Solidarity Amendment to the GEO Constitution (Proposal)

Members of the GEO Solidarity Committee, currently an Ad Hoc Committee, are proposing a Solidarity Amendment to the GEO constitution.  The proposed amendment would amplify the mission of the GEO to stand in solidarity with social justice and workers’ rights issues, and create a constitutionally-mandated Solidarity Committee, as well as a Solidarity Officer position who would be elected by the membership, chair the newly-created committee, and have voting rights on the GEO Coordinating Committee.

According to the GEO Constitution, any proposed amendment needs to be voted on at a General Membership Meeting, and if it passes that first step, it also needs to be added to a ballot.  A vote will take place at the Feb 25 GMM for members to vote in favor or against the proposed amendment.  To read the current GEO Constitution, go to http://www.uigeo.org/constitution/
Below is the proposed amendment:
Amendment 1:

Amend Article IX, “Committees,” as follows:

a. add

“F. Solidarity Committee

The General Membership and Constitution of the GEO recognize that active cooperation between the GEO, other unions, and groups engaged in the struggle for social justice is vital to the organizing mission of the Union and the welfare of its community.

1.  The primary responsibilities of the Solidarity Committee are to: engage in activities and seek out opportunities to promote the social justice mission of the GEO; determine the allocation of “solidarity” funds as approved by the General Membership in GEO fiscal year budgets and in accordance with the constitutional objectives of the GEO; work with the Coordinating Committee, the Stewards Council, and the general membership on endorsements; work with the Steward’s Council and Coordinating Committee to ensure that the GEO maintains active and mutually supportive relationships with local, state, national and international labor organizations; and to generally engage in activities to promote the social justice mission of the GEO in cooperation with and support of local, state, national, and international struggles for social justice, including but not limited to economic, racial, gender, and sexual justice.

2.  The Solidarity Officer shall chair the Solidarity Committee.

3.  The other members shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee, subject to approval by the Steward’s Council. Terms of appointment shall be as determined by the Stewards Council.

4.   A quorum of four Solidarity Committee members who are also members of the GEO is necessary to: allocate “solidarity” funds as approved by the General Membership in GEO fiscal year budgets; write Solidarity Committee by-laws.

5.  The Solidarity Committee may write its own bylaws to govern its internal operations.

b.  change current sections “F”, “G”, and “H” to sections “G”, “H”, and add section “I”

Amendment 2:

Amend Article VII: Officers, as follows: change “the officers of the GEO shall consist of two Co-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Communications Officer, a Grievance Officer and three Officers-at-Large”to

“the officers of the GEO shall consist of two Co-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Communications Officer, a Grievance Officer, a Solidarity Officer, and up to three Officers-at-Large.”