UCU Constitution

Leicester University and College Union

RULES

1 NAME

The name of the Branch is "Leicester University and College Union", subsequently referred to as the Branch.

2  CONSTITUTION

The Branch is constituted in accordance with the Rules for the time being of the University and College Union.

3 OBJECTS

The objects of the Branch shall be the advancement of University Education and Research, the regulation of relations between academic and academic-related staffs in universities and analogous institutions and their employers, the promotion of common action by those staffs, and the safeguarding of the interests of the members, that is to say, the same objects as those of the University and College Union, excluding the political objects thereof.  The Branch may also discuss the furtherance by the University and College Union of those political objects and may act in furtherance thereof provided that no funds of the Branch are expended for those political objects.

4 MEMBERSHIP

4.1 Membership of the Branch is open to Full, Retired and Attached Members of the University and College Union whose eligibility for membership of the University and College Union derives from their association with the University of Leicester.  The Branch may also admit to membership, at its own discretion, members of the University and College Union who work in institutions which do not have their own Branch of the University and College Union.


5 SUBSCRIPTION

Each member of the Branch shall pay the appropriate monthly subscription to the funds of the University and College Union as laid down in the Rules of the University and College Union and in addition any monthly subscription to the funds of the Branch currently in force.  These subscriptions shall be payable together directly to the Honorary Treasurer of the Union or to the Honorary Treasurer of the Branch not later than the end of each month in which the subscriptions are due.  Members may pay in September the twelve monthly subscriptions due for the twelve-month period beginning the first day of September of that year. The amounts of the monthly subscriptions to the Branch shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting.  If a member's monthly subscription becomes more than 2 months overdue, notice must be given by the Honorary Treasurer of the Union or of the Branch that unless the subscription is paid within one month of that notice, membership of the Union will cease.


6 USE OF FUNDS

The funds of the Branch shall be used for:

6.1 Expenses properly incurred in conducting such business of the Branch as shall from time to time be determined by the Committee.

6.2 Payment of expenses of Conference representatives incurred in attending Conference and Congress meetings.

6.3 Payment of fees and expenses of any other members duly appointed by the Branch to represent it.

6.4 Payment of other such expenses as shall from time to time be determined by a majority of members present and voting at a quorate General Meeting of the Branch provided that such payment does not conflict with the objects of the Branch.

6.5 Donations to charities or other bodies whose objects are consistent with those of the Branch.

All expenses claims must be made to the Honorary Treasurer within three months of the expenses having been incurred.

7 COMMITTEE

7.1 There shall be a Branch Committee responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the Branch. The Committee shall meet not less than once every two months.  At all Committee meetings a quorum shall be four, or one third of committee members, whichever is the greater.

7.2 The Committee shall consist of:

7.2a ex-officio members, being the Officers of the Branch, the immediate Past President and any member of the Branch who is a member of the Executive Committee of the University and College Union; and

7.2b up to five ordinary members elected annually from members of the Branch who will take office immediately after the Annual General Meeting at which they are declared elected and retire at the next Annual General Meeting; and

7.2c up to two co-opted members who will serve until the next Annual General Meeting after co-option.


8 OFFICERS

8.1 The Officers of the Branch shall be:

  • The president
  • The vice-president
  • The honorary treasurer and membership secretary
  • The honorary secretary
  • The equal opportunities officer
  • The communications officer
  • The departmental contacts organiser

The Officers shall be declared elected annually at the Annual General Meeting from members of the Branch in accordance with Rule 9.

8.2 President

The President shall chair all General Meetings and all Committee meetings of the Branch and perform such other duties as are laid upon the President by these Rules or are decided by the Committee.  In the absence of the President these duties shall be performed by the Vice President, and in the absence of both, by another Officer as the Committee shall decide.

8.3 Honorary Secretary

The duties of the Honorary Secretary shall be to call General and Committee meetings of the Branch; to ensure that minutes of those meetings are kept; to organise membership circulations as the Committee deems necessary; to arrange notification of local election and ballot results to all members; and to perform such other duties as are laid on the Honorary Secretary by any Rule or are decided by the President or the Committee.  In the absence of the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Secretary's duties shall be performed by another Officer as the Committee shall decide.

8.4 Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary

The Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary shall have custody of the funds of the Branch and authority to make payments from them in accordance with the Rules as the need arises.  The Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary's duties shall be to keep the books of the Branch; to present the accounts of the Branch annually for auditing; to present these audited accounts annually to a General Meeting of the Branch, to publish them to all members of the Branch, and to submit a copy forthwith to the Honorary Treasurer of the University and College Union.

The Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary shall be responsible for recruitment and for keeping any membership records that are necessary at local level.  The Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary will ensure that all relevant membership information is passed to the Union centrally within the time limits set and in the form required to enable statutory and Rule requirements of membership records to be met.

In the absence of the Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary, the Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary's duties shall be performed by another Officer as the Committee shall decide.

8.5 Equal opportunities officer

The equal opportunities officer shall:
i) monitor the volume and nature of personal casework which involves equal opportunities issues, in particular issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment, to ensure that the local association has appropriate mechanisms in place for handling such personal cases
ii) where appropriate, provide support to other branch officers, committee members, or departmental representatives in particular personal cases
iii) be able to provide information to local members about an institution's equal opportunities policy/policies
iv) where appropriate, encourage and support local negotiations on equal opportunities matters
v) ensure that the University and College Union's national annual meetings, and any other relevant events and opportunities for women, black and ethnic minorities members, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and disabled members are publicised locally, that members from all groups are encouraged to participate, and that the Branch maximises the opportunities for recruitment and organisation amongst all groups
vi) have knowledge of and commitment to relevant issues, and be willing to undertake training according to the needs of University and College Union
vii) where appropriate, provide liaison between the Branch and the University and College Union's equal opportunities committee
viii) have a requirement to monitor the implementation of equal opportunities policies within the institution.

In the absence of the equal opportunities officer, these duties shall be performed by another officer or officers as the committee shall decide.

8.6 Communications officer

The Communications officer will be responsible for Branch publicity and publications. This encompasses relations with the media and ensuring that members are kept informed of developments through a regular newsletter and other appropriate means.

8.7 Departmental Contacts officer

The Departmental Contacts officer will be responsible for the recruitment of Branch Departmental Contacts, ensuring that they are provided with support and training, and from time to time convening Departmental Contacts meetings.

8.8 Casual vacancies

If an Office is vacant between Annual General Meetings and no ballot is being held for that Office, the Committee is empowered to fill the vacancy from members of the Branch.  Officers so appointed will retire at the same time as if they had been duly declared elected at the last Annual General Meeting.

9 ELECTIONS OF ORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS

9.1 Returning Officer

The Local Committee will appoint a returning officer for elections who is neither a candidate for any office in the Branch nor a member of the Committee.

9.2 Nominations

All nominations shall be received in writing by the Returning Officer not less than 21 days before the Annual General Meeting.  Nominations must be accompanied by the written consent of the nominee and supported by the identifiable signatures of 2 members of the Branch.  In the event of a ballot being required, candidates will be requested by the Honorary Secretary to provide an election address of no more than 200 words, to be received by the Honorary Secretary not less than 14 days before the meeting. A list of all nominations, ballot paper(s) and election addresses shall be circulated to members of the Branch by the Honorary Secretary not less than 10 days before the meeting.

9.3 Eligibility to stand for election as an Officer

Retiring Officers shall be eligible for re-election.

9.4 Elections

If there is only one eligible candidate for any Officer vacancy that candidate will be declared elected.

If the number of candidates to be ordinary members of the Committee does not exceed the number of vacancies those candidates will be declared elected.

If there is either more than one eligible candidate for any Officer vacancy or more candidates than there are vacancies of ordinary members of the Committee a ballot of the members of the Branch will be conducted in accordance with Rule 18.

9.5 Term of Office

The term of office of an Officer or ordinary member of the Committee elected under this Rule 9 shall commence at the close of the Annual General Meeting at which he or she is declared elected or at the beginning of the day following that on which the scrutineer notifies the election result to the Honorary Secretary under Rule 18.


10 HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR CONFERENCE AND UNION CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVES

10.1 Election of Conference and Congress Representatives

Conference and Congress representatives shall be elected annually from members of the Branch.    Names of the representatives will be notified to the Branch in accordance with national Rules.   Any ballot that is necessary will be conducted in accordance with Rule 18.

Resignation as a representative to the Conference and Congress of the University and College Union shall be submitted in writing to the Honorary Secretary who shall forthwith inform the General Secretary of the University and College Union.

10.2 Casual vacancies

The Committee shall have power to fill any vacancies of Conference and Congress representatives, arising from whatever cause, that occur before the next annual election.

11 REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

Any member of the Committee (including the Officers and other persons elected to represent the Branch) may be removed from office by resolution at a General Meeting of the Branch provided that (a) the terms of any such proposed resolution shall be notified to the Honorary Secretary not less than fourteen days before the General Meeting and (b) the proposal for such a resolution is supported in writing by not less than twenty-five members of the Branch.  Upon receipt of such a proposal the Honorary Secretary shall despatch it to each member of the Branch not less than seven days before the General Meeting at which it is to be considered.  Any General Meeting which shall have removed a member or members of the Committee in accordance with the above shall have power to replace any such member or members until such time as normal election of Officers and other members of the Committee next occurs.

12 MEETINGS OF THE BRANCH

There shall be at least three General Meetings of the Branch each year, of which one shall be designated as the Annual General Meeting.

12.1 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting shall be held in February each year.  At least 6 weeks' notice of the date of the meeting shall be given to members.  Twenty-one days' notice of the agenda of the meeting shall be given to members.

The Annual General Meeting shall elect an Honorary Auditor or Auditors.  It shall normally receive the results of elections of the Officers and Committee members.

12.2 Other General Meetings

At least fourteen days' notice of the holding of other General Meetings shall be given to members.

13 EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Branch shall be called at any time provided that notification of such a meeting signed by the President or at least fifteen members of the Branch and the topic or topics to be discussed shall have been delivered in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least seven days before the date on which such a meeting is to be held. Five days' notice of this meeting shall be given to members.

14 QUORUM

At all General Meetings of the Branch a quorum shall be fifteen.

15 QUORUM ARRANGEMENTS FOR FORMAL BUSINESS

Where an Annual General Meeting, Extraordinary General Meeting or General Meeting is unable to complete items of formal business required by national or local Rules, or resulting from trade union legislation, or from membership of the TUC, because the meeting was not quorate, the arrangements set out below will apply.

Formal business is (a) the adoption of audited Branch accounts; (b) determination of the Branch budget including the setting of the local subscription; (c) confirmation of any financial or membership data required by the Union in order to comply with its Rules, or to make returns to the Certification Officer or any other body designated by legislation, or to the Trades Union Congress (including the Scottish, Welsh and Irish congresses); (d) determination in local rules of the manner in which the Branch’s funds will be held; (e) the appointment of Branch officers and auditors; and (f) any matter which the General Secretary notified the Branch was required by legislation.

Where a quorum has not been achieved for the purpose of conducting such business, notice of a further meeting will be circulated to members to take place no later than 14 days from the inquorate meeting. The agenda of the further meeting will be restricted to this incomplete, formal business. It will be quorate if three members are in attendance, except that in respect of items (a) and (d), above, these three will not for purposes of the quorum include the Branch’s Honorary Treasurer or its local auditors.

16 MOTIONS

A resolution of a General Meeting is a motion that has been approved while that meeting was quorate by a simple majority of members present and voting except as provided elsewhere in these rules.

A motion may be submitted by any current member of the Branch.

Any motion (other than an emergency motion) submitted by the Branch to an ordinary meeting of the Council of the Association of University Teachers shall be circulated to all members of the Local Association and approved by a quorate General Meeting of the Local Association.

Where a general meeting is called, and part of the business of this meeting is to approve motions for submission to the Higher Education Sector Conference or Congress of the University and College Union, and this meeting is inquorate, motions for submission to the Higher Education Sector Conference or Congress may be subsequently approved by postal ballot of all members of the Branch.

Emergency motions to the Higher Education Sector Conference or Congress of the University and College Union, or motions to the Higher Education Sector Conference or Congress of the University and College Union which have not been discussed by a properly called General Meeting and are also urgent and timely, must be agreed by a quorate local committee meeting, or in an emergency, including during the course of a Higher Education Sector Conference or Congress, by a majority of the Local Association's Council representatives.


17 DECISION TO HOLD A BALLOT

A decision to hold a ballot of all the members of the Branch shall be taken either by a quorate General Meeting of the Branch or by the Committee.

18 CONDUCT OF BALLOTS

18.1 All ballots will be conducted in accordance with this Rule, other than industrial action ballots which will be conducted in accordance with national Rules.

18.2 The Committee will appoint a scrutineer who is not a member of the Committee.

18.3    Not less than fourteen days before the date fixed for counting the ballot, the ballot forms shall be sent to each member of the Branch.  The scrutineer shall supervise the distribution of ballot forms and the whole conduct of the ballot and shall in particular fix the date and time for starting the count of the ballot.  The completed forms received by the scrutineer before the start of the count shall be opened in the presence of the scrutineer and at least one Officer of the Branch.  All members shall be informed of the time of the start of the count when the ballot forms are distributed.  The ballot shall be secret.  The result of the ballot shall be determined by the single transferable vote system and notified in writing forthwith by the scrutineer to the Honorary Secretary and as soon as practicable by the Honorary Secretary to the members of the Branch and to the General Secretary of the University and College Union.


18.4    For a ballot result to be accepted as valid, at least twenty five ballot papers must have been returned.


19 DISCIPLINE

The procedure for commencing disciplinary proceedings against any member or group of members is contained in the national Rules.

20 VALIDATION

No act done in good faith under these Rules by the Committee, an Officer or any other person or body shall be invalidated only by reason of the subsequent discovery of a defect in, or the expiry of, their appointment.

21 RULES

No Rule or Rules of the Branch shall at any time be in conflict with a Rule or Rules of the University and College Union currently in force.  Changes in the Rules of the University and College Union shall, where applicable, automatically constitute changes in these Rules of the Branch.


22 AMENDMENT OF RULES

These Rules of the Branch may be amended by resolution of any quorate General Meeting of the Branch.   Proposed amendments to these Rules shall be handed in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least fourteen days before the General Meeting at which they are to be considered, and shall be circulated by the Secretary to all members of the Branch at least ten days before the General Meeting at which they are to be considered.  Amendments to these Rules must be carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the General Meeting at which they are considered.

Alternatively these Rules of the Branch may be amended by membership ballot and, in that case, a two-thirds majority of members who vote in the ballot would be required.  Either the Committee or a quorate General Meeting may decide to hold such a membership ballot.

All Rules of the Branch and amendments to these Rules shall be subject to approval by the Executive Committee of the University and College Union.

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