Bylaws for the Trinity College Exempt Staff Council
As amended June 21, 2012
The Exempt Council is established to enable its members to contribute more meaningfully to College’s pursuit of its educational mission. The Council recognizes that its membership is composed of a highly skilled and dedicated group of people who bring intelligence and years of experience to the performance of their duties in service to the College. The Council is created to give voice to these men and women as they seek to contribute to Trinity in ways that go beyond those outlined by their job descriptions.
The Exempt Staff Council through its duly elected representatives will work to:
Enhance communications between exempt staff and other constituencies of Trinity College, including senior administration, NSC membership, faculty, students and their families, and alumni.
While the Exempt Council is not a labor organization and will not negotiate specific grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or work conditions on behalf of any individual employee, it will work to foster an environment in which such issues can be openly discussed and problems constructively resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Exempt Staff Council Membership
The Trinity College Exempt Staff Council shall be composed of all exempt employees, as defined by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, with certain exceptions. Given that the purpose of this Exempt Council is to give voice to staff members, those who are currently defined by the administration as members of the senior staff group, who have greater access to the President and thus have more direct input into defining College policy and strategic direction, will be excluded from membership. (Should the composition of the senior staff change, the Executive Board may propose language to the Exempt Council to amend these bylaws as necessary.) Also excluded are faculty serving as temporary administrators and staff who have successfully petitioned for faculty voting rights.
Executive Board of the Exempt Staff Council
The Exempt Staff Council shall elect from among its members an Executive Board to be composed of at least ten members. Executive Board members shall serve two-year terms with terms staggered so that approximately half of the members are elected each year. Terms shall coincide with the College’s fiscal year calendar. Members of the Executive Board may serve no more than three consecutive full* terms (i.e. six consecutive years).
*Full terms refers to a two-year term.
The election of the Executive Board shall be conducted by secret electronic ballot in the spring using an approval voting system whereby members of the Exempt Staff Council may cast one vote for as many candidates as they choose. Results shall be announced to the membership following the vote tally. Voting shall be conducted as follows:
- All members of the Exempt Staff Council may vote.
- Members of Exempt Staff Council who vote shall constitute a quorum.
- Any Exempt Staff Council member may be nominated or self-nominate, with no seconding required.
- The candidates who receive the most votes shall be elected, provided that the five divisions with the most exempt staff members are each represented.
- If after the top candidates are determined, one or more of the five divisions with the most exempt staff members remains unrepresented, the candidate(s) from the appropriate division(s) who received the most votes, though not among the top candidates, shall also serve on the Executive Board.
In the event that a member leaves the Executive Board for any reason and will either bring membership below ten or eliminate representation from one of the five divisions with the most exempt staff employees, the appropriate candidate from the most recent election with the next highest vote tally may be asked to serve out the balance of the term. If this is not possible, a replacement may be appointed by the Executive Board.
The Executive Board shall meet at least monthly during the year. Other meetings may be called as the Board deems necessary. A quorum of the Board must be present for the Board to officially take up business and shall consist of 2/3 of its membership. All Executive Board meetings are open to the general membership of the Exempt Staff Council.
Responsibilities of the Executive Board
The duties of Executive Board members shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Attend all meetings of the Executive Board. Members may be asked to step down if chronically absent.
- Report to the Exempt Council on important information and issues as they arise. At least once a year and with at least two weeks notice, the Executive Board will convene the entire Exempt Council at which time the Executive Board shall report on its activities for the preceding year.
- Conduct the annual election for members of the Executive Board.
- Conduct the annual election for officers and other elected committee representatives.
- The Executive Board shall work with College committees to ensure that
a. As deemed necessary, the Exempt Staff Council is represented on these committees,
b. Issues under discussion by and decisions of these
College committees are communicated in a timely manner to the Exempt
- The ESC shall strive to conduct all business in a
sustainable manner, especially in regards to its dissemination of
meeting minutes, agendas and other supporting documents.
- Establish and serve on ESC subcommittees.
At the first meeting of each new fiscal year, the Executive Board shall select from among its members three to serve as officers as defined below.
Officers of the Executive Board may serve no more than two consecutive terms (i.e. two consecutive years).
- Chair, who shall:
a) Preside at all meetings of the Exempt Council Executive Board.
b) Prepare and distribute an agenda prior to each Executive Board meeting.
- Vice-Chair, who shall
a) Perform duties of the Chair in the event the Chair is absent or cannot serve.
b) Consult with the Chair on meeting agenda.
c) Organizes Executive Board elections.
d) Serve as Treasurer.
- Recording Secretary, who shall
a) Record accurate minutes of each meeting.
b) Prepare minutes in a timely fashion and distribute minutes to the Executive Board.
c) Maintain the minutes for his/her term of office and pass them on to the successor, along with the historic records.
d) Coordinate communications with the Exempt Council membership and other constituencies as necessary.
e) Check contents of the Board mailbox prior to each meeting and forward any items to the Chair for inclusion in the agenda.
Senior Staff Liaison
The Executive Board shall arrange for a member of the senior staff to act as a liaison between that group and the Executive Board. The Senior Staff Liaison may attend all regular meetings without voting privileges, though the Executive Board reserves the right to meet without the liaison present. The liaison shall offer advice and perspective and serve as a direct means of communication between the Exempt Staff Council and the senior staff. It is expected that the liaison will report back on a regular basis to the senior staff and provide feedback from that group to the Executive Board as necessary.
Non-Exempt Staff Council Liaisons
The Exempt Staff Council shall arrange for a liaison with the NSC for purposes of coordination and communication. This individual will be selected by the ESC annually at the first meeting of the fiscal year, attend NSC meetings and report to the ESC regularly about the actions and initiatives of the NSC.
Similarly, a representative of the NSC is welcome to attend ESC meetings for the purposes of sharing information and coordinating activities.
The Exempt Staff Council will establish and disband subcommittees to focus on particular issues of interest to the Exempt Staff members. Each subcommittee will select a Chair who is be responsible for maintaining the agenda and reporting activities back to the Executive Board on a regular basis. The Chair and members of the subcommittee shall be composed of any member of the Exempt Staff, and have representation from the Non-Exempt Staff Council as appropriate.
Adoption of and Revisions to the Bylaws
Bylaws of the Exempt Staff Council and all amendments or revisions thereto must conform with all official policies of the College. These bylaws shall be adopted by a vote conducted in the manner used to elect the Executive Board. Exempt Staff Council members who vote shall constitute a quorum, a 2/3 majority of the quorum shall be necessary for adoption.
Revisions to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Exempt Staff Council and must conform with all established College policies. The Executive Board may recommend the revision to the Exempt Staff Council for approval. Revisions shall be voted upon by the entire Exempt Council in the same manner that the Executive Board is elected. Exempt Staff Council Members who vote shall constitute a quorum, a 2/3 majority of the quorum shall be required to revise the bylaws. The Exempt Council shall have at least two weeks to consider any changes to the bylaws.
At least once every five years, the Executive Board will appoint a committee to review the Bylaws of the Exempt Staff Council and to recommend any changes it deems necessary.