Rule 14 Discipline
1. Matters of a disciplinary nature arising from the rules or regulations of the Union affecting Union members shall be dealt with in accordance with this rule.
2. A member shall be liable to disciplinary action in respect of the following:
a) Acting in breach of the Rules of the Union;
b) Behaving in a manner contrary to the interests of the Union;
c) Failing to carry out lawful and reasonable instructions of a Branch, the NEC, Annual or Special Conference;
d) Being a member of a union or association of employees, the interests of which conflict with those of the Union, or speaking or circulating literature on behalf of any such union or association.
2. National Discipline Committee (NDC)
1. All matters calling for disciplinary action shall be determined by the NDC, which shall consist of three members appointed by the NEC. There shall be three named substitutes to replace any or all of the members of the NDC if they are not available.
2. The Committee shall be served by an Officer appointed by the General Secretary.
3. National Discipline Committee Powers and Procedures
1. All matters requiring consideration under this rule shall be referred by the General Secretary to the NDC. Such matters may be referred by either a member or a Branch.
2. The NDC has the power to require the production of written evidence and attendance of witnesses who are members of the Union. In the event of non- production of written evidence or non-attendance by either of the parties involved, the Committee has the right to take a decision in their absence.
3. The NEC shall prescribe regulations governing the procedure for the conduct of all cases before the NDC and may amend such regulations from time to time. These amendments shall be subject to endorsement at the subsequent General Conference.
4. A Union Representative accused of being involved in conduct that brings the Union into disrepute may have their credentials or office suspended pending the outcome of the discipline process.
This can be done in two ways:
a) On receipt of a charge a Branch may suspend the individual’s credentials or office. This carries the right of appeal to the NDC; or
b) On receipt of a charge, the NDC can suspend the individual’s credentials or office.
In relevant circumstances if suspension is deemed appropriate it must be done quickly and Branches are required to consider this option in the relevant circumstances. Suspension of credentials or office can only be done as part of the process involving National Discipline and at no other time.
5. The NDC shall consider each charge and conclude whether or not a prima facie case exists. If a prima facie case exists it shall proceed to a full hearing of the NDC. The NDC will conclude their deliberations on each case within six months of the charge being laid unless there are exceptional circumstances.
6. Following the full hearing of a complaint the NDC may exercise any one or more of the following powers:
a) censure the member concerned;
b) fine the member such sum as the NDC shall consider fair and reasonable, having regard to the circumstances;
c) suspend the member from membership or from all or any benefits of membership for such time as may be determined;
d) remove the member from any office;
e) disqualify the member from holding office for such period as the NDC may determine;
f) impose a suspended sentence for so long as the NDC shall consider just and reasonable;
g) expel the member from the Union.
7. If a fine imposed by the NDC is not paid within twenty-one days of the date of a demand in writing addressed by the General Secretary to the member at their last known address, the member shall be automatically expelled from membership of the Union.
4. Independent Review Body (IRB)
1. The NEC shall prescribe regulations governing the procedure for the conduct of all cases before the IRB and may amend such regulations from time to time.
2. There shall be the right of appeal against decisions of the NDC to an IRB. In all cases of appeal, the decision appealed against shall be suspended pending the hearing of the appeal. An appeal against a decision of the NDC can only be brought by a charged member.
3. The IRB shall consist of two members and an Independent Chair.
4. The IRB shall be served by an Officer appointed by the General Secretary.
5. The members of the IRB shall comprise one member elected by and taken from the Postal Constituency and one member elected by and taken from the Telecoms and Financial Services Constituency. The members of the IRB shall be elected biennially. Members of the NEC, PE and T&FSE shall not be eligible to be members of the IRB.
6. The decision of the IRB shall be final and binding on the appellant and the Union.
5. Functions of the General Secretary and the Discipline Officer in Relation to Disciplinary Matters
1. The Officer to the NDC shall be responsible for the documentation of matters requiring consideration by the NDC and for recording the proceedings of the Committee.
2. The Officer to the NDC shall notify the General Secretary, who shall notify a member of their rights under the rules of the Union and of the consequences of failure to comply with any direction issued, or any penalty imposed by the NDC.