Yet again thanks are due to the keen reader from the South West who keeps us informed about what's going on in that neck of the woods:-
Chairs AGM Report SSW Branch 2016
This is the second branch AGM for our amalgamated area South South West. It is a difficult geography to manage against the backdrop of reduced travel arrangements across the board. Less frequent meetings given the distances and time with a membership that have been so hard pressed this year many are resigned to making do than making a challenge against the deterioration that has beset our working conditions and branch activism. Nevertheless the branch remains strong and committed to fighting off as much as we can and pursue all avenues of defence where possible. In particular we have the General Secretary now taking a direct hand in the overall support of our efforts in the SSWest branch.
Regular readers of Napo articles will know that we are a busy active and capable branch. We have a strong leadership and a team of activists that monitor and support our members in every location across the CRC and the NPS offices. This is getting harder as the onslaught to close CRC building gathers pace. More difficulty for those in the NPS as we have seen colleagues separated and the activism is split from comrades in the different organisational structures.
While there is still much to be done we are trying to retain all the linkages and we have to combine your efforts to do that. However this AGM report is to keep you informed of the progress we have made over the year.
This branch has managed to deliver planned branch meeting across all the locations in our areas with most of these just making the quoracy requirement. For that, we thank you as journeys for the exec are long and there is some reward with well attended meetings as we can get on with current NAPO members led sanctioned business. There was also a series of successful office based meetings on the pay ratification issue although we have not seen that materialise into paid back pay just yet.
We have as a branch exec maintained our reporting structures and central links to NAPO NEC committee and wider involvements. We thank the national activists for their personal commitment travel time lost and exceptional commitment to you. Also to acknowledge that some of our members have obviously been able to take opportunities to end their careers in this time of organisational uncertainty.
Barry Adams long standing NEC rep who has more than a few battle scars within that forum departing our structure in December. We wished him well then and acknowledge his brand and style no matter how controversial will be missed.
Another leaver who has to me in particular, been a colleague, a working practitioner an excellent trade union leader and a great friend. A loyal NAPO supporter and activist with both local and national experience with strong and capable views. Helen Coley. Sadly leaving the organisation after nearly 30 years service, this is Helens last AGM. Helen retires from the JNCC and branch and now is moving onto a national Union role. With her skills and ability they will be richer and we wish her well knowing that Helen will be around in communication and as a trade unionist. Our best wishes to Helen and sincere thanks.
The branch thanks and recognition list is lengthy, yet most on the Executive continue to keep working hard in the background and look for nothing. I want to recognise this group and ensure we acknowledge them.
In combating and challenging the excess of the management cutting all jobs agenda considerable efforts by the executive ensure we remain strong, and of course they deserve all our gratitude for their support. The NPS side of the Executive constantly working to bring a closer cohesion into union matters is a difficult task.
What has become clear is the need to deliver a report for both sides of the NAPO membership in the NPS and the CRC. It is also clear the different structures are creating needs that range from the reorganisations and the associated staffing sickness stress recording and workload issues. To those of role change variation and the process to change the NPS under E3 agenda. I know this AGM will be full of the situations many members now face. What we do and how we organise to challenge the dictatorial structures within the NPS remain to be seen. That starts in the AGM this year and how much strength and revitalisation we can achieve as things start to get worst and your resistance will be needed. Whatever the challenges we have to remain as strong as we can and I will as your Chair in NAPO SSWest branch will be here until such time that many of our members posts become terminated from the process of reorganisation within the CRC. To help us understand the events and contextualise what this means for all our members we welcome our guest speakers Angela Cossins Deputy Director NPS and our own NAPO General Secretary, Ian Lawrence to answer your questions. We thank them for contributing and their time.
In relation to the coming year it is looking to me at least, like a lot of bleak signals as we see the plans to close offices separate our colleagues further and start to end the commonalities across all our usual working practices. We will as your elected representatives, and this is an illustration of the posts that remain vacant and the uncontested union positions, think about putting yourself forwards to help. Many of us currently will be coming to the end of our allowable terms and to continue to resist and challenge the changes we should have new and optimistic branch activists to help. We look on hoping for your continued support and new membership where possible recruit.
Members, the 2015-16 year has been punishing in the announcement last October of the likelihood of mass reductions we are fearful of what this may bring by next October but we are not fearful of having the fight on your behalf as things worsen keep us informed so we can ensure all matters are recorded.
Finally, this branch has managed to secure through a range of contacts and through some additional Central Napo funds particular branch training. We have provided specialised Women’s interest course, and have this month seen 10 branch activists engage in their TUC accredited stage 1 union reps training. This learning compliments the national Napo efforts to develop new activists. While Napo have provided funding support I want to ensure Mona Lim is recognised as the ongoing treasurer for making sure things happen behind the scenes. Also the skilled educators that have made efforts to encourage and develop our comrades so they are enabled to look more critically and skilfully at what they can do to help protect us all as part of the union movement. They know who they are we say thank you.
Branch Chair AGM report.
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