Resolutions

These resolutions were approved at Co-op Members for Fairness’ March 7, 2019 meeting, to be presented and debated at the Saskatoon Co-op AGM on June 20, 2019.


Democratic Control

Whereas: 

One of the foundational co-operative principles states “Co-operatives have democratic membership control with equal voting rights based on one member one vote in the decision-making processes,”

And Whereas: 

Currently only about 350 Saskatoon Co-op members out of approximately 115,000 total members are able to vote at the AGM (less than half of one percent),

And Whereas 

The 1996 Co-op Act enables changes in the Co-op Bylaws to allow this to happen,

Therefore be it Resolved: 

That in time for the next AGM in 2020 a democratically supervised and transparent voting process for members to vote for the selection of board members and on resolutions be expanded to take place at the co-op store locations over five business days.

Autonomy and Independence

Whereas: 

One of the foundational co-operative principles states “Co-operatives are locally owned, as autonomous, independent democratic organizations”. 

And Whereas: 

There is a real concern among our membership that total control of our co-op, including both the policy and management/administration functions, has been transferred to Federated Co-operatives Limited. 

Therefore be it Resolved: 

That the current management agreement between Saskatoon Co-op and FCL be reviewed and renegotiated to secure membership control by way of the elected board of the policy-making function and restrict FCL to its intended management/administration function. 4 

Reporting, Communication & Co-operative Education 

Whereas: 

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”. 

And Whereas: 

Our co-op membership feels it has been marginalized is not being consulted or adequately informed by our board of directors on most policy matters. 

And Whereas: 

The membership generally feels that the elected Co-op Board has allowed FCL the hired management to make most policy decisions which it dictates to the elected board. 

And Whereas: 

When information is requested by the members the board often does not comply with its communication duty to speak for the board. They take on a defensive – mentality defaulting that fiduciary duty to management having the CEO speak for the board. 

Therefore be it Resolved: 

That our elected Co-op Board adopt a new effective transparent consultation and communication strategy with the membership. Sufficient resources should 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. 

Further be it Resolved: 

That a qualified education and member relations employee, with the required resources be assigned to co-ordinate, implement and manage a comprehensive co-operative education program for workers, members and the public on the theme “Making a profit with our co-operative advantage”.

Respect and Support for Workers

Whereas: 

Respect and support for our co-op workers is essential for the success of our co-operative. 

And Whereas: 

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental component of fair labour relations and good governance. 

And Whereas: 

Co-operatives have had a reputation for better wages with benefits and we realize our workers need a living wage to stay on as a career and we know a good share of those earnings come back to our co-operative and the community. 

And Whereas: 

The sharing of co-operative business profits between members and investments in the community should not come at the expense of equality and fairness in the workplace. 

Therefore be it Resolved; 

That the Saskatoon Co-op Membership directs the elected co-op board of directors to adopt the principles of respect, fairness, and equality in all its bargaining negotiations and resulting agreements removing the “two tier wages” from any current or future bargaining processes and contracts. 6 

Performance Reviews 

Whereas: 

Competent management including the CEO is essential for good governance and a special competence is required to manage and promote a co-operative organization with co-operative values which are different from a standard corporative model. 

And Whereas: 

The Saskatoon Co-operative Association Ltd. Bylaws in section 6.13 subsection a) part i) states “The directors shall direct the management of the business and affairs of the co-operative”; then in subsection b) part i) it states “the directors shall appoint a general manager for the co-operative, define the duties of that position, and supervise the carrying out of those duties”. 

And Whereas: 

The board is expected to set the policy and management is expected to implement the policy. 

And Whereas: 

It is recommended by good governance literature that annual performance reviews be conducted by the board in its policy function to evaluate the CEO and the management function of the organization. 

Therefore be it Resolved: 

That immediately following this AGM when the elected board takes its place it will undertake a comprehensive performance review of the CEO with respect to application of co-op principles, promoting our “co-operative values ”, supporting independent board decision-making and implementing board policy. 

Be it further resolved: 

That the review also specifically evaluate the degree of professionalism and respect for workers, co-op members and the public by management during the current/recent labour dispute. 7 

Financial, Human Relations and Reputational Review

Whereas: 

Any labour dispute has significant financial, human relations and reputational costs to the organization. 

And Whereas: 

Member resources both human and financial are spent during any labour dispute. 

Therefore be it Resolved: 

That the Board and CEO provide a full costing disclosure including the purpose, who initiated and who authorized the use of membership funds to support the management position opposing our workers who our co-operative depends on for financial, human relations and reputational success.