Guide to Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments – 2024 Convention

Guide to Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments – 2024 Convention


PDF version of the Guide to Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments

Bilingual Resolution Submission Form 2024

Constitutional Amendment Form 2024

Deadline: Monday, March 11, 2024

What are resolutions?

They are motions or proposals submitted to the Convention, urging a policy or a course of action that will guide the union in the coming months or years. Only locals, ministry or sector divisional meetings, area councils, the Executive Board, the Provincial Women’s Committee, the Provincial Human Rights Committee, the Provincial Young Workers Committee, the Provincial Francophone Committee, the Indigenous Circle and the Executive of the Retired Members Division can submit them. Resolutions require approval by a majority of the voting delegates.

OPSEU/SEFPO’s Policy Manual, sent to all Local Presidents, contains all the current resolutions adopted by past conventions, as well as those passed from time to time by the Executive Board.

Before you draft a policy resolution for the Convention, check the Policy Manual to see if a policy already exists. Resolutions that are already OPSEU/SEFPO policy will not be accepted, and will be returned to the submitting body. Check with your Staff Rep or Executive Board Member for clarification on policy questions.

What are Constitutional Amendments?

Constitutional Amendments are changes to the actual wording of the Constitution.

Because these amendments change the union’s basic structure or administration, they require approval by 2/3 of the voting delegates.

Every year, locals submit some resolutions without realizing they require changes to the Constitution. Such resolutions are treated as constitutional amendments and require approval by a 2/3 majority. Before you submit a resolution, make sure it doesn’t require constitutional change. If it does, submit a constitutional amendment instead.

Contract demands are not allowed!

No one would want delegates from other bargaining units voting on your negotiating proposals. You and your delegates set specific contract demands at your own demand-setting meetings. Contract proposals will NOT be accepted as resolutions and will be returned to the sender.

However, general bargaining goals for the union as a whole are permitted as resolutions. Many have already been adopted by previous conventions, and are in the Policy Manual. Look at them before you decide whether a new resolution is needed. If they are already OPSEU policy, they won’t be accepted.

Human rights review

All resolutions or amendments submitted must pass a review to see whether or not they conform to human rights policy and legislation. This requirement is set out by the Executive Board.

OPSEU/SEFPO’s Equity Unit will review submissions and report back in writing to the appropriate Committees and the Executive Board. If the Executive Board decides to remove a submitted resolution or constitutional amendment for presentation to Convention, the submitting bodies will be immediately informed of that decision.

Who can submit resolutions and amendments?

Only locals, ministry or sector divisional meetings, area councils, the Executive Board and any Provincial Committee as per Article 19 of the Constitution can submit them. Individual members cannot. This ensures that any proposal has a substantial amount of member support behind it before it gets to the convention floor.

What conditions must be met?

ALL the following conditions must be met before a resolution or amendment can be accepted. This is important because the convention must be sure that the proposals reflect the true wishes of the submitting body:

  1. Resolutions or amendments must NOT simply mirror existing policy, and they must NOT be specific contract proposals.
  1. They must be passed by a majority (more than 50 per cent) of those voting at a General Membership Meeting of the local, or at a meeting of a Ministry or Sector division, area council, or a Provincial Committee meeting or the Executive Board.

  1. Each proposed resolution or amendment must be signed by two (2) officers of the submitting body. OPSEU/SEFPO recommends that you use the official forms enclosed with this letter. There are spaces at the bottom for the two (2) required signatures. Extra copies of these forms are available on the OPSEU website. NOTE: If, despite this recommendation, you prefer to send in a list of your proposals, remember to sign after each proposal (not just at the end).

The proposals must be accompanied by signed minutes of the local General Membership Meeting, Ministry or Sector divisional meeting or area council meeting, or a Provincial Committee meeting or Executive Board meeting at which they were adopted. The minutes must be signed by the same two (2) officers of the submitting body.

  1. The minutes must contain evidence that a quorum was present.
  1. The minutes must show that each resolution or amendment was presented and voted upon separately.
  1. Except for those submitted by the Executive Board, they must reach OPSEU Head Office by 11:59 p.m., March 11, 2024 (see below).

What happens if these conditions are not met?

The proposal will be returned to the submitting body. It will not be included in delegates’ kits, and it will not be on the Convention agenda. However, provided that a proposal is received by the deadline, any technical defects brought to the attention of the submitting body by the respective Committee can be corrected prior to the printing deadline of the resolutions and amendments books.

What’s the proper format?

Resolutions and amendments should be in two parts:

  1. One or more “Whereas” clauses, explaining why the proposal is being made; (e.g. from 2013 Convention: Whereas both the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Conservative Party have recently take steps towards “Right to Work” style legislation; and Whereas this misleading named ideology has already been implemented and is negatively impacting the lives of working people in twenty- four U.S.A. state today)
  1. One or more “Therefore be it resolved” clauses, i.e., the proposal itself, which is what the Convention actually votes on; (e.g. Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU/SEFPO create a campaign for the membership and the public about the impacts of “Right to Work” legislation.)

Don’t mix up several topics in one resolution or amendment. Remember: one topic per resolution, one resolution per form.

Where do they go?

Address your proposals as follows:


Constitutional Amendments

Resolutions and constitutional amendments will be accepted at OPSEU/SEFPO Head Office up to 11:59 P.M., March 11, 2024 and no later!

If you mail your proposals, allow enough time for them to reach Head Office, Attn: Resolutions Committee OR Constitution Committee, by the deadline. We are not responsible for delays in the mail.

If you leave a proposal at your Regional Office, remember it still must reach Head Office by the deadline. Check with Regional Staff to see how much earlier the proposal must reach the Regional Office in order to meet the Head Office deadline.

Faxing rules

If you wish, you may also FAX your proposals. Note the following rules:

  1. All FAXES must be sent to the designated FAX numbers shown above. FAXES sent to any other number will be disallowed.
  1. All FAXES must be received at Head Office by the deadline of 11:59 p.m., March 11, 2024. Keep a copy of your dated and timed confirmation sheet as proof of submission.
  1. FAXED proposals are subject to the same rules (see page 2) as proposals submitted personally or by mail.

E-mail rules

Resolutions may be received via email in the form of scanned pdf documents attached to the email. It’s appreciated if attached documents are received in Word/or Word compatible files. All rules set out regarding appropriate signatures, meetings minutes etc. will apply to scanned documents, which are treated as hard-copy originals.

When submitting in this manner, the following normal requirements for signed submissions must still be met:

  • Received by deadline, 11:59 p.m., March 11, 2024
  • Signed by two officers
  • Minutes (signed by same two officers)
  • Evidence of quorum (reflected in minutes sign-in sheet, number of members in local)
  • Separate votes on each resolution and amendment.

It is important to complete each form including the telephone number and email address of the submitting body in order that the Committee can obtain clarification if required.