The following motions were passed by the branch to amend our local rules.
Motion 1 (rule change): amend branch Standing Orders to introduce word limits on motions and amendments
Append additional paragraph to section 6 of branch standing orders (‘Motions’) as follows:
“Motions must be no longer than 250 words, with a title of not more than 10 words. Amendments must be no longer than 75 words, not counting rubrics or words to be deleted. There shall be no word limits for motions to amend the rules or amendments thereto.”
1) a word limit encourages members proposing motions to be concise and to concentrate on what they what the branch to decide, rather than long explanations of the context
2) a word limit makes it easier for members to grasp what they are being asked to decide about
Motion 2 (rule change): department reps
This branch notes:
- that active department reps are central to a well organised branch;
- that our current rules do not specify terms of office or a particular election process for department representatives;
This branch believes:
- that a clear election process for reps will enhance our democratic structures and help more people work actively on organising within our branch
This branch resolves to enact the following change to local rules.
Rule 29 delete and replace with
29 Department reps
Members are encouraged to elect representatives for their school/unit/service. The available roles and the boundaries of the departments will be determined by the committee. Such departments are not formal sub-branches. Department reps are not empowered to negotiate or respond to consultation on behalf of the union.
29.1 Election of department reps and term of office
Department rep elections will normally be biennial, with elections held in the weeks following the Annual General Meeting in an election year. Where there are vacancies the committee will hold by-elections in the weeks following the Annual General Meeting in a non-election year, except that the committee may choose not to hold by-elections for department rep roles in a department with ten or fewer members where there is at least one department rep unless there is an indication that a member wishes to stand for election to a vacant role. The committee may decide to hold a by-election for a vacant role at any time during the year. The term of office will normally be until the next election in two years. The term of office for a department rep elected at a by-election will be until the next normal election.
29.1.1 Notice of elections
The honorary secretary will take all reasonable steps to give members at least 14 days to make nominations. The closing date for nominations will normally be between 14 and 28 days after the Annual General Meeting. The committee or department reps may wish to organise a meeting of members in the department for the start of the election period to encourage nominations and/or on the closing date for nominations.
29.1.2 Returning Officer and scrutineers
The local committee will appoint a returning officer and two scrutineers for elections who will not be candidates.
To be eligible for election a member must be a member of the branch who is in that department and have been nominated by two members of the branch who are that department. The honorary secretary, or, in their absence, the branch president, vice president, immediate past president or another branch officer, in that order, may decide to accept nominations from members of the branch who are not in that department where there are five or fewer members in the department. Nominations and the written consent of the nominee must be in writing and signed. If there have been no nominations for a role and if a department members meeting has been convened for the closing date and after the closing time for nominations, nominations to fill remaining vacancies may be made from the floor of the meeting. These must be followed up by written nominations as the meeting will not be minuted.
If there is only one eligible candidate for any vacancy that candidate will be declared elected and the honorary secretary will take all reasonable steps to notify members in the department within seven days.
If there is either more than one eligible candidate for any vacancy, and if the candidates do not wish to share the role or one of them seek amended nominations for a role with no nominations, a ballot of the members of the Branch who are in that department will be conducted in accordance with rule 10.
29.1.5 Disagreements about department
In the event of a disagreement about whether a member is in the department for the purpose of the department rep election a ruling will be made by the honorary secretary or, in their absence, the branch president, vice president, immediate past president or another branch officer, in that order.
In the event of a vacancy for a department rep role the committee may appoint an existing UCU rep to temporarily cover that role.
29.3 Removal from office
Members in a department can test confidence in a department rep by requesting a new election. The honorary secretary will start a new election process within fourteen days of receiving requests in writing from at least five members, or 25% of the membership, whichever is lower, of that department. The honorary secretary may refuse to call a new election if they believe confidence in the department rep has recently been tested and the requests are vexatious.
Any department rep may be removed from office under the process described in rule 12.
Add “or department rep” to rule 12 Removal from office to read: “Any member of the committee (including the officers and other persons elected to represent the Branch) or department rep may be removed from office by resolution at a general meeting …”
Motion 4 (rule change): aligning terms of office to academic year
Delete from rule 9.3: “The committee and officers shall hold office with effect from the 1st August following the AGM to the following 31st of July.”
This page was last updated on 11 October 2021