BYLAWS Q & A
Can the Bylaws be suspended during a meeting?
- Bylaws may never be suspended. That is why you want bylaws simple, clear, and not involved with day to day policy or details. That is what Standing Rules are for.
- Notice of an amendment to the bylaws must be given at the previous regular meeting or in writing provided to all members thirty days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is moved. This means it takes at least 30 days or two general membership meetings to make bylaws change.
- National and State PTA require the sections identified by # or **. The specific articles or sections were adopted at a National or State convention and automatically become a part of all bylaws. Because they were adopted by members at convention, you are not required to have your membership vote on the # and ** items before including them in your bylaws.
- These sections are usually very basic principals we want to be sure every PTA follow. An example is Article VI Section 2 of the Suggested Local Unit Bylaws which reads: “Membership in PTA shall be open, without discrimination, to anyone who believes in and supports the mission and purposes of National PTA.”
- You must have at least a 2/3 majority to approve bylaws or any changes to your bylaws.
- Because membership changes, the president would have to re-calculate the quorum before each meeting. By using the same whole number, it is easy for the president (and other members) to determine that the meeting’s quorum is present.
- A percentage of members quorum can also become unrealistic. If your quorum is 50% of general membership, and your membership grows from 20 members to 150 members, it can be difficult to get 75 people to every general meeting. Remember, quorum is the number of people that MUST be at a meeting to conduct business. If you do not meet your quorum you can only present information to the members at the meeting. No action can be taken.
- E-mail voting is not allowed for general membership voting. You may use e-mail for voting within committees or executive board. The e-mail voting process must be detailed in your bylaws. You can contact the Minnesota PTA Bylaws Chair if you have questions on e-mail voting or refer to Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised which has information on e-mail voting.
- E-mail votes are appropriate when the items in question are not controversial and do not require extensive background and explanation. If the Chair, in consultation with the committee or board members, believes that the item might require extensive discussion, she/he should defer voting until the next meeting.