Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unite Union Constitution 1998


1. Name

The name of the Incorporated Society shall be UNITE. For the purposed of these Rules referred to as "the union".

2. UNITE is a community based union formed to:

(a) to protect and further the interests of members and working people as a whole by carrying out any policy decided in accordance of these Rules.

(b) to recruit and organise unorganised workers including marginal labour, unemployed and beneficiaries.

(c) to secure the best possible working conditions for members of the Union.

(d) to secure the best standard of living for members and others unable to be part of the paid work force due to unemployment, illness, disability, accident, study or family responsibilities.

(e) to assist any other union, federation, movement or organisation for the betterment of the working conditions, remuneration and/or welfare of its members or working people as a whole.

(f) to affiliate to any other union, federation, movement or organsiation for the furtherance of the objects of the Union.

(g) to prudently invest any surplus funds of the Union to increase the resources available for use as specified in parts (a) to (d) of this Rule.

(h) to uphold the principles of the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi including that of tino rangatiratanga in all its work.

3. Membership:

(a) Membership of the Union is open to any worker whether employed, self employed or unemployed; casual or part-time; forced or slave labour (including prisons and workfare), suffering from illness, accident or disability; caring for family members; or in unpaid or voluntary work.

(b) Any person described in 3 (a) may become a member on making an application on the appropriate form to the Secretary or her/his representative.

4. Resignation and expulsion:

(a) Any member desiring to withdraw from the Union may do so by giving the Secretary two weeks notice of her/his intention and by paying all dues owing up to the expiry date of the notice. Such withdrawal shall not be effective, except with the leave of the Management Committee, until all dues are paid. Withdrawal shall not exempt any member from liability in respect of any act or omission while that person was a member.

5. Membership roll:

(a) The registered office of the Union shall contain an up to date roll of the membership including the address, employment or beneficiary status, occupation, workplace, joining date and collective or individual contract covering each member. The Secretary shall carry out the duty of ensuring that the membership roll is kept current.

(b) The Secretary shall purge the roll of membership by striking off the name of any member in arrears for 12 months in payment of any fee, subscription or levy payable under these Rules, provided however that such purging shall not free such person from any liability for the arrears due.

6. Registered Office:

The Registered Office shall be at such place as the Annual General Meeting or Management Committee may from time to time decide.

7. Governance:

Subject always to the decision of the members of the Union, made at the Annual General Meeting or of a Special General Meeting, in accordance with these Rules, the Union shall be governed and its funds controlled by a Management Committee.

8. Annual General Meeting:

(a) The Annual General Meeting shall be the chief governing body of the Union.

(b) The A.G.M of the Union shall be held during the months of July to September at such times and places as the Management Committee shall decide. At least one month's notice of the dates and venues of the A.G.M shall be given to members.

(c) All remits for consideration by the A. G. M. shall be in the hands of the Secretary two weeks prior to the A. G. M.

(d) Notice of the A. G. M. and notice of the business to be conducted shall be given to financial members in writing either by letter, through publication of the Union, or by advertising details of the meeting in the major newspaper servicing the area.

(e) The A. G. M. may fill casual vacancies of the Management Committee as per Rules 19.

(f) A Special General Meeting of the Union shall be called by the Management Committee in accordance with the procedure for the Annual General Meeting. In addition not less than ten members of the Union may, at their expense, require the Management Committee to convene a Special General Meeting of the Union. A Special General Meeting of the Union may only deal with the matters for which it has been called.

(g) The quorum of the A. G. M. or S. G. M. shall be 10 members.

9. Voting at the Annual General Meeting:

All questions at the A. G. M. and S. G. M. shall be decided on the basis of one vote for each financial member present on a show of hands. A majority of those members present may demand a secret ballot.

10. Management Committee:

(a) The Management Committee shall comprise a President, Vice President, Secretary and seven to ten other members provided that where the Management Committee decides up to four of the ordinary membership seats may be reserved for occupational group and/or area representatives. All members of the Management Committee shall hold office until they resign or their successors are elected. They shall be eligible for re-election.

(b) The Secretary shall be responsible for receiving all monies, operating the Union's bank accounts and making all payments for expenses incurred by the Union in conjunction with the Trustees and President as provided in rule 17.

11. Election of the Management Committee:

(a) The Management shall be elected by postal ballot of all financial members of the Union or at the A.G. M. in the months of July to September in the years where an election is necessary.

(b) A returning Officer shall be appointed by the Management Committee.

(c) All positions shall be elected for a term of one year.

(d) Nominations shall be called at the same time and in the same way as the calling of the A. G. M. as per Rule 8 (d).

(e) At least two weeks must be given from the calling for nominations to the closing of nominations.

(f) At least two weeks shall be given from the posting of ballot papers to members until the closing of the ballot.

12. Meetings of the Management Committee:

The Management Committee shall meet as required but no less than each three months. The secretary shall call a meeting and advise all Management Committee members in writing of its time and place at least one week before the set date.

13. Locals:

1) Locals of the Union may be established in any area, sector or workplace by a group of at least 10 members of the Union.

2) The formation of a Local shall be submitted to the Management Committee for approval.

3) Locals shall elect a minimum office holders of President, Vice-President, and Secretary.

4) Locals, with the approval of the Management Committee may hold their own funds for use as determined by the rules of the Union.

5) Locals shall hold their AGM during the months of July to September which shall also constitute part of the AGM of the Union as a whole.

15. Removal of Officers and Position Holders:

Any Officer or member of the Management Committee not performing her/his duties in a satisfactory manner or who misappropriates union funds may, at a Special General Meeting of the Management Committee convened for the purpose, be removed from office or position by a two third majority vote of the Committee. The Officer or member concerned must have received an account in writing of the reasons for the contemplated dismissal and given the opportunity to address the meeting on the question. Any Officer or members removed shall have the right of appeal to the Annual General Meeting and if her/his appeal is upheld the meeting shall have the power to reinstate the Officer or member to her/his position.

15. Finance:

(1) The financial year of the Union shall be 1 April to 31 March.

(2) All moneys, lands, securities or property of the Union shall be deemed to be the property of the Union as a whole. The funds of the Union may be invested in the name of the Union in a manner approved by the Management Committee. For the purposes of administration one of the Union Trustees shall reside in the area where the registered office is located. Special funds shall only be used for the purpose for which such a fund was established.

16. Fees and Levies:

Subject to the approval of the Annual General Meeting the Management Committee shall set fees for all members at a sufficient rate to ensure the financial viability of the Union, and to enable the Union to meet all commitments as required by the decisions of the Annual General Meeting.

17. Trustees:

Two trustees shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting and they, together with the President and Secretary shall control all funds belonging to the Union.

18. Auditor:

An auditor who is a qualified accountant shall be appointed by the Annual General Meeting. The auditor shall audit the accounts of the Union once each year and all the books and vouchers shall be submitted to her/him by the Secretary. An auditor shall be eligible for reappointment.

19. Inspection of Books:

Any member or previous member having an interest in the funds or the register of members of the Union may inspect the books of the Union at a reasonable time, having first given the Secretary two weeks notice.

20. Causal Vacancies:

Should any office or position not filled or become vacant for any reason, a member may be co-opted to fill that position. Any person so appointed shall hold office until either an election is called in accordance with the rules or the next AGM; whichever is due first. Any casual vacancy filled by election at the AGM shall be notified as business of the AGM and be for the balance or the term of that position.

21. Representation:

(a) The Union may appoint any person to be an Authorised Agent of the union to carry out any such functions as the Management Committee shall determine.

(b) The Union shall be represented in any proceedings before a Conciliation Council, Arbitration Commission, Employment Court, any other Court, Disputes Committee or any other Committee to which it is a party or where it represents a member by such persons as the Management Committee may appoint.

22. Agreements and Instruments:

The Union may enter into collective agreements/contracts with any employer or employers relating to any matter affecting members of the Union. No such agreement (other than a collective contract made with all parties present, in conciliation) shall be made until a meeting of the members covered by the agreement have carried a resolution in favor of its proposed terms. The Management Committee shall have the authority to enter into any other legal agreements.

23. Delegates:

Job delegates shall be elected annually by the members at each work site. A worksite meeting shall be called by the delegate when requested by a person authorised by the Union or by not less than 10% of the members on the site. A delegate shall not execute contracts on behalf of the Union unless expressly authorised by Rule 20 (a).

24. Publications:

(a) The union shall distribute to members, publications advising of casual vacancies, annual meetings, special meetings, the calling of nominations for all positions, reports, accounts, alterations to rules, details of all elections and any other official notice or report required to be given to each member under these rules.

(b) In addition to the above and subject to finance, the Management Committee shall endeavor to initiate a publication to members to further their education in trade union matters and to expand solidarity between groups of workers.

25. Seal:

The Union shall have a seal which shall be kept by the Secretary. It shall be affixed to any legal document of the Union requiring it by the Secretary. It shall not be affixed to any other document except pursuant to the resolution of the Annual General Meeting. Agreements and any other legal documents shall be made and executed on behalf of the Union by any of the officers of the union. The seal shall not be altered or renewed except by resolution of the Annual General Meetings.

26. Dissolution:

(a) Should a majority of the members of the Union attending special meetings called under these Rules expressly for the purpose, vote to cancel the registration of the Union, the Secretary shall forthwith make application to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies in the prescribed form. Before such cancellation the Management Committee shall ensure that an audit of the Union's accounts is conducted and shall realise all the valuable assets and meet all the liabilities of the Union. The surplus funds, if any, shall thereupon be disposed of in such a manner, in pursuance of the objects specified in these Rules, as the Management Committee may think fit. Prior to this procedure being carried out, all members shall be advised that this matter is to be considered at special meetings convened for the purpose in accordance with rule 8 (d)

(b) The Union shall be deemed to be dissolved when its registration has been canceled by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

27. Alteration to the Rules:

These Rules may be amended, struck out or added to by a majority vote of the members present at the Annual General Meeting or by majority of members in a special ballot. All alterations to the Rules shall be submitted by the Secretary to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies for approval prior to coming into operation.

28. Matters not provided for:

Any matter not provided for in these Rules or by decision of the Management Committee shall be referred to the next Annual General Meeting.

29. By Laws:

The Management Committee, subject to endorsement by the Annual General Meeting may make By Laws not in conflict to these Rules and in conformity with the policies of the Union.

30. Union Rules:

The Union shall supply a copy of its Rules as or the time being amended on request to any financial member or any person joining the Union. The Union shall supply a copy of any amendment made by the Union to its Rules as soon as it is practicable after their registration.

31. Annual Report and Annual Accounts:

The annual report, income and expenditure accounts and the balance sheet, together with the auditor's report on the accounts shall be presented to the AGM. In addition all such reports shall be made available to any financial member of the Union on request.

32. Resolutions:

The Union shall supply a copy of any resolution passed at any general or special meeting of the Union or its Management Committee to any financial member of the Union on request.