Rules of Order for PSAC Meetings

  1. The President, or in the absence of the President or on the delegation of the President, a Vice-President shall take the Chair at the time specified and shall preside at all sessions.
  2. Hours of sittings of meetings of the Public Service Alliance of Canada shall be determined by the appropriate by-laws or constitution. In the absence of such rule, hours of sittings shall be determined by the meeting itself on recommendation of the Chair.
  3. Members wishing to speak shall raise their hand or proceed to one of the microphones provided for that purpose. When recognized by the Chair, they shall give their name and the body represented, state the purpose for which they rise, and confine remarks to the question at issue.
  4. Speeches shall be limited to three (3) minutes.
  5. A member shall not speak more than once upon a subject until all who wish to speak have had an opportunity to do so.
  6. A member shall not interrupt another, except on a point of order or a question of privilege.
  7. At the request of the Chair, a member called to order shall take a seat until the point of order has been decided.
  8. Should a member persist in unparliamentary conduct, the Chair shall name the member and submit the conduct to the judgment of the meeting. In such case, the member whose conduct is in question should explain and then withdraw, and the meeting will determine what course to pursue in the matter.
  9. (a) When the “previous question” is moved and seconded, no further discussion is permitted on a main motion or amendment to the main motion. The Chair must immediately ask “shall the question be now put?”, and if a two-thirds majority vote “that the question be now put”, the motion or amendment shall be put to a vote without debate. If the motion to put the question is not adopted by a two-thirds majority vote, discussion will continue on the motion or amendment.
    (b) If the previous question has not been adopted, it cannot be put a second time unless at least three (3) members wishing to speak have had the opportunity to do so.
    (c) The previous question cannot be proposed by a person who has spoken on the motion or the amendment.
  10. (a) Any motion or amendment to a motion may be amended, provided the amendment is relevant to the question and does not have the effect of simply negating the question. If a second amendment has been moved and seconded, the Chair will not entertain any further amendments until the second amendment has been decided.(b) Amendments are always voted on in reverse order to their introduction. That is, the second amendment must be decided before the first amendment, and the first amendment must be voted on before the main motion. Whether or not the amendments have been adopted, the main motion must always be voted on.
  11. Any member may challenge a decision of the Chair and the challenge shall require a seconder. Immediately and without debate, except that the appellant and the Chair may give their reasons for the challenge and the decision respectively, the Chair shall put the question: “Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?” The Chair shall not have to accept a challenge if it is on a point of fact or law.
  12. In the event of a tie vote on any matter other than the election of officers, the Chair may cast a deciding vote. The Chair shall not take part in a debate unless he/she leaves the Chair. Having left the Chair, he/she shall not return to it until the matter in question has been decided.
  13. (a) Committees may combine resolutions or prepare a composite resolution or policy paper to cover the question at issue.
    (b) Recommendations from committees are not subject to amendment by the meeting but a motion to refer back to committees for review with instructions, consideration and direction shall be in order.
    (c) Committees can only meet during a plenary session of the meeting with the approval of a majority of members.
    (d)In cases where committees make recommendations on resolutions, members vote on the committee’s recommendation of Concurrence or Non- Concurrence and not on the original resolutions. On presenting the committee’s recommendation to the meeting, the Chair of the Committee shall present a motion in the following form: “I move, seconded by (name of Vice-chairperson of the Committee) concurrence (or non-concurrence) in Resolution No...”.
  14. A motion to refer must be seconded and is not debatable except the mover may give reasons. A motion to refer must include instructions to the committee or officer to which the motion is referred.
  15. The report of a committee, when adopted, becomes the decision of the meeting which adopted it.
  16. The following motions shall be in order at any time and in the order stated:
    (a)To adjourn (not debatable);
    (b)To recess (not debatable);
    (c)Question of privilege (the Chair must rule immediately before going on to further business);
    (d)Point of order (the Chair must rule immediately before going on to further business);
    (e)To table (not debatable, except the mover may give reasons);
    (f)To put the previous question (not debatable);
    (g)To postpone to a future time (not debatable, except the mover may give reasons).
    Motions to adjourn, recess, table or postpone to a future time shall not be moved a second time until there has been an intermediate proceeding of business dealt with by the meeting.
  17. A motion may be reconsidered providing the mover and seconder of the motion to reconsider voted with the prevailing side, and notice of motion has been given for reconsideration at the previous sitting. A motion to reconsider shall require a two- thirds majority to be adopted.
  18.  (a) The Chair shall order a standing vote if a voice/show of hands vote is unclear or inconclusive.
    (b)A member can request a standing vote if he/she questions the results of a voice vote or a vote taken by a show of hands as announced by the Chair. The Chair shall then order a standing vote.
    (c)A vote by secret ballot shall be taken only on a substantive motion at the request of one third of the members present.
    (d)A vote by secret ballot shall not be permitted on a procedural or dilatory motion with one exception: if the initial question was resolved by a secret ballot, a secret ballot will be permitted on a motion of reconsideration.
    (e)Once the Chair has called the question, it shall not be in order to request a secret ballot.
    (f)When a standing vote or a vote by secret ballot has been ordered, no adjournment or recess shall take place until the results have been announced. For the record, the Chair shall announce the number of members voting in the affirmative and the negative recorded.
  19. When a standing vote or a vote by secret ballot has been called by the Chair, no one, except with permission of the Chair, shall be permitted to enter or leave the floor until the results of the vote have been announced.
  20. None but accredited members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and authorized members of the staff and guest speakers shall be permitted on the meeting floor during sessions.
  21. One-third (1/3) of members at the meeting may request, and have ordered, a recorded vote. Upon receiving such request, the Chair shall have the roll called and record the names of those members voting in the affirmative and in the negative.
  22. (a) Proposals and other matters of business submitted after the closing date of the agenda will be referred to the meeting as late resolutions. The meeting may refer them to the appropriate officer or committee.
    (b) Late proposals that are, in the opinion of the Chair, of an emergency nature shall be debatable at any time. Late proposals not deemed to be of an emergency nature shall be considered after all business listed on the agenda has been dealt with.
  23. All motions calling for the expenditure of money shall be placed in writing and together with all proposals and amendments referring to same, shall be costed by the appropriate committee or officer responsible for finances, before any vote is taken on the issue.
  24. A motion to limit the debate shall be in order once the Chair has stated the motion. It must be moved and seconded and is not debatable. A motion to limit debate may limit the number of speakers or the time allotted and the motion must so state. Such a motion shall require a two-thirds majority to be adopted.
  25. Election of officers shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the PSAC Constitution.
  26. In calling for further nominations from the floor, the Chair of the Nominations Committee will declare nominations closed after calling “Are there any further nominations?” three times, without response.
  27. The Chair of the elections will announce after each vote by ballot:
    (a) the number of ballots cast;
    (b) the number of spoiled ballots, if any;
    (c) the number of ballots required to elect a candidate (number of ballots cast less the number of spoiled ballots, multiplied by 50% and rounded to the next highest whole number);
    (d) the number of ballots cast for each candidate.
  28. Each candidate for an office may nominate a scrutineer who shall be entitled to observe all phases of the election and the counting of ballots for that particular office.
  29. In the event of a close decision, it will be in order for a member to request a recount. If the Chair of the elections rules against a recount, the ruling may be appealed in the same manner as a challenge to the Chair.
  30. Quorums shall be determined by the appropriate bylaws or constitution governing the body in session.
  31. Bourinot’s Rules of Order shall govern in all matters not regulated by the rules set out above or as provided by the PSAC Constitution.
August 10, 2021