The General Union was established in June 1991 as a union that anyone could join regardless of their workplace or industry. Since its founding the General Union has played a growing role in the language industry. Today we are predominantly a language industry union with branches in most major and many smaller language schools, as well as universities, boards of education, and technical schools.

The AGM is held once a year in spring, and is the most important body of the union. All members are expected to attend. It elects the Executive Committee, which meets roughly once a month. This is the normal decision-making body of the General Union. Any member may stand for election, and any member may attend its sessions.

The Secretariat is made up of elected executive committee members. It meets once every week and its function is to organise the day to day tasks of the union and to make decisions between Executive Committee meetings. This meeting is also open to all union members.

A Branch is a group of union members in one company or area. Branches are not independent unions; they are simply sub-divisions of the General Union. They should have their own executive committees, consisting at least of a branch chair and secretary-treasurer, who are responsible for coordinating organising in the workplace, and keeping the branch paid up and active. They also perform the vital role of liaising with the union officials at the General Union headquarters.


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