It has come to our attention that there is a suggestion circulating among Clubs to withhold dues to national office in protest of the failure of the motion to strike Article 4 from the Articles and Bylaws that CFUW shall be a member of GWI. This suggestion is rooted in the perception that CFUW National seems determined to ignore the concerns of 64% of the membership as well as the recent report of the Mediation Working Group.
The members of the Mediation Working Group unanimously agreed that:
1. The CFUW is in need of better, more healing, constructive communication;
2. There has been a problem with past confusion about information regarding GWI; and
3. There is a great deal of value in the CFUW continuing as a unified, strong, cohesive organization, into the future. Everyone involved wants the CFUW to continue as a single organization.
4. Collaborative, facilitated conversations, like the one undertaken by this Committee, are useful and should form part of the practice of CFUW going forward.
The Board is most definitely not ignoring the Mediation Report nor the concerns of our membership. To that end, I will highlight what actions the Board has taken to date:
- The Board has unanimously accepted a plan for implementation of the Mediation Report
- A Mediation Implementation Oversight Committee has been established under co-chairs Barb DuMoulin, VP British Columbia and Joy Hurst, VP International Relations
- A Communications Committee chaired by Judy Hopps, VP Quebec has begun work to develop a communication strategy as per recommendation 2 of the Mediation Report.
- The Articles and By-laws committee has been charged with reporting on Article 4 – background, legal advice, etc. and their report will be shared with all the membership.
- In consultation with a governance specialist, the Board is developing a Strategic Plan and all Clubs will be consulted and offered the opportunity to attend discussion groups
The Board was elected at the end of June and I hope the initiatives that we have taken in the past two months will allow us to move forward as a strong, united voice for women and girls.
It should be remembered that Clubs who do not pay their dues are giving up their voice and are unable to:
- Participate in the resolution process
- Vote at an annual or special general meeting
- Nominate a candidate
- Make or second a motion
I urge Clubs not to withhold their dues, because now, more than ever, strong women’s organizations are needed as the pandemic is disproportionally affecting women and girls.