There are plenty of people offering Napo HQ free legal advice. There are entire legal firms willing to go to bat for us but it's a chunk of work and it takes bravery to engage in a legal fight. Napo has the tacit support of Labour's Shadow Justice Team. Much has been made of two resolutions passed at the TUC Conference to support us. What we need is to follow through with confidence and resolve and stop all the excuses and procrastinating.
Napo members tell me that the time of thinking about action has passed and we need to act and if nothing happens quickly then we need to be asking why hasn't something been done and not be fobbed off. Share sale may well be happening in October and if the contracts are worded the way Grayling wants them to be then even another government will not be able to reverse privatisation easily. Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.
If all fails and the union is bankrupt do you really think the labour movement will turn their backs on Napo? Our campaign is a drop in the ocean resource wise as far as some of the bigger unions are concerned and the worst fate we might face is an amalgamation that may actually make us stronger. Frankly all resources should be targeted at the legal challenge right now and everything else should be considered an unwelcome distraction from the main task.
Just a little way down the road lurk further budget cuts, increased workloads, redundancies, deprofessionalisation, lower wages and worse. The most experienced and ironically the most ambitious are at greatest risk of job loss. If you are cheap and will do anything you are asked to do without question you might be in luck. If like me you can't stomach the destruction of your profession, then things look grim and grimmer.With regards to the emergency motion, if we mandated Chivalry Road last year to pursue JR then can't we hold them to account this year with an emergency motion, when it becomes clear at conference that this has not been progressed?
If it meets the criteria and is accepted, but look carefully at the wording of the original motion. They may well have pursued it and were told by lawyers that the particular matter was not strong enough to pursue further. The problem is probably that Labours legislation was so sloppily written that even if it was intended as a kind of failsafe (for the Secretary of State to take any action necessary) in the event of Trusts failing, it has allowed Grayling the authority to proceed.
Unfortunately legislation reflected the overconfidence of the administration who probably thought it was a handy option for them to have, not ever considering it could be used in another way by a Justice Secretary intent on pursuing their own ideological agenda. A JR on the basis the Justice Secretary was acting illegally may not proceed, so it has probably now got to be on another basis. The MoJ is acting cautiously and being less than transparent in order to protect itself against legal challenge. It was expecting more challenges earlier, but that opportunity is now passed.
Plenty of motions are passed at AGM including one popular one last year that I personally thought was a bit unrealistic, to overthrow the government. Not all motions that might have been more useful and realistic were heard as we ran out of time. I was literally waiting to go on when they called time.I thought the new JR was being pursued on the basis that there is wording in the outsourcing legislation which mentions social impact which TR clearly ticks a huge box for. I agree sometimes some of the motions can be a little grandiose but that's democracy I suppose, each motion has as much right as any other to be heard.
Yes this is an extremely slim chance under the Social Value Act legislation that I and others brought to Napo HQs attention approximately 6 months ago after exploring it with our own legal and academic contacts after reading the following article 12 months ago.Another contributor added this:-
An Emergency Motion can be sent in by any 2 Napo members or a branch. It has to be submitted in writing to either Ian Lawrence or Chair of Steering Committee (staff at Chivalry Rd could confirm who that is) and has to meet following criteria: it must relate to urgent matters which (1) have arisen since closing date for motions (2) which cannot be dealt with in any other way (3) which are of such gravity as to justify rearrangement of business. Steering Committee then check if motion meets that criteria and if they think it does it goes on AGM agenda. If they don't think it meets the criteria the proposer of motion has 2 minutes to challenge the ruling and then members of AGM vote whether to accept Steering Committee ruling or not. In order to deal with point 1 (that its an issue that's arisen since closing date for ordinary motions) linking emergency motion to recent success of legal profession might work.Finally, this from yesterday's blog:-
I think members might already feel stranded and bereft and not appreciate they could influence how Napo operates. It may well feel increasingly irrelevant in the face of surviving pressures at work. For those who still want to battle on, given the existing structure, members need to exert their muscle either via AGM (though the range of motions not inspiring this year) or via their NEC rep.
If a local Branch submits a motion to NEC (I've forgotten the 3 categories but at least one leads to debate at NEC) and argues it well, more support from other areas could be garnered than might be imagined. Some pre-NEC liaison between areas helps build support too. Nothing ventured nothing gained, but need well chosen motion and good proposer/seconder.
If we really are in conversations with Prospect etc this might be too late of course. I'm no constitution buff but I think more than 1 branch could debate the same motion to submit to NEC then you'd get a stronger indication of support from the off. Depending on news from this weeks NEC, posters here could join forces to compose a motion that they all took to their branches to get agreed to take to Nov NEC? Obviously this pre-supposes there would be a consensus as to motion!