THE FIRST meeting of the newly elected EC took place on Saturday, November 24th 2007. All members attended except for David Durant who chose not to travel to Durham from London for the meeting in order to save the union money as no cheap rail fares were available at short notice.
The President welcomed the new members to the EC before getting down to business. The President gave an upbeat report of recruitment efforts on the fringe of the recent party conference of the British National Party in Blackpool as well as an encouraging account of membership growth.
The General Secretary reported on the union's finances. He stated his determination to ensure professional procedures were followed. A book-keeper has been appointed to maintain our accounts and an auditor has been appointed to check them prior to submission to the Certification Officer in good time. Simone Clarke agreed to accept the post of Union Treasurer. The General Secretary stated that he was looking at the viability of legal action being taken by the Union against those who had made false and defamatory accusations regarding our finances. He had made appointments during the coming month and would report back at the next EC meeting. One factor being actively investigated was the financial status of those we were considering action against. There was little point pursuing those with no capital but those with property were a good target. The consideration of disciplinary complaints was postponed to the next meeting so that it could be considered alongside the proposed legal action.
As the union's work in representing members in disciplinary hearings and grievance procedures grows, it will become necessary to appoint suitable caseworkers. In due course this will beome a regional network. Initially EC members will go on courses to improve their skills and knowledge base.
Planning began for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting in February 2008 in a location outside London. The general secretary undertook to visit the proposed location and to keep EC colleagues up to date on progress on this. More details of the AGM will be made public nearer the time.
The EC undertook to accept with conditions an offer from Accentuate PR to promote the Union. This work would be guided by the EC and subject to review in three months' time. Requests from members in Liverpool and in the North-east to form branches make it necessary for the EC to draw up a branch constitution. One member undertook to draft and circulate a document for discussion at the next EC meeting.
The EC discussed the first issue of the British Worker and expressed general satisfaction with it. Copies have already been widely distributed and favourably received. The President, Adam Walker, told the meeting that one membership application was received by a British Worker reader within five days of publication. The general secretary anticipates that the British Worker will be published quarterly in both hard-copy and PDF form. It was agreed that the publication of the British Worker shows that the union is here to stay and that we mean business. Together we are strong!
Pictured: Pat Harrington (General Secretary), Gary Aronsson, Adam Walker (President), David Kerr, Simone Clarke (Treasurer) and Mark Walker.