CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Memorandum of Understanding between CILIP and CILIP in Scotland

CILIP in Scotland recently seeked the views of Scotland members on a new joint agreement being negotiated between CILIP and ourselves. Called a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) the agreement aims to set out the future relationship between both organisations and supplements (but does not replace) the current legal agreements between both organisations:

The new joint agreement aims to confirm and clarify the relationship between our separate organisations.

The new agreement was initiated following a CILIP UK Board meeting held in September 2016 which called for a formal separation of CILIP in Scotland from CILIP by ending the:

  • employment by CILIP of CILIP in Scotland staff;
  • link between Scotland membership numbers and CILIP in Scotland income;
  • sharing of a single VAT number; and
  • incorporation of CILIP in Scotland accounts with CILIP annual accounts.

and putting in place a new agreement which will see:

  • CILIP in Scotland assuming responsibility for employment of staff serving Scotland;
  • A funding settlement covering
  1. Staffing costs plus
  2. A set amount for Scotland based activity related to CILIP Action Plan priorities endorsed by the CILIP UK Board.

We are consulting members to ensure you are satisfied that:

  • the new agreement adequately reflects the increasingly devolved constitutional settlement between Scotland and the rest of the UK;
  • the MoU achieves a balance between the needs and duties of equal partners working in the service of our membership; and that
  • members interests will continue to be served appropriately.

CILIP in Scotland’s status as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation requires our trustees to act always in the best interests of the charity and our charitable objectives.

Our trustees view is that a robust MoU is one which recognises our duty and responsibility as set out in our mission, to develop initiatives and deliver services which support Scotland members.

The primary purpose of CILIP in Scotland is to serve the interests of members in Scotland and we work in affiliation with CILIP to do so. Our current practice is to adopt the CILIP priorities and set them in a Scottish context.  So for example, the ‘My Library by Right’ campaign became ‘Libraries Matter’, while the health campaign ‘A Million Decisions’ became ‘The Right Decision’  ensuring the advocacy objectives were relevant to Scotland’s separate national health service and social care environment. It’s important too that CILIP in Scotland continues to pursue advocacy activities which may be distinct from those set by CILIP.  An obvious example is the ongoing school library campaign which has succeeded in influencing the Scottish Government to develop a national school library strategy, which we believe will be the first in the UK. The ability to determine our own priorities in this way makes us an effective force for the membership in Scotland.

Our partners at CILIP previously set out their ambitions for the joint agreement in a pre-negotiation document.  These were to:

  • ensure that the MoU reflects ‘the principle of two autonomous, distinct and independent entities working together to a common framework….’ best served by ‘both organisations working together towards a situation in which CILIP in Scotland operates an independent organisation with its own agenda and governance, staffing and business model…’.

In order to achieve this CILIP has asked to transfer responsibility for staffing to CILIP in Scotland.  Members therefore need to be aware that doing so will remove Scotland’s voice from CILIP at staff level. CILIP in Scotland would no longer be able to influence CILIP aims, objectives and strategic planning through input from CILIPS staff at management meetings.

So, while we continue to share the strategic priorities in the CILIP action plan, like advocacy for example, the operational objectives may, in future, look quite different.

CILIP in Scotland wants to ensure that members fully understand this new arrangement before the MoU is signed off by CILIP in Scotland.

To this end we:

  • set up this web page containing all the information on current agreements and the draft MoU; and
  • provided a link for members to make comments/ask questions direct to CILIPS;

A summary of the questions asked with answers will be available soon.

Here is the latest version of the draft Memorandum of Understanding.

Catherine Kearney

Director, CILIP in Scotland

On behalf of the Trustee Board