Tuesday, June 25, 2013

If there are Councillors Against the Cuts, shouldn't we be too?

Continuing my catching up from the events of last week's UNISON Conferences, I want to say something about "Councillors Against the Cuts", which was the theme of a debate at Local Government Conference last Monday, and a fringe meeting at National Delegate Conference last Wednesday.

Attendance at the fringe suffered not only from a clash with the bedroom tax fringe but also from the fact that, in navigating the rapids of Rule P, the branch moving motions on this subject to both Conferences failed to foresee that the subject would be debated at the Conference at which it had originally been ruled out of order, but would not be prioritised for debate at the Conference at which it had originally been admitted to the agenda.

The debate at Local Government Conference was somewhat sidetracked by an amendment from the Service Group Executive (SGE) which asked Conference to acknowledge that any dialogue with Councillors Against the Cuts (for which the main motion called) would be in the context of a previous SGE circular opposing the advocacy of "no cuts" budgets.

Whilst this cackhanded wrecking amendment was deservedly trounced it was in any case unnecessary, since any dialogue in which our SGE participates will inevitably be informed by the timidity which is their guiding principle on this question.

The reality is that by passing Motion 47 we have unlocked a door which remains wedged shut, and to which we will have to apply our shoulder by way of model motions, and other initiatives, at branch and Regional level if we are to push UNISON towards the position of practical and meaningful opposition to all cuts which is the logic of so much of our current policy.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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