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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992

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Duty of trade union to hold elections for certain positions

47.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Part, it shall be the duty of every trade union (notwithstanding anything in its rules) to secure—

(a)that every person who is a member of the principal executive committee of the union holds that position by virtue of having been elected as such a member at an election in relation to which Articles 48, 49 and 50 have been satisfied; and

(b)that no person remains such a member for a period of more than five years without being re-elected at such an election.

(2) Where a person is a member of the principal executive committee of a trade union by virtue of holding some other position in that union, paragraph (1) shall apply as if references to a member of that committee were references to the holder of that other position.

(3) Where a person—

(a)was a member of the principal executive committee of a trade union immediately before an election; and

(b)is not elected at that election as such a member or, as the case may be, as the holder of a position in the union by virtue of which the holder is such a member,

nothing in this Article shall be taken to require the union to prevent him from continuing to be such a member, or continuing to hold that position, at any time before the expiry of such period (not exceeding six months) as may reasonably be required for effect to be given to the result of the election.

(4) Any term or condition upon which a person is employed by a trade union shall be disregarded in so far as it would otherwise prevent the union from complying with any provision of this Part.

(5) Nothing in this Part shall affect the validity of anything done by the principal executive committee of a trade union.

(6) For the purposes of this Article a person is a member of the principal executive committee of a trade union if he is a voting member of that union’s principal executive committee or, subject to paragraph (8), if—

(a)that person is, under the rules of the union, a member, other than a voting member, of that committee (whether by virtue of his holding any position in the union or otherwise); or

(b)that person may, under the rules or practice of the union, attend and speak at some or all of the meetings of that committee otherwise than for the purpose of providing the committee with factual information or with technical or professional advice with respect to matters taken into account by the committee in carrying out its functions.

(7) Notwithstanding anything in the rules or practice of any trade union, the persons who hold the following positions in a trade union shall (if the rules of the union do not otherwise provide for them to be members of the union’s principal executive committee) be deemed for the purposes of this Article to be members of that committee by virtue of paragraph (6)(b), that is to say—

(a)the position of president of the union; and

(b)the position of general secretary of the union.

(8) For the purposes of this Article where any person who holds in any trade union any such position as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) of paragraph (7)—

(a)is, in respect of that position, neither a voting member of the principal executive committee of the union nor an employee of the union;

(b)holds that position for a period which under the rules of the union cannot end more than thirteen months after he took up that position; and

(c)has held neither that position nor any other position so mentioned at any time in the period of twelve months ending with the day before he took up that position,

that position shall not be regarded for the purposes of this Article as a position by virtue of holding which that person is a member of that committee or is deemed under that paragraph to be such a member.

(9) For the purposes of this Article a person is a voting member of the principal executive committee of a trade union if he is entitled in his own right to attend meetings of the committee and to vote on matters on which votes are taken by the committee (whether or not he is entitled to attend all such meetings or to vote on all such matters in all circumstances).

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