June 8/15: OPPS: The Record, Off the Record: Please Tell Us What You’re Doing: Committee Reports

2015 June 15  mock orange crop

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For Robert’s Rules of Order terms defined, see any number of sources online, including Nancy Sylvester’s informative site, and the Robert’s Rules for Dummies site. The current Robert’s Rules Newly Revised, 11th Edition is not available online.

 

Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board

  • “3. The Chair, the Secretary-Treasurer or any three trustees, may call a special general meeting of the Board, in addition to the regularly scheduled meetings of the Board, upon not less than forty-eight hours’ notice in writing to all trustees.”
  •  “4.A special general meeting of the Board may be called upon less than the normal forty-eight hours’ notice, in writing or by telephone, with such meeting being deemed to have been properly convened if a majority of trustees agree to waive the normal forty-eight hours’ of written notice.”

Bylaw 9368 Procedure of Board Meetings

  • “104.02 Trustees shall be permitted to debate only upon a motion, as herein provided, and each trustee shall be limited to the opportunity to speak once to any motion, unless the motion has been amended, for a majority vote of the Board. The proposer of a motion shall be given the opportunity to open and close debate of his motion. The mover of the principle [sic] motion shall have the right to speak for five minutes to the motion and shall be allowed five minutes to conclude the debate on the motion.”

Bylaw 9130.1 Education Policy Development Committee

  • “4.The Education Policy Development Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 9360.2 (Meetings of the Standing Committees) for the purpose of providing direction to administration on the development of new educational policies and to review Board motions which require translation to educational policy. In addition, the Committee shall, from time to time as it sees fit, make recommendations to the Board in respect of educational policy for the District.

Bylaw 9130.2 Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee:

  • “3. Associated with the Committee, by way of auxiliary staff, shall be the Superintendent or delegate, the Secretary-Treasurer or delegate, the Director of Human Resources, the Director of Facilities Services, the Director of Financial Services, Director of Information Technology and Planning and any other administrative officers as may be required by the Committee.
  • 4. The Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of By-law 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees for the purpose of developing for Board consideration major impact areas related to: a) all personnel matters; b) all financial and legal matters; c) all matters related to the facilities required to provide educational programs; d) information technology and planning matters.”

Bylaw 9130: Standing Committees of the Board

  • “The purpose of each standing committee shall be firstly to clarify issues that need to be referred to the Board for review and decision making and, secondly, to present policy recommendations for Board consideration.”
  • 3. The Chairperson of the Board shall be an ex officio member of both Committees, with voting rights.
  • 4. All members of the Education Policy Development Committee shall be ex officio members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee with voting rights.
  • 5. All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights.
  • 6. A quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee.”

So, what’s “ex officio”? The Official Robert’s Rules of Order Website FAQ : “Ex officio” is a Latin term meaning “by virtue of office or position.” Ex-officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position that they hold….. Without exception, ex-officio members of boards and committees have exactly the same rights and privileges as do all other members, including, of course, the right to vote. There are, however, two instances in which ex-officio members are not counted in determining the number required for a quorum or in determining whether or not a quorum is present. These two instances are: 1. In the case of the president [Chair], whenever the bylaws provide that the president shall be an ex-officio member of all committees (or of all committees with certain stated exceptions); and 2. When the ex-officio member of the board or committee is neither an ex-officio officer of the board or committee nor a member, employee, or elected or appointed officer of the society (for example, when the governor of a state is made ex officio a member of a private college board).” “Again, however, it should be emphasized that in these instances the ex-officio member still has all of the rights and privileges of membership, including the right to vote. “[RRONR (11th ed.), pp. 483-84; p. 497, ll. 20-29.]

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2015-16 budget of $206,361,204  Out of that,  nine Trustees are paid approximately $1,400 a month, each. Each Trustee has access to an individual $2000 annual professional development fund, which at this point, rolls over if not used.

Interestingly, given that SD61 now has an Attendance Manager to “encourage and support” return to work for employees, even though SD61 employees generally are below the provincial average in sick days use, and generally under the number of negotiated available days in Collective Agreements, and have union-contracted return to work provisions through their own providers,  Trustees can miss almost 3 months of meetings – just not show up – ie. 6 Standing Committees, and 2 Board meetings, with no reason given, no cut in pay, and no approval required from the Board:

School Act, BC: Trustee disqualification from holding office: 52 (2) If a trustee is continuously absent from board meetings for a period of 3 consecutive months, unless the absence is because of illness or with the leave of the board, the office of the member is deemed to be vacant and the person who held the office is disqualified from holding office as a trustee until the next general school election.


Letters from BC School Boards

  • to the Minister of Education, and others on a variety of topics are  here on a BCSTA page. In order to post here for ease of access, I’ve reformatted many School Board letters that BC School Boards copy to other Boards and others.  School Board Letters #9 was  the last major letters post here because of time constraints re file conversion.   Please check the BCSTA page now and then – these letters often come out daily. Board Chairs write these letters at the direction of the majority of Trustees on their Board. Wording is fined tuned in Board discussion; sometimes these letters are “ghostwritten” by District staff.

Letters from the SD61 Board Chair

  • to the Minister of Education and others are on the SD61 Board Advocacy page. (My motion to set up the Advocacy page carried some time ago, so you can find letters sent by the Chair on various topics related to public education and SD61 in particular, and replies we receive, on that page.) The Chair writes these letters following directions of the Board through motions carried by the majority of 9 votes, or consensus on occasion. The Chair cannot originate letters independently on behalf of the Board. On occasion these letters are completely or partially “ghostwritten” by District staff.
 

 

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