Guide to Robert’s Rules of Order

This pdf diagram shows how a motion is handled under Robert’s Rules of Order, a set of rules for running meetings that allows everyone the option to speak and make decisions deliberately.

Proposed ground rules for UAW 2865 statewide meeting (5/21/2011)

In order to facilitate the participation of all members regardless of their prior knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order, we are proposing that members adopt the following ground rules, which are consistent with Roberts’ Rules, together with the agenda for this meeting.

Requesting to speak

• Members who wish to speak should line up behind one of the two microphones placed in the room, and waits to be recognized by the Chair to speak. The speaking order will alternate between the 2 lines.

• In the case of a debate on a specific motion,  one line will be for those speaking in favor, the other for those speaking against. Those speaking to amend the motion, extender close debate, or table the proposal can use either line.

Amending a motion

• Once an amendment is brought forward, it will be debated and voted on first, before debate can resume on the main motion.

Time limits, extending and closing discussion

• In order to respect everyone’s time, a time limit for discussing each item will be adopted as part of the agenda. When the time limit on an item has expired, the chair will ask if any member wants to propose a time extension. Such an extension requires the approval of a majority of the members present and voting. If no extension is approved, the Chair will request a vote on the proposal if applicable, and then move to the next item.

• A member can propose to close discussion on the current item. Closing discussion requires the approval of two-thirds of the members present and voting.

Tabling discussion

• A member can propose to table (i.e. postpone) the discussion of an item, which requires the approval of a majority of members present and voting.

• A tabled item can be brought back for discussion later in the meeting, again requiring a majority vote. If not brought back, consideration of this item is postponed to the next meeting.


• Votes will be taken by show of hands in favor, then against. Members can request their abstention to be recorded, however abstentions do not count as votes cast (e.g. a majority means that there are more votes in favor than votes against, regardless of abstentions).

Procedural points

A member can raise any of the procedural points below by raising their hand during the meeting. The Chair will pause the current discussion and ask the member to state their point.

• Point of order: if you believe a procedural error has been made. The Chair will rule on a point of order.

• Point of information: if you are requesting specific information about the topic being discussed or the procedure. The Chair will answer this point or designate someone who can.

• Point of personal privilege: if you are being prevented from participating in the meeting due to noise or some other physical impediment or discomfort.

• Appeal the Chair’s ruling: after you state your appeal, the Chair will reply, and members will then vote. A majority of the members present and voting can reverse the Chair’s decision.