Committee for Right Relations Charter

Revised April 16, 2007 after Board Discussion March 15, 2007
Revised and submitted Feb 3, 2007 for further Board consideration
Reviewed and Approved by the Board on February 21, 2008

The bylaws of the WUU were amended by congregational vote on January 13, 2008 at a duly constituted special meeting, in part as follows: “A Committee for Right Relations (CRR) is charged with facilitating resolution of conflicts brought to it under the Covenant of Right Relations (CORR) by member(s) of the congregation.” To that end the following Charter will guide the operation of this newly established committee of the congregation:

PURPOSES:

To facilitate the well-being of the WUU congregation as a whole by fostering, mediating and maintaining harmonious relations within the membership.

To establish and nurture an atmosphere and a process of congregational responsibility for harmonious relations.

To support the Board and the Ministers by relieving them of the routine activities and energies ordinarily devoted to conflict resolution.

To broadly and regularly publicize and focus attention on the WUU Covenant of Right Relations (CORR) as a basis for relations within the congregation.

To promote the congregation’s awareness of and skills for successful resolution of conflict.

To maintain a position of impartiality in the midst of conflict so as to be able to assist in a broad range of issues with a variety of stakeholders.

To develop and maintain the CRR’s own knowledge and skill regarding harmonious relations on a continual basis.

NOTE: The CRR will not supplant other documented conflict resolution mechanisms of the WUU or UUA such as those in the WUU Employee Manual or Minister Letter of Agreement.
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ACTIVITIES AND POWERS:

To be available to the congregation to promote harmonious relations and to help resolve conflicts as needed.

To develop practices for assisting in the airing and resolution of conflict as appropriate, and to design accessible procedures by which the congregation can readily turn to and use the CORR and the CRR.

To publicize and promote the Covenant of Right Relations (CORR) to the congregation broadly and regularly.

To develop a shared knowledge base among the CRR members by committing to ongoing training and education.

To keep the Board informed about CRR’s services and training activities provided to the congregation.

To develop and maintain access to other congregations and resources involved with harmonious relations, conflict resolution and related issues.

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GOVERNANCE:

The CRR is chartered by the Board to function independently of the Board, operating instead as a committee of the congregation. To this end the membership of the CRR will be elected by the congregation at the annual meetings. Further, the CRR can only be dissolved by congregational vote at an official meeting, although activities of the CRR may be suspended, if so directed, by an action of the Board pending the next called official meeting of the congregation.

The CRR will consist of three voting members of the society selected because of their wisdom, experience or skill in conflict resolution. Members of the CRR are elected by the congregation at its annual meeting, and serve staggered three year terms, with one member elected by the congregation each year. The term of office shall begin on July 1st.

In the event of a vacancy on the CRR for any reason the board may appoint a voting member to serve until the congregation at its next annual meeting shall elect a voting member to serve the unexpired term.

IMPLEMENTATION: the first CRR will be constituted at the January 2008 congregational meeting with its three members elected to staggered terms that expire on June 30 in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Regular annual elections of CRR members will begin at the annual congregational meeting in May 2009.

In subsequent years after 2008 the CRR will supply at least two recommendations to the WUU nominating committee for consideration along with suggestions for criteria in evaluating potential candidates. The nominating committee will then select and offer two candidates of their choosing to the congregation for the annual election. Again nominations from the floor will be entertained.

The minister(s) will be welcome to attend routine CRR meetings regularly as non-voting members. It is intended that the CRR and the minister(s) will usually be working in concert and collaboration in managing harmonious relations within the congregation.

CRR members will elect a chair and vice-chair annually.

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POLICIES: (note: other polices and procedures will likely be developed and modified by the sitting CRR over time.)

CRR members will recuse themselves from any issue in which they are a party or stakeholder. Any CRR member may declare a conflict to exist for him/herself or for another member, and recusal will follow.

The CRR will meet at least quarterly for routine business and report its proceedings and services at least annually to the congregation, the ministers and the Board. CRR members will be expected to attend at least three of the four meetings each year, or will be subject to replacement consistent with the vacancy policy described above.

The CRR will make every reasonable effort to maintain the confidentiality of parties to conflicts considered by the CRR and of discussions attendant to the CRR conflict resolution processes. Minutes and logs of CRR meetings will be written so as to attempt to guard confidentialities since such minutes and logs will be kept and made available to the congregation.

The CRR will submit a modest annual budget for the approval of the Board primarily to fund training, resource materials and outside consultants.

If a substantive issue or conflict arises that involves a minister and goes beyond the appropriate levels of involvement of the [CFHR] CRR, then the matter will be pursued in accordance with the WUU Minister Letter of Agreement.

If a conflict arises which the CRR considers to be beyond the charter, scope or skill level of the CRR, then it will forward the matter to the Board with recommendations for further Board disposition .

The working philosophy of the CRR will be guided by (1) keeping ownership of and responsibility for harmonious relations as much as possible within the body of the congregation and its members, and (2) emphasizing maintenance of harmonious relations and prevention of excessive conflict through education, facilitation, and training of the congregation, and (3) applying the least intrusive CRR intervention necessary to re-establish harmonious relations at such time as the CRR believes active interventions are appropriate.