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The change followed confusion last year regarding the voting rights of retired members.
“Those of you who were here last year will remember how this arose,” former IMO President Prof Trevor Duffy told delegates during the debate on the motion.
“Last year we went through a root-and-branch reform, looking at new rules. During that, we had to reflect on the old rules.”
He said that during the review, it became “clear that retired members were ineligible to vote [but] over the years that was not applied. It was overlooked.”
“That all happened quite suddenly and not surprisingly, people were quite upset [at last year’s AGM]; for the first time ever, there were badges [for some members] saying ‘voting rights’. It created an understandable amount of anxiety and concern.”
However at this year’s AGM, members voted to change lifetime membership voting rights.
The successful motion read: “The voting rights that will attach to such lifetime members will be the voting rights attaching to ordinary membership, with the exception that such lifetime members shall not be entitled to vote on contractual issues which do not effect their category.”
Many members, including Prof Duffy, speaking during the debate on the motion, emphasised the important role that retired and experienced members play in the union.