The president of the union presides over conference and chairs all the debates. The two vice-presidents may deputise for the president. At the request of the vice presidents, former presidents may be asked to preside over conference sessions.
With the co-operation of delegates, conference business is processed quickly. There are occasions when the president will need to exercise their authority including the right to make a ruling on a question of standing orders or a point of order. The president’s ruling is final.
The president also has the authority to take action in response to any behaviour which is deemed to be inappropriate or unacceptable (for example causing a disturbance and refusing to obey the call to order). The president may delegate the exercise of this authority which includes issuing the delegate with an informal warning, preventing them from speaking in any debate or motion, a temporary removal of credentials for all or part of the conference, or expulsion from conference. Consultation and discussions will take place with the relevant regional delegates. Such behaviour may also be dealt with under the union’s disciplinary procedures.
National Executive Council members sit on the platform together with the general secretary and the assistant general secretaries. They are called on to move reports, statements, motions, amendments to rule and amendments in the name of the National Executive Council. They will also speak for the National Executive Council in reply to some of the debates.
Standing orders committee chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary come to the platform on a daily basis to give reports on behalf of the standing orders committee.