Proposed 2018 Bylaw Revisions

Submitted by the Executive Team

As you, our current members know, PCB is continually looking for ways to attract and engage new members. Likewise, if PCB can offer new opportunities for involvement that activate more of our current members, the organization will grow. One approach to accomplishing these objectives is to foster the development of special interest affiliates much like ACB has done. In preparation for this potential expansion, discussions have been held among several leadership teams including Membership Development, Organizational Development, Communications, and the full Board of Directors about how we envision special interest affiliates within the framework of PCB.

Currently, PCB bylaws do include guidelines for special interest affiliates. Those guidelines are different from that of chapters. It takes 10 members at a minimum to form a special interest affiliate and its members do not pay individual dues to PCB or to ACB via PCB. Rather, the affiliate pays a flat fee of $50 per year to PCB for however many members it has. So, even if the affiliate has 30 members, it still only pays $50 annually to PCB. Despite not paying individual dues to PCB, members of the affiliate, in our current bylaws, are given all benefits of membership including an individual vote at the conference, eligibility for room-rate subsidies and first-timer scholarships, and The PCB Advocate in his/her preferred format. The affiliate, like a chapter, is granted two delegate votes at the annual conference.

Interestingly, ACB’s governing documents proscribe the same organizational standards and membership protocol for all its affiliates, whether one is a state affiliate (based on its geography like our chapters) or a special interest affiliate (based on its topical appeal). Within our PCB leadership discussions, we have reached consensus that this mirroring of chapters and special interest affiliates is how we envision PCB’s future governance. This requires a few revisions to the PCB bylaws to bring the special interest affiliate category in alignment with the chapter category. The most impactful change will be the dropping of the special interest affiliate dues and the implementation of individual dues for members of special interest affiliates. Like in ACB, Individuals may join as many chapters or special interest affiliates as they wish, however, they will only be entitled to one individual vote at the annual conference. Unlike ACB, we will only collect PCB and ACB dues once per year as you designate through your primary chapter or affiliate.

PCB’s Executive Team has submitted the following bylaw revisions to the Parliamentary Team for consideration at the 2018 PCB Conference and Convention. While that team may tweak the language some, the substance of the revision will stand. Please review these three amendments and address any questions to leadership@pcb1.org or reach out to any of PCB’s officers.

Amendment 1:
Article IX: Chapters and Affiliates

Current bylaws:

Section 1. Chapters

Any group of not less than eight (8) persons residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the majority of whom are blind or visually impaired and who are in agreement with the purposes and objectives of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, may form a Chapter and shall be granted a charter upon the approval of the Board of Directors. They shall adopt bylaws which are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind.

Section 2. Special Interest Affiliates

Any special interest group having at least ten (10) voting members, the majority of whom are blind or visually impaired, may apply for affiliation with the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind. Application for membership must be approved by a majority of the members at an annual convention.

Section 3. Chapters in Good Standing

  1. Maintain a membership of at least eight (8), the majority of whom must be blind or visually impaired, unless otherwise determined by the board of directors; shall submit to the PCB office the chapter membership’s appropriate membership dues and; shall observe the organization’s membership reporting requirements;
  2. Hold all organization functions in adherence to PCB’s physical accessibility standards.

Section 4. Special Interest Affiliates in Good Standing

  1. Maintain a membership of at least ten (10), the majority of whom must be blind or visually impaired, unless otherwise determined by the board of directors; shall submit to the PCB office the special interest affiliate appropriate dues;
  2. Hold all organization functions in adherence to PCB’s physical accessibility standards.

Suggested Wording:
Article IX: Chapters and Affiliates

Section 1. Chapters
(No change)

Section 2. Special Interest Affiliates

Any group of not less than eight (8) persons the majority of whom are blind or visually impaired, having an interest in a topic broadly related to vision loss or an issue impacting individuals with vision loss, and whose purposes and objectives are in agreement with that of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, may apply for affiliation with the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind as a special interest affiliate. The affiliate will seek and be granted a charter upon the approval of the Board of Directors. The applying affiliate shall adopt bylaws which are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind.

** The section provides for the establishment of affiliates similar to that of chapters including: the number of members (8 rather than 10) and the reassignment of charter approval to the board of directors rather than the assembled convention.**

Section 3. Chapters and Special Interest Affiliates in Good Standing

  1. Maintain a membership of at least eight (8), the majority of whom must be blind or visually impaired, unless otherwise determined by the board of directors; shall submit to the PCB office the chapter or special interest affiliates membership’s appropriate membership dues and; shall observe the organization’s membership reporting requirements;
  2. Hold all organization functions in adherence to PCB’s physical accessibility standards.

** Since section 3 defines identical standards of good standing for both chapters and affiliates, section 4 is removed.**

Amendment 2:
Article IV Membership

Current bylaws:

Section 9. Dues

The annual membership dues for the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind shall be an amount recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership at an annual convention. Dues are payable in advance and credited to the first day of January of each year. Dues are payable by members of chapters to their chapter treasurer. An officer of the chapter shall submit the names of its paid members along with their dues to the PCB Office. Members of special interest affiliates shall pay their dues to the treasurer of their special interest affiliate.

Dues for junior members shall be fifty (50) percent of dues paid by adult members.

Dues for non-profit agency members shall be two (2) times the dues paid by adult members.

Dues for for-profit agency members shall be (3) three times the dues paid by non-profit agency members.

Dues for special interest affiliates, currently fifty (50) dollars, shall be an amount recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership at an annual convention.

Dues are payable by at-large members, non-profit agency members, for-profit agency members, and special interest affiliates directly to the PCB Office.

Suggested Wording:
Article IV, section 9.

Section 9. Dues

The annual membership dues for the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind shall be an amount recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership at an annual convention. Dues are payable in advance and credited to the first day of January of each year. Dues are payable by members of chapters and special interest affiliates to their chapter or affiliate treasurer. An officer of the chapter or affiliate shall submit the names of its paid members along with their dues to the PCB Office.

Dues for junior members shall be fifty (50) percent of dues paid by adult members.

Dues for non-profit agency members shall be two (2) times the dues paid by adult members.

Dues for for-profit agency members shall be (3) three times the dues paid by non-profit agency members.

Dues are payable by at-large members, non-profit agency members, and for-profit agency members directly to the PCB Office.

** The amount of dues and method of collection of dues from each member of PCB regardless of type of affiliation is identical. The language establishing fifty-dollar dues per special interest affiliate has been removed. In the final paragraph, special interest affiliates has been removed.**

Amendment 3:
Article VI: Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors

Current bylaws:
Section 3. Credentials

The Board of Directors, in consultation with the president, at the beginning of his/her term, shall appoint a Credentials Committee, comprised of at least two members of the Board of Directors and one member from among the membership. The Credentials Committee shall have the authority to determine whether a newly formed chapter is eligible for affiliate status, shall review whether a chapter’s bylaws, including all revisions, comply with the mission of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, and is authorized to rule whether a member, chapter or special interest affiliate is in good standing.

In determining whether a chapter or special interest affiliate is in good standing, the Credentials Committee shall consider the following:

  1. Whether the chapter or special interest affiliate has maintained a minimum membership requirement as set forth in Article IX, Sections 3 and 4, whether the chapter or special interest affiliate has paid the appropriate membership dues, and whether the chapter has complied with the organization’s membership reporting requirements,
  2. Whether the chapter or special interest affiliate is complying with the organization’s physical accessibility policy, and;
  3. Any member, chapter or special interest affiliate negatively impacted by a decision of the Credentials Committee may appeal this decision to the entire Board of Directors, and as a last resort the assembled convention.

Suggested Wording:
Article VI, Section 3

Section 3. Credentials

The Board of Directors, in consultation with the president, at the beginning of his/her term, shall appoint a Credentials Committee, comprised of at least two members of the Board of Directors and one member from among the membership. The Credentials Committee shall have the authority to determine whether a newly formed chapter or special interest affiliate is eligible for affiliate status, shall review whether a chapter or special interest affiliate’s bylaws, including all revisions, comply with the mission of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, and is authorized to rule whether a member, chapter or special interest affiliate is in good standing.

In determining whether a chapter or special interest affiliate is in good standing, the Credentials Committee shall consider the following:

  1. Whether the chapter or special interest affiliate has maintained a minimum membership requirement as set forth in Article IX, Section 3, whether the chapter or special interest affiliate has paid the appropriate membership dues, and whether the chapter or special interest affiliate has complied with the organization’s membership reporting requirements,
  2. Whether the chapter or special interest affiliate is complying with the organization’s physical accessibility policy, and;
  3. Any member, chapter or special interest affiliate negatively impacted by a decision of the Credentials Committee may appeal this decision to the entire Board of Directors, and as a last resort the assembled convention.

** Tightens up language ensuring that all provisions are identical for
chapters and special interest affiliates.**

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