The branch rules are approved by the membership, and may be updated from time to time (subject to approval by membership). You can find our current branch rules below.
The name of the Local Association is “The Keele Local Association of the University and College Union”, subsequently referred to as the LA.
The LA is constituted in accordance with the current rules of the University and College Union (UCU).
- AIMS AND OBJECTS
The aims and objects of the LA are the same as those of UCU, set out in national rule 2, except that they exclude the political objects of UCU referred to in national rule 2.6. The LA may discuss UCU’s political objects and may act to further these provided that no funds of the LA are spent on those political objects. All actions taken by the LA shall be consistent with the national rules of UCU.
- Members of the LA shall be those assigned to the LA in accordance with national rule 12. Normally, this shall include all UCU members for whom Keele University is their principal qualifying employment.
- In accordance with national rule 12.2, members who are employed at Keele University but who have been assigned to a different LA or central group may attend meetings, and vote on matters concerned with their employment, at this LA. They are eligible for membership of the committee of this LA, but may stand for election as a local officer only in their designated LA or central group. In relation to national office and national elections, they shall be entitled to stand for office and vote in national elections only in their designated LA or central group. National elections include all elections for general secretary, officers, trustees, National Executive Committee representatives and Congress representatives.
- Student members, as defined by national rules, who are registered for a degree at Keele University shall be student members of the LA.
- Retired members whose last employment was at Keele University may choose to be members of the LA or of a regional retired members’ branch.
- Each member of the LA shall pay, in accordance with procedures determined by the National Executive Committee (NEC), a subscription to the funds of UCU consisting of the current national subscription as determined by the NEC, and any current local subscription agreed by the LA.
- The local subscription shall be approved by a decision of the annual general meeting and published to all members.
- USE OF FUNDS
- All expenditure by the LA must further the objects of the LA. The finances of the LA shall be conducted in accordance with arrangements determined by the NEC, which shall include an audit and report prepared in accordance with instructions issued by the honorary treasurer.
- No funds of the LA shall be used for affiliation to a political party, or for the furtherance of the union’s political objects. Under trade union legislation, any expenditure on political objects must be made from a designated political fund, which is established and continued by a vote of the membership every ten years. This fund, set up in accordance with national rules 31 and 38, is one per cent of membership subscriptions, and members may opt out of paying it. (Northern Ireland members opt in.) All expenditure on political objects must be made nationally out of this designated political fund; expenditure on political objects cannot be made out of local funds. Political objects may be broadly described as electoral or other party political activities.
- The funds of the LA shall be used for the following purposes.
- Costs incurred in the proper conduct of the business of the LA, as agreed by the committee.
- Payment of the expenses of any members duly appointed by the LA to represent it.
- Payment of other such expenses as are from time to time determined by a majority of members present and voting at a quorate general meeting of the LA, subject to 6.1 and 6.2 above.
- Donations to charities or other bodies whose objects are consistent with those of the LA. Donations greater than £50 must be approved by a general meeting of the LA; donations not greater than this amount may be approved by the committee.
- There shall be a committee responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the LA. The committee shall meet not less than once every four months. Not less than one third of those who are at that time members of the committee must be present to form a quorum at any meeting.
- If presented with a written request signed by half of the members of the committee, the president must call a meeting of the committee to take place not later than 5 working days following the day on which that written request is received.
- The committee shall consist of up to 20 elected members, including the officers ex officio. The committee shall have power to co-opt up to 6 additional members. The elected members shall be elected annually at the annual general meeting from members of the LA in accordance with rule 9.
- OFFICERS OF THE LA
- Members shall be elected to the following officer roles within the LA: president, deputy president, secretary, treasurer, and any number of executive officers. These positions shall be elected annually at the annual general meeting from members of the LA in accordance with rule 9.
The president shall chair all general meetings and all committee meetings of the LA and perform such other duties as are laid upon the president by any rule or are decided by the committee. In accordance with normal practice, and in consultation with the officers and committee where possible, the president may, between meetings of the committee, take any action on behalf of the committee that is both urgent and necessary. Such President’s Action must be reported for approval to the next committee meeting. In the absence of the president these duties shall be performed by the deputy president, failing which another officer as the committee decides.
The duties of the secretary are to call general and committee meetings of the LA; to ensure that minutes of those meetings are kept; to ensure that the correspondence of the LA is dealt with; 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 secretary by any rule or are decided by the committee. In the absence of the secretary, the secretary’s duties shall be performed by another officer as the committee decides.
- The treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the LA and authority to make payments from them in accordance with the rules as the need arises. The treasurer’s duties shall be to keep the books of the LA; to present the accounts of the LA for auditing as necessary; to present these audited accounts to a general meeting of the LA, to publish them to all members of the LA, and to submit a copy forthwith to the honorary treasurer of UCU. In the absence of the treasurer, the treasurer’s duties shall be performed by another officer as the committee decides.
- The treasurer shall also be responsible for keeping any membership records that are necessary at local level. The treasurer shall provide membership information promptly to UCU in accordance with instructions from UCU Head Office or Regional Office to enable statutory and rule requirements of membership records to be met. The committee may delegate these membership duties to another person.
- Casual vacancies. If an office is vacant and no ballot is being held for that office, the committee is empowered to fill the vacancy, either from members of the committee itself or from the general membership of the LA. Officers so appointed shall retire at the same time as if they had been duly elected at the last annual general meeting.
- ELECTIONS OF ORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS
- Officers and ordinary members of the committee shall be elected at the annual general meeting and shall serve from the date of the meeting until the next annual general meeting. Retiring officers and committee members shall be eligible for re-election.
- Nominations, proposed and seconded, may be submitted in writing to the secretary or may be made at the annual general meeting. Election shall be by a show of hands or paper ballot, as decided by the meeting. Only those members present at the meeting may vote.
- Executive powers shall be delegated to the officers by the committee.
- CONDUCT OF BALLOTS
- All ballots in the LA shall be conducted in accordance with this rule, other than industrial action ballots, which shall be conducted in accordance with national rules.
- A decision to hold a ballot shall be taken by a general meeting of the LA after considering the recommendations of the committee.
- The committee shall appoint a returning officer who is neither an officer nor a member of the committee.
- Not later than the end of the day that is 14 days before the date fixed for counting the ballot, the ballot forms shall be sent to each member to be balloted. The returning officer shall supervise the conduct of the ballot including the distribution of ballot forms and shall fix the date and time for starting the count of the ballot. The ballot shall be secret. Ballots shall be counted in accordance with the method determined by the returning officer. Where appropriate and practicable, the single transferable vote system shall be used.
- The result shall be notified in writing by the returning officer to the secretary and as soon as practicable by the secretary to the members of the LA and to the general secretary of UCU.
- ELECTION OF CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVES
Congress representatives shall be elected annually at the annual general meeting from members of the LA, by the same method as election of officers and the committee. Where an elected representative is unable to attend a particular Congress, a substitute may be elected by a general meeting. If this is not possible, a substitute may be elected by the committee. Names of the representatives shall be notified to the general secretary in accordance with published procedures.
- REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Any member of the committee (including the officers and other persons elected to represent the LA) may be removed from office by resolution at a general meeting (including an extraordinary general meeting) of the LA provided that (a) the terms of any such proposed resolution are received by the secretary not later than the day that is 14 days before the day of the general meeting and (b) the proposal for such a resolution is supported in writing by not less than 25 members or 25% of the membership, whichever is less. Upon receipt of such a proposal the secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that that proposal is received by each member of the LA not later than the day that is 7 days before the general meeting at which it is to be considered. Any general meeting that removes 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.
- MEETINGS OF THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION
There shall be at least three general meetings of the LA each year, of which one shall be designated as the annual general meeting. The regional official shall receive notice and minutes of all LA general meetings. The general secretary or nominee may attend all LA general meetings.
- Annual General Meeting. The annual general meeting shall be held in May, June or July each year. The secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of the annual general meeting is received by members not later than the day that is 14 days before the day on which the meeting is to be held. The secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the agenda for the meeting is received by members not later than the day that is 7 days before the day on which the meeting is to be held. The annual general meeting shall elect the officers and committee members. It shall appoint an auditor or auditors.
- Other General Meetings. The secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of other general meetings is received by members not later than the day that is 7 days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.
- EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING
An extraordinary general meeting of the LA shall be held either at the request of the committee or following receipt by the secretary of a requisition signed by at least the number of members equivalent to a quorum. Such a requisition shall specify the topic or topics to be discussed. Requisitioned meetings shall be arranged to take place not later than 10 working days after the day on which that requisition was received. The secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of the extraordinary general meeting is received by members not later than the day that is 3 working days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.
At all general meetings, including extraordinary general meetings, of the LA a quorum shall be one twentieth of the membership or 20 members, whichever is least. In any case, the quorum must be no less than the total size of the committee.
- 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, or in relation to the local finances of the LA, because the meeting was not quorate, notice of a further meeting shall be circulated to members to take place no later than 14 days after the date of the inquorate meeting. The agenda of the further meeting shall be restricted to this incomplete, formal business. It shall be quorate if three members are in attendance, except that, in respect of the local finances of the LA, these three shall not for purposes of the quorum include the LA treasurer or its local auditors.
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. Any motion (other than an emergency motion) submitted by the LA to the Congress of the UCU shall be circulated to all members of the LA and approved by a quorate general meeting of the LA. Amendments, which may not introduce new subject matters to motions, may be taken at the discretion of the Chair. Where a general meeting is called, and part of the business of this meeting is to approve motions for submission to the Congress of the UCU, and this meeting is inquorate, motions for submission to Congress may be subsequently approved in a manner determined by the committee and consistent with the standing orders of Congress. Emergency motions to Congress must be submitted in accordance with the standing orders of Congress.
- MOTIONS TO NATIONAL MEETINGS AND COMMITTEES
All motions to national equality bodies, and national meetings and specialist committees of the Special Employment Interest Groups, shall be submitted in accordance with national rules and standing orders and should be approved by a properly convened meeting of members of the relevant special interest group, for which the quorum shall be 10, or by a quorate general meeting, or by the committee.
- RATIFICATION OF AGREEMENTS
Any draft agreements must be ratified in accordance with regional or national ratification procedures where these exist.
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.
No rule or rules of the LA shall at any time be in conflict with a rule or rules of the UCU currently in force. Changes in the rules of the UCU shall, where applicable, automatically constitute changes in these rules of the LA.
- AMENDMENT OF RULES
These rules of the LA may be amended by resolution of any quorate general meeting of the LA. Proposed amendments to these rules must be handed in writing to the secretary by the end of the day that is 14 days before the day of the general meeting at which they are to be considered. The secretary shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that these proposed amendments are received by members not later than the day that is 7 days before the day on which the meeting is to be held at which they are to be considered. Amendments to these rules require the support of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the general meeting at which they are considered, an abstention not being regarded as a vote for this purpose. Alternatively these rules of the LA may be amended by membership ballot and, in that case, the support of at least two-thirds of those members casting a valid vote in that ballot would be required. Either the committee or a quorate general meeting may decide to hold such a membership ballot. All rules of the LA and amendments to these rules shall be subject to approval by the National Executive Committee of the UCU.
- SITE ORGANISATION
Where members of an LA are employed on more than one site, the LA may, for the purposes of enhancing local organisation, make arrangements for the members on any site to elect appropriate site officers to perform functions agreed by resolution of the LA. Any such arrangements and functions must be consistent with the overriding responsibilities of the LA and its officers as set out in these rules.
Ballots conducted under these rules may be by post or by secure electronic means. Officers of the LA should hold an up-to-date register of members’ physical and electronic contact details for these and other communication purposes. Unless specifically determined by the LA, all other communications may be by email.
Date these local rules approved: 23/5/17 (at AGM)