Co-operatives UK has opened nominations for its board and worker co‑op council elections.
The sector body for co-ops in the UK, which works to “promote, develop and unite member-owned business”, elects directors on rolling three year cycles, staggered so there is at least one board election each year. The board is elected by and from its membership, drawn from different constituencies of members, to provide a balance of experience and knowledge.
“A board with the appropriate balance of skills, experience, independence and knowledge of the co-operative is key to an organisation’s ongoing success,” said membership manager John Atherton.
“This is true for Co-operatives UK just as much as it’s true for those businesses that form our membership – and that’s why we’re encouraging our members to submit nominations.
“This is an opportunity to help ensure we have an effective board and one that’s diverse. We’re talking about diversity in the wider sense here, so in terms of experience and thought as well as other measures like gender and ethnicity.
“Ultimately, it’s in our members’ best interests for Co-operatives UK to have an effective board and we know there’s a wealth of talented people out there. We’d love to see strong candidates in contested elections across each of the categories in which we have seats available.”
The board comprises 19 members, including six appointed by the Co-op Group, one each appointed by Central England Co-operative and Midcounties Co-operative, and two appointed by the worker co-op council. All other regional and sectoral seats are determined through elections.
The 2017 election will contest five categories of membership: consumer-owned; federations (federals); mixed ownership; enterprise-owned; and retail consumer. Candidates can only be nominated for election or appointment by an organisation that is a fully paid-up current member of Co-operatives UK, and must meet the eligibility criteria.
An annual fee of £1,550 is paid to directors who do not receive an allowance for attending Co-operatives UK meetings from any other source.
Four seats are also available for the worker co-op council, a representative body within Co-operatives UK, elected by and from worker co-op members. The council nominates two of its members on to the board of Co-operatives UK. There are seven places on the Council with members standing for two years.
The Council has three main purposes: to act as the focal point for all forms of worker co-op and employee trust owned members of Co-operatives UK and to facilitate networking and information sharing; to be the sounding board for issues and how they affect such members, and assist in the development of Co-operatives UK policy in these areas; and to assist and advise Co-operatives UK’s team in recruiting and engaging these businesses, and designing programmes and services that meet their needs.
“This is the body that brought you the Worker Solidarity Fund and Worker Co-op Weekend,” said Mr Atherton. “It’s also an influencer and sounding board for Co-operatives UK’s policy work . We’re calling on worker co-operative members to put forward their candidates.”
- Nomination forms must be received back by 13 April 2017. If elections are contested, voting will open on 2 May and close on 19 June. The election results will then be announced on 23 June. For more information and election resources, click here.