July 2022 Executive Meeting
Executive Meeting (commitee meeting) of the Auckland Chess Association was held at 7.32pm on Sunday 24th July 2022 at Auckland Chess Centre. Minutes of the meeting are available below.
AUCKLAND CHESS ASSOCIATION INC
Minutes of Committee Meeting held at the Auckland Chess Centre, Mt Eden, on 24th July 2022
Bruce Pollard (chair), Daniel Johns (minutes), Keong Ang, Timothy Ha, Ron Lanning, John McRae.
The meeting opened at 7:32 PM.
The minutes of the previous committee meeting (held on 4th July 2021) were confirmed.
Bruce had sent to Daniel (who was acting as Complaints Officer) a formal complaint accusing Helen Milligan of making incorrect and misleading comments in a posting on Facebook; he sought to have those statements corrected. Bruce said that he had expected Helen to be present at the meeting. Daniel said that what he thought the Committee should decide at this point was whether ACA had jurisdiction over the complaint and if so then what process should be followed.
Keong said that until the complaint was resolved both the complainant and the person complained against should recuse themselves from all ACA positions. Daniel said that any recusal should be limited to matters directly related to the complaint. Bruce said there was nothing in ACA’s Constitution or its Complaints Policy about anyone stepping down; Keong contended that this was a matter of law, applicable to all organizations. Ron and John agreed with Keong that it was improper for the complainant to chair the meeting as it dealt with his own complaint; Keong believed that Bruce’s mere presence was prejudicing the Committee’s process.
Bruce accused Keong of adding extra rules after previously saying that the ACA Constitution should be strictly followed; he further suggested that, were rules to be followed strictly, Keong and Tim would be ineligible for their Committee positions due to Auckland Chess Centre not having paid its ACA affiliation fee. Tim said that the complaint had brought all normal ACA business to a standstill.
Keong believed that the meeting was called solely for the purpose of addressing the complaint; but Daniel noted that the Interclub was also mentioned when the meeting was requested and so should be covered before the meeting ended.
Bruce recused himself from the meeting so that the complaint could be discussed in his absence; the chair passed to John.
Those present discussed the complaint and the process for addressing it. It was agreed that the committee would summon Bruce for further elaboration of his complaint, and that after that the next step would be to seek a reply from Helen.
Bruce returned at 8:16 pm.
Those present then proceeded to question Bruce about his grounds for complaint, eliciting elaboration of several points related to his listed grounds for complaint. Bruce also made some clarifications not related to particular items on his list of grounds for complaint: that the document of the Facebook conversation was not edited in any way that mattered; and that, with regard to his statement about the remedy he sought, he would be satisfied with an official declaration by ACA correcting the statements.
Statement by Helen on Facebook
Bruce’s written grounds for objecting
Elaborations and clarifications obtained at the meeting
The Auckland Chess Association, which is an Incorporated Society of (most of) the Auckland chess clubs, had its AGM last night and officially adopted a Complaints Procedure and documents with guidelines on what constitutes bullying and harassment, including racial and sexual harassment. In FIDE’s Year of Women in Chess, that is excellent news! Hopefully it will be closely followed by North Shore CC – I compiled the material with NSCC in mind, and our committee decided to submit it as a Remit for ACA as well – but the ACA AGM was held before our own one so ACA gets in first!
This statement gives a false impression that the remit was to adopt policy documents for complaints and bullying. The remit never mentioned the Complaints Procedure or the Bullying and Harassment Procedures.
The remit was ‘That the new constitution be adopted in its entirety’
Bruce said that this statement gives a false impression about the remit
Interestingly the President’s Annual Report was not accepted in the form distributed. The sections on the Jenkins Trophy match and (if I understand correctly) Interschools had to be deleted on the grounds they were ‘not factual’…
Committee members are not free to give personal opinions outside committee meetings.
Bruce withdrew this ground for complaint.
He was not representing North Shore. I don’t know who is on the committee yet. The office bearers remain the same as last year though that can’t stand as the constitution does not allow someone to be both President and Treasurer (actually that wasn’t possible even under the old constitution but nobody noticed last year!)
The statement that nobody noticed that the office of President and Treasurer are held by the same person is wrong. Before accepting the position of President I specifically mentioned this and nobody objected. This also makes it look like the committee was ignoring the constitution.
Helen also did not follow the constitution by submitting the remit late and then changing the remit at the last minute which is against constitution rules for submitting remits.
Helen has also moved motions which ignore the constitution.
Bruce elaborated that, with regard to the assertion that his positions were not constitutional, the statement that “nobody noticed” was factually incorrect, since the unusual situation of the same person being President and Treasurer was noticed at a meeting in 2021 which Helen had attended. His charge that Helen had ignored the ACA constitution related to the short notice given for remits presented by North Shore Chess Chess at the 2022 ACA Annual General Meeting; Bruce noted that Helen had described the remits as being submitted by herself. The correction that Bruce sought was a statement that under the old ACA Constitution it was possible for the same person to be President and Treasurer, and that this was pointed out at the meeting.
Penelope Wallace I can’t change the attitudes but I can make it perfectly clear that such attitudes are not acceptable in this day and age. Some of the stuff I had to put up with last year was (according to someone in a real job in a big company) grounds for dismissal.
Bruce’s written grounds for objecting: “This statement is defamatory and members of a committee can not express personal opinions outside committee meetings. There is also no evidence to back up this claim.
Making claims about a company outside the company will get someone fired.
Bruce said that the quote’s place within a larger conversation (reported in one of the documents submitted with his complaint) gave it context.
Matt McNabb You should note that this was for ACA so several Auckland clubs so all the material in advance. And yet Waitakere voted against it..
This gives the impression that Waitakere voted against a Complaints Procedure document. Waitakere voted against the remit for the adoption of a new constitution, Jenkins trophy rules, Complaints Policy and Bullying Harassment Policy without and consultation.
Waitakere did not vote against the adoption of a Complaints Procedure or a Bullying and Harassment Procedures.
Bruce emphasized that Helen’s comment, in the context in which it occurred, sounds like Waitakere Chess Club voted against specifically the Complaints Policy. The correction that Bruce sought was a clarification of what exactly the remit was that Waitakere voted against, and that was passed. He noted that “without and consultation” is a typo and should read “without any consultation”
Martin Dreyer what I would like to see is an acceptance that bad behaviour (as confirmed by the guidelines in the documents) is not acceptable. What I did not like seeing was somebody refusing to accept that the behaviour was a problem, and then in a later meeting insinuating that I had lied about it.
This statement is defamatory and is a committee member expressing personal opinion outside of the committee. All claims that a committee member lied have to be filed at a committee meeting.
Bruce said that, in addition to regarding the statement as defamatory, he believed that any claim that somebody lied at a committee meeting must itself be made at a committee meeting.
Bruce had previously circulated proposed dates for the A-Grade and B-Grade Interclubs, but Keong had pointed out that if the Interclub was to be held on those dates the Committee would need to authorize it. Those present reported on whether their clubs would enter the A-Grade Interclub if it were held, and on what they had heard about clubs none of whose members were present; they believed that only the North Shore, Waitakere, and Summit clubs would enter. Several of those present noted the high rate of withdrawals from other chess events; Keong said that frequent withdrawals at short notice made it impractical to organize a team. John said that the Interclubs may have to be curtailed, and suggested consulting member clubs; Keong contended that there was insufficient time to hold consultation and then hold the Interclub if the response were favourable. It was resolved (moved Keong, seconded Ron) that the Interclubs not be held in 2022.
Daniel queried whether the previously adopted schedule of fees for the hire of ACA tables was still in effect. Keong said that any resolutions passed by a previous Committee had lapsed at the expiry of its term; Bruce disagreed, saying there was nothing to say that such things would expire. John said that any payment made by a user of ACA tables should be considered a donation to ACA. Those present could not recall exactly when the schedule of fees had been established. No motion was presented.
Note: the previous decision to establish the schedule of fees had been made at the Committee meeting of 5th May 2019.
The meeting closed at 9:36 PM.