Wednesday, February 08, 2023

UNISON Greater London Regional Council AGM 2023: Re-elected as RCO for 16th time (?) in a row

This morning was our Regional Council AGM and I was pleased to have been re-elected (unopposed) as Regional Finance Convenor alongside my comrades, Yvonne Green, as Regional Convenor and Conroy Lawrence, as Deputy Convenor. We were joined on the Regional Council team (the lay Executive for the 130,000 members in Greater London) by newly elected Equalities Convenor, Annette Heslop. See picture of us with Regional Secretary Jo Galloway on top left of collage. The Publicity Officer election is being rerun due to an admin error.

Our keynote guest speakers were Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, who is the Labour Shadow minister on Mental Health as well as a real life hospital doctor (see photo left of collage with Rosena, me and NHS activist Jim Mansfield who was also re-elected as our rep on Conference Standing Orders Committee) and our superb UNISON Head of Health, Sara Gorton. 

I gave the regional finance budget report to the AGM, which was adopted and I thanked members for their trust and confidence in re-electing me again as well as Yvonne and Conroy. 

After reports, we began debating motions. I spoke first moving my branch (GLR Housing Associations) "Cost of Living motion" which no one spoke against but saw some "fantasy" Life of Brian speeches, attacking the Labour Party, rather than the Tories, over the Cost of Living Crisis! 

Anu Prashar spoke passionately and eloquently on the (dreadful) LGBT+ experience during this crisis. 

There was some brilliant contributions during the debate on the "Industrial Action" motion moved by Kensington & Chelsea Local Government Branch. In particular Sonya Howard (K&C Chair) and Eddie Brand, Branch Secretary of the London Ambulance Service, who were the only branch to successfully win a strike ballot in the current NHS dispute and have delivered 4 days of strike action with next one on this Friday.  Hospital worker, Abiola Kusoro, told us how her branch lost out on strike action by only 1% shortfall in the vote and how they hope and expect to win the pending rerun ballot. 

Our former HAB activist (and my fellow West Ham Labour activist) Mitsy Harmon-Russell, now a NHS care worker moved the motion in support of our UNISON Charity "There for You". 

My other branch motion (composited with Croydon motion) on "Year of the Black Worker" was moved by our Branch Chair, Joseph Ogundemuren who got us all clapping and chanting combining humour with serious messages. 

Afterwards I had to rush off to my nearby housing office, to catch up with the ever urgent ASB work and union issues, then in the evening to go to my branch executive meeting.  

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