Saturday, June 14, 2008

UNISON Conference 2008

Off soon to Bournemouth to be a delegate at the UNISON Local government conference which begins on Sunday morning and finishes late on Monday afternoon. There are about 850,000 (nearly 80,000 in London alone) UNISON members who work in sectors associated with local government such as my own Housing Association branch. All UNISON conferences are of course notoriously quiet, reasoned and sedate affairs. I have no doubt that this year will be the same.

Immediately afterwards it is the UNISON National Delegate Conference (the “NDC”) which is the UNISON “parliament” for its 1.3 million members (130,000 in London).

Blogging may be a little intermittent during the next several days as I will be doing my best “to fight the good fight” (as I see it of course). So, there will be lots of writing and practicing speeches, plotting and planning and maybe, just maybe the odd occasion to have a drink or two (strictly shandy or diet cokes).

If you have never been to a UNISON conference before, make sure you get a photo for your ID badge BEFOREHAND; go to the Regional delegate meeting (its really useful); don’t buy any political newspapers or magazines unless you really want to; expect to spend ages finding your seat; check out your Regional newsletter; find out in advance the time and location of last bus back to your hotel, go to the pension Capital Stewardship fringe; NDC health & safety fringe. The NDC Labour Link and London Regional social are the best; consider supporting your democratically elected NEC recommendations and especially your poor old conference Standing Order committee; if you don’t support Far left motions and want a dabble at speaking but don’t know who to speak to in your region then give me a pull; tell GK to stop heckling speakers and be quiet if you are sitting next to him; ask me if JR suggests you do or sign anything. Finally, it is also a tradition of conference for London delegates to buy their Regional Finance convener a drink.

There is a lot to divide us but also much to unite. There are a number of interesting motions on health and safety, pensions, equality, workers’ rights and pay to debate. Core trade union issues in my views. Also a whole load of nonsense as well. But such is life.

(picture from last NDC at Bournemouth 2006)


Anonymous said...

second the motion about SOC committe - ime just of to my first connect conference as a CBC (aka SOC) member.

Given the "interesting" situation with BT And IA its been hectic :-)

John Gray said...

SOC reports 1 and 2 were accepted without challenge!

marshajane said...

LG SOC is far more liberal than the SOC for NDC hence it not being challenged as often.

you say that we should consider accepting the recommendations of our democratically elected NEC but then go onto say we shouldn't do anything that one of our democratically elected NEC members says (JR) contradictory much :)

John Gray said...

Hi Marsha
apologies for allowing the previous (now deleted) comment. I didn't look at it beforehand.

Thankfully, JR is not representative of our beloved lay elected NEC!

Jon Rogers said...

ah but John that is because it is my job to represent the members who elect me not the other members of the NEC...

John Gray said...

Hi Jon
Apologies for not responding sooner and I am glad to hear that you see your job as representing the “members who elect you”. I had thought you were suppose to also represent the overwhelming majority who didn’t vote for you?