LETTER

An alarmist article

I am very surprised by your alarmist article on the Society of Authors. It claims that your members "should be aware of proposed changes to its constitution, which would appear to have the effect of turning the organisation into a Limited Company rather than a trade union."

Oh come! Even in my most cynical mood, I would expect journalists to be more accurate.

The Society was established as a Company limited by Shares as long ago as 1884. It has been a trade union for over 30 years, which covers our spirited campaigns, our educational work, and our casework for individual members who need help. In our draft proposals, on which all of our members have been consulted, we are recommending that our unusual status as both a Company and a trade union should remain unchanged. This is made absolutely clear on the Society's website which gives a detailed explanation.

Gregor Dallas makes the assertion that "it offers the members less democracy whereas it should be offering us more". The most important feature of our new proposals is that instead of Shares, and therefore voting rights, belonging only to our Council (approx. 70 members), every member would be made a Shareholder and acquire the vote which at present they don"t have (9000 members). In what way could a reasonable person see this as "less democracy"?

I hope that, although I am not myself a journalist, you will allow me to put these corrections to your members, and I hope they will be reassured.

Last modified: 25 Sep 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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