Rules

Constitution and Rules

Agreed at the AGM 22’nd February 2006

1      Title

The organisation shall be called Cangen Sir Ceredigion County Branch.

2.      Acceptance of Constitution

The Branch accepts the National Constitution and Rules of UNISON (herein after called the National Rules) together with any subsequent alterations or additions thereto, to the intent that the constitution and rules of the Branch shall always be consistent with those of the National Union. Any member may have a copy of the Union Rules, the Welfare Fund and any regulations made by the National Executive Council of UNISON, if s/he requests.

3.      Objects

The objects of the Branch shall be:

(a)      To organise within the Branch all staff in Ceredigion County Council directly or indirectly employed by Ceredigion County Council and to engage in bonefide Trade Union activities on their behalf;

(b)      To advance and protect the interests of the members;

(c)      To establish, promote and maintain support for the Welfare Fund, the ancillary services and other approved objects of the National Union;

(d)      To make representations to the Regional Council on questions having general application to salaries and service conditions and on any other matters relevant to the objects of the National Union;

(e)      To establish, to foster and support a Retired Members’ Section within the Branch;

(f)      To submit motions through the medium of the Regional Council, or otherwise for the consideration of the National Executive Council, a conference of the National Union, or a Local Government Service Group conference;

(g)      To provide and maintain education facilities in accordance with National Rule ‘L3’;

(h)     To establish, to foster and support schemes for the promotion of the physical and social welfare of members by the organisation of sports, or such other means as may from time to time be thought desirable;

(i)       To promote Health and Safety at work;

(j)       To seek to ensure equality of treatment for all members and to work for the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other cause.

(k)      To assist in this, the Branch will, wherever possible, ensure that the principle of proportionality and fair representation is used when electing any members to serve on, or represent the Branch at, committees and or conferences of the Union.

4.      Eligibility for Membership

Those eligible for Membership are defined in National Rule ‘C1’, the categories of membership are set out in National Rule ‘C2’.

5.      Election of Members

Applications for Branch Membership shall be dealt with in accordance with National Rule ‘C5’.

6.      Subscriptions

(a)      In accordance with National Rule ‘C2.2 Subscriptions’, members may pay a subscription as prescribed by Conference from time to time.

(b)      Subject to the provisions of National Rule H6, the Branch may fix a rate of subscription for local purposes in addition to the amount payable under the above scale.

(c)      In addition to the above subscriptions, each member may be required to contribute over and above those subscriptions above, such further sum, as and when a National Conference or the National Executive Council may so resolve.

7.      Payment of Subscriptions

(a)   Collection of Subscriptions shall be undertaken in accordance with National Rule ‘H1 to H6’ and subject to the provisions of National Rule ‘C6.4’.

(b)   Any person owing more than three months subscriptions shall be dealt with in accordance with National Rule ‘C7.2’.

8.      Administrative and Financial Year

The administrative and financial year of the Branch shall be the period commencing on the first day of January and ending on the last day of December in the same year.

9.      Termination of Membership

The National Executive Council may, in accordance with National Rule ‘C7.6’, terminate the membership of any member.

10.    Ceasing to come within the definition

Any member ceasing to come within the scope of representation as defined in National Rule ‘C1’, ‘C2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, & 2.9’. will cease to be a member of the Union, subject to the provisions of National Rules .

11.    Rights, Privileges and Liabilities of Membership

The rights, privileges and liabilities of each member shall be personal to her/himself, and shall not, in any circumstances be transferable or transmissible. A member shall comply with the Constitution and Rules of UNISON and shall not act in a way detrimental or prejudicial to the interests of the Union or its members.

12.    Support of Members

Members will be supported and assisted in matters relating to their employment, training and other matters deemed to appropriate. Where needed the Branch will refer relevant matters to the appropriate Constituency of the organisation. In the first instance members should approach their steward or a Branch Officer.

13.    Conduct of Members

All members of the Union have a duty to follow the Rules of the Union. Disciplinary action may be taken against any member in accordance with National Rule ‘I’.

14.    Branch Organisation

Subject to the provisions of National Rules ‘G1 to G6’, the Branch shall elect Officers and Stewards at its Annual General Meeting.

(a)        Branch Officers:

I.              Chairperson

II.     &n
bsp;       Vice-Chairperson

III.            Secretary

IV.             Treasurer

V.              Auditors (2)

VI.             Welfare Secretary

VII.            Secretary of the Retired Members Committee (elected by retired members committee)

VIII.           Education Secretary

IX.              Sports & Social Secretary

X.               Officer for members with disabilities

XI.              Health & Safety Officer

XII.             Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual, transgender, Officer

XIII.            Life long learning Officer

XIV.             Young members Officer

XV.              Assistants to Officers as deemed appropriate by the Branch Committee.

XVI.             Publicity Team (4 members) to be elected by Branch Officer and Stewards.

XVII.            Membership Services Officer – NB. The Membership Services Officer is the custodian of the Branch RMS system. Training in the RMS system is necessary to carry out these duties (training is available annually in January of each year). Consequently nominations for this post will normally need to be received one year in advance.

*It is important that all other Branch Officers undertake the relevant training as soon as possible after their election.

(b) The Branch Committee:

I.      Each Constituency represented in the Branch, or any two members shall be entitled to nominate candidates for each of the foregoing offices, not exceeding the number to be elected and subject to part (c) below. All nominations must be received by the Branch Secretary in writing or by e-mail at least fourteen days before the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary shall notify, in writing or by e-mail to each nominee the fact of her/his nomination and of her/his right to withdraw her/his candidature by notifying the fact, in writing or by e-mail to the Secretary not later than seven days before the Annual General Meeting. If there is more than one candidate for any office, a ballot shall be taken at the Annual General Meeting and each member of the Branch present shall be entitled to one vote in respect of each office to be filled, subject to part (c) below. All votes shall be recorded on the official ballot papers supplied. In the event that no prior nominations are received, nominations from the floor will be accepted.

II.      Candidates for Young members Officer must be no more than 26 years old on the date of confirmation in post to be eligible to fill the position.

III.      Arrangements may be made for a postal ballot if necessary.

15. Election of Branch Committee

(a)  The Branch Committee shall consist of:

I.      The Officers listed in Branch Rule 14(a) with the exception of the Branch Auditors;

II.     Any member of the Branch elected to the National Executive Council

III.    Stewards as defined in Rule 15(b)

IV.     Members of the Trade Union Side of the JCC, as in Rule 16

(b) Stewards shall be elected to the Branch Committee on the basis of 1 steward per ….  members or part thereof, for each constituency. Presently:

Constituency                                                 No. of Stewards

DF                 &nbs
p;                                                                3

DECS (inc. Schools)                                                   3

DHPW                                                                           3

DESH                                                                             3

DCLS                                                                              3

CE                                                                                   2

DSS (General)                                                             3

DSS (Residential homes)                                         1 (per Home)

DSS (Home care)                                                       2

DSO/DLO-School Meals                                           2

DSO/DLO- Building Cleaning                                  2

DSO/DLO- Refuse                                                     2

DSO/DLO- Build Maintenance                                2

DSO/DLO- Highways                                                 3

DSO/DLO- Parks and Gardens                                1

Each constituency shall, at least 14 days prior to the AGM, forward nominations for their appointed representatives to the Branch Secretary. In the event of any constituency failing to make any such appointment, members present from that constituency may appoint steward(s) at the Annual General Meeting. Any vacancy arising during the year shall be filled from the constituency.

16.    Branch Representation on Joint Consultative Bodies

(a)      Lay representatives to the Ceredigion County Council joint consultative body will be elected at the Annual General Meeting, by members, from amongst the newly appointed stewards. Appointments to departmental consultative committees will be ratified at the Annual General Meeting

(b)      The numbers of representatives elected to the consultative bodies shall be in accordance
with the provision for UNISON specified in the constitutions of the consultative bodies.  The current proposals are detailed below.  These may be varied from time to time by the consultative bodies.

CE & DCLS               1

DHPW                     1

DESH                      2

DECS                      2

DF                          1

DSS                          3

(c)      All elections will be conducted in accordance with UNISON principles of proportionality and fair representation.

17.    Branch Representation at meetings of the Regional Council and the National Delegate Conference

(a)   Regional Council

In accordance with National Rule ‘F4’, the Branch Executive Committee shall at its first meeting each year, elect the Branch representation to the Regional Council.

(b)   National Delegate Conference

In accordance with National Rule ‘D1’, the Branch Executive Committee at its first meeting each year, shall elect the Branch representation to the Union’s National Delegate Conference.

(c)   Whenever practicable, the Branch shall be fully represented at meetings of the Regional Council and at the National Delegate Conference. In the event of an elected representative being unable to attend, a substitute may be appointed, whilst maintaining proportionality and fair representation

18.    General Meetings

(a)   The Branch shall meet at least once a year at an Annual General Meeting.

(b)   The Annual Meeting shall be held as far as practicable in February, but in any case no later than 23 March. A minimum of seven days notice of the Annual Meeting or any other General Meeting, including a Special General Meeting called under Branch Rule 18, shall be given to each member. The business to be transacted is defined within National Rule ‘G3.4’.

(c)   All meetings will be conducted in a fair and democratic manner.

(d)   All meetings should be advertised widely as far in advance as possible.

(e)   The procedures to be used at the meeting should be explained clearly.

(f)    The Annual General Meeting shall have the authority to agree honoraria payments in line with Unison’s policies and guidelines.

19.    Special General Meeting

A Special General Meeting of the Branch shall be called:

(a)   In pursuance of a resolution passed by the Executive Committee;

(b)   At any time within fourteen days of the receipt by the Branch Secretary of a requisition in writing, signed by Branch Members at least equivalent in number to the quorum of the Branch, stating fully the reasons for such a meeting.

20.    Quorum

(a)   Branch

The quorum of the Branch shall be 15 members.

(b)   Branch Committee

The quorum of the Branch Committee shall be 9 of the elected members of the committee, 4 of which must be officers of the Branch.

21.    Functions of the Branch Committee

Subject to National Rule ‘G2’ the functions of the Branch Committee shall be:

(a)   To meet not less than six times per year

(b)   To receive at each meeting reports from the Branch Chairperson, Branch Secretary, Branch Treasurer, any other Officer and Standing Sub-Committees, and to take all steps necessary to maintain the domestic machinery of the Branch in effective working order

(c)   To deal with all matters of ordinary current administration and all matters affecting the interests of members of the Branch, whether raised by members thereof or arising on communications from headquarters of the Union, Regional Council or otherwise

(d)   To deal with all questions of emergency

(e)   To appoint sub-committees with power to co-opt thereon members of the Branch who may not be members of the Executive Committee

(f)    To submit a report on its activities to the Annual General Meeting of the Branch

(g)   To fill casual vacancies not otherwise provided for in these rules

(h)   To co-ordinate the activities of the Branch in the field of Health & Safety.*

(i)    To approve the arrangements of constituencies in each department.

(j)    To establish arrangements for the representation of members and refer any difficulties which cannot be resolved by lay representatives and Branch Officers to the Regional Organiser.

* It is important that Health & Safety representatives undertake the relevant training as soon as possible after their election.

22.    Functions of Constituencies and Stewards

(a)   Constituencies:

Constituencies as defined in Branch Rule 15(b) shall hold as necessary, meetings to consider matters of special interest to the constituency. The decisions of such meetings shall be minuted and referred to the Branch Executive Committee.

(b)   Stewards:

I.     Represent the interests of members in their work group or workplace in any grievance, dispute or negotiations at the level of the work group or workplace.

II.     To establish and maintain Union organisation in their work group including the convening of workplace meetings.

III.     Where appropriate, in line with the Code of Good Branch Practice, attend meetings of the Branch Committee and of the Branch membership.

IV.     Report to the Branch Committee all developments affecting members in their workgroup or workplace.
V.     Carry out their duties in accordance with the Union’s handbook for stewards.

23.    Expenses

(a)   There shall be paid out of Branch funds travelling and other expenses properly incurred by members when attending meetings on behalf of the Branch in a representative capacity.

(b)   Members attending meetings of the branch will be entitled to the cost of travel and costs to cover caring responsibilities, where incurred.  These rates shall be agreed by the Annual General Meeting or Branch Executive Committee.

24.  Annual Report and Accounts

The Annual Report and a duly audited statement of Accounts shall be submitted to the Annual General Meeting, and a copy of each shall be submitted to the Regional Council and to Headquarters and to each member of the Branch.

The Retired Members Committee will submit a statement of accounts to the Branch annually for inclusion in the Annual Report.

25.    Branch Funds

(a)   All reserves of the Branch, which shall be termed accumulated funds, shall, excluding those held in the form of a hardship fund and those in the form of fixed assets (e.g. premises, equipment, fixtures and fittings etc.) be deemed generally available for expenditure in the Branch.

(b)   The branch shall keep a Bank/Building Society Account in the name of the branch.

26.    Branch Secretary’s Duties

These are defined within National Rule ‘G4.2’.

27.    Branch Treasurer’s Duties

These are defined within National Rule ‘G4.3’.

28.    Branch Auditors Duties

The Branch Auditors shall act in accordance with general principles issued by the National Executive Council for the guidance of Branch Auditors in regard to the conduct of an efficient branch audit.

29.    Inspection of Books and Records

The Branch books and records shall be available for inspection by the appropriate officers of the Union.

30.    Press Communications

Communications to the Press on behalf of the Branch shall be made only by Officers duly authorised by the Executive Committee.

31.    Retired Members

(a)       The retired members shall have the right to elect a Branch Retired Members Secretary annually.

(b)       The Branch Retired Members Secretary shall be an officer of the Branch, shall be entitled to attend and speak at meetings of the Branch Committee and may vote on any issue other than one which concerns the pay and conditions of work of members of the union in employment.

(c)       The Branch Committee will encourage retired members to participate in the activities of the Branch

32.    Affiliations and Donations

(a)Affiliations to relevant constituency Labour Parties will be decided by the relevant            APF membership.

(b) Donations may be agreed by the Annual General Meeting or Branch Committee in accordance with the union’s policies and objectives and subject to the provisions of the National Rule Book.

33.    Dissolution

The Branch may be dissolved by resolution passed at an Annual or any General Meeting of the Branch, provided that:

(a)  At least twenty eight days notice, in writing, of the proposal to dissolve has been given by the Secretary to each member of the branch; and

(b)  At least three fourths of the members present and voting, vote in favour of the proposal

It shall not be competent for the Branch to dissolve and re-form if such action would enable the Branch to escape any penalty or disqualification provided for by the National rules of UNISON.

34.    Transfer of Assets on Dissolution

Where the Branch is dissolved otherwise than by an action taken by the National Executive Council, all net assets of the Branch shall be dealt with as the National Executive Council may decide, in consultation with the Regional Council and the members of the Branch.

35.    Alteration of Rules

These rules shall only be altered or rescinded with the consent of at least two thirds of the members present and voting at the Annual, any General or Special General Meeting convened under Branch Rules 18 or 19. The notice convening the meeting shall state the terms of the proposed alteration. Providing that no alteration or rescission shall be operative until approved by the National Executive Council.