Monday, June 16, 2014
Will UNISON support our women members?
I recommend that anyone wanting an answer to the question above reads the post to which the above link leads.
I have just come from a Regional delegates briefing at which delegates were - in many cases - fuming that our Standing Orders Committee (SOC) have (on legal advice) ruled out of order a motion on violence against women which had been in order at our Women's Conference (which also has a Standing Orders Committee) (which also receives legal advice).
This decision is inexplicable, inexcusable and incredibly damaging to our trade union. No coherent case can or has been made for this decision and it is quite clear that the SOC are acting in breach of UNISON Rules by sticking to an ill-judged anti-equality position.
Happily Conference delegates have the opportunity to refer back SOC reports at UNISON Conference. Any delegate who takes seriously the aims and values of our trade union will presumably do so.
The irony is that, whilst the SOC are fearful that even allowing debate about a motion which suggests that the Union believes women alleging male violence could place the union in legal jeopardy (which is in any case surely a debating point against a motion rather than a procedural reason to rule it out) the fact that the NEC's Policy Committee has endorsed a report of decisions from the Women's Conference means that the wording to which the SOC object is ALREADY the policy of the Union.
Therefore, if there is any legal jeopardy (which, in my view, there is not) it is already upon us. The SOC decision is as futile as it is offensive to UNISON's aims and values.
It's not for me as an NEC member to say or do more - and I would not want a union in which a lay SOC could be over ruled by the NEC - but every individual Conference delegate has an appointment with their conscience, their commitment to UNISON's values and the women members they represent.
That appointment is as soon after 10am tomorrow morning as they have to vote on whether to refer back the report of SOC.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.