Proposed New Standing Orders



1. Branch meetings shall normally be held monthly and at such places as may be found convenient. The quorum shall be five (5), except for votes on financial motions that benefit non-NUJ organisations, when the quorum shall be eight (8). Furthermore, any financial motion that benefits an organisation other than the NUJ needs a two-thirds majority to pass.


2. The Branch Committee shall consist of the following Officers:

Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Membership and Recruitment/Retention Officer, Communications Officer, Health and Safety Officer, Equality Officer, Welfare Officer, Union Learning Representative, Disabilities Officer

In addition, the Committee shall contain a further four ordinary members.

3. Elections to office on the Branch shall be conducted at its Annual General Meeting, which will normally be the first meeting of the year, and March at the latest.

4. The branch committee has authority to act for the branch in an emergency, provided it does not amend or rescind a previous decision of the branch.

5. The branch committee shall meet as often as required, this may include using online meetings or communications. The quorum is three elected Officers. The committee’s meetings will generally be open to any interested branch member, and the committee may co-opt members of the branch as it decides, but these members will not count towards the quorum.

6. The final agenda shall be read aloud by the Chair at the opening of the meeting.

7. The agenda shall be compiled by the Chair in agreement with the branch committee. No business other than that appearing on the agenda shall be discussed, unless it be a matter of urgency and the consent of the meeting has been obtained. 

8. Minutes of each meeting shall normally be circulated with the agenda and the notice of meeting seven days in advance of the next meeting, at which meeting they shall be submitted for confirmation.

9. No motion, except in regard to accuracy, shall be allowed on the minutes. When the minutes have been confirmed a member may ask questions on matters which arise out of them but such questions shall be directed for the purpose of information only.

10. The Chair shall preside at all meetings.

11. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall preside or, in the absence of both officers, the members shall elect one of their number to chair the meeting.

12. The Chair shall rule on all questions of procedure not covered in these Standing Orders. Should the motion “that the Chair’s ruling not be upheld” be moved and seconded, the Chair shall have the right of reply and the vote shall then be taken without further debate. 

13. The first motion on any subject shall be the original motion and succeeding propositions on that subject taken as amendments. An original motion that has been amended shall become the substantive motion, and shall be open to further amendment. Procedural motions (see SO 20) shall be treated as amendments, but shall take precedence over other amendments. 

14. The mover of an original motion shall have the right of reply to the debate on that motion, or if an amendment is discussed to the debate on the first amendment to his/her motion, unless the debate is terminated by carrying "Next business" (see SO 20). If he/she replies, the chair shall take the vote immediately after his/her speech without further discussion or question.

Note: Motions for a delegate meeting agenda. When a branch is considering whether to send any notice of motion for a delegate meeting agenda, a proposal by a member of the branch to put down an amendment to a union rule shall be treated as an original motion. Similarly, when the branch is considering the preliminary agenda of a delegate meeting, a proposal to put down an amendment to a notice of motion on that agenda shall be treated as an original motion.

15. The chair shall not accept more than one amendment at a time to any original or substantive motion, but after any amendment has been moved and seconded and before it has been put to the vote, he/she may accept notice of a further amendment. Nevertheless a procedural motion (see SO 11) may be moved during any debate and if it is accepted that debate shall be suspended for consideration of the procedural motion.

16. When an amendment to an original motion has been carried, the resulting substantive motion shall be put to the meeting unless a further amendment, of which notice has been given, is carried; and in every case (except when "Next business" has been carried) the substantive motion in its final form shall be put to the vote before the meeting proceeds to the next business.

17. No original motion or amendment which has been moved and seconded shall be withdrawn, nor shall any words be added to or deleted from it, without the consent of the meeting, and if the meeting consents to any modification the chair shall formally announce the motion in its modified form.

18. The chair shall not accept any motion or amendment that contravenes SO 10. Nor shall he/she accept a motion or amendment that repeats the substance of a proposition previously voted on by the meeting.

19. No motion to rescind a resolution of the branch shall be accepted unless a notice of rescission, stating the terms of the resolution proposed to be rescinded, has been circulated to members with the notice calling the meeting at which the motion to rescind is to be voted upon.

20. A debate may be brought to an end by a motion:

a) That the vote be now taken (the vote)

b) That the meeting proceed to next business (the next business);

c) That the discussion or the meeting be adjourned (the adjournment).

21. Speakers shall address the chair. Any member called to order by the chair shall resume his/her seat.

22. Any member wishing to raise a point of order shall rise and address the chair. If another member is speaking he/she shall immediately give way and await the chair’s ruling. No member shall raise a point of order for the purpose of controverting any speaker or making a speech himself/herself. A point of explanation is not a point of order, but if the chair believes that a brief examination will help the conduct of business, he/she may permit it.

23. The chair's ruling on a question of order or procedure shall be final unless challenged by three members. In that case the secretary shall immediately put the motion: “That the chair’s ruling be upheld.” He/she shall declare this motion carried unless the vote is lost.

24. Voting shall be by a show of hands unless a motion to take a ballot on a motion or election is moved and carried before the vote on that motion or election is taken. Only persons entitled under the rules shall vote.
25. These standing orders shall be amended only at the annual meeting of the branch or at a meeting specifically called to discuss the Standing Orders any meeting arranged to discuss the Standing Orders shall give a minimum of 30 days notice.

26. The Chair may, with the consent of the majority, adjourn the meeting for a specified period. Or, in the absence of a quorum, he/she may adjourn a meeting without such consent.

27. These Standing Orders may be amended at one meeting each year, the date of such meeting being the first meeting after the Branch’s Annual General Meeting.

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