Monday, November 27, 2006

UNISON - Surveys and Structures

The second part of my report from the recent meeting of UNISON’s Development and Organisation Committee finds the Committee considering some lengthy documents…

The Committee considered a detailed survey carried out by the Labour Research Department into the view of our members about their attitude to our Union and the effectiveness of our structures. If anyone would like the full survey electronically please get in touch with me at

This item led logically to the next major subject for discussion – the review of our lay service group and branch structures kicked off at National Delegate Conference 2005 and due to report to next year’s Conference. In the sort of discussion that will be familiar to many old hands in trade union Committees, the Development and Organisation Committee spent quite a long time discussing whether or not to discuss this item before deciding not to.

There is a report from the working party set up to discuss this subject which has been issued widely within the Union and on which UNISON bodies are invited to comment by the end of December. I thought that we had missed an opportunity to discuss this at the NEC Committee to which the review will report. I hope that branches will look at this report and make a response – otherwise there must be a risk that future developments will not be sufficiently informed by the views of experienced activists on the ground. The report itself asks a series of structured questions to which branches can respond.

The report is available online on the UNISON website, but if anyone has any problems identifying a copy and would like one please Email me and I can forward a copy. The debate for UNISON members in London at least will continue at the Regional Council meeting on 14 December. As a branch activist as well as an NEC member I am watching out for proposals to review branch funding which may be looming.

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