Each branch is required to hold an annual general meeting (rule G.3) in the January – March
quarter and to which all members should be invited to attend. Branches covering a large
geographical area, whose members work a variety of shifts, which represent several employers
or which have a membership base too large to be realistically accommodated at one meeting,
should hold “aggregate” meetings – a series of meetings, each with the same agenda so as to
facilitate attendance from all sections of the membership.
Branch rules should determine a quorum for its general meetings at a level that enables
business to be done whilst providing for meaningful democracy. A quorum should not be
set so low as to allow a small group to take over the affairs of the branch. Branches should
seek guidance from their regional secretary on an appropriate quorum suitable for the
circumstances of their branch.
All branch officers and the regional organiser should be encouraged to attend.
The purpose of the annual general meeting is to bring the branch committee and its officers to
- to report on the branch’s finances
- to report on the branch’s activity during the past year and the implementation of the actions agreed arising from the previous year’s annual assessment
- to receive a report on the annual assessment and the branch committee’s plan to meet the actions required during the following year
- to elect, or confirm the election if these took place by ballot, of branch officers for the coming year
- to elect or confirm the election of branch representatives to external bodies and to other levels of the union – Nomination form available here
- to seek approval for any proposed honoraria payments to be made
In the event of an inquorate annual general meeting, certain decisions cannot be taken and must stand deferred until they can be approved at a quorate meeting. Where the meeting
fails to reach its quorum, the branch officers should consider what measures can be taken
to ensure a higher attendance at an alternative meeting, or whether aggregate meetings or
ballots should be held.
Where the meeting is inquorate, the circumstances should be reported immediately to the
regional organiser (for attention of the regional convenor and secretary).
In the event of an inquorate meeting, there are certain actions the branch will not be able to
take. These include:
- electing officers, unless the elections were carried out by ballot in accordance with guidance in this Code. Where the election would have been carried out at the meeting, current officers should remain in post pending the decision of the reconvened meeting provided the region has been notified as above
- endorsing motions for submission to UNISON Conferences (in which case such matters may be referred to a quorate meeting of the branch committee)
- the appointment of delegates making policy decisions
- approving the payment of any honoraria.