Aberdeenshire UNISON

AGM 10

AGM supports call to defend public services as members pledge to do their bit


Steve Gray
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 this overwhelmingly.

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.

Kate RamsdenKate 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.

Inez TeeceInez 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
Ian McDonald 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.


17 FEBRUARY 2010 AT 7.00 P.M.
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.


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

Election of branch committee/stewards

6. Treasurer's Report and Presentation of Accounts
(a) The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2009 - sent out with papers

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 p.m.


Preliminary notice

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 Jan 2010.

Click here for steward's nomination forms

Click here for branch officer's nomination forms

Description 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 Jan 2010.

Click here to see last year's motions.




AGM 10

AGM Home
Deadlines for AGM 2010
Nominations for branch officer and steward posts, must be submitted on appropriate forms to the branch office by Wed 20th Jan 2010.

Motions for the AGM should be signed by two members and sent to the branch office by Wed 20th Jan 2010.

The AGM Agenda with the nominations, motions and any rule changes received by the closing date will be mailed out from Friday 29th Jan 2010