Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pension Matters. Open letter to the AFICS/NY President and Governing Board: Your attention, please. (17 September 2015)

Dear Madam President and Governing Board,

I am writing to request your attention to two outstanding matters related to the AFICS By-Laws and inquire about any action that you and the Governing Board have taken or intend to take.

The first matter concerns elections to the Governing Board required under AFICS By-Laws as follows:  

“Article V. The Governing Board.  4.  The Governing Board shall be convened by the retiring President as soon as possible after the annual meeting of the Assembly. It shall at its first meeting elect from its membership a President, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Deputy Secretary and a Deputy Treasurer.”

You may recall that the annual meeting was held on 4 June 2015.

The second matter concerns the meeting requested by 82 members under the AFICS By-Laws as follows: 

“Article IV. The Assembly.  3.  The Governing Board may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly, and shall do so upon receipt of a written request from at least fifty members of the Association. Notice of the time, place and agenda of the extraordinary meeting shall be sent to all members of the Association not less than fourteen days in advance of the meeting.”

You may recall that a request for such a meeting was made on 12 June 2015 by 82 members under the AFICS By-Laws. You may also recall your responses to our subsequent communications (excerpts provided below):

23 June 2015: “The Governing Board has not set a prospective date for the requested extraordinary meeting. Once all of the practical and legal constraints have been satisfied, it will be in a position to determine a specific date and formal agenda.“

25 June:  “We are in receipt of your communication of 24 June 2015. First, let me reassure you that the AFICS/NY Governing Board has not refused to hold an extraordinary meeting and regret that this appears to be your impression. We already shared with you the critical practical constraints and the existence of possible legal issues with respect to the logistics and timing of any extraordinary meeting in July, and this has not changed.”

2 July: “First, the AFICS/NY Governing Board is well aware of its obligation under the By-Laws to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly when requested in writing by at least fifty members, but also notes that the By-Laws do not impose a specific time-frame in this regard.”

9 July: “AFICS/NY is pleased that high level UN officials have decided to settle the issue by not moving ahead now on their own proposals. It vindicates our position which is that the MoU did not require the involvement of retirees and should be left to those directly responsible to resolve. So, while we had indeed initiated making arrangements for an extraordinary meeting of an AFICS/NY Assembly, we consider in light of the above information that the element of urgency to organize it has been removed. AFICS/NY can now plan a meeting that is properly prepared and not rushed, one that would permit the maximum participation of members with enough lead time to encourage attendance that is representative of the membership at large.”

So far, there has been no indication of what constitutes “as soon as possible’ in the minds of the AFICS/NY President and Governing Board with regard to their obligation under the By-Laws for election of officers to the Board, given that the annual meeting was held on 4 June 2015, more than three months ago.

Equally, there has been no clear indication  of what constitutes “enough lead time” for the AFICS leadership to address “critical practical constraints” and “possible legal issues” in order to fulfill its obligation to convene the meeting requested on 12 June 2015 under the By-Laws, also more than three months ago.

I look forward with appreciation to any information that you may provide on these outstanding matters under the AFICS By-Laws and thank you for your attention. 

Loraine Rickard-Martin

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