We received a Recruitment and Organising report from the Head of Strategic Organising – despite the overall difficult picture due to austerity and Government policy it appears the dispute in Health had put on members for the union. (Which is no surprise as the biggest spikes in membership have historically been when the union has been giving a lead to fight for members.) More than 50% of new members now join online. In schools we are still recruiting more than we lose overall. More young people are joining.
John Jones UNISON NEC member asked was is it possible to produce a gender split for Service Groups recruitment figures.
We received an online demonstration on the Organising space – available to staff and activists an online resource for ‘building relationships, sharing knowledge, learning and experiences’. It was asked if an ‘idiots guide’ on how to use this resource step by step could be sent to branches.
We received a presentation on the ‘Private contractors database and organising toolkit’. One of the Assistant General Secretary’s stated that this would be useful as we don’t share information across the union enough. An example was given of how we could collate data on company director’s political links to potentially expose jobs for the boys etc. This information could be used at local level. This should be a useful resource. The point was made by myself and others that any database is only as good as the data it hold as any snapshot can quickly get out of date.
Under the Learning and Organising report it was stated that there could be big changes to Trade Union education starting September next year. This would depend on the General election and allegedly Labour if elected would look at how they would support Trade Union education but no funding commitment has yet been made.
On ‘Continued development of the RMS/WARMS’ (the UNISON membership system) it was reported that a facility had been implemented whereby join online members can pay via DOCAS (Deduction of Contributions at source) once their employer has signed up to the scheme. The proposal is after consultation with Regions the largest 400 employers will be contacted asking them to participate in the scheme. RMS Operations are also exploring the possibility of Regions hosting a ‘quiet room’ so branches can learn the WARMS (updated UNISON membership system) eLearning platform in a classroom like environment.
Under ‘2015 Budget bids’ a question arose as to whether there was adequate budget provision to meet the costs for the election of General Secretary in 2015 (which is required by rule and law). (The D&O committee receives reports on budget provision for Service Group Executive and National Executive Council elections). The answer was this was not the body to raise this so it could not be answered. The NEC member who raised this Jon Rogers said this would be pursued at the NEC then.
We received an update on the policy and process for the implementation of disabled members’ use of personal assistants as an equality act reasonable adjustment.
The 2015 National Executive Council election procedures were endorsed which will go to the NEC in December.
We approved a number of applications from branches for Honorary Life membership awards.