Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A small victory for trade union democracy
With apologies to anyone who visits this blog for the latest celebrity gossip, I have a little news to share following today's meeting of UNISON's Development and Organisation (D&O) Committee.
Attentive readers of this blog will be aware that our National Executive Council (NEC) had deferred taking a policy decision in respect of some very straightforward rule amendments, which variously proposed shifting National Conferences, Regional elections and Branch elections from an annual to a biennial cycle.
This decision to defer had been taken to allow for some swift consultation with Regions, Service Groups and Self-Organised Groups before the NEC took a decision. Upon receipt of a report back from this hasty consultation exercise, today's D&O Committee has agreed to recommend to June's NEC meeting that, at Conference, the NEC opposes these proposed Rule Amendments in favour of our current practice of Annual Conferences, Annual Regional elections and Annual General Meetings in our branches.
Branches have every right to put these proposals forward (as part of the annual right of all UNISON branches to propose amendments to our Rules). It is to protect that right that I hope and believe that the NEC will support the recommendation of its D&O Committee and that Conference will, on this issue, support (what will then be) the position of the NEC and throw out these Rule Amendments.
Given the financial pressures on our Union and our branches it is right that we weigh the value of each pound that we spend - but reducing our democracy would be a false economy which would reduce our effectiveness in representing the interests of our members.
UNISON needs more democracy, not less (of which, more in due course...)
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.