Thursday, June 15, 2023

UNISON National Delegate Conference 2023- Day 3

Today (Thursday) I still have "conference lurgy" so skipped the morning run again. Another glorious blue sky day. Nice to have a name check in the Morning Star from yesterday's debate "the NEC shouldn't go off and be a lone ranger" and picture of my Community NEC colleague Denise Thomas. 

As regional delegates ,Yvonne and I spent most of the morning collecting and then collating reprioritisation forms from branch delegates. Long story short, branches had the chance to nominate 6 motions that they would like to be debated on Friday afternoon. Sounds simple but pretty complicated in practice and time consuming. 

It was good to see that Conference voted to extend the age range of young members to 30 (well done our former HAB branch manager Josephine, now national officer for young members). 

During lunch break I went to a interesting fringe "on the future of Local Government" with guest speakers, Alex Norris MP and PCC Kim McGuiness. I did my usual warning about "watch out, Michael Gove in on manoeuvres" and he is after the Local Government Pension scheme in order to fund his Levelling up ambitions. 

The debate of the day was the very last, motion 84, which many delegates considered to be a ill thought out money grab of branch funds by a discredited outgoing NEC. Other speakers thought it was much worse than that. However, it did have supporters and also enjoyed the President allowing some pretty blatant abuse of protocol by speakers on a technical amendment to 84 and finally an outrageous disregard of a very clear vote by delegates against the motion in favour of an immediate card vote. We should find out the result of the card vote tomorrow. 

Afterwards, some of us went to recover in the nearby Baltic Fleet Pub then I joined branch and other London delegates for a Cosmo meal during which we tried to work out how much it would cost the union in strike pay if Local Government goes out on strike. £10 million per day was our lowest estimate. Which pretty much means that even if 84 is passed, then there still won't be enough money to fund effective strike action.  

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