From 1 November 2022, there will be one single membership category. This won’t change how memberships are processed for the upcoming membership year, so renewals and new applications will proceed as normal. However, over the next 10 months, updates and amendments will be introduced as required.

The constitution, specifically the version amended in May 2022, is due to be submitted for approval to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). A copy of the constitution will also be shared with all branches and posted on our website as soon as it is finalised.

The 2022 amended version will take account of the changes required with respect to single category membership, including eligibility to hold an office bearer post within a branch and attend conference for 2023. More information on this will be provided to branch committees directly in the near future.

Secondly, amendments have been agreed to the One Member One Vote policy. As of the last four years, all members have the right to vote and for their voice to be heard at conference. Ahead of 2023, the following changes will be introduced:

  • Members are no longer required to register their intent to vote by March each year.
  • Branches will confirm with all members directly whether they wish to vote in 2023.
  • All motions/proposals will be circulated to branch secretaries at least eight weeks before conference in March 2023.
  • Branch committees will be required to engage with their members to discuss the motions/proposals and to take a vote before the required deadline.
  • All branches will then submit to Head Office how their members have voted on each motion/proposal so the full membership vote can be counted ahead of conference.
  • The deadline for branches to confirm their membership vote will be 19 May 2023.

It is hoped that this change will ensure that no member misses out on being able to vote if they forget the deadline to register, or if they have issues with the online portal or postal service. There should be no barriers to any members being able to cast their vote and the administration of the process will sit with the branch committee to ensure full engagement with their membership.

We will continue to provide guidance and updates to all branch office bearers in the regular bulletins. And we would encourage all members to regularly engage with their branch committee and attend meetings so you can fully participate in this democratic process.