Staff Council Bylaws

     as Adopted May 18, 1993 and Amended

  • April 5, 1994
  • May 1, 1997
  • May 6, 1998
  • May 19, 1998
  • July 20, 1999

  • March 9, 2001
  • April 21, 2009
  • April 27, 2015
  • July 5, 2017
  • January 10, 2019
By-Laws of the West Texas A&M University Staff Council
Article I. Name

This organization shall be known as the West Texas A&M University Staff Council.

Article II. Mission

The WTAMU Staff Council, a collective voice for one of the largest constituencies on the West Texas A&M University campus (second only to students), represents a highly diverse group of individuals whose performance levels are critical to the quality, integrity, credibility and continued growth of the University. With this in mind and so that we may better serve the University's internal and external constituents, the council is committed to a guiding mission that provides WTAMU staff with policy-effecting, decision-making representation. Further, we are committed to assessing, prioritizing and communicating staff needs and to responding to those needs through the implementation of developmental programs and job-enhancing initiatives.

Article III. Responsibilities and Objectives

  1. The Staff Council shall develop and maintain communication channels for interchange between itself and staff members, faculty, student body, the University administrative staff and the University president.
  2. The Staff Council may, where staff interests are concerned, nominate staff members to serve on University committees. Such members will be appointed by the Election Committee, which is a subcommittee of Staff Council.
  3. The Staff Council shall prepare and submit to the University president an annual summary of all activities and reports. In addition, the Staff Council shall prepare and submit to the University president proposals and position papers on staff concerns as determined by a majority of the Staff Council.
  4. The Staff Council shall prepare and submit reports as requested by the University president.
  5. The Staff Council shall provide a forum for members to discuss common problems and concerns and to share information.
  6. The Staff Council shall formulate, coordinate and recommend enhancements and priorities on behalf of its constituents.
  7. The Staff Council shall formulate, monitor and review recommendations on development programs that affect members of the University staff.

Article IV. Membership

Section 1. General Staff Membership

All full benefits-eligible, non-faculty University employees -- with the exception of the president, provost, vice presidents, deans, the executive assistant to the president and those whose employment depends in whole or in part upon their status as a currently enrolled student -- shall be eligible for membership and/or representation by this council.

This general membership body may serve as a forum for discussion and for informational votes on matters for consideration and action by council representatives.

Section 2. Staff Council Membership

Classifications for representation are based on the following EEO Occupational Categories:

  • Executive/Administrative/Manager
  • Professional Non-Faculty
  • Clerical/Secretarial
  • Technical/Para-Professional
  • Skilled Crafts
  • Service/Maintenance

Each classification shall receive one representative for each 30 eligible employees, as defined in Article IV – Section 1, within the classification. Method of calculation shall be "number of eligible employees within classification divided by 30" Results of less that 0.5, when carried to two decimal places, will be rounded down to the next lowest whole number and results of 0.5 or greater, when carried to two decimal places, will be rounded up to the next highest whole number (Example: A result of 2.49 will authorize 2 representatives. A result of 2.50 will authorize 3 representatives). In the event that an EEO category has fewer than 30 full time employees, eligible candidates will be combined with the next smallest EEO category to prevent exhausting the pool of eligible candidates from a small EEO category.

Staff Council membership is also open to departments previously part of WTAMU that have been outsourced but still work on the WTAMU campus. These departments may use any method they so choose to select representatives, and may also set the limits for terms of service. Staff Council will recommend using the same model of one representative for each 30 eligible employees.

On February 1 of each year ending with a five or zero (i.e., 2005, 2010, 2015, etc.), a listing from the official university personnel database will be printed and analyzed to determine the number of representatives each classification is to receive for the next five-year period. All ineligible employees, as defined in Article IV – Section 1, will be removed from the list prior to making the determination. It is the responsibility of the Election Committee to complete this process prior to annual elections. Should a classification's number of representatives decline as a result of this process, the next position to expire or resign will not be replaced. No position with time remaining on their term will be immediately removed. Each classification will continue to have a minimum of one representative regardless of the number of eligible employees within the classification.

The immediate past president shall continue to serve as a representative for one year after the expiration of his or her term as president. If he or she has unexpired time on his or her elected term as a representative, he or she will continue as a full-participating voting member. If his or her elected term as a representative has expired, he or she will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting representative and a new representative will be elected into his or her vacated representative position.

A. General Elections

  1. Elections for vacant positions on the Staff Council will be conducted annually no earlier than April I and no later than May I of each year by anonymous electronic submission through online vote. The election shall be carried out by the Election Committee in accordance with election procedures as established by the Election Committee and approved by the Staff Council.
  2. Nominations of candidates may be made by eligible members in their representative classification. Such nominations shall be made after March 1 and before March 31 to prepare electronic ballot. Individuals may only nominate up to three candidates from their EEO category. Nominated individuals must accept their nomination to appear on the ballot for April election. Results of an election will be determined by candidates receiving the most votes within their classification. Remaining individuals will serve to fill vacated seats in their EEO category if any seats are vacated as outlined in Article IV – Section 2 – Item B – number 4.
  3. In order to be eligible for nomination and election, an employee must have been employed by the University, in an eligible position, for at least one year as of April 1 of the current year.

B. Term of Office

  1. Representatives shall serve a two-year term to begin the first day of June and to end on the last day of May.
  2. Terms shall be staggered with elections conducted annually. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms but may be re-elected after a one-year interval.
  3. An elected representative whose job classification changes during his/her term of office will serve the constituency who elected this representative until the next general election.
  4. If a member of the council resigns or is unable to serve for any reason, the unexpired term will be filled from among those nominated but not elected at the last election in the order of the highest number of votes received. The new member will serve the remainder of the term.

C. Attendance

Any member whose attendance rate falls below 75 percent of the regular and special Staff Council meetings during a single semester or summer shall be removed. The unexpired term will be filled from among those nominated but not elected at the last election in the order of the highest number of votes received. The new member will serve the remainder of the term. If there are no individuals that were nominated but not elected at the last election available to fill a vacant seat, Staff Council may appoint an individual to fill the seat for the remainder of the term.

Section 3. Membership Balance and Realignment

Staff Council membership shall be evenly balanced based on the year of term expiration. For example, if total membership is 21 members, then 11 members would have terms that expire on even-numbered years and 10 members would have terms that end on odd-numbered years (or vice versa).

In the event of a Human Resources restructure of EEO categories or other unknown circumstances that cause a significant change in the above-stated balance, the following steps should be taken to realign Staff Council membership. 

  1. Request volunteers from Staff Council membership to extend their existing term by one year.
  2. In the event there are no volunteers to extend their terms, request volunteers to reduce their existing term by one year.
  3. The changes to membership terms shall be adopted based on an affirmative vote by a simple majority of the council membership.
    1. In the event of more volunteers than positions needing realignment, council membership will make the final decision by secret ballot.

In the event that term expirations occur and results in an entire EEO category having to replace their council representatives, Staff Council may follow the above-stated steps to balance the individual EEO categories as membership sees fit, as long as it doesn’t cause disproportion in the overall balance of Staff Council membership. 

Article V. Staff Council Officers

Section 1. Duties

Officers of the Staff Council shall consist of a president, vice president, treasurer, recorder, and past president.

  • The Council president shall preside at meetings of the Staff Council, prepare the agendas, serve as liaison to major University committees and carry out other duties as specified in these By-Laws and in the Standing Rules of Order. The Council president must be a current WTAMU employee.
  • The vice president shall assume the responsibility of the council president when the council president is able, or otherwise unable to perform his/her duties and shall assist the council president as required.
  • The treasurer shall maintain an account of all monies received and expended, make disbursements as authorized by the council and prepare an annual report of financial transactions. The Council treasurer must be a current WTAMU employee.
  • The recorder shall maintain accurate records of attendance, keep minutes of all business conducted by the Staff Council, and coordinate and prepare required reports and correspondence for the council. The recorder shall also maintain a current copy of the Staff Council By-Laws in written/typed and electronic media forms.
  • The past president shall serve as the chair of the Election Committee and in an advisory role to the president and vice president.
  • The University Controller or a designated representative, an ex-officio member, shall serve on Staff Council as a resource regarding budget matters.  The Controller will be in place to ensure that Staff Council is included in the budgeting process.

All actions of these officers taken as a result of their official positions within the council shall be subject to confirmation by the council. Officers may not take a public stand or voice an opinion on an issue in the name of the council without prior approval by a majority vote of the Staff Council.

Section 2. Election of Officers

Officers of the Staff Council shall be elected annually by the council membership at the first regularly scheduled meeting following annual elections. Only council representatives with at least one year of membership experience are eligible to serve as president. This requirement is waived if there are no current representatives with one year of membership experience.

Section 3.  Terms of Office

Officers shall be elected annually to serve a one-year term from June to May. Member may then be reelected to the same position for a second and consecutive term from the next June to May. No member may hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms, but may be re-elected to the same officer position after the required one-year interval after serving for two consecutive years on Staff Council. Members who fill a vacant seat and are elected into an officer position also cannot server more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 4.  Vacancies

Vacancies of officers for unexpired terms will be filled by election at the next regular meeting of the Staff Council. Individuals filling vacant seats may be elected to officer positions, but must not serve more than two consecutive terms as per Article V – Section 3 (Terms of Office).

Article VI.  Committees

Section 1.  Election Committee

The Election Committee, a standing committee, shall conduct an annual, campus-wide election to the Staff Council. The past president will serve as chair of this committee. Should the past president not be available to serve, the chair of this committee shall be appointed by the president and shall not be a candidate for re-election during the year of his or her service as chair. The Election Committee will establish operating procedures for the nomination and election of members to the Staff Council. Procedures are subject to approval by the Staff Council.

Section 2.  Special-Interest Committees

Additional committees shall be designated as deemed necessary by the Staff Council. Appointment to special interest committees is open to any eligible staff member of the University as defined in Article IV – Section 1.

Article VII.  Meetings

Section 1.  General Staff Meeting Schedule and Notification

The Staff Council shall conduct a general staff meeting at least once per year at a time and place determined by members of the Staff Council and as stated in the Standing Rules of Order. The recorder shall notify members of the general staff of the time and location of meetings. Such notification shall be by written correspondence at least seven days in advance of the meeting if possible.

Section 2. Staff Council Meeting Schedule and Notification

The Staff Council shall meet once a month at a time and place determined by members of the Staff Council and as stated in the Standing Rules of Order. The recorder shall notify all council members of the time and location of all council meetings. Such notification shall be by written correspondence at least seven days in advance of the meeting if possible and shall include a tentative agenda when possible.

  1. The order of business shall include, but need not be limited to, the following items, which shall be covered in sequence as far as circumstances permit: call to order, determination of members present, disposition of minutes of previous membership meeting, president's report, treasurer's report, reports of standing committees, reports of special-interest committees, unfinished business, new business, and adjournment.
  2. One or more members of any group identified in Article IV – Section 1 may present a suggestion for council consideration to one or more members of the Staff Council. If in the judgment of the council, the proposal is one of merit, a recommendation will be formulated and communicated to appropriate decision-making personnel. The individual(s) initiating the proposal shall be notified of the council's action.

Section 3.  Executive Session

Staff Council meetings shall be open to all interested parties. A majority vote of the council membership present and voting may, however, determine that a meeting shall in whole or in part be conducted in executive session during which time only voting delegates, as well as others designated by the council membership, shall be present.

Section 4.  Voting

Voting on motions and issues brought before the Staff Council shall be by voice or show of hands unless a roll call or vote by secret ballot is requested by a voting member (roll-call votes shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting). A simple majority vote of council members present and voting shall decide a question.

Article VIII.  Parliamentary Authority

Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of Staff Council meetings and all committee meetings except where these rules are in conflict with the By-Laws of the Staff Council.

Article IX.  Adoption of By-Laws

Section 1.  Method of Adoption

These By-Laws shall be adopted based on an affirmative vote by a majority of those voting at a meeting open to all individuals represented by the Staff Council.

Section 2.

This constitution shall be in operation immediately upon its adoption.

Article X.  Amendments to the Bylaws

Amendments to the Bylaws may be initiated in two ways:

  • through petition signed by 35 members of the University staff or
  • through action originated by the Staff Council and approved by a majority of council members.

The Staff Council shall present amendments to the general staff for action. A two-thirds affirmative vote of general staff present and voting shall be required for action.