As required by law the post of General Secretary of a trade union must be filled by election through a ballot vote of all members of the union. As NIPSA's current General Secretary I will be retiring at the end of September 2021 and this article announces the arrangements for the election of my successor.

The General Secretary is responsible for the overall work of the union, for the management of Officials and staff as well as the union's finances. They will lead negotiations on behalf of members on all major issues and are also the union's official spokesperson. This is therefore an important election for all NIPSA members and you are strongly urged to participate in the nomination process and subsequent ballot vote. If you consider that you need to update your contact details with NIPSA please follow the advice in paragraph below 'Voting Arrangements and Updating Contact Information'.

Under Rule 7.2 of the NIPSA Constitution the General Council has issued Regulations for the election to all Branches and these will also be published in full in 'NIPSA News'. If you wish to have a personal copy of the Regulations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at NIPSA Headquarters.

Only NIPSA members and employees of the union may be nominated for General Secretary. For a nomination to be valid a candidate must notify the current General Secretary of their express consent to stand in the election and, if elected, to serve as General Secretary in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment for the post. A copy of the terms and conditions for the General Secretary has also been sent to your Branch as well as an official nomination form which provides for the consents required by the Regulations.

Your NIPSA Branch will be convening a general meeting open to all members to decide whom your Branch wishes to nominate for General Secretary. For a nomination to be valid a candidate must obtain the nomination of at least 10 Branches or the nomination of the General Council. A branch can only nominate one candidate. Members should do their best to attend this meeting and participate in this important democratic process. Branches should also consider inviting the candidates to speak at branch meetings.

Candidates wishing to stand for election as General Secretary have to provide an election address of up to 500 words, a statement confirming their Branch, address and current grade. Nomination forms have been issued to Branches to be returned to the General Secretary at NIPSA HQ, 54 Wellington Park, Belfast BT9 6DP no later than 2.00 p.m. on Friday 21 May 2021.

Voting Arrangements and Updating Contact Information

In due course all members will be notified of the voting arrangements. In the meantime, you may wish to note that it is proposed to issue voting papers and election addresses to members by 4 June 2021. The closing date for the receipt of completed ballot papers by the independent scrutineer, will be Friday 25 June 2021. Any member who considers that their contact details need to be updated should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. giving their details and the address they wish to have their ballot paper delivered to. In addition, you can contact any of the NIPSA membership staff on the following mobile numbers and they can amend your details accordingly.

Wendy McCallum: 07970 372 811

Debra Whitford: 07970 372 807

Adrienne Wright: 07866 001 154

You must contact NIPSA to amend your details, no-one can do this on your behalf.

In order to ensure we hold your correct mail details members should contact the above email address or mobile number of membership staff no later than 12 May 2021.

Election Forms and Documentation

All forms and documentation for the election are available to download, click on the icons below, including: the General Secretary Election Regulations drawn up by the General Council; details of the duties, terms and conditions of employment of the NIPSA General Secretary; an official nomination form for General Secretary candidates; and an election address form to be completed and signed by General Secretary candidates.

 

Please do not use any third party PDF readers to complete these forms.

You should read carefully the Election Regulations. All the documents listed in above should be made available to any member who requests them. If you need extra copies please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at NIPSA HQ.

Please note that only NIPSA members and employees of NIPSA are eligible for nomination for General Secretary and that nominations can be made only by NIPSA Branches or by the General Council. In the case of a Branch nomination, this can be made only by a Branch general meeting of which due notice has been given to all members.

Nominations must be made on the nomination form. You will note that a candidate has to signify in writing that they are prepared to stand in the election for General Secretary and to serve as General Secretary in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment for the post. Unless you are certain that your candidate has signed this undertaking in another nomination form, you should ensure that they sign your form.

Please note that completed forms must be returned to the current NIPSA General Secretary at NIPSA HQ, 54 Wellington Park, Belfast BT9 6DP by 2.00 p.m. on Friday 21 May 2021. Copies of the nomination forms can be completed by email and electronic signatures are acceptable because of the current Covid restrictions.

The candidate should give their election address on the election address form. The candidate may send it separately to NIPSA HQ, but please emphasise that the candidate must sign it and ensure it is received in NIPSA Headquarters by the above closing date (again an electronic signature will be acceptable). If you are certain that your candidate has already completed and signed this form, a separate form is not needed. The closing date for the receipt of election addresses is also 2.00 p.m. on Friday 21 May 2021.

You should now take immediate steps to convene a general meeting of your Branch to decide whom your Branch wishes to nominate for General Secretary. Branch meeting details can be advertised on the NIPSA website.

At a later date a further article will be issued about the voting arrangements. In the meantime, please encourage the members of your Branch to participate fully in this election, by attending your branch general meeting to decide your nomination and by exercising their votes in the ballot.

NIPSA members across all sectors face huge challenges; you will now have the opportunity to decide on who will be the next NIPSA General Secretary to lead the union to meet these challenges. I wish to strongly urge all members to participate fully in this forthcoming election for the next General Secretary.

Alison Millar
General Secretary