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Salary discussion postponed definitely


Guest Mathew Spencer
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At a meeting during discussion for a person's salary, a motion from the floor was made to postpone definitely with a specified time frame (ie.. At the time the person, and the person's family not be in the meeting) the motion was passed, and the person's family refused to leave, so the meeting was then adjourned to a later date. A special meeting was called at a later date to discuss the same person's salary with the belief that the postpone definitely with specified time frame was still in place, and the person's family again refused to leave the meeting so the meeting was adjourned. The belief is that without being able to vote on this person's salary for 2017, the person would go back to Jan 1 2016 salary which was approved at the Jan 1 2016 meeting, and any increase from that approved amount must be paid for from the person's own pocket.

Is this allowed according to Roberts Rules as the vote in 2016 was for the 2016 year only?

What options are able to be done at this point to be able to have a discussion and vote taken for a 2017 salary and abide by Roberts Rules?

If the belief is incorrect, what then is to be the salary for this employee until a vote is able to be taken?

 

Thanks for the help.

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I can't really speak to how long the 2016 salary would be binding (it depends on the exact wording of the motion setting it).  As for the 2017 salary only members of the body which is meeting have a right to attend the meetings so if the person's family refuses to leave you can politely insist they leave.  If they continue to refuse to leave you all in theory could call the police and have them removed though the police may be hesitant to get involved unless the organization is willing to press charges if necessary.  However, if the recalcitrant family were to have it "suggested" to them that this person may have their salary cut 10% that may give them the added incentive to leave so you can conduct your business.  ;)

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The family of the person are members of the voting body. I forgot to mention that in the beginning sorry. As for the salary cut, the postpone definitely motion made included the words, "Any discussion or action" which is why I am in this pickle. Thanks for your comment as they are helpful. Im working on getting the minutes from the Jan 2016 meeting.

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Single income household. the family (mainly the wife) has a large influence over the group as alot of people do not want to voice opinions or say anything while they are in the room. so after three years of no discussion and a lot of complaints (mainly it would be better if the family was not in the room at that time) so a discussion could be held without the family knowing who said what the motion to postpone definitely was made. 

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26 minutes ago, Guest Mathew Spencer said:

The family of the person are members of the voting body. I forgot to mention that in the beginning sorry. As for the salary cut, the postpone definitely motion made included the words, "Any discussion or action" which is why I am in this pickle. Thanks for your comment as they are helpful. Im working on getting the minutes from the Jan 2016 meeting.

What business do you have excluding voting members from the meeting?

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I agree with Hieu and Gary.  If the family members are members of the organization, they have a right to be there, as uncomfortable as it might be.  They can be ASKED to let the body deliberate in secrecy, but there is no way to force them to do it consistent with the rules in RONR. 

Edited to add:  Keep in mind that RONR applies to conduct IN MEETINGS".  You and the other members are free to discuss the salary issue privately among yourselves in a restaurant, a bar, by phone, by email, or anywhere else.

Edited by Richard Brown
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I did not make the motion to postpone. however it is allowed to exclude. main reason for exclusion is because its a church where the persons salary at hand is the ministers. single income family wife doesnt work ( not super important ) tradition is wife and family leave so the group can have an unbiased performance review before deciding on a salary. once the family began refusing to leave, people became upset and discussion stopped all together. so a member made a motion to postpone to try and get some honest discussion to determine a proper salary. the argument was also made that at school boards or other places of business a performance review is done and members of the family are not allowed to defend or speak on behalf of ones spouse. 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

How about selecting a few wise, trusted members to form a committee and come back with a salary recommendation? Needless to say, neither the minister nor his family will be on this committee and they will have no right to attend its deliberations. Then there will be less need for detailed debate at the meeting and the vote can be taken by ballot, as I have recommended.

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On school boards it is typical that a member may not also be an employee, so the question never comes up.

Whatever you custom may be, it is the written rules in your bylaws, and RONR that apply.  And the rules in RONR say that members have the right to attend meetings, speak in debate, and to vote.

RONR does recommend that members with a pecuniary interest (not in common with other members) in the outcome of a motion should refrain from voting on it, but they cannot be forced to do so, and even if they do, they may still attend and vote.

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I have a better understanding now of how to go about getting around the postpone part. however I would still like some input on the 2016 vs 2017 portion of my question.

so if i read the minutes and the motion states "accept the recommendation from the board for 2016 salary compensation" does that limit the pay to only 2016 and can not be continued into 2017 without a motion to continue at the 2016 pay rate?

If the minutes read "accept the recommendation from the board" would that remove any time constraint for longevity?

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

I don't see the point in analyzing a hypothetical motion. The answer to your question depends on the precise wording of the actual motion and your church's interpretation of it. When you take up the 2017 question, decide how you want to treat money that has already been disbursed.

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I'm going to throw in a personal comment here:  if the Pastor can't convince his family that they should stay away from that meeting so the rest of the congregation can debate and vote on his salary without them being there, it just might speak to his, well, let's just say fitness for office.  I think that if I were a member of that congregation, I would not take kindly to these tactics at all and would be inclined to want a new pastor....and pastor's family.  That's from me, not from RONR.

btw, RONR does address the fact that those with a pecuniary interest in a motion not in common with the other members should at least abstain from voting.  If the pastor is the sole support of his family, they certainly have a pecuniary interest not in common with the other members. Here is the quote from page 407:  "No member should vote on a question in which he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members of the organization".

Edited by Richard Brown
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Your opinion actually opens another can of worms, as the Constitution of this church has mandatory provisions from the "mother" where a congregation pretty much can not terminate its employment with the pastor unless the pastor chooses to retire, takes a job somewhere else, or is deemed unable to fulfill his call by three other pastors in the "mother" organization. lots of issues, for hours of discussion and multiple routes that lead back to a can of worms.

I was asked to consult RONR as to what options are available with the postponement motion, and then if a vote can not be taken due to say lack of a 2/3rds vote to suspend RONR, or a motion that passes to undo Postponement, based off the exacting wording of the 2016 minutes how compensation is to be handled (which hopefully I have in the morning). so a follow up question maybe posted once I have some exacting wording.

I'm just trying to provide as much positive insight to RONR as possible to the board who the only person on the board who has any experience with RONR is myself, via FFA competitions over ten years ago. I ordered a copy of the newest edition of RONR in hopes that when at the next meeting I can also aid with some advice upon a quick consult of the book. The difficult brain teasers however, I will be consulting this page as the information I'm getting is very helpful.

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And this issue raises the reason why organization's need to define their own rules regarding Conflicts of Interest and what occurs during the situation.  RONR will not stop them from being involved.  But as this involves a legal issue (salary for an employee), you may want to discuss the issue with a lawyer.

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6 hours ago, Guest Mathew Spencer said:

Your opinion actually opens another can of worms, as the Constitution of this church has mandatory provisions from the "mother" where a congregation pretty much can not terminate its employment with the pastor unless the pastor chooses to retire, takes a job somewhere else, or is deemed unable to fulfill his call by three other pastors in the "mother" organization. lots of issues, for hours of discussion and multiple routes that lead back to a can of worms.

I was asked to consult RONR as to what options are available with the postponement motion, and then if a vote can not be taken due to say lack of a 2/3rds vote to suspend RONR, or a motion that passes to undo Postponement, based off the exacting wording of the 2016 minutes how compensation is to be handled (which hopefully I have in the morning). so a follow up question maybe posted once I have some exacting wording.

I'm just trying to provide as much positive insight to RONR as possible to the board who the only person on the board who has any experience with RONR is myself, via FFA competitions over ten years ago. I ordered a copy of the newest edition of RONR in hopes that when at the next meeting I can also aid with some advice upon a quick consult of the book. The difficult brain teasers however, I will be consulting this page as the information I'm getting is very helpful.

When you get your copy of the current edition of RONR, read what is said on pages 183-184 about the rules limiting the time to which a question can be postponed.

Based solely upon what you have posted, my guess is that you have no postponement currently in effect, and certainly none which can go beyond your next regular meeting.

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Next regular meeting is January 2018. only board meetings and special meetings can be held until January 2018. Board only has the power to spend up to $2500 without a congregational vote. so would postponement still be in effect with a special called meeting from the postpone def, since its a motion just like postpone indef, as a way of killing a motion. which could imply no pay depending on what is written in the previous meetings minutes.

 

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15 minutes ago, Guest Mathew Spencer said:

Next regular meeting is January 2018. only board meetings and special meetings can be held until January 2018. Board only has the power to spend up to $2500 without a congregational vote. so would postponement still be in effect with a special called meeting from the postpone def, since its a motion just like postpone indef, as a way of killing a motion. which could imply no pay depending on what is written in the previous meetings minutes.

 

From RONR, 11th ed., page 183:

"In a case where more than a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90) will elapse between meetings (for example, in an annual convention of delegates or in a local society that holds only an annual meeting), a question cannot be postponed beyond the end of the present session."

In your initial post you say that the meeting at which the motion to postpone was made "was then adjourned to a later date", but then you say that "A special meeting was called at a later date to discuss the same person's salary with the belief that the postpone definitely with specified time frame was still in place ..." Was this meeting actually adjourned to meet again at a later date (as discussed in Section 22 of RONR), or was it simply adjourned and then, at some later time, the special meeting to which you refer was called to consider the salary question.

In any event, it seems pretty clear to me that no postponement of the salary question is currently in effect. 

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