We’re pushing Redesign further forward!

Union Matters

Four extra NEC seats will be up for election from among the whole membership, after conference pushed the Redesign agenda further forward and backed a radical motion from the Midlands this afternoon.

Moving the proposition, Midland Region secretary Kate Hudson argued that the NEC’s proposed reforms “don’t go far enough.”

On top of the extra reserved spaces being planned already – for young members and members of equality strands – there should also be four more, unrestricted seats, she said.

“It will open up our union to the grassroots,” Kate predicted, adding: “The first step to change is deciding we want to do it.”

Seconding the motion, South Midlands Branch secretary Des Arthur commented: “It’s time to recognise that there are representatives out there who have a lot to offer” and Jim McNicholls, Manchester Amal Branch secretary, said that the proposition was “the opportunity to make significant change.”

London Region assistant secretary Katie Dunning commented: “When I look out here, I see skills and talent – we have to allow our activists a platform so they can enable change.”

The two extra seats will be allocated, two each, to candidates from among the membership of the CWU’s two constituencies.

A detailed debate on equalities resulted in approval for plans to hold a dedicated, day-long Equality Section during the union’s General Conference.

This will replace the current system of holding separate conferences at different times of the year for our black, female, LGBT and disabled members – and will ensure that all CWU activists participate in equality policy-making and discussion.

During the debate, Coventry Branch delegate Ryan Rochester won applause when he pledged to fight for equality and in his contribution, general secretary Dave Ward said: “Ryan, I want you to fight for equality when everyone in this room is listening.”

With the reformed set-up, equality will become more central to the CWU’s activity and will be a higher priority area for the whole union, Dave explained.

A busy afternoon session saw delegates debate, discuss and decide on 14 motions altogether, covering retired members, national officer roles, industrial executives and internal elections.

Tomorrow morning – conference focusses on the crucial areas of conferences and education & training.