Getting the balance right on the NEC

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2018 National Women's Conference
27 September 2017
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that in 2017 national women’s conference carried a motion calling for the NWC to work with the NEC to address the issue of proportionality in our union. 1 million of UNISON’s 1.3 million members are women – 77% of the total membership.

Conference further notes that UNISON’s currently has 66 seats, comprised of the following:

11 general Seats

15 men’s seats

27 women’s seats

13 reserved (low paid women’s) seats

However, the vast majority of the general seats are occupied by men – therefore the 2017/2019 NEC committee consists of 25 men and 41 women, (27 women’s seats, 13 reserved seats and 1 general seat).

Overall, 62% of NEC seats are held by women, and 38% by men, in stark contrast to our membership of 77% women, 23% men.

Conference therefore believes that action must be taken to create a proper balance on the NEC, by re-designating all men’s seats as general seats. Such action would not preclude men from standing for NEC positions, but would create the opportunity for more women to stand.

Further the creation of more ‘general’ seats, rather than reserved men’s seats, would empower and encourage more women to stand for election.

Conference notes that national women’s conference has the right to submit two motions or rule amendments to national delegate conference each year. Conference therefore agrees that, should this motion be carried, a rule change be submitted to national delegate conference 2018 to seek the re-designation of men’s seats to general seats.

Conference further calls upon the national women’s committee to:

• Seek the support of the NEC in submitting a similar rule change, and/or supporting the women’s conference rule change;

• Lobby regions and branches to support the rule change;

• Promote the Getting The Balance Right proportionally toolkit to branches and regions and encourage its use in the Branch Assessment process.