Local Bylaws

Bylaws for OPSEU Local Unions are listed in Article 29 of OPSEU’s Constitution. This document contains additional Bylaws approved by General Membership Meetings of OPSEU Local 561. Where there is a conflict between the Bylaws listed below and any article of OPSEU’s Constitution, now or as amended by OPSEU Convention in the future, the Constitution of OPSEU shall apply, and the Local shall call a General Membership Meeting so that the Local Bylaws can be properly amended.

  1. Stewards

 1.1 Local 561 Steward Areas

Steward areas will be defined by campus, and at larger campuses, the areas will be further broken down by building location, or by occupation group where members work throughout the building. Where no Steward is elected in a specific area, that area will be combined with an adjacent area, and the members therein, represented by the Steward(s) elected for the adjacent area. The LEC may modify Steward areas as needed.

1.2 Election of Stewards

Over a two-week period in September or October of even numbered years (election years), the LEC shall organize short meetings for the purpose of nominating and electing Stewards, during common lunch breaks of the members in each Area. Members shall be notified of the time and location of the meeting at least two weeks in advance. Vacancies may be filled or additional Stewards elected at meetings called between election years, with permission of the LEC. The term of office in such cases shall last until the next general Steward elections.

1.3 Number of Stewards

Members in each Area may elect a minimum of two Stewards to represent them. There is no maximum number of Stewards in any Area.

1.4       Election of Delegates and Alternate Delegates

Delegates to Convention and Divisional Meetings shall be elected at a General Membership Meeting by a clear majority of members attending. Alternate Delegates to Convention and Divisional Meetings shall be elected and ranked. Delegates to Labour Council, Area Council and OPSEU Caucuses will be elected at a General Membership Meeting.


  1. Local Executive Committee

2.1       Officers of the Local                                                                                                       

The elected Officers of OPSEU Local 561, ranked, include:

  • President
  • 1st Vice President
  • 2nd Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Membership Secretary
  • Recording Secretary
  • Chief Steward

2.2       Terms of Office

Local elections will be held in even numbered years, between mid-November and mid-December. The terms of office shall not overlap.

2.3       Election of Officers

Where permission of the President of OPSEU is granted, election of Officers shall be by polling stations established at each campus, using rules established by OPSEU.

2.4       Oath of Office for Elected Officers and Stewards

“I, ________, promise that I will uphold and obey the Constitution and policies of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the Bylaws of my Local, work with the Officers of the Local to represent the members, and fulfil the obligations and responsibilities of my elected position as Steward to the best of my ability. I promise to promptly deliver to my successor all monies, records, and other property of the Union in my possession at the close of my term in office.”

2.5       Local Committees

Local 561 will maintain the following committees:

  • Bylaw Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Health & Safety Committee
  • Accommodations Committee
  • Employment Planning Committee

Each committee will elect a Chair. Any member of Local 561 may participate on the committees.


 2.6       Sanctioned Activities

No member may initiate any Union activity outside of OPSEU without seeking sanction from the LEC and/or Local President (e.g. volunteering for phone banks). No member of the LEC may sit on a College Management Committee without first seeking sanction from the Local President or LEC.

2.7       Steward Education

Every Steward must endeavour to obtain introductory stewardship education from OPSEU, as well as one other Union education course (ie. Health & Safety). Anyone who has completed this required educational may apply to the Local President for selection to be the Local sponsored member to a week-long educational.


  1. General Membership Meetings

3.1       Distribution of Supporting Documentation

The following information must be distributed to all members at least ten (10) working days prior to a General Membership Meeting:

  • the agenda
  • all supporting documentation for consideration by the membership regarding a subject for discussion or a proposed motion brought forward, unless it is of an emerging nature.


  1. Local Finances

4.1         Local Dues Assessment and Local Strike Fund

A local dues assessment of $1 per member per week shall be established for Local 561 and reviewed annually. The sole function of this account will be to pay members additional strike pay above that received from the central union fund in the event of a strike or lockout.

4.2       Travel and Meal Expenses

Officers, Stewards and members who must travel to meetings or activities authorized by the Local Union shall be entitled to travel expenses at OPSEU’s current rates, as per Seneca College’s expense policy (only the difference between event travel and travel to member’s normal work place). The LEC will authorize meal allowances, based on OPSEU’s current rates, for a member who must attend a meeting or travel through a normal meal break, on behalf of the Union, or attend a union meeting or activity on a vacation day or normal day off. Meal allowances will not be paid when the Local provides a meal for meeting participants.


 4.3       Expenses for Delegates and Alternates

The Local will reimburse the first elected Alternate to OPSEU’s Convention, Regional and Divisional Meetings, for time off, travel expenses and accommodation, based on OPSEU rates and policy. In addition, the Local will reimburse reasonable accommodation expenses for Delegates and Alternates, not covered by OPSEU.

4.4       Strike Appeals

The LEC may donate up to $1,000, per donation, to Locals seeking strike appeals. An annual budget amount of $5,000 will be allotted for this purpose. The LEC will report all donations to the membership.


  1. Contract Enforcement

5.1       Discretionary Extension of Seniority for Members on Leave

The LEC will not agree to further extend the accrual of seniority for members on secondment outside the bargaining unit, where discretion is allowed under the Collective Agreement.

5.2       Filing of Grievances

All stewards and officers shall notify the Chief Steward, and provide opportunity for at least one of the Chief Steward, Local President or Vice-President, to proof read grievances and provide input, prior to the grievance being filed with management, except where such consultation would prevent a grievance from being filed within legal time limits. Any Steward representing members with grievances or meetings with management, shall provide all relevant documentation and meeting notes to the Chief Steward, promptly.


  1. Affiliations

6.1       Memberships

The Local shall obtain/continue memberships that are deemed necessary or appropriate.