There have been several branch mergers and transfers of members and or workplaces in recent months and the Group Office has been on hand to assist branches as necessary. However, we are aware that some mergers have taken place without the knowledge of the group.
It continues to be the aspiration of the Group to work towards having one R&C branch representing any given workplace.
A branch merger is where two (or more branches) decide to operate as a single entity. For this to happen branches must go through the following process:
- Decide a new branch constitution which all branches involved in the process will be happy to agree to. Constitutions should be based on the Model Constitution (Appendix B of the National Rule book). Branches that wish to amend this constitution should seek advice from the National Organising and Learning Services Department (NOL&SD) at PCS HQ.
- The new constitution should be ratified by the NOL&SD before any further action should be taken. The NOL&SD will approve or disapprove the constitution. Should it disapprove the constitution the NOL&SD will notify the branch of their concerns.
NB It is important to note that until you receive approval for the constitution, then approval for the merger from the NEC will not have been granted. It is therefore advisable to ensure you liaise closely with the NO&LSD to ensure any issues are resolved early.
The group office should be notified at this stage of the proposed merger. This can be done be notifying the AGS with responsibility for organising.
- Branches should either via their Annual General Meeting, special general meeting or other similar meeting place a motion and the constitution before their members. A vote should take place and providing the majority of members agree to the constitution and merger then the new branch will be formed. This is usually done by a show of hands. Members of all branches involved must vote in favour.
- Should there be amendments to the constitution from the floor of the meeting, then the revised constitution must be cleared by the NO&LSD. Again, approval must be made from this department before the branches can be formally ratified.
- Following the meeting, Group Office should be informed of the results so that the administration can be arranged for branch finances and Commix can be amended. A new Branch number will be issued.
- Elections for the new merged branch must be held as soon as is practically possible after the merger vote and the results notified to Group Office.
- Mergers that occur before the 31st December in any given year will be merged in time for Group and National Conferences that occur in May or June. Mergers that occur after the 31st December will be recorded as separate branches for conference purposes UNLESS special permission is sought from the NEC via the NO&LSD.
Transfers of workplaces between branches
Should branches decide not to pursue a full merger process, but instead decide to harmonise which workplaces they represent in, then branches may transfer workplaces and members between branches providing both BEC’s agree to this. The constitution of both branches will need to be amended to reflect this transfer.
Whilst there is no need to organise a meeting or ballot members about transfers, we do recommend that branches consult members that maybe involved and that BEC’s should take on board members concern.
Amended constitutions should be submitted to the NO&LSD for approval and once received the Group Office should be notified of who and what is to be transferred. Moves cannot be made until approval has been given.
Branch Treasurers involved in merger processes must contact the PCS finance office to discuss the most efficient way to carry out the necessary requirements for closure of accounts, crediting of funds and the bidding process.