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Certification Officer: general announcements and latest decisions

General announcements and latest decisions issued by the Certification Officer.

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19 January 2018

Breach of union rules decision Chisholm v Unite the Union

The applicant made two complaints under 108A(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 about her alleged removal from office as branch secretary. The Certification Officer refused both of these complaints.

16 January 2018

Breach of union rules decision Boswell and Ors v United Road Transport Union (URTU)

The claimants made three complaints alleging that URTU had breached its rules relating to disciplinary proceedings. The Assistant Certification Officer upheld one complaint that the union had breached its rules and dismissed the other two complaints. The ACO has now received further submissions from parties following the findings in this decision and is now considering the appropriate remedy

19 December 2017

Breach of union rules decision Prof Barron v University College Union

Prof Barron made nine complaints of breaches of rule of the LSE branch of the UCU pursuant to s.108A(2) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Assistant Certification Officer (ACO) made a declaration that breaches had occurred in relation to complaints 2 and 8.

Complaint 2 – the ACO made a declaration that the union had breached 9.1 of the LSE branch rules by failing to ensure the branch committee appointed a returning officer for elections.

Complaint 8 – the ACO made a declaration that the union breached rule 11 of the LSE branch rules by failing to ensure the delegates to the 2017 Congress were elected from members of the LSE branch.

The ACO did not make any enforcement orders.

Complaint 3 was dismissed as it fell outside the Certification Officer’s jurisdiction. Complaint 5 was dismissed as it was submitted out of time. Complaints 1,4,6,7 and 9 were dismissed as no breach or threatened breach had been found.

12 December 2017

Breach of union rules decision Dr Elliott & Dr Borbora v British Medical Association

Dr Elliott made four complaints and Dr Borbora made three complaints alleging breaches of union rule relating to disciplinary procedures under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

The Certification Officer refused both Dr Elliott’s and Dr Borbora’s applications.

14 November 2017

Breach of union rules decision Mr Alec McFadden v Unite the Union

The applicant made two complaints under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 that Unite the Union had breached its rules relating to disciplinary proceedings. Following submissions from the parties on two preliminary issues the Assistant Certification Officer, appointed by the Certification Officer to hear the complaints, decided to uphold the applicant’s complaints of breach of rules.

30 October 2017

Breach of Union Rule decision: Mr Tully v National Crime Officers Association

The applicant made five complaints under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 that the National Crime Officers Association had breached its rules relating to disciplinary proceedings. The Certification Officer made five declarations that the union had breached its rules. The following enforcement orders were made: 1.The National Executive Committee’s decision at its meeting on 7 to 8 September 2016 to expel Mr Tully from membership of the NCOA is null and void. 2.The Union make arrangement to restore Mr Tully to membership of the NCOA by 19 November 2017.

13 October 2017

Financial irregularity decision: National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland Area)

The Certification Officer has decided not to exercise his discretion to appoint an inspector to investigate the financial affairs of National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland Area). He has written to the union to inform them of his decision and his reasons. The letter to the union, which contains background information and comment, is published here.

13 September 2017

Breach of Union Rules Decision: Penkethman & Walker v Communication Workers union

Ms Penkethman and Mr Walker made one complaint alleging a breach of rule relating to canvasing during the 2017 elections in the Midland No 7 branch of the CWU under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Mr Walker made a further separate complaint relating to the receiving of a voting paper during the same election.

The Certification Officer refused both of the claimants’ applications

9 August 2017

Breach of Union Rules Decision: McFadden v Unite the Union

The claimant alleges that Unite the Union breached its rules in relation to disciplinary proceedings against him. Following a preliminary hearing the Assistant Certification Officer identified the issues in dispute which fall to be determined at a full hearing of the complaints. The Certification Officer also identified a preliminary issue to be decided by him before any further hearing. He set directions for the full hearing.

18 July 2017

The Annual Report of the Certification Officer, Gerard Walker, was laid before Parliament today 18 July 2017. The report describes the work of the Certification Officer over the year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 and provides detailed information on all trade unions and employers’ associations. The statistical information it contains is drawn from the annual returns received during the reporting period, which relate mainly to the year ending 31 December 2015.

22 May 2017

Burgess and ors, Wakefield, Bannister and Rogers v UNISON: The Public Service Union

The applicants made 16 complaints that UNISON had breached its rules in relation to its 2015 General Secretary election. Many of these complaints contained multiple allegations of breaches. In addition it was alleged that the Union breached section 49(4) and 49(6) of the 1992 Act also in relation to the 2015 UNISON General Secretary election.

The Assistant Certification Officer made decisions relating to all of the above complaints. She made one declaration that the union had breached its rules. No enforcement order was made.

19 May 2017

Breach of union rules decision: Mr K Johnson v GMB

The applicant made four complaints under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation Act) 1992 that the GMB had breached rules of the Union relating to matters specified in section 108A(2).

The Certification Officer dismissed the application upon withdrawal by the applicant.

28 April 2017

Amalgamation of ATL and NUT

An application to register the Instrument of Amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Union of Teachers was received on 25 April 2017.

20 March 2017

Listings decision: Disabled Workers Union

Under section 3(3) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Certification Officer refused the application by Disabled Workers Union to be entered in the list of trade unions.

10 March 2017

Mr Fernandez and Ors v Unite the Union

The claimants made four complaints of that the Union breached its rules on relation to branch officer elections in union’s LE/2000 Branch and one complaint of a breach of section 30 (2) of the 1992 Act in relation to the request for access to accounting records. The Certification Officer upheld one complaint of breach of rule and dismissed the other complaints. No enforcement order was made.

23 January 2017

Mathewson v NUM

Mr Mathewson made seven complaints alleging the union had breached its rules and one complaint of the union’s breach of Chapter IV of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Following correspondence, the Certification Officer struck out all eight complaints under section 256ZA(1)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the grounds that they had no reasonable prospect of success and/or were otherwise misconceived.

10 January 2017

Laws v GMB

The applicant made a complaint under section 108A(1) of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation Act) 1992 that the GMB had breached rules of the Union relating to matters specified in section 108A(2).

The Certification Officer dismissed the application upon withdrawal by the applicant.

16 November 2016

Abrahams & Ors v URTU

The applicants made three complaints relating to the 2016 Election for General Secretary of the Union. These included two alleged breaches of Chapter IV of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and one alleged breach of one of the Union’s rules. The Certification Officer upheld all three complaints and made a single enforcement order in relation to the breach of Section 47(1) of the 1992 Act – Complaint 2.

27 October 2016

Beaumont v Unite the Union (No.5)

The claimant made seven complaints that the union had allegedly breached its rules in relation to eligibility to hold lay office on its Executive Council, and related issues. The Certification Officer dismissed all the complaints.

19 October 2016

Burgess & Ors, Rogers, Wakefield and Bannister v UNISON: The Public Service Union

The claimants alleged that Unison breached its rules and the 1992 Act in relation to the election for the position of General Secretary of UNISON in late 2015. At the preliminary hearing on 6th October 2016, the Assistant Certification Officer determined that the complaints from all four applicants should be consolidated and determined at a single hearing. In addition the issues to be determined were identified and agreed. The ACO also gave directions for the full merits hearing which is to be heard on 19,20 and 21 December 2016.

30 August 2016

Bannister v UNISON: The Public Service Union

Mr Bannister brought five complaints in which he alleged that UNISON: The Public Service Union breached its rules in relation to the UNISON 2015 General Secretary election. Three of Mr Bannister’s complaints were struck out under section 256ZA(1)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the basis that they had no reasonable prospect of success and/or were otherwise misconceived. The remaining two complaints are to proceed to a full hearing in order to be determined.

26 August 2016

Brough v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) (No. 2)

Mr Brough made a complaint alleging that UCATT had breached section 24(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 by failing to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the entries in its register of members were accurate and kept up-to-date. The Certification Officer upheld the complaint but considered it was inappropriate to make an enforcement order.

9 August 2016

Forbes v Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association

Mr James Forbes made two complaints against the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (“the Association”) in which he alleged that the Association breached its rules in relation to its internal disciplinary procedure and breached section 47(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Mr Forbes died on 18 April 2016. On 20 July 2016 his complaints were withdrawn on behalf of his estate. The Certification Officer dismissed Mr Forbes’ complaints upon withdrawal by his estate.

14 July 2016

The Annual Report of the Certification Officer (2015-2016) is published and laid before Parliament. It is available to be downloaded from the Certification Officer’s website.

7 July 2016

Bentham v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) (No. 3)

Mr Bentham brought two complaints in which he alleged that UCATT breached its rules in relation to its internal disciplinary procedure. The complaints were struck out under section 256ZA(1)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”) on the basis that they had been brought to the Certification Officer outside the time limits set out in section 108A(6) and (7) of the 1992 Act.

31 May 2016

Fletcher v Unite the Union

The claimant made a complaint alleging that Unite the Union breached section 30(2) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 in failing to comply with his request to access accounting records of the union. Upon the union providing the records the claimant withdrew the complaint. The complaint was dismissed upon withdrawal by the claimant.

17 May 2016

Fernandez Castillo and Ors. v Unite the Union

The claimants alleged that Unite the Union breached its rules in relation to the 2015 Branch LE/2000 election and breached section 30(2)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. At the preliminary hearing the Certification Officer determined which branch constitution was valid at the time of the election and that the Branch Balloting Protocol constituted rules of the union. The Certification Officer also determined which complaints made by the claimants would proceed to a full hearing.

17 May 2016

Brough v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) (No 3)

Mr Brough made two complaints alleging the union had breached its rules relating to disciplinary matters. Following correspondence, the Certification Officer struck out both complaints under section 256ZA(1)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the grounds that they had no reasonable prospect of success and/or were otherwise misconceived.

4 May 2016

Chapman v Community

Mr Chapman made five complaints relating to disciplinary proceedings by the Union. Mr Chapman alleged that the Union breached a number of its own rules during disciplinary proceedings against him and in handling a complaint by him against another Union member. The Certification Officer refused four of the claimant’s applications but declared in the claimant’s favour on the fifth complaint. The Certification Officer did not make any enforcement order.

22 March 2016

Henderson v GMB

Mr Henderson made five complaints relating to the Union’s election for the position of General Secretary and Treasurer. These included four alleged breaches of 47(1) Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and one alleged breach of one of the Union’s by-laws. The Certification Officer refused all five of the claimant’s applications.

12 January 2016

Mills v Unite the Union

The claimant made a complaint alleging that Unite the Union had breached section 30(2)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 in failing to comply within 28 days with her request to access accounting records of the union. The Certification Officer upheld the complaint and made an enforcement order.

25 November 2015

Sweeney (No. 2) v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)

Mr Sweeney brought two complaints in which he alleged that UCATT breached its rules in not paying his or the person accompanying him their travel expenses in order to attend an appeal hearing before the General Council of UCATT. The complaints were struck out under section 256ZA(1)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the grounds that they had no reasonable prospect of success and/or were otherwise misconceived.

17 November 2015

Rowlandson v UNISON

Mr Rowlandson made five complaints alleging that the union had breached its rules in relation to branch elections and one complaint in relation to disciplinary procedures. The union conceded breaches for four of the six complaints and the Certification Officer declared, by consent, that the relevant rules had been breached as alleged. He made a single enforcement order in relation to these complaints. The Certification Officer refused to make a declaration on the remaining two complaints.

22 October 2015

Radford v Equity (No.2)

Mr Radford made three complaints alleging that the union had breached two of its rules in relation to disciplinary procedures. The Certification refused the claimant’s application in relation to the first complaint. The Certification Officer upheld the second and third complaints for which he also made enforcement orders. The decision was issued to the parties on 22 October 2015 and reviewed, following an application from the Union, on 12 November 2015.

15 October 2015

Ritson v National Union of Teachers (NUT)

Mr Edward Ritson made six complaints alleging that the NUT breached its rules in relation to the nomination procedure followed by its Sefton Branch for local officers and committee. Following a settlement between the parties, Mr Ritson withdrew his complaints, which were dismissed by the Certification Officer upon withdrawal.

2 October 2015

Murray v Unite the Union

Mr Murray made a complaint alleging that the union had breached one of its rules in relation to the election of the Scottish Regional representative to its Executive Council that took place in 2015. The union conceded a breach of the rule. The Certification Officer made an enforcement order that the election be re-run.

29 July 2015

Brough v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)

Mr Brough made a complaint alleging that the union had breached its rules in relation to its internal disciplinary procedure. The Certification Officer dismissed the complaint.

20 July 2015

The Annual Report of the Certification Officer (2014-2015) is published and laid before Parliament. It is available to be downloaded from the Certification Officer’s website. Hard copies of the report are available upon request to the Certification Office (info@certoffice.org).

23 June 2015

Wilson v UNISON: The Public Services Union

The claimant alleged that the union breached its rules in relation to a ballot of members of the Doncaster Local Government Branch Retired Members Section. The application was struck out under section 256ZA of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the grounds that the complaint advanced by the claimant had no reasonable prospect of success and/or was otherwise misconceived.

3 June 2015

Stevens v Union of Democratic Mineworkers

The claimant brought five complaints against the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. The complaints alleged breaches of rule relating to:

  • the notices required for branch meetings;
  • the voting of a branch delegate at the Union’s Council;
  • the election of a National Executive Committee member;
  • the attendance of a trustee at a National Executive Committee; and
  • a rule change relating to sections of the union.

Two of these complaints were upheld, two were dismissed and one was struck out by the Certification Officer under section 256ZA(4) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Certification Officer did not make any enforcement orders.

19 May 2015

Todd v Unite the Union

The claimant brought five complaints against Unite the Union. The complaints alleged breaches of rule relating to the complainant being prevented from speaking to the National Industrial Sector Committees of the Union and the handling of her complaints relating to the issue. The Certification Officer struck out all five complaints under section 256ZA of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 on the grounds that the complaints had no reasonable prospect of success and/or were otherwise misconceived.

15 May 2015

Boothroyd v UNISON

The claimant made a complaint alleging that UNISON breached its rules in removing him from membership. The claimant withdrew his complaint on the Union reinstating his membership. The Certification Officer dismissed the complaint upon withdrawal by the claimant.

15 May 2015

Beaumont (No. 4) and Mansell v Unite the Union

The claimants brought five complaints against Unite the Union. One complaint related to eligibility to sit on its Executive Council and was upheld. The other four related to the Executive Council election in 2014 Two of these complaints were upheld and two were dismissed. The Certification Officer did not make any enforcement orders.

17 April 2015

Street and Street v UNISON (on remission from the EAT)

The complaint, as remitted to the Certification Officer by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, following the Certification Officer’s decision (D/28-29/12-13) and EAT judgement (UKEAT/0256/13) was dismissed by the Certification Officer.

Published 11 November 2014
Last updated 19 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Decision for Chisholm v Unite the Union
  2. new decision
  3. New decision issued by the Assistant Certification Officer.
  4. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  5. An error in the wording has been amended
  6. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  7. New Decision issued by the Certification Officer
  8. Findings letter published in relation to allegations of financial irregularities relating to National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland Area)
  9. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  10. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  11. New Decision by the Assistant Certification Officer
  12. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  13. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  14. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  15. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  16. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Beaumont v Unite the Union (No.5)
  17. new CO decision
  18. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Bannister v UNISON: The Public Service Union
  19. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Brough v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) (No. 2).
  20. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Forbes v Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association.
  21. The Annual Report of the Certification Officer (2015-2016) is today published and laid before Parliament. It is available to be downloaded from the Certification Officer’s website.
  22. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  23. New decision issued by the Certification Officer
  24. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  25. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  26. New decision of the Certification Officer
  27. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  28. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  29. New decision published by the Certification Officer
  30. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Radford v Equity (No.2)
  31. Ritson v NUT: Following a settlement agreement between the parties, Mr Ritson withdrew his application, which was dismissed by the Certification Officer upon withdrawal. The hearing set for 21 October 2015 has been vacated. The Certification Officer's decision is available on his website.
  32. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  33. New decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  34. The Annual Report of the Certification Officer (2014-2015) is published and laid before Parliament today. It is available to be downloaded from the Certification Officer’s website. Hard copies of the report are available upon request to the Certification Office (info@certoffice.org).
  35. New Decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  36. New Decision issued by the Certification Officer.
  37. Three new decisions issued by the Certification Officer.
  38. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Groves (2) v Society of Authors
  39. New decision issued by the Certification Officer: Singh v Unite the Union
  40. Singh v Unite the Union (18/03/2015): Mr Singh alleged that Unite the Union breached its rules in relation to his alleged removal from office. The Certification Officer dismissed the complaint.
  41. New Decision issued by the Certification Officer: Beaumont (3) v Unite the Union
  42. Lastest decision by the Certification Officer: Barton v UNISON (23 January 2015).
  43. New Decision issued by the Certification Officer: Illingworth v National Union of Teachers (NUT)
  44. Sweeney v Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT): Decision issued by the Certification Officer on 28 November 2014.
  45. New decision published - Conway v NUT.
  46. First published.