At a special general meeting on Friday 17th June 2016 (1.00pm) in Wakefield, members of the Co-operative Press supported a rule change to link subscription of the publication [Co-operative News magazine and website] to membership of the society. This change is part of our membership strategy to ensure the Press is fully linked to its members.
We want the Press to be a fully member-led co-operative. Our readers should be our members, and those members should have the chance to help shape the editorial content and strategic direction. After all, our readers are experts in co-operatives in many different ways and we want to ensure we are entirely representative of the movement we serve. We also believe that strength is in numbers and with an increase in the number of voices supporting the Press from around the world, we can be better at what we do. Plus, the financial sustainability of the society will be more secure with a more accessible membership.
What is the change?
- We have added a condition to the rules that allows a person or organisation to become a member once they have agreed to pay for a subscription
- There is also an addition that says a membership shall lapse if no payment has been received within three months of it being due
- The share capital of the Press is set at £1, which was previously £10.
What does the membership look like?
- To become a member, individuals or corporates will join for a minimum fee of £2.50 per month / £30 per year, which will include a digital subscription and member benefits.
- If a member pays more than £5.00 per month / £60 per year then they can also opt to receive the printed magazine (international members need to pay £4 per month extra for postage)
What will members receive?
- A digital subscription to Co-operative News, which includes advanced access to research/long-read articles and a special member newsletter.
- A vote in the co-operative; the right to attend meetings
- The right to stand for election to the Co-operative Press board
- A quarterly newsletter from the board, plus access to an overview/minutes from board meetings
- The opportunity to take part in online discussions/votes to decide future content in the publication
- Invitation to events / member meet-ups
- Special offers from other co-operatives
- Receive the print edition when the membership subscription is more than £54 a year.
How does this change affect members prior to the rule change?
Current members will be given an automatic 12-month digital subscription.
How will be my shareholding be affected?
The above subscription offer does not affect your shareholding in Co-operative Press. This offer has been made to all members to thank you for your support and to ensure you receive the same benefits as subscriber-members, should the proposal be successful.
Shares in Co-operative Press are still non-withdrawable and you will still hold the same amount as noted in your shareholder statement.
Will I still be a member?
There will be a transition period based on your shareholding. But after that, you will be asked to pay a subscription to remain a member of Co-operative Press.