TUC NW Conference 2015 RoundUp
On the 23rd March 2015, there was a really interesting conference hosted at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Normally reports get written for the unions and reps who are linked up and people who they think are interested, but this time I thought it might be interesting to share it online too.
The conference is open to unions from across the UK and have a representational number of delegates allowed, in relation to how many regional members each union has in the area. I attended on behalf on BECTU with two other delegates, as it's a small union overall, however quite a good percentage of members are NW based, and especially freelancers. So here's a bit of a round up of what happened on the day.
Motions carried at conference included opposing TTIP, requesting further involvement with the Manchester Devolution processes and demanding more clarity from the councils and board making the decisions, continued support to campaign against cuts to emergency services, support of Trade Union Education, and internationally including solidarity with Palestine and the Iraq Trade Union Movement.
Emergency motions included supporting the trade unionists and staff attacked at University of Bolton and condeming the university for it's actions in dismissing two members of staff; and to stand against the closure of The Liverpool Women's Hospital and womens health services in and around the Liverpool area.
Strands of Support and Conversations
A large support across delegates, unsurprisingly were supporting NUT in their motion to support local democratic control of education, this stand of support also fed through as a theme across most of the day's proceedings, along with the Devolution of Manchester and the threat of more NHS cuts to the North West.
During the statement of Financial affairs it was mentioned that voluntarily levy donations were considerably down this year and the TUC are following this up with a letter to unions.
Young Members Specific Reporting
From the executive report from 2014 motions one most of interest to BECTU Young Members is the Toung Workers Forum motion on Unfair Targeting of Young People. Included in this report it mentions "we have ensured there has been a ypung person's angle to campaign work wr have undertaken" and included the events fot Decent Jobs Week, Fair Pay Fortnight, and also supporting the national tuc work in housing for young people.
BECTU YM got the opportunity to talk briefly to the TUC Young persons officer about the future BECTU involvement and were happy to hear future meetings are hoped to be planned out for the year in advance and have unions put reps forward for the committee roles, to aid if future committed and regular attendance of more reps.
Other Conference Highlights
The highlight of the conference for me was the international element and the talk from Abdullah Mushin, International Officer for NASUWT. He received a standing ovation for his talk about the Trade Union Movement in Iraq. Truely inspiring, and great to see the link between a regional conference and international issues.
The conference also took photos with supporting messages of "welcome home" to the Miami 5 and CubaSolidarity.
Also at the conference there was the launch of the new NW Lancashire TUC education offer in partnership with Manchester College, this is to offer what the lack of funding for UnionLearnNW has cut.
This is hopefully a great step forward for CPD and union training in the area. We should be urging members to check out the new resources on offer across Lancashire, including Blackburn, Blackpool and Morecambe locations. Further info @tuedtmc
Future events mentioned on the day include the International Workers Memorial Day on 28th April at the Hod Carrier Memorial in Liverpool. (#iwmd15) and a public protest on the Manchester Devolution on 29th March at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.