The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers’ statutes adopted by the SULF Congress 2018 and by the extra Congress 2019

The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers’ statutes were adopted by the SULF Congress 2018 and by the SULF Extraordinary Congress 2019.

Download SULF statutes as a pdf here.

General conditions

§ 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, the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association, the Association Council, the Auditors, the Nomination 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, there is to be a separate statute, approved by Congress.

§ 4 Rules for decision making and elections

Voting rights at Congress and in other bodies within the Association may be exercised in person only.

Decisions in Association bodies are made by simple majority of valid votes cast, unless otherwise regulated in these statutes. In the event of a tie, the Chair 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 conducted by secret ballot if more candidates have been proposed than there are positions available and if any eligible voter so requests.

Membership

§ 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.

Members are also entitled to receive advice and support from the Association on matters that are closely related to the member’s salary and employment situation and which are regarded as matters of principle.

The question of whether SULF is to represent a member in a negotiation, court proceedings or court-like proceedings is to be determined by the Association Board’s Executive Committee in each individual case.

During negotiations, a member may be represented by a negotiating organisation of which SULF is a member.

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 statutes and respect Association decisions and agreements.
  • Pay established membership fees.
  • 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 member transfers to another operational area or in other special circumstances.

§ 9 Expulsion

Members who violate the statutes of the Association or whose actions seriously harm the interests of the Association may be expelled from SULF. Decisions regarding expulsion are to be taken by the Association Board. These decisions are to 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 membership fees will be expelled from the Association. Final decisions on expulsion are to be taken by Association Board.

Congress

§ 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 that is the used to calculate the allocation of Congress mandates is to be based on the number of members in each active local association according to the Association’s membership register in December of the previous year. An active association is defined as an association that has held an annual meeting during the year before the Congress.

One mandate is assigned to each local association (elective body) of at least ten members. Local associations with fewer members are assigned no mandate.

Any Congress mandates remaining after this allocation are to be allocated to local associations as follows:

This is to be rounded down to the closest whole number.

Any mandates then remaining are allocated to local associations according to the size of the whole number rounded down that arises in this calculation 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 is to be determined by the drawing of lots.

Election of Congress participants after allocation 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 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 is 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 employees. Other individuals may be granted these rights following a decision by a two-thirds majority of voters.

§ 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 is to be distributed at least 30 days before the date of the Congress, together with the 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 are to be included at each Ordinary Congress:

  1. Verification of the register of eligible voters.
  2. Election of Chair 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 fees and Conflict Fund.
  11. Propositions
  12. Items of business taken up by the Board in the notification or which the Congress unanimously decides to take up for consideration.
  13. Motions.
  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 for each.

f) Six members of the Nomination Committee, including a Chair.

g) Three members of the Remuneration Board, one of whom is the Chair of the Nomination Committee.

§ 14 Extraordinary Congress – notification, documentation and items of business

An Extraordinary Congress is to be 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 raise a particular issue (motion) for consideration at Congress rests with local associations, the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association and individual members. Motions to Ordinary Congress 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 Nomination Committee. This does not apply, however, when electing the Nomination Committee. Congress takes decisions concerning instructions to the Nomination Committee.

§ 17 Minutes

Minutes of Congress meetings are to be taken. Minutes are to be verified by the Chair of meeting and specially appointed verifiers. Reservations and notes pertaining to the Minutes are to be submitted in writing before the conclusion of the Congress.

The Association Council

§ 18 The Association Council

The Association Council is the Association Board’s advisory body on major matters of principle. The Association Council is to discuss:

  • issues that have been referred by the Association Board to the Association Council,
  • issues that have been referred by Congress to the Association Council,
  • any by-elections for positions elected by the Congress,
  • a report on operations by the Association Board and follow up of resolutions passed by the Congress,
  • a report by the Association Board on the finances of the Association

§ 19 Composition of the Association Council

The Association Council comprises the Association Board, two representatives from each local association and two representatives from the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association. Each member of the Council other than Association Board members is to have a deputy member.

§ 20 Meetings of the Association Council

The Association Council meets annually every year that there is no Congress held.

Meetings of the Association Council are convened by the Association Board. Notice of meeting is to be distributed no later than fourteen days before the meeting. Extraordinary meetings of the Association Council are held when the Association Board so decides or when requested by at least one third of the local associations.
Meetings of the Association Council are chaired by the President of the Association.
Auditors have the right to attend Association Council meetings, to propose motions and to speak at the meetings.
The Association’s electoral matters are to be prepared by the Nomination Committee of the Congress. Members of the Nomination Committee have the right to attend, submit proposals and speak at meetings where the Association Council considers electoral matters.
If invited to the Association Council’s meetings, employees of SULF have the right to attend and speak at the meeting.

§ 21 By-elections

At by-elections, local associations have the same number of votes as they had Congress mandates at the previous Congress. Members of the Association Board and members of the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association do not have the right to vote. Local associations formed during the Congress period do not have the right to vote. If an election results in a tie, lots are to be drawn to decide the winner.

The Association Board

§ 22 The 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.

§ 23 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 is to meet within 14 days of receipt of the request by the Association Secretariat.

The Association Board is to:

  • 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.
  • Convene Association Council meetings in accordance with § 20.
  • 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 has the right 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 dual membership with another union or association and decide on reduction of fees in connection with dual membership.
  • Employ or dismiss the Executive Director
  • Appoint working groups to prepare issues for the Association Board and set up focus groups.

§ 24 Decisions and minutes

The Association Board has a quorum when at least eight members, including deputies acting in place of ordinary members, and the President, are present. In the event of a tie, the President holds the casting vote.

Minutes of Association Board meetings are to be kept. Minutes are to be approved by the Chair of the meeting and the specially appointed verifiers. Reservations and notes on the Minutes are to be submitted 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, are to be reported to the Association Board.

§ 25 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 on legal support in accordance with §6.
  • Making decisions in accordance with stipulations in the statutes 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.

§ 26 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.

§ 27 Focus groups

The Association Board may set up focus groups to work with the Association’s professional matters or opinion building on a particular issue. Each focus group may be set up for a limited time only.

The work of a focus group is to be governed by a description of its assignment determined by the Association Board. The assignment briefing is to specify to what extent the focus group may represent the Association externally.

Funding for the work of each focus group is to be determined by the Association Board.

Local associations

§ 28 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 statutes 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.

§ 29 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.

Members’ motions

§ 30 Members’ motions

Members’ motions to the Association can be proposed by the Association’s local associations, the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association and individual members at any time during an ongoing Congress period.
Members’ motions are to be submitted to the SULF secretariat. The secretariat is to submit the proposal, together with a statement of opinion,  to the Association Board.
Members’ motions received during Ordinary Congress years are treated as motions to Congress in accordance with §15.

The SULF Doctoral Candidate Association

§ 31 The SULF Doctoral Candidate Association

The SULF Doctoral Candidate Association is the Association’s organisation for the monitoring of doctoral candidate related matters. The Doctoral Candidate Association is to comply with the Association’s statutes and decisions made by bodies within the Association.

The SULF Doctoral Candidate Association is to:

  • monitor and promote the interests of doctoral candidates in accordance with the SULF statutes and decisions made by Congress or the Association Board,
  • recruit members,
  • work with opinion building and raise awareness of the Association’s positions,
  • act as a referral body on doctoral candidate issues for the Association Board,
  • keep the Association Board informed about the activities of the Doctoral Candidate Association.

The activities and membership criteria of the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association are regulated by statutes determined by the Association Board.

The Secretariat

§ 32 The 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.

Special bodies

§ 33 Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee prepares Congress election of Association Board including deputies, auditors and Remuneration Board.

The Nomination Committee consists of six members, one of whom is the Chair.

The Nomination committee is elected at the Congress for the period until the following Congress.

§ 34 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 whom is the Chair of the Nomination Committee.

Remuneration Board members are elected at the Congress for the period until the following Congress. The Executive Director is the Remuneration Board Secretary.

 § 35 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 two deputy auditors are elected by the Congress for the period until the following Congress.

Amendments to statutes and dissolution

§ 36 Statute amendments

In order to amend these statutes, one of the following is required:

  • A two-thirds majority of all members of a Congress, or
  • Identical decisions by simple majority of voting members at two consecutive Congresses, with at least six months in between. At least one Congress must be the Ordinary Congress held every three years.

§ 37 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.

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