What is the Role of Council at APC?

What is the Role of Council at APC

What is the APC Statewide Council?

The APC Statewide Council is the primary governing body of the Union, responsible for making key decisions and setting policies. Tasked with conducting the Union’s business, it focuses on establishing, shaping, and modifying policies to meet the needs and priorities of the Unit 4 members in the California State University (CSU) campuses.

The Statewide Council meetings, governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, are crucial for handling business efficiently and democratically. As the main legislative body of APC, the Council tackles issues from operational concerns to long-term strategic planning, ensuring policies are set, modified, and ratified to align with the Union’s objectives and the well-being of its members.

Participants at the APC Statewide Council

Participants at the APC Statewide Council meetings include members of the APC Executive Board and Stewards from each of the 23 CSU campuses. These Stewards, who volunteer to serve the members of their campus and the wider APC community, play a crucial role. Each campus can be represented by only two Stewards at any given Council meeting, regardless of how many Stewards are active on that campus.

The selection of which Stewards attend is managed by the Chief Steward at each campus. Decisions on who can attend are based on the needs of the meeting and the availability of the Stewards, ensuring that representation is effective and inclusive. This structure allows Stewards to advocate robustly for their campuses, articulate member concerns, and participate actively in the Union’s governance.

Agenda Setting and Discussions at the APC Statewide Council

Creating the agenda for the Council is a collaborative effort involving requests for items from both Stewards and the Executive Board. The agenda typically incorporates standard recurring items, such as officer and budget reports, alongside new and continuing business. Special attention is paid to issues that affect multiple campuses, underscoring the Council’s role in addressing broader concerns that transcend individual campuses.

Specific Responsibilities of Stewards and the Executive Board

Stewards bring forward the issues and concerns of their respective campuses to the Council, articulating the needs of their members related to workplace conditions, contractual matters, and broader policy implications. This ensures that the agenda reflects the real and current concerns of their campus members.

Meanwhile, the Executive Board manages the execution of the Council’s decisions between meetings, handles urgent decisions, and provides strategic recommendations, ensuring that governance continues effectively outside of regular meeting times.

Steward Forum and Agenda Contribution

Before the Council convenes, a Steward Forum is held where Stewards can raise last-minute items and discuss potential agenda additions. This forum is crucial for ensuring that all issues, particularly those like chapter bylaw updates, are properly vetted and prepared for discussion.

Items are generally added on a first-come, first-served basis, unless they are continuations of topics previously discussed. This process ensures that new business is not only current but also reflective of the Stewards’ consensus from their forum discussions.

Motions and Decision Making

During the Council meetings, motions play a pivotal role. Stewards are advised to present well-considered motions that aim for long-term solutions rather than temporary fixes. Examples of such motions include proposals for more cost-effective meeting locations, timely distribution of meeting minutes, and approval of budgets.

All motions are subject to approval based on their alignment with the APC Constitution and current policies. Stewards are encouraged to consult with their peers and to submit their motion to the Policy and Procedure Committee to ensure their motions have adequate support and are in compliance with existing policy.

This structured approach to agenda setting and motion management facilitates effective governance and ensures that Council decisions reflect the collective interests and concerns of APC members.

The Impact of Robust Discussion and Debate

Debates within the APC Statewide Council are carefully structured to be constructive and respectful. Stewards and officers are actively encouraged to engage in discussions objectively, focusing squarely on the merits of arguments rather than personal beliefs or biases.

This approach ensures that all discussions, whether they are straightforward or contentious, are conducted professionally. Such decorum is critical in maintaining a focus on APC’s overarching best interests, fostering an environment where every decision is made with thoughtful consideration and mutual respect.

Voting and Decision Making at the APC Statewide Council

Voting power within the APC Statewide Council is proportional to the membership size of each campus, mirroring a system similar to that of Congress. This method ensures that decisions reflect the collective voice and weight of the Union’s diverse membership base.

Larger campuses with more APC members wield greater voting strength, thereby influencing the Council’s decisions more significantly. This proportional representation system not only fosters fairness but also enhances the legitimacy and democratic nature of the Council’s decisions, ensuring that all member voices are appropriately represented in the Union’s governance.

 What Happens After Council Meetings

After decisions are made at the APC Statewide Council, the process of communicating and implementing these decisions begins immediately. Council minutes, along with detailed packets of information—including proposed policies and budgetary details—are made available to Stewards.

It is the responsibility of the Stewards to take diligent notes during the meetings and convey the outcomes to their respective members at campus chapter meetings.

The policies decided upon at the Council are effective immediately. This means that as soon as a policy is passed, it is updated in the APC’s Policies and Procedures Handbook and on the Steward Portal on the APC website.

The speed of updating the information can vary, but typically, all changes are documented and made accessible within a short time frame, generally within a week, ensuring that all members are kept up-to-date with the latest decisions and their implications.

Meeting Frequency and Logistics

The APC Constitution requires a minimum of two meetings a year but the Council meets three times a year in various formats, in-person only, virtual only, or a hybrid. This flexible approach ensures that all Stewards, regardless of their location, can actively contribute to the discussions, making the meetings highly accessible and inclusive.

The next scheduled Council Meeting is set for June 12-14, 2024, allowing members to prepare and participate fully in the upcoming session.

In Conclusion

Active participation in local chapter meetings is not just beneficial—it’s crucial for ensuring that Stewards are well-informed of their members’ stances before they attend Council meetings. By regularly voicing your concerns and suggestions at these campus gatherings, you empower your representatives to advocate effectively on your behalf at the Council.

Every meeting offers an opportunity to influence the future of APC, ensuring that it remains responsive to your needs and concerns. Stay engaged, share your opinions with your Stewards, and keep current with Union activities to help shape the direction and policies of the APC.

Contact your local campus Steward for chapter meeting information. Remember, your voice is vital—make sure it is heard.