GANYC Constitution

Constitution of the Guides Association of New York City
 
We, as licensed sightseeing guides of New York City, in a common endeavor to promote our
profession and enhance and improve the public perception thereof, to provide a platform for
interaction between professional guides and representation with other organizations, industries,
and governmental bodies, and thereby enhance and serve the interests of the city itself, do to that
end establish this Constitution for the Guides Association of New York City (GANYC).
 
I. The name of the association is “Guides Association of New York City”. In this document, the
word “Association” means Guides Association of New York City.
 
II. The Association shall be a non-profit organization.
 
III. The aims of the Association are:
 
A. To promote the highest degree of professionalism for those individuals who work as New
York City licensed sightseeing guides, and to establish ethical and professional standards by
which all guides are measured.
 
B. To promote professional contacts leading to the exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences.
 
C. To cooperate with other professions, organizations and entities in an effort to mutually promote
one another’s value to the city and its visitors, and enhance the public recognition thereof.
 
D. To hold regularly scheduled meetings as set forth in the Association’s By-Laws.
 
E. To provide opportunities for the continuing education and professional development of its members.
 
F. To protect and advance the interests and welfare of its members.
 
IV. The management of the Association shall be by an Executive Board composed of nine
members: president, two vice-presidents, treasurer, two co-secretaries and three members-at-
large, to be elected by secret ballot of the membership for a term of two years. This two year
term shall run from the day of the first Membership Meeting of January to the day before the first
Membership Meeting of January two years later.
 
V. The business of the Association shall be primarily conducted by the Executive Board and its
appointed committees.
 
VI. All functions entrusted to members of the Executive Board will be performed without
compensation. The members of the Executive Board or any other member shall be reimbursed
for Executive Board approved expenses related to the business and activities of the Association.
Approval for expenditures shall be as set forth in the Association’s By-Laws.
 
VII. The Association shall maintain a mailing address in the City of New York.VIII. An annual General Assembly shall be convened by the Executive Board. All annual reports
will be presented at that time, including all Committee Reports and the Treasurer’s Report. The
Secretary or Secretaries will create the agenda, with the approval of the Executive Board.
 
IX. The Constitution shall not be altered or amended except by vote of a simple majority of
members present or represented by proxy at a General Assembly. Notice of any proposal to alter
or amend the Constitution must be given in writing to the membership 21 days prior to the
General Assembly for a vote on that proposal.
 
X. The dissolution of the Association shall be decided by an Extraordinary General Assembly
of members convened, by a minimum of one-third of the membership with 21 days prior notice.
A quorum of two-thirds of the membership must be present or represented by proxy at this
Extraordinary General Assembly. To become effective the vote must be carried by two-thirds of
those present or represented by proxy.
 
XI. The fiscal year of the Association shall be November 1 to October 31.
 
XII. There shall be an annual membership fee due before December 31 for the following year.
The fee shall be voted on annually by the General Assembly. All members in good standing will
be listed on a membership roster, which the Executive Board will make available to the trade.
 
XIII. A. Full membership in the Association is open only to New York City licensed sightseeing
guides that have met the requirements as set forth in the Association’s By-Laws.
 
B. The Executive Board may establish other non-voting categories as set forth in the
Association’s By-Laws.
 
XIV. Any member failing to maintain the aims and standards of the Association shall be liable to
expulsion. In case of a complaint against a member, the matter shall be first considered by the
Executive Board, which shall investigate the complaint. Members shall have full opportunity to
represent themselves to the Executive Board. The decision of expulsion by the Executive Board
shall be final, unless the expelled member makes an appeal to an Extraordinary General
Assembly, to be called by the Executive Board within 30 days after notice of appeal is received
by the Executive Board. A quorum of one-half of the membership must be present or represented
by proxy at this Extraordinary General Assembly. To become effective, the vote must be carried
by a simple majority of members present or represented by proxy.
 
XV. In the event that one of the elected officers cannot serve out his/her term for any reason, the
Executive Board shall appoint a qualified replacement to serve the balance of the term.
 
By-Laws
 
     1. Membership
 
A. Categories for tour guides include:
 
1) Provisional
 
2) Full
 
Requirements for Provisional category (non-voting)
 
A valid NYC DCA issued sightseeing license
A completed application
Interview with the Executive Board
Payment of initiation fee and dues
Requirements for Full category
A valid NYC DCA issued sightseeing license
Recorded attendance at a minimum of four monthly meetings within a year for Provisional members
History of a minimum of one year of experience
Two letters of recommendation from Full category members for Provisional members
Payment of annual dues
 
     1. Categories for affiliated members include:
 
1) Industry Partner
 
2) Strategic Affiliation
 
3) Honorary
 
Requirements for Industry Partner category (non-voting)
 
Requirements for Industry Partner category (non-voting) Ongoing industry related business such as an
attraction, museum, restaurant, etc. with a demonstrated interest in supporting licensed tour guiding.
 
Approval by a majority of members present or represented by proxy, determined by vote at a regular
GANYC members’ meeting. 30-day notice of Industry Partner application required prior to vote.
 
GANYC guides who wish to add Industry Partner to their current status will receive a 50%
discount on Industry Partner dues
 
Requirements for Strategic Affiliation category (non-voting, no dues)
 
The designated individual or organization for this category, such as an affiliated association or
educational facility, should have a demonstrated interest in supporting tour guiding.Requirements for Honorary category (non-voting, no dues)
 
Recommendation of the Executive Board
 
     1. Meetings
 
A. Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guideline for all meetings.
 
B. Minutes for all Executive Board and membership meetings shall be posted on the website, and
made available in print if requested.
 
C. Executive Board Meetings
 
The president shall call a regular monthly meeting of the Executive Board. A quorum of more
than 50% of the Board members is required to conduct business.
 
D. Membership Meetings
 
1) The Association shall convene a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, currently set for the
first Wednesday of the month, with alternate dates at the discretion of the Executive Board.
 
2) Conduct and procedure of meetings shall be guided by a team of parliamentarians appointed
by the Executive Board.
 
3) Licensed New York City guides and invited guests approved by the Executive Board are
welcome at membership meetings; however, except for invited speakers, only members may
speak and only Full members may vote.
 
     1. Elections
 
In September of the election year, the Executive Board shall appoint an ad hoc election committee.
Once a member accepts a position on the election committee, he or she will be ineligible to be a
candidate in that election.
 
The mission of the election committee shall be as follows:
 
1) To coordinate the nomination process.
 
2) To administer the procedures for the election, including the balloting process.
 
3) To tabulate the ballots at the December meeting, and announce the results of the election at
that meeting.
 
A. All full members of the Association shall be considered eligible to run for any one office.
 
B. Nominations shall be made as follows:a. Nominations for all offices will be made and seconded at the October meeting in the second
year of the term.
 
b. Nominations and seconds may continue through the month of October via e-mail, telephone,
and other available forms of communication.
 
i. The Executive Board shall be informed of each nomination and second.
 
ii. The Executive Board shall be informed of the acceptance or declination of each nominee.
 
iii. The nominations, along with their acceptance or declination by the nominees, shall be posted
on the Discussions Forum page or its equivalent on the GANYC website and shall be open to
debate among the membership.
 
iv. Nominations via e-mail may be seconded within the Discussions Forum page or its equivalent.
 
v. There will be a list of nominees who have been seconded and their acceptance or declination
posted on the GANYC website’s Announcements page (or its equivalent) and maintained and
updated by the election committee between the October and November meetings.
 
vi. Beyond the initial nomination, no record of additional nominations for the same candidate
shall be kept. Members are required to check the above mentioned list of nominees before
making a nomination. In the event that a candidate is nominated for more than one office, this
rule shall apply to each office in the same way it would if there were two different candidates.
 
vii. Nominees must accept or decline their nomination 24 hours prior to the November meeting.
 
C. Each candidate’s campaign statement may be heard at the November meeting. If the candidate
is unable to attend the meeting, the statement may be read aloud by another member.
a. In addition to being read aloud at the November meeting, the candidate may post his or her
statement on the Discussions Forum page or its equivalent.
 
b. All members may question the candidates at the November meeting.
 
c. Further questioning and discussion of the candidates may take place on the Discussions Forum
page or its equivalent on the GANYC website between the November and December meeting.
 
D. Voting shall be done by secret ballot during the period of time between November and
December meetings of the second year of the term in the following manner:
 
a. Individually numbered ballots and candidate’s statements will be sent via U.S. mail to every
Full member of the Association.
 
b. Each Full member shall vote by marking the ballot and either mailing it to a GANYC mailing
address or bringing it to the December meeting.c. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by a specific date determined in advance by the Executive Board.
 
E. The ballots shall be counted during the course of the December meeting.
 
F. The new Executive Board shall take office at the beginning of the January meeting following
the election.
 
G. The time between the meetings of December in the second year of the term and the following
January shall serve as a transitional period.
 
H. An Executive Board member may only be recalled by a two-thirds vote of the full membership
present or represented by proxy at an Extraordinary General Assembly, to be called by the
Executive Board upon petition of 20% of the full membership.
 
    1. Committees
 
A. All committees shall be formed and dissolved by the Executive Board.
 
B. All committee chairs shall be appointed and removed by the president, subject to the approval
of the Executive Board.
 
     1. Expenditures
 
All decisions involving the expenditure of $500 or more must be put to a vote by those members
present or represented by proxy at a regularly scheduled meeting, with a simple majority needed
for approval.
 
     1. Changes to the By-Laws
 
These By-Laws can only be amended, removed, or added to by the Executive Board, subject to
the approval of a majority of those members present or represented by proxy at the next regularly
scheduled monthly meeting, provided that notice via e-mail, telephone, and other available forms
of communication is given to the membership a minimum of seven days prior.
 
(Amended Constitution adopted by the General Assembly September 5, 2012)
 
GANYC Members Code of Ethics
 
1. A GANYC member will have a valid New York City Guide’s License as issued by the New
York City Department of Consumer Affairs. It is illegal to work as a tour guide in New York City
without a license.
 
2. A GANYC member will deal with clients in a professional manner in the execution of his or
her duties as tour guide, escort, hospitality staff or any other tourism-related service for which
the member is legally contracted in the City of New York.
 
3. A GANYC member will arrive at the tour’s starting point at the agreed-upon time. If the guide
is late, the guide will do his or her best to compensate the group for the delay. If the group arrives
late, the GANYC member is not obligated to extend the tour.
 
4. A GANYC member will be well groomed and attired in a neat and clean manner and will abide
by any specific attire requirements agreed upon at the time of being hired.
 
5. A GANYC member will have a wide range of knowledge of New York City, including such
areas as history, architecture, local customs, mass-transit usage and tour routes.
 
6. A GANYC member will be knowledgeable about the sites he or she has been contracted to
visit and follow the rules of those sites. The member will advise the group of such rules in order
to avoid problems and unnecessary delays.
 
7. A GANYC member will do his or her best to fulfill the group’s itinerary and will advise the
group leader or responsible party when major adjustments are needed due to circumstances beyond
the member’s control, such as, but not limited to: weather, traffic, parades, street closures, long
lines at attractions and/or group tardiness.
 
8. While tour guides, like others in the service industry, are accustomed to receiving a gratuity, a
GANYC member will not solicit gratuities from the tour group. The only exception is when the
member is working for a company that has a specific policy permitting such solicitations (such
as those companies offering double decker or other daily tours) and then, the member will adhere
to that company’s policy. In all other situations, it is the duty of the tour operator to educate the
group regarding the gratuity.
 
9. A GANYC member will respect the confidentiality of the clients they work with. A member
will not solicit or accept a job from a client of the company that has hired him or her. Members
will not distribute business cards without the knowledge of the company that has hired them.
 
10. A GANYC member will be of the language proficiency they have stated for the job they
have been hired to do. Any proficiency less than ‘fluent’ should be noted in writing by the
GANYC member at the time of hiring.
 
11. In the event of a complaint being filed against a GANYC member, the member agrees to
abide by the majority decision of the GANYC Board of Directors as to the action needed to
address the complaint.
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GANYC is an association of independent tour guides. Each member is licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. GANYC provides a listing of all member guides to the public.GANYC is not liable, or responsible, for contractual obligations made between clients and tour guides. GANYC stands for Guides Association Of New York City.

Proud Members of:

NYSTIA    Museum Association of NY