The statutes of the Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers were passed by the 2021 Congress. In case of doubt regarding interpretation of the content of these statutes, the original Swedish text applies.
Download the statutes (pdf).
§ 1 Objectives
The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers, SULF, is a politically independent trade union and professional association for university teachers, researchers, doctoral candidates and comparable staff.
Association activities are based on fundamental 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’ rights to integrity and autonomy in the practice of their professional activities.
- Pursue issues pertaining 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 activities are managed by its Congress, Association Board, Executive Committee and Secretariat. Certain tasks are managed by local associations, sub-associations, the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association, the Association Council, the Auditors, the Nomination Committee and the Remuneration Committee.
The Association is affiliated to the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Saco.
§ 3 Conflict Fund
The Association is to maintain a Conflict Fund. For this purpose, there is to be a statutory stipulation, which is to be 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 eligible voters in attendance, unless otherwise regulated in these statutes. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair of the meeting casts the deciding vote, except in cases of votes by secret ballot, where the decision in the event of a tied vote 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.
§ 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 receive advice and support from the Association on issues concerning salaries and employment conditions.
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 conditions and which are regarded as matters of principle.
A decision to not represent a member in dispute negotiation resolution can be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Association Board in each individual case if the member so requests.
Decisions on whether to represent members in court proceedings or court-like proceedings are made by the Executive Committee of the Association Board in each individual case.
In negotiations, a member may be represented by a negotiating organisation of which SULF is a member.
Members do not have the right to individual service from the Association in union matters arising from a period prior to joining the Association or that have occurred within three months of joining the Association unless there are extraordinary reasons for such representation. Decisions are taken by the Executive Committee of the Association Board in each individual case.
§ 7 Members’ obligations – general
Members are obliged to demonstrate loyalty to the Association, to observe these statutes and respect Association decisions and agreements, to pay agreed membership fees and to inform the Association of any changes regarding their employment situation and personal data that have bearing on their membership.
§ 8 Resignation from the Association
A member may leave the Association at the end of the month in which a notification of resignation has been received in writing by the Secretariat.
Decisions on resignation from the Association are made 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 occupational field or in other special circumstances.
§ 9 Expulsion
A member who violates the statutes of the Association or whose actions seriously harm the interests of the Association may be expelled from the Association. Decisions regarding expulsion are made by the Association Board by a two thirds majority. Such decisions may not be taken per capsulam, i.e. by correspondence.
Members who fail to pay their membership fees will be expelled from the Association following a decision by the Association Board.
§ 10 The Congress
The Congress is the highest governing body of SULF.
§ 11 Congress participation
(§ 11 comes into force for the 2024 Congress)
Congress consists of 101 delegates, of which two are appointed by the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association. A delegate who is appointed by the Doctoral Candidate Association may not also be appointed by a local association or vice versa. The remaining 99 delegates to Congress are appointed as follows:
The number of Association members that is 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 on 1 December of the year prior to Congress. An active association is defined as an association that held an annual meeting no later than 1 December of the year prior to the Congress.
Two mandates are assigned to each local association (elective body) that has at least ten members. Local associations with fewer than ten members are assigned no mandate, even if they are active.
Any Congress mandates remaining after this allocation are to be allocated to local associations as follows:
SULF members belonging to the local association x (multiplied by) the number of remaining Congress mandates
(divided by) the total number of members in active associations with no fewer than 10 members
This is to be rounded down to the closest integer.
Any mandates then remaining are allocated to local associations according to the size of the integers that result from this calculation, so that one mandate is allocated to each association with a sufficiently large integer.
If local associations are of equal size when the final mandate is to be allocated, representation is to be determined by the drawing of lots.
Election of Congress delegates following the allocation of mandates is conducted by the local associations (elective bodies). Members of any local association with less than ten members are to be given the opportunity to participate in the election of Congress delegates 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.
A Congress delegate’s term of office runs 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 Committee members and officials employed by SULF. Other individuals may be granted these rights.
§ 13 Ordinary Congress – notification of meeting, relevant documents 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 no later than 30 days before the start of the Congress, together with the agenda. Other necessary documents are to be distributed no later than 14 days before the start of the Congress unless extraordinary reasons necessitate a later date of distribution. Items not included on the agenda may only be raised at the Congress if two thirds of all Congress delegates vote to do so.
For items pertaining to changes in the Statutes or dissolution of the Association, § 36 and § 37 apply respectively.
The following items of business are to be on the agenda at each Ordinary Congress:
- Verification of the register of eligible voters
- Election of a Chair/s for the meeting.
- Election of a Secretary/ies for the meeting.
- Election of two individuals to sign the minutes and to count votes.
- Confirmation of whether the Congress has been properly convened.
- Adoption of the agenda.
- Adoption of the rules of procedure.
- Consideration of the Association Board’s Activity Report, consideration of the Audit Report, adoption of the Annual Accounts.
- Discharge from liability for the Association Board.
- Budget, membership fees and allocation to the Conflict Fund.
- Items of business raised by the Association Board in the notification of meeting or which the Congress decides to take up for consideration.
- Instructions to the Nomination Committee in accordance with § 16.
- Election of:
- a) The President of the Association.
- b) The First, Second and Third Vice Presidents of the Association.
- c) Eleven ordinary members of the Association Board.
- d) Five deputy members of the Association Board, including the order in which they replace ordinary members.
- e) Two Auditors and a deputy for each.
- f) Six members of the Nomination Committee, including the Chair of the Committee, who will also be a member of the Remuneration Committee
- g) Two further members of the Remuneration Committee.
§ 14 Extraordinary Congress – notification of meeting, relevant documents and items of business
An Extraordinary Congress is to be convened when the Association Board deems it necessary or when a number of local associations that represent at least half of the Association membership so requests it or when the Auditors so request.
An Extraordinary Congress is to be held within 30 days of the request being received by the Association Secretariat.
Notification of an Extraordinary Congress is to be distributed no later than 14 days before the start of the Congress along with the agenda. Other necessary documents are to be distributed no later than seven days before the start of the Congress unless exceptional circumstances exist for later distribution. Items not included on the agenda may not be handled by the Congress unless the Congress votes unanimously to do so.
The Association Board may distribute proposals for resolution by an Extraordinary Congress per capsulam, i.e.by correspondence, or by other form of meeting if special circumstances exist and if those who requested the Extraordinary Congress so permit.
In connection with such a proposal, a specific deadline for when voting forms are to have been received by the Association Secretariat is to be stated. Votes received after the voting deadline are invalid. Proposals for resolution are to be distributed no later than 14 days prior to the voting deadline.
§ 15 Motions to an Ordinary Congress
The right to raise a particular item of business (a motion) for consideration at Congress rests with local associations, sub-associations, the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association and individual members. Motions to an 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, to election of the Nomination Committee. Congress takes decisions on instructions to the Nomination Committee.
§ 17 Minutes
Minutes of Congress meetings are to be taken. The minutes are to be verified and signed by the Chair of the meeting and the elected signatories. 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 meets once every year that there is no Ordinary Congress. The Association Council handles:
- issues that have been referred to the Association Council by the Association Board,
- issues that have been referred to the Association Council by Congress,
- any by-elections for positions elected by Congress that have become vacant,
- a report by the Association Board on its activities and follow up of resolutions passed by the Congress,
- a report by the Association Board on the finances of the Association
Other than by-elections for positions elected by the Congress, the Association Council may not make any decisions that are binding for 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
Meetings of the Association Council are called by the Association Board. Notice of the 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 submit proposals and to be heard at the meetings.
The Association Council’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 at which the Association Council considers electoral matters.
If called to an Association Council meeting, employees of SULF have the right to attend and be heard at the meeting.
§ 21 By-elections
(§ 21 is applicable from the 2024 Congress)
At by-elections, local associations have the same number of votes as they had Congress mandates at the previous Congress. The SULF Doctoral Candidate Association has two votes. Members of the Association Board 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 highest decision-making body of the Association. The Association Board represents the Association and leads its activities.
The Association Board consists of the President of the Association, the First, Second and Third Vice Presidents and eleven other members plus five deputies. Elections to the Association Board take place at Congress in accordance with § 13.
At Association Board meetings, a representative of the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association may attend, be heard and make proposals.
Association employee unions are entitled to attend, be heard and make proposals at Association Board meetings.
§ 23 Notification of meeting and tasks
Association Board meetings are called by the Association President or at the written request of least one third of Association Board members or the Association Auditors. Upon such a 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 items of business for Congress.
- Manage Association affairs and make decisions on matters that are not for decision by Congress.
- Issue instructions to the Executive Director of the Association.
- Call Association Council meetings in accordance with § 20.
- Determine who is to represent the Association at the Saco-S Representative Council.
- On instructions from Saco-S, approve Saco-S association statutes in cases where SULF is the contact association.
§ 24 Decisions and minutes
The Association Board is quorate when at least half of the elected members, including deputies acting in place of ordinary members, and the President or at least one Vice President are present. In the event of a tied vote, the President holds the casting vote.
Minutes of Association Board meetings are to be taken. The minutes are to be signed by the Chair of the meeting and appointed signatories.
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 the Executive Committee, individual Association Board members or the Association Secretariat. Decisions on SULF joining a negotiating organisation and on the appointment 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
The Executive Committee consists of the President of the Association and the First, Second and Third Vice Presidents.
The Executive Committee makes decisions on matters delegated by the Association Board. It is additionally responsible for:
- Preparing matters to be submitted to the Association Board.
- Making decisions in accordance with § 6.
The Executive Committee has the right to:
- Make decisions on matters that, due to their urgent nature, cannot be dealt with by the Association Board.
- Delegate decision-making authority on certain matters to individual members of the Executive Committee or the Secretariat.
Decisions made by the Executive Committee are to be reported to the Association Board. Decisions made on behalf of the Executive Committee, according to delegation or because of their urgent nature, are to be reported to the Executive Committee.
§ 26 Association President
The Association President:
- Leads the work of the Association Board.
- Represents the Association.
The Association President has the right to make decisions on matters that cannot be dealt with by the Association Board or its Executive Committee due to their urgent nature.
Decisions made by the Association President due to the urgent nature of the matter are to be reported to the Executive Committee and the Association Board.
If the Association President is unable to attend to the matter, their tasks are to be assumed by the First Vice President, the Second Vice President or the Third Vice President in descending order.
§ 27 Local associations
Local associations are the Association’s local organisations at a university, college or other workplace. Local associations are obliged to follow Association statutes and decisions made by Association bodies.
Local association activities are regulated by statutes for local associations determined by the Association Board, following proposals from the local association.
Local associations are to:
- promote members’ interests in sulf’s operational area in accordance with the association statutes and decisions made by congress or the association board.
- recruit members.
- advise members on union and professional matters.
- provide local information on matters regarding association activities.
- conduct local advocacy and opinion building activities and disseminate information on association activities.
- promote sulf objectives and programmes in saco-s councils/associations.
- recruit association representatives.
- run seminars and other programme activities.
- keep the association board informed of local activities.
Sub-associations are a part of the local association and the Association.
Sub-association membership comprises a group of members of SULF at a university, college or other workplace.
Sub-association activities are regulated by category association statutes established by the local association following proposals from the category association.
§ 28 Members’ local association placement
Members belong to the local association at the university or college (or equivalent) where they work. Members at workplaces where there is no local association are placed at the largest local association in the same town.
§ 29 Members’ motions
Members’ motions to the Association can be proposed by the Association’s local associations, category 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
§ 30 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 advocacy and 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.
§ 31 The Association Secretariat
The Association is to have a Secretariat based in Stockholm, which is led by the Executive Director of the Association. The Association Board may decide to assign some Secretariat activities elsewhere.
The Association Secretariat prepares and implements the decisions of the Association Board, the Executive Committee and the Association President.
§ 32 Nomination Committee
The Nomination Committee prepares the election of members of the Association Board, including deputies, the Auditors and the Remuneration Committee.
The Nomination Committee consists of six members, one of whom is the Chair.
The Nomination Committee is elected by Congress for the period until the following Congress.
§ 33 Remuneration Committee
The Remuneration Committee determines remuneration levels for the Association President, the First, Second and Third Vice Presidents and the President and Vice President of the SULF Doctoral Candidate Association.
The Remuneration Committee consists of three members, one of whom is the Chair of the Nomination Committee.
Remuneration Committee members are elected by Congress for the period until the following Congress. The Executive Director of the Association is the Remuneration Committee Secretary.
§ 34 Auditors
The Auditors examine Association activities 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 Congress for the period until the following Congress.
Amendments to statutes and dissolution
§ 35 Amendments to statutes
In order for these statutes to be amended, any proposed change is to be included in the Congress or Extraordinary Congress notice of meeting.
Additionally, one of the following is required:
- A two-thirds majority of all delegates attending the Congress, or
- Identical decisions by a simple majority of delegates in attendance at two consecutive Congresses, with at least six months in between. At least one of the Congresses is to be an Ordinary Congress.
§ 36 Dissolution
The dissolution of the Association requires identical decisions by at least a two-thirds majority of all delegates attending Congress at two consecutive Congresses, with at least six months in between. At least one of the Congresses must be an Ordinary Congress.
The date that SULF is to be dissolved and how SULF’s assets and liabilities are to be distributed after the dissolution are to be decided by a simple majority of the Congress delegates attending the Congress where the final decision to dissolve SULF is made.