Proposed Amendments to the URPE By-laws
URPE members are asked to offer feedback on the following amendments to the URPE By-laws, which have, in accordance with the URPE By-laws, received provisional ratification by the (unanimous) vote of the URPE Steering Committee (May 22, 2021).
Please post your feedback in the comments section below.
The ratification of these amendments requires the approval by a two-thirds majority of the voting URPE membership, provided that the ballots are submitted by at least 50 members or 15% of the current membership*, whichever is smaller. The current membership of URPE is 450 people and so 57 members would constitute 15%.
Three amendments are proposed, and URPE members are asked to vote separately on each of these three amendments in the upcoming vote.
The proposed amendments do not, as the Steering Committee understands them, constitute any significant change in the functioning of URPE. They are instead designed to ensure that the by-laws that are required of URPE as a non-profit organization, are in conformity with its current needs and practices.
The Steering Committee asks all members to vote on these amendments online during the month of August.
The current By-laws can be accessed at urpe.org/about-us/bylaws
The following is a description of the three proposed amendments.
Amendment 1: Article VIII: Membership Meetings. Item E.
The amendment proposed provides for the formation of a caucus without specifying the criteria for membership, and for the procedures that would entitle it to elect one of the twelve members of the Steering Committee.
Female URPE members have the right to meet as a caucus, with the right to elect a SC member by a majority of votes of at least 5 members of the caucuses at the annual URPE membership meeting, or by an alternative procedure announced at least sixty days in advance of the election. Other groups have the right to meet as a caucus, and can apply to the membership for the right to elect one SC member by the same procedure.
Any group of URPE members may form themselves into a “caucus” with membership limited as they see fit and with the goal of discussing issues relating to the URPE as an organization. A caucus may petition the SC for the right to elect one member (i.e. one of the 12 SC members), with voting limited to members of that caucus on provision of evidence that the membership of the caucus constitutes at least 25 members or 7% of the total URPE membership, (whichever is less) and with an explanation as to how the goals of the caucus are consistent with that of URPE. (Caucus members retain their right to vote in regular SC elections, but may register as members of only one caucus.) Based on this information, the SC will vote as to whether that caucus should have the right to elect an SC member. Subsequent to this, that right may be revoked if the membership of the caucus falls below 25 or 7% of the membership of URPE, (whichever is less) or if the SC deems the goals of the caucus to no longer be consistent with the goals of the organization. The procedures for nomination and election of an SC member from a caucus shall parallel that of the election of SC members as a whole.
A “Grandfather Clause” attached to this amendment would allow for a smooth transition from the formerly constituted “Women’s Caucus” to one that is currently designated as a “Caucus of Women and Non-Binary People.”
Grandfather clause.: The caucus of “female URPE members” described in the original By-laws (VIII E), whose members have been meeting under the name of “Caucus of Women and Non-Binary People” shall, based on the past history of the caucus, be granted the right to elect an SC member for the period of one year following the ratification of the by-laws amendments. In order to continue to exercise this right, the caucus will be required to petition, within that one-year period, for the right to continue such representation in accordance with the provisions for all such caucuses as provided in the revised clause VIII E above.
Amendment 2: Article VII: Editorial Board and Managing Editor. Item E.
The revised article allows the Editorial Board to determine the maximum number of its members, should it wish to expand the Board’s membership beyond the currently allowed maximum of 30.
The Board shall consist of not less than twenty and not more than 30 members, the exact number to be determined prior to each year’s election by the Managing Editor in consultation with the Board.
The Board shall consist of not less than twenty members and a maximum number of members to be determined by the Editorial Board. Board members shall be elected to three-year terms, staggered as necessary to ensure that approximately one-third of Board positions are up for election in a typical year.
Amendment 3: Article VI: Officers and Duties. Item B.
The revision allows the elected President/Convener of URPE to delegate to the National Office Coordinator the duties assigned to that person, while retaining “ultimate authority and responsibility for oversight respecting the performance of these duties.” (This clause is already in place to provide for the delegation of the duties of the Treasurer and Secretary of the organization and so it makes sense that this option is also the case for the President and corresponds to our current practice.)
The President/Convener shall be responsible for convening meetings, conveying advance notices of same, composing meeting agendas, assigning tasks to SC members, and overseeing their completion.
The President/Convener shall be responsible for convening meetings, conveying advance notices of same, composing meeting agendas, assigning tasks to SC members, and overseeing their completion. The President/Convener may delegate any of these duties to the National Office Coordinator, but retains ultimate authority and responsibility for oversight respecting the performance of these duties.