Union #28 By-Laws

Erving School Union #28
Joint Supervisory Committee
FINAL Bylaws

Article I          Establishment of the Superintendency Union

                                    In 1901 the towns of Erving, Leverett, New Salem and Wendell voted to form a superintendency union.  The town of Shutesbury was voted into the union in 1902, thus forming the current Erving School Union #28 District.  The five towns came together in the early 1900's for cost sharing purposes, which continue to strongly tie its four elementary school districts together.  These districts include Erving Elementary School, Leverett Elementary School, Shutesbury Elementary School and the Swift River School (which serves the towns of New Salem and Wendell).  Each district is autonomous and elects its own school committee which oversees the educational program for its elementary school.  Together the Union #28 communities share the cost and oversight of a superintendent and central office.


Article II        Purpose  

The establishment of this Union in 1901 offered financial efficiencies, collaboration and delivery of highly effective educational programs and services for the children of Erving, Leverett, Shutesbury, New Salem and Wendell. These same benefits are still realized over one hundred years later.


Article III       Membership

                                    The committee shall be known as the Erving School Union #28 Joint Supervisory Committee, hereafter referred to as the Committee.  The Committee will be comprised of 15 total members.  There are 3 elected school committee members from each constituent town.  These members will be named at the first organizational meeting of their local school committee following their respective town elections.  Each local school committee will also elect 2 alternate members to the Committee.  If one or more of a local committee’s 3 members is not able to attend a Joint Supervisory Committee meeting, the alternate members may attend and participate in the meeting as voting members for that town.


Article IV       Process for vacancies of members of the Joint Supervisory Committee

                                    The process for filling any membership vacancy is the responsibility and jurisdiction of the local committee for which the vacancy has occurred.


Article V        Powers and Duties of the Committee

                                    The Committee's primary responsibilities are: hiring the superintendent of schools;  evaluating the superintendent of schools; establishing salary schedules, benefits and other conditions  of employment for the shared staff; establishing and overseeing a central officer budget,   apportioning the shared costs among the member towns, and establishing policies for the Union.


Article VI       Organization of the Committee and Duties of the Officers of the Committee


                        Section 1. - Organization of the committee:

                                    The Committee shall at its first annual meeting, typically scheduled in September, elect from its own members a Chairperson and a Secretary.  These officers of the Committee shall serve until the next organizational meeting when new officers are elected, unless an officer's membership on the union committee is terminated before then or the officer resigns from his/her office.  Should any office become vacant, it shall be filled at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the committee.


                        Section 2. - Duties of the Chairperson:

                                    The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Committee and shall perform such other duties as shall be designated to him/her by a majority of the Committee.  The Chairperson may second a motion without relinquishing the chair.  In order to make a motion the Chairperson shall turn the chair over to the Secretary and shall take back the chair only after the motion has been duly acted on.  In the event that the Secretary is unavailable to fill in as chairperson, the chair may be turned over to any member present at the meeting.


                        Section 3. - Duties of the Secretary:

                                     The Secretary shall, in the absence of the  Chairperson, exercise the powers and perform the  duties of said Chairperson.  The Secretary shall also be responsible for the minutes.  See Article XII.


Article VII     Quorum

                                    A quorum shall consist of eight members with at least one representative from each constituent town present.  Once this quorum is established, additional members may participate fully in the meeting via any authorized means as dictated by Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.


Article VIII    Subcommittees


                        Section 1.  - Budget and Personnel:

                                    Each local school committee shall elect a Budget and Personnel representative from among the 3 Union #28 reps.  To convene, this subcommittee shall have a legally posted meeting with an announced agenda.  A quorum of 3 members is necessary for the subcommittee to conduct business.  The membership of the subcommittee will consist of one member from each local school committee and will be appointed by the local school committee. The primary charges of the subcommittee shall be as follows: 

  • to review and recommend a Central Office budget to the full Committee
  • to negotiate a ‘draft’ contract with new or existing Superintendents and to make recommendations to the full Committee about the approval of the contract.
  • to participate in and make recommendation about Central Office personnel matters (e.g. COLA increases, formulas for determining budget appropriations, salary schedules,new positions, etc…)


                        Section 2.  - Other subcommittees:

            Other subcommittees or special study or advisory committees may be established by the vote of the Union Committee for any purpose at any meeting, with the direction and length of service to be determined by Union Committee at the time of the subcommittee's establishment.  The membership of the subcommittee will consist of one member from each local school committee and will be appointed by the local school committee.


                        Section 3.  - Emergency subcommittees:

                                    There may be times where it is necessary for the formation of a subcommittee to happen while at a Union Committee meeting.  Prior to forming an emergency subcommittee, the Union  Committee must show why the delay of forming this subcommittee would be a detriment to the  Union as a whole.  The union Committee will need to have an affirmative vote to decide if the       emergency subcommittee can be formed.  If approved, the Union Committee will choose a  representative from each local school committee to serve on this emergency subcommittee.  The  direction and length of service will be determined by the Union Committee at the time of the  subcommittee's establishment. 


Article IX       Procedures

                                    All Committee procedures shall meet legal and Massachusetts General Law requirements and regulations.


Section 1. - Rules of Order: 

Robert's rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of the Committee except as otherwise provided.


                        Section 2. - Conducting of Business: 

In order to ensure the orderly and timely conduct    of business at Committee meetings, the Committee agrees to authorize the Chairperson to set forth ground rules for the discussion of any motion, amendment, topic of discussion or agenda item. 


Article X        Meetings

                                    The Committee shall hold no less than three regular meetings annually, typically the first meeting to be scheduled in September, after elections have been held in all of the constituent towns and the local committees have reorganized.  The Superintendent or his/her designee shall notify members of the Committee and the Clerks of all towns of all meetings including regular, special and subcommittee meetings according to regulations as defined by MGL  Ch.30A sec. 18 -25 (i.e. Open Meeting Law) .


                                    The Committee shall transact all business at legal meetings of the Committee.  Individual members shall make no commitments for the Committee or issue any orders for the Committee  except when executing an assignment delegated by the Committee.


                                    Meetings shall not extend beyond 10:00 PM unless two-thirds of the Committee members  present vote to extend the meeting for thirty minutes.  Subsequent thirty-minute extensions shall be  voted by two-thirds of the Committee members present.


                                    The location for each meeting will rotate from community to community to ensure equal access to the public from each community.


Article XI       Agendas

                                    Regular, special and subcommittee meeting agendas will be formalized to provide information to the Committee for prior consideration of issues for planning.  The listing of agenda items will be those reasonably anticipated by the Chair.  Not all items may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.  Items may be placed on the agenda by calling or writing the Superintendent of Schools at the Superintendent's Office by 4:00 PM, ten (10) working days preceding the Committee meeting.


                        The agenda will be prepared by the Chairperson with input from the Superintendent and committee members and delivered with essential backup material to the Committee members no later than three (3) working days proceeding the Committee meeting.  The backup material shall include any relevant handouts, all agenda requests, including those items which were not placed on the agenda, as well as a statement from the Chairperson/Superintendent as to the reason for the omission from the agenda.


Article XII     Minutes

            The Secretary or his/her designee shall be responsible for keeping of the minutes of all meetings and shall forward copies of such minutes to the custodian of records at the Superintendent’s Office who shall forward copies of such minutes to each member of the Committee.  The minutes are kept at the Superintendent’s Office and can be made available upon request.





Article XIII    Admission and Withdrawal of towns to the Union

                                    Any admission or withdrawal from Erving School Union #28 will comply with all   Massachusetts General Laws governing such items.


Article XIV    Amendment of the Agreement

                                    Establishing, terminating or amending any bylaw will require a two-step process.  All Committee members will be given a two-week prior written notice of the intent to establish, terminate, or amend a bylaw and the purpose of the proposal.  Notice of this proposal will be posted on the agenda of a regular meeting.  After full discussion of the bylaw establishment, termination or amendment, the Committee will vote the bylaw proposal.  If an affirmative two-thirds vote of the members present is received, then the bylaw will be brought back to the next regular meeting for a second vote.  If the bylaw again receives affirmation by a two-thirds vote then the establishment, termination or amendment is official.


Should an emergency bylaw need to be established, terminated or amended, the Committee can convene to do so as long as members have been properly notified and the bylaw proposal appears on the agenda.  The emergency bylaw may be temporarily adopted by a three-fours vote of the Committee to waive the above two-step process and by a three-fourths vote to establish, terminate or amend the bylaw as proposed.  After such votes the bylaw is temporarily adopted.  A second vote of two-thirds must be attained at the next regular Committee meeting for the bylaw to be officially adopted as a permanent bylaw.


Article XV       Apportionment to Towns

                                    Each town / school district shall pay an apportionment of Union #28’s annual central office budget.  This apportionment shall be calculated based upon a five (5) year rolling average of each school’s enrollment as of October 1st in the previous fiscal year.  The five (5) year rolling average is being implemented incrementally beginning in FY24.  The FY24 rolling average will be based upon the average enrollment for October 1, 2021 and October 1, 2022.  The FY25 rolling average will be based upon the average enrollment for October 1, 2021, October 1, 2022, and October 1, 2023.  The FY26 rolling average will be based upon the average enrollment for October 1, 2021, October 1, 2022, October 1, 2023, and October 1, 2024.  Preschoolers shall be counted as .5FTE, and tuitioned-in secondary students shall be counted as .1FTE. The students from New Salem and Wendell will be counted together and the New Salem / Wendell Union shall be charged an apportionment in relation to the total student population for the Union.


Article XVI     Employees and Employment of Union Staff


                                    Central Office personnel shall be hired in accordance with MGL Ch. 71 Sec. 53A.


                                    The hiring and employment of the superintendent for the Union shall take place in accordance with MGL Ch. 71 sec. 63.    


Voted: 05/22/13

Amended Final Vote: 11/14/22