ARMS constitution

1. Title
2. Aims and Objectives
3. Membership
4. Structure
5. Meetings
6. National Committee
7. Membership Benefits
8. Affiliations
9. Publications 
10. Alterations to Rules

1. Title

1.1 The Association shall be called “Associate and Retired Members” (ARMs) of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

2.1 To promote and protect Associate and Retired Members’ interests, needs and aspirations.

2. Aims and Objectives

2.2 To campaign and co-operate with pensioner organisations and others, for the protection of pensions and other benefits which maintain or improve the quality of life of ARMs members. ARMs shall also work with other public sector pensioner organisations to protect existing benefits for pensioners and seek to improve public sector retirement provision.

2.3 To keep the ARMs membership informed of PCS benefits available to them.

2.4 To advise the PCS National Executive Committee of the needs and requirements of the ARMs members.

2.5 To be of assistance to the PCS as and when required including the recruitment of ARMs members.

2.6 To represent views of the PCS and ARMs in the wider pensioner movement both within the UK and the European Union.

2.7 To meet the TUC request from unions to organise Pensioner Sections.

2.8 To create a social contact between members.

2.9 To pay specific attention to the needs of members who reside overseas.

2.10 To maintain links and liaise with all PCS Branches and assist in Local and National campaigns, including Regional representation on the appropriate PCS Regional Committees.

2.11 To affiliate to and participate nationally and locally in such organisations having similar aims and objectives subject to the overriding authority of the NEC.

3. Membership

3.1 Membership of the ARMs shall be confined to those qualified for associate membership as detailed in Rule 3.6 and Rule 3.7 of the PCS Rules.

3.2 In addition, those awarded Distinguished and Honorary Life Membership of the PCS as detailed in Rule 3.10 of the PCS Rules shall be deemed to be Associate members and shall be eligible to receive such benefits of the Association as shall be determined from time to time by the PCS National Executive Committee.

4. Structure

4.1 ARMs will be structured into 12 principal geographical Regions mainly based on PCS Regional structures, but one of which will be for members generally not resident in the UK.

4.2 Each Region shall elect at least once every two years in a manner determined and approved by the National Committee, a Regional Secretary to act as the main contact between the Region and its local groups and the National Committee, and shall also elect a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Treasurer, up to two Auditors/Independent Examiners, and such other Officers it may deem necessary within the overall limitations on Regional Committee size as prescribed in Rule 4.3.  Auditors / Independent Examiners may attend Regional Committee meetings by invitation but may not be an elected member(s) of the Regional Committee.

4.3 Each Region shall arrange, in a manner agreed Regionally, a Committee to co-ordinate its activities which is answerable to both the members in its Region and to the National Committee. Each Regional Committee shall budget for at least 4 meetings a year. The Regional Committee shall comprise of no more than 10 elected members. However the Committee shall be empowered to co-opt members when specialist knowledge is required.

4.3.1 Each Region shall arrange the creation of local groups within that Region. Each Region shall ensure that local groups function properly (and keep adequate financial records for submission annually to the Regional Treasurer).

4.3.2 Local Groups will: -

  • provide an opportunity for social activity
  • be available to assist local PCS branches;
  • be available to assist as appropriate in local and national campaigns;
  • encourage ARMs members to maintain their links with their former Branches as outlined in PCS rules;
  • be entitled to affiliate and participate locally, to such organisations as the Union is affiliated nationally, any costs to borne by local funds which are raised or provided by the Region.

4.4 Each Region shall hold an Annual General Meeting, to which all members in that Region shall be invited.

4.5 Each Region shall be supplied with an up to date membership list and advised regularly of any leavers and joiners by the ARMs National Secretary.

4.6 Each Region shall be eligible to receive on request and in a manner to be determined by the National Committee an Annual subvention from funds agreed by the PCS National Executive Committee, and shall be empowered to meet any additional expenses by self-funding.  These funds shall support both Regional and local activities.  An annual statement of accounts shall be submitted to the National Committee. Full accounts will be kept which will be internally audited and may be called for full audit at any time at the discretion of the National Committee or the NEC. The Treasurer shall prepare a budget of expenditure and submit this to the Regional Committee and eventually make a bid for funding to the National Committee.

4.7 Each Region shall produce a detailed Constitution and Rules which shall be approved by its membership at a properly constituted General Meeting.  This Constitution and Rules shall be subject to the approval of the National Committee and NEC.

5. Meetings

5.1 There shall be one meeting a year held between one representative from each Region and the National Committee where matters affecting ARMs shall be discussed.  This shall be called the ARMs Forum.  The date for the Forum shall be published no later than 16 weeks in advance of the Forum.  The items for discussion may be composited together by the National Committee in consultation with the proposers to ensure the business of the Forum to proceed in an expeditious manner. The agenda of the Forum shall be compiled by the National Committee from specific matters on ARMs issues submitted by Regions and the National Committee no later than 10 weeks before the Forum.  It shall be for each Region to determine who it will send to the Forum.  The agenda for the Forum shall be published no later than 8 weeks before the Forum.

5.2 If a matter has been raised at a Forum it may not be raised again for a period of two years unless there has been a material alteration in the matter or with the specific consent of the Chair whose decision on this would be final. There can be no reference back made against this decision.

5.3 There will normally be one further meeting each year between the National Committee and one representative from each Region.

6. National Committee

6.1 There shall be a National Committee of 11 consisting of – the Chair, Vice-Chair/Editor, Secretary, Assistant Secretary/Organiser and Treasurer, plus six ordinary National Committee members which shall be accountable to the membership in general and to the NEC.

6.1.1 Nominations for election to the National Committee shall normally be called from ARMs Regions every two years.

6.1.2 All candidates shall be permitted to submit an election address up to 250 words and a CV of up to 100 words.  All candidates must be nominated by the AGM or Special General Meeting of ARMs Regional Committees by no less than 50% of the members in attendance at the meeting. The election addresses and ballot papers shall normally be issued to all members in Spring.

The National Committee shall encourage the widest possible involvement from its diverse ARMs membership.

6.1.3 Candidates shall be declared elected in order of votes cast in such a manner that not more than one half of ARMs ordinary National Committee Members come from any PCS Group (current at the time the election closes).

6.2 The ARMs National Committee shall be elected by the whole ARMs membership and will normally take up office after the ARMs Annual Forum. However newly elected National Committee members can attend the pre-Forum National Committee meeting as a nonvoting member and also the Forum as a nonvoting member unless they are a delegate.

6.3 The Chair shall preside at all meetings at which he/she is present, except at sub-committees, unless appointed to the Chair.

6.3.1 The Chair shall sign all minutes of meetings, supervise the workings of the ARMs and its Officers, and have the right to inspect all ARMs books and documents at any time.

6.3.2 In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall chair all National Committee meetings or in the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair, those present will nominate a chair.

6.3.3 The Chair of any meeting shall have, in the event of an equality in any vote, an additional casting vote which should normally be in favour of the status quo.

6.4 The ARMs National Committee Officers shall keep a proper record of the proceedings of the National Committee, minutes of all Committee meetings, National meetings and Forums and deal with all correspondence for ARMs. They shall act under the instructions of the Committee and acquaint its members with matters of general and particular interest with the least possible delay.  Officers will advise the National Committee on matters of National PCS policy and other matters. Minutes of National Committee meetings and relevant Reports will be sent to ARMs Regional Secretaries.

6.4.1 The Treasurer shall administer funds according to the directions of the National Committee. The National Committee shall prepare statements of account to 31st December each year and publish an annual report of finances to the membership within 4 months of the end of the accounts year. The Treasurer shall also prepare any budget forecast required by the National Committee and the NEC and prepare the annual bid to the NEC.

6.4.2 A full time officer will be appointed by the General Secretary to support the work of the ARMS National Committee.

6.5 The National Committee shall normally meet not more than four times a year. Meetings will be held in a venue which is both convenient to the members of the Committee and be cost effective to the union. A quorum shall consist of a majority of National Committee members present and voting. If a National Committee Members misses two consecutive meetings without submitting apologies they will be deemed to have resigned their post. In the event a National Committee member misses two consecutive meetings and sends apologies the Chair will speak to them to determine their reasons and commitment and if felt necessary will make an appropriate recommendation to the National Committee.

6.6 The National Committee shall be the immediate managing body of ARMs subject to over-riding authority of the NEC.

6.7 Reasonable expenses to National Committee meetings and any other expenses incurred with the approval of the National Committee may be claimed by the member and this will be reimbursed from ARMs funds.  Expenses incurred by Regions shall be authorised at that level and reimbursed from Regional funds. PCS rules on expenses will be applied.

6.8 The Chair shall be empowered to invite the attendance of any member of the NEC or Secretariat but such invitation shall not entitle the said member to vote at the meeting.

6.9 The National Committee shall set up such sub-committees from within itself and outside as may be required from time to time to attend to the business of the Association. The Chair and the Secretary to the National Committee shall be ex-officio members of all sub-committees, if they so wish.

6.10 The National Committee shall have power to appoint delegates or observers to non PCS Conferences and meetings which the National Committee considers to be in the interest of the membership.  All such delegates or observers shall report back to the National Committee who will normally make the reports available to Regions in particular and the membership in general.

6.11 The National Committee shall produce an annual report during the first quarter of its year which shall normally be circulated to members via the Newsletter.

7. Membership Benefits

7.1 All Associate members shall be entitled to all the benefits of membership in accordance with PCS Rules and by decision of the National Executive Committee.

8. Affiliations

8.1 In meeting the Aims and Objectives, the ARMs nationally will affiliate to such organisations as are appropriate and are agreed by the PCS National Executive Committee.

9. Publications

9.1 ARMs members will receive copies of the appropriate PCS publications plus the Associate & Retired Members Newsletter as and when published. ARMs Regional Secretaries will also be provided with regular updates on issues and will be responsible for circulating this information to Committee Members and members within their Region as appropriate.

10. Alterations to Rules

10.1 These rules shall be altered only by the approval of two-thirds of members present and voting at a properly constituted Forum.  Full details of the amendments to be debated will be passed to all Regional Committees no later than 8 weeks before the Forum in order for them to advise their membership, take soundings and mandate their representatives.

10.2 The National Committee shall have the power to interpret any of these rules or any alteration thereto, and also give rulings on any matters on which the rules are silent.

10.3 A copy of these Constitution and Rules and any subsequent variation shall be supplied to the National Committee, Regional Committees and to any member of ARMs upon request. A current copy of this Constitution and Rules shall be placed on the ARMs website.

10.4 The Constitution and Rules and any subsequent amendments and interpretation are subject to the over-riding authority of the NEC.

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