Branch Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 24th March 2015 K-207 Keyworth Building
Veronica Leacock in the chair.
1. Welcome to members and introduction of Officers
The chair welcomed members to the AGM and introduced the branch officers and regional officer.
2. Apologies for Absence
Beverley Goring to arrive late due to an unavoidable work commitment. No other apologies received.
3. Review of minutes from 2014
Minutes agreed. No matters arising not already on the agenda.
4. Elections for posts
The following were elected unopposed:
- Branch Secretary: Beverley Goring
- Vice-chair: Michael Veitch
- Treasurer: Letisha Spencer
- Education Officer: Veronica Leacock
- Membership Secretary: Dina Mehdi
- Equality and Diversity Officer: Melany Wagestroom-Gehringer/Gill Hunte
- Campaigns Officer: Melany Wagestroom-Gehringer/Terry Eastham
- Communications Officer: Terry Eastham
- Health and Safety Officer: Paul Crick/Tanja Perez
- Welfare Officer: Sue Haslam
The following posts remain vacant:
- International Officer
- Young Members Officer
5. Visiting speaker: Max Watson London Region NEC member
Max Watson had to send apologies due to unavoidable commitments in his own branch.
6. Koint Negotiating Committee and meetings with VC update
Tanya Perez gave a verbal report, summarized as follows:
Support staff restructures have not taken place yet, however selected academic restructures took place in the past 12 months and one or two more have been announced for April 2015. Tanya highlighted UNISON’s involvement in all restructures with a view to meaningful consultation with management and exploring all options in order to avoid compulsory redundancies. A potential outcome of support staff restructuring may well be that there ends up being more posts than there are staff, however this does not mean there will be no redundancies as some staff may find that their particular job has been deleted and that they are not interested in any available alternatives. A priority for UNISON will be to ensure good communication with staff affected by restructures and adequate support and training for staff seeking redeployment.
The next meeting with the VC is due to take place on 27th March 2015.
7. London Living Wage and Outsourced Workers
Jonathan Buckner gave a verbal report, summarized as follows:
The London Living Wage has been agreed for all outsourced staff working at the university, regardless of which employer they work for. This was a result of a successful campaign by affected members and took effect from August 2014. A successful meeting was held in early 2014 with Interserve and members are keen to get involved in campaigning improve their terms and conditions. However, there is a need to encourage more people to step forward to take on casework and campaigning and organizing. Jonathan also highlighted the need to work to towards UNISON recognition with the private companies operating at the university.
8. Report from Fran Alton: UNISON Area Organiser
Fran gave a brief presentation on the upcoming general election, which is a key campaigning issue for UNISON. Members present were encouraged to use their vote on 7th May and to consider carefully which party to vote for, and which party is most likely to protect our public services. Information was available for members to take away if desired.
9. Health and Safety update
Paul Crick gave a verbal report, summarized as follows:
There have been numerous developments since the last AGM in relation to health and safety. Most notably a new health and safety policy has been drafted. Paul encouraged all members present to read this carefully, emphasizing that staff have rights in relation to health and safety but also responsibilities. Other developments include: a new fire safety working group, new mandatory health and safety training for all staff, consolidated reporting back from local committees designed to ensure standardized reporting on health and safety matters across the university, a new alcohol and drugs policy which I currently being negotiated.
10. UNISON Welfare update
Sue Haslam introduced herself as Welfare Officer and explained the purpose of her role as the point of contact for members who required support from UNISON for issues like financial help, debt advice or emotional support through UNISON’s charity, There For You. Information and leaflets (and stress toys!) were available for members to take away if desired.
Terry Eastham informed members present of the new LSBU UNISON website and twitter account. Members are encouraged to contact Terry with any suggestion for how to improve the branch online presence.
Terry also advertised General Election debates taking place at the university.
The Chair introduced Beverley Goring, newly elected Branch Secretary.
It was suggested that UNISON should request a presence at the all staff conference arranged for 13th May 2015. The branch committee will investigate this as all members present agreed it would be a good idea.