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National Conference Bournemouth 2002
Scotland Daily Briefings
Tuesday 18 June No 1 Briefing

Welcome to Bournemouth

Welcome to your first briefing from the Communications & Campaigns Committee in conjunction with the Scottish Region delegates. OK so some of you have spent two days at the Local Government meeting (except Edinburgh but that's another story), but this is the first actual Conference day.

The daily briefings will reflect Scottish Council policies as set by branches over the years and in the pre-Conference briefing issued to the April Scottish Council. We hope to issue occasional reports on major issues for branches to use in magazines back home. These will also go on the website.

Conference - let's get on with it

Conference is getting better at getting on with the business but there are still times when we spend ages on the first morning raking over the order of business, points of order and all manner of fiddly wee procedural things.

The business has been prioritised in consultation with Regions, so lets get on with it. Not for the first time there is a motion to change the start time on the first day to 9.30 (I think South Lanarkshire once submitted an amendement for 9.32).

Well, let's see how keen they are for an early start if there's extra time on Friday! See over for advice on today's main debates.....

Key Contacts

Mike Kirby and Mary Crichton are this year's Scottish Regional delegates. They are there to help, especially if you want to get into a debate.

They have a key role in promoting Scottish policy, organising and giving branches a way to join together to promote policies more effectively.

Robin Hunter is our rep on the Standing Orders Committee and is a mine of information.

Need to grasp the resources nettle

We should reciprocate the support for devolved government that we received for a Scottish Parliament. The debate on devolution for English regions has moved on and Comp G outlines all the reasons why we should be backing government closer to the people.

The composite rightly points to the need to maintain effective local government mirroring the position taken in the campaign in Scotland. However this will, as it has in Scotland, throw into focus the need for resources for UNISON Regions to play a full part in the process.

There will be a need to work with, and make comments and submissions to a range of regional bodies like regional Chambers, Regional Development Agencies and many other organisations.

All this will require the union to look at how it organises itself and provides the tools for the job. Support Comp

COMP A Comprehensive Spending Review

Scotland is part of this comprehensive composite and will play a role in setting the union's policy on the economy and public services.

Calling for a campaign for a dramatic increase in investment in public services, the composite also highlights the restrictions on public spending caused by the drive to European Monetary Union. The amendment causes difficulties in that, while we would have preferred an income tax solution (progressive taxation) to more money for the NHS, the NI rise comes close.
Support Comp A Oppose A.1

79 & 78 care of the elderly

Care of the elderly is the focus for the social policy debate and we should support the Scottish model of free personal care for the rest of the UK

Comp K Stop The War
Keeping the focus on peace

Comp K could well be reached this afternoon. The sentiments in this composite broadly reflect Scottish policy although the motion goes further in some areas.

The key issue of no war on Iraq was explicitly debated and backed by Scottish Council. Scottish Council also reflected an ‘anti-war but not anti-response' position on September 11.

We also drew attention to the danger of a rise in racism and anti-Islamic feeling and committed ourselves to challenge that. We did not affiliate to the Stop the War coalition but did agree to work with it.

There is an issue for Scottish policy (and indeed national policy) in that we need to be satisfied that organisations we officially link to are democratic, publish audited accounts etc.

This organisation, like any other, would have to pass these tests. The first amendment tidies up the taxation issue and should be supported. The second amendment however can cause constitutional problems and is best avoided.

Like in any other issue, UNISON would have to be satisfied that the ‘tests' mentioned above were met. In any case, members can of course participate without the need for a ‘UNISON' stamp. Support K.1 Oppose K.2


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