Monday 13 July 2009

UNITE Sector Conferences & Area Meetings

My report on last week's EC meeting, which included quite a lot about the setting up of the new "constitutional" structures. I've since been told that HQ is working on putting all the dates onto the web site, and had a copy of the guidance for officers and staff about Regional Industrial Sector Conferences and Area Activists' Meetings.

The document doesn't cover the Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs) which are to be held immediately after the RIS Conferences, nor the Area Activists' Commitees (AACs) which are to be held immediately after the Area Activists' Meetings. It says these are to be covered in further guidance.

It refers to a standard invitation letter, but I don't have a copy of that yet.

Some key points from the guidance:

Regional Industrial Sector Conferences

  1. All accountable representatives of workers attending a RIS Conference are eligible to vote in elections for the RIS Committee and on any other business conducted.
  2. RIS Conferences can be held on any day of the week, but loss-of-earnings expenses will not be paid.
  3. The invitation letter should identify the constituency the rep is in, include a request for nominations to the RIS Committee and ask for motions.
  4. A branch / workplace can submit one motion to a RIS Conference. Motions must be on industrial and organising business, not general policy.
  5. Nominations for the RIS Committee must be made in advance. Candidates must be nominated by a workplace / branch.
  6. On arrival at the conference, reps will be told which constituency they can vote in and given a ballot paper where appropriate.
  7. For elections in constituencies which group together more than one workplace and the number of nominations exceeds the number of available seats, no workplace can have more than one delegate elected.
  8. Elections are on a first past the post basis.
  9. Where elections through the constituencies do not provide sufficient black and ethnic minority (BAEM) or women delegates, proportionality requirements will be met through the "additional seat" system. These seats are in addition to the number approved by the EC.
Comment: there is no explanation as to what nominations and motions coming from a workplace/branch actually means. In many cases I would presume there will be no branch or workplace meeting between the invitation being sent out and the conference taking place.

Area Activists' Meetings
  1. The same principles as for RIS Conferences generally apply.
  2. Reps may only attend one Area Activists Meeting - the one where their workplace is. If there are particlar reasons for attending the one where you live, this needs Regional Secretary approval.
  3. Unlike for the RIS Committees, proportionality on BAEM and gender is achieved through designated seats rather than reserved seats.
  4. Motions must relate to the organising, campaigning and public policy issues relevant to the particular Area.
  5. In constituencies grouping more than one sector, where the number of nominees exceeds the number of available seats, no sector can have more than one representative elected.

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