Delegate Meeting - nominations, motions, electing delegates
THE NUJ's Delegate Meeting (DM, its national conference held every two years,) will be on 19-22 April 2018, again in Southport.
For a flavour of the last Delegate Meeting, back in 2016, see here. DM votes on policy motions and elects many Union posts, for which candidates first need to seek nomination from an NUJ Branch.
DM elects members to sit on bodies including the Union's Photographers Council, Ethics Council, Continental European Council, Appeals Tribunal, Disabled Members' Council, Equality Council, International Federation Of Journalists Triennial Congress (IFJ), Health & Safety Committee Journalist Editorial Advisory Board, 60+ Committee/Pensioners' Parliament, Professional Training Committee, Standing Orders Committee, TUC Delegation, Women's TUC Delegation. For details and lists of posts see here.
The most recent Branch meeting of LFB voted to nominate candidates for some of these DM-elected posts: there are still vacancies. Those seeking the Branch's nomination for elections at DM to the above bodies should email the Freelance editor or the Branch Secretaries (see here for contacts) in plenty of time for the Monday 13 November Branch meeting. Be mindful that these people have to get from work to the meeting in a hurry and will be somewhat pre-occupied with Branch business on arrival, not necessarily able to check emails right up to the start of the meeting.
The Monday 13 November Branch meeting is also the last chance for LFB to propose motions to go to DM. At the time of writing, there are proposed motions in the name of LFB that need to be voted on by the Branch before being formally put to DM. These cover the following topics: NUJ training, precarious workers, Universal Credit, support for members with trauma copyright, hazardous environment training and retaining NUJ members. They're all online here. A proposed DM motion on Brexit and its effects on our members is also expected.
Looking ahead, LFB also needs to elect its own delegation for DM: the last chance to do this is the January Branch AGM on Monday 8 January 2018 but now's the time to think about whether you might want to seek election at that AGM as an LFB delegate to DM.
LFB sends nine delegates, and we need to elect some reserves as well, in case some of the delegates can't make it through as yet unforeseen work or other commitments nearer the time.
Delegates who attend conference have their travel and accommodation paid (for previous DMs, the Branch has paid the additional costs so that its delegates don't have to share rooms). As freelances, LFB's delegates also receive £50 loss of earnings allowance for each day at the conference they would otherwise be working. The Thursday evening of the conference starts with the Union's Freelance Conference.
Standing Orders Committee, which ensures all the motions presented at DM are in order in accordance with the rules and with the facts, also runs an introductory meeting for delegates who've never been to a DM before. This is held just before formal business starts and it helps demystify conference procedures. The conference traditionally treats gently - and generously applauds - delegates whose speech includes the words, "This is my first speech at DM." LFB in particular has a good record for looking after its first-time delegates.
If you are thinking of standing as a LFB delegate, contact one of the Branch Secretaries by email, (see here for contacts) preferably in plenty of time for the LFB AGM on Monday 8 January.
For those who are considering going to DM and possibly making their first conference speech (or standing for a post on the LFB Committee - see below) there are some upcoming causes which may help to make it less daunting. The NUJ is running two courses in NUJ Developing Confidence on Friday 24 November in Manchester and Saturday 2 December in London. The TUC (South East) Women's Rights Committee is offering training for women who want to take up positions in Union or public office. It's on Friday 10 November at Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN. It's led by Joy Johnson, ex-BBC/ITV producer (now with the Unite press office). Register via SERTUC@tuc.org.uk.
LFB Committee elections too
Also looking ahead, the Branch needs to elect its Committee at its AGM in January as well. All posts are up for re-election. LFB's current Treasurer plans to stand down and the Branch seeks a replacement. Contact a member of the Committee if you are interested in standing for any of the Committee posts - there's a list of them with their responsibilities here.
Still hesitating? If you are coming to the LFB Christmas party on Monday 11 December, approach a member of the Committee to discuss a possible candidacy as LFB Committee member or as LFB DM delegate with them.