Sunday, April 19, 2009

UNISON NEC Report

As with the last blog post, I've been delayed in circulating - and then blogging - my report to Greater London Region branches from last Wednesday's meeting of the UNISON National Executive Council (NEC).


The start of the meeting was unavoidably delayed by discussion about the eligibility of a member from the Yorkshire and Humberside Region to attend the meeting. I proposed as a compromise that the NEC member be invited to attend as an observer since he had had no prior notice of the questioning of his eligibility. Unfortunately this was not agreed. As it turns out he found something else of value to do with his time.



The official report of the NEC meeting advises on the priorities adopted by the NEC for debate at Conference. Branches in the Greater London Region have also been asked to consider priorities and to submit prioritisation forms to the Regional Secretary by 5pm on Tuesday 28 April. In considering priorities branches it is worth remembering first that only items which attract support in the prioritisation process stand any chance of being debated at Conference and secondly that motions which are not taken at the Conference are referred to the NEC. Therefore if the NEC supports such motions the Union will do so after Conference, whereas if the NEC opposes a motion which is not taken at Conference the Union will not do so.



I will therefore report on NEC policy so that branches can, if you wish, take this into account when submitting prioritisation forms to Regional Office. The NEC supports the great majority of motions to National Delegate Conference. The following are the exceptions, motions which the NEC is not supporting (where these come from Greater London branches I’ll identify them);



Motion 6 – Equality Monitoring and Motion 7 – Fair Representation in National Delegate Conference Delegations (Croydon)



The NEC has deferred a decision on these motions pending consultation with the National Self-Organised Groups.



Motion 8 – Reserved Seats in UNISON



The NEC is opposing this motion and submitting an amendment.



Motion 10 – New Structures, New Partnerships, New Ways of Working (Southwark)



The NEC is opposing this motion which is expected to be counterposed to Motion 9 (“Improving UNISON Structures” from the NEC).



Motion 41 – The Future Directions of the Union, How We Respond and How We Organise (Greenwich)



The NEC is opposing this motion. I objected to this decision.



Motion 57 – World Economic Crisis (Hackney) and Motion 58 – Economy (Islington)



The NEC is opposing these motions.



Motion 61 – Making the Case for Public Ownership



The NEC is opposing this motion and submitting an amendment.



Motion 62 – Democratic Socialism



The NEC is opposing this motion. I objected to the flawed rationale for this position (that the motion “moves away from collective bargaining”).



Motion 70 – The Labour Government (Greenwich)



Although the officer report recommended opposition to this motion, it was reported that the relevant body (the august “Objective Three Scrutiny Group”) had yet to meet to consider this recommendation so no decision was made.



Motion 74 – Palestine/Gaza



The NEC is opposing this motion on the grounds that it goes further than existing UNISON policy.



Motion 80 – Palestine



The NEC is opposing this motion on the same grounds as Motion 74.



Motion 84 – Bolivia



The NEC is opposing this motion and submitting an amendment, arguing that Bolivia is not a “priority country” for UNISON.



Motion 85 – Hands off the People of Iran



The NEC is opposing this motion.



Motion 88 – European Minimum Wage



The NEC is seeking the withdrawal of this motion, which it will otherwise oppose.



Motion 101 – The Price of Equality



The NEC is seeking withdrawal of this motion.



Motion 118 – Green Taxes



The NEC is seeking the withdrawal of this motion, which it will otherwise oppose.



Motion 124 – Free Public Transport



The NEC is opposing this motion.



Motion 130 – Conference Venues



The NEC is seeking withdrawal of this motion on the grounds that there are no plans to return Conference to Brighton again after this year.



Motions 131 РAppeal Process Where There is a Failure to Register Conference Delegates and Motion 132 РRevised Equitable Arrangements for Funding the Cr̬ches provided at Conferences



The NEC is opposing these motions.



If any branch would like more information about what was said in the policy debates on these or any other Conference motions at the NEC please contact me (j.rogers@unison.co.uk or 07957 505 571) or any other NEC member.



Rule Amendments



The main item of contention in relation to Rule Amendments to be debated at National Delegate Conference concerned the review of structures. A special briefing for all NEC members will take place the day before the June NEC meeting with a view to considering feedback from consultation on various of the proposed Rule Amendments.



The Higher Education Service Group representative proposed that the NEC should defer formally agreeing to support its own Rule Amendment merging the Higher Education Service Group with the Further Education Sector. This was agreed after some debate, indicating that the rule amendments revising UNISON structures are far from being a "done deal."



Equal Pay



The only item of non-Conference business which was considered was a confidential report on recent important developments in relation to Equal Pay. NEC members have previously been asked not report in writing on such matters. Branches are referred to the latest “E-focus” which is online.

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