Talk:CGEU Constitution draft committee
Welcome to discussion on the CGEU Constitution!
- If you'd like to comment or ask a question, please do so in the appropriate section below. All the sections but one correspond to a rubric on the main page, allowing discussion to stay focused.
- You can comment by pressing the "edit" tab at the top of the page, or the "edit" tab to the right of a particular section. Feel free to do this even if you don't know what you're doing on a wiki. Remember, nothing is ever destroyed on a wiki -- everything can always be recovered by the "history" tab above, which records all changes, and allows you to go back to earlier versions. So experiment freely! Someone can also clean up if you make a mess of the page somehow, so no worries there either.
- For any comments that don't pertain to one of the rubrics on the main page, there's a section called "General Comments, Other Concerns" at the bottom.
- Finally, if you have any comments or questions you'd rather ask about without posting to this page, feel free to e-mail Rob Henn. His e-mail is robh, then the "at" sign, and then taa-madison followed by a dot followed by org.
Change to the language of point 3:
Those unions that decide against joining the formal organization are still welcome to come to the annual conference as always and participate; they will not be able to vote, and will not be able to participate in or vote at the 3 quarterly conference call meetings.
--Jason Pramas 10:53, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
The other option here is to say "Yes, there will be Members--each union that joins CGEU will be a Member under this Constitution." And "No, Members are not bound by CGEU decisions (given the fact that they are all fully autonomous democratic organizations)." Members that agree with a given CGEU decision will follow it. Members that don't will simply opt-out of that particular decision. A coalition (or network) can have a majority agree that something must be done, without forcing the minority to do it.
--Jason Pramas 09:31, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
Joining the CGEU
Leaving the CGEU
Voting at the Annual Conference
Since CGEU is a coalition, since the participation of Members in any decision taken is always optional, and since dominance by a few Members with large unit memberships and/or financial resources should be discouraged in the interest of growing CGEU, voting should be 1 Member-1 vote. (Naturally, "Member" here means member union as elsewhere in the Constitution, not individual representatives of a member union.)
--Jason Pramas 10:35, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
How to Make a Resolution
Only Resolutions proposed at least 2 weeks in advance will be put on the agenda of the 3 quarterly CGEU conference call meetings; so that there will be time for them to be circulated to all members in advance. Given the difficulty of running large meeting by conference call, and the given the need to take votes from all Members by email thereafter in the interest of full participation in the governance of CGEU between annual meetings, it will not be possible to propose Resolutions closer to or during the conference call meetings.
--Jason Pramas 10:47, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
How to Amend the Constitution
The 3 quarterly meetings run by conference call shall be presided over by the Parliamentarian. The time and date of each conference call meeting shall be announced by the Recording Secretary at least 1 month in advance. Proposed Resolutions for these conference call meetings must be emailed to the Recording Secretary 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting time. The Recording Secretary shall email all Members a full agenda, including all proposed Resolutions and Working Group reports, no later than 1 week prior to the meeting, and shall simultaneously post the agenda to the CGEU wiki. Discussion and debate on all agenda items shall take place during each conference call meeting. Each Working Group shall make a verbal report to each conference call meeting, and shall distribute the report by email and post them to the CGEU wiki within 1 week of each meeting. Minutes of each conference call meeting shall be emailed to all Members and posted to the CGEU wiki within 2 days of the conference call meeting. Voting on all proposed Resolutions will be conducted by email, web survey form, or similar means for 1 week after the minutes are posted. At that time votes will be counted by the Parliamentarian who will be responsible to announce the results within 2 days by email and post them on the CGEU wiki.
--Jason Pramas 10:30, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
CGEU shall have a number of standing Working Groups covering key thematic areas that act as permanent subcommittees. New Working Groups can be created at any CGEU Meeting with the support of at least two Members. Regular participation by a minimum of two Members shall be required to keep an Working Group active. Inactive Working Groups can be dissolved at any full CGEU meeting. These groups should meet between meetings--mostly using phone meetings and internet tools to communicate, but meeting face-to-face as needed. Working Group decisions can be taken by a rough consensus of the participating Members. Email votes, or similar methods, may be used for this purpose. Working Groups report to the CGEU Meetings. Working groups proposals must be submitted as Resolutions to CGEU Meetings. No Member is bound in any way by the decisions of the Working Groups.
--Jason Pramas 09:36, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
Name, Objectives, Membership
I think these are all fine. The listed Objectives could also be considered the core of a Charter or Mission Statement.
--Jason Pramas 11:05, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
General Comments, Other Concerns
It may be worth looking at a network structure for CGEU, rather than a traditional labor alliance structure--particularly since much of what has already been written here regarding a structure sounds more like a network than not (opt-in if you want, don't opt-in if you dont, etc.). A good example would probably be the structure of the recently-inactive North American Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE). I was one of its founders and its first staff person in the late 90s, and I can probably get ahold of relevant structure documents for people to look at. CUPE, some other unions around CGEU like AAUP, and related coalitions and networks like the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) participated during the roughly 10 years of its existence; so some of you may have heard of it already.
-- Jason Pramas, Chair, GEO/UAW Local 1596--UMass Boston Chapter
That's an interesting distinction ("network" vs. "alliance"). Are there any specific differences between such a concept and what we've written up, or is it more a matter of additions we could make? I'm concerned because time is of the essence -- we'd like to have a workable draft ready to present by August 10, a week and a half from now. If you have documentation, feel free to send it to me at the e-mail address I wrote in the material at the top of this page. Thanks!
-- Rob Henn
Sure thing. I'm working on digging up the relevant documents right now. When I have them I'll forward them along and make more comments here.
-- Jason Pramas 13:01, 31 July 2007 (PDT)
OK, here's the link to the paper: File:Making Networks Work.pdf
-- Jpramas 13:20, 1 August 2007 (PDT)
Draft Language from Mikael - CUPE 3902 (U Toronto)
- This organization shall be known as the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (CGEU).
The objectives of the CGEU shall include:
- the organization of an annual conference of delegates from graduate/undergraduate student employee unions and organizing drives in the United States and Canada
- the maintenance of a website, listserv and wiki in order to promote cooperation and coordination amongst members of the CGEU
- the promotion of collective organization of student employees at universities and colleges across North America
- to protect, maintain, and advance the interests of the members of the CGEU;
- to develop and maintain professional standards of skill, to maintain fair rates of pay and terms and conditions of employment for its members in recognition of their skill through collaborative and collective action
- to act as a lobbying agent on behalf of its members to all appropriate outside agencies which are responsible for, or which have an interest in, post-secondary education issues (such as funding, access, and quality)
- to take such actions as are necessary and/or appropriate to advance the labour movement as a whole
- to do all things necessary to the attainment of the above objectives.
- This organization shall be a coalition of recognized graduate/undergraduate student employee unions, unrecognized graduate/undergraduate student employee unions and organizing drives.
Draft Structured Network Proposal from Jason Pramas (GEO/UAW Local 1596--UMass Boston Chapter)
The purpose of proposing that CGEU develop a network structure hinges on the need of our continent-wide group of groups to: a) coordinate constant horizontal information sharing and strategic communications between member-organizations, b)encourage mutual aid and solidarity between member-organizations, c) develop sustained national/international programs and action plans with the active participation of significant numbers of member-organizations, and d) increase public support for graduate employee unionization specifically and labor organizing in general.
Structured Network Principles
(from Making Networks Work File:Making Networks Work.pdf by the North American Alliance for Fair Employment) Ten key features and practices contribute to efficacy and power of networks and assist in their framing of social problems:
- They are accountable to their members and mission;
- Their structure provides a variety of ways for members to participate;
- They pool local and expert knowledge;
- They respond rapidly and flexibly to events;
- They use members’ time efficiently;
- They serve as a forum for positive dialogue among diverse groups;
- Their members internalize the resources of the network;
- They grow strategically;
- They aid movement-building by spawning new networks;
- They have multiple vibrant and vital communication channels.
Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (or we could come up with a new name like Graduate Employee Labor Network, etc.)
The central document describing the mission and structure of the network. It should be rather short and the mission it describes should be quite broad--roughly defining the sphere of activity that the network will operate in. Organizations that agree with the Charter and fall within its membership guidelines can join the network. Decisions made by the General Meeting, Coordinating Committee and Action Groups must fall within these broad guidelines. It should be made very clear in the Charter that membership in the network is entirely voluntary, that participation in any network initiative is entirely voluntary, that member-organizations are not bound in any way by any decisions of the network, and that member-organizations can leave the network at any time.
The main decision making body of the network, as well as its main inter-organizational networking opportunity--incorporating the functions of both an educational and an organizational conference. All actions that are to be considered actions of the network must be approved by the General Meeting (or the Coordinating Committee between Meetings). The General Meeting is held annually and as-needed. The Coordinating Committee shall be elected by the General Meeting. Decision-making is one organization-one vote. Voting by majority rule. No quorum. Whatever member-organizations attend the General Meeting (or arrange for a proxy) are the body of the whole. The meeting can be run as a council, presided over by a facilitator or parliamentarian. (Very) Simplified Roberts Rules or similar system can be used to keep the meeting moving along in good order. No member-organization is bound in any way by the decisions of the General Meeting.
The network shall have a number of standing Action Groups covering key thematic areas that act as permanent subcommittees of the General Meeting. Each Action Group shall be constituted by at least two-member organizations, and a minimum of two member-organizations shall be required to keep an Action Group active. These groups should meet between meetings--mostly using phone meetings and internet tools to communicate, but meeting face-to-face as needed. Any two network member-organizations can form an ad hoc Action Group at any time in areas not covered by standing Action Groups with the approval of the General Meeting or the Coordinating Committee. Action Group decisions can be taken by a rough consensus of the participating member-organizations. Email votes, or similar methods, may be used for this purpose. Action Groups report to the General Meeting and to the Coordinating Committee. No member-organization is bound in any way by the decisions of the Action Groups.
The body, elected at the General Meeting, that is responsible for carrying out the mandates of the General Meeting, for coordinating network affairs between General Meetings and for overseeing network Staff. The Committee has primary responsibility for such network fundraising as may be necessary with the assistance of network Staff. Each standing Action Group should have 2 seats on the Committee, and the remaining seats should be dedicated towards keeping the Committee diverse by all standard metrics. The number of seats should strike a balance between being representative of the needs of network member-organizations, and being too large to function properly. Decision-making is one organization-one vote. Voting by majority rule. Quorum is 50 percent of the number of Committee Members plus one. Meetings can be run in similar fashion to the General Meeting and presided over by a rotating chair chosen from the ranks of the Coordinating Committee for each meeting (in place of using a facilitator or parliamentarian). No member-organization is bound in any way by the decisions of the Coordinating Committee.
Responsible for keeping constant internal and external communications flowing, for running day-to-day logistics of the network, and for assisting the General Meeting and the Coordinating Committee in fulfilling their respective organizational mandates. May be hired directly by the network, or seconded for periods of time from network member-organizations. Reports to the General Meeting and to the Coordinating Committee.
The central coordination point of the network, and function as its archives. It may be an independent office, or use office space donated by a member-organization. It may remain at one permanent site, or rotate between member-organizations from time-to-time.