Aberdeenshire UNISON

National Local Government Service Group Conference 2015

14th-15th June in Glasgow

Join together and fight to protect public services and public service workers

Ann and Kate listen to the debate
Ann and Kate listen to the debate

Click here for reports of the Scottish speakers

Local Government Conference was all about the protection of public services and public service workers as delegates heard horror stories of the impact of the cuts on our members and on the people to whom they provide services.

We heard that huge numbers of our members are not paid the living wage and many are struggling to survive on low pay, insecure employment and zero hours contracts.

The effect of the cuts has meant that those in work are having to do more with less, affecting their work life balance with many going off with stress. Austerity has also had an impact on health and safety at work, and has had a huge impact on equalities with gains for women, black, disabled and LGBT workers being eroded daily. Young people have taken a terrible hit with unemployment higher amongst the 16-25 year olds that in any other age group.

There was a call for unity - for us all to join together and fight the ideologically driven austerity of the Tory Government, which is decimating public services and forcing more and more people into poverty.

None of the Scottish motions were prioritised and neither was our branch motion on pay. The only one of our branch to speak at this conference was Susan Kennedy who spoke on behalf of the Service Group Executive on dealing with violence in schools.

Susan KennedyZero tolerance, training and involving staff are key to dealing with violence in schools
Local Government Conference heard the problems of challenging behaviour in schools from the front line as two Scotland delegates brought their experience to the debate.


Who's who and what's what?

Service group conferences bring together members across the country doing similar kinds of jobs or working for the same kinds of employers. Our branch's service group is local government. It has its conference just before the National Conference and in the same venue.

The delegation
The branch is entitled to send three delegates to this conference and must have regard to proportionality in line with the gender balance etc in the branch. We tend to have the same delegation as the Delegate Conference because of the distance to travel and the fact that one conference follows on from the other.

The Branch delegation to this year's Local Government Conference in Glasgow was agreed at the Branch Committee and is:

Kate Ramsden Ann Gray  
Kate Ramsden,
Branch Chair and Comms Officer
Ann Gray, Steward and Treasurer

Margaret McHenry
Steward, Cornerstone

Inez TeeceRegional Delegates: Two regional delegates are elected each year from the Scottish Local Government Committee. They speak to Scotland's motions and amendments and they keep Scottish delegates right about conference matters. We are very pleased that for the fifth year in a row, our branch secretary, Inez Teece has been elected as regional delegate, along with Scott Donohoe, from Glasgow Branch.

Sue KennedyService Group Executive (SGE): Assistant Branch Secretary, Susan Kennedy is an elected member of the ruling body for UNISON's Local Government Service Group, and she will take her place on the stage during this conference and will speak on behalf of the SGE. We wish Susan well for her second conference in this role.

Motions are passed by a straight majority of the conference delegates on a hand vote. If it is close, conference delegates or the chair of conference can call for a card vote. The number of card votes per delegation is based on the number of members in the branch.

Our branch submitted one motion to the Conference Agenda this year. The motion was approved at the Branch Committee in January and is titled "Pay 2015/16 Getting the message across." Unfortunately it did not make it on to the final Agenda though the issues are included in other motions so delegates may get the chance to speak in the debate on these topics.

As delegates we will vote on the motions and the rule changes in line with branch policy, where we have that in place and we can speak for or against any of the motions, amendments and rule changes.



Local Government Service Group Conference 2015

Kate Ramsden
Local Government Conference Liverpool 2013
Conference home
UNISON Scotland conference report
UNISON UK Local Government Conference pages