Wednesday, July 03, 2013

UNISON's Magnificent Seven Minus One

Before I get further into reporting from today's meeting of UNISON's National Executive Council I will report on a relatively minor item from the end of the meeting, but one which puts UNISON in a good light.

This concerns nominations to the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). UNISON has - as all TUC affiliates have - the right to make nominations to various sections of the General Council which are elected by the whole of Congress. In one such we agreed to renominate Gloria Mills to represent black women trade unionists.

We also have the right, in Section A, to nominate seven direct representatives of UNISON on to the General Council. However, today, our NEC nodded through a recommendation that we make only six such nominations. This was not some error or oversight, but a thought out approach to demonstrating UNISON's commitment to the principle that the TUC should not simply be dominated by the biggest trade unions.

Therefore we agreed to nominate Jane Carolan, Eleanor Smith and Chris Tansley, from the NEC, and Karen Jennings, Dave Prentis and Liz Snape, from our senior management, to sit on the General Council of the TUC, whilst leaving our seventh seat vacant.

As a forthright critic of our leadership from time to time, it is only right that I pay tribute to the Presidential Team for having thought through, debated and recommended this gesture of respect for the smaller trade unions who are also an important part of our movement.

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