Changing the rules to include Sessionals fully

Dear Colleagues, Just as in the council elections last year, many of you stepped up to serve on the faculty association board. Again, you have proven our commitment to taking responsibility for our situation at MacEwan University. Sadly, the Faculty Association reminded those who put their names forward of an exclusionary quota for sessional members on the GMUFA Board. According to the rules, there can be no more than two sessionals on the board and those two can only be elected in September. These rules very specifically exclude all sessionals, even those working in the spring and summer:
5.2 a) Members with Sessional or Sessional-Extended appointments are only eligible to hold either of the two (2) Sessional Representative positions. All other appointments, including Full-Time Limited Term and Nurse Educator appointments, are eligible to hold other Board positions. – GMUFA Constitution
Obviously, these unfair clauses need to be changed. Sessional participation in our association must not be limited. As with probationary and continuing members, we should be recognized as members with equal rights and responsibilities. A strong association with all members working together, which I support, must not discriminate against any group within its ranks. Changing this will take some coordinated effort. According to the rules:
12.1 The constitution may be amended or repealed at the Annual, General or Special Meeting by extraordinary resolution. – GMUFA Constitution
Some organization will be required to achieve a change to these rules, however; we cannot just show up and demand a change. The bylaws state:
8.1 The bylaws may be amended or repealed at a General Meeting by a majority vote provided that proper notice has been given and there is quorum (Bylaws) – GMUFA Bylaws
If we wait until the September meeting, we must provide “proper notice.” If we try to bring this up at the May meeting, we could be told that sessionals are not current members even though sessionals voted at last May’s meeting and the university – through email, library access, and support for research and dissemination – recognizes us as faculty members. Moving more quickly, we could petition for a Special Meeting:
3.4 Special Meetings of the GMUFA are called at the discretion of the Board, provided that notice of at least 48 hours has been given to the members. Special Meetings of the GMUFA are also called upon presentation to the President of a request signed by at least 15 members. – GMUFA Bylaws
Our proposal can simply change the first sentence of 5.2 a) to read:
“Sessional and Sessional-Extended appointments have the same rights as Probationary or Continuing appointments to hold positions on the GMUFA board.” – Proposed Amendment
Once we agree on the wording, we can petition for a Special Meeting, to take place near the end of the Winter Semester, to propose this for a vote of the membership. I invite suggestions for revising this proposal. Let’s make the wording as strong as possible. Also, I ask you to let me know if you are willing to sign on to a petition for a special meeting. It would be useful to change this before the announcement of the Fall 2017 elections. In solidarity, Marco