Tuesday, June 21, 2016
One of the features of UNISON Conferences which has declined dramatically over the years is the facility to ask questions of the Annual Report submitted to that Conference by the relevant leadership body (the National Executive Council for National Delegate Conference and the relevant Service Group Executive at a Service Group Conference).
This year there were just three questions asked of the Annual Report of the Service Group Executive at Local Government Conference - all from just one branch. At National Delegate Conference three branches asked a total of just eleven questions, seven of which gave rise to supplementary questions.
It has become harder to ask questions over the years - both because the procedure for asking questions has become more rigorous and because the Annual Report has become less detailed and interesting - but it is not impossible and it is often worthwhile.
As a delegate at Local Government Conference your blogger was able to make use of an answer received to a question asked of the Annual Report of the Service Group Executive in successfully moving the Emergency Composite on pay.
This morning at National Delegate Conference a delegate from West Sussex illustrated how to use a supplementary question on the Annual Report to raise an issue which would never have made it on to the agenda as a motion.
We need to make better use of our Conferences to hold our leaders to account. The asking of questions is a small but not unimportant tool with which to do this.