a) Thoughts on electionsSo I lost, but with 46% of the vote at the AGM (it would be better if more than 150 people came, it would be better if we had a room big enough to fit everyone).
But thanks to all who voted for me, and thanks to all those who came.
What’s been very interesting about this election has been:
– How many people tried to argue against me standing or dissuade me without actually saying why they disagree with what I am standing on or saying that they don’t think I could do the job. Present and previous Senior officers past and present have said took it upon themselves to try to change my mind without a reason to say what they disagree on my manifesto. Suggesting that I should stand for either branch sec or branch chair but not treasurer if I want to influence branch policy or direction (I don’t think individual officers should be able to do this without agreement at a branch meeting, but nevertheless …)
– its been suggested that it’s just an administration role and treasurer plays no role in the political life of the branch. Obviously this is nonsense, while the big areas of contention like honorarium, like who and how people get to be on release to the branch, how much income with get from membership fees, and actually how we spend our budget are all probably some of the most serious things we face and some of the most contentious.
– I think I made it clear why I was standing, including a blog, contact details, a thorough manifesto and requested people get in touch to know more.
b) What difference has it made me standing
– I called for a review on honorarium, its since been pointed out that we have to do this anyway because we spend too much. So great whether my raising it has helped or not we are doing this. Great
– I challenged how we run the AGM, how we run elections, how we arrange release time. Well this will all now be reviewed. A motion that the branch sec and chair initally ruled out of order twice, was then debated, and moved up the agenda at the AGM and then carried. So we will now review the whole of our constitution and I hope already members not just those in those positions or existing stewards will have a say. (This is what I will fight to ensure)
– I said that all officers should submit manifestos and reports even if unopposed, well after this had been submitted as my manifesto, some officers did this on request of branch secretary, this has never happened before. Unfortunately the Branch secretaries report was not printed at the AGM but we will fight to make sure all officers do a report for the AGM in future.
– Finally on calling on councillors to oppose the cuts and building high profile campaign, my motion on Sure Start was passed and is being implemented already. Credit where credit is due the Branch Secretary organised for a Valentines day Sure Start campaign, and this is an important first step, letting councillors know that we will fight to oppose these and other cuts as part of this budget.
c) Motions on reviewing the consitution supported by stewards in adult care was prioristed and carried as I said, alongside other motions for instance the motion on Sure Start cuts.
The branch secretary supported motion to replace the existing deputy branch secretary positions with only one and 2 appointed leads was defeated it failed to get the 2/3rds required. This was important it gives us the opportunity to come to a consensus of the best way forward or to develop alternatives to the branch members which all can consider with in good time.
A motion proposing to move over half of the strike fund to branch general funding was unfortunately passed. I was not happy with the way this discussion took place, there was a good vote against this. But when there has been no calls for local action over pay, and when no one has known about this fund or proposed using it perhaps this is not a suprise.But what is important to remember is it was agreed we could put money back in future years if needed and that perhaps we need to consider how if we take future action over pay we consider covering strike pay out of our local fund for our lowest paid members from day one.
More on pay and fighting the cuts later.