Unite Rules Conference

The union's rules conference is going on this week in sunny Brighton.  Even the Right wing group in the union 'Unite Now' are getting frustrated with the 'dictatorship of the bureaucracy' within Unite. In case you don't read their well funded if poorly written website, here is their article in full:

"Rules conference and this Union belongs to you the members – don’t surrender it to Executive Officers!khjkhj
The Executive Officers of this union have really stacked the outcomes at this conference in their favour to keep control of our union.   

Delegates need to know that all EC statements & proposed rule amendments were tabled at EC meetings by the Executive Officers - none were tabled by EC members. In addition the Executive Officers published a document detailing what conference amendments should be opposed and which supported - the EC lazily nodded through and supported 99% of the Executive Officers recommendations! So ask yourself who is really running this so-called ‘lay led’ union?

Regarding the running of conference the manipulation continues. Standing Orders – the procedures through which the conference is governed - are drafted by the Executive Officers & Executive Council. In the current proposed draft Standing Orders for rules conference which delegates will be asked to approve or oppose on the first day the following new clause has now been added:
“Should a motion to amend the rules submitted by the EC be included in any grouping of motions it shall be voted upon first and, if carried, all other motions in that group shall fall. In any reply, the EC speaker shall speak at the conclusion of the debate.”

Given there is no time limit for registering EC rule amendments/statements they can be written when all other amendments are known and written in such a way (covering several clauses of a rule) to group and ‘take-out’ a number of undesirable amendments.

In the debate where a proposed rule amendment is grouped with an EC statement or EC amendment, the EC will always speak first. They will then be followed by the mover and seconder of every other rule amendment in the grouping. Speakers from the floor will then be called to the rostrum for their contributions however crucially movers of motions will no longer have the last right of reply, but instead the EC will have the last right of reply (if standing orders are accepted by conference).

When voting on the proposals the EC statement/amendment will always be taken first - last say First vote - and if the first vote carries then all other grouped amendments fall without even being voted on! Even more worryingly the grouping of motions can lead to motions falling to EC statements that don’t even cover the issue they deal with - this must be challenged!

Delegates need to remember that EC statements are not covered by Rule or Conference Standing Orders so why are they even allowed by the Standing Orders Committee? This should be challenged!
This manipulation of standing orders to control conference is far reaching. The statements on the Labour Party and Retired members contain actual rule changes within them – so why didn’t the EC issue specific rule change amendments rather than issue statements?

At the other end of the spectrum the EC statement on Appointment of Officers changes nothing at all, it is in fact a policy statement and should therefore not be used to knock out actual proposed amendments to rule submitted democratically by delegates via branches and committees – this should be challenged!
When taken together the result of all this is that 154 out of 174 (nearly 90%) of the ordinary conference amendments fall against Executive Officer opposition as expressed through EC Statements, amendments or opposition!

And the Executive Officers are even trying to further secure their control going forward by proposing rule amendments to policy and rules conference (EC Amendments 12/1 & 13/1) that would give the EC authority to issue ‘directions’ to conference - these EC amendments should be vehemently opposed!

The Executive Officers already have control over the Executive Council - do not let them get in control of our Policy & Rules conferences or we will be stung forever!"
Its rather ironic that 'Unite Now' opposed the proposal for election rather than appointment of officials, and still do.  It's the only solution and Grass Roots Left are the only group in Unite that support it.

You must conclude that 'Unite Now' don't oppose dictatorship of the bureaucracy in itself, they only oppose it when the bureaucracy isn't their bureaucracy.

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