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Oxford UCU Local Rules

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1. Name: The name of the Branch or Local Association is ‘The Oxford Branch/Local Association of the University and College Union’ (‘Oxford UCU’), subsequently referred to as the Branch/LA.

2. Constitution: The Branch/LA is constituted in accordance with the current rules of the University and College Union (UCU).

3. Aims and Objects: The aims and objects of the Branch/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 Branch/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 Branch/LA shall be consistent with the national rules of UCU.

4. Membership: 4.1 Members of the Branch/LA shall be those assigned to the Branch/LA in accordance with national rule 12.  Normally, this will include all UCU members for whom the University of Oxford (here and below to be understood as including any College, Society, or Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford) is their principal qualifying employment.

4.2 In accordance with national rule 12.2, members who are employed at the University of Oxford but who have been assigned to a different Branch/LA may attend meetings, and vote on matters concerned with their employment, at this Branch/LA.  They are eligible for membership of the committee of this Branch/LA, but may stand for election as a local officer only in their designated Branch/LA.  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 Branch/LA/central group.  ‘National elections’ includes all elections for General Secretary, Officers, Trustees, National Executive Committee (NEC) representatives and Congress delegates. 4.3 Retired members whose last employment was in the University of Oxford may choose to be members of the Branch/LA or of a regional retired members’ branch.
5. Subscriptions: 5.1 Each member of the Branch/LA will pay, in accordance with procedures determined by the 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 Branch/LA. 5.2 The local subscription will be approved by a decision of the annual general meeting and published to all members.

6. Use of Funds: 6.1 All expenditure by the Branch/LA must further the objects of the Branch/LA. The finances of the Branch/LA shall be conducted in accordance with arrangements determined by the National Executive Committee which shall include an audit and report prepared in accordance with instructions issued by the Honorary Treasurer. 6.2 No funds of the Branch/LA will 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 UCU 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. 6.3  The funds of the Branch/LA will be used for: 6.3.1 Costs incurred in the proper conduct of the business of the Branch/LA, as agreed by the committee; 6.3.2 Payment of the expenses of any members duly appointed by the Branch/LA to represent it; 6.3.3 Payment of other such expenses as will from time to time be determined by a majority of members present and voting at a quorate general meeting of the Branch/LA, subject to rules 6.1 and 6.2 above; 6.3.4 Donations to charities or other bodies whose objects are consistent with those of the Branch/LA.  Donations greater than £50 must be approved by a general meeting of the Branch/LA; donations of this amount or less may be approved by the committee.

7.  Committee: 7.1 There will be a committee responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the Branch/LA. The committee will 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. 7.1.1 No policy will be adopted by the committee unless ratified by at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the quorate general meeting at which it is considered, an abstention not being regarded as a vote for this purpose; 7.1.2 All branch policies will be available to members via publication on the Branch website; 7.1.3 All branch policies will be subject to annual review and annual ratification by the general membership. 7.2 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 five working days following the day on which that written request is received. 7.3  The committee will consist of: 7.3.1 the officers as specified below;

7.3.2 up to eight ordinary members elected annually from members of the Branch/LA.;   7.3.3 up to three members co-opted by the annual general meeting or by the committee who will serve to the end of the term of office of other committee members; 7.3.4 any member of the Branch/LA who is a member of the National Executive Committee of UCU.

7.4 Where there is one Branch/LA in the institution, the committee shall elect (from amongst its own members) a Negotiating Committee to conduct negotiations with the University of Oxford.

7.5 The Negotiating Committee is the only body empowered to conduct negotiations with the University of Oxford. The negotiators may include the Regional Official, under circumstances determined by the General Secretary. The Negotiating Committee shall make appropriate arrangements for the appointment of its officers from among its membership.

8. Officers of the Branch/LA: 8.1 Members will be elected to the following officer roles within the LA: The President, The Vice��'President, The Treasurer, The Secretary, The Membership and Recruitment Secretary; The Equality Officer; The Health and Safety Officer; These positions will be declared elected annually at the annual general meeting from members of the LA in accordance with rule 9. 8.2 President: The president will 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 the absence of the president these duties will be performed by the vice-president, failing which another officer as the committee decides. In accordance with normal practice, the president may, between meetings of the committee, take any action on behalf of the committee which is both urgent and necessary. Such president’s action must be reported for approval to the next committee meeting. 8.3 Honorary Secretary: 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 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 will be performed by another officer as the committee decides.  8.4 Treasurer: The Treasurer will 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 will be to keep the books of the LA; to present the accounts of the LA to a general meeting of the LA and to publish them to all members of the LA; and to submit a copy of the accounts of the LA forthwith to the honorary treasurer of UCU. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Treasurer's duties will be performed by another officer as the committee decides.  8.5 Membership and Recruitment Secretary: The membership and recruitment secretary will be responsible for recruitment and for keeping any membership records that are necessary at local level. The membership and recruitment secretary will 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. In the absence of the membership secretary, these duties will be performed by another officer as the committee decides. 8.6 Equality Officer: The Equality Officer will: 8.6.1 have knowledge of and commitment to relevant issues, and be willing to undertake training according to the needs of UCU, monitor the implementation of equality policies within the institution, and, where appropriate, encourage and support local negotiations on equality matters; 8.6.2 monitor the volume and nature of personal casework which involves equality issues to ensure that the LA has appropriate mechanisms in place for handling such cases; 8.6.3 where appropriate, provide information, encouragement and support to members about equality issues; 8.6.4  ensure that UCU’s national annual meetings, and any other relevant events and opportunities for women, black members, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and disabled members are publicised locally, that members from all groups are encouraged to participate, and that the LA maximises the opportunities for recruitment and organisation amongst all groups; 8.6.5 where appropriate, provide liaison between the LA and UCU’s equality structures.  In the absence of the Equality Officer, these duties will be performed by another officer or officers as the committee decides. 8.7 Health and Safety Officer: The Health and Safety Officer will oversee and develop the departmental health and safety representatives’ network and attend the University Consultative Committee for Health and Safety. 8.8 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 will retire at the same time as if they had been duly declared elected at the last annual general meeting.

9.  Elections of Officers and Ordinary Members of the Committee: 9.1 Returning Officer: The local committee will appoint a returning officer for elections who is neither a candidate for any office in the LA nor a member of the committee. 9.2 Nominations: All nominations will be received in writing by the returning officer no later than the day that is twenty-eight days before the day of the annual general meeting.  Nominations must be accompanied by the written consent of the nominee and supported by the identifiable signatures of two members of the LA. 9.3 Eligibility to Stand for Election: Retiring Officers shall be eligible for re-election, except that the president and vice-president may normally hold office for not more than two consecutive years and other Officers normally for not more than four consecutive years, in any one capacity. Ordinary members of the committee shall be eligible for re-election but they may not normally serve as such for more than three consecutive years. A member may not normally be declared elected to more than one officer or ordinary position of committee membership. 9.4 Elections: Subject to rule 10.4, if there is only one eligible candidate for any officer vacancy that candidate will be declared elected. If the number of eligible candidates to be ordinary members of the committee does not exceed the number of vacancies those candidates will be declared elected. If there is either more than one eligible candidate for any officer vacancy or more eligible candidates than there are vacancies of ordinary members of the committee a ballot of the members of the LA will be conducted in accordance with rule 10. 9.5 Term of Office: The term of office of an officer or ordinary member of the committee elected under this rule 9 will be the academic year following the annual general meeting, or such other period of approximately one year as the AGM determines.

10. Conduct of Ballots: 10.1 Unless decided otherwise by the NEC all ballots will be conducted in accordance with this rule, other than industrial action ballots which will be conducted in accordance with national rules. 10.2 If required, a ballot for officer posts will be held in accordance with rule 10.3.  A ballot for ordinary committee members will be held by a vote at the AGM. 10.3 Not later than the end of the day that is fourteen days before the date fixed for counting the ballot, the ballot forms will be sent to each member of the LA.  The returning officer will supervise the conduct of the ballot including the distribution of ballot forms and will fix the date and time for starting the count of the ballot. The ballot will be secret. Ballots will be counted in accordance with the method determined by the returning officer.  Where appropriate and practicable, the single transferable vote system will be used. 10.4 When officer and committee ballots are conducted over the same time period, they will be counted in the following order: officer and other positions set out in rule 8.1, in the order in which they are set out in that rule, followed by ordinary committee members. If a person is a candidate in two or more elections over the same time period for positions that cannot be held concurrently under rule 9.3, after the successful election of that candidate to a position, votes for that candidate will be disregarded in subsequent elections. 10.5 The result will 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.

11. Election of Congress Representatives: Congress representatives will be elected annually from members of the LA. Any ballot that is necessary will be conducted in accordance with rule 10. 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 will be notified to the general secretary in accordance with published procedures.

12. 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 fourteen days before the day of the general meeting and (b) the proposal for such a resolution is supported in writing by not less than twenty��'five members or 25% of the membership, whichever is less. Upon receipt of such a proposal the secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that that proposal is received by each member of the LA not later than the day that is seven days before the general meeting at which it is to be considered. Any general meeting which will have removed a member or members of the committee in accordance with the above will 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.

13. Meetings of the Branch/Local Association: There will be at least three general meetings of the LA each year, of which one will be designated as the annual general meeting. The regional official shall receive notice and minutes of all LA meetings. The general secretary or nominee may attend all LA meetings. 13.1 Annual General Meeting: The annual general meeting will be held normally in the eight week of Trinity Term each year.  The honorary secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of the annual general meeting is received by members not later than the day that is twenty-one days before the day on which the meeting is to be held. The honorary secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the agenda for the meeting is received by members not later than the day that is seven days before the day on which the meeting is to be held. The annual general meeting will normally receive the results of elections of the officers, and will elect committee members in accordance with rule 10.2.  13.2 Other General Meetings: The secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of other general meetings is received by members not later than the day that is fourteen before the day on which the meeting is to be held.

14. Extraordinary General Meeting: An extraordinary general meeting of the LA will 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 will specify the topic or topics to be discussed. Requisitioned meetings will be arranged to take place not later than ten working days after the day on which that requisition was received. The secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of the extraordinary general meeting is received by members not later than the day that is five working days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.

15. Emergency General Meeting: 15.1 When an issue is urgent and an emergency meeting is called by the Officers, the secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that notice of the emergency general meeting is received by members not less than 3 working days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.

16. Quorum: At all general meetings, including extraordinary general meetings, of the LA a quorum will be twenty-five members. At the AGM a quorum will be twenty-five members.  In any case, the quorum must be greater than the total size of the committee.

17. 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 will 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 will be restricted to this incomplete, formal business. It will be quorate if three members are in attendance, except that in respect of the local finances of the LA, these three will not for purposes of the quorum include the LA treasurer. 

18. Special Interest Groups: 18.1 With the agreement of a general meeting groups representing the interest of sections of the membership may be established within the LA.  An officer of the committee shall be ex-officio a member of any such group. 18.2 Each special interest group shall meet at least twice in every academic year and shall keep minutes of such meetings which shall be transmitted to the Committee of the Local Association.

19. Motions: 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 will 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.

20. 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 approved by a properly convened meeting of members of the relevant special interest group, for which the quorum will be ten, or by a quorate general meeting, or by the committee.

21. Ratification of Agreements: Any draft agreements must be ratified in accordance with regional or national ratification procedures where these exist.

22. Validation: No act done in good faith under these rules by the committee, an officer or any other person or body will be invalidated only by reason of the subsequent discovery of a defect in, or the expiry of, their appointment.

23. Rules: No rule or rules of the LA will at any time be in conflict with a rule or rules of the UCU currently in force. Changes in the rules of the UCU will, where applicable, automatically constitute changes in these rules of the LA.

24. 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 fourteen days before the day of the general meeting at which they are to be considered. The secretary will take all reasonable steps to ensure that these proposed amendments are received by members not later than the day that is ten 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 will be subject to approval by the national executive committee of the UCU.

25. Site Organisation: 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.

26. Communications: Ballots conducted under rule 10 may be by post or in the case of electoral ballots 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 communications purposes. Unless specifically determined by the LA, all other communications may be by email.


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  Created: 2020-02-28 Modified: 2020-02-28 17:58:00 by bernadette