Rule 13

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Ballot and Election Procedures

Voting System
1. In these Rules the single transferable vote system means:

(a) when the names of two or more candidates are printed on a ballot paper each voter shall be entitled to vote for all of the candidates in the order of preference. That is to say by placing the figure 1 against the first choice of candidate then voting for the remaining candidates in descending order (2, 3, 4, etc.);

(b) when the returned votes are first counted by the appointed returning officer, the candidate receiving more than half the valid votes, i.e. an absolute majority, shall be declared elected;

(c) if no candidate receives an absolute majority, the appointed returning officer shall eliminate the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes and shall distribute those votes among the remaining candidates according to the preferences marked on the ballot papers credited to the eliminated candidate;

(d) The process of eliminating the lowest candidates in succession and transferring their votes as described shall continue until either:

(i) one of the candidates receives an absolute majority of all the valid votes received, or

(ii) one candidate is credited with receiving more than the combined votes of all the other candidates.

Tied Vote
(e) If at the final stage of the count the remaining candidates have the same number of votes, there shall be a re-run of the election between the tied candidates.

Independent Scrutineer
2. In this Rule an election conducted as described in Clause 1 of this Rule is an election in which the votes cast may be counted by an independent scrutineer.

Eligibility to Vote
3. All members of the Union are eligible to vote in any of the elections to which the provisions of this Rule refer except:

(i) persons who are not employed as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1;

(ii)  persons who are in arrears with contributions as defined in Rule 2, Clause 21, and

(iii)  persons who are retired members as defined by Rule 2, 1(e).

Eligibility for Nomination
4. A person cannot be nominated for any office in the Union unless they are in Membership as defined by Rule 2 Clause 1.

Election Circulars
5. A Branch may issue election circulars on behalf of any candidate nominated by the Branch. Any such circular must bear the signatures of the candidate and at least two Branch Officers. It must also bear the date on which it was signed.

6.  Election circulars will be issued from Head Office in the following elections for the President, the General Secretary, the Assistant General Secretaries, National Secretary, Assistant National Secretary, the National Executive Committee and the Regional Organisers. Two draft copies of any election circular must be received by the General Secretary within 30 days from the date of the Head Office circular inviting Branches to nominate candidates.

Authorisation
7. Two draft copies of election circulars for all other elections shall only be authorised by the General Secretary or the National Executive Committee 14 days after the date of the Head Office circular inviting Branches to nominate.

8. Should a candidate’s nomination be received at Head Office after the period set for Branches to submit circulars has expired, then any election circular received on behalf of that candidate shall not be issued.

Composition
9. A member, candidate or Branch responsible for the composition of any election circulars shall ensure that, while it may raise debate on policy for the Union, this being wholly correct in the conduct of free and democratic elections:

(a) it does not advocate fascist or racist views or in any way contravenes this Union’s policies against discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation;

(b) it is neither libellous nor impugns the good name of the Union or its members;

(c) it is circulated solely within the Union for use of members only and is regarded as private and confidential and is not published or otherwise disclosed outside the Union.

Decline to Authorise
10. Should the General Secretary decline, on behalf of the Union, to authorise the publication of any circular, or any part thereof, on the basis of the criteria set out in Clause 9, the decision shall be conveyed to the Branch, or member concerned. The Branch or member shall have the right to amend the circular. In the event that the Branch or member remains dissatisfied with the General Secretary’s decision they shall have the right of complaint to the National Executive Committee. In the event that the National Executive Committee upholds the complaint then the full rights of the Branch or member in the election process will be fully upheld whether by extending the timetable of the election or by it being re-run. Should the National Executive Committee uphold the General Secretary’s decision, a full written explanation for the refusal shall be given to the Branch or the member concerned.

Election Addresses
11.    Candidates in any election for the President, the General Secretary, the Assistant General Secretaries, National Secretary, Assistant National Secretary, Regional Organiser or membership of the National Executive Committee may prepare an election address in their own words containing not more than 300 words for distribution to those entitled to vote in the election concerned. An election address must reach Head Office not later than 12 weeks after the despatch of the circular inviting Branches to submit nominations to be included with the ballot paper sent to voters in the election, otherwise it will not be distributed.

Issue and Content
12. An election address or an election circular will not be issued unless the nomination of the candidate to which it refers has been received at Head Office and found to comply with the Union’s Rules.

No Photographs
13. Photographs of candidates will not be permitted on election circulars or addresses.

Ballot Papers - Issue
14. The General Secretary shall ensure that a ballot paper containing the names of all eligible candidates and the method of voting as defined in Clause 1 of this Rule, together with any election address on behalf of any of the candidates, and the address to which the ballot paper must be returned together with the closing date, is posted to those members entitled to vote in any given election, the cost of which will be borne by the General Fund.

Completion of Period of Office
15. Subject to complying with all other requirements imposed within the Rules, every member seeking nomination in an election must be able to complete the full period of office required of the elected position prior to reaching the normal retirement age: which will not be later than reaching the age of 65 years.

Nomination Period
16. A period of twelve weeks, from the date of despatch at Head Office of the circular inviting nominations, shall be given in order that Branches may nominate candidates in any election held to elect the President, members of the National Executive Committee or a full-time elected official of the Union.

Election of Delegates to the AGM
17. Delegates to the Annual General Meeting shall be elected annually by ballot, as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of the Rule. Branches shall be grouped together in Areas (General Grades) as per Regional Council Areas and Regions (Shipping Grades plus a Shipping & Offshore Grades Region consisting of all Members working in the offshore energy sector). Each Area/Region’s delegate entitlement shall be one delegate per 1,300 members or part thereof. This calculation shall be made annually at the time nominations are sought, and shall be on the basis of the number of members per Area/Region on 31st December the previous year.

Eligibility
18. Delegates shall be eligible for re-election but shall not attend more than three successive Annual General Meetings. Delegates who have attended three successive Annual General Meetings shall not be eligible for re-election for a period of three years. Each Branch shall have the right to nominate one candidate for election by the electoral area to which it belongs. Only one member of a Branch can attend an Annual or Special General Meeting as a delegate.

19(a). No member shall be eligible for election, or to serve as a delegate to the Annual General Meeting, unless the member has not less than three consecutive years’ membership of the Union by the 31st December in the year such delegate is elected, and shall be and continue to be employed as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1(a) (b) and (c).

19(b). If there is a vacancy no more than 21 days before an AGM/SGM, then the position will remain vacant.

20. Should a delegate cease to be employed (as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1(a) (b) and (c)) that member shall be ineligible to continue as a delegate unless the member's employment was terminated as a result of redundancy and the member had no alternative but to be dealt with under resettlement arrangements. In the latter circumstances a member shall be eligible to continue as a delegate for a period of twelve weeks after employment is terminated.

Unable to Perform Duties
21. If for any reason a delegate is unable to perform their duties as a delegate, their place shall be filled by the member who received the largest number of votes in a re-count of the ballot papers in the group in which the vacancy occurs.

National Executive Committee Members
A member of the National Executive Committee shall not be eligible to be elected to serve as a delegate to the Annual General Meeting unless a minimum period of 12 months has elapsed from the last day of being a member of the National Executive Committee.

Appeals Court Period of Office
23. Members of the Appeals Court shall be elected to serve for a three year term of office, one member each year.

Method of Election
24. Members of the Appeals Court shall be elected by ballot of the A.G.M. Delegates as defined in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule following nomination of candidates by the Union’s Branches. Any Branch of the Union may nominate one eligible candidate for election to the Appeals Court.

Eligibility
25. Any candidate in such an election shall:

(a) be and continue to be employed as required by Rule 2, Clause 1(a), (b) and (c);

(b) have been a member of the Union for a period of five consecutive years by 31st December in the year such member is elected;

(c) if a member of the Shipping & Offshore Grades, have five consecutive years’ membership of the Union, have five years’ Sea Service, have been employed as a Seafarer for at least six weeks during the twelve months preceding the closing date for the receipt of nominations and be paid up to date with membership contributions.

(d)   not be a member of the National Executive Committee.

26. Retiring members shall not be eligible for nomination to the Appeals Court for a period of one year from the date of retirement.

National Executive Committee Members
27. A member of the National Executive Committee shall not be eligible to be elected as an Appeals Court member unless a minimum of 12 months has elapsed from the last day of being a member of the National Executive Committee.

Ineligibility
28. Should an Appeals Court member cease to be employed as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1(a), (b) and (c), that member shall be ineligible to continue as an Appeals Court member.

Unable to Perform Duties
29. If for any reason an Appeals Court member is unable to perform their duties as an Appeals Court member, their place shall be filled by the member who received the largest number of votes in a re-count of the ballot papers in the seat in which the vacancy occurs.

General Grades Committee – Basis of Representation

30. For the purpose of electing members of the General Grades of the National Executive Committee, there shall be twelve Electoral Regions. The twelve seats to be elected from all General Grades members within the Electoral Regions are as follows.

1    Scotland
2    Manchester & North West of England
3    North West & North Wales
4    North East
5    Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
6    Midlands
7    South Wales & West
8    South West
9    South East
10    London & Anglia
11    London Transport
12    Wessex

Maritime Grades

For the purpose of electing members of the Maritime Grades of the National Executive Committee there shall be four Electoral Regions.  The four seats to be elected from all Maritime Grades with the Electoral Regions as follows:

M1      South
M2      Central
M3      North
M4      Offshore

Election Rotation
31. Candidates will be chosen triennially from the Electoral Regions. The system of rotation shall be:

Rotation Cycle 1
Electoral Region 1 Scotland
Electoral Region 2 Manchester & North West of England
Electoral Region 3 North Wales & North West
Electoral Region 9 South East
Electoral Region 10 London & Anglia

Electoral Region M2    Central

Rotation Cycle 2
Electoral Region 4 North East
Electoral Region 5 ‑Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
Electoral Region 7 South Wales & West
Electoral Region 8 South West

Electoral Region M1    South

Rotation Cycle 3
Electoral Region 6 Midlands
Electoral Region 11 London Transport
Electoral Region 12 Wessex

Electoral Region M3    North
Electoral Region M4    Offshore

Method of Election
32.    The election of a member to the National Executive Committee shall be conducted as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule.

Nomination
33. A candidate must have been a member of the Union for five consecutive years by the 31st December in the year in which the election takes place, and shall continue to be employed as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1 (a) (b) and (c).

34.    In order to be nominated as a candidate for election to the National Executive Committee a member must receive at least one valid nomination. For a nomination to be valid it must be agreed to at a meeting of:

(a)  the Branch of which the candidate is a member, or

(b)  another Branch in the same Electoral Region.

The nominated candidate shall countersign one nomination form due to be completed on behalf of the Branch submitting the nomination provided in each case that a majority of members present at the Branch meeting vote in favour of the nominee.

 

35.    Subject to Clause 36 of this Rule, if a Branch has nominated a successful candidate for the National Executive Committee, that Branch, and the candidate’s Branch, shall not be entitled to nominate a member, neither shall the candidate be eligible for re-election for a period of three years from the end of the first candidate's period of office. Nothing shall prevent a Branch from submitting a supporting nomination for a candidate of another Branch as long as the candidate is a member of the same Electoral Region. Other than as a result of a National Executive Committee decision to change a member’s Branch, should a member transfer from the Branch of the current National Executive Committee member to another Branch in the same constituency, within the three year period prior to the commencement date of the period of office of the National Executive Committee, they will not be eligible to stand for office.

Casual Vacancy
36.    However, where a member of the National Executive Committee serves as a representative for less than two years whether elected in the original election or by reason of being elected to fill a casual vacancy, the representative’s Branch shall be entitled to nominate a candidate for the next election.

Non-Eligibility
37. A delegate to the Annual General Meeting, or a member of the Appeals Court, or an Elected Trustee, or the holder of a position within any recognised Machinery of Negotiation to which the Union is party, shall not be eligible to be a member of the National Executive Committee unless the member concerned resigns from that latter position when elected to the National Executive Committee.

Period of Office
38. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes in each Electoral Region shall be declared elected. They shall hold office for the ensuing three years and subject to Clause 36 of this Rule, they shall not be eligible to be nominated for re-election to the National Executive Committee for a further three years.

Dissatisfaction with member
Should 2/3rds of the Branches in an Electoral Region be dissatisfied with a representative they shall have the right to demand a vote of the members represented by that representative at the end of each year.

Cease to be Employed
39.    Should a member cease to be employed for a period of three calendar months, as required by Rule 2, Clause 1(a), (b) and (c), that member shall be ineligible to continue as a member of the National Executive Committee.

Vacancy
40.    An election, conducted in accordance with the provision of this Rule, shall be held should a member of the National Executive Committee, for whatever reason, retire from office before the period of office has expired.

President – Method of Election
41. The Election of the President of the Union shall be conducted as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule.

Nomination
42. Each Branch of the Union shall have the right to nominate a candidate for the office of President. A candidate must, on the closing date for the nominations in accordance with Clause 16 of this Rule, be employed as defined in Rule 2, Clause 1(a) (b) and (c), be a member of the Union with a minimum of five consecutive years' membership and continue to remain a member of the Union.

Triennial Election
43. The President shall be elected for a three year term and shall take office from the 1st January in the year following election.

Outgoing President

44. An outgoing President who has been in office for three years in succession shall not be eligible for re-election to that position or to that of an elected member of the National Executive Committee unless a period of at least three years has elapsed from the last day of office.

Vacancy
45. Should the office of President become vacant before the expiration of the office holder's term of office, the National Executive Committee shall determine the procedure to be followed for the election of a successor who shall serve for the remainder of the period of office. 

General Secretary – Method of Election
46. The election of the General Secretary shall be conducted as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule. Each Branch of the Union shall have the right to nominate a candidate for the office of General Secretary.

Nominations
47. Each candidate must be and remain a member of the Union and have at least ten consecutive years' membership by the closing date for nominations in accordance with Clause 16 of this Rule. A candidate must be nominated by at least ten Branches.

Ability to Perform Duties
48. A candidate in this election must have a thorough knowledge of the Union and all aspects of transport work, and shall be competent to discharge all duties assigned under these Rules by the Union’s governing bodies.

Period of Office
49. The candidate who is declared elected shall hold office for five years commencing from the date of election, and subject to the provisions of these Rules shall be eligible for re-election.

Assistant General Secretaries – Method of Election
50. An election for the position of Assistant General Secretary shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules governing the election of a General Secretary.

National Secretary and Assistant National Secretary – Method of Election
51.    Elections for the positions of National Secretary and Assistant National Secretary shall be conducted as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule but be confined to the individual vote of the Shipping & Offshore members within the  Maritime Grades subject to fulfilling Sub-Clauses 3(i), 3(ii) and 3(iii) of this Rule.

Nomination
52. Each Shipping & Offshore Grades Branch of the Union shall have the right to nominate a candidate for the office of National Secretary and Assistant National Secretary.

Eligibility
53. At the time of nomination a candidate must have been a member of the Union and have been so for at least seven consecutive years as of the closing date determined in accordance with Clause 16 of this Rule. The candidate who is elected to office shall remain a member of the Union.

54.    Candidates shall be a Shipping or Offshore member of the Maritime Grades and must be nominated by at least two Branches from the Shipping & Offshore Grades.

Period of Office
55. The period of office shall be for five years. Subject to the provisions of the Rules, the office holders shall be eligible for re-election.

56. Each candidate nominated must, unless a current post holder, be able to complete a full five year term of office from the date the period of office is scheduled to commence.

57. Re-elected candidates will be able to hold office for a period shorter than five years if the normal retirement age falls within a five-year period.

58. If an existing post holder, being required to seek re-election after five years, cannot complete more than a fifth of their final term of office prior to normal retirement age, they will be covered by a Resettlement Agreement.

Regional Organiser – Method of Election
59. Elections for the positions of Regional Organiser and Relief Regional Organiser shall be conducted as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule by the individual vote of members.

Nominations
60. Each Branch of the Union shall have the right to nominate a candidate for the office of Regional Organiser and Relief Regional Organiser. Candidates may only stand in one of these elections at a time.

61. At the time of nomination a candidate must be a member of the Union and have been so for at least seven consecutive years as of the closing date determined in accordance with Clause 16 of this Rule. The candidate who is elected to office shall remain a member of the Union.

62. Candidates must be nominated by at least two Branches.

Period of Office
63. The period of office shall be for five years. Subject to the provisions of the Rules, the office holders shall be eligible for re-election.

64. Each candidate nominated must, unless a current post holder, be able to complete a full five year term of office from the date the period of office is scheduled to commence.

65. Re-elected candidates will be able to hold office for a period shorter than the five years if the normal retirement age falls within a five year period.

66. If an existing post holder, being required to seek re-election after five years, cannot complete more than a fifth of their final term of office prior to normal retirement age, they will be covered by a Resettlement Agreement.

Shipping and Offshore Grades Elections
67.    The elections to which Clauses 68 to 84 of this Rule apply shall be those held to elect members of the Maritime Grades as:

(a)   Branch delegates to Annual or Special General Meetings elected on the basis of 1 per 1,300 or part thereof based on the Regions, elected as described in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Rule;

(b) Representatives of Maritime Branches to the Biennial Maritime Shipping and Biennial Offshore Industrial Organising Conferences, elected as described in Clause 1 of this Rule;

(c)   and to such other Elections or Ballots as may be approved by the National Executive Committee.

Grouping of Branches

68. The National Executive Committee shall have power to group Maritime Grades Branches into such number of Electoral Regions as may from time to time be deemed appropriate. The National Executive Committee shall also have power to determine if an election within an Electoral Region is to be conducted on the basis of a general vote of all the members in the Region or alternately that separate elections shall be conducted in respect of members in that Region who are also members of either the Deck, Engine Room or Catering Departments as defined in Clause 73 of this rule.

Election and Balloting Arrangements
69. The National Executive Committee shall have power to determine the arrangements and procedures by which any ballot or election authorised by these Rules is conducted. Any decisions taken by the National Executive Committee by virtue of Clauses 67 and 68 of this Rule shall be communicated to members by the General Secretary in a circular and other appropriate means.

Registration of Members
70.  In order that Shipping & Offshore members of the Maritime Grades may participate in any of the Elections referred to in Clause 67 of this Rule they shall be registered for voting purposes at a Branch of their choice on their being enrolled into the Union.

71.    Should it be the case that a member has not so registered, the General Secretary shall ensure that registration at the Branch at which the member was originally enrolled as a member of the Union, subject to the member’s right to request that registration be transferred to another Branch.

72.    A member shall, when becoming entitled to vote, nominate a Branch for voting purposes on local questions, and such nomination shall be notified to the General Secretary for registration.

72. Should it be the case that a member has not so registered, the General Secretary shall ensure that registration at the Branch at which the member was originally enrolled as a member of the Union, subject to the member’s right to request that registration be transferred to another Branch.

73. A member shall, when becoming entitled to vote, nominate a Branch for voting purposes on local questions, and such nomination shall be notified to the General Secretary for registration.

Electoral Department71.    At the time of registration for voting purposes a member shall be considered to be employed on board ships or in the offshore energy industry. The name of the relevant Department shall also be recorded.

In this Rule “Department” means:

(a)  members of the Deck Department shall comprise those members of the Union employed as divers, seamen grade 1A and related grades in the Deck Department in ships, tugs and/or in offshore oil and gas units;

(b)  members of the Engine Department shall comprise those members of the Union employed as Motor Men Grade 1 and related Grades employed in the Engine Room Department in ships, tugs and/or in offshore oil or gas units;

(c)  members of the Catering Department shall comprise those members of the Union employed as stewards, cooks or passenger service personnel and related grades employed in the catering department in ships, tugs and/or in offshore oil or gas units;

(d)  members employed as port or dock workers or as general purpose ratings other than those graded as general purpose stewards/catering ratings shall be deemed to be members of the Deck Department.

74.  In the event of a dispute arising as to the Department to which a member or group of members belong, this dispute shall be referred to the National Executive Committee, whose decision shall be final.

75.  A member shall not be registered at more than one Branch in pursuance of this Rule.

76. A member may transfer registration to another Maritime Grades Branch by giving four weeks’ notice, in writing, to the General Secretary.

Eligibility as a Candidate

78.  A member who is a candidate in any ballot held to elect a Maritime member in any election authorised by the Union’s Rules shall either:

(a)  be moved and seconded at a Maritime Branch meeting by two members who are registered members of the Branch, or

(b)  be the subject of a written nomination to a Maritime Branch in which case the written nomination shall confirm that the candidate has been moved and seconded by two members who are registered at the Maritime Branch to which the nomination is addressed.

79.  No member shall be party to more than one nomination, as a mover or seconder. All candidates, their movers and their seconders, shall be members whose names are included on the electoral registers of the Maritime Branches within the Electoral Region concerned.

80.    A written nomination shall supply the following information with respect to each candidate; the proposer and seconder; full name, address and joining date, Union number, clearance date, details of sea service. Each nomination shall be delivered to the Branch Secretary no later than five working days before the date fixed for the final acceptance of the nomination.

81.    When the time for nominations has expired, the Branch Secretary shall forward names of the nominees to the General Secretary, who shall ensure that the names of the candidates nominated are printed on ballot papers for each separate Electoral Region, and that the ballot papers are sent to members entitled to vote in the election.

Vacancy82.  The General Secretary shall arrange for an Election to be held if notified that a Maritime Grade member of the National Executive Committee has ceased to hold office before the three years term of office has ended, provided that the General Secretary is so notified not less than twelve months before the term of office was due to conclude.

83.  Any such by-election shall be conducted by a ballot of the members in the department or departments concerned and who are registered for voting purposes at Branches in the Electoral Region which elected the member whose retirement from the National Executive Committee resulted in the vacancy being created.

Election of Offshore Grade Member
84.    The member elected to represent Offshore Grade Members on the National Executive Committee, shall be elected by a Branch or Branches established by the National Executive Committee principally in respect of Offshore Energy Members.