Conference blog 2008
The last motions at Annual Conference have been considered.
Proposition 15/08 Break the link with Labour, overturn the anti-union laws was the subject of a move next business motion, which was agreed by Conference and therefore the proposition was not discussed.
Conference has now reconvened.
Proposition 12/08 Hands Off Venezuela and Proposition 13/08 Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been carried.
Proposition 14/08 Freelance fairs, unamended, have been carried.
Final Friday decisions
Conference has now adjourned for the day, with the following decisions made:
- Proposition 6/08 Representation of overseas members was lost.
- Proposition 7/08 Unpaid hours was carried.
- Proposition 8/08 European model contracts was carried.
- Proposition 9/08 Funding of public service broadcasting was carried.
- Proposition 10/08 Union-wide broadcasting policy was defeated.
- Proposition 11/08 Commission for Labour Rights was defeated.
Proposition 3/08 Political Fund has been passed.
Proposition 4/08 Members working on party political and party election broadcasts has been remitted to the NEC for further consideration.
Proposition 5/08 Participatory democracy has been passed.
Annual Conference starts
The BECTU Annual Conference has started.
Emergency proposition 1, concerning the Labour party and proposed by Post Production and Facilities Branch, has been discussed:
That this annual conference, in the light of the recent local elections and the Labour Party's uncertain fate in the next general election, and considering the Labour Party's leadership's move to the right over the last dozen years, call for a ballot of all BECTU members to decide whether to:
- seek greater involvement in the Labour Party, in collaboration with other trade unions, with the aim of restoring the Labour Party founding role as a voice for workers and their trade unions in parliament;
- maintain our current affiliation to the Labour Party without additional involvement;
- withdraw our support for and affiliation to the Labour Party, and use the funds released to actively seek representation elsewhere.
The proposition was voted against by Conference.
Conference delegates meet at Liverpool.
New Rules agreedThe Rules Revision Conference has closed with the following decisions:
- Proposed rule change AR2 Rule 29(a) has been passed.
- Proposed rule change AR3 Rule 33(b) has been agreed, which changes the representation of Laboratories from a Division to a Sub-Division within London Production Division.
- Proposed rule change AR4 Rule 31(d) has been withdrawn by the Film Artistes Branch following discussion by Conference.
- There has been extended discussion on proposed rule change AR5 Rule 40, which concerns replacing Annual Conference with a biennial conference. Following a card vote, which calculates votes based on the number of members in each Branch represented at Conference, the proposal was defeated by 8801 voting against and 5001 voting for (a two thirds majority is required for a Rule change).
Conference has just opened with an opening address from Denis Dunphy, Liverpool Trade Union Council President.
The new format of Conference has been outlined by President Tony Lennon.
Proposed rule change AR1 Rule 5(l) has been agreed by delegates.
Branch delegates from across BECTU will be converging on Liverpool for this year's Annual Conference on 9 and 10 May.
Conference, which includes proposed changes to the union's Rules, will be following a new format.
Live updates will be posted on this blog during the Conference - so check back on Friday and Saturday to find out the latest developments.
Details of the topics to be discussed are in the Conference agenda.
Conference agenda 2008 posted
Hard copies of the agenda for this year's Conference have now been posted to Branch delegates.
Enclosed with the agenda is a covering note, dated 18 April 2008, which includes the following points:
Conference running order
Because of the low number of rule changes submitted, it is likely that conference will proceed with the annual conference propositions after dealing with rule changes on the Friday afternoon. If you are due to speak on a proposition, but were not planning to be at conference until the Saturday, please advise us now, and we will hold your proposition over.
Please ensure that you're up-to-date with your BECTU subscriptions before travelling to Liverpool. Your subscription status will be checked, and delegates who appear to be in more than permitted arrears of subscriptions may not be admitted to conference. Bring your BECTU membership card. Check with the head office membership department now if you're in any doubt.
Conference documentation and registration of delegates
You'll need to have the current BECTU rule book (A5 size with the words "AS ALTERED 2006" on the cover) with you at conference. Your branch officers should have ensured you have this, but copies of the 2006 edition can be obtained from me on request, and copies will be available at conference.
A credential badge and travel warrant (if you have requested one) will be forwarded to you in the next few days. It is vital that you keep your badge safe and bring it with you to conference, as it will carry an electronic bar-code which will be used to register you as a delegate before you enter the conference hall.
Wear your badge at all times in the hotel for security purposes and to show you're entitled to meals and other hotel services.
Registration for the rules and annual conference takes place in the Hypostyle Hall of the Adelphi Hotel, from 8.30am onwards on Friday 9 May, or when you arrive if you're late. You must register, using your credential badge, before you can be admitted to the rules revision and annual conference. You will not receive voting papers and may not receive expenses if you fail to register.
Travelling to and from Liverpool
If we've been notified that you require one, you will shortly receive a travel warrant.
If you do use the warrant, exchange it at your station of departure for a return ticket to Liverpool: you should be able to book a cheaper Saver Return if you apply in advance. The London station of departure is Euston, and the train operator is Virgin Trains. Their website shows timetables and ticket prices and can be checked for any engineering works. The telephone enquiry number is 08457 222 333.
If you make your own way to Liverpool, you may claim reimbursement at conference of travel expenses at the union's normal rates.
A map of Liverpool town centre can be downloaded from the internet. The Britannia Adelphi Hotel is at the corner of Lime Street and Brownlow Hill.
Hotel accommodation in Liverpool
If we've been notified that you require it, hotel accommodation has been reserved for you at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel where the conference takes place. The hotel will provide all meals during conference. You may not claim a meal allowance where meals are provided.
If you're attending a divisional conference on the Friday morning you will be booked into the hotel for the nights of Thursday 8 May and Friday 9 May, unless we've been notified differently. If you're not attending a divisional conference you need to arrive in time to register before the rules revision conference starts at 2pm that day. You will be booked into the hotel for the Friday night. Conference is due to finish by 4pm on Saturday 10 May, and most delegates should be able to return home that evening. A limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved for the Saturday night for delegates unable to do so. Check, however, on arrival at the hotel reception that your booking is correct.
If we've been notified in advance, you should find that your access or dietary needs have been met, but it's up to you to identify yourself to hotel and catering staff as requiring particular access adjustments or diet.
If you're bringing a partner or spouse to conference we will charge you after conference for their hotel accommodation and meals. The charge will be in the region of £70 per person per night. (No charge is made where delegates are bringing dependent children: note, however, that as no delegate requested creche facilities by the closing date of 28 March, the conference creche has been cancelled this year.)
Expenses and equality monitoring
Legitimate expenses can be claimed at conference. You will be issued with a claim form when you register. Please return your claim form to BECTU Finance staff at conference as early as possible. An equality monitoring form will be attached to the expenses form. You should separate them before returning them - the monitoring form is designed to be anonymous unless the delegate wishes to be identified. But please ensure you return both forms.
Car parking is not a claimable expense except for disabled delegates. The hotel has its own car park, but a charge of £10 per 24-hour period is made.
Nominations for office
The nominations received for the incoming (2008-2009) Trustees, Appeals Committee and Standing Orders Committee are printed at the end of the agenda.
Further nominations for the Standing Orders Committee have been invited. If by the opening of conference these exceed the number of places (five), a ballot of delegates will be held at conference. Collect your ballot paper after you register before entering the conference hall. The ballot box will be opened and sealed at times to be announced by the SOC during conference. Please note that only delegates actually present and voting can take part in the ballot: balloting in this election is not by card vote.
The number of nominations for Trustees equalled the number of places, and no ballot requires to be held for these offices. The NEC will circulate branches after conference to fill the vacancies on the Appeals Committee.
Divisional conferences and the rules and annual conference
On the morning of Friday 8 May (i.e. before the rules revision conference), divisional conferences will be held in the Adelphi Hotel as follows:
- BBC division (in the Derby Room)
- Arts & Entertainment division (in the Empire Room)
- Independent Broadcasting division (in the Crosby Room)
Remember that divisional conferences take place under entirely separate standing orders, timetables and documentation: consult the relevant National Official for your division if in doubt. Delegates to the annual conference will normally also be delegates to their relevant divisional conference. Where a delegate to the annual conference is a divisional committee member, an additional delegate may attend the divisional conference to represent his/her branch.
Disability access, and health and safety
Provided we've been given advance notice of any reasonable adjustments you require to meet a disability, these will be arranged. There will be an induction loop in the conference hall for delegates with a hearing aid that has a "T" setting. There are alternative routes avoiding steps for delegates with impaired mobility. Please check with me if you have any advance concerns or other access requirements.
The conference venue will be non-smoking. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas. Please familiarise yourself with the fire evacuation procedures in the conference venue and in your hotel room. Advise hotel reception staff in the first instance if you have concerns relating to any hotel facilities.
Amendments and more Conference info
Conference Document 4 (2007-08), dated 26 March 2008, which has been distributed to all Branch Secretaries, contains details of the two amendments to policy propositions put forward by Branches.
Here's some extracts from Conference Document 4:
Nominations for office 2008-2009
The following nominations were received by the closing date set by the Standing Orders Committee of 20 March 2008:
Trustees (two to be elected)
- Dennis Claridge (14025, Labs Miscellaneous) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
- Deryck Lewis (79479, South Wales Freelance) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres, North Wales Freelance, South Wales Freelance, South West Freelance, Western Freelance
The number of candidates nominated is equal to the number of positions to be filled. Dennis Claridge and Deryck Lewis are therefore elected unopposed as Trustees.
Appeals Committee (five to be elected)
- Tony De Rance (136972, Film Artistes) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
- Mark Rivers (105314, Central London Engineering & Technology) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
- Kate Walker (83490, Glasgow Bingo) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
The number of candidates nominated is less than the number of positions to be filled. The NEC will seek further nominations from branches after conference in accordance with rule 26(c).
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
- Andy Love (101296, London Library & Archive) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
- Turlough MacDaid (81261, Edinburgh Theatres) nominated by Edinburgh Theatres
The number of SOC candidates nominated is less than the number of positions to be filled. Branches are therefore invited to submit further nominations with a closing date extended to the opening of conference.
Should a ballot be necessary the ballot box will be opened and sealed at times to be announced by the SOC 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.
It is most important that your delegates' details have by now been notified in full to head office, including disability access adjustments, diet, and other requirements. If you have not already done so, you MUST return details of your branch delegate(s) as soon as possible, using the forms enclosed with Conference Document 2. If you need extra forms contact this office without delay. Delegates who are notified late (the deadline was 28 March) may not receive the Conference Agenda on time, and it may not be possible to make travel or hotel arrangements for them.
Please make sure each delegate is up-to-date with their BECTU subscriptions: contact the head office membership department if in doubt. Members who are not paid-up are not entitled to be delegates and may be refused entry to conference.
Delegates should bring a copy of the latest BECTU Rule Book to conference. This is A5 in size and has the words AS ALTERED 2006 on the cover. If required copies can be requested now from head office, and copies will be available at conference.
Those delegates travelling to Liverpool by rail will, if they requested it 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 by now have consulted on this with head office Finance staff.)
The rail service from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street is operated by Virgin Trains and the journey time is approximately two and a half hours. Timetables and information on engineering works can be checked online on Virgin Train's website at www.virgintrains.co.uk/default.aspx. Virgin also operate trains services from destinations to the north.
Most delegates not attending a divisional conference on the morning of Friday 9 May should arrive by lunchtime that day. All delegates will attend the rules revision conference on the Friday afternoon, and the annual conference on the Saturday. Annual conference is scheduled to end at 4pm to enable most delegates to return home that same afternoon/evening. However a limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved for the Saturday night for delegates unable to return home that evening. Delegates should ensure that I have been correctly informed about their accommodation needs.
Parking is available for delegates at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, though delegates will be personally responsible for parking charges (unless they have impaired mobility and/or a blue badge).
Accommodation and meals in Liverpool
All non-Liverpool delegates will be staying in the Britannia Adelphi Hotel. The hotel will have been advised of any disability adjustments dietary requirements requested in advance by delegates, but delegates must identifiy themselves to hotel staff. Credential badges should be worn at all times in the hotel. If delegates have any complaint about their room or facilities they should raise these with hotel reception staff as soon as possible.
All meals are being provided in the hotel, and union meal allowances may not be claimed except for meals in transit to and from conference.
The 2008 rules revision and annual conference takes place on the afternoon of Friday 9 May and all day on Saturday 10 May 2008 in the Banqueting Hall of the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Ranelagh Street, Liverpool L1 5UL. The Arts & Entertainment, BBC and Independent Broadcasting divisional conferences will take place on the Friday morning in venues to be announced in the same hotel.
Most delegates should be able to return home after the close of conference at 4pm on the Saturday afternoon.
Welcome to the 2008 Conference blog
This is the opening posting of the 2008 BECTU Annual Conference blog.
It’ll report on events in the run up to and during the Conference itself.
It’s also where pictures will be posted connected with Conference - if members wish to contribute stills send them to email@example.com in jpg format.
Comments can be posted on bectuforum.org.uk - please make comments for each posting by adding the appropriate subject heading used in this blog.
Here’s a list of news items posted so far on Conference 2008: