Proposals for the delegational structure of the Social Unions


In the following context, to delegate is understood to mean the assigning of responsibility and authority to a subordinate of the social union. It is not the same as the appointment of a representative as, for example, in bureaucratised trade unions where the paid elected-for-life general secretary is the elected representative of the union. The delegation we speak of here is something totally different. Indeed the complete opposite.

The size and complexity of the social union necessitates delegation to its elected subordinates.

The process of delegation confers sufficient authority on delegates to be able to make decisions in the absence of the assembly of the social union i.e discretion to act during intermittent periods. Obligations on delegates therefore come with the rights and means to fulfill tasks decided by the union and by decisions made by the delegate in its absence. The decisions of the delegate are subject to approval or reprimand by the union.

Accordingly, delegates are given authority by and remain accountable to the social union as a whole. The decisions of the social union always stand higher than and supersede the decisions of the delegate. Any disputes are therefore ultimately decided by the democracy of the social union which is supreme

The union will decide by democratic process who it shall elect as delegates. The social union will work out and confirm by vote a process of nomination of candidates to be put forward for election by the assembly of the social union.

The responsibilities and authority of delegates must be generalised, circumscribed and understood by the union and the delegate. The delegate to be subject to a process of mandatory re-election annually in which the delegate can be re-affirmed or dismissed in his/her duties. Discretionary dismissal or re-election (re-affimation) on recall.

Outline of delegational process 1. Nomination of candidates 2. election 3. Continuous monitoring of the appointee in his/her duties/role as delegate by the social union 4. Recall (procedure to be determined by union) 5. Accountability process by means of the full assembly of the union 6. Dismissal and replacement by election or re-affirmation as delegate by the assembly.

Democratic principles and procedures 1. delegates to be elected by simple majority at a quorate assembly meeting of the union (whose number shall be determined by the union) and empowered to work for the union in a specified capacity as determined by the union 2. All delegates to be subject to recall at any time. The recall of delegates must afford a period of notice to the delegate so he/she has time to prepare a defence, if wishing to do so, against any charges made prior to the accountability assembly. 3. At the aforesaid assembly, the recalled delegate to be subjected to a process of accountability as determined by the social union.  4. The assembly of the union – by simple majority vote – to either dismiss the recalled delegate or re-aafirm him/her in his/her position as delegate of the union. 5. New nominees for vacant position put forward as candidates and elected by simple majority vote at a quorate meeting.

The democracy and authority of the social union is paramount. Procedures to serve as basis for the union to monitor the work of delegates and safeguard against the possibility of bureaucratic power and imposition on the democracy of the union, which is an attack against the union and its movement as a whole. Accordingly, the activities of delegates to be subject on the whole to the democracy, decisions and will of the social union as a whole i.e in the finality of matters, delegates to serve as conduits for the decisions and activities of the social union as a whole.

Thus, the social power of the union flows from the social union upwards to the elected delegates and always returns to that power base, arising out of its democracy, decisions and resolution. Therefore, all empowerment, authorisation and disempowerment to reside with the social union as a whole i.e. under its political control. The highest body is the general assembly of the social union. The stress is to safeguard against the rise of bureaucracy, power being usurped and concentrated in the hands of individual/groups which cannot be shifted and thereby flouting the open, transparent and popular democracy of the social union. This must be avoided at all costs.

Shaun May



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