One in Eight – Make it Count!

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2013 National Retired Members Conference
13 June 2013

Conference notes that of UNISON’s membership of 1,306,500 at 30 September 2012, over 160,000, nearly one-eighth, were Retired Members.

Conference also notes that the general management and control of the union between National Delegate Conferences is vested in the National Executive Council (NEC) which has full power and authority, subject to the rules and National Delegate Conference policy decisions, to act on behalf of the union in every respect and for every purpose falling within the objects of the union.

However, conference fails to see how the NEC is able to exercise its function and authority with respect to one-eighth of the members excluded from the democratic process, who may neither serve on the NEC nor vote for those who do and to whom, therefore, the NEC owes no accountability.

Conference considers that the NEC’s annual report to this year’s National Delegate Conference reflects this weakness: it is a report of 220 paragraphs only one of which refers directly to Retired Members (paragraph 82 concerning “Abdullah” equal pay claims) and only one to older people (paragraph 86 concerning universal pensioner benefits).

Conference instructs the National Retired Members Committee to seek a discussion with the NEC about how to overcome this apparent weakness including, in particular, whether enfranchising Retired Members would help do so or, if not, what else would.

Conference further instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to make a full report of this discussion to next year’s conference.