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Date(s) - 08.03.2014


Unite Building


Printable copy of the agenda

1.  Apologies for absence: Steve Adshead, Cllr Sanchia Alasia, Cllr Judith Blakeman, Dr Arun Chopra, Rosemary Clarke, George Conchie, Dr Hannah Cooke, Prof Peter Crome, Pauline Cutress, Huw Davies, Ed Derrick, Kathy Doeser, Dr Brian Fisher, John Galloway, Jean Gaffin, Dr Brian Gibbons,  Phil Gregory, David Gresty, Ron Harley, Nye Harries, Christine Hay, Diane Hayter, Val Hudson, Melanie Johnson, Sheila Jones, David Lamb, John Langford,  Dr Catherine Mackereth, Cllr Margaret McLennan, Katrina Murray, Roy Oliver, Cllr Dr Neeraj Patil, Natasha Posner, Dr Matthew Prior,  Karin Smyth, Ali Syed,  David Taylor-Gooby, Keith Venables, Patrick Vernon, Dr Eric Watts, Alan Wenban-Smith

2.  Minutes of the 2103 Annual General Meeting

3. Matters arising not elsewhere on the agenda

4. Officers elected (report by scrutineers, and dependent on time taken to count the votes):

a) elected by ballot of members:

Central Council (20 to be elected, not including the 3 Officers):

Nominations received:

5. To note other members of Central Council

Each nationally affiliated organisation is entitled to a representative:

  • Unison: Guy Collis
  • Unite: Barrie Brown
  • GMB: Rehana Azam
  • Society of Radiographers: Warren Town

6. Officers  to be elected at the AGM

  • Auditors (2): David Mattocks , Dr Tom Fitzgerald,
  • Delegates to Labour Party Conference 2014 (deadline is 20th June): deferred to next Central Council meeting
  • Delegates to Socialist Societies Executive:


8. Financial and audit report

9. (to start this item by 1pm) Proposed amendments to the Constitution:

(a-f proposed Richard Bourne; g-v proposed Harry Clarke).

a) in clause  11 (b) Elections delete the words: “individual and associated”.  In clause 16 (a) delete the word: “associated” insert: “affiliated”.

b) In Clause 10 Central Council: Delete existing clause 10 a) and replace with:  “The Central Council shall consist of the principal Honorary Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary), twenty directly elected members, branch delegates (see below), and a representative from each nationally affiliated organisation.”

c) In Clause 9 Governance:  Delete existing clause  9 d) and replace  with: “The Central Council should decide on the Association’s policy on new or other matters and review existing policies which may no longer be appropriate in between Annual and Special Meetings.  Such decisions on policy will be subject to ratification at the Annual Meeting.”

d) In Clause 10 Central Council: Delete existing clause 10 d) and renumber.

e) In Clause 10 Central Council: Delete existing clause 10 f) and replace with:  “The Officers, together with any appropriate staff, will be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the Association between Central Council meetings.  The Officers shall meet as required between Central Council meetings (including by teleconference) and invite such staff as required and decisions will be recorded.”

f) In Clause 9 Governance: Add new clause 9 e): “Any sub-committee or Special Interest Group must have Terms of Reference, Membership and Budget agreed by Central Council.  At least one member must be an Officer.  All decisions must be made in an open and transparent manner and reported to Central Council.”

Delete existing clause 12 and renumber.

 Report of Governance & Constitutional Group  (Proposer to be allowed 10 minutes to present report)

Amendments submitted by the Governance and Constitution Review Group. We recommend that these amendments be read in conjunction with our report to the AGM. Subject to approval these provisions shall come into immediate effect following the SHA AGM 8th March 2014, unless they give effect to an election which could otherwise not take place until the 2015 AGM. These amendments are also available in pdf form here: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.

To see the constitution if these amendments take effect:

Socialist Health Association Constitution 2014

Discussion of proposed amendments g) – v). (Vote on proposed amendments g) – v)  to be taken on block with one vote).

g) Any reference to “Honorary” is to be deleted throughout with reference to Officers

h)  In Clause 2 Objects:

In 2 a) Add after national health: “and Care Service”

In 2 c) Delete whole clause, replace with: “To provide information and policy on health issues as requested by the public and make available to the Labour Party and public bodies within resource constraints and as agreed by Central Council

In 2 d) After ill-health, add: “inequalities, and non-medical determinants of health”

In 2 h) Delete: “conduct propaganda” and insert: “to carry out work approved by the AGM and /or the Central Council “

In 2 i) Add: – “and care“ after “health

i) In clause 3 Membership: Add: “Applications for membership shall be reported to Central Council by the Secretary for confirmation, and any relevant branch informed. Branches are allowed two weeks to raise any objections which will be considered by the Central Council. Membership is subject to confirmation.

j) In clause 4 Affiliated Organisations: Add: after one vote “each affiliated organisation is also entitled to one vote at Central Council”. After postal ballot add: “or by agreed electronic voting”

k) In clause 5 Termination of Membership:

In 5 a)  Add: “and if this resignation is with immediate effect or with effect from“. And add: “members may provide reasons for resignation if desired to the Secretary.”
In 5 d) Add after when it is decided: “by a recorded vote. Membership may be suspended pending any appeal to a panel set up by Central Council into any disrepute allegations”. 

l)  In clause 6 Subscriptions:

  1. In 6 a) add: “subject to confirmation under clause 3”
  2. in 6 b)  add:  “literature” after “Association”. Add after shall determine: “including attending Central Council Meetings, the AGM and any Special Meetings”
  3. in 6 c) Delete: “low income”, replace with: “unwaged, student, pensioners who have retired from work, persons working less than 16 hours per week , or on a training scheme.“
  4. In 6 f)  delete whole clause, replace with: “A proportion  [minimum of 3%] to be reviewed annually by the AGM  of the  total  of all subscriptions (individual and affiliates ) to be determined by Central Council will be paid to local branches and Scotland and Wales where  all these conditions  below are met:
    1. Branches  should have a minimum number of 20 members and  may regarded as an amalgam of complete parliamentary  constituencies  with Executive elected  officers of  Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary.
    2. Branches have to have 1 quorate meetings per annum (including an AGM) and agendas and minutes produced
    3. Membership lists are to be shared with elected Branch Officers
    4. Branches provide a report to Central Council twice per annum”

m) In clause 7 Finance:

  • Delete: “Honorary”
  • Add after money: “, Income including debts”.
  • After Authorised add :“elected officers “
  • After No member or Branch insert: “or centrally committed expenditure shall be incurred on behalf of the Association except with the written authority of the Treasurer”.  Delete: “incur” to “Treasurer” inclusive.
  • Add: “All elected officers and staff shall have regard to the SHA Standing Financial Instructions as amended from time to time.”

n) In clause 8 Auditors:

Line 1: insert: “named” between The and Treasurer

After “the Auditors” add: “(two) add: “The Auditors appointed by election at the AGM shall make a report to the AGM and give their opinion as to the accounts which are to be audited independently of any officers or staff.”

o) in clause 9 a) Governance after Policy of the Association add:

“A broad programme of policy objectives and planned outcomes  shall be presented to the AGM, and additions made at any Special or Extraordinary meetings that may be called.

An annual  Policy Programme should be drawn up  in advance by the Central Council  with timescales, themes, outcomes, lead roles and agreed by the AGM.  Policy agreed at AGM may be varied only if 75% of voting members of Central Council agree this is necessary in extremis, and to report reasons to the AGM.  Policy areas not covered by the annual programme can be added to the programme by Central Council by majority vote (voting members).  Central Council will request policy suggestions from all members. A log will be kept on members interests in policy areas on the protected area of the website.

 Policy formulation and implementation should be devolved to Task and Finish Groups formed from the Central Council, with Members Co-opted if necessary.  Task and Finish Groups should be comprised of a majority of members, excluding Officers.  Task and Finish Groups will report to the Central Council.

Central Council to report on outcomes and progress to the AGM through the Vice-Chair (Policy) and quarterly to members via SHA Newsletter and or website. There should be at least two Central Council meetings per annum mainly devoted to Health Policy. All members, including Central Council members, should be part of a broad approach involving the whole Central Council in engaging directly with Labour`s Health Team, whether in Government or opposition. Representation on any Labour Party Policy making or consultative bodies or Societies should be agreed by the AGM by majority decision. Representation should be by an elected Officer, Central Council member or Member.

A formal written report should on any meetings held under (j) to the Central Council, and a summary report to be included in the Annual Report to the AGM.

 An elected post of Vice-Chair (Policy) be created.

SHA Policy describes any aspect of SHA Policy, including any press releases, substantive statements, comments, use of social media. Any Communications should adhere to the Communications Protocol,  be agreed with the Executive Committee (proposed) and shared with Central Council members prior to release.  No SHA member or staff member shall give any opinion out or statement as representing the SHA in any way unless agreed and authorized.”

In 9 c) Add: “The general business of the Association shall be conducted on behalf of the Central Council by the elected Officers [but not including appointment of any delegates to represent the Association nationally.] Any actions taken or proposed by elected officers shall be reported at each Central Council meeting in a report included as an agenda item, available at the same time as the agenda and to which questions may be taken. The Elected Officers shall constitute an Executive Committee.”

In 9 d) Add: “The Annual Report of the Central Council shall include a written report from the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairs -Membership and Policy, Women & Equalities Officer and Trade Union Liaison Officer.  All Officers will each present written formal reports, and where appropriate from paid staff. Questions may be taken from the floor to the Council and/or any elected officers.”

p) In clause 10.  Central Council

In 10 a) Delete: “Honorary” throughout. Delete: “The Council may elect up to 4 Vice –Chairs – to …work”

Add:  “2 Vice- Chairs – (elected) (VC1 –Membership, VC1 – Policy.) The Vice-Chairs acts as Vice-Chairs in the absence of the Chair, or if the Chair is vacated in part at any meeting. The Vice- Chairs have specific responsibility for Membership issues and supporting Membership/Branches or supporting Policy issues. [The Vice-Chair Membership shall also encompass the role of Women and Equalities Officer]

An election shall be held by SHA TU members to have a Trade Union Liaison officer to represent TUs at Executive Committee level.

If there is a vacancy of the Chair, and less than six months term of office remain, a Vice-chair will become Acting Chair. If more than 6 months remain, a fresh election will be required.

 After shall consist of the principal officers delete the words: (Chair, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary)  and insert: “(Chair, Vice-Chairs (2) Treasurer, Secretary, Chair or Deputy (Wales); Chair or Deputy (Scotland), Trade Union Liaison officer)”

Add: “The SHA will be governed between Central Council meetings by an Executive Committee comprising of; Chair, Vice-Chairs (2), Treasurer, Secretary, TULO Officer, Chair (Wales), Chair (Scotland)”

In 10 d) After AGM: delete “The Central Council …to… position”. Add: “The Central Council may elect from amongst its members to support special areas of work who shall report directly to Central Council.”

In 10 f) Delete “Honorary”.  Add: “including management and direction to any staff, paid or unpaid or in a voluntary capacity (excluding any Central Council member). This will normally be undertaken by the Chair; in their absence a Vice-chair.

The elected Officers will make a written report on all activities in the past quarter to each Central Council, and the forthcoming quarter. For each Central Council meeting the Chair will circulate a proposed Chairs activity agenda to Central Council. Questions will be taken from Central Council members on Officer Reports at each Central Council meeting, content to be determined by Central Council.

The Central Council shall be obliged to accept for discussion, and vote if required, a resolution on Policy development from both Council and ordinary members, for discussion at the next Central Council meeting, following receipt ten days before.”

In 10 h) Quorum: delete eight, replace with: “ten, including two elected officers (one of whom must the Chair or a Vice-Chair)”

In 10 j) Add: “A recorded vote shall be taken if 25% of those present with voting rights request on an item and this shall be shown in the minutes.”

Insert: new clause l) “All meetings of the SHA and sub-groups and Committees shall be governed by the new Standing Orders dated 8th March 2014 as attached”.

Insert new Clause m): “All Central Council Members however elected shall complete a standardised Register of Interests form which will be held be the Secretary and published in a Members only Section of the SHA website. Any Member taking part in a discussion which involves a declared interest should not take any part in that discussion or decision, and may be required to withdraw from that part of the meeting by the Chair.”

q) In clause 11 Elections:

In 11 a) Delete: “Honorary”. Insert: “secret” before Ballot
In 11 b) Delete: “associated members”, replace with: “and members representing Affiliated organisations “
In 11 c)) Add after AGM: “and also with a specific and separate communication identified as nominations invited for Annual elections with this subject only to all members”
In 11 d) Delete: ”with a brief statement by and biographical details of candidates “
Insert: “Any candidates for the Central Council shall provide a statement limited to 500 words, with biographical details on a format and minimum content approved by Central Council/AGM which ever is the sooner. Elected Candidates shall also complete a Register of Interests as approved by Central Council”.
In 11 i) Delete:  “Vice-President”.

r) In Clause 12. Sub-Committees: Add: “Any Sub-Committee may only be dissolved by a majority vote of the Central Council, unless its term has expired and not extended.”

s) In Clause 13. Branches:  Delete “not less than twelve members” replace with “not less than twenty”

t) In Clause 16. Annual General Meeting:

In 16 c) Delete: “if they indicate that they wish to receive these items “.

In 16 d) Emergency Resolutions delete current clause, replace with: “An emergency resolution shall be accepted for discussion at the AGM if supported by 25% of voting members and may be tabled within 24 hours of the meeting, unless in exceptional circumstances with the discretion of the Chair.”

u) Clause 17. Special General Meeting. Delete all and insert: “A special general meeting may be called by two- thirds of Central Council members or 10% of members not on Central council or officers. This can be an Extraordinary Central Council Meeting or a Special members meeting.”

v) In clause 18. Procedure at the Meetings of the Association: Add new clause d) “In addition the conduct of all meetings shall be governed by new Standing Orders.”

10. Resolutions (To commence at 2.15pm at the latest):

a) That the Officers are empowered to adopt a procedure for managing complaints, grievances and discipline and report its terms to the next meeting of the Central Council. Proposed Huw Davies.

Note:  a draft procedure has been produced. Comments are invited before the Officers consider it.

b)  That the document “Response to Labour’s Final Year Document” be adopted as the Association’s policy. Proposed Richard Bourne, Seconded Brian Fisher

c) The Communications Strategy as dated 6 June 2013 should be adopted subject to deletion of all words from “ We will appoint an Editorial Board” to “report periodically to ordinary meetings.”  Proposed Richard Bourne

d)   This Annual General Meeting of the SHA re-affirms the SHA’s 2002 statement on NHS privatization, and notes that subsequent events have confirmed the analysis then and since, of  former SHA Central Council  member Professor Allyson Pollock.  Her description of “NHS PLC” is regrettably being made live, through the Health and Social Care Act; the consequences of opening up of and penetration by the market, the overhang of PFI and the enormous debt incurred to the NHS, and deterioration in both NHS staff conditions and poorer services.

SHA recognizes the enormous contribution Professor  Pollock has made  to promoting an accessible and powerful analysis of corporate dominance and erosion of Aneurin Bevan’s vision, and hereby grants Honorary  Life membership to her “

Proposed by: Cllr Mike Roberts  Seconded:   Professor Tony Beddow

e) Despite this Governments claim to support parity of esteem between physical and mental health and well being, Mental Health has been given a significantly poorer deal and has borne a far greater pro rata share of the NHS cuts. This is evidenced by the higher financial cut to Mental Health NHS Trusts for 2014/15 than NHS Acute Trusts.
Coupled with significant cuts by many Local Authorities to their own Adult Community Mental Health Services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and Voluntary Sector Grants at a time of rising demand, and lengthening waiting times into psychological therapies, has created a national Mental Health crisis.
The Socialist Health Association urges an incoming Labour government to urgently redress the resource imbalance and ensure Mental Health Services are properly funded, staffed and responsive.

Proposed by Weaver Vale CLP (received out of time)

11. Proposed affiliations to other organisations:

a) existing:

  • Labour Party centrally and Regional Labour Parties
  • Medact,
  • NHS Alliance,
  • James Lind Alliance,
  • Drugs and Health Alliance,
  • Smokefree Action
  • Keep Our NHS Public – delegates report
  • National Voices

b) New: National Coalition for Independent Action

12. Report from Labour Party Special Conference 1st March

13. Nominations (if any) to the Labour Party:

  • Conference Arrangements Committee:
  • Auditors:
  • National Treasurer:

14. Labour Party Constitutional Amendment if any.

15. Proposed future meetings of Central Council: 26th April (Unite), 7th June, 20th September, (Manchester), 1st November, 10th January.

Next AGM 14th March 2015

Next Meeting of Central Council  26th April

At 3pm the Chair will ask the member then speaking to stop and a vote will be taken if required on the matter being discussed.  The meeting then closes and any outstanding matters are lost or remitted to the Officers and Central Council as appropriate.


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