New York City General Membership Branch Bylaws
Table of Contents
- Article 1: Name and Purpose
- Article 2: Membership
- Article 3: Meetings
- Article 4: Officers
- Article 5: Finances
- Article 6: Organizing
- Article 7: Standing Committees
- Article 8: Online Voting
- Article 9: Amendments
- Article 10: Anti-Harassment Policy
- Article 11: Conflicting Parts
Article 1: Name and Purpose
- The name of this chartered body of the IWW is the New York City General Membership Branch (GMB).
- The GMB shall nurture workplace and industry organizing efforts within New York City, and its surrounding metropolitan area.
- The GMB shall encourage the growth of worker industrial organizing strategies, up to and including the formation of new Organizing Committees and Industrial Union Branch bodies.
- Dues shall be assessed at the General Union constitutional standard.
- These bylaws shall be provided to new members and made available upon request to any IWW member in good standing.
Article 2: Membership
- Membership in the GMB shall be open to all IWW members not represented by other Industrial Union Branches or GMBs. Ability to participate in meetings, including the right to vote will be determined by the dues status of a member.
- IWW members from other Industrial Union Branches or other General Membership Branches may be allowed voice in the affairs of the GMB, if they are approved by a majority of GMB membership at a regularly scheduled business meeting. Members from the NYC area who do not pay dues to GMB Delegates may also be granted voice in meetings. Non-members may also be allowed voice at a meeting if approved by a majority of members at the meeting.
Article 3: Meetings
- A quorum of five (5) GMB members in Good Standing must be present to conduct the meeting.
- There shall be a minimum of one (1) business meeting of the GMB per month. The time and date need to be well-advertised, and location information must be made available upon request to all GMB members. The GMB may authorize additional business meetings during the month as needed. Other meetings of the Branch may be called for the purpose of discussion and strategizing.
- Members present and in good standing at meetings will be able to vote. Anyone more than two months behind on their dues will not be able to vote, unless approved by those present at the meeting. Assembled Members have the final say in the level of participation of workers in bad standing.
Article 4: Officers
- The GMB shall elect a Branch Secretary-Treasurer (BST) for one year terms, to begin on January 1st. Nominations for Branch Secretary-Treasurer will be open at the November GMB meeting, with formal election taking place in December by referendum. The duties of Branch Secretary-Treasurer shall be appointed to the individuals receiving the majority number of votes for each position. Instant runoff voting shall be used in cases of more than two candidates per office. Departing Branch Secretary-Treasurers are expected to spend at least one month training their replacements.
- The GMB shall elect a four member Administration Committee to work alongside the Branch Secretary-Treasurer to fulfill tasks such as sending regular emails to our members, managing the membership list, creating meeting agendas, and coordinating the branch’s internal communications. Elections to the Administration Committee shall happen at the December and June GMB meetings, with each member serving half-year terms, serving no more than four (4) consecutive terms. Prior to serving, members of the Administration Committee must have been IWW members for a minimum of six (6) months.
- The GMB shall elect Delegates for one year terms, to begin on March 1st. Nominations for Delegates will be open at the January GMB meeting, with formal election taking place at the February GMB meeting. Delegates may also be elected throughout the year as deemed necessary by developing organizing projects, provided that they are approved by a majority vote of a regular GMB business meeting.
- GMB Officers must be in and remain in good standing as defined by Article V Section 1 of the IWW Constitution. If any Officer falls more than two (2) months behind on their dues, they shall be given the option of catching up or being replaced.
- All Officers are asked to report monthly in writing and attend regular branch meetings. It is asked that for non-organizing matters reports be made available over internal GMB communications platforms and at branch meetings.
- All Officers are subject to recall by referendum.
Job Descriptions and Duties
Branch Secretary-Treasurer (BST)
- Keeps a current record of GMB business meeting minutes.
- Maintains a detailed database of all branch members and contacts.
- Reports on activities to the monthly meeting, and attends meetings (or finds someone to attend).
- Checks in with and coordinates with standing committee chairs, organizing or otherwise, and ensures regular timely reports. Also discusses what needs the committee has and communicates this to delegates.
- No member may serve as Branch Secretary-Treasurer for more than two (2) consecutive terms. A member may run for Branch Secretary-Treasurer again at the end of their second term if no alternate candidate can be found.
- Completes and sends a written Branch Secretary-Treasurer Report to IWW General Headquarters monthly, and accurately records the GMB dues share.
- Delegates will be elected annually. Delegates may serve for as many years as they wish. All delegates will be asked to attend a delegates training before serving their term.
- Delegates are charged with: signing up new members, collecting dues, and maintaining regular contact with members on their contact sheets at least once a month.
- The roles of the delegates go beyond the collection of dues. Delegates will be asked to build and maintain relationships with members on their contact sheet, for the purpose of getting them involved in organizing projects, other committees, and for giving everyone a face for the IWW.
- Reports changes in membership information.
Article 5: Finances
- The GMB shall maintain a bank account in their name for the purposes of organizing and union expenses. It shall be the responsibility of the Branch Secretary-Treasurer to keep a balanced ledger of this account, and to act as liaison between the branch and our bank.
- The primary purposes of maintaining a bank account are to supplement the financial needs of GMB organizing projects, and to contribute to the expenses of the union hall(s).
- The Branch Secretary-Treasurer is authorized to dispense budgeted funds and discretionary emergency expenditures not to exceed $150 per month. All emergency expenditures must be reported to the Branch.
- Any unbudgeted funds above $150 must be approved by a majority vote of the GMB at a branch meeting.
- The Branch Secretary-Treasurer shall make financial records available for inspection within a reasonable amount of time upon request by any GMB member in good standing.
- The Branch Secretary-Treasurer may request for branch members to act as alternate signers in issuing written checks from the account. A GMB member must be approved by a majority of a branch business meeting in order to be included at the bank as a secondary signer for the account. Any secondary signers must file receipts and record their expenditures in the GMB ledger in the manner prescribed by the Branch Secretary-Treasurer.
Article 6: Organizing
- A committee of at least three (3) members will volunteer or be elected before the branch will authorize an organizing drive to proceed. This committee will be responsible for reporting to the branch at each branch meeting all aspects of the organizing drive which they will oversee.
Article 7: Standing Committees
- Standing Committees can be appointed for projects of the branch. These are outside of organizing committees. Examples of such committees are Literature, Education, and Fundraising.
- The Committees are expected to have a chair and a set of goals approved by the General Membership Branch.
- Standing Committees will be asked to report monthly to the General Membership Branch.
- The role of committee chair will be to issue monthly report, discuss the status of their Committee with the Branch Secretary-Treasurer, indicate where they need help with their work, and turn in any money they have collected.
Article 8: Online Voting
- Quorum: Quorum is only for ensuring that there is enough interest in and approval of online voting to allow it to be used for the year. Quorum is not registration for online voting. The process of calculating quorum are as follows:
- On January 10th, April 10th, July 10th, and October 10th of each year, the Branch Secretary-Treasurer and Administration Committee will create a Loomio poll which will be shared with all members of the GMB over all official GMB communication channels to calculate quarterly quorum. The poll will be open for one week.
- This poll will include a question asking the member whether they intend to participate in online voting for the GMB for that year.
- If the member answers in the affirmative, they will be recorded as an online quorum member for that year.
- Should the member answer in the negative or provide no response to the poll by the deadline, they will be not be considered an online quorum member for that year.
- Online quorum members will hold no privileges over non-online quorum members.
- The number of respondents will be used only to calculate quorum, which requires approval from at least 15 members.
- Members’ responses will be due one month from when the poll is shared.
- For each quarter that we calculate quorum, a new Loomio subgroup will be created for that period before the next quarterly census.
- Online Voting Process: Online voting shall occur only on an official platform for online voting. The stages of the online voting process are as follows:
- A proposal to hold a vote must be made and seconded in an official IWW NYC GMB communication channel, such as Signal or Loomio.
- A minimum three (3)-day discussion period will begin if the proposal is seconded. During this period, the proposal can be debated. This period can be extended to one week upon the proposal of extension and its seconding.
- Members of the GMB may amend the proposal at the discretion of the initial member who proposed it. If a proposal is amended, the final vote shall be on the amended version of the language as it stands once the discussion period is concluded.
- During the discussion period, alternative proposals on the same topic may be added for consideration by a seconded motion in an official GMB communication channel. Alternative proposals may be withdrawn by their sponsors and may also be amended as described in Article 2.c of the GMB Online Voting Bylaws.
- Upon the conclusion of the discussion period, a three-day voting period will begin via a poll created on an official electronic voting platform and shared in official GMB communication channels. The poll will be emitted to all members of the GMB for vote. If any alternative proposals were made, the vote shall be a ranked choice vote including each alternative along with “no action.” Members may change their vote prior to the conclusion of the voting period. The poll shall be timed to close at the end of the voting period.
- A majority vote of respondents is required in order to pass the proposal.
- If an online motion receives two blocks, it will be pushed to the next GMB meeting as new business and will require a new second.
- Emergency Online Voting Process: Motions made which the motivator believes are of an urgent nature and should be within a 24 hour period must be in a separate Emergency Motions subgroup.
- Emergency motions must receive at least 1.5x quorum in participants and must pass with a ⅔ majority.
- Emergency motions will not have options to abstain or block.
- Motions that change the language of branch bylaws are not subject to emergency status.
- Motions that exceed spending more than $800 are not subject to emergency status.
- All online motions between meetings must be included in the next meeting agenda and recorded in meeting minutes even if their reading is skipped.
- Election of Officers: Online voting may not be used in the election of officers.
Article 9: Amendments
- Any article of these bylaws may be amended, or any article may be added, through a majority vote of the branch membership through the December referendum vote conducted by mail ballot.
- For a proposed amendment of these bylaws to be approved for referendum, a written motion stating the amended articles, or article to be added, must be endorsed by at least 10 GMB members in good standing, or endorsed by a regular monthly branch meeting.
Article 10: Anti-Harassment Policy
- Harassment is not allowed.
Article 11: Conflicting Parts
- All parts of the GMB by-laws conflicting with the IWW Constitution are null and void.
Bylaws last amended December 10, 2019