SolidNetwork

For the Co-operative and Solidarity Economy in Ireland
Governing Document

 

 

Adopted by the founding members on 20th January 2021

Purpose

 

Our purpose is to provide a space for members of the network to connect with one another and enable them to:- 

 

  • discover new opportunities for co-operation and collaboration; 

  • seek and provide guidance, advice, mutual support and solidarity through sharing skills, experience and knowledge;

  • promote the co-operative model, and other models consistent with our values;

  • co-operate with each other to undertake activities that serve our common needs through the network.

 

We hope to enable greater collective action by our members, complementing rather than duplicating the work of existing networks, federations and organisations.

Principles

 

  1. The Network is not a trading enterprise, a society or a charity, and is not legally incorporated. The members may decide to incorporate in the future, if they deem it advantageous for the protection of the members, or the fulfilment of the Network’s purposes.

  2. The Network will be run in accordance with values and principles inherent in the Statement of Co-operative Identity as adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance.

  3. The members of the Network are individual subscribers from co-operatives and other democratic organisations within the social and solidarity economy, along with other individuals and bodies corporate that subscribe to the Network’s purpose and values as set out in our Charter.

  4. Each member, whether individual or corporate, has one vote.

  5. The funds of the Network are indivisible. They are maintained and used as a commonly owned resource for the benefit of present and future co-operators and those working with the social and solidarity economy.

  6. The Network will work with individuals and organisations that sympathise with its vision, and wish to support its vision and purposes.

 

Membership and Contributions

 

  1. The first members of the Network will be the ‘founding members’ attached to this governing document.

  2. There are three types of eligibility for membership:

    1. Individual subscribers from co-operatives and other democratic organisations working within the social and solidarity economy. 

    2. Individual subscribers who are not members of co-operatives or other organisations.

    3. Corporate subscribers which are bodies corporate (companies/societies) not democratically organised.

  3. In line with the first cooperative principle of voluntary membership, subscribing to the Network does not automatically confer membership rights and responsibilities. 

  4. In addition to contributing financially to the Network and subscribing to the purpose and values set out in our Charter, it is a requirement of membership that subscribers agree to:

    1. participate in a spirit of openness and honesty;

    2. act in accordance the values of solidarity and equality in their dealings with members and other partners;

    3. respect the governance and operational framework of the Network

    4. work in accordance with Network policies, as determined by the members

    5. display a positive and supportive attitude to other members in the Network’s discussion and decision-making forums, and to those delegated with executive tasks.

  5. Applications for membership will be considered, and if thought appropriate, approved by the entire membership of the Network at a General Meeting unless this authority has been delegated by the members to an appropriate sub-group. 

  6. The position of members who have ceased making contributions, or whose contributions are irregular or interrupted, will be reported every six months. Individuals and organisations who cease to meet the requirements of membership will be removed according to a process which is agreed by the members. 

  7. The minimum level of subscription will be decided from time to time by member agreement. Absent a positive determination by the members, the subscription shall be €50 per annum per individual member. Those individual members who are unwaged or otherwise cannot afford this subscription may apply for a reduced subscription rate of €20. The annual subscription for corporate members will be agreed by the members at a General Meeting.

  8. Regular subscriptions will be collected monthly, quarterly or annually in advance, by a method to be agreed by the members, with a view to maximising simplicity and transparency, and minimising transaction costs. 

  9. Members will be responsible for informing the Network of the level at which they wish to subscribe. Organisations subscribing on a collective or aggregated basis are responsible for informing the Network about the basis on which they have calculated the amount of the group subscription, including the number of members on whose behalf it is subscribing. 

 

Network Governance

 

  1. Decisions are made democratically on the basis of consent.

  2. The members may, from time to time, assemble at a General Meeting to consider and decide matters relevant to the Network. 

  3. A General Meeting may be held synchronously either in person or via videoconferencing platform, or asynchronously via an online decision-making platform. 

  4. A General Meeting may delegate authority to officers and/or sub-groups of members provided that:

    1. The delegated authority is in writing

    2. Does not fall within a category of matters reserved for the members at General Meeting 

  5. The following matters are reserved for the members at General Meeting :- 

    1. Amendments to this governing document

    2. Dissolution of the Network and the application of any remaining funds

    3. Applications for membership by bodies corporate.

 

Acknowledgments

 

This governing document is heavily based on the rules of the Worker Co-operative Solidarity Fund.