Speaking out for nursing. Speaking out for health.

One member, one vote

Voting will open on Tuesday, April 19 at noon and end on Thursday, May 5 at noon.

Background

After more than 40 years, RNAO's board of directors is calling on members to cast their votes on the make-up of the association's governing body.

At the February 2015 assembly meeting and April 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM), RNAO's board of directors informed members that it was considering updates to its current structure.

The structure - which includes the president, president-elect or immediate past-president, regional representatives, members-at-large, and the Representative of the Interest Group Chairs - was developed when RNAO had a membership of less than 10,000 and a small staff. RNAO has outgrown its governance structure, and the board is recommending changes that will best serve a growing membership that now stands at 41,000 RNs, NPs and nursing students. The proposed changes will bring it closer to governance best practices that suggest smaller boards.

Member-at-large (MAL) positions (five) on RNAO's board were originally created to focus on specific domains of nursing (i.e., education, research, practice, administration, and socio-political affairs). Today, RNAO has a staffing complement of close to 100 full-time employees and robust capacity in all domains of nursing and organizational performance.

To ensure democracy and transparency, 10 consultation sessions (webinars) were held from July to November 2015. Feedback was gathered from members to shape the proposed changes, and the board developed three options to bring forward to members. Any change in the structure of the board requires amendments to the RNAO bylaws, which must be approved by members. Members will vote on the options through the one member, one vote process to direct the board to prepare revisions to RNAO's Bylaws based on the members' expressed wishes. Members can vote online beginning Tuesday, April 19 at 12:00 p.m. until Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. The results of this vote will be released at RNAO's AGM, which takes place on May 6, 2016. Following the 2016 AGM, the board will prepare appropriate revisions to the Bylaws to implement the results of this vote. The Bylaw changes will be voted on by the membership at the 2017 AGM.

Members are being asked to vote on: Board Structure Options; Length of Term; Election of Representatives of Interest Group Chair, Candidates for RNAO's Board of Directors and Selection of the Association's Auditors.

BOARD STRUCTURE OPTIONS

Option A

This option corresponds to the current board structure as per bylaw 4.01. There are no changes.

"The affairs of the Association shall be managed by its board. The board shall be composed of twenty persons, as follows:

  1. the president;
  2. the president-elect or immediate past-president;
  3. twelve (12) regional representatives, each of whom shall represent the region where he or she resides or works;
  4. five (5) members-at-large, including one representative for each of the following areas of interest:
    1. nursing administration;
    2. nursing education;
    3. nursing practice;
    4. nursing research; and
    5. socio-political affairs;
  5. the Representative of the Interest Group Chairs, who shall be a director by virtue of their office."

Option B

This option incorporates the following changes: Removal of member-at-large positions. Incorporation of MAL domain expertise into the regional representative roles. Addition of one (1) Representative of the Interest Group Chairs for a total of two (2). And addition of one (1) undergraduate nursing student and/or one (1) public representative.

"The affairs of the association shall be managed by its board. The board shall be composed of a maximum of 18 persons, as follows:

  1. the president;
  2. president-elect or immediate past-president;
  3. twelve (12) regional representatives, each of whom shall
    1. represent the region where he or she resides or works, and
    2. represent one of the following domains of interest for the period elected on a rotating basis throughout regions, ensuring equitable opportunity across the province: nursing administration; nursing education; nursing practice; nursing research; and socio-political affairs;
  4. two (2) Representatives of the Interest Group Chairs, who shall be directors by virtue of their office;
  5. one (1) undergraduate nursing student (to be voted as a separate choice); and/or
  6. one (1) public representative (to be voted as a separate choice)."

Option C

Removal of member-at-large positions. Incorporation of MAL domain expertise into the Representative of the Interest Group Chairs role. Addition of two (2) Representatives of the Interest Group Chairs for a total of three (3). And addition of one (1) undergraduate nursing student and/or one (1) public representative.

"The affairs of the association shall be managed by its board. The board shall be composed of a maximum of 19 persons, as follows:

  1. the president;
  2. president-elect or immediate past-president;
  3. twelve (12) regional representatives, each of whom shall represent the region where he or she resides or works;
  4. three (3) Representatives of the Interest Group Chairs, who shall be directors by virtue of their office. Two (2) shall represent nursing practice as an area of interest, and one (1) shall represent nursing administration, nursing education, nursing research and socio political affairs;
  5. one (1) undergraduate nursing student (to be voted as a separate choice); and/or
  6. one (1) public representative (to be voted as a separate choice)."

For clarity, both options B and C eliminate the five MAL positions. In both options, there will be a choice to create (or not) one undergraduate nursing student and to create (or not) one public representative. The differences between option B and option C are as follows: Under option B, each regional representative will also represent one of the five areas of domain expertise currently held by the five MALs; this will happen on a rotating basis. For option C, the domains of expertise are distributed amongst the three (3) Representatives of Interest Group Chairs.
Board Structure Options
Option A (Information)
Option B (Information)
Option C (Information)

LENGTH OF TERM

The board acknowledges that, in order to fully integrate into a board position while accommodating busy professional and personal lives, and allowing for diversity, the term of office for directors needs to be re-evaluated. In addition to voting on board structure, members are being asked to vote on term length and term limits for board members. Section 4.05 of RNAO’s bylaws currently provides as follows (in summary form):

  1. the president-elect is elected for a four (4) year term;
  2. remaining directors are elected for a two (2) year term;
  3. directors may be elected for up to a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms, with eligibility for re-election after being off the Board for one (1) term; and
  4. the Representative of the Interest Group Chairs shall be a director for so long as he or she holds that position, to a maximum of four (4) years.

No change is proposed for the president-elect, president and immediate past-president; the individual serving in these roles has a total term of four (4) years. Members will be asked to consider two options in regards to other directors:

  1. Current status: a two-year term for directors, which can be renewed once for an additional two-year term; or
  2. New proposal: a three-year term for directors that is non-renewable.
Length of Term
Current status: a two-year term for directors, which can be renewed once for an additional two-year term
New proposal: a three-year term for directors that is non-renewable

ELECTION OF REPRESENTATIVES OF INTEREST GROUP CHAIRS

The Representative of the Interest Group Chairs (there are now 30 RNAO interest groups) is the only position not currently elected through the one member, one vote process. To increase fairness, transparency and equity, the board is recommending all positions be elected by voting members, including this one. Members will vote on whether the Representative/s of the Interest Group Chairs should be elected by the full membership through one member, one vote or remains a position elected by the board of directors, regardless of whether members chose options A, B or C under Board Structure Options

Election of Representatives of Interest Group Chairs
Current status: representative of the Interest Group Chairs elected by Interest Group Chairs
New proposal: representative of the Interest Group Chairs elected by full membership through one member, one vote

TICKET OF NOMINATIONS

Carol Dueck has withdrawn her nomination for Member-at-Large, Nursing Administration.
Member-at-Large, Administration
Rhonda Crocker Ellacott (Bio) (Acclaimed)

Member-at-Large, Education
Elizabeth Caroline Edwards (Bio)
Tammie McParland (Bio)

Cheryl Yost has withdrawn her nomination for Member-at-Large, Nursing Practice.
Member-at-Large, Practice
Maria Rugg (Bio) (Acclaimed)

Member-at-Large, Research
Angela Cooper Brathwaite (Bio) (Acclaimed)

Member-at-Large, Socio-Political Affairs
Rhonda Seidman-Carlson (Bio) (Acclaimed)

Member, Provincial Nominations Committee
No nominations received.

Member, Provincial Resolutions Committee (one vacancy; to be appointed by board of directors)
Eleanor Miller (Bio)
Julia Roitenberg (Bio)

Member, Provincial Bylaws Committee
No nominations received.

Interest Groups Representative to the Board of Directors
Una Ferguson (Bio) (Acclaimed)

Approval of KPMG as RNAO's Auditors for Fiscal Year End 2016 (view details)
Voting will open on Tuesday, April 19 at noon and end on Thursday, May 5 at noon.
Remember to vote and remind your nursing colleagues to vote as well.