Name and purpose

Art. 1


BSRB is a federation of unions of public service workers working for the state, municipalities, and in the private sector, as well as other entities which have a right to membership in the federation according to these bylaws.

Its home and venue is in Reykjavík.

Art. 2


The purpose of BSRB is to lead the fight for the interests and rights of workers in public service at the state, municipalities and in the private sector vis-a-vis their employers and the government and to effect a better welfare society. The federation negotiates on behalf of its members in their common affairs, and insofar as it is entrusted with negotiations at each time.

BSRB supports and empowers its member organizations in making collective agreements and fighting for its members’ interests. The federation also works to bring about solidarity among its member organizations and ensuring equality in the performing of services they provide to their members. The federation also works on education, information and cultural affairs and on the equal treatment of individuals in the labour market.

BSRB also works on increased solidarity, cooperation and interconnection of union affairs, inside the country and abroad.


Federation membership

Art. 3


Those who can be members of BSRB are:

  1. All federations and/or unions of workers who have or have had the right to negotiate collective agreements according to law no. 94/1986.
  2. Associations or unions of workers at companies or institutions working in public service.
  3. Unions which are organized in accordance with the laws, regulations, and resolutions of BSRB.

Art. 4

Conditions of membership

Organizations or federations which wish to join the federation should be organized on a democratic basis and their bylaws may not breach these bylaws or the core of the federation’s resolutions. Organizations or federations which wish to join the federation in accordance with item 1 of art. 3 shall demonstrably fulfil the requirement of the number of full members stipulated in art. 5 of law no. 94/1986. Further, the organizations shall fulfil certain conditions on services to members according to a regulation passed by the annual general meeting. That regulation shall set parameters of service in terms of office management, their independence in negotiating collective agreements, and other service elements which may apply.

Applications for membership shall include the following documents:

  1. A copy of the organization’s bylaws.
  2. A membership registry listing full name, kennitala, home address and workplace of each member.
  3. The names of board members and their substitutes, as well as further information requested by the BSRB board.

The board of BSRB decides on the admission of a union. Confirmation shall be sought at the annual general meeting, and it shall have to be approved by 2/3 of votes cast at the meeting.

Art. 5

Expulsion from BSRB

Should a member organization prove to have seriously violated these bylaws, or deliberately caused harm to the federation in another fashion, the annual general meeting may expel the organization in question from the federation. This requires the approval of 2/3 of votes cast.

The decision to expel shall be put to the subsequent congress of BSRB for confirmation. To confirm expulsion, the approval of 2/3 of votes cast is required.

Art. 6

Exiting BSRB

A motion to leave BSRB shall be discussed at a legally called annual general meeting or a delegate congress of a national federation, and it shall be noted in the announcement of the meeting.

The board of BSRB shall be informed about the motion with at least 4 weeks’ notice, and a representative of the BSRB board shall always attend the meetings or delegate congress of member organizations when these discuss leaving the federation.

The motion to leave shall be decided by a referendum, though no earlier than 4 weeks after an annual general meeting or a delegate meeting. The approval of at least 2/3 of attendees at the annual general meeting or the delegate congress is required to bring the motion to a referendum.

The withdrawal is considered accepted if at least half the members approve it, or 2/3 of those participating in the referendum. A member is considered to have taken part in the referendum if they return a ballot.

The supervisory election commission of BSRB oversees exit votes, cf. art. 33.

The decision to exit takes effect at the end of the year in which it is accepted, and the organization in question is liable for taxation for that year. An organization which leaves BSRB does not have claim to the funds or other assets of the federation.


Rights and duties

Art. 7

Operations of member organizations

Each member organization has full freedom in its own affairs, so long as these do not contravene these bylaws or the resolutions of the BSRB congress.

The member organizations of BSRB shall make decisions democratically and work for solidarity and democracy, follow the resolutions of BSRB and the regulation on the services of organizations in terms of office management, their independence in negotiating collective agreements, and other service elements which may apply. The organizations shall provide BSRB with such information as the federation needs for its role. BSRB shall keep a register of the members of its member organizations and of their boards in consultation with the organizations and with their assistance.

Art. 8

Pensioners’ division

Member organizations may establish special divisions for pensioners and/or their surviving partners. An association of pensioners and/or their surviving partners which have been in BSRB, may be established without it being a division of a member organization.

Pensioners’ divisions, according to para. 1, shall establish an association of pensioners which has rights according to this article. The head of the Association of pensioners or their substitute shall sit on the BSRB chairmen’s council with the right to speak and make motions.

Art. 9

Roles of responsibility in BSRB

Nobody is eligible to vote or run for a role of responsibility according to these bylaws except in one member organization of BSRB.

Should a person work under more than one collective agreement negotiated by BSRB unions, they should count as a BSRB member only via the union which has negotiated the greater part of their work.

If the boundary is unclear or the work is evenly split between two collective agreements, the worker decides via which union to count as a BSRB member.

Art. 10


Disputes, which may arise in an association and be of concern to the federation, may be brought to its board. Its decision is binding on the parties concerned but may be appealed to the annual general meeting.

The same applies to disputes which may arise between member organizations which they are unable to resolve.

Art. 11

Referendum in member organizations

Should the BSRB board or congress deem it necessary to hold a referendum in member organizations, it shall take it up with the relevant member organization’s board, which is then bound to hold such a referendum.

The voting registry for a referendum shall be the BSRB registry of its member organizations’ members.


The BSRB congress

Art. 12

The role of the congress

The BSRB congress is the federation’s highest authority. It shall deal with matters of importance and formulate the policy of BSRB.

The BSRB congress is legitimate if it is legally called. A congress session is legitimate if half of the congress delegates are in attendance. The board of BSRB and its staff have a right to attend the congress, with rights to speak and make motions, but they do not have voting rights unless they are elected delegates.

Art. 13

Holding a congress

The BSRB congress shall be held every third year, no later than in October.

The board of the federation shall call together an extraordinary congress when it deems it necessary, or if a majority of member organizations, or member organizations with a majority of the federation’s members, request it in writing.

Art. 14

Convening a congress

The BRSB congress shall be convened two months in advance by letter. An extraordinary congress may be called at a shorter notice, though never shorter than three weeks.

Art. 15

Sharing documents for a congress

The report of the BSRB board, independent motions, or issues which the chairmen’s council, board or member organizations wish to bring before the congress shall be sent to members no later than three weeks before the congress. Motions of individual congress delegates or motions to amend previously mentioned matters shall be presented at the congress and shall be treated in the relevant congress committee.

Art. 16

Congress delegates

Member organizations have the right and duty to elect delegates from among full members of their organizations to attend the BSRB congress according to these rules.

At the BSRB congress, each member organization shall have two delegates for a member count up to 120, and one delegate for every 120 members after that. An equal number shall be elected as substitutes. The number of delegates is based on the member count as it proves to be on January 1 on the year the BSRB congress is to be held. That date may be altered in special circumstances. The term of delegates is three years, i.e. between congresses, unless the bylaws of the member organization in question state otherwise. Member organizations shall observe gender equality in the nomination of their delegates insofar as possible, and 40% of one gender is required as a proportion of the delegate count the organization nominates.

Three delegates from the Association of pensioners in city and municipalities (SLRB) may attend the congress with full rights.

Credentials, confirmed by the signature of the chairman and secretary of the relevant member organization, shall be delivered to the BSRB office at least six weeks before the congress is to begin.

Art. 17

Credentials committee and committee on committees

One month before the start of the congress the board of the federation shall appoint:

  1. Three people to a credentials committee to verify credentials, to deliver its report at the first congress session.
  2. Seven people from among the elected delegates outside the federation’s board to the committee on committees, to make proposals on representatives to congress committees to be presented for approval to the congress at its first session.

Art. 18

Congress agenda

The agenda of a regular federation congress shall be:

  1. Opening of the congress
  2. Credentials presented for approval
  3. Election of congress staff: a) president and two vice-presidents, b) two secretaries and two substitutes, c) the election of congress committees according to article 17, item b
  4. Report of the board submitted
  5. Legal changes
  6. Motions, which have been made, discussed and referred to committees
  7. Discussion and processing of committee reports
  8. Other matters
  9. Election of BSRB chair, vice-chairs and six other board members to form the BSRB boards, along with substitutes
  10. In other affairs the congress decides its agenda

Art. 19

Rules of procedure

Congress sessions shall be governed by the BSRB procedural rules. A simple majority decides in all affairs, except in cases where these bylaws state otherwise.


BSRB administration

Art. 20

BSRB chairmen’s council

The BSRB chairmen’s council comprises the chairmen of the federation’s member organizations at each time. The BSRB chair is the chairman of the council, tasked with calling its meetings at least three times per year.

Meetings shall be called at least three weeks in advance, though this time may be abbreviated in special circumstances. A meeting shall be called if 1/3 of the council requests it. The meeting is legitimate if a majority of the council’s members are present. BSRB board members, who aren’t in the council already, may attend its meetings, with a right to speak and make motions, but without the right to vote.

Art. 21

The role of the BSRB chairmen’s council

The BSRB chairmen’s council formulates policy and emphases for BSRB in matters which may arise between congresses, and it is a venue for consultation among the federation’s member organizations. It follows up on the execution of congress resolutions and other cases referred to it by the BSRB congress. The BSRB board may present a decision on policy formation for the federation to the chairmen’s council.

Art. 22

The BSRB board

The BSRB board consists of nine individuals, i.e. chair, 1. and 2. vice-chair, and six other board members, along with seven substitutes. The substitutes take a seat on the board in the absence of board members. The chair and the 1. and 2. vice-chairs shall be elected individually, but the other board members in unison, at the BSRB congress. The substitutes shall be elected in the order in which they shall take the seats of main board members. In the setting up of a board, no more than one from each member organization shall get a seat.

Nobody is legitimately voted in unless they receive half of all votes cast. All full members in BSRB may vote.

If the chair or vice-chair leave their post during their term, the board elects a 2. vice-chair from among its rank.

Art. 23

The role of the BSRB board

The BSRB board governs the federation’s operations in accordance with BSRB resolutions along with the policy formation of the chairman’s council, the congress and the annual general meeting of BSRB. The board is BSRB’s highest authority between congresses and annual general meetings, and each member organization must comply with its instructions. Each member organization may appeal its dispute with the federation’s board to the BSRB congress, which then makes a final decision in the matter.

The board may appoint committees to do specific tasks.

Art. 24

The BSRB chair

The chair of BSRB calls board meetings at least fortnightly. A board meeting must be called if two board members request it, and it shall be held within five days from the request being made. Board meetings are legitimate if a majority of the board attends them, and a simple majority decides matters at board meetings. If the vote is evenly split, the chair’s vote decides.

Art. 25

The role of BSRB chair

The chair supervises and leads the federation’s work, along with the chairmen’s council and board, and does other regular chairpersons’ duties. The chair conducts and calls meetings of the chairmen’s council and board and is responsible for executing the decisions of the congress, chairmen’s council and board of the federation.

The chair may, with the approval of the board, entrust vice-chairs with some part of these responsibilities. The first vice-chair steps into the chair’s role in their absence.

Art. 26

The BSRB director

The BSRB board hires a director for the federation. The director’s role is to manage the federation’s day to day administration, hire BSRB office staff and negotiate their terms of employment.

Art. 27

BSRB annual general meeting

The annual general meeting of BSRB shall be held before June 1 each year. An extraordinary meeting may be called if necessary. The annual general meeting shall be called at least three weeks in advance. An extraordinary meeting may be called at a shorter notice. Chairmen should attend as representatives of their organization’s first 400 members, with additional representatives, one per 400 additional members, or fraction thereof.

BSRB staff have a right to speak and make motions, but not to vote, unless they are elected representatives at the annual general meeting.

The agenda of the annual general meeting shall be as follows:

  1. Election of meeting chair and secretary
  2. Board report and BSRB accounts
  3. Plan of action until next meeting
  4. Requests to join
  5. Deciding membership dues, i.e., the proportion of gross wages and a fixed fee per member, to take effect as of next year
  6. Budget presented for confirmation
  7. Regulation on quality standards according to art. 4 of the BSRB bylaws
  8. Electing surveyors of accounts
  9. Other matters

Individual agenda items shall be voted on at the meeting for approval or rejection.



Art. 28

BSRB budget

At the BSRB annual general meeting, which shall be held before June 1 each year, the federation’s board presents a budget for the upcoming working year.

  1. gr.

BSRB association fee

Each member organization shall pay as a fee to the federation a specified percentage of the gross wages of its members and a fixed fee for each member of the federation. The association fee shall be decided at the BSRB annual general meeting, cf. item 5 of art. 27 in these bylaws. The federation’s board may, acting on behalf of an organization, collect this fee from employers.

Art. 30

Collecting association fees

The collection of association fees shall be digital, via the BSRB accounting and collection centre (BIBS).

Art. 31

Costs incurred in delegation for BSRB

The costs of holding congresses, annual general meetings, board meetings and other meetings called by the BSRB board shall be borne by the federation, including travel costs for delegates living away from the congress location and its vicinity. The BSRB board decides what counts as costs.

Art. 32

Auditing of annual accounts

The annual general meeting of BSRB elects two surveyors of accounts and two substitutes. The surveyors survey the finances of the federation between annual general meetings and make such inquiries into bookkeeping as they think necessary. They shall submit a report of their work to the board chair.

Auditing of the annual accounts shall have concluded before the annual general meeting each year. Should the audit uncover significant faults in bookkeeping or asset management, a report shall immediately be presented to the federation’s board on the affair, and the board shall take appropriate measures.


Other clauses

Art. 33

Supervisory election commission

A three-person supervisory election commission, with an equal number of substitutes, shall be appointed by the board after each regular congress. It shall supervise the preparation for and execution of votes held by the federation and decide on their arrangement.

The supervisory election commission confirms the voting registry which is made in accordance with the federation’s membership registry, with changes according to information from member organizations’ boards.

The supervisory election commission decides in each case on the handling of voting documents and the method of counting ballots.

Art. 34

Legal changes

The federation’s bylaws may only be changed at a regular congress. There shall be two discussions on legal changes and the change only takes effect if 2/3 of votes cast at the congress session agree to it.

The motions for legal changes shall be sent to members at least three weeks before the congress, cf. art. 15.

Art. 35

Ratification and interim provisions

These are BSRB bylaws after changes made at the 44th congress held October 28-30, 2015. Agreed on October 29, 2015 with immediate effect. The clause on an association fee in art. 29 of these laws takes effect at the next annual general meeting of BSRB which will be held before June 1, 2016 and will become applicable on January 1, 2017.

Those who had individual membership in BSRB when the BSRB bylaws which were ratified on January 1, 2013 took effect may keep it, until they leave their job.


BSRB procedural rules

  1. Congress opening etc.

Art. 1

The federation chair opens the congress and conducts the meeting until a congress president has been elected.

Art. 2

When the congress has been opened the credentials committee submits its report (cf. item a in art. 17 of the BSRB bylaws). The chair requests votes on the credentials. After credentials have been accepted the election of a congress president takes place.

The congress president immediately takes over and calls a vote on the 1. and 2. vice-presidents, two secretaries and two substitute secretaries. An agenda committee comprises the congress presidents.

  1. President’s prerogative and discussion

Art. 3

The president conducts meetings. Should they want to participate in discussion, they let a vice-president take over in the meantime. Should a dispute arise about rules of procedure, the president decides.

Art. 4

The president allows people to speak in the order in which they asked to speak. If more than one asks simultaneously, the president decides the order in which they shall speak. Speeches shall be given from the podium.

Art. 5

Nobody except the proponents of the majority and minority may speak more than twice in the same discussion The president may limit speaking time if the meeting agrees.

Art. 6

The president keeps good order at meetings.

If a speaker doesn’t keep to the topic at hand, or uses improper words, they may be warned by the president, who then has the power to shut down the speaker.

Art. 7

It is not permitted, except by the president’s permission, to read off written or printed text that is not a committee report or a motion.

  1. Motions and voting

Art. 8

All motions shall be made in writing and submitted to the president. They shall be voted on in the order they were made, though cf. art. 12. Should more than one motion be made in the same matter, the motion which goes farthest shall be voted on first.

Art. 9

Amendments shall be brought to a vote before the main motion. An amendment which overturns or changes the core purpose of another motion cannot be made.

Art. 10

Amendments which remove from, add to or extend a motion shall be brought up such that the main motion is first read unaltered, next the amendments, then the main motion as it would be if amended.

Art. 11

The president is permitted to bring up a motion by separating it into two or more items, though only if each item is independent and if the separation does not make the motion unclear.

Art. 12

The order of priority motions is as follows:

  1. Motion to vote
  2. Motion to dismiss
  3. Motion to move on to the next agenda item
  4. Motion to postpone the matter
  5. Motion to refer the matter to another authority
  6. Motions under item 1 cannot be discussed.

Art. 13

A motion which has been voted down cannot be made again at the same session. With the agreement of at least 2/3 of votes cast, the matter may however be taken up again later in the congress.

Art. 14

The mover of a motion may take the motion back at any point, but other delegates may take it up again.

Art. 15

A vote takes place by raising of hands. Votes in writing or roll calls take place if 1/10 of delegates agrees.

  1. Elections

Art. 16

At each main congress, the following committees must be elected:

  1. Employment terms committee.
  2. General committee.
  3. Election committee.
  4. Other committees as the congress decides. The BSRB board proposes the number of delegates in the congress’ committees.

The motions of the committee on committees and the election committee do not abrogate individual delegates’ rights to make motions about representatives to committees or the board.

The election of committees is bound to nomination and takes place in writing, unless no more are nominated than are to be elected, in which case the committee members are elected by default.

In addition to elected committee members, all congress delegates have a right to attend committee meetings with rights to speak and make motions. Individual committees may however decide to have closed sessions.

Art. 17

The person who gets the most votes for a committee, or who is nominated first if the committee is elected by default, calls the first committee meeting and conducts that meeting until a chair is elected. Subsequently a secretary and speaker are elected.

Art. 18

When an election is bound, none can be elected which have not been nominated.

If a majority of votes cast is required to get elected and this isn’t achieved in the first round, the vote shall take place again amongst those who were not elected. If this does not conclude the election, those who got the most votes but which did not get elected in the second round shall be voted on such that two are in the running for each seat.

If two or more get the same number of votes, the winner is selected at random.

Art. 19

A ballot is invalid if it has names of people who are not running, or if the number of people voted for is not the same as the number of people which are to be voted.

An empty ballot is counted as a vote.

Art. 20

The election of chair, 1. and 2. vice-chairs, other board members and substitutes take place according to art. 22 of the BSRB bylaws.

The election committee prepares and executes BSRB board elections.

  1. Amendments to the procedural rues

Art. 21

These procedural rules may be amended at the regular BSRB congress by 2/3 of votes cast.

Sic after amendments at the 43rd BSRB congress, October 28-30, 2012. Accepted October 29, 2015.

Did you find the content of this page helpful?