We are holding a general membership meeting at the Embassy Suites LAX South (1440 E. Imperial Ave, El Segundo, CA 90245) at 6:30 p.m. the evening of June 20. The formal agenda will include:
Discussion of our proposed bylaws. Members will have an opportunity to ask questions and propose amendments.
The establishment of an interim election committee to oversee the ratification of our bylaws and, later, the election of officers in our new Local. We will need several volunteers to serve on this committee, who will be selected by the members in attendance at the meeting. To ensure fairness in the process, the election committee cannot include current officers or members of the bylaws committee.
A progress report on our contract negotiations.
We will have a call-in option TBD.
Here are a few highlights from our proposed bylaws:
Transition language: The draft bylaws establish a process to take our union from the interim leadership we’ve had over the past 18 months to a nine-member Executive Committee chosen by the members.
Governance Structure: Under these bylaws, our Local would start its operations with an Executive Committee that has four titled officers (president, vice president, treasurer, secretary) and five at-large members. The Executive Committee would be set up in a way that allows new unions to join our Local (if, say, other newsrooms in Los Angeles were to unionize like we did).
Election timetable: Under the proposal, elections for officers and other matters would be held every two years.
Initiating major changes: Under the proposed bylaws, our Local would need signatures from 25% of its members to force a vote of the membership on a proposal, including any request to amend the bylaws. That threshold was chosen to give our rank-and-file members the power to make changes when necessary, while also ensuring that we’re not rewriting our bylaws every other month.
Public conduct: The draft includes language that would forbid our Local from endorsing candidates for public office. However, it creates a process that would allow the Local to support political measures that affect the Guild’s institutional rights, bargaining responsibilities and working conditions of its members. This policy was designed to minimize our union’s involvement in politics and avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, while recognizing the Local still has a duty to serve as effective advocates for our journalists and other members.
Anthony Pesce & Carolina A. Miranda
Co-Chairs, Los Angeles Times Guild