Paralyzed Veterans of America Central Florida
SECTION ONE: CHAPTER OFFICE OPERATING PROCEDURES
CHAIN OF COMMAND
A. The PVACF Board of Directors makes policy.
B. The PVACF President is responsible to the Board of Directors to ensure that those policies are implemented.
C. The chapter President has the responsibility to propose policy to Board of Directors.
D. In accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, the President can make motions from the chair and vote on all motions if he/she chooses to do so.
II. PVACF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Chapter Executive Director is responsible for overseeing all programs within PVACF, implementing policy as directed by the Chapter President.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR
A. Selection of a three year Director to the National Board of Directors shall occur in the last month of the current Director’s term.
B. The National Director must be a certified member in good standing of the chapter.
C. The chapter may, at its discretion, make the National Director an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. The National Director must attend all meetings of the Board of Directors.
D. As National Director, he/she is allowed to make motions, but may not vote.
E. The National Director shall present a monthly written report on the activities and accomplishments of his/her office to the Board of Directors.
F. The Board of Directors and the National Director may jointly develop written policies and procedures to review pending National PVA issues and proposals. The President and Board of Directors may present their input to the National Director prior to attending National meetings.
G. The National Director must keep the President and Board of Directors informed in a timely manner of decisions and actions of National PVA which affect the Chapter including National PVA election results and the disposition of proposed resolutions. The National Director must be familiar with and understand National Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and the Chapter’s Bylaws and Policies & Procedures.
H. The National Director shall be guided in his/her performance and conduct by PVACF’s Bylaws and the standard of conduct. A National Director should always maintain independence and objectivity and do what is dictated by a sense of fairness, ethics, and personal integrity. In the event of questions regarding legal matters, the National Director shall have the authority to contact the PVA General Counsel directly. A National Director shall be familiar with PVACF’s mission, purposes, goals, policies and programs. When asked, a National Director should be willing to serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments. A National Director should avoid prejudiced judgments on the basis of information received from individuals and urge those with grievances to follow established policies and procedures. A National Director should ask timely and substantive questions at Board and Committee meetings consistent with their conscience and convictions. No National Director shall represent himself or herself as speaking for PVA unless specifically authorized to do so.
A. Any voting member running for Chapter Office must be certified through the National PVA Secretary prior to being placed on the official ballot. The certification process includes proof of citizenship, proof of Active Duty Service in the Armed Forces and Character of Discharge other than Dishonorable (DD 214), and medical proof of Spinal Cord Injury or Disease. Documents are to be submitted to the PVACF Secretary for review and examination before they are forwarded to the National PVA Secretary for member certification. “Any prospective Board Member or Officer desiring office should have a working understanding of the Chapter’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and the eight mandated programs required by the Paralyzed Veterans of America”.
B. Election nominations will be taken at two consecutive general membership meetings, the last one, a month prior to the end of the fiscal year. Those nominated shall be voted on at the end of the second meeting and take office on the first day of the new fiscal year.
C. The officers of the Corporation shall serve for a period of two (2) fiscal years. The Board of Directors shall consist of no less than six (6) members, and no more than ten (10) members, which shall include the officers. Members of the board shall serve for a period of three (3) years on a 2 per year rotating basis.
The Board may choose a certified member to serve as the chapter parliamentarian. This position may be revoked by a simple majority vote of the Board.
V. PROGRAM DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES
Program Directors are responsible to the President and/or the ED. They must keep the President and/or the Executive Director informed of the activity within their program. The Executive Director or the President will keep the Board informed of all program activities.
VI. APPOINTEES AND VOLUNTEERS
Will be directly responsible to the Program Directors. However, the Board can change this line of authority on a case by case basis depending upon the nature of the assigned task.
A. All incoming mail is to be opened by the Office Administrator or other designee. He/she will date stamp all mail and then forward a copy to the President and/or the Executive Director for his/her review and then forward to the appropriate person.
B. A copy of all outgoing correspondence concerning PVACF will be provided to the President and/or the Executive Director.
C. Letters by the President and/or the Executive Director will be copied for the Board and Program Directors when applicable.
D. A copy of all outgoing correspondence (electronic or hard copy) by board members must be preapproved by the President and/or the Executive Director.
E. Mail marked personal or confidential will be opened by addressee.
VIII. OFFICE APPEARANCE
All personnel will keep his/her work area in a neat and tidy manner. All material from bookcase or file drawers should be returned prior to leaving the office. No material or equipment will be removed from the office without the knowledge of the President and/or Executive Director.
All Presidential appointees, Officers of PVACF and active volunteers may have complementary access to office equipment providing the Executive Director, A Board member or an officer is notified. This privilege will be revoked if abused.
A. No one is allowed to remove or add computer programs to any computer without approval from the President and/or the Executive Director.
B. When equipment is determined by the Board to be no longer needed or usable by the chapter, it will be disposed of by the President and/or the Executive Director.
X. FISCAL POLICY
A. All requests for funds/assistance must be directed to the chapter office. All original requests will be on file in the chapter office, available to Program Directors for review/action.
B. All check request forms must include the following:
i. To whom the check is to be made payable. On checks that are being requested for the first time, please include a mailing address.
ii. To which account this expense is to be charged.
iii. To which program this expense is to be charged.
iv. The Director of the charged program must approve the request for payment. If the Director is originating the request, it must be approved by an officer or the Executive Director.
v. A receipt or invoice must be attached to the request form with the exception of travel reimbursement.
vi. If the request is for reimbursement, the back of the form must have a description of the activities covered.
C. Non-budgeted program expenditures of more than $ 500.00 must have prior board approval.
D. Any non-budgeted expenditure approved by the Board must have an approximate dollar amount included.
E. Grants/Awards or funds for assistance will be in accordance with the aims and purposes of the chapter as set forth in the PVACF by-laws.
F. Anyone receiving prizes in cash or goods of more than $600.00 at PVACF tournaments/events will be issued a Form 1099.
XI. REIMBURSEMENT POLICY GUIDELINES
A. The scope of this policy is to cover those programs for which PVACF provides reimbursement when expenses are incurred.
B. Reasonable and necessary expenses of Officers, Directors, Employees or appointees traveling, working, or taking part in any activity to accomplish the purposes of PVACF will be reimbursed.
C. All questionable expenses must be brought to the President and/or the Executive Director for approval.
D. Activities of personnel performed outside the greater Orlando Metro area must be submitted to the Board in a written report in order to receive reimbursement.
E. Officers, Directors, Employees, and appointees who require the assistance of a personal aide for the time they are working to accomplish the purposes of PVACF may be entitled to reimbursement. This aide may be a family member. Determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and approved by the Board
F. Prepayment can only be authorized by the Board. Upon completion of travel, a final accounting and all unused funds must be turned into the Chapter within seven (7) days.
XII. AIR FARE
Advance approval is required by the board. Purchases should be made as soon as possible.
XIII. LAND TRAVEL
A. Those wishing to travel by private automobile will be paid up to the rate set by the Board. Land travel may not exceed the posted air coach fare.
B. All expenses must be properly submitted on the appropriate expense voucher with all receipts attached. Vouchers without receipts will only be paid subject to Board approval.
C. Local travel (up to 75 miles one way) will be reimbursed at the rate set by the board. Exceptions will be made on a case to case basis by the Board and/or the President and/or the Executive Director.
D. Tolls will be paid on a case to case basis.
XIV. TAXI & PARKING
All fares & parking require a receipt for reimbursement.
XV. GRANTS AND SPONSORSHIP
A. Durable Equipment Grant: Participant must be a PVACF member in good standing and a registered volunteer with an active status in doing volunteer work for PVACF. This person shall only be able to receive funding after being turned down by the VA (IE 1173.06 and 1173.08) sports and recreation programs. They shall provide the proof of denial of support from the VA and proof that the NSO has reviewed the denial. Qualified grants will be at fifty percent matching funds with a $300 maximum per fiscal year.
B. Sponsorship: Participant must have volunteered and accumulated four (4) hours in the current fiscal year to be eligible for funds for Sports and Recreation. Funds will be for entry fees and rooms (up to $75 per night) for the nights of the event only, not to exceed $1000.00 per fiscal year for National events and $500 per fiscal year for Chapter events. A written report is preferred as well for the purpose of chapter publication.
C. Non-Member Volunteer eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis by the Board of Directors.
D. Special grants and sponsorship will be determined on a case by case basis by the Board of Directors.
E. Receipts are required.
XVI. INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS
Inclement weather conditions may force closure, early closing, or late opening of the offices. This decision will be made by President and/or the Executive Director.
SECTION TWO: STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
I. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
PVACF Directors, Officers, or Employees shall avoid any action which results in or creates the appearance of:
A. Giving inappropriate preferential treatment to any person.
B. Losing independence or impartiality.
C. Adversely affecting the public’s confidence in the integrity of the Paralyzed
Veterans of America and/or the Central Florida Chapter.
D. When a potential conflict occurs the President/Executive Director shall be informed of the details. At that time, the President/Executive Director and a Board Member shall evaluate the details of the conflict and determine a course of action. The President/Executive Director will respond to the person(s) in writing with the determination of the committee. Copies of all materials (including any emails or correspondence on social media) will be placed in the files.
II. GIFTS, ENTERTAINMENT, FAVORS.
A. PVACF Directors, Officers, or Employees shall not solicit or accept any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or any other thing of monetary value, from a person who:
i. Has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relations with PVACF;
ii. Has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of their duties.
B. Gifts to supervisors are prohibited except for voluntary gifts or donations of nominal value made on a special occasion, such as a birthday, marriage, illness, or retirement.
III. EXCEPTIONS TO THE PROHIBITING OF GIFTS
PVACF directors, officers, or employees may accept:
A. Gifts received as a result of an obvious personal relationship.
B. Food and drink served in a nominal amount at a business meeting on infrequent occasions.
C. Promotional items of nominal value.
IV. FINANCIAL INTEREST
Directors, Officers, or Employees shall have no financial interest that conflicts or appears to conflict with PVACF duties, and may not engage in personal financial transactions which rely on information gained in their official capacity.
V. MISUSE OF INFORMATION
Directors, Officers, or Employees shall not use official information that has not been made available to the general public for the purpose of furthering a private interest.
VI. USE OF PVACF FUNDS AND REAL PROPERTY
Directors, Officers, or Employees shall not use or allow the use of PVACF funds for other than official activities. The Board has the authority to rent or loan the use of the chapter meeting room on a case by case basis.
VII. USE OF TITLE OR POSITION
PVACF Directors, Officers, or Employees are prohibited from using their titles or positions in connection with any unofficial commercial enterprise or from endorsing any commercial product. This does not preclude author identification for materials published.
A. PVACF Directors, Officers, or Employees may not show favor by giving a job on the basis of relationship. Known as nepotism, such favor also includes acting as an advocate for individual’s appointment or advancement in PVACF.
B. The hiring of closely related employees is generally not done. For the purpose of this policy, “relative” is defined as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, first cousin or corresponding in-law or step relation. “Significant others” shall also be considered related.
C. The Board may make an exception to this policy if it is in the best interest of the chapter.
SECTION THREE: EMPLOYMENT/VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT:
I. PRIORITY CONSIDERATIONS
As a veteran’s service organization, it is our policy to give the chapter’s members, veterans and other disabled individuals priority consideration in employment decisions. This policy only applies when members and other individuals meet requirements established in the job description. Priority is established based on the following criteria:
A. Veterans with spinal cord injury or disease Service Connected or Non-Service Connected.
B. Veterans with other service connected conditions.
C. Non-veterans with a spinal cord injury or disease.
D. Other individuals.
E. When making employment decisions PVACF will review each applicant’s qualifications, background, work experience, education, etc.
F. The President and/or the Executive Director will announce any job openings in the chapter newsletter or the National Paraplegia News.
G. When this procedure does not produce qualified candidates, an effective outside recruitment effort will be made.
H. Whenever circumstance dictates, the above procedures may be waived by the President or the Executive Director with concurrence of the Board.
II. EMPLOYMENT STATUS POLICY
A. Full-Time Salaried Employees are required to work a minimum of thirty-seven and one-half (37-1/2) hours per week. Business hours will be from 8:30 to 4:30 or 9:00 to 5:00 with ½ hour for lunch. Business hours shall be designated by the President and or the Executive Director.
B. Part-time Employee’s work schedules should be flexible hours or days to vary with the work load and the need to have someone to cover vacation or sick leave.
C. Part-time employees will accrue leave on a pro-rata basis.
A. All employees are required to inform the President and/or the Executive Director when they expect to be out of the office during business hours and keep the office informed of their location.
B. All employees must inform the office by 10:00 A.M. when they will be absent or tardy.
C. Part-time employees will accrue all benefits on a pro-rata basis.
IV. SALARIED EMPLOYEES
Salaried positions are not subject to the overtime provisions of the federal and state wage and hour laws. The following positions are examples; Executive Director, Government Relations, and Office Administrator.
V. OVERTIME POLICY FOR SALARIED EMPLOYEES
A. Overtime worked by full-time salaried employees exempt from the provisions of the federal and state wage and hour laws will be compensated by providing time off.
B. Salaried employees will accrue compensatory time when they are required to work on a weekend or holiday.
C. The Board has the authority to approve any exceptions to this policy.
A. The President and/or the Executive Director should approve in advance any overtime to be worked by any salaried employee.
B. Employees must give the President and/or the ED advance notice when comp time is needed by making a verbal request for their approval.
C. Hourly employees will turn in a report of their hours to the Executive Director bi-monthly. Failure to comply may result in the delay of employee’s paycheck.
D. Hourly employees must note compensatory time off on his/her bi-monthly status report under “comp time”.
E. All employees are encouraged to use their compensatory time earned throughout the year prior to the end of the calendar year. If compensatory time is not used before the end of year it will be paid at 80%.
VII.OVERTIME POLICY FOR HOURLY EMPLOYEES
A. Hourly employees will be paid for work in excess of 37-1/2 hour week with prior approval from the President and/or the Executive Director. All overtime requires prior approval from the President and/or the Executive Director.
B. The hourly rate is paid up to forty (40) hours a week. Hourly employees will be paid at the premium rate 1-1/2 times the hourly rate for work exceeding 40 hours in any given week.
C. Overtime will be paid at the end of the following month, assuming the time sheet has been filled out properly and approved by President and/ or the Executive Director. All overtime will be paid in the pay period in which it is earned.
VIII. EMPLOYMENT RECORD
An individual employment record will be kept for each employee in a secure location.
IX. LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT
A. Length of employment will not be broken and lost time will be added to the length of employment record in the following instances:
1. Sick Leave up to the number of hours accrued.
2. Time lost due to accidents that occur on the job.
3. Leave of absence as a result of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
4. Service of the United States Military, if called to active duty.
B. Length of employment will be broken by:
2. Exceeding the time allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
3. Absence for a period of two (2) consecutive working days without permission or without notice to the chapter.
X. WORKERS COMPENSATION
PVACF shall comply with the Workers Compensation laws of Florida. This coverage will provide payment for medical expenses and for partial salary continuation in the event of a work related accident or illness, as stated in the applicable workers’ compensation policy.
A. PVACF is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive work environment for employees and volunteers who work at the PVACF office. This policy also applies to members and guests who attend meetings.
B. Smoking will be restricted to the outside only. There shall be absolutely NO SMOKING inside the office complex.
XII. ALCOHOL AND DRUG FREE WORKPLACE
A. It is the policy of PVACF to create an alcohol and drug-free workplace. The excessive use of alcohol or the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the behavior expected of employees. This usage subjects all employees, clients and visitors to unacceptable safety risks and undermines PVACF’S ability to operate effectively and efficiently.
B. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, or use of controlled substance (unless prescribed by a physician) in the work place or while engaged in PVACF’S business off PVACF’S premises is strictly prohibited. Such conduct is also prohibited during non-working time to the extent that it is the opinion of PVACF that it impairs an employee’s ability to perform on the job and threatens the reputation and integrity of the Chapter.
A. Employees convicted of controlled substance or alcohol related violations (including no contest) must inform PVACF within five (5) days of such conviction.
B. Employees who violate any aspect of this policy may have their employment terminated.
A. Every individual is entitled to a work environment conducive to effective job performance. PVACF expressly prohibits any form of harassment, which affects the performance of the employee/volunteer or others in the office. Verbal, physical or written communication which is reasonably viewed as offensive to the individual(s) involved is prohibited.
B. PVACF expressly prohibits any form of unlawful harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability. Improper interference with the ability of PVACF’S employees or volunteers to perform their expected job duties will not be tolerated
XV. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
With respect to sexual harassment, PVACF prohibits unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature, especially where:
A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of employment;
B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s employment or such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive working environment.
C. Offensive comments, jokes, innuendos, and any sexually oriented statements or material.
A. Any individual believing that he or she has been subjected to any form of harassment by another should bring the matter to the immediate attention of the President/ED in an attempt to resolve the issue.
B. With respect to grievances, individuals are to adhere to the following procedure until a resolution is achieved. During the conduct of PVA business, should an incident occur or condition arise which the individual believes unjust, inequitable, or improper, the individual is to utilize the internal procedures set forth below to bring the situation to PVACF’s attention for resolution. No individual need neither fear nor be subjected to any form of reprisal as a result.
1. Speak to the President and or the Executive Director, if this is to no avail, then:
2. Speak to the Board with a grievance submitted in writing and placed on the meeting agenda prior to the Board meeting.
C. All complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken.
XVII. PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND DRESS CODE
All employees and PVACF Chapter representatives are required to wear appropriate business attire when conducting business for the organization. These individuals are expected to maintain an appropriate professional appearance during office hours and when attending functions as a representative of PVACF. Common sense will dictate what is appropriate.
XVIII. EMPLOYEE/VOLUNTEER COMMUNICATIONS
A. All media contact should be through the President and/or the Executive Director unless otherwise designated by the President and/or the Executive Director.
B. The use of PVACF stationary and employee’s titles or the inference that PVA supports any statement is expressly prohibited without express consent of the President and/or the Executive Director.
C. Employees who violate this policy will have their employment terminated.
D. Chapter letterhead may not be used to express opinions, etc. of a personal nature, nor may they give the appearance that they are speaking on behalf of the chapter without the express consent of the President, the Executive Director and/or the Board of Directors.
XIX. GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL
A. After oral warning, documentation of counseling, and documentation of probation period, employees can be dismissed for the following reasons.
1. Excessive absence or tardiness.
2. Failure to perform ones duties as established by their job description.
3. Failure to comply with established policies and procedures of PVACF.
B. All documentation will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file and a copy provided to the employee of any documents signed by the employee.
XX. EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
A. All employees will be evaluated after 90 days of employment. Thereafter every six months through the 2nd year, then annually not later than July 15 or sooner if determined by the PVACF officers.
B. Evaluations will be conducted by at least two PVACF Officers using PVA established performance guidelines.
XXI. BEREAVEMENT LEAVE
Employees bereaved by the death of an immediate family member may be granted administrative leave with pay up to a maximum of 5 days per occurrence.
XXII. ELECTION DAY LEAVE
PVACF encourages employees to exercise their right to vote. For National, State, County and City elections. President and/or the Executive Director will grant the time necessary for an employee to vote.
XXIII. JURY DUTY POLICY
Employees performing jury duty will be granted uncharged leave providing notification has been made to the President and/or the Executive Director.
XXIV. MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY
A. PVACF will grant leave without pay to regular employees who are called to active duty. While they are on active duty employee benefits follow federal law.
B. PVACF employees who are Military Reservists or members of the National Guard will be granted leave in order to fulfill their annual commitments. The employee will not accrue any type of leave (sick or annual) for this time.
XXV. VACATION TIME
There is a paid vacation program for both full-time (37.5) and part-time (less than 37.5 hours per week) predicted upon length of service. Pert-Time employees will earn vacation leave on a pro-rated basis. All accrued vacation time must be used within six (6) months after the end of the fiscal year in which it was awarded. Employee may receive a pay out 80% for unused vacation time.
Accrual begins the first day of employment as follows;
A. During the first 2 years vacation time accrues at a rate of 1 day per each month worked.
B. During the 3rd and 4th years vacation accrues at a rate of 1 ½ days per month worked.
C. During the 5th thru 10th years vacation accrues at a rate of 2 days per month worked.
D. After the 10th year employees will accrue 2 ½ days for every month worked.
XXVI. REQUEST FOR VACATION TIME
The PVACF request for leave form (or a request via email) must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor for approval five (5) business days in advance of the start of vacation. Exceptions can be made with the approval of the President and/or the Executive Director.
XXVII. LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FOR VACATION PURPOSES
A. Generally vacation time will not be advanced to employees. Employees who do not have the necessary leave time to cover the vacation may request it without pay up to five (5) days through their supervisor on the standard leave form (or a request via email).
B. Employees may not use accrued sick leave for vacation purposes except by approval by the President and/or the Executive Director.
XXVIII. SICK LEAVE
Sick leave will be provided to its salaried, hourly and part-time employees as follows;
A. At an accrual rate of 1 day per month worked beginning at the first month of employment.
B. Up to 60 days sick leave may be accrued.
NOTIFICATION: Employees are required to notify their supervisor/designee if they will be absent due to illness or have medical appointments. Employees need to speak directly with their supervisor. If the supervisor is not available, they should tell the Office Administrator so he/she may tell the proper supervisor upon their return.
A physician’s certificate may be required of an employee who is out on sick leave for 5 consecutive days or 3 consecutive business days immediately preceding or following a weekend or holiday.
EXPIRATION OF SICK LEAVE HOURS
Employees who have exhausted their sick leave may then use their accrued vacation time for sick leave.
RETURN FROM EXTENDED ILLNESS
Upon the return from an extended illness, the employee will provide a letter from their physician stating that the employee is able to resume normal, full time duties (see Extended Leave of Absence).
XXIX. EXPIRATION OF ACCRUED LEAVE
Employees who have been ill and are unable to return to work upon expiration of all accrued leave (sick or vacation) may request from the Board, in writing, for an extended leave of absence. Failure to apply for a leave of absence after expiration of all leave may result in termination.
XXX. TERMINATION (Sick and Annual Leave)
Upon employment termination employees will be paid for all accrued vacation and sick time as follows;
Accrued vacation will be paid at a rate of 100%
Accrued sick time will be paid at a rate of 80%
XXXI. NEW EMPLOYEES
New employees will not be eligible to take annual leave during introductory period (90 days).
XXXII. EXTENDED LEAVE OF ABSENCE
PVACF will follow the Family Medical Leave Act concerning extended leave of absence. While on extended Leave of Absence, vacation and sick leave benefits are not to be accrued.
XXXIII. EXPIRATION OF EXTENDED LEAVE
CFPVA will guarantee an individual’s position or equivalent job and salary up to the end of the approved time provided them by the Family Medical Leave Act. After that time the employee’s employment may be terminated. Benefits will terminate and a break in service occurs.
XXXIV. USE OF OFFICE COMPLEX BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS
The use of the chapter office complex for meetings or functions by groups or organizations shall only occur if a Board member is present at said meetings or functions or the function has been previously approved by the President or the Executive Director.
XXXV. POLICY REVISIONS
Any and all policy revisions, additions or deletions to the Policies and Procedures as approved by the Board will become effective immediately. The Board of Directors reserves the right to revise these Policies & Procedures whenever it is deemed necessary to do so.
Revised 09/2015Share This With Your Friends