Policies & Procedures (2005)
Proposal Revision of Green Pages Editorial Board Policies Procedures — Amended
Presenter Green Pages Editorial Board
Floor Manager Greg Gerritt
Discussion 04/25/2005 – 05/15/2005
Voting 05/16/2005 – 05/22/2005
Presens Quorum 32 0.6666
Consens Quorum 37 A Majority of Yes and No Votes
The Bylaws, Procedures, Policies & Rules Committee has called for all committees to provide policies and procedures documents for submission to the National Committee. The Green Pages Editorial Board is a skills-based group that has successfully produced the Green Party’s newspaper for years without formal procedures, although an editorial policy was submitted to and approved by the NC in 2003. Recent events made it clear that the BRPP’s call of a year ago was a wise one, and that the board could not continue to operate on informal procedures only. In addition to a detailed section on approval, conduct, and removal of members (the Edit Board will modify these P&Ps in accordance with NC guidelines once the BRPP’s proposal is approved), we have codified all of our other policies and procedures as well. Our P&Ps have been submitted to BRPP, and reflect their comments and suggestions.
Green Pages Editorial Board: Policies and Procedures
b. Provisional status
c. Transferring membership to a different state
d. Definition of active and inactive members
1. Active member
2. Inactive member
3. Leave of absence
5. Responsibilities, Appropriate Conduct, and Censure
b. Appropriate conduct
6. Resignations, Grounds for Removal, Removal Process, and Appeals
c. Grounds for removal
d. Removal process
e. Appeal process
a. Consensus procedures
b. Conduct of meetings
c. Selection of contributions
3. Grievance procedures
a. For contributors
b. For board members
1. Netiquette guidelines
2. Consensus procedure
3. Minutes and the role of the minute taker
Mission and Editorial Policy
Note: Sections I and II were approved by the Coordinating Committee May 19, 2003 in the proposal, Reorganization of Green Pages / Editorial Board. They are presented here for organizational continuity and as reference. One paragraph has been added to codify the use of “editorial,” and another paragraph has been added to the end to more fully address the issue of copyright and fair use of submitted materials.
I. Mission statement:
Green Pages is the official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States (GP-US). Its primary purpose is to address the needs of the Green Party, its members and its organizations on the national, state, and local levels. Coverage will focus on news of the Green Party and news affecting Green parties. Green Pages will share successes of the party and information to make the party stronger. Secondarily, Green Pages will provide a credible information vehicle for communication and alliance building with media, academics and social movements.
Each issue of Green Pages will draw content from among the following categories:
- News: Timely reporting on electoral activities, including summary information and targeted coverage of campaigns of particular interest to Greens around the country; internal proceedings of the GPUS Coordinating Committee, Steering Committee and standing committees; state Green Party activities; international Green Party activities; Green participation in larger coalition efforts; and other news of particular interest to party members and supporters
- Features: In-depth objective coverage of broader issues and themes of particular relevance to the current state of the party at the time of publication, i.e. electoral reform issues, the experiences of Greens holding elected office or Green participation in activist movements
- Data: Lists, diagrams and charts representing information useful to Greens including but not limited to election results, Greens holding elected office, contact information for state Green parties, ballot access and voter registration updates and financial information from the national party
- Analysis: Disinterested commentary by qualified writers dissecting in depth particular campaigns or other pressing issues, a greater understanding of which the Editorial Board deems will greatly benefit the party (all analysis must either appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Analysis” logo)
- Reviews: Overviews and evaluations of books and other publications directly concerning the Green Party (all reviews must appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Review” logo)
- Opinions: Argumentative articles taking a position on a particular issue affecting the direction of the Green Party, advocating the party’s adoption of particular positions or using personal experiences to provoke thought in readers, including letters to the editor (all opinions must appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Commentary” logo)
- Editorials: Green Pages will not publish signed or unsigned pieces labeled “editorial” if they are intended to represent the opinion of one or all members of the editorial board. The use of the label “editorial” will be restricted to reflect official positions of GP-US, and will require approval by the editorial board, at least three Steering Committee members, and one Platform Committee member. There should be a consensus of support from the editorial board and Steering and Platform Committees prior to publication. The Media Committee may be consulted for input during this process.
- Creative Work: Editorial cartoons, drawings and creative writing concerning issues of relevance to the Green Party and/or a Green/progressive perspective on current events (all creative work must appear on a marked Opinion page)
- Green Pages shall maintain a high journalistic standard. Green Pages will be of a quality so as to be journalistically credible to the average non-Green Party reader. Articles must be well researched, well written, relevant and timely. Fact checking and substantiation of claims are the responsibility of the writers. Opinion articles are not exempt from these expectations; broad statements of general opinion with no grounding in facts and objective observations are of no use in a professional-quality newspaper.
News and feature articles must not include personal observations, should not be written in a propagandistic style, should not use first- or second-person constructions and must present a balanced perspective on issues that are matters of dispute within the Green Party. Writers are under no obligation to give equal weight to the points of view of people who do not support the Green Party generally, although doing so may be useful in some circumstances. As a general rule, news and feature writers must approach their writing in a manner that presents an appearance of objectivity within a contextual common understanding of general support for the Green Party.
When the number of opinion pieces or letters to the editor submitted exceeds the space budgeted for such material, members of the Editorial Board shall rank the submitted materials in order of preference for publication on the basis of criteria of relevance, timeliness, research quality, writing quality and diversity. The editor shall select pieces for inclusion on the basis of these rankings. The Editorial Board reserves the right to edit opinion pieces for length, writing style and clarity, and when substantive changes are made, writers must be given the opportunity to review the changes and approve or reject publication of edited versions.
In all sections of the paper, including photographs, the Editorial Board shall strive for balanced representation of the diversity of Greens on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and disability, including coverage of issues of particular importance to underrepresented groups along the above lines.
Contributors will retain copyright over their work with an understanding that the Editorial Board, representing the GPUS, is licensing it for a one-time publication rights as part of the issue of Green Pages in question.
Green Pages retains nonexclusive rights to publish submissions in other official GP-US publications, such as the Green Pages’ website, the Green Line e-newsletter, or other outreach materials, unless the contributor states that the contribution may only be published in the traditional paper version of Green Pages (or any other publications). The contributor retains copyright and may republish the work elsewhere; in this case, the contributor is asked to include this statement: “This [article/review/photograph/etc] was originally published in [the issue/year] edition of Green Pages, the national newspaper of the Green Party of the United States.” If work has been published previously, it is the responsibility of the contributor to make sure that he or she retains copyright and are at liberty to resubmit the work to Green Pages.
The Green Pages editorial board is a skills-based, working board dedicated to the production of Green Pages, a print and Web publication of the Green Party of the United States. The board’s work requires a group of people versed in the production of an on-line and print publication. Members must possess strong skills in one or more of the following areas: writing, editing, layout and/or design, publication project management, printing, or journalism. While the board members are usually working editors, designers, publishers, or journalists or have related experience such as having taught college-level writing courses, professional background in these areas is not required. No candidate who is registered with another party other than Greens, where Green registration is available, will be considered.
Prospective members should provide information on their Green affiliation, skills, and background to the board, via the co-chairs. A résumé, curriculum vitae, or website URL with work samples is helpful, but not required.
Technical skills: The board communicates via e-mail and phone conferences; thus, familiarity with computers and access to e-mail is required. Familiarity with software programs such as a word processing program like MS Word, and/or a layout program such as Quark ExPress or Adobe InDesign, is also necessary. Familiarity with website editing, publishing programs, or graphics editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator is also useful, but not required.
Editorial Board: The editorial board works as a production team, in a cooperative, job-focused manner and is responsible for the editorial content and production of the newspaper of the Green Party of the United States
While individual board members may play different roles or (frequently) more than one role for different issues of Green Pages, the roles defined in this document are themselves intrinsic to the production process and do not vary. They should not be confused with permanent positions; one person may fulfill several roles or parts of roles, changing roles from issue to issue. (For example, the person working as acquisitions editor for state reports may also serve as the section editor before sending the text to the copy editor.) Each role is integral to ensuring the production of a high quality publication. Editorial Board members must be able to work together as a team to shape editorial policy for the newspaper and provide the GP-US with a publication to inform the general public and our members of the activities and accomplishments. All content must be developed, accepted, edited, and laid out on an impartial basis, using journalistic standards of objectivity to determine newsworthiness and furtherance of the Green cause as outlined in our mission statement, above.
Board Member: any person meeting the eligibility requirements who fulfills the responsibilities of membership to the Green Pages editorial board. Members, including those censured or in provisional status, have voting rights, unless serving as an observer or advisor. Below are listed the various roles and positions a member may fill. (See also Subsection 3, Membership, below.)
Advisors shall enjoy limited participation in committee deliberations. Advisors shall not be voting members, shall not formally introduce proposals, and shall represent neither the editorial board nor the Party. Advisors shall serve one-year terms and will be eligible for re-election. State parties shall be free to express objections to committees regarding specific advisors. Such objections shall be considered by committee members in their deliberations.
Observers approved by the editorial board may monitor the listserve activity but cannot participate in discussions or votes. Observers must apply for renewable one-year terms.
The editorial board may communicate with individual Greens on an as-needed basis on specific matters of mutual import.
Contributor: writes stories, poems, reports, op-eds, or other text; submits illustrations, editorial cartoons, or photographs. Ensures that contributions are sent to the board in a timely fashion. (Please note that historically the majority of our contributors are not on the editorial board.) Most board members write at least one article per issue, and most have contacts to recruit for reporting on additional stories.
Managing Editor: coordinates production, from acquisitions through printing. Facilitates workflow between members and stages of production. Proposes first drafts of production schedule and story lineup to board. Posts calls for unsolicited materials regularly on appropriate listserves, and sends timely reminders to contributors about their assignments. The ME: edits and proofs stories, reports, captions, ensures that submissions conform to the Green Pages style guide; assists writers with questions and facilitates substantive revisions when necessary; does initial copyedit; provides Copy Editor with all edited pieces in a timely fashion for final edit before layout; proofs final pages; and other related duties in the job normally associated with ME.
Acquisitions Editor (assignment editor): solicits content from potential contributors for Green Pages, based on story lineup, set sections (such as reports, op-eds, etc.), and breaking news; ensures that contributors include all necessary information (including captions, credits, contact information, etc.) and are informed of deadlines and the editorial policy. Ensures that content is sent to Copy Editor in a timely fashion.
Copy Editor: reviews all edited content for redundancy, typographical errors, etc.; conducts final edit and forwards all content to production editor in a timely fashion.
Copy Editor finds and fixes spelling, style, grammar and punctuation. Checks on accuracy of reporting, fact checks and immediately asks for answers to any questions poised by contributions. The Copy Editor will initially construct and consult on all headlines and drop quotes and ensuing changes to ensure accuracy.
Photo Editor: acquires photos, assigns photo beats and stories, gets credits and captions, and ensures that they are ready for production and for web.
Design and Production Editor: lays out paper and proofs; sends to board for final proof; acts as liaison with and sends final files to printer. Supplies editorial board with word count and space estimates for articles and sections prior to editing and final illustration selection. Edits for space, if necessary. Ensures that the publication is sent to printer in a timely fashion. Extracts final text files for use on website. Works directly with those filling the roles of Managing Editor, Photo Editor, and Copy Editor to ensure that all pieces are accounted for. The person fulfilling this role receives a stipend for their work. (See Production Editor position, below.)
Marketing and Distribution Coordinator: Is responsible to contacts member states for bundle orders, coordinate distribution with the national office staff and/or the printers. May also include other outreach to publicize Green Pages.
Web editor: prepares final files for use on website, sends to web manager for posting, or posts to website. Proofs html files for formatting, typographical errors, etc.
The board will elect from its voting membership officers and a production editor. See Section III, Functioning of the Board, 2: Voting, below.
Board Officers: The editorial board officers are comprised of the two co-chairs and the Design and Production Editor. The co-chairs serve two-year staggered terms, and set up meetings, agendas, serve as facilitators, and are responsible for managing the business of the board in its capacity as a part of the GP-US political structure. The co-chairs are responsible for answering e-mail directed to the board from the public, working on distribution, managing the listserve, acting as liaisons to the US-GP Steering Committee, and attending co-chair committee meetings.
Production Editor: The production editor works directly with those filling the roles of Managing Editor, Photo Editor, and Copy Editor to ensure that all pieces are accounted for, and with the printer to produce Green Pages. The production editor is expected to serve in this capacity for at least one year (not a formal term). (See Design and Production Editor, Role, above.)
a. Selection: Editorial Board members may be proposed for appointment to the editorial board in accordance with GP-US policy and procedure by a state, caucus, or network. New members shall be selected by the board, as per Article III of the GP-US bylaws, from those proposed by a state, caucus, or network; at the invitation of the board; or from volunteers. The respective state parties must approve all prospective members, in writing usually via e-mail, to the co-chairs. The board shall select new members by consensus, giving due consideration to the skills and commitment to high journalistic standards of the prospective member. Decisions about editorial board membership must be based on the merits of a prospective member’s demonstrated skills, expressed intents, and performance as a provisional member. If consensus cannot be reached, then approval shall require a two-thirds majority vote by the active membership of the board.
b.Provisional status: New members approved by the board are considered in provisional status for the first three months, or one issue, whichever is shorter. The editorial board and the provisional member can use this time to evaluate the new member’s strengths and weaknesses and determine suitability for a particular role and/or for continued membership. Members who have been formally reprimanded for inappropriate conduct, failure to fulfill their responsibilities, or other reasonable cause that could result in removal if continued, are also in provisional status. An established member may be placed in provisional status by a majority vote of the board.
c.Transferring membership to a different state: The Editorial Board is comprised of members whose chief duty is producing the GP-US newspaper; they may or may not include National Committee delegates. Editorial board members should contact their new state as soon as possible via e-mail when moving to a new state, and cc the board co-chairs, to seek approval for continued membership. A member who is awaiting such approval is in provisional status. Assuming a good-faith effort has been made within three months of the move, editorial board members will retain their voting rights in the interim.
d.Definition of active and inactive members:
1.Active member: Active members are defined as those members who have: posted to the listserve in the last three months, participated in a telephone conference call, or participated in producing the most recent issue, either in print or online. (See Voting, below).
2.Inactive member: A member who has done none of the actions listed above as evidence as active membership is considered inactive. A member who has been inactive for six months, or not participated for the two most recent issues is, effectively, no longer a working member and may be subject to removal from the board.
3.Leave of absence: Board members may request a leave of absence from the co-chairs for a stated period of time up to 12 months; upon confirmation of leave of absence by the co-chairs, this time will not be counted as inactivity.
Length of service: Board members do not have set term limits. The Green Pages editorial board requests a blanket waiver from the National Committee so that more than three members per state may serve on the editorial board. Advisors may participate on the listserve or phone conferences.
Roles are assigned on an issue-by-issue basis. Co-chairs serve two-year terms. The production editor is expected to serve in this role for one year. The production editor does not have a term, per se, and may resign or be replaced by the board. The position of production editor is a work-for-hire position and that person is responsible for all federal, state, local withholdings due in regards to compensation for work on the Green Pages.
5. Responsibilities, Appropriate Conduct, and Censure
a. Responsibilities: Editorial board members are expected to serve in any of the roles defined above and to devote a sufficient amount of time to get their tasks done. Once a task is accepted, the member is expected to finish it, or to find another who can take on the work and complete it by deadline. Members must be mindful of the timing of input during production and must strive to make comments during the scheduled stages of production. Members are expected to participate in votes and ranking of stories, to adhere to deadlines, both internal and external, as required for publication, and to participate in the production of every issue of Green Pages (See leave of absence, III.3.d.3). Members are expected to work to promote and improve Green Pages and refrain from conduct that is detrimental to the production of the newspaper.
b. Appropriate conduct: Members in good standing are expected to be active, working members of a production team. To that end, they are expected to fulfill membership responsibilities and work toward smooth functioning of production.
1.The listserve exists for the business of producing Green Pages; hence, posting that interferes with production cannot be tolerated.
2.Members of the editorial board’s listserve are expected to observe netiquette guidelines (see Appendix I), keep off-topic posts to a minimum, and immediately take any discussion off list if requested by another board member.
3.Members who consistently violate netiquette guidelines or whose posts during production prevent timely production may be temporarily removed or censured from the list.
c. Censure. The Board reserves the right to censure a board member by removal from the listserve if the member repeatedly violates appropriate conduct. Censure is considered a serious action.
1.A vote of the board should be held before a member is censured or permanently removed from the listserve. Grounds for censure should be documented and presented to the board for consideration prior to voting.
2.However, in an extreme situation, the board officers may temporarily remove a board member but must then immediately seek consensus, or two-thirds majority support for continuing such actions (i.e. removal or censure) from the full board.
3.All votes regarding censure or removal require a quorum of the board.
4.The offending board member will be allowed to stand in his/her own defense and cast a vote regarding removal or censure.
5.Removal or censure from the listserve may be short-term, long-term, or permanent, and each allegation will be judged individually and term of censure will be set by consensus of the board.
6.Two or more incidents of censure by the board will constitute grounds for permanent removal from the editorial board.
7.If and when GP-US creates or appoints a working judicial authority to review such matters, an appeal may be made to such authority.
6. Resignations, Grounds for Removal, Removal Process, and Appeals
At the time that these P&Ps were submitted, the BRPP was in the process of creating a proposal for removal procedures. Once such a proposal is approved by the National Committee, the Green Pages Editorial Board will modify these P&Ps in accordance with National Committee guidelines.
a. Resignations. Members may resign by sending a notice of resignation to one or both of the co-chairs via e-mail.
1.Resignations must be in writing, and should be copied to the member’s state party.
2.Members are enjoined not to time their resignation in the midst of production. All resignations will take effect after the current issue has gone to press, ensuring their portion of production has been completed and they remain available for questions.
b. Removal. Board members may be removed from the board for inactivity or for cause, by either the board or the state, in accordance with their procedures.
c. Grounds for removal include, but need not be limited to:
(i) Inactivity of six months, two issues, or longer
(ii) Misrepresentation of the policies or decisions of the editorial board to states, the CC, contributors, freelancers, printers, the public, or others with whom the board interacts
(iii) Falsification of content or distortion of facts in Green Pages
(v) Advocacy for a state or cause to an extent that is in disregard of journalistic objectivity within the context of the Green Pages mission.
(vi) Willful disregard of the Green Pages editorial policy.
(vii) Sustained or repeated disruption of production or other editorial board business (See Appendix 1)
(viii) Sustained or repeated disruptive use of the listserve for a personal agenda, non-board business, or repeated netiquette violations
(iv) Misrepresentation of skills or falsification of credentials.
(v) Sustained or repeated dishonesty, aggressive or violent behavior, or, in extreme cases, a single such action.
(vi) Repeated failure to meet deadlines that have an impact on the paper’s production process.
d. Removal process:
1.If consensus is not reached regarding the removal of a board member, a two-thirds majority of the active membership is sufficient to remove a member. Once this has been reached, the member in question may be temporarily removed from the listserve if the nature of the member’s e-mail postings is, in part or whole, the reason that they are being removed from the edit board.
2.Prior to actual removal from the masthead and from membership, the board or some portion thereof must first request resignation from the member.
3.In presenting such a request for resignation, the board or individual members must detail the reasoning, providing evidence of one or more of the above grounds for removal.
4.If the member in question declines to resign, then, as a courtesy, the board may request recall from the state.
5.If no response is received within one week of a good faith effort to contact the individual via e-mail and by a phone call, the board must send notice of removal to the state, or, as a courtesy, request recall.
6.Should the state refuse to recall its member, or fail to respond in a timely fashion, the board may then remove that member from the board, providing a statement outlining its reasons for doing so, with aforementioned evidence, notifying both the member and the appropriate state party contacts (i.e., state party chair, state party recording secretary, and the Secretary of the GP-US).
7.A member removed by a state may be retained, as an observer, contributor, or advisor to the board should the board so decide. Such a decision should be reached by consensus, or, failing that, two-thirds approval.
e. Appeal Process: After nine months the ex-member may appeal the decision of the board, or, after one and a half years, re-apply for membership. An appeal or reapplication should be made in writing and sent by e-mail to the co-chairs. The burden is on the ex-member to demonstrate why they should be reinstated. The board will review the appeal or reapplication and inform the ex-member of its decision within three month. If and when the GP-US identifies a working judicial authority to review such matters, an appeal will be made to such authority.
a. Work plan
The board may choose to produce an annual work plan for the year’s issues as a guideline for future story selection. The work plan will serve as a flexible outline, to be adapted as needed and as news breaks.
b. Work process
The board shall choose the working process that best suits its members, according to its work plan, availability of its members and the flow of work. Methods may include but are not limited to e-mail or ftp transfer of submissions with editing by assigned individuals; a cooperative online editing process such as used in wikis (for examples, see the Wikimedia sites); a hierarchical transfer process from contributor to editor to reviewer to layout to proofing; or other processes as the board sees fit.
Online voting takes place among the editorial board when a member submits an e-mail to the listserve with the subject line “Decision Item: XXX” (where XXX indicates the topic to be voted on). The default time to cast a vote, unless otherwise specified, is 48 hours, from official proposal of a motion or action. Voting may also take place via phone conferences; in this case, members who were not on the phone or who did not vote may also cast a vote on line within 48 hours from the beginning of the phone conference. The onus is on the members who were not on the phone call. Final tallies are taken from those votes or formal abstentions submitted. A quorum of one-half the active membership is required for voting on major decisions, that will have an impact on future issues of Green Pages, such as approval, removal, or censure of members; changes to the policies and procedures; or grievance decisions. For less significant matters that affect the timeliness of the production of an individual edition of Green Pages (such as editing the wording of a headline, page placement decisions, and usage debates), a quorum may not be necessary or practical, and simple majority voting will suffice. Abstentions, like yeas or nays, must be actively submitted. Nonparticipation in a vote does not constitute an abstention.
a. Consensus procedures (see Appendix II)
The editorial board shall at all times attempt to come to decisions by consensus, ranked voting (in the case of selecting contributions for publication), or by majority voting (simple majority when it is a timely editorial decision during production that affects only the particular page or issue of Green Pages; or two-thirds, if it is a major decision that will affect future issues as well), if consensus cannot be achieved.
b. Conduct of meetings
The Green Pages Board will strive for consensus, encouraging input from all members regarding important matters, but will operate by majority vote. All decisions by the Board will be made by each member in good standing present casting one vote with a majority of affirmative votes required for passage. A majority is defined as more than half the total votes cast.
During open discussions, all present are encouraged to participate in a respectful and supportive manner and are discouraged from speaking too long so that all may speak. The goal of a discussion is an open exchange of ideas without personal biases and criticism.
Board meetings will be conducted by an agreement seeking process, as follows. In this process, all items begin in consensus mode, with the facilitator seeking to weave the input into a unified body that gradually approaches consensus.
If, in calling for concerns, stand-asides, and blocks, consensus is not reached, the facilitator will make a second attempt, seeking to incorporate the concerns of the person(s) blocking. If in the second call there are still blocks, decision making will automatically shift to voting process for the remainder of the item. The item under consideration must pass by a simple majority in order to be adopted.
c. Selection of contributions
The editorial board strives for consensus when planning solicited content for Green Pages. Story ideas are generated via the listserve as well as on phone conference calls.
For unsolicited content (such as op-eds, letters to the editor, and political cartoons), ranked voting via e-mail is used. All submissions are listed in the order of receipt and edit board members list, by number, their preference. Normally the period of voting on these unsolicited contributions is at least five days, and is announced ahead of time.
3. Grievance procedures
A grievance is any dispute, controversy, or difference between the editorial board members, or between or among board members and/or contributors on any issue arising between the board and its members or contributors. Examples of grievances could include, but are not limited to: unfair treatment, discrimination, differences in opinion of editorial expectations, or failure to follow official rules, procedures, principles, deadlines, editorial policy, etc., of the board.
a. For contributors:
Contributors who have a grievance against the board or a board member concerning editorial decisions or editing of their contribution may present a formal written complaint to the board. Rejection of submissions alone is not sufficient grounds for complaint.
Further appeal must go through the complainant’s state delegation.
b. For board members:
1. The board member must present a formal written description of the grievance to the editorial board co-chairs or, in the case of a grievance against both co-chairs, the Steering Committee member in whose portfolio the Green Pages resides, within two weeks of the occurrence of the difficulty. Consideration of any grievance submitted later than two weeks from the date of the grievance shall not be given.
2. The board member shall discuss the written grievance with the co-chairs and the individual or individuals against whom the grievance has been filed within one week of its submission, or within one week of forwarding the paper to the printer. The co-chairs shall respond in writing within one week of this discussion.
3. If the grievance is not satisfactorily settled or if the co-chairs fail to respond within the allocated time after having received the grievance or after the discussion of the grievance, it shall be presented in writing to the Steering Committee (SC) member in whose portfolio the Green Pages resides, or to the Secretary of the GP-US if originally submitted to the SC portfolio holder. The SC member shall schedule a meeting with the member within two weeks of receipt of the grievance. Within one week of the meeting, the SC member shall provide a written decision on this grievance, or elect to refer the matter to the Dispute Resolution Committee.
4. If the problem remains undecided, the member, the editorial board, or the Steering Committee may request in writing a review of the matter by the Dispute Resolution Committee.
Any and all decisions made in accordance with the above provisions will be made to afford the grievant the opportunity to be heard by those not involved with the original decisions. In the event that a grievant has a dispute with the entire board or a significant number of board members, the grievance must be taken outside the Green Pages board and presented to the Dispute Resolution Committee for hearing.
All decisions will be made based solely on the facts of the case.
All decisions made must be consistent with providing the grievant with due process including decisions based upon taking the facts and applying the Green Party principles.
Please refer to “The Core Rules of Netiquette,” by Virginia Shea, which can be viewed at: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/book/
If and when GP-US creates its own set of netiquette guidelines for use by all GP-US groups, the official GP-US netiquette guidelines would replace those by Shea.
Appendix II: Consensus Procedure *
Note that consensus is a specific process as well as a result. Consensus requires people to come to unity—agreeing with the essence of a decision, and feeling that they can live with the decision. Consensus does not require unanimity—feeling that every detail of the agreement is exactly as you would have preferred.
Elements of consensus:
Standing or stepping aside
If you cannot agree with a decision for personal reasons, you should stand aside from the decision. You will not be expected to actively implement it, but you do agree not to undermine it. Your position is noted in the minutes.
Blocking or “standing in the way”
If you cannot agree with a decision, not for personal reasons but because you can see that it threatens the group on a very deep level, it is your responsibility to block that decision. This step is taken only rarely and after much reflection.
Appendix III: Minutes and the role of the minute taker
Minutes need to be carefully recorded and retained. An accurate record of the exact wording of each decision made during the meeting is essential. The ongoing implementation of actions depends on a clear statement of decisions and the plans for their implementation. Every item on the agenda gets an entry in the
Minutes of a meeting summarize discussions and actions, but no names are associated with particular statements of positions. In consensus ideas are contributed to the group as a whole. Once uttered, they are no longer “owned” by an individual but by the group. Names are recorded when listing those present, when committee members are named, when individuals volunteer for tasks or when someone stands aside from a decision.
The secretary must be able to listen and summarize accurately. The summary is general, recording only the salient points. It can usually be done in one or two paragraphs, covering the main thrust of the discussion, the concerns that have been raised, and ways that were formulated to carry the discussion along.
A decision must be recorded exactly, word for word, at the time of the decision, and then read back to the group for its approval. It is important that the minute taker read the decision exactly as it will be in the minutes. This wording will be binding until a consensus is reached to change it. It is vital that everyone hears, understands, and agrees to the actual wording of any decision recorded.
A specific statement of how the decision will be implemented should accompany each decision. This includes the names of those who will follow through and a timetable for their action.
The entire minutes should be written promptly after the meeting, while the memory of the discussion is still clear. Circulate the draft minutes to all those who were present.
* Note: Consensus and minute-taking procedures based on the work of Lysbeth Borie and the Alpha Institute.