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Scientists for Labour - Constitution

  1. Name

    1. Scientists for Labour (hereafter referred to as "the Association").​

  2. Objectives

    1. To work for the return and maintenance of a Labour government. 

    2. To work to ensure that the government of the day maintains a clear commitment to science in the United Kingdom. 

    3. To facilitate communication between the scientific community and the Parliamentary Labour Party, and to make available the advice and expertise of members of the Association to local and national Labour Parties and affiliated organisations. 

    4. To promote greater debate and education on scientific matters, both within the Labour Party and nationally. 

    5. To provide a forum for the discussion, debate and formulation of policy on matters affecting or affected by science, technology and research. 

    6. To enable those working in science and technology to have a political voice.

    7. To work to recruit scientists into the Labour Party and wider labour movement.

    8. To hold social and public events in order to facilitate interaction between our membership, and to promote the organisation.

  3. Membership

    1. Full membership of the Association shall be open to all members of the Labour Party who support the objectives of the Association and pay the current membership fee. ​

    2. Associate membership of the Association shall be open to all individuals who are not members of a political party, who have not been expelled from or denied membership of the Labour Party, and who are not otherwise disqualified from Labour Party membership.  Associate membership will also be offered for free to current students, and early career researchers under the age of 35.

    3. Affiliate status shall be open to organisations affiliated to the Labour Party nationally, and also to organisations involved in science (including the social and management sciences), technology and research which support the aims and objectives of the Association. 

    4. Application for membership or affiliation, shall be made in writing to the responsible executive officer or via the link on the website, and may only be declined by the Executive Committee. 

    5. The amounts to be subscribed by full and associate members, affiliates shall be set by the Executive Committee, with any changes to be approved by the Annual General Meeting.

  4. Method of Organisation

    1. The Association shall be managed by the Executive Committee. ​

    2. Matters relating to the policy and objectives of the Association shall be determined by the Executive Committee.

    3. The financial year for the Association shall be from 1st January to 31st December. 

    4. There shall be established within the accounts of the Association a separate campaigns fund, into which all moneys received from sponsor organisations shall be placed. This fund shall be used only for specific purposes related to objectives 2.1, 2.2, 2.5 and 2.6. 

    5. Five or more individual members may establish local or subject groups under the aegis of the Executive Committee. The rules of such groups must be agreed by the Executive Committee. Local groups may span either a single constituency, a single borough, or multiple adjacent boroughs.

    6. The Association shall be permitted to affiliate, as a Socialist Society, to the Labour Party and the Association shall be permitted to affiliate to and send delegates to Constituency Labour Parties. Delegates to Constituency Labour Parties will be chosen by local groups. In the absence of local groups, the Executive Committee may choose the delegate, subject to the approval of all members in the relevant constituency.

    7. Upon appointment as a delegate in the absence of a local group, a delegate is expected to actively recruit a sufficient number of new members in order to form a local group (i.e five members in total). If this is not achieved within 18 months, the delegate shall be removed from their post, and the Executive Committee shall take a vote on whether to continue affiliation at their next meeting.

    8. In the absence of a local group, the Association and the relevant delegate, will not be able to submit motions or nominations, nor vote in trigger ballots.

    9. Communication with members, including notification about Annual General Meeting shall be by email. A member may request notification by post via the membership secretary.

  5. The Executive Committee

    1. All members of the Executive Committee shall be members of the Labour Party and, with the exception of the associate members representative, full members of the Association.

    2. The Executive Committee shall be appointed annually, and shall consist of: 

      1. 12 full members of the Association. If ballots are required members are reminded of the Labour Party’s commitment to equality, diversity, and to the regions, and should consider this while voting.​

      2. 1 associate members representative, to be elected from their own number.

    3. Elections at the Annual General Meetings shall be either showing of hands or, in the case of dispute, the unilateral request of anyone present, or discretion of chair; secret ballot.​

    4. The Executive Committee may vote to co-opt additional members to the Executive Committee, in order to increase diversity, take advantage of a given members skills, and or to fill vacant positions. Votes on co-options will require a majority of the entire membership of the committee in order to be carried. Co-opted members will not have voting rights on the committee.

    5. The Executive Committee shall elect, from amongst its number, a chair, two vice-chairs (one for membership activities the other for policy related work), a secretary, a treasurer, a membership officer and a webmaster

    6. The secretary shall be responsible for maintaining the principal records of the Association. 

    7. The treasurer shall be responsible for keeping accurate records of all financial transactions carried out for and on behalf of the Association, such records being available for at least annual audit by the auditors. 

    8. Decisions by the Executive Committee shall be taken by a majority vote. In the event of a tie, the chair shall not have a casting vote, and the motion in question will be deemed to have fallen

    9. Votes on issues by the Executive Committee may be taken via online ballot, either using email or some other method. Reasonable time limits may be imposed.

    10. The Executive Committee shall conduct all necessary business between annual meetings.

    11. The Executive Committee may from time consult the membership by email poll on matters of policy and governance including in respect of vacancies in the Labour Party structure where the Association has nominating rights.

    12. The Executive Committee shall invite individuals prominent in science to become honorary patrons of the Association.

  6. General Meetings

    1. General meetings shall be held annually on a date to be determined by the Executive Committee. In addition, they may be convened by the Executive Committee, or as an extraordinary general meeting. ​

    2. Notification of the date, time and place of each general meeting and of any motions to amend this constitution to be taken at such a meeting shall be given to individual members, affiliates and sponsors at least 28 days in advance by email to the current complete list of members.

    3. General meetings shall be open to full members and no more than two delegates from each affiliate or sponsor organisation. Associate members will be eligible to attend as observers.

    4. The qourum for a General Meeting will be either 12 members, or 5% of the full members of the Association, whichever is higher.

    5. Ordinary motions for a general meeting shall be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Executive Committee not less than 14 days before the date of a general meeting. 

    6. The annual report and accounts shall be circulated to members not less than seven days before the date of the Annual General Meeting. 

    7. The ordinary business of the Annual General Meeting shall comprise:

      1. Reports of outgoing officers and auditors​

      2. Election of the Executive Committee for the coming year 

      3. Election of constitutional officers 

      4. Election of auditors 

      5. Election of delegate to Labour Party conference

      6. Election of delegate to Socialists Societies Committee

      7. Other Business

    8. An extraordinary general meeting of the Association shall be convened for a specified purpose following either: a) receipt by the Executive Committee of a request signed by not less than one-third of the individual members of the Association, b) a majority vote of all members of the Executive Committee.​

    9. Full members and delegates shall each be entitled to one vote at general meetings.

    10. The AGM may choose to delegate any decision to the Executive Committee.

  7. Discipline and Accountability

    1. Any member who, in the opinion of a majority of the executive committee, acts or fails to act in such a way as to damage the Association, or acts against the aims of the Association, shall be accountable to the Executive Committee, and shall face such disciplinary measures as may be agreed by a majority of the Executive Committee, up to and including expulsion from the Association. ​

    2. Three constitutional officers shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. No member of the Executive Committee shall be permitted to be a constitutional officer.

    3. A member may appeal to the constitutional officers against disciplinary measures taken by the Executive Committee. The constitutional officers shall be empowered to uphold, increase, diminish or suspend decisions of the Executive Committee in respect of disciplinary matters. The decision of the constitutional officers shall be final. 

    4. No member of any committee or group provided for under this constitution shall be liable for any loss, damage or misfortune to the Association by any act, omission or error of judgement of: 

      1. any other member of such committee or group; or ​

      2. any person or body within whom funds of the Association are invested; or 

      3. their own arising from the execution of their duties, unless the same shall arise as a result of their own dishonesty.

  8. Constitution​​

    1. This constitution shall only be amended by resolution of a general meeting. ​

    2. The Executive Committee shall, by majority vote, interpret this constitution. In the event of a tie, matters will be referred to the constitutional officers. If the constitutional officers are unable to resolve a dispute, the chair may make a final decision on the matter.

    3. Any decision by the Executive Committee upon any question of interpretation or upon any matter affecting the Association not provided for by this constitution will be referred to the constitutional officers if it is challenged by one third of the full members, or the majority present at the Annual General Meeting. The Executive Committee’s decision may then be overruled by a majority decision of the constitutional officers.

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