Office chapels

These draft rules for office chapels are intended only as a guide in drawing up chapel rules.

It may not be possible to adopt all of them exactly as they stand; each chapel may adapt them to its own needs. Chapel rules must be in conformity with the rules of the union, and must be approved by the branch.

These draft rules form Appendix E of the rule book.

  1. This chapel shall be known as the (name of paper or office) editorial chapel of the NUJ, and shall be composed of all members of the union who are members of the editorial staff(s) of the name(s) of paper(s).
  2. The chapel officials shall be a father/mother and a clerk, an equality officer and a welfare officer, and if considered advisable a deputy father/mother and a treasurer and a committee may be appointed. The election shall be annual.
  3. The father/mother shall preside at all meetings (number) to form a quorum. In his/her absence the deputy father/mother or, in the absence of both, any other member elected for that meeting, shall preside.
  4. The clerk shall keep minutes of the meetings and be responsible for the secretarial work of the chapel. Except where a treasurer has been appointed the clerk shall act as treasurer of the chapel fund, receive contributions for the same, and present accounts for audits annually by two members of the chapel appointed for that purpose. Unless an office collector has been appointed, the clerk (or treasurer) may be authorised (with the approval of the branch committee) to collect union contributions, and shall report at each (quarterly/half-yearly) meeting of the chapel all the members who, by reason of arrears, are not in full union benefit.
  5. The chapel shall meet monthly for the transaction of ordinary business. The meeting in (month) of each year shall be called the annual meeting, and at this meeting officers shall be elected. The editor, and heads of sections under him/her, although they may be members of the union, may, by a chapel rule, be required not to attend chapel meetings unless specially requested to do so, and an editor shall not be eligible to hold the office of father/mother or clerk.
  6. In large offices the chapel may set up unit sections in each department. Each section shall elect a convenor who shall summon meetings of the section as need arises. All sections shall be subject to the chapel in all matters. The father/mother shall have the power to call a full-meeting of the chapel, or of any section (e.g., reporters, sub-editors, photographers, etc.) within it, at any time.
  7. On a matter of urgency or importance a special meeting of the chapel shall be convened at any time on the petition of any (number) members, conveyed in writing to the father/mother or clerk, and stating the purpose of the meeting.
  8. It shall be the duty of the father/mother, on receiving a petition for a special meeting, without questioning the urgency or importance of the object stated, to convene such a meeting within three days of the date on which he/she received the petition.
  9. All proposals in meetings of the chapel shall be decided by a majority vote of members present and entitled to vote. The father/mother shall have only one vote. Temporary members shall be entitled to attend chapel meetings and shall be permitted to speak but not vote.
  10. Each member of the chapel shall pay such annual or monthly contributions as may be required for administrative purposes.
  11. Any member of the staff may be required by the father/mother or clerk to produce his or her union membership card.
  12. Chapel business shall be private and confidential and disclosure of chapel affairs to outsiders shall be an offence on the part of any member, calling for such disciplinary action as the union rules allow.
  13. Alterations of chapel rules may be made only at the annual meeting, or at a special meeting convened for the purpose, and a notice of proposed alterations shall be posted at least three days before the meeting.
  14. The chapel shall be empowered to affiliate to the federated house chapel.
  15. The chapel shall be affiliated to the federated group editorial chapel where such a chapel exists within the same newspaper group.