Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Application by Union for deferral of AGM permitted

The Commission has issued an order to remove the requirement for strict compliance with r 13(1) of the rules of the Independent Education Union of Western Australia, Union of Employees (the Union), to enable the Union to delay its Annual General Meeting (AGM) until July 2020.

Rule 13(1) of the Union’s rules requires that the AGM be held no later than six months following the end of the Union’s financial year. The financial year ended on 31 December 2019.

The applicant, the President of the Union, said there were two reasons for the Union being unable to hold the AGM within the required time.

The first was the recent disruptions connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. The second was the sudden departure of the Union’s Secretary in May 2020, who was responsible for the day to day operation of the Union.

Chief Commissioner Scott also noted that the Independent Education Union of Australia, WA Branch, is also required to hold its AGM no later than 30 June each year, and that it is usual practice for the Union and the WA Branch to hold their AGMs concurrently each year. Scott CC observed that the Registered Organisations Commission has granted an extension of time for the WA Branch to hold its AGM before 31 July 2020, for the same reasons as the applicant put to the Commission in respect of the Union.

Scott CC considered the circumstances of the case, including the fact that the WA Branch has received an extension of time, and found that the circumstances clearly made it difficult for the Union to meet its obligation under r 13(1). Scott CC found that the circumstances nor their consequences for arranging the meeting was reasonably foreseeable.

Scott CC has issued an order authorising the Union to not observe r 13(1) by 30 June 2020 and allow it to conduct its AGM by the end of July 2020.

The decision can be read here.

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