Guild to put bylaw changes to vote

The Guild’s international parent has signed off on bylaw changes that will allow the local to switch to quarterly membership meetings.

The changes, if approved, also would alter the way members are informed of local meetings and how they receive the local newsletter, the Frontier Reporter.

A final membership vote on the bylaw changes is expected at the next local meeting at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15 in the CWA office, 821 Elk St. Any change in the bylaws requires membership approval.

Overview of Bylaw Changes [PDF]Proposed Bylaw Revision [PDF]

“We’re pleased that the international has given its blessing to our changes,” said Tammy Turnbull, local service representative. “Hopefully, the membership will agree.”

The changes are at the heart of a series of reforms recommended by the Guild’s Healthy Locals Committee.

By far the biggest change endorsed by the committee is the switch from monthly to quarterly membership meetings.

By holding meetings less often and making them more relevant to all rank-and-file members, the committee thinks more Guild members will take time to attend.

“A lot of the changes simply update the old bylaws to reflect the current Guild structure and modern communication like e-mail,” said Sandy Tan, vice president for mobilization and communication. “The biggest change, regarding quarterly meetings, will hopefully give more Guild members more reasons to attend.”

The committee also is recommending the Frontier Reporter be distributed online and on all Guild bulletin boards, but no longer be mailed to members’ homes.

The committee also believes that members should be informed of membership meetings by email, not regular mail.

The reforms require changes in the local’s bylaws so a second, three-member committee was formed last month to research the bylaws and recommend what changes are needed to adopt the reforms.

The committee, which has since made its recommendations, was made up of Turnbull, Kim Leiser, chief steward in Inside Circulation, and Beverly Gniewecki of Classified Advertising.

With the reduction in meetings will come a new emphasis on offering a topic of membership interest at each of those quarterly meetings.

As part of the committee’s recommendation, the union’s Executive Committee would continue to meet monthly to take care of routine business.

The initiative stems from a membership survey that found 41 percent of those surveyed did not attend a single general membership meeting over the past year.

The survey also found 71 percent who said they would attend Guild meetings if they included presentations on topics of interest.