Now -read the book!

Here is a link to my memoirs which, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can purchase online at
Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Someone did shoot the Deputy...

Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Borderline-Trot) may recollect my wanton expression of the dangerous opinion that 2014 could be the year when UNISON Conference might be able once more to debate the principle of the election of officials around the vacancy for a Deputy General Secretary.

‎For myself I only regret sharing this view, in person. In a recent chance encounter around Euston with a cordial acquaintance (who shares his name with a TV Channel).

For this morning, upon attending a special meeting of the Development and Organisation Committee of our National Executive Council (NEC) originally convened to give formal assent to some purely technical Rule Amendments required by the Certification Officer in anticipation of the forthcoming Political Fund ballot, I was confronted, along with other Committee members , with a hastily tabled proposal to amend our Rules in order to delete the position of Deputy General Secretary.

Whilst I felt we were being bounced, the majority of Committee members accepted the evidently persuasive argument that it was urgent to agree this Rule Amendment in order to save the money we haven't spent over the past eighteen months in which we have held the post vacant.

As one wag observed at lunchtime, it seems that if you propose election to a post it will be deleted before such a debate can take place.

I recall, at Conference 1996 and 1997, speaking in support of the election of Regional Secretaries. 

Whatever else you can say about this, it does at least show that our former Deputy General Secretary was, in the opinion of those who call the shots in our Union, literally irreplaceable!

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.


Anonymous said...

There was nothing to stop such a rule change being submitted in 2013. The post's been vacant for almost two years .What's the point in keeping it?

Anonymous said...

The NEC leads the union. Elected GS's are a legal requirement. Unlike many other British unions UNISON has avoided problems with the dual mandates of NEC/GS. Electing other officials will only dissipate power from the NEC. Improved accountability to the NEC is the best solution. GMB and Unite have both deleted DGS posts in recent years.