A coalition to defend #ourNHS

Health Campaigns Together: Constitution

Agreed February 2018

  1. Aims
    1. Health Campaigns Together (HCT) is a coalition of organisations campaigning to defend the National Health Service against cutbacks, fragmentation, market-style reforms and privatisation. Its objective is to re-instate a comprehensive, universal, publicly owned, provided and publicly accountable NHS which is free at the point of use and has the resources to provide 21st century care for all on a long-term and sustainable basis. It will respond to proposals to integrate health & social care services consistent with these aims.
    2. Supporting organisations, and campaigns that they support, along with other appropriate information of interest to supporters, will be advertised and promoted on the HCT website. HCT will initiate activity, publish an occasional newspaper, information and campaigning material online and in print, or organise conferences and other events with the agreement of those organisations participating in its Affiliates Meetings. It will assign individuals and organisations at those meetings to carry out such tasks on its behalf.
  2. Affiliations
    1. Organisations which share the aims of HCT, including local or national trade unions, affiliates of political parties, pressure groups, national or local campaign groups, may apply to affiliate with and subscribe to HCT, provided they agree to pay the appropriate annual subscription (or provision in kind), and they may send a delegate to participate in its decision-making meetings.
    2. Affiliated organisations that are more than six months in arrears with their affiliation subscription shall be lapsed from the list of affiliated organisations.
    3. Irrespective of affiliations from its supporting organisations, HCT will remain an independent body.
    4. Affiliated organisations are free to decide if they will engage with specific activities and publicity.
  3. Finance
    1. HCT will maintain a bank account in its own name with signatories agreed by an Affiliates Meeting to be responsible for the administration of funds donated and paid to facilitate the work of HCT, through publications, organisation of events, conferences and interventions.
    2. The bank account signatories are responsible for ensuring sound financial management. The signatories will ensure that all events and activities are self-financing, or covered in advance by donations.
    3. HCT will not borrow money or incur any deficits.
  4. Affiliates Meetings
    1. Affiliates Meetings shall be the supreme policy making body of Health Campaigns Together.
    2. Affiliates Meetings will be composed of one delegate from each affiliated organisation, each with one vote. During their term of office, the Officers specified in Clause 5.1 will have a vote by virtue of their office but will not exercise one on behalf of an affiliated organisation. Officers may not vote in any elections held by an Affiliates Meeting.
    3. Meetings will be held as specified in the Standing Orders but no less than four times in any one calendar year.
    4. Affiliates Meetings will agree new affiliations presented by the Secretary. They may also agree to terminate an affiliation if the deems that an organisation no longer meets the criteria for membership.
    5. An Annual General Meeting shall be held during each calendar year as provided for in the Standing Orders.
  5. Officers
    1. There will be six officers of HCT: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor and Social Media/Communications officer.
    2. Officers will be elected at the Annual General Meeting to serve from the end of that meeting until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. The rules for elections will be laid down in the Standing Orders.
    3. In the event of a vacancy of an Officer position during a term of office, the next Affiliates Meeting may elect a substitute to serve until the following Annual General Meeting. Such substitutes will have all the rights and responsibilities of the Officer replaced.
    4. Officers will meet or consult electronically between meetings as necessary to maintain organisational efficiency and to carry out tasks assigned by Affiliates Meetings.
    5. Additional Officer posts may be agreed and elected by any Affiliate Meeting but such Officers do not gain any rights that are reserved specifically for Officers in this Constitution.
  6. Chair
    1. The Chair will represent HCT and act as the primary spokesperson for HCT publicly.de
    2. The Chair will chair all Affiliates Meetings at which s/he is present unless s/he leaves the chair for a specific item where the chair determines s/he may have a conflict of interest.
    3. The Chair may chair all meetings of sub-committees or working groups of which the Chair is a member at their discretion.
    4. The Chair will seek to ensure consensus is arrived at over any decisions to be taken by Affiliates Meetings.
    5. The Chair will take on such other responsibilities as are decided by an Affiliates Meeting.
  7. Vice-Chair
    1. The Vice-Chair will deputise for the Chair in the Chair's absence.
    2. The Vice-Chair will act as the primary spokesperson if the Chair is unavailable.
    3. The Vice-Chair will take on such other responsibilities as are decided by an Affiliates Meeting.
  8. Secretary
    1. The Secretary shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of HCT; including convening the meetings and implementing the decisions.
    2. The Secretary will ensure the all meetings are minuted.
    3. The Secretary will ensure that all minutes and other relevant documentation are archived and available, as necessary to affiliated organisations.
    4. The Secretary will receive applications for affiliation to HCT and present them to an Affiliates Meeting for agreement.
    5. The Secretary will receive all correspondence from affiliated organisations pertaining to Affiliates Meetings.
    6. The Secretary will act as the Data Controller for HCT under the terms of the Data Protection Act.
    7. The Secretary will take on such other responsibilities as are decided by an Affiliates Meeting.
  9. Treasurer
    1. The Treasurer will be a signatory to the HCT bank account under the provisions of Clause 3. The Treasurer will take primary responsibility to ensure that the signatories carry out their responsibilities under Clause 3, and will report to each Affiliates Meeting on the current and projected financial position.
    2. The Treasurer ensure that proper accounting records are kept. The AGM will elect two auditors to examine the accounts and report to the following AGM on their findings.
    3. The Treasurer will propose at each AGM subscription rates for affiliated organisations for the following year.
    4. The Treasurer will receive and record all subscriptions and donations. The Treasurer will notify affiliated organisations when their subscription is due and will remove any affiliated organisation from the membership list six months after the due date for subscription renewal if no subscription has been received. The Treasurer will have discretion to waive or lower subscriptions for an individual organisation if they are unable to pay.
    5. The Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring plans are made and acte upon to raise the level of HCT income as necessary.
    6. The Treasurer will take on such other responsibilities as are decided by an Affiliates Meeting.
  10. Editor
    1. The Editor shall have overall responsibility for the publications of HCT. The Editor shall ensure that publications reflect the policies and priorities decided by Affiliate Meetings.
    2. The Editor will jointly agree with the Treasurer a budget for publications.
    3. The Editor will take on such other responsibilities as are decided by an Affiliates Meeting.
  11. Social media/Communications Officer
    1. The Social Media/Communications Officer will work closely with the Officers to enhance HCT's communication, information sharing and social media work with HCT affiliates and external allies.
  12. Interpretation
    1. In any circumstances where there is a requirement to interpret the meaning of this Constitution, the Chair shall make a ruling on that interpretation.
    2. The Chair's ruling shall be final unless overturned by a two-thirds majority of an Affiliates Meeting.
  13. Dissolution
    1. HCT may be merged or dissolved if a motion that specifically provides for that action is submitted by an Affiliated Organisation and is agreed by a two-thirds majority of an Affiliates Meeting. Such a motion may only be considered by an Affiliates meeting if the text has been circulated to all Affiliated Organisations at least four weeks before the meeting at which it is to be considered.
    2. In the event of a dissolution or merger of HCT being agreed, all remaining funds of HCT will be returned to affiliated organisations in the proportions they have paid (through donations or affiliation subscriptions) during the previous calendar year, unless alternative provisions are made in the winding up resolution.
  14. Standing Orders
    1. The Affiliates Meeting will agree Standing Orders to facilitate its business and the efficient working of the coalition as a whole.
    2. No provision in the Standing Orders may seek to contradict or vary the Constitution.
  15. Amendments to Constitution
      This Constitution may only be amended by a two-thirds majority of an AGM on a proposal submitted by an affiliated organisation to which three weeks' notice has been given to all affiliated organisations.

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