Co-op Members for Fairness urges its supporters to vote for these resolutions, which will be presented at the 2021 AGM. While we had hoped for more, and for it to happen sooner, these are what seems achievable at this point, and if passed, they will pave the way for further positive change in the future. If they are not passed, they cannot be brought up again for at least two years – so NOW is the time for your support!
One of the foundational co-operative principles states that “Co-operatives have democratic membership control with equal voting rights based on one member one vote in the decision-making process”,
Currently only about 350 Saskatoon Co-op members out of approximately 115,000 total members are able to vote for the selection of the board of directors and on policy resolutions because of the one-night AGM meeting and the limitations of venue size. (Less than 1/2 of one percent are able to vote),
The Co-operatives Act (1996) enables changes in the Co-op Bylaws to allow this process to be improved,
Therefore be it Resolved that the board of directors is requested to investigate alternatives to the election of directors and the passing of resolutions and, at the AGM in 2022, propose an amendment to the bylaws of the Co-operative to implement a democratically supervised and transparent voting process for members to vote for the selection of board members and on resolutions, by means other than or in addition to in-person voting at a physical AGM.
This will require a change to the bylaws of the Saskatoon Co-operative Association. Only the members have the power to make changes to the bylaws of the co-operative.
Autonomy and Independence
One of the foundational co-operative principles states that “Co-operatives are locally owned, as autonomous, independent democratic organizations”,
There is concern among the membership that too much control of our co-op, including both the policy and management functions has been transferred or allowed to be taken over by Federated Co-operatives Limited,
Therefore be it Resolved that the board is requested to review and renegotiate the current management agreement between Saskatoon Co-op and FCL to secure membership control by way of the elected board of the policy-making function and restrict FCL to its intended management function, and report to the 2022 AGM on the results of that review and renegotiation.
Reporting, Communication & Co-operative Education
One of the foundational co-operative principles states that “Co-operatives provide education, training and information to their members, their workers and the general public”,
Concerned Co-op members feel they have been marginalized and are not being consulted or
adequately informed by our elected board of directors on most policy matters,
The elected co-op board has allowed FCL, the hired management group, to dictate policy decisions to the elected board and speak for the board,
When information is requested by the members from the board, the board adopts a defensive bunker mentality, defaulting their reporting, communication and education duties to management by having the CEO go beyond his mandate to speak for the board,
Therefore be it Resolved that the board investigate the following and report to the 2022 AGM on the results of that investigation and any actions undertaken in response:
- The implementation of a new, effective, transparent consultation and communication strategy with the membership. Sufficient resources need to be allocated to engage board members in proactive dialogue with the membership, such as holding regular reporting meetings, posting board member contact numbers, answering calls and talking to members and the public.
- The engagement of a qualified education and member relations employee, who is allocated the required resources and assigned to implement and manage a comprehensive co-operative education program for workers, members and the public on the theme “Making a profit while committed to our co-operative values – Our Business Advantage”.