PSE State Secretary Reen Doser
PSE Executive Assistant Vicky Ransom
PSE appreciates your willingness to Step Up and
help make your chapter successful!
Okay – You volunteered to be the chapter
secretary – what does that mean?
Check your bylaws – there should be a “job
description” in them that will help define
your role and responsibilities.
If there isn’t – then now is the time to meet
with your executive board, board of
trustees and get ALL the roles defined.
People are more willing to volunteer if they
know what the parameters are.
The Chapter secretary is responsible for:
Taking minutes at chapter and Board of Trustee meetings.
Providing and keeping the sign-in sheet for chapter
Any correspondence the chapter may receive.
You are the historian. Good minutes serve to refresh the
recollection of members who attended the meeting. In case
of future controversy, minutes interpret actions approved by
Minutes record the substance of a meeting and are to
be a clear, accurate, concise and informative record of
Minutes should record WHAT WAS DONE, not what was
Flowery descriptions, personal opinions, and long
irrelevant paragraphs are not acceptable for formal or
even informal minutes.
Minutes should not be typed verbatim except when
there are motions.
An agenda for the meeting should be sent out in
advance of the meeting.
If that does not occur, an agenda should be
distributed at the beginning of the meeting. Items
which require action should be identified.
When the meeting is called to order, the secretary
should note the time and those present and
A sign-in sheet is useful to document attendees.
Typically, you note who is absent at executive
board or board of trustee meetings.
A copy of the minutes from the previous meeting should be
distributed at the meeting. It is not necessary to read them.
Minutes are generally approved by general consent. No
motion is required. This should be recorded as,
“The minutes from the February 21, 2009 meeting were approved as
presented (as amended.)”
Minutes may be corrected whenever an error is found,
regardless of the time that has elapsed.
Unless previous notice has been given, correction of minutes
after they have been approved requires a two-thirds vote.
• identify the item of business,
• highlight the discussions resulting in an action, and
• describe the disposition of the items. Clearly indicate what was
done, by whom and why.
Motions should be typed so they stand out on the page. They
should be worded so that they can stand alone:
I move that the Board of Directors accept the 2008-2009 Operating Budget as presented by the
Motion made by: Sally Jones Seconded by: David Green
Motion carried unanimously.
There are several ways to properly record a motion. You may
“It was moved by _________ and seconded by _______that
we send four members to legislative conference.”
“It was moved and seconded that we send four members
to legislative conference.”
The correct language is “I move that . . .”, NOT “I make a
motion that . . .”
Aside from brief explanatory remarks, it is not permissible
to discuss the merits of a motion until the motion has been
You should be prepared to restate pending motions
verbatim when asked to do so.
If your minutes require that the person making the motions
be named, it is permissible to ask the chair for the
Request that the speakers state their name clearly and
provide you a written copy of any lengthy reports (i.e.,
Before the vote, the motion should be restated by the
chair so everyone knows what they are voting on.
If the results of a voice vote are unclear, you may
request the chair require a show of hands of members
of the “aye” and “no” votes.
Minutes should follow the order of discussion as listed on
If there was a lot of discussion you may simply state, “After
lengthy discussion, it was moved…”
At the conclusion of the meeting, make a list of items that
need to be followed up on. Also compile a list of anything
from the agenda which did not get completed and carry those
items over to the next meeting as UNFINISHED BUSINESS.
In the minutes, note the time the meeting was
The minutes are closed with the signature and title of the
person who actually prepared the minutes. “Respectfully
submitted” is outdated; simply sign the minutes:
Sally Smith, Secretary
Minutes are the legal record of the proceedings and should
never be destroyed.
The following is a list of records chapters normally maintain and a
recommended retention schedule.
TYPE OF RECORD RECOMMENDED RETENTION PERIOD
Accounting Documents 7 years
•Banking records, reconciliations, deposit slips, bank statements
•Petty cash records
Annual Chapter Financial Report (filed with PSE) Permanently
Board of Trustees/Executive Board Minutes Permanently
Bylaws (old bylaws for historical purposes) Permanently
Chapter Audit Records Permanently
Chapter Election Ballots 1 Year
Chapter Meeting Minutes Permanently
Grievance files Permanently
Labor Management Notes/Records Permanently
Negotiation records Permanently
Tax records Permanently