1) There are 4 levels of decision-making in NoBAWC:
- a) General membership meetings
- b) Board meetings
- c) Committee meetings
- d) General membership referenda
Board and committee decisions can be appealed to a general membership meeting. General membership meeting decisions can be appealed to a general membership referendum. Final authority rests with the membership in the form of general membership referenda.
2) How decisions are made at each level:
NoBAWC decision-making on the general membership meeting and Board levels is by modified consensus. Committees can choose either modified consensus or full consensus decision-making.
- a) General Membership Meeting Decisions:
General membership meeting decisions require a quorum of 20% of NoBAWC member workplaces present. If a decision cannot be made by consensus, a vote will be conducted to determine the outcome of the proposal. A proposal that is being voted upon requires at least a 3/4 majority of all votes cast to pass.
- b) Board Decisions:
Board decisions require a quorum of 2/3 of all Board members present. If consensus cannot be reached, at least a 3/4 majority vote is required to pass a proposal. Each Board member has one vote.
- c) Committee Decisions:
Committees have the flexibility to make decisions by consensus or modified consensus. If modified consensus is chosen, and consensus cannot be reached, at least a 3/4 majority vote is required to pass a proposal. Each committee member has one vote.
- d) General Membership Referenda Decisions:
NoBAWC decision-making on the general membership referendum level will be accomplished by mail-in ballot voting. General membership referenda decisions require at least 50% of NoBAWC member workplace to cast ballots and at least a simple majority to overturn a general membership meeting decision.
3) NoBAWC modified consensus decision-making process:
Most proposals will be decided upon by a process of discussion, modification and agreement. During the course of this process, different positions will be articulated and debated. Members will try to work through differences and synthesize contradictory ideas. Final organizational decisions will be recorded–in bold type–into the minutes. Consensus means that the final decision does not violate anyone’s fundamental principles, or their interest in this organization. If unanimous support is not available for a decision, members may take several positions:
- a) non-support: e.g. “I don’t see the need for this, but I’ll go along.”
- b) reservations: e.g. “This may be a mistake, but I can live with it. These are my reservations . . .”
- c) standing aside: e.g. “I personally can’t do this, but I won’t stop others from doing it.”
- d) blocking: e.g. “I think that this decision is fundamentally wrong and is contrary to the purposes of this organization.”
Only blocking can prevent an organizational decision from being made by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached (i.e. one or more people are blocking), a vote will be taken to determine the outcome of a decision.
4) Appeals process:
- a) Appeals of Board/Committee Decisions:
All Board and committee decisions can be appealed to a general membership meeting. To do so, a written petition must be signed by at least 10% of all NoBAWC member workplaces and be submitted to the Board. The petition will state the Board/committee decision that is being appealed, reason(s) why the decision is being appealed and list the NoBAWC member workplaces submitting the appeal petition. If this is satisfied, the Board will hold a hearing at the next general membership meeting to discuss and decide the appeal through the standard decision-making process. Decisions made at general membership meetings can be appealed to a general membership referendum.
- b) Appeals of General Membership Meeting Decisions:
All general membership meeting decisions can be appealed to a general membership referendum. To do so, a written petition must be signed by at least 20% of all NoBAWC member workplaces and be submitted to the Board. The petition will state the general membership meeting decision that is being appealed, the reason(s) why the decision is being appealed and list the NoBAWC member workplaces submitting the appeal petition. If this is satisfied, the Board will hold a hearing at the next general membership meeting to discuss the issue. The minutes from this discussion, all supporting documents and a ballot will be distributed to NoBAWC member workplaces. NoBAWC member workplaces will have 30 days to mail completed ballots to NoBAWC.
At least 50% of NoBAWC member workplaces must cast ballots in order for an appeal referendum to pass. If this 50% quorum is met and at least a simple majority of the votes favor the appeal, the appeal will be upheld. If a simple majority favoring the appeal is not obtained or if the 50% quorum is not met, the appeal will fail. General membership referendum decision-making is the final authority in NoBAWC. No more action can be taken on appeals that have gone to a general membership referendum.