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Statutes of the INA

Article 1: Name, domicile and venue
The name of the Association is the Icelandic Nurses’ Association, abbreviated to INA. It operates nationwide but its domicile and venue is in Reykjavík. 

Article 2: Purpose
The Association is a professional and trade organization. Its purpose is to foster effective nursing and safe health services by

  1. Promoting the advancement of nursing and the knowledge and competence of nurses.
  2. Safeguarding the interests and defending the autonomy, rights, obligations and working conditions of nurses.
  3. Negotiating with employers regarding pay and conditions on behalf of its members and on other matters covered by its mandate for negotiation at any given time.
  4. Increasing the participation of nurses in developments and policy formulation concerning nursing and health services.

Article 3: Full membership, professional membership and supplementary membership

Membership of the Association is open to those who hold a licence to practise as nurses and to use the professional title of nurse, as provided for by the Healthcare Practitioners Act No. 34/2012 and the Nursing Regulation.  

The following membership options are available for nurses:

Full membership
Nurses who pay membership fees based on their salaries as determined by the General Meeting and whose employers make the requisite contributions to the Association’s funds on their behalf. 

Professional membership
Nurses who do not pay membership fees but have applied for professional membership and pay an annual professional membership fee as determined by the General Meeting.

Pension membership
Nurses who have started drawing pension, are no longer in employment and do not pay membership fees. Special applications must be made for pension membership. Pensioners do not pay fees for this type of membership.

Supplementary membership
Rights are extended to nursing students who have completed the first year of their study programmes at the University of Iceland, the University in Akureyri, or another accredited university. Nursing students receive remuneration for their work on the basis of a collective agreement made by the Association on their behalf and have a right to vote on any such agreement. Special applications must be made for supplementary membership and an annual fee paid as determined by the General Meeting.

Article 4: Membership applications
Applications for membership of the Icelandic Nurses’ Association shall be made in writing or by electronic means. Applications shall be accompanied by documentary evidence to verify that conditions for membership have been met, cf. Article 3 above. Membership becomes effective on the date by which the application was received.

Article 5: Resignation
Resignation from the Association shall be notified in writing or by electronic means and becomes effective 3 months from the date on which it was received. 

A resignation does, however, not become effective after a legal decision to take industrial action has been made and during a strike, but is instead postponed until the strike has been called off. 

Article 6: Exclusion
The Governing Board of the Association may apply sanctions against a member who, in the Board’s opinion, has acted in violation of its statutes, confidentiality, code of ethics, other rules, resolutions or decisions. The sanctions may range from caution to exclusion in the event of a serious violation. The member shall be given an adequate time limit to explain his/her case to the Board in writing and in person before a decision on sanctions is made and is permitted to bring a spokesperson along to a meeting with the Governing Board if he/she wishes. The member shall be notified in writing of the Board’s decision.

A member may, within four weeks from the date of the Board’s decision on exclusion, appeal this decision to the next association meeting. The meeting shall vote on the Board’s decision. The member shall be given the opportunity to explain his/her case at the meeting if he/she wishes to do so. If a simple majority votes against the Board’s decision, it shall be deemed that no exclusion has taken place.

If a former member applies for membership, cf. Article 4 of these Statutes, after being excluded in accordance with this Article, the approval of 2/3 of members eligible to vote at an association meeting is required for this member to be readmitted.

Article 7: General Meeting

The highest authority concerning the affairs of the Association rests with the General Meeting. A General Meeting shall be held in May every year. The date and time of the General Meeting shall be advertised at least 8 weeks in advance. A continuation General Meeting may be called if requested by 2/3 of those members present at the General Meeting.

The Governing Board of the Association organises and is responsible for the preparation and conduct of the General Meeting.

All members are entitled to attend the meeting. Full members, professional members and pension members who have registered their attendance at the meeting at least one week in advance have the right to vote at the meeting. Other members are not eligible to vote.

A General Meeting shall be called at least two weeks in advance. The invitation to the meeting shall contain information on its agenda and the deadline for registration as well as a reference to the Association’s website for information on proposed amendments to its statutes. The meeting is properly constituted and valid if it has been correctly called.

Proposed amendments to the Associations’ statutes must be submitted to the Governing Board at least 4 weeks prior to the General Meeting. The same applies to any other matters that members may wish to raise at the General Meeting. Matters not listed on the circulated agenda will only be dealt with if approved by a majority of members eligible to vote and present at the meeting. Amendments to the statutes will only be addressed if they accompany the invitation to the meeting. Formal proposals concerning amendments to the existing amendment proposals that are raised during the meeting shall be referred to the meeting for consideration. Such proposals shall be made in writing.

Documents for the General Meeting shall be made available to members in an electronic format on the Association’s website no later than a week before the meeting and include the Governing Board’s report, the accounts of the Association and the funds it manages, auditor’s and accounts examiners’ reports, operational and financial plans for the coming year and candidacies for the Governing Board and other official posts as applicable.


Matters for the General Meeting agenda:

  1. Election of moderators and secretaries as nominated by the Governing Board.
  2. Governing Board’s report.
  3. Accounts of the Association and its funds.
  4. Decision on membership fees.
  5. Presentation of the Association’s operational and financial plans for the coming year.
  6. Proposed amendments to the statutes.
  7. Procedures for funds, committees, commissions and district sections or proposed procedural changes.
  8. Results of election for President.
  9. Election of 3 members for the Governing Board and 1 alternate.
  10. Election of accounts examiners.
  11. Elections to the Association’s committees and fund administrations.
  12. Any other business.

The minutes of all items dealt with at the General Meeting shall be recorded. A special record shall be made of all resolutions and decisions taken by the meeting. Secretaries prepare the minutes for publication upon its conclusion. The minutes shall be signed by the moderators and secretaries.

The minutes of the General Meeting shall be published on the Association’s website no later than a week after the meeting and a timeframe of two weeks given for comments. Following that time, the minutes shall be considered as approved and published together with any comments on the Association’s website.

Article 8: Governing Board
The Governing Board shall be comprised of members with full membership: the Association’s President, six board members and two alternates selected from among members with full membership.

The President is elected in a general association election, cf. Article 10 of these Statutes. 

Every year a part of the Governing Board shall be elected thus: in odd-numbered years the President, three board members and one alternate are elected and in even-numbered years there is an election of three board members and one alternate. 

Members of the Governing Board, both full-time members and alternates, are elected by the General Meeting. The election committee shall call for candidates no later than by the end of January. Candidacies shall be announced no later than 30 days prior to the General Meeting.

The term of office for board members is two years. No board member may serve on the Governing Board for more than four consecutive terms. The newly appointed Governing Board divides task between its members and elects from among board members its vice-president, secretary and treasurer. The secretary records the minutes of the Governing Board’s meetings. 

The Governing Board is the highest authority concerning the affairs of the Association between General Meetings. The board’s role is to formulate the Association’s strategy and main emphases in line with the policy direction and decisions of the General Meeting. The Governing Board is responsible to the General Meeting for the Association’s finances and operational activities.

The Governing Board shall in general meet once every month. Board meetings shall be called at no less than a week’s notice. Meetings may, however, be called at shorter notice if there are cogent reasons for doing so. If three or more board members request that a meeting be called, the President shall comply with their request within a week. Should the President fail to act upon the request within the specified period, the members who requested the meeting may issue a call for a meeting at 24 hours’ notice. Meetings of the Governing Board are properly constituted and valid if a majority of board members is present. 

Motions are carried by simple majority of votes but in the event of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote. The Governing Board may initiate an Association referendum on important issues that are not specifically covered by the General Meeting. 

Article 9: Association President
The President is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Association in accordance with the strategy of the Association and its Governing Board. The President is also the chairperson of the Governing Board. The President is the spokesperson for the Association and its Governing Board. 

The President calls and chairs all meetings of the Governing Board. 

The term of office for President is two years, the same as for other members of the Governing Board. The same individual can serve as President no longer than four consecutive terms. 

The President shall be employed full-time by the Association. 

Article 10: Election of President
The President of the Association is elected by general ballot. 

The election committee shall call for candidates for the office of President no later than by the end of January. The advertisement shall be published in the Icelandic Journal of Nursing and on the Association’s website. The nomination deadline shall be no less than 30 days. Only members with full membership are eligible for the office of President.

Candidates for the office of President shall present to the election committee a written notification of their intention to stand for election together with a list of proposers representing a minimum of 0.6% of the Association’s members.

If no candidate for the office of President receives more than 50% of the votes cast in the general ballot for President, a further election shall be held between the two individuals holding the highest number of votes.

If the President resigns before the end of his/her term of office, the vice-president shall take over as president and remain in office until the end of the outgoing president’s term.

Article 11: Organisation of activities
The activities of the Association are divided between the Remuneration and Rights division, on the one hand, and the Professional division, on the other hand. The Governing Board employs division managers for each division. 

The Remuneration and Rights division is responsible for all matters pertaining to the employment terms and rights of association members and serves as an information and advisory body to the Governing Board and association members. Among the areas covered by the Remuneration and Rights division is health and safety in workplaces. 

The Professional division is responsible for implementing the Association’s professional strategy. Among areas covered by this division are quality considerations and ethical and conciliatory matters. 

The Governing Board shall formulate for the Association’s divisions more detailed procedures which shall be presented to the General Meeting for approval.

The Association maintains an office and the Governing Board is authorised to employ an individual to oversee its day-to-day management. The Governing Board employs other office staff as proposed by the President.

Article 12: Sections
Association members, albeit never fewer than 25, may establish sections relating to a professional field or geographical district. Professional sections shall operate on a national level.

Sections are responsible for their internal organisation and shall operate in accordance with procedures that have been approved by the Governing Board and the General Meeting. 

The sections are concerned with the promotion and advancement of nursing within specific fields or geographical areas, as well as providing education on nursing matters and strengthening professional and social ties. They serve as advisory bodies to the Governing Board and committees of the Association. The sections shall submit reports on their activities each year before the end of March. If a section fails to submit a report for two years running, the General Meeting may decide on its dissolution.

Sections for elderly and young members may be operated within the Association. They are subject to the same minimum membership requirements as other sections of the Association. They are responsible for their internal organisation and shall operate in accordance with procedures that have been approved by the Governing Board and the General Meeting.

Article 13: Rights and obligations 
Members with full membership, professional membership and pension membership have the right to speak, propose motions and vote at the General Meeting and in general ballots unless otherwise provided in these Statutes or national law. The right to vote at the General Meeting is subject to the registration requirement stipulated in these Statutes.

Members holding full membership are eligible candidates for the boards of funds, committees and commissions under the auspices of the Association unless otherwise provided in these Statutes or national law. 

Members holding professional membership and pension membership are eligible candidates for the boards of funds, committees and commissions under the auspices of the Association unless otherwise provided in these Statutes or national law. 

Members holding full membership but not receiving remuneration in line with the Association’s collective agreements do not have the power of decision in matters relating to pay and conditions.

Members holding professional or pension memberships do not have the power of decision in matters relating to pay and conditions. 

Supplementary members have the right to speak and propose motions at association meetings, but do not have the right to vote or to stand for office. 

The right of members to apply for grants from the Association’s funds or funds administered by the Association is governed by the rules pertaining to each particular fund, cf. Section VII of these Statutes. 

All members shall respect the Association’s Statutes and rules of procedure, the resolutions and decisions of its meetings and of its Governing Board and the Association’s code of ethics. 

Article 14: Membership fees
Members shall pay membership fees as determined by the General Meeting, but the Governing Board submits proposals for full, professional and supplementary membership fees to the meeting. 

The Governing Board may completely exempt individual members from the obligation to pay membership fees if there are cogent reasons for doing so. 

Honorary members do not pay membership fees but enjoy all the rights and benefits permitted by these Statutes and national law.

Article 15: Honorary members
The Governing Board may bestow the title of honorary member on an individual as a special tribute by the Association and propose a motion to that effect at the General Meeting. The motion shall be carried if it receives the majority of votes cast by eligible members present. Members may submit proposals for the nomination of honorary member to the Governing Board. The proposal shall be accompanied with a written justification and be endorsed by at least 0.6% of association members. Special rules apply to honorary members.

Article 16: Association meetings 
Association meetings shall be held whenever the Governing Board or President consider necessary and also if 50 or more members request such a meeting in writing. 

Calls for an association meeting shall be made with at least a week’s notice. An association meeting may, however, be called at 24 hours’ notice if necessary. Notifications of the meeting shall be made via such media that are most likely to reach the majority of members. The minutes of association meetings shall be recorded. A special record shall be made of all resolutions and decisions taken by the meeting. 

Association meetings may be held with the aid of teleconferencing equipment. The Governing Board shall define further rules on the conduct of such meetings.

Article 17: Nursing Convention
The Nursing Convention shall address professional and strategic matters concerning nursing and health issues. A Nursing Convention shall generally be held every two years.

Article 18: Election committee
There shall be an election committee comprised of three members and one alternate elected by the General Meeting in an odd-numbered year for a term of two years. No member may serve on the election committee for more than four consecutive terms.

The election committee is in charge of preparing and implementing the election of President and members of the Governing Board of the Association, its committees and other official positions which are decided by ballot. The committee advertises nomination deadlines, receives statements of candidacy, and ensures that all positions will be manned. The committee prepares lists of candidates and other election documents as required. Candidacies for the Governing Board and other official positions that are decided by ballot at the General Meeting shall be published on the Association’s website no later than a week before the General Meeting. 

The election committee also manages other Association voting as requested by the Governing Board. The election committee is in charge of the counting of votes and decides on doubts and disputes. 

The election committee shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 19: Editorial committee
The editorial committee shall be comprised of seven members who have been elected by the General Meeting. Elections for the editorial committee shall take place every year, whereby 4 representatives are elected in odd-numbered years and 3 representatives in even-numbered years. The term of office for editorial committee representatives is two years. No representative may serve on the editorial committee for more than four consecutive terms. 

The editorial committee, together with the editor, formulates the editorial policy of the journal and oversees its publication. The committee elects its chair and divides tasks between representatives. 

The editorial committee draws up a budget for each publishing year. The editorial committee shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 20: Negotiating committee
The Association shall have negotiating committees appointed by the Governing Board. The period of service of a negotiating committee shall be determined by the Governing Board.

The negotiating committees are responsible for making collective agreements with the Association’s contracting parties and shall co-operate with the Remunerations and Rights division and union representatives in all districts.

The Governing Board shall establish procedures for the negotiating committees. 

The negotiating committees shall submit their annual reports before the end of April each year.

Article 21: Ethics and conciliation committee
There shall be an ethics and conciliation committee comprised of three representatives and two alternates who are elected by the General Meeting in an odd-numbered year for a term of two years. No representative shall serve on the ethics and conciliation committee for more than four consecutive terms.
At least one representative shall hold a recognised postgraduate degree in ethics.

The ethics and conciliation committee shall review cases that are referred to the committee concerning alleged infringements by members of the Association’s code of ethics. The committee rules on cases and submits its findings in writing to the parties concerned and to the INA President for information and safekeeping.

The ethics and conciliation committee does not review cases of its own volition. The ethics and conciliation committee shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 22: Board of ethics
There shall be a board of ethics comprised of 7 nurses. The Governing Board appoints representatives to serve on the board of ethics in an odd-numbered year for a term of two years. At least one representative shall hold a recognised postgraduate degree in ethics. The Governing Board nominates one representative to be the chair but board members divide other task between them. No representative shall serve on the board of ethics for more than four consecutive terms. 

The board of ethics shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 23: Ad hoc committees
The Governing Board has the authority to appoint specific committees on certain issues or policy areas. Upon nomination, members of such committees shall receive a letter of commission detailing their functions, duties, time of service and mandate.

Article 24: Science fund
The science fund is made up of contributions from employers as determined in collective agreements. 

The science fund board of administration comprises four representatives nominated by the Governing Board. 

The science fund board of administration shall be appointed for two years at a time. No representative may serve on the science fund board of administration for more than four consecutive terms.

The Governing Board establishes procedures for the fund which shall be submitted to the General Meeting for approval.

The science fund board of administration shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 25: Vacation fund
The vacation fund is made up of contributions from employers as determined in collective agreements. 

The vacation fund board of administration comprises five representatives selected from among those members who are entitled, according to rules of procedure, to allocations from the fund.

The board of administration of the vacation fund shall be elected by the General Meeting in an odd-numbered year for a period of two years. No representative may serve on the vacation fund board of administration for more than four consecutive terms.

The Governing Board shall adopt procedures for the fund which shall be submitted to the General Meeting for approval.

The vacation fund board of administration shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 26: Vocational training fund 
The vocational training fund is made up of contributions from employers as determined in collective agreements. 

The vocational training fund board of administration is comprised of four representatives, of which two are nominated by the Icelandic Nurses’ Association. The Governing Board appoints two association members who at the time of appointment are entitled to allocations from the fund in accordance with its rules of procedure. 

Fund administrators representing the Association are appointed for a term of two years at a time. No representative may serve on the vocational training fund board of administration for more than four consecutive terms.

The vocational training fund board of administration shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 27: Strike fund
The Association shall operate a strike fund. 

The Governing Board appoints three members and two alternates to serve on the strike fund board of administration for a term of two years at a time. No member shall serve on the strike fund board of administration for more than four consecutive terms.

The Governing Board adopts procedures for the strike fund which are submitted to the General Meeting for approval.

The strike fund board of administration shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year.

Article 28: Support fund
The support fund is made up of contributions from employers as determined in collective agreements.

The board of administration of the support fund shall be comprised of three representatives and two alternates elected by the General Meeting from among those members who are entitled, according to rules of procedure, to allocations from the fund.

The board of administration of the support fund shall be appointed in odd-numbered years for a term of two years. No representative may serve on the support fund board of administration for more than four consecutive terms.

The Governing Board shall adopt procedures for the fund which shall be submitted to the General Meeting for approval.

The support fund board of administration shall submit its annual report before the end of April each year. 

Article 29: General
All materials released in print, on electronic or broadcast media, at conferences, etc. - as well as souvenirs - shall be regarded as INA publications.

The Governing Board adopts rules regarding publications.

Article 30: The IcelandicJournal of Nursing and editor
The Association publishes a journal under the title Tímarit hjúkrunarfræðinga (Icelandic Journal of Nursing). 

The editor is appointed by the Governing Board. Together with the editorial committee, the editor formulates the editorial policy of the journal and is responsible for its publication.

Article 31: Other publications 
The INA office supervises and is responsible for other publications as well as supervising and being responsible for the Association’s website.

Article 32: Union representatives
The Governing Board shall ensure that members elect union representatives in their places of employment as provided for by Act No 94/1986 on collective agreements in the public sector, or as may otherwise be settled in collective agreements. Union representatives shall co-operate with the Association’s Remunerations and Rights division and their respective district sections.

Article 33: Decision to strike
The Governing Board or the Association’s negotiating committee may propose strike action by such members as have the right to strike. Decision to declare a strike shall be made in the manner prescribed in the Act on Trade Unions and Industrial Disputes No. 80/1938 and the Act on Collective Agreements of Public Servants No. 94/1986.

Article 34: Amendments
These Statutes shall only be amended by the Association’s General Meeting on the condition that amendment proposals have been presented along with the invitation to the meeting. The General Meeting may, however, refer significant proposals to a general ballot among association members for acceptance or rejection. 

A majority of 2/3 of votes cast is required for amendments to take effect, be it at the General Meeting or in a general ballot.

The provision in these Statutes on the dissolution of the Association shall only be changed if approved by a 2/3 majority of two consecutive General Meetings.

Article 35: Dissolution of the association
A motion to dissolve the association shall only be carried by a 3/4 majority of votes cast in a general ballot. Upon dissolution, the assets of the Association shall be passed on to its successor or any such legal entity as would be closest to assuming that function.

Article 36: Decision-making and elections
A simple majority suffices to carry motions at meetings unless otherwise provided in these Statutes. Voting shall be by show of hands unless otherwise provided in these Statutes or if a meeting decides that voting should be secret. 

Article 37: General ballot
A general ballot shall be secret and the appropriate voting documents shall be sent to all association members together with a presentation of the respective voting.

A general ballot shall be electronic. The list of voters in a general ballot shall be the membership roster at the beginning of the month preceding the month in which the voting takes places. The onset and ending of the voting shall be advertised at no less than a week’s notice and the voting period shall span no less than 72 hours.

In the event of a tied vote, the result shall be decided by a coin toss.

In a general ballot on collective agreements, only those who are employed by the contracting parties concerned have the right to vote.

The Governing Board shall adopt further rules on the management of electronic voting and in so doing seek to ensure ballot security and secrecy of voting as far as permitted by the available technology at any given time.

The implementation of electronic voting is the responsibility of the election committee, which shall also rule on any issues that may be raised concerning the voting. The rulings of the election committee may only be reversed by resolutions passed at a General Meeting.

Article 38: Accounts and auditing
The Association’s accounting year is the calendar year. The accounts of the Association, its committees and funds shall be audited by a certified accountant and two accounts examiners elected by the General Meeting from among association members for one year at a time.

Article 39: Obligations in the name of the Association
The Association’s Governing Board and its President are authorised to enter into obligations on the Association’s behalf. Others, to whom a formal and specific mandate has been granted by the Governing Board or the President, may also enter into obligations on behalf of the Association. 

Article 40: Entry into effect and conflict of law
These Statutes shall enter into effect at the INA General Meeting on 20 May 2016. 

Interim provision
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 8 of these Statutes, the INA Governing Board is elected in accordance with the Statutes applicable in 2016 until the General Meeting in 2017, however with the exception that the three members who do not represent professional or district sections retain their mandates until the General Meeting of 2018. This provision shall expire as of the Association’s General Meeting in 2017.