GREATER KANSAS CITY INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP BRANCH BYLAWS
All members, committees, groups, and officers of the Greater Kansas City GMB agree to abide by the IWW Constitution and the General Executive Board’s Manual of Policies & Procedures. No portion of these bylaws shall violate the Constitution or the Manual of Policies & Procedures.
ARTICLE I PURPOSE
Section 1. The Greater Kansas City IWW constitutes a General Membership Branch with all the rights and responsibilities entitled by the IWW Constitution. Membership shall be by voluntary association of IWW members in good standing. A copy of these bylaws shall be made available to all Greater Kansas City IWW members, and any other IWW members upon request.
ARTICLE II MEETINGS
The Greater Kansas City GMB will have monthly business meetings. At each meeting, we will determine the time, date, and location of the following month’s meeting. There will be a 2 hour time limit on monthly business meetings. Meetings may be rescheduled by a majority vote. Special meetings may be called by notifying GMB members by face to face contact, phone call, or e-mail.
Section 2. Meetings shall be open to all workers, though non-members can be excluded from any meeting by a majority vote of members in good standing. Voting privileges shall be reserved for IWW members in good standing, as defined by the IWW constitution.
Section 3. GMB Members attending branch meetings shall be eligible to take part in the business of the meeting if they are in good standing as defined by the IWW Constitution. If members wish to pay dues at the meeting, they should do so before the meeting is called to order or after adjournment.
Section 4. Meetings shall be conducted according to the procedures outlined in a document named “GKC GMB Rules of Order”. “GKC GMB Rules of Order” shall be maintained by the Secretary or by a facilitation committee approved by GMB members.
“GKC GMB Rules of Order” can be amended by motions brought by GMB members in good standing during each monthly business meeting. Motions are proposed and approved by GMB members in accordance with conduct specified in “GKC GMB Rules of Order”. Approved amendments will be integrated with “GKC GMB Rules of Order” and used for the next monthly business meeting.
Section 5. Quorum at branch meetings is 5 members or 25% of the membership, whichever is greater. Votes by proxy are allowed.
For online voting, the vote will remain open for a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 30 days. If the motion is contentious, there can be a request to extend the time beyond the 48 hour minimum to allow additional discussion. If there is not significant and substantial agreement among voters, the motion should be withdrawn and voted on at the next regular branch meeting. For emergency votes that require a decision in less than 48 hours, the branch secretary will call or text all members and assure they are aware of the motion and have an opportunity to make an informed decision. Votes by proxy are allowed (this could include votes relayed to another member via text or phone). Online voting does not require that a majority of the branch members vote but does require a minimum quorum of 5 members in good standing or 25% of the membership, whichever is greater, the same as is required for a branch meeting. Branch bylaws may not be changed via online voting processes.
ARTICLE III OFFICERS
Section 1. The Greater Kansas City GMB shall elect a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Editor, and Branch Delegate(s) with all the rights and responsibilities as spelled out by the IWW constitution.
Section 2. DUTIES of OFFICERS
(A) Secretary: Keeps a regular accounting of all Greater Kansas City GMB funds. Collects delegate reports with dues and submits them to General Headquarters every month. Keeps a record of delegate reports. Produces a monthly finance report. Co-signs all checks with the Treasurer as directed by the Greater Kansas City GMB. Maintains a current list of members—their “X” numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Puts forth every possible effort to attend all monthly GMB business meetings. Oversees administrative affairs. Position of vice-secretary – Secretary will propose someone for the branch to vote on to mentor as vice-secretary to take over secretary duties so that if the secretary is incapacitated. The vice-secretary can immediately take over secretary duties until the incumbent secretary is revived or until the following regular branch election.
(B) Treasurer: Oversees the financial affairs of the branch. Co-signs all checks with the Treasurer as directed by the Greater Kansas City GMB. Vice-Treasurer: Fulfills treasurer duties when the treasurer is unavailable and take over treasurer duties if the treasurer is incapacitated. The vice-treasurer can immediately take over treasurer duties until the incumbent treasurer is revived or until the following regular branch election.
(C) Editor: Responsible for posting and revising content regarding events, actions, and items of interest on iww.org and in the Industrial Worker newspaper.
(D) Delegate(s): Signs up new members, takes dues, maintains regular contact with members and other fellow workers, distributes union publications and literature. Reports by the 20th of every month to the Branch Secretary.
Section 3. The Greater Kansas City GMB may create and elect any other officers by proposal and vote, and each additional officer shall be subject to the provisions of this article.
Section 4. All officers shall serve terms to begin on August 1st (or whenever elected) and end on July 31st.
Section 5. Officers may be recalled by majority vote of the membership. A recall vote may be held whenever 5 or more members of the GMB submit a petition for recall at a monthly and or special branch meeting.
Section 6. Any elected officer may resign at any time. A written statement signed by the resigning officer and one other IWW member in good standing shall be required to constitute an official resignation. If any officer resigns or is recalled, nominations to replace that officer shall take place at the next meeting and elections will take place at the following meeting.
ARTICLE IV ELECTIONS
Section 1. Eligible voters shall include all local IWW members in good standing as defined by the IWW constitution.
Section 2. Nominations shall be made at the regular June branch meeting. If a meeting does not take place in June, nominations will take place at the next meeting. Further nominations and elections shall be made at the meeting following the nominations meeting.
Section 3. All elections will be by secret ballot at a GMB regular or special meeting. Each member in good standing has one vote. Members can also vote in absentia by submitting a ballot to a delegate or officer in a sealed envelope.
Section 4. To be eligible for nomination a member must be in good standing and have joined the union at least 6 months prior to nomination.
ARTICLE V COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Greater Kansas City GMB may establish committees provided that standing committees be required to report once a month to the local GMB. Committees may establish their own bylaws provided that these bylaws do not contradict the GMB bylaws or the IWW constitution.
Section 2. Branch members classified in the same Industrial Union are encouraged to form Industrial Union Branches (IUB’s) as defined in the IWW Constitution.
Section 3: All official statements issued by subordinate committees of the Greater Kansas City GMB bearing the name Industrial Workers of the World shall be subject to the formal approval of the Greater Kansas City GMB. All official statements issued by the Greater Kansas City General Defense Committee shall be subject to the formal approval of the GMB.
ARTICLE VI HANDLING OF FUNDS
Section 1. Any and all voluntary assessments collected by the Greater Kansas City GMB shall be promptly allocated to the projects for which they are intended, unless the committees responsible for such projects are found to be acting in a manner contradictory to the IWW constitution or these bylaws, or unless those committees request that the funds be held by the Greater Kansas City GMB.
Section 2. All checks require the signatures of both the Secretary and the Treasurer. The branch also reserves the right to authorize up to two additional members to sign checks in the event the Treasurer and/or Secretary positions are vacant or the officers are unable to fulfill this duty. The positions of these two additional members will be established and maintained via the processes described in Articles III and IV.
ARTICLE VII AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of eligible voters as defined in Article IV Section 1.
Section 2. Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed at the regular July branch meeting. If a meeting is not held in July, amendments may be proposed at the next meeting. In other cases, members must be given at least one month notice prior to a meeting at which a vote to amend these bylaws will be held.
ARTICLE VIII SEXUAL ASSAULT
a) The focus of action against sexual assault is protecting and supporting the survivor/complainant, to make the accused/perpetrator gain insight into the effects of their behavior, to prevent future incidents, and to improve awareness of sexual violence and further a culture of solidarity and equality in the IWW. Hence, the review process may likely result in the removal of the perpetrator from the branch and the union in general.
b) To initiate this process in the case of sexual assault there needs to be a complainant who is willing to discuss their knowledge and/or experiences in a safe, supportive setting. There is no need to show that sexual assault was the intended effect. A person can commit sexual assault without intending to do so. The deciding factor in initiating a review process is that the survivor perceives sexual assault to (have) be(en) taking place. The survivor is to be presumed innocent and should be presumed to be a reliable witness of their own account. Therefore, beyond testimony, no further evidence of sexual assault or rape has to be provided. This good faith effort to support survivors and/or complainants during the initiation of this process does not negate working toward a fair and honest assessment, but rather initiates just that.
c) Sexual assault and rape is to be treated as equally serious and relevant whether the survivor is an IWW member in good standing or not and no matter the survivor or complainant’s gender. However, sexual violence overwhelmingly affects women and trans* persons and is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations of men over women.
d) This process conforms to the General Bylaws and if this process fails the range of steps outlined in Bylaws Article III of the General Bylaws will be used.
Voluntary Resignation Process
a) A person who has experienced sexual assault or rape may make choices necessary to ensure their safety and welfare, as well as the safety and welfare of others. If the survivor wishes to engage with the review process, they should file a written statement to their the branch General Secretary or alternative as would be applicable under Article III Sec. 3 for filing a complaint against the accused/perpetrator. If the survivor or their surrogate complainant cannot complete a written statement or are not comfortable with the the branch General Secretary they may ask a member of the GEC to facilitate the creation of a written statement.
b) Within 24 hours of receiving a complaint, the officer will arrange a confidential meeting with the survivor and/or complainant (as may apply) to take place as soon as possible, but no later than 6 days after the incident was reported, in which the survivor/complainant will decide whether or not to pursue mediation under Bylaws Article XIV, the Article III Complaint Procedure, or the Removal Process outlined in this document.
c) If the Removal Process is chosen, the the branch General Secretary, other officer, or alternative will act on behalf of the branch in and by asking the assaulter voluntarily to resign from the union in order to prevent a public debate that is likely to traumatize everyone involved.
d) If they agree to resign, the officer or alternative will contact GHQ and deliver a written report, including minutes/record of any mediation or complaints proceedings that have already been pursued and that considers the survivor’s and/or complainant’s wish to remain anonymous. Moreover, GHQ should inform the notifying and relevant branch(es) if the member who committed assault attempts to rejoin at any point in the future. The the branch General Secretary will request that GHQ post notice of the resignation in the General Organizing Bulletin.
Review and Removal Process
a) Any member accused of or who perpetrates sexual assault or rape against any member or non-member at any time in the past or present should be immediately put on a temporary suspension of no more than 60-days from the branch, i. e. removed from all communication media and barred from participating in any meetings or events, so that the situation can be reviewed. The the branch General Secretary, reporting officer, or alternative has an obligation to the branch and survivor(s) to see that the branch compile and review all accusations within this 60-day period. The members of the branch also bear responsibility for establishing and maintaining the required communications, committees, and reports during what may be a heightened and stressful period of activity.
b) The GMB appoints a committee consisting of 3-5 people that are the least involved with and biased against anyone who is part of the process. Because sexual violence overwhelmingly affects women and trans* persons and is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations of men over women, the GMB thereby prioritizes non-cis-male gendered members.
c) The committee reviews the assault at hand in consideration of the survivor’s and/or complainant’s perception, needs, and confidentiality. The survivor and/or complainant does not have to interact in any way that they are not comfortable with or be part of any process they do not wish to be part of. Branch members may speak on behalf of a survivor and/or complainant who do not wish to interact with anyone other than a trusted confidant. In such situations, branch members speaking on behalf of complainant are to be presumed innocent and reliable witnesses and confidants.
d) During the 60-day suspension, the committee decides what measures will keep current and future members safe. Decisions may include expulsion of the assaulter, recommendations for an accountability process, absolution, or other responses or requirements that may be appropriate based on the circumstances surrounding the accusation.
Last revision – July 2017