Job Description for Secretary
Up to the Minute
So you are the new secretary, and you’re feeling a little anxious about recording all the business that happens in that two hour meeting. Take heart…it’s not as bad as it seems. To begin with, remember that minutes are factual reports of regular business and actions taken at meetings. This means that you need not, and should not, record discussions or quote individuals.
What should the secretary take to the meeting?
- Paper for ballot voting or prepared ballots
- File or correspondence received and responses (if there is no corresponding secretary)
- Motion blanks
- Notepad (to write down anything that the president might need after the meeting)
- File to hold copies of motions, reports, materials distributed by the group Supplies which include pens, pencils, paper clips, stapler, post-it notes, tape, scissors, and anything else required for the meeting
TAKING MINUTES – What main points should always be included in the minutes?
- Name of the association
- Kind of meeting (association, board, special)
- Date, time and place of meeting
- Name and title of presiding officer
- Disposition of minutes of previous meeting (approved as read/printed/committee or approved as corrected)
- Treasurer’s report as given (Financial Secretary, also)
- Record of all bills approved for payment and/or ratification
- Record of each motion voted upon (unless withdrawn), with the name of the member who made the motion–the member who seconded the motion need not be recorded–and whether the motion carried or failed
- Copy of any resolutions adopted
- Record of results of any election
- Brief notation of program – topic, names of participants, method of presentation
- Time of adjournment
- Title and signature of secretary
A few “quick tips”:
- Record what is done, not what is said.
- Organize notes into clear statements (not opinions), and record them in a permanent bound book.
- Record in the order that the business happens.
- Include copies of treasurer and financial secretary reports, budgets, and specific committee reports in their entirety, if need be.
- Be prompt and accurate.
What records should be stored by the secretary?
- Copies of the previous minutes
- Copies of agendas
- The bylaws and standing rules
- Current membership list (includes date member joined)
- List of officers and committees
- Copies of current reports
- Minutes should be as brief as possible, but still understandable to anyone who missed the meeting. Record actions taken but not what is said by members.
- Pages must be numbered.
- The secretary must sign minutes. (i.e., Respectfully submitted by Secretary’s signature.)
- It is a good idea to use the agenda as your outline.
What should I keep in my Minutes Binder?
You are the keeper of all records. These records should be brought to all meetings (one binder is suggested). Remember – this is a legal record, make sure that the binder is kept up to date with
- All minutes from meetings,
- Sign-in sheets
- Relevant hand-outs from the meeting
- Local Bylaws and Standing Rules
- Treasurer reports
- Committee lists, and
- Membership list
Lists That Need to be Maintained
- Membership list
- Transmit to council by 28th of each month (Talk with your president to see if your membership chair takes care of this.)
- Committee lists
- Contact Information
- Officer list
- Contact information
- Term of office
- Unfinished business
What goes to the state PTSA office? (Again, talk to your president to see if you are responsible for this or if it falls under another board member’s responsibilities. These tasks must happen, make sure all parties know who is responsible for each.)
- Membership report with remittances – 28th of every month
- Audit of previous fiscal year – September 28th
- Bylaws – every 3 years (determined by previous approval date)
- List of Officers – immediately following election