In the 2014 General Meeting a resolution was passed stating the need to review our Constitution and Bylaws. The review was proposed to update the aims of the Federation which, were originally agreed in 1956, and also to simplify the wording of some articles and clauses which appear ambiguous as a result of a number of add-on amendments that had been included over the years.
Since the 2014 General Meeting an extensive review has taken place within the IFSW Global Executive lead by a Sub-Committee Review Group. In August 2015 a first proposed draft of a new constitution was sent to all IFSW members as Phase 1 of a consultation process.
The Secretariat wishes to thank all the members that provided feedback and comment on this draft. Consequently a second draft has been developed that considered all the feed back received.
Phase 2 of the consultation process now begins and we are again seeking feedback and comments on the second draft of the proposed constitution. The changes between the first and second draft are summarised below and in the download the changes are highlighted in yellow.
- Click here to download the second draft of the Proposed Constitution.
- Click here to download the second draft of the Proposed Bylaws.
Summary of Changes in Draft 2 of the Proposed New Constitution and Bylaws
Preamble: propose to maintain a reference to the enhancement and improvement of the quality of life of people as is in current version of our PREAMBLE as suggested in the feedback received in this regard.
Election of treasurer: propose that the treasurer be elected by the Executive committee rather than by the general assembly. This would be in line with how the executive currently elects one of the regional presidents to the position of Global vice-president, and also how the Executive appoints the Human Rights and Ethics Commissioners.
The proposal is that either a regional president or regional deputy (previously titled Member at Large) would be elected as the treasurer, thus reducing the number of executive committee members. In the event that there were no members of executive prepared or able to take on this role, there would be a clause whereby the executive committee could co-opt someone to take on this role.
Another change would be for terms of office to be two years for the vice-president and the treasurer thus providing options for the executive committee for someone else to take on those roles as needed. The option remains for the executive committee to co-opt someone to take on the role of treasurer in the event that it was vacant until the next general meeting.
Suspension or expulsion of members: propose adding a clause that would allow for censorship in addition to suspension or expulsion. Rationale for adding censorship is that it provides another option to suspension or expulsion in certain circumstances.
Censorship means a written communication from IFSW to a member who has violated the constitution or has acted in a way that does not respect the best interests of the Federation and summoning them to take appropriate measures to correct this. Censorship can be initiated by the Executive Committee as well as the General meeting so that it can be done in a timely manner and not just every two years when there is a General Meeting.
This proposal also includes a different process for reinstatement of members who have been suspended because of non-payment of dues which is different from censorship, suspension or expulsion resulting from a violation of Articles or By-Laws of the Constitution. The Executive needs to be empowered to reinstate suspended members once they have paid their dues in arrears rather that have to wait for a decision of the General Meeting which is held every two years. – (See amended article 7 of the constitution and amended By-Law 3)
Partner organizations: propose not to delete an article relating to partner organizations as feedback from Phase 1 indicated that members wanted to encourage partnerships and grant observer status at our general meetings when deemed appropriate. (See new article 8 of constitution)
Limiting membership of the federation to one National Social Work organisation in any one country: Feedback received from Phase 1 of the consultation showed there were varying interpretations of article 5 as it was written. It appeared to some that that when there is a social work organization in any country applying for membership, (even when there is a current and active member in that country), that the current member would have to join a coordinating Body to maintain their membership. An additional clause is therefore proposed to make it clear that if and when there is already a Social Work Organization that is a member in good standing of the federation as a representative of their country, the onus would then be on any other interested party to forge an agreement with the active member for the establishment of a Coordinating Body. Upon agreement of all parties, the new coordinating Body could then apply for membership to represent their country. See article 5 b) of the constitution.
All these proposed changes are highlighted in enclosed updated constitution and By-Law documents as well as the rationale for changes.
Phase 2 Consolation Process Timeline
|Phase 2||The IFSW Secretariat sends an updated draft of the constitution to members in consideration of the feedback from phase one.||15 December to 30th February 2016|
|Phase 3||The IFSW Secretariat sends the final draft to all members and includes the draft in General Meeting papers to be voted upon.||15th March|
The consultation process has been designed over three stages in an attempt maximise all members input prior to voting on a final draft at the 2016 General Meeting. Therefore when providing feedback please clearly state which Article or Bylaw you are providing feedback on, and include the wording that you want in the new Constitution. Or, if you are proposing additional Articles or Bylaws please write these and provide a brief rational to support your proposal.
Please send all feedback to this email address:
The IFSW Global Executive expresses its gratitude and thanks in advance for your careful reading of these documents and for submitting feedback. We hope that you will find time to discuss these proposals at your upcoming regional meetings, which will also enable a regional perspective in addition to your national feedback.
We are confident that together we can develop a revised and updated Constitution that fits with the Federation’s aspirations and create a more accessible and readable Constitution for all members.