Monday, February 04, 2008

London UNISON AGM Wednesday

With no use of UNISON resources I shall pass on the content of an email circulated by my friend and (Labour Party) comrade Malcolm Campbell to London Region UNISON Branches...

Please forward this to your Regional Council delegates and ask them to
read it carefully.
I'm writing to urge you to vote for the following people in the election of Regional Council Officers this Wednesday:
Convenor: Mandy Berger
Deputy Convenor: Malcolm Campbell
Finance Convenor: Heenal Rajani
Publicity Officer: Katrina Hoogendam
Equalities Convenor: Khi Rafe
In his election address, Conroy Lawrence (who is standing against me for Deputy Convenor) talks about the Region being "captured by those who take their policies from extreme parties and who are answerable to their political masters and not UNISON's members". He is clearly suggesting that this describes those of us standing against him and his running mates. This is completely untrue.
I'm a member of the Labour Party and have never been a member of any other political party. Heenal, Katrina and Khi are also members of the Labour Party, and Mandy is not a member of any party.
The idea that we won't be answerable to the membership is misleading in the extreme. We're standing on a platform of democracy and accountability, because we believe that the leadership of the Region for the last two years hasn't been allowing the views of the membership to be considered. Debate has been stifled.
Examples of this are:
  • An inquorate Regional Council meeting where debate was quite rightly allowed regarding the fight against fascism, but we weren't allowed to discuss the Pensions Dispute, which was at a crucial stage
  • Not allowing the Regional Committee to vote on a proposal for a Regional rally on a strike day, when other regions were holding them.
  • A consultation exercise regarding the establishing of a Regional Standing Orders Committee which only outlined two alternatives, and not a third which had been proposed, involving a directly elected SOC
  • Introducing an SOC comprised of the Regional Council Officers, without the agreement of either the Regional Council or the Regional Committee
  • Not allowing a proper debate regarding motions submitted to Regional Council which had been ruled out of order (this was at a meeting of the Regional Committee curtailed after only 10 minutes of the allotted 45, when the Acting Regional Convenor and the Regional Secretary left the room despite there still being a number of people indicating that they wanted to speak!)
  • Not allowing a vote at the last Regional Committee on a perfectly valid proposal to commit the Region in principle to a joint union meeting in the future over Public Sector pay
This list isn't exhaustive and demonstrates that the way the Region is currently being run just isn't good enough.

Malcolm seems to have put it very well...

Although he seems to have forgotten to tell people how to vote depending upon which letter of the alphabet their surname begins with, as is done by the "Congress House" slate (a.k.a. "London for Change" who are committed to no change). Come on now Malcolm!

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