Monday, June 15, 2009

UNISON Local Government Conference Sunday 14 June

First full day of LG conference. Forced myself to get up early but soon feeling very smug as I went for a run along the Brighton beach about 7.15am. Lovely glorious warm sunshine. There were still many revellers from the “night before” wandering around. Mostly drinking coffee although I saw one hardy soul still swigging enthusiastically from a bottle of wine.

On the beach itself it is hard going to run due to the pebbles and there was a number of revellers who were fast asleep on the beach surrounded by beer cans while others with metal detectors sweep around their corpses.

There was people swimming next to the Pier while everwhere Brighton Council workers (hopefully UNISON members) were clearing up the beaches and streets.

Our morning branch delegation meeting over breakfast didn't quite work out to plan but we all met up at 9.10 to walk down to the conference centre were we had a team photo outside (see pic). All the other 3 delegates from my branch were here for the first time and were quite rightly asking me loads of questions.

The morning session went okay. There was a bit of a row over the standing orders report. Then after the Local Government Service Group Executive report, there was a another report on “Community and Voluntary Sector (CSV) forum” followed by the first item of business which was about funding in the Community and Voluntary Sector (CVS).

This should have gone ahead without any nonsense but my old branch in fact had I'm afraid put in a crass and pretty badly written amendment which upset many delegates in the CVS. It reaffirmed conference policy to oppose transfer of public services which was fair enough but had at the end “we do not believe that the private or voluntary sector can deliver welfare provision better than the public sector”. Which rattled my cage somewhat. Bob Woods from Barnardo's branch tore into this while I also spoke about being a treated as a “second class” unison member. I'll post what I said later. The rest of the morning business went quite smoothly.
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