Revised 23 July 2015. All previous Rules rescinded.
The MU Rules are available here as a Word document and in PDF format. Audio and large print versions of the MU Rules are available from the Union upon request.
Rule I: Objects and definitions
1 The Musicians’ Union (hereinafter called ‘the MU’) is a Trade Union registered on the list of Trade Unions maintained by the relevant statutory authority. Its National Office is such place as shall be decided by the Executive Committee (hereinafter called ‘the EC’).
The MU’s accounting records and its membership database shall be available for inspection on notice by any person having an interest in the MU’s funds subject to the statutory provisions regarding data protection.
2 The MU’s objects are:
a To secure the complete organisation of all musicians for their mutual protection and advancement;
b To regulate members’ relations with their employers and/or employers’ associations, and with each other;
c To improve members’ status and remuneration;
d To advance members’ knowledge and skills;
e To give financial and/or other help to members and members of the families of members in times of need;
f To maintain a fund for the furtherance of such political objects as are permitted by law;
g To promote the welfare and the interests of its members in all ways; and,
h To promote equality for all including through:
(i) collective bargaining, publicity material and campaigning, representation, Union organisation and structures, education and training, organising and recruitment, the provision of all other services and benefits and all other activities;
(ii) The Union’s own employment practices.
i To oppose actively all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination whether on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, or other status or personal characteristic.
3 To further its objects the MU may, as determined by the EC:
a Establish and enforce, by negotiation or otherwise, all fees and commissions, all terms and conditions of employment and/or engagement, and all terms and conditions of use of members’ recorded performances (wherever in the world such uses occur) and collect, apply and distribute monies arising from such uses either directly or through appropriate organisation(s) and to retain from such monies sufficient to cover costs of such collection, application and distribution and to use any residual or undistributable funds in such manner as it sees fit;
b Assist members and members of the families of members by providing financial and other benefits. The MU shall consider such benefits to be of a provident nature, as defined by prevailing taxation provisions;
c Provide legal advice and assistance under such criteria as are established by the EC. The MU regards such legal advice and assistance, where appropriate, to be of a provident benefit nature as defined by the prevailing taxation provisions;
d Print and publish periodical or other literature;
e Purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any real and/or personal property and/or any rights or privileges which the MU may think necessary or convenient for its purpose and lease, manage, mortgage, sell, deal with or dispose of the same;
f Affiliate to, amalgamate, co-operate or federate with any other organisation;
g Invest and manage funds not immediately required;
h Promote, acquire and carry on any business either alone or with any other person or body, either directly or indirectly, and to promote and to acquire all or any of the share or loan capital of any company, engaging in or proposing to engage in any activity which may be conducive to the attainment of all or any of the MU’s objects;
i Undertake and execute any trusts; raise funds for and/or make donations, grants or loans to, any object which is charitable or benevolent or conducive to the attainment of all or any of the MU’s objects;
j Do all such things not contained within these Rules as are conducive to the attainment of all or any of the MU’s objects.
4 In these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall have the following meanings:
a ‘Officer’ means a member of the EC, a member of a Regional Committee, a General Trustee, a Pension Fund Trustee, a General Referee, a Conference delegate, a Union Steward elected or appointed under regulations established by the EC, and any other officer of the Union appointed as such by the EC.
b ‘Official’ means the General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, the Assistant General Secretaries, an Assistant Secretary, a Regional Organiser, and any other official of the Union appointed as such by the EC.
c ‘The families of members’ means the families, households and dependents of members and/or deceased members as defined by the EC from time to time. The EC may decide on different definitions for different purposes under the Rules.
Rule II: Membership
1 Persons are eligible to join the MU if, at the time of their application:
a They are following the profession of music; and,
b They are not members of any other body of musicians established for protective purposes which has been proscribed by the EC; and,
c They have not previously been expelled from MU membership or engaged in conduct contrary to the Rules of the MU.
Such other persons may be admitted to membership as may be deemed eligible by the EC.
2 Application for admission to the MU may be made by such methods as the EC makes available, and shall be sent together with the correct subscription.
3 Applications shall be granted or rejected under such procedures and conditions as determined by the EC and subject to conditions and/or payments of advance subscriptions as determined by the EC.
4 If an application is rejected, the applicant may, within a period of 21 days from the date the rejection is notified to them, appeal to the EC to be reconsidered. Any money paid by a rejected applicant to the MU shall be refunded on completion of any unsuccessful appeal against rejection.
5 All members will be provided with a copy of the MU’s Rules by which they shall be bound.
6 Every member (except as provided for in sub-Rule 9 below) shall be attached to a Region, normally that in which the member resides or performs the majority of their professional activities. In the event of dispute concerning the particular Region in which the member shall be placed, the EC shall decide and this decision shall be final.
7 The membership of any person who has previously been a member of the MU shall date from their most recent admission to the MU.
8 The membership of any person who makes a false declaration in connection with their application for membership may be declared void by the EC from the beginning at its discretion and all sums paid by such person to the MU forfeited.
9 The EC may appoint any person to be a member, a temporary member, or honorary member of the MU on such conditions and for such period as the EC decides.
The members of the MU shall therefore be:
- a Members
- b Temporary members
- c Honorary members
- d Free members (Rule XII.2)
- e Concessionary members (Rule XII.3)
Save where the context otherwise requires or admits, references in these Rules to a member or members include all members of the MU.
10 Notwithstanding anything in these Rules the EC may, by giving 90 days’ notice in writing, terminate the membership of any member if necessary in order to comply with a decision of the Disputes Committee of the Trades Union Congress.
11 A member may apply to resign from the MU and the member’s resignation shall be accepted by the EC if there are no outstanding sums due from the member to the MU at the time of such application.
12 The name of any person who has been expelled or has ceased to be a member may be published to the members and to any other person if considered expedient.
Rule III: Regions
1 The structure of the MU shall be based on Regions as determined by the EC. The current composition of the Regions is set out at Appendix A.
2 A Regional Committee shall be formed for each Region. The remit and powers of the Regional Committee shall be determined by the EC.
3 Candidates for election to the Regional Committee shall have been members of the Union and of the Region for at least one year on the nomination day. No person who is or who at any time during the preceding five years was employed by the MU shall be eligible for nomination.
Save for members filling casual vacancies in accordance with sub-Rule III.4, members shall take office from the start of the first Regional Committee meeting in the calendar year following their election and shall hold office until immediately before the first such meeting in the calendar year two years later. Members of the Regional Committee shall be eligible for re-election unless otherwise disqualified. Elections shall be held each year by a ballot vote of the Region as follows:
a The number of vacant positions shall be 20 minus the number of members of the Regional Committee who are in the first year of a two year term of office (‘the continuing members’).
b If the number of valid nominations is greater than the number of vacant positions, an election will be held for the vacant positions. The Regional Committee for the forthcoming year shall comprise 20 members.
c If the number of valid nominations is no greater than the number of vacant positions, all nominees shall be declared elected. The Regional Committee for the forthcoming year shall comprise the total of those so elected and the continuing members. Should that total be less than 12 or such other number (not exceeding 20) declared by the Executive Committee in its absolute discretion, the Executive Committee shall take such steps as it may in its absolute discretion deem appropriate, including but not limited to:
(i) Declaring that the Regional Committee for the forthcoming year shall comprise that total;
(ii) Arranging for further elections to be held for such number of positions as it may deem appropriate, provided that the number shall not be such as would bring the Regional Committee above 20. At the conclusion of such further elections, the Executive Committee shall consider whether to declare the number of the Regional Committee for the forthcoming year and/or whether to take other steps permitted by this sub-Rule;
(iii) Co-opting one or more members of the Region onto the Regional Committee;
(iv) Suspending the Regional Committee for the forthcoming year.
4 A casual vacancy shall occur when during a year the number of members of a Regional Committee falls below 12 or such other number declared by the Executive Committee under sub-Rule 3c of this Rule. In either case the vacancy shall be filled by the unsuccessful candidate who at the last election polled the next highest number of votes and who is willing and eligible to act for the remainder of that term. Where there is no such unsuccessful candidate, the Executive Committee shall take such steps as it may in its absolute discretion deem appropriate, including but not limited to;
(i) Declaring what the number of members of the Regional Committee shall be for the forthcoming year;
(ii) Arranging for further elections to be held for such number of positions as it may deem appropriate, provided that the number shall not be such as would bring the Regional Committee above 20;
(iii) Co-opting one or more members of the Region onto the Regional Committee;
(iv) Suspending the Regional Committee.
Any member elected to a casual vacancy shall take office immediately the result is declared and shall continue in office for the remainder of the original term.
5 An Annual General Meeting of all members in the Region (hereinafter called ‘the Regional AGM’) shall normally be held in the month of September in each year. Any candidate for the Regional Committee shall be nominated in writing at the Regional AGM by another member of that Region and such nomination and written consent of the nominee must be received by the Secretary of the Regional Committee at or before the Regional AGM.
6 The Regional Committee and all sub-committees appointed by the Regional Committee in the previous year, and the Regional Chairperson, shall continue as such until the first meeting of the Regional Committee in the new year.
7 Regional Committees normally shall meet four times per year and may appoint sub-committees, and delegate all or any of their powers to such sub-committees.
8 The Regional Organiser shall be the Secretary of the Regional Committee. Where there is no Regional Organiser the EC shall appoint an Official to act as Secretary of the Regional Committee, who shall conduct the correspondence, summon all meetings and keep the Minutes of the Regional Committee.
9 The Regional Committee shall, at its first meeting in each calendar year, elect from its number a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the year. Candidates for such office shall have been members of the MU for at least three years on the nomination day.
10 The Regional Committee shall supervise the activities of the Region, and consider motions from members.
11 In exceptional circumstances the EC may authorise the cooption of members on to a Regional Committee. Any members co-opted on to a Regional Committee will not enjoy voting rights.
Rule IV: Election of EC
1 The EC shall consist of members elected from each Region. Each Region shall be entitled to one EC member for every 1,500 members as at the previous year’s end, provided that no Region shall have fewer than two or more than seven EC members.
2 Candidates for the EC shall have been members of the MU for at least three consecutive years from the most recent date of admission prior to nomination and must be resident in or undertake the majority of their work as a musician in the Region in which they are nominated. No person who is or who at any time during the preceding five years was employed by the MU shall be eligible for nomination.
3 With the exception of a casual vacancy, any candidate for the Executive Committee shall be nominated in writing at the Regional AGM by another member of that Region and such nomination and written consent and membership number of the nominee must be received by the Secretary of the Regional Committee at or before the Regional AGM. Should a casual vacancy occur, any candidate for the Executive Committee shall be nominated in writing by another member of that Region and such nomination and written consent and membership number of the nominee must be received by the Secretary of the Regional Committee by a time and date to be decided by the EC.
4 Candidates nominated may submit a written election address for the information and consideration of members as determined by the EC taking account of the prevailing legal provisions concerning the conduct of such ballots.
5 The ballot papers for the election shall be prepared and issued and counted by such independent body as may be designated by the EC. On receipt of the ballot results from the independent scrutineer the General Secretary shall publish those results to the candidates and the members.
6 Members of the EC shall be elected by a ballot vote of the Regions for which there are vacancies to be filled. Members elected at the annual election shall take office from the start of the first EC meeting in the calendar year following their election and shall hold office ordinarily until immediately before the first EC meeting in the calendar year two years later. Prior to the holding of an election to which this Rule relates the EC may for the purpose of ensuring that some elections take place annually, decide the period of office of a successful candidate or candidates shall be of such period shorter than two years as they determine. Members of the EC shall be eligible for re-election unless otherwise disqualified.
7 If a casual vacancy shall occur, an election shall be held as soon as is practicable. The member elected shall take office immediately the result is declared and shall continue in office for the unexpired period of office of the member who has vacated their office.
8 If within any period of 60 days a majority of the Regional Committees in existence at the end of such period shall have passed a resolution to that effect, a special delegate conference shall be held to consider whether all the members of the EC shall be removed from office and the General Secretary shall decide the time and place of and make arrangements for the conference. All the members of the EC shall be removed from office if the special delegate conference shall so resolve and the functions and powers of the EC shall thereupon devolve upon the General Secretary until the election of a new EC. The General Secretary shall arrange for such election to be held as soon as is practicable.
Rule V: EC powers and duties
1 Subject to the Rules the EC shall have all the powers of the MU and all powers necessary for or conducive to the attainment of the objects of the MU including the power to delegate its authority. Mention in the Rules of specific powers of the EC shall in no way limit these general powers, always provided that policy decisions of the biennial Delegate Conference shall be binding on the EC as far as is practicable.
2 The EC shall normally meet not less than four times a year. The first meeting in each calendar year shall be no later than February in that year. The EC may take decisions by ballot and may make regulations governing such ballots.
3 The EC may give specific or general instructions for the implementation of the Rules and the management of the affairs of the Union.
4 The EC shall determine any matter on which the Rules are silent but shall have no power to alter the existing Rules, save as is expressly provided for elsewhere in these Rules.
5 The EC may at any time summon a meeting of any Regional Committee or group of members and may call for the books and records of any Region or Regional Committee or other body to be delivered to the General Secretary, special auditors or such other person as it may direct.
6 The EC may appoint, engage or authorise the engagement of a Deputy General Secretary, Assistant General Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries and such other Officials, Officers and Staff, who shall be under the control of the EC, which shall fix the salaries and conditions of their employment.
7 The EC may indemnify members or others in respect of services rendered to the MU.
8 The EC is empowered to call, conduct and terminate strikes, to call upon members to withhold their services and to take such other industrial action as it considers desirable.
9 The EC may grant strike, lock-out or victimisation pay of such amount as it may consider desirable.
10 The grant of legal advice and/or assistance to members shall be made by the EC at its discretion.
11 The EC shall have power to appoint any person to represent the MU on other organisations.
12 The EC may establish regulations governing the election or appointment of MU Stewards and the duties attached to such offices.
13 The EC and its members shall be indemnified by the Union to such an extent as allowed under prevailing legislation against all liability incurred by it or its members in the exercise of its powers and duties under the Rules and the funds of the Union shall be used for the implementation of this indemnity. The EC has the authority to indemnify the General Secretary and others to such extent as allowed under prevailing legislation.
14 If the EC shall be satisfied that any ballot vote has not been correctly and fairly taken or returned it shall have power to direct that any votes shall be disqualified and/or to make all arrangements for a fresh vote to be taken to such extent as shall be necessary for a correct return to be made.
15 In addition to the disciplinary procedures provided for by Rule XVIII an EC member may be suspended from or removed from office as a member of the EC, by resolution of the EC carried by not less than 75% of the total number of serving EC members, if the EC member is found to be acting in contravention of the EC’s objects, duties, policies or aims or have been found to have breached EC collective confidentiality or collective responsibility. A person removed from office under this Rule shall not be eligible for re-election to the EC.
16 At its first meeting in each year the EC shall appoint from amongst its number three members plus one reserve to serve on a Disciplinary sub-committee and three members plus one reserve to serve on an Appeals sub-committee comprising different EC members. In the event that a member of the Disciplinary sub-committee or Appeals sub-committee has or may have a conflict of interest in relation to a charge to be heard by that sub-committee, that member shall for the purpose of proceedings relating to that charge be replaced by a substitute sub-committee member.
Rule VI: Motions to EC and to Regional Committees
1 Motions from members may be submitted to the EC for consideration in the following ways:
a At the Regional AGM or a specially convened meeting of the Region, motions may be moved and seconded for consideration by that meeting. The motion may be amended or withdrawn after it has been moved and seconded. If the motion, as amended, is accepted by the meeting on a majority vote, the Regional Organiser shall submit it to the EC.
b A motion may be submitted in writing for consideration by a Regional Committee. Such a motion must be supported by at least five members of the Region who must provide their names and membership numbers. The motion may be accepted, rejected or amended. If the motion, as amended, is accepted by the meeting on a majority vote, the Regional Organiser shall submit it to the EC.
c A motion may be submitted in writing directly to the EC for its consideration. Such a motion must be supported by at least 20 members who must provide their names and membership numbers. The motion may be accepted, rejected or referred back to its supporters with a recommendation for amendment or other change.
2 Motions from members may be submitted to a Regional AGM or Regional Committee in the following ways:
a At the Regional AGM or a specially convened meeting of the Region, motions may be moved and seconded for consideration by that meeting. The motion may be amended or withdrawn after it has been moved and seconded. The motion may be accepted, rejected or amended.
b A motion may be submitted in writing for consideration by a Regional Committee. Such a motion must be supported by at least five members of the Region who must provide their names and membership numbers. The motion may be accepted, rejected or referred back to its supporters with a recommendation for amendment or other change.
3 a Nothing in Rule VI shall require the EC or a Regional Committee to accept for debate a motion which would have the effect of re-opening a vote or decision on the same or a similar issue taken by the same body within the past seven months.
b The number of motions which a member may move and/or second (under sub-Rule VI.1a and/or VI.2a) or support (under sub-Rules VI.1b and/or c and VI.2b) shall be limited to a maximum of two at any one meeting.
Rule VII: EC Chairperson
1 At the first meeting of the EC in each year the EC shall elect from amongst its members a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson(s), to hold office until immediately before the first meeting of the EC in the subsequent year.
2 For the purpose of the election of the Chairperson the General Secretary or their deputy shall take the Chair but shall have no vote. In the event of equality of voting the election shall be decided by the toss of a coin.
3 The Chairperson (and any other member when acting as Chairperson) shall have an ordinary vote and, in the event of equality of voting, a casting vote.
Rule VIII: The General Secretary
1 In the event of a vacancy in the office of General Secretary, the EC shall secure an election for a successor as soon as practicable. The EC shall determine a timetable for the election of General Secretary, shall appoint an independent scrutineer, shall determine the terms and conditions of employment of the General Secretary and may determine a job description and skills/competence profile for the post of General Secretary. The EC shall ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, all members will be sent published notice of the election, notice of the independent scrutineer, the timetable and any job description and skills/competence profile, and shall invite nominations.
2 The General Secretary shall be elected by a ballot vote of the MU. Candidates shall confirm in writing their consent to be nominated and their agreement to accept, if elected, such terms and conditions of employment as the EC may require.
3 A candidate must either have had at least five years continuous MU membership immediately prior to nomination, or must have had at least five years continuous employment with the MU immediately prior to nomination. For the nomination to be valid the candidate must be both proposed and seconded in writing by eligible members of a Region at a duly convened Regional meeting and a motion to adopt the nomination must be carried at that meeting. Each Region may nominate one candidate and no member may vote for the nomination of more than one candidate at the Regional meeting.
4 Candidates nominated may submit for the consideration of members a written election statement of such length and format as may be determined by the EC taking account of the prevailing legal provisions concerning the conduct of such ballots.
5 The ballot papers for the election shall be prepared and issued to each member together with the election statement and any job description and skills/competence profile determined under Rule VIII.1. The ballot papers shall be counted by the independent scrutineer or such other independent person as may be appointed by the EC. Upon receipt of the ballot results from the independent scrutineer, the results shall be published by the EC to the membership in such manner as it shall determine.
6 The General Secretary shall, under the authority of the EC, be responsible for the administration of the MU’s affairs and shall attend meetings of the EC. The General Secretary will carry out the duties as directed by the EC and the Rules of the MU. The duties may be varied by the EC from time to time.
7 In her/his absence, the duties of General Secretary shall be carried out by the Deputy General Secretary and in the absence of the or any Deputy General Secretary by the Assistant General Secretaries.
8 The General Secretary shall hold office for the maximum period provided by law or until death, cessation of membership, resignation or removal from office, in accordance with the provisions of the Rules. In the event that the General Secretary dies in office, retires or is removed without completing their term of office, an election for a successor shall be held as soon as practicable. A person so removed from office without completing their term of office shall not be eligible to stand for any future election for any office.
9 The General Secretary may be suspended from office by resolution of the EC on the ground that he/she is or may be unable and/or unwilling to perform their duties satisfactorily and/or has brought the MU into disrepute, upon a motion to that effect being moved at a duly convened meeting and carried by a vote in favour of not less than 75% of the total number of serving EC members. In the event of such a resolution being passed, the General Secretary shall forthwith be suspended from office and the EC shall arrange immediately for a ballot vote of members on a motion to remove the General Secretary from office on such grounds as the EC shall determine. The EC shall provide the General Secretary with a copy of its motion and the grounds for the motion. The EC and the General Secretary shall be entitled to state in writing their reasons for and against the motion and grounds, and to exchange such statements in advance of these being made available to members with the ballot papers. In the event that the motion is passed by a simple majority of those members voting, the General Secretary shall forthwith be removed from office and shall not be eligible for any future election for any office. In the event that the motion is not passed by a simple majority of members voting, the suspension of the General Secretary shall forthwith be lifted.
Rule IX: Delegate Conference
1 A Delegate Conference of delegates from each Region (hereinafter called ‘Conference delegates’) shall be convened by the EC biennially, or more frequently in case of special circumstances, to discuss and decide matters of policy and/or to determine Rule changes, and/or to receive a report from the EC on its work arising from decisions of previous Conferences.
2 The EC shall decide the time and place and make arrangements for the Conferences.
3 Conference delegates, Officials and members of the EC shall receive reasonable expenses for attending the Conference in accordance with rates fixed by the EC. The EC may authorise payment of expenses for any other person attending Conference.
4 Candidates for election as Conference delegates shall hold membership of the Region for which they are a candidate and shall have been members of the MU for at least one year prior to nomination. No Conference delegate shall be an Official or a member of the EC. Nominations for Conference delegates shall be made in writing by another member of his/ her Region and such nomination and written consent of the nominee must be received by the Regional Organiser at or before a date published by the EC.
5 Conference delegates shall be elected by a ballot vote of the membership in each Region. Each Region shall be entitled to one delegate for every 500 members as at the previous year’s end.
6 If any delegate is unable to attend the Conference the candidate who has polled the next highest number of votes in the Region and who is eligible shall be deemed to be the elected member for the purpose of attending the Conference.
7 Members of the EC will normally be expected to attend the Conference. Officials shall attend at the discretion of the General Secretary but shall not vote. The EC and the General Secretary may invite any other person to attend Conference as a guest or observer.
8 The EC Chairperson, failing him/her the EC Vice-Chairperson, and failing him/her such other person as the EC shall appoint, shall Chair the Conference.
Rule X: Duties of members
1 No member shall use the name, or any logo or trademark of the MU or claim to represent the MU or speak on its behalf without proper authority obtained from the General Secretary.
2 Each member is hereby deemed to appoint the Union as their representative for all time, in respect of performances and recordings made before or during their term of membership, to:
a Undertake on their behalf the activities set out in Rule I.3a
b Negotiate collective and/or other agreements on their behalf with the makers and/or users of recordings on which they have performed for uses of such recordings not provided for in any other agreement; and,
c Grant any and all necessary consents on their behalf in respect of such uses of such recordings.
3 Notwithstanding sub-Rule XI.2 above, members shall be entitled to negotiate and enter into individual agreements relating to their professional activities. In such a case it shall be the duty of the member to comply with such directions as may be provided by the EC and submit written contracts for professional activities abroad to the Union before they are entered into.
4 It shall be the duty of members to report in writing to an appropriate Official any disciplinary offence or breach of Rule of which they have knowledge.
5 A member should do all that is possible to ensure that all musicians eligible for membership of the MU seek and/or obtain membership of the MU. Members should not, in furtherance of this obligation and observance of this Rule, incite, make or commit any breach of contract. Enforcement of this sub-Rule shall be subject to the relevant statutory provisions in place from time to time.
6 Every member shall give notice to the Union of material changes to their personal details within 21 days of the change taking place.
7 It shall be the duty of every member to strike when called upon to do so by the EC, to observe all embargoes on engagements, persons and places and to observe the instructions of the EC in connection with all disputes or other matters within the province of the EC. Enforcement of this sub-Rule shall be subject to the relevant statutory provisions in force from time to time.
Rule XI: Subscriptions
1 Subscriptions shall be such sums as determined by the EC. The subscription ordinarily is annual and becomes due on the anniversary of admission, unless otherwise authorised by the EC. Termination of membership for any reason during the course of a year shall not affect the amount of subscription due for that year.
2 A member who at the time of application is not in arrears with subscriptions or levies and,
a Has been a member continuously for 20 years or more and is permanently unable to follow any employment or,
b Has been a member continuously for 35 years or more and has retired from following the profession of music may apply to their Regional Committee for free member status. Should such status be granted the member will be excused subscriptions and levies and will be entitled only to such benefits, services and privileges of membership as the EC from time to time in its absolute discretion may determine. The EC may exercise its discretion differently in respect of the two categories of free members. For the avoidance of doubt, free members will not be eligible to hold any office in the Union or to nominate or vote in Union elections or ballots and any reference to the entitlement of a member to stand or nominate or vote in an election or hold office shall be interpreted as excluding free members.
In exceptional circumstances, the EC may waive the first condition in sub-clause b above.
3 A member who at the time of application is not in arrears with subscriptions or levies and has been a member continuously for 35 years or more and has retired from following the profession of music may apply to their Regional Committee for concessionary member status.
Concessionary member status shall also apply for so long as a member is in full-time education having notified the Union in writing to that effect and provided proof of student status when requested.
A concessionary member shall be liable to pay a subscription of an amount according to a scale determined by the EC and shall be entitled only to such benefits, services or privileges of membership and to hold such offices or to nominate or vote in such Union elections or ballots as the EC from time to time in its absolute discretion may determine. The EC may exercise its discretion differently in respect of the two categories of concessionary members.
4 The subscription due from each member shall be remitted no later than 28 days after the time provided for in clause 1 of this rule. Each member shall be given written notice that their subscription is overdue, and of the action to be taken in the event of their failure to pay within the notified timescale.
5 Any member whose subscription is not paid within the 28 day period specified in Rule XII 4, and/or with levies or fines 28 days’ outstanding, shall cease to be a member.
6 Any Officer who ceases to be a member under Rule XII 5 shall automatically cease to hold office.
7 Where a member pays subscriptions by direct debit, any reference to the renewal date on the member’s individual membership card shall be read as referring to the date on which the direct debit instalment is due and any reference to the subscription shall be read as referring to an instalment.
Rule XII: Levies
1 If the EC should consider it desirable that for any purpose there should be a national or Regional levy, it shall formulate a scheme (which may provide for payment of reduced amounts or none at all by some of the members) and submit it to the vote of the members. If a majority of the members voting at meetings held for that purpose shall be in favour of the levy the EC shall give notice of the imposition of the levy by publication of the particulars in the official journal or otherwise.
2 If a member shall not have paid the amount or amounts due from them within 28 days of the date or dates for payment stated in the official notification of the imposition of the levy they shall be suspended from membership.
Rule XIII: Rates and conditions
1 The EC may for the benefit of members issue general information concerning the rates and conditions for different classes of employment and engagement. The EC shall endeavour to secure that such information includes any regional variations in rates and conditions.
Rule XIV: Alteration of Rules
1 Save as expressly provided for elsewhere in these Rules, these Rules shall only be altered by, at the discretion of the EC, either:
a A ballot vote of the members; or
b A Delegate Conference
Rule changes, whether by ballot or Conference, shall only be proposed by (i) the EC or (ii) a majority decision of the MU’s Regional Committees reached in accordance with the procedure described in Rule XV.2 below.
2 A motion proposing a Rule change may be submitted to a Regional Committee in accordance with Rule VI.1b and, if accepted in accordance with Rule VI.1b, submitted to the EC in accordance with that Rule. If a majority of the EC vote to do so, the proposal(s) shall then be referred by the EC to all other MU Regional Committees who shall at their next meeting vote whether the Rule change proposal(s) should proceed. The EC may, in its sole discretion, when referring the proposal to Regional Committees include with the proposal a statement or statements giving the views of the EC and/or the Regional Committee which submitted the proposal.
If a majority of Regional Committees (taken together with the Regional Committee proposing the Rule change) vote that the Rule change should proceed, the EC shall then at its next meeting refer the proposal(s) to whichever of (i) a ballot vote of the members; or (ii) a Delegate Conference as the EC shall in its absolute discretion consider appropriate. In the event of a ballot the EC shall have the right to include with the ballot paper a statement giving its views on the proposal(s).
3 In the event of a change of legislation that would make any Rule unlawful, the EC shall have the power to amend that Rule so as to comply with that legislation.
Rule XV: Voting in consultative, industrial action & similar ballots
1 Members entitled to vote in consultative, industrial action and similar ballots shall be those members who are not otherwise ineligible who are included on the membership database at the time of the ballot.
2 The General Secretary or an appropriate Official shall make such administrative arrangements as are appropriate for such ballots in accordance with procedures established by the EC, including the delegation of all or some of these administrative arrangements to an agency or other organisation.
Rule XVI: Rules of meetings
1 A body constituted to conduct the business of the MU shall determine its own quorum, which shall be not less than three.
2 Except where otherwise expressly stated, the Chairperson, for the time being of any meeting (other than the EC and EC sub-committees), shall in the event of equality of voting have a casting vote in addition to their ordinary vote (if any).
3 An honorary member may attend and speak at meetings only by invitation and shall not be entitled to vote.
4 Any member of any Committee who is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Committee shall cease to be a member of the Committee unless the Committee is satisfied that their absence is justifiable.
Rule XVII: Disciplinary procedures
1 All MU members have a duty to observe the Rules of the MU.
2 Disciplinary action may be taken against any member who does any of the following (including doing so as a member of a political party):
a Disregards, disobeys or breaks any of the Rules or regulations of the MU applicable to them, or any instruction issued in accordance with the Rules;
b Acts in a manner prejudicial or detrimental to the MU or their Region;
(i) Any act of discrimination or harassment on grounds of age, colour, disability, marital status, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation; or,
(ii) Any other discriminatory conduct which is prejudicial to the objects of the MU set out at Rule I;
d Misappropriates any money or property belonging to the MU which is under their control, or fails properly to account for money which was, is or should be under their control or defrauds the MU in any way;
e Evades payment of the correct rate of subscriptions.
3 Disciplinary action may not be taken against a member where the conduct complained of consists solely of acting as an Officer or Official of the MU for or on behalf of or in accordance with the decision of a committee or other body of the MU.
4 Where a complaint of an alleged disciplinary offence is made to the General Secretary within 28 days of the alleged offence and there appear to the General Secretary to be reasonable grounds to think that a member might be guilty of a disciplinary offence the General Secretary shall investigate whether charges are justified.
5 It shall be open to the General Secretary to delegate all or part of the investigation to such person or persons as the General Secretary thinks fit.
6 The General Secretary shall consider the result of such investigation and consider whether there are reasonable grounds to think that a member might be guilty of a disciplinary offence and whether charges are justified and should be brought.
7 If the General Secretary considers that a charge (or charges) should be brought the General Secretary shall appoint an Assistant General Secretary (or other Official) to prepare and prosecute the case on behalf of the MU and a different Assistant General Secretary (or other Official) to act as secretary to the Disciplinary sub-committee appointed in accordance with Rule V.16.
8 A disciplinary charge shall be heard by the Disciplinary subcommittee of the EC appointed in accordance with Rule V.16.
9 Where the Disciplinary sub-committee considers a disciplinary charge is proved against a member, it may impose any one or more of the following penalties:
a Censure of the member;
b Debarring the member from attending any Delegate Conference and/or Regional meeting for whatever period it deems appropriate;
c Debarring the member from holding any MU office for whatever period it deems appropriate;
d Suspension of the member from all or any of the benefits of membership for whatever period it deems appropriate;
e Suspension of the member from holding any MU office for whatever period it deems appropriate.
f Expulsion of the member from the MU.
A member suspended under this rule shall, during the period of suspension, remain liable for subscriptions and levies and all the obligations of membership.
10 A member of the MU who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Disciplinary sub-committee in respect of charges against them may exercise their right of appeal to the Appeals sub-committee of the EC appointed in accordance with Rule V.16. Any such appeal must be in writing to the General Secretary within 14 days of notification of the decision of the Disciplinary sub-committee. The appeal shall be by way of review and shall not be a re-hearing. Each party shall be entitled to make written submissions to the Appeals sub-committee. The Appeals subcommittee may, in exceptional circumstances, call either party or any witness to attend before the Appeals sub-committee.
The Appeals sub-committee may confirm or vary the decision and/or penalty of the Disciplinary sub-committee but may not increase the penalty imposed by the Disciplinary subcommittee.
11 The decision of the Appeals sub-committee shall be final and binding upon the MU and the member(s) concerned.
12 The procedure to be adopted for disciplinary hearings and appeals shall be as determined by the EC from time to time.
Rule XVIII: Funds, property & trustees
1 All moneys subscribed by the members and all funds and property otherwise acquired by the MU shall be the property of the MU.
2 Funds available for investment shall be invested in such a way (whether authorised by law for the investment of trust funds or not) as shall from time to time be provided by regulations drawn up by the EC.
3 The EC may direct that any part of the funds or investments of the MU shall be separated from the general funds of the MU and held upon separate trusts within any of the objects and powers of the MU including such trusts as are in law charitable.
4 Any investments or funds available for investment may be allocated by the EC to a Provident Fund or Provident Funds and thereafter the income arising therefrom shall be applicable and applied solely for the purpose of such provident benefits, being both as to nature and amount within Section 467 (1 and 2) of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, as are provided for by these Rules. Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in these Rules there shall be no power to alter this sub-Rule so as to permit Provident Funds to be used for purposes outside the said section or any statutory amendment thereof.
5 There shall be four or more General Trustees appointed by the EC each of whom shall hold office until death, resignation, disqualification or removal by the EC.
6 All the real and personal property of the MU which is not required for immediate purposes shall be held in the name of a nominee company of which the General Trustees shall be the directors and shall be held in accordance with the instructions of the EC.
7 There shall be four or more Pension Fund Trustees appointed by the EC each of whom shall hold office until death, resignation, disqualification or removal by the EC.
Rule XIX: Auditors & Assurer
1 The accounts of the MU shall run to 31 December of each year.
2 The accounts of the MU shall be audited annually.
3 The EC shall appoint auditors qualified as required by Section 34 of the Trades Unions and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
4 The EC shall appoint an Assurer to provide such membership audit certificates as are required by legislation. The Assurer may be removed in accordance with legislation and their appointment shall cease forthwith if no longer required by legislation.
Rule XX: Political Fund (except Northern Ireland)
1 The objects of the Musicians’ Union shall include the furtherance of the political objects to which Section 72 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 applies, that is to say:
The expenditure of money —
a On any contribution to the funds of or on the payment of expenses incurred directly or indirectly by a political party;
b On the provision of any service or property for use by or on behalf of any political party;
c In connection with the registration of electors, the candidature of any person, the selection of any candidate or the holding of any ballot by the Union in connection with any election to a political office;
d On the maintenance of any holder of a political office;
e On the holding of any conference or meeting by or on behalf of a political party or of any other meeting the main purpose of which is the transaction of business in connection with a political party;
f On the production, publication or distribution of any literature, document, film, sound recording or advertisement, the main purpose of which is to persuade people to vote for a political party or candidate or to persuade them not to vote for a political party or candidate.
Where a person attends a conference or meeting as a delegate or otherwise as a participator in the proceedings, any expenditure incurred in connection with his/her attendance as such shall, for the purposes of (e) above be taken to be expenditure incurred on the holding of the conference or meeting.
In determining, for the purposes of (a) to (f) above whether the Trade Union has incurred expenditure of a kind mentioned in these paragraphs, no account shall be taken of the ordinary administrative expenses of the Union.
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
A resolution approving the furtherance of political objects within the meaning of the above Act as an object of the Union has been adopted by a ballot under the Act. Any payments in the furtherance of any of those objects will be made out of a separate fund, the Political Fund of the Union, but every member of the Union has a right to be exempt from contributing to that fund. A form of exemption notice can be obtained by or on behalf of any member either by application at, or by post from, the National Office or any Regional Office of the Union or from the Certification Officer for Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations, 22nd floor, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3JJ.
In these objects:
- ‘candidate’ means a candidate for election to a political office and includes a prospective candidate;
- ‘contribution’, in relation to the funds of a political party, includes any fee payable for affiliation to, or membership of, the party and any loan made to the party;
- ‘electors’ means electors at an election to a political office;
- ‘film’ includes any record, however made, of a sequence of visual images, which is capable of being used as a means of showing that sequence as a moving picture;
- ‘local authority’ means a local authority within the meaning of Section 270 of the Local Government Act 1972 or Section 235 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973; and,
- ‘political office’ means the office of member of Parliament, member of the European Parliament or member of a local authority or any position within a political party.
2 Any payments in the furtherance of such political objects shall be made out of a separate fund of the Union (hereinafter called the Political Fund).
3 As soon as is practicable after the passing of a resolution approving the furtherance of such political objects as an object of the Union, the EC shall cause a notice in the following form to be given to all members of the Union in accordance with this sub-Rule:
The notice shall be published to members by such methods as are customarily used by the Union to publish notices of importance to members. Insofar as they are not within such usual practice, the following requirements shall also apply. The notice shall be published in the Union’s main periodical journal which is circulated to members. A copy of the notice shall be posted up and kept posted up for at least 12 months in a conspicuous place, accessible to members, at the office or meeting place of each Region of the Union. The Secretary of each Region shall also take steps to secure that every member of the Region, so far as is reasonably practicable, receives a copy of the notice, and shall supply a copy to any member on request.
The EC shall provide the Secretary of each Region with a number of copies of the notice sufficient for these purposes.
4 Any member of the MU may at any time give notice on the form of exemption notice specified in sub-Rule 5, or by a written request in a form to like effect, that he/she objects to contribute to the Political Fund. A form of exemption notice may be obtained by or on behalf of any member either on application at, or by post from, the National Office or any Regional Office of the Union or from the Certification Officer for Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations, 22nd floor, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3JJ.
5 The form of exemption notice shall be as follows:
Musicians’ Union Political Fund (Exemption Notice)
I hereby give notice that I object to contributing to the Political Fund of the Union, and am in consequence exempt, in manner provided by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, from contributing to that fund.
Name of Region:
6 Any member may obtain exemption by sending such notice to National Office of the Union and acknowledgement of its receipt shall be sent by, or on behalf of, the General Secretary to the member at the address given on the notice.
7 On giving such notice, a member of the Union shall be exempt, so long as his/her notice is not withdrawn, from contributing to the political fund of the Union as from the first day of January next after the notice is given, or in the case of a notice given within one month after the notice to members under sub-Rule 3 hereof or after the date on which a new member admitted to the Union is supplied with a copy of these Rules under sub-Rule 13 hereof, as from the date on which the member’s notice is given.
8 The EC shall give effect to the exemption of members to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union by relieving any members who are exempt from the payment of part of any periodical contributions required from the members of the Union towards the expenses of the Union as hereinafter provided and such relief shall be given as far as possible to all members who are exempt on the occasion of the same periodical payment.
For the purpose of enabling each member of the Union to know as respects any such periodical contribution what proportion, if any, of the sum payable by him/her is a contribution to the Political Fund of the Union, it is hereby provided that the first 2p of each complete £1 contribution is a contribution to the Political Fund of the Union and that any member who is exempt as aforesaid shall be relieved from the payment of the said sum of the first 2p of each complete £1 contribution and shall pay the remainder of the contribution only.
9 A member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute to the political fund of the Union, shall not be excluded from any benefits of the Union or placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under disability or disadvantage as compared with other members of the Union (except in relation to the control or management of the Political Fund) by reason of his/her being so exempt.
10 Contribution to a Political Fund of the Union shall not be made a condition for admission to the Union.
11 If any member alleges that he/she is aggrieved by a breach of any of the Rules for the political fund, being a Rule or Rules made pursuant to Section 71(1)(b) of the Act, he/she may complain to the Certification Officer, and the Certification Officer, after giving the complainant and any representative of the Union an opportunity of being heard, may, if he considers that such a breach has been committed, make such order for remedying the breach as he thinks just in the circumstances. Any such order of the Certification Officer may, subject to the right of appeal provided by Section 95 of the Act be enforced in the manner provided for in Section 82(4) of the Act.
12 Any member may withdraw his/her notice of exemption on notifying his/her desire to that effect to the General Secretary at National Office or the Secretary of his/her Region who shall thereupon send such member an acknowledgement of receipt of the notification and inform the General Secretary of the name and address of the member so withdrawing.
13 The EC shall cause to be printed, as soon as practicable after the approval of these Rules for the Political Fund, a number of copies thereof (having at the end a copy of the certificate of approval) sufficient for the members of the Union, and further number for new members, and shall send to the Secretary of each Region a number of copies sufficient for the members of the Region. The Secretary of each Region shall take steps to secure that every member of the Region, so far as practicable, receives a copy of these Rules, and shall supply a copy to any member at his/her request. A copy thereof shall also be supplied forthwith to every new member on his/her admission to the Union.
Rule XXI: Political Fund (Northern Ireland members)
Northern Ireland Political Fund Rules
1 Under Article 59 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 no Northern Ireland member of the Union shall be required to make any contribution to the Political Fund of the Union unless he/she has delivered, as provided in sub-Rule 2 herein, to the National Office or some Regional Office of the Union, a notice in writing, in the form set out in sub-Rule 2 herein, of his/her willingness to contribute to that Fund, and has not withdrawn the notice in the manner provided in sub-Rule 3 herein, is to be deemed for the purpose of these Rules to be a member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute to the Political Fund of the Musicians’ Union.
Form of Political Fund contribution notice for Northern
2 The form of notice of willingness to contribute to the Political Fund of the Musicians’ Union is as follows:
Political Fund Contribution Notice — Northern Ireland
I hereby give notice that I am willing, and agree, to contribute to the political fund of the Musicians’ Union, and I understand that I shall in consequence, be liable to contribute to that Fund and shall continue to be so liable, unless I deliver to the National Office or some Regional Office of the union, a written notice of withdrawal. I also understand that after delivering such a notice of withdrawal I shall continue to be liable to contribute to the political fund until the next following first day of January.
3 If at any time a Northern Ireland member of the Musicians’ Union, who has delivered such a notice as is provided for in sub-Rule 1 and sub-Rule 2 herein, gives notice of withdrawal thereof, delivered as provided in sub-Rule 1 herein, to the National Office or at any Regional Office of the Musicians’ Union, he/she shall be deemed to have withdrawn the notice as from the first day of January next after the delivery of the notice of withdrawal.
4 The notices referred to in sub-Rule 2 and sub-Rule 3 may be delivered personally by the member or by an authorised agent of the member, and any notice shall be deemed to have been delivered at the National Office or Regional Office of the Musicians’ Union if it has been sent by post properly addressed to that office.
5 The Executive Committee shall give effect to the statutory exemption of Northern Ireland members to contribute to the Political Fund of the Musicians’ Union by making a separate levy of contributions to that Fund from those Northern Ireland members who have provided written consent of their willingness to contribute, namely, the sum of 2p of each complete £1 contribution. No moneys of the Musicians’ Union other than the amount raised by separate levy shall be carried to the Political Fund.
6 Northern Ireland members who are statutorily exempt from the obligation to contribute to the Political Fund of the Musicians’ Union shall not be excluded from any benefits of the Union, or placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under any disability or disadvantage as compared with other members of the Union (except in relation to the control or management of the Political Fund) by reason of their being exempt.
7 Contribution to the Political Fund of the Musicians’ Union shall not be made a condition for admission to the Union.
8 If any Northern Ireland member alleges that he/she is aggrieved by a breach of any of the Rules made pursuant to Article 59 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 he/she may complain to the Northern Ireland Certification Officer, 10-16 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG, under Article 70 of The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.
If, after giving the complainant and a representative of the Musicians’ Union an opportunity to be heard, the Certification Officer considers that a breach has been committed, he/she may make an order for remedying it as he/she thinks just in the circumstances. Under Article 69 of the 1995 Order an appeal against any decision of the Certification Officer may be made to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal on a question of law.
Additionally, if any Northern Ireland member alleges that he/she is aggrieved by a breach of the Political Fund Rules made pursuant to Section 82 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 he/she may complain to the GB Certification Officer, 2nd Floor, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3JJ. If, after giving the complainant and a representative of the Musicians’ Union an opportunity of being heard, the GB Certification Officer considers that a breach has been committed, he/she may make an order for remedying it as he/she thinks just in the circumstances. Any such order of the GB Certification Officer is subject to the right of appeal provided for by Section 82 (4) of the 1992 Act.
Rule XXII: Dissolution
1 If on a ballot vote a resolution to dissolve the MU shall be passed by nine-tenths of the members of the MU or if the number of members shall be reduced to 50 or less, any member shall be entitled to call a meeting of the members to appoint a Committee to wind up the affairs of the MU. After payment of the MU’s liabilities, any assets shall be divided among the members in equal shares.
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
Certificate of Approval of Political Fund Review Ballot Rules
I hereby approve the ballot rules for the political fund of
to which this certificate is affixed for the purposes of Section 74 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
GERARD WALKER, Assistant Certification Officer
Date:19 November 2013
Certification Officer for Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations
22nd Floor, Euston Tower
286 Euston Road
London NW1 3JJ
Regions For information only. This Appendix does not form part of the Rules.
MU Regional Boundaries at 1 January 2008
Bromley (postcodes starting: BR), Croydon (CR), Dartford (DA), Enfield (EN), Harrow (HA), Ilford (IG), Kingston-Upon-Thames (KT), London East (E), London East Central (EC), London North (N), London North West (NW), London South East (SE), London South West (SW), London West (W), London West Central (WC), Romford (RM), Sutton (SM), Twickenham (TW), Uxbridge (UB).
East & South East England
Bournemouth (postcodes starting: BH), Brighton (BN), Cambridge (CB), Canterbury (CT),Chelmsford (CM), Colchester (CO), Guildford (GU), Hemel Hempstead (HP), Ipswich (IP), Luton (LU), Medway (ME), Milton Keynes (MK), Norwich (NR), Oxford (OX), Peterborough (PE), Portsmouth (PO), Reading (RG), Redhill (RH), Tunbridge Wells (TN), Slough (SL), Southampton (SO), Southend-On-Sea (SS), St Albans (AL), Stevenage (SG), Watford (WD).
Birmingham (postcodes starting: B), Coventry (CV), C rewe (CW), Derby (DE), Dudley (DY), Hereford (HR), Leicester (LE), Lincoln (LN), Northampton (NN), Nottingham (NG), Stoke-On-Trent (ST), Telford (TF), Walsall (WS), Wolverhampton (WV), Worcester (WR).
North of England
Blackburn (postcodes starting: BB), Blackpool (FY), Bradford (BD), Bolton (BL), Carlisle (CA), Chester (CH), Durham (DH), Darlington (DL), Doncaster (DN), Halifax (HX), Harrogate (HG), Huddersfield (HD), Isle of Man (IM), Kingston-Upon-Hull (HU), Lancaster (LA), Leeds (LS), Liverpool (L), Manchester (M), Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (NE), Oldham (OL), Preston (PR), Sheffield (S), Stockport (SK), Sunderland (SR), Teesside (TS), Wakefield (WF), Warrington (WA), Wigan (WN), York (YO).
Wales & South West England
Bath (postcodes starting: BA), Bristol (BS), Cardiff (CF), Dorchester (DT), Exeter (EX), Gloucester (GL), Guernsey (GY), Jersey (JE), Llandrindod Wells (LD), Llandudno (LL), Newport (NP), Plymouth (PL), Salisbury (SP), Shrewsbury (SY), Swansea (SA), Swindon (SN), Taunton (TA), Torquay (TQ), Truro(TR).
Scotland & Northern Ireland
Aberdeen (postcodes starting: AB), Belfast (BT), Dumfries & Galloway (DG), Dundee (DD), Edinburgh (EH), Falkirk (FK), Galashiels (TD), Glasgow (G), Hebrides (HS), Inverness (IV), Kilmarnock (KA), Kirkcaldy (KY), Kirkwall (KW), Shetland Isles (ZE), Motherwell (ML), Paisley (PA), Perth (PH).