The GSU is made up of 16 locals within their own collective agreements. (Check them out here.)
Under GSU’s constitution, each local is autonomous when it comes to making decisions about its own affairs. For example, each local handles its own collective agreement bargaining, decides what kind of committees or meetings it wants to have, and can put in place any other assessments, education or other goals.
Each local elects representatives to the GSU’s board of directors, the Joint Executive Council (JEC). The JEC makes decisions about the operations of the union as a whole and is responsible to GSU Policy Conventions held every two years in even-numbered years.
Every employee represented by GSU pays union dues, a percentage of their gross regular pay that finances the operations of the union. Dues are not deducted from overtime, bonuses, disability benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits. The exception is when the employer continues to pay the employee’s full wages while on workers’ compensation leave.
When the JEC decides a change in dues is necessary, it sends a motion to the membership of each local to vote on the proposed change. Each member of GSU is entitled to vote on the issue, and a majority of 66 percent is required to approve any change in dues.
Every two years, elected representatives of all the locals attend the GSU’s policy convention. Besides conducting business of the union and debating issues, delegates also elect the GSU’s president, two vice-presidents, and general secretary. The elected president and vice-presidents serve as the Executive Committee until the next convention.
Any GSU member who has signed a union card is entitled to run for office in their local. By being elected to represent their local on the JEC, members then have the right to attend convention and run for president, vice-president, or general secretary.