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Rescind motion that created a set of rules and a board


bmunroe
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two years ago my Union adopted a set of "referral rules" - basically a set of rules for how we refer workers from our hiring hall.  The original motion adopted or approved the referral rules, the referral rules themselves in turn set up the procedures for referrals, a governance board to oversee the rules, and procedures for amending the referral rules.  Since the original adoption of these referral rules, they have been amended several times.  Amendments happen after our membership approves them by a 2/3rds vote at one of our membership meetings.

It has been suggested by one of our officers that we suspend these referral rules in order to overhaul them.

Putting aside the federal labor law issues, what would be the proper motion to suspend our referral rules?  Should this be a motion to rescind the original motion?  A motion to rescind the original motion and all subsequent motions that amended the rules?  Something else? Should the suspension be considered as an amendment to the referral rules and follow those procedures?

Thanks for your help.

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"When an assembly wishes to do something during a meeting that it cannot do without violating one or more of its regular rules, it can adopt a motion to suspend the rules interfering with the proposed action..."  (p 260 ll 19-22)

It would seem that overhauling these rules is certainly something you can do without violating any rules. So what would be the purpose of a motion to suspend the rules?

1 hour ago, bmunroe said:

Putting aside the federal labor law issues, what would be the proper motion to suspend our referral rules?  Should this be a motion to rescind the original motion?  A motion to rescind the original motion and all subsequent motions that amended the rules?  Something else? Should the suspension be considered as an amendment to the referral rules and follow those procedures?

Perhaps the way to go would be to (again) amend these rules.

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In addition to the above points, I don't think these rules are suspendable.  That said, a suspension is neither a rescission nor an amendment, so you shouldn't suspend them and consider it to be one of those actions.  You can simply replace the rules by new rules, or if you want them to go away right now, rescind them and then adopt new rules when you're ready.

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1 minute ago, Tom Coronite said:

Would you consider that they might be suspendable if they were not contained in the bylaws?

I can't really tell, but I'm working on the assumption that they are standing rules, not bylaws.  Even so, they sound like rules having their application outside the meeting context.  I'm not totally sure on that either, hence why I'm not confident on the conclusion, but that's what it sounds like to me.  

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I agree with Mr. Katz.  These particular rules appear to me to be in the nature of standing rules relating to procedures outside of a meeting context.  According to RONR, such rules are not suspendable.  Here is the language from page 18:

"Standing rules, as understood in this book except in the case of conventions, are rules (1) which are related to the details of the administration of a society rather than to parliamentary procedure, and (2) which can be adopted or changed upon the same conditions as any ordinary act of the society. An example of such a rule might be one setting the hour at which meetings are to begin, or one relating to the maintenance of a guest register. Standing rules generally are not adopted at the time a society is organized, but individually if and when the need arises. Like special rules of order, standing rules may be printed under a separate heading in the booklet containing the bylaws, and in such a case, any enacting words such as "Resolved, That" should be dropped. A standing rule can be adopted by a majority vote without previous notice, provided that it does not conflict with or amend any existing rule or act of the society. (For the vote required for rescinding or amending such a rule, see p. 306, ll. 24–31.) A standing rule remains in effect until rescinded or amended, but if it has its application only within the context of a meeting, it can be suspended at any particular session (although not for future sessions) by a majority vote. Rules that have any application outside a meeting context, however, cannot be suspended."    (Emphasis added).

Edited to add:  My suggestion, as others have already suggested, is to leave the rules in effect until new rules or amendments are ready to be adopted.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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Quote

 

I can't really tell, but I'm working on the assumption that they are standing rules, not bylaws.  Even so, they sound like rules having their application outside the meeting context.  I'm not totally sure on that either, hence why I'm not confident on the conclusion, but that's what it sounds like to me.  


 


 

yes, you're probably right. Which was why (as I read the OP a couple more times) I deleted the reply you quoted and was going to re-word it, but your above response beat me.

I think you are correct.

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Thanks for the responses so far.  To clarify a bit, "referral rules" are a set of procedures our union uses to refer workers to jobs.  They are not standing rules, parliamentary rules, or anything like that. Think of them as operating procedures for a business entity. 

Yes, we could certainly (and have in the past) update and amend those procedures without suspending them. However, not all in our organization like having these procedures and would prefer to return to the time before we had these in place.  I am anticipating the possibility of one of our officers moving to suspend these procedures for an overhaul (possibly as a means to essentially do away with them entirely).  Politics don't you know. 

In any event, I am looking for the proper procedure to follow if someone moves to suspend these procedures (again, this is not a suspension of the standing rules or by-laws).  My thoughts are either this must be (UN)done via a motion to rescind, or by the amendment procedure within the referral rules themselves (essentially amend the procedures to suspend them). 

Thanks again for the help.  

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Well, if you told me you had operating procedures for a business entity, and asked what to call them in a parliamentary setting, I'd say standing rules, so I'm not clear on what distinction you're making.  But I stand by my claim that they aren't suspendable.  More importantly, neither of the two things you've listed is the same thing as suspending a rule.  Rescinding a rule is not suspending it, and amending a rule is not suspending it.  It's like asking "in which way should we print this document - by emailing it to someone, or by deleting it?"  Both of those may be valid actions, but neither is printing it.  For a better parallel, just imagine that printing the document is not allowed.  

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35 minutes ago, bmunroe said:

Thanks for the responses so far.  To clarify a bit, "referral rules" are a set of procedures our union uses to refer workers to jobs.  They are not standing rules, parliamentary rules, or anything like that. Think of them as operating procedures for a business entity. . . .  (remainder of post omitted)

bmunroe, you might look at the rules we are discussing as, say, operating procedures, but as far as RONR is concerned, they are still in the nature of standing rules.  RONR does not define operating procedures, but does define and distinguish between special rules of order, which apply to parliamentary issues in a meeting context, and standing rules, which apply either outside of a meeting context or, if in a meeting context, deal with things other than parliamentary procedure.  Rules governing refreshments, unlocking and locking the clubhouse and turning the heat on and off would be in the nature of standing rules, as would rules specifying procedures for getting checks approved, purchasing supplies, etc.

Here is the first part of the RONR definition of a standing rule from page 18:

"Standing rules, as understood in this book except in the case of conventions, are rules (1) which are related to the details of the administration of a society rather than to parliamentary procedure, and (2) which can be adopted or changed upon the same conditions as any ordinary act of the society."

Some organizations have rather a rather lengthy "policies and procedures manual" for the details of the administration of the society.  Regardless of what those rules are called, I believe that as far as RONR is concerned, they are still in the nature of standing rules unless your bylaws define them differently.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

We need to let go of this "suspend the rules" bone. BMunroe is asking what to rescind or amend to take these rules out of effect. I think the most straightforward approach is to amend the rules themselves to become inactive until a certain date and/or a revision is complete.

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45 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

We need to let go of this "suspend the rules" bone. BMunroe is asking what to rescind or amend to take these rules out of effect. I think the most straightforward approach is to amend the rules themselves to become inactive until a certain date and/or a revision is complete.

Actually, he was also  asking about suspending the existing rules.  I do agree, however, that suspension of those rules is probably not in order and that an outright repeal or amendment of some sort would be the proper way to go.  

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18 hours ago, bmunroe said:

Yes, we could certainly (and have in the past) update and amend those procedures without suspending them.

I suppose I could let go of that bone, but it seems to matter to the question.  It also seems that the questioner means something different by 'suspend' than update and amend, and it's possible our answer could depend on what is meant.  

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