BDA Union Committees

BDA Trade Union National Executive Committee

The BDA Trade Union National Executive Committee (TU NEC) runs the BDA Trade Union and is composed of members representing the following strands: England (x2), Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, BAME, Disability, Young Workers, LGBT+, Dietetic Support Worker, and Non-NHS.

To apply please contact us here

Role of a TU NEC Member

The purpose of the TU NEC is to ensure the proper management and direction of the BDA Trade Union. Members elected to serve on the committee will:

  • Provide leadership and direction
  • Make major policy decisions
  • Agree nominations to outside bodies, e.g. TUC General Council and conferences
  • Set objectives both externally and internally
  • Develop and implement a trade union strategy
  • Uphold the aims and objectives of the BDA
  • Be accountable to the members who elect them
  • Reflect the concerns of the members in their constituency
  • Participate in meetings and events
  • Work with the Head of Employment Relations and other staff to ensure the proper functioning of the Trade Union.

Ensure that all work is carried out within the context of the agreed BDA equalities statement which is that:

“The BDA Trade Union will seek to ensure fair and equal treatment of all members including fair representation and access to services and participation. We will seek to protect the rights of all members to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We will promote equality of opportunity for the dietetic profession and work to remove barriers to career progression”

There will be a minimum of 4 meetings of the TU NEC per year to be held at the BDA offices in Birmingham. Other meetings will be held as required and may be by telephone/video conference.

The Chair of the TU NEC will be elected at its inaugural meeting and will sit as a member of the BDA Board of Directors to facilitate the link between the two bodies.

For information the current objectives and priorities of the BDA Trade Union are:


  1. The recruitment and organising of trade union representatives and members through the development of a unionwide organising strategy.
  2. Engagement with leaders and managers in the profession and the promotion of the benefits the trade union.
  3. Ensure that a high standard of advice and guidance is available to members as required.
  4. Effective networking with other union lead officers
  5. Effective communication wit members and staff of issues of importance.
  6. Add value to BDA and external campaigns by encouraging wide participation and by building relationships.


  1. Build and organise and strong and resilient network of local and regional trade union representatives.
  2. Ensure that dietetic managers and leaders are encouraged to value TU rep roles
  3. Ensure that members and staff actively share information and intelligence about local issues
  4. Set up a new national structure to enable democratic accountability and wider participation.

Elections to BDA Trade Union Executive Committee 2020-2023

1.           Background

Since October 1985, the law has required a trade union to elect every voting member of its governing body at least every five years by a secret ballot of the union’s members. It has also required a union to keep an accurate register of its members’ names and addresses.

As a result of the agreed changes to the Governance of the BDA there is now a requirement to elect a new executive body (TU NEC) to oversee the work of the Trade Union. As the BDA Council will cease to be elected by secret ballot of the members it can no longer act as the principal committee of the trade union as this would place us in breach of The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

2.           Purpose of the TU NEC

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills defines the executive of a trade union as “the principal committee of the trade union exercising executive functions, by whatever name it is known” In short this means the highest committee within the union concerned with running its affairs. This will include responsibility for decision making in relation to industrial action and access to legal services in conjunction with the General Secretary.

The inaugural TU NEC will approve a new rule book for the Trade Union along with subsequent election procedures.

The general management and control of the union shall rest with the TU NEC and it will comprise members elected by agreed constituencies. The term of office shall be three years from an agreed date in June of the appropriate year.

3.           Relationship with BDA Board of Directors

It is important that the TU NEC is kept informed of the priorities and policies of the BDA Board of Directors in order to ensure that any decisions that they may take do not cause any conflict for the wider organisation and its members. The TU NEC will primarily concern itself with policy in relation to pay, terms and conditions but will from time to time need to agree policy positions on wider issues affecting the profession such as the future of the NHS, Government policy on equal rights, international relations, food policy, trade union legislation or the funding of public services. Conversely, it is vital that TU NEC also informs the BDA Board of Directors of its concerns, issues, plans and needs. This is to ensure that the Board of Directors is aware of all strategic and operational matters which may affect the company, the staff or the wider membership. This will also be vital as control of finances and resources sits with the Board of Directors.

It will be important for dialogue to take place between the 2 bodies as well as relevant groups and staff of the BDA to ensure that any policy discussions are well informed and where appropriate, subject to wide consultation.

The Chair of the TU NEC will be elected at its first meeting by a ballot of its voting members and will attend meetings of the BDA Council along with the Head of Employment Relations and the General Secretary (CEO). The Chair of TU NEC will be a Director of the BDA and, through this governance structure, will help ensure the flow of communication and accountability between TU NEC and the Board of Directors.

4.           Election Procedure

The election procedure and timetable can be found here. This has been written to be compliant with the requirements as set out in Chapter iv of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (consolidation) Act 1992. This procedure will apply to the election in 2020 for the period 2020-2023.

There will be a programme of member engagement in the run up to the start of the nomination process in order to encourage members to participate in the election.

5.           TU NEC members

As previously stated, members of the TU NEC will be elected every three years. The elections will be open to any member who fulfils the requirements of the constituency for which they intend to stand. It is proposed that constituencies will be as follows:

Scotland 1 seat
Wales 1 seat
Northern Ireland 1 seat
England 2 seats
Dietetic Support worker/assistant 1 seat
Dietitian employed outside of the NHS 1 seat
BAME member 1 seat
LGBT+ member 1 seat
Member with a disability 1 seat
Young member (under the age of 27 until the end of the term of office) 1 seat

Members representing the four countries can only be elected by members in that constituency. All other members can be elected on a national basis.

6.           Future work

It is anticipated that these new arrangements will provide more robust democratic accountability for the trade union along with opportunities for increased participation both in our own structures and those of the wider trade union movement. There will be an opportunity for elected members to contribute to the policy making process, for example, when submitting motions to TUC conferences and participating in debates and in deciding campaign priorities.

It is also anticipated that our work on equalities will be taken forward in a more visible and accessible way through the direction of the TU NEC.

There will be an annual conference of Trade Union Representatives with the first one being held in October 2019 in Birmingham. This will gradually move towards being in part a motion-based event with workshops, high profile speakers and networking opportunities.

Work has begun on designing the wider structure of the Trade Union at a more local level. It is important that reps have a regular opportunity to meet on a regional basis to receive update training, discuss local developments and to ensure that their TU NEC member is accountable.