A parliamentarian can assist the president when questions of procedure arise. If a parliamentarian is not appointed and ratified, the president should appoint one (pro tem) for each meeting to assist the president in conducting an orderly meeting.
Parliamentary law is an orderly set of rules for conducting meetings of organized groups for the purpose of accomplishing their goals fairly.
Principles of parliamentary law are
- Justice and courtesy to all;
- Rights of the minority protected;
- Rule of the majority reflected;
- Partiality to none; and
- Consideration of one subject at a time.
Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised is the parliamentary text that governs the PTA where the bylaws do not apply. Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units always take precedence over Robert’s Rules of Order.
EIGHT STEPS TO MAKING A MOTION
A motion to take action is introduced by a member, seconded, discussed, and is voted upon.. Only persons who have been members for at least 30 days are legally qualified to make motions, discuss, and vote. The steps are:
- Member stands and waits to be recognized.
- Chairman recognizes the member.
- The member presents the motion by stating, “I move…”
- The motion is seconded by another member. This shows that more than one person is interested in bringing the business before the group for discussion.
- The chairman restates the motion. This ensures all members understand what is to be discussed.
- Discussion is held on the motion. During discussion, all members participate fully.
- The chairman puts the motion to a vote by stating, “All those in favor say ‘aye.'” (Pause for vote) “Those opposed say ‘no.’
- The chairman announces the result of the vote to assure all members know whether the motion carried or failed.
An amendment is a way to change a motion already on the floor before the vote is taken on a motion. It may be amended by:
- Inserting or adding words.
- Striking words.
- Striking words and inserting others.
- Substituting one paragraph or resolution for another.
Main motion: “I move we have a parenting program at the park.”
Inserting: “I move we have a parenting program in October at the park.”
Striking: “I move we have a parenting program in October.” (striking “at the park.”)
Striking & inserting: “I move that we have a parenting program in November on the school grounds.” (striking “October” and inserting “November on the school grounds.”)
Substituting: “I move we have an ice cream social.”