Sunday, January 17, 2010

Democracy in UNISON?

The well attended Lambeth UNISON Branch Annual General Meeting got through its entire agenda on Thursday - which meant that we reached Rule Amendments for submission to UNISON Conference.

Whilst the absence of contention at the AGM may reduce the scope for ill-informed comment elsewhere in the blogosphere, it was good news for the branch, and I was pleased in particular at our decision to move a Rule Amendment to require an election for General Secretary every five years regardless of the age of the General Secretary.

Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Mabledon-Tank) will have spotted a slight obsession with this topic here in recent months. I think that democracy in our trade union does require that there shall be regular elections for General Secretary (and I would extend that principle further than our Rules presently do). At the moment our Rule Book only states that we elect our General Secretary in order to comply with the requirements of the anti-union laws.

Whilst many aspects of the anti-union laws put unacceptable burdens and constraints upon our trade unions (and all should be removed and replaced with a Trade Union Freedom Bill) we would not - I hope! - give up the practice of electing our General Secretary were the law no longer to require this.

Unfortunately under our current rules (which specify only that the General Secretary shall hold office for the the maximum period of time prescribed by law) were the law requiring elections to be repealed (as it should be) our General Secretary would immediately become General Secretary for life...

(Who knows? Maybe then we could move on to adopt a hereditary principle for succession?)

I hope that Conference will be permitted to debate (and will agree to implement) a Rule Amendment to specify a five year term limit for the future.


Anonymous said...

I might stand!! Nothing like a competition


Anonymous said...

will be interesting to see how this turns out....