Goldsmiths UCU Constitution
Please note: A new and up to date constitution is currently under discussion…
Goldsmiths Association of University Teachers (GAUT) local rules and constitution
Based on National model rules as revised August 2002
The name of the Association is “The Goldsmiths Association of University Teachers” (often abbreviated to GAUT), subsequently referred to as the Local Association.
The Local Association is constituted in accordance with the Rules for the time being of the Association of University Teachers.
The objects of the Local Association shall be the advancement of University Education and Research, the regulation of relations between academic and academic-related staffs in universities and analogous institutions and their employers, the promotion of common action by those staffs, and the safeguarding of the interests of the members, that is to say, the same objects as those of the Association of University Teachers, excluding the political objects thereof. The Local Association may also discuss the furtherance by the Association of University Teachers of those political objects and may act in furtherance thereof provided that no funds of the Local Association are expended for those political objects.
The objects specified are those set out in Rule 2.1 of the national Rules. The political objects are spelled out in their statutory form in Schedule 8 to the national Rules. Rule 2.4 of the national Rules expressly forbids the use of Local Association funds for affiliation to any political party.
[The url for members wishing to consult the national Rules in pdf is: http://www.aut.org.uk/media/pdf/autrules.pdf]
4.1 Membership of the Local Association is open to Full, Retired and Attached Members of the Association of University Teachers whose eligibility for membership of the Association of University Teachers derives from their association with Goldsmiths University of London. The Local Association may also admit to membership, at its own discretion, members of the Association of University Teachers who work in institutions which do not have their own Local Association of University Teachers.
Each member of the Local Association shall pay the appropriate monthly subscription to the funds of the Association of University Teachers as laid down in the Rules of the Association of University Teachers and in addition any monthly subscription to the funds of the Local Association currently in force. These subscriptions shall be payable together directly to the Honorary Treasurer of the Association or to the Honorary Treasurer of the Local Association (or via an arrangement with Goldsmiths Finance Department) not later than the end of each month in which the subscriptions are due. Members may pay in September the twelve monthly subscriptions due for the twelve-month period beginning the first day of September of that year. The amounts of the monthly subscriptions to the Local Association shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting. If a member’s monthly subscription becomes more than 2 months overdue, notice must be given by the Honorary Treasurer of the Association or of the Local Association that unless the subscription is paid within one month of that notice, membership of the Association will cease.
Any changes in the rates of local subscriptions must be agreed by a quorate General Meeting of the Local Association and publicised to all members.
6 USE OF FUNDS
The funds of the Local Association shall be used for:
6.1 Expenses properly incurred in conducting such business of the Local Association as shall from time to time be determined by the Executive Committee.
6.2 Payment of expenses of Council representatives incurred in attending Council meetings.
6.3 Payment of fees and expenses of any other members duly appointed by the Local Association to represent it.
6.4 Payment of other such expenses as shall from time to time be determined by a majority of members present and voting at a quorate General Meeting of the Local Association provided that such payment does not conflict with the objects of the Local Association.
6.5 Donations to charities or other bodies whose objects are consistent with those of the Local Association.
6.6 Payments to full or part-time staff employed specifically to support the work of the Local Association.
i The Local Association vests authority in its Executive Committee to approve expenditure, on condition that all expenditure furthers, or tend to further, the objects of the Local Association.
ii Payment of expenses to representatives of the Local Association should normally be at the payment rates currently in force nationally.
iii Any payments under 6.5 above a minimal level should be approved by a quorate General Meeting or a ballot.
7 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
7.1 There shall be an Executive Committee of the Local Association responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the Local Association. The Executive Committee shall meet not less than once every four months. At all Committee meetings a quorum shall be one third of the Executive Committee’s membership.
7.2 The Executive Committee shall consist of:
7.2a ex-officio members, being the Officers of the Local Association, the immediate Past President and any member of the Local Association who is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of University Teachers; and
7.2b up to 6 (six) ordinary members elected annually from members of the Local Association who will take office immediately after the Annual General Meeting at which they are declared elected and retire at the next Annual General Meeting; and
7.2c up to 4 (four) co-opted members who will serve until the next Annual General Meeting after co-option.
8.1 The Officers of the Local Association shall be:
The honorary treasurer
The honorary secretary
The membership secretary
The equal opportunities officer
The Officers shall be declared elected annually at the Annual General Meeting from members of the Local Association in accordance with Rule 9.
The President shall chair all General Meetings and all Executive Committee meetings of the Local Association and perform such other duties as are laid upon the President by these Rules or are decided by the Executive Committee. The President will be responsible for directing the work of any administrative staff employed to assist and serve the Local Association. In the absence of the President these duties shall be performed by the Vice President or another Officer as the Executive Committee shall decide.
8.3 Honorary Secretary
The duties of the Honorary Secretary shall be to call General and Committee meetings of the Local Association; to ensure that minutes of those meetings are kept; to organise membership circulations as the Executive 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 Honorary Secretary by any Rule or are decided by the President or the Executive Committee. In the absence of the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Secretary’s duties shall be performed by another Officer as the Executive Committee shall decide and with the particular assistance of the Local Association’s Administrator, if one is employed.
8.4 Honorary Treasurer
The Honorary Treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the Local Association and authority (in accordance with the mandate determined by the Executive Committee of the Local Association) to make payments from them in accordance with the Rules as the need arises. The Honorary Treasurer’s duties shall be to keep the financial records of the Local Association; to report on the accounts and the audit of the accounts of the Local Association; to present the audited accounts annually to a General Meeting of the Local Association, to publish them to all members of the Local Association, and to ensure that the audit is conveyed to the Honorary Treasurer of the Association of University Teachers. In the absence of the Honorary Treasurer, the Honorary Treasurer’s duties shall be performed by another Officer or Executive Committee member as the Executive Committee shall decide and with the particular assistance of the Local Association’s Administrator, if one is employed.
i National Rule 6.2.2 states that local Rules should specify the manner in which the Local Association’s funds shall be held. GAUT banks with Unity Bank which is approved for the purpose of keeping Local Association’s funds and for the purpose of reporting on them to AUT nationally.
ii National Rule 19.7 requires that the accounts of a Local Association be audited annually, and that each year a copy of local accounts is made available to the national Honorary Treasurer not later than 31 December following the end of each accounting period.
8.5 Membership/Recruitment Secretary
The Membership/Recruitment Secretary shall be responsible for recruitment and for keeping any membership records that are necessary at local level. The Membership Secretary will ensure that all relevant membership information is passed to the Association centrally within the time limits set and in the form required to enable statutory and Rule requirements of membership records to be met. In the absence of the Membership Secretary, these duties shall be performed by another Officer as the Executive Committee shall decide and with the assistance of the Local Association’s Administrator, if one is employed.
8.6 Equal opportunities officer
The equal opportunities officer shall:
i) monitor the volume and nature of personal casework which involves equal opportunities issues, in particular issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment, to ensure that the Local Association has appropriate mechanisms in place for handling such personal cases
ii) where appropriate, provide support to other LA officers, Executive Committee members, or departmental representatives in particular personal cases
iii) be able to provide information to local members about an institution’s equal opportunities policy/policies
iv) where appropriate, encourage and support local negotiations on equal opportunities matters
v) ensure that AUT’s national annual meetings, and any other relevant events and opportunities for women, black and ethnic minorities 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 Local Association maximises the opportunities for recruitment and organisation amongst all groups
vi) have knowledge of and commitment to relevant issues, and be willing to undertake training according to the needs of AUT
vii) where appropriate, provide liaison between the Local Association and the AUT’s equal opportunities committee
viii) have a requirement to monitor the implementation of equal opportunities policies within the institution.
In the absence of the equal opportunities officer, these duties shall be performed by another officer or officers as the Executive Committee shall decide.
8.7 Casual vacancies
If an Office is vacant between Annual General Meetings and no ballot is being held for that Office, the Executive Committee is empowered to fill the vacancy from members of the Local Association. 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 ORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS
9.1 Returning Officer
The Executive Committee of the Local Association will appoint a returning officer for elections who is neither a candidate for any office in the Local Association nor a member of the Executive Committee.
All nominations shall be received in writing by the Returning Officer not less than 12 (twelve) days before the Annual General Meeting. Nominations must be accompanied by the written consent of the nominee and supported by the identifiable signatures of 2 members of the Local Association. A list of all nominations/ballot paper(s) shall be circulated to members of the Local Association by the Honorary Secretary not less than 7 (seven) days before the meeting.
9.3 Eligibility to stand for election as an Officer
Retiring Officers shall be eligible for re-election, except that the President may not normally hold office for more than 3 successive years.
If there is only one eligible candidate for any Officer vacancy that candidate will be declared elected.
If the number of candidates to be ordinary members of the Executive 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 candidates than there are vacancies of ordinary members of the Executive Committee a ballot of the members of the Local Association will be conducted in accordance with Rules 18 and 19.
9.5 Term of Office
The term of office of an Officer or ordinary member of the Committee elected under this Rule 9 shall commence at the close of the Annual General Meeting at which he or she is declared elected or at the beginning of the day following that on which the scrutineer notifies the election result to the Honorary Secretary under Rules 18 and 19.
National Rule 6.2.3a requires local Rules to make provision for the election of an Executive Committee and its re-election at reasonable intervals.
10 COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
10.1 Election of Council Representatives
Council representatives shall be elected annually from members of the Local Association. Names of the representatives will be notified to the Association in accordance with national Rules. Any ballot that is necessary will be conducted in accordance with Rules 18 and 19.
The representatives to the Council of the Association of University Teachers shall normally include either the President or the Honorary Secretary of the Local Association. Resignation as a representative member of the Council of the Association of University Teachers shall be submitted in writing to the Honorary Secretary who shall forthwith inform the General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers.
10.2 Casual vacancies
The Committee shall have power to fill any vacancies of Council representatives, arising from whatever cause, that occur before the next annual election.
11 REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Any member of the Executive Committee (including the Officers and other persons elected to represent the Local Association) may be removed from office by resolution at a General Meeting of the Local Association provided that (a) the terms of any such proposed resolution shall be notified to the Honorary Secretary not less than twelve days before the General Meeting and (b) the proposal for such a resolution is supported in writing by not less than twenty-five members of the Local Association. Upon receipt of such a proposal the Honorary Secretary shall despatch it to each member of the Local Association not less than seven days before the General Meeting at which it is to be considered. Any General Meeting which shall have removed 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.
12 MEETINGS OF THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION
There shall be at least three General Meetings of the Local Association each year, of which one shall be designated as the Annual General Meeting.
12.1 Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting shall be held in September each year. At least 6 weeks’ notice of the date of the meeting shall be given to members. Twenty-one days’ notice of the agenda of the meeting shall be given to members.
12.2 Other General Meetings
At least fourteen days’ notice of the holding of other General Meetings shall be given to members.
Any motions for consideration at a General Meeting should be submitted not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting and publicised to members not less than 10 days before the meeting.
13 EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Local Association shall be called at any time provided that notification of such a meeting signed by the President or at least twenty members of the Local Association and the topic or topics to be discussed shall have been delivered in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least seven days before the date on which such a meeting is to be held. At least five days’ notice of this meeting shall be given to members. Notice of General Meetings will normally given via the GAUT member electronic mailing list.
At all General Meetings of the Local Association a quorum shall be twenty members.
15 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, because the meeting was not quorate, the arrangements set out below will apply.
Formal business is (a) the adoption of audited Local Association accounts; (b) determination of the Local Association budget including the setting of the local subscription; (c) confirmation of any financial or membership data required by the Association in order to comply with its Rules, or to make returns to the Certification Officer or any other body designated by legislation, or to the Trades Union Congress; (d) determination in local rules of the manner in which the Local Association’s funds will be held; (e) the appointment of Local Association officers and auditors; and (f) any matter which the General Secretary notified the Local Association was required by legislation.
Where a quorum has not been achieved for the purpose of conducting such business, notice of a further meeting will be circulated to members to take place no later than 14 days from 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 items (a) and (d), above, these three will not for purposes of the quorum include the Local Association’s Honorary 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 Local Association to an ordinary meeting of the Council of the Association of University Teachers shall be circulated to all members of the Local Association and approved by a quorate General Meeting of the Local Association.
Where a general meeting is called, and part of the business of this meeting is to approve motions for submission to the Council of the Association of University Teachers, and this meeting is inquorate, motions for submission to council may be subsequently approved by the following means: By conducting an email poll, the result of which will be used to declare the motion passed provided that:
a. The motion has been circulated to all members by email. AND
b. At least 45 members have responded in favour or against the motion, and the majority of those responses are in favour.
Emergency motions to Council must be agreed by a quorate Executive Committee meeting, or in an emergency, including during the course of a council meeting, by a majority of the Local Association’s Council representatives.
17 NATIONAL SPECIALIST GROUP COMMITTEES
All motions to the annual meetings of the national Specialist Group Committees should be approved by a quorate General Meeting or by the Executive Committee.
Associations should establish specialist groups wherever possible paralleling AUT national specialist groups. Such groups should meet as required and prior to the relevant national meetings and an Officer of the Executive Committee should attend group meetings whenever possible. Correspondence with national AUT, eg motions to national meetings, delegates to such meetings etc. should be sent via the Honorary Secretary or the Local Association’s Administrator if one is in post.
18 DECISION TO HOLD A BALLOT
A decision to hold a ballot of all the members of the Local Association shall be taken either by a quorate General Meeting of the Local Association or by the Executive Committee.
19 CONDUCT OF BALLOTS
19.1 All ballots will be conducted in accordance with this Rule, other than industrial action ballots which will be conducted in accordance with national Rules.
19.2 The Executive Committee will appoint a scrutineer who is not a member of the Committee.
19.3 Not less than 12 [twelve] days before the date fixed for counting the ballot, the ballot forms shall be sent to each member of the Local Association. The scrutineer shall supervise the distribution of ballot forms and the whole conduct of the ballot and shall in particular fix the date and time for starting the count of the ballot. The completed forms received by the scrutineer before the start of the count shall be opened in the presence of the scrutineer and at least one Officer of the Local Association. All members shall be informed of the time of the start of the count when the ballot forms are distributed. The ballot shall be secret. The result of the ballot shall be determined by the single transferable vote system and notified in writing forthwith by the scrutineer to the Honorary Secretary and as soon as practicable by the Honorary Secretary to the members of the Local Association and to the General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers.
The procedure for commencing disciplinary proceedings against any member or group of members is contained in the national Rules.
No act done in good faith under these Rules by the Executive 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 Local Association shall at any time be in conflict with a Rule or Rules of the Association of University Teachers currently in force. Changes in the Rules of the Association of University Teachers shall, where applicable, automatically constitute changes in these Rules of the Local Association.
23 AMENDMENT OF RULES
These Rules of the Local Association may be amended by resolution of any quorate General Meeting of the Local Association. Proposed amendments to these Rules shall be handed in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least 14 (fourteen) days before the General Meeting at which they are to be considered, and shall be circulated by the Secretary to all members of the Local Association at least 10 (ten) days before the General Meeting at which they are to be considered. Amendments to these Rules must be carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the General Meeting at which they are considered.
Alternatively these Rules of the Local Association may be amended by membership ballot. In such a case a two-thirds majority of members who vote in the ballot will be required in order for a Rule change to be approved. Either the Executive Committee or a quorate General Meeting may decide to hold such a membership ballot.
All Rules of the Local Association and amendments to these Rules shall be subject to approval by the Council of the Association of University Teachers or, if the said Council directs, by the Executive Committee of the Association of University Teachers.
(Proposed for adoption 12th June 2003)