Two delegates who are UNISON Stewards from the UNISON Community and Voluntary Organisations Branch (CVOB) attended this years UNISON National Community Conference. The conference took place while the Beast from the East was here which limited attendance to some extent. However the conference went ahead and several good debates took place. Our delegates report back below;
Sandra Billy from KeyRing Living Support Networks
This was my very first conference. I had no idea what to expect. Activities were due to start at 09.30 on Friday 2nd March but due to adverse weather conditions, I did not arrive until 2pm.
The turnout that Friday afternoon was very poor; appeared to be under 30%-+. According to the agenda there were four, planned, workshops, all had to be cancelled.
I met my counterpart Hilde Stevens, Nottinghampshire. We sat through all the proposed standing orders and voted in favour of all proposals.
I was particularly interested in Standing Order 4, Mental health, 5 Sickness Management, 7 Violence Towards Support Staff, 11 Poverty Pay and Rotten Housing for Housing Association and Voluntary Workers and the Emergency Motion, 17 London Housing Crusis.
Although I had read through the “conference agenda and guide”, I did not, at first understand what “Standing Orders ” were, who decided what should be included or the scope. It wasn’t until halfway through that I got it…. 🙂
Overall it was a positive experience.
Working for KeyRing Living Support Networks, who are not affiliated with or recognise any unions.
Hildegard Stevens from Choice Support
Due to adverse weather conditions traveling to Southport was an adventure. Made my way to Conference Center to find that the attendance had been greatly reduced due to the bad weather and difficulty in traveling many members were unable to attend.
A talk was given by Carol Iddon who is the managing director of children’s services and Action for Children.
Because the workshops had been cancelled the next session was with the VOB with members from greater London, introductions were made and we listened to colleagues, where they worked and what they have achieved or have not been able to achieve in their own workplaces. Motions were discussed in relation to London’s housing crisis.
A reduced agenda due to lack of attendees on the second day.
Violence a Work Charter Campaign was discussed by Gavin Edwards followed by Lay Democracy in Unison and how it works by Beth Bickerstaffe.
All were asked to reconvene at 14.00 for the formal conference and the Standing Orders Committee where motions were submitted and voted on.
2018 conference came to an end.