Unit Parliamentarians - Welcome and job responsibilities!

A grand welcome to all the new unit Parliamentarians this term! My name is Bruce Bergman, and I'm the Ninth District Parliamentarian for the 2023-2025 term. My job is to help you all with your questions and tasks, and to act as a conduit to the State Parliamentarian through your Council Parliamentarian (or if you are Out of Council, you come directly to me).

Did You Know? If your unit does not have a parliamentarian, then those duties fall to your unit President to complete! The work has to be done, no matter who does it.

Training - I am planning on scheduling unit parliamentarian training for early September. This will be a one hour evening Zoom event, and everyone is welcome to attend. Primarily, we will be covering your responsibilities to your unit, helping you find the key items you should know from your bylaws (and your Board should know too!), answering any questions about procedure you have, and most importantly, helping you with understanding the bylaws update process.

Stay tuned for more information on this and a Zoom invitation.

In terms of your role, here are the main responsibilities for Unit Parliamentarians:
  1. Support your units (especially your Executive Board) by answering any questions they have about your bylaws, parliamentary procedure, elections, voting, bylaws update processes, and so on. You're the first line of support, and your second line of support is your Council Parliamentarian, but I'm happy to help out if you need my assistance on anything.

  2. Help your unit President with preparing for elections. This includes making sure a nominating committee is elected two months prior to your scheduled Association election meeting, and then assisting the President in the actual election of new officers.

  3. Assist your unit in revising their bylaws and standing rules. This should be done by every unit at least once every five years, according to procedures. I highly recommend using eBylaws, but we also have fillable PDF's if needed. eBylaws is available to all units for free, and is a guided "wizard style" approach to updating your bylaws that allows you to fill in answers to the sections you can change.

  4. Once your unit has their bylaws PDF ready, and the cover sheet filled out, listing all changes being proposed, your Board should review the changes and agree that this is what they want to send up to the State for approval. Send your bylaws PDF and cover sheet by email to your Council Parliamentarian for review (or to me, if you are Out of Council). For reference, the general process is:

    • The unit decides changes are needed, or they just need to update to a newer version, and they make changes in eBylaws or PDF.
    • The unit Executive Board has reviewed the proposed changes and agrees to send them up to State for approval.
    • Council reviews and ensure things are right, then email both documents to me.
    • I review and ensure things are right, then send to the State Parliamentarian.
    • Once approved (or potentially denied, if there are issues), they come back down through Ninth District to me, Council, and the unit President.
    • Your unit makes a formal motion at an Association meeting to amend their bylaws, and the motion is approved (hopefully)
Honestly, that's the bulk of it. It sounds daunting, but you'll find out that it's pretty easy. The bottom line to know is that I am your support, just as your Council is to you. If you need advice, questions answered, opinions, suggestions, a pre-review, or whatever, please know I am here for you if you or your Council Parliamentarian need to discuss anything.

The one area where most issues come up is in completing the cover sheet. It should list all correct information, the contact info for the unit, yourself, and myself, and it should have all changes listed that they have made. If this is done, then usually there are no issues.

Turn around time for approval of updated bylaws at the State level is pretty quick: about a week or two, depending on their workload, once they have come through Council and to me.

Being a unit Parliamentarian is actually pretty fun, so don't stress about it. Between this overview, and the Zoom training, AND your support mechanism, we've got you covered. 

Bruce Bergman, Ninth District PTA Parliamentarian

The parliamentarian assists the president by advising on parliamentary procedure. In accordance with the association's bylaws, the parliamentarian chairs the bylaws committee, arranges the first meeting of the nominating committee and provides information for the nomination and election process.

For more information please review the Parliamentarian Job Description.

Our new e-Bylaws Help Guide is here! Follow the step-by-step instructions on updating your bylaws online!

Note any changes in e-Bylaws requires a full resubmittal through the proper channels. Once returned from California State PTA, they must be adopted by the association with the required notice.

Bylaws Basics

Bylaws describe the purpose of PTA and its' mission, and members’ rights. A copy of the association’s Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units must be made available to any association member upon request. A copy should be provided to all officers and board members. Each executive board member is responsible for making a thorough study of them. For more information visit - The Essential Role of Bylaws

Bylaws Review

Bylaws should be reviewed annually, and updated at least every five (5) years by the bylaws committee of the association, chaired by the parliamentarian.

Updating Your Unit Bylaws

When your PTA/PTSA begins updating the association bylaws use these documents.

Pay close attention to all of the procedures and instructions for an easy update.


The fun, fast, and easy to use e-Bylaws Program is available for most units through California State PTA.

PTA e-Bylaws Program

Here are some handy resources for Parliamentarians

Parliamentary Authority

In addition to the association bylaws, Robert's Rules also provide authority for our PTA work. Every PTA should have a copy of one or both versions of these books. The expense is a legitimate PTA expenditure.


 "The rules contained in the current edition of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER NEWLY REVISED shall govern the National PTA and this association in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not in conflict with these bylaws, those of the California State PTA, the National PTA, the articles of incorporation and the California Nonprofit Corporation Law."


Contact the Ninth District PTA office at or the Ninth District PTA Parliamentarian at .

Parliamentarian Files and Forms
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