AEA pg. 3 [Membership Education]

EQUITY MAGAZINE - May, 1970

EQUITY MAGAZINE - November, 1970


I developed the curriculum 
& be-

tween 1970 -1988, conducted
 
monthly orientation 
sessions for 
New Members. 
I also ran these 
sessions in cities around the 
country wherever I happened 
to be playing.  







FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM - November 10, 1971
EQUITY NEWS - Spring, 1975





Conducting monthly New Members Orientation









March 6, 1976
October 20, 1979
EQUITY NEWS, 1981
EQUITY NEWS - November, 1984
November 7, 1984

During my 12 year tenure as 1st Vice 

President, (when I wasn’t in rehearsal 

or on the road) I was in the Chair for 

all Council & membership meetings. 

I became very conversant with Roberts 

Rules of Order which can be extremely 

confusing because many rules are totally contradictory.  


I believe direct, transparent, respectful communication between the leadership and rank & file is essential for a well run, healthy, democratic union. I realized, early in my Vice Presidency, that an abbreviated version of parlia- mentary procedure, written in plain English, could assist members to function more effectively at member- ship meetings by knowing how to use procedure to:

  • Protect the rights & dignity of all members   
  • Solicit information  
  • Challenge the Chair   
  • Clearly & specifically express problems so as to provoke positive action by Council.  

Therefor I researched, compiled & edited a two page document that I’ve I called Parliamentary Rules in Brief which was distributed at all membership meetings. I also made it available to my fellow Vice Presidents on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO & I was invited to run workshops in Parliamentary Procedure for sister unions.



Parliamentary Rules in Brief

                                 Compiled & Edited for use at Membership Meetings

                                                 by Barbara Colton, 1st Vice President


Primary & imperative responsibility of the Chair: To insure that all members are treated fairly & with respect.

A motion must be seconded & recognized by the Chair immediately after it is made in order for the Body to discuss it. All motions are debatable unless otherwise noted here.

                  I.  RULES PERTAINING TO THE PARTICIPATION OF THE CHAIR

1.  IN DEBATE

   a. Chair may offer factual information but must never participate in the debate while in the Chair         (excluding debate pursuant to a Challenge to the Chair)  SEE IV 3 BELOW

   b. If the Chair wishes to participate in a debate, s/he shall turn the chair over to the next officer &         may not return to the Chair until the pending motion has been resolved

   c. If necessary, Chair is obligated to assist members in framing an appropriate motion that                     reflects the members intent.  

 2.  IN A VOTE

         a. The Chair may vote only to make a tie vote (which defeats the motion) OR to break a tie.

         b. The Chair may always vote in a secret ballot.

                   II.  END DEBATE

 1.  LANGUAGE: I move the previous question. (If voted up, will end debate.)

 2.  The member must be recognized & may not interrupt a speaker nor express an opinion.

 3.  Requires a second.

 4.  Chair may refuse to allow the motion if the Chair believes there has been insufficient debate.

 5.  Decision of Chair is not subject to challenge 

 6.  Previous question requires 2/3 vote for passage. Otherwise, debate continues.

 7.  The body must vote immediately after Previous Question has been voted up.

                    III.  SEEK FACTUAL INFORMATION

 1.  LANGUAGE: Point of information. This member is asking  only for factual information            which may not be argumentative.                          

 2.  The member should address the Chair & ask for factual information, not opinion.

 3.  Does not require a second.

                     IV.  OBJECT TO SOMETHING SAID OR DONE  (3 Different Procedures)

 1.   LANGUAGE: Point of Personal Privilege.

           a. Does not have to be recognized, may interrupt a speaker, does not require a second.

           b. May only refer to honor, dignity or safety of the body or the individual raising the Point.

           c. Takes precedence over any motion(s) on the floor. The Chair decides if the Point is valid                 w/out discussion or debate.

  2.  LANGUAGE: Point of Order.

           a. Does not have to be recognized, may interrupt a speaker, does not require a second.

           b. May only refer to violation of Constitution & By-Laws, Parliamentary Procedure, union                 rules, federal, state, or local law(s).

           c.  Must be made immediately after the violation (to which it refers) has taken place.

           d. The Chair decides if the Point is valid w/out discussion or debate. Decision of Chair may                   be challenged in accordance with following procedure

   3.   LANGUAGE: I challenge the chair.

            a. Does not have to be recognized, may interrupt a speaker, does not require a second.

            b. Must be made immediately after the decision of the Chair is rendered.

            c. Takes precedence over any motion(s) on the floor.

            d. Only the Chair & the Challenger may participate in this debate.

            e. A simple majority vote upholds the Challenge

            f. A tie vote upholds the Chair

                       V.  MAKE AN AMENDMENT TO A MOTION  
             (in order to change a part of Main Motion to clarify / modify it’s meaning before the  vote)             EXAMPLE: Motion on the floor – To celebrate with an anniversary party on Feb. 1.
  1.    LANGUAGE: I move an amendment that the party start at 2:00 p.m. 
            a. Member must be recognized, & may not interrupt a speaker, does require a second.
            b. Debate on Main Motion is (temporarily) suspended & debate now limited only to the                   amendment: . . start at 2:00 p.m. . .                                                                                                       c. If Amendment carries, it becomes part of Main Motion, still on floor for debate.                                         VI.  MAKE A  SUBSTITUTE  MOTION                                                                                                      (different motion on same subject to change the approach OR to defeat Main Motion)
   1.    LANGUAGE: I move by substitution, we celebrate by taking an ad in Variety
            a. Member must be recognized, & may not interrupt a speaker, does require a second.
   2.    Substitute Motion may be amended.                                                                                                              LANGUAGE: I move to amend Substitute Motion with a ½ page ad.
            a. Member must be recognized, & may not interrupt a speaker, does require a second.
            b. If Amendment carries, it become part of the Substitute Motion, still on loor for debate.
   3.    If Substitute Motion carries, it automatically replaces the (former) Main Motion &                       is still on floor for debate before vote. 
EXPLANATION: Member preferred ad in Variety over having a party; therefor voted for Substitute Motion. BUT, in fact, member didn’t want any celebration; therefor voted against new Main Motion.        
                        VII.  VOTE SEPARATELY ON EACH SECTION OF MOTION W/ MULTIPLE PARTS                           (if member is in favor of one part of motion but opposed to another.)           
   1.    LANGUAGE: I call for a division if the motion.                  
            a. Member does not have to be recognized, may interrupt speaker, not require a second                                 VIII.  BURY A MOTION W/OUT A VOTE            
   1.    LANGUAGE: I move to table the motion.    
            a. Member must be recognized, & may not interrupt speaker, does require a second.    
            b. It is not debatable.       
   2.    Requires simple majority vote for passage.               
   3.    If voted up, the pending motion (now tabled) can only be discussed in future by                             passing specific motion to do so       
                           IX.  POSTPONE DEBATE ON A MOTION            
   1.     LANGUAGE: I move to postpone the motion until  [a specific time].
             a. Member must be recognized, may not interrupt speaker, does require a second.
             
              
   .       
                             
Created by Barbara Colton