PCS Proud Constitution

PCS Proud Constitution

1. The title of the group shall be The Public and Commercial Services Union lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group, known as PROUD, and described as ‘The voice of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans members in the PCS’.

2. The Objectives of PROUD shall be to:

a. Protect and promote the interests of members

b. To campaign for:

i. Equal Opportunities within the field of employment for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people within the Civil Service and linked organisations.

ii. Equal Opportunities within the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and within the wider trade union and labour movement.

iii. Equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people within society in general.

c. To oppose any organisation, individual(s) or forces in society, which seek to foster divisions based on sexuality, class, religion, belief, gender, age, disability, race, creed or HIV status.

d. To work within the structure and organisations of the PCS.

e. To act as a contact and support for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people who are members of the PCS and also seek to develop effective collaboration with Branches, Groups and Regions on LGBT issues and activities. The term bisexual will be used to define those who do not identify as exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. Trans members are those who do not identify in the gender assigned at birth.

f. To offer solidarity and support to other groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities as approved by the AGM.

g. To act as a social and cultural network for members of PROUD.

Membership
3. Full membership shall be open to any person who self identifies as an LGBT person who is a fully paid up member of PCS who agrees with the aims and objectives of PROUD.

4. Associate membership shall be open to any PCS member or associate/ retired member who supports the aims and objectives of PROUD or to any LGBT member of another Civil Service Union and PCS Employee who agrees with the aims and objectives of PROUD.

5. In recognition to services to PROUD, Distinguished Life Membership may be conferred on any person who has ceased to qualify to be a full member. The award of Distinguished Life Membership will be decided by the PROUD AGM by the passing of a motion of nomination by any full member of PROUD.

6. Honorary Associate Membership shall be open to those how are not able to ordinarily be full or associate members of PROUD, and is given in recognition of their campaigning achievements etc in promoting LGBT issues in workplaces, in the wider community nationally and/or internationally. Nomination for an Honorary Associate Membership can be made by any full member of PROUD submitting an appropriate motion to the Proud AGM.

7. Branches may make donations to the group.

8. Membership shall run for twelve months from the 1st of May each year but this will only be relevant when the membership fee is set at anything above £0. For years when the fee is set at £0, membership will be deemed as continuing from the date of application until such time as Proud is informed by the member that membership should cease or such time as that member ceases to be a member of PCS.

9. A record of membership will be held on behalf of PCS Proud by PCS membership department. Access to this record will be restricted to the Officers and appropriate members of the National Committee of PCS Proud and the PCS staff supporting the work of the PCS Proud National committee. This membership record will be maintained with due regard to confidentiality and data protection.

Officers and National Committee Election
10.
a. The Officers of PROUD shall be full members of PROUD and shall comprise:
Chair
Vice Chair*
Secretary
Organiser (Campaigns & Communications Officer)
Organiser (Learning & Regional/Devolved Nations Networks Officer)
Organiser (Membership and Administration Officer)
Equality Lead*
Treasurer.
*Vice Chair and Equality Lead are co-opted positions from the elected committee and are not elected at the AGM.

b. The Secretary shall call for nominations for each of the Officers posts not later than thirty-five days before the Annual General Meeting.

c. Nominations must be received by the Secretary not later than twenty-one days prior to the Annual General Meeting.

d. Where more than one nomination for any post is received by the due date, there shall be an election.

e. Elections for the National Committee shall be conducted on the basis that all full members eligible to vote:
• Have an opportunity to vote, which shall not be conditional on attendance at a meeting;

AND

• Are able to vote in secret.
So, all members who are entitled to vote who cannot attend the AGM shall:
• Be sent a voting paper by post;
• Be given a convenient opportunity to vote by post
The administration of any such procedure will be the responsibility of the PROUD Standing Orders Committee. Any application for a postal vote must be received by the advertised cut off date for receipt of nominations and motions. Completed postal votes must be received at the specified address one day prior to the AGM.

f. Where only one nomination is received by the due dates, the nominee shall be deemed elected unopposed.

g. Where no nominations are received by the due date, the chair may call for nominations from the floor of the AGM.

h. The Officers shall serve from the close of business of the AGM at which they were elected to the close of business of the following AGM.

i. The National Committee shall meet as necessary, based on funding received for the groups operation. The chair will decide the number of any other (non National Committee) meetings necessary to ensure the operation of the group.

j. The National Committee shall be empowered to take decisions on behalf of PROUD between General Meetings and shall exercise this authority in accordance with the Constitution and with policy.

k. No person shall hold more than one PROUD Officer post at one time (with the exception of the Vice Chair and Equality Lead), unless there are no other eligible nominations or candidates.

11. The National Committee shall comprise of the:-
• Officers (as in 10a)
• Women’s Representative (chair of women’s section)
• Trans Representative
• Disability Representative
• Black Member’s Representative
• Young Member’s Representative
• Bi Members Representative
• Regional Representatives (10)
• Two auditors
• Standing Orders Committee

The National Committee will select from one of its number a person to act as Vice Chair; this position only becomes active in the absence of the Chair.

The National Committee shall co-opt one of the elected Equality Representatives to act as Equality lead on the Officer Committee.

12. The National Committee will co-opt to its Committee the National Executive Committee (NECLO) Liaison Officer. They will liaise between the Committees and the NEC. Where possible the co-opted member(s) of the NEC shall be either a full or associate member(s) of PROUD.

13. Any Committee Member absent from a National Committee meeting or Officers meeting shall give an explanation. Any Committee Member absent from three consecutive meetings without giving reasons which the Officers consider adequate shall be deemed to have resigned. Any Committee Member who does not submit reports as stated on the published timeline shall give an explanation. Any Committee Member who does not submit 3 consecutive reports by the deadline set by the Officers, without giving reasons which the Officers consider adequate shall be deemed to have resigned.

14. The Regional Representatives shall be elected at the AGM. The number of areas to be represented will be determined by the AGM.

Women’s section

15. There shall be a women’s section of which membership will be open to any member of PROUD, (whether full or associate) who self identifies as a lesbian, bisexual or trans woman and who fully supports the aims and objectives of PROUD. The internal organisation of the section shall be determined by the section. The chair of the women’s section will be elected at the AGM.

Associate members

15a. Any PCS member who supports PCS Proud and the objectives of Proud can request to be a ‘Proud Advocate’ Proud representatives of each region, country or hub will be the point of contact for advocates in their area of responsibility. The role of the Proud Advocate will be broadly based on the PCS Advocate role but will change and adapt in accordance with the needs and priorities of the group.

Standing Orders Committee

16. The Standing Orders Committee will consist of up to 3 members elected at the AGM plus one representative from the Officers. This representative will be identified by the Officers at their first meeting following the AGM.

TUC LGBT Conference Delegation

17. The number of delegates will be defined by the NEC. The delegation should represent a 50/50 male/female gender split, and voting on delegates of either gender will not be necessary unless nominations for that gender exceed 50% of the agreed total delegates. The delegation should also where possible include one disabled member, one black member and one trans member.

The Proud Standing Orders Committee will organise a postal ballot of all full members to elect the delegation. The ballot should be organised using the same notification and timing criteria as the AGM to finish on the Saturday of the PCS LGBT Seminar whenever that is organised or the first Saturday in November the year prior to the TUC LGBT Conference. Successful delegates will represent PCS at the following years TUC LGBT Conference.

If there are still vacancies the Proud Officers will identify a process for filling vacancies and/or finding replacements for agreement by the National Committee.

TUC LGBT Committee Nomination(s) 

18. The National Committee will select the Proud recommendation(s) for the TUC LGBT Committee at the last committee meeting of the calendar year, where a formal meeting does not take place; the National Committee’s recommendation shall be determined by the National Committee in December of the year prior to the conference and notified to PCS HQ. In accordance with TUC rules, only those elected as delegates to the TUC LGBT conference will be eligible to stand. Recommendation(s) will be notified to the NEC for agreement. The National Committee may also make recommendations to the NEC for any other TUC Equality Committee where there is a reserved seat for LGBT representation. Any recommendations will need to be agreed by the National Committee prior to the deadline set by PCS to meet the TUC requirements for the said committee.

Annual General Meeting

19. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in the period February to March at a date and venue to be decided by the National Committee. The AGM shall receive the Annual report, Financial report, determine policy, and elect the following:-

• Officers (as in 10a)
• Women’s Representative
• Trans Representative
• Disability Representative
• Black Member’s Representative
• Young Member’s Representative
• Bisexual Member’s Representative
• Regional Representatives (10)
• Two auditors
• Standing Orders Committee

All those elected shall serve from the close of business of the AGM at which they were elected to the close of business of the following AGM.

20. The sovereign body of PROUD shall be the Annual General Meeting.

21. Motions for the AGM shall only proceed from full members of PROUD or the National Committee, but not from associate or affiliate members. Nominations for elections shall proceed from full members of the group only. No candidate shall be eligible for office without first indicating their willingness to stand.

22. Only full members of the group shall be entitled to vote. In the case of equality of votes the Chair shall have a casting vote. Voting shall be by show of hands on policy motions but any vote may be taken by a ballot of those present at the discretion of the Chair or at the request of a majority of full members present provided that such a request is made before the topic is debated.

23. A motion shall be carried and an election secured if it is endorsed by a simple majority (except in the case of a constitutional amendment which requires a two-thirds majority as at paragraph (26) of those present and entitled to vote.

24. The annual report and a notice convening the AGM shall be sent to members not less than 35 days before the AGM. The financial report will be made available to the AGM on the day of the AGM. All notices of motions and nominations shall be forwarded to the Secretary not less than 21 days prior to the AGM. Motions submitted after the closing date shall be accepted as motions of urgency at the discretion of the SOC. No quorum shall be necessary at the AGM. Motions shall be sent to the members no later than 14 days before the AGM.

Extraordinary General Meeting

25. An Extraordinary General Meeting of PROUD shall be summoned at the request of either

a. a majority of the Officers of PROUD; or

b. a majority of the members of the National Committee; or

c. 50 members of PROUD

d. An EGM may only discuss the business indicated in the notice convening the EGM

e. A notice shall be sent to members not later than 21 days before the EGM. All motions shall be forwarded in writing to the Secretary not later than 14 days before the EGM. Where an issue is of such extreme urgency these deadlines may be waived, subject to the agreement of at least two-thirds of the members of the National Committee. In such circumstances the Chair shall take motions from the floor. Such agreement need not be obtained at the meeting but may be through more informal methods as necessary, but in either case, must be endorsed by the EGM.

Finance

26. The financial year for PROUD shall be from 1st January to 31st December. The membership Donation shall be:

a. Annual subscription of £0 for full members

b. Annual subscription of £0 from associate members

c. Donations of £20 from Branches

27. The Treasurer shall take charge of the funds of PROUD and shall pay all approved demands. The Treasurer shall submit a report to the National Committee and its meetings and shall give up all books, documents, moneys and property of PROUD in their possession whenever required to do so by the Officers or National Committee.

28. A banking account shall be opened in the name of PROUD and cheques and bank transfer payments thereon signed or authorised, respectively by any two from the following Officers – Treasurer, Chair, Secretary and Organiser.

National Rules

PROUD shall be governed by the Rules and Constitution of PCS. These rules may not be rescinded or amended except by the AGM or EGM convened for that purpose. A motion to amend the rules must be supported by not less than two thirds of the votes cast at the meeting.

Chair’s Rulings

29. The Chair shall rule upon any matter on which the Constitution is silent, ambiguous or otherwise requires interpretation.

Dissolution

30. The group shall only be dissolved by a decision of an Extraordinary General Meeting at which the resolution for the dissolution will require approval, on a vote of two-thirds of those members present.