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Guest Ray Lushbaugh
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Guest Ray Lushbaugh

 

My question is one of a budget matter. Our church has by laws and a constitution and anything not covered by those two is covered by Roberts Rules Of order as they state.Our yearly budget must be approved by the congregation  as it has been for 2016. The pastors pay and benefits were approved. Our present pastor is leaving in this budget year and the new pastor may take their place at less pay. Since the budget has been approved as required by the congregation does a change like this have to be approved by the congregation again through an amendment or a side letter. The difference in pay and benefits would change the bottom line and the board has no powers when it comes to the budget other than submitting it for approval. 

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This is basically a question of bylaws interpretation  --  RONR doesn't say anything about your situation  -- and bylaw interpretation is up to the association, not us here.

Is the budgeted amount, or the entire budget, considered as an expression of hope, or a specific set of allocations that are supposed to be paid?  Are the amounts in the budget just upper limits?  Commonly pay for an employee, your pastor, is in a contract which is (re)negotiated as needed or when it expires.  Presumably (but this is a legal question which we don't attempt to answer here) when the current pastor leaves, that terminates the contract, so you are free to set the pay figure where you wish in the new contract with the new guy (or gal), as long as you don't pay him more than the current pastor got and go over budget.  Certainly going over budget would require an amendment to the budget.

Check with  a lawyer, however, about those (and presumably other) questions.

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21 hours ago, Guest Ray Lushbaugh said:

Our yearly budget must be approved by the congregation  ...

Since the budget has been approved as required by the congregation,

does a change like this have to be approved by the congregation again,

through an amendment or a side letter?

... the board has no powers when it comes to the budget other than submitting it for approval. 

In general, yes.

Whatever body adopted Document D, any change to Document D must be done via the party who did the original approving.

And the mode of doing so is, indeed, to amend.

***

I have no idea what a "side letter" is.

The term does not appear within the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

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