Wednesday, 25 April 2012

#babyban update

Last Friday there was an NEC meeting which I couldn't attend all of due to having national pay talks the same day. I figured I'd be more productive having a go at the employers than having a go at the union leadership.

An official brief report is on line here, and Jon Rogers, NEC for London, has his started his reports here (it's always worth checking in on Jon for his detailed reports - he clearly has a long commute to and from work!). It's hard to keep up with the speed at which the motions are run through to be honest (a bit like hearing a week of debates condensed into half an hour). I cycle to work and since new responsibilities I've had to prioritize other things than updating this blog. 

So I focused on attempting to amend just one small policy - Motion 82 ('Members with parenting responsibilities') - so that nursing mothers aren't excluded from UNISON conferences. Careful readers of this blog will remember a visitor from our branch was recently at HE conference in Brighton last month and not even allowed to attend a fringe meeting, let alone the conference visitors area.

As Jon has accurately reported, one NEC member replied to my proposed amendment (to review arrangements with a view to making our policy more inclusive), that when she had recently been breastfeeding on the conference floor "no-one batted an eyelid"! So there is therefore no need to review our policy, she assured us.

Oh good, I thought, and as Vicki Perrin was backing my amendment I tried to come back in - but before I could the Chair swiftly moved on. Fair enough - not enough hours in the day after all.

I am told that after I had to leave, Jon asked for this to be reviewed before next NEC, so I sincerely hope this will be resolved before National Delegates Conference.

I rushed down the many stairs (from the giddy heights of the 9th floor to the 1st!) just in time for national pay talks ... more to come on that in a separate post.

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