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  • Unite Policy Conference 2014

    30 June - 04 July 2014, Liverpool AAC
    CYWNFP Delegate, East Midlands Region

    Monday 30 June 2014

    Tony Woodhouse, Chair of Executive Committee

    Opened and welcomed conference, stressing the importance of the NHS, renationalisation of privatised industries and the need for Labour to reflect the aspirations of our members.

    Composite 1: Apprenticeships

    Valuing, developing and investing in high quality apprenticeships. Young member called for reasonable, realistic pay to support and meet the living costs of young apprentices.
    Disgust expressed about Labour's plans to remove benefits from young people rather than invest in developing jobs and apprenticeships.

    AGREED

    Composite 2: Public Ownership of Utilities (AGREED)

    Bringing energy and water companies back into public ownership and eradicating fuel poverty.

    Composite 3: The Economy, Neo Liberalism and Privatisation (AGREED).

    The damage of neo liberalism and privatisation to the UK economy, the exploitation of those industries, the public purse in subsidies and users paying ever increasing prices for industries they used to own.

    Composite 4: The Economy and Public Ownership of Buses, Rail and Postal Services (AGREED)

    Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Minister

    Spoke about the dangers of Retail politics – parties scrabbling around a shrinking centre ground and competing with headline grabbing soundbytes; politics for the moment replacing politics for peoples lives.

    Spoke at length of the importance and value of the NHS and how Labour will repeal the Tory NHS Legislation. Also opposing EU/US trade legislation requiring access to public services.

    Labour to bring forward a bill in the next few weeks to remove the worst parts of the Tory Legislation.

    Spoke of the crisis of Care and Support Services – underfunded, underpaid, zero hours contracts, minimal services for our elderly and vulnerable citizens with increasing risk of abuse. Labour will bring it up, invest in Social Care Services and unify it under the NHS.

    B13 Bringing Utilities back into public ownership (Agreed)

    C5 Living Wage (AGREED)
    B19 Low Pay (Remitted)
    B21 General Wage Increases (remitted)

    Discussed the importance of the living wage, problems of a minimum wage and lack of collective bargaining and the increasing pay gaps and inequality.

    However B19 advocates pay differentials between young workers and older workers.

    B16 Industrial Democracy and Common Ownership (Carried)
    B17 UK & Irish Manufacturing

  • Unite Policy Conference 2014

    30 June - 04 July 2014, Liverpool AAC CYWNFP Delegate, East Midlands Region Monday 30 June 2014 Tony Woodhouse, Chair of Executive Com
  • TUC LGBT 2014 (17th of that name)

    26-27 June 2014, Congress House
    Report by Adam Umney, Delegate TUC Midlands Region

    Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, TUC

    Spoke of growing up and his recollections of his Uncle who came out as gay and his Uncles experience, activism and relationship within the family plus support of his wife.

    Spoke of his own school days and how name calling was exclusively sexually orientated.

    Also spoke of achievements over the years and also issues yet unresolved and requiring work, especially workplace bullying, media harassment (Lucy Meadows) and hate crimes.

    Addressed cuts affecting LGBT public services and also how Section 28 never really went away from schools where homophobia is still prevalent.

    Reported ET Tribunal Fees have resulted in a reduction of Sexual Orientation related cases by 76% and highly unlikely that this was a result of a real reduction of discrimination and harassment.

    Discussed the international situation in Russia and the need to extend support to LGBT community in Russia and in other parts of the world where our communities are oppressed.

    Gloria Del Piero MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

    Spoke about the achievement of same sex marriage – yes Cameron deserves credit of sticking by it but could not have achieved it without support of Labour MPs.

    Gloria also recalled all the Equality Legislation achieved under Labour relating to LGBT communities and also the end of the ban of LGB people serving in the military (actually, that was the European Court of Human Rights which Labour tokenly opposed).

    No school should teach prejudice and homophobia, but should teach about diversity including same sex relationships.
    Tackling homophobia by sports organisations.
    Labour would appoint and International Envoy for LGBT Human Rights
    When same sex couples can walk down the street holding hands doesn't turn heads, we will be approaching equality.

    Also spoke of other issues such as abolishing the bedroom tax, extending childcare.

    From questions:

    - addressed the effect of cuts in her constituency and the importance of pushing NHS up the agenda and protecting from corporate interests.
    - Taken 40+ years and still not achieved equal pay – Labour needs to deliver
    - Labour needs to publicise working class roots of some MPs and increase their number in Parliament
    - Yorkshire delegate asked if cuts to public services would be reversed – question not answered.
    - Agreed that accountability of schools should not be from Whitehall but rather returned to locality (local authority?)

    Maria Exall, Chair of TUC LGBT

    TUC LGBT Committee has focused on increasing equal rights across the UK – want more choices with equal marriage same sex couples but also need to open civil partnerships to heterosexuals.
    Same sex survivor pensions being reviewed and TUC involved in consultations to drive forward.

    Long way to go acknowledging and progressing rights for Trans community.

    Spoke of faith based/independent schools and prevalence of trans and homophobia.

    Progress not inevitable as media focussed on battle between conservatives and UKIP, with progressive issues pushed out.

    Freedom2 pride theme, about engaging with excluded LGBT population and the issues they face. May have achieved near legislative parity, yet surveys by unions and other organisations have recently shown that homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination is rife. Young people are affected in families, communities and more likely to be homeless and experience mental health problems. There is also the danger of conversion therapies for the vulnerable in our communities.

    Question on Committee report re austerity cuts and lgbt communities.

    Difficulties in challenging and mobilising our communities due to a number of reasons including government perceived as lgbt friendly and our lgbt media often owned by commercial interests.

    Jide Macauley, Justice for Gay Africans

    http://www.rjmm.co.uk

    History of persecution in the African continent. Linked to the penal colonies established in the past and also religious radicalism.

    Anti homosexual law this year in Nigeria came from radical church action in 2009, of which the current national leader is a member.

    Earlier this year gay people were attacked by mobs, marched naked through the streets and even burnt alive. Jide's house was vandalised to destruction.

    Nigerian police very corrupt and work together to penalise LGBT people.

    UK Border control know what Nigerian authorities are like but they often require evidence that can be described as pornographic to justify a claim for asylum.

    Jide's group also now includes Moslems.

    Organising across Africa – not using social media as that would jeopardise safety – but a large delegation met in Kenya this year of 150 with high levels of security and secrecy.
    Jide wants to effectively organise and document the abuses by government and their organisations against LGBT communities in society, home and workplaces.
    Midlands Delegate – what can we do to support and assist:

    - Find out more about what is happening in the continent. Can take action and petition on African's behalf but check with people on the ground. Invite delegates to committees.
    - Lesbian also face very patriarchal attitudes. Southern region of Africa is the best organised.

    ILGA is a great organisation bringing activists together, collecting information about abuses and persecution and most likely to be the first to provide updates. www.ilga.org

    Simone Pound, Professional Football Association

    http://www.thepfa.com/equalities/staff/StaffPopup?guid=7d63d8b2-c83a-4207-98e5-063d3b44fce9

    Spoke about the need for change and players coming out in professional football. About organising a support network to support players coming out so no one goes through the ordeal that Justin Fashanu experienced.

    TUC Football Alliance came together to address the challenges LGB footballers face.

    CWU speaker found that FA are very hesitant and cautious when talking about LGBT phobia, but football supporters are quite willing to engage and are more positive.

    There will be a toolkit to deal with LGBT phobia in football to be available from the TUC Football Alliance at the start of the season from the TUC, PFA and CWU websites.

    Digital Campaigning Workshop


    www.unionreps.org.uk

    Speakers from UNISON and 38Degrees

    Robin Priestly (38 Degrees) has been going for 5 years, successes include saving Radio 6, NHS campaigns among many.

    'Campaigns by You' is a tool-kit for activists to use to start their own campaign as 38 degrees staff cannot cover all campaigns.

    What makes a good petition?

    - Identifying a central issue;
    - Identify a key person who can initiate the change desired so they can be petitioned;
    - Say what outcome you want;
    - Keep the process simple – don't require to many clicks or redirections to various pages;
    - Motivate the reader – inspire, embed links to further expert info in the text to lend authority.

    http://Www.38degrees.org.uk

    Funding – only through donations – no organisations regularly fund so no ties. Not for profit organisation.
    38 Degrees are a campaign organisation and take data protection seriously and therefore will not sell emails of petition signers on to commercial or other companies.

    UNISON – Campaigning and organising with social media (Alison Charlton, Communications Officer, a.charlton@unison.co.uk)

    Have a campaign goal and develop a strategy to get to the outcome.

    Strategy

    - Plan social media with on the ground activity
    - Prepare you activists and branches
    - Prepare your supporters, bloggers, press
    - Support with materials, ideas, plans
    - Publicise event/actions ahead of time
    - Conversations to keep up momentum
    - Feedback on success and thank people

    Effective content

    - A human interest story
    - Compelling quotes
    - Photo – great photo says a thousand words
    - A timely angle
    - Narrative context
    - A connection with your audience's interests
    - An action

    “Don't say anything online that you wouldn't be happy to see on a billboard with your face on”

    Avoiding the P45 tweet

    - Check your employers policy on social media, IT use and union rule book
    - Use separate accounts for personal/union workplaces
    - Restrict union accounts to union activity
    - Use to organise, not comment. Always an action.
    - Be professional. Friendly, not personal.
    - Know the law and your rights.

    These laws apply to you online

    - Defamation
    - Libel
    - Contempt of Court
    - Intellectual property/copyright
    - Data protection
    - Bullying, threatening behaviour, hate crime
    - Industrial action and election rules

    But you also have rights

    - Unfair dismissal
    - Disciplinary Procedures
    - Freedom of information
    - Right to expression

    Disclaimers mean nothing

    “These view are mine and don't represent those of my employer” is not a get out of jail free card.

    Your employer can still hold you to account for breaching code of conduct.

    David Sharkey, Unite LE Region, SERTUC LGBT, Left Front Art.

    What it is to be young & LGBT – quite a range between teenage to 32.

    Young LGBT experience higher rates of mental health & self harm.

    Important that LGBT History is taught at schools and universities to educate our own communities as well as wider society so that we can encourage our young people to get involved.

    A lot of young people are turned off by politics though they may have political opinions but don't really recognise this. We need to assist people to understand that having an opinion is political, what they wear and how they live their lives is political.

    Not enough solidarity – too much in-fighting within activist groups – also need to include heterosexuals and others in our activism.

    Young LGBT workers tend to gravitate towards stereotypical LGBT friendly issues like retail and hospitality, yet they tend to have the worst terms and conditions such as zero hours contracts.

    Young LGBT are more likely to be ask risk of homelessness.

    Need to become more active and motivated as a community to prevent erosion of rights as we see in other countries around the world.

    Mohammed Taj, President TUC & Unite EC

    First Muslim & Asian President of the TUC.

    Equality at the heart of the trade union movement and is proud that we have all fought for equality over the last 30 years, given that in the 80's and 90's there was resistance in the movement.

    More unions are taking seriously and getting involved in supporting the LGBT community at home and internationally. Spoke of iTUC in Berlin this year where LGBT issues were discussed.

    Acknowledged that there is still a long way to go for LGBT issues and concerns to be mainstreamed within the union and equality movements.

    LGBT movement has a very strong voice in Maria Exall on the TUC General Council.

    Government plays lip service to equality, keeping the label whilst removing the substance.

    Whilst he is a Muslim, he values and raises the concerns of LGBT and women in meetings & events up and down the country including in Christian and Muslim events. Trade union movement needs to stand up with LGBT and women members, support and represent their interests in the face of injustices and oppression.

    Important that we all stand up together and be counted. Looks forward to LGBT members becoming President of the TUC.

  • TUC LGBT 2014 (17th of that name)

    26-27 June 2014, Congress House Report by Adam Umney, Delegate TUC Midlands Region Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, TUC Spoke of growing up and his recollections of his Uncle who came out as gay and his Uncles experience, activism and relationship within the family plus support of his wife. Spoke of his own school days and how name calling was exclusively sexually orientated. Also spoke of achievements over the years and also issues yet unresolved and requiring work, especially workplace bullying, media harassment (Lucy Meadows) and hate crimes. Addressed cuts affecting LGBT public services and also how Section 28 never really went away from schools where homophobia is still prevalent. Reported ET Tribunal Fees have resulted in a reduction of Sexual Orientation related cases by 76% and highly unlikely that this was a result of a real reduction of discrimination and harassment. Discussed the international situation in Russia and the need to extend support to LGBT community in Russia and in other parts of the world wher
  • Delegates Report - East Midlands Region LGBT RISC Committee

    Wednesday 06 June 2014
    Unite Nottingham Office, Kent Street

    1. Matters arising from previous Minutes

    National Officer for Equalities, Collette Cork-Hurst, is taking Voluntary Redundancy in July 2014.

    RLGBT Committee members want minutes of the meeting to be available soon after meetings to enable actions to be carried out and reports made to National LGBT.

    AU has been selected by Midlands TUC to be the Regions Observer at TUC LGBT 2014.

    2. TUC Midlands – World AIDs Fundraiser

    TUC LGBT Committee asked for funds from affiliates. EM F+GP only noted at their meeting.

    ACTION: RLGBT requests that all Regional Equality Committees donate £50 from their budgets to support the work of TRADE Sexual Health (a leading regional charity that works to educate and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases/infections). Regional Equality Officer to email all Equality Chairs.

    3. Regional Equality Strategy.

    RLGBT want to see this strategy increasing the number of activists and as a way to increase accessibility to meetings, remote conferencing facilities need to be available for delegates who are geographically distant or unable to attend due to work and other constraints.

    Work is ongoing with Regional Secretary researching demographics to include in the report – will this include figures for Disabled and LGBT communities?

    RLGBT agreed that August would be a good time to reconvene the working group of Officers and Chairs to progress.

    4. Delegate Reports

    AdW

    Midland TUC has held Regional Council at which AdW gave a presentation about IDAHOT Day (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) and raised the profile of LGBT and Disability Committees.

    Midland TUC LGBT Committee is due to meet in June with planning for World Aids Day on the agenda. AdW intends to give another presentation at the October TUC Regional Council regarding World Aids Day.

    IC

    A new Corby based LGBT Group is meeting in the towns Art Gallery. Fifteen people attending, four of whom identify as Trans. Group are trying to organise transport for Leicester Pride.

    New Equality Rep at Tata Steel (Scunthorpe) – Abigail. She won apprentice of the year at Tata and is very enthusiastic about her new union role.

    AU

    AU had been working on a Dignity at Work Policy for NCHA – final draft currently awaiting agreement – and following this on with an anti bullying support/advice sheet for members experiencing bullying with positive steps they can take towards reaching a positive outcome.

    ACTION: AU has agreed to write an article about action members can take should they find themselves being bullied, which will also lead into effective strategies at grievances.

    5. Equality Officers Report

    All East Midlands Women members were surveyed with 220 respondents. Follow up meetings in the region were poorly attended and subsequent ones have been postponed. The aim of the survey and meetings was to tackle under representation of women in the Union.

    Regional Equality Strategy is ready and soon to be circulated. RLGBT committee was surprised as chairs had only been involved in the initial meeting and there has been no consultation on a final draft.

    The next National Equalities conference is to be held in Eastbourne in 2015 – motion to be decided at the next RLGBT meeting.

    Unite Dignity at Work Guide has been published and is available to officers and reps.

    The issue of Unite’s Recruitment Strategy that focusses on positive actions for only BAEM community to the exclusion of others was discussed. It was agreed by the RLGBT that such a strategy appears not to have been informed by objective and thorough analysis/research into membership and employee demographics.

    ACTION 1: REO to investigate.

    ACTION 2: Chair to write to General Secretary to ask what % of Unite identifies as LGBT and where do they feature in the Unions Recruitment Strategy.

    6. National LGBT Report

    Unite is reviewing position of Pension providers with regards to Survivor Benefits to see where action is required. AF (Unite Research Officer) is gathering information from members.

    There have been improvements in the rights around surrogacy which will benefit same sex parents.

    Following the successful East Midlands motion about Unite participating in and having a presence at external public/community events to enhance equality and organising strategies, IC emailed the National Officer for LGBT and BAEM with regards to the Tolpuddle Festival some weeks ago and is yet to receive an answer.

    ACTION: REO to write to DH (Assistant General Secretary) to ascertain the unions intentions with regards to this policy and to suggest events such as WOMAD, Tolpuddle, Durham Miners Gala 2015 and other large festivals.

    7. LGBT Professional Network Group (Leicester)

    Based in the Leicester LGBT Centre, first meeting to be held in July 2014.

    Consists of local workers and small business owners.

    AdW to email dates of meetings and activists are invited to attend. Group also has a Facebook page.

    8. Hate Crime

    AdW has been following up the Regions anti hate crime motion by developing media/publicity and information resources which Unite is adopting for a National Campaign. Regional Secretary will be printing the posters for East Midland activists and National Equalities Officer will commission a web page.

    ACTION 1: AdW to develop a short survey to accompany the campaign materials.

    ACTION 2: REO to arrange for surveys to be printed for the Region.

    9. Prides

    The RLGBT agreed to discontinue using the National LGBT questionnaire, which has bee used since the merger and any benefit from feedback has long since been incorporated into existing campaigns.

    RLGBT will use the Hate Crime Survey instead and this will be one of the main campaign themes.

    The survey will have a question/tick box near the top asking the respondent if they wish to be contacted by Unite. If not, they are not invited to enter name and contact details.

    Chair thanked REO for liaising with Pellacraft and obtaining images of branded merchandise. Chair gave a few constructive comments:

    Logo bug needs to have Regional Office phone number on the fabric strip.
    The LGBT logo (inspired by Brazilian Socialist Party) needed modification to improve clarity.

    Stall to be stocked with the following items:

    • Pens, Logo bugs + wristbands – 1000 each.
    • Sweets (Haribo/Swizzels).
    • ILGA Maps (REO to investigate getting use of the canvas map)
    • Unite literature: for apprentices and young adults, Equality + Diversity and other appropriate leaflets.
    • Membership forms (inc. Community)
    • Hate Crime survey forms.
    • Stickers on a roll

    ACTION 1: Chair to edit LGBT logo for merchandise and also modify into a circular design for stickers on a roll and send to REO.

    ACTION 2: REO to order merchandise, assemble literature required and obtain stickers on a roll.

    10. Any Other Business

    National Disability Committee has submitted an amendment to Policy Motion E13.

    Next Meeting: to be confirmed.

  • Aphorisms and Interludes

    'Diversity' is the wonderful expression and variation of the human family and universe whilst 'Difference' is that which divides us.

  • Regional Committee Delegate Report, 22 January 2014

     

    TUC Midlands Awards

     

    Agreed that East Midlands Region would develop own awards programme following Midlands TUC debacle where GMB officers walked away with most of the awards. Regional Secretary has made Unite's position clearly known to Midlands TUC – that the awards should be about promoting the activity and acheivements of lay member representatives.

     

    Unite East Midlands Industrial Conference

     

    To replace the Health and Safety Conference whilst retaining a H&S element, but following feedback from reps will also include the Unite Awards for East Midlands.  To be held at the Roundhouse (Derby) towards end of October 2014.

     

    Subscriptions

     

    Debate around a rate for lower paid workers. Steve Hibbert (EC member), supported differing rates for lower and higher paid members but EC did not support. Reps from Local Authorities, Sainsburys and Housing Associations gave a broad range of examples of low paid workers and why Unite had to consider people who work part time hours and zero hour contracts all for low pay often below Living Wage levels.

     

    Branch (geographical) AGMs

     

    14000 letters sent out but very poor attendance/response rate and having to be rerun.

     

    East Midlands Banners

     

    Done and will be brought to subsequent members.

     

    Regional Health & Safety Committee

     

    Following feedback from the last Regional H&S Conference, RC propose that a RH&SC be formed comprising delegates from Area Activists to plan and lead on H&S related activity for the Region. Agreed.

     

    EC Report

     

    Policy Conference Motions deadline put back to 28 February 2014.

     

    Union staff now on one pension scheme, saving around £500k per year.

     

    EC voted to maintain union vote within the Labour Party.

     

    Talks with PCS (informal) ongoing, on basis of a transfer of undertakings and not a merger.

     

     

    Policy Conference Delegates

     

    General RC delegates – 3 elected with one stand-by. 

    2 LGBT & 2 Disabled delegates also elected.

     

    Presentation: Justice for Columbia

     

    Presented by Mariella … RC re-affiliated and agreed a donation of £2000 plus to support a fringe meeting at Policy conference.

     

    Motion to Policy Conference 2014

     

    Motion on Hate Crime: Not Just One Target, agreed by RC. This important motion deals with crimes motivated by hatred based on a particular protected characteristic (as per Equality Act 2010) or multiple characteristics.  Currently, a claim can only be made with regards to one characteristic yet often there are instances of crimes where more than one characteristic is targeted, ie the sadistic murder of Steven Simpson who was gay and had learning disabilities.

     

    Another motion on Conference Admin required further consideration following some pertinent comments and will have to go through a workplace branch to get to conference.

     

  • Youth Workers, Community and Not For Profit Industrial Sector Conference, Brighton, 14 November 2013.

    Report from Collette, National Equalities Officer

     

    Youth Workers service is at the sharp end of attacks on the public sector, both in terms of real threats to disestablish the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) that determines terms and conditions, and also attacks in the form of cuts to the service itself.

     

    Unite and its members need to fight back to protect Youth Workers who provide such an essential service for the Young People in our communities.

     

    James, Research Officer

     

    Provided a presentation on the composition of the different organisations in the YWCNFP sector, plus Trade Bodies (ie. National Housing Federation) and challenges to the sector.

     

    Bryn (Rep in RSPCA)

     

    New CEO in 2010 wanted to derecognise Unite as the first step to reducing staffing, terms and conditions, pay etc at the RSPCA.

     

    He used the Unite recruitment strategy to organise the workforce and he found it most effective to take the union message into peoples workplaces, especially to the younger employees.

     

    Des (Edinburgh Voluntary Sector Branch)

     

    An industrial sector branch uses organising and negotiating to achieve successes and carry campaigns.

     

    Suzanne (Branch Secretary, Unite Workers)

     

    Stressed the importance of embedding the Union within the workforce using the organising model.  Building from the member level up.

     

    Chris (South West RISC, Play Worker and NISC delegate)

     

    National Industrial Sector Committee doesn’t want to just debate the options, but rather wants workplace branches and reps to act and achieve.

     

    NISC wants to develop organising strategies that are sector specific to go forward.

     

    Chris organised the conference into small groups who identified possible strategies, some very sub sector specific.  Workshops reported back after lunch.

     

    Motions At Conference.

     

    All motions were accepted by the delegates, including the Emergency motion with regards to attacks on Local Authority Youth Services.

     

    The motion on Housing for the East Midlands was accepted and engendered useful debate.  The main points that came up were the commercialisation of the Housing Association Sector and also the need for Local Authorities and Housing Associations to develop new housing that is environmentally responsible and sustainable ways with features that benefit tenants.

     

    Hilary Benn MP

     

    Hilary Benn addressed the conference in the afternoon.

     

    Cameron uses the term ‘Trade Unionist’ as a term of abuse whilst 6.5 million people are members of trade unions.

     

    Cutting of Local Authority funding is falling heaviest on the most deprived communities in the country (circa 30-40%) whilst Cameron’s own Local Authority has received a small increase in funding.

     

    Labour will redistribute available funding more equally.

     

    The Bedroom Tax is immoral.  David Cameron gave the rich a 10% tax cut and yet imposed this tax on the poorest in society.

     

    A tax on the poorest and at current transfer rates it will take 10 years to reallocate everyone into appropriately sized housing.

     

    The Bedroom Tax undermines family life.

     

    Labour will scrap the Bedroom Tax.

     

    The Living Wage is becoming a feature of Labour led Local Authorities, either implementing it now or giving clear commitments to working towards it.

     

    Labour will address the Energy Crisis by freezing prices for almost two years whilst the sector is restructured splitting supply from retail so companies cannot dominate the market.

     

    Labour will review legislation around Zero Hours Contracts to remove abuses.

     

    Devolution throughout the UK has redistributed power to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but England remains very centralised.  England needs to be devolved and monies released from Central Government.

     

    Older persons are having to source care and health services from multiple different agencies.  Labour will integrate Health and Social Care into one service so older people will only need to approach one agency.

     

    Young people – 16 and 17 year olds – to get the vote under a Labour Government.

  • East Midlands Regional Committee Meeting (30 October 2013, Pride Park)

    Regional Committee Training

     

    Two day event combining Regional Committee meeting plus a day of training to be held 22-23 January 2014 at the Derbyshire Hotel. Delegates were asked to select subject areas from a list.

     

    Health and Safety Conference (28 October 2013, Roundhouse, Derby)

     

    240 delegates attended the successful conference with Mental Health identified as a major issue for both members and lay representatives.

     

    Regional Secretary Report

     

    The 100% Campaign needs to be led by delegates on the Regional Committee. To date, the RS has received no response to the email sent to delegates regarding workplace maps.

     

    Branch Reorganisation Report and Northampton Motion

     

    Northampton Branch submitted a motion that would have halted the reorganisation process by recommencing a fresh round of consultations and negotiations.  Motion was opposed and the Reorganisation Committee report was endorsed by the Regional Committee.

     

    The lay member led Reorganisation Committee Report endorsed the closing of existing general branches and creation of workplace branches (first instance), sectoral branches (comprising members at workplaces of less than 50 belonging to a common industry) and finally geographical branches of working or full subscription paying members who do not fit in the previous two categories.  For example in Nottinghamshire, there will be three geographical branches.

     

    The principle regarding the funding of new branches from the dissolved is that funding will always follow the member – it does not belong to the branch.

     

    From early November 2013, letters to be sent to approximately 19,000 members informing them that they have been allocated to a new branch, invited to an inaugural meeting to the new branch with the purpose of electing new branch officials.

     

    Executive Committee Report

     

    Transport Salaried Staff Association is no longer going to join Unite, however both unions expressed needs to work closely together.

     

    Talks with PCS are at an exploratory stage.

     

    The EC will be holding a special meeting in March 2014 with regards to funding the Labour Party, in the light of events in Falkirk.

     

    EC elections are to take place in 2014 and will include proportionality in some regions (North West and London & Eastern definitely). A point raised but not discussed that there is a 25% minimum requirement for female candidates plus Women reserved seats – should the latter be dropped?  Also a proportionality requirement for BAEM by Rule, but Disability, Young Members and LGBT have not been addressed.

     

    Also noted that members in arrears can only have their voting rights withdrawn if the Union has written to them informing them of the situation, following a case with the Certification Officer.

     

    Delegates to the CSEU are still fending off some Union interests who want their share of the £21 million.  Steve reported that he and other delegates see this as members money that was raised for the purpose of a campaign for a statutory 35 hour week.

     

    Regional Coordinating Officers Report

     

    There are some 100% Campaigns that have stalled and need reinvigorating.

     

    There are still organising opportunities within some large organisations with recognition agreements and with their subcontractors.

     

    Other items

     

    RC agreed to donate £500 to Hazards 2014 conference and to fund two RC delegates.

     

    RC also agreed to donate £250 to Hope Not Hate, £50 to Trade Unions for Disability Action (TUDA) and £75 to Union Solidarity International.

     

    Arriva has donated a bus to Unite, which will require refitting.  Launch to take place circa March 2014 and branches can make donations towards refurbishments (see Regional Secretary).

     

    In response to the Senior Organising Officers poor comment regarding lack of support from the Committee at a vehicle show in Newark, this EM delegate for Youth Workers Community and Not for Profit workers and Chair of the Regional LGBT reminded the RC that they asked for volunteers and had support from two additional reps from E-on.  Also noted that the Unite Organising Officers had not supported any of the three Prides (Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln) and expressed disappointment that they had missed an opportunity to organise at such large and high profile events.

     

  • Unite Activists at East Midlands Prides

    Unite had a presence this year at Nottingham, Leicester and Lincoln Prides.

    This year we focused on two main approaches for visitors to the stall:

    • providing information about trade unions and lgbt rights (including internationally using the ILGA maps);
    • surveying visitors for their views on known issues and also asking if they had any issues they wanted to bring to Unite's attention.

    From the completed surveys received, 27 people said they wanted to join Unite and get involved with LGBT activities.

    Following the Prides, a Regional Strategy for LGBT Committee has been drafted, pending agreement from Regional Committee that will inform how we approach Prides in the future.

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