Postpone the vote for AOTA Bylaws Changes

Postpone the vote for AOTA Bylaws Changes

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Robin Jones fez este abaixo-assinado

The AOTA Board of Directors, following a series of activities reviewing the current structure of the Association and its governing bodies and affiliated entities has put forth a full set of “New” Bylaws.   There are significant changes being put forth that will impact your representation and voice in the Associations affairs.    The Board has argued that some of these changes are necessary to address “inefficiencies and/or deficiencies” in the way that the organization currently operates and to address problems with filling current positions in the current structure among other issues.    While some of the proposed changes may have merit, the vote for the Bylaws is an "all or nothing" thing.   Thus, it's important that the AOTA membership is aware and knowledgeable about what this means to them and has sufficient time to review, discuss and comment on them before they become finalized.

Some of the proposed changes include but not limited to:  

1). Significantly altering the means and method for which slating and voting for certain key positions will occur;

2). Establishment of an Executive Committee to take action on behalf of the Association with very limited input;

3.). Eliminates state/geographical representation in the Representative Assembly and reduces the Assembly membership to 23 “appointed” positions;

4). Restructuring of the Executive Board membership including eliminating a separate Treasurer and Secretary and elimination of voice or vote representation from State Association Presidents and other key groups that support the membership.    

5)  Revises language from “requiring” that the Board provide AOTA membership with an Annual update of activities and affairs to “may provide” which leaves it up to the discretion of the Board versus mandating this occur.

There are numerous other changes in language and structure that are of concern and need more debate and discussion.

AOTA has held 4 sessions to discuss the changes to date (as of April 4, 2022).  1 virtual and 3 in-person during the 2022 AOTA Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.   The recurring theme through these events was that insufficient information, rationale, justification, details about what was removed and what was added, etc. have been provided to the membership and that more time is needed to allow the membership to read, analyze and debate the changes so that they can make an informed decision about the changes. 

The vote for the AOTA revised bylaws is currently slated to commence electrically on June 9th and continue through June 24th. There will be a Part 1 and Part 2 of the Annual AOTA business meeting this year.  Part 1 is slated to open the voting for the bylaws and Part 2 is scheduled to announce the results.   There is not a sufficient amount of time between now and June 9th to ensure that the 65,000 voting plus members of AOTA have had time to learn about the proposed Bylaws changes, ask critical questions of the leadership and educate themselves about the implications of these proposed changes so that they can make an educated and informed decision. 

AOTA has been tasked with being more transparent about this major initiative and activity by posting more information on the AOTA website so that it is easily identified and located by the membership.  They have also been charged with creating additional materials to lay out the new language and sections in a format that will allow individuals to see what is new, what remains intact, rationale for any change and any evidence that supports the need for the change.

Up until now, there has been very little information shared in a format that could be easily read and understood, including details about what was being removed, replaced or entirely new.  

AOTA members cannot make an educated decision and vote if we are not provided the full details and background behind such significant changes.    More time is needed to educate the membership about a very complex and vital part of our association business.   This type of significant change cannot be fast tracked and requires a thoughtful and extensive communication strategy and dialog with the membership.   We have not had that yet!

What can you do?

1).   Review information on the AOTA website regarding the proposed Bylaws Changes to educate yourself and better understand this issue.

2).  Follow social media discussions regarding this issue.

3).   Sign this petition to ask the AOTA Board to postpone the Proposed Bylaws Vote for at least 3 months (September 2022) to allow sufficient time for enactment of a comprehensive communication plan with AOTA members about the changes and continue the discussion about modifications to the proposed amendments in response to member concerns.  

4). Educate your colleagues and students regarding these proposed changes and ask them to get involved in this process so that the AOTA leadership hears the voices of membership and cannot ignore it. 

5).  If they do not listen and postpone the vote, it is important that AOTA members VOTE NO to these changes.   Our concerns need to be heard and addressed so that new steps for change can begin again as needed.

Please Sign the Petition and show AOTA that you are interested, paying attention to what they do and asking them to listen to you!!!

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