Rule book

Rule 1: Title and registered office

1.1 The Union formed under these rules (hereinafter called the Union) shall be known by the title of “Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)”.

1.2 This Rule Book applies to all members of the Union, and represents the entirety of the rules applicable to members of the Union, save as explicitly provided for under this Rule Book

1.3 The rules contained in the Rule book must be read in conjunction with the IWGB Constitution. If there is a contradiction between the Rule Book and the Constitution, the Constitution is supreme.

1.4 The Registered Office of the Union shall be 80 Lambs Conduit Street, London WC1N 3LQ or such other place as may be decided upon by the Executive Committee.

Rule 2: Objects

(All of the below are copied from the IWGB Constitution)

2.1 The principal aims and objects of the Union shall be to:

2.1.1 improve and protect the terms and conditions of the members;

2.1.2 improve maintain and protect members’ social standing;

2.1.3 promote the primacy of members own decision making in all matters covered by the Rules of the Union, and in the development of its policies;

2.1.4 preserve, protect and promote the independence of the Union and its members; settle disputes between the members and their employers; regulate the relations between the members and their employers through collective bargaining, withdrawal of labour, or otherwise; conduct negotiations;

2.1.5 initiate movements for increased rates of pay, or improved conditions of employment, on behalf of the members; promote opportunities for social association and recreation for the members;

2.1.6 assist in and co-operate with the advancement of the independent representation of members generally;

2.1.7 cooperate, directly or indirectly, with the work of any organisation, local, national or international, who hold objects or policies which are similar to those of the Union;

2.1.8 engage in communications and publishing, for the purposes of furthering the policy of the Union or its members;

2.1.9 work for the relief of poverty;

2.1.10 provide advocacy and translation to all workers including migrants.

Rule 3: Membership

(All membership rules in this section are directly copied from the IWGB constitution)

3.1 The Union shall consist of, and membership of the Union shall be open to, all employees, workers and any other persons who accept the principles, objective and Rules of the Union, Applications for membership can be accepted by any Branch of the Union or by any officer authorised for the purpose by a Branch or Committees of the Union.

3.2 Every application for membership of the Union shall be made in a form approved by the Union.

3.3 An applicant for membership whose application has been rejected by a Branch may appeal to the Executive Committee which may grant admission to membership, or refuse the application, at its discretion.

3.4 The Union conference may, at its discretion, admit any Person as an Honorary Member of the Union.

Rule 4: Membership constitution and benefits

4.1 The Executive Committee shall establish a General Account into which all membership fees, all contributions and/or subscriptions will be paid, administeredand then directed, as appropriate (Clause 4.1 is directly copied from the IWGB constitution)

4.2 Membership fees shall be established by the branches. (Clause 4.2 is directly copied from the IWGB constitution)

4.3 75% of a branch's membership fees shall be returned to the branch each month. (Clause 4.3 is directly copied from the IWGB constitution)

4.4 It shall be the personal responsibility of the member to maintain contributions and avoid arrears in all circumstances. Any period during which a member’s contributions are 13 or more weeks in arrears shall break continuity of membership for the purpose of the qualification required to be an officer of the Union set out in rule 14 save where a member establishes to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee that the arrears arose through no fault of that member. A member whose contributions are recorded by the Union as more than 26 weeks in arrears may be excluded from membership by the Union posting notice to that effect to the member. A member so excluded from membership may apply for reinstatement which may be allowed on such terms as to the payment of outstanding arrears as the Executive Commitee may consider appropriate.

4.5 The Executive Council shall determine the period of membership necessary prior to the member attaining eligibility for benefits, and any period during which contributions are in arrears which shall remove such eligibility.

4.6 The Union will provide legal assistance, as follows:

4.6.1 A member who is entitled to benefit who suffers injury or disease arising out of or in connection with his/her employment (or the dependants of such a member who has died) shall be entitled to such legal advice and representation, and on such terms, as the Executive Committee may consider appropriate.

4.6.2 A member seeking legal assistance must ensure that a request in the appropriate form is lodged at the appropriate Union office in sufficient time and with sufficient information to enable the request to be considered and appropriate action taken.

4.6.3 A member who requires advice and/or representation on a problem relating to the member’s employment which first arose at a time when the member was entitled to benefit and which cannot be resolved through the member’s workplace representative should refer the matter to the appropriate Regional Officer. The Union may provide such advice and/or representation as the Executive Council shall consider appropriate, whether by a full time officer or otherwise, and on such terms as the Executive Council shall consider appropriate.

4.6.4 A member who is given advice and/or representation under this rule shall provide all relevant information and co-operate fully with the compilation of evidence for any legal proceedings and shall comply with any other obligations and/or conditions set out in any arrangements for the provision of legal assistance. If a member fails to do so or provides false or misleading information or fails to act upon the advice of those appointed to represent him/her, the Executive Council may at its absolute discretion annul all legal assistance or withdraw any further legal assistance to that member.

4.7 The Executive Committee shall have discretion to provide additional benefits.

Rule 5: Obligations of members

5.1 A member of the Union must comply with these rules and with any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or as a full time officer.

5.2 A member must not knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith provide the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any aspect of the Union’s activities.

5.3 A motion shall not be submitted by or on behalf of the Union or any group or body within the Union to an organisation or body outside the Union if that motion is inconsistent with existing Union policy.

5.4 When acting as a representative of the Union at a meeting of an organisation or body outside the Union a member shall speak and vote in accordance with the policy of the Union and with any decision taken by the Union’s representatives at that meeting which is consistent with the union’s policy.

Rule 6: Lay office

6.1 The Executive Committee shall make provision to ensure accountability of Executive Committee members.

6.2 In order to be eligible to be a candidate for election to, or hold office on, the Executive Committee and/or any committee, council, or other body of the Union provided for by these rules, the member in question must be an accountable representative of workers.

6.3 The definition of the term “accountable representative of workers” shall be in the exclusive power of the Executive Committee, which is empowered to take into account changing industrial realities and the unique nature of some industries (e.g. construction, contracting, leisure, rural etc) in formulating such a definition. It must nevertheless include Branch officeholders who are in employment, shop stewards, health & safety, equalities and learning representatives.

6.4 It is further required that a fair procedure be developed by the Executive Committee to deal sympathetically with cases where a member’s eligibility to stand for election or continue to hold office may be affected by employer victimisation.

6.5 The electoral period to hold lay office shall be one year unless otherwise provided for under these rules.

Rule 7: Rules amendment

7.1 These rules may be amended by a two thirds majority of voting executive committee members or by a simple majority of voters at an annual conference.