Yesterday the North Carolina Credit Union Commission met to discuss a member’s complaint that SECU’s recent bylaw change proscribed members’ rights. I noted three outcomes.
- The chair recused under the ethics rules as he is an employee of SECU.
- SECU was approached about voluntarily deferring its bylaw changes until after today’s annual meeting, but declined.
- A Commission subcommittee was formed to review the process for bylaw changes and make recommendations as soon as practical.
The Commission’s role in this oversight has not ended. The bylaw issue will continue on its agenda.
Today at 1:00pm SECU’s Annual meeting will be held. A link for the virtual broadcast will be published on its website. The voting outcome for directors will be announced.
This Annual Meeting will be a seminal event no matter the result. For once members have been brought into the process, it will be hard to shut them out in the future.
Once . . .Is Today
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied. . .
The Members’ Voice
Once empowered, the members’ voice is hard to still. In a democracy people will act when they see their self interest in jeopardy.
Member rights have not been a priority across the credit union system. Federal and state regulators have been absent and at times, negligent, when overseeing this aspect of their responsibility.
Democratic governance is a vital factor in the credit union model. Legal equality in governance was deemed to be a precursor for economic equality.
Democratic voting is more than an organizational design. The one-person-one-vote is a core value. For decades credit unions have struggled to tie their cooperative moral laces.
Today as recited in James Russell Lowell’s poem above, may be a reawakening of that effort for SECU and the cooperative system.