During 1-15 June 2014, International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) voting members will be asked to vote to change the organization’s bylaws.
The ILCA Board of Directors supports the proposed changes, and encourages members to vote YES on their on-line ballot (the link to which was sent to ILCA members, via email listserv).
Why do ILCA’s bylaws have to be changed?
ILCA’s bylaws were last amended in 2007. They are an important part of ILCA’s structure and governance. Along with the Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan, they are the blueprint for defining the policy and strategic direction of our professional association. The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) faces new challenges in 2014 in the clinical, educational, professional development, advocacy and reimbursement arenas. The professional association should adapt to meet evolving needs of its members.
Any change to the Bylaws requires a vote of the members. The proposed revisions are explained step-by-step here, in ILCA Bylaws OUTLINED. Click here on the 2014 Bylaws Changes ACCEPTED to read a draft “clean” version of the bylaws with all changes incorporated. The major changes are outlined below.
What is an ILCA “representative board?”
The new bylaws create a board of directors that more fairly represents the interests of its diverse membership. It allows ILCA to meet member needs around the world, without giving any one geographic region more decision-making weight.
ILCA is comprised of individual members: Each of us around the world joins as a single member; each of us enjoys the same benefits of ILCA membership. ILCA also has an innovative affiliation model, whereby members who live in the regions where a Partner (Tier 1) Affiliate (Partner Affiliate) has been established are automatically given joint membership in both organizations. ILCA provides extra operations and services to the Partner Affiliates: Canadian Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA), Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ), and the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA).
Each Partner Affiliate maintains autonomy to develop policy and advocacy within their region. Over the past 18 months, an extensive collaborative effort by ILCA, CLCA, LCANZ and USLCA reviewed the ILCA-Partner Affiliate relationship, to find the best way to meet member needs with better-defined operational and financial relationships between organizations.
The reconfigured ILCA Board assures one ILCA Board seat (with full director rights and responsibilities) is designated to be filled by each Partner Affiliate. Also, one seat elected by all voting members (also with full rights and responsibilities) is to be held by a person from any country that is not a Partner Affiliate. The rest of the ILCA Board seats are elected by all voting members and may come from any country.
To offer an example: A future ILCA Board would be comprised of 3 directors from the 3 Partner Affiliates, 1 director elected from a country with no Partner Affiliate, and 4 more directors elected at large, from any county, for a total of 8 directors. The changes will actually occur as current ILCA Board members rotate off the Board, and openings arise.
How does changing voting power change ILCA?
Leadership positions on the ILCA Board and Committees require IBCLC certification, but ILCA membership has always been open to anyone who supports our primary activities of education, professional development and advocacy for the IBCLC. But the demographics of ILCA membership, and the pathways of entry into our profession, show there are 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. We can be the “professional home” for those who support our work, and hope to join our IBCLC ranks.
Members with the power to vote have a vested interest in the future of the organization and should have the right to vote. Thus, the suggested bylaws provide voting rights to all dues-paying ILCA members.
Why change the directors’ term limits?
New voices, new leadership, and different experiences maintain the vitality of a professional association. Under the revised bylaws, terms for Board members are clearly defined to end after two terms (whether originally attained by appointment or election). This increases opportunities for members to move up through the organization into leadership; this provides for fresh perspectives in setting new policies and strategic goals.
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!
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