Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

AFT Local 943

printable copy of 943 Constitution 

Constitution of the

Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

Local No. 943

Cook County , Illinois

MAY 1977

Amended September 1982
December 1985
February 2007


The purpose of this organization is to unite the teachers, school-related personnel and employees in South Suburban Cook County, Illinois into a voluntary federation. We believe that a federation, composed of dedicated members, can best articulate the needs, desires, and legitimate rights of this educational community.

This organization shall pursue these interests through its united strength. It shall strive to achieve the ultimate in service, benefits, and communication to its autonomous councils. It shall support legislation and elected officials favorable to education and labor.

Local 943 shall work continuously toward making the slogan “Democracy in Education--Education for Democracy” a reality.


ARTICLE I -- Name and Affiliation

  1. Name: This organization shall be known as the SOUTHWEST SUBURBAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, Local No. 943, and shall be organized into councils of employees in South Suburban Cook County, Illinois, as well as members-at-large. 
  2. Affiliation: Local 943 shall be affiliated with and participate actively in the American Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Illinois AFL-CIO and the national AFL-CIO.

ARTICLE II -- Purpose

  1. To bring the teachers, school-related personnel and other employees of the South Suburban Cook County area into a relationship of mutual assistance, protection, and cooperation.
  2. To promote the general welfare of all employees represented by Local 943.
  3. To raise the standards of the teaching profession by securing conditions essential to the best professional service.
  4. To provide for the educational advancement of the students in the communities served by Local 943.
  5. To promote political awareness of all our members.
  6. To support legislation and elected officials favorable to education and labor.
  7. To foster favorable member-community cooperation.
  8. To encourage the membership to know and exercise the rights and privileges to which they are entitled.


  1. Dues shall consist of the AFT, IFT, Illinois AFL-CIO, CFL per capita dues, the liability insurance premium, the accident insurance premium and Local 943 per capita dues. Local 943 per capita dues shall be $50.00 or the amount specified in the American Federation of Teachers’ constitution.
  2. Effective September 1982, the dues shall be increased annually by an amount equal to the total annual increases in AFT, IFT, Illinois AFL-CIO and CFLper capita dues plus the total annual increase in the AFT liability and accident insurance premium.
  3. Special Dues: Special arrangements may be made for dues in the interest of organizing councils and special membership categories within the councils.
  4. Yearly membership: Yearly membership shall be from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.

ARTICLE IV -- Officers and Executive Board

  1. Officers: The executive board of the organization shall consist of a President, Vice President for Political Action, Vice President for Public Relations and Communications, Vice President for Educational and Professional Issues, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Any member of Local 943 serving on the IFT executive board may be an Ex Officio officer of Local 943. Additional members may be appointed by the president with the consent of the executive board.
  2. Elections: Each of the officers shall be elected by the local membership for a term of two years. The elections shall be held on the first Tuesday in February (or on the next school day) in odd-numbered years. Newly elected officers shall take office at the next regular senate meeting.
  3. Vacancy: Any vacancy caused by death, recall vote, or by resignation shall be filled by a member appointed by the senate.
  4. Reimbursement: Officers’ reimbursement shall be set by the senate.

ARTICLE V -- Senate

  1. Purpose: The senate is the governing body of the local.
  2. Membership: Members of the executive board of Local 943 shall automatically be members of the senate. Councils will be represented in the senate as follows:

        50 members or less 1 senator who shall be the council president or vice president.

        An additional senator for each additional 50 members or fraction thereof.

  3. Election: Senators shall be elected or appointed by their respective councils. The election shall be held on the first Tuesday in February of the odd numbered years or at a time determined by each council. Senators shall take office immediately.
  4. Regular Meeting: The senate shall meet at least six times a year on a day and time to be set by the senate. The date and time of the meeting may be changed at any regular or special meeting by a majority of those voting on the question.
  5. Special Meetings:
    a. Special meetings may be called by the president.
    b. The president shall also call a special meeting within five working days after receiving a written request signed by at least thirty percent (30%) of the members of the senate.
    c. Each senator shall be notified at least two days prior to any special meeting.
  6. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of thirty percent (30%) of the senators representing no less than six (6) councils.
  7. Committees: Committees and committee chairpersons shall be appointed by the executive board with the consent of the senate.
  8. Admission of New Councils: The senate shall consider applications from prospective councils who wish to affiliate with Local 943. A majority of those senators voting at any regular or special meeting shall be required for the admission of new councils.

ARTICLE VI -- Total Membership Meetings

  1. A special meeting of the total membership of all councils can be called by the local president after a signed request of two thirds of the senators made up from at least one half of the councils, or by a signed request of at least 10% of the membership with one half of the councils being represented among the petitioners.
  2. Requests for total membership meetings must state the purpose(s) for which the meeting is called. That purpose for which the meeting is called shall be the first item on the agenda.
  3. The quorum for total membership meetings shall be at least 10% of the local’s membership with at least two-thirds of the councils represented.



The annual budget shall be prepared by the executive board with the treasurer as chairperson. The budget shall be presented to the senate at the April meeting and considered for approval at the May meeting. Prior to the May meeting, each council president will present the local budget to his/her members for discussion.


ARTICLE VIII -- Convention Delegates


The officers of Local 943 shall be automatic delegates to the conventions of the AFT, the IFT, and Illinois AFL-CIO. Additional delegates and alternates shall be elected by vote of the membership of Local 943 (based on delegate formulas and procedures).


ARTICLE IX -- Labor Body Delegates


The senate will appoint representatives from the local membership to the Chicago Federation of Labor.


ARTICLE X -- Amendments

  1. Proposal: Amendments to this constitution may be proposed at any regular or special senate meeting. Each senator will be provided a copy of the proposed amendment at least five days before the meeting.
  2. Ratification: Proposed amendments shall be presented to the membership of Local 943 at a time set by the senate after their approval of the amendment(s)and ratified by a simple majority of those members voting from Local 943 within ten (10) days of the receipt of said amendment. Voting will be conducted on the same day for each council as determined by the local executive board.

ARTICLE XI – General Election Procedures


  • All elections for Local 943 officers and delegates to the conventions of the IFT, AFT and Illinois AFL-CIO shall be by secret ballot vote of the membership of Local 943.
  • Prior written notice of nomination and election for each officer and/or delegate election shall be provided to each Local 943 member entitled to vote in such election. The notice shall identify the officers or delegates to be elected and provide the date, time and place for nominations and election. Such notice shall be at least 15 days prior to the initial date for nominations. The notice shall state there will be no provision for write–in candidates.
  • Should an election provided for in Article XI, Section 1 be uncontested, the nominees shall be considered elected by acclamation.
  • A petition signed by thirty percent (30%) of the membership stating specific grounds shall be sufficient to require the election committee to conduct a recall election of any officer specified in the petition. If an officer is recalled, the senate will appoint a replacement, provided that no such replacement shall be a delegate to the conventions of the IFT, AFT or Illinois AFL-CIO.

ARTICLE XII -- Parliamentary Authority

The rules obtained in Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern Local 943 in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the constitution, by-laws or the special rules of order of the union and the constitutions of the affiliates.
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