AAUW of Vermont Board of Directors
Minutes of the October 1, 2005 Leaders Meeting
Langevin House, Vermont Technical College
Leaders present: Dorothy Rand (VT president), Peg Galgano (branch president), Middlebury; Kathy Corrao (VT EF, branch president), Randolph; Louise Luring (VT public policy), Jenifer Ambler (VT treasurer), Martha Fenn (branch president), Brattleboro; Vivienne Adair (branch president), Kim Raine (member), Central Vermont; Kimberly Swartz (VT C/U ), Bonnie Tangalos (VT international affairs), Sandra Lindberg (branch co-president), Burlington; Andrea Weisberg (VT president-elect), Jennifer Kern (VT membership), Gudrun Hutchins (VT communications), Judy Murphy (branch president), Pat Brush (past branch president), Bennington. All board members including branch presidents were present. This is a first and we thank you!
Treasurer: Jenifer Ambler passed out and discussed financial summaries for the past year. Branch memberships paid as of September 30 are as follows: Bennington 46, Brattleboro 38, Burlington 40, Central Vermont 14, Middlebury 24, Randolph 12. In addition the Burlington and Middlebury branches each have 2 honorary life members. Total membership: 178 including 4 honorary life and 4 community members. Our current state account balance is $6,168; there is no need to raise state dues, even though ours are among the lowest in the nation.
Membership: Jennifer Kern discussed a variety of membership materials and promotions available. She encouraged leaders to use the national website to download a wealth of useful information and explained that brochures for membership, public policy and EF can be ordered without cost to the branch. There was some discussion about the requirement of a membership ID to sign on to the member center of the web site. Branch treasurers have the ID number of all renewing members; the ID look-up feature on the website also works well. The local membership brochure of the Bennington Branch is included on the CD with the Pay Equity brochure distributed by Gudrun. Other branches are welcome to adapt the brochure for their own branch.
International Affairs: Bonnie explained that she has worked primarily with the Burlington Branch on their program which includes a number of international events and discussions. She has received no information from national about her position even though she has emailed and telephoned the program office. Gudrun suggested that she contact the chair of the national International Affairs Committee and has sent her the contact information for Linda Sekiguchi in the interim. Bonnie invited branches to contact her about international program ideas and speakers.
Regional Convention: Louise spoke about the New England Regional Convention which is to be held at the School for International Training in Brattleboro on October 21, 2006. The program has yet to be formulated. All Vermont members are encouraged to attend.
EF and LAF: Andrea and Kathy reported on Vermont contributions to both programs. An American Fellowship has been awarded to a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont in the field of Finance and Economics. We will invite her to our next state convention.
Follow up: Kathy will contact the fellowship recipient and write a short article about her for the newsletter.
College/University Members: Kim spoke about the importance of the local branch in the recruitment of C/U members. It is also important to find a suitable person within the institution to represent the institution and work with AAUW on the local and state level. Potential C/U members and the best approaches to them were discussed. Burlington and Middlebury members commented on the great working relationships they had with St. Michael’s College and Middlebury College.
Follow-up: Please contact Kim about potential C/U members within the geographical area of your branch and identify the best branch contact to work with Kim in recruiting the college.
Program: Joan commented that she was primarily interested in the Education Component of programming and spoke briefly about the “High Schools on the Move” program in Vermont. She has a variety of materials on Vermont schools.
Communications: Gudrun passed out leadership directories for the state and commented on the complete reorganization and update of the Vermont AAUW website www.aauwvt.org (If you did not receive a leadership directory or left yours at the site, please contact Dot – she has a few extras.)
Report on 2005 National Convention
Bylaws: Dot reported on the membership eligibility bylaw change and that the statement of an assertive elderly woman in a wheel chair probably contributed to its passage. Individuals with a two year degree are now eligible for national membership. Individuals who dropped out of a four year program without obtaining a degree are not eligible. Gudrun passed out sheets with the very specific minor change in wording required for the five branches who revised their bylaws last year. Brattleboro made the bylaws changes on the spot on Jenifer Ambler’s lap top. Middlebury has not recently revised its bylaws and Gudrun gave the branch president a nearly complete draft version on a CD; the new draft already incorporates the new amendments.
Follow-up: 1. Middlebury Branch – Please send a complete copy of the bylaws to Gudrun in hard copy or as an email attachment (your choice).
2. Burlington, Randolph and Central Vermont: Please send an email to Gudrun when your bylaws have been amended; you do not need to send the document. Bennington, Brattleboro and state bylaws are complete.
EF and LAF: Vermont received recognition for increases in contributions for EF and LAF at the Convention. Congratulations and a thank you to all who contributed!
IFUW: Dot reported that the bylaw change requested by the national board that AAUW may pay IFUW dues failed. AAUW members want the national AAUW board to pay IFUW dues and maintain its membership. A resolution was passed that requested that AAUW negotiate with IFUW for a possible reduction in dues because of our large membership.
Education as a Gateway to Women’s Economic Security: There was an extended discussion of this new AAUW theme which was introduced at convention. It recognizes that most of the educational goals of AAUW have been achieved, but that these goals have not translated into economic security for women. National sheets on the nature of the theme and an excellent sheet of well documented statistics for both gains in learning and gaps in earnings for women were available. (The information and statistics are posted on the Vermont AAUW website www.aauwvt.org )
Other Related Reports
Pay Equity: Gudrun followed up the new convention theme with a discussion of the new Vermont Pay Equity Law that took effect on July 1, 2005. The new law makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who request information about the wages of co-workers or who disclose their own wages or salary. Non-disclosure agreements as part of employment contracts are also illegal. This law is a companion to the earlier Vermont Pay Equity law that requires employers to pay the same wages to women who do the same work as their male co-workers and have the same qualifications and experience. Gudrun has communicated with the Business and Professional Women of Vermont (BPW) and the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW). AAUW has been asked to collaborate in the effort to publicize this new law. Gudrun passed out a brochure that describes what the law means for employers and employees and gave each branch a copy of the brochure on a CD. She also passed out a sheet that she had compiled about wages paid to Vermont Women with a four year degree in 2003 compared to wages paid to Vermont men and to women in adjacent states and the country as a whole. Vermont ranks 4th in the percentage of women with a four year degree and 39th in the median wages paid to those women. Vermont men with a four year degree are paid an average of $14,400 more than Vermont women with a four degree. The brochure and the statistics will be posted on the AAUW-VT web site.
Follow up: Use the brochure to spread the word in whatever way you can.
Women’s Economic Security Conference sponsored by Senator Leahy: Dot asked Gudrun about the conference to be held on November 5 at Vermont Technical College and whether or not AAUW could still be a co-sponsor. It is too late to be involved in the planning of the conference program and sponsorship is now restricted to government agencies (federal and state). AAUW may want to get involved in planning the next conference in the spring – contacts: Mary Claire Carroll of BPW and Lilly Talbert of VCW. Registration information for the Nov. 5 conference is posted on the website of the Vermont Small Business Development Center www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training link; the conference is the second item). There is no charge for the conference and the registration deadline is October 29. The workshops look excellent.
Follow-up: The Randolph branch hopes to set up a table with AAUW materials at the conference.
Report on State Leader Presentations: Dot, Andrea, and Jennifer reported on the presentations they have made to two branches about the future of AAUW in Vermont. The format has been to break the group up into three subgroups for discussion of three separate topics led by the state leaders. The three groups then come together again to share their conclusions and insights. There will be three additional branch presentations and the leaders explained their site expectations of three separate rooms or areas. The member reaction in the two branches has been very favorable.
Nominating Committee: Three members were appointed to the nominating committee to develop a slate for the 2006 convention. Members are: Kathy Corrao (chair), Louise Luring and Jennifer Kern. Andrea Weisberg will be elected President. Positions open for election are: Public Policy Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, C/U Coordinator – all three members holding these positions are eligible for a second term. The board also would like to add the following elected positions: LAF coordinator, Assistant Treasurer.
Follow-up: Develop a slate in time for spring newsletter.
State Convention 2006: The Bennington Branch will host the convention. Instead of holding the convention at the Cortina Inn in Killington, as has been done in the past, the branch proposed to host the convention in Bennington and offer overnight accommodations to members from other branches. Friday afternoon events could include tours or museum visits within the area followed by a pot luck supper hosted by Bennington members. Members from other branches would be contacted by their Bennington hostess and the Friday events could be planned together. This proposal was enthusiastically accepted by the leaders because the social component would strengthen friendships and inter-branch ties. The Saturday convention program will be a wide exploration of the new AAUW theme. The convention date was set for Saturday, May 6, 2006 with overnights on Friday, May 5.
Follow up: Booking of Bennington site, program planning at January leadership meeting. Save the date!
State Recognition of Branch Programs: Dot hopes to initiate a program for recognizing the achievements of Vermont branches based on the 21st Century awards. After much discussion of programs and award criteria, Sandra Lindberg moved that a committee be appointed by Dot Rand to establish the specifics and report back at the winter leadership meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Dot would like to see a pilot program this year and wants it to be structured in such a way that the two small branches have a chance to be recognized.
Follow-up: Appointment of committee and establishment of criteria before January meeting.
Website and State Newsletter: The complete or partial programs of five branches have been posted on the website. Middlebury sent their program two days after the meeting and it will be posted shortly.
Dot proposed that we send the Green Mountain AAUW newsletter as a PDF email attachment to at least some members and post it on the state presidents’ list serve. Gudrun explained that the newsletter now costs 87 cents per copy in printing and postage and that substantial saving would result if only a fraction of members agreed to receive their newsletter as an email attachment. Branch presidents were asked to poll branch members to see who would agree to try this. Gudrun plans to complete the next newsletter by approximately November 1st and will ask state board members to write articles about specific topics. Gudrun passed out mailing address lists to branches for updating. Vivienne has already completed the updated for Central Vermont.
Follow up: 1. Branches need to poll branch members about email newsletter and collect email addresses of those willing to receive the newsletter as an attachment. Gudrun will send the last (spring) newsletter as a test to each email address received. Members who cannot open the test email or do not like this method can then send an email to Gudrun asking for a hard copy of the fall newsletter. Deadline for email addresses: October 25.
2. Branches need to return the snail mail address list with corrections to Gudrun; if possible write the email addresses of those willing to receive attachments on the same list. Deadline October 25.
3. Gudrun will send request for articles for the newsletter no later than October 10.
4. Gudrun will post the newsletter on the state website (as before) and send the link to Dot to post on the state presidents’ list serve.
Winter Leadership Meeting: The date was set for Saturday January 21, 2006 with a snow date of January 28. Dot will try to reserve the same Middlebury College location we have reserved previously. If this is not possible, we will need to find another location.