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Staff Union Constitution

As amended on 19 March 2019 (Revision 8)
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In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires:

 

  • “EC” means the executive committee set up pursuant to Article 8;

  • “E-vote” or “E-voting” means an electronic vote pursuant to Article 6;

  • “Mechanism” means the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) of 22 December 2010 to assume responsibility for the residual functions of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia;

  • “Staff” means the staff members of the Mechanism;

  • “Staff member” means a person whose employment under any contract with the Mechanism is governed by the United Nations Staff Rules;

  • “Staff Rules” means the Staff Rules and Staff Regulations of the United Nations published on the Secretary-General’s bulletin ST/SGB/2011/1 on 1 January 2011;

  • “SU” means the United Nations Criminal Tribunals Staff Union (UN-CTSU);

  • “SUC” means the Staff Union Committee, and the SU central board of elected representatives;

  • “SU member” means a contributing member of the SU;

  • “SU representatives” means SU representatives elected to form the SUC;

  • “Voting” means voting in person at a meeting in terms of Article 6; and

  • “Voting by proxy” means voting or E-voting on behalf of an absent SU representative pursuant to Article 6.

  1. The SU is established pursuant to Chapter VIII, Rule 8.1(b) of the Staff Rules.

  2. The SU shall equitably and effectively represent the interests of the Staff.

  3. The SU shall represent, safeguard, and promote the rights, interests and welfare of the Staff inconformance with the principles laid down in the UN Charter and all relevant Staff Rules.

  4. The SU shall contribute to the promotion of the objectives of the UN Charter.

  5. The SU shall be the sole and exclusive representative body for the purpose of formal contact andcommunication with the local and global Administrations. The SU is the competent body toinitiate proposals to the UN Secretary-General, and is responsible for ensuring the effectiveparticipation of the staff in identifying, examining and resolving issues relating to staff welfare,including conditions of work, general conditions of life and other human resources policies, inaccordance with Regulations 8.1 and 8.2 of the Staff Rules.

The purposes of the SU shall be pursued by, inter alia, the following means:

  1. To act as a representative body of the Staff and to enable the Staff to form and voice its concernsand opinions individually and collectively to the Registrar, administration, management andother persons and bodies of the Mechanism;

  2. To assist and support the Staff in dealings with the Registrar, administration, management andother persons and bodies of the Mechanism;

  3. To initiate and make proposals to the UN Secretary-General in order to ensure the effectiveparticipation of the Staff in identifying, examining and resolving issues relating to staff welfare,including conditions of work, general conditions of life and other human resources policies;

  4. To establish close relations with similar bodies elsewhere inside and outside of the UN.

  1. The SUC shall consist of representatives who have been elected by Staff members pursuant to Article 5.

  2. A Staff member may become a SU member at any time.

  3. Every Staff member is entitled to the general protection of the SU and has the right to vote in SUelections. However, only SU members are entitled to the additional benefits and privileges of SUmembership.

  4. The SUC shall strive to be representative of the total number and the cultural, geographic andgender diversity of the Staff as well as representative of the component sections, and theprofessional, general services, field and national professional officer grades.

  5. The SUC shall meet prior to each election and decide on a minimum and a maximum number ofrepresentatives. The agreed minutes of the meeting shall be shared with the polling officers, whoshall include the maximum number in information shared with staff about the election. Theelection will be held simultaneously in all Mechanism locations. A minimum of 20 per cent of thepositions on the SUC will be reserved for representatives from the European locations (TheHague and Sarajevo). The same minimum will be reserved for the African locations (Arusha andKigali). Should there be insufficient candidates to fill these positions, they shall be filled inaccordance with the results of the election/nomination, irrespective of the location of theelected/nominated candidates.

  1. SUC meetings shall be convened as necessary. Efforts shall be made to ensure participation of SU representatives at all locations. Any SU representative may call an extraordinary SUC meeting for discussion of any issue deemed to be urgent and of importance.

  2. Any SU representative can bring a matter to the attention of the SUC.

  3. Upon the request of any SU representative or if otherwise provided for in this Constitution, a matter shall be decided by vote.

  4. Each SU representative shall have one vote. Unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution, decisions shall be by a simple majority of SU representatives present at a meeting and forming a quorum. A quorum shall be one half of the total number of SU representatives. The President, or in the President’s absence one of the two vice-presidents, shall cast the deciding vote. Voting at such a meeting shall be secret if so requested by any SU representative.

  5. Matters brought to the attention of the SUC may be subject to E-voting, unless such voting is opposed at any stage by one-third of the SU representatives. In case of such opposition, the matter shall be withdrawn or put to a vote at a SUC meeting in accordance with paragraph 4 of this Article. Each SU representative shall have one E-vote. The E-voting procedures shall be the same as in paragraph 4 of this Article. Only unqualified yes and no E-votes shall be counted.

  6. SU representatives may vote by proxy. Voting by proxy with respect to matters provided for in Articles 4, 8, 9, 11(4), 12, and 13 shall not be allowed.

  7. Unless otherwise decided, the President or either vice-president shall preside over SUC meetings.

  8. Persons who are not SU representatives may attend SUC meetings by invitation, subject to any confidentiality requirements.

  • SUC meetings shall be convened as necessary. Any SU representative may call an extraordinary SUC meeting for discussion of any issue deemed to be urgent and of importance.

  • Any SU representative can bring a matter to the attention of the SUC.

  • Upon the request of any SU representative or if otherwise provided for in this Constitution, a matter shall be decided by vote.

  • Each SU representative shall have one vote. Unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution, decisions shall be by simple majority of SU representatives present at a meeting and forming a quorum. A quorum shall be one half of the total number of SU representatives. The president or in his/her absence a designated vice-president shall have the casting vote. Voting at such a meeting shall be secret if so requested by any SU representative.

  • Matters that are electronically brought to the attention of the SUC may be e-voted on, unless such voting is opposed at any stage by one third of the SU representative. In case of such opposition the matter shall be withdrawn or put to the vote at a SUC meeting in accordance with sub-paragraph 4. Each SU representative shall have one e-vote. The e-voting procedures shall be the same as sub-paragraph 4. Only unqualified yes and no e-votes shall be counted. Matters provided for in Articles 4, 8, 9, 11(3), 12(4), 13, 14 and 15 shall not be decided by e-voting.

  • SU representatives may vote by proxy. Voting by proxy with respect to matters provided for in Articles 4, 8, 9, 11(3), 12(4), 13, 14 and 15 shall not be allowed.

  • Unless otherwise decided, the president or either vice-president shall preside over SUC meetings.

  • Persons who are not SU representatives may attend SUC meetings by invitation, subject to any confidentiality requirements.

  1. The SUC may delegate its functions to individual SU representatives, including the ECrepresentatives and working groups subject to Article 10. Individual SU representatives andworking groups shall exercise only delegated functions. The SUC retains ultimate responsibilityand authority.

  2. The President or one of the Vice-Presidents may appoint another member of the EC totemporarily act in their place.

  1. The SUC shall elect from among the SU representatives the following: a president; two vicepresidents;a general-secretary; a treasurer and a vice-treasurer. The Registry, Chambers andthe Office of the Prosecutor and the general and professional services grades of theMechanism should be represented in the three positions of president and vice-presidents; atleast one of these three positions should be held by a SU representative with a background inlaw. The EC should reflect the locations of the Mechanism.

  2. Together, these SU representatives shall form the EC of the SUC.

  3. EC representatives shall hold office for the duration of the term of the SUC. ECrepresentatives shall be eligible for re-election to the EC.

  4. If, during a period of office, an EC position becomes vacant, the SUC shall strive to elect areplacement at the earliest occasion.

  5. Elections for the EC shall be conducted in accordance with Article 5.5.

  1. Upon the decision of a two-thirds majority of the full SUC, the SU may open and maintain a bankaccount through which it will receive and disburse funds in connection with SU activities.

  2. The Treasurer, assisted by the Vice-Treasurer, shall account for the funds so held, and shallsubmit an independent audit on an annual basis as well as a financial statement on the accountto the SUC on a semi-annual basis.

  3. Staff members shall have access to such statements.

  4. An annual budget running from January to December shall be prepared by the Treasurer,assisted by the Vice-Treasurer, and presented to the SUC for approval by the end of the year.

  5. Rules on the accounting procedures shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the full SUC; these rules shall be adopted upon the taking of the decision, if any, to open a bank account.

  6. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer, assisted by the Vice-Treasurer, to retain the statementsfrom the SU bank account and to maintain records of every receipt, payment or transfer of SUfunds from the account. The records must be complete, accurate, up-to-date and, as far aspracticable, secure against retrospective alteration or deletion.

  1. As a general rule, Staff representatives must uphold the highest degree of integrity whenrepresenting staff and when representing the Union, and shall be aware that as an electedofficial, any and all things said may be seen as reflecting their role of Staff representative.

  2. Ultimate responsibility for communication and policy formation lies with the SUC and the EC. To this end:
    (a) All written communications with the Registrar, administration, management and otherpersons and bodies of the Mechanism shall have the prior approval of, and be in the name ofor bear the signature of, the President and one of the Vice-Presidents, who shall act onbehalf of the EC;
    (b) Consent for such communications may be given to SUC members engaged in projects orassigned to deal with specific issues;
    (c) A record shall be kept of all such communications.

  3. Matters brought to the attention of an SU representative by a Staff member shall be treated asconfidential. Only in exceptional circumstances and with the express agreement of the Staffmember shall the matter(s) be treated openly in the SUC or the Mechanism or elsewhere.

  4. When rendering assistance to a Staff member on behalf of the SU, the following protocolfollowed by all SUC members shall be adhered to:
    (a) The President and at least one of the Vice-Presidents shall be informed of any meetings andshall remain appraised of issues and developments;
    (b) The envisaged assistance must fall within the general or ad hoc delegated powers of the SUrepresentative;
    (c) Unless the Staff member objects, the SU representative may seek the assistance of other SUrepresentatives or other bodies or individuals with due regard to any confidentialityconcerns;
    (d) For assistance to be rendered on behalf of the SU, the EC must be informed of suchassistance. Where possible, two staff representatives shall be present at meetings with staffmembers, subject to the staff member’s consent;
    (e) Permission shall be sought of the staff member to keep records of meetings involving theStaff member, the SU representative or representatives and third persons;
    (f) Should any of the staff representatives involved be aware of a potential conflict of interest indealing with a staff member’s grievance, that staff representative shall recluse themselves.

  1. Matters brought to the attention of an SU representative by a Staff member shall be treated asconfidential. Only upon the express agreement of the Staff member shall the matter be treatedopenly in the SUC or the Mechanism and UN in general.

  2. A written record of meetings held between any Staff Representatives and Staff members shouldbe kept.

  3. In order to render assistance to a Staff member on behalf of the SU, the envisaged assistancemust fall within the general or ad hoc delegated powers of the SU representative. Unless theStaff member objects, the SU representative may seek the assistance of other SU representativesor other bodies or individuals with due regard to any confidentiality concerns. In any event, forassistance to be rendered on behalf of the SU, the EC must be informed of such assistance. It isadvised that, where possible, and in agreement with the staff member, two staff representativesbe present at meetings with staff members. Permission for two representatives to be presentshall first be sought from the staff member.

  4. Where (a) SU representative(s) assist a Staff member on behalf of the SU, the following rulesshall be adhered to:
    (a) In accordance with Rule 8.1 (g) of the Staff Rules all formal contact, and communication with,Administration, Management, the Registrar and other persons and bodies of the Mechanismshall be conducted through, or with the approval of, the EC;
    (b) A record shall be kept of all meetings involving the Staff member, the SU representative orrepresentatives and third persons;

  5. In the event of SU matters not related to individual complaints as set out in Articles 10(1)-(3):
    (a) All written communications with the Registrar, administration, management and otherpersons and bodies of the Mechanism shall have the prior approval of and be in the name ofor bear the signature of the president and a vice-president acting on behalf of the EC;
    (b) A record shall be kept of all such communications;
    (c) The EC shall as soon as practicable inform the full SUC about the assistance rendered to the Staff Member, subject to any confidentiality requirements.

  6. No formal requirements apply to communications aimed simply at gathering information or making enquiries in the course of preparation of a specific task being undertaken by a SU representative on behalf of the SU.

  7. All other communications on behalf of the SU, including meetings with the Registrar, administration, management and other persons and bodies of the Mechanism, shall only be with the approval of the EC. A record shall be kept of such communications and the SUC shall be informed about it as soon as practicable.

  8. Should any of the Staff representatives involved be aware of a potential conflict of interest in dealing with a staff member’s grievance, that staff representative shall recuse themselves;

  9. Article 6 is set aside when there is danger in delay.

  1. In case of alleged non-compliance by a SU representative with this Constitution, and in particular Articles 5-7 and 10, and any other rules and regulations passed by the SU, the SUC, after having heard the interested parties and after having decided that such non-compliance did occur and is serious, shall, in writing, warn the SU representative.

  2. Following another instance of alleged non-compliance by the same SU representative, whether of the same nature as the first non-compliance or not, with this Constitution and any other rules and regulations passed by the SU, after having heard the interested parties and after having decided that such non-compliance did occur and is serious, the SUC may dismiss the representative from the SUC.

  3. In case of alleged non-compliance by a SU representative with Article 10, the SUC, after having heard the interested parties and after having decided that such non-compliance did occur and is very serious, may dismiss the SU representative from the SUC.

  4. A decision to dismiss a SU representative shall be subject to review by three SU members who have not been part of the initial proceedings against the SU representative and at least one of whom should have a background in law.

  5. The SU representative or the person representing the SU representative, may be present at all stages of such proceedings and may request the proceedings to be conducted in camera before the president or vice-president and two other SU representatives. Any Representative subject to such proceedings shall enjoy the benefit of all due process rights.

  6. A SU representative who has been dismissed pursuant to this procedure shall not be eligible for re-election to the SUC and shall be prohibited from all future service, in any capacity, on the SU.

  1. This Constitution shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the full SUC.

  2. The Constitution shall be capable of amendment.

  3. Any amendment of the Constitution shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the full SUC. The president, or in the President’s absence, the vice-president who has been longest at the Mechanism as a Staff member, shall cast the deciding vote.

This Constitution shall enter into force upon its adoption by a two-thirds majority of the full SU.

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