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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992

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Conditions for amalgamations and transfers of engagements of trade unions

74.—(1) Subject to this Article—

(a)two or more trade unions may amalgamate and become one trade union, with or without a division or dissolution of the funds of any one or more of those unions, but shall not do so unless, in the case of each of the amalgamating unions, a resolution which approves an instrument of amalgamation approved by the Certification Officer has been passed on a ballot held in a manner which satisfies the conditions specified in paragraph (2);

(b)a trade union may transfer its engagements to any other trade union which undertakes to fulfil those engagements, but shall not do so unless, in the case of the transferor union, a resolution which approves an instrument of transfer approved by the Certification Officer has been passed on a ballot held in a manner which satisfies the conditions specified in paragraph (2).

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) are the following, that is—

(a)every member of the union must be entitled to vote in the ballot;

(b)every member of the union must be allowed to vote without interference or constraint and must, so far as is reasonably possible, be given a fair opportunity of voting;

(c)the method of voting must involve the marking of a voting paper by the person voting;

(d)all reasonable steps must have been taken by the union to secure that, not less than 14 days before voting on the resolution begins, every member of the union is supplied with a notice in writing approved for the purpose by the Certification Officer.

(3) The notice referred to in paragraph (2)(d)—

(a)shall either set out in full the instrument of amalgamation or transfer to which the resolution relates, or give an account of it sufficient to enable those receiving the notice to form a reasonable judgment of the main effects of the proposed amalgamation or transfer; and

(b)if it does not set out the instrument in full, shall state where copies of the instrument may be inspected by those receiving the notice;

and both the instrument and the notice shall comply with the requirements of any regulations for the time being in force under this Part.

(4) Before a resolution to approve an instrument of amalgamation or transfer is voted on by the members of a trade union—

(a)that instrument; and

(b)the notice proposed to be supplied to members of the union in accordance with paragraph (2)(d),

shall be submitted to the Certification Officer, and the Certification Officer shall approve them respectively on being satisfied that they comply with the requirements of paragraph (3).

(5) An instrument of amalgamation or transfer shall not take effect before it has been registered by the Certification Officer under this Part, and shall not be so registered before the expiration of a period of six weeks beginning with the date on which an application for its registration is sent to the Certification Officer.

(6) No such amalgamation or transfer as is mentioned in paragraph (1) shall prejudice any right of any creditor of any trade union party thereto.

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