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Standing orders

How conference will be conducted

Standing orders for conference 2024

  1. The only business appropriate to conference will be that set out in the agenda, the reports of the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) or any supplementary paper presented with the approval of the SOC and conference.

  2. The order of conference motions will be arranged by the SOC and motions will be taken as time allows within each timed section of the agenda. The SOC may group together similar or contradictory motions into a group debate; this will better use the time allotted to a section of the agenda, and / or ensure that the various arguments may be properly considered against each motion.

  3. Unless otherwise indicated, motions will be debated and voted upon separately.

  4. The conference Chair will aim to adhere to the timetable incorporated in the agenda so that the entire business of conference may be completed as near to the time indicated as possible. The debate in progress at the end of any given section will normally be closed by the Chair at the time indicated on the agenda, subject to the mover’s right of reply to the debate.

  5. Any motions not dealt with during the time allotted for a particular section may be heard later in conference, if time permits. If there is insufficient time for all motions, then any which remain unheard will be remitted to the union’s Principal Executive Council (PEC) for their consideration. The workplace submitting the motion may provide to the PEC any evidence, notes or details which support it.

  6. Motions not moved will automatically fall.

  7. Motions once moved can be withdrawn only with the consent of conference.

  8. Where a motion is attributed to more than one workplace, the workplaces concerned will decide who is to move the motion but other workplaces listed in the agenda as supporter of the motion may be entitled to speak, subject to Standing Order 15 (under Closure of Debate).

  9. All speakers must announce their name, workplace(s), and, if different, on which workplace’s behalf they are proposing the motion (or in the case of PEC members, their name and office) before speaking to conference.

  10. No delegate will be allowed to speak twice in any debate except the mover of an original motion claiming the right of reply if there has been a speaker against the motion.

  11. The normal time limit for speeches will be:

    1. Movers of motions: 3 minutes
    2. All other speakers: 2 minutes
    3. Right of reply (can only be used if someone has spoken against the motion): 2 minutes
  1. The conference Chair will be the President of Accord but a Vice President may act as deputy.

  2. The conference Chair will conduct the conference debates in accordance with these Standing Orders.

  3. The conference Chair’s ruling will be final unless it is challenged. A challenge will only be valid if at least ten delegates indicate their support for it. A motion that the Chair’s ruling shall stand will be put to the conference without discussion. The Chair’s ruling will only be reversed if a simple majority of the delegates present and voting support the challenge.

Closure of Debate

  1. Any debate may be drawn to a close when, in the view of the conference Chair, either the issue has been sufficiently debated or, where necessary, in order to adhere to the timetable. When the Chair’s discretion is used in such circumstances the mover to the motion under debate has the right to reply if anyone has spoken against the motion.

  2. Motions which propose changes to the union’s rules and constitution will be carried only if they receive at least two thirds of the total votes cast. Voting on all other motions will be decided by a simple majority of delegates voting.

  3. Voting on all motions will be by show of voting cards. Should an alternative system be used, then this will be explained by the conference Chair. Only delegates are permitted to vote.

Emergency Motions

  1. Emergency motions must be lodged with the SOC by 6pm on Thursday, 18 April and must refer to circumstances which did not exist, or information which was not available, before the declared closing date for the receipt of conference motions (20th March 2024). Emergency motions should be submitted by email to [email protected]

Standing Orders Committee

Karen Morgan
Gemma Cook
Sean Fowell

Email: [email protected]

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