Current Union Rules page 2 continued
- At all general meetings of the Union, the Chairman of the Union shall preside. If the Chairman is not present, the order of precedence shall be the Vice-Chairman and then the Immediate Past Chairman.
36. a. Subject to current legislation and the provisions of these Rules, a resolution put to the vote at a general meeting
shall, except where a poll is demanded or is directed by the Chairman of the meeting, be decided by a show of hands.
b. The Chairman shall not declare, or direct to be declared, the result of any voting at a general meeting unless s/he is
satisfied that every member present at the meeting has had a fair and reasonable opportunity of casting his or her
vote without interference or constraint.
On a show of hands, every member present in person, of whatever class, shall have one vote. On a poll, every member present either in person or by proxy, of whatever class, shall have one vote. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
- Unless a poll is demanded, a declaration by the Chairman of the result of a resolution on a show of hands, together with an entry made to that effect in the book containing the minutes of the proceedings of the Union, shall be conclusive evidence of the fact, without proof of the number or proportion of the votes recorded in favour of, or against, such resolution.
39. a. A poll may be demanded either before or immediately after a vote by show of hands, by not fewer than one-tenth of
the members present at the meeting, or may be directed by the Chairman. A demand for a poll may be withdrawn.
b. If a poll is demanded or directed it shall be taken at such time and in such manner as the Chairman shall direct.
The result of such a poll, when added to the result of any live vote on the same proposal, shall be deemed to be the
resolution of the Union in general meeting.
The instrument appointing a proxy shall be in writing under the hand of the appointer and shall be deposited at the registered office of the Union not fewer than seven clear days before the day fixed for holding the meeting at which the person named in such instrument is authorised to vote.
- Any question as to the acceptability of any vote whether tendered personally or by proxy shall be determined by the Chairman of the meeting, whose decision shall be final.
42. a. The Council, and any Committee to which it delegates any of its powers under Rule 65., shall be governed by current
legislation and by the standing orders relevant to the Council or Committee as appropriate.
b. Members of the Council with voting rights shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Immediate Past Chairman,
Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and ordinary Council members elected under the provisions of these Rules.
c. In the case of an equality of votes within the Council the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
d. The General Secretary shall be a non-voting member of the Council.
43. a. The Council may from time to time ask one or more persons to attend a Council meeting as an observer or in order
to provide the Council with factual information or with technical or professional advice in relation to any business
conducted at that meeting.
b. The General Secretary shall seek the attendance at meetings of the Council of such members of the executive staff,
as s/he shall deem necessary under Rule B/7.
The election and removal of ordinary Council members shall be conducted in accordance with these rules and current legislation.
The Council shall from time to time determine both the allocation of members to electoral areas for the purpose of returning ordinary Council members for such electoral areas on the Council, and the number of ordinary Council members to represent any area.
- The General Secretary, or his/her nominated deputy, shall act as the Returning Officer at such elections, and as such shall be responsible to the Council for the efficient and impartial conduct of such elections, except as governed by Rule B/2b(i).
47. a. Elections of half of the ordinary Council members shall be held in every second year of a rolling four year cycle.
b. A retiring ordinary Council member shall be eligible for re-election.
c. Ordinary Council members shall take office at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting following their election
and, unless re-elected, shall retire after serving for four years.
d. No nominee may seek election to more than one electoral area.
48. a. Nominations for ordinary membership of the Council to represent any given electoral area shall be supported by the
signature of four members from the given area.
b. Members of the FHE Section, the Independent Section, the EYC Section and the WW Section may be nominated
either in their own electoral area or in the geographic area to which they would otherwise be allocated.
49. a. If, by the specified closing date for nomination in the year of an election, the Returning Officer receives a greater
number of valid nominations than there are seats to be filled in any electoral area, a secret postal ballot shall be
conducted of all members (except student members) in the electoral area.
b. In all contested elections for ordinary Council members the candidates shall be invited to submit to the electorate an
election address, which shall not exceed the prescribed length.
50. a. No nomination received by the Returning Officer after the closing date of a quadrennial election shall be a valid
nomination for the quadrennial election.
b. Any such uncontested nomination which is otherwise valid may be accepted and processed by the Returning
Officer in the first, second or third year of the quadrennium and any nominee thus elected shall take up office at the
conclusion of the Annual General Meeting following the election; pending such election the nominee may be invited by
the Council, upon application by the appropriate constituency, to take up observer status on the Council, with effect
from the next meeting, with no power to speak or take part in any vote.
51. a. A vacancy on the Council as defined in Rule 54 shall be filled through a by-election conducted under the same Rules
as a quadrennial election and as soon as possible following receipt of the official notification of the vacancy.
b. The Council may specify alternative dates for the conduct of a by-election and shall do everything possible to ensure
that a member thus elected shall be able to take office as soon as possible following the declaration of the result.
c. An ordinary Council member elected in a by-election shall hold office only until the next quadrennial election of the
The election of an ordinary Council member to any of the offices designated in Appendix B shall be held to create a vacancy in his/her electoral area.
A Council member, other than the General Secretary, may be removed from office by a resolution carried by two-thirds of the votes given thereon at a Special General Meeting convened in accordance with Rules 29 and 30. Such removal from office shall be held to create a vacancy in his/her constituency.
- A Council member shall be deemed to have vacated office if s/he:
a. ceases to be a member under the provisions of Rule 17; or
b. absents him or herself from three consecutive meetings of the Council without special leave of absence (an apology
for absence shall not be deemed to constitute special leave of absence); or
c. becomes bankrupt or compounds with his or her creditors; or
d. is convicted of any offence which results in a sentence of not less than three months imprisonment without the
option of a fine.
The Council shall meet at least three times a year at such times and places as it deems fit and fourteen clear days’ notice of the date and place of such meetings shall be given in writing to all Council members.
- The quorum for meetings of the Council shall be ten members including at least one officer with full voting rights. The quorum for all appropriate committees formed under Rule 63a shall be one-third of the de facto membership.
57. a. No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Council unless a quorum of members is present at the time
the meeting proceeds to business.
b. If no quorum is present within half an hour of the time appointed for the start of the meeting, the meeting shall be
adjourned to the same day of the next week at the same time and place, when no quorum shall be necessary.
c. If at the next scheduled meeting of the Council no quorum is reached the only power remaining to the Council shall
be the convening of a Special General Meeting.
58. a. Special meetings of the Council may be called either by:
i. the Chairman of the Union; or
ii. written request of one-quarter of the Council membership, specifying the business to be transacted thereat.
b. A special meeting shall be held not earlier than seven and not later than fourteen clear days after it has been
c. Should such a meeting, having been requested, not be called the Chairman of the Union or the Council members
who have requested it shall accept responsibility for calling the meeting, at the Union’s expense.
d. No business shall be conducted at the meeting other than that which has been specified.
59. a. No meeting of the Council may be cancelled other than in an emergency. A decision to cancel must be taken by a
minimum of three of the National Officers.
b. The Union shall reimburse members of the Council for any reasonable expenses legitimately incurred as a result of
The business of the Union shall be conducted by the Council which may exercise all such powers as may be exercised by the Union, and which are not by current legislation or these Rules defined as a function of a general meeting.
- In addition to its general power to manage the business of the Union the Council shall have the following discrete powers:
a. to purchase, sell, build upon, lease, mortgage or exchange any property or land, and to enter into any contracts and
settle the terms thereof;
b. to borrow for the purposes of the Union such amount of money, either at one time or from time to time, and at such
rate of interest, and in such form and manner, and upon such security as the Council deems appropriate;
c. to compromise, settle, conduct, enforce or resist, either in a Court of Law or by arbitration, any suit, debt, liability or
claim by or against the Union;
d. to appoint and remove staff subject to the contract of employment of the General Secretary;
e. to pay all such expenses, including travelling expenses, as are properly incurred by any member of the Council or
person co-opted to the Council or to a Committee in the execution of his or her duties, provided that all claims for
such expenses are made within a reasonable time and in such a manner as the Council may reasonably determine.
Claims not submitted within three months of the relevant expenditure shall be considered inadmissible unless
special permission has been given by the Honorary Treasurer;
f. to affiliate the Union to any organisation;
g. to promote or organise fund-raising appeals and undertake any other activity for the raising of funds for the purposes
of the Union;
h. to issue directions to any federation or branch in any matter.
- Any decision taken in good faith by the Council shall be binding upon the Council until it is amended or rescinded, providing that any such decision does not contravene any current legislation, these Rules or the standing orders for Council.
63. a. The Council may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting of such members of the Council or other
persons as it sees fit, subject to current legislation and to the provisions of these Rules. The Council shall, at the first
council meeting after an election, review the list of committees, sub-committees and working parties and shall
approve the terms of reference of all such bodies.
b. The Council may establish, or approve the establishment of, further committees, sub-committees and working
parties during the course of a quadrennium and shall, in all such cases, establish, or approve the establishment of,
the terms of reference of all such bodies.
c. In the case of any such committee formed partly or wholly by election, a member of the Council elected to represent a
section may be elected to the committee only as a representative of that same section.
d. Any such committee with delegated powers under Rule 65, shall present minutes of each meeting or such other
records as may meet the requirements of the Council for adoption at the next meeting of the Council.
e. The Council may appoint from among its members persons to perform specific duties and may designate
The proceedings of the Council shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among its number or by any defect in the appointment, election or qualification of any member of the Council.
- A resolution in writing signed by all the members of the Council or by all the members of a Committee shall be as valid and effectual as if it had been passed at a meeting of the Council or Committee duly called and constituted.
66. a. Where in any emergency the Chairman of the Union considers it necessary or expedient for the attaining of any of
the objects of the Union to take immediate action, s/he may do so provided that the matter is reported to the next
meeting of the Council, and provided that such action is consistent with current legislation and with the provisions of
b. Any Committee with delegated powers under Rule 63a, may confer upon its Chairman similar powers to those
described in Rule 66a, and B/15 provided that such powers do not at any time exceed those conferred upon the
67. No budget-holder may exceed the budget agreed by Council except by prior approval.
The functions and powers of the Officers shall be as defined in Appendix B.
- The functions and powers of the Trustees shall be as defined in Appendix C.
70. a. No portion of the funds or property of the Union shall be paid or transferred other than in accordance with Rules 61,
70b. and/or Rule 81.
b. The Council may apply any income or other funds or property for the purposes of attaining the objects of the Union
and for any purpose incidental thereto and may instruct the Trustees of the Union accordingly.
71. a. The Union may at its discretion provide any member at its sole expense with legal advice and/or assistance upon
any matter arising out of, or in connection with, the member’s employment.
b. The Council may from time to time delegate the power to exercise this discretion to the General Secretary acting in
consultation with the Chairman of the Union, the Chairman of the appropriate Committee and the Honorary
Treasurer. In the event of any of these persons not being available, the Chairman of the Union shall give direction as
to the action to be taken to provide a substitute.
c. A report on all applications under this Rule shall be made to the next meeting of the Committee designated by the
Council to receive such reports.
72. a. There shall be appointed by each Annual General Meeting a qualified auditor to audit the Union’s accounts and
balance sheet for the year. In this Rule ‘qualified auditor’ means a person who is qualified within the meaning of
paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974, or any amending statute.
b. None of the following persons shall be appointed as auditor of the Union:
i. an officer or employee of the Union;
ii. a person who is a partner of, or in the employment of, or who employs an officer or employee of the Union;
iii. a body corporate.
c. The audit shall be subject to the provisions of Appendix D.
Minutes of every general meeting and of every meeting of the Council shall be kept. Such minutes shall be read at, or circulated before, the next of such meetings respectively and signed by the Chairman of that next meeting. All minutes so signed shall be conclusive evidence of the relevant record.
- The inclusion or omission of the name of any person from the registers or records mentioned in Rule 76, shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, establish that such person is or is not a member of the Union.
75. a. The Union shall keep proper books of accounts with respect to its transactions and to its assets and liabilities in
accordance with the law.
b. All books of account, registers or records and documents of the Union shall be kept at the registered office or other
such place and in such manner and with such provisions for their security as the Council may from time to time
c. The Union shall establish and maintain a satisfactory system of control of its books of account, its cash holdings and
all receipts and remittances.
d. The Union shall not publish any balance sheet, which has not previously been audited by the auditor, and any copy of
a balance sheet published by the Union shall incorporate any report made thereon by the auditor.
- Every member shall be allowed to inspect the books of account and the register of members at all reasonable hours at the registered office of the Union or at any place where they are kept, subject to such conditions as to the time and manner of such inspection as may be made from time to time by the Council.
- The General Secretary shall supply a copy of the Rules of the Union to any member on demand.
78. a. These Rules may be amended by deletion, addition or substitution in a manner provided in this Rule, provided that
no amendment shall have the effect of causing the Union to cease to be a trade union.
b. Amendments to these Rules may be proposed by the Council, by a federation or comparable group, by a committee
to which Council has delegated the specific responsibility, or by a section committee subject to the limitations
included in the appendices to these Rules. In all such cases the proposed amendment shall have been agreed by a
majority of the votes cast at a quorate and minuted meeting of the body making the proposal and shall have been
received before any deadline for the receipt of such proposals laid down by Council.
c. Rules 4, 5, and 6, and this Rule, are hereby declared to be fundamental and shall not be amended or rescinded
except by a resolution carried by three-quarters of the votes cast at a Special General Meeting of which notice has
been given specifying the intention to propose such amendment or rescission.
d. Subject to Rules 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 and Rule 79, these Rules may be amended by a resolution carried by a two-
thirds majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy at any general meeting of which at least one month’s notice
has been given specifying the intention to propose such amendment.
e. Subject to Rules 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 and those Rules contained within the Appendices may be amended either as
permitted above or by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast at a meeting of the Council of which notice has been
given specifying the intention to propose such amendment.
f. Any amendment to these Rules shall be deemed to imply automatically any consequent renumbering, re-lettering or
cross-referencing without the need of any separate proposal to that effect; this shall apply to any document in which
reference to these Rules is made.
g. As soon as is practicable after any amendment of the Rules under this Rule the amendment shall be made
available to any member on request and the substantive Rule duly amended shall appear in every copy of the Rules
79. Standing Orders for the conduct of meetings shall be as described in Appendix K.
80. a. The Union may be amalgamated with another trade union only as a result of a ballot to that effect held under current
legislation, permission to hold such a ballot having been given by at least three-quarters of the votes cast at a
Special General Meeting of which notice has been given specifying the intention to propose the holding of such a
b. Subject to current legislation, there shall be a requirement of at least three-quarters of the votes cast in such a ballot.
The Union may be dissolved by a resolution carried by three-quarters of the votes cast at a Special General Meeting of which notice has been given specifying the intention to propose such dissolution.
- If on the amalgamation or dissolution of the Union there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property or funds whatsoever, the same shall be dealt with as may be decided upon by the general meeting which resolves upon the amalgamation or dissolution.