AGM supports call to defend public
services as members pledge to do their bit
|Steve Gray adds his voice to defend public services
A well attended Branch AGM on Wed 17th Feb
2010 pledged to defend public services and urged members to attend
the "Stop the Cuts" March and Rally in Glasgow on 10th April.
The branch will be running buses and many of those who attending
the AGM will be coming along.
Branch to campaign for public services
and to Stop the Cuts
Proposing the motion on defending public services, Kate Ramsden,
Branch Chair told the meeting that public service workers and
the users of public services should not have to pay for the recession.
"We did not cause the financial crisis, it wasn't us that gambled
millions, so why should we have to pay for the bail out of the
banks?" she asked, slamming the media and politicians for their
attacks on public service workers. "As well as that though, public
services have a crucial role in stimulating economic growth and
are key to the economic well-being of our communities."
Kate welcomed UNISON's "million voices campaign" and
the Scottish "Public Works" and "Stop the Cuts"
campaigns but called on branch members to do their bit to speak
up for public services. "After all, as the providers and the users
of services, who knows their value better than us?" she challenged.
Supporting with reservations, member Scott Sutherland called
for a more hard hitting campaign, joining with other trade unions
and community groups with action up to and including industrial
action. However, other members spoke up for the campaigning approach
called for in the motion, and urged members to become more actively
involved in the campaign. "We can't leave it to the Branch Officers,"
Moira Deans told the AGM. "We all need to do our bit."
Pointing out that the Public Works/Stop the Cuts campaign is
all about joining up with community groups and others who would
be affected by cuts to public services, Kate called for united
support for the motion and the campaign, and the AGM approved
Click here for the "Public
Works" campaign page and find out more about what you can
do to defend public services
In the discussion that followed, members agreed to take away
recruitment materials and leaflets to try and maximise union membership
and support for the campaign in their workplace; and to try and
bring one other member with them to next year's AGM.
Click here to view motion
More support for branches to represent members
in "fitness to practice" issues
The AGM also agreed to take to UNISON's National Conference, a
call for better training and support for activists defending members
who face investigations by their registration bodies.
Ramsden, Branch Chair pointed out the additional challenges for
stewards and activists in defending members at conduct hearings
in front of registering bodies like the Scottish Social Services
Council. Kate said, "More and more of our members are being required
to register. Social workers, residential and day staff, nursery
nurses… the list goes on. With the new Protection of Vulnerable
Groups legislation, "Check to Protect" the numbers of members
affected will get bigger and bigger. Stewards and activists need
proper training and support and early access to specialist advice
if they are to properly represent these members, especially when
members' jobs and livelihoods can be at stake.
The branch will now submit the motion to Annual Conference.
Click here to see motion
Single status, modernisation reviews
and budget pressures on council services and the voluntary sector
are the challenges ahead
Presenting the Annual Report to the AGM in the absence of Bob
Revie, Branch Secretary, Assistant Branch Secretary, Inez Teece
updated members on the work of the branch over the year. She told
the AGM that Single Status Appeals are now in the final stages
and are due to be concluded very soon.
told the meeting that modernisation reviews have continued to
take up time and energy for both activists and members and many
of these are still ongoing. Member Lesley Ogston told the meeting
of her concerns around the Care Homes review and called for members
to get involved if their services are facing review and to try
and ensure a good trade union membership to have as much influence
as possible on the outcome.
Inez warned the AGM that the big challenge for the coming year
is the budget. "Although our Branch is luckier than many across
the country who are already facing significant cuts in jobs and
services, our council has warned that significant cuts are likely
in next year's budget if they are to balance the books," she said.
"We will be working to minimize the impact for our members and
campaigning to defend our public service jobs, pensions and services."
Inez added that our members in the voluntary sector have continued
to face attacks on their terms and conditions. "We recognise that
there have been many problems for the sector, especially in relation
to the tendering process which has the effect of driving down
standards, pay and conditions," said Inez. "Unfortunately when
council budgets are under pressure it is often the voluntary sector
who bears the brunt, with funding cut to the bone." The branch
has continued to be involved in negotiations with both Cornerstone
and Inspire and is aware of the difficulties facing these organizations
and our members.
Thanks to Ian for keeping the books
The meeting approved the branch accounts and gave a vote of thanks
once again to Ian McDonald for his sterling work as treasurer.
Honoraria were approved again for key branch officers although
the Chair advised that the payment of honoraria would be reviewed
by the Branch Committee in the coming year, and new proposals
brought to next year's AGM.
Click here to see honoraria motion
The meeting also recorded thanks to the branch officers and stewards
who have put in a great deal of work to support members and to
the full-time and office staff.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
17 FEBRUARY 2010 AT 7.00 P.M.
KINTORE ARMS HOTEL, HIGH STREET, INVERURIE
Buffet from 6.30pm
You will by now have received your papers for the
AGM. The AGM is your chance to have your say on the issues of
the moment and gives you a chance to raise issues or discuss concerns
with Branch Officers, on matters such as:
- Single Status Appeals
- Service Reviews
- Budget Pressures
- Local Government Pay Claim
A buffet is available from 6.30 p.m. which gives an informal
opportunity to mix and mingle before the business of the meeting
begins. The branch committee hope to see you there.
A G E N D A
1. Chairperson's remarks
2. Appointment of Tellers
(a) Minute of AGM 2009 - will be available at the meeting
(b) Matters arising
4. Annual Report
The Annual Report on the work of the branch will be available
at the meeting. Questions and discussion will follow.
Election of branch officers
of branch committee/stewards
6. Treasurer's Report and Presentation of Accounts
(a) The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2009 - sent out
7. Motions -
(1) Honoraria Payments
(2) Professional Representation
and Fitness to Practice
(3) Defend Public Services
8. Any other competent business (This should be
advised to chairperson before the start of the meeting)
9. Close of meeting
It is recommended the meeting should conclude no later than 9.15
The AGM is the branch's supreme policy making forum. It will
elect the Branch Officers for 2010, set policy on important issues
affecting all members and can amend rules.
The preliminary notice has already been issued to allow members
time to consider and submit nominations and motions and to meet
deadlines for the agenda which will be sent out no later than
Friday 29th Jan 2010.
Branch officer and steward posts
Nominations are invited for stewards and branch officer posts.
Any nominations should be on the appropriate forms and should
be returned to Bob Revie, Branch Secretary at UNISON Freepost
(AB048), 7 Alford Place, Aberdeen AB10 1ZQ no later than Wed 20th
here for steward's nomination forms
here for branch officer's nomination forms
of branch officer roles
Motions and other business
Any member can submit a motion or let us know of any other business
for consideration at the AGM. Motions need to be signed by two
members and sent to Bob Revie, Branch Secretary at UNISON Freepost
(AB048), 7 Alford Place, Aberdeen AB10 1ZQ no later than Wed 20th
Click here to see last year's motions.