RFSL Branch Statutes

BranchesRFSL

The Branch Statutes were adopted at the RFSL Congress in 2014 and apply to all Branches and their activities affiliated with RFSL.

Introduction

If a Branch wants its statutes to be different from the ordinary Branch Statutes, it can make such changes in accordance with § 9.3, and these are sent to the Association Board.

§ 1 Name of the Branch

  • 1.1 The association’s name is RFSL __________

§ 2 Affiliation

  • 2.1 RFSL ____(as above)______ is a non-profit association and a Branch within RFSL – the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights.
  • 2.2 The Branch is politically and religiously independent.

§ 3 Purpose, aim, and areas of work

  • 3.1 The aim is to work for a society characterised by diversity, openness, and respect for people’s differences, where everybody, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and how they choose to express their orientation or identity, has the same rights and obligations, equal worth, and equal possibilities to live and work.
  • 3.2 The Branch should pursue political advocacy, information, social work and support (where the opportunity and resources exist) for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people, and individuals with queer expressions or identities. These areas of work should be in line with RFSL’s Guiding Principles, Statutes, decisions made by the Congress, and other Steering Documents.

§4 Membership

  • 4.1 The Branch consists of members that acknowledge the Branch’s and Association’s purpose and aims, and pay their membership fees.
  • 4.2 The membership fee is determined by RFSL’s Congress.
  • 4.3 The Branch’s Board can exclude a member who has seriously damaged the Branch’s work or reputation, or for other serious reasons. Such a decision is made by the Board in a ballot with two-thirds majority. The member has to be given the opportunity to address the Board before the decision is made. The member has the right to appeal the decision at the following Annual General Meeting.
  • 4.4 Every member of the Branch has the right to attend, speak, and make suggestions at the Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting, and to submit motions at the Annual General Meeting.

§ 5 Organisation

  • 5.1 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • 5.1.1 The Branch’s highest decision-making body is the Annual General Meeting.
  • 5.1.2 The AGM should be held no later than 31 March each year.
  • 5.1.3 The members should been invited to the AGM at least four weeks prior to the meeting.
  • 5.1.4 The invitation should include details about date, time, and place of the meeting. If the meeting is to address changes in the statutes, this should be stated.
  • 5.1.5 Motions for the AGM should be sent to the Board no later than four weeks before the meeting.
  • 5.1.6 Documents regarding items to be addressed at the AGM should be available to the members no later than two weeks before the meeting.
  • 5.1.7 The following items should be addressed at the AGM:
  1. Opening of the AGM
  2. Establishing the voting register
  3. Confirming the meeting has been convened according to the statutes
  4. Election of an AGM Committee
  5. Chairperson of the meeting
  6. Secretary of the meeting
  7. Election of a protocol attestant
  8. Election of a teller
  9. Establishing the agenda
  10. The Board’s operational and financial report
  11. The Auditors’ report
  12. Establishing financial results and balance sheet
  13. Question of freedom of liability of the Board
  14. Propositions
  15. Motions
  16. Establishing an operational plan and budget for the business year
  17. Election
  18. Board
  19. Establishing mandate and the number of Board Members
  20. President
  21. Treasurer
  22. Other Board Members **
  23. Alternates
  24. Congress representative
  25. Nomination Committee
  26. Auditors
  27. Possible working groups and other Board Members
  28. Other issues (not matters that require a decision)
  29. Closing of the meeting

**During the election of other members, a Vice President, Secretary, or other posts can be appointed.

  • 5.2 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

  • 5.2.1 The Board should hold an Extraordinary General Meeting if it is felt necessary.
  • 5.2.2 The Board should hold an EGM if one of the Branch Auditors or the Association requests it.
  • 5.2.3 The EGM can only address the issue/s that have required the meeting, which should be stated in the invitation.
  • 5.2.4 The Board should hold an EGM if one tenth of the Branch members request it, although not less than ten members. If the Branch has less than ten members, half of the members can request an EGM.
  • 5.2.5 An EGM should be held no later than five weeks after the request for the meeting has reached the Board.
  • 5.2.6 An EGM cannot be held until at least two months after the Annual General Meeting. This does not apply if it has been requested by an Auditor at a reviewing organisation.
  • 5.2.7 The members should receive their invitation to the EGM at least two weeks before the meeting.
  • 5.2.8 The invitation should state the date, time, and place of the meeting and should also include the agenda.
  • 5.2.9 At the EGM, the following items should be addressed:
  1. Opening of the meeting
  2. Establishing the voting register
  3. Confirming the meeting has been convened according to the statutes
  4. Election of an EGM Committee
  5. Chairperson
  6. Secretary
  7. Election of a protocol attestant
  8. Election of a teller
  9. Establishing the agenda
  10. The issue/s that required the EGM
  11. Other issues (no questions requiring a decision)
  12. Closing of the meeting
  • 5.3 The Board

  • 5.3.1 The Board is elected at the AGM. The Board is the Branch’s second highest decision-making body.
  • 5.3.2 The Board should consist of an uneven number of members, no less than five and no more than thirteen, including the President, Treasurer, and other named posts. Alternates for Board Members can also be appointed. There should, as far as possible, be a diversity in sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, health, ethnicity, religion or other belief system, physical and mental ability, age, socio-economic background, and geographic spread.
  • 5.3.3 The Board leads the organisation’s work and is responsible for the Branch finances. The Board should also implement and follow up on the decisions made at the AGM.
  • 5.3.4 The Board should have at least six recorded meetings per year.
  • 5.3.5 In order for the Board to be able to make a decision, all Board Members must have been summoned to the meeting no later than seven days in advance and at least half of the Board Members need to be present.
  • 5.3.6 During Board Meetings, Branch members have the right to attend, speak, and make suggestions. However, this does not apply if the Board decides otherwise due to special circumstances.
  • 5.3.7 Decisions made per capsulam should be recorded and addressed at the next Board Meeting.
  • 5.3.8 Only someone who is a member of the Branch can become a Board Member.
  • 5.3.9 A person who is employed by the Branch or on the Nomination Committee cannot be a Board Member.
  • 5.3.10 The President calls the Board Meetings and this task can be delegated.
  • 5.3.11 The Board is responsible for submitting the Branch organisational and financial reports for the past business year.
  • 5.3.12 The Board is responsible for submitting an operational plan and budget for the coming business year at the AGM.
  • 5.3.13 The Board can co-opt individuals for separate tasks, an entire meeting, or a longer period of time.

 § 6 Decisions

  • 6.1 Decisions are made with a simple majority unless otherwise stated. When voting for individuals, relative majority is applied.
  • 6.2.1 When voting for an individual, if requested, there should be a ballot.
  • 6.2.2 A ballot can be used at the AGM for reasons other than voting for an individual if a simple majority votes in favor. It is not possible for the Board to use a ballot for other issues than voting for an individual.
  • 6.3 If two alternatives receive an equal number of votes, then the President has the deciding vote. This does not apply at AGMs, when voting for an individual, or with a ballot. In the case of an equal number of votes, it will be decided by lottery.
  • 6.4 It is never allowed to vote by authority.

§ 7 Administration

  • 7.1 The Branch business and financial year is 1 January – 31 December.
  • 7.2 Board Members can be selected as an authorised signatory by the Board.
  • 7.3 The firm should be authorised by two people in the organisation as decided by the Board.
  • 7.4 The Board or authorised signatory has the right to issue limited authorisations, for example, regarding bank or postal tasks.

§ 8 Review

  • 8.1 The Branch should have at least two Auditors. If an authorised Auditor is employed, then there only needs to be one.
  • 8.2 The Auditors should review the Board and any working group activities and management throughout the business year.
  • 8.3 The Branch or the Association’s Auditors have the right to immediately access all documents regarding the Branch.
  • 8.4 The annual accounts should be delivered to the Auditors no later than four weeks before the AGM.
  • 8.5 The Auditors should, before the AGM, write an audit report for the past business year. The audit report should include recommendations for the AGM as to whether the outgoing Board should be granted freedom of liability. The Auditors should also make a statement on the Board’s recommendations of the handling of the financial results and balance sheet.
  • 8.6 The audit report should be received by the Board no later than three weeks before the AGM.

§ 9 Interpretation of Statutes and Changes to the Statutes

  • 9.1 The Branch operates in accordance with the Branch Statutes determined by the Congress. Changes in Branch Statutes are decided at RFSL’s Congress with a simple majority of the voting members present. For changes in § 1, § 2, § 3, § 9 and § 10, there must be a two-thirds majority among the voting members present, or a decision with simple majority in two consecutive Congresses. The Congress’ changes to the statutes are effective without Branch approval.
  • 9.2 The Branch AGM can adopt additional local statutes. These cannot be in conflict with, or override the content of, other statutes. The additional statutes should be sent to the Association Board.
  • 9.3 To adopt and/or repeal additional statutes, there has to be a decision at the Branch AGM with two-thirds majority of the voting members, or a decision with a simple majority at two consecutive AGMs.
  • 9.4 The Association Board settles any conflicts regarding the interpretation of these statutes and any additional statutes.

§ 10 Dissolution of the Branch

  • 10.1 A decision on the dissolution of the Branch can only be made at two consecutive General Meetings, where one should be the AGM. The decision has to be supported by two-thirds of the voting members.
  • 10.2 The Branch cannot be dissolved if ten of its members are opposed. In a Branch with less than ten members, it cannot be dissolved if at least half of the members are opposed to it.
  • 10.3 The Branch finances and assets should be passed to the RFSL National Association.
  • 10.4 A Branch cannot leave the RFSL National Association if at least ten members are opposed. If the Branch has less than ten members, it cannot leave the National Association if half of the members are opposed to it.

Definition of Terms

Per capsular: A quick decision that is made, often via telephone or email, without the Board Members being summoned to a physical meeting. This type of decision is only made when the issue cannot wait until the next Board Meeting and there is no time to have an additional meeting. A decision per capsulam is registered in the following Board Meeting minutes and is regulated by a work and delegation order.

Simple majority: A simple majority means more than half of the total number of votes. This is the most common form of democratic decision-making.

Qualified majority: Qualified majority means that a certain percentage of votes, greater than a simple majority, have to be reached for a decision to be made. For example, a two-thirds or three-quarters majority.

Relative majority: Relative majority is when the individual or individuals who have the most votes will be elected regardless of how these votes compare to the total number of votes. Relative majority is commonly used in votes for individuals and not issues.