Universal Health Care New Jersey

New Jersey Universal Healthcare Coalition (NJUHC) By-Laws

(final  review draft prior to April 12 first coalition meeting)

I. Name

This organization shall be called the NJ Universal Healthcare Coalition, properly abbreviated as NJUHC.

II. Purpose

  1. The NJ Universal Healthcare Coalition exists to develop and build support for state level single payer legislation in New Jersey.
  2. Our focus on state level single payer legislation does not diminish our support for federal single payer (aka Medicare for All) legislation. It simply acknowledges that progressive health reform at the federal level is not imminent at this time, given the passage of the ACA and the subsequent SCOTUS decision that upheld it. Under current conditions, we believe we can more effectively build support for single payer by responding to local and state-wide fiscal issues, and opportunities related to implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.
  3. We agree to evaluate our Statement of Purpose on an annual basis so that we can adjust strategy based on our assessment of NJ's political landscape.

III. Membership

  1. Organizational members. Organizations that: (1) endorse our proposal; (2) pay $100/year dues; and (3) name a representative and alternate to attend quarterly meetings shall be called organizational members. Each organizational member has one vote. Voting organizational members are expected to engage the membership of their respective organizations in the work that NJUHC does.
  2. The Board may reject organizational membership applications if deemed in the best interest of NJUHC.
  3. Individual members. Any individual who pays $25/year dues shall be an individual member. Individual members may speak at Board and membership meetings and serve on committees, but will be non-voting.
  4. Any membership (organizational or individual) will automatically be terminated if obligations are not met, i.e. if dues are not paid within 60 days of their due date, or in the case of organizational members, failure to have a representative attend two consecutive Board meetings (if a member of the Board) or General Membership meetings (if not a member of the Board).
  5. The membership has the following powers: to amend the by-laws; to elect and fill vacancies on the Board; to receive and approve semi-annual financial reports; to serve on committees.

IV. NJUHC Board and Board Meetings

  1. The NJUHC Board will direct operation of the organization, including preparing meeting agendas, managing and raising funds, securing office space, purchasing supplies and equipment, entering into contracts with service providers, coordinating health-related communication with membership and the broader public, designating members (in addition to the President) who can speak on behalf of the organization at public events and to the media, and whatever other tasks are necessary for the organization to fulfill its purpose.
  2. The Board will choose officers, form committees and choose committee chairs.
  3. The initial Board includes one representative from each of the following founding organizations: PNHP-NJ; Healthcare-NOW; the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council ; URA/AFT Local 1766; and the Retiree Committee of the Bergen County CLC.
  4. The Board shall appoint General Counsel to serve the organization, and the designated General Counsel should attend all Board meetings.
  5. PNHP-NJ, Healthcare-NOW, and the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council will be permanent members of the Board, each with one seat.
  6. The Board will maintain an odd number of total Board members at all times. The number of Board members added each year (as provided in 6a through 6c) may be adjusted in order to maintain an odd number of total Board members until the maximum of eleven (11) is reached.

6a. After first full year of operation (from effective date of these by-laws), two additional Board member shall be elected by the membership in good standing at that time, at the annual membership meeting.

6b. After second full year of operation, two additional Board members shall be elected by the membership in good standing at that time, at the annual membership meeting.

6c. After the third full year of operation, two additional Board members shall be elected by the membership in good standing at that time, at the annual membership meeting.

  1. Starting with the fourth year of operation, the NJUHC Board will continue to function with eleven (11) members total. Three will be from the permanent members. The remaining eight will be elected by the membership in good   standing to serve for two years. Four Board members will be elected each year for two year terms. The initial four subject to election will be determined by drawing straws.
  2. Board vacancies will be filled by the membership at any of NJUHC's semi-annual membership meetings.
  3. The NJUHC Board will meet at least four times/year, once within each calendar quarter.
  4. The quorum for Board meetings in years one (2014) and two (2015) of operation is three (3); it is five (5) thereafter.
  5. Board decisions will be made by majority vote.
  6. All Board meetings are open to non-voting members, where they will have a voice, but no vote.

V. General Membership Meetings

  1. All organizational and individual members will meet at least twice each year, in the spring and the fall. Notice of General Membership meetings will be posted one month in advance on the organization's website, and email notices will be sent to all members in good standing at least one month prior to the meeting.
  2. The spring meeting will be the annual meeting where Board nominations and elections occur. The Board will provide for absentee ballots from those members in good standing who cannot attend the annual membership meeting.
  3. The quorum for membership meetings is eight, or 25% of the voting membership, whichever is larger.
  4. All membership decisions will be by majority vote, except amending the by-laws, which will require a two-thirds majority.

VI. Officers and Committees

  1. The Board will choose a Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.

1a. The Chair will: facilitate all meetings; work with the Secretary to ensure a location and an agenda are in place for all meetings; keep the membership informed about all matters of concern to the organization; speak on behalf of the organization; and make decisions necessary for the day-to-day operations between Board meetings.

1b. The Treasurer will: supervise the custody of the organization's finances; account for all money received and expended; prepare semi-annual written financial reports for the organization, at the spring and fall meetings; provide annual year end reports to any public agency that requires them; and sign checks for the organization.

1c. The Secretary will: prepare all meeting attendance records and minutes, or make arrangements for an alternate to provide them; distribute minutes to the membership; handle other correspondence as the Board may designate; and will maintain all records of the non-profit.

1d. The Chair and Secretary may be check signers in addition to the Treasurer. The Board may designate other check signers from among its membership to ensure that, at any given time, at least two signers will reasonably be available to sign checks.

  1. The Board may form committees as necessary. The Board will choose committee chairs. Voting and non-voting members may serve on committees.

VII. Amending by-laws

  1. By-laws may only be amended at a General Membership meeting. Proposed amendments must be posted on the NJUHC website and submitted to the membership via email at least one month prior to the meeting where the membership will vote on them.
  2. By-laws amendments must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the membership.

VIII. Miscellaneous provisions

  1. The Board shall provide semi-annual written financial reports at the spring and fall quarterly membership meetings.
  2. All organization checks must be signed by two authorized check signers.
  3. NJUHC is a coalition that will function as an unincorporated association until such time as its membership determines otherwise.
  4. These by-laws shall be provided to all members, and shall be posted on our website.