I am the elected NEC General seat member for all UNISON Community members (Housing Associations and Voluntary sector). My colleague, Denise Thomas, is the Female seat holder. This is my latest report on my NEC activities to our Community Service Group Executive which met virtually today.
John Gray: National Executive Council (NEC) report to Community SGE
My last report was 1 December 2021. The response to the Covid pandemic has again dominated my work as an activist and as a NEC member.
Now that it appears the very worse may be over, we need to ensure that the Westminster Government does not try and make Community members pay for the cost of Covid by further austerity. Below is my NEC related activity since last SGE.
UNISON Staff Pension Trustee training 12 January
I am an Employer representative on the trustee board. Virtual training by advisors on updates to pension law, taxation, ESG topics, Climate Change and TCFD (carbon disclosures)
Policy Development and Campaigns Committee 13 January
Branch resources review – update and presentation; Brexit update; National Delegate Conference’ Campaign update (including pay freeze); Campaigning for public services and a just society post COVID19; Items based around the four strands agreed on 20th May: TUC UN Demo International Day of Action Against Racism; Covid-19 vaccination - discussed UNISON approach; TUC General Secretary letter. Consultations – submitted under chairs action since last meeting:-
· Response to the DWP consultation: Good Practice on In-Work Progression in Low -Pay Sectors
· UK National Data Strategy (NDS) Consultation December 2020
· UNISON response to law commission consultation on hate crime law
· UNISON evidence ETHNIC DISPARITIES AND INEQUALITIES IN THE UK
· UNISON submission Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry/Windrush Compensation Scheme
· HCLG Committee Inquiry: The Impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on homelessness and the private rented sector
UNISON Staff Pension Investment sub-committee 14 January
I chair this sub-committee on pension investment strategy and monitoring.
UNISON Staff Pension Investment sub-committee 9 February
Follow on meeting
NEC 10 February
There was introductory remarks and we had a minutes silence to remember UNISON activists and officers who had passed away since the last full meeting.
Report and debate on National Delegate Conference Business; Report on motions, rule amendments; NEC conference plan; Finance report; General Secretary Report and Organising update.
Extraordinary meeting of SGE/Community Live planning 22 February
UNISON Staff Pension Trustee Board meeting 24 February
Regular trustee board meeting
NEC 26 February
This was a special NEC meeting to discuss and agree the Branch Resource package.
UNISON Staff Pension Trustee Board meeting 3 March
Continuation of meeting from previous week
Community Live events 16-19 March
Attended as many of these excellent events as I could
UNISON/APSE Online Housing Roundtable Meeting 23 March
Attended and contributed to meeting with other members of Community Housing sector committee
NEC training on Pensions 24 March
This training was for all NEC members on how to better understand issues relating to the UNISON staff pension fund
Policy Development and Campaigns Committee 6 April
Special Delegate Conference 2021. Approve draft motions for Special Delegate Conference; Campaign update (including pay freeze); Housing To received verbal briefing on UNISON’s housing campaigns; Health and Social Care White Paper briefing; National Black Members receive a report and recommendations from the Committee. Consultations – submitted under chairs action since last meeting:-
- UNISON submission Home Office call for evidence Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2021 -2024
- JCHR call for evidence March 2021
- UNISON response March 2021 Green Paper: Transforming Public Procurement
- UNISON submission Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consultation Measures to extend the ban on exclusivity clauses in contracts of employment
- UNISON response February 2021 Digital trade and data enquiry International Trade Commons Select Committee Inquiry
- UNISON submission in response to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government review to boost the provision of toilets for women and men
NEC Meeting 7 April
We had a minutes silence to remember UNISON activists and officers who had passed away since the last full meeting.
We agreed NEC motions to the “special conference” and received an update on how the conference will happen.
The General Secretary gave a very comprehensive report and answered many, many questions (including mine on how we need to target any employers who intend to reduce “sleep in” payments for staff after the very (very) disappointing Supreme Court decision not to apply the national minimum wage to such shifts.
Next were reports from: organising, service groups, Industrial action committee, disciplinary matters, minutes and staff pensions
Industrial Action Committee (IAC)
As the elected NEC vice chair of IAC, the Chair and I deal with weekly or even daily requests and/or approvals for industrial action including those by Community members. In all my time on IAC I have never refused to endorse industrial action.
There has been other occasional virtual meetings/calls with other NEC members, advisors and UNISON national officers in relation to my role on Staff Pension Committee and IAC. In more usual times this might have been a chat over an issue in the UNISON centre canteen.
I did attend the virtual retirement do of our former National Secretary, Dave Johnson on 5 March. Dave was of course, his usual “quiet and retiring” self. I wished him well and thanked him for his long service to UNISON and in particular to our Community Service Group.
John Gray Community NEC (General Seat)
(Please ring or email if any questions or comments, especially from any new members to the SGE. If you want Denise or I to present virtually to your branch, SOG or regional meetings, then just let us know)
13 April 2021
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