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Co-Opted Onto A Committee

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susanxx | 14:45 Mon 18th Mar 2013 | Law
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If you are co-opted onto the committee of a registered charity, and the chair decides they no longer want you on it(for various paranoid reasons) does the co-optee have to give in a resignation or can the little Hitler just carry the motion?


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It will depend entirely on the constitution of the committee, what it says about taking on and taking off new members. The charity committee which I chair only has two elected officers (chair, treasurer, secretary) and all the rest of the committee are free to come and go as they or the rest of the committee wish. Look at your constitution - your secretary should have it.
doh, 3 officers, not 2...
if you were co opted then the rest of the committee have agreed to you being there, I would think that unless you were there for a fixed time then a motion and vote should take place to remove you. IMO.
Question Author
Thanks boxtops, but this committee is a one off, only the chair holds the cards, the rest are there just to make up the numbers and are treated like mushrooms. Sadly, the volunteers do what they do because of the cause and not the chair.
Surely the other members have a voice if they disagree with the chair's reasons?
A registered charity must have a constitution, Trust Deed or Memo & Articles of Incorporation if it is a company. Those should state what the powers of the committee to co-opt a committee member are and likewise what process needs to be done to remove a committee member against that person's wishes.

I don't have enough experience of non-corporate charities to know what the likely result is if the governing document just doesn't say. However, in companies, the trustee could be removed by a vote of other committee members without them actually having to agree to it, yes. Unless the Articles say otherwise anyway.
It depends on the terms of the Charity

Charities are set up in a variety of ways - one is articles of association (or memorandum) and I cant recollect what the other documents are called.

and of course they have to be registered with the Ch commission
( I cannot recollect if they will have a copy of the articles...)

and that will details co-option or election

and how you boot them off.....

I was latterly chairman of a charity where we had no way of getting rid of charity officers if they didnt resign. So if they didnt turn up for a year or so we had to keep them on the books.

Co-optees should always be appointed for a fixed term.
I was an elected councillor of a chartered organisation where the co-optees had a habit of saying "I was appointed in perpetuity by the predecessor of the current office holder and I am NOT going....." I hesitate to say we had to wait until they became so demented that they forgot where the office was.

Clearly I have to remain Peter Pedant.....

So you should look to see if the articles under appointment of officers says that there is a power of removal by motion and voting
Question Author
Re the others having a voice boxtops, no, they like to think they are something by being part of the committee even though they re walked all over and called behind their backs, so they just sit there yes sir no sir three bags full sir attitude. I am trying to find the constitution but at the back of my mind I thought it was for a fixed term so thats what I need to find now.
our constitution has to be reviewed every 3 years, and the elected officers are up for election every year at our AGM.
Even if the appointment was for a fixed term, it's extremely likely that you could be removed by a majority vote of the other trustees.

I'm not clear on what there is to gain by remaining a trustee of a charity against the will of the other trustees anyway? You can't get anything done on your own anyway and will presumably be out-voted in any issue about which there is disagreement. You'll also remain partially "responsible" for the charity as long as you remain a Trustee which seems risky if you are not in agreement with the way the rest of the Trustees are carrying out business.
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Thanks for all your help guys.

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