As a trade union, Equity is a democratic organisation

Equity elections

When elections are held

We hold elections every year to determine who will sit on the various structures that make up the union.

The Council Policy on Equity Elections sets outs the procedures and minimum standards of behaviour required of all members when campaigning in union elections.

  • In even-numbered years, elections are held for the President, Council (the union's governing body), Appeals Committee and Conference Business Committee (CBC).
  • In odd-numbered years, elections are held for the industrial, equalities and national committees.
  • Every five years, an election is held for the General Secretary.
  • In some years, we also hold a referendum on key decisions, such as a change to the union's Rules.

About elected Officers, Council and Committees

President, Council, Appeals Committee and Conference Business Committee (CBC)

Last election: 2022
Next election: 2024

  • The President is the most prominent member within the union. They chair the Council, conference and other meetings, and represent the union nationally and internationally.
  • The Council is made up of 34 members plus the President. It is the union's governing body, or national executive, and the key decision-making body within the union. It is made up of various different seats, some general and some reserved for specific parts of the union's membership.
  • The Appeals Committee hears appeals following disciplinary procedures within the union.
  • The CBC arranges the business of the union's annual conference.
  • Every member has the right to vote for the President, every Council seat, the Appeals Committee and the CBC.

Find out more about the Equity Council

Industrial, Equalities and National Committees

Last election: 2023
Next election: 2025

  • These committees represent specific parts of the union's membership, set the union's priorities in those areas of its work and work on negotiations on collective agreements.
  • Members only have the right to vote for the committees which represent them, whether that be due to the industry or professional specialism they work in, the equalities characteristics they identify with, or the nation they live in.

Find out more about Equity Committees

General Secretary

Last election: 2020
Next election: 2025

  • The General Secretary is the union's head of staff, spokesperson and Secretary to Council meetings. They also have many other duties under the Rules.
  • Every member has the right to vote for the General Secretary.


Last referendum: 2022
Next referendum: TBC

  • Normally, a referendum is held in order to pass a Rule change, but a referendum could be held for various other reasons.

Further advice