Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Extending union democracy?

Are we going to return to the debate around election of officials within UNISON? The current review of UNISON structures provides an opportunity to think seriously about many issues.

Our comrades over at AMICUS Unity Gazette have published a cogent justification for their position in favour of election of union officials. I think that there is a compelling argument in favour of the election of all those officials who negotiate on behalf of trade union members, and that UNISON does not benefit from the fact that we appoint rather than elect all our officials other than our General Secretary.

One possibility within UNISON would be for branches and members who favour the election of officials to comment in response to question A5 on the UNISON consultation document to point out that one form of flexibility which would be possible would be to pilot the election of officers.

Of course the current UNISON leadership will not entertain this possibility of electing officials. Indeed sustained effort will be made to exclude even the possibility of debating this issue at our Conference. If we want to have this debate we need to think seriously about how to jump the procedural hurdles which we know will be put in our way.

If anyone out there thinks we should be continuing this debate then please get in touch!

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