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nih-HEO constitution


The name of this organization shall be " The National Institutes of Health Hispanic Employee Organization (NIH-HEO)."


The NIH-HEO is constituted as an affiliate chapter of the Department of Health and Human Services Hispanic Employee Organization (HHS-HEO), a non-profit organization of federal government employees.

The NIH-HEO endorses the purpose and objective of the HHS-HEO as stated in its Constitution of 1981: " to increase Hispanic employee's awareness of Departmental programs and goals, to provide a forum for discussion and information exchange about issues of Hispanic concern in the Department and nationally, and to promote continuity between Hispanic and Departmental goals and activities."

The NIH-HEO will operate as an independent but affiliated organization with all of the entitlements and responsibilities that have been afforded to all Hispanic Employee Organizations (HEO) in the DHHS since 1981.

All members of the NIH-HEO will also be members of the HHS-HEO.

An NIH-HEO representative, designated by the NIH-HEO Executive Board, will be a member of the HHS-HEO Executive Board and of the Public Health Service Hispanic Employee Organization (PHS-HEO) Executive Board.


The NIH-HEO mission is to work to ensure that the NIH fulfills its mission by addressing the needs of its U.S. Hispanic customers: (1) in its research, education, outreach and other programs, goals and policies; (2) in its Hispanic employee representation; and (3) in its
relationships with national and community Hispanic organizations.

The NIH-HEO's purpose is to accomplish its mission by serving as an independent resource, analyst, facilitator, spokesperson and advocate for the U.S. ethnic Hispanic community and NIH Hispanic employees to the leadership and operational components of NIH and DHHS.

The NIH-HEO's objectives are:

- to increase each NIH Hispanic employee's awareness of and participation in NIH and Departmental programs and goals

- to provide a forum for discussion and information exchange about issues of Hispanic concern at the NIH, the Department and nationally

- to improve the quality of the NIH workplace for NIH Hispanic employees, including recruitment, hiring, retention, training and promotion.

- to make recommendations to NIH, its leaders and components, and its employees for addressing identified problems and gaps in NIH's employment, policies and programs.

- to sponsor workshops, forums, and other scientific and/or education events in support of its mission, and

- to participate on NIH working groups, committees, and other relevant activities, representing Hispanic employees and concerns, in a manner similar to other independent employee groups.

The NIH-HEO is obligated to use all collected monies exclusively for the support of the NIH-HEO mission, purpose and objectives; no part of the net earnings of the NIH-HEO shall be directed to the benefit of any
private individual.


A. Regular Membership.

Regular membership in the NIH-HEO is open to all persons who work at the NIH. Regular membership will be granted to any person who works at NIH, endorses the NIH-HEO's mission, purpose and objectives, requests to be on the NIH-HEO Mailing List (or to be an NIH-HEO electronic mail (e-mail) subscriber), and pays dues as established by the Executive Board. Regular members have the right to vote and hold elective office
within HEO.

B. Associate and Honorary Memberships

Associate membership is open to all persons who endorse the NIH-HEO's mission, purpose and objectives, and who wish to participate in its activities, including the mailing list or electronic mail communication system, but who do not work at the NIH. Representatives of national and community Hispanic organizations may also be associate members.
Associate members may participate in NIH-HEO activities, including ad hoc committees, working groups, and scientific and educational activities. Associate membership is conferred by payment of dues as established by the Executive Board. Associate members do not have the right to vote or hold elective office within HEO.

Honorary membership may be granted as determined by the NIH-HEO General Assembly or Executive Board. Honorary members are not entitled to vote on NIH-HEO business or to hold NIH-HEO elected or leadership positions.

C. Authorizations and Responsibilities of NIH-HEO Membership.

NIH-HEO members are authorized as federal employees to utilize federal worksite locations and resources in fulfillment of NIH-HEO activities,
provided that:

- The activity is related to the federal and Hispanic employee mission, purposes and objectives as set forth in the NIH-HEO constitution;

- The activity does not interrupt the normal functioning of any federal worksite location;

- NIH-HEO members must follow the operations and
reservations/clearance procedures that are normally utilized in the pertinent work location;

- The participation in NIH-HEO activities is in addition to and does not substitute or conflict with usual primary worksite duties and responsibilities.

NIH-HEO members must remember that, in the fulfillment of their NIH-HEO responsibilities, they are subject to all regulations that apply to the legal and ethical conduct of federal employees when interacting with federal and non-federal participants in the use of federal facilities and resources.


The policies of the NIH HEO are determined by the General Assembly and carried out by an Executive Board.

A. The General Assembly

The General Assembly, consisting of the regular voting membership of NIH-HEO, is the principal governing body of NIH-HEO. It approves, by a simple majority vote of a quorum of members, all policies and decisions
related to the mission, purpose and objectives of the organization, and to the administration of NIH-HEO. A quorum for the General Assembly meeting is twenty percent of the voting membership.

Meetings of the General Assembly are called not less than one week before the chosen meeting date. There shall be an annual meeting to elect officers and members of the Executive Board. Other meetings may
be called by the Executive Board as necessary to deal with organization policy and administration activities. Additional meetings may be called by: the President or President-Elect; three or more members of the
Executive Board; or, three or more regular members of the NIH-HEO, in addition to two members of the Executive Board. A referendum or vote of the General Assembly on specific issues conducted using an electronic mail communication system will be considered a meeting as defined above.

Members may vote in absentia through written proxy held by any attending member in good standing. Members may also vote using the electronic mail
communications system to the Secretary or other designated person.

B. The Executive Board

The Executive Board consists of the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer (Financial Coordinator), four at-large Executive Board Members, and the immediate Past President (as an ex-officio member of the Board, with voting privileges). The Executive Board formulates short and long-term policies and plans as necessary to carry out the
mission, purpose and objectives of the NIH-HEO and periodically seeks approval of such policies and plans from the general membership at general assembly meetings or through a referendum procedure. The
Executive Board proposes the organization's policies for presentation and approval of the General Assembly. It keeps the General Assembly advised of procedures developed to implement approved policies and of
the results of all activities carried out in accordance with those policies and procedures. The Executive Board develops procedures to implement and direct General Assembly decisions and carries out program
operations in accordance with those procedures. The Executive Board also designates an NIH-HEO representative to serve as a member of the HHS-HEO Executive Board. NIH-HEO meetings will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.

The Executive Board meets at least monthly. Regular monthly meetings
will be called and conducted by the President or President-Elect. Any
two members of this Board may call for a special Board meeting not less
than one week before the chosen date. A quorum will consist of five (5)
members of the Board. Decisions are made by majority vote of Board
members present.

The Executive Board will ensure that an electronic communications system
is maintained, modeled on the HHS-HEO Internet system or its successors.
The Executive Board will ensure that periodic financial audits of the
NIH-HEO are conducted.

C. Standing Committees.

Standing committees of NIH-HEO are established by a majority vote of the
full Executive Board to carry out the activities of permanent HEO
functions. The Chairpersons are appointed by the President with a
majority recommendation by the Executive Board. The other members of the
committees are selected from volunteer members or designated by the
President, without confirmation required.

A nominating committee, consisting of two members of the Executive Board
and two members of the General Assembly, will establish election
procedures, prepare a list of candidates for elective office for
presentation to the annual General Assembly, conduct fair and open
elections, and certify the election results. Nominations may also be
made at the election meeting.

D. Special Committees

Special (ad hoc) committees may be established by the Executive Board to
satisfy temporary needs of the organization.


The Executive Board is elected by the General Assembly. Terms will be as

The President's term will consist of one year as President-Elect, one
year as President, and one year as immediate Past-President. A new
President-Elect will be elected annually after the first election, at
which a President and a President-Elect will be elected.

The Secretary and Treasurer will be elected for two year terms.

The four at-large Executive Board Members will each serve for a term of
two years. At-large members will be chosen to represent both the NIH
intramural and extramural programs. Terms will be staggered so that two
new at-large members are elected annually. At the first election, two
members will be elected for two year terms, and two members for one year

Vacancies are filled at the recommendation of the Executive Board to the
General Assembly, for its approval not later than two weeks after they
occur. Removal of officers is made by the Executive Board, following the
recommendation of the Executive Board and with the written endorsement
of at least ten (10) members in good standing. Grounds for removal are
any actions found by the Executive Board to be contrary to the purpose
and objectives of HEO.

The Executive Board, by majority vote, may appoint individuals to fill
vacancies that may arise until the next election. Duties of officers
not otherwise noted include:

President: Calls and conducts meetings of the General Assembly and
Executive Board. Votes only to break a tie vote of the Executive Board.

President-Elect: Assumes the duties of the President at that person's
designation, due to absencefrom the area or temporary incapacitation.

Secretary: Maintains record of organization communications and business
and ensures timely communications between HEO and members, of
organization business and activities relevant to its mission, purpose
and objectives.

Treasurer (Financial Coordinator): Collects dues, maintains financial
records and other organization accounting, and advises membership on
financial status.

At-large Executive Board Members. Responsible for representing and
facilitating communications between HEO and NIH intramural and
extramural members.


Proposals for amendments to this Constitution will be submitted in
writing to the General Assembly for vote, following prior presentation
to the Executive Board. Proposals may be initiated by the Executive
Board or by a group of not less than ten percent (10%) of the voting
members. Proposed amendments must be approved by at least two-thirds of
the general assembly.


This Constitution was approved by NIH Hispanic employees and a provisional
Executive Board on June 14, 1995 and will become effective upon adoption at a
general meeting of NIH Hispanic employees called for the purpose of
establishing the NIH-HEO and adopting an NIH-HEO constitution.

This Constitution was adopted at a general membership meeting of NIH Hispanic
Employees on the 16th day of October, 1995.


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For more information about the Hispanic Employee Organization, contact Richard Farina,


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