Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Review of UNISON Conference 2006

Today’s meeting of the UNISON NEC agreed its response to the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) on the review of this year’s Conference. I queried why the NEC was supporting Conference closing at 4pm on the Friday afternoon and the President clarified that what was meant was that Conference business should go on until 4pm and that the closing ceremonies would start then.

Branches may need to be alert to question the first or second report of SOC at next year’s Conference in order to ensure that we maximise the time available for debate – the annual survey of Conference delegates showed that almost 90% of delegates value the motions debated at Conference and believe that they are relevant to them and to their members.

Democrats within UNISON will recollect that there are those in the leadership of our Union who favour biennial rather than annual Conferences but, knowing that they could never win this, tried instead to eliminate the democratic process of reprioritisation of business on Friday afternoon. Having failed even in this they now hope to squeeze out reprioritised business. The price of trade union democracy is, I am afraid, eternal vigilance!

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