Rules for how we work together
A membership, decision making, group structure, core values and code of conduct policy for a user-led member-ship organisation with roughly 100 members, from a wide range of backgrounds.
- About this document
- Our legal status and our constitution
- Who we are
- Our aims
- Our values
- The Network is belongs, and is led, by its members
- No one kept down
- All workers, regardless of immigration status, have a right to equitably access education, financial aid, and community.
- Platform our most marginalised; be visible when they cannot
- We are a community
- Change begins with us.
- All organisers will be compensated fairly, and equally, for their time
- Always listening, always learning
- 1. Membership
- 2. Making decisions together
- 3. All-member assemblies
- 4. Member forums
- 5. Network community
- 6. Coordinating group
- 7. Working groups
- 8. Supporting organisations
- 9. Elections and voting
- 10. Data access and privacy
- 11. Staff
- 12. Changing these secondary rules
- 13. Code of Conduct & Managing Conflict
About this document
This document sets out how members of the Nanny Solidarity Network work together to build the power we need to transform working and living conditions for nannies & au pairs in the UK. It details the rules governing how the network operates. This document has the legal status of being a set of ‘secondary rules’. Changes to these rules can only be passed at an all-member assembly or through an online vote open to all full members.
Our legal status and our constitution
The Nanny Solidarity Network is legally incorporated as a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee. This means that the network is a non-profit organisation. As well as this document, we also have a constitution. This Rules for How We Work Together document has been drafted so that nearly all of the relevant information from the constitution about how the network is run is included here.
Who we are
The Nanny Solidarity Network started with a small group at the beginning of the pandemic who wanted to assist nannies and au pairs at imminent risk of severe financial hardship during the lockdown. Through this we saw first hand how the childcare crisis had led to the continued exploitation of low-paid migrant domestic workers, and how unsupported so many of them were by our sector and by the government during the lockdown and beyond. In May 2020, the Network was established, and in June 2020 we
established a hardship fund to support nannies and au pairs who were made jobless or homeless due to COVID-19, and who—for whatever reason—did not have access to government schemes or UC. We raised over £9000 in under just over two months, and supported 45 nannies and au pairs with emergency grants. From there, the Network has grown into a community of nannies & au pairs that spans across the UK. Our work is dedicated to funding and delivering charitable services, and we strive to inspire and improve the lives of those nannies and au pairs who need assistance. We always have been, and always will be by nannies, for nannies.
The Objects of the network, as defined in our Constitution, are to:
- Establish and develop a collective body of nannies & au pairs across the UK
- Foster a culture of mutual aid between members of the Network and build a collective worker identity that broaches class, race, and ethnic divides
- Fight for better working and living conditions for nannies & au pairs, regardless of immigration status ● Carry out any other activity or advance any other objective determined by the Network, in accordance with our stated values.
We are not a service provider and we believe in ‘solidarity not charity’. We are committed to building a community of care that provides practical and emotional support to each other. In order to build collective power, we are committed to supporting all our members, particularly the most vulnerable, to develop the knowledge and skills to participate in our organising. We have a set of tools and processes for supporting each other. These include, but are not limited to:
We know how important it is to build community in every sector, and as we build our group, we want to make sure that all the nannies/au pairs have the correct access to employment support, which is vital especially as workers in isolated settings. Most of us work our own and, unfortunately, don’t have any support if an issue arises with our employers. A network will provide a place for members to ask for help when it’s necessary, and be truly listened to when they do so.
Peer support and collective casework
We provide support to any nanny or au pair facing hardship. We aim to maintain the support system we were able to create during lockdown. We support our members with informal and formal advice, free emergency housing, hardship grants, and personalised emotional and practical support. We want to make sure that every nanny is safe and protected.
We aim to help nannies access support through our relationships with other charitable groups where we do not have the experience nor resources to provide the services they need. We support any worker who needs additional support through referring them on to groups such as the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; the Independent Workers of Great Britain, Kalayaan; Voice of Domestic Workers; Latin American Women’s Rights Service, among others. We also aim to provide nannies with resources lacking in our line of work, such as a pay scale, free template contracts, and information on employment rights.
Skills shares & Workshops
Our Coordinating Group runs regular workshops for nannies & au pairs focusing on employment rights and migrant-specific issues. We are in the process of developing a regular skill-sharing program which would allow nannies & au pairs the space to run their own workshops for the group.
Legal Support (immigration support through JCWI, employment support through IWGB)
All workers should have access to free and fair employment support, and to free and fair immigration support when they need it. The 16,000 nannies on Migrant Domestic Worker visas are some of the most vulnerable workers in the UK. Similarly, non-migrant and migrant nannies and au pairs alike are often poorly paid, exploited, and abused. We aim to provide ourselves with holistic support from trained legal professionals and immigration caseworkers through both our relationship with the JCWI legal team (in the case of immigration support or housing issues), and through the IWGB network legal team (in the case of employment-related issues).
Education (English classes, First Aid)
We aim to provide free English classes and First Aid training for members who are interested, as a way to empower nannies/au pairs and give them the facilities to improve in their work.
The Nanny Solidarity Network has a set of values that it seeks to uphold and promote in all of its work. These values are:
The Network is belongs, and is led, by its members
All members have equal say in the running and objects of the Nanny Solidarity Network. We are migrant-oriented and migrant-led, and will strive to ensure that this always remains the case. The network’s power must always lie with those who have lived experience of the childcare sector.
No one kept down
There is space for everyone to take on responsibility in the Network.
All workers, regardless of immigration status, have a right to equitably access education, financial aid, and community.
Resources and support should be free for all nannies and au pairs. The cost of education, training, support, and advice should not impede workers’ ability to access the help they need. We aim to provide these services for free for our members, through a combination of grant funding and donations-based support. In elections and in hiring people for roles in the network, or in sourcing volunteers, priority will always be given to helping domestic workers get involved over those without direct domestic worker experience. This may involve additional training costs for the network, but it will always be preferable to pay to train a nanny or au pair than to outsource the job to a non-member, both for reasons of collective ownership and as means to aid low-income and marginalised workers in accessing educational and economic capital, and allowing professional mobility. By prioritising this we hope to aid workers not only in taking ownership of the network as an active participant, but to offer them the tools to engage in work they enjoy, and perhaps allow them the opportunity to move away from domestic work.
Platform our most marginalised; be visible when they cannot
It is the responsibility of our coordinating group, staff, and members with settled status and/or with safe and secure domestic worker roles to stand up for our most vulnerable network members, comrades, and colleagues. Many nannies in exploitative jobs, or on visas that tie them to their employers, are not able to speak up for themselves about the injustices they face. It is the job of nannies who carry the most privilege to be the most vocal, through campaigning and collective action, so that those with less privilege are able to benefit from the resources we provide and the messages that we share on their behalf.
We are a community
We are here to grow together and learn from each other through supporting each other and the network. We have strictly enforced Codes of Conduct both for staff and for members, to ensure that all participants treat their fellow workers with kindness, solidarity, and respect. There is power in a collective voice. In joining together in solidarity, the network offers nannies and au pairs the space both to create meaningful change in their sector, but also to offer their fellow workers security in numbers. When we join together, we create change. This is the most important job of any collective.
Change begins with us.
We use different types of collective action to build our collective power. We have the tools to effect radical change when we come together. We support one another and share our skills, knowledge and time to find solutions to the problems we face.
All organisers will be compensated fairly, and equally, for their time
Everyone will be paid the same amount of money – £16—London Living Wage + £5.25. No organiser is to be paid below London living wage at any point. All staff and volunteers are to be paid for the work they do, as long as we are able to secure the funding to do so. All staff have the right to fair employment support: everyone is eligible for sick pay and leave, maternity or paternity leave, mental health leave, and paid holiday—the details in our Sickness & Wellbeing policy.
Always listening, always learning
We all have something to learn. We all have something to teach. We listen and learn from one another to build our power and take control of our lives. We aim to create a kind, understanding community where members feel able to express themselves and and raise questions or concerns in a supportive atmosphere.
The Network is primarily aimed at those who are currently working as nannies or au pairs in the UK. Membership is free.
The following are encourage to join the Network as members:
- Live-in and live-out nannies (including proxy nannies and travel nannies)
- Au pairs
- Anyone who carries out in-home childcare work (this can be ad-hoc and they do not have to have employee status)
The following may not join the network
- Nanny or au pair employers
- Nursery workers (unless they also work as in-home childcare providers)
- Those who are not current nannies and au pairs (exceptions may be made for those who have previously worked as a nanny or au pair—acceptance of their membership application is determined by the coordinating group)
The coordinating group may also deny membership to any person whose presence in the Network they consider likely to be detrimental to the values, culture, or aims of the network. They should provide their reasons for any such action and the individual concerned will have the right of appeal to the network.
Each member has a right to an equal vote with other members as laid down in the rules on voting.
- Any member may withdraw their membership of the network at any time.
- Conflicts will generally be expected to be dealt with through the conflict resolution policy. In the case of serious breaches of the values and culture of the network, and where conflict resolution is inappropriate or has not worked, the options of exclusion and/or expulsion may be considered.
No member shall be liable for more than £1 in the event of the network being wound up.
2. Making decisions together
The network, ultimately, belongs to its members. Every member has a say and we take decisions collectively and democratically. Every member is encouraged to bring new ideas and suggestions.
Self-organisation and coordination
Members of the network are encouraged to take the initiative and make decisions together about ways to advance the aims, values and aspirations of the network. This can happen both within member meetings and coordinating group meetings and outside of them. The overall strategy of the network is determined by the membership at all member assemblies and member forums. All parts of the network are responsible for implementing this strategy, which is overseen by the coordinating group.
All members should feel empowered to take decisions about the work they are doing. If a decision by a working group, sub-group, coordinating group, or the Welfare Committee would significantly impact other members or parts of the network, they should consult with other relevant parties in the network.
Examples of things where it’d be important to consult more widely include:
- plans to spend network funds that go beyond agreed budgets
- activities that could impact the reputation of the network or its relationships with other organisations ● activities that would impact or change the strategic direction of the network
Coordinating Group meetings
The coordinating group has a weekly meeting. This is usually held on a Wednesday evening.
- The meeting agenda should be circulated in advance of a meeting with sufficient time for participants to prepare for the meeting
- It is good practice to assign roles in advance of the meeting, such as facilitator and note taker
Aiming for consensus
We aim for consensus decision making. A key role of the facilitator is to bring out the full diversity of views in the room and help to develop a consensus position encompassing as many views as possible. If a consensus seems difficult to achieve at a first discussion, the usual process is for the proposal to go to the following meeting, and be worked on in the meantime to take account of the ideas and views raised. Where a decision is time-sensitive, or a proposal has come back to meetings for discussion a minimum of three times with consensus still apparently unobtainable, a decision may instead be made by a minimum two-thirds (66.6%) majority of those present. The decision to move to a two-thirds majority vote is to be made by those present in the meeting and will itself be made by a two-thirds majority vote. Anyone may call for such a vote, either on the basis of time sensitivity or because after at least three iterations of the proposal being brought to meetings they believe further discussion will not advance the consensus.
Meetings should be facilitated by one or more designated facilitators. Facilitation is rotated between members of the coordinating group on a weekly basis Facilitators have the following responsibilities:
- Taking the meeting through the agenda, facilitating contributions from those present and managing the timing of the meeting
- Overseeing the process of decision-making and ensuring clarity about what decisions have been made
- Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate and that the meeting is not dominated by particular individuals or groups.
- Ensuring that support for proposals is actively expressed. If a person does not express disagreement with a proposal, this should not be taken as support for the proposal.
When facilitating, it is good practice to:
- Periodically ‘take the temperature’ of the meeting to get a sense of how close the meeting is to consensus
- Encourage the use of hand signals, and ensure everyone understands them
- Re-state proposals prior to testing for consensus, in order to ensure that everyone knows what they are making a decision about.
How many people are needed to take a decision
The baseline rules for branch and working group meetings are as follows:
- Working group meetings can take decisions when 10% of the members are present.
- Coordinating group meetings may take decisions with at least 50% of voting members present
However, working groups are free to create a new rule about the number of people needed for a decision to be made. The coordinating group must be informed of any such decision. Whatever rules apply in a given working group or sub-group, it is the responsibility of the meeting to determine whether or not it is in the spirit of the network’s democratic ethos to make particular decisions. A meeting with a very low turnout would not normally be expected to make decisions which significantly affect the direction of the working group or broader network.
3. All-member assemblies
The Nanny Solidarity Network’s all-member assemblies are the highest-level decision-making body in the network.
There will be at least one all-member assembly per year, and, when possible, there will be more than one. The purpose of the all-member assembly is:
- to allow members of the network to come together to discuss, learn from each other, share food, listen to music, enjoy being together and celebrate the community we are building.
- allow members to participate in discussions and decisions on the main issues of the network, including its campaigns and demands as well as its structure.
- to determine the attitude of the network to any developments impacting the interests of those in the nanny community, migrant community or the childcare sector as a whole
- discuss publicly, and if necessary to overturn, any decisions that have been made by the coordinating group concerning the activities of the network and the use of its resources.
All members of the network are entitled to attend assemblies, and all full members are entitled to vote on proposals on a one-member, one-vote basis. Assemblies must be facilitated, and the role of the facilitator should correspond to the greatest possible extent to the definition given under ‘Making Decisions Together’. In cases where a proposal is not unanimously agreed, the facilitator will put the proposal to a vote.
Every effort should be made to ensure that all-member assemblies are conducted in accordance with the principle of a member-led organisation. It is the responsibility of the Coordinating Group to organise all-member assemblies. The coordinating group may ask other members for their support in organising all-member assemblies. It is important that all-member assemblies are organised in a way that maximises opportunities for participation and engagement.
Proposals can be introduced to an assembly if the proposal:
- is agreed by the Coordinating Group. The Coordinating Group is able to decide the first two items of the agenda of any all-member assembly.
- is supported by individual members of the network amounting to 2% of the total membership or 25 members (whichever is greater).
- has been agreed at a member forum and the member forum asked for the proposal to be discussed at an assembly. If a working group or group of individual members of the network wishes to introduce a proposal to an assembly, it must do so in writing at least two weeks before the assembly is due to take place. The coordinating group has the right to select two proposals for discussion. If there are more proposals introduced than can be reasonably discussed at an assembly, the Coordinating Group may organise an online vote or a vote at the start of the assembly to decide which proposals are to be discussed. If a proposal is agreed at an all-member assembly , then it becomes official network policy, and the coordinating group is obliged to act on it.
All-member assemblies can be called:
- by the Coordinating Group. The Coordinating Group is obliged to schedule at least one all-member assembly per year ● by a petition supported by at least 50 members of the network or 5% of the membership (whichever is greater).
Assemblies must be called with at least six weeks’ notice. The agenda for the assembly should be circulated to branches and working groups using official network communication channels no later than two weeks before the assembly. An all-member assembly cannot be called until a month has passed from the last all member assembly. For decisions at an all-member assembly to be binding, it must be attended by at least 50 people or 2% of the membership (whichever is greater).
4. Member forums
Member forums are the second form of all-member meeting within the network. They allow network members to come together to share updates, learn from each other’s organising, discuss the work of the network and any relevant political developments.
Member forums may be called at shorter notice than all-member assemblies, require the support of fewer members in order to be called, and have different decision-making powers. However, like all-member assemblies, their purpose is to allow the largest possible number of network members to participate in network life. The organisers of a member forum should ensure that the meeting is facilitated in the same way as all-member assemblies and that, wherever possible, meetings include a social element.
A member forum is different to an all member assembly in that:
- Proposals agreed at a member forum are not necessarily binding on the coordinating group. However, a member forum can request that a proposal is put to an online vote or the next all-member assembly, which can make the decision binding for the coordinating group.
- It is easier to call a member forum. A member forum can be called by the coordinating group or a petition of 25 members of the network or 1% of the membership (whichever is greater). Member forums can be called with two weeks’ notice rather than six weeks’.
- For decisions at a member forum to count, the forum must be attended by 25 people or 1% of the membership, whichever is greater. Any agenda item agreed at a member forum should be forwarded to the coordinating group, and, should it wish, the Coordinating Group can add this item to the agenda at the next all-member assembly, without affecting its right to choose agenda items on its own initiative.
5. Network community
The Nanny Solidarity Network is first and foremost a safe space for nannies & au pairs. We believe that community is the crux of any powerful worker movement, and that the nanny community has for too long been subjected to hierarchising by white, middle-class nannies who produce and perpetuate anti-migrant rhetoric. We believe that bridging the divisions this hostility has created is the first step in effecting transformative political change for our members.
With this in mind, we expected all members to adhere to our strict Code of Conduct, which is made available to all members upon joining the network. We also ask that members are considerate of the values and objects of the network.
As nannies generally work in isolated settings, the majority of communication between members is done so online (mainly via WhatsApp and Facebook groups). Everything posted in these groups is confidential and must not be reproduced, screenshotted, or shared without explicit permission of the coordinating group.
All members are expected to act honestly and respectfully. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, the details of which are outlined below under ‘Code of Conduct & Managing Conflict’.
6. Coordinating group
The Coordinating Group is made up of the following six roles:
- Finance Coordinator (also known as ‘Treasurer’)
- Welfare Coordinator
- Education Coordinator
- Trade network Development Coordinator
- Comms Coordinator
- Social Media & Membership Coordinator
Members of the the coordinating group share the following responsibilities:
- Support effective coordination between working groups and members
- Uphold the values of the network, and ensure they are being upheld by members, volunteers, and any other staff ● Oversee the implementation of decisions of all member meetings
- Develop and oversee network strategies and policies in accordance with the values, objectives, and democratic decisions of the network
- Ensure the sound management of the network’s financial resources
- Ensure appropriate processes are in place for the management of network staff and the protection of personal information held by the network
Additionally, members of the coordinating group have particular responsibilities that are determined by their coordinator roles and the working group that they oversee. These are as follows:
- Budget and Bank Account – In charge of the Network’s budget and bank account.
- Speaking with the accountant – Keeping updated with the accountant.
- Hardship Fund and Emergency Housing – Runs efforts for the hardship fund and for emergency housing/hostels for nannies in conjunction with the Welfare Coordinator.
- Taxes and Finance admin – Does taxes for the Network and makes sure we are doing everything legally with our government registration etc.
- Co-writing reports and funding applications – Writing reports with Co-Executive Directors about how our grant funding is spent, using examples such as bank statements and payslips (we have to send these in every few months when we’re using grant funding).
- Organising all the spreadsheets – Making sure the Hardship Fund spreadsheet and any other spreadsheets are up to date. Filling out invoices and making sure people are paid. Logging all details in the google drive.
- Hardship Fund – nannies and au pairs who don’t have a job or are homeless may need emergency payments. These can be either £100 or £200. It is the job of the Welfare Coordinator to assess and decide whether the nanny is eligible. Usually if they don’t have a job they will be. If the coordinator is unsure or it is a special case (like maybe they have a job but their employers are refusing to pay them, or something else), the coordinator may put the funding decision to a vote between the Coordinating Group.
- Emergency housing – helping nannies and au pairs find hostels, sofas to sleep on, airbnbs.
- Immigration support – taking nannies questions and directing them to Carolina at JCWI, who will then refer them on to the JCWI legal team or else make an external referral if it’s a complex issue.
- Hardship Fund and Emergency Housing – Runs fundraising for the hardship fund and for emergency housing/hostels for nannies in conjunction with the Finance Coordinator.
- Classes – Is in charge of organising English classes for our members, as well as other classes that support them such as first aid.
- Skill shares – Finds nannies to run skill shares and organises them.
- Workshops – Coordinates the development and execution of all network workshops, whether online or in person. ● New education ideas – Brainstorms other education that could help our nannies through finding classes online, and brings their ideas to our meetings.
- Translating and disseminating important information for members – Translates the network’s governing documents, policies, and procedures into Portuguese and Spanish. Ensures the dissemination of these documents, as well as other vital information for network members (such as meeting dates and times) is accessible in multiple languages.
Trade Union Development Coordinator
- Union Branch – Runs the union efforts and coordinates campaign development with IWGB. Speaks to the IWGB staff to keep them updated on what we are doing.
- Casework – Manages casework for network members (in conjunction with the Welfare coordinator).
Comms & Coalitions Coordinator
- Liaises with other groups – Builds and sustains relationships with other charities and organisations. Participates in coalitions that are relevant to the Network.
- Policy & Research Development Helps to include the Nanny Solidarity Network in relevant policy briefs with the aim to effect positive change for network members. Engaging in coalition work with the purpose of improving working conditions for nannies & au pairs in the UK.
- Coalitions and Campaigns – Helps run campaigns/petitions for the Network and with other groups. ● Comms – runs comms for the Network. Writes articles, pitches stories to relevant media outlets, writes all press releases.
Social Media & Membership Coordinator
- Community building – Is responsible for building community within the group, namely on online channels such as the Facebook group and WhatsApp. The most prominent point of contact for members if they need support. ● Social Media – Runs Twitter and Instagram accounts for the network, posts regularly to both. ● Network Groups – Posts regular updates on what the Network is doing to WhatsApp and Facebook. ● Reports to Welfare Committee – Helps moderate the WhatsApp and Facebook groups, and reports anyone who is using offensive language/breaking our Codes of Conduct in the groups to our Welfare Committee.
The Coordinating Group has the following powers:
- Create network policies that are consistent with democratic decisions made by the membership ● Approve or deny members to the group
- Overall management of funds of the network
Co-Executive Directors oversee + organise the group, and their roles are elected by and from the Coordinating Group on a yearly basis. Their role can be appealed by the members or else by an appeal of the Coordinating Group. The Co-Executive Directors will always receive the same hourly rate as their co-workers. Co-Executive Directors carry out their duties in addition to their Coordinator role – this is reflected in their additional paid hours per week.
The Staff Support is an unpaid role that is carried out by someone who does not have lived experience of nannying or au pair work. They support the coordinating group on a monthly basis by carrying out 1-2-1 check-in meetings. The primary function of this role is to give organisers added support from someone who can maintain objectivity within the structure of the network, making sure that all organisers are feeling supported, happy, and comfortable in their roles. The Staff Support is also the head of the Welfare Committee and the Safeguarding Lead for the network.
The Welfare Committee is led by the Staff Support, and deals with things like disciplinary procedures (if a staff member or network member has done something offensive, like post racist/sexist messages in the chat, harassed another member, etc.). The Welfare Committee is made up of 5 people including the Staff Support, and any member, organiser, or volunteer can apply to be a part of it. The Welfare Committee is chosen in a Network-wide annual election. For ethical reasons, the Co-Executive Directors are not able to join this group.
7. Working groups
Working groups exist to carry out a defined set of tasks and work on behalf of the Nanny Solidarity Network.
Creation of new working groups
The creation of new working groups must be approved by the Coordinating Group. If the proposed new working group overlaps with an existing working group, it may be suggested that a new subgroup of an existing working group is created. Proposals to form new working groups must be made jointly by at least four members of the network. If a proposal for a new working group is not approved by the Coordinating Group, then the proposal can be taken to an all-members assembly. Once a new working group has been created, it must immediately select at least one working group coordinator, and one member to sit on the Coordinating Group.
Membership of working groups
Membership of working groups is open, and any member of the network is entitled to become a member of any of the working groups. Membership of a working group is loosely defined as regular attendance of meetings and the taking on of tasks arising from those meetings. An individual may be a member of more than one working group at a time.
Working group coordinators
There is a minimum of one coordinator for each working group, and a maximum of two.
The coordinators’ responsibilities are as follows:
- To communicate with members, working groups and staff, and ensure that the working group is contributing to the overall strategy and objectives of the network. To be the first point(s) of contact for that working group, i.e. for other working groups/members of the network/network staff.
- To help bring new people from the wider membership into the working group, and to ensure that new members have all the information they need to participate fully in the working group.
- To help maintain a list of working group members and outstanding action points.
- To attend Coordinating Group meetings and act as a communication channel between the Coordinating Group and the working group, including ensuring that the views of a working group and its members are represented at coordinating group meetings. No one can be a coordinator of more than one working group.
- Working group Coordinators form the coordinating group, also known as the core organising team. In the event that one of these organisers leaves their post, a new coordinator shall be determined by the voting process outlined below.
8. Supporting organisations
The Nanny Solidarity Network will ask other relevant organisations to become supporting organisations of the network and to make a public pledge of support for the network, its aims and its principles. Supporting organisations are not expected to pay subscriptions and do not have any formal representation within the structures of the Nanny Solidarity Network. Supporting organisations are asked to:
- Publicise their affiliation to the network and agree to be listed as supporting organisations on the network’s website and other relevant communications.
- Support and publicise the network’s actions and campaigns.
- Publicise the network to their members, and encourage individual membership of the network.
The Nanny Solidarity Network works to provide equivalent support and publicity to its organisational supporters, including sharing information about those organisations with network members. Membership of a supporting organisation does not equal membership of the network. If members of that organisation wish to participate fully in the network – including voting in meetings and assemblies, and taking on named roles within the network – then they must have lived experience of nannying or au pairing work and, if so, become full members of the network.
9. Elections and voting
Anyone who is a full member of the Nanny Solidarity Network is eligible to stand and vote in elections. Elections for the Welfare Committee and the Co-Executive Directors are held annually on the 15th of March. The Coordinators of the Coordinating Group are elected roles with no term limit. Their roles are only included in the annual election if a Coordinator is willingly stepping down. This is because our Coordinating Group is made up of minoritised, marginalised, and otherwise low-paid workers, and It does not align with our values for their paid roles to be changeable without their consent. The work we do is consuming and to ask that of our coordinators we must guarantee them a certain level of employment security.
The Co-Executive Directors are selected annually by the Coordinating Group with the following process: 1. Nominations are open for a two-week period. Nominees for a Co-Executive Director role are only eligible if they have been a member of the coordinating group for one year.
- Candidates may nominate themselves and are invited to submit 200 words about why they would like the role. This submission will be shared with the other members of the coordinating group.
- If time allows at the all-member assembly, each candidate is given an equal opportunity to explain why they would like the role and what they feel they would bring to it.
- The Co-Executive Directors are then determined by a consensus vote at the next coordinating group meeting. The outcome of this vote must be publicised to the network within 5 days of the decision being made.
- Members may appeal the outcome of the election to the coordinating group if at least 25 members or 5% of the network (whichever is greater) do so in writing within 15 days of the consensus vote.
The Welfare Committee is selected annually by a network-wide vote with the following process:
- Nominations are open for a two-week period. Nominees are only eligible if they have been a member of the network for at least 6 months.
- Candidates may nominate themselves and are invited to submit 200 words about why they would like the role. This submission will be shared with the network membership online (either by email or WhatsApp).
- If time allows at the all-member assembly, each candidate is given an equal opportunity to explain why they would like the role and what they feel they would bring to it.
- Online voting opens shortly after the candidates have spoken at the all-member assembly and takes place over a two-week period. All members must be emailed with details of how to vote.
- The results are announced online.
- Members may appeal the outcome of the election to the coordinating group if at least 25 members or 5% of the network (whichever is greater) do so in writing within 15 days of the consensus vote.
In the event of a tie in either election, the Staff Support may cast the deciding vote.
When members of the coordinating group or welfare committee need to be elected outside of the annual elections (for example, if the previous coordinator or committee member has stood down), then the network may use the following process instead: 1. A meeting of the coordinating group welfare committee agrees by consensus to use this alternative process. 2. During that meeting, nominations are made in the usual way (ie. each candidate must be nominated by at least one other member of the network).
- Nominations are announced to the members of the network online (e.g. email or WhatsApp). Any full member of the network is able to take part in the elections for the network. For coordinating group elections, it is expected that a network member will have attended at least 3 meeting forums in the last 6 months in order to be eligible to vote.
If there is no consensus reached about using this alternative process, then the full election process must be used, if capacity exists to run it.
Any coordinator or committee member elected during an interim election must stand again at the next bi-annual election if they wish to remain in the role.
10. Data access and privacy
The Nanny Solidarity Network will never sell or share sensitive personal information about its members to any external organisation, government or company. Every effort will be made to keep information safe and secure. We will actively resist any attempt by any government to force us to disclose any information. The coordinating group is responsible for ensuring that information about members is held in accordance with data protection legislation and with the values of the network. The coordinating group must ensure that a privacy and data protection policy is kept up to date and implemented. Any member of staff or network member who is entrusted with personal information of fellow members so as to go about their role within the network must handle this data in accordance with our privacy and data protection policy.
The coordinating group must ensure that any contractors or staff employed by the Nanny Solidarity Network are adequately supervised and employed on fair and decent terms and conditions. The Nanny Solidarity Network encourages its staff to join a trade union. Staff have a responsibility to uphold the values and culture of the Nanny Solidarity Network and to carry out their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the management processes set out by the coordinating group. Staff may be members of the Nanny Solidarity Network and participate in decision-making processes.
12. Changing these secondary rules
Our commitment to member control is included in our constitution. These are ‘entrenched’ because we imagine that they will be central to the network for so long as it exists. By contrast, these secondary rules of the network are primarily procedural. This means that they are open to democratic modification, should the members wish for them to be altered. Any rule in the secondary rules can be removed or modified where either: (a) consensus is sought at all-member assembly, before moving to a vote; 18 (b) an online vote is held on the basis of a proposal moved by a majority vote at a member forum or a coordinating group meeting. The coordinating group and their respective working groups can submit motions to all-member assemblies concerning rule changes.
13. Code of Conduct & Managing Conflict
Our values are set out at the beginning of this document. All members of the network, including all holders of any positions within the network, are expected to treat one another as members of a community, to listen to one another, and to make sure that no one is kept down. This includes a total rejection of any form of discrimination or intimidation. It is vital that we maintain a culture in which all members are valued and feel able to contribute. We recognise that formal disciplinary proceedings are often not the best response to conflicts within the organisation. In accordance with our values we encourage and will seek to support our members in challenging oppressive behaviour or attitudes. Likewise, we encourage those challenged to respond with good will and a willingness to reflect and learn.
We believe in the ability of people to change and transform their attitudes and behaviour, and strive to foster a culture a where this is supported and enabled within the network. Where members of the network are in conflict with each other, one of the co-executive directors should seek to mediate in the first instance. Where a complaint has been made by one member against another, and one or both parties do not wish to discuss it, one of the co-executive directors will speak to the two parties separately. Where a conflict cannot be resolved between two people, it may be raised with the Welfare Committee.
In the event that an individual or group of individuals is deemed to be violating the values or rules of the network, it may be necessary to take further steps to address the situation. The details of this process are outlined in our Disciplinary & Grievance Procedure, the crux of which recommends expulsion of any member or organiser who has severely breached the network’s Code of Conduct and/or values. Expulsion or suspension is determined on a case-by-case basis by the coordinating group and may be appealed by the member or organiser within 15 days of the action being taken.