Current Union Rules page 3 continued
Breaches of Discipline
A/1. Council shall have power to take disciplinary action against any member held to have committed:
- a breach of any of these rules;
- any action detrimental to the interests of the Union, or which may bring the Union, its members or officers into disrepute;
- misconduct involving dishonesty or serious physical or sexual assault in respect of which the member concerned has been convicted; or
- any other conduct which is unbefitting a member of the Union or contrary to its interests or objects.
A/2. Council shall give effect to a decision of the Disciplinary Committee to sanction a member, subject to a member’s right of appeal to the Appeals Committee, by imposing whichever of the sanctions set out in A/22 is held appropriate by the Disciplinary Committee in its decision.
Disciplinary and Appeal Committees
A/3. The Disciplinary Committee and Appeals Committee shall each consist of three Council members who do not hold any national office.
A/4. Members of Council eligible for service on the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee will be elected at the September Council meeting following Council biennial elections. Those Council members so elected will serve for two years.
A/5. The General Secretary, or his or her nominated deputy, shall attend meetings of the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee and for the purpose of offering advice, including where appropriate, legal advice and shall provide administrative support for those meetings.
A/6. In the event of the General Secretary being summoned to appear before a Disciplinary Committee, 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, or if the Chairman has a personal involvement in the case, the Vice Chairman.
A/7. The administrative arrangements for the convening of a Disciplinary or an Appeals Committee 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.
A/8. 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/1 of this Appendix may make a complaint to the General Secretary, or if necessary to the Chairman.
A/9. 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 A/1 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 the 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 complaint’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.
Failure to provide all relevant information outlined in this Rule A/9 will negate the complaint.
A/10. Complaints will not be considered unless made within six months of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint unless there are exceptional reasons for during so.
A/11. The General Secretary will acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant within 5 working days and may, if necessary, undertake enquiries into the nature and substance of the complaint. Where it appears to the General Secretary that there is good and sufficient reason to believe that any of the offences in A/1 may have been committed, the complaint shall be referred to the Disciplinary Committee. The complainant will be informed in writing by the General Secretary if it is considered that prima facie grounds do not exist and the complaint was not referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
A/12. If it appears to the General Secretary to be appropriate, and if the complainant and the member complained of agree, conciliation to resolve the matter can be attempted. The conciliation procedure, including the time allocated to conciliate, will be decided on each occasion.
A/13. At least 4 weeks prior to the date of the Disciplinary Committee hearing, the member against whom an allegation has been made shall be informed by the General Secretary, in writing, of the grounds of the allegation against him/her and of the date, time and place arranged for the hearing. He/she shall be provided with a copy of the rules containing these procedures.
A/14. Both the member subject to the complaint and the complainant shall be invited to attend the hearing. Each may be accompanied by a representative to present their case. Witnesses can be called by either party and particulars of witnesses shall be notified to the General Secretary at least one week in advance. Written evidence may be submitted in advance provided it is received by the General Secretary at least one week in advance for circulation to the Disciplinary Committee and both parties.
A/15. 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 Disciplinary Committee or of an Appeals Committee shall have no current personal involvement with either of the parties, the disclosure or discovery of any such involvement shall not automatically disqualify the member from serving on the Committee.
A/16. The procedure for the hearing shall be as follows:
- The complainant or his/her representative shall present his/her case including any witnesses.
- The member subject to the complaint or his/her representative shall be given the opportunity to ask questions of the complainant or his/her representative and of his/her witnesses.
- The member subject to the complaint or his/her representative shall present his/her case including any witnesses.
- The complainant or his/her representative shall be given the opportunity to ask questions as set out in ii) above.
- The Disciplinary Committee may, during or after the giving of evidence, ask questions through the Chair of any party.
- The complainant or his/her representative shall be invited to sum up. No new material can be introduced.
- The member subject to the complaint or his/her representative shall be invited to sum up. No new material can be introduced.
- All parties shall be asked to withdraw and informed that the Committee’s decision will be confirmed in writing.
A/17. Notification of the Disciplinary Committee’s decision will be sent to the member subject to the complaint as soon as possible and no later than 14 days from the hearing.
A/18. In the event that disciplinary action has been decided on, he/she shall also be informed of the right to appeal to the Appeals Committee. A member wishing to appeal to the Appeals Committee against a decision of the Disciplinary Committee shall give notice in writing to the General Secretary within 14 days of receipt of the decision. The notice shall state the grounds on which the appeal is based.
A/19. Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the General Secretary shall inform the members of the Appeals Committee who shall meet within 28 days, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, to hear the appeal. The General Secretary shall give at least 14 days’ written notice to the appellant of the date fixed for the hearing and his/her right to attend.
A/20. The Appeals Committee shall determine the basis on which the appeal will proceed, including the standard of review and is entitled to amend, vary, quash or uphold the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
A/21. The Appeals Committee’s decision shall be confirmed in writing to the appellant within 14 days of the hearing.
A/22. The Disciplinary Committee may decide to take any of the following action.
- a motion of censure
- a warning
- suspension, expulsion or termination of membership.
Complaints Against the Union
A/23. A complaint that the Union has acted in breach of its Rules shall be sent in writing to the General Secretary specifying the breach of rules complained of and giving details of the evidence supporting the complaint. The General Secretary will give a written response to the complainant within 10 working days of receiving the complaint or as soon as reasonably practicable after that. Where necessary the General Secretary should carry out a full investigation into the issue/s raised.
A/24. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response he/she can request that the matter is referred to the Disciplinary Committee as a complaint against the Union and following the procedure set out in Rules A13 to A17. If the Disciplinary Committee is satisfied that the Union has been in breach of these rules, it may:
- declare that the Union has acted in a way which is in breach of the rules; or
- record a motion of censure against the Union.
A/25. There is a right of appeal for the complainant following the procedure set out in Rules A14 to A21.
- 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 59b.
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 25, 26, 27 and 28.
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 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 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 62a, 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 B23.
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 Deputy Honorary Secretary in the event of the absence of the Honorary Secretary shall take up the duties and responsibilities of the Honorary Secretary for the duration of the absence.
The Honorary Treasurer
21. The Honorary Treasurer shall have general oversight of the financial affairs of the Union.
22. The Honorary Treasurer shall be a Trustee of the Union and of its Pension Fund in accordance with the provisions of Appendix C.
23. 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.
24. The Deputy Honorary Treasurer in the event of the absence of the Honorary Treasurer shall take up the duties and responsibilities of the Honorary Treasurer for the duration of the absence.
The Immediate Chairman
25. Immediate Past Chairmen, who complete their terms of office at the end of year 1 and/or year 3 of the quadrennium, shall become an ex officio member of Council with full voting rights for a period of one year provided:
a. there is no vacancy within their electoral area, for which they can stand
b. they indicate to Council that they wish to continue on Council.
- 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.