ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2012 AT 7.00 P.M.
KINTORE ARMS HOTEL, HIGH STREET, INVERURIE
Lively AGM votes to fight
council cuts plans
lively and well attended AGM roundly condemned the council's proposed
cuts to terms and conditions and voted unanimously for action
to combat the council's pay cut plans.
It also pledged support to members in the community
and voluntary sector, who have already been hit by cuts to funding.
And it supported action on fuel poverty, child poverty, council
budget cuts and the UK government's austerity measures.
an emergency motion Inez Teece, Branch Secretary slammed the attack
on terms and conditions at a time when staff had already suffered
a pay freeze, and with job losses were already doing more for
Inez said, "These cuts affect all staff, but
disproportionately affect those that provide front-line, essential
services, 7 days a week, 265 days a year."
The AGM heard from many of these members, who told
of how the cuts would affect them personally, with losses for
some of up to a quarter of their salary; but also how the cuts
would affect the people they work with, including some of our
most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, disabled and children.
Many said that they will have to look for other
jobs; others asked who will provide services for vulnerable elderly
in care homes or in their own homes at weekends or at Christmas
and other public holidays.
Members in 9-5 jobs pledged their support amidst
fears that if the council can do this now, it will have big implications
for them in the future.
- Terms and Conditions
here for more on the Branch campaign to protect terms and conditions.
Branch pledge to support vol
AGM also gave support to our colleagues in the community, voluntary
and private sector, who have been at the sharp end of funding
cuts to date. The Branch will continue to support members to develop
and sustain their stewards' networks with funding and resources,
and will push for and support initiatives at a Scottish and UK
Norman Smith, Cornerstone Stewards' Convenor, told
the AGM that members in this sector had welcomed the joint Branch
initiative to employ organising staff for a time limited period,
and that this was beginning to bear fruit. However, the challenges
look set to continue.
"As more and more councils set their budgets,
it is clear that once again, funding to the community, voluntary
and private sector is being squeezed. This is resulting in downward
pressure on the pay and conditions of our members, which have
already been cut over recent years," said Norman.
Emergency motion -
Support for Voluntary, Community and Private Care Sector members
strategy on council cuts
The AGM agreed a strategy to tackle budget cuts by Aberdeenshire
Council. The Branch will call on the council to clearly identify
the impact on their proposed savings on service delivery and job
Inez Teece spoke to Steve Gray's motion and asked
the AGM to give weight to this strategy so that proposed cuts
can be properly challenged and their impact properly assessed.
Motion: Budget Cuts
Impact upon Services and Communities
Branch highlights threat
of growing poverty amongst members and the public
also debated and approved motions calling for action at local
and national level to combat fuel poverty, child poverty and the
UK government's austerity measures. The Branch will now submit
these to UNISON's annual delegate conference. If supported they
will become UNISON's national policy and will be actioned at all
levels of the union.
Susan Kennedy, who brought the fuel poverty motion
warned that 31% of households in Aberdeenshire are affected by
Susan said, "This is a major concern for many
of our members, especially low paid, disabled and retired members
who are already being put at a greater risk of health related
illnesses due to insufficient heating in their homes."
Fuel Poverty motion
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair slammed the "national
disgrace" that almost 4 million children will grow up in
poverty and warned that these numbers were rising as the gap between
the very rich and the rest of us keeps widening.
"Changes to welfare provision will make this
even worse," said Kate. She added that 59% of children in
poverty live in households where at least one adult is in work.
"These may well be the children of our low paid members."
End Child Poverty
Austerity isn't working
also called on the Branch to do more to get the message out to
members that the UK Government's strategy for dealing with the
economy is not working.
"Everything the Branch said would happen has
happened," said Kate. "Attacks on public service jobs,
pay and pensions, far from improving things, has seen the economy
slide further into recession, with negligible growth and increased
She called on members to take the evidence out to
members and promote the alternatives to get the economy back on
Motion: There is an Alternative
for more infomation on the Branch campaign.
Branch warnings proved right
as branch continues to recruit
Moving the Annual
Report, Inez Teece, Branch Secretary highlighted that the
Branch was right last year to warn about impending budget cuts,
job losses, reviews and cuts to existing terms and conditions
Inez added that the situation will become more difficult in future
years, but this was compensated by the Branch fighting back and
being more proactive getting out and about, meeting with members
and using the press to get our message across. She praised the
turn-out for the very successful day of action to protect our
pensions. Inez also added that recruitment to Aberdeenshire UNISON
had been good over the past year.
a lively hustings, and a secret ballot, Bill Edwards was
re-elected to the post of Assistant Branch Secretary with 71 votes
to Susan Kennedy's 45.
then withdrew his nomination for the Branch Secretary post and
Inez Teece was elected unopposed.
The AGM agreed the other nominations for Branch
Officers and Stewards and agreed to remit the vacant posts to
the Branch Committee to fill. It also agreed to remit to the Branch
Committee the approval of delegations to Scottish, National and
other external delegate bodies.
Click here for list of
Click here for full list
Accounts healthy as tributes
paid to outgoing treasurer
meeting accepted the treasurer's
report, and the Branch Accounts were approved. Kate Ramsden
advised the AGM that Ian McDonald had retired from his council
position the previous year and had now given up the post of treasurer.
Ann Gray was confirmed as the new Treasurer.
Kate paid tribute to Ian McDonald for many years
of dedicated service to Aberdeenshire UNISON. Kate said that a
huge vote of thanks was owed to Ian McDonald for doing a sterling
job over the years. A round of applause from the AGM followed
for Ian's valued service and commitment.
Close of meeting and thanks
also paid tribute to Jim Murphy (Inspire), a long standing member
of the Branch Committee. A round of applause followed for Jim
Murphy who was present at the AGM.
In closing the meeting, Kate thanked all those who
attended for their contributions to the AGM and praised the large
turnout. She thanked Scott Sutherland, Steward, who minuted the
AGM and Bob Slessor for acting as Vice Chair at the AGM.
Kate also thanked the Branch Officers, Stewards
and the dedicated Team of Support Staff at the UNISON Grampian
Resource Centre in Aberdeen for all their hard work over a challenging
urged to come along and vote
Invitation to attend the 2012 Branch AGM
You will by now have received your papers for Annual General
Meeting of the Aberdeenshire Branch of UNISON.
Whether we work for Aberdeenshire Council, a related
employer or the voluntary sector, we all face major challenges
ahead, as the Westminster Government's spending cuts continue
to bite. It has never been more important to be part of a union
and we would urge you to come along to the AGM to hear what UNISON
is doing to defend members' jobs and services, both nationally
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.
This year there are elections for the following Branch Officer
posts: Branch Secretary and Assistant Branch Secretary (secondment).
The elections will be by secret ballot at the AGM and all current
members of the branch are entitled to vote. There will be hustings
at the AGM and personal statements from each candidate have been
issued with the AGM papers.
Branch Secretary Nominations - Candidates' personal
Assistant Branch Secretary Nominations - Candidates'
Members are urged to come along and participate
in the democracy of the Branch. However, if you cannot attend
the AGM you can vote by post.
here for details of how the election will be conducted and how
to get a postal vote.
A buffet is available from 6.30 p.m. and members of the Branch
Committee will be on hand to answer any questions or just to chat.
We very much hope that you will come along and look forward to
seeing you there.
A G E N D A
1. Chairperson's remarks
2. Appointment of Tellers
3. (a) Minute
of AGM 2011
(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.
5. Election of Branch Officers + Hustings. Election of
Report and Presentation of Accounts
The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011 (To be available
8. Any other competent business (This should be advised
to chairperson before the start of the meeting)
9. Announcement of Election Results
10. Close of meeting
It is recommended the meeting should conclude no later than 9.00
If you wish advance copies of the papers to be tabled at the
meeting, please contact the Resource Centre on 01224 620624 or
All Branch members are invited to attend the 2012 Branch AGM.
here for a poster
The AGM is the branch's supreme policy making forum. It will
elect the Branch Officers and stewards for 2012, set policy on
important issues affecting all members and can amend rules.
The preliminary notice was sent out on 12th Dec, to allow members
time to consider and put forward nominations and motions and to
meet deadlines for the agenda which will be sent out no later
than Friday 27th Jan 2012.
But don't let the talk of motions and deadlines put you
off. This is your chance to raise anything you would like the
branch to be doing, provided that it is within UNISON rules. If
you would like to raise an issue but don't know how to write a
motion, get in touch with Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair. You can
or contact her via the Branch Resource Centre on 01224 620624
and she will help you to find the right way to do it.
UNISON members in Aberdeenshire have particular challenges coming
up with more budget cuts locally and an ideological opposition
to public services by the Con Dem Government at Westminster. Come
to the AGM and find out how UNISON is campaigning to protect public
services and get involved!
Branch officer and steward posts
Nominations are invited for stewards and branch officer posts.
Any nominations should be on the forms below and should be returned
to Inez Teece, Branch Secretary at UNISON Freepost (AB048), 7
Alford Place, Aberdeen AB10 1ZQ no later than Wed 25th Jan 2012.
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 Inez Teece, Acting Branch Secretary at UNISON
Freepost (AB048), 7 Alford Place, Aberdeen AB10 1ZQ no later than
Wed 25th Jan 2012.
Click here to see last year's motions.