Election of General Secretary

Manuel Cortes speaking at 2021 TSSA conference podium.

Following the ending of merger talks with the IBB, the TSSA Executive Committee is calling the overdue election for the five year term of office of General Secretary.

Rule 12.2 deals with the election of the General Secretary and requires the Executive Committee initially to order an election, specifying the dates for the call for nominations and the close of nominations. Rule 12.2 requires that the period for nominations shall not exceed six weeks, that ballot papers are sent out within another six weeks and that the ballot period shall not exceed four weeks.

Nominations for the position will therefore open on Friday 30 September and the Executive Committee has agreed the following timetable for the election :

Closing date for receipt of nominations: Wednesday 9th November

Date for issue of Ballot packs: Thursday 17th November

Closing date for receipt of voting papers: Wednesday 14th December

The closing time for receipt of nominations and voting papers will be noon on the respective dates.

Nominations are therefore invited from Branches for the post of General Secretary. Each Branch has the right to nominate a candidate for the office of General Secretary from within the membership of the Association. A candidate’s written and signed consent indicating the candidate’s willingness to accept nomination by Branches must be e-mailed by the candidate to and not later than the date upon which nominations close i.e. Wednesday 09th November 2022.

Nominations should be submitted on the official nomination forms (see below). This form must be completed in full and signed by both the Branch Chair and Correspondence Secretary and be e-mailed to and with the subject line ‘General Secretary Election’ by 12 noon on Wednesday 09th November.

Nominations must clearly be authorised by both the Branch Chair and Correspondence Secretary, this should be done by making sure that the Branch Chair and Correspondence Secretary are included in the e-mail (e.g. sent by one officer, with another officer copied in).

All information required on the form must be provided. Although a form for submission of nominations is included with this Circular, the Scrutineers will not require the use of these forms as long as the information required is included in the email.

Candidates are advised to read Rule 12.2 dealing with the election of the General Secretary very carefully. Please note the following in particular:

“Rule 12.2 (c) (c) A candidate shall only be eligible to stand for the position of General Secretary if that candidate receives 5 or more nominations, including at least 2 nominations from Branches in different Divisional Council areas. A candidate satisfying the conditions in this Rule 12.2(c) shall be referred to as a Qualifying Candidate..”

No member of the Association is eligible to be nominated for the position of General Secretary unless they have been a member of the Association for a minimum period of three years on the date of closure of receipt of nominations.

The provisions of Rule 11 (b) and 11 (c) dealing with candidate consent and statements should be specially noted by Branch Officers who are asked to ensure that these are brought to the attention of members accepting nomination for the office of General Secretary for their action.

Please note that the written confirmation of acceptance must be from the candidate. Personal emails and signed letters will be accepted. It would be helpful if candidates could supply a recent photograph of themselves along with their biographical details and personal statement.

We draw particular attention to Section 48(8) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 which states: “No-one other than the candidate shall incur any civil or criminal liability in respect of the publication of a candidate’s election address or of any copy required to be made for the purposes of this section.”

In the event of more than one nomination being received in respect of the election for the position of General Secretary, the election will be conducted by individual postal ballot of the membership in accordance with Rule 11.3(d). The Electoral Reform Society (Civica) will carry out all the responsibilities of the Independent Scrutineer, should an election be necessary, and all matters concerning the production and distribution of election material and the receipt and counting of ballot papers must be referred to them directly at an address which will be provided.

Branches are reminded that the Executive Committee has agreed that candidates for election may have their forenames or other names by which they wish to be known printed on the ballot paper and in associated TSSA communications. It will be the responsibility of the candidate to make clear to the Association’s Scrutineers how they wish to be known (i.e J Smith/John Smith/Joan Smith etc). Candidates must include this information with their written acceptance.

The Executive Committee has agreed a code of conduct for all EC and National Officer elections including General Secretary. A copy of the code is available below.

GS election materials

GS nomination form



GS nomination form

EC election Code of Conduct



EC election Code of Conduct

TSSA Rule Book 2019



TSSA's Rule Book 2019 edition

Rule Book Guidance Notes 2019



TSSA Rule Book guidance notes July 2019

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