For those before us, those serving now, and those yet to serve

PFFA By-Laws Committee

PFFA Constitution & Bylaws Committee

To clarify, this committee is not managed by Local 493. We are just hosting its content on our webpage to ensure that all group members and convention delegates can easily access it. Below you will find pertinent links to documents, followed by a working document for your reference.


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Section 1.     This Association shall be known as the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona.
Section 2.     References in this Constitution to "Local" or "Local Union" shall refer to Locals as set forth in the current Article III of this Constitution. References to "Association" or "PFFA" shall mean the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona. References to "International" or "IAFF" shall mean the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL‑CIO, CLC. References to the masculine in this Constitution refer to both genders, or either, whichever is appropriate for the context within which it is contained.
Section 3.     This Association, its officers, representatives and members shall recognize, observe and be bound by the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the International and the interpretations of the International President; the resolutions, decisions and directives of the Executive Board or officers of the International and made in conformity with the authority granted by the Constitution and Bylaws of the International; and the resolutions adopted, and the policies established by the delegates at conventions of the International. Article XIV of the Constitution and Bylaws of the International is recognized as providing the basic rules governing this Association.
Section 1. The object of this Association shall be to organize all paid Fire Fighters affiliated with the International; to place its members on a higher plane of skill and efficiency, to encourage the formation of local associations, to encourage the establishment of schools of instruction for imparting knowledge of modern firefighting and prevention, and the cultivation of friendship and fellowship among its members. Further, the official mission statement of the organization shall be, “The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona commit themselves to promote the unity and welfare of fire fighters and emergency medical service professionals, active and retired, and their families; and commit themselves as well to promote the highest level of fire, emergency medical and community services possible through programs of organizational, political action, advocacy, labor-management, community, information and training.”
Section 2.     This Association shall be non‑partisan and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles., nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking publication or preferment.
Section 3.     This Association shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed or gender, nor will it tolerate actions that violate, explicitly or implicitly, this non-discriminatory position.
Section 1.     The membership of this Association shall be comprised of Locals affiliated with the International within the State of Arizona, which hold charter issued by the Association, which acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Association, and which keep valid respective membership as required by the laws enacted from time to time for the government of this Association and its affiliated Locals. Those individuals employed by Fire Departments with five or less paid Fire Fighters who otherwise meet the standards for membership as set forth by the International, may upon approval have direct membership on an individual basis.
Section 2.     Emeritus status may be granted to any former PFFA officer who exhibited long and distinguished service to the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona by the delegates assembled in convention. The position shall carry with it ex-officio lifetime membership in the PFFA and automatic selection as a delegate at large to each association convention. The position shall carry with it the obligation to advise the current officers of the PFFA upon request of the officers. Emeritus Officers shall have their convention registration fees and their accommodations paid for by this Association.
Section 1.     Each Local is entitled to one (1) vote for each member for whom the prevailing per capita tax has been paid, based upon the average amount of per capita tax paid monthly by the Local on its members during the preceding fiscal year. In the case of new or reinstated Local Unions, not members of this Association for the twelve month period preceding Convention, said Local's voting strength shall be determined taking the average paid membership level and multiplying by the fraction of the year they have been members of this Association. A fractional total shall be rounded up to the next whole number.
Section 2.     Each Local shall have two (2) delegates, plus their PFFA State Vice President, plus one (1) delegate for each twenty‑five (25) votes, or portion thereof, allowed in Article IV, Section 1.
Section 3.     Locals shall have their full voting strength at Convention, regardless of the number of delegates sent, but no Local shall be represented by proxy. Voting strength shall be divided equally among a Local's delegation, including the PFFA State Vice President, who actually cast ballots on any given issue. A delegation may also cast their votes as a block upon submission of a document attesting to the leader of the delegation, whether the block vote is for one issue or all issues, is signed by all members of the delegation and is submitted to the Secretary‑Treasurer before block voting occurs.
Section 4.     Alternate delegates may be seated in the absence of the regular delegates, upon presentation of the proper credentials.
Section 5.     Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and Bylaws, all business at the Convention requires two‑thirds (2/3) vote for passage.
Section 6. To be entitled to representation in Convention, a Local Union must have its per capita tax, and any duly authorized assessments, paid on its full membership as required by Article XII of this Constitution, through one (1) month previous to Convention.
Section 7.     The President, Executive Vice President, Secretary‑Treasurer and past Presidents shall be entitled to one (1) vote each as delegates‑at‑large. Additionally, all registration fees for past Presidents shall be paid by this Association.
Section 8.     No Local shall seat more than ten (10) of its delegates on any one (1) Convention committee.
Section 9.     All delegates, alternates and PFFA State Vice Presidents of Local Unions to Conventions of this Association shall be elected by secret ballot vote of the members in good standing of that Local Union, unless there is no opposing candidate, or if they have approved language in their Local Constitution & By-laws. and the credentials presented by such delegates, alternates and PFFA State Vice Presidents must so certify.
Section 10.   Credentials for delegates, alternates, and PFFA State Vice presidents must be completed and presented no later than the time of actual registration. The number of alternates registered for a Local shall not exceed the number of delegates registered for that Local.
Section 11.   Delegates to the PFFA Convention must be registered no later than thirty (30) days prior to the start of the convention. If registration is received less than thirty (30) days prior, an additional fifty (50) percent of the registration fee will may be assessed to each delegate. However, if a Local is at the time of registration in a state of financial hardship the late fee may be waived by the President of the PFFA. Registration fees for delegates, alternates, guests and others shall be determined before each convention by the Executive Board in conjunction with the host Local.
Section 12.   Votes on general business items at convention will be accomplished by a simple delegate vote: one delegate, one vote. A roll‑call vote on general business items may be called as provided in Article VI, Section 6(h) of this Constitution and Bylaws. Roll‑call votes shall be accomplished in accordance with Article IV, Section 3 of these Bylaws.
Section 1.     This Association shall convene annually at such time and place as shall be decided by a majority vote of the delegates in Convention assembled.
Section 2.     The Executive Board of this Association shall have the power to call a Convention if any emergency arises, with due notice to all Locals, but no more than two (2) Conventions shall be held in any one (1) year.
Section 3.     The PFFA will host the Annual PFFA Convention at a facility that has the capabilities to meet the needs of the convention. The PFFA will seek a multi-year agreement with said facility and if unable to obtain a satisfactory multi-year agreement then the selection process will resort back to an annual selection with individual locals hosting the convention.
Section 4.     The following order of business shall govern for the Convention proceedings:
  • Call to order
  • Introduction of guests and dignitaries
  • Roll call of officers, Locals and Chapters
  • Report of committee on credentials
  • Adoption of previous minutes
  • Assign resolutions to committees
  • Reports of principal officers
  • PFFA State Vice President's reports (done throughout convention)
  • Reports of special committees
  • Unfinished business
  • Reports of standing committees
  • New business
  • Election of officers
  • Obligation of officers
  • Naming of place of next convention
  • Special awards
  • Adjournment
Section 5. The rules of order of the PFFA Convention shall be as follows:
  • Credentials will be accepted for registration until the election of officers. All convention attendees will be issued identification badges. Alternate delegates may be seated only in the absence of regular delegates and by securing a regular delegate badge from the credentials committee. The credentials committee shall take precautions to insure that no Local at any time has more regular delegate badges than its authorized quota.
  • The convention sessions shall be called to order at the discretion of the Chair and business will be conducted in order as specified by this Constitution and Bylaws. Deviations from the schedule must be approved by a majority vote of the delegates.
  • Officers of the PFFA will be allowed one (1) vote as an officer. An officer’s vote will not be deducted from the per capita strength of the Local the officer is a member of.
  • No speaker shall be recognized on any one subject a second time until everyone desiring to speak to the subject has had the opportunity to do so.
  • The Chair, at his discretion, may limit speaking time to three (3) minutes per speaker if time becomes an issue.
  • There shall be a special section in the convention room for guests, observers and alternate delegates. The President may invite guests to be seated at the head table. Under no condition shall anyone except accredited regular delegates and officials of the IAFF be in the delegate section of the convention floor during business sessions. This rule shall be strictly enforced by the Sergeant at Arms.
  • A committee’s recommendation on a resolution shall be considered a motion and a second.
  • A motion for a roll call vote will require a second from four (4) individual Locals and the affirmative vote of thirty percent (30%) of the delegates present and voting to mandate the roll call.
  • The election committee shall have the responsibility for the tabulation of roll call votes and insure that the votes cast by each Local do not exceed the number to which the Local is entitled.
  • When a roll call ballot has been ordered, no adjournment shall take place until the result has been announced. Any committee in caucus shall be called to the convention floor. No delegate will be allowed to enter the convention floor once the voting has begun. The Sergeant at Arms shall enforce the provisions of this rule.
  • No proxy votes will be carried or accepted at the PFFA convention.
  • A motion shall not be open for discussion until it has been seconded and so stated from the chair.
  • A Sergeant at Arms shall be appointed by the President, or his designate, at the Executive Board meeting immediately preceding the convention.
  • A motion to reconsider may not be heard on the same day it has been rejected, and the motion to reconsider must be made by a delegate who originally voted with the majority on the motion.
  • A motion to table shall not be debatable.
  • The report of a committee shall be subject to amendments and substitutions from the floor of the convention in the same manner as other motions and resolutions.
  • Excepting committee recommendations on resolutions, a motion to amend or substitute to a motion on the floor may proceed without a vote if the delegates who made the motion on the floor and the delegate who seconded the motion on the floor agree to the amendment or substitution.
  • If a delegate, while speaking, be called to order, he/she shall, at the request of the chair, take a seat until the question of order is decided and this shall follow by recognition from the chair.
  • No delegate shall interrupt another’s remarks except to call a point of order or a necessary point of clarification. This shall occur only by recognition by the chair.
  • Should two (2) or more delegates wish to speak at the same time, the Chair shall decide who is entitled to speak first.
  • Resolutions may only be introduced by affiliated Local Unions or the officers and Executive Board of the PFFA. Resolutions submitted shall bear the name and number of the Local organization submitting the resolution. Resolutions for consideration at convention must be submitted no later than 30 (thirty) calendar days prior to the start date of the convention. A late resolution shall be defined as a resolution submitted later than 30 (thirty) days prior to the convention, and shall only be considered with the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the delegates voting.
  • The tabling of any resolution cannot be tabled to a time later than the last day of the convention and all resolutions before the delegates in convention shall be either approved, amended, rejected or withdrawn by the affiliate who originally introduced it.
  • Not more than one committee at a time shall be permitted to caucus during sessions of the convention.
  • A majority must be present in a committee meeting to constitute a quorum of that committee and the chairperson shall have the responsibility for the tabulation of roll call.
  • Nominations for election of officers will be made from the floor and balloting will be secret, excepting, if only one person is nominated for an office when nominations have been closed, the chair may, if there are no objections from the floor, declare the nominee elected by unanimous consent.
  • In order to speak, a delegate must be recognized by the Chair, after which he/she will identify himself/herself by name and Local number, prior to speaking.
  • The PFFA Executive Vice President shall serve as Parliamentarian for the convention.
  • Smoking is not allowed on the convention floor.
  • The convention host-Local shall insure that the hospitality room is closed during convention general business sessions.
  • Pagers and cellular phones Electronic devices shall be operated in silent mode while convention is in session.
  • Any matters not covered in these rules of order shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. The rules of order specified in this Constitution and Bylaws supercede anything to the contrary in Robert’s Rules of Order.
    Section 1.     The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, one (1) Executive Vice President, one (1) PFFA State Vice President from each Local and a Secretary‑Treasurer. The President and Secretary‑Treasurer shall be elected by the delegation in Regular Convention. The President shall be elected to a two (2) year term in odd numbered years. The Secretary‑Treasurer shall be elected to a two (2) year term in even numbered years. A majority of votes shall be necessary to elect. If no candidate receives a majority vote, the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be dropped, and the election continued until a candidate receives a majority.
    Section 2.     The Executive Vice President shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President, subject to approval of the Executive Board.
    Section 3.     Locals whose members are Association President and/or Secretary/Treasurer are also entitled to a PFFA State Vice President.
    Section 4. The Executive Board shall consist of: The PFFA State Vice Presidents, Secretary‑Treasurer, Executive Vice President and the President.
    Section 5.     The elected officers shall assume the duties of their respective offices at the close of convention.
    Section 6.     The President may, with approval of the Executive Board, appoint staff representative(s) to assist in any functions performed by the Association. These appointees will be monetarily compensated, but not in excess of the amount established in Article 7, Section 5 of these By-Laws. The job description for any staff representative shall be assigned by the President with approval from the Executive Board.
    Section 7.  The election of PFFA officers shall be accomplished as follows:
    • Nominations for officers will be the last item of business on the first day of convention.
    • The Chair shall open nominations for the specific office.
    • Any regular delegate may make or second a nomination.
    • Nominations shall remain open until the chair calls for nominations three (3) consecutive times without a response from the delegates.
    • Nominations can only be closed by a motion, second and two-thirds (2/3) vote of the delegates present.
    • Only properly nominated candidates may receive votes. Write-in votes shall not be counted.
    • As further specified in Article 5, Section 6 of this Constitution and Bylaws.
    Section 1.     The Executive Board shall:
    • In the interval between Conventions, have full power and complete charge of all business of the Association not otherwise provided for, and such business as may be referred to them by the Association. Each PFFA State Vice President shall have the number of votes as delegate votes allotted at the last Association Convention on the matters of expenditure of monies.
    • Administer all property of the Association for the sole use and benefit of the Association.
    • Meet on call of the President, or on call signed by a majority of its members.
    • Individually have the authority to appoint representatives in their respective districts, provided however, that any expense incurred must be approved by the Executive Board.
    • Individually be required to furnish to the President and itemized account of their expenses incurred each month, or on demand while in the actual performance of their duties.
    • Individually provide receipts for all expenses and all telephone calls.
    • Receive a per diem for room and board based upon the going rate for the location in question, that amount to be determined by the Executive Board.
    • The salaries of the President, Executive Vice President and Secretary‑Treasurer shall be set at Convention by the Finance Committee, concurrent with the adoption of the budget by a 2/3 vote of delegates at the Annual Convention.
    • Audit the books of the Association after the end of the fiscal year (Article XI, Section 1) previous to each Convention and report the findings to the Convention.
    • Approve the appointment of an Executive Vice President by the President and shall have full authority to regulate the term of office, duties, salary and expense account of the Executive Vice President.
    • Send to the Association office monthly, an updated mailing list, including zip codes, of their Local's membership, both active and active retired.
    • The PFFA mileage reimbursement rate will be the same rate as the IAFF mileage reimbursement rate.
      Section 2.     It shall be the duty of the President to:
      • Preside at all Conventions of the Association.
      • Be a member ex‑officio of all committees.
      • Appoint all committees at Convention unless otherwise ordered.
      • On the first day of each month, submit to the Secretary‑Treasurer an itemized statement of all expenses incurred by him during the preceding month, also a report of his official activities.
      • Sign, or appoint a designee to sign, all checks and orders drawn on the Treasury and perform such duties as the Association may require of him.
      • In conjunction with the Executive Board, have complete control of the printing of all organization material and all works of the organization. The President may employ an editor for the official publication of the Association.
      • Submit to the Executive Board, for their approval, a copy of all contracts and agreements he may enter into; and all payments of money from contracts, agreements or any other sources shall be made payable to the Secretary‑Treasurer of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona.
      • Appoint representatives, upon recommendation of PFFA State Vice Presidents, if he deems it necessary, provided, however, that any expense must be reported to the entire Executive Board.
      • Be responsible for, personally or through a designee, the identification of any and all bills submitted to the legislature pertinent to the interests of Fire Fighters, be they active or retired, and the subsequent timely notification of all Association Locals of this pending legislation to include any other pertinent information such as committee assignment(s), hearing date(s), and legislator(s) involved.
      • Be a delegate of this Association, by virtue of his election, to the convention of the International.
      • Notify, and obtain the authorization of the affected Local's President or PFFA State Vice President when use is made of that Local's mailing list by the Association for mailings other than member education, political education or mailings previously approved by the associations Executive Board.
      • Mediate Assist in settling disputes between Locals and promote harmony between Local Unions.
      • Be responsible for, or through a designee, the management of the PFFA website.
        Section 3.     It shall be the duty of the Secretary‑Treasurer:
        • Take charge of all books, papers and effects of the office.
        • Conduct the correspondence pertaining to his office.
        • Act as Secretary to all Conventions and Executive Board meetings.
        • Be the custodian of the Official Seal.
        • Forward a copy of the minutes of all Executive Board Meetings to all PFFA State Vice Presidents and the Presidents of all affiliated Locals within forty‑five days of such meetings.
        • Maintain an updated copy of this Constitution.
        • Take charge of all monies, books, papers and effects of the office.
        • Receive and hold all monies turned over to him by the Treasurers of all affiliated Locals.
        • Deposit all such monies or funds belonging to the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona in a bank in his name as Secretary‑Treasurer of the Association.
        • Deposit all such monies in only such bank, or banks, as shall be designated by the Executive Board.
        • Withdraw none of said money in any manner other than checks signed by himself and countersigned by the President or transferred said money between existing accounts with the expressed approval of the President.
        • Make a summarized statement of all receipts and disbursements for Executive Board Meetings.
        • Submit to each regular Convention a complete statement of all receipts and disbursements for the past term.
        • Furnish a surety bond in the amount designated by the Executive Board, the premium on which shall be paid by the Association.
        • Immediately notify all members of the Executive Board upon receipt of the first month's dues from any and all new Locals.
        • Immediately notify all members of the Executive Board when any Local is over three (3) months in arrears with their dues.
        • Turn over to his successor at the expiration of his term of office all books, money, securities and properties belonging to the Association.
        • Audit the books, monies, securities and properties of the Association within thirty (30) days after the election of the Secretary‑Treasurer.
        • Maintain and make available to member Locals PFFA policies.
        • Coordinate the P.F.F.A. PAC.
            Section 4.     It shall be the duty of the Executive Vice President:
            • Assume all functions of the President upon his absence or at his direction.
            • Give regular input to the President concerning the welfare and activities of the Association.
            • Coordinate the P.F.F.A. PAC.
            • On the first day of each month, submit an itemized statement of all expenses incurred by him during the preceding month, also a report of his official duties.
            • Execute the directions and assignments given him by the President.
            Section 5.     Salary of officers and staff
            • The President will receive a salary at a rate of $0.54 of per capita.
            • The Secretary/Treasurer and Executive VP will receive a salary at a rate of $0.37 per capita.
            • The Political Director & Director of Governmental Affairs will receive a salary at a rate of $0.31 per capita.
            • The Staff Representative will receive a salary at a rate of $0.17 per capita.
            • The Committee Directors (i.e. Member Services Coordinator, Healthcare Representative, etc.) will receive a salary at a rate of $0.09 per capita.


            ARTICLE VIII


            Section 1.     No person shall be eligible to any of the offices of the Association, or membership on any Association committee, unless that person is a member in good standing with his Local.
            Section 2.     Should a vacancy occur in the office of the President, the Executive Board shall select from their members an Acting President. Should a vacancy occur in the office of Secretary‑Treasurer, the President shall appoint a temporary Secretary-Treasurer to serve for not more than 60 days. The President shall recommend for approval, by the Executive Board, an acting Secretary-Treasurer within 60 days of the original vacancy.
            Section 3.     Should a vacancy occur in the office of a PFFA State Vice President, the affected Local shall hold an election in accordance with Article IV, Section 9. The Local shall then notify the Association Secretary‑Treasurer of their selection.
            Section 4.     Not more than sixty (60) days shall elapse in the filling of any vacancy.

            ARTICLE IX
            Section 1.     The Executive Board of the Association will recommend to the Local Unions, support of the Association President, or his designate, for any bona fide labor organization.
            ARTICLE X
            Section 1.     Reports of Officers shall be delivered at the Association Convention.
            ARTICLE XI
            FISCAL YEAR
            Section 1.     The fiscal year of this Association shall begin 1 July and end 30 June of the succeeding year.
            ARTICLE XII
            Section 1.     The revenue of this Association shall be derived in part from a per capita tax per member, per month, from all affiliated Locals. The amount of this tax will be determined at each annual convention, concurrent with adoption of the budget by a 2/3 vote. Retirees in good standing with their respective Locals and the IAFF, shall pay ½ per capita tax as determined at each annual convention.
            Section 2.     Any Local accepting members into their organization and not reporting same to the Association, or not complying with the Constitution, shall may be deemed in violation of their agreement and shall may be subject to expulsion from the Association with a 2/3 vote of the PFFA Executive Board.
            Section 3.     All per capita checks shall be made payable to the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona.
            Section 4.     Special assessments shall be levied only by referendum vote of the members of the Association when deemed necessary by the Executive Board to carry on the work of the Association.
            Section 5.     The Association shall keep a separate AEmergency Fund@ that shall be approved at Convention. This fund is under the direction of the Association President and will only be used for emergency circumstances that will benefit all members of the Association. The President will account for the fund accumulation and expenditures at each Executive Board meeting.
            ARTICLE XIII
            Section 1.     Any Local affiliated with this Association which fails to pay the per capita tax upon all its members on or before the 15th of the following month, shall may be notified by the Secretary‑Treasurer; and if at the end of three (3) months it is still in arrears, that Local shall forfeit all privileges in the Association via suspension.
            Section 2.     A suspended Local may be reinstated in the Association upon payment of arrearages, provided however, that in exceptional cases, said Local may be reinstated without such payment, and in that case that Local would remit such arrearages when circumstances warrant.
            ARTICLE XIV
            Section 1.     All Locals affiliated with this Association desiring the assistance of the Association in disputes or grievances of any nature shall make such requests to the President. All Locals must abide by the decisions of the Association President, the Association Executive Board and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
            Section 2.     The President is charged with the responsibility to inform the Association Executive Board of substantial commitment of resources of the association to the mutual aid to a Local. The Board is charged with the responsibility to investigate the question of mutual aid and if Locals have acted prudently and aggressively in their own behalf.
            Section 3.     The extent of mutual aid given any affiliated Local shall be governed by a majority vote of this Association. The Executive Board is charged with the responsibility to investigate that the question of mutual aid is of statewide importance and that the Local has exhausted all effort to help themselves.
            ARTICLE XV
            PFFA POLICIES

            Section 1.     The Executive Board and the delegates at the Annual PFFA Convention are empowered to set policies governing the operations and general welfare of the organization and its activities.
            Section 2.     Policies set by delegates at the Annual PFFA Convention can only be amended at the Annual PFFA Convention by the seated delegates.
            Section 3.     Policies set by the Executive Board can be amended by the delegates at the Annual PFFA Convention or by the Executive Board.
            Section 4.     The Secretary/Treasurer shall maintain all PFFA policies, and make them available to the PFFA’s member Locals. The policies shall reflect their origin; either from the Executive Board or from Convention.


            ARTICLE XVI

            Section 1.     This Constitution shall not be amended except by:

            • Two‑thirds (2/3) vote at any Convention of the Association in accordance with Article IV, Section 5.
            • Referendum vote of the entire membership, the majority of votes cast in this instance to decide.