Hospersa Union Structures
The supreme governing body of the union is the National Congress, convened every five years. Chaired by the President, it draws delegates from Hospersa branches in line with a formula determined by the National Executive Committee (NEC). The National Congress is preceded by provincial congresses that prepare for the National Congress, and that have the same function as the National Congress but on a provincial level.
Its primary functions are:
- To elect the National Office Bearers (NOBs), namely the President, National Treasurer and Vice-Presidents;
- To nominate and confirm the appointment of a National Executive Committee (NEC);
- To consider reports received from the NEC and formulate policy for the Union and decide on such reports;
- To amend the Constitution; Consider the financial reports, auditor’s reports & approve the Union’s financial statements; and
- To deal with any matter that is in the interests of the Union.
National Office Bearers (NOBs)
NOBs are the day-to-day managers of the union. They convene monthly and include the General Secretary, who is a non-voting member of the committee.
Their primary functions are:
- To ensure that financial and administrative plans are implemented;
- To ensure the implementation of National Executive Committee (NEC) resolutions;
- To act as the final structure of appeal on disciplinary matters; and
- To make recommendations to the NEC.
National Executive Committee (NEC)
The NEC is responsible for the management of affairs of the Union between each National Congress, and convenes twice annually. The NEC consists of the National Office Bearers, the nine Provincial Chairpersons who represent the provinces, one Committee member for every 5 000 (five thousand) members or part thereof per province, and the General Secretary. The latter serves on the National Executive Committee ex officio.
Members of the National Executive Committee shall hold office for five years from the date of their election or until they are required to vacate their office or are validly removed in terms of the Hospersa Constitution, and shall be eligible for re-election on termination of their full period of office.
In summary, and in accordance with Hospersa’s Constitution, the National Committee has the power to:
- Engage and dismiss any employee of the Union, whose function may be delegated to the functions of the General Secretary, in consultation with National Office Bearers;
- Approve the remuneration and terms and conditions of employment of employees of the Union;
- Appoint sub-committees for the purpose of investigating and reporting on matters referred to it by the National Congress or any other matter concerning the Union;
- Review decisions of the Provincial Congress as far as national policies are concerned, and confirm, amend or reverse such decisions;
- Institute or defend legal proceedings by or against the Union; Suspend any Provincial Executive Committee and assume to itself all the powers of the Provincial Executive Committee in any Province where a Provincial Executive Committee has been so suspended until such time as another Provincial Executive Committee has been constitutionally elected;
- Approve or reject annual accounts and balance sheets of the Union, receive regular reports from the National Finance Committee and consider budgets and the payment of accounts as reported by the National Financial Committee;
- Receive reports from, and issue directions to, the National Working Committee;
- Refer appeals concerning the admission to membership, benefits and discipline of members, as provided for in the Constitution, to the Appeals Committee;
- Issue press statements in the name of the Union; and
- Take disciplinary action against Union officials.
National Working Committee (NWC)
The National Office Bearers (NOBs), Provincial Chairpersons and General Secretary, who serve on the National Executive Committee, shall comprise the National Working Committee (NWC). This Committee shall meet at least once between each meeting of the National Executive Committee to receive reports on the operational requirements of the Union and to make recommendations to improve the efficiency of the said operations.
National Finance Committee (FINCOM)
The FINCOM consists of the National Treasurer, the General Secretary and the Provincial Treasurers. The committee meets three times a year.
The National Finance Committee has the power to:
- Prepare financial reports for the National Executive Committee; Scrutinise the Union’s accounts & the querying of unusual expenditure;
- Scrutinise budgets and financial statements prepared by the National Treasurer and the General Secretary prior to the meeting for submission to, and approval by, the National Executive Committee;
- Perform whatever inspections of financial records and transactions as necessary;
- Recommend amendments to the Union’s financial policy;
- Make recommendations regarding financial requests submitted by any province;
- Submit recommendations to make the union self-sufficient; and
- Report all income and expenditure to the National Executive Committee and declare unbudgeted expenditure.
Provincial Executive Committee (PEC)
The Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of any province of the Union shall consist of the following elected members, who meet four times a year:
Provincial Office Bearers, plus one representative from each Local Shop Steward Council for every 1 000 members or part thereof, inclusive of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Local Shop Steward Council, and the duly elected provincial National Forum Representatives.
Local Shop Steward Council
Local Shop Steward Councils shall comprise the Chairperson and Secretary from every Branch Committee, where such branch has 500 or less members, and where such branch has more than 500 members includes the Vice-Chairperson of that branch, within the jurisdiction of the said Council. It shall consist of no less than three branches, who together have no less than 1 000 members.
The geographical boundaries of a local are determined by the PEC concerned and are subject to ratification by the NEC. Meetings are convened once every three months. The functions of the Local Shop Steward Council members are to:
- Review and co-ordinate local activities;
- Discuss and comment on decisions of Branch Committees in accordance with provincial policy;
- Provide social assistance to members in relation to their employment or in furtherance of the objectives & policies of the Union; and
- Submit reports to the PEC on all activities of the Local and Branch Committees within its area of jurisdiction.
Branch Shop Steward Committee
Branches are represented by Shop Steward Branch Committees. This committee comprises all shop stewards elected by the members in that establishment and governs the affairs of the Union inside that establishment.
Branches shall exist in establishments where 25 members or more are employed. If less than 25 members are so employed, provided that there are at least a minimum of 10 members in the establishment, the PEC may resolve to permit an establishment with less than 10 members to operate in conjunction with, and under the auspices of, another existing Branch. General Branch meetings and Shop Steward Branch Committee meetings shall be convened at least once a month.
The functions of the Branch Shop Steward Committee are to:
- Establish and maintain, in their establishment, good relations between members and management;
- Maintain order, harmony and discipline among members in the establishment;
- Employ conciliatory methods to attempt to settle disputes in the establishment;
- Conclude collective agreements binding on the Union provided that the NEC or the PEC has authorised the conclusion of the collective agreement in writing;
- Attend all Branch Shop Steward committee meetings;
- Report regularly on any disputes and grievances of members;
- Encourage compliance with industrial agreements, wage determinations and labour legislation by management and members;
- Consult with management on all matters affecting the interests of members;
- Act as liaison between members in the establishment and the rest of the Union;
- Convey to members employed in the establishment decisions of the Union;
- Take up legitimate complaints of members employed in the establishment with management;
- Assist in recruiting and enrolling new Union members; and
- Elect representatives to Provincial Congress in terms of the Hospersa Constitution.