HR Administration

Protest Group Calls News Conference on Opening Day of SHRM Confab

By Staff Report

Jun. 10, 2011

Frustration is growing among a handful of past presidents and board chairs of the Society for Human Resource Management who have been calling for a meeting with the industry association’s leaders to discuss recent board decisions and concerns about the future of the organization.

The splinter group, called SHRM Members for Transparency, recently announced a June 26 press conference to air its grievances.

UPDATE: SHRM agrees to meet with protest group.

The event will take place across the street from Las Vegas Convention Center on the opening day of SHRM’s 63rd annual conference, which is set for June 26 to 29. Kathryn McKee, a former SHRM board chair and transparency group member, will be speaking, says Mike Losey, former SHRM CEO and the transparency group’s leader.

“There’s so much misunderstanding and confusion after so much effort on our part,” says Losey, whose group formed last year shortly after the SHRM board voted to nearly double the annual honoraria paid to board members and to allow reimbursement for business-class travel. “Why do they say we’ve met when they haven’t met with us and why won’t they meet with us? It’s extremely frustrating. This is an opportunity for us to address some of these issues.”

The press conference is being triggered in part by the SHRM board’s failure to respond to repeated invitations for a meeting with the transparency group, Losey says. At the heart of the group’s concerns is the board’s 2005 decision to pay board members an annual honorarium.

Other issues include the number of SHRM board members without credentials from the HR Certification Institute, or HRCI.

While the group lists 46 official members only a few will attend the conference, Losey says, pointing to the board’s decision to repeal a provision offering free conference registration to past presidents and board chairs. He says some plan to skip the conference in protest and others can’t afford to go.

It’s unclear whether the press conference will pave the way for a meeting with SHRM leaders. SHRM interim president and CEO Henry Jackson declined to comment.

For more on the growing dissent between SHRM Members for Transparency and SHRM, click here.

—Rita Pyrillis

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