The title of the union shall be ‘ADVANCE UNION’
2. Aims and Objectives of ADVANCE
2.1.1 To act collectively as a trade union for people who are employed by United Kingdom subsidiaries of the Santander group and other companies where we have recognition agreements.
2.1.2 To protect and promote the individual and collective interests of members and to regulate the terms and conditions of employment of all members by negotiation and consultation with their employer.
2.1.3 To provide and maintain such services as may be deemed appropriate.
2.1.4 To provide advice and assistance to members in matters which concern employment
2.1.5 To enable members to co-operate with other organisations to promote the aims of Advance.
3.1 Ordinary membership. All people other than those concerned with Executive Management within Advance union’s bargaining group and/or who are employed by an associated/recognised company are eligible to be considered for ordinary membership. For the avoidance of doubt, Executive management will be those on a higher grade then S5 (this will be subject to change from time to time by Advances National Executive Committee).
3.2 Retained membership. All people who fall outside of Advances bargaining group and who don’t work for an associated or recognised company.
3.3 The decision for eligibility for membership, in any category of membership is that of the National Executive Committee.
4. Rights of Members
4.1 Ordinary Members.
4.1.1 Ordinary members will be entitled to attend and vote at all properly called Annual General Meetings (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM) as set out in these Rules.
4.1.2 Ordinary Members shall be entitled to advice and assistance on matters connected with their employment, subject to discretion from the General Secretary to withhold such assistance if the member has acted in such a way as to prejudice the position of Advance, or has commenced a dispute with the employer without consulting Advance and seeking assistance or advice. Advice and assistance in respect of any proceedings before a court tribunal shall be at the discretion of the General Secretary.
4.2 Retained members
4.2.1 Retained members would be entitled to attend the AGM.
4.2.2 Retained members would be entitled to general advice on matters connected with their employment.
4.2.3 The General Secretary has discretion to allow assistance for a retained member in exceptional circumstances.
5. Admission of members
5.1 Every applicant for Ordinary/Retained membership shall either complete an application and send it either by post or electronically to Advance or make a telephone application with the subscription payment or means of payment as provided in Rule 8.
5.2 Ordinary or retained membership would commence on receipt of the first payment.
6. Termination of Membership
6.1 Ordinary membership will cease if a person resigns from membership of Advance
6.2 If an ordinary member leaves paid employment from Santander UK or associated companies or companies that recognise Advance union, then membership will automatically revert to retained membership
6.3 Ordinary membership will however be maintained if that person is in dispute with their employer over the circumstances of their termination and has sought the assistance of Advance in that dispute prior to the termination of their employment. In such cases ordinary membership will end if the termination of employment is confirmed and retained membership status will be applied.
6.4 Retained membership can only be cancelled by the member themselves. This can be done by cancelling payment or by resigning your retained membership. Cancellation of retained membership is solely the responsibility of the retained member.
6.5 Members whose subscription is one month or more in arrears shall be suspended from membership and the associated rights. After three months in arrears membership shall cease. Any exception to the rule, with the exception of an administrative error, must be authorised by the General Secretary or the National Executive Committee.
6.6 Re admission of a lapsed member will require a fresh membership application and usually payment of all outstanding payments. The General Secretary or the National Executive Committee has the authority to waive all or part of the subscription arrears.
7.1 The rate of subscriptions for Ordinary and Retained membership shall be fixed and determined by the National Executive Committee by a majority vote.
7.2 The subscription will be paid via a direct debit.
7.3 In exceptional circumstances one off payments can be made by credit or debit card.
7.4 In the case of Advance members on unpaid sick leave, the General Secretary has the discretion to waive subscriptions, allowing the member to receive the full benefits of union membership.
8. Register of members
8.1 A register of members will be maintained at the Advance Registered office.
8.2 Advance will retain member’s information in accordance with current regulations.
8.3 Notices to members will be deemed to have been delivered, if sent to the last address provided by the member as their proper address for correspondence. All such correspondence will be considered to have been received.
8.4 Advance will from time to time contact members via the email address that has been provided to Advance and is registered on the data base.
8.5 It is the responsibility of individual members to ensure they have provided advance with up to date contact details like telephone numbers and addresses
9. Member Requiring Assistance
9.1 Members who require the assistance of Advance should deal directly with Advance and not commit themselves to any form of actions without advice from Advance.
9.2 Advance reserve the right to refuse assistance if the member does not involve them at the start of the dispute or grievance and has already taken action which may be prejudicial to the settlement of the dispute.
9.3 Upon completing three months of fully paid up ordinary membership of Advance you will be entitled to full representation for any formal process. Any process that has started before the three month period is completed would be ineligible for full representation and receive only telephone advice. Any exception would be subject to the discretion of the General Secretary or Deputy General Secretary and subject to a payment of the remainder of the three months subscription in full. If you are not a member at the time a formal process begins you will be entitled to telephone advice only and only upon receipt of at least one subscription payment in accordance with rule 7. Any exception would be subject to the discretion of the General Secretary or Deputy General Secretary.
9.4 Advance will not represent a member in proceedings before any court or tribunal unless they have been a member for at least twelve months. All advice and assistance in relation to court proceedings is at the discretion of the General Secretary.
10. Communication with Members
10.1 Any general communication with members must be authorised by the General Secretary. (for the avoidance of doubt this would include posters displayed on union notice boards).
10.2 A ballot of members shall not be undertaken without the permission of the General Secretary excluding ballots for election purposes.
10.3 The use of the Advance name must be authorised in writing by the General Secretary. Failure to obtain such authorisation is a breach of the Rules and may be subject to sanctions which by be up to and including the termination of membership.
11. Data Protection
11.1 Advance will adhere to all relevant data protection legislation. Anyone with access to member’s personal data will deal with it in line with the fair processing notice and Advance Unions data protection policy.
11.2 For further details please refer to Advance Data Protection Policy and Statement
12. Eligibility for election
12.1 To become the General Secretary you must be an employee within Santander Bank, have been a fully paid up Ordinary Member for the last 3 years, and have been a member of the National Executive Committee or held a senior position within Advance in the last 12 months (for the avoidance of doubt this would include but not be limited to holding the position of AGS or DGS).
12.2 All fully paid up Ordinary Members of more than 12 months standing and working within Advance’s bargaining group are eligible for nomination for election to the Area Committee of the National Executive Committee and work with in Advances bargaining group.
12.3 To be Eligible to stand for the National Executive Committee you must have completed a full term on the Area Committee within the last 12 months and work with in Advances bargaining group.
12.4 All nominations for elected posts shall be submitted to the Returning Officer by the date requested, nominated and seconded any members from the relevant areas and with written consent of the candidates.
12.5 Should the position of National Executive Committee member, Chair or Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee or General Secretary become vacant during the existing term and with more than 6 months remaining of the existing term, a bi-election will be held to fill the role for the remainder of the term.
13. General Secretary
13.1 The General Secretary shall be elected by a secret ballot of the membership for a period of five years from the date at which office is taken up.
13.2 The election will comply with legislation in place at the time of the election and shall take place two calendar months before the expiry of the current General Secretary’s term of office. The new General Secretary will assume office immediately following validation of the results by the Returning Officer.
13.3 Candidates for the General Secretary must be nominated by members from at least 3 separate Advance areas. The minimum number of members required to make a valid nomination will be five.
13.4 The General Secretary will be the Chief Operating Officer and shall be responsible to the National Executive Committee. A General Secretary’s duties shall include, but not be limited to, advising upon implementing policy and other decisions of the National Executive Committee, ensuring decisions of all meetings are properly recorded, acting as the principle spokesperson for Advance and be solely responsible for and to control all Advance offices and staff. A General Secretary shall have the power to delegate all such duties at their own discretion.
13.5 The General secretary will be an ex offcio member of all Advance committees but will not be able to vote on any of them
14. Chair and Vice Chair of National Executive Committee
14.1 The Chair of the National Executive Committee shall be elected by a secret ballot of the membership for a period of four years. The Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee shall be elected by a secret ballot of the membership for a period of three years.
14.2 The elections shall be held between November and December in the relevant year and will comply with the requirements of any legislation that may be in force at the time of the election.
14.3 Candidates for the position of Chair and Vice Chair must be nominated by members from at least two separate Advance areas. The minimum number of members to make a valid nomination will be five.
14.4 The Chair and vice Chair will take office on the 1st of January of the year following the elections.
14.5 The Chair and Vice chair will be ex-officio members of all Advance Committees, but shall be unable to vote on any of them.
14.6 If those elected resign their position, another election must be held for the remainder of the term. If the Chair resigns, the Vice chair will act as Chair until a new Chair is elected. If the Vice chair resigns, the National Executive Committee will select a member to act as Vice Chair until a new vice chair is elected.
15. The National Executive Committee
15.1 The governing and policy making body of Advance shall be the National Executive Committee. The National Executive Committee: 1) May appoint sub committees as required. 2) Shall determine the policy of Advance. 3) Shall appoint trustees. 4) Shall determine its own Standing Orders which govern the conduct of all meetings.
15.2 No policy decision will be discussed again, within one year of the original decision being agreed, unless a two thirds majority of the committee are in favour.
15.3 The National Executive Committee can vote to co-opt a member on to the appropriate subcommittee for the remainder of an existing term.
15.4 The National Executive Committee shall determine terms of reference for any appointed sub committees.
15.5 The National Executive Committee will require reports/minutes from associated sub committees.
15.6 The National Executive Committee shall determine the remuneration paid to the General Secretary and all other Advance Officers (for the avoidance of doubt this includes but is not restricted to expense payments).
15.7 The voting members of the National Executive committee will be one elected representative from each Advance area directly elected by a secret ballot by ordinary members in that area every three years.
15.8 The elections shall be held between November and December in the relevant year and will comply with current legislation place at the time of the election.
15.9 From the date upon which the election results are determined, until the date upon which the newly elected National Executive Committee takes office (1st of January unless otherwise decided), the newly elected National Executive Committee will at their own request, be entitled to observe the day to day actions associated with their own particular office. The retiring National Executive Member to whom the request is made will be under obligation to assist the new member in all that is necessary to ensure a smooth transition on the 1st of January ( or other date as determined)
15.10 The National Executive Committee may invite observers to its meetings, who may speak by invitation but will have no right to vote.
15.11 The National Executive Committee will meet at least four times per year.
15.12 An additional meeting may be called by a majority vote. The date of any such meeting shall be agreed a working majority also.
15.13 The quorum for the National Executive Committee shall be 51% of elected voting members. Such a quorum must be present at the time that any decision is made or any note taken (for the avoidance of doubt, members attending via dial in or a video conference would be deemed to be present). In the event the National Executive Committee is not fully quorate, any actions will be held over and agreed at a time when a fully quorate National Executive Committee is present.
15.14 The National Executive Committee can authorise a member’s absence for good reasons, however any other absence would be considered to be unauthorised. Any unauthorised absence may result in the member’s position on the National Executive Committee being declared vacant, and an election for a new member must take place. The excluded member would be unable to stand for the remainder of the term.
15.15 NEC members who sit in appointed Sub Committees will be deemed to have attended the National Executive Committee if they dial in to comment on matters of Advance policy/finances or confirm in writing via email after receipt of the agenda that they have no comment to make and will therefore not be considered absent.
16. Advance Area Committees
16.1 An Advance Area Committee will be elected by secret ballot from the membership working in the Advance area, every three years.
16.2 The Area Committees will consist of at least four members. The maximum number of members will be determined by the National Executive committee.
16.3 The national Executive Committee Member shall act as an ex officio member of the Area Committee.
16.4 Area Committees may co-opt additional members during the term in accordance with the eligibility criteria as set out in these Rules. These members will have no voting rights.
16.5 A quorum of these meetings shall be three.
16.6 The Area Committee will submit minutes to the National Executive committee as required.
16.7 Area Committees may submit motions to the National Executive Committee.
16.8 Any Committee members who fails to attend any normally scheduled meeting (either internal or with the employer) on more than 2 occasions per year may result in the Representatives position in the Area Committee being declared vacant. This will be at the discretion of the General Secretary
17. Returning officer
All elections shall be instituted and carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended by the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 and the Trade Unions Ballots and Election (Independent Scrutineer Obligations) Order 1993. The Duties of the Returning Officer shall be as specified within this legislation or such legislation that is in force at the time.
The National Executive Committee will from time to time determine the division of the membership in to Areas. The divisions will be based on a number of factors, but will try to mirror as close a possible the divisions set out by the employer to enable the most relevant parties are free to act in accordance the Partnership Agreement.
19. Annual General Meeting
19.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be convened to be held each year by June 14th and shall be chaired by the Chair of the National Executive Committee.
19.2 A minimum of 30 days’ notice of the meeting will be given to all members. This notice may be in writing, electronically, as a notice on the Advance Web Site (www.advance-union.org) or in the Advance Magazine.
19.3 The Annual general Meeting will consider and approve the Financial Reports and Accounts, the appointment of Auditors the amendments of the Rules and any other proposed motions.
19.4 Voting at the Annual General Meeting shall be done by a simple majority. Votes will be cast depending on how the individual member attends. Attendance may be in person, teleconference or video-conference.
19.5 Motions for the Annual General Meeting must be submitted at least 14 days before the meeting. Such motions must have the support of one of the following: the National Executive Committee, an Advance Area Committee or that of 100 members.
19.6 A quorum shall be 15 members eligible to vote.
20. Extraordinary General Meetings
20.1 Extraordinary General Meetings may be convened by the National Executive committee or on written request from 100 members
20.2 The written request must be dated and signed by all members within a two week period in order for the request to be valid
20.3 The signatories must also include full names, address, place of work and staff number.
20.4 The request must be sent to Advance registered office within two weeks of the last signature being obtained.
20.5 If requested the General Secretary must organise the meeting within 28 days of the request being received to take place within 56 days of the request being received.
20.6 Notice of the meeting will be communicated to members as stipulated for an Annual General Meeting as stipulated in Rule 20.2 within 14 of the Extraordinary General Meeting. The notice will set out motions to be considered.
20.7 The quorum shall be 20 if called by the National Executive Committee or 100 if called via written request.
21. Advance Conference/Seminar
21.1 A conference shall be held when considered necessary by the General Secretary.
21.2 Each Advance area is entitled to be represented at conference; however the numbers are not defined and shall be determined by the General Secretary and National Executive Committee member.
21.3 Attendance to the conference would be by invite only. Invitations will be sent either electronically or via the post. Invitation will be at the discretion of the General Secretary.
22. Finance – General Secretary
22.1 The General Secretary is responsible to the National Executive Committee for the supervision of the finances of Advance.
22.2 The General Secretary shall make available accounts for the National Executive Committee.
22.3 The General Secretary shall make available financial accounts for the Annual General Meeting.
23. Finance – Trustees
23.1 The National Executive Committee will appoint for a period of two years trustees over all properties and funds of Advance in accordance with the provisions of the Trustee Act of 2000 and the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992. The powers conferred and the duties imposed upon trustees shall be as determined under the Acts, subject to the following provisions in so far as the same are not contradictory to the Trustee Act 2000.
23.2 There shall be no less than two and no more than four trustees, who must be Advance members of more than five years continuous standing.
23.3 The National Executive Committee shall appoint trustees by a majority of those present (subject to being quorate)
23.4 The National Executive Committee shall have the power to terminate trusteeship by a majority vote of those present at the meeting. Such a motion must be circulated to all members of the National Executive Committee and all trustees at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
23.5 A Trustee may be removed in accordance with the provisions of the Trustee Act 2000 or in the event that Advance membership lapses.
23.6 If the number of trustees drops below four then the General Secretary, Chair and Vice-Chair shall assume responsibilities in that order, until such time as four trustees are again in position.
24.1 A levy may be imposed upon Ordinary members in addition to normal subscription.
24.2 Such a levy must be proposed by the National Executive Committee and agreed by a two thirds majority.
24.3 This proposal must be endorsed at a General Meeting of Advance by a simple majority.
The Auditors shall be appointed to audit the accounts annually for presentation at the Annual General Meeting and may attend the Annual General Meeting to answer any questions on the accounts.
26. Industrial Action
26.1 If a Procedure Agreement exists with an employer the normally all stages shall be completed before industrial action is considered.
26.2 Any industrial action taken shall be strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 as amended by the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993
26.3 No industrial action can be taken without a secret ballot of the membership approved by the General Secretary or the National Executive Committee.
26.4 The ballot can be restricted to a section or part of the membership, if the issue concerns this section only.
26.5 Industrial action can be approved if the results of a ballot give a majority of 51 per cent of those entitled in favour of the industrial action.
27. Alteration of the rules
These Rules may be altered by the National Executive Committee or if 100 members proposed for the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting following the appropriate steps as outlined in these Rules.
28. Complaints in to breach of the rules
Any member may complain that these rules have been breached. Complaints should go in the first instance to the General Secretary.
29. Complaints against Representatives
In the event of complaints/grievances against Representatives please refer in the first instance to the General Secretary
30. Dissolution of Advance
30.1 Advance may be dissolved with the consent of two thirds of the membership given by ballot.
30.2 The National Executive Committee and the Trustees will remain in office until all matters and financial arrangements are settled.
30.3 Any surplus funds will be distributed evenly to the current membership each of whom must have one year or more of continuous membership at the date of dissolution.