Aberdeenshire UNISON

AGM 2012


Lively AGM votes to fight council cuts plans

AGM crowdA 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.

Inez TeeceMoving 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 less.

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.

Emergency motion - Terms and Conditions

Click here for more on the Branch campaign to protect terms and conditions.


Branch pledge to support vol sec colleagues
Norman SmithThe 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 level.

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


AGM crowdBranch 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 loss.

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
Susan KennedyMembers 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 fuel poverty.

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 motion


Austerity isn't working
Kate RamsdenKate 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 borrowing."

She called on members to take the evidence out to members and promote the alternatives to get the economy back on track.

Motion: There is an Alternative

Click here 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 of employment.

AGM crowd
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.

Bill EdwardsFollowing 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.

Inez TeeceBill 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 Branch Officers

Click here for full list of stewards


Accounts healthy as tributes paid to outgoing treasurer
Ian McDonaldThe 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
Jim MurphyKate 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 year.


Members 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 and locally.

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 statements

Assistant Branch Secretary Nominations - Candidates' personal statements

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.
Click 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.


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 branch committee/stewards

6. Treasurer's Report and Presentation of Accounts
The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011 (To be available at meeting)

7. Motions

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 p.m.

If you wish advance copies of the papers to be tabled at the meeting, please contact the Resource Centre on 01224 620624 or e-mail grampianresourcecentre@unison.co.uk


Preliminary notice

All Branch members are invited to attend the 2012 Branch AGM.

Click 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 email her 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.

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 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.




AGM 2012

AGM Home
Branch Rules Feb 2011
Deadlines for AGM 2012
Nominations for branch officer and steward posts, must be submitted on appropriate forms to the branch office by Wed 25th Jan 2012.

Motions for the AGM should be signed by two members and sent to the branch office by Wed 25th Jan 2012.

The AGM Agenda with the nominations, motions and any rule changes received by the closing date will be mailed out from Friday 27th Jan 2012