HOW TO Make a Motion from the Floor Requesting Union Support for Conference Attendance


Usually, the best first step to request financial assistance, after talking it over with the President or Business Manager, is to write a request letter to the Executive Board of your union local. See “How to Write…” and the Sample Letter. Hopefully the E-Board will recommend financial support. Great! Be at the meeting with supporters to make sure to make sure the recommendation passes! However, if you are denied at the E-Board or for other reasons the recommendation does not go forward, you may need to make the motion from the floor.



  1. Research the process for a motion to expend union funds in your Local: Motions concerning money may have a specific place on the agenda and a specific process. The process may vary from that discussed below. Motions to expend funds may require 2 meetings, for example, or may need to come from a finance committee.
  2. Rally support beforehand: Attend your meetings; hopefully you are already attending meetings and involved with union activities. Contact other women in the local, talk to your contacts in union leadership, and talk to members that you know attend union meetings. Consult the bullet points on the Value of the Women Building the Nation to be persuasive as to why this activity builds the union.
  3. Discuss and decide the range of financial support to ask for in your motion. You will want to specify a level of support in your motion. How many women in the local, how many want to attend? What are the reasonable expenses? Registrations of course, but consider travel, hotel and perhaps supplemental meals.
  4. Make sure your supporters know their roles at the meeting. It is usually wise to let the President/Meeting Chair and Business Manager know that you are going to ask for support from the floor, unless they would specifically try to quash that request. You may need some support to help ensure that the Chair recognizes you from the podium. You need someone designated in advance to second the motion. And you need votes to pass the motion.


  1. To make a motion, you normally stand up, wait for the Chair to recognize you, and then state your motion. When to make the motion is important to avoid being called out-of-order and having your motion ignored. You must also have a second to the motion for it to be heard. Remember to see Preliminary Step #1!
  2. The Conference may be mentioned from the podium in Correspondence or in the Business Manager’s or the Executive Board Meeting Minutes. If the The Chair asks, “Questions of the Report (or Minutes)?” you should rise to be recognized and to ask that the matter of the Women’s Conference be held out for discussion as New (or for some locals, Old) business. Then the item should be called out in New/Old Business (or you may rise to remind the Chair that you have an item held out) and you may make your motion. Remember to tell the membership reasons that they should support the Women’s conference when you speak on the motion.
  3. You may rise to be recognized and make the motion under New/Old Business when the Chair asks for any more New Business.
  4. If you have not been able to bring the motion under New/Old Business, you may rise under “Good of the Order” or “Good and Welfare.” All topics concerning the union are in order but not all unions will allow you to make a motion under Good of the Order. In any case,  you will be able to speak about the importance of the Women’s Conference and request support for women to attend.

Consult the web for more information about Robert’s Rules of Order and union meetings.