Democracy Autonomy by dfsdf224s


     in Our Union,
     in Our Locals

CAW-TCA Canada is proud of its democratic heritage. Each member is entitled
to share equally in the governance of the union. Our constitution is designed to ensure
all members have full democratic rights (both as individuals and through their elected
representatives) to express themselves freely and to participate at all levels in the
democratic decision-making.

The development of our constitution was critical as it established our structures, our
principles, enshrined autonomy for locals and ensured accountability for our members.

The constitution is the highest authority governing the National Union, Local Unions,
subordinate bodies and members elected, or appointed, to any office in the union.
Unions are voluntary
organizations. We can only
be effective if the membership
knows the union truly belongs
to them. This means a union which reflects the
goals of its membership, allows the members full
participation, and encourages workers to develop
their own skills and understanding.

Internal democracy also means we view each
other as equals. Racial discrimination or sexual
harassment violate our principles, undermine our
solidarity and erode our strength. We not only
oppose such responses but will actively work to
overcome them.
– Statement of Principles, CAW-TCA Canada Constitution

  Local Unions are the founda-                           Local Union membership
  tion of the CAW-TCA Canada. Local                      is the highest authority in the
  Unions are where members of                            Local Union. Members exercise
  the union directly experience the                      their authority at Local Union
  union. They are the basis of union                     meetings and in elections of
  democracy. They are the union’s                        Local Union Executive Boards,
  voice in the workplace and in the                      delegates to conventions, com-
  community. Queen’s University                          mittee members, and other
  employees will form their own local                    workplace representatives.
  union under the CAW-TCA Canada.

   The Local Union                                       The Local Union President
   Executive Board is the                                is the administrative authority
   highest authority between Local                       between meetings of the Local
   Union membership meetings.                            Union Executive Board.
Each union member has a vote.
Local Union Membership will:
• Elect local leadership, workplace
  representatives, bargaining committee
  members and all other standing
  committee members
• Elect their delegates to the CAW Council,
  the parliament of the union
• Elect their delegates to the CAW
  Bargaining & Political Action Convention
• Elect their delegates to the CAW             Accountability
  Constitutional Convention
                                               Audits of the finances of the National
Autonomy                                       Union are performed twice a year by a
                                               chartered accountant. The audited report
Each bargaining unit will be autonomous        is sent out to all local unions.
and the members of a unit will be the
highest authority for the unit.                Audits of the finances of the Local Unions
                                               are performed twice a year by a chartered
Local Union Membership:                        accountant. The audited report is shared
• Will establish their own By-Laws             with the Local Union membership.
• Determine how the Local controls their       Finances in the Local union are overseen
  own finances                                 by an elected board of trustees.
• Determine their bargaining priorities
• Ratify their collective agreements           Membership Meetings
• Determine if strike action will occur        Each Local Union and each bargaining unit
                                               within the Local Union must hold regular
                                               membership meetings (at least once a
                                               month) with the membership.
Our constitution is on the web site: http://   Public Review Board (PRB)           This is a unique structure within the
index.asp                                      labour movement. The PRB is a structure
Delegates elected by the Local Union           that enables members, who have a
Membership can amend the constitution          grievance against their Local or the Union,
by a majority vote at the Constitutional       access to due process. The PRB is an
Convention which is held every three           independent appeal body whose members
years. The next Constitutional Convention      do not work under the jurisdiction of the
will be in Quebec City in August 2009.         CAW nor are they employed by the CAW.
• Our financial practices and our dues         The purpose of the PRB is to safeguard
  structure can easily be found.               the moral and ethical standards and
                                               practices within CAW-TCA Canada and
• Our financial reports must be presented
                                               strengthen the union’s democratic process
  to our membership at all levels of the
                                               and appeal procedures. The current chair
                                               of the PRB is Alan Borovoy who is the
• The duties and responsibilities of all       General Counsel of the Canadian Civil
  elected officers are clearly defined.        Liberties Association.
                        of our
CAW Council
CAW Council is the democratic parliament            The National officers, President, Secretary
of the union. Local Union Membership elect          Treasurer and the Quebec Director are elected at
Council delegates who meet several times a          this convention. Also elected at this convention
year to discuss and debate issues of importance     are three trustees.
to the union as a whole. This Council ensure
accountability of leadership and staff to           National Executive Board (NEB)
Local Unions. They also educate and develop
consensus on issues, develop leadership skills      Between conventions and CAW Council, the
and mobilize union activists.                       Canadian based National Executive Board is
                                                    the highest authority in the union. The majority
The CAW Council meets two or three times a          of NEB members are not full-time national
year: twice in a Constitution Convention year,      officers, but leaders of Local Unions, elected
twice in a Collective Bargaining and Political      through CAW Council and the Constitutional
Action Convention year, and three times             Convention. The NEB is representative of the
otherwise. The delegates of the CAW Council         union in terms of regions and sectors. In 1991,
elect seven members to the National Executive       the CAW adopted an affirmative action policy
Board (NEB).                                        to ensure that women and workers of colour are
                                                    represented. The NEB meets four times a year
                                                    and holds special meetings as needed.
Quebec Council
A structure that mirrors that of the CAW Council,   CAW Bargaining and Political Action
and respects the autonomy of Quebec TCA
members. Quebec elects their own council            Convention
executive and nominates their own candidate         Local Union Membership elect their delegates
for the NEB.                                        to the convention. These delegates debate and
                                                    discuss the strategic direction of the union for
                                                    the upcoming three years. The next Convention
CAW –TCA Constitutional Convention                  is to be held in Toronto in June 2008.
Local Union Membership elects their delegates
to the convention. The constitution (the govern-
ance structure) of the union, can be amended
after a through democratic debate and vote.

Please have a look at our constitution, it can be found at:

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