[As voted for at the Autumn General Meetings of Bootle Taxes and Bootle St John’s Branches in October 2017, as the start of the branch merger process]
1. The name of the Branch shall be the ‘Public and Commercial Services Union Bootle Taxes Branch’.
2. The objects of the Branch shall be to:
a. Protect and promote the interests of its members.
b. Help to recruit and retain members, and collect subscriptions.
c. Co-ordinate the views of its members, and take action on matters of Branch interest.
d. Protect and promote the service(s) in which members are employed.
e. Provide the NEC, Group Executive Committee and Association Committee(s) promptly with any information and returns they require.
f. Arrange the distribution or sale of all Union circulars and literature.
g. Generally assist the NEC in compliance with the Union’s Rules.
3. All members employed at Comben House, Litherland House, St John’s House and The Triad shall be deemed to be members of the Branch.
4. The management of the Branch shall be vested in Branch General Meetings, the Branch Executive Committee (“BEC”), and the Branch officers.
Annual General Meeting
5. The Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) shall (in the case of the year concerned) be held between 1 January and the last day allowing for the timely submission of motions and nominations for the Union ADC. No quorum shall be needed.
6. The AGM shall:
a. Receive the Annual Report, Financial Report and audited Statement of Accounts.
b. Elect the Branch Women’s Advisory Committee (“BWAC”), 2 Branch auditors (who shall not be BEC members), and delegates to the Union ADC and the Group Delegate Conference as appropriate.
c. Elect 2 scrutineers (who shall not be BEC members) to count the votes in elections held at the AGM.
d. Consider motions and nominations submitted by the BEC or individual members.
e. Receive the results of Branch Officer and BEC elections conducted under principal rules PR3 and PR4.
7. A notice convening the AGM, together with the Annual Report, Financial Report and audited Statement of Accounts, shall be circulated by the Branch Secretary to members not later than 28 days before the meeting. Written notice of motions and nominations for inclusion on the agenda shall be sent to the Branch Secretary not later than 21 days before the meeting. The agenda, including details of all proposed motions and nominations, shall be circulated not later than 14 days before the meeting: motions submitted less than 14 days before the meeting shall only be accepted as motions of urgency at the discretion of the Chairperson.
8. The BEC may not make any nomination for election as Branch officer, BEC member, BWAC member, Branch auditor, delegate to the Union or Group Delegate Conference, or scrutineer.
9. Each member attending the AGM, subject to the Union’s Rules, may vote on matters put to the meeting for decision. The Chairperson shall have a casting vote in the event of an equality of votes for and against a proposal. Voting shall be by show of hands; but any vote may be taken by ballot of those present at the discretion of the Chairperson, or at the request of a majority of those present provided that such request is made before the question is put.
10. In the case of elections conducted at the AGM, each member shall have one vote for each position to be filled. The votes shall be counted by the scrutineers and the candidates for each position placed in order. The candidate(s) with the most votes shall be elected.
11. General Meetings shall be convened by the Branch Secretary to mandate delegate(s) on the business of Union and Group Delegate Conferences. The meetings shall be held between the receipt of the booklet of Conference motions and the last working day before the Conference. A notice convening the meeting shall be circulated to members not later than 14 days before the meeting. Voting at the meeting shall be on the same basis as the AGM. No quorum shall be needed.
Special General Meeting
12. A Special General Meeting shall be held no later than 21 days after receipt by the Branch Secretary of a written request signed by not fewer than 100 members. The request shall be supported by reasons for calling the meeting, together with any proposed motion and the names of the mover and seconder. Discussion at the meeting shall be confined to the items notified on the agenda, which shall be circulated to members not later than 7 days before the meeting. Voting shall be on the same basis as the AGM. The quorum shall be not less than 10% of the members.
Extraordinary General Meeting
13. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened at the discretion of the BEC. Discussion shall be confined to the item(s) notified in the agenda, which shall be circulated to members not later than 14 days before the meeting. Voting at the meeting shall be on the same basis as the AGM. No quorum shall be needed.
14. The Branch officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Organiser and Treasurer. The officers shall be members of the Branch elected by secret, individual ballot of the members in the Branch. The BEC may fill any casual vacancy.
15. The duties of each officer shall be allocated by the BEC, subject to the Union’s Rules. Each officer shall give a report to each BEC meeting on the business of their office. The Chairperson and Secretary may attend any sub-committee meeting.
Branch Executive Committee
16. The BEC shall consist of the Branch officers, Vice Treasurer, Equalities Officer, Women’s Officer, Young Members Officer, Health & Safety Environment Officer, and Training & Education Officer elected by secret, individual ballot of the members of the Branch, coordinators for the Health & Safety and Union Learning Representatives, elected under the provisions of clause B27, and senior representatives from each constituency in the Branch. Constituencies shall be able to elect 1 representative for every 150 members. Constituencies with less than 150 members shall be allowed to send one representative to the BEC. The BEC shall meet at least every 2 months. The quorum at meetings of the BEC or of any sub-committee shall be a majority of the voting members.
17. The BEC may co-opt additional members in an advisory capacity, without voting powers.
18. The BEC may fill a casual vacancy on the Committee by either (a) calling up the unsuccessful candidate in the last relevant election with the highest votes; or (b) holding a by-election. Where there is less than 3 months until annual elections, the BEC may appoint from their number, individuals to cover vacant positions.
19. Any member absent from a BEC or sub-committee meeting shall give an explanation. Any member absent from three consecutive meetings without giving reasons which the BEC considers adequate shall be deemed to have resigned.
20. The BEC shall conduct the business of the Branch in conformity with Union policy and the instructions of Branch General Meetings. It shall deal with all business remitted to the Branch by the Union and take any action required.
21. The BEC shall give the AGM an Annual Report of its activities, and a Financial Report and audited Statement of Accounts. The Annual Report shall contain a record of attendance of each BEC member at BEC meetings.
22. The Branch shall be divided into constituencies as determined by the BEC and approved by the AGM. An annual meeting of the members in each constituency shall be held within 7 days before the Branch AGM. The meeting shall receive an annual report. Each local representative for the coming year shall be elected by secret, individual ballot of members within the constituency concerned. Each constituency shall elect 1 rep for every 50 members.
23. A notice convening the annual constituency meeting shall be sent to members not later than 28 days before the Branch AGM. Nominations for local representative shall be sent to the Branch Secretary not later than 21 days before the AGM. The agenda shall be circulated not later than 14 days before the AGM.
24. The local representative shall represent the constituency in local negotiations and report their activities to constituency meetings, held where practicable at least once a month.
Branch Women’s Advisory Committee
25. The Branch shall establish a BWAC, consisting of 5 women members, which shall meet at least once a quarter. The Branch Women’s Officer shall chair these meetings and report on BWAC activities to the BEC.
26. Branch representatives on the appropriate Business Trade Union Side for each business area within the branch shall be appointed by local representatives from among their number. They shall report regularly to the BEC on their activities.
27. The BEC shall ensure the annual election of Health and Safety representatives and Union Learning Representatives covering all workplaces in its area. They will work across the branch, and shall elect from their number a Health and Safety Co-ordinator, and Learning Co-ordinator, both of whom will have a seat on the BEC. The H&S Environmental Officer shall have a seat on the H&S committee. The Environmental Officer shall not count towards the compliment of workplace H&S reps.
28. The Branch’s financial year shall correspond to that of the Union.
29. Branch funds shall be administered by the Branch Treasurer in accordance with BEC directions. The Treasurer shall take charge of the funds and pay all demands as instructed by the BEC. Expenses necessarily incurred by BEC members or auditors on Branch business, where not otherwise reimbursed, may be paid for out of Branch funds within limits set by the NEC.
30. The Treasurer shall present at each regular BEC meeting for inspection thereby the books of account, the bank pass book, and such other documents as the BEC may require. The Treasurer shall give a report to the BEC at least once a quarter, and give up all books, documents, monies and property of the Union in their possession, whenever required to do so by either the NEC or the BEC.
31. A bank account (with a bank approved by the NEC) shall be opened in the name of the Branch, and each cheque thereon shall be signed by the Treasurer and by either the Chairperson or Secretary. Each quarter the Chairperson shall sign a statement to the effect that the bank balances and Branch bank book can be reconciled, and that no excessive cash balance in hand is held.
32. The BEC shall cause the Branch accounts to be entered regularly in proper books, and shall before the 31 January submit accounts for the year ended on the previous 31 December to the Branch auditors. A Financial Report and the audited Statement of Accounts shall be presented to the AGM in the form prescribed by the NEC; a copy shall be sent to the Union’s Treasurer as soon as practicable and not later than 31 March.
33. The Branch shall be governed by the Union’s Rules and by Group and Association constitutions where they apply in addition to this constitution. If this constitution conflicts with the Union’s Rules or with Group or Association constitutions, the latter shall prevail.
34. This constitution may not be amended except by the AGM or by an EGM convened for the purpose. A motion to amend the constitution shall require a majority of at least two-thirds of the votes cast in order to be carried. Any amendment shall be subject to ratification by the NEC and shall not take effect until then.
35. The Chairperson shall rule on any matter of interpretation of this constitution, and on any matter where it is silent. Any such ruling may only be challenged by:
a. A Branch General Meeting. Members shall carry a motion which states: ‘This Branch challenges the Chairperson’s ruling in connection with…’ The motion ‘ That the Chairperson’s ruling be upheld’ shall then be immediately put to the meeting without debate by the deputising officer while the Chairperson leaves the chair. The motion shall only be defeated by a majority of at least two-thirds of the votes cast. The decision of the meeting shall be final and binding on all members.
b. A Branch member (including a BEC member), by writing to the Branch Secretary stating the reasons for the challenge. The challenge shall require a simple majority of the votes cast at a BEC meeting to be upheld.
36. The Branch shall not be dissolved except with the consent of the NEC. On dissolution any money remaining in the hands of the Branch, together with all documents, vouchers and records, shall be surrendered to the Union’s Treasurer.