Saturday, November 07, 2009

UNISON Community Service Group Conference

I have been reading my papers for next week's meeting of the Development and Organisation Committee of UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) and would be interested in the views of other UNISON members (particularly those working in the Community and Voluntary Sector) about proposals for the first Conference of the new Community Service Group.

UNISON has about 60,000 members in the new Service Group, half of whom are in 28 branches which have more than 500 members of the Service Group. The other half are scattered throughout 610 branches with fewer than 500 Service Group members (and an average of just 50).

Next week's Committee is going to be asked to support a proposal to allow one delegate per 500 members or part thereof, meaning that the best organised half of the membership of the Service Group would be entitled to just over ten per cent of the delegates at the Conference.

My initial view is that I think that this proposal falls down in terms both of equity and effectiveness and that a better option would be to group those branches with few members of the Service Group in Regional delegations.

Once the Service Group is established then under Rule it will be for the Service Group Executive to work out a scheme of representation for their Service Group Conference (to be approved by the Conference) but since there obviously is not a Service Group Executive for a newly formed Service Group the decision about the first Community Service Group Conference has to fall to the NEC.

I would be very interested in the views of UNISON members ahead of Wednesday's Committee meeting.

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