27 January 2017

By-laws for UW Campuses Chapter of

Washington Faculty Forward,



These by-laws establish the University of Washington tri-campus chapter bylaws of the Washington Faculty Forward chapter of SEIU 925. SEIU 925 is Washington State’s union for working people who serve their fellow citizens in a multitude of professions. Individual and collective groups of faculty from any state college or university are eligible to join the statewide Washington Faculty Forward, which has its own bylaws. The UW chapter includes faculty only from UW Bothell, UW Seattle, and UW Tacoma. These bylaws describe the structure and purposes of UW Faculty Forward, how it shall be governed, and how our individual campus units can operate individually and collectively.


UW Faculty Forward is a voluntary union chapter, with members electing to join together to improve higher education and working conditions for educators at the University of Washington. Members voluntarily pay dues, but will not have collective bargaining rights and benefits until the faculty vote to have the union represent them in an election sponsored by the state Public Employment Relations Commission. The terms of that vote are governed by RCW 41.56.203, “University of Washington—Certain employees enrolled in an academic program—Scope of collective bargaining.”

These bylaws establish the following governing practices of the UW Chapter of Washington Faculty Forward:

1)            Name of the chapter

2)            Purpose and objectives

3)            Membership

4)            Dues, fees and assessments

5)            Campus leadership structure and rules for electing chapter officers

6)            Methods for electing delegates to represent the chapter to the statewide Faculty Forward Coordinating Council

7)            Rules for making decisions on campaigns, issues, and strategies

8)            Relations with SEIU and Savings Clause

9)            Relations with other organizations

10)        Bylaws revisions


The name of this chapter shall be “UW Chapter of Washington Faculty Forward,” a member of the Washington Faculty Forward higher education faculty chapter of Service Employees International Union, Local 925.


Section 1. We are University of Washington faculty of all ranks at all three campuses of the university who are working to protect access to and quality of higher education, and to protect against corporatization and austerity economics. As educators, we are standing up to support the protection of the basic right to education, pre-K through college.

The goal of each campus chapter is to organize majority collective bargaining organizations on each campus. While chapters are working towards that goal, this Faculty Forward statewide organization offers a home for members to work collectively and in solidarity towards that goal. The state chapter offers a home to both collective bargaining and non-collective bargaining campus chapters.

Section 2. We are committed to the following principles and goals:

A.     Quality education for our students – Our common goals as faculty are to 1) teach our students the critical-thinking skills, the technical know-how, and the cultural insights they need to be thoughtful, productive, and creative citizens in our society; and, 2) to act as

guardians of the fundamental missions of our institutions.

B.     Affordable access to higher education – The cost of higher education, both undergraduate and graduate levels, is now out of the reach of ordinary families. Many of our students take on crushing debt. We advocate for ample public sector funding for public higher education, using progressive and equitable funding strategies, and to raise questions when precious education dollars are diverted away from student instruction (toward administration, sports programs and non-essential capital projects). We also advocate for fair and highly subsidized student loan programs for private, non-profit, higher educational institutions.

C.     Fairness for all faculty – The increased corporatization and under-funding of higher education has meant increased reliance on adjunct and contingent faculty, a highly- trained body of non-tenure track faculty who often are hired from term to term with no job security, low pay, poor working conditions, and exclusion from faculty governance. Our common goal is that all faculty, tenure-line or contingent, should enjoy a democratic and participatory workplace, and be treated with fairness as valued members of the faculty.

D.     Equity – Racial, gender, class, and social justice and equity in relation to both the admission of students and faculty hiring are of paramount importance to UW Faculty Forward. Systemic discrimination has consistently deprived students of access to faculty from a variety of historically underrepresented groups beyond white, heterosexual, cisgendered, normatively abled, middle-class men.  UW Faculty Forward is committed to advancing opportunity and promoting equity for all students and faculty, especially those whose identities have been marginalized, excluded, or exploited by existing power structures in society at large and in the university.


Section 1. Faculty Forward Membership shall be open to all faculty at the University of Washington who are dues-paying members of SEIU Local 925 and have a faculty appointment. These appointments can be for purposes of conducting research, administering an academic program, or teaching (at least one quarter-long UW class of one credit or more).

Section 2. All Chapter members in good standing shall have equal democratic rights within the Chapter.

Section 3. The chapter shall not discriminate against any member, or applicant for membership by reason of race, ethnic origin, creed, color, religion, gender, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, or age, subject to the exceptions with respect to age contained in applicable law.

Section 4. Membership in good standing shall be determined in accordance with Local and International by-laws.


Membership dues shall be determined in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Union and SEIU Local 925.Section 2. Dues may be paid using check, credit card or, with UW approval, payroll deduction.


Section 1. Structure and elections

A.     The UW Chapter shall have one governing unit that covers all three campuses, although each campus may have informal “sub-chapters” that meet to discuss and act on issues unique to Bothell, Seattle or Tacoma. Decisions made at these meetings should be consistent with the decisions taken by the tri-campus governing unit.

B.     The founding steering committee of 10 members was elected in fall quarter, 2016, from among the 100 or so dues-paying members who have been on their campus payrolls and who participated in the November 19, 2016 founding convention at the UW Tacoma campus. This election was held under statewide Faculty Forward bylaws, and these individuals shall serve until the end of fall quarter, 2017.

C.     Beginning in fall quarter of 2017, the dues-paying members shall elect five officers and ten at-large members of a “steering committee” at an annual meeting for all members of the UW Chapter. [In the interim, at its first meeting in winter quarter of 2017, the founding steering committee shall elect officers from among its own membership to serve one-year terms.] The officers, known collectively as the steering committee’s leadership team, shall include:

•         President

•         President-elect

•         Secretary for minutes and records

•         Secretary for communications

•         Nominating committee chair

D.     Duties of each officer on the UW leadership team:

1)      The president shall represent the chapter in discussions with other organizations, and shall be the primary spokesperson for the organization. The president attends to the business of the chapter, presides over meetings, and is the primary liaison to SEIU staff.

2)      The president-elect serves as a vice president until s/he becomes president the following year. The vice president may stand in for the president when asked to do so, and generally serves on the leadership team.

3)      Secretary for minutes and records takes minutes at all formal meetings and maintains a record of these in a place accessible to the membership. This secretary also communicates with the membership about upcoming meetings, circulates links to minutes, and other internal communications that may be delegated by the president.

4)      Secretary for communications leads the formulation of messages and campaign communications for UW faculty as a whole, the press, and for email list servers that reach coalition partners. The secretary for communications is also responsible for working with SEIU staff to maintain the UW chapter website.

5)      Nominating committee chair organizes a team representing all three UW campuses to conduct elections to leadership positions by recruiting candidates, hosting candidate forums (such as candidate statements on a website or in-person meetings), staging elections, and announcing results. The team should include one member of the union who is not on the steering committee. The nominating chair shall notify campus members in good standing of upcoming Coordinating Council nominations and election at least 45 days before the deadline for nomination and the election date, respectively.

E.     An academic year shall be defined as Summer through Spring. The number of dues-paying members shall be determined before the end of Spring Term for the following academic year.

F.      Every effort shall be made to encourage participation of, and a meaningful voice for, full and part-time, tenure-line and non-tenure-line, faculty within the campus organization.

G.     Quorum: A majority (50% +1) of steering committee members must be present, either in person or via skype, telephone, video conference, or other real-time, two-way electronic means, to conduct official business.

H.     In the event of a vacancy in executive committee positions between elections, the President-Elect shall assume the role of the President, the secretary for minutes and records could assume the role of the president-elect, and so on. Within 30 days of a vacancy remaining after these readjustments, the leadership team shall organize a new election as soon as is practical (see more details in Section 2.C, below)

Section 2. Term of Office

A.     To ensure staggered terms of office, the elections conducted in fall of 2017 shall be for one, two or three-year terms. One third of the positions shall be in each category.

B.     Beginning in fall of 2018, elections shall be conducted every year to fill those positions that are expiring (about a third of the positions) or that are unexpectedly vacant.

C.     When a vacancy occurs related to resignation, the duration of the steering committee member’s appointment can be filled by an impromptu election from among dues-paying members. The nominating committee chair shall arrange for the election to be conducted according to the most democratic principles and consistent with these bylaws. Alternatively, if the vacancy occurs close to the time when regular elections are scheduled, the position may remain vacant. The decision shall be made by the president, in consultation with the steering committee.


A.     A statewide Faculty Forward Coordinating Council is populated with delegates from each campus chapter. The UW chapter, similar to other universities and colleges in the state, is entitled to a delegate on the Coordinating Council for our first five members. After that, every 10 additional members generate an additional delegate up to a cap of 20 total delegates.

B.     In odd years, beginning 2017, UW Chapter’s elected steering committee shall choose from among its members those will serve two-year terms as representatives to the statewide Coordinating council. The term of office for incoming delegates shall begin with the Fall academic term.

C.     State bylaws allow a “campus” to be defined as either a stand-alone geographic location of a large institutions, or may include all the geographic satellite locations of a single institution; this decision will be left to the individual chapters to decide. In the case of the UW chapter, we will consider our representatives to represent all three campuses. 


A.     The UW Chapter steering committee is empowered to choose issues and strategies it feels are most likely to help the chapter achieve its goals.

B.     Decisions shall be made democratically, with each member having a vote. The president shall seek to ensure every member has had an opportunity to consider issues and voice opinions.  Rules of procedure shall follow traditional Robert’s Rules.


Section 1. The UW Chapter shall have representation on the Local 925 Executive Board and Leadership Assembly only through the statewide Faculty Forward chapter, and the mechanism for this representation will be determined by the Local 925 Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. These chapter bylaws and any amendments are subordinate to the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Union and SEIU Local 925.  In the event any portion of the chapters’ bylaws conflict with the IU and/or Local 925 Constitution and By-Laws, such provisions shall be null and void.

Section 3. The bylaws in this document and any amendments to it shall not supersede or supplant the legal processes and responsibilities of the International Union and SEIU Local 925 to its membership with regard to negotiations, grievance processing, and any and all matters legally due its membership.

Section 4. The International Union and SEIU Local 925 Constitution and By-Laws will be the governing documents for all subjects not addressed in these bylaws.


The steering committee can vote to have the chapter join coalitions and campaigns and sign on to joint statements with other groups. The steering committee can also recommend formal “solidarity affiliation” joint memberships with other union or professional organizations of faculty; joint membership arrangements must be approved by the SEIU 925 Executive Board.


 Amendments to the Chapter Bylaws may be proposed by the Steering Committee or by petition of 10% of members in good standing. The Steering Committee will conduct a membership election to make bylaws changes; this election may be electronic or in person. It will require 60% of members voting to pass amendment(s). All amendments must be consistent with the statewide chapter bylaws.