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National Delegate Conference Glasgow 16-19 June 2015

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Lilian Macer
Stephen Smellie
Lilian Macer
Stephen Smellie

Lilian Macer and Stephen Smellie were elected at the Scottish Council as Scotland's delegates to Conference.

Delegates should use them as a source of information and they have a key organisational role.

They can help you liaise with other branches and regions throughout the week. They will know how debates are being organised, who to speak to and, more importantly, how to get to speak.
They will advise on Scottish policy and will speak for the Region in debates.

Here, they preview the main debates at National Delegate Conference (NDC)

The National Delegate Conference (NDC) 2015 has 118 motions and 28 proposed amendments to Rules. This is a decrease from last year's 128 motions and 31 rule amendments.

Scottish branches have submitted 11 motions and two motions from the region which is a slight decrease from last year.


The experience of recent years is that conference will manage to discuss between 30/35 or so of these motions, many of which will find themselves in composites agreed by the bodies submitting the original motions.

Therefore if your favourite is not discussed below, it is unlikely to be debated first time around and the only alternative will be in the re-prioritisation exercise. This will take place on Wednesday (see page 10). evening/Thursday morning, for Friday afternoon business.


The Standing Orders Committee (SOC) has balloted regions, the NEC, self organised groups, National Young Members' Forum and the National Retired Members' Committee on what motions should be prioritised for debate at the National Delegate Conference.

Scottish branch motions

The following Scottish motions are likely to see themselves prioritised on the agenda for conference.
Motion 15, Glasgow City 'SECC Glasgow Trade Union Recognition'
Motion 41, Aberdeenshire 'Campaign for Affordable Council Housing Building Programme'
Motion 50, Renfrewshire 'Campaigning Against Profit from Poverty'
Motion 64, South Lanarkshire, 'Rojava'
Motion 45, South Lanarkshire, 'Fair Treatment for Veterans'
Motion 93, Lanarkshire Health 'Attack on Child Benefit'
Motion 96, South Lanarkshire 'Food Banks and Food Poverty'
Motion 98 UNISON Scotland ‘Domestic Energy Bills and Fuel Poverty’
Motion 69 UNISON Scotland ‘The Bhopal Disaster 30 years later’

The Scottish Council meeting in April agreed Scotland's priorities. In this briefing we look at the motions likely to be prioritised with some comments on the issues.

Recruiting and Organising: Motions 1 to 10

Motions in this part of the agenda will focus on the union's organising strategy ensuring it is fit to cope with the onslaught of savage cuts to public service.

It includes motions and amendments from 1 through to 9 and are supportable from a UNISON Scotland perspective.

Motion 1 the flagship motion on planning initiatives recognises activism is at the very heart of UNISON business and critical to supporting members within the workplace. The motion also condemns the unwarranted attacks by the Tories on trade union facility time.

Motions 2, 3 and 10 are likely to form a composite; this will include the Scottish amendment 10.5 highlighting the positive outputs from the Working Together Review.

This recognises the changing workforce and how UNISON needs to develop strategies to organise the fragmented workforce and ensure we recruit young members and develop talented activists to tackle unacceptable employment practices.

Motion 6, Meeting the training needs of UNISON activists in challenging times, calls for the development and rollout of lifelong learning initiatives for members and activists alike.

Negotiating and Bargaining: 10 to 26

Motions in this section will cover conditions of service including pay and health and safety. These include motions and amendments from 10 through to 26 and are supportable from a UNISON Scotland perspective.

Motion 13 looks to deliver legal rights for facility time for equality representatives. Motion 12 recognises that LGBT workers still face considerable workplace discrimination and sets out the remedies to organise and establish LGBT rights within collective agreements.

Motion 18 and 21 from South Lanarkshire on pay are likely to be composited, recognising that public sector pay has declined over the past decade, the composite sets out the strategy to reverse the trend.

Motion 25 underlining the danger of the new pension choice and the urgent need for increasing employment contributions and Motion 34 Time for New Direction in Public Procurement are likely to form a composite.

Campaigning: Motions 27 to 45

Motions 27 to 45 in this section will cover our campaigning agenda. Motion 29, Campaigning for our public services and those that provide them, is at the heart of UNISON agenda.

Motion 30 on the impact of the economic crisis on workers in the public service highlights the devastating impact of the last five years of the Tory lead coalition government.

Motions 31, 32 and 33 are likely to form a composite. Fairer taxation and the future funding of our public services describes the effects of five years of austerity with massive cuts in public spending, huge public sector redundancies and pay restraint.

Motion 36 on care of older people highlights the importance of an integrated approach to delivering quality outcomes for older people.

Economy: Motions 46 to 52

Motions 46 to 52 in this section cover the economy and the growing inequality of austerity economics. Motion 46 challenges growing inequality and dismisses the economic philosophy that wealth would trickle down to working people.

The reality is that ordinary people have not seen the quality jobs and higher living standards that were assured but have witnessed wages stagnate while big business profits soar.

Employment Rights: Motions 53 to 60

Motion 54 on strike ballot thresholds highlights the proposals in the Tory manifesto to impose a minimum turnout of 50% and a minimum threshold of support of 40% of all those balloted.

This would make it nigh on impossible for unions to conduct lawful industrial action in large public service bargaining groups.

International: Motions 61 to 84

Motions 61 to 84 cover the international agenda.

Motions 65, 79 and 81 on TTIP will likely form a composite.

Motion 66 on solidarity with Palestine, with the helpful amendment from Scotland highlighting the vital role the trade unions will play in lobbying national governments, will be prioritised.

Civil Rights and Social Policy: 97, 98 and 102

Motion 102, domestic violence, a gendered issue, will be prioritised and highlights shocking statistics of gender based violence against women with an average week in this country seeing two women murdered by their male partners.

Motion 97 and motion 98 from Scotland on domestic energy bills and fuel poverty will likely form a composite and will be prioritised on conference agenda.

Decentralisation: Motions 88 and 89

Motion 88, UNISON and devolution, submitted by the NEC notes the impact of devolution across all parts of the UK and sees the need to update the devolution protocol, review its implementation and recognises the need to look closely at the city region proposals

Motion 89 on devolution, seizing the opportunities, avoiding the threats, focuses on the changing relationships in UK, Europe, devolved nations and both local and central government.

It also covers the impact on cities with the agreement by the treasury to transfer addition powers and resources impacting on the shape and nature of public services and the governance arrangements in their delivery.

Efficient and Effective Union: 106-122

Motion 106 on branch funding supports the continuation of the review and reaffirms the need to report back to NDC in 2016.

Motion 110 on the cost of representation at professional hearings, looks to highlight the inconsistency within current guidance and looks to deliver support for branches to ensure members and branches have an agreed level of consistency in the application from UNISON Professional Services Unit.

Motion 112 on a national case system for UNISON, builds on the paper based case system and calls for a much needed electronic system, looking at a database linked to RMS.

Amendments to Rule

There will be a separate Scottish briefing on Rule Amendments given to branches on the Wednesday of conference.






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