[Bylaws] Process Re-visioning

William Drake william.drake at uzh.ch
Tue Aug 25 14:56:24 CEST 2015


Since my suggestion that we try to figure out where we’re going before we set off hasn’t generated much response, let me see if I can get the ball rolling.  Here’s a few thoughts:

> On Aug 25, 2015, at 10:02 AM, Remmy Nweke <remmyn at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As a starting point, what about having team members reply with points under the following sorts of headings:
> >
> > 1.  Overarching Issues (holistic view of what’s needed)

a.  Clarify the interrelationship between the constituency and stakeholder group levels, e.g. with respect to making policy statements and process conformity.

b.  Establishment as a legal entity under US tax law for the purpose of receiving and reporting financial contributions and preserving financial independence should anything in the accountability process lead to any presumptions about the status of resources held by parts of the Member.

c.  Clarify and strengthen the functional performance standards of elected and appointed representatives.

d.  Eliminate all references to charging dues for membership.

e.  Decide about “good standing” criteria.  Would we want to formally do an annual check-in procedure like NCSG?  It adds a lot of work, and might not be needed on an intra-constituency basis. 

f.  Change all references to an NCUC “charter” to “bylaws” (no idea how that happened)

> >
> > 2.  NCSG Charter Conformity Issues

II. Organization and Structure

a.  It should say that The membership consist of "NCSG member" organizations and “NCSG" individual members that meet the Membership criteria and complete the processes set out in Section III, below, and subsequently receive a notice of acceptance from the Executive Committee Chair, [eliminate the following] or the Secretary acting with the approval of  the Chair.  [i.e. to make clear one joins NCSG and then selects a constituency if desired, rather than joining the constituency directly without joining the SG]

III. Membership

b.  Make clear that organizational reps to NCSG and NCUC need not be the same

c.  Make clear that Eligible organizations are "NCSG Organizational members” and Eligible Individuals are "Individual NCSG members”

IV. Executive Committee

d.  If the NCSG chair is an NCUC member, s/he serves in an ex officio (nonvoting) capacity on the NCUC Executive Committee.  [we do this now but it’s not stated]

VI. Voting

e.  Our bylaws say Small Organizations shall have one vote, but the NCSG Charter says they get two.

f.  Our bylaws say Large Organizations shall have two votes, but the NCSG Charter says they get four.

[we have in fact followed the NCSG model during NCUC elections, for conformity]

g.  Our bylaws say "Individual persons (“Individual Members”) that are Members in Good Standing of the Constituency are entitled to have one vote.”  But we do not actually determine “good standing,” we send the ballot to everyone who is in the data base and just accept a simply majority vote.  So per above this needs clarification.

VIII. Changes to this Charter

h.  Our bylaws say "A petition of ten (10) percent of the then-current members shall be sufficient for putting a charter amendment on the ballot…”  The NCSG Charter says “Proposals to amend this charger may be submitted by five percent the then-current members eligible to vote…”  [does this need to be aligned?]

> >
> > 3.  Discrepancies with Current Practices to Close

a.  Eliminate dues references

b.  Decide if there should be a Policy Committee and if so how it is constituted.  Normally we by default do things at NCSG level, but there have been times when NPOC didn’t agree to something and/or we wanted to make our our statement and it wasn’t clear in the absence of a PC how to do it.  We opted for a general consultation with members and then the chair said yes based on “sense of the list” but that’s not an appropriate model.  Even if the PC rarely is “convened,” it should probably exist so we are not legally mute.  I would suggest that for this purpose the PC could comprise all elected and appointed persons (e.g. the EC, appointees to the NCSG EC and PC, and NCSG Councilors who happen to be NCUC members), operating in consultation with members if at all possible (how much depends if it’s time sensitive).

c.  Replace the Secretary-Treasurer with just a Treasurer, who should have annual financial reporting obligations.

d.  The bylaws say 
> >
> > 4.  “Would be Nice” Improvements

IV.  Executive Committee

a.  We might consider establishing a Vice Chair, so there will be at least two people who really feel responsible for getting things done, and the work can be shared.

b.  The bylaws say, "Voting on the EC on the matters listed in section IV.F below. All EC votes called by the Chair must be responded to in ten days. Regional representatives who fail to vote within that time limit four times in a row are considered to have resigned their office as per VII.B.2 below.”  We have had constant problems of non-responsiveness over the years, so I would suggest this be tightened to seven days and twice.

c.  On the Google doc in 2012 I made a number of suggestions regarding the EC (in red) that I’d argue merit discussion:

*EC members shall work closely on an ongoing basis with the Chair and any other elected officials on NCUC’s overall strategy and its implementation.

*The EC will hold o​fficial m​embership meetings, either in person or by teleconference, at least four times a year.  [This could be twice or thrice, but more important would be a requirement that EC members attend and if they miss two in a row they are out. This has been a problem.]

*EC regional representatives shall endeavor to recruit new members from their regions, and to maintain periodic communication with them in order to promote engagement, particularly in Constituency and Stakeholder Group votes.

*Appoint and coordinate with members who will lead the performance of necessary functional roles, or perform these themselves, i.e. coordination of inreach and member relations, coordination of outreach, and maintenance of the website and other electronic platforms. If suitable and committed members cannot be identified to lead the performance of these functions, EC members are encouraged to take on some area of functional responsibility in the interim. [As the regional reps often have not worked with their regions much and as there are functional tasks that need to be performed, it might be desirable for them to be assigned functional roles that really need be performed.]

*The chair should establish ballots for voting w​ith the active support of the EC and any inreach/membership director that may be appointed. At present the responsibility for administering the election falls entirely on the Chair, and more recently, Maryam and Tapani’s volunteering.  This is not fair or sustainable.

* If an EC member consistently fails to meet her/his responsibilities, the other EC members shall consult the person in question with an eye to rectifying the situation. If no solution can be found, the other EC members may, on a unanimous vote, remove the member from office and appoint an interim replacement who will serve until the next election cycle.

Ok…more than enough to chew on for one message.



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