Conference blog 2006

Final decisions

Propositions 16, 17, 18 (with amendments 1 and 2 incorporated), 19 and 20 have been agreed.

Proposition 21 has been withdrawn.

Emergency proposition 4 on Egypt, put forward by Bush Branch, was agreed:

This conference condemns the arrest of at least 500 democracy protester, including journalists, in Egypt since 24 April 2006.

This conference also condemns assaults on media workers by Egyption security forces, such as the attack by six security men on cameraman Egyption security forces, such as the attack by six security men on cameraman Yasir Sulaiman who was repeatedly punched in the face and had his camera confiscated.

This conference notes that those arrested had gathered to support judges threatened with dismissal by the Egyptian government after declaring the Egyption elections fraudulent and calling for the independence of the judiciary.

This conference therefore instructs the NEC to send a message to Councillor Masher 'Abd al-Wahid, Egypt's Public Prosecutor calling for the immediate release of all those arrested and an end to attacks on media workers by security forces.

Emergency poposition 5, again from Bush Branch, was also agreed:

This conference expresses its grave concern at the referral of Iran to the UN Security Council on 29 March 2006 and the rhetoric used by the US and British governments which is reminiscent of that used in the run up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

This BECTU conference notes that:

  • the IAEA has found no evidence that Iran is in possession of nuclear weapons
  • the US intelligence agency, The National Intelligence Estimate, has estimated that Iran is at least 10 years away from obtaining a nuclear weapon
  • Iran has a vibrant democracy movement
  • Sanctions and military action in Iraq has killed over one million people

This conference therefore condemns any moves towards the impositions of sanctions or a military attack in Iran.

It further expresses support for the international week of action from 23 to 30 September 2006 against an attack on Iran, called by the European Social Forum and supported by CND and Stop the War Coalition.

21 May 2006 at 1738 Comments

Afternoon stills

Wide shot of Conference hall


Stills from this afternoon - a drizzly day at Eastbourne, and debate during the Labour affiliation discussion.

(Pictures: Tony Scott)

21 May 2006 at 1645 Comments

BECTU stays with Labour

In a vigorous debate the union has decided to remain affiliated with the Labour Party by defeating propositions 14 and 15 (overwhelmingly).

Update: 22 May 2006 at 2029 - The decision on propositions 14 and 15 was reported incorrectly yesterday - it's now been corrected!

21 May 2006 at 1635 Comments

Further decisions

Emergency Proposition 1, relating to BBC Wood Norton, proposed by Central London Engineering and Technology, proposes:

In the light of the emergency proposition passed at yesterday's BBC Divisional Conference, this Annual Conference gives their support to members of the Wood Norton branch in their fight to retain Engineering Training within the Corporation following the sell-off of Human Resources to Capita and their threatened inclusion in the deal.

The BBC Charter has always contained a commitment to develop broadcasting and we believe that outsourcing this invaluable facility would not only worsen the service to members within the BBC but also the wider broadcasting industry.

This has been approved unanimously

Proposition 7, concerning an alteration to Rule 8 of BECTU's Rules, has been passed unamously.

Penny Holloway has followed about the murder of her son Thomas Devlin in Belfast.

In a moving speech Penny, accompanied by partner Jim, told of the character of her son and circumstances of his death which has lead to the formation of the Thomas Devlin Trust.

Both Penny and Jim have strong union backgrounds, with Jim being Chair of BBC Belfast Branch.

A financial collection for the fund has been carried out at Conference.

Propositions 8, 9, and 10 have been agreed by delegates.

Proposition 11 has been remitted to the NEC; and propositions 12 and 13 passed.

21 May 2006 at 1541 Comments

Morning pictures

Wide shot of Conference hall


Pics from this morning's Conference session. On the left is a wide shot of the Conference hall, and on the right the NEC in all it's glory!

(Pictures: Tony Scott)

21 May 2006 at 1251 Comments

Recruitment, retention and training

General Secretary Roger Bolton has apologised for not being able to attend this year's Conference due to sickness.

On the discussion on Conference AGS Gerry Morrissey confirmed that next year's Conference will be held at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth.

Proposition 1, on the possible sponsoring of Conference, has been lost [see the NEC Report to Conference for details of propositions].

Paragraphs 13-73 of the NEC Report to Conference are being taken as a block under the heading recruitment, retention and training as a presentation by Head Office and Branch officials.

Gerry Morrissey opens the section with an overview of a year of recruitment success in many areas across the union.

Gerry Devlin, from Ulster Television, outlines the move to union recognition at the company which has resulted in over 50% membership with a less hostile relationship with management.

John Wildings, from LiveNation (formerly ClearChannel) details how recognition was achieved, and in the freelance sector, Roger Stamp, who works on ITV's The Bill.

The building of a Branch in the context of changing ownership is told by Dean Evans, from Red Bee (formerly BBC Broadcast).

The role of training in the union is presented by Training Officer Brian Kelly, and finally AGS Martin Spence summarises the contributions and concludes by saying that for the fifth year running BECTU membership has increased.

Tom Short, International President of sister union IATSE, is a guest speaker. He speaks of the role of multi-national media corporations, operating both on North America and UK, and because of this why it is important IATSE and BECTU work closely together.

He also looks at developments in digital technology, and believes specific agreements must be agreed with employers to encompass such changes. He says that high definition digital production will lead to increased employment in areas such as art department.

He reports that George W Bush is the most anti-union President in America's history.

He concludes by saying that both unions must work closely together to put maximum leverage on media corporations.

Proposition 2 is withdrawn, on the technicality that it is not possible to affiliate to the Office of the Pensions Advisory Service.

Emergency proposition 2, on the Human Rights Act, is proposed by the NEC:

This annual conference condemns the recent statement by the Prime Minister Tony Blair suggesting that the Government should take powers to override judges' decisions based on the Human Rights Act. Conference regards this as an attack on democracy and the rule of law, and as an attempt to appease the most right-wing and intolerant elements of the press and employers. Conference instructs the National Executive Committee to communicate this decision to the Prime Minister and to the union's membership and the wider industry.

It's passed unanimously.

Propositions 3 and 4 are agreed.

Proposition 5, concerning film industry sustainability, is approved.

Proposition 6, has been remitted to the NEC for further consideration.

21 May 2006 at 1222 Comments

Warrants and badges circulated

Rail travel warrants (if requested) and credential badges are now being circulated to delegates to this year’s Conference.

Details are also provided of any hotel accommodation required.

In the covering letter delegates are asked to:

...keep the enclosed badge safe, and be sure to bring it with you to Conference. It carries an electronic barcode which will be used to register you at Conference.
12 May 2006 at 0805 Comments

Conference fringe events

Two fringe events have been organised during Conference.

The union’s General Equality Committee is holding a welcome for new and returning Conference delegates.

The event includes an introduction to the procedures and structure of Conference along with an opportunity to meet other delegates. The guest speaker will be BECTU President Tony Lennon.

It starts at 1900 on Saturday 20 May 2006 at the T&G Centre Conference Centre Hall, Grand Parade, Eastbourne.

An organising lunch had been organised for Sunday 21 May 2006.

The workshop is intended to provide practical tips on reinvigorating and organising workplaces.

It runs 1300 to 1340 in the Floral Bar, Floral Hall in the Devonshire Park Centre.

6 May 2006 at 1505 Comments

Venues for next two Conferences

At it’s 23 April 2006 meeting BECTU’s NEC (National Executive Committee) decided on venues for the next two Annual Conferences.

On 28-29 April 2007 Conference will be held in Bournemouth; and in 2008 at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.

Conference was held in Bournemouth in 1999, and at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool in 2004 and 2005.

3 May 2006 at 1903 Comments

Delegates’ docs distributed

Cover of BECTU Conference 2006 agenda cover.

The hard copy version of the Conference agenda (cover pictured) has now been distributed to Branch delegates.

Enclosed with the agenda is a covering note, dated 28 April 2006, which includes the following points:

  • Delegates should ensure they’re up-to-date with BECTU subscriptions as those who appear to be unacceptably in arrears may not be admitted to Conference.
  • In the next few days delegate’s credential badge and travel warrant (if requested) will be distributed.
  • Legitimate expenses can be claimed at Conference.
  • On Saturday 20 May 2006 the following Divisional Conferences will be held in the Devonshire Park Centre:
    • BBC Division - Floral Hall, starting at 1000
    • Arts & Entertainment Division - Gold Room, starting at 1400
    • Independent Broadcasting Division - Congress Suite, starting at 1300
  • Divisional Conferences take place under entirely separate standing orders, timetables and documentation.
  • Delegates to Annual Conference will normally also be delegates to their relevant Divisional Conference. Where a delegate to Annual Conference is a Divisional Committee member, an additional delegate may attend the Divisional Conference.
3 May 2006 at 0747 Comments

Conference docs posted

Documentation connected with Conference has now been posted.

It includes the NEC Report to BECTU 2006 Conference which incorporates propositions submitted by Branches and the NEC for consideration of delegates.

30 April 2006 at 1745 Comments

More Conference info

The following are extracts from Conference Document 4 (2005-06), dated 6 April 2006, which has been distributed to all Branch Secretaries:


The Standing Orders Committee has not rejected any amendments.

Propositions and amendments will appear in the printed Conference Agenda booklet, inserted at relevant points in the NEC’s Report to Conference. They will be numbered consecutively Proposition 1/06 etc, but the AP (accepted proposition) numbers will also be shown for cross-reference. They will not appear in the same order as previously published.

Rejected propositions

As reported, the SOC [Standing Orders Committee] used its powers under rule 42(g) to reject the following propositions:

  • RP1 Venue of conference (Bush)
  • RP2 Recruitment (Film Artistes)
  • RP3 Presence in the workplace (Hair & Makeup)
  • RP4 Licence to practise (Hair & Makeup)

No representations have been received on these, and accordingly these propositions will not appear in the conference agenda.

It is open to branches whose propositions have been rejected to appeal to conference to overturn the SOC’s decision by referring back that part of the SOC’s report to conference, at conference itself. Any branch which intends to do this should inform me as soon as possible, so that copies of the relevant text can be prepared in advance for delegates.

Nominations for office 2006-2007

The following nominations were received by the closing date set by the Standing Orders Committee of 5 April 2006:

Trustees (two to be elected)

  • Dennis Claridge (14025, Labs Miscellaneous) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Deryck Lewis (79479, South Wales Freelance) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres, South Wales Freelance, Western Freelance
The number of candidates nominated is equal to the number of positions to be filled. Dennis Claridge and Deryck Lewis will therefore be elected unopposed as Trustees.

Appeals Committee (five to be elected)

  • Tony De Rance (136972, Film Artistes) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Trevor Owen (79489, Cardiff & District) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Mark Rivers (105314, Central London Engineering & Technology) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Kate Walker (83490, Glasgow Bingo) nominated by Glasgow Bingo
  • Cris Woodcock (78234, Leicester Cinemas) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres

The number of candidates nominated is equal to the number of positions to be filled. Tony De Ranee, Trevor Owen, Mark Rivers, Kate Walker and Cris Woodcock will therefore be elected unopposed as the Appeals Committee.

Standing Orders Committee (five to be elected)

  • Lorraine Dance (96948, BBC Marketing & Communication) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Albey George (80844, Property) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres, Property
  • Jean Gracie (145061, Glasgow Bingo) nominated Glasgow Bingo
  • John Gray (98845, Scottish Freelance) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Winnie Lowes (75882, Northern Freelance) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
  • Turlough MacDaid (81261, Edinburgh Theatres) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres

The number of candidates exceeds the number of positions to be filled. There will therefore be a ballot of delegates at conference to elect the Standing Orders Committee. The ballot box will be opened and sealed at times to be announced by the sac during conference. Please note that only delegates actually present and voting at the annual conference can take part in the ballot: balloting in these elections is not by card vote.

Rail travel

Those delegates travelling to Eastbourne by rail will, if requested on their notification form, receive travel warrants which they should exchange for the cheapest available return rail tickets at their station of departure.

This should be done sufficiently in advance to book Saver Returns or cheaper tickets. (Delegates intending to travel by air should consult with head office Finance staff well in advance.)

The London station of departure is Victoria. The Southern Railway website at shows timetables and ticket prices, and can be checked for any engineering works. The telephone enquiry number is 08451 27 29 20 (minicom/textphone 08451 27 29 40).

Conference is scheduled to end at 1700 on the Sunday, and it is assumed that South-East and London-based delegates will return home that evening.

A limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved for the night of Sunday 21 May for delegates unable to return home that evening. Delegates should ensure that I have been correctly informed about their accommodation needs.

And finally...

The 2006 Annual Conference takes place on Sunday 21 May 2006 in the Floral Hall, Devonshire Park Centre, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP.

Delegates attending the BBC divisional conference on Saturday 20 May have been booked into an hotel from the night of Friday 19 May. The Independent Broadcasting and Arts & Entertainment divisional conferences take place in Eastbourne on the afternoon of Saturday 20 May, and their delegates are mostly expected to travel to Eastbourne that same morning.

Delegates will be notified of their hotel (bed & breakfast) when the conference agenda is sent to them on 28 April. All hotels are in close proximity on the Eastbourne seafront.

25 April 2006 at 1304 Comments

The news so far...

Here’s a list of news items posted so far on Conference 2006:

24 April 2006 at 1153 Comments

All about Eastbourne

This year’s Conference is being held at the Floral Hall, Devonshire Park Centre, Eastbourne.

This follows previous Conferences held at the same venue in 2003 and 2001.

Here’s some links to find out more about the venue and Eastbourne itself:

Any more Eastbourne online resources?

17 April 2006 at 0816 Comments


This is the opening posting on the 2006 BECTU Conference blog.

It’ll report on events in the run up to and during the Conference.

It’s also where pictures will be posted connected with Conference - if members wish to contribute stills send them to in jpg format.

Comments can be posted on - please make comments under the appropiate subject heading.

16 April 2006 at 0618 Comments
Last updated 23 May 2006
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About this blog

This is a blog on BECTU’s Annual Conference 2006 - it’ll include live posts from the venue.