We're pleased to announce that Affinity Credit Union members have voted in favour of amendments to the credit union bylaws that allow us to make some exciting changes to our governance model.
Members voted on a special resolution to enable changes to the governance model at our Annual General Meeting held on April 19, 2017. The meeting was held in Saskatoon and streamed live to 10 locations across the province. 94% of members who voted supported the changes which exceeded the 75% required by the Credit Union Act.
As these changes are implemented throughout 2017 and 2018 we'll continue to keep you informed.
What's not changing?
Affinity Credit Union remains committed to our diverse and unique governance structure which connects our member owners to our co-operative roots.
Affinity's members across the province are grouped into Districts (clusters of members in a geographical area). Each District is represented by a District Council which is elected by our member-owners. Each District Council then elects one or more Directors to the Affinity Board of Directors based upon the number of members within their District.
In order to enhance member engagement and representation in the governance of the credit union, we're making a change to the District structure. This means a reorganization of the Districts, merging some and making member distribution more equitable. The result is a change from 12 to 9 Districts.
Each District will continue to be represented by Delegates but with some key changes. Delegates will be at-large meaning they will be elected by all members within their District, regardless of their location.
The formulas used to calculate the number of Delegates or Directors for each District is also changing which will result in a reduction in the number of elected officials. We currently have 123 Delegate positions. Under the new structure, there will be 73. We're also making a change from 22 to 12 Board Directors. Each District will be represented by at least seven Delegates and one Director.
What does the new District structure look like?
Under the new structure, members will fall within one of these Districts based on their principal residence addresses (i.e. their postal codes). Currently, members are part of a District based on their principal residence addresses and the branch where they conduct most of their business.
Why is it better?
The new structure will be more efficient and effective to meet the needs of our members and the credit union now and into the future.
The new model is more inclusive and makes it possible for more of our members to qualify to become Delegates. The changes allow more members to vote in the Delegate election process than in the current structure and increases opportunities for members to get involved with the credit union.
Why make changes?
There are implications that support the proposed changes to the governance model.
Currently, members are elected based on their principle residence and the branch where they conduct most of their business – also called their branch of activity (BOA) – but many members do their banking business wherever it's convenient and don't necessarily associate themselves with a specific branch.
We currently have Delegates representing closed branches. In the new model, they are no longer eligible to represent that community.
Voting in Delegate elections is currently limited to the Delegate representing your branch which limits your member engagement. In the new model, all members in the District will vote for all of their Delegates.
We estimate cost savings in the new model of approximately 20 to 25% on the annual governance budget.
When will the change take place?
The new structure will be implemented starting in 2018.
How will the change happen?
All Delegate terms in all Districts will collectively expire in 2018 prompting Delegate elections in the newly-formed Districts. The exception will be District 9, the Indigenous District which appoints Delegates using First Nations Band Council Resolutions. Their Delegate terms will continue unchanged.
Where can I find more information?