The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers’ charter adopted by the SULF Congress 2015 and by the extra Congress 2016
§ 1 Objectives
The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers, SULF, is a politically independent union and professional association for university teachers, researchers, doctoral candidates and comparable personnel.
Association operations are based on basic democratic values.
With academic freedom as its point of departure, SULF’s tasks are to:
- Protect and monitor individual member’s union and professional interests and to represent members in such matters.
- Promote members’ right to integrity and autonomy in the practice of their professional activities.
- Pursue issues relevant to members’ employment conditions, professional activities and development opportunities.
- Promote good conditions for higher education and research, and to ensure that these are utilised for positive social development.
§ 2 Organisation
Association operations are managed by its Congress, Association Board, Executive Committee and Secretariat. Special tasks are managed by local associations, sections, the Auditors, the Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Board.
The Association is affiliated to the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Saco.
§ 3 Conflict Fund
The Association will maintain a Conflict Fund. For this purpose a constitutional stipulation must be in place, approved by Congress.
§ 4 Regulations for decision making and elections
Voting in Congress and in other bodies within the Association may be performed in person only.
Decisions in Association bodies are made by simple majority of valid votes, unless otherwise regulated in the Charter. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the meeting casts the deciding vote, except in cases of election by secret ballot where the decision is made by drawing lots.
Elections are performed by secret ballot if more candidates have been proposed than there are positions and if any eligible voter requests one.
§ 5 Membership
Membership of the Association is granted by the Association Board according to rules established by Congress.
§ 6 Members’ rights – general
Members have the right to obtain advice and support from the Association on issues concerning salaries and terms of employment.
Decisions regarding whether or not SULF will represent a member in negotiations or legal action will be taken by the Executive Committee of the Board in each individual case. Members do not have the right to be represented by the Association in union matters arising from a period prior to their joining the Association, or that have occurred within three months of them joining the Association, unless there are extraordinary reasons for such representation. Decisions will be taken by the Executive Committee of the Board in each individual case
§ 7 Members’ obligations – general
Members are obliged to
- Demonstrate loyalty to the Association, observe these constitutional stipulations and respect Association decisions and agreements.
- Pay established membership dues.
- Inform the Association of any changes regarding their employment situation and personal data with bearing on their membership.
§ 8 Resigning from the Association
Member may leave the Association at the end of the month that a notification of resignation (in writing via letter, fax or e-mail) has been received by the Secretariat. Decision to be taken by Association Board.
Immediate or earlier resignation may be granted according to the regulations established by the Association Board if a members transfers to another operational area or in other special circumstances.
§ 9 Expulsion
Members who violate the Charter of the Association or whose actions seriously harm the interests of the Association may be expelled from SULF. Decisions regarding expulsion will be taken by the Association Board. These decisions must be made with a two thirds majority of all regular members of the Board. Such decisions may not be taken by correspondence or by telephone.
Members who fail pay their dues will be expelled from the Association.
§ 10 Congress
The Congress is the supreme governing body of SULF.
§ 11 Congress participation
Congress consists of 101 members appointed as follows:
The number of Association members is the basis for the allocation of Congress mandates and will be calculated on the number of members in each local association according to the Association membership registers of December of the previous year.
One mandate is assigned to each local association (elective body) of at least ten members. Local associations with fewer members are assigned no mandate.
The Congress mandates remaining after this allocation will be distributed to local associations as follows:
SULF members belonging to local association x (multiply with) number of remaining congress mandates
(divide with) SULF total membership
This will be rounded down to the closest whole number.
The mandates then remaining are allocated to local associations according to the size of the whole number rounded down that arose in this distribution so that one mandate is allocated to each association with a sufficiently large whole number.
If associations are of equal size, the distribution of the last mandate will be determined by drawing lots.
Election of Congress participants after allotment of mandates is carried out by the local associations (elective bodies). Members of any local association with less than ten members will be given the opportunity to participate in the election of Congress participants in the largest local association in their the town or nearest town. These members do not constitute a basis for the relevant local association’s mandate calculation in the above equation.
Congress participants’ term of office will be until the next Ordinary Congress.
§ 12 Right to attend and to be heard
The right to attend and to be heard at the Congress is also afforded to Association Board members, the Association Auditors, Nomination Committee members, Remuneration Board members and SULF executive employees. Other individuals may be granted these rights via the decision of a two-thirds majority of votes present.
§ 13 Ordinary Congress notification, documentation and items of business
The Ordinary Congress convenes every three years in the month of November or December.
Notification of the Congress must be distributed at least 30 days before the date of the Congress, together with an agenda. Other necessary documents will be issued at least 14 days before the meeting unless extraordinary reasons necessitate a later date of distribution.
Items not included on the Agenda may be dealt with at the Congress only if two thirds of all Congress participants vote to do so.
The following items of business to be included at each Ordinary Congress:
1. Verification of the register of eligible voters.
2. Election of Chairperson for the meeting.
3. Election of meeting Secretary.
4. Election of two individuals to verify the minutes and to count votes.
5. Confirmation of whether the Congress has been properly convened.
6. Adoption of agenda.
7. Determination of the rules of procedure.
8. Consideration of the Board Administration Report, consideration of the Audit Report, adoption of Annual Accounts.
9. Discharge from liability for Association Board.
10. Adoption of the budget, membership dues and Conflict Fund.
12. Items of business taken up by the Board in the notification or which the Congress unanimously decides to take up for consideration.
14. Election of:
a) President of the Association.
b) First, Second and Third Deputy Presidents of the Association.
c) Eleven regular members of the Board.
d) Five deputy members of the Board, including the order in which they replace regular members.
e) Two auditors and a deputy.
f) Six members of the Nominations Committee, including a chairperson.
g) Three members of the Remuneration Board, one of whom is the Chair of the Nominations Committee.
§ 14 Extraordinary Congress – notification, documentation and items of business
An Extraordinary Congress is convened when the Association Board deems it necessary or when the number of local associations that represent at least half of the Association members requests it or when the Auditors request it.
An Extraordinary Congress must be held within 30 days of the request arriving at the Association Secretariat.
Notification of an Extraordinary Congress must be distributed no later than 14 days before the Congress along with the agenda. Other necessary documents must be distributed no later than seven days before the Congress unless exceptional circumstances exist for later distribution. Items not included on the agenda may not be dealt with unless Congress unanimously votes to do so.
The Association Board may distribute a proposal for resolution by an Extraordinary Congress by correspondence or other type of meeting if special circumstances exist and if those who requested the Extraordinary Congress permit this procedure.
In connection with such a proposal, a specific deadline must be stated for when voting forms must have been received by the Association Secretariat. Votes received after the voting deadline are not valid. Proposals for decision to be distributed no later than 14 days prior to the voting deadline.
§ 15 Motions to Ordinary Congress
The right to apply for consideration at Congress for a particular case (motion) rests with local associations, sections and individual members. Motions to Ordinary Congresses must reach the Association Secretariat no later than 31 August of the year the Congress is held.
§ 16 Elections
Congress elections are to be prepared by a Nominations Committee. This does not apply, however, when electing the Nominations Committee. Congress takes decisions concerning instructions to Nominations Committee.
§ 17 Minutes
Minutes of Congress meetings must be kept. Minutes to be verified by Chair of meeting and specially-appointed verifiers. Reservations and notes on the Minutes to be submitted in writing before the conclusion of the Congress.
§ 18 Association Board
Between Congresses, the Association Board is the supreme governing body of SULF. The Association Board leads operations and represents the Association.
The Association Board consists of President, First, Second and Third Deputy Presidents and eleven other members plus five deputies.
Association employee unions are entitled to attend, comment and make proposals at Association Board meetings.
§ 19 Notification and tasks
Association Board meetings are convened by the Association President or at least one third of Association Board members or at the written request of the Association Auditors. Upon such request, the Association Board must meet within 14 days of receipt of the request by the Association Secretariat.
Association Board tasks:
• Execute Congress decisions.
• Prepare business for Congress.
• Manage Association affairs and make decisions in cases that do not come before Congress.
• Establish guidelines for Association Secretariat operations.
• Regularly invite chairs of local associations to advisory conferences.
• Determine who is to represent the Association at Saco-S.
• On instructions from Saco-S, approve Saco-S association statutes in cases where the Association is contact association.
The Association Board is entitled to:
• Join the Association to a relevant negotiating organisation or equivalent.
• If a labour market conflict is anticipated or ongoing, take decisions concerning special contributions from members to defray costs associated with conflict measures to the extent required for the Association to be able to fulfil its obligations to Saco-S.
• Conclude agreements on double membership with another union or association and decide on reduction of dues in connection with double membership.
• Employ or dismiss the Executive Director
• Appoint working groups to prepare issues for the Association Board.
§ 20 Decisions and Minutes
The Association Board has a quorum when at least eight members, including deputies and the President, are present. In the event of a tie, the President holds the casting vote.
Minutes of Association Board meetings must be kept. Minutes must be approved by the Chair of the meeting and the specially-appointed verifiers. Reservations and notes on the Minutes must be notified before the conclusion of the relevant Association Board meeting.
The Association Board may delegate decision-making authority on a particular matter to its Executive Committee, individual members or the Association Secretariat. Decisions on SULF joining a negotiating organisation and on the employment or dismissal of the Executive Director may not be delegated. Decisions made on behalf of the Association Board, according to delegation or because of the urgent nature of the matter, must be reported to the Association Board.
§ 21 Executive Committee
In the periods between the meetings of the Association Board, the Executive Committee is SULF’s supreme governing body. The Executive Committee consists of the President of the Association and the First, Second and Third Deputy Presidents.
The Executive Committee is responsible for:
• Preparing matters to be submitted to the Association Board.
• Making decisions in accordance with stipulations in the Constitution or according to delegation by the Association Board.
• Employing or dismissing Association Secretariat staff, with the exception of the Executive Director.
• Establishing agreements on salaries and other employment conditions for Association Secretariat staff.
The Executive Committee is entitled to:
•Make decisions on matters that, due to their urgency, cannot be dealt with by the Association Board.
•Delegate decision-making authority in certain matters to individual members of the Executive Committee or the Secretariat.
Decisions taken by the Executive Committee must be reported to the Association Board. Decisions made on behalf of the Executive Committee, according to delegation or because of their urgent nature, must be reported to the Executive Committee.
§ 22 Association President
The Association President will:
- Lead the work of the Association Board.
- Represent the Association.
The Association President is entitled to decide that, due to its urgency, a matter cannot be processed by the Association Board or its Executive Committee.
Decisions taken by the Association President due to the urgent nature of the matter must be reported to the Executive Committee or the Association Board.
If the Association President is unable to attend to the matter, his/her tasks will be assumed by the Deputy President.
§ 23 Local associations
Local associations are the Association’s local organisations at university, college or other workplace level. Local associations are obliged to follow Association statutes and decisions made by Association bodies.
Local association operations are regulated by statutes for local associations determined by the Association Board, following proposals from local associations.
Local association tasks include:
• Monitoring members’ interests in SULF’s operational area in accordance with the Association Charter and decisions made by Congress or the Association Board.
• Undertaking membership recruitment.
• Advising members on union and professional matters.
• Bearing responsibility for local information on matters that are concerned with Association activities.
• Carrying out local advocacy and disseminating information on Association operations.
• Promoting SULF goals and programmes in Saco-S-Council/associations.
• Recruiting Association officials and representatives.
• Conducting seminars and other programme activities.
• Keeping the Association Board informed of local operations.
§ 24 Members’ local association placement
Members belong to the local association at the university or university college (equivalent) where they work. Members at workplaces where there is no local association are placed at the largest local association in the same town.
§ 25 Sections
The function of the section is to deal with matters specific to that section. Sections follow Association statutes and decisions made by Association bodies.
Section tasks include:
• Monitoring and responding to section-related issues in accordance with the SULF Charter and decisions made by Congress or the Association Board.
• Undertaking membership recruitment.
• Advising on section-related issues.
• Enhancing public awareness and disseminating information on section operations.
• Forming the preparatory body for the Association Board concerning section issues.
• Keeping the Board informed of Association section operations.
Section activities are regulated by statutes established by the Association Board.
§ 26 Members’ section placement
SULF members are placed in sections according to the following:
- SULF Swedish Association of Professors, SPF
- SULF Swedish Association of Associate Professors and Researchers, ULF
- SULF Swedish Association of University Instructors, SUAF
- SULF Swedish Association of Doctoral Candidates, SDF
The Association Board establishes the positions to be placed in each section. Members who cannot be placed in any of the sections above form the group entitled Other Members.
§ 27 Association Secretariat
The Association is to have a Secretariat based in Stockholm, which is headed by the Executive Director of the Association. The Association Board may decide to locate some Secretariat operations elsewhere.
The Association Secretariat prepares and implements the decisions of the Association Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Association President.
§ 28 Nominations Committee
The Nominations Committee will prepare Congress election of Association Board including deputies, auditors and Remuneration Board.
The Nominations Committee consists of six members, one of whom is the convener.
The Nominations committee is elected at the Congress for the period until the following Congress.
§ 29 Remuneration Board
The Remuneration Board will determine remuneration levels for the Association President, First, Second and Third Deputy Presidents and the President and Deputy President of SULF’s Doctoral Candidate Association.
The Remuneration Board consists of three members, one of which is the Nominations Committee convener.
Remuneration Board members are elected at the Congress for the period until the following Congress. The Executive Director is the Remuneration Board Secretary.
§ 30 Auditors
Auditors will examine Association operations and accounts and submit a report to Congress.
Two auditors, one of whom must be an authorised public accountant, and a deputy are elected by the Congress for the period until the following Congress.
Amendments to Constitution and dissolution
§ 31 Constitution amendments
To amend this Constitution the following is required:
• Either a two-thirds majority of all members of a Congress, or
• Identical decisions by simple majority of voting members of two consecutive congresses, with at least six months in between. At least one Congress must be the Ordinary Congress held every three years.
§ 32 Dissolution
The dissolution of Association requires identical decisions by at least a two-thirds majority of all members of Congress in two consecutive congresses, with at least six months in between. At least one Congress must be the Ordinary Congress held every three years.
The point in time when SULF will be dissolved and how SULF’s assets and liabilities are to be distributed after the dissolution will be decided by simple majority of the voting members of Congress at the Congress when the final decision to dissolve SULF is taken.