Examining Board Members:
Robert J. Stevens
**Duties of the Local Union Examining Board -
Section 114(a) of the united Association Constitution states in part:
Every Building and Construction Trades local union and combination local union shall elect an Examining Board for the purpose of examining and determining the qualifications off all applicants as Building and Construction Trades journeymen is said local union.
Section 114(a) does not exist in a vacuum, but must be read in conjunction with other provisions of Constitution. Reading Section 114(a) with other related sections of the Constitution, particularly in conjunction with Section 2 of the Constitution, one comprehends that the basic foundation of the labor movement is based on organizing the unorganized, and making union membership available to all qualified persons. When the United Association awards territorial jurisdiction to a local union under Section 2 of the United Association Constitution, it is with the understanding that the local union will diligently protect the trade jurisdiction of the Plumbing and pip Fitting Industry.
This cannot be done without a continuing organizing program, and the initiation of new members. Therefore, the United Association will neither condone, nor tolerate, the closing of membership to qualified applicants who desire to become members of the United Association.
The words “examining and determining the qualifications of all applicants” means that the Examining Board shall look at and examine the proofs of qualification offered by an applicant and determine if they are authentic. If there is a reasonable doubt as to their authenticity the board may give the applicant a rest.
The word “determining” means that an applicant’s qualifications are determined by the proof of current qualification, and is not to be interpreted to give the Examining Board the authority to determine qualifications of an applicant prior to the applicant being referred to the Examining Board for their resolve. This is a function of the Business Manager.
Further, the Examining Board is not granted authority under Section 114(a) to establish tests contrary to the historic past practices of the local union or United Association.
The Examining Board must keep in mind that denying an applicant membership with current proof of qualification could place the local union in a difficult legal position. Individual members of the Examining Board cannot act in any capacity by themselves. They only represent the local union when the Examining Board is in session and all decisions must be made by the “board” rather than an individual member of the board.
Persons currently employed at the trade and being organized under a program of the local union or United Association are to be considered differently that “applicants” seeking membership in a local union under Section 114(a) of the United Association Constitution.
In addition, all local union membership tests, test results and records should be in the possession of the local union office at all times between meetings of the Examining Board.