Constitutions, Democratic Elections, and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Memorandum to: WURA Members

From: WURA Executive Committee

RE: Constitutions, Democratic Elections, and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Date: October 30, 2020

On the issue of leadership and committee member selection, WURA’s Constitution calls for a Nominating Committee to present a slate to the Executive for a vote by the membership at a Fall Annual General Meeting (AGM) called by the Executive Committee. Importantly, in this meeting, the WURA membership has the opportunity to debate the nominations presented by the Nominating Committee and to present additional names for consideration, thus ensuring that the selection of the organization’s leadership is arrived at in a democratic manner.

In the WURA Executive Meeting (held on Microsoft TEAMS on October 16, 2020), the Nominating Committee presented its Report and requested that the Report be forwarded to the WURA membership for consideration. As you are aware, the Covid-19 Pandemic guidelines in Ontario prohibit the Executive Committee from calling a face-to-face AGM. E-mail and snail mail options do not permit members to fully engage in the nomination process for the 2021 Executive and Committee positions. The majority of the WURA Executive was not comfortable with the proposal to take the nomination slate directly to the membership via e-mail and snail mail for voting, as it denied the WURA membership meaningful input into the democratic selection of officers and committees.

The Executive passed a motion that the Nominating Committee Report be received, and held until a WURA General Meeting could be called. In the meantime, the Executive is sending this letter to inform WURA members of the current situation with the nomination process and to invite you to nominate or self-nominate additional candidates for the following positions:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Web Administrator
  • One Director-at-Large

Or volunteer for one of the following Committees:

  • Membership,
  • Nominating,
  • Pension & Benefits,
  • Scholarship/Bursary,
  • Social,
  • Travel Grant Review,
  • Board of Governors Pension,
  • D.7 Retired Members Pension,
  • Retiree Health Plan Subsidy,
  • JCC (Joint Consultative Comm.),
  • WUFA Committees (Executive, Council, Contract, and Retirement & Benefits).

To move expeditiously on this request, the names of Nominees and Volunteers for positions should be forwarded to the WURA Executive Committee by replying to this message or in a separate message to by November 30, 2020. Please remember to secure the consent of those nominated.

We trust that the WURA membership will understand the challenges of the current situation and bear with us as we move to a Covid-19 AGM/Election solution that meets the provisions of WURA’s constitution.

As a result of the difficult times created by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2020 Executive and Committees are carrying on to serve WURA members as best they can. The Executive monitors the status of pensions and benefits (especially changes in insurance coverage for those who must travel) and alerts the membership to any changes. Further, in meetings with Research Services, we have also added Registration Fees associated with attendance at “virtual conferences” to the WURA Travel Grant. Unfortunately, the hosting of any “social activities” (such as our Holiday Luncheon) are impossible due to the pandemic. We realize full well that depression related to social isolation is another risk factor associated with the pandemic (especially for those of an age appropriate for retirement). Rest assured, that as soon as permitted, responsibly-organized WURA social activities will resume and an in-person AGM will be scheduled—Stay tuned!

Roger Lauzon
President, WURA

Please click here to view the Nominating Committee Report.