Glossary of important terms related to staff association/union

Staff assembly / AGM / Annual council - An annual general meeting is a meeting of the general membership of an association or union. These meetings may be required by law or by the constitution, charter, or by-laws governing the body.

Electoral unit - Larger organizations may organize electoral units, where the organization is divided into electoral units by groups of staff, i.e. by similar department or division. The number of representative(s) may also depend on the number of staff, for example one representative for each 200 staff. This allows smaller departments or division to combine together under one representative (for example two departments of 100 staff each), or larger departments or division to have more than one representative (for example a department with 400 staff will have two representatives). The elected Electoral Unit members will nominate candidates that would form the Staff Council, Staff Committee or Executive Committee depending on the statutes of the staff association/union. In contrast, smaller organizations may forego electoral units and each staff member votes directly for members of the Staff Council, Staff Committee or Executive Committee in an election.

Staff council - Staff councils represent the staff members of an organization. For this purpose, staff members at large elect colleagues from their organization to the staff council. It then champions the rights of all staff in the company and negotiates, for example, conditions of service.

Executive committee / Staff committee - Elected officers of a staff association/union appointed to act on behalf of, and within the powers granted to them by, the staff council. Typically, it consists of a president / chairperson, vice-president / vice-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer.