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  5. Constitution ARTICLE 18: Constitutional matters

A: PUBLIC REVIEW BOARD

  1. Unifor shall have an independent, final, external Review Board known as the Public Review Board. The purpose of the Public Review Board is to ensure fairness and democratic practice for all Union members and to safeguard the moral and ethical standards set out in the Constitution and the Code of Ethics.
  2. The National Executive Board shall establish a Public Review Board to serve as an independent and final body for Reviews of Decisions and for violations of the Constitution, including the Code of Ethics.
  3. The Public Review Board shall have five (5) members from across Canada appointed by the National Executive Board. Each member appointed to the Public Review Board shall serve a three-year term commencing with the first regular National Executive Board meeting following convention. The National Executive Board will make an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Public Review Board from a list of names provided by the remaining members of the Public Review Board for a term extending until the first regular National Executive Board meeting following convention. Following retirement or replacement of the current members of the Board no member of the Public Review Board shall serve more than two (2) consecutive three-year terms.
  4. The National Executive Board shall appoint a Chairperson of the Public Review Board from among its members. The Chairperson shall preside over meetings of the Public Review Board, act as spokesperson for the Public Review Board and administer the work of the Public Review Board.
  5. The Public Review Board shall develop its own procedures which shall be made available to members of the National Union. To expedite cases, the Chair may establish panels of not less than three (3) members. A panel will have the authority of the full Board. The Public Review Board shall respect and adhere to all time limits set out in this Constitution, and provide bilingual services on request in French and English.
  6. The Pubic Review Board shall not consider any decision made by the Convention, Regional or Quebec Councils, or Canadian Council, nor shall it consider any matter related to the collective bargaining strategy or policy of the Union. It shall not consider any matters related to the application or administration of a collective agreement unless unreasonableness or collusion is established.
  7. All budgeted expenses of the Public Review Board shall be borne by the National Union and approved by the National Executive Board.
  8. The Public Review Board shall provide a report of its activities and an audited statement of its expenses to each convention.
  9. The Public Review Board will overturn a decision only when the lower body acted unreasonably.

B: REVIEW OF DECISION

  1. A member has the right to request a Review of Decision by a deciding authority arising from any action or decision which they believe did not have fair and reasonable consideration or lacks a rational basis, and which results in an injury or penalty to them.
  2. A Committee on Constitutional Matters (the Committee) established in the Office of the President shall receive and process requests for Reviews of Decisions under this Article and report to the National Executive Board. The National Executive Board shall approve a Procedure Policy on Constitutional Matters which shall determine time limits and procedural requirements to govern the implementation of this Article.
  3. No request for review shall be considered under this Article if a resort to a labour board, court, civil authority or other external body has been commenced prior to exhausting the Constitutional procedures and remedies in this Constitution.
  4. If the members of a Local Union have an alternate review or appeal mechanism approved by the National Executive Board the procedures in this Article do not apply.
  5. A decision to ratify a collective agreement or provision of a collective agreement concerning terms and conditions of employment, or a bargaining strategy which has been approved by the membership of a bargaining unit or Local Union shall not be subject to review, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution.
  6. Only the President shall interpret the meaning of any contract or collective bargaining agreement and any such interpretation shall not be subject to review.
  7. A request for a Review of Decision must be signed and specific in describing the decision or action to be reviewed, including the grounds for review and the remedy sought. All requests for review shall adhere to the time limits and other procedures set out in the Procedure Policy on Constitutional Matters.
  8. A request for a Review of Decision shall be submitted in writing to the Local Union or the body to which the deciding authority is accountable within thirty (30) days of the decision, or knowledge of the decision. The Local Union or accountable body shall consider the request at its next regular meeting.
  9. Within thirty (30) days of a review by a Local Union or accountable body the member may inform the Office of the President — Committee on Constitutional Matters in writing of their request for a further review. A full record of the matter shall be forwarded to the Committee, including all relevant information that may be requested.
  10. The Committee shall consider the request and determine that it is timely and admissible in all respects, investigate the issues and determine if a hearing is required, or if written submissions shall be received.
  11. The Committee shall render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Uphold the decision or action of the Local Union or accountable body.
    ● Refer the matter back to the Local Union or accountable body for reconsideration based on all of the facts and information that are known.
    ● Give instructions to change the decision.
  12. The Committee will provide a report to each meeting of the National Executive Board, including copies of all decisions.
  13. Within thirty (30) days of a decision by the Committee or the National Executive Board, a member may inform the Office of the President in writing of their request for a further and final review by the Public Review Board. The Committee will forward the full record of the matter to the Public Review Board and to the member.
  14. The Public Review Board shall review the full record of the matter provided and determine if the decision of the Committee or the National Executive Board was reasonable.
  15. The Public Review Board may request further submissions concerning the full record or determine that a hearing is required.
  16. The Public Review Board shall within one hundred and twenty (120) days of receiving the full record render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Uphold the decision or action of the Committee or the National Executive Board.
    ● If the decision is found to be unreasonable, refer the matter back to a lower body with instructions, or substitute another decision which is appropriate in all the circumstances.

C: CHARGES

  1. A member in good standing, a group of members, Local Union or subordinate body may file a charge if they have reasonable cause to believe that another member has violated the procedures and responsibilities established by this Constitution or the Code of Ethics which forms part of this Constitution.
  2. No charge shall be considered under this Article if a resort to a court, civil authority or other external body has been commenced prior to exhausting the constitutional procedures and remedies in this Constitution.
  3. Any alleged act of personal conduct which constitutes harassment as defined by the National Union Anti-Harassment Policy shall be subject to investigation and resolution as established by the Policy and shall not be the basis of a charge under this Article.
  4. A charge must be filed within thirty (30) days of a violation of the Constitution or knowledge of a violation. Only the President can relieve this time limit. It shall be in writing, signed and specific about the alleged violation, and the Article/part of the Constitution or Code of Ethics alleged to have been violated. Charges shall adhere to the procedures set out in the Procedure Policy on Constitution Matters of the National Executive Board.
  5. The charge shall be submitted first to the Local Union Executive Board of the person accused which shall make a determination if the charge is proper. If the charge is timely and apparently raises a violation, then it and the full record of the charge shall be forwarded to the Office of the President. If the charge is determined not to be timely, or if it is decided that it fails to raise an apparent case of a violation, then the person(s) laying the charge shall be so informed and he/she may forward the charge to the Office of the President. The Office of the President shall determine if the determinations of the Local Union below are correct, and if so, dismiss the matter.
  6. Alternatively the Office of the President shall investigate the charge and determine if a hearing is required. In any event, the accused shall have the right to a hearing if requested. If a hearing is convened, the accused shall have the right to be assisted by an advocate, at the cost of the accused.
  7. The Office of the President shall render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Dismiss the charge.
    ● Find that the charge is warranted and reprimand a member or representative, and, if necessary, order specific remedies considered fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
    ● Suspend or expel a member.
    ● Suspend or remove from office an elected representative from any position within a Local Union, subordinate body or council of the Union.
  8. Within thirty (30) days of a decision by the Office of the President, the person(s) laying the charge or the accused may inform the Office of the President in writing of their request to appeal the matter to the National Executive Board which shall consider the appeal based on the record provided by the Office of the President at the next regular meeting after the filing of the notice of appeal.
  9. The National Executive Board shall establish a “National Appeals Committee” which shall hear and decide appeals of decisions of the Office of the President and recommend a decision to the National Executive Board.
  10. Upon receiving the recommendation of the National Appeals Committee, the National Executive Board shall render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Uphold the decision of the Office of the President.
    ● Overturn the decision of the Office of the President if it is unreasonable, and substitute a decision that is appropriate in all the circumstances.
  11. Within thirty (30) days of a decision by the National Executive Board, a person laying the charge or the accused may inform the Office of the President in writing of their request to appeal the matter to the Public Review Board.
  12. The Public Review Board shall review the full record of the charge. The Public Review Board shall not consider any new information or allegations which were not provided to the National Appeals Committee.
  13. Within one hundred and twenty (120) days, the Public Review Board shall render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Uphold the decision of the National Executive Board.
    ● Overturn the decision if it is unreasonable, and substitute a decision that is appropriate in all the circumstances including a direction that the matter be reheard by a lower body.

D: CHARGES AGAINST A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD

  1. A charge against a National Officer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board may be filed if it is believed with reasonable cause that a violation of responsibilities in this Constitution, or a violation of the Code of Ethics has taken place. The charge must be filed within thirty (30) days of the alleged violation of the Constitution or knowledge of the violation, and must be in writing, signed and specific about the alleged violation, and the Article/part of the Constitution or Code of Ethics alleged to have
    been violated.
  2. A charge against a National Officer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board may be filed by any five (5) members of the National Executive Board.
  3. A charge against the President, Secretary Treasurer or member of the National Executive Board may be filed by eleven (11) or more Local Unions.
  4. A charge against the Quebec Director, Regional Director, Chairperson of the Quebec Council or Chairperson of a Regional Council may be filed by five (5) or more Local Unions within the area of responsibility of the Director or Chairperson.
  5. The charge shall be heard by the National Executive Board at the first regular meeting of the National Executive Board following the filing of the charge. The National Executive Board shall determine the admissibility of the charge and allow the accusers and the accused to fully present information and arguments concerning the charge. If the President is charged, the Secretary Treasurer shall
    preside while the charge is heard. After all information and arguments are heard, the National Executive Board shall exclude the accused and persons laying the charge while it renders a decision on the charge.
  6. The National Executive Board shall render a decision in writing which may:
    ● Dismiss the charge.
    ● Refer the charge to the Public Review Board for further consideration of ethical practices and the Code of Ethics.
    ● Reprimand the National Officer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board.
    ● By a two-thirds vote, suspend or remove a National Officer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board
    from office.
    ● By a two-thirds vote, expel the National Officer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board from
    membership in the Union.
  7. If the National Executive Board has suspended or removed from office the President, Secretary Treasurer, Regional Director or other member of the National Executive Board, the accused may appeal the decision to the next meeting of the Canadian Council or Convention, whichever is closer.
  8. If the President or Secretary Treasurer are suspended or removed from office more than one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to a meeting of the Canadian Council or Convention and the decision of the National Executive Board has been appealed, a Special Meeting of the Canadian Council shall be convened.
  9. The Canadian Council or Convention shall select an Appeal Committee of thirteen (13) members at random from its delegates which shall conduct a hearing into the charges and the decision of the National Executive Board. The Appeal Committee shall make a recommendation to the Canadian Council or Convention to uphold or reject the decision of the National Executive Board.
  10. If the National Executive Board has suspended or removed from office the Quebec Director or the Chairperson of the Quebec Council, the accused may appeal the decision to the next meeting of the Quebec Council.
  11. If the Quebec Director has been suspended or removed from office and the decision of the National Executive Board has been appealed, a Special Meeting of the Quebec Council shall be convened.
  12. The Quebec Council shall select an Appeal Committee of thirteen (13) members at random from its delegates which shall conduct a hearing into the charges and the decision of the National Executive Board. The Appeal Committee shall make a recommendation to the Quebec Council to uphold or reject the decision of the National Executive Board.

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