Rule 3

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Government of the Union: Annual and Special General Meetings

Constitution
1. For the supreme government of the Union there shall be an Annual General Meeting which shall have the powers described in Clause 10 of this Rule.

2. The Annual General Meeting shall consist of delegates elected as defined in Rule 13, Clauses 17 and 67; the President, the General Secretary, the Assistant General Secretaries, and the National Secretary.

Time & Place
3. The National Executive Committee, in conjunction with the General Secretary, will determine the date and venue of Annual General Meetings. Meetings will commence at 5pm on the Sunday to deal with the Standing Orders Committee’s First Report, the President’s Speech and ceremonial matters.

Preliminary Agendas, Closing Date for Items
4. The matters for inclusion in the Preliminary Agenda for the Annual General Meeting, excluding appeals against decisions of the National Executive Committee and alterations to Rules proposed in accordance with the provisions of Rule 24, must reach Head Office on or before the second Thursday in March in every year.

Agendas Date of Issue Amendments and Appeals5. The Preliminary Agenda shall be issued not later than the 8th April in every year. Amendments to motions on the Preliminary Agenda, appeals against National Executive Committee decisions reached during the four preceding Statutory Meetings and Special Meetings held prior to the third Monday in March every year, items from the Industrial Organising Conferences submitted in accordance with Clause 6 of this Rule and appeals on matters ruled out by decisions of the President, must reach the Head Office on or before the first Thursday in May in every year.  Thereafter the final Agenda, excluding appeal on items which do not raise issues of general policy or do not relate to disciplinary action taken by that body, shall be issued as soon as convenient.

Appeals against all National Executive Committee decisions reached during the period from the third Monday in March to the opening of the AGM every year and received up to the opening of the AGM business will be placed in front of the AGM for consideration.

The AGM by majority vote will decide whether or not the resolution constitutes a bona fide appeal.

Grade Specific Items

6. Items germane to a particular Industrial Organising Conference or National Advisory Conferences, shall only be eligible for inclusion on the final Agenda of the Annual General Meeting if they have first been carried and submitted by the relevant Industrial Organising Conference or National Advisory Conference as one of the two eligible grade -specific items for the Annual General Meeting in accordance with Clause 5 of this Rule.

Resolutions & Amendments
Signed by Chairperson and Secretary
7. Each letter from a Branch or Regional Council conveying to the General Secretary a matter for inclusion in the preliminary or final Agenda must be signed by the Chairperson and Secretary of the Branch or Regional Council; or, for Grades Conference items for the final Agenda, by the President and Secretary of the Industrial Organising Conference, or the General Secretary, in the case of a matter emanating from the Biennial Shipping or Offshore Industrial Organising Conferences. Emergency resolutions may be forwarded up to the beginning of the A.G.M.

Emergency ResolutionsThe A.G.M. by majority vote will determine whether or not the resolution constitutes a bona fide emergency.

Annual Report
8. The General Secretary, on behalf of the National Executive Committee shall provide elected delegates of the Annual General Meeting with an Annual Report summarising the principal activities of the National Executive Committee during the previous year and outlining the Union’s principal future policy objectives.

President to Preside
9. The Annual General Meeting shall be presided over by the President of the Union. In the event of the President’s absence, the delegates present at the meeting shall elect a Chairperson (pro-tem) from among their number who shall retain the right to a vote but shall not have a casting vote.

Powers of AGM
10. The Annual General Meeting shall have the power:

(a) to inaugurate any movement, or decree any proceedings in the interests of the Union or its members and to do all such other things, whether of the kind specified herein or otherwise, as may be necessary or desirable in the interests of the Union or its members;

(b) to amend, rescind, or make rules to distribute for the members’ benefit, the funds of the Union in accordance with these Rules; to make any levy on the Branches or members of the Union and to disband any Branch of the Union;

(c) to elect the Elected Trustee members, any officer, other than those defined in Rules 5 to 9, and members of special sub-committees, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 13, Clause 1; and to define the duties and to invest in them such powers as maybe deemed necessary or advisable;

(d)  to govern the National Executive Committee; to exercise any or all powers and authorities vested in the National Executive Committee under these Rules, or to direct the National Executive Committee to put such powers and authorities, or any part of them, into operation;

(e)  to decide all appeals against decisions of the National Executive Committee which raise issues of general policy or relate to disciplinary action taken by that body; to remit for the further consideration of the National Executive Committee any decision of that body, and to give such directions in relation thereto as may be deemed expedient; to remove any officer from office, to expel any member from the Union;

(f)  to elect an Appeals Court comprising three persons, employed as required by Rule 2, Clause 1(a) (b) and (c) and not being members of the National Executive Committee, who will convene as required to hear all appeals against decisions of the National Executive Committee which do not raise issues of general policy, and on which there will be no right of appeal to the Annual General Meeting other than against disciplinary action taken by the National Executive Committee.

Standing Orders Committee
11. The Annual General Meeting shall elect a Standing Orders Committee consisting of five delegates to the meeting. They shall be elected as defined in Rule 13, Clause 1. The Standing Orders Committee shall consider the Agenda prior to the meeting and their report and recommendations shall be the first Agenda item to be discussed following the opening of the meeting.

SGM’s Convening12. A Special General Meeting may be convened by the National Executive Committee should this be considered necessary, or if the same should be desired by one third of the Branches of the Union. Such meeting shall be held within 28 days from the date of application and at a time and place as may be determined by the National Executive Committee. An appeal for an S.G.M. from a branch or branches shall be circulated to all branches. Where the interests of the Union or its members are not compromised all matters to be considered by a Special General Meeting shall be submitted to the Branches beforehand in order to enable Branches to instruct their delegates. Where necessary, special Branch meetings shall be held for this purpose.

13. Special General Meetings shall consist of the delegates to the preceding Annual General Meeting; the President, the General Secretary, the Assistant General Secretaries, and the National Secretary. Such meetings shall be presided over by the President of the Union or as provided for in Clause 9 of this Rule.

14. A Special General Meeting shall only exercise those powers of an Annual General Meeting which are specified in the notice by which the Special General Meeting is convened.

Voting, and President’s Casting Vote

15. Save where otherwise provided by these Rules, resolutions at the Annual and Special General Meetings shall be carried by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote. The President, the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretaries shall have the right to speak on any matter before the meeting, but shall not be entitled to vote, except that the President shall have a casting vote, should one be necessary.  The National Secretary shall have the right to speak on matters confined to Maritime issues, but shall not be entitled to vote.

16. The proceedings of the Annual and Special General Meetings shall not be invalidated by reason only of the existence of a vacancy caused by the death or absence, through illness or other valid reason, of one or more delegates or of the President, the General Secretary or the Assistant General Secretaries, provided that a quorum is present.

Quorum
17. Two-thirds of the number of delegates shall constitute a quorum at Annual and Special General Meetings.

Minutes of Proceedings
18. The first item of business on each day that an Annual or Special General Meeting is in session shall be to confirm the Minutes of the previous day’s proceedings. The Minutes of the last day’s proceedings shall be confirmed immediately before the close of the meeting.

Record of Proceedings
19. The General Secretary shall cause a written record to be made of the proceedings of Annual and Special General Meetings, and of any committee appointed by any Annual or Special General Meeting.

Decisions Final and Conclusive
20. Every decision of every Annual or Special General Meeting shall be final, conclusive, and binding on all members and Branches of the Union, and shall be accepted by all members and Branches as the voice of all the Union’s members, unless or until varied or rescinded by a subsequent General Meeting.

Cost of AGM and Delegates’ Expenses
21. The costs of the Annual and Special General Meetings, including delegates’ expenses paid in accordance with the provisions of Rule 14, Clauses 26, 27, 29 & 30 whichever apply, shall be met from the General Fund; but a separate account thereof shall be published for the information of members.