bylaws Committee must have a public meeting after the comment
period has ended. This will allow members with strong feelings or those who do not like email to
discuss the proposed change(s) with the Bylaws Committee. The Bylaws Committee will
consider the comments from membership and present the final version of the proposed bylaw
change(s) online at least ten days before a membership meeting. Once the final version of the
bylaw change(s) has been posted, the following holds true:

1. The language of the proposed bylaw cannot be changed. The change must be voted up or
down by the membership.

2. The Elections Committee, the GEO leadership and staff, and the Bylaws Committee will
make voting available for members outside of the membership meeting for at least six hours
over at least three days.

3. The Elections Committee is responsible for counting the final votes. Voting will also occur
during the membership meeting.

4. Even if the membership meeting does not have quorum, an amendment can still be adopted.
In order for an amendment to be adopted, the total number of votes cast during the voting
period must exceed quorum for the year; and two thirds of the members who voted must vote in
favor of the amendment.

5. If the bylaw change is voted down, the Bylaws Committee may continue trying to pass the
proposed change. However, in order to do so, the Bylaws Committee must start the process
over. That is, the proposed bylaw change must undergo a comment period, a public meeting to
discuss appropriate changes, and the new language must be posted at least ten days before
the next meeting.

6. If the votes do not meet or exceed the number needed for quorum, the Bylaws Committee
may continue trying to pass the proposed changed. In this case, the proposed language does
not need to undergo an additional comment period, but the vote must be re-done in its entirety.

The Bylaws Committee may propose language for a bylaw change to a comment period in the
last few weeks of the spring semester of a given academic year. However, the proposed bylaw
change must be voted on in either the first or second membership meeting of the fall semester.
Furthermore, the final draft of the proposed bylaw change cannot be posted before the first day
of the semester. That is, the final draft of the bylaw change must be posted for at least ten days
during the semester before it can be voted in a membership meeting. In the event of confusion
about the rules regarding changing the bylaws, the Steering Committee is empowered to
interpret the bylaws governing changing the bylaws (Article 16), subject only to the authority of
the Stewards Assembly and membership as outlined in the bylaws.

Article 17
ELECTION AND REFERENDA

A. Elections of officers and referenda votes shall be held by secret ballot at membership
meetings. Before this meeting, provisions shall be made for absentee, mail-in or open balloting.

B. If more than two candidates run for one office, and if none of the candidates receives more
than 50% of the votes cast, then a runoff election shall be held between the two candidates who
receive the most votes.

C. Regular elections for officers and at-large members of the Steering Committee shall be held
during the spring semester.

D. Elections to fill vacancies shall be held at the first general meeting following the date the
office became vacant. The Assembly of Stewards can appoint a Steward or member of the
Assembly of Stewards to fill a position on an interim basis.

E. Full members in good standing (as defined by Article 3(H)) may nominate themselves or any
other full member in good standing for any office. Nominations shall be presented in writing to
the Steering Committee. The deadline for nominations shall be 15 calendar days before the
date of the election. Elections must occur no later than the first full week of May.

F. Referendum questions must be presented in writing at a Steering Committee Meeting with
either the signatures of at least one-tenth of the membership, the signatures of one-half of the
Stewards, or the signatures of two-thirds of the members of the Steering Committee, no later
than ten calendar days before the next Membership meeting. The Steering Committee shall
place the referendum on the agenda for the next membership meeting and distribute written
copies of the referendum within three working days after the referendum is presented to the
Steering Committee. Referenda may specify that they may not be amended. If this specification
is made, they must be voted on in the form they are written and originally presented.

Article 18
JURISDICTION

A. As a unit within the UAW, GEO is subject to the rules and regulations governing the UAW
and Local Union 2322 Bylaws. However, in all unit matters we have strict autonomy in
accordance with Article 35 Section 3 of the UAW Constitution.

B. GEO has proportional representation on Local 2322 Join Council based on the dues dollar
amount GEO pays to the Local Union in accordance with Article 35 Section 3 of the UAW
Constitution.

C. GEO representatives to the Joint Council shall serve the greater of one year or until such
time as new elections for representatives to Joint Council takes place. If a GEO representative
to the Joint Council resigns or is recalled, the Steering Committee must appoint a new
representative to serve until the next membership meeting. At that membership meeting a new
representative will be elected, in accordance with the bylaws of Local 2322.

Article 19
ENACTMENT

This bylaws shall be voted on by secret ballot and enacted thereupon