A load of ballots?

Tim Kalvis, reporting on the "Arcane Delegates' Meeting" (Freelance, May 2002), writes that London Freelance Branch's "proposal for direct elections of national officers was side-stepped".

LFB's proposal for annual postal elections for the posts of president, vice-president and treasurer wasn't "side-stepped": it was put to conference and overwhelmingly defeated. The reasons for that might include the £37,000 annual postage cost (enough for another assistant organiser in the Freelance Office) and the desire to avoid marginalising the sovereignty of the annual conference over the running of the union.

Branch members should be aware that the anti-union laws provides that a union president must be elected by a postal ballot, unless he/she is an honorary president serving for a year (like the NUJ's by rule) who cannot be immediately re-elected (like the NUJ's by convention).

All the motion passed by ADM does is codify existing NUJ practice so as to comply with the law, but Tim concludes that "it was a missed opportunity to belatedly introduce one person-one-vote." So, as consistency is the foundation of virtue, I look forward to Tim moving a motion at the 2003 AGM calling for the branch's officers to be elected by post.

Last modified: 22 April 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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