Friday, July 07, 2006

Why I am blogging

I thought that before this blog goes public I ought to put a brief note here to explain that this blog is something which I am doing as a member of the National Executive Council of UNISON, in line with Chapter One of the UNISON NEC Handbook, which tells NEC members that “When you were elected as an NEC member you were voted in by a particular group of members – your electoral constituency… …these members will expect to get updates about the work of the NEC.”

Since first being elected in 2003 I have tried to send round regular Email reports to Greater London Region UNISON branches, as well as drafting the collective reports of London Region NEC members to the Regional Council and Regional Committee. I know that these reports have been welcomed by some colleagues, and not by others.

I think that a blog such as this is a useful way to enable the members who elected me to hold me to account and to receive reports, upon the basis of which you can decide whether or not to re-elect me. It is unavoidable that a blog also has to be public, and other readers are welcome.

But the purpose of this blog is to enable UNISON members in the Greater London Region to know what one of their NEC members is doing, because that is what I would want from anyone representing me. By their nature the official publications of the Union cannot carry detail about the work and opinions of individual members of the NEC – this blog is no substitute for UNISON’s official publications which you can access at http://www.unison.org.uk/.

I believe that this blog is entirely within UNISON Rules and I don’t intend to carry any content which attacks our Union. This is not to say that I won’t publish criticisms of policies or decisions with which I disagree (or criticisms of me if anyone wants to post them!) This is in accordance with UNISON Rule B.2.5 which commits the Union to encouraging democratic debate - you can read the UNISON Rule Book at http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/14988.pdf (I appreciate that not many people are interested in Union Rule Books, but I am one of that sad minority ;-)

If you think this blog is a bad idea please let me know by posting a comment. If you think this is a good idea – well, you can find out who else is on our National Executive at http://www.unison.org.uk/about/national.asp. If you have any news about UNISON in Greater London which you would like me to put on this blog so that other readers see it, then please get in touch.

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