A good first day of conference.
New Branch Secretary Evelyn Doyle spoke on public service reform. A complex issue, but a serious one for our Branch. Manchester City Council is now working in partnership and sharing services with a wide range of other public sector bodies we need to make sure we keep pace with these changes.
Ev made it clear that this is something that we need to be involved in from the start. “We must not let this process be something that is ‘done’ to our members and simply be reactive.”
She also gave a word of warning “The future offers opportunities, but also serious threats depending on the nature of specific proposals.”… “UNISON must oppose any parcelling of services with the agenda of then tendering and privatising those services”.
One of the enjoyable parts of the National Conference is hearing on issues outside of our work. We were really pleased to support a motion opposing privatisation of the Health and Safety Executive. The Tory government is determined to deregulate and strip away the protection that health and safety laws give to workers and we have to oppose it.
We also heard a rousing speech from General Secretary Dave Prentis and you can find a full report on his speech on our national site.
After conference Evelyn and other Branch officers attended a fringe meeting on branch finances. Our Branch Executive Committee had real concerns about some of motions on the preliminary agenda on this issue.
We are pleased to say that motion 113 has been withdrawn. The motion would have meant that any money over £130 per member would have been taken from our reserves and reallocated to the North West Region finances.
We know that some branches are struggling financially and need more support. When addressing the meeting Ev informed them that we are happy to look at other ways of changing funding formulas to benefit other branches.
If you want to know what is happening as it happens you can follow the branch on Twitter @UnisonMcr.