Keeping Our Options Open

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2018 National Retired Members Conference
15 June 2018

Conference broadly welcomes UNISON’s national initiative to reduce the environmental impact of our conferences by lessening the amount of paper used to provide delegates’ information. However it must be remembered that many retired members are not computer literate and do not have their own IT equipment – or access to any other such equipment except for the very limited facilities available in public libraries, where these still exist. Many retired members also who do have some equipment cannot afford to buy portable devices as well as their trusty old desktops.

Whilst the default position of providing hard copy documents to those who don’t opt out offers some comfort to those who can’t opt out, there is genuine concern that should the initiative prove successful in saving not only the environment but also pots of money, the default may gradually and quietly be withdrawn. Already the information about requesting “Extras” demands that the delegate needing to make the request has or can access an email address. Not everybody can.

Conference refuses to accept the development of a two-tier system in which some members are effectively barred from taking part in UNISON’s democratic processes, and instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to obtain an assurance from the National Executive Council that information for Retired Members’ Conference delegates who want and need it in hard copy form will continue to be available as long as it is required.