Constitution and Bylaws

Unanimously approved on August 13, 2015. Amended on March 12, 2020

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this organization is the NMSU Employee Council.

ARTICLE II – FUNCTIONS

A. Functions: NMSU Employee Council’s function is to perform the following:
1. Review and develop proposals on matters involving the policies and procedures of the administration of the university.
2. Make recommendations to the Chancellor based on such reviews.
3. Serve as liaison between staff and the Chancellor, including community colleges.
B. Recordkeeping: NMSU Employee Council’s records are maintained as follows:
1. A copy of the meeting minutes for each Employee Council meeting will be transmitted to the Chancellor and posted on NMSU Employee Council web site (empcouncil.nmsu.edu) one week after approval. Minutes are typically approved the next regularly scheduled Employee Council meeting.
2. All documentation produced by NMSU Employee Council will be archived in NMSU’s SharePoint site (nmsusharepoint.nmsu.edu) and contained within the Employee Council folder therein.
a. The Employee Council Chair has the discretionary authority to grant all access to the Employee Council documents held in NMSU SharePoint.
b. Every February the incoming Chair will, via email to ict_psa@nmsu.edu, request access to the archived documents and the SharePoint site and will include the names and usernames of those who need access.
c. Those who no longer need access to the archived Employee Council documents will be removed from the NMSU SharePoint by the request of the current chair.
C. Operational Procedures: NMSU Employee Council has complete authority to determine its own operational procedures.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

A. Definition of Staff: The staff of the university, for the purposes of this Constitution, will consist of full-time employees. Further elaboration of this definition will be done as needed by NMSU Employee Council.
B. Membership: Membership of the NMSU Employee Council are elected from the following (geographically based) employee areas, which they will represent. However, individual representatives are not be restricted to considering matters pertaining only to the area they represent.
1. For purposes of election of members, employee areas, per Human Resource Services’ records, are broken down as follows:
a. “Las Cruces Area” (includes Las Cruces campus, Doña Ana Cooperative Extension and Doña Ana Community College) is divided demographically into faculty; exempt staff; non-exempt staff represented by a bargaining unit and non-exempt staff not represented by a bargaining unit. Through the election process, NMSU Employee Council will put forth its best efforts to ensure the Membership will represent the demographic distribution of classifications.
b. “Community Colleges Outside Las Cruces Area” (includes all Community Colleges outside Doña Ana County) will be considered as a separate area.
c. “Others Outside of Las Cruces Area” (includes Research Centers, Cooperative Extension and other remote facilities) will be considered as a separate area.
2. Membership includes no more than two representatives per classification per area from an NMSU summary organization as defined in the Banner hierarchy.
3. To maintain a representative membership, demographic distribution data will be reviewed prior to election in odd years and membership adjusted according to the distribution at that time. NMSU Employee Council Chair-Elect will prepare demographic distribution data and recommend distribution of membership for the following: Las Cruces Area distributed into faculty, exempt, non-exempt represented and not represented by a bargaining unit Community Colleges Outside Las Cruces Area; and Others Outside of Las Cruces Area. The recommended distribution will be presented to NMSU Employee Council members in October for review and approval.
4. The number of alternates for each classification are be fixed. Las Cruces Area has four alternates each (4 faculty, 4 exempt, 4 non-exempt). Community Colleges Outside Las Cruces and Others Outside of Las Cruces Areas will have two alternates each. NMSU Employee Council will put forth its best efforts to ensure that alternates have no more than one representative per classification from a NMSU summary organization as defined in the Banner hierarchy.
5. It is understood that NMSU’s non-exempt staff are exclusively represented for the terms and conditions of their employment by the collective bargaining agreement between NMSU and AFSCME Local 2393.

ARTICLE IV – NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS, AND TERM OF OFFICE

A. Membership: The NMSU Employee Council Chair will appoint at least three members to an Election Committee. Election Committee members may not run for re-election.
B. Nominations: This Election Committee will send nomination forms to all personnel of each respective area indicating the number of classifications to be filled. Whenever possible, these will be sent by November 1 of each year.
C. Ballots and Voting: Whenever possible, the Election Committee will send ballots by December 1 of each year. All personnel may vote once for each classification of which they are members. Whenever possible, the completed ballots should be received by the Election Committee no later than the working day nearest the 15th of December. The ballots will be counted by the Election Committee.
D. Notification to Chair of Election Results: The Election Committee will notify the Chair of NMSU Employee Council of the number of votes received by each candidate by the end of December. The chair-elect will keep this record for the 3-year term in the event that an alternate might need to be selected to fill an unexpired term.
E. Tie Votes: In cases of tie votes, NMSU Employee Council membership will vote by secret ballot to determine the winner.
F. Notification to Nominees of Election Results: The Election Committee will notify each person who was nominated concerning the results of the election. Those elected begin serving their 3-year terms at the February meeting. Those elected may attend the January Employee Council meeting as guests.
G. Vacancies: If a member is unable to complete the term of office, NMSU Employee Council will select, by secret ballot, an elected alternate representing the same area and classification as the departing member to serve the remainder of that term. If an alternate in the same area and classification is not available to be selected, employee council may choose to elect from the remaining alternates.
H. Unavailability of Alternate from Appropriate Classification: If an open area and classification becomes available, an alternate member from the same area and classification will fulfill their remaining term as a voting member.

ARTICLE V – ELIGIBILITY FOR VOTING AND HOLDING OFFICE

Every regular employee from the geographical areas defined in Section B of Article III is eligible to vote to elect their Employee Council representatives associated with their classification, and may only vote for representatives within their geographical area and within their classification.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS

At the regular February meeting, members of the NMSU Employee Council will elect from the primary representatives a chair, chair-elect, secretary/treasurer, recording secretary and website coordinator. The secretary/treasurer and website coordinator will hold office for 1 year. The chair-elect will serve as a member of the Executive Committee for 3 years: 1 year as chair-elect, 1 year as chair, and 1 year as past-chair. The chair will serve for 2 years: 1 year as chair and 1 year as past-chair. In the event that the past-chair no longer serves as a primary NMSU Employee Council member, past-chair will act as an ex-officio member of both the NMSU Employee Council and its Executive Committee during the 1-year past-chair term.

ARTICLE VII — MEETINGS

A. Regular Meetings: Regular meetings will be held the second Thursday of each month. Time and place of each meeting will be determined by NMSU Employee Council at its previous meeting, or at the discretion of Chair of the NMSU Employee Council.
B. Special Meetings: The Chair of NMSU Employee Council may call special meetings at any time. Such meetings will be limited to the consideration of the specific items of business designated in the call of the meeting.
C. Attendance at Meetings: Any regular staff of the university may attend any of the regular council meetings. Visitors may participate in the discussions and deliberations at the invitation of the NMSU Employee Council.
D. Quorum and Designation of Alternates as Proxies: A simple majority of NMSU Employee Council voting members will constitute a quorum. If a quorum of voting members is not present, at the chair’s discretion, the chair may designate an alternate elected member from their area to serve as a voting member. If a voting member is not able to attend, they may ask their area’s alternate to attend and act as a voting member in their place. The voting member must email the chair at least one day before the meeting to inform the chair of this change.
E. Notice of Meetings: The Chair will notify NMSU Employee Council members via NMSU email about meetings in advance and provide members with a copy of the agenda for such meetings via email and the NMSU Employee Council website (empcouncil.nmsu.edu).
F. Attendance Requirement: Primary representatives are requested to attend the monthly meetings on a continuous basis or send an alternate in their place. If a primary representative does not attend two consecutive meetings or fails to designate an alternate to attend in their stead, NMSU Employee Council may replace the primary representative with an appropriate alternate.

ARTICLE VIII – PROPOSITIONS AND CONSIDERATION

A. Initiatives: NMSU Employee Council may consider matters on its own initiative, matters submitted by the Chancellor, or matters submitted by an individual employee of the university.
B. Manner of Communication: All propositions, except those made by the Chancellor or by members of NMSU Employee Council, will be communicated in writing to NMSU Employee Council through the NMSU Employee Council Chair, NMSU Employee Council representative or the NMSU Employee Council website.
C. Communication to Chancellor: All NMSU Employee Council recommendations will be sent to the Chancellor in writing from the NMSU Employee Council Chair.

ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this constitution must be proposed in writing and approved by the NMSU Employee Council. Proposed amendments are approved upon a two-thirds majority vote in the affirmative by the NMSU Employee Council, and with approval from the Chancellor.

ARTICLE X
If any article, section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this constitution is, for any reason, held to be invalid, such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this constitution.

A. Establishment of Bylaws: The NMSU Employee Council will establish, and amend from time to time, Bylaws to describe and define the manner by which its activities and functions are to be performed.
B. Amendment of Bylaws: NMSU Employee Council may make any motion into a Bylaw by the agreement of two-thirds of the membership of the council. Bylaw changes will be presented and voted on at the next regular meeting.
C. Duties of Elected Representative Members and Officers: The elected representative members and officers of the Employee Council will perform the following duties:

 

1. The Chair
a. Preside at meetings
b. Call and run NMSU Employee Council meetings
c. Call and run NMSU Employee Council Executive Committee meetings
d. Attend all meetings as requested by the Chancellor
e. Check and respond to NMSU Employee Council emails
f. Review and edit website with the website coordinator
g. Review and edit minutes with the secretary/treasurer
h. Draft and prepare any materials needed for NMSU Employee Council events/meetings
i. Serve on committees as needed
j. Serve on the NMSU Employee Council Picnic Committee
k. Chair the NMSU Employee Council Strategic Plan Committee
l. Serve as the ex-officio member of all NMSU Employee Council committees
m. Appoint ad hoc committees as needed
n. Appoint Ex-officio member to the Faculty Senate (which may be the Faculty Senate representative)
o. Serve as a member of Administrative Council
p. Report NMSU Employee Council Activities at regular Board of Regents meetings

2. The Chair-Elect
a. Substitute for Chair when Chair is unable to serve
b. Serve on NMSU Employee Council Executive Committee
c. Serve on the NMSU Employee Council Picnic Committee
d. Serve on the NMSU Employee Council Strategic Plan Committee
e. Chair the Election Committee
f. Chair the NMSU Employee Council Recognition Committee
g. Chair the Roberts Memorial Staff Award Committee
h. Chair the A Mountain Award Committee
i. Serve as NMSU Employee Council chair the following year
j. Keep a current record of primary and alternate members with dates of term expiration (All files to be kept in the Employee Council SharePoint folder)
k. Keep a current record and fill any vacancies of all NMSU Employee Council committees. A list of any vacancies needs to be provided to the chair at least one week before the next NMSU Employee Council meeting. All files will be kept in the Employee Council SharePoint folder.

3. The Past-Chair
a. Serve as a voting member of Executive Committee
b. Serve in an advisory capacity to NMSU Employee Council
4. Website Coordinator
a. Serve as a non-voting member of Executive Committee
b. Update Employee Council Webpage
c. Post all meeting documentation, news, and other pertinent information as approved by the Executive Committee
d. Update Employee Council Web Page
5. The Secretary/Treasurer
a. Serve as member of Executive Committee
b. Serve as Council Parliamentarian
c. Maintain a current constitution and bylaws of the council and have it available for use at all times
d. Arrange for distribution of constitution and bylaws to council members and others as directed by the Chair
e. Maintain a file of minutes for 3 years
f. Transfer approved minutes with all presented attachments within 30 days after approval by NMSU Employee Council to the NMSU Employee Council SharePoint folder
g. Oversee the management, recording and reporting of the Employee Council finances

6. The Recording Secretary
a. Prepare accurate records of all business meetings and will transmit those records on a timely basis to NMSU Employee Council membership
b. Take roll at meetings (specify members, alternates, visitors)
c. Determine if a quorum is present
d. Keep an accurate record of business conducted
e. Post all relevant information to Employee Council SharePoint folder

7. Elected Primary Member
a. Attend all regular and special meetings
b. If unable to attend, arrange for an alternate to attend
c. Serve on at least one Employee council or NMSU Committee as approved by Employee Council membership
d. Participate in the majority of Employee Council events
e. Provide feedback and updates to the area/department/college the member represents

8. Elected Alternate Member
a. Attend meetings as a nonvoting member (or stay informed about NMSU Employee Council’s business)
b. Substitute for voting members as requested by a member or the chair
c. Fill the unexpired term of a member from the same area and classification in the case of the member’s resignation

9. The President’s Representative
a. Appointed by the Chancellor
b. Attend all NMSU Employee Council and Executive Committee meetings as non-voting member
c. Act as liaison between NMSU Employee Council and the Chancellor

D. Committees: NMSU Employee Council presently has authorized four standing committees; it also may create ad-hoc committees as it deems necessary. NMSU Employee Council makes appointments to other campus committees as per policy or as requested by Chancellor. The NMSU Employee Council representatives on these committees are responsible for reporting committee discussions, activities and outcomes to NMSU Employee Council. Any employee from the NMSU system is eligible to serve on the Employee Council’s committees, subject to the following exceptions: Non-exempt employees part of a bargaining unit (e.g. represented by AFSCME) are not eligible to serve on HR-related committees, as defined by Employee Council. Additionally, non-exempt employees who are part of a bargaining unit (e.g. represented by AFSCME) are not eligible to serve on the Employee Council Executive team, as they may seek similar service on the Union Board.

1. Standing Committees: The following are the Employee Council’s standing committees, which it may discontinue or modify, consistent with its Constitution and Bylaws.

a. NMSU Employee Council will have an Executive Committee that consists of the chair, chair-elect, past-chair (ex-officio), secretary/treasurer, recording secretary, website coordinator, and Presidents Representative (ex-officio). This Executive Committee will maintain an agenda to conduct the business of NMSU Employee Council and make other decisions that may appear necessary or business that NMSU Employee Council may be asked to do.
b. NMSU Employee Council will have a permanent committee on fringe benefits, excluding insurance. The Fringe Benefits Committee will be comprised of seven members plus two ex-officio members. The Fringe Benefits Committee members will serve staggered 3-year terms, subject to reappointment by NMSU Employee Council. The ex-officio members will be the AVP – Human Resource Services or a designated representative and the Controller or a designated representative. The ex-officio members will be non-voting. One member and an alternate will be appointed from among NMSU retirees. Appointments to the committee will be made by NMSU Employee Council. The Fringe Benefits Committee will elect its Chair and other such officers as it deems necessary. The Chair, if not a duly elected voting member of the Employee Council, will serve as an ex-officio nonvoting member of the NMSU Employee Council.
c. NMSU Employee Council will have a permanent committee on insurance. The Insurance Committee will be comprised of six members plus four ex-officio members. The Insurance Committee members will serve staggered 3-year terms. The ex-officio members will be the AVP- Human Resource Services or a designated representative, the Pioneer Representative from NMSU Employee Council, the Director of University Health Center or their designee and the Controller or a designated representative. The ex-officio members will be non- voting. Appointments to the Insurance Committee will be made by NMSU Employee Council and will have 3 members that are current retirees and 3 members that are currently active employees. NMSU Employee Council will also appoint one alternate that is a retiree and one alternate that is a current employee. The Insurance Committee will elect its    Chair and other such officers as it deems necessary. The Chair will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of NMSU Employee Council; if they are also a duly elected voting member, they will serve in both capacities.
d. Recognition Committee – A committee will be appointed annually to select recipients for the Stephen W. and Robert E. Roberts Memorial Staff Award and the A Mountain Award (Spring and Fall). Members (primary and alternate) of NMSU Employee Council cannot be considered for this award during their term as a voting or alternate member. Other awards or events will be completed by this committee as charged by the Chancellor, Employee Council or Executive Committee.

2. Creation of Ad Hoc Committees: NMSU Employee Council may establish ad hoc committees to do various assignments as it deems necessary. Committees will be set up and organized as follows:

a. NMSU Employee Council will select the membership of each committee;
b. the Chair of the committee will be selected by NMSU Employee Council or the Executive Committee;
c. the Executive Committee will instruct the Chair and the members of the committee on:
i. the objectives proposed for the accomplishment of the committee; and
ii. a proposed time schedule for the accomplishment of the objectives, with the right of the committee to make adjustments in both (i) and (ii) with the consent of the Executive Committee.
d. The committee is considered discharged when it completes the assignment.

END OF BYLAWS