Report from the finding work for members task force (phase 1)

At the 2019 annual general meeting, members voted to strike a task force to explore the ramifications of the finding work motion (the motion did not pass but was turned into a task force; you can read about this in the president’s report from that AGM). Here is an update on the task force’s work.

Documents we reviewed

We reviewed the following documents with these questions in mind:

  • We looked at the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Regulations to identify legal issues with not-for-profit corporations (such as Editors Canada) finding work for members.
  • We assessed whether the job board, the Online Directory of Editors, the in-house seminars or any new approaches suggested in the Rethink document fulfill the idea of finding work for members.
  • We evaluated whether finding work for members might constitute a conflict of interest under the association’s Conflict of Interest Policy or applicable legislation.
  • We reviewed the original motion’s supporting statement, as well as all the comments made at the AGM on the motion.
  • We read the comments by members on the Rethink document.
  • We considered whether any part of this initiative conflicts with anything in the “About the association” section of the annual reports, the About section of the website, or the background on page 6 of the strategic plan.

What we found

The task force members are in unanimous agreement that there is nothing in any of the above documents to preclude moving forward with phase II of this task force. In fact, virtually all association-specific documents suggest the following:

  • Objections voiced to date appear to be based on misapprehensions (and some misunderstandings) about the proposal, such as believing the association wants to run an employment agency.
  • Documents (including the strategic plan, the Rethink document, and member comments from the conference roundtables and the AGM) suggest that such an initiative could be designed to fit well with our priorities.

Even so, there are specific points that we must keep in mind moving forward.

  • There are rules governing the existence of one corporation within another and we’d have to keep these in mind when considering what structure this initiative might take.
  • Depending on what we consider the best structure, we’d have to think about the ramifications of using the Editors Canada name, a related name, or a different name.
  • We’d have to consider how to manage the consequences in the event that a member who has participated in a group contract is found liable for a problem; that is, we need to protect the association and other members from one member’s liability.

We don’t see these as reasons not to proceed but points to keep in mind as we proceed.

Next steps

The task force will create a draft matrix that would account for:

  • potential markets
  • ideas to help members prepare for or reach out to those markets
  • considerations on how doing so would fit in with Editors Canada strategic plan and governance

Lynne Melcombe, task force leader

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