This philosophy is still relevant today and is reflected in the current structure and decision-making processes of The Police Association where its Constitution dictate that the membership is sovereign and ultimately determines how its Association is run and who is empowered to make decisions on its behalf.
The Association’s Constitution ensures that it remains an inherently democratic organisation, where members have the ultimate say in its affairs by virtue of the decision/policy making mechanisms in place.
The following provides a brief explanation on the various components that make up The Police Association structure.
Full membership of The Police Association is available to any person over 18 years of age who is a current serving member of the Victoria Police Force in any one of the following capacities:
Life, honorary, associate and special associate memberships of the Association are also available to individuals who qualify under its rules.
Outside membership is available to Association members who retire at age 50 or above, or those of whom with ill health, that means they must retire from the Force, regardless of age. Members can remain outside members until age 60. Outside members continue to be eligible for some welfare-related benefits and use of holiday homes.
The Police Association’s total membership, as at 25 Mar 2014, stands at 14,002, comprising 75 per cent males and 25 per cent females. This total figure represents over 97 per cent of all police officers in Victoria.
The overall business affairs and policies of the Association are directed by an Executive Committee, which comprises of 12 full members of the Association.
Four members of the Executive are elected each year by the Association’s membership. All Executive members are elected to serve for a three-year period. The Executive holds a meeting on the first Tuesday of every month. Additional meetings are held when required. . A summary of the minutes of the Executive’s monthly meetings is published in the Association's monthly Journal.
The Executive Committee is headed and chaired by the Association President who is drawn from, and elected by, the 12-person Executive. Since 2001, the President of the day has served in a full-time capacity.
The role of the Association administration is to manage and implement the policy direction set by the Executive on behalf of the membership and tend to the day-to-day running of the Association.
The Secretary, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Association, heads the administration. An Assistant Secretary also supports the Secretary.
The Association is served by an administration comprising 39 staff members who aim to provide the best possible day-to-day advice, service and benefits to members. The entire administration is based at the Association offices at 1 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne.
Association Delegates and their deputies are TPA Members who have been elected by their colleagues to represent and assist members in their local area. They form an important communication link between Association members and their Executive. The Police Association and its members rely heavily on the role of Police Association Delegates as a voice of the collective membership. The Delegate & Assistant Delegate Role is performed in addition to normal policing duties.
The Association also co-ordinates the election and training of the Health & Safety Representatives and their deputies for each Designated Work Group throughout the Force. This function is important in promoting health and safety in the workplace and proper representation of members' interests.