4 PURPOSE AND FUNCTIONS
5 CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
The Branch shall be called “Higher Education Branch for Tayside and Fife”, hereinafter referred to as the “branch”.
The Branch shall cover all Unite members within the Universities of Abertay;
Dundee and St.Andrews.
3.1 The Branch shall be formed from the Unite membership
within the Universities of Abertay, Dundee and St. Andrews. Any retired member, formerly employed in these institutions, who opts to remain within the branch
may do so.
3.2 Each institution shall, in addition, have its own University Committee,
operating under the umbrella of the Branch, to deal with problems specific to
that workplace. University Committee rules are contained in this document as “Appendix 1”
4. PURPOSE AND FUNCTIONS
4.1 The purpose of the Branch will be to operate in the interests of its members
and to communicate and distribute all Unite correspondence to the Branch membership.
4.2 The Branch shall be constituted with the purpose of providing a regular
means of debating issues directly affecting members employed within the
Universities (as at 2.1) as well as issues relating to the wider political and social landscape.
4.3 The Branch shall discuss matters with a view to reaching a consensus,
following discussion with the respective membership.
4.4 The Branch shall be a vehicle for ensuring consultation
between members within the three universities and their employer(s).
5. BRANCH OFFICERS
Branch Officers shall be elected every 3 years, by no later than the 28th February
in each third year, and elected candidates will take office on the 1st March of that
year to serve for a period of 3 years. Election of Branch Officers shall be carried
out, at a properly convened AGM, by ballot or show of hands as decided by those present and voting.
Casual vacancies may be filled at an ordinary Branch meeting subject to notice
given on the agenda calling the meeting.
Those standing for election as Branch Officers are required to be in compliance
with the definition of such as set out in Rule 6 of the Unite rule book. Retired
members are not eligible to stand.
5.1 Branch Chairperson/Vice Chairperson
The Branch shall elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson
The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings of the Branch and shall ensure
that business is conducted in accordance with the rules and Branch standing
If the Chairperson is absent from a Branch meeting, the Vice Chairperson will
preside, failing this those present will elect a substitute to Chair the meeting.
The Chairperson (or acting Chairperson) shall be entitled to vote on all matters
to be decided by the Branch but shall not have a second or casting vote, in the
event of a tied vote the status quo shall prevail.
The Chairperson shall comply with Rule 17.11. ensuring that business is
conducted in accordance with both Unite rules and Branch standing orders
5.2 Branch Secretary
The Branch shall elect a Secretary.
The Branch secretary shall be responsible for the general administration of
the Branch including maintaining the Branch membership, financial and other
records in compliance with the requirements of the Unite Executive Council,
taking and preserving Branch minutes and conducting correspondenceon
behalf of the Branch. On taking office the Branch Secretary shall provide
an address at which they may be contacted. This information will be posted
on the Branch website.
The Branch Secretary shall give detailed reports of income and expenditure to
each meeting of the Branch, and shall submit a quarterly return of Income and Expenditure to the Regional Administration. Note: failure to submit such returns
may lead to withholding of remittances of Branch Income to the Branch.
The Branch Secretary shall comply with Rule 17.11
5.3 Branch Treasurer
The Branch shall elect a Branch Treasurer.
The Branch Treasurer shall be responsible for dealing with financial transactions concerning the Branch, ensuring that all payments are made in accordance with
the rules of the Union, receiving contributions from members who pay directly to
the Branch and banking all monies received.
The Branch Treasurer shall comply with Rule 17.12.
6. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
Notice of the date, time and venue for all Branch Meeting shall be communicated
to members at least a fortnight prior to the meeting and full details posted on the branch website.
Meetings of the Branch will be held in Unite Office, 110 Blackness Road,
Dundee, unless otherwise advised. Members will be advised of any change
of meeting place via the Branch website, notice or email.
The Quorum for Branch Meetings shall be 5 members.
All debates within Branch Meetings shall take place in an atmosphere of dignity
and respect. Any member found to have breached this rule, shall be requested
to leave the meeting until such time as they are prepared to act in an appropriate manner.
6.5 Annual General Meeting
The Branch shall call an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in accordance with the
union rules (17.5) and it will form part of the normal Branch meeting to be held
in February each year.
6.6 Duties of Branch Chairperson
The Chairperson/Vice Chairperson/Acting Chairperson shall preside over all
meetings. All questions/clarifications etc shall be raised through the Chair.
The Chair shall ensure that the meeting follows the agenda set by the Branch Secretary.
The Chair shall ensure that the meeting is conducted in an atmosphere of
dignity and respect.
6.7 Duties of Branch Secretary
6.7a Agenda Construction
Branch members shall inform the Branch Secretary of any items they wish
included on the agenda.
The Branch Secretary shall ensure that the agenda is communicated to members
in good time.
Agendas for the Branch Meetings shall comprise the following:
· Branch Finance
· Organising & Recruitment
· Areas of discussion
6.7b Minutes and Reports
The Branch Secretary will record Minutes of all Meetings. Minutes will be
considered and agreed by the Branch at the following meeting, subject to any amendments.To assist the Branch Secretary in the performance of his/her role Committee Members shall provide written reports whenever possible.
6.8 Branch Fund Additional Levy (if deemed appropriate)
Any agreed levy shall be subject to approval by the Unite Regional Committee, following the passing of a Branch Resolution, indicating the purpose and amount
of the proposed levy, taken at a Branch AGM meeting. The proposal being an
agenda item clearly indicated on the agenda for that meeting.
The Branch Fund (Additional Levy)(if introduced)must establish rules covering its disbursement should the branch subsequently vote for its discontinuation.
Such Rules will be the subject of discussion by the Branch, and will take into
account the level of income and any reserves held in the Branch Fund account.
6.9 Branch Audit of Accounts
The Branch will elect three auditors who shall NOT be holders of a Branch
Office. Any two of the three shall be responsible for conducting the quarterly
audits including the annual return of the Branches Assets and Liabilities.
The Statement of Accounts for the previous full year shall be communicated at the Branch AGM.
6.10 Fund Raising Activities
Any monies raised by the Branch other than by membership contributions
shall be included in the Branch Funds and be subject to the rules relating to
6.11 Allowable Expenditure
No payments may be made from the Branch Fund which would conflict with the responsibilities of the Union under the relevant legislation regulating the activities
of Trade Unions.Payments of a political nature must be made by application to
the Regional Committee and may only be paid from the Political Fund of the
Branch Funds may not be used for any purposes contrary to the Rules of Unite,
or for any purpose which may bring Unite into disrepute.
Payments that may be considered are as follows:
· Delegates expenses up to a maximum (to be specified -currently £50 per
night) where such payments are not recoverable from the Regional
· Payment of Union contributions for members unable to pay
through hardship or retirement.
· Grants to contributors to the Branch Fund who are experiencing difficulties
– up to a max £100
· Donations arising from appeals authorised by the General Executive Council
or the Regional Committee
· Floral tributes in respect of hospitalisation or bereavement
· Payments of honoraria to Branch Secretary and Treasurer
· Provision for organising & recruitment of new members
· Provision for items required to assist the operation of the branch
e.g. computer peripherals/software, stationery, etc. – Current maximum £250 Subject to annual review at a Branch AGM
· Computer equipment (subject to Branch approval after equipment sourced
and costs obtained)
· Payments of rent for premises for the purpose of holding branch meetings.
· Payment of postage
· Affiliations to bodies such as Labour Research, Trades Councils, or for publications such as Croners etc
Items listed above are not exhaustive, but wherever possible, additional items considered for inclusion should be referred to a full Branch Meeting indicating
the maximum payments to be made on any one occasion.
Should the branch close or merge, any funds or assets that are held on behalf
of the branch will be returned to the Union and disbursed as per policy and in
the case of Branch Fund (Additional levy) this will be disbursed under rule
7. Amendments to the Branch Constitution
The Branch Constitution may not be varied or modified except through agreement
at a properly convened Annual General Meeting of the branch.
Any member desiring a variation or modification shall give notice of the reasons
for the proposed variation or modification to the Branch Secretary, who will add
the proposal to the agenda for the next AGM. This should be submitted 21 days
prior to the June AGM, the date for which can be found on the Branch website,
or by contacting your local committee Chair/Secretary.
All such proposals will require to be formally proposed and seconded prior to
being put to the vote. Any proposal which fails to be seconded shall by default
fall, as will any proposal which fails to secure the support of 50% + 1 of those participating and eligible to vote.
University Committee membership
Members in each of the three universities shall independently elect the
b Secretary and
c committee members (max 6)
to ensure representation of members’ interests within their workplace and all dealings with the management of their university.
Those standing for election are required to be “accountable representatives”
of the workforce and in compliance with such a definition as set out in Rule
6 of the union rule book. In addition the following may also be elected:
University Court Representative(s)
University elections shall take place at least once every three years.
Elections shall be by ballot or a show of hands.
The elected committee shall form a University Committee, to be called “the <Abertay> <Dundee> <St. Andrews>1 University Committee of Unite”.