Rules part 5: Position-holders of the Union

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28.1 National President

The National President

  • Shall preside at all meetings of the National Executive and Conference.
  • May preside at any other meeting of Union members.
  • Shall have both a deliberative and casting vote on any decision.
  • Shall decide all points of order.
  • Shall, in conducting any meetings or conference, observe these Rules and ensure that Union Policy is observed.
  • Shall sign all confirmed minutes of previous meetings of the National Executive or Conference.
  • May call or direct the calling of a meeting of the National Executive or Conference.
  • Shall perform any other duties and exercise any other powers assigned to him/her by the National Executive or Conference.
  • May order the removal from a meeting of any person obstructing the business of the meeting, or behaving in a disorderly manner; or who is not entitled to be present.

28.2 Senior Vice-President

The Senior Vice-President shall, in the absence of the National President, exercise all the powers and privileges and carry out all the duties of the National President.

28.3 Junior Vice-President

If both the National President and Senior Vice-President are absent for a meeting or Conference, the Junior Vice-President shall exercise all the powers and privileges and carry out all the duties of the National President.

28.4 National Secretary

The National Secretary shall be the chief executive officer of the Union and shall be generally responsible for the administration of the affairs of the Union and for ensuring that the Union meets its statutory obligations. In particular the National Secretary

28.4.1 Shall call and attend all meetings of the National Executive and Conference and any other meetings convened by the National Executive and shall ensure the recording of the minutes of those meetings.

28.4.2 Shall each year, in consultation with the management team of the Union, prepare for the National Executive a draft budget of income and expenditure and a business plan in accordance with the strategic plan determined from time to time by the National Executive.

28.4.3 Shall prepare and forward to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies and to the Registrar of Unions by 1 June in every year the annual return and audited accounts in such form and with such particulars as each Registrar requires.

28.4.4 Shall prepare annually and present to the National Executive and biennially to the Conference:

  • A balance sheet
  • A statement of receipts and expenditure for the preceding year(s)
  • A report on the business and proceedings of the Union during the preceding year(s).

28.4.5 Shall forward as soon as possible to industry council conveners, delegate forum conveners and any other person the National Executive thinks appropriate, the minutes of all meetings of the National Executive and Conference.

28.4.6 Shall comply with all lawful instructions given by the Conference or National Executive.

28.4.7 Shall, for the purposes of any collective agreement covering employees of the union, be nominated as the employer on behalf of the National Executive, provided that the National Secretary may delegate the responsibility of acting as employer in relation to any group of employees to a designated senior official approved by the National Executive and providing that the National Secretary and any official to whom the responsibility of acting as employer is delegated shall be fully indemnified against any legal proceedings arising out of the discharge of responsibilities and obligations of the union as employer.


The Senior Regional Convener shall be the most senior elected position in each region and shall:


  • Be the senior National Executive member for the region.
  • Be the principal point of contact for region-wide policy and constitutional issues affecting members.
  • Be the senior representative of the region at Conference.
  • Ensure the region's delegate forum conveners and industry council representatives are in place.
  • Convene meetings of the Committee of Regional Officers (as provided in Rule 14.5.4) as needed.


30.1 Delegates (which shall include chapel delegates as traditionally elected in the printing industries) shall be elected annually or biannually by their workmates who are members of the Union, such election to be subject to the endorsement of the National Executive.

30.2 The National Executive may, after giving the person an opportunity to be heard in person at the appropriate National Executive meeting, suspend or remove any Delegate.


31.1 Grounds upon which the removal from office of elected officers and position holders may be considered shall include:


  • Misappropriation of funds of the Union.
  • Substantial breach of the Union Rules.
  • Gross misbehaviour.
  • Gross neglect of duty to the Union.
  • Bankruptcy.
  • Inability to perform the functions of the office.

To be considered under this Rule, a complaint must be supported in writing by 20 per cent of the number of members who were eligible to vote in the election in which the officer or position holder was elected.

31.2 Any complaint under Rule 31.1 about an elected officer of a delegates' forum or an elected Regional Officer or an elected officer of an industry council shall be referred to and determined by the National Executive.

31.3 Any complaint under Rule 31.1 about an elected member of the National Executive or a member of the Conference shall be dealt with by a special meeting of the Conference.

31.4 All complaints shall be made in writing to the National Secretary who shall immediately notify the National Executive of the complaint and refer the complaint to the appropriate determining body.

31.5 Procedure for Dealing With Complaints

On being notified of any complaint the determining body (or in any event the National Executive) may, if it considers the complaint to warrant such action, immediately suspend from office the person about whom the complaint has been made and take such other interim steps that it deems necessary to protect the interests of the Union.

31.5.1 The determining body shall advise the person about whom the complaint has been made of the nature and details of the complaint and shall supply him/her with copies of any material lodged in support of the complaint.

31.5.2 The determining body shall give the person about whom the complaint has been made a full and proper opportunity to present any evidence and to make full submissions.

31.5.3 If after full consideration of all matters put before it the determining body considers that the complaint is justified and should be upheld it may remove the person from office, in which case a casual vacancy shall exist.

31.5.4 If the determining body considers that the complaint is not justified, and that the complaint was laid maliciously, vexatiously or frivolously it may impose a penalty of up to $500 on each member who laid or was associated with the laying of the complaint.

31.5.5 Any member removed from office under this rule shall have a right of appeal under Rule 40.


32.1 The National Secretary, the Assistant National Secretary and the Regional Operations Directors shall be paid salaries set from time to time by the National Executive and expenses authorised by the National Executive.

32.2 Principal Officers, Regional Officers and National Executive members may, if the National Executive so decides, be paid honoraria to be set by the National Executive and approved by the Conference from time to time; provided that such honoraria shall be reviewed no more frequently than every four years.

32.3 If a member, by attending a National Executive meeting or industry council meeting, or any other meeting on union business and approved in advance by the National Secretary, loses earnings or reasonably incurs expenses he/she shall be reimbursed.

32.4 Any full-time paid employee of the Union shall resign from that paid position on election to an elected position; provided that for the purposes of this rule an elected position does not include a delegate to the Conference or to organisations to which the Union is affiliated.

32.5 No member who holds a salaried position in the Union shall accept office on a local body or hold any other full or part-time position during working hours without the consent of National Executive.

32.6 Paid officials may be appointed to statutory bodies or other Government appointments at the direction and approval of the National Executive.

32.7 Where an official who holds a salaried position holds any position referred to in paragraphs 32.5 and 32.6 above which involves additional responsibilities undertaken during working hours then all expenses and allowances received for those additional responsibilities shall be payable to the Union, provided however, that the official engaged in the additional responsibilities shall not suffer any financial loss by virtue of those additional responsibilities.