By Bakary Manneh, GPU Intern
Members of the Gambia Press Union on Friday, 13 July 2018, converged at Tango Conference Hall to review and validate the proposed new amendments to the constitution of the union.
The current GPU constitution was last reviewed at the 2011 congress hence the need for review to make it responsive to the transition that the union is undergoing.
Therefore, the existing constitution of the GPU together with constitutions and management policies of similar bodies like Gambia Teachers Union, The Gambia Association of Non-governmental Organisations (TANGO) and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) were given to a lawyer to compare and incorporate best practices in the Union’s constitution.
The soft and hard copies of the proposed new amendments to the constitution presented by the lawyer were sent to members for their perusal. The meeting on Friday was to get their feedbacks.
The review process, chaired by Pa Modou Faal, an editor with the Gambia Daily, was conducted clause by clause.
Some of the most notable proposed amendments include the creation of a secretariat tasked with the responsibility of running the day-to-day affairs of the union. With the eventual enactment of the amendments, the secretariat will be headed by a Secretary General who would be appointed by the executive board of the union.
The new amendments also include the creation of statutory committees such as the Welfare and Gender Committee, and the Ethics Committee.
GPU membership fees are also proposed for changes. Instead of monthly contribution of D25, an annual subscription of D500 for full members and D100 for student members was proposed.
Also, highlighted in the amendments was a proposal for a minimum quota of one-third of the executive positions to be filled by women.
The proposals were validated with some adjustments. The changes will be captured in the final document that will be presented to congress for adoption before the amendments comes into force.