Including More Retired Members more effectively at Self-Organised Group Conferences

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2019 National LGBT+ Conference
25 July 2019

Conference notes that:

1)In 2014, UNISON amended its rules to allow the retired members’ organisation to send two representatives of relevant retired members to each self-organised group (SOG) conference;

2. For the first five years, the retired members’ national committee (NRMC) picked these representatives but from this year self-nominations will be considered and voted on at the relevant caucus meetings at retired members’ conference;

3. Relevant retired members, as such, may not submit motions or amendments directly to SOG conferences so their representatives may not, generally, move a motion nor reply to a debate, significantly restricting their effectiveness;

4. In 2016, retired members’ conference resolved to instruct NRMC to:

‘seek the views of (relevant) retired members and, subject to gaining their support, liaise with the National Executive Council (NEC) and the SOG National Committees about submitting a … rule change to National Delegate Conference to allow … (relevant) … retired members to … submit motions and amendments to … SOG conferences’;

5. In the autumn of 2017, NRMC surveyed the views of relevant retired members and, in reply to a question on its 2018 annual report, made known the survey’s results including that a majority of members taking part regarded the issue as crucial; and,

6. A motion submitted to retired members’ conference 2019 expressed pleasure at the survey’s outcome but disappointment at NRMC’s rate of progress; it sought to repeat and confirm the remaining instructions in the 2016 resolution and set a deadline.

Conference is glad that it has now been established that retired members taking part in debate here will have been elected to do so by and from among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) retired members.

Conference believes it should never have been otherwise and it instructs LGBT+ members’ national committee to try to defend this principle in future.

Now this is resolved, conference:

A)Wishes to see retired LGBT+ members submit their own items of business to this conference and their representatives move them, in line with the aims of the 2016 retired members’ conference resolution; and,

B. Wonders whether two representatives are enough to bring forward the views of one-eighth of UNISON’s LGBT+ members or to represent their diversity.

Conference therefore further instructs the LGBT+ members’ national committee to approach the NEC, NRMC and the other SOG national committees to seek their support for and their agreement how best to achieve:

I)Relevant retired members, as such, gaining the right to submit items of business directly to respective SOG conferences;

ii. A rule amendment (subject to gaining the support of relevant retired members) to allow the retired members organisation to send more than two representatives of relevant retired members to each SOG conference; and,

iii. Further consultation, as need be, with relevant retired members on matters of detail and implementation.