The National Delegate Conference (NDC) is Unison’s highest democratic decision-making body working alongside the General Secretary, the President and the National Executive Council to run our union. It’s an annual meeting of delegates from all Unison branches where motions and rule changes are passed that change the way our union functions. I was put forward as our branches delegate for this year’s meeting in Brighton between 14th and 17th of June. Spread across four days at the Brighton Centre, it consisted of the main delegate sessions, where we voted on motions put forward by branches across the UK, along with a variety of fringe events at lunch time and in the evening.
Highlights among the decisions made include Unison’s decision to back proportional representation, support for trans equality, to tackle climate change through support for public ownership of energy companies and decarbonising public services, and a renewed commitment to be an organising union giving its members the power to organise in their workplaces. Full details of all the motions passed and rule changes made can be found here: https://www.unison.org.uk/policy-motions/page/2/?filter-decision=13962%2C13953&filter-year=2022
Fringe events I made it along to included a talk from Labour MP John McDonnell on the importance of the links between trade unions and our parliamentary representatives, a presentation from the Cuban Ambassador to the UK alongside the Cuba Solidarity campaign group on the ongoing injustice of the US blockade of that socialist country and a discussion of the state of climate policy in public services post-COP26.
It was a fascinating four days. I had the opportunity to meet many other reps and members from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK and feel part of a broader movement. I would recommend the experience to anyone interested in becoming more involved in the democratic decision making processes of our trade union.