Becoming a Member of the National Executive Committee

Please refer to CAPE's Constitution and By-Laws for further information about the National Executive Committee, its membership and the elections process. The Constitution and By-Laws supersede any information contained on this page.

What does it mean to be a member of the National Executive Committee?

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is a governance body that provides oversight, strategic vision, and guidance to CAPE. In practice, the NEC has a fiduciary duty to ensure that CAPE is well-governed and that it meets all its obligations to its members and under CAPE’s Constitution and By-Laws.

That is, the NEC ensures that CAPE’s finances are in order, that due process is followed in all its activities, that it is prepared to adequately address members’ needs in a timely manner, and that it is prepared to take action as needed to defend members’ rights.

While no formal experience is required, members of the NEC should be prepared to work collaboratively and strategically for the advancement of CAPE. They must be able to:

  • Consistently commit the necessary time to perform their duties (attend meetings, review information, respond to members, etc.);
  • Review and approve the CAPE budget and work plan;
  • Critically analyze proposals and strategies;
  • Provide expertise to at least one or more standing committees or sub-committees; and,
  • Promote CAPE and its work within their networks and within the CAPE membership.

Composition of the NEC

The NEC is made up of CAPE members from across the public sector, representing the following employment groups:

  • Economics and Social Science Services (EC)
  • Translation (TR)
  • Library of Parliament (LoP)
  • The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (OPBO); and,
  • Civilian members of the RCMP (ESS and TRL) are represented within the EC and TR groups.

As per the Constitution, a bargaining unit shall have a director position for each 1,000 individuals.

NEC meetings

Regular NEC meetings are held on the last Friday of each month, though no meetings are held in July, August, or December and are recorded in minutes. These meetings are interpreted and generally scheduled for an entire day and are hybrid, with some members attending in person and others attending via teleconference.

The NEC may call special meetings, which are normally shorter and aimed at addressing pressing issues.

In its meetings, the NEC reviews and approves the standing committees’ and subcommittees’ recommendations, motions, and requests; makes strategic decisions; and can put questions to the CAPE staff for further clarification.

Members prepare for NEC meetings by reviewing background reports and information, preparing questions, and reviewing items from the standing committees and subcommittees on which they sit so that they are ready to discuss their decisions at the NEC. Members may also draft motions and inquiries in advance of the NEC to be tabled and debated at the meeting.


Elected NEC members, except for the president, volunteer their time to sit on the NEC, standing committees, and sub-committees. When members need to take leave from their job to fulfill their responsibilities as members of the NEC, they are compensated for their time by CAPE.


The costs of daycare is covered by CAPE when directors participate in mandatory meetings.

Work between meetings

Between monthly meetings, NEC members attend standing committee and sub-committee meetings and may perform other duties as assigned by the President or the NEC.

Standing committees and sub-committees

In addition to serving on the NEC, directors are also required to sit on at least one standing committee or sub-committee. These committees are responsible for various oversight functions as well as addressing issues important to the membership.

Standing committees are permanent CAPE committees that are required under CAPE’s Constitution. Two of the standing committees, the Audit Committee and Elections and Resolutions Committee, are composed solely of CAPE members at large to ensure independence. These committees perform oversight functions and its members are recruited outside of the NEC election process.

All the other committees include a mix of NEC members and members at large. The Finance Committee is responsible for establishing a budget for CAPE and overseeing the financial affairs of the organization. Each bargaining unit has a Collective Bargaining Committee, composed of members that prepare demands and proposals for negotiation. Members of these committees will be selected to negotiate with the employer to develop a new collective agreement.

In addition to the required standing committees, CAPE has various sub-committees where different elements of CAPE’s work are addressed. Sub-committees addressing different priority issues may be created to ensure that the NEC works strategically toward its goals. Sub-committees are composed of NEC members and members at large of CAPE. Members at large who wish to sit on committees apply through a separate process. All sub-committees report to the NEC.


CAPE takes accessibility seriously and provides simultaneous interpretation at all NEC meetings to ensure everyone can participate equally. ASL/LSQ interpretation and other accessibility accommodations are available as needed.

The hybrid meeting format also ensures that members who do not live in the National Capital Region or who have travel accommodation needs have the option of virtual participation.

Bourinot’s Rules

Meetings of NEC are governed by the latest edition of Bourinot's Rules of Order. Additional rules of procedures may be adopted through By-Laws.


Throughout their mandate, CAPE offers NEC members a range of training opportunities to help them understand their duties and responsibilities and familiarize themselves with board process and protocols.