GSG 25-20 10th Biennial Conference 2020



I wish to advise you that the National Executive Council has decided not to proceed with the holding of the physical Biennial Conference in Athlone because of the current Covid-19 uncertainty. In order to ensure the business of conference is completed the NEC has agreed to the holding of a remote conference for the 10th Biennial Conference 2020 on 21st, and 22nd October 2020 from 10 am until 5.30 pm on both days with a break for lunch from 1 to 2 pm.

The NEC, with the support of Standing Orders has decided to structure the agenda to suit the holding of a remote conference, allowing the business requirements of the Union i.e. Elections, Finance, Reports and Motions, to be dealt with in a timely manner together while having a full delegate participation in the event. The agenda will be structured to allow that all motions are associated with paragraphs and all those motions will be taken as moved when the President or Vice President move the paragraph and formerly seconded once the debate commences. Branches can nominate speakers to motions and/or paragraphs and the right to reply will still be open to the proposers of a motion. The facility to vote on the motions and amendments from a voting app through Zoom will be available to all delegates and the right to call for a card vote will also be available. Given that the NEC is supporting the majority of motions, it is not necessary to nominate speakers on every motion.

Delegates who wish to speak on any issue, other than those already nominated, will have to be proposed through either their Branch Secretary or Chairman on the day. They will be called to speak by the Chair where time allows. Emergency motions will have to be with the standing orders committee by 4 pm on Wednesday 21st October to give sufficient time for printing and distribution etc.

NEC and Standing Orders Committee elections will be managed as follows:
1. Unique Ballot Papers for both elections will be posted to each Branch Secretary with the relevant voting strength.
2. Each Branch Secretary will be expected to fill in the ballot papers as normal but to then send it electronically (scanned or by photo) directly to the Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee at the time and address to be designated.
3. The physical ballot papers should then be returned to CWU, HQ for record purposes in the prepaid envelop provided.

Therefore, the agenda will now run over two days instead of three with the General Conference business starting on Wednesday morning until lunchtime. The two sectoral conferences will take place on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning allowing enough time for the motions and reports to be agreed. Thursday afternoon will be dedicated to finalising the agenda of the general conference, agreeing the decisions of the sectoral conferences and conducting the election of the President and Vice President. The NEC has agreed that expenses of €75 per day will be paid to delegates.

A detailed guide will follow shortly with instructions on how to register for the conference, what is required of delegates and the protocol that will allow for the smooth running of the event. The National Executive Council Report, Standing Orders Report and Finance Report will also issue separately.

It is disappointing that we have been forced to postpone our physical conference as it is always a memorable occasion and an opportunity to meet old friends and comrades and indeed to make new ones. However during these unprecedented times, it is vital that we prioritise the health and safety of all concerned while ensuring that the Communications Workers’ Union demonstrates that we can do our business in a fair and productive manner even by remote means.

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