NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE TRADES UNION COUNCIL
RULES AND STANDING ORDERS
(as amended by the 2016 AGM)
The Name of the Council shall be Newcastle upon Tyne Trades Union Council.
The objects of the Trades Union Council shall be:
(a) to raise public awareness of rights at work and the union role in enforcing those rights;
(b) to promote the interests of all its affiliated unions and to secure united action on all questions affecting or likely to affect those interests;
(c) to act as the voice of trades union branches in the local community and to support and work for the application of objectives that the TUC and Regional TUC may from time to time determine, as well as making more widely known, in its area, national policies declared by the TUC;
(d) to follow the programme of work agreed by the Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils and the Trades Union Councils Joint Consultative Committee (TUCJCC);
(e) to promote organising and recruitment drives to build union membership;
(f) to support union and community campaigns for dignity and respect in the workplace and beyond;
(g) to promote equality and diversity in all its activities
(h) to campaign in support of local or regional industrial action officially authorised by the union or unions concerned;
(i) to improve generally the economic and social conditions of working people, including seeking improvements to the social services, public education, housing and health;
(j) to help promote suitable cultural, educational, social and sports facilities for all working people;
(k) to affiliate and to play an active part in the work of the Tyne & Wear County Association of Trades Union Councils.
The Council shall consist of representatives of Trades Unions or Branches of Trades Unions, whose places of meeting are within the area covered by the Council or have members who live or work within the Council’s area. The application of any organisation desiring to affiliate shall be submitted to the Full Council for approval or otherwise the Executive Committee whichever meets first. Decisions of the sub Committees and the Executive shall be subject to the approval of the Full Council before becoming the agreed policy of the Council.
The Council shall register annually, by the last Friday in January, with the General Council of the TUC and shall at the same time submit copies of the rules and standing orders, if they have been altered in the previous year, together with the most recent financial accounts.
The Council shall at the same time provide evidence to the TUC that has met at least once in the previous year for the purpose of nominations to the TUC Northern Regional Council and for the election of delegates to, and the submission of motions (via the CATUC) to the Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils. Delegates at the meeting(s) at which nominations/elections are dealt with must originate from at least three branches, from a minimum of two different unions. Officers of the Council shall endeavour to ensure that over 10% of all delegates entitled to attend and vote are present at that meeting, to enable the broadest support, though it is recognised that this may not always be possible.
The Council recognises that registration with the TUC confers no authorisation to speak on behalf of the Trades Union Congress and that the TUC initials or the TUC logo should not be used. Any website, press release or similar communication should make clear the role of the Council as the voice of trade union branches in the local community.
Organisations affiliated to the Council shall be allowed representation on the following basis:-
100 members or fewer – 1 delegate.
101-200 members – 2 delegates.
201-350 members – 3 delegates.
351-500 members – 4 delegates.
501-750 members – 5 delegates
and for the major part of every additional 250 members – 1 extra delegate, up to a maximum of 10 delegates.
Affiliated branches may nominate additional women delegates up to a maximum equal to their entitlement according to their membership for a nominal sum equal to the cost of the postage.
6. AFFILIATION FEES:
Each affiliated organisation shall contribute an affiliation fee of 12p per member per annum, payable in advance. Any branch being 6 months in arrears from the AGM shall be notified of the same and if not paid on or before the September Full Council, the branch shall be deemed to have lapsed its affiliation. The minimum affiliation fee for any branch shall be £10.00.
7. COMPOSITION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
a) The Executive shall be elected at the AGM of the Council and shall be composed of 6 members representing the various affiliated trade unions as may be determined from time to time together with the officers.
b) The Executive at its first meeting following the AGM shall:
1. elect at least one Executive Committee member to each Council Sub Committee.
2. constitute itself together with the trustees as a Finance and General Purposes Committee which shall have responsibility for the Council’s overall financial management and the running of the Council’s Premises.
8. NOMINATION OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
a) Each affiliated branch shall have the right to candidates for the Executive and other positions.
b) All nominated candidates must be delegates to the Council and nominations for the Executive shall be sent to the Secretary at least 21 days prior to the AGM.
9. ELECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
The Executive shall be elected by vote at the AGM of the Council; the necessary number of nominees securing the highest number of votes will be declared elected. Voting shall be by show of hands. Where there is only a single candidate for any position, election shall be by a majority of votes cast in favour at the meeting. Where any post remains unfilled at the AGM, it shall be declared vacant, and nominations for it invited from affiliated branches, for election at a subsequent Full Council meeting.
10. MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
The Executive Committee shall conduct the detailed business and report to meetings of the Full Council. The powers of the Executive shall be to interpret the Constitution as laid down, in the best interests of the working class and to deal with any matters referred to it by the Full Council with plenary powers to act. Any member of the Executive absent from three consecutive meetings shall, unless a satisfactory reason for these absences having been sent to the Secretary, be deemed to have vacated office and the vacancy shall be filled in the following manner:
The EC shall invite the defeated candidate with the highest vote in the last election to take the vacant seat. In the event of there having been an uncontested election, the vacancy shall be declared at the next meeting of the Full Council, and nominations called for as under Rule 8.
Executive Committee meetings shall be held on the third Thursday of each month. A Special meeting of the EC may be called in the event of urgent business arising as and when deemed necessary by the President and Secretary. No business shall be conducted at any meeting of the Executive Committee at which less than three members are present.
11. FULL COUNCIL MEETINGS (hereinafter referred to as Council meetings):
The Annual General Meeting of the Council shall normally be held on the first Wednesday of February in each year, commencing at 7 pm and continuing until 9.30 pm and shall only continue later by special resolution of the Council.
The ordinary meetings of the Council shall normally take place on the first Wednesday of each month, commencing at 7 pm, and shall not continue past 9 pm unless by special resolution of the Council. Delegates shall register upon entry to the meeting place.
Each affiliated organisation’s delegate(s) shall receive from the secretary not less than three days’ clear notice of the business to be transacted at ordinary meetings of the Council. A special meeting of the Council may be called at any time by the EC or, in the case of urgency, the President or Secretary, or upon the written request of ten delegates. In the latter case the object of the meeting must be clearly stated upon the requisition. No business shall be conducted at any Council meeting at which there are fewer than ten delegates present.
The Officers of the Council shall be President, Secretary, Treasurer, Women’s Officer and Minutes Secretary. Each affiliated organisation shall have the right to nominate for each of the officer positions of the Council. All nominated candidates must be delegates to the Council, and nominations for the officer posts shall be sent to the secretary at least 21 days prior to the AGM. All officers shall be elected at the AGM. Vacancies for officer positions shall be filled in the manner laid down under Rule 9. They shall receive such remuneration as may be decided by the Council upon the recommendation of the EC. Upon retirement from office, they shall hand over to their successors or take to the EC all books, cash, papers and other property of the Council.
13. DUTIES OF OFFICERS:
President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Council and Executive Committee and see that the business at meetings is conducted in the proper manner in accordance with the rules. The President may attend all other meetings in an ex officio capacity. In the absence of the President meetings shall be presided over by a delegate/member elected by those present at the meeting.
Secretary: The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Council and Executive Committee and can attend all other meetings in an ex officio capacity. He/she shall conduct the business of the Council in accordance with the Rules. He/she shall issue to each delegate notice of Annual and Special meetings ten days prior to the meeting, except in the case of Emergency meetings, when the notice shall be left to the discretion of the President and Secretary. He/she shall prepare the Annual Report. All cheques must be signed by at least two of the following officers: President, Secretary or Treasurer.
Minutes Secretary: The Minutes Secretary shall be responsible for the preparation of Council and Executive Committee minutes. Distribution to delegates shall be the collective responsibility of the Executive Committee.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall keep account of all monies received and bank the same in the name of the Council and shall attend all meetings of the Council and Executive Committee and can attend all other meetings in an ex officio capacity. He/she shall make payments as may from time to time be authorised by the Council or the Executive Committee and when necessary shall sign cheques for authorised payments. He/she shall keep a true account of income and expenditure, shall prepare the Annual Financial Report and Balance sheet, shall submit the accounts and Financial Statement to the auditors prior to reporting to the AGM, and shall submit regular financial statements to the Council or whenever requested by the Executive Committee.
Women’s Officer: The Women’s Officer shall convene meetings of the Women’s Committee and ensure that matters with a particular relevance to women are highlighted at Executive Committee and Full Council meetings. The Women’s Committee shall be responsible for nominating a delegate to the TUC Women’s Conference.
The Council at its Annual Meeting shall appoint two Auditors, who shall not be members of the EC, and whose duty is to audit all accounts and the Annual Financial Statement, to certify their correctness or otherwise and report their findings at the Annual Meeting of the Council.
15. RETIREMENT OF OFFICERS
Upon retirement from office, officers shall hand over to their successors, or the Executive Committee, all books, cash, keys, papers and other property of the trades union council.
Any delegate who may be appointed to attend any conference or transact any business on behalf of the Council, shall be allowed:
a) travelling expenses not exceeding second class rail fare;
b) subsistence allowances for overnight stays, to be endorsed by the Executive Committee or its Officers prior to the delegate attending any function on behalf of the Council;
c) payment for actual time lost.
d) Only actual expenses incurred shall be paid, subject to EC approval.
17. TRADES COUNCIL DELEGATES TO OTHER BODIES AND THEIR DUTIES:
The Trades Council shall not affiliate to other bodies unless a delegate is prepared to act on behalf of the Trades Council. The delegate thus elected should report verbally or in writing to the Executive Committee or Full Council at least quarterly and shall at the end of the year submit a written report for inclusion in the Annual Report. Convenors of Committees of the Trades Council shall likewise be responsible for submitting written reports to either the Executive Committee or Full Council and contribute a written report for the Annual Report.
18. PROPERTY OF THE COUNCIL:
All property of the Council whether acquired by purchase, gift or otherwise, and including any savings, shall be vested in the Trustees of the Council, for the time being appointed in accordance with the Council Trust Deed, and shall be under the control and management of the Council via its Finance and General Purposes Committee subject to the terms of the said Trust Deed.
Affiliated branches proposing that the Trades Council organise specific events or rallies are expected to play their full part in organising these events.
20. POLITICAL AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANISATION:
In no circumstances shall the Council: cooperate with or subscribe to the funds of fascist parties or any subsidiary organisation of these parties; any organisations whose policies or activities are contrary to those of the Trades Union Congress; or subscribe to the funds of any industrial organisation which has been proscribed by the General Council. Nor shall the Council subscribe to the funds of any political party. The Council may cooperate with the local Labour Party, providing that no part of the funds of the Council derived from the general funds of affiliated trades unions shall be applied directly or indirectly in the furtherance of the political objects specified in Section 72 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act, 1992.
21. FINANCIAL CONTROLS:
a) Each Trades Council Sub-Committee shall be responsible for submitting a budget to the Treasurer as soon as possible after the AGM.
b) All requests for donations shall first be endorsed by the Executive Committee prior to their confirmation or otherwise by the Full Council.
22. ALTERATION TO RULES:
No alteration to rules shall take place except as decided at the Annual General Meeting and then only upon a vote of two thirds of the delegates present voting in favour of the proposed alteration. Three months notice shall be given to the Secretary of any proposed alterations to rule which it is desired shall be discussed at the Annual General Meeting.
23. UNAUTHORISED USE OF NAME OF COUNCIL
a) The unauthorised use by any delegate of the name of the Council is expressly forbidden.
b) Any delegate who, for whatever reason, uses the name of the Council without the expressed permission of the Council shall be requested to attend a full meeting of the Council which will consider the alleged contravention of the Rule 22(a). The Council shall inform the delegate’s branch of the action being taken under this rule.
c) At the hearing before the Council, the delegate concerned will have a full opportunity of presenting his/her case. After hearing all the evidence the Council, if finding the contravention of the Rule 22(a) proved, shall have the power to:
ï exclude the delegate from a specified number of meetings of the Council;
ï withdraw permanently the credentials of the delegate concerned.
The branch of the delegate concerned shall be informed of the decision of the Council.
24. DISSOLUTION OF TRADES UNION COUNCIL
In the event of a Council’s annual registration not being renewed, or Council no longer being able to operate effectively, the officers shall hand over the funds of the council to the Trustees. The Trustees shall retain these funds as a provision for the reestablishment of a trades union council in the area or have discretion to use them to the benefit of trades union councils, and advancing the trades union council programme of work or for the union movement as a whole.
1. MEETING PROCEDURE:
Business shall include the following:
a) Apologies for absence.
b) New and re-appointed delegates.
c) Adjourned business and adjourned motions.
d) Minutes of the previous Full Council meeting, associate motions and motions, notice of which was given at the previous Full Council meeting.
e) Minutes of the previous Executive Committee meeting, associated motions and motions, notice of which was given at the previous EC meeting.
g) Reports, including the TUC Centre Against Unemployment, climate change and green issues and anti-racist activity.
h) Trade Reports.
i) Any other business.
2. NOTICE OF MOTION:
These shall be sent to the secretary in writing before the EC preceding the Full Council meeting at which they are to be discussed. The Secretary shall publish all motions received in the minutes of the EC meeting. Referred motions shall be placed on the Agenda in the order in which they are received by the Secretary. Only motions written on affiliated branch note paper and signed by an appropriate branch officer, together with motions from the Executive Committee, will be accepted as proper motions for debate. Wherever possible sufficient notice should be given to enable delegates to seek the views of their branch to the proposals being made in the motion. This may mean that motions are laid on the table of the meeting for full discussion at the following meeting of the Council.
3. EMERGENCY MOTION:
Delegates shall have the right to raise an emergency motion, providing two thirds of the votes cast consent to the motion being discussed.
4. RULES OF DEBATE:
a) The mover of the original motion, but not an amendment, shall have the right of reply, but no other delegate shall be allowed to speak more than once on the same question, unless permission be given to explain, or on a point of order addressed to the President, when remarks made must be strictly to the explanation or point of order. Five minutes shall be allowed to the mover of a motion and three minutes for each succeeding speaker. The mover shall have three minutes to reply to the discussion, but shall introduce no new matter into his/her reply. The motion shall be put immediately the mover has replied. The time limits for speakers shall not apply to a special address to the Council.
b) If an amendment be carried it shall displace the motion and itself become the substantive motion, whereupon any amendment may be moved thereto. The President may demand that all motions and amendments should be handed to him/her in writing. When an amendment is made to the original motion, no second amendment shall be discussed until the first amendment is disposed of.
c) When delegates consider a question has been sufficiently discussed, the motion may be proposed “That this question be now put”. If this motion is carried the President shall give the mover of the original motion the opportunity to reply, after which the motion under discussion shall immediately be put to the vote.
d) Delegates shall have the right to challenge the decision of the President on any point of order. The Secretary shall then assume the chair and allow the President and the delegate challenging to make their respective points. The Secretary shall then take the vote, which requires two thirds of the votes cast to reverse the President’s ruling.
e) The President shall have a vote and in the case of voting being equal shall have a casting vote.
f) No resolution passed by the Council shall be rescinded or amended at the same meeting at which it was passed. Notice of its rescindment or amendment must be given as provided in Standing Order 2, but the resolution shall not be rescinded or amended unless by the consent of two thirds of the delegates present at the meeting when it is reconsidered.
g) Any delegate desiring to address the Council must rise in his/her place and address the President and when any delegate is called to order he/she shall resume his/her seat until the point is decided.
h) Any delegate may, for stated purposes, move the suspension of Rules and Standing Orders, but no later than 8.45pm and for a stated length of time. The motion on being seconded shall be forthwith put to the meeting without debate or amendment and if two thirds of the delegates present vote in favour thereof, but not otherwise, the suspension moved shall immediately take effect.