Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Local Government Conference gets more interesting
The Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for UNISON Local Government Conference has made the Conference agenda somewhat more eventful by admitting eight emergency motions to the agenda;
Obviously it is something of an embarrassment to the Lambeth branch to find that only two of our three emergency motions were deemed to place the union in legal jeopardy - but it is some consolation that the third made its way on to the agenda (and the substantive purpose of each of the others is addressed, though obviously in a less inflammatory manner, in emergency motions on the agenda from other branches).
Lambeth's emergency motion is one of no fewer than six dealing, in different ways, with the consequences of the decision taken by the National Joint Council Committee on 27 April to disregard the views of UNISON members expressed in the pay consultation process and to accept the employers' two year pay deal.
I intend to see if the branches involved can initiate a composite encompassing at least some of these motions, although this has not been suggested by the SOC. Since there are different views expressed in the emergency motions we can however expect an actual debate, in which different points of view are expressed leading to a vote in which people vote for different things.
As an old-fashioned left-winger (not to say an unreconstructed dinosaur) I think that is what a debate is - a contest of ideas. When we are congratulated, at Conference, on a "debate" in which everyone spoke on the same side of an argument, I despair at the sad misuse of the English language (and wonder why we waste our time and money arranging to sanitise all controversy from the Supreme decision-making body of a vast democratic organisation).
Thank you, Local Government SOC, for ensuring that we can have some disagreement in Brighton next week!
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.