Rule breaches

You can download the 2014 PCS rule book as a PDF document here.

The union rules breached by the decision to suspend elections for 2015 are:

Principle Rules:

PR9 The NEC shall be elected annually. NEC elections shall be conducted on the same basis as that laid down for membership ballots under these Principal Rules, except that the General Secretary shall, after consulting the Independent Scrutineer, issue regulations for the conduct of the elections which shall be published to Branches and be binding on all members.

Supplementary Rules:

5.5 Each Group constitution shall specify the frequency of Group Executive Committee elections and of Group Delegate Conferences. An Annual Group Delegate Conference shall be held once every year no sooner than 1 May and no later than 15 June at such time and place as the GEC decides. Group Executive Committee Elections shall be held annually. Group constitutions shall not be valid until approved by the NEC.

7.2 The Senior Lay Officers and the ordinary members shall be elected for a term of office of one year.

7.3 There shall be an election for President by a ballot of the whole membership.

7.4 There shall be an election for Deputy and Vice-Presidents by a ballot of the whole membership.

7.6 There shall be an election for ordinary members of the NEC by a ballot of the whole membership.

The NEC has argued that it can suspend these rules under the following supplementary rule:

11.2 Where the NEC considers that by reason of industrial action, force majeure or other cause beyond the Union’s control, or in case of emergency, any time limit specified in the Union’s Rules cannot be fulfilled, the NEC may notwithstanding any provisions in the Union’s Rules change such times as it considers necessary.

However, according to Principle Rule 14:

PR14 In the case of conflict between a principal rule and any other rule of the Union, the principal rule shall prevail.

Therefore, the annual occurence of elections takes precedent. Further to which, ‘annual’ specifies how regularly elections must occur and the time limits for it to take place are time limits within each year, meaning that ‘annual’ is therefore not a ‘time limit’ which the NEC are entitled to amend under SR11.2.

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