ILCA voting members will be sent an email on 24 June 2014, with a link to a secure on-line ballot to vote on changes to the organization’s bylaws. The balloting will be open 24 June – 6 July 2014.
The ILCA Board of Directors supports the proposed changes. Voting ILCA members are encouraged to make an informed decision after thoughtful consideration of the issues.
Didn’t I just do this?
Yes! However, the bylaws portion of the recent ballot has been called into question. The ILCA Board has called for a new vote, on the bylaws alone.
How is this ballot different?
ILCA has re-formatted the ballot, allowing bylaws elements to be voted on by section (instead of all-or-none). We are using a different election platform to assure one-member-one-vote. Vote carefully: Once your vote is cast, it cannot be changed or cancelled.
How will I know my vote counts this time?
ILCA members are urged to confirm that their Profile on the secure Members Only portion of the ILCA website has their current email and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® ( IBCLC®) certification status. A 16 June 2014 listserv, and 17 June 2014 Lactation Matters blog, describe the detailed steps.
If a dues-paid, IBCLC-certified ILCA member does not receive an email on 24 June 2014 containing a link to the new ballot, please contact the ILCA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org (or) 1+ 919-861-5577 (or) 888-452-2478. Our ILCA staff are eager to make sure members receive a ballot so their votes can be counted.
Are the bylaws changes proposed in this new ballot different from in the last one?
No. The proposed 2014 amendments to the ILCA bylaws remain the same. Only the ballot itself is different. It now allows members to vote on bylaws in sections, instead of all-or-none.
I’m an auditory learner! Where can I learn about all these bylaws changes?
This 10 minute recorded webinar will explain the ILCA Board’s reasoning for the proposed changes to the bylaws, for those who prefer to hear (rather than read) about the amendments.
I love the printed word. What should I read?
This document shows the Proposed 2014 ILCA bylaws, providing “tracked changes” to the 2007 bylaws. It lets you compare the old version with the new. The document also summarizes all the changes, and the Board’s rationale for each, section-by-section.
Can I discuss this with my colleagues before I vote?
Please do! This ILCA Lactation Matters blog, and other social media venues, have allowed shared and vibrant conversation about ILCA’s governance! Use the comments section below. Be certain of your position before you vote: You cannot change or cancel your vote once it is cast.
Ballot Vote No. 1: Why does the ILCA Board support a “representative board?”
The new bylaws create a board of directors designed to fairly represent the interests of its diverse international membership. ILCA must meet the needs of its 5400 individual members around the world, without giving any one geographic region more decision-making weight. Board directorships are guaranteed to be held by someone who represents each of the Partner (Tier 1) Affiliates (Partner Affiliates: Canadian Lactation Consultant Association, CLCA, Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand, LCANZ, and the United States Lactation Consultant Association, USLCA). But there is also a seat to be held by a director who is not from those regions.
This matrix of autonomously-governed organizations is a unique model, developed after extensive discussion between ILCA, CLCA, LCANZ and USLCA. We envision a better-defined operational and financial relationship between these organizations, without compromising individual ILCA member benefits and resources. The representative board is an important element of our collaboration going forward.
The ILCA Board supports this amendment because the bylaws must be changed to allow for a representative board to be guaranteed in ILCA’s governance.
Ballot Vote No. 2: Why does the ILCA Board support changes to directors’ selection and term limits?
The old and new bylaws are the same on certain key elements: All Directors of ILCA must be IBCLC-certified. All directors have a legal duty to uphold the Purposes of ILCA: To provide leadership, advocacy, professional development and research for the IBCLC profession.
Under the revised bylaws, terms for Board members are clearly defined to end after two terms (whether originally appointed or elected). Any Director who is invited for a second term would require ratification by member vote to retain office. The President-designate would also need member vote ratification before taking office.
The ILCA Board supports this amendment because it infuses new leadership on a faster track. It requires members to periodically affirm their support of the leaders in office. This reduces the “disconnect” between the elected board and the members whose interests they are to uphold.
Ballot Vote No. 3: Why does the ILCA Board support giving voting powers to all dues-paying ILCA matters?
ILCA members have power to vote to (1) elect Directors, (2) ratify bylaws changes, and (3) make motions at the Annual General Meeting.
Since 1985, ILCA has invited open membership, to anyone who supports our mission (“ILCA Mission: To advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research”). From 1985-2007, any dues-paying ILCA member could vote.
In 2007 voting rights were confined to IBCLC-only members, to demonstrate strong ILCA advocacy for the IBCLC. Yet, in 2014, ILCA’s IBCLC-promoting mission faces increased threat from external economic, political and governmental influences. Our mission is not undermined by internal member-voters, who elect IBCLC-credentialed Directors who are legally-bound to uphold ILCA’s IBCLC-promoting purpose.
Undeniably, demographics of ILCA membership, and the pathways of entry into our profession as a whole, show significant race- income- and geographic-based barriers. ILCA’s Strategic Plan seeks to increase diversity by creating meaningful, accessible entry into the profession, and our professional association. A 27 July 2014 Lactation Summit Addressing Inequities within the Lactation Consultant Profession (co-hosted by LEAARC, ILCA and IBLCE) will commence a top-to-bottom look at how to increase diversity, and enhance equity for IBCLCs.
Right now, those who are actively seeking IBCLC certification do not have a professional “home.” The burden falls to the individual to cobble together education and training that will be acceptable to meet pathway requirements of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. ILCA wants to attract, and keep, these members, who will otherwise turn to competing organizations for education and support. ILCA’s international role has always been: Serve current IBCLCs, and engage and help others who believe in our work, and want to become a part of our profession.
Inclusion will propel this profession into growth and sustainability. To address the challenges of current members, and generations of IBCLCs to come, there must be an invited and equitable voice by those in our association. Inclusion assumes full acceptance; in a membership organization, that includes voting rights.
The ILCA Board supports this amendment to giving voting rights to all dues-paying members as means to increase diversity and enhance equity.
Ballot Vote No. 4: Why does the ILCA Board support all these other little edits?
Any bylaw amendment, no matter how small and non-controversial, requires member vote in support. There are several such changes that we have “saved up” for the next bylaws vote, which is now, in 2014.
The ILCA Board supports changes that will correct typographical errors and provide consistency of language.
I have a question, and a few comments!
Excellent! Please use the comments section in this blog to tell us what you think, or to seek more information before you vote (if you are a current ILCA voting member).
Thank you for your membership, and for helping to build a better ILCA!