As reported in SITREP 49, the State Committee is proposing twenty-three much needed amendments to the FBEU Rules. Many of these amendments are an exercise in updating parts of our Rules, such as increasing the mortality benefit. Others are part of a more significant reform agenda. Most important are those Rules that deal with the Sub-Branches and those concerned with the process of the general meetings.
If these changes are adopted it will grant members the right to amend any general meeting motion from the floor of the meeting itself. This is a long overdue democratic reform and our Union will be the stronger for it. As an adjunct to this change the State Committee is also proposing a reworking of Rule 11 dealing with the fifty signature mechanism by which members can call for a general meeting to vote on a given motion.
The State Committee is proposing that any such fifty signature motion will be required to have a mover and a seconder, and that these members are to work with the Union’s Executive in determining the wording of the motion so as to ensure that it clear, concise, and consistent with the Rules of the Union. Over the last week there has been some concern raised as to this second point – the role of the Executive in the process.
Consequently the State Committee met today to amend the wording of the proposed Rule 11 (4) (b) to make it clear that it will be the mover and the seconder of the motion, in consultation with the Executive, who will determine the wording of the motion – not the reverse as the amendment currently reads.
The proposed Rule 11 (4) (b) now reads:
11 – GENERAL MEETINGS
(b) The final wording of the motion or motions to be placed on the agenda of a Special General Meeting called under the preceding sub-rule shall be determined:
(i) in the case of a request from two or more Sub-Branches made pursuant to subrule (4)(a)(i), by the relevant Sub-Branch Executive Committees in consultation with the State Executive; or
(ii) in the case of a request from members made pursuant to subrule (4)(a)(ii), by the mover and seconder of the motion or motions in consultation with the State Executive.
Members are reminded that these proposed changes shall take effect on 20 January 2012 unless a request for a plebiscite signed by one fortieth of all financial members is received by that date. Any such request needs to state which amendment, of the twenty-three proposed, is to be challenged.
Finally, Happy New Year to all members and their families. While it seems likely that 2012 will be tumultuous year for the FBEU, our Union is in as good a condition as it has ever been to do what we do best – defend not only our wages and conditions, but also our dignity at work.