By-laws of The Suffolk County Psychological Association, Inc.
- The objectives of the Suffolk County Psychological Association, Inc. hereinafter known as the Association, shall be to advance psychology as a science and profession in order to promote human welfare; to work for effective community relations; to promote professional and ethical conduct among its members; and to serve as a medium of education, fellowship, and the exchange of professional information for all psychologists in Suffolk County, New York. The Suffolk County Psychological Association is the representative association of psychologists in Suffolk County in affiliation with the New York State Psychological Association and in cooperation with the American Psychological Association.
- At the time of the formal adoption of this revision of the Bylaws of the Association, all individuals in good standing as FULL MEMBERS, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS, STUDENT MEMBERS, RETIRED MEMBERS, EMERITUS MEMBERS and HONORARY MEMBERS shall retain their respective status.
- The Association shall consist of six classes of membership: FULL MEMBERS, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS, STUDENT MEMBERS, RETIRED MEMBERS, EMERITUS MEMBERS, and HONORARY MEMBERS.
- FULL MEMBERS, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS, STUDENT MEMBERS, RETIRED
MEMBERS and EMERITUS MEMBERS are required to subscribe to the
objectives of the Association, maintain ethical standards of
professional conduct as set forth by the Ethical Principles of
Psychologists and Code of Conduct established by the American
Psychological Association, abide by all other Federal, State and
other laws that regulate the profession or practice of psychology,
and be approved for admission to the Association by the Executive
- FULL MEMBERS of the Association shall be persons who
meet any one of the following minimal standards:
- Possession of a license as Psychologist granted by the New York State Education Department, Article 153, State Education Law;
- Possession of a doctoral degree in Psychology conferred by a graduate school of recognized standing;
- Possession of a certificate as a school psychologist, Article 143, State Education Law.
- FULL MEMBERS shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of full participation in the affairs of the Association.
- FULL MEMBERS of the Association shall be persons who meet any one of the following minimal standards:
- ASSOCIATE MEMBERS shall be persons legally employed as psychologists in a clinic or institution, and who do not meet requirements to be a FULL MEMBER.
- ASSOCIATE MEMBERS shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of FULL MEMBERS except for the right to vote, to hold office, and such other rights specifically denied them in these Bylaws.
- STUDENT MEMBERS shall be persons who are enrolled in a psychology program at the undergraduate or graduate level. STUDENT MEMBERS must have their educational status re-verified annually.
- STUDENT MEMBERS shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of FULL MEMBERS except for the right to vote, to hold office, and such other rights specifically denied them in these Bylaws.
- RETIRED MEMBERS shall be persons who meet all of the criteria set forth in the Policies and Procedures established by the Executive Board.
- RETIRED MEMBERS shall retain all the rights and privileges of FULL MEMBERS.
- RETIRED MEMBERS shall pay modified dues as set by the Executive Board.
- EMERITUS MEMBERS shall be persons who meet all of the criteria set forth in the Policies and Procedures established by the Executive Board.
- EMERITUS MEMBERS shall retain all the rights and privileges of FULL MEMBERS.
- EMERITUS MEMBERS shall pay modified dues as set by the Executive Board.
- In exceptional cases, as determined by the Executive Board, the status of HONORARY MEMBER may be granted to persons not possessing the qualifications stated in Sections 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 of this Article, but deemed significantly qualified in other respects, provided that the Executive Board approves by a two-thirds vote.
- An HONORARY MEMBER of the Association may not vote or hold office and is exempt from paying dues.
- Application for the initial status of FULL MEMBER, ASSOCIATE MEMBER, STUDENT MEMBER, RETIRED MEMBER or EMERITUS MEMBER shall be made and dealt with in accord with Policies and Procedures established by the Executive Board, which shall act on all such applications.
- An applicant approved by the Executive Board shall become a Member only after s/he has (a) paid his/her first year's dues, (b) agrees to be governed by these Bylaws, insofar as his/her Membership in the Association is concerned, and (c) agrees to abide by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and the Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association.
- Any FULL, ASSOCIATE, STUDENT, RETIRED or EMERITUS MEMBER of the Association who has not paid his/her stated dues and assessments within three months of the initial due date shall no longer be considered a member in good standing. Members will be notified that they are in arrears according to the Board’s policy in this regard. In the event that a MEMBER has been unable to pay his/her dues because of financial hardship, this MEMBER may appeal to the Chair of the Membership Committee for a dues waiver or reduction for a period of one year or more as determined by the Chair of the Membership Committee subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
- SCPA Board may drop from membership any member when such action is deemed necessary to protect the standards and
integrity of the Association. This action shall be purely an administrative one. The following shall be bases for the dropping of membership:
- Expulsion, Suspension, Unlicensure, or Decertification. The Board may drop from membership a member if a governmental body or a state psychology board (or similar body responsible for supervising psychology practice), revokes or suspends (whether such suspension is actual or stayed) the member's psychology license or certificate; or if the American Psychological Association, or any affiliated state or regional association, expels or suspends the member. A surrender, relinquishment, or withdrawal of a member's psychology license voluntarily, by consent, or in a similar fashion, after a complaint concerning his/her professional qualifications, competence or misconduct has been presented to the relevant state, psychology board (or similar body responsible for supervising psychology practice) or court, shall be regarded as the equivalent of a license suspension or revocation.
- Conviction of a Felony or Commensurate Offense. The Board may drop from membership a member who has been convicted of a felony (as defined by state law or otherwise a criminal offense with a possible term of incarceration exceeding one year) and such conviction is not under appeal.
- Misrepresentation and Failure to Advise of Events. Applicants for SCPA membership must attest that the information they submit is true and complete to the best of their knowledge and belief. Applicants by virtue of accepting membership agree that they shall advise the President of SCPA by certified, registered, or express and receipted mail, within thirty days of the occurrence of any of the following events: (1) they no longer satisfy the criteria for membership; (2) their psychology license or certificate in any jurisdiction is revoked, suspended (whether such suspension is actual or stayed, or voluntarily relinquished; (3) they are expelled, suspended or dropped from membership from the American Psychological Association, or any affiliated state or regional association; or (4) they are convicted of a felony or commensurate offense and no appeal is pending. The Board may drop from membership a member who is found to have made any significant misrepresentation in connection with his/her application for membership or who fails to notify SCPA as required above.
- No individual within the membership of the Association shall undertake or assume the authority to act as a representative of the Association, except upon the special authorization of the President or Executive Board. No member shall use Association letterhead or the Association's logo unless authorized by the President or Executive Board.
- A MEMBER may resign from the Association by submitting a letter of resignation to the President. Resignations may be accepted only by the Executive Board.
- The Officers of the Association shall be the President, the President-Elect, the immediate Past-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. All Officers of the Association shall be FULL MEMBERS in good standing of the Association, having a minimum membership period of one year.
- The term of office for all Officers shall be two years beginning on June 1 st and ending on May 31 st . Officers shall serve no more than two terms in any single capacity during any ten year period except for the President. The President can only serve two terms in a lifetime and there must be at least four years between the end of his/her term as Past President and the beginning of his/her second term as President-Elect
- Prior to being placed on the nominating ballot for the office of President of the Association, the nominee shall be a FULL MEMBER of the Association in good standing, and shall have held at least one elected position on the Executive Board of the Association or have served as a Chairman or Co-chairman of one of the standing committees. The person must have completed at least one year in said position before assuming the office of President-Elect.
- It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Executive Board, to sign all contracts and other instruments affecting the affairs of the Association, except for checks drawn against the money accounts of the Association, and to exercise general supervision over the affairs of the Association. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees of the Association.
- It shall be the duty of the President-Elect to assume and perform the duties of the President in the event of the absence, incapacity, resignation or death of the President. In the event that the President resigns, the President-Elect shall serve as President of the Association for the balance of the term of the resigning President as well as for the full term of office as President which was won in the most recent Presidential election. The President-Elect shall serve as an advisor to the President on matters relevant to the operation of the Association. It shall also be the duty of the President-Elect to maintain and keep current the book of the Policies and Procedures established by the Executive Board. If the President-Elect assumes the office of President during the first 6 months of his/her term, he/she will only serve until the end of that term. An election will be held to elect a new President-Elect.
- The Past-President shall be the Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee, and shall serve as an advisor to the President on matters relevant to the operation of the Association.
- It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Association to keep the minutes of all meetings of the Association and of the Executive Board.
- It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to have custody of the funds of the Association. These funds shall be deposited in the name of the Association at such bank or banks as the Executive Board of the Association shall direct. The Treasurer shall arrange for the collection of dues and other monies due to the Association, and shall have the authority to sign checks and drafts on behalf of the Association, as provided for in the Bylaws and by action of the Executive Board or the MEMBERS of the Association in proper meeting. S/he shall have such additional duties as are described in Article VIII of these Bylaws. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to make certain that all payments and requests for items such as rent, insurance, etc. are made in a timely fashion. It shall also be the duty of the Treasurer to oversee the maintenance of the Membership List of the Association and the names of those members in good standing and not in good standing as defined in Article II Section 11 of these Bylaws.
- The Executive Board of the Association shall be the administrative and executive body of the Association, and shall exercise general supervision and control over the property and affairs of the Association.
- The Executive Board of the Association shall consist of the President, the President-Elect, the Immediate Past-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer, as Officers of the Association; seven Members-at-Large and the current representative of the Association to the Council of Representatives of the New York State Psychological Association.
- Members-at-Large shall be elected for a term of two years. A rotational method shall be established for the election of these Members-at-Large of the Executive Board to insure that no more than four such Members shall be elected to the Executive Board in any one year. Members-at-Large are responsible for being actively involved in the supervision of the affairs of the Association. Members-at-Large shall not be limited in the number of terms they can serve.
- The elected Representative of the Association to the Council of Representatives of the New York State Psychological Association shall also be a member of the Executive Board of the Association for the duration of his/her term, and shall also participate in the meetings of the Council of Representatives of the New York State Psychological Association within the scope of such policy established for him/her by the Executive Board. The term of office of the elected Representative of the Association to the NYSPA Council of Representatives shall be three years, in conformity with NYSPA Bylaws.
- In the event of a vacancy in any Executive Board position, other than that of the President, the Executive Board shall appoint an interim replacement from among the FULL MEMBERS of the Association. The member appointed by the Executive Board shall serve in the designated office until such time as a successor is elected in the next regularly scheduled election. During the period that the appointed officer serves on the Executive Board, this individual will be granted full voting rights on all matters which come before the Executive Board.
- In the event that five or more of the elected Officers and Members-at-Large, or ten percent of the Membership, shall charge in a signed petition that any elected Officer or Member-at-Large has not been fulfilling his/her duties, the Executive Board shall consider the charges at a special meeting, to which the accused Officer or Member-at-Large shall be invited. A vote of four-fifths of the Officers and Members-at-Large present shall be required to impeach the charged officer and remove him/her from office.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
- The Board is given the authority to adopt an internet nomination and election voting procedure.
- A Nominations and Elections Committee, chaired by the most recent Past-President available and composed of the President and President-Elect, shall transmit a nominating ballot to each FULL MEMBER in good standing at least eight weeks before the election. Attempts shall be made to secure at least two nominations for each office to be filled. The Committee shall ascertain the nominees’ willingness to serve.
- The final notice of the election, together with the announcement of the slates for the respective offices, shall be transmitted to all FULL MEMBERS in good standing at least three weeks before the election. Elections will be held annually or as required by special circumstances.
- The election shall be completed for each office, in order of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, three/four Members-at-Large, and one representative of the Association to the Council of Representatives of the New York State Psychological Association. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. In case of a tie, the majority vote of the Executive Board by closed ballot shall determine which candidate shall be declared elected. The President shall notify the elected individuals of their election.
- The ballots shall be collected and counted according to the Policies and Procedures of the Executive Board.
There shall be such Standing Committees as are authorized in this Article, and such Special Committees as may be authorized from time to time by the President or by the Executive Board. They shall consist of a Chairperson(s), appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board, and members appointed by the Chairperson(s), subject to review by the Executive Board. All Committee Chairs shall be appointed by the President prior to the first day of his/her Presidential term and will serve for the term of the President, unless otherwise provided.
- The Program Committee shall be responsible for planning at least two programs or workshops each year offered to members of the Association with the approval of the Executive Board.
- The Membership Committee shall implement the provisions of Article II of these Bylaws, and be responsible for soliciting new members.
- The role of the Ethics Committee is educational and its services are provided to SCPA members only. All members of the Ethics Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Board. The Chairperson of the Ethics Committee shall be appointed by the President from among the members of the Committee. The names of potential new candidates will be forwarded from the Executive Board to the Ethics Committee who will review their qualifications and make recommendations to the President and to the Executive Board. The Ethics Committee will operate in accord with procedures prepared by the Committee and approved by the Executive Board. The committee responds to members' inquiries regarding matters of ethics, publishes articles regarding ethical issues, and initiates workshops and seminars involving ethics to be offered by SCPA. All inquiries regarding matters of ethics should be forwarded in a timely manner to the President of the Association and the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee who will convene the committee to consider the matter at hand. The Ethics Committee operates independently. It will report the results of its deliberations to the President of SCPA or the Executive Board of the Association. The information provided by members of SCPA’s Ethics Committee should not be relied upon as legal advice, because it does not constitute a legal opinion and it is not a substitute for consultation with an attorney or with a representative from one’s liability or malpractice insurance carrier.
- The Public Education Committee shall advance psychology through the media.
- The Trauma/Crisis Response Committee shall promote participation by SCPA members in the Disaster/Crisis Response Network of the New York State Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Association, Suffolk County, and the American Red Cross. The Committee will act as a liaison between SCPA and these Networks. The Committee will disseminate information regarding training and treatment in the area of Trauma Psychology.
- The Insurance Committee shall study and disseminate information concerning changes, new developments and current issues in the areas of insurance and managed care.
- The Legislative Committee shall study important areas of civic and legislative influence in the community for the purposes of collaboration and coordination with other organizations, groups, legislators and persons, in the interests of the public and the Association.
- The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of the immediate Past-President of the Association as Chair, the President and President-Elect. The Committee shall function in accord with the provisions of Article V of these Bylaws.
- The Directory Committee shall be responsible for maintaining and publishing the Membership Directory of the Association, at intervals determined by the Executive Board.
- The Hospitals, Clinics and Nursing Homes Committee shall maintain a liaison with psychologists employed by hospitals, clinics, and/or nursing homes. The Committee shall encourage the exchange of information and develop such activities as are useful to promote the practice of psychology in these settings.
- The Independent Practice Committee shall promote professional standards of practice to ensure the rendering of more effective services to the community and to provide a forum for independent practitioners to address their needs and interests. This Committee may plan and carry out programs geared to the professional activities and interest of psychologists in private practice.
- The Publications Committee shall be responsible for the publishing of a Newsletter for the Association.
- The School Psychology Committee shall serve to coordinate the activities of those psychologists of the membership who are functioning in a school setting. This Committee may plan and carry out programs geared to the professional activities and interest of school psychologists. The Committee will be responsible for publishing the School Psychology Directory.
- The Continuing Education Committee, in cooperation with the Program Committee, shall plan and run workshops and other presentations primarily for the benefit of SCPA members. At times, these programs may be offered in co-sponsorship with other organizations. The Committee Chair is responsible for maintaining the American Psychological Association's accreditation of SCPA's Continuing Education Program.
- The Psychology and Law Committee shall provide information and resources to psychologists about the legal system and to the legal system about psychologists. It shall present trainings and workshops; liaison with attorneys, Bar Associations and the Courts and provide public education.
- The Student Committee shall promote Student membership in the Association and may plan programs and activities to benefit Student Members.
- The Website Committee shall oversee the Association’s website to ensure that its content is accurate, relevant and updated regularly. Any changes to the website must be approved according to the policies and procedures established by the Executive Board.
- The Marketing Committee will develop and distribute SCPA material to educate the public, other professionals, schools, agencies, etc. about the types of services our members provide and how to access those services.
- The Early Career Committee, in accordance with the American Psychological Association’s definition of an early career psychologist, offers support to members in the first seven years of their careers. This involves providing opportunities for more active participation in the Association.
- The Colleges and Universities Committee shall serve as a liaison between the Association and the region's training programs in Psychology, keeping them apprised of the Association's educational and social events to increase interaction with these departments.
- All Committee Chairs must submit reports to the Executive Board as set forth in the Policies and Procedures of the Executive Board. The activities of all Committees must be pre-approved by the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board shall hold a minimum of one meeting every other month to conduct Association business. A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Association business except as otherwise noted in these Bylaws.
- The Executive Board may carry out its responsibilities between meetings by using the Executive Board email listserv or conference calls; motions may be made and voted on in this manner. Motions will require a majority vote to pass. Any motions made and any votes taken via email shall be recorded by the Secretary in the minutes of the next Executive Board meeting. The Secretary shall also record the minutes of all meetings held via conference calls.
- Special membership meetings may be held on the call of the President or the Executive Board or upon the petition of twenty percent of the FULL MEMBERS of the Association in good standing presented to the President. Notices of special meetings shall be mailed to the membership at least two weeks in advance of the meeting date, and shall include a statement of the business for which such meeting is being held. For the transaction of business at a special membership meeting, a quorum shall consist of at least 10% of the FULL MEMBERS in good standing of the Association.
- The rules contained in a current edition of parliamentary procedures as approved by the Board shall govern the business meetings of the Association and the meetings of the Executive Board in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the provisions of these Bylaws.
FINANCES AND DUES
- The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on June 1 and end on May 31 of the succeeding year.
- The Treasurer shall submit monthly to the Executive Board an itemized financial statement of the receipts and expenditures incurred in connection with the administration of his/her office. The Treasurer shall also submit annually an itemized financial statement of receipts and expenditures to a professional accountant approved by the Executive Board. The Executive Board may, if it so desires, arrange for an audit of this statement and the basic financial records.
- The Treasurer shall have the responsibility of developing and submitting to the Executive Board a budget for the forthcoming year. The Executive Board shall review this budget and, with such revisions as it may wish to make, approve it. The budget, among other matters, will include recommendations for dues and assessments for the forthcoming year.
- The rate and date of payment of annual dues for FULL MEMBERS shall be set by the Executive Board, but may not be increased by more than 25% in any one year without the approval of the majority of the voting membership. The modified rate and the date of payment of annual dues for EMERITUS MEMBERS, RETIRED MEMBERS, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS and STUDENT MEMBERS shall be set by the Executive Board.
- Special assessments may be voted when it is deemed necessary to do so for any purpose that will serve the best interests of the Association, but may not exceed 50% of the annual dues without the approval of the majority of the membership.
- Amendments to these Bylaws may be initiated in any of the following ways:
- By a majority of the FULL MEMBERS present at a regularly constituted meeting of the Association, provided that at least 50 FULL MEMBERS of the Association are present at such meeting;
- By a majority action of the Executive Board;
- By a petition signed by 10% of the FULL MEMBERS of the Association, duly filed with the President of the Association.
- Amendments to these Bylaws may be adopted by a majority vote of the FULL MEMBERS in good standing of the Association who vote in an internet (e.g. email, SurveyMonkey) ballot on the proposed amendment(s), provided that at least 25% of the FULL MEMBERS in good standing of the Association submit their votes via the internet (e.g. email, SurveyMonkey), and further provided that a period of three weeks be permitted for such voting from the date of the transmission of the ballot and a copy of the proposed amendment(s).
- Ballots shall be counted according to the policies and procedures adopted by the Board.
Amended July 18, 1997
Amended May 22, 2009
Amended May 26, 2012
Amended March 13, 2015