A brief guide to the BECTU Annual Conference

Participation. Joining in. Working with others. Learning about our industry. Making decisions.

All of these are a part of becoming an activist in BECTU and Annual Conference is the time each year that the union needs you the most.

We need you to set the agenda, make the decisions, discuss the issues and to meet, chat, enjoy your friends and colleagues.

These are the key experiences of conference and the formal structure that can seem so intimidating is just there to make the time spent fair and as efficient as possible.

This yearʼs conference is a Rule’s Revision Conference where rule changes from Branches and the National Executive Committee are put to the members to vote on.

“Workshops are a great way to learn, discuss and raise questions about the issues facing our industry”

The rule changes can be fundamental to the aims of the union or simple housekeeping to ensure clarity of the Rules.

The rule changes allow the union to stay ontemporary.

The next key decisions are the propositions which talk to the aims and goals of the union in the years coming.

It was through a vote at conference that the union decided to employ a special official for training and to have a Womenʼs Conference.

Propositions can come from the NEC or from branches. The NEC will have a view on all of the motions. Well you did elect us to have opinions and to pay attention to how the union is run!

The NEC will have someone speak on each. They will support it, oppose it, or ask for it to be ‘remittedʼ.

When the NEC asks for remission, the President (thatʼs me) will ask, before the Branch delegate speaks proposing the motion, whether the Branch is willing to remit the motion.

If the proposition is remitted, the NEC has undertaken to look at the proposition and work as best they can for its aims, in full or in part, and they will report back to next yearʼs Conference.

We take the various parts of the Annual Report in blocks and ask delegates that want to speak to paragraphs of the Report to inform the Standing Orders Committee before the conference begins.

This has sped up the running of Conference and allowed time for workshops.

This year it will mean that we can have both an Annual and Rules Conference in the same day, but it is this discipline that ensure that we get to all of the propositions.

So we need you to read the document before you arrive (not like my usual
which is reading the night before the meeting) and contact the SOC to tell them if you want to comment on a paragraph.

We know that we have a lot of work to get through and Iʼm warning you that we have the facility to add another thirty or more minutes onto Conference to finish business.

This is a simple explanation of the workings of our Annual Conference.

But BECTU wants to make the time we have and the money spent as interesting and useful as possible by streamlining presentations and giving time to workshops.

The workshops are a great way to learn, discuss with others and raise questions about the issues facing our industry in an informal setting.

In years past we have held ones on new entrants and training, digital copyright, and BECTUʼs website.

This years we are holding two: organising for the next 20 yearsʼ and representing members with the new Equality Act.

This will be my first time chairing an Annual Conference. I know that there are some great people around me to ensure that I run the Conference well. My aims are to facilitate the members to have a fair and democratic discussions on the issues of our union.

Iʼm looking forward to Conference. Iʼm looking forward to meeting delegates and finding out what interest them; at working hard to bring the union forward and relaxing hard with all my friends, new and old.

See you there.

Categories: BECTU


Picture of Christine Bond