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Call-out for 2020 Saskatoon Co-op Board nominees (updated)

Interested members are urged to introduce themselves in advance, present at Co-op Members for Fairness' March Town Hall

2020 Saskatoon Co-op Virtual AGM

Updated Feb 18, 2020

Co-op Members For Fairness (“CM4F”) is seeking nominees to stand for election to the Saskatoon Co-op Association Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting in 2020. Everyone who is involved with CM4F or who supports Board Members who will work for cooperative values and principles at Co-op is encouraged to help in this search by locating suitable individuals and encouraging them to consider standing for election.

Co-op Members For Fairness (CM4F) has now learned that the Saskatoon Co-op Annual General Meeting has been tentatively scheduled for mid-May, which gives us an unexpected extra month to endorse candidates whose vision for the Co-op is closely allied to the Co-op Values and Principles.

We have also learned that there will be an additional, previously unanticipated board position up for election at the AGM, raising the total to 5 seats available at the AGM.

If you are a member of the Saskatoon Co-op Association, agree with the seven universally recognized cooperative principles, the resolutions promoted by CM4F for the reform of Saskatchewan Co-Operative Association, and share our concerns about the direction that Co-op may be heading, we would love to consider endorsing your bid for a Saskatoon Co-op Board of Directors position.

You may seek our support in running for the Board by following the guidelines below.

Guidelines for members interested in being candidates endorsed by Co-op Members for Fairness

If you are interested in being endorsed by Co-op Members For Fairness to run for one of the five positions on the Saskatoon Co-op Association’s board at this year’s AGM, you will need to contact the Saskatoon Co-op by phone at (306) 933-3801 to ensure you are qualified.

Qualifications include having made purchases at Co-op, totaling at least $2000.00, between February 1, 2019 and February 1, 2020. Co-op staff can check that total for you.

If you meet the qualifications please submit an email to us at info@coopmembersforfairness.ca by Feb 29, 2020, including the phrase “Nominee for Co-op AGM” in your subject line.

In the email, candidates should introduce themselves — a page or two telling us about qualifications and experience that suit them for a position on the board, and, equally importantly, the values, vision, and goals that ally them to the mission statement of Co-op Members for Fairness:

Co-op Members for Fairness are members and workers restoring co-operative values and practices to Saskatoon Co-op and its affiliates. 

It would be helpful, after considering the Co-operative Values and Principles linked above, for potential candidates to discuss the changes they want to see in the functioning of the Saskatoon Co-op and their ideas for achieving those changes.

The text of your email will be posted in our website’s news area, and highlighted on our Facebook page, for our members to review before we hold Co-op Members for Fairness’ next Town Hall meeting on March 11, 2020, at 7PM, Station 20 West.

Having submitted introductions and résumés as outlined above, potential candidates will be asked to make a 2-minute oral presentation at the CM4F meeting on March 11th. In the presentations you should speak to your qualifications, Co-operative principles, and Co-op Members for Fairness members’ concerns— letting us know what makes you an ideal candidate for our support.

The CM4F members in attendance that evening will select five candidates to endorse and promote in preparation for the upcoming Saskatoon Co-op Association AGM.

Expectations of endorsed candidates

Endorsed nominees will be expected to actively campaign before the 2020 Saskatoon Co-op AGM (again, now expected to happen mid-May). CM4F will advise and assist endorsed nominees with publicity and promotion of their campaigns.

Among other activities, CM4F will publish photographs and interviews with nominees on the CM4F website. You should be willing to participate in our promotion of your candidacy, and we request that you make yourself available to an extended interview with you. We will edit this and publish it on our various channels (here are some examples of ones we did in 2019).

Endorsed candidates who are successfully elected to the Saskatoon Co-op board of directors will not be “CM4F’s directors.” Our intention is not to “take over” the Co-op board, but to promote the election of directors who will further the restoration of co-operative values and practices to the Co-op system.

Time Commitment Needed for the Duties of a Director of Saskatoon Co-op

While a Board of Directors position is not a full-time job, a board member is likely to spend an average of about 5 hours per week on the work associated with this position. This work includes reading documents and attending meetings.

There are usually two meetings of the Board of Directors each month. These meetings are in the evening and about three hours in duration. Usually, there are no meetings in July, and there is one meeting in December. There are also annual meetings of the Saskatoon Co-op and of Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL). There also can be other meetings, such as committee meetings.

Usually, a new director will not serve as president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer. Directors with these responsibilities attend additional meetings and devote more time to Co-op work.

Resources for learning about Co-operative governance

Are you concerned that you don’t know enough about the nuts and bolts of Co-op governance? Have no fear. There are useful and free courses related to Co-op governance, some of which are open prior to the AGM. We heartily recommend the following courses that are offered before then:

Good Governance Matters (Co-operatives First)

Co-op E-Learning Courses by the Ontario Co-op Association

Some courses which are offered afterward:

Co-ops 101 (from Co-ops First and the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives)

Co-operative Governance and Leadership in Action is open to present graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of courses. Various other online courses and modules on boards, governance, and finance, and many of these courses and modules are free.

From all of us at Co-op Members for Fairness, thank you very much for your assistance in locating Board Members who will work to bring co-operative values and practices back to the Saskatoon Co-op Association— or volunteering to be one yourself!

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