London Freelance Branch Standing Orders

Standing Orders are the rules by which we conduct our meetings and business.

1

The London Freelance Branch of the NUJ shall meet at least once a month except in August of each year when the Committee shall be empowered to transact all Branch business. Meetings shall be held wherever possible on the second Monday of each month, but alternative arrangements may be made by Branch Officers. The January meeting shall be preceded by the Annual General Meeting.

The Secretary shall present minutes of the Annual General Meeting to the next Branch meeting held in a following month in the normal venue for its determination that they are as full and true record of decisions.

2

Branch meetings shall not exceed two hours unless a motion extending the meeting is passed. No meeting shall be extended to last more than two and half hours. The meeting shall agree on the order of the agenda.

3

Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Rule 7 of the Union's Rules.

The provisions of Rule 7, "Branch organisation", include:

h) Not fewer than seven days' notice shall be given to members in the case of ordinary meetings, and in the case of special meetings reasonable notice shall be given, including notice of the matter to be discussed.

...

n) A branch shall use its management fund for union purposes and to make contributions in memory of a deceased member. Any balance remaining may be used for purposes connected with journalism or trade unionism or, with the NEC's permission, for local charitable purposes. Notice of such proposal shall be given on the summons convening the meeting.

4

No business shall be conducted at a meeting unless a quorum of 15 members are present.

5

Special meetings may be called by the Branch Committee, or in an emergency by the Chairperson, or at the written request of at least 25 members that are entitled to vote.

6

The Branch shall elect each year at the AGM those Officers required by NUJ Rules in force and may elect the following: Chairperson, Vice Chair, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, Equality Officer, Negotiations Officer, Training Officer, Social Media Officer, Editor and Deputy Editor, hereinafter known as Branch Officers. Also the AGM shall elect sufficient further Committee members to bring the total to twenty, who with Branch Officers shall form the Branch Committee. Seats that become vacant during the year shall be filled by advertising the vacancy in the "Freelance".

7

(a) The Branch delegation to the Annual Delegate Meeting shall be elected at the AGM, and to the Special Delegate Meeting at the earliest appropriate Branch meeting. The Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of the delegation. Remaining delegates shall be elected on a simple total of votes cast by members at the AGM.

(b) Any vacancies arising in the delegation after the Branch meeting immediately proceeding the delegate meeting shall be filled in order, by the unsuccessful candidates in the delegation election.

(c) The branch delegation shall meet prior to a delegate meeting to elect a delegation secretary.

(d) The Branch Chair shall also chair the delegation, and shall convene such meetings of delegates as are required to give full consideration to the ADM agenda. Voting on all questions shall be by a simple majority.

(e) The delegation secretary shall take a minute of all meetings and prepare a full report on the work of the delegation for presentation to the Branch meeting immediately following ADM and for publication in the Freelance.

(f) The delegation shall vote, and may speak on the motions at ADM according to the mandate given by the Branch and shall vote for all candidates nominated for office by the Branch.

(g) Where the Branch has not taken a position on any motion or has not nominated for office in any particular election, the delegation shall itself decide how to vote and speak. This will, as far as possible, be in line with settled Branch policy.

(h) Where the delegation agrees, by a majority vote if necessary, to support a certain position or a certain candidate for office, delegates may speak and all the branch's votes shall be cast according to the majority view.

(i) Where the delegation is faced with any question upon which it has not agreed a policy, or where it is not working to a branch mandate, the delegates shall be free to vote according to individual preference. When a free vote applies delegates shall be free to speak with the consent of a majority of the delegation.

(j) The Officers of the delegation shall call an immediate meeting of the delegation upon receipt of a request to do so by half the delegates.

8

The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and the Vice-Chairperson shall preside in his/her absence. Should neither be present a Chairperson shall be specially elected for the meeting. The Chairperson shall be entitled to vote as an individual member and may also, as Chairperson, give a casting vote if the number of votes for and against a motion is equal.

9

Annual reports by the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer shall be circulated prior to the AGM.

10

Reports for the Journalist shall be submitted by the editor.

Official statements on behalf of the Branch for media generally shall be issued only by the Chairperson or Secretary or as authorised by the Branch Committee. There shall otherwise be no restriction on members' rights to comment on Branch business. Members should however bear in mind the provision of the Union's Rule on Discipline [currently Rule 24(f)iii] concerning unauthorised disclosure of confidential Union or Branch Business, but no business shall be deemed confidential unless the Chairperson so rules. In anything members may publish on Branch or Union affairs they shall not imply that they are giving anything but their own individual views.

11

The Committee shall meet at least monthly (though it may vote not to meet in August or in December). Five members shall form a quorum.

12

Committee members absenting themselves without apology from three consecutive Committee meetings, for whatever reason, shall be deemed to have resigned.

13

No motion shall be moved at any Branch meeting unless it has been submitted in writing and received by the Branch before the start of the Branch meeting.

14

Money motions shall not be considered unless published at www.londonfreelance‌.org/lfb/‌meetings.html#motions not less than one week before the meeting at which they are to be debated. All those members for whom the Branch holds a working email address shall be re-notified of the meeting and reminded of any such motions by email not less than one week before the meeting.

15

Proposed amendments to Standing Orders shall be made only at the Branch's AGM.

16

Standing Orders relating to the conduct of meetings shall be those in the NUJ Rule Book, Appendix, Standing Orders and may be suspended by a vote of two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote, except for Standing orders 4 and 14, which shall not be suspended in any circumstances. Standing Orders shall come into force again after the vote has been taken on the business for which they were suspended.

17

Notices of Branch meeting dates shall be published in the Freelance.

18

After three consecutive years in office the Chairperson shall not be eligible for re-election for the following two years.

19

At any Branch meeting if not less than five members request a break of 15 minutes, it shall be put to the vote. If the meeting votes in favour of a break, the chairperson shall announce this interval at the first opportunity.

20

Candidates standing as branch officers or for the Branch Committee shall be allowed to address the Branch meeting prior to the election for a maximum of two minutes, and questions may then be asked of the candidate.

21

All correspondence should be addressed to:

London Freelance Branch NUJ
c/o Headland House,
72 Acton Street,
London WC1X 9NB

The above are the Standing Orders as amended at the Annual General Meeting in January 2018.

Branch standing orders for the conduct of meetings

These are based on NUJ Rules' Appendix D. They were adopted as detailed rules for the condict of meetings at the January 2018 Annual General Meeting as amended below.

1

The quorum for a branch meeting shall be 15.

2

The agenda shall be read aloud by the chair at the opening of the meeting.

3

The Chairperson shall ask whether any member proposes corrections to the minutes of the previous meeting and no discussion shall be allowed except on such a challenge to their accuracy. When the minutes have been signed questions may be asked for information.

4

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 12) shall be treated as amendments, but shall take precedence over other amendments.

5

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 12). If he/she replies, the chair shall take the vote immediately after his/her speech without further discussion or question.

6

The seconder of a motion or an amendment may second formally and reserve his/her speech until later in the debate.

7

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 12) may be moved during any debate and if it is accepted that debate shall be suspended for consideration of the procedural motion.

8

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.

9

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.

10

The chair shall not accept any motion or amendment that contravenes SO 11. Nor shall he/she accept a motion or amendment that repeats the substance of a proposition previously voted on by the meeting.

11

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.

12

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

  1. That the vote be now taken (the vote);
  2. That the meeting proceed to next business (the next business);
  3. That the discussion or the meeting be adjourned (the adjournment).

No member who has already spoken on the motion or amendment under debate may move any of these motions. The motion to adjourn must state the period of the adjournment. To end the debate without committing the meeting to a decision for or against the proposition a member must move "Next business". The chair shall not accept any of these motions if in his/her opinion the effect of carrying it would be unfair.

If the chair accepts "The vote" and it is seconded, he/she shall put it to the meeting without debate. If it is carried, he/she shall put the motion under discussion to the vote without further debate unless the mover of the original motion is still entitled to reply.

If the chair accepts "The next business" and it is seconded, he/she shall put it to the meeting without debate. If it is carried, the original motion, together with any amendments that have been carried, shall be of no effect, and the meeting shall proceed to the next item on the agenda.

If the chair accepts "The adjournment", and it is formally seconded, he/she may allow one speech for and one against. If it is carried, the debate shall be resumed as it stood at the adjournment, and the chair or the secretary shall then remind the meeting of the terms of the original motion and of any amendments that have been discussed.

The motion known as "The previous question" shall not be accepted at any branch meeting.

13

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

14

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.

15

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 number of those who vote against it is at least double the number of those who vote for it.

16

Except as specified in the rules, 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.

17

Any standing order may be suspended upon the motion of a member duly seconded if the number of those voting for is at least twice the number of those voting against. Standing orders shall come into force again automatically after the vote has been taken on the business for the conduct of which they were suspended.

18

These standing orders shall be amended only at the annual meeting of the branch and after the terms of any proposed amendment have been duly circulated by the branch secretary with the notice of the meeting.