Regional Constitution, 2014

CONSTITUTION OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND REGION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE (U3A)

1  NAME The name shall be the NORTHERN IRELAND REGION OF U3A, hereinafter referred to as the NI REGION OF U3A.
2 OBJECTIVESThe objectives of the NI Region of U3A are to:-1)    To promote and assist in the formation of new U3As in Northern Ireland;2)    To co-operate and share information and ideas with U3As in keeping with the objectives of the U3A movement as set out in the Aims and Guiding Principles of the Third Age Trust and in its Articles of Association,while at the same time respecting the autonomy operational independence[1] of individual U3As;

3)    To advise and support the NI Trustee on the Board of the Third Age Trust; and

4)    To represent the interests of member U3As with all relevant bodies.

3 MEMBERSHIP1)    Membership is voluntary and open to all U3As within Northern Ireland affiliated to the Third Age Trust[2].All U3As within Northern Ireland affiliated to the Third Age Trust are members of the Northern Ireland Region of U3As
4 MEETINGS1)    The NI Region of U3A may holdcommittee meetings twice a year on a rotating venue basis in Spring and Autumn.  The AGM will be incorporated in the Spring Meeting.2)    The NI Region of U3A shall hold an AGM between April 1 and not later than 30 June each year. Twenty one calendar days’ clear notice shall be given in writing to all constituent members.3)    The business of the AGM shall include:

a)    receiving the Chairman’s Annual Report;

b)    receiving and adopting the Annual Accounts;

c)    receiving the NI Trustee’s Report; and

d)    any other relevant business.

4)    All posts will be declared vacant and elections or re-elections will take place.

5)    A quorum shall consist of not less than 40% of the designated representatives of all constituent member U3As.

6)    Decisions taken at the AGM shall require a simple majority of those present and voting, but in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have an additional casting vote.

7)    U3As wishing to have business discussed at the AGM must submit their proposals to the Secretary, in writing, in the form of a motion at least twenty one calendar days before the date of the meeting. The motion must be proposed by the Chairman and seconded by another committee member of the proposing U3A.

8)    Each participating U3A has the right to send a maximum of two people to attend.  Each U3A shall have one vote carried by one of their representatives.  Should no member of a U3A be able to attend the AGM they may nominate another U3A to exercise their vote.  This must be signed by two office bearers of the U3A in question and presented to the Executive before any vote is taken[3].

9)    In the event of some special information requiring dissemination among members the NIREC can call an Extraordinary General meeting.

5 Committees1)    The Regional Committee consists of one voting member from each participating U3A.2)    The Regional Committeewill elect from among its members an Executive Committee (NIREC).3)    The NIREC shall consist of the following members-

a)    Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, to be known as the ‘Officers’.  The Officers shall be elected annually at the AGM but be eligible to serve for a period of three years after which they will not be eligible for re-election to the same position for at least one year.  Shorter tenure may be offered to allow for continuity.

b)    The NI Trustee as an ex officio member, tenure to be co-terminus with appointment as a regional trustee on the National Executive Committee.

c)    The Educational and Development Contact officers Regional Volunteers (with responsibility for setting up U3As)[4] as ex-officio members, tenure to be co-terminus with appointment by the National Executive Committee.

d)    Two elected members of the Regional Committee to serve for three years, after which one year must elapse before being eligible for re-election in this category.  Notwithstanding this provision, such persons remain eligible to stand for any of the positions of ‘Officer’ on the Executive Committee.  Shorter tenure will be offered to allow for continuity.

e)    The immediate past Chair will be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee for a period of one year.

f)     The NIREC may co-opt, on an annual basis up to two additional members for one year at a time, if it deems this to be necessary to fulfil its functions.

4)    The functions  of the NIREC shall be :

a)    To implement decisions and policies approved by the Regional Committee;

b)    To provide continuity of communication and liaison among U3As and with other relevant bodies between meetings of the Regional Committee;

c)    To undertake pre-planning initiatives, in preparation for forthcoming Regional Committee meetings, including the AGM.

5)    The NIREC shall be able to set up sub-committees or working parties for specific purposes, and shall be able to invite persons to attend NIREC meetings or meetings of sub-committees by virtue of their specific expertise.

6)    The NIREC shall meet as necessary with a minimum of four meetings, excluding the AGM, in any one year.

6 FINANCE1)    The financial year will end on the 31 March.2)    The NIREC shall submit an annual bid for funding to the TAT to meet the expenses incurred in running the NI Region.[5]3)    Should all affiliated U3As be asked to contribute to the expenses incurred in running the NI Region the amount will be decided at the AGM and payment should be made after 1 April and before 30 June.

4)    The NI Region of U3A in shall open a bank account. All cheques or withdrawals will require two signatories including the Treasurer and one other member of the executive. Proper accounts of all financial transactions will be maintained. Appropriate financial statements will be prepared annually and examined by a responsible person before being submitted to the AGM for approval.

5)    All monies raised by or on behalf of the N I Region of U3A shall be applied to further its objectives and for no other purpose provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good faith of fees to professional and technical advisors and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by duly authorised representatives in the course of carrying out the objectives of U3A in Northern Ireland.

7 ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION1)    The provisions of this constitution may be amended with the assent of not less than two thirds of the designated representatives of constituent U3As present and voting at a Special General Meeting in Northern Ireland.2)    Twenty one days clear notice will be given to members regarding any such alteration.
8 DISSOLUTION1)    Dissolution will be the subject of a Special Resolution for which twenty-one days clear notice must be given.2)    In the event of the dissolution of U3A in Northern Ireland any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be divided equally between all U3As affiliated to the Northern Ireland Region at that time.

[1] Amended April 2014

[2] Amended April 2013

[3] Amended April 2014

[4] Amended April 2012

[5] Amended April 2014