Someone doth protest too much

Ros Bayley (Freelance, December issue) is of course quite entitled to disagree with the conclusions of the four national executive (NEC) members who sat on the working party on industrial councils (myself, the General Secretary, Anita Halpin & Chris Frost).

But it is a bit much to accuse us of failure to consult when our clear remit was to report back to the November NEC meeting on the "workings, financing and future" of the industrial council system, not to conduct a full-blown union-wide debate. The place for that sort of argument and subsequent decision can only be on the floor of the annual delegate meeting (ADM).

In the event, the executive decided instead to go with the quite different proposals contained in the General Secretary's strategy review, and the report of the working party will doubtless gather dust. I for one will be surprised if the working party proposals resurface at the 2003 ADM.

As for our shock-horror proposal to force the Freelance Industrial Council to "report to the NEC" and to "have no budget", I invite your gentle readers to look at NUJ rule 13, which already stipulates that industrial councils are to determine policy "within the confines laid down by ADM or the NEC", that the "NEC may overrule any council", and that the NEC is to "allocate such sums as may be necessary" to industrial councils.

Last modified: 15 December 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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