Staff Council By-Laws

Article I: Establishment of the Council

The organization shall be the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Staff Council. The Staff Council was established in 2006 by combining the former SPA Staff Council and the former EPA-NT Staff Council. The Staff Council shall represent:

  • each permanent (part-time or full-time) employee who is subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA-Subject);
  • each permanent (part-time or full-time) employee who is subject to the State Human Resources Act but exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (SHRA-Exempt);
  • each permanent (part-time or full-time) non-teaching employee who is exempt from the State Human Resources Act (EHRA-NT), and;
  • each Senior Academic or Administrative Officer II (SAAOII), which are administrative positions that have been designated by the President, [N.C.G.S. 116-11(5)], as either generic positions that qualify or positions that have been approved by General Administration’s Human Resources Advisory Board as qualifying;  

Article II: Mission of the Staff Council

The mission of the Staff Council is to foster a positive and respectful working environment by advocating for the interests and concerns of each staff member.

While advancing and supporting the mission and goals of UNCSA, the Staff Council shall be responsible for:

  • promoting a sense of community among all school employees;
  • providing regular communication to staff on issues affecting staff members;
  • reviewing policies and procedures and making recommendations to the Chancellor and/or other administrators;
  • encouraging professional and personal development of the staff;
  • representing issues and concerns of the staff through our delegates to the statewide UNC Staff Assembly, and representation at the Board of Trustees meetings.

The Staff Council shall serve as a liaison between the Staff, and other administrators (classified as SAAOI, the highest level of administrative officers which include: the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Chief of Staff and Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Vice Provosts, Director of Library Services, and General Counsel).

Article III: Membership

A.   Composition

1. Membership on the UNCSA Staff Council is open to all staff (as described in Section I) who are elected to serve as a representative or alternate.

2. UNCSA Staff Council representatives will serve for two years

a. The composition of the voting districts is outlined in the Appendix

b. Elections will take place in odd-numbered years for odd-numbered districts and in even-numbered years for even-numbered districts.

3. New representatives and alternates to the Staff Council who are elected in the Spring semester will assume duties at the first meeting of the fiscal year, which begins on July

4. The Director of Human Resources or his/her designee will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting liaison to the Staff Council. This appointment will be in addition to any member of the Human Resources staff who may be elected to serve as a representative or alternate to the Staff Council.

B.   Election of Representatives and Alternates

1. The Membership and Elections Committee has the responsibility of conducting the elections of the new representatives and alternates. These elections shall be conducted in the Spring semester of each election year.

2. Each District, [see Voting Districts], is eligible to have two representatives and one alternate. Every attempt will be made to attain full representation in each district.

3. Nomination Procedure

a. The Membership and Elections Committee will request from Human Resources the appropriate lists to determine staff members eligible for nomination [see Article I.].

b. The Membership and Elections Committee will send nomination information (via email or, for those that do not have email, via hard copy) to each staff member employed in a permanent part-time or full-time position. The form shall identify the district, provide a list of eligible employees in the district, specify the number of nominations allowed and  include instructions for the return of the form (manner, date, time and place).

c. Nominations for representatives will be accepted by telephone, email, or campus mail.

d. Each staff member within a voting district may nominate two employees to be elected that year as representatives in that district.

e. The incoming Chair fulfills the role of one representative in his/her district.

f. The source of nomination of candidates for election to the Staff Council shall be kept confidential.

g. The Membership and Elections Committee shall certify the eligibility of the nominees and shall notify the nominees that their names will be placed on the election ballots if they accept the nomination by a specified date.

4. Election Procedure

a. The Membership and Elections Committee will send an election ballot (via email or, for those that do not have email, via hard copy) to each staff member employed in a permanent part-time or full-time position. The form shall identify the district, provide a list of employees in the district that accepted the nomination, include instructions for completing the ballot (manner, date, time and place).

b. Votes for representatives will be accepted by telephone, email, or campus mail.

c. Each staff member within a voting district may vote for two nominees in his/her voting district.

d. At the close of the elections, the Membership and Elections Committee will tally the ballots.

e. Representatives will be selected based on the highest number of votes received. In case of a tie, there will be a run off. The person receiving the next highest number of votes in each district will serve as the alternate.

f. The Membership and Elections Committee shall notify the newly-elected representatives and alternates, and shall make the results of the election known to the UNCSA staff community upon completion of the election process.

g. All results pertaining to the nomination/election process shall be stored with the Staff Council Membership and Elections Committee Chair for two years.

h. The term of office for representatives is May 1 through April 30.

5. Replacement of representatives and alternates during terms of office

a. The Membership and Elections Committee will correspond with Human Resources monthly to update and keep current the list of employees in each voting district and will advise the officers of any vacancies or imbalances in representation through the hiring, departure or transfer of staff members.

b. If an elected representative is separated from UNCSA or transitions to employment in another district, the alternate will assume the role of representative and the Membership and Election Committee will conduct a special election for a new alternate, who will serve the remainder of the current term. The transitioning employee will no longer represent the district in which he/she was elected, but may choose to become an at-large representative for the remainder of the term (See appendix).

c. If an alternate is separated from UNCSA or transitions to employment in another district, the Membership and Elections Committee will conduct a special election for a new alternate, who will serve the remainder of the term.

C. Responsibilities of Representatives and Alternates

1.    Attendance

a. Representatives are expected to attend each monthly meeting to ensure adequate representation of the employees who have elected them. It is understood that occasional conflicts may arise. Representatives should make every reasonable effort to resolve conflicts in a manner that allows them to attend the meeting, but if they cannot, it is their responsibility to inform the alternate for their district and the Secretary/Treasurer with as much advance notice as possible.

b. The alternate should then make every reasonable effort to attend the meeting as a voting delegate.  

c. Representatives with frequent unexplained absences, as identified by the Secretary/Treasurer, may be contacted by the Executive Committee, who will work with them to identify possible solutions to the attendance issue. In rare instances, if a reasonable solution cannot be found, the representative may be asked to resign or may be removed by vote of the Executive Committee. Elected representatives will only be removed if every other possible option has been exhausted.

d. Alternates are encouraged to attend Staff Council meetings.

2. Voting

a. Representatives are voting members.

b. Alternates are in general non-voting members. An alternate may vote in place of an absent representative from their district.

3. Representation

The representatives and alternates on the Staff Council shall be the liaison between the Staff Council and the constituents that he/she represents, and shall make themselves known to their constituents by keeping them informed of Staff Council business, indicating methods for contact, exhibiting a willingness to hear concerns, receiving information and suggestions, and communicating these effectively to the Staff Council.

D.   Election of Officers

1. The Membership and Elections Committee has the responsibility of conducting the elections for open officer positions. These elections shall be conducted at the May or June Staff Council meeting, following the election of representatives and alternates.

2. Nomination Procedure

a. Representatives and alternates for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, are eligible for officer positions.

b. The Membership and Elections Committee will send nomination information (via email or, for those that do not have email, via hard copy) to each representative and alternate. The form shall consist of a roster of representatives and alternates for the new fiscal year, the open officer positions, and instructions and deadline for submitting nominations.

c. Nominations for open officer positions will be accepted by  email or campus mail.

d. Source of nomination for election as an officer of the Staff Council shall be kept confidential.

e. The Membership and Elections Committee shall notify the nominees and inform them of the deadline to accept or decline.  

3. Election Procedure

a. The Membership and Elections Committee will prepare the election ballots and will conduct the election of officers at the May or June meeting, as specified by the Executive Committee. The ballot will include the open officer positions and a list of representatives and alternates that accepted the nomination for each officer position

b. Each representative (or voting alternate) is allowed one vote per open officer position

c. A quorum (as established in IV) must be present to conduct the election. If quorum in not present at the meeting designated for officer elections, the election will be conducted via email or campus mail.

d. Nominees (or his/her designee if he/she is unable to attend) will be allowed to speak briefly to the assembled Staff Council at the elections meeting to introduce themselves, explain their interest in the officer position and outline their philosophy.

e. The Membership and Elections Committee will tally the votes and announce the results before the conclusion of the elections meeting.

f. The term of office is July 1 through June 30.  

4. Alternates who are elected to hold office remain non-voting members except in the absence of a representative from their district.

E.   Responsibilities of Officers
Officers of the Staff Council shall consist of a Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. These Officers, along with the Parliamentarian and the chairs of the standing committees [see III.F.1.(b), (c), (d), (e) below], constitute the Executive Committee.

a. Chair: The Chair shall call and preside over the meetings and work with the Chair-Elect as a leadership team for the Staff Council. They may appoint ad hoc committees as appropriate. They shall serve as a liaison for the Staff Council with the Faculty Council and with administrators. The Chair shall work with the web master, or appoint a designee, to continually update the Staff Council web pages. All correspondence going out to staff shall be coordinated through the Chair.  The Chair will approve all expenditures of funds available to the Staff Council. The Chair shall serve a one-year term and cannot serve two consecutive terms. The Chair is a delegate to the UNC Staff Assembly.

b. Chair-Elect: The one-year term of the Chair-Elect will serve as a training period for the responsibilities to be assumed. The Chair-Elect shall automatically succeed the Chair and will take over at the first meeting each year after July 1st. The duties of the Chair-Elect shall be to assist the Chair in setting the agenda, running the meetings, sharing the responsibility to represent the Staff Council by attending meetings with administrators, governing boards and administrative committees. The Chair-Elect shares with the Chair authority to approve expenditures of Staff Council funds. The Chair-Elect is a delegate to the UNC Staff Assembly.

c. Past Chair: After having served as the Chair of the Staff Council, the Past Chair will serve as a member of the Executive Committee for one year and will be available to advise the next Chair for his/her term. The Past Chair is a delegate to the UNC Staff Assembly.

d. Secretary/Treasurer: The Secretary/Treasurer shall record and distribute minutes of Staff Council meetings, will notify representatives and alternates of Staff Council meetings, will record the attendance at each meeting and advise the officers of attendance issues. The Secretary/Treasurer will maintain records relating to expenditures of funds available to the Staff Council for operating expenses. The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve a 1-year term and may be elected to serve one additional term.  The Secretary/Treasurer is the first alternate to the UNC Staff Assembly.

e. Parliamentarian: The Chair shall appoint a Parliamentarian from among the present membership, or former membership, of Staff Council, who will serve for all meetings. The Parliamentarian shall advise the chairperson and delegates on all matters of parliamentary procedure according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised edition and ensure that all meetings are conducted according to the By-Laws. The Parliamentarian will serve as an advisor to the Membership and Elections Committee. The Parliamentarian is the second alternate to the UNC Staff Assembly.

F.   Committees
1. The committees of the Staff Council shall be as follows:

a. The Executive Committee consists of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Parliamentarian and the chairs of the Standing Committees [Section III.F.1.(b), (c), (d), & (e)]. This committee provides input for the agenda for regular meetings and advises the Chair on issues pertinent to the operation and direction of the Staff Council. Members of the Executive Committee may be appointed by the Chair to attend meeting of campus committees or governing board committees.

b. Membership and Elections Committee is responsible for coordinating election procedure (see Article III.B. and III.D; reviewing the number of employees in each voting district in February of each year to advise the officers of any imbalance that might need to be corrected prior to election of representatives and alternates. Each district should include between 15 and 35 employees; monitoring the voting districts throughout the year and advising the officers of any vacancies or imbalances in representation through the hiring or departure of staff members; obtaining names of new employees from Human Resources and coordinating a welcome gesture on behalf of Staff Council

c. Professional Development Committee is responsible for coordinating educational opportunities for staff members, giving priority to opportunities that promote the mission of the Staff Council and promote the well being, effectiveness and engagement of staff members.

d. Special Events and Awards Committee is responsible for assisting the officers with preparations and operations for All-School Staff Meetings; providing social and networking opportunities among staff members that may also include faculty, administration and students; coordinating special events including the Holiday Potluck and Employee Appreciation events; celebrating and recognize staff accomplishments, including administering the Staff Council Awards

e. Community Service and Sustainability Committee is responsible for coordinating community service projects with an emphasis on sustainability and environmental awareness

2. The officers shall identify and invite staff members to serve as chairs on standing Staff Council committees sub-committees and ad-hoc committees.

3. Committees may be added or deleted by the officers as they see fit in order to accomplish the mission of the Staff Council.

4. Any staff member of UNCSA, as defined in Section I, can request to serve on any Staff Council committee, including acting as chair of a standing committee.

Article IV: Meetings

All regular and special meetings of the Staff Council, except for committee meetings and All-School Staff Meetings, require the presence of a quorum to conduct business. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority (greater than 50 percent) of the elected representatives of the Staff Council, and/or to include alternates acting on behalf of and in the absence of the elected representative.

Meetings of the Staff Council are open to all staff members, and are open to the public, in accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-318.10. However, business of a confidential nature shall be so identified on the agenda and in published minutes, and shall be presented to and discussed by the Council in executive session with only voting members of the Council present. All closed sessions must conform to North Carolina General Statute § 143-318.11.

A. Regular meetings

1.The Staff Council shall meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month.

2. Meetings will be conducted by the Chair or Chair-Elect if the Chair is not available. If neither the Chair nor Chair-Elect are available, the meeting will be rescheduled in accordance with Special Meetings (IV.C.)

B. All-School Staff Meetings
The Staff Council shall conduct not less than two All-School Staff Meetings each fiscal year, one in the Fall Semester and one in the Spring Semester to report on the Council’s goals and initiatives and the goals and initiatives of the administration, and to provide a forum for employees to raise issues and ask questions.

C. Special Meetings
Either the Chair or the Chair-Elect may call special meetings. The purpose of these meetings shall be stated in the call and, except in cases of emergency, at least 5 working days’ notice shall be given.

D. Committee Meetings
Committees that meet on behalf of the Staff Council shall be prepared to summarize committee activity at the next regular Staff Council meeting.

E. UNC Staff Assembly Meetings
The Chair, Chair-Elect and Past Chair, as delegates to the UNC Staff Assembly, are expected to attend its meetings, whether in-person or via teleconferencing.

Article V: Budget

The Chair or Chair-Elect of the Staff Council shall share the authority to approve expenditures from the funds available for operating expenses of the Staff Council.

Article VI: Business Proceedings

Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the Staff Council and its constituent parts except as provided in the By-Laws of the Staff Council.

Revised January 18, 2017 and approved August 17, 2017.