Women’s Conference Locations

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Conference
2005 National Women's Conference
Date
20 October 2004
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that this year’s conference location is Plymouth. Whilst recognising the restrictions on choice for the conference, due to the scale of the event, this meeting states its concerns with the location chosen.

Whilst accepting that any location chosen should have a good standard of facilities we are concerned that the remote geographic location of some conference venues chosen, for many Scottish and Irish and North of England branches, provides for travelling difficulties and can extend periods away from home for activists with family commitments. We note that self-organisation is normally deemed a trade union activity, which means no paid time off for delegates, unless they have a sympathetic employer.

The additional travelling time can also create problems in getting time off to attend with a three day conference requiring, on occasion, five days away from home.

In regard to the location of Conference each year, one of the benefits of having Conference in a particular region is that it draws in first-time delegates and visitors from that region, who might otherwise be put off by remote geographic location and extended periods away from home.

This creates an opportunity for that region’s first-time delegates and visitors to become enthused and encouraged and to go on to become activists.

Conference believes that the frequent location of Conference in one region frustrates the opportunity for other regions to benefit from the attraction of such first-time delegates and visitors.

We call upon the National Women’s Committee to recognise this as being an additional and aggravating negative consequence suffered by those regions which are passed over when the location is not rotated through the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

We also call upon the National Women’s Committee to ensure all women’s conferences are held in locations with easy accessibility for the majority of delegates and that the location should be accessed by a mainline railway station and have a major airport with flights to it from the majority of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The conferences should be rotated throughout the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in recognition of UNISON organising throughout these countries.