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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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