Monday, September 03, 2007

UNISON Conference barely nine months away...

There’s a lot to think about for UNISON members (as always!)

Is our current Representation Guide really serving UNISON organisation? At present full-time officials and lay activists are banned from representing members at employment tribunals, and the decisions which we take about whether to represent members are taken by lawyers on the legal merits of the case, not on the basis of the interests of our Union and its members.

What about our Industrial Action Procedures? Do these help branches and activists who want to take industrial action – or do they provide a subaltern gate-keeping role for our officials as junior partners in the restrictions placed upon the trade unions by the anti-union laws?

Then there are the Democracy in UNISON guidelines – which do not have the force of either Rule or Regulation in our Union, but which have recently been used to attempt to restrict branches expressing dissent from views which have (formal or informal!) official sanction in member ballots. Is this attempt to stifle debate an appropriate (or an Orwellian) way to use a set of guidelines with the word “democracy” in the title?

And that’s not even thinking about our Rule Book. Are the disciplinary rules (in Rule I) really serving the interests of our members – or do they give too much scope for unjustified action? Should we be looking again at those Rules – or at the Rule which precludes Conference even debating the election of officials?

I wonder also if all activists are happy with the current operation of our complaints procedure?

The NEC (and the people who do our thinking for us) are thinking already about motions for next summer’s Conference. I hope that those of you who are UNISON activists in your branches are doing so also…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

role on conference....let the lefties unite!