Constitution for 2014

Constitution 2014

Name of Organisation

The name of the organisation will be:

South Yorkshire People’s Assembly (SYPA)

Aims and Objectives

The South Yorkshire People’s Assembly (SYPA) is a regional wing of the National People’s Assembly which was set up to oppose government austerity agenda and cuts.

The group as an umbrella organisation will bring together and support individuals, organisations, community campaigns and trade unions to build a collective force for positive social change and a united resistance against austerity.

We recognise that austerity will only be defeated if those that oppose cuts work together.

SYPA is open to support and affiliation from political parties, but it remains non-party political and will refrain from direct involvement in election campaigns.
We will campaign against austerity.

SYPA will not work with any organisation or individual that espouses racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, ableism or discrimination of any kind.
We believe that unity is impossible if these things go unchallenged.

SYPA recognises the need to make every effort to represent all areas of our society, diversify and broaden its membership base to include ethnic minorities and people with additional needs.

Membership

SYPA seeks affiliations from individuals as well as trade union, community, political and campaign organisations.
The affiliation fee will be as follows:
£2 annually – Individual membership:
This will entitle the individual to a single vote at AGM.

Community Groups, Political Organisations and Union membership
All can associate for free, but we do ask for voluntary donations to help towards action and publicity. All groups have a profile page created for them (all content must be constitutional and approved by the Organising Committee communications officer. They will also gain events advertising on the SYPA website and social media.
SYPA will support any and all action by affiliated organisations that match our constitutional goals, to be debated by the organising committee and if necessary the wider SYPA at Public meetings.

Members will receive regular updates of all SYPA activities.

Governance

The sovereign body of SYPA is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) it will;

  • Be held annually in the month of January.
  • Be the only body with the power to amend the constitution.
  • Elect officers for the Organising Committee for the forthcoming year.
  • Determine the direction and main policies of SYPA for the forthcoming year.

The AGM shall be open to observers, but only members are permitted to vote.

Organising Committee

An Organising Committee will be voted in at the AGM.
Meetings of the Organising Committee shall be held at least once a month or more often if necessary.
They should not clash with the General SYPA meetings.
The purpose of the Organising Committee shall be to co-ordinate and organise activities in support of the SYPA members and affiliates and vote on any issues.
It shall carry out its work in accordance with the policies and objectives of the constitution set out at AGM.

Whilst decisions of the Organising Committee will be made by majority vote, it will aim to arrive at its decisions by consensus, recognising the need for unity to defeat the cuts.
Organising Committee meetings must be attended by at least four elected members to be quorate.

When running for election and while in office it is the duty of all elected representatives to notify the organising committee of any legal matter or conviction that could affect their position.
If an elected representative on the organising committee wishes to step down for any reason or any member wishes to propose a discussion of their role it will automatically be added to the agenda of the next public meeting.
Any accusations with criminal ramifications will be reported immediately to the police and the representative will be suspended.
If suspension impedes SYPA activity and there is no deputy in office, then an election will be announced with a public meeting with equal voting rights to AGM.

The SYPA Organising Committee officers will be:

  • Secretary
  • Chair*
  • Treasurer*
  • Communications Officer*
  • Outreach Officer*
  • Activities Officer*
  • Membership Officer

The officers shall administer SYPA in accordance with the policies as determined by the constitution. The officers shall meet on such dates as it determines.
(*) roles may be shared with a deputy but only 1 vote is allowed per role (principal officer override).
The Organising Committee shall have the power to establish Task Groups to carry out particular functions and co-ordinate particular events or campaigns. Observers may attend Organising Committee meetings but may not vote.

General SYPA Public Meetings

General SYPA public meetings shall be held at least once a month or more often if necessary.
Any member of the SYPA or general public can attend these meetings and vote on all matters not pertaining to the constitution.
For a Public Meetings vote to be quorate the motion must be carried with a majority larger than all Organising Committee Members present.
All members of the SYPA and general public can submit proposals to the Organising Committee and/or to the public SYPA meetings for approval: process explained in proposal chart.
Agendas for public meetings will be drawn up a minimum of 1 week beforehand and disseminated via the weekly bulletin.

Finance

All the monies raised by the group shall be applied to further the aims and objectives of the group. The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finance of the group and shall maintain a bank account.

The group shall bank at a place suitable for access for the Treasurer.

Two signatures from a stated list of six shall be required to withdraw money from the group’s account.

Members shall be reimbursed agreed expenses incurred whilst undertaking approved (by the Organising Committee) business expenses on behalf of the group.

The group will ensure that all accounts are independently examined at the end of each year and available to all members at AGM or on request to the Organising Committee.

Powers

In order to achieve its aims the group may:

  • Raise money
  • Open bank accounts
  • Work with similar groups and exchange information and advice 

Alterations to the Constitution

Any changes to this constitution must be agreed by two thirds of those present and voting at the AGM.

Dissolution

The Group may be wound up at any time if agreed by two- thirds of those members present and voting at the AGM. In the event of winding up any assets, after debts have been paid, they shall be donated to another group with similar aims or a charity to be decided at AGM.

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