As we get ready for UNISON’s National Delegate Conference on Tuesday the union is starting the process of reprioritising the motions.
Even over four days there isn’t enough time to hear every motion. So this is a last chance to move issues that are important to us up the agenda and hopefully have chance to debate them.
Each branch gets to vote for a number of motions that it wants to see moved up.
This year we are giving our support to two motions in particular:
106: Branch Funding
UNISON agreed it’s current branch funding regime in 2001 and a lot has changed since then. 14 years on we have a Tory Government, a weak economy and a culture of austerity to deal with.
We need UNISON to send more of its money to local branches where it is needed to defend our members and keep less stashed away at our national headquarters.
Our national union has spent four years conducting a review of branch funding and we are still waiting for them to report back. This review has become the metaphorical “jam tomorrow”. The promise of more funds for branches without ever having to deliver.
For the past two years our branch has submitted motions calling for an increase in funding to branches. Unfortunately these have been ruled out order and not been heard.
Motion 106 however has made it on to the agenda. While it is not as explicit in what it calls for as the motions we have submitted, it is a good chance to debate the issues and to be clear what we expect from the funding review.
115 UNISON General Secretary Election
We feel that this is an important motion for all members. Sadly turnouts in our elections at all levels of UNISON can be low. We need to do everything we can to increase participation in our democratic structures.
The General Secretary election should be coming up in the next year. It is a high profile position and a great opportunity to try out new methods to increase turnout and make members feel more involved. Organised hustings, streamed online are a great idea to open the campaign up to everyone.
We should bear in mind that the General Secretary has a longer term than many other officers in the union. In the face of a hostile Tory government we should make sure that our General Secretary, whoever it may be, has a clear mandate and is seen to have the support of the union behind them.
We are hoping that other branches will also vote to prioritise these motions.