Making membership rules available to the members What a novel concept
A BETTER-INFORMED MEMBERSHIP
When I was first elected to the National Council, I found myself constantly asking the same two questions about Equity's internal processes:
How do things work, and why do they work that way?
Unfortunately, the answers weren't always easy find. Equity's Constitution and By-Laws are readily available on the union's website, but they only begin to scratch the surface of the rules that our union and its members are governed by. As it turns out, most of the rules set by Equity's National Council are contained in a document called the Compendium of Council Rules (or the "Black Book"), which isn't made available to our members (or even to Councilors like me!)
Now, the vast majority of rules in the Black Book aren't particularly important for our rank-and-file members to know about, dealing with procedural rules or Council practices. But it became increasingly evident that there were some important rules that our members weren't being made aware of, and in some cases it was creating real confusion.
So, I wrote a policy proposal that would require Equity's staff to publish a list of important membership rules in the Member Portal for all of our members to see. I put it on the floor during a Council meeting, a persuaded my fellow members to vote it up. Now, for the first time, our members have easy (or at least easier) access to many of the rules by which they're governed.