With the theme Building on Our Strengths, the 2017 Society Council meeting is packed with big decisions, inspiring speakers, hands-on workshops and a request to Council delegates: think big. ‘Big’ begins with the size of the meeting – more than 150 members are registered to participate in the meeting, a record number of registrants within the current governance system.
Big decisions facing Council include six groups of amendments to the union’s constitution and by-laws that have been recommended by Executive Board. Amendments that are supported by council would go to a referendum of all members to be held in 2018 for final approval. The amendments would impact the name and brand of the union, election and governance processes, as well as the financial management and the number and roles of the principal officers.
“The amendments are, at their core, reflective of the experience of The Society’s senior leadership,” said President Scott Travers. “We looked at what could be done better and where we had seen gaps in our governance. These are our best recommendations to council for how to improve our union and I look forward to the discussion it provokes.”
In addition to keynotes from International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers President Greg Junemann and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Shearon, attendees will also hear from guest speakers Kevin Millsip and Lisa Kelly. Kelly is Director of Unifor’s Women’s Department and will help kick-off a new Society campaign while Millsip is one of Canada’s leading thinkers on union member engagement and mobilization. Following Millsip’s keynote delegates will participate in workshops based on Millsip’s Go, Listen, Build program for member engagement.
To encourage a bottom-up approach to Society governance there will also be breakout sessions for delegates to have time to discuss the “big picture.” These sessions will look at the strengths on which the union can build, weaknesses that must be addressed and the opportunities and threats ahead.
In lead up to the meeting, all members are encouraged to look at the Council agenda and reports in the Members-only portion of The Society’s web site and share their thoughts on any of the topics of discussion at the meeting. As delegates return to the workplace on November 14, members are encouraged to speak with their delegates to learn about the decisions Council made and find out about the experience of being a delegate.