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MINUTES OF THE
SCOTTISH INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE
HELD ON SATURDAY, 23rdAUGUST 2003
IN UNISON HOUSE, WEST CAMPBELL STREET, GLASGOW

 

1. PRESENT Allison Cosgrove Michael Scroggie Matthew Crighton Arthur West Jean-Anne Goodbrand

2. APOLOGIES Mike Kirby Stephen Rolfe Jim McCarthy Stephen Smellie Sam Macartney

IN ATTENDANCE Simon Macfarlane, Regional Officer

JOHN BARTON IN THE CHAIR

3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING - 31st MAY 2003

The Minutes of the previous meeting was AGREED as a correct record.

4. MATTERS ARISING

a) Committee's Place within UNISON - It was NOTED that due to holiday period it had not been possible to meet with Matt Smith and Mike Kirby. A date will be set shortly. It was AGREED that the Committee draw up an action plan based on the "actions agreed" at the meeting held on 31st May 2003 as a matter of urgency and that this be circulated in "draft" form before the meeting with the Scottish Secretary and Scottish Convener.

(b) Palestinian/Israeli Conflict - Road Map to Peace Seminar - Simon tabled a report and spoke to it.

The suggested venue to hold the Seminar and the timetable looks good but may prove a bit crammed in the morning. An invite could be extended to Palcrafts to have a stall. It was thought that, say, a charge of £10 to Branches would be reasonable. The Committee AGREED to contact the Scottish Committee Project Fund and the National International Department to request help with the funding of the Seminar and also ask the APF for sponsorship as they have expressed an interest in doing something around international issues.

A lengthy discussion followed on who should be invited and how extensive the invitation should be. It was AGREED that Simon contact Mr Afif Safieh who is the General Delegate to the UK and the Holy See, Palestinian General delegation to the UK to request if he would be willing to come and talk at the Seminar. Other speakers suggested were a Westminster MP, an MSP, someone from a solidarity organisation.

Organisation of the Seminar is still at an early stage but suggested dates are late October/early November.

c) Affiliations - Simon circulated list of UNISON affiliations and asked members who wanted certain information to pass their name to him. Simon was asked to enquire why UNISON was not affiliated to Scottish CND, Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Free Tibet. The Committee indicated that they would be interested in getting the names of main contacts for organisations that we have affiliated who were already in place. Members of the Committee indicated those organisations that they would be interested in being a lead contact for. It was AGREED we need clarification of whom, if anyone pays expenses. It was AGREED that Simon request affiliation to Banana Link on behalf of the Committee. The remainder of the affiliations was NOTED.

d) Burma and Honorary Membership : Aung San Suu Kyi - Simon reported that he has raised this matter and is awaiting word back from Headquarters.

(e) Domestic Abuse in Russia - Again awaiting word back from Headquarters.

(f) Any other matters arising - Jean-Anne reported that Moray Trades Council sent a Motion to the STUC a couple of years ago on the Banana Wars. From this we were asked to make an appeal for Mauro Romera who was a victim of the Banana Wars. Mauro is setting up a shop and Moray Trades Council has been approached to support appeal. The STUC will be contacting affiliates to support the appeal and the Committee would recommend that UNISON Scottish Committee give support.

5. COMMUNICATIONS

Discussion took place on how best to communicate the work of the Committee and it was felt that the best way in promoting the work of the International Committee would be through Newsletter format. Jean-Anne AGREED to forward to Simon a copy of the Newsletter prepared by the Morary Branch. It was also AGREED that a Sub Group be set up to take this forward.

  1. INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE
  2. It was NOTED that there was a newspaper article indicating that the Glasgow Memorial will be refurbished.

  3. GLOBAL WORKPLACE - WAR ON WANT COURSE
  4. It was AGREED that Simon contact War on Want with regard to running a course and speak to UNISON's Education Officer as it was felt that this would be beneficial to the Committee/

    Committee and Branch International Officers and help to recruit more Branch International Officers. Simon AGREED to circulate Committee with contact details of International Officers. The Committee AGREED that this be promoted at the Scottish Council and be included in the International Committee's action plan.

  5. CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Nominations to South African Conference - 24/26 October 03

John Barton and Jean-Anne Goodbrand were nominated to attend Conference.

Simon to thank the Scottish Secretary and the Scottish Convener for agreeing that two members be nominated to represent UNISON at this Conference.

The Committee NOTED that a "Hands Off Cuba" Rally is being held in Glasgow on 26th October.

b) Chile Commemoration The Committee has AGREED to assist with collecting the signatories. c) Jubilee Scotland

The Committee AGREED that Vicky Clayton from Jubilee Scotland be

invited to the next meeting.

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

i) WDM-GATS

WDM is ceiling back its activity on GATS. The Committee to consider what it should be doing to keep this issue going. It was suggested to look at costings of UNISON beer mats for distribution advising of UNISON support to WDM. It was also suggested that UNISON may consider affiliating to the WDM and it was AGREED to raise this issue at the proposed meeting with the Scottish Secretary and Convener.

ii) Anti War Demonstration

It was AGREED that Simon would circulate information on the Anti War Demo to be held on 27th September in Edinburgh.

iii) ACTSA Meeting

Arthur West reported that he would be attending a meeting with Annie White, ACTSA Trade Union Development Officer on Thursday, 28th August.

iv)Coffee Morning for Palestine

The Committee NOTED that there is a Coffee Morning arranged for Palestine to be held in Troon on Saturday, 30th August.

10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
It was AGREED that the meeting in September be deferred to sometime in November 2003. Committee will be notified as soon as date set.
The meeting closed.
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