14 May 2010
Representatives from across the country and from all sections of the union convene in Bournemouth on Saturday 15 May for the annual conference.
By the time the event closes, the union will have a new president and a new NEC to oversee the union's affairs until conference in 2012.
Long-standing activists Christine Bond, Peter Cox and John Handley have been contesting the presidential election; voting closed on 30 April although the rules dictate that the result is embargoed until the end of annual conference.
In the run up to news of the new intake of senior lay officials, branch representatives will debate their propositions to conference. This year's topics are:
- Alternative voting
- Proposed employment agency regulations
- Recruitment initiatives
- Representation of overseas employees
- Use of branch funds
- Make the bankers pay
- Break the link with Labour
- No co-operation with war crimes
- Impartiality of news broadcasting
- MPs expenses
- Anti-union laws
- Exploitation of young workers
- Equality monitoring data
- BECTU T-shirts
- Policy on the BNP
- The BNP.
The deadline for the submission of motions was 3 February 2010 but the agenda may well be expanded if emergency motions are accepted for debate.
One individual well versed in the union's constitution is administrative officer David Cormack who retires from the union later this month after 31 years of service under four general secretaries.
David started his union career with the former NATTKE in September 1979, as an assistant to then general secretary, John Wilson. David had been shop steward at Scottish Opera. The organisation of annual and rules revision conferences, support for the SOC (Standing Orders Committee) and essential guidance on the two amalgamations which led to BECTU (NATTKE/ABS in 1984 to form BETA and ACTT/BETA in 1991 to form BECTU) have been important highlights in a dedicated career.
Tony Lennon's decision not to run for a further term as president also marks a key stage in the union's history. Tony's skill in communication, his in-depth knowledge of the media and broadcasting and his active representation of BECTU both at home and abroad mark him out as a special contributor. This year's conference is certain to be generous in its appreciation of Tony's 18 years as president as he chairs this key event for the last time.
After a full day on Saturday, Sunday will see discussion at divisional level with meetings of the BBC, IB and A & E industrial groups. There will also be a special meeting of LPDand RPD delegates called to discuss the breakthrough agreement with the BBC which, for the first time, allows the union to represent freelances employed by the Corporation.