Current Union Rules page 3 continued
1. a. The Union shall have the power to convene either of two types of tribunal, a disciplinary tribunal and a complaints
tribunal; the Union shall also have the power to convene an appeals panel;
b. The administrative arrangements for the convening of a tribunal or an appeals panel shall be the responsibility of the
General Secretary or his or her nominated deputy; in the absence of an appropriate member of the executive staff, the
Chairman shall assume this responsibility.
The procedures for determining the composition of a tribunal or an appeals panel shall be in accordance with the provisions of this appendix.
The tribunal shall consist of not fewer than three and not more than six secretaries of federations or other valid groups who do not currently hold any national office, including membership of the Council.
The General Secretary shall notify the Chairman, the Immediate Past Chairman, all Chairmen Emeriti who are current members of the Council and as many of the most recent chairmen remaining in paid-up membership as shall be necessary to bring the number of Chairmen Emeriti up to five that a tribunal is to be held, and shall invite these persons to nominate to the tribunal from the list of secretaries provided between three and six persons; the Chairmen shall reply to the General Secretary within seven days of receiving the invitation, failing which their nominations shall be invalid.
The General Secretary shall then invite the six eligible members with the highest number of votes to form the tribunal. If fewer than three accept nomination, he or she shall invite so many more in order of votes as may be necessary to form the tribunal. In the event of an equality of votes at any stage, those members with the same number of votes shall be elected in alphabetical order.
The General Secretary, or his or her nominated deputy, shall attend meetings of the tribunal for the purposes of recording the proceedings and of offering advice including, where appropriate, legal advice.
- In the event of the General Secretary’s being summoned to appear before a tribunal, he or she shall forfeit all duties described above and below within this appendix and shall be replaced in the execution of those duties by the Chairman.
8. a. An allegation that a member is in breach of discipline shall be investigated by a disciplinary tribunal;
b. An allegation that a member, or the Union, or any officer of the Union is in breach of these rules shall be investigated
by a complaints tribunal.
9. a. The following shall be deemed to be breaches of discipline and shall be sufficient grounds for sanction as specified
by rule 19:
i. conduct involving dishonesty or serious physical or sexual assault in respect of which the member concerned has
been convicted; or
ii. any other conduct which, in the opinion of the tribunal, is unbefitting a member of the Union or contrary to its
interests or objects.
b. Any action, which is contrary to these rules, whether taken by a member, by the Union or by any officer of the Union
shall be deemed to be in breach of these rules and shall be sufficient grounds for sanction as specified by rules
A15 and rule A19.
10. a. Any member who considers that another member’s conduct has amounted to a breach of discipline on any of the
grounds specified in rule A/9 of this appendix may make a complaint to the General Secretary, or if necessary to the
Chairman, who shall convene a tribunal under the provisions of this appendix.
b. Any member who considers that any action contrary to these Rules has been taken by the Union or by any Officer
thereof may make a complaint to the General Secretary, or if necessary to the Chairman, who shall convene a
tribunal under the provisions of this appendix.
11. Any such complaint shall:
a. be in writing and shall give the name and details of the person making the complaint;
b. state against whom the complaint is directed;
c. i. in the case of an alleged breach of discipline, state the nature of the conduct which is the subject of the complaint
and specify under which of the grounds listed in rule A9a the complaint is being lodged;
ii. in the case of an alleged breach of these rules, specify the breach of rules which is the subject of the complaint;
d. specify details of any evidence supporting the complaint, including the names and addresses of any witnesses
whom the member may wish to call on his or her behalf;
e. state the nature of the complainant’s interest in making the complaint; and
f. state the nature of the injury or damage suffered by any person in consequence of the alleged breach.
The tribunal, on receiving such a complaint, shall make such preliminary investigation as it deems necessary to determine whether or not prima facie grounds exist for the allegation. Where it considers that such grounds do not exist it shall dismiss the complaint and inform the complainant accordingly, otherwise it shall proceed to hold a full investigation in accordance with rule A13.
- In an investigation under this rule against any person, the tribunal shall:
a. send that person written notice of the charges being brought against him/her;
b. give that person at least twenty-eight days to prepare his or her defence;
c. afford that person a full and fair oral hearing;
d. allow that person to be represented by any person of his or her own choosing;
e. send to that person within fourteen days after the conclusion of the hearing a copy in writing of the findings of the
tribunal and details of any penalty imposed;
f. notify the tribunal’s decision to the other parties to the hearing.
14. a. While every effort shall be made to ensure that members of a tribunal or of an appeals panel shall have no prior
knowledge of the complaint, no tribunal or appeals panel shall be invalidated by the fact of including one or more
members who do have such prior knowledge.
b. While every effort shall be made to ensure that members of a tribunal or of an appeals panel shall have no current
personal involvement with the complainant or defendant, the disclosure or discovery of any such involvement shall
disqualify the member from serving on the tribunal or appeals panel.
15. a. If the tribunal is satisfied after investigation that a member has been in breach of discipline, it may impose a sanction
as specified by rule 19;
b. If the tribunal is satisfied after investigation that a member or any officer of the Union has been in breach of these
rules, it may impose a sanction as specified by rule 19;
c. If the tribunal is satisfied after investigation that the Union has been in breach of these rules, it may:
i. declare that the Union has acted in a way which is in breach of the rules; or
ii. record a motion of censure against the Union.
- A member, or in the case of the complaints tribunal a member or an officer, shall have the right of appeal against a decision of the tribunal by giving written notice, with reasons, to the General Secretary within twenty- one days of the date of the written communication referred to in rule A/13e. Council shall appoint an appeals panel consisting of three Council members to hear the appeal on behalf of Council. The appeals panel may review, affirm, quash or vary (by substituting a lower or higher level of sanction) the tribunal’s decision.
The findings of the appeals panel and any variation of the penalty originally imposed shall be reported to Council and communicated in writing to the member or officer affected within fourteen days after the conclusion of the appeal. The decision of the appeals panel shall be final.
All documentation shall remain confidential to the members of the tribunal and, where appropriate, to the members of the appeals panel; upon the conclusion of an appeal and the notification of the result to the Council, such documentation shall remain confidential to the members of the Council.
There shall be no sanction imposed on any member of the Union or any officer thereof other thana motion of censure, a warning, suspension or expulsion or termination of membership.
- The functions and powers of the National Officers, with the exception of the Founder Presidents, shall be as determined by current legislation and the provisions of these Rules.
2. a. i. The Union shall have a General Secretary, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Immediate Past Chairman, Honorary
Secretary, and Honorary Treasurer.
ii. No member of the Council shall be able to hold two officer positions at the same time.
b. The officers of the Union, where appropriate, shall be elected by postal ballot of all members excluding students of
the Union as follows:
i. an election for the office of General Secretary shall be held once in every five year period, such elections being
conducted in accordance with the requirements of current legislation; where the General Secretary is a candidate in
an election, the National Chairman shall ask a member of staff to act as the Returning Officer;
ii. an election for the office of Vice-Chairman shall be held annually;
iii. an election for the offices of Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer shall be held in alternate biennial year for
ordinary members of the Council;
iv. in all contested elections the candidates shall be invited to submit to the electorate an election address which shall
not exceed the prescribed maximum length.
c. All Federations and groups recognised under Rule 9 but excluding working parties, in consultation with their
constituent groups where applicable, may nominate one current Council member for election to each of the offices of
Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.
d. A casual vacancy for the office of Vice-Chairman shall be filled by means of a by-election conducted in accordance with
the provisions of these Rules.
e. At each Annual General Meeting, the Vice-Chairman shall assume the office of Chairman and the outgoing Chairman
shall assume the office of Immediate Past Chairman for one year.
f. i. When a ballot is held for the office of Honorary Secretary or Honorary Treasurer, the member placed second in the
ballot shall be designated deputy to the office-holder, provided that the ballot paper includes notification to this effect
and provided that s/he is otherwise elected to the Council.
ii. In the event that the member placed second in the ballot is not otherwise elected to Council, a deputy to the office-
holder shall be elected by and from members of the Council at their first meeting of the following quadrennium.
iii. In the event that the office of Honorary Secretary or Honorary Treasurer is uncontested, a deputy to the office-holder
shall be elected by and from members of the Council at their first meeting of the following quadrennium.
iv. A member of the Council thus elected as deputy to the Honorary Secretary or Honorary Treasurer shall deputise for
the office-holder should a casual vacancy arise.
v. In the event of such a casual vacancy, the member elected as deputy to the office-holder shall assume office until the
vacancy shall be filled by means of a by-election conducted in accordance with these Rules. An officer so elected
shall hold office for the unexpired portion of the quadrennium.
g. A Chairman Emeritus shall not be a member of the Council by virtue of that designation, but may be elected to the
Council and to National Office in the normal way. However, a Chairman Emeritus may stand for election as Vice-
Chairman only if no other nominations are received.
h. National Officers, as defined in Rule B2a, shall have the right of attendance at meetings of all Committees of the
Council and all Section Committees, together with any committee determined under Rules 9 and 65.
i. The General Secretary or his/her nominated deputy shall act as the Returning Officer for the election of Officers of the
Union and shall be solely responsible for the conduct of those elections.
j. Any officer, 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 31 and 32.
Every officer and employee shall be indemnified by the Union against all costs, losses, liabilities and expenses which s/he may reasonably incur in discharge of his or her duties, provided that all claims for such expenses are lodged within a reasonable time and in such a manner as the Council, or in the case of employees the General Secretary, may reasonably determine.
- No officer shall be liable for any loss happening to the Union through the execution of the duties of his or her Office, unless the loss be the consequence of his or her own dishonesty, wilful neglect or default.
5. a. The joint founder of the Union, Mr R V Bryant, shall be known as Founder President, and may attend meetings of the
Council as observers on any occasion that the Council shall determine;
5. b. The joint founder of the Union, the late Mr C R Leicester, shall also be known as a Founder President.
The General Secretary
The General Secretary shall be a full-time paid officer responsible for overall management of the Union’s affairs and a Trustee of the Union and its Pension Fund in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
Within the general policy and financial limits approved from time to time by the Council, and notwithstanding Rules B17 and B20, the General Secretary shall be responsible for the overall management of the Union. This responsibility shall include, either directly or by delegation, specifications as to the direction and extent of duties for all staff of the Union.
The General Secretary shall keep the Chairman and/or the Council fully informed about the Union’s current position, both orally at Council meetings and in writing as deemed appropriate by the General Secretary and/or the Chairman.
The General Secretary shall select and appoint on behalf of the Council, either directly or by delegation, and under the terms and conditions, including remuneration, as shall be from time to time prescribed by the Council, all the non-executive and administrative staff of the Union. For this purpose executive staff shall be deemed to be those at the level of Assistant General Secretary, or equivalent status, and above.
The General Secretary shall have the right on behalf of the Council to discipline any member of staff or to dismiss any non-executive or administrative member of staff. Before dismissing a member of staff, however, the General Secretary shall consult the Chairman and shall consider the legal position of the Union in the event of such dismissal.
- The General Secretary shall act as the Returning Officer for the elections of Council members and Officers of the Union in accordance with current legislation and the provisions of Rules 49, 50, 51, 52 and B2.
The National Chairman
The first duty of the Chairman shall be to uphold the Constitution.
The Chairman shall be responsible for taking the chair at the National Conference, at meetings of the Council, and at meetings of such Committees as the Council shall determine, but not otherwise unless elected to the Chair by the meeting concerned.
The Chairman shall be a Trustee of the Union's Pension Fund in accordance with the provisions of Appendix C.
In an emergency, the Chairman may take action under the provisions of Rule 68a., 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 these Rules.
- The Chairman shall ensure the Union’s compliance with the provisions of Rules B19 and B22.
The Honorary Secretary
The Honorary Secretary shall have general oversight of the administrative affairs of the Union.
The Honorary Secretary shall be a Trustee of the Union and of its Pension Fund in accordance with the provisions of Appendix C.
- The Honorary Secretary shall present to each Annual General Meeting a Report of the activities of the Union during such period, as the Council shall determine. The Honorary Secretary shall sign the Report.
The Honorary Treasurer
The Honorary Treasurer shall have general oversight of the financial affairs of the Union.
The Honorary Treasurer shall be a Trustee of the Union and of its Pension Fund in accordance with the provisions of Appendix C.
- The Honorary Treasurer shall present to each Annual General Meeting a revenue account and balance sheet duly audited and incorporating the report of the auditor thereon. The account shall be made up to such date, as the Council shall determine to be the end of the financial year. The Honorary Treasurer shall sign the document.
- The functions and powers of the Trustees shall be as determined by current legislation and the provisions of these Rules.
The Union’s Property
The Union shall have not more than four Trustees in whom the property of the Union shall be vested in trust for the Union.
- The Trustees of the Union’s property shall be appointed by the members as represented at the Annual General Meeting and, subject to the following provisions, shall be the holders of the following offices within the Union:
a. the General Secretary;
b. the Honorary Secretary;
c. the Honorary Treasurer;
d. the Union Solicitor.
A Trustee shall remain as such until ceasing to hold one of the designated posts.
Where a Trustee has been appointed by virtue of office, any person elected to replace any designated office holder shall replace him or her also as Trustee.
Where it shall appear necessary to the Council that a new Trustee be appointed, the Council shall recommend such an appointment to an Annual General Meeting.
- Every Trustee in charge of money or other assets shall be required to keep accurate accounts of such money or other assets and may be required to offer a security approved by the Council.
The Union’s Pension Scheme
- Under the terms and conditions of the Scheme Trust Deed and the provision of current legislation and current Inland Revenue requirements, the Trustees of the Union’s Pension Scheme shall be designated by office as follows:
a. the Chairman;
b. the General Secretary;
c. the Honorary Secretary, if willing; otherwise a member of Council elected for this purpose shall replace the officer
d. the Honorary Treasurer, if willing; otherwise a member of Council elected for this purpose shall replace the officer
e. one person appointed by active members of the scheme from among their number.
The Trustees shall appoint a designated administrator of the Pension Scheme who shall be deemed to have the management thereof.
The Trust Deed shall be registered with the Registrar of Pension Schemes of the Occupational Pensions Board.
The duty of the Trustees shall be to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the Pension Scheme.
The Trustees shall not be answerable to the Council or its Committees. The Trustees shall produce an Annual Report and the Accounts, which shall be available on request to members of the scheme.
Every Trustee shall be indemnified by the Union against all costs, losses, liabilities and expenses, which s/he may reasonably incur in discharge of his or her duties, provided that all claims are lodged within a reasonable time and in such a manner as the Council may reasonably determine.
- No Trustee shall be liable for any loss happening to the Union through the execution of the duties of his or her office, unless the loss be the consequence of his or her own dishonesty, wilful neglect or default.