The University of Montana Staff Senate facilitates communication and cooperation between the administration and the staff of The University of Montana. The Staff Senate promotes and works for improved working conditions and the professional welfare of UM's staff – “The Heart of the Grizzly."
Article I - Name
This organization shall be named the Staff Senate of The University of Montana-Missoula, hereinafter referred to as Staff Senate.
Article II - Staff Definition
Staff is defined as all permanent staff members whose FTE is .5 or greater and who are not contract administrators, contract professionals, individuals on Letters of Appointment, or faculty; hereinafter referred to as Staff.
Article III - Staff Senate Membership
The membership of the Staff Senate is derived from Staff representatives who have completed six months of continuous employment at a University of Montana - Missoula campus on or before June 1 of the year in which his/her term shall begin.
Staff Senate members will review the by-laws and mission statement every two years, effective July 2010.
Article IV - Purpose
Staff Senate shall:
Article V- Meetings
Section 1 - Staff Senate Meetings: The Staff Senate shall meet at least once each month. Senators shall be released from normal work duties for the purpose of attending Staff Senate meetings and for additional time to serve on Staff Senate or University committees and other duties as noted in Article X. This release time shall not be charged against their annual leave and shall be considered regular work time. Supervisors shall be notified by the President’s Office of their employee’s appointments to the Staff Senate and to University committees. A majority of Senators constitutes a quorum for the purpose of elections, voting and decision-making.
Section 2 – Special Staff Senate Meetings: Upon a majority vote at a regularly scheduled meeting, or as a written request signed by a majority and submitted to the President of Staff Senate, a special meeting shall be called.
Article VI - Staff Senate Powers and Duties
Article VII - Staff Senate Representation
The Staff Senate shall consist of 30 members proportionately representing each Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Category. Representative categories are defined as follows:
Category C – Professional Non-faculty
Category D – Technical
Category E – Clerical
Category F – Skilled Crafts
Category G – Service Workers
Missoula College – All Categories*
*The Missoula College Representative agrees to represent all Missoula College staff regardless of EEO Category.
If a Senator changes employment category during their term, that Senator shall complete their current term in their original category.
Article VIII - Nominations to Staff Senate
During the April meeting, nominations for Senate positions shall be called for and petitions submitted to the Staff Senate Nominations and Elections Committee. Candidates may nominate themselves or may be nominated by any classified staff person. All Senators who are at the end of their term of office face re-election.
Article IX - Elections to Senate
All classified staff members are eligible to vote for candidates within their employment category. Regular elections shall be held before the Staff Senate meeting in May, and the elected Senators will be announced at the May meeting.
Article X - Senator Responsibilities
All Senators have the following responsibilities:
Article XI - Term of Senators
Section 1 - Term: Senators shall be elected for a term of two (2) years. Newly elected Senators assume official Senate duties immediately prior to the election of officers at the June meeting.
Section 2 - Limitation: A Senator shall not serve more than three (3) consecutive terms. Re-election may take place two years after the expiration of a Senator’s term. Exceptions may be granted by a majority vote of the Senate.
Article XII - Staff Senate Vacancies and Resignations
Section 1 - Declaration of Vacancy: A Senator's seat shall be declared vacant following three (3) unexcused annual absences at regular monthly Staff Senate meetings. Excused absences include: sick leave, annual leave, and professional obligations.
Section 2 - Filling Vacancies: With the consent of the Staff Senate at a regular meeting, the Senate President shall fill vacancies. The appointee shall serve until the expiration of the vacated term.
Section 3 - Appointment Qualifications: The appointee shall be from the same EEO category as the Senator whose seat has been vacated. Exceptions may be granted with a majority vote of the Staff Senate.
Section 4 – Failure: A Staff Senator’s failure to perform the duties and contributions listed in Article X, shall be brought to the attention of the Executive Committee for action. The expected duties include (a) participation in Staff Senate meetings, (b) participation in the work of assigned University and Senate committees, (c) communication with Staff, and (d) notification of absences to the Senate Secretary. After such review, the Executive Committee may recommend to the Senate that the Senator be replaced. Any officer or Senator may be removed by two-thirds vote of the Staff Senate at any regular meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.
Section 5 – Resignation: If, for any reason, a Senator cannot fulfill his or her expected duties, the Senator shall give written notice to the Senate President. Resignations shall take effect upon receipt of such notice.
Article XIII - Staff Senate Officers
Section 1 - Officers: The Staff Senate shall elect from its membership an Executive Committee comprised of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Finance Officer, and Public Relations Officer(s) at its regular meeting in June of each year. The President Ex-officio shall serve the Staff Senate and Executive Committee in an advisory capacity.
Section 2 - Nominations: Position descriptions for Staff Senate officer elections will be disseminated in April. Nominations for Staff Senate officers shall be called for at the May meeting and new Senators not yet seated on Staff Senate will be notified at that time. Officers will be elected at the June meeting.
Section 3 - Election of Officers: Elections shall be by paper ballot with a majority of Senators present at the June meeting or by proxy vote in advance of the meeting. Incoming, current, and outgoing Senators who attend the June meeting may vote for officers.
Section 4 - Term: The officers shall serve for one (1) year, to assume official duties immediately prior to the adjournment of the June meeting.
Section 5 - Vacancies: A vacancy in the Office of the President will be filled by the Vice-President. Other vacancies will be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee.
Section 6 - Limitation: No person shall serve simultaneously as an officer of the Staff Senate and as an officer of a labor union.
Section 7 - Duties of Officers
Finance Officer shall:
President Ex-Officio shall:
Serve to consult, advise, and provide information to the incoming officers as well as enhance continuity within the Senate operations and structure. The immediate Past-President shall serve only in an advisory capacity as President Ex-Officio.
Public Relations Officer shall:
Executive Officers shall provide Staff Senate leadership as the Executive Officers Committee (XO) to assure timely and effective work of the Senate.
The Historian is a volunteer position appointed by the Staff Senate Executive Committee for a two year term. The Historian
will collect copies of all Staff Senate records (minutes, correspondence, reports, photographs, etc.); organize and maintain the Staff Senate archives; and produce Senate historical reports as necessary.
The Staff Senate Administrative Associate is a University of Montana staff member hired to support the programs of the Staff Senate. The Administrative Associate reports to the Staff Senate President and provides direct administrative support to the Staff Senate Executive Officers. The Administrative Associate performs the day-to-day tasks of the Staff Senate office. Duties include: communication with the campus community by disseminating information to them regarding issues affecting the classified staff; gathering information and designing layout for Staff Senate newsletters and the Staff Senate website; coordinating logistics for Staff Senate-related meetings and special events (room scheduling, invitations, catering, materials preparation); supporting the Communications and Visibility Committee’s marketing, event planning and fundraising efforts; coordinating New Employee Orientation efforts; creating marketing materials; processing travel arrangements and reimbursements; maintaining the list of Senators, their contact information and committee affiliations; and facilitating the Historian’s information gathering and record keeping duties. The Administrative Associate will also support MUSSA when The University of Montana or a UM affiliate campus staff member chairs MUSSA.
Article XV - Committees
Section 1 - University and State Committees
The Staff Senate shall provide each year, or as vacancies occur, representation on all committees as requested by The University administration. Appointments shall be made by The University of Montana President upon the recommendation of the Staff Senate for the standard terms of the respective committees.
The committee interest forms are available via the Staff Senate web page. Notice of vacancies will be posted to the web page with deadlines as they occur.
Section 2 - Staff Senate Committees
Only Staff Senators are eligible to serve on Staff Senate Committees.
Appointments to Staff Senate committees shall be for one (1) year or as necessary, with appointment or reappointment at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The chairperson of each Staff Senate committee shall provide regular written communications to the Staff Senate via the Committee Report Form on the Staff Senate website and a brief oral report at the next Staff Senate meeting.
Committees will be formed at the annual July meeting.
Staff Senate Committees are:
The committee shall also conduct the elections of new Staff Senate Executive officers. A list of nominees for Staff Senate Executive Officers will be circulated to the members prior to the June meeting. Nominations from the floor will be accepted at the time of each election. The committee notifies the University President of the names of elected Staff Senate Executive Officers.
Other - Any other committee as designated by the Staff Senate.
Article XVI - Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Staff Senate meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
Article XVII - Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1 - Proposals: Amendments may be proposed by a majority of the Staff Senate or upon a petition signed by at least ten (10) percent of the Staff and presented to the Staff Senate President.
Section 2 - Adoption:
Within 14 days after an amendment has been proposed, it shall be posted on the Staff Senate web site to allow time for review and comment from staff. The Staff Senate shall vote on the amendment at the Staff Senate meeting immediately following the review and comment period. Upon approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast by the Staff Senate, the proposed amendment shall become effective as of the date set forth in the proposal.
Revised June 2012.
Darlene Samson, President