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MINUTES OF THE
SCOTTISH INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE
HELD ON SATURDAY, 14TH FEBRUARY 2004

IN UNISON HOUSE, WEST CAMPBELL STREET, GLASGOW
 

1. PRESENT John Barton Sam McCartney
Ravi Nathan Stephen Rolfe
Arthur West
 

2. APOLOGIES Alison Cosgrove Matthew Crighton
Jean-Anne Goodbrand Mukami McCrum
 

IN ATTENDANCE Simon Macfarlane, Regional Officer

JOHN BARTON IN THE CHAIR

3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING - 23 AUGUST 2003

Corrections - John Barton was Present as well as in the Chair.

4. MATTERS ARISING

(a) Meeting with Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary and Mike Kirby, Scottish Convenor -
Simon gave an update on the positive meeting John and he had with Matt and Mike. At the meeting the draft workplan for the Committee had been tabled and John and Simon had talked through this with Matt and Mike. Matt and Mike welcomed the Committee progressing its work via the workplan.

It was AGREED that progress and contact with the South African Municipal Workers' Union should be a priority and this has since been done. The matter of affiliations was also clarified and arrangements were put in place to update the list of those organisations to which we are affiliated.

It was AGREED that for those organisations, which directly pertain to the work of the International Committee that over time, Simon Macfarlane would become the contact name for these organisations. Where individual members of the International Committee wanted to play a lead role and attend meetings etc of organisations to which we are affiliated, then within reason and within budget, the International Committee could assist with expenses as long as there was ongoing accountability and feedback to the International Committee and ultimately to the Scottish Committee.
 

(b) War on Want -
John Barton had attended the last Scottish Liaison Meeting in November. John and Sam confirmed War on Want's ability to run a Training Course for UNISON on a range of international issues. It was confirmed that this was something the Committee wanted to pursue. It was also pointed out that War on Want are now sponsoring the Workers' Centre in the Gaza Strip and that we could use this to develop contact with Palestinians via this.

War on Want will be at the STUC Conference in Glasgow in April and will have a Fringe meeting. It was AGREED that Simon should get list of all International Fringe meetings with the STUC and circulate them to members.

(c) South African Conference - Jean-Anne and John had attended this and will
circulate a report.

(d) GATS - This had featured in the first two issues of the Newsletter. Also the
World Development Movement was running a Campaign around GATS in the Water Industry focusing on UN International Day for Water on 22 March 2004. Simon had written to the Water Branch asking if they wanted to get involved in this.

(e) Palestinian Seminar - Simon gave a report on the Seminar which had been
well received. The outcome of the Seminar was the Action Note, which had circulated to Branches and International contacts. The Action Note asked Branches and individual members to pledge to carry out any of a number of activities in support of Palestinian people. It had also been circulated to delegates of Scottish Council and in this regard Matthew Crighton, who wasn't able to make today's meeting, had indicated that he would be keen to assist in getting these pledge sheets filled in at the Scottish Council. Sam McCartney volunteered to speak to Matthew regarding taking this forward. Arthur West thought that the input from Peace Now was very worthwhile and that he would circulate information in a forthcoming Palestinian Forum meeting in Glasgow.

5. WORKPLAN

The Workplan was welcomed and Simon reported on the progress made to date. In terms of organisational matters, it was AGREED to extend an open invitation to all Scottish NEC members to the International Committee. In this regard, Sam reported that some NEC members were going to Cuba on a delegation in the near future, including Angela Lynes. It would be useful to get feedback from the NEC as to how it went.

It was also AGREED to invite Nick Sigler, Head of International Relations to a future meeting.

6. OXFAM SCOTLAND

Simon gave a report of the meeting he had attended in January when he met with Oxfam Scotland's Campaign Team. He outlined their three main campaign themes for 2004:
* A Fairer Trade
* Control of Arms
* Justice in Education

In relation to the Control of Arms Campaign, it had been AGREED that UNISON Scotland would support the ‘Million Faces' Petition and that this be launched at the Scottish Council AGM on 3 April 2004 and that Mike Kirby, Matt Smith and John Barton would have their photos taken and encourage other delegates to take part.

It was also worthwhile, noting the hundreds of thousands of supporters Oxfam Scotland had and that by greater working with Oxfam Scotland, UNISON would hope
to raise awareness of our organisation and perhaps recruit some of the supporters. Arthur West thought that working with Oxfam was a good way of getting more members involved in international issues due to Oxfam having a high credibility and awareness factor.

7. NEWSLETTER

Simon reiterated the need for contributions. Sam McCartney congratulated the Newsletter and welcomed the article on Columbia and indicated that there was a motion going to the STUC in April on the Boycott of Coca-Cola and that Sam would be speaking in support of this.

8. FUTURE MEETINGS

Dates were set as per the Agenda (12 June, 4 September & 20 Nvember 2004) and the exact details and venues will be looked at following the election of the new Committee at the Scottish Council AGM. Sam kindly offered Glasgow City's Office facilities to the Committee. Simon was to issue an open invite to the speakers listed below to attend one of the future meetings and perhaps look at September being a more workshop based event.

* Stephen Palmer on French Trade Unionism.
* Mike McNeil on Nicaragua.
* Vicky Clayton on Jubilee Scotland.
* Nick Sigler & colleagues.
* War on Want.

9. CORRESPONDENCE

Simon circulated a range of correspondence.

10. ANY OTHER COMPETENT BUSINESS

a) Arthur West asked if attention could be drawn to Branches regarding the matter of affiliating to ACTSA Scotland.
 

b) Simon reported that Stephen Smillie had contacted him regarding whether there was any support available from UNISON to assist with sending Observers to Kurdistan for forthcoming elections. Simon had responded to Stephen that the Committee didn't have any money of its own, but it is a matter that maybe could be pursued with the Scottish Committee. John indicated that there used to be a pool or fund at National level that assisted matters such as this but he was not sure that it still existed. It was AGREED that Simon should clarify this matter with Nick.

c) Sam McCartney asked if we were getting information from Community Heart and Simon reported although we were affiliated it did not appear that we were getting information and he AGREED he would check this out.

d) John Barton wanted to formally thank Jean-Anne Goodbrand who had indicated that she would no longer be a member of the Committee for her excellent input to the work of the Committee over the years. In particular, the Committee wanted to recognise Jean's contribution on matters relating to South Africa and wished her well.

The meeting closed.
Page 3/Minutes of Scottish International Committee/14th February 2004
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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