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They are church members.

Then they cannot be forced to leave a meeting of the church assembly.

One strategy would be to refer the matter to a committee or board so that they can discuss the more sensitive details without the staff members present, and then the society can act on the recommendation from the committee or board.

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Thanks. They are church members.

If the church membership is the assembly that is meeting and deciding on staff issues, then all members of that assembly have the right to attend.

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If the general membership (i.e. church goers) is discussing this and the staff attend the church and are members then they have a right to attend the general membership meeting discussing staffing issues. The issue(s) could be made a responsibilty of the church's Board. And unless a staff member is also a member of the Board, he/she would have no rights at a Board meeting.

The By-laws could be amended to specify that a member who has a direct interest in an issue must leave the meeting during discussion and voting on the issue, however this is up to the membership to decide. This requirement, however, would relate to all members, not just staff.

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Guest Edgar

The By-laws could be amended to specify that a member who has a direct interest in an issue must leave the meeting during discussion and voting on the issue, however this is up to the membership to decide. This requirement, however, would relate to all members, not just staff.

Well, as long as the bylaws are being amended, that restriction could be limited to staff only. They could, for example, stipulate that staff (even if members) are excluded from executive sessions. Though like any such proposals should be carefully examined for unintended consequences.

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While excluding staff from salary discussions may appear to be the "reasonable" thing to do, if any/all are members of the assembly they should have the right to hear and be heard in these discussions.

In all of the churches I have been a member of, none of the staff or their spouses have spoke in debate when our budget is up for approval. Our Finance Committee along with our Personnel Committee together generate the new year's line item for salary for each and every one of our staff members. When the budget is presented for approval, our Finance Committee moves the budget be adopted, and has a cover page showing current year vs. proposed year and what changes (increases/decreases) were made.

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Well, as long as the bylaws are being amended, that restriction could be limited to staff only. They could, for example, stipulate that staff (even if members) are excluded from executive sessions. Though like any such proposals should be carefully examined for unintended consequences.

Well, it might be simply easier to state that anyone with a direct interest has to excuse himself/herself. Otherwise you then have problems if another member has a snow removal business and wants the contract to plow the snow.

If a staff member is a member of the group that is having a meeting, it would not be fair to state that he/she has to be excused from all Executive Sessions. The church will be discussing other issues in Executive Session where the input of staff might be beneficial.

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Otherwise you then have problems if another member has a snow removal business and wants the contract to plow the snow.

This is an issue I've never encountered in Florida. :)

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In all of the churches I have been a member of, none of the staff or their spouses have spoke in debate when our budget is up for approval.

RONR actually does recommend that a member has a personal or pecuniary interest should refrain from voting (although he cannot be compelled to). The text says nothing about such a member refraining from partaking in discussion or leaving the room, although the member certainly may do either if he feels it is appropriate.

Well, it might be simply easier to state that anyone with a direct interest has to excuse himself/herself.

That's all well and good, but I think the main problem is defining what is meant by a "direct interest." In RONR it is perfectly fine to leave it vague as to what constitutes a "personal or pecuniary interest not in common with other members" since it is ultimately up to each member to interpret the rule, but if an assembly were to adopt a rule which actually forced members of the assembly to "excuse themselves" when they had a "direct interest," vagueness seems likely to lead to argument.

For that matter, the assembly may want to define what is meant by "excuse himself" - is it intended for the member to abstain, to abstain and refrain from speaking in debate, or to leave the room altogether?

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