Summary Agenda

  1. Opening of conference by the President

  2. Announcement by the Standing Orders Committee of the names of tellers

  3. Report of the Standing Orders Committee

  4. Statement by the General Secretary

  5. Annual conference:
    • Financial report and statements
    • National Executive Committee's report to conference, with propositions and amendments
    • Election of incoming Trustees, Appeals Committee and Standing Orders Committee

  6. Close of conference

The Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for the 2001 annual conference comprises John Gray (chair), Lorraine Dance, Albey George, Wynn Lowes and Kate Walker

Standing Orders for the BECTU Annual Conference 2001

1 Constitution of the Standing Orders Committee

  1. The Standing Orders Committee (the SOC) for the 2001 annual conference shall comprise those members elected at the 2000 conference (or subsequently) in accordance with rule 42(a). The SOC shall elect from among its own members a chair of SOC.

  2. The members of the SOC shall hold office until the conclusion of the annual conference.

  3. The SOC shall be responsible only to the annual conference.
2 Functions of the SOC

  1. The SOC shall be responsible for the preparation and submission to the conference of the agenda for the meeting and these standing orders for the regulation of the proceedings.

  2. The SOC may combine propositions or amendments of similar intention, and invite those submitting them to withdraw them in favour of a composite proposition or amendment.

  3. The SOC shall be responsible for inviting nominations and for the election of the Standing Orders Committee, Appeals Committee and Trustees to take office after the conclusion of the conference in accordance with rules 42(a), 26(a) and 3(a) respectively.

3 Tellers

The SOC shall appoint tellers subject to the approval of conference.

4 Doorkeepers and/or stewards

The SOC shall appoint doorkeepers and/or stewards to examine the credentials of all delegates and authorised visitors to conference.

5 Agenda

Preparation of the agenda for conference shall be by the SOC, and that agenda shall be adhered to unless for a good and sufficient reason the SOC recommends otherwise during the course of conference.

6 Timetable

The sessions of conference shall be as follows:

0830-0930 Registration of delegates
0930-1245 First session
1245-1400 Lunch break
1400-1730 Second session

7 Order of business

Unless SOC recommend otherwise, the business of conference shall be dealt with as nearly as may be in the following order:

  1. opening address by the President

  2. announcement of the names of tellers

  3. presentation of the SOC's report

  4. statement by the General Secretary

  5. the National Executive Committee's financial report and audited financial statements

  6. the National Executive Committee's annual report, supplementary reports, policy propositions, and special rule change propositions

  7. election of the incoming SOC, Appeals Committee and Trustees

  8. conclusion of conference

8 Chair

In accordance with rule 35(c) the President of the union shall take the chair at conference and shall have a casting vote as provided by rule 40(a)(i).

9 General Secretary, Assistant General Secretaries and members of the NEC

In accordance with rule 40(a)(ii) the General Secretary, Assistant General Secretaries and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) shall be entitled to speak but not to vote at conference.

10 Paid officials

In accordance with rule 40(a)(iv) paid officials shall only be entitled to speak at conference at the discretion of the chair and shall not be entitled to vote.

11 Order of debate

  1. Speakers must address the chair.

  2. The mover of a motion, unless otherwise recommended by the SOC, shall be allowed not more than four minutes.

  3. The seconder of a motion shall be allowed not more than two minutes.

  4. Subsequent speakers, including movers and seconders of amendments, shall be allowed not more than two minutes.

  5. No speaker shall speak more than once (other than a mover exercising the right of reply) except on a point of order or correction on any one motion or amendment.

  6. The mover of the original motion, but not the mover of an amendment, shall have the right of reply, and shall be allowed not more than two minutes to do so, introducing no fresh matter.

  7. Amendments shall be moved, seconded and discussed in turn during the course of the general debate. After the debate, each amendment shall be put to the vote in turn, each, if carried, creating the substantive motion.

  8. Except where disability requires alternative means, members shall stand when speaking, and other than on questions, points of procedure, and formal moving and seconding (that is, without a speech) shall come to the speaker's rostrum to speak.

  9. Closure may be moved and seconded only by delegates who have not spoken previously in that particular debate, and shall be put to the vote immediately and without discussion. If the closure motion is carried the mover of the original motion shall have the right of reply before it is put to the meeting. Should the chair consider that there is no practical difference of opinion among the delegates, he/she shall have the power to stop discussion and put the motion to the vote.

  10. Any delegate who has not spoken on the question before conference may move "next business", on the seconding of which the chair may, without discussion, put that motion to the vote. In the event of its being carried, conference shall at once proceed to consideration of the next item of business on the agenda.

  11. Should the chair stand during a debate, the member speaking shall give way and neither he/she nor any other member shall speak until the chair gives leave.

  12. No member shall interrupt a speaker except on a point of order, which must deal only with procedure.

  13. On the motion of a delegate or made on behalf of the NEC being seconded and carried, that on a specific item of business conference "go into committee", standing order 11(e) shall be suspended and speakers may, at the discretion of the chair, speak more than once and without time limit, provided that all discussion is confined to the specific item concerned.

  14. On the motion of a delegate being seconded and carried, that on a specific item of business conference "go into closed session", the chair shall order that all persons other than delegates, members of the NEC, officials of the union, and staff of the union required for the continuation of proceedings, shall leave the conference room for the duration of that session.

  15. The chair may declare, or a delegate may move, that a session in committee or a closed session shall end forthwith.

  16. The chair's decision on any point whatsoever is final.

  17. The chair may be removed only if a vote of no confidence in the chair is moved, seconded and carried by a majority of the delegates present and voting.

12 Emergency propositions and references back

  1. The SOC may, at its discretion, admit to the agenda at any time emergency propositions, the matter of which arises in circumstances that could not be foreseen at the final date for receipt of propositions.

  2. Should conference refer back the report, or part of the report, of the NEC to annual conference, it shall be held to justify the inclusion by the SOC at its discretion of an emergency proposition on the same subject.

  3. In accordance with rule 45(e) no emergency proposition for rule alteration shall be made at any conference.

13 Quorum

In accordance with rule 39(g) the quorum for all meetings of conference shall be a majority of the total of delegates registered for attendance, or the presence of delegates entitled to attend representing three-fifths of the membership of the union, whichever is the less.

14 Voting

Voting at meetings of conference shall be by poll of delegates, normally by show of hands. Any proposal made to alter the rules under rule 9(e) or 45(b) shall be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates present and voting, but all other questions before conference shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the delegates present and voting. However, at the request of at least ten delegates rising in their places immediately following the chair's announcement of the result of such a poll, a card vote shall be taken. In a card vote each branch represented at conference shall be entitled to register votes equal to the number of paid-up members of the branch as at 31 December immediately preceding the conference, such membership to be certified by the General Secretary. The result of a card vote shall determine the question.

15 Ballots

The SOC shall be responsible for ensuring that the nominations for elections to be conducted at annual conference (that is, for the incoming SOC, Appeals Committee and Trustees) accord with the rules. The chair of SOC shall act as returning officer in all ballots conducted at conference.

16 Documentation

No documentation shall be circulated within the conference hall that has not previously been approved by the SOC as germane to conference proceedings. Further, no documentation shall be circulated or displayed adjacent to the conference hall or within the conference venue without the permission of the SOC.

17 Disorder

Should any person persistently cause a disturbance and refuse to obey when called to order, he/she shall be named from the chair. If he/she persists in creating disorder he/she shall be expelled from the conference.

18 Mobile phones and pagers

Mobile phones and pagers may not be used to make or receive calls in the conference hall.

19 Recording of the proceedings

No unauthorised recording, mechanical or electronic, may be made of the proceedings of conference without the express permission of the SOC.

20 Suspension of standing orders

The chair may at his/her discretion accept a motion, which must be properly seconded and put to the vote, to suspend any one or more of these standing orders, with the exception of standing orders 12 and 14 and this standing order, provided such a motion is not at variance with the rules of BECTU, names the order or orders to be suspended, and gives a specific reason and where appropriate a specific period (not exceeding thirty minutes) for their suspension.

Last updated 9 May 2001