The Branch shall be called ‘Wirral UNISON’ and is referred throughout the rules as “the branch”.
AIMS OF THE BRANCH
- To support and pursue the Aims and Objectives contained in the UNISON Rule Book and the Objectives agreed by UNISON’s National Executive Committee annually and in particular:
- To achieve the aims and targets set annually through the branch assessment.
Eligibility for membership shall be in accordance with the Rules of the union.
- There will be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the branch to confirm the election by ballot of branch officers and members of the Branch Committee, to receive the branch accounts and report on branch development from the Branch Committee. The AGM may comprise one meeting or a series of aggregate meetings based on sections or geographical arears in order to maximise the active participation of members.
- The AGM will determine the basis of representation in the branch and the number of stewards and other representatives to be elected in each work group or workplace.
- Other general meetings may be called by the Branch Committee or by 20 members of the branch or 5% of the membership, whichever is the greater.
- The quorum for any general meeting, including the annual meeting is 80 members of the branch at a single meeting or through aggregate meetings, or 1.5% of the membership, whichever is the lowest.
- Sections will be established for each bargaining group covered by the branch to provide for the participation and representation of members in that section in accordance with rule 8 below.
- The Branch Committee will be responsible for the general organisation and development of the branch and for policy and decision making on matters affecting all members within the branch between general meetings.
- The Branch Management Group will be responsible for the day to day management of the branch in accordance with the decisions and authority delegated by the Branch Committee. Its membership and role is as described in rule 7 below.
- The branch shall elect the following officers annually in accordance with rule 5c.
- Branch Chair
- Branch Secretary
- Branch Treasurer
- Deputy Branch Secretary
- Schools Officer
- Education Co-ordinator
- Lifelong Learning Co-ordinator
- Equality Co-ordinator
- Health and Safety Officer
- Communications Officer
- International Relations Officer
- Membership Officer
- Welfare Officer
- Young Members Officer (must be under 27 years old for the full term of office)
- Womens Officer
- Labour Link Officer (elected by the members who pay the political levy only)
- Retired Members Secretary (elected by the retired members)
- Branch Auditors(2) (5 years maximum term)
- Others to be determined as necessary for the effective operation of the branch
Proportionality and fair representation shall pertain to all officer posts. The Branch will aim to have at least 50% who are women and 25% who are low paid workers.
- Each section within the branch shall elect a Senior Steward from amongst the stewards in that section in accordance with rule 5d.
- Election of branch officers:
- Branch officers may be nominated by the Branch Committee or any two members, with the exception of the Labour Link Officer who will be elected by the APF members only and the Retired Members Secretary who will be elected by the retired members.
- Nominations will be invited 12 weeks before the AGM and nomination forms will be made available from the branch. All nominations must be received in writing at least 7 weeks before the AGM.
- Each nominee will be notified and given the right to withdraw not later than 6 weeks before the AGM.
- If there is more than one candidate, a vote will be held
- The vote will be conducted by postal ballot in accordance with the procedure and timescales contained in the Code of Good Branch Practice.
- Where no valid nomination has been received before the deadline, nominations may be called for and a candidate elected at the AGM, or endorsed by the Branch Committee subject to ratification by the next General Meeting.
- Where no valid nomination has been received before the deadline, nominations may be called for and candidate elected at the AGM, or endorsed by the Branch Committee subject to ratification by the next General Meeting.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring in any office referred to in this rule before the next AGM of the branch, the Branch Committee may elect a suitable person to fill that vacancy.
- Election of Senior Stewards
- Senior Stewards shall be nominated and elected at the first Stewards Committee of each Section following the AGM.
- Representation on the Branch Committee will be agreed by the AGM and will include:
- Branch Officers
- Representatives of self-organised groups
- Senior stewards for each section
- Each Stewards Committee based on the total Sectional membership shall have:
Up to 100 members - two representatives
Every additional 100 or part thereof - one representative up to a maximum of 8
- The Branch Committee shall administer branch business in accordance with UNISON rules and guidance.
- The quorum for the Branch Committee shall be 20 or 33% (one third) of the members of the committee.
- The Branch Committee shall ensure that sections within the branch are appropriately and equitably resourced to ensure the effective participation of members, recruitment and organisation, representation and collective bargaining and campaigning on behalf of members in each section.
- The Branch Committee will establish arrangements for the individual representation of members.
- The Branch Committee shall meet no fewer than 8 times per year.
BRANCH MANAGEMENT GROUP
- The Branch Management Group shall comprise the Branch Secretary, Branch Chair, Branch Treasurer, Deputy Branch Secretary, the Schools Branch Officer, the Branch Equality Co-ordinator (and others as appropriate).
- The Branch Management Group will meet fortnightly to ensure the effective day to day management of the branch within the parameters of the decisions and guidance issued by the Branch Committee. The Branch Management Group may commit to no expenditure, policy decision or affiliation that has not been previously agreed by the Branch Committee.
- Sections comprise all members within the relevant service group and/or bargaining group and will have autonomy within the branch in respect of collective bargaining with their employer(s) only, subject to the policies and any guidelines and procedures of the branch, region and national union.
- Sections will be led by a Senior Steward elected in accordance with rule 5d and who will be the senior accredited representative within the section and a committee of all accredited representatives within the section.
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
- All meetings will be conducted in a fair and democratic manner.
- All meetings will be advertised widely as far in advance as possible (in the case of the AGM, all members will be notified in writing at least 12 weeks before the meeting, or first aggregate meeting).
- The procedures to be used at the meeting will be explained clearly.
- The branch will maintain records of all meetings and other appropriate records to enable the branch to function.
Communications to the media on behalf of the branch shall be made only by officer(s) authorised by the Branch Secretary.
- Affiliations to relevant constituency Labour Parties within the geographical boundaries of the Branch will be decided by the APF membership.
- Affiliations to trade councils within the geographical boundaries of the Branch shall be determined by the AGM or Branch Committee.
The branch shall keep a Unity Trust Bank account in the name of the branch and will maintain a financial record of all assets and transactions in accordance with UNISON guidelines.
Donations shall be agreed by the AGM or Branch Committee in accordance with the union’s policies and objectives and subject to provisions of national rule.
Rates of expenses for members attending meetings or carrying out other activities on behalf of the branch shall be agreed by the AGM in accordance with the Scheme for Branch Expenses contained in the Branch Finances Handbook.
Any honorarium paid to a branch officer will only be made in accordance with the Scheme for Honoraria Payments in Branches contained in the Branch Finances Handbook and will be subject to the criteria agreed by the last Branch Committee of the calendar year. One payment only will be made to an individual regardless of the number of positions held.
- The Branch Secretary will be responsible for the employment, direction and supervision of any staff employed by the branch consistent with employment law and current good practice.
- In the event of any first stage hearings of staff disciplinary or grievance matters, the Branch Secretary will be joined by another senior branch officer other than the Branch Chair.
- Any appeal arising from a first stage grievance or disciplinary hearing will be heard by the Branch Chair and other senior branch officers not involved at the first stage hearing.
- The outcome of any disciplinary or grievance hearing will remain confidential and the outcome only will be reported to the Branch Committee on its conclusion.
APPROVAL/ALTERATION TO BRANCH RULES
- Branch rules must be agreed by two thirds of members present and voting at a quorate general branch meeting.
- Branch rules must be approved in accordance with UNISON’s procedures.
- Any changes to branch rules must be agreed and approved in the same way.