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T i m e s

December 20, 2006

Post-Vote Update - Dec 20:

Following is the result of today's vote on the proposed TEA Bylaw amendments:

No: 56
Yes: 69
Disqualified: 10
Total votes: 135


  1. Agenda for December 20th TEA meeting (noon, 8th Floor Conference Center)
  2. Guest Corner: Discussion of Proposed Bylaw Amendments
  3. Announcements
  4. January Meeting Schedule
  5. Classified Ads


  • Call to Order
  • Proposed Bylaw Amendments – Discussion
  • Ballot Collection
  • Issues for the Good of the Order

Guest Corner: Discussion of Proposed Bylaw Amendments

Statement Opposing Proposed Bylaw Amendments
Submitted by Wyatt Wood

My reasons for opposing the Bylaw amendments are as follows:

  • A committee with a "global view" has been formed to review the TEA By-laws to ensure they are consistent. Let’s stop changing Bylaws until this committee has done its work.
  • The proposed amendments have not been reviewed and commented on in the context of other Bylaws and they are in conflict with other Bylaws.
  • There has been no legal review of this proposed change.
  • The proposal itself is being pushed through as an emergency and the case has not been made that it is an emergency. It is not.
  • There is no discussion of the problem that needs to be solved and an explanation of how this proposal would solve it.
  • There is no discussion of alternatives.
  • There is no description of the benefits to TEA from the proposed change.

Statement in support of the proposed Bylaw Amendments and rationale for these changes
Submitted by Eric Mandel, TEA member and past president

The Bylaw amendment package responds to a request from the Board in light of several issues that came up around the election. The newly formed Bylaws Committee met and recommended these changes to the Board. Like any Bylaw amendments, they require a vote to go into effect.

The amendments have the dual purpose of eliminating conflicting parts of the Bylaws and, more importantly, ensuring TEA’s commitment to democratic process and control by its members. The nature of the Bylaws is that there will continue to be refinements and corrections necessary via amendment (as there have been in the past); this package is appropriate to address now.

If you wish to read more detail about the rationale for each change, please note the commentary following each proposed change. (Underlined text is new proposed language, strikeouts would be deleted.)

Article VI, Privileges/Obligations, Section H, WTD and Transit Bargaining Chairs

Add new 1.f. The Bargaining Chairs shall have at least one monthly meeting with their respective Bargaining Committee during any period where active contract negotiation, mediation, or arbitration occurs.

Reason: The Bargaining Committees are supposed to be the member-driven group that discusses bargaining issues and provides direction to the Bargaining Team for negotiations. In Wastewater negotiations, Bargaining Chairs have failed to call a meeting of the Bargaining Committee for almost 12 months, despite ongoing negotiations and mediation. (The mediator said there were no prohibitions against discussion of the mediation with our members.) This will ensure that the intent of getting information from, and direction to, the Bargaining Team occurs.

Article IX, Elections Section B. Special Elections:

Add new IX. B. i.: The result of any Special Election vote shall be announced in the TEA electronic newsletter within 5 working days of the vote.

Reason: Although information on the VEBA special vote was presented to and discussed with all members, no announcement in the TEA Times was made about the results. This is a disservice to members who deserve to know the results of all TEA elections. This amendment corrects that problem.

Article VI, Privileges / Obligations, Section C, Board, 2. Obligations

Add new VI.C.2.m: Enforce – The Board shall enforce strict observance of the Bylaws of the Association. Where dispute or interpretation is required, a majority of the Board shall determine appropriate Bylaw interpretation.

Article VI, Privileges / Obligations, Section D, President:

Delete 1.c: Enforce – The President shall enforce strict observance of the Bylaws of the Association.

Reason: The new president stated in writing that he alone, not the Board, would enforce the Bylaws, despite attorney opinion to the contrary regarding conflicting Bylaw interpretation and policy. (Jim Cline, TEA attorney: “It is true that the [current] bylaws indicate that the TEA President is obligated to enforce the bylaws. I believe that imposes more of a responsibility than a right. The President's job is to follow the bylaws and ensure compliance but ultimately an interpretation issue of this type would be resolved by Board vote, if needed.”)

Also, despite specific prohibition in the Bylaws that “The Board…will screen no candidate in any way”, the new president took it upon himself to censor ALL candidate statements and unilaterally removed them from the TEA website prior to the September Board elections in which he was a candidate.

Further, the new president ignored the Bylaws requirement to discuss Grievance Committee matters in Executive Session, despite a point of order objection, allowing sensitive personal information (including that related to a medical situation) to be discussed in front of non-Board members.

This change will ensure that the elected Board, and not one person’s interpretation, will prevail in bylaw execution.

Article VI, Privileges / Obligations, Section C, Board, 2. Obligations:

bold>Modify: l. Vacancies in Office – When the Presidency becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, promotion, attrition, or recall, the order of attrition shall take place according to this Article, Section D lf. When any other Board office becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, promotion, attrition, or recall, a successor for the remainder of the current year will be elected by a Special Election in accordance with Article IX Section B. majority vote of those Full Members present at the next Regular Meeting after the date the office is vacated. If less than six (6) months remain in the term of the vacant office, the Board, by their majority vote, may elect to leave the position unfilled until the next Annual Meeting election.

Reason: This eliminates any existing conflict within different sections in the Bylaws and ensures a democratic election process open to all members. Note that the new president attempted to overrule the wishes of the majority of the Board and restrict voting on the Officer vacancy to only those present at the October member meeting, instead of a written ballot of all TEA members. (In fact the new president had the election originally announced in the TEA Times according to his interpretation restricting voters.) Article IX explicitly requires all members to vote by written ballot on the “recall or replacement of an officer”; this bylaw change will ensure that all members get to vote on their representatives, not merely those present at a meeting.

Editor’s note: This space is open to all and will contain opinion pieces submitted to the TEA Board.


The Transit Design and Construction Section has posted the following position, which is open to all qualified applicants:

Engineer III (Civil-Structural Engineer)
Job Announcement No. 06AB6441
Opens: 12/04/06
Closes: 12/20/06

The following TEA members are in need of leave donations: Ron Gardner, Erica Herrin, and Kathy Mathena.

January Meeting Schedule

Jan  3 Board Meeting (12-1, 4G)
Jan 10 Board Meeting (with Jim Cline) (12-1, 4G)
Jan 17 Regular TEA Meeting (12-1, 8th Floor Conference Center)