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A very quick question! A member of our committee is working as 'bank' staff and is taking on increasing days (she's now doing 3 a week). Is she still okay to stay on the committee or would there be a conflict of interest? Many thanks in advance for any advice.

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Quite a quick answer too - yes she can work for you. But check your constitution PSLA introduced a new one very recently that allows committee members to be staff and vice versa.

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Hi

Depends if the pre-school have adopted that constitution. Some may still be using the 2005 version?

If adopted then ok so long as not an officer role ie chair, secretary or treasurer. Staff on committe woud then not be allowed to vote on wages or staffing issue.

Hope this helps!

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She's actually the secretary, so maybe it is a problem? I think we have the PSLA constitution, can someone point me to where in there it says officers can't also be on staff? Sorry to be a bit dumb!

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All our staff are on committee - they just can't vote and must leave the room when discussions on pay are held. Does cause some problems as we have staff who are also parents! but we say they are staff first, parents second when it comes to committee meetings.

 

HTH

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Help! I had organised a full committee meeting next Wednesday, well in advance, on a date that suited everyone. Now this person is saying she can't attend as she is working as bank staff that day. Well, I have cleared her attendance with our leader, who says it's fine for her to come to the meeting as she is excess to ratio needed anyway. Do I put my foot down and say she must come? And if she does come, does she get paid for the hour that she is in the meeting?

 

I guess this is where you start to get a conflict of interest when staff are on the committee ...

 

It strikes me that she is going to end up becoming permanent staff rather than bank, just by default as we need extra cover as numbers are going up. If we do need more permanent staff I believe legally we must advertise and interview, would that be right?

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As secretary she should attend... and as this is committee work cannot not be paid for the time.. she is surplus to requirements / excess to ratio in the setting so I would also question why she is actually employed that session, as a volunteer for extra hand but paid employment? Is there extra staff every session, or just this one? lots of questions to be answered. If every session why not a regular staff member?

 

 

this is where conflict of staff and committee begins to show.. if she ends up as regular staff i would also question her ability to be secretary as well.. definite conflict here.. she would have to be excluded from a lot of decisions which the secretary really should be involved in.

 

You don't have to advertise externally, but it would be good practice to do so.. you may find someone who is better qualified or more suitable for the post.. better to go through the recruitment process for all to make sure you have the right person for the job.

 

Inge

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Thanks for your response Inge.

 

A lot of this is historic, I've only very recently come in as chair. Our leader asked for extra staffing as it is getting increasingly busy in those sessions and very close to needing someone else for the ratios.

 

I agree this is where conflict of interest starts up. Actually, I've checked and at the moment we have the old PSLA constitution which actually means she definitely shouldn't be doing both. Not sure how that has happened!

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Whatever the situation with regard to constitutions, it is perhaps worth thinking about employment contracts here. If the staff member is also a committee member then should the contract set out what the priorities are? If the contract stated that the Secretary's role on the committee over-rides that of staff member, then it would be clear that her first priorities are to attend the committee meeting and that as such no payment would be made for the time attending the meeting.

 

However all this is a bit superseded by the fact that you have an old PLA Constitution and you'll need to deal with this, I think. Depends on how strictly you want to enforce it (and I'm not sure whether there are legal implications of ignoring this) but if you want to obey the letter of the consitution then this person should either resign as Secretary or give up the bank work. Or alternatively you need to adopt the new constitution, I guess!

 

SuzieC8 you sound just the sort of person who can sort this out professionally - your committee are lucky to have you!

 

Let us know how you resolve it won't you?

 

Maz

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Hi Maz

 

Thanks very much for your response.

 

We seem to be reaching a conclusion to this. We're going to look at adopting the new PSLA constitution asap, but even so I have said that I'm not happy with the situation as there would appear to be many potential conflicts of interest.

 

So, our leader has suggested that she drops her role as secretary and moves instead just to the fund raising committee. It sounds like she might be happy with this as well, we will discuss at the meeting tomorrow. Hopefully someone will step in to fill her shoes as secretary, though, as she's very efficient!

 

I'm going to say that we can't pay her for the hour she's at the meeting. She's paid an hourly rate so this seems quite straightforward.

 

Thanks to everyone who responded on this.

Sue.

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