Bylaws for the National Junior Faculty of Sweden (updated 2021-09-03)
Member organization: A local junior/future/young faculty (JF) organization at a Swedish university with the majority of members holding a PhD
Representatives: Individuals from a member organization that have been nominated to represent their own local organization.
Voting representative: A representative who is meant to vote at or outside formal meetings, representing a member organization.
Observing participant: A set of individuals who are allowed to observe and speak in formal meetings, and may have access to other selected material. Primarily individuals who do not represent member organizations.
Formal meeting: A meeting called by the chair.
Simple majority: Agreement of more than and not equal to 50% of voting member organizations; this percentage may be of a subset of the Member organizations under special circumstances specified in the bylaws.
Qualified majority: Agreement of 2/3rd of voting Member organizations; this percentage may be of a subset of the Member organizations under special circumstances specified in the bylaws.
Formal working group: A group of people created by voting in the NJF that has associated obligations and rights, and is meant to operate according to the bylaws.
Informal working group: Any group of people that is not a formal working group.
Chair and vice-chair: Roles held by NJF representative for the purpose of maintaining the organization
Coordinator: Role held by a person for the purpose of maintaining a formal working group
Chapter I — Purpose and framing
The National Junior Faculty of Sweden (NJF) is governed through these bylaws, interpreted by the chair and supported by voting member organizations. In case of unclarity or clashes, earlier points of the bylaw take precedence over later points.
The bylaws can be changed by a qualified majority.
NJF represents early and mid-career researchers that hold a PhD. The purpose of NJF is to improve the situation, financing and working conditions for junior researchers in Sweden. This is done by influencing politicians/government, their departments, funding bodies, and the public opinion.
The NJF is an umbrella organization aimed to support member organizations. Member organizations are encouraged to join and represent themselves in the NJF, and their needs should be taken care of within reasonable operation of the NJF.
NJF is separate from member organizations and cannot request access to local means. Access to means and resources are provided voluntarily by member organizations.
All member organizations have equal voting rights, independent of the number of representatives in NJF
Member organizations should have a functional local organization to be allowed Member organizationship. NJF interprets what constitutes a functional organization. As a rule, a member organization should have multiple active individuals.
NJF will be led by a chair with the task of organizing meetings and votes. The chair can be supported by vice-chairs. These chairs should preferably represent different member organizations. If NJF finds themselves without an active chair or vice-chair(s), a new individual should be appointed as soon as possible.
Chapter II — Member organizationship and representatives
The member organizations pick their own representatives. The member organization chair or equivalent forwards one individual as the voting representative by informing the NJF chair, upon joining, or when the voting representative is changed. The previous voting representative can also relay this formation.
NJF can vote (by simple majority) to include a JF as a Member organization.
NJF can vote (by simple majority) to include individuals of any kind as observing participants.
NJF can vote (by simple majority) to exclude observing participants.
NJF can vote (by qualified majority) to exclude representatives from a meeting if their presence significantly disrupts the running of NJF and especially its purpose.
NJF can vote (by qualified majority not including the Member organization in question) to exclude member organizations if their presence disrupts the running of NJF and especially its purpose, or if their local activity ceases to exist.
Chapter III — Voting
When counting votes, the total count is decided by the number of member organizations in NJF and not how many member organizations are present at a particular meeting. However, a member organization that does not appear at a meeting is considered to abstain on points defined on the circulated agenda, unless the vote has been delegated.
Voting representatives can, by an email to the chair, temporarily or long-term delegate their vote or representation to someone else; the delegation can come with conditions in which case the chair makes the interpretation if required. If the delegation is not explicitly made, the chair can refuse to accept a vote from the replacing participant. This other person need not be from the same Member organization.
The NJF chair should take reasonable measures to ensure the information and call for votes reaches all representatives.
If a voting representative repeatedly does not respond to e.g. emails, it should be counted as an abstain.
By default, matters are decided by simple majority.
Public statements including the signing of letters and articles in the press should be supported by a qualified majority. However, all voting representatives should have had sufficient time to read the statements, as judged by the chair.
Votes can also be conducted by email under special circumstances, decided upon by the chair. These include extraordinary circumstances, or when a fast decision is needed, or if this was agreed upon during a meeting by simple majority. The chair should ensure a balance between the need for speed of voting vs the need for Member organizations to make an informed decision.
Chapter IV — Overall meeting procedures
The chair is responsible for organizing regular meetings, including that all member organizations receive invitations and relevant documentation.
Minutes and documents from NJF meetings are made available to all representatives in an open manner.
For every meeting, a secretary is suggested by the chair and chosen by simple majority. Normally, a vice-chair acts as secretary. The chair can also be secretary.
The secretary has the task of making meeting notes.
A special meeting (called the “bi-annual meeting”) is held twice a year for the purpose of elections – ideally one in the spring semester and one in the fall semester. This meeting can use a regular meeting slot. The meeting can contain points in addition to the election. The original agenda for this meeting should be sent one month in advance.
The bi-annual meeting organizational costs (including booking of premises, fika, etc) are covered by the member organization acting as the local host. The travel and lodging costs for participants should be supported by their respective member organization.
At the bi-annual meeting, the location and host of the next bi-annual meeting should be decided. However, this decision can be changed later if needed. See later points regarding vice-chair.
Chapter V — Elected positions
The NJF has a chair. This role is not held by a member organization but by a representative; if a chair has to step down, this triggers a new election.
Every year, preferably at a bi-annual meeting, a new election for chair should be held. The position of chair can be held by the elected individual for a maximum of three years. The chair must be elected by simple majority at a bi-annual NJF steering group meeting. The chair must be a representative of a member organization.
The NJF has vice-chairs that can be held by member organizations that forward a representative. The member organization can replace this representative upon need. Alternatively, the vice-chair can also be an NJF elected representative. The new representative takes over the vice-chair duty.
NJF should ideally have 2-3 vice-chairs, ideally from different member organizations.
The NJF vice-chairs are preferably elected every half year at a bi-annual meeting, but can be elected at other times upon need. Nominations for vice-chairs can follow a rota list or by individual suggestions.
Vice-chairs take the role of the chair if the chair is not present at a formal meeting. Vice-chairs also function if the chair is incapacitated, in which case they do so on their own initiative. Otherwise vice-chairs only have the tasks delegated to them by the chair.
The chair should delegate tasks to the vice-chairs after or during an election. This may include, e.g., the organisation of the bi-annual meeting. The chair can delegate in private communication.
A chair or vice-chair can be removed at any time by a qualified majority.
Chapter VI — Working groups
Informal working groups can be run at any time and NJF cannot and should not stop this from happening. The creation of informal groups can be discussed at meetings but inherent to their nature, need not to be voted upon.
Formal working groups can be created by the NJF through a vote by simple majority. The purpose of formal working groups should be to take care of tasks that do not fit well in the main meetings, such as the running of the website or seminar series.
A formal working group should have one coordinator who is responsible for the group, chosen immediately upon creation. The coordinator sets the rules of the operation and has the final say on decisions. The coordinator is responsible for reporting back to NJF. Formal working groups have, by default, no power and act advisory only.
NJF can delegate powers, within reason of efficient operation, to the formal working group.
The NJF board can revoke delegations to a formal working group at any time through simple majority.
The formal working group can at any time appoint a new coordinator. This should be approved by the NJF chair.
If the coordinator quits or is incapacitated without handing over the responsibility, a new coordinator should be appointed in a timely manner, or the formal working group ceases.
Chapter VII — Access to accounts and other means
NJF may own accounts such as on social media, website and email providers, etc. These should not be confused with accounts owned by member organizations.
Access to the accounts should be held by the chair and at least one vice-chair. The chair may share access to other representatives if the delegations of tasks, as decided by the by-laws or votings, requires so. Access may also be shared for the purpose of getting help with the functioning of the means.
The responsibility of ensuring access to means by other relevant NJF representatives is held by those currently having access. Transfer should be done within a reasonable time period (such as one month) after a new person is taking over.