Thursday, March 22, 2007

Preliminary Agenda for UNISON Conference published

As a self-confessed anorak and Conference junkie I am always pleased to see the Preliminary Agenda for UNISON Conference, which is now doing the rounds. The link does not go to the motions, and I will pursue that point as soon as the UNISON Email is up and running again…

By my hasty reckoning 32 out of 133 policy motions on the Conference Agenda come from the Greater London Region (and that excludes the various sensible proposals from within our Region which have been ruled out of order by the Standing Orders Committee).

I wish all Regions were sending as many motions up for debate as we opinionated Londoners. With a little over a tenth of the Union’s membership we furnish a quarter of the proposals for debate at Conference. Well done London!

For some years opponents of democracy in our Union fought a doomed battle to persuade us to move to a biennial Conference because they thought it a waste of money that ordinary working people should have an opportunity to determine the policies and practice of our Union. Happily they gave up and admitted defeat some time ago, although the price of democracy is eternal vigilance and we should not relax in our defence of lay member control.

I shall blog later about the content of the Preliminary Agenda (and – who knows – may even comment on some of the motions ruled out of order). For now I shall remind readers that getting a motion on to the agenda is only the first step.

The only motions which stand any chance of being debated are those which are prioritised in the prioritisation process in which Regions, Service Groups, Self-Organised Groups and the NEC express preferences for motions to be debated. Branches should be consulted by their Region about the prioritisation process, the deadline for which is generally the same as the deadline for amendments (24 April – although Regions may set earlier deadlines for branches to let them have comments on prioritisation where they do consult branches).

Let me know if you would like more information about UNISON Conference procedures.

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