- 2019 National Retired Members Conference
- 26 September 2019
Conference notes that the deadlines for submission of motions and of amendments this year were 12th June and 7th August respectively. Conference also notes that the Report of the National Retired Members Committee (the Committee) including action arising from 2018 Retired Members Conference (the Report) was published on the Retired Members pages of the UNISON website as the Annual Report in late August 2019.
Conference further notes that the Report contains a section entitled “Motions Not Reached on the Agenda” (published at page 120 of the 2019 National Retired Members Conference Agenda and Guide), which deals with the fate of the six motions that were not able to be debated and decided at last year’s Conference because of time constraints.
Conference observes that in this section of the Report, the Committee quite rightly remind themselves that motions not reached are governed by Standing Order 10.1 (printed on page 124 of the Conference Agenda and Guide) yet in the case of all six motions, the Committee has declined to take any action on the grounds that priority must be given to motions debated and carried by Conference.
Conference is concerned that the Committee may have failed to comply with Standing Order 10.1 which states that “… outstanding motions and amendments shall be referred to the National Retired Members Committee which shall report to members it’s decisions on those matters” (emphases added), since, with the possible exception of motion 3, no decision was made on the substance of any motion or amendment outstanding at the end of last year’s Conference.
Conference recalls that, in their 2018 Annual Report, the Committee prefaced a similar section on Motions Not Reached on the Agenda with the full text of Standing Order 10.1 and went on to state that “There is not a blanket rejection of motions not reached but priority must be given to motions that have actually been debated and carried by Conference. It would not be appropriate to invest union resources in actions not agreed by the membership at the expense of policies which have been agreed”.
Conference further recalls that in respect of the two motions outstanding from 2017 Conference, one was not proceeded with as it was decided the action called for would mean investing union resources in action not agreed by the membership and in respect of the other, the National Retired Members Committee had already indicated at Conference their intention to oppose the motion. Conference notes that in both instances, a decision was made.
Conference is concerned that there appears to be inconsistency in the Committee’s application of the powers granted to it in respect of Motions not reached at Retired Members Conference by Standing Order 10.1.
Therefore Conference instructs the National Retired Members Committee to;
1)Obtain from the National Retired Members Standing Orders Committee guidance as to what the National Retired Members Committee must do to comply with Standing Order 10.1 in respect of each and every motion not reached at this and future Retired Members Conferences;
2. Publish any such guidance on the Retired Members pages of the UNISON website, and,
3. Inform all bodies submitting motions and amendments not reached on the agenda at this Conference of the National Retired Members Committee decision on those matters in accordance with Standing Order 10.1 at least one month before the closing date for submission of motions to 2020 Retired Members Conference.