My name is Maile McCann, I’m a PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering and also the interim Recording Secretary of our Local Union. 

I’m emailing you to send along a first draft of our Local Union’s bylaws. As members of a new Local Union within the United Auto Workers (UAW), Graduate Student Workers (GSWs) are coming together to democratically draft and ratify bylaws that will govern our union and ensure that our union can build power for years to come.

During the January 25th Monthly Membership Meeting, members discussed priorities for building power in four major areas: membership, financial resources, committees, and representative structures. Based on this discussion, the interim Executive Board put together a first draft of bylaws, viewable at this link

For some greater context on union bylaws, check out this example of what Local Union bylaws look like in the UAW. Bylaws must be in line with the UAW Constitution, and there are many ways GSWs can further shape our bylaws to reflect our workplace and our ideas about how best to build power as a union. Bylaws set the foundation of our union democracy; the vast majority of democratic decisionmaking happens through membership meetings, organizing, and voting.

Because of a one-day delay in sending out the bylaws, members will now have until February 13th to provide feedback on the first draft, using this form. If you haven’t yet signed up for membership in your union, you can do so at this link. Strong membership means a strong union democracy!

The interim Executive Board will revise and send out a new draft no later than February 16th. The rest of the process for drafting and ratifying bylaws, voted on by membership at the January 25th meeting, is outlined below:

  • From February 16th-23rd, members will have the opportunity to propose amendments to the bylaws (10 signatures required for consideration)
  • On February 25th, the Executive Board will send out the proposed amendments to all members to review
  • During the February 29th Monthly Membership Meeting, members will deliberate and vote on all proposed amendments to bylaws
  • From February 29th-March 7th, 2024, an online vote will be held to ratify bylaws; all members will be eligible to vote
  • If the bylaws are ratified by membership, after March 7th, the Executive Board will send the final draft to the UAW International Executive Board for approval, to ensure consistency with the UAW Constitution
  • NOTE: After bylaws are ratified, they are not set in stone! The bylaws will establish an amendment process that ensures that there’s a democratic system to change the bylaws as needed over time.

In solidarity,