Monday, November 27, 2006

UNISON - Expecting elections

In the fourth and (sadly) final episode in the enthralling tale of UNISON’s recent Development and Organisation Committee debate turned to a subject close to the heart of many NEC members (and if cynics from one or two “vociferous” branches say “expenses” I shall be very cross as they would be wrong!)

The Committee spent some time debating procedures for the forthcoming elections to the NEC. There was some controversy around proposals for branches to make nominations by electronic consultation without meeting – about which I raised some questions – and it was agreed that this would only apply to those branches (such as nationally organised branches like Barnardos) which routinely conduct business in that way. Fellow London NEC member Louise Couling also objected to proposals to prevent nominations being submitted by fax (since they may now be submitted electronically).

There was also considerable debate about how to define the eligibility of members for low paid seats given that pay increases can occur at any time in the year but the Union, under Rule, uprates the “low pay” definition annually in October (see below). I don’t think that this discussion is yet concluded and we shall return to it in future years. Branches and other nominating bodies can expect to hear early in the New Year that nominations will open on 8 January and close on 16 February with the ballot period between 16 April and 11 May and the results out on 11 June.

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