Current Union Rules
Rules following Annual General Meeting of 29 June 2013
The General Secretary
The National Chairman
The Honorary Secretary
The Honorary Treasurer
The Union’s Property
The Union’s Pension Schemes
The name of the trade union shall be ‘Voice’ (hereinafter called ‘the Union’).
The registered office shall be: 2 St James’ Court, Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1BT
- The objects for which the Union is established are as follows:
a. to promote professional standards among teachers;
b. to promote professional standards among those employed in education;
c. to promote services to members on all aspects of their work including insurance cover and legal assistance;
d. to regulate relations between members and their employers and organisations of such employers, and to
negotiate on their behalf for improvements in their pay and conditions of service;
e. to help members;
f. to further the advancement of education by study and research;
g. to do any other thing necessary or expedient to further education or promote the interests of members.
Members shall not go on strike under any circumstances.
The Union may make recommendations to members as to their professional conduct, but shall in no circumstances recommend members to act in a manner which would be likely in any way to harm the welfare of their pupils.
- The Council (as defined in Rule 7) may not instigate discussion about the amalgamation or dissolution of the Union without the consent of a majority of at least three-quarters of the votes cast at a meeting of the Council where such a discussion is proposed, nor may it delegate to any other committee or to any individual the power to discuss the amalgamation or dissolution of the Union.
The Union shall have a principal executive committee (hereinafter called ‘the Council’), which shall manage the business of the Union in accordance with the requirements of current legislation.
The Union shall have a principal executive officer (hereinafter called ‘the General Secretary’) who shall be a full-time paid officer responsible for the overall management of the Union’s affairs.
- The Union shall comprise such groups as are deemed desirable by the Council. Each group shall have a Committee, which shall be fully responsible to the Council for the administration of the Union within its area.
10. a. The Council shall admit to membership any person who is properly qualified for membership under Rule 12 unless
there are reasonable grounds for believing that such a person’s membership would seriously prejudice the
attainment of the Union’s objects, and shall in no case exclude any person from membership by way of arbitrary or
b. A person shall cease to be a member if s/he has not paid any subscription or part thereof for which s/he is liable.
11. There shall be such categories of membership as the Council may from time to time determine.
12. An applicant shall qualify for membership if s/he:
a. is recognised as a qualified teacher by the Department for Education (including the Scottish, Welsh and Northern
Irish Education Departments) or equivalent departments; or
b. works as a teacher at a school or other educational institution recognised by the Department for Education
(including the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Education Departments) or equivalent departments; or
c. is recognised as a person qualified to teach by any other body deemed by the Council to have the appropriate
professional standing; or
d. holds an NNEB Certificate/Diploma; or
e. holds a professional qualification approved by Council; or
f. is a qualified Nanny or Home Child Carer with an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check including a
Protection of Children Act (POCA) list check: or
g. does not hold a recommended qualification but has met the criteria recommended by Council; or
h. is a student undertaking a course of training approved by the Council.
13. a. The Council may invite and admit to honorary life membership persons who in its opinion have rendered
distinguished service in the field of education or to Voice.
b. Every Chairman Emeritus shall be admitted to honorary life membership upon his or her ceasing to pay a
14. a. The annual subscription shall be payable upon application for membership. Thereafter in respect of any
membership year it shall become due on the last day of the preceding membership year and shall be paid within 3
b. The annual subscription for each category of member, together with any concessionary offers, shall be such as the
Council may from time to time determine.
15. a. The Council may waive any subscription or part thereof where it is deemed necessary or appropriate.
b. A person who ceases to be a member shall not be entitled to the refund of his or her subscription or part thereof.
Any person whose application for membership is refused by the Council may appeal to a general meeting, whose decision in the matter shall be final.
- A member shall cease to be a member if:
a. s/he dies; or
b. withdraws from the Union; or
c. is convicted of a sexual offence in relation to a child or young person during the course of his or her employment; or
d. is expelled.
- Any member may withdraw from the Union by giving the Union one month’s notice in writing of his or her intention to do so, delivered to its registered address.
In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there shall be an executive committee responsible for the government of Voice in that country in accordance with these Rules and Appendix E of these Rules. In the event of any conflict arising between Appendix E and the Rules of the Union, the Union’s Rules shall prevail except where Appendix E expressly provides otherwise. Appendix E may be amended by deletion, addition or substitution by resolution of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Rule E/6.
20. An allegation that a member is in breach of the Rules, or guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union, shall be investigated by a Disciplinary Tribunal (hereinafter called ‘the Tribunal’).
21. The Tribunal shall be governed by the Rules listed in Appendix A and no change shall be made to any of those Rules without the consent of a majority of at least two thirds of the votes cast at a meeting of the Council where such change is proposed.
22. No member shall by way of any arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination be excluded from:
a. being a candidate for or holding any office in the Union; or
b. nominating any candidate for any such office; or
c. voting in any election or ballot in which s/he is entitled so to vote; or
d. attending or taking part in any meetings where s/he is so entitled.
23. a. The Union shall hold, within seven months after the close of its financial year end, a general meeting which shall be
called the Annual General Meeting, and shall hold such other general meetings as are provided for in these Rules.
b. This meeting may be convened as a meeting of delegates if the Council considers that the number of likely attendees
will be so great as to make this desirable.
c. The basis on which delegates shall be invited to such a meeting shall be laid down by the Council.
24. The functions of the Annual General Meeting shall be:
a. to receive the accounts, balance-sheets and reports referred to in these Rules;
b. to appoint the auditor;
c. to receive the results of the elections carried out under Rules 43, 44, 45, 46 and B/2;
d. to transact any other business of the Union included in the notice convening the meeting.
25. All general meetings other than Annual General Meetings shall be called Special General Meetings. They shall be convened either upon an order of the Council or by permission of a two-thirds majority of votes at an Annual General Meeting or upon a written requisition. The requisition shall be signed by the secretaries of not fewer than three federations or other groups, which at separate meetings have passed resolutions to this effect stating the purpose for which the meeting is to be convened. If a meeting is not convened within fourteen days after delivery of a requisition to the Union, the members who have signed the requisition may convene a meeting in the manner provided for in Rules 27 and 28 and at the Union’s expense.
26. A Special General Meeting shall not transact any business other than that mentioned in the notice convening the meeting.
27. a. A general meeting shall be convened by not less than one month’s notice in writing posted or delivered to every
member at his or her registered address, specifying whether the meeting is an Annual or Special General Meeting
and stating the date, time and place thereof, and the general nature of the business for which it is convened.
b. Amendments to the business contained in the notice convening the meeting shall be tabled if they are submitted in
writing within twenty-one days of receipt of the notice. Each amendment shall have a proposer and seconder.
28. The accidental omission to send any notice to, or the non-receipt of any notice by, any member shall not invalidate the proceedings at the general meeting. A notice or communication sent to a member at his or her registered address shall be deemed to have been duly served 48 hours after being posted, if sent by first class post, or 96 hours after being posted, if sent by second class post.
29. a. No business shall be transacted at any general meeting of the Union unless a quorum of members is present at the time the meeting proceeds to business. Twenty members shall form a quorum at such a meeting.
b. If no quorum is present within half an hour of the time appointed for a meeting convened on a requisition of
federation secretaries or secretaries of other valid groups, it shall be dissolved. In any other case, the meeting shall
be adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same time and place. If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is
not present within half an hour of the time appointed, the members present shall form a quorum.
30. a. The Chairman of the meeting may, with the consent of a majority of the members present, adjourn any meeting.
However, no business shall be transacted at the resumption of any adjourned meeting other than the business not
reached or left unfinished at the meeting from which adjournment took place.
b. On resumption, every adjourned meeting shall be deemed a continuation of the original meeting but any resolution
passed at it shall, for all purposes, be treated as having been passed on the date on which it was in fact passed, not
on any earlier date. It shall not be necessary to give notice of an adjournment or of the business to be transacted at
an adjourned meeting.