Delegate Report From Disabled Members Conference 2021

Disabled Members Conference 2021 took place from Saturday 30th October until Monday 1st November 2021 and was held in Liverpool at the BT Centre in the Docks.

Our Branch sent two delegates to the conference and one has written the below report on her experience:

Report from a first time Delegate

The long-awaited National Disabled Members conference took place from Saturday 30th October to Monday 1st November 2021.

It was UNISON’s 27th National Members’ conference and my first conference as a delegate.

We arrived in Liverpool on a dull Saturday afternoon. However, I was pleasantly surprised how lovely Liverpool was, even on a dreary afternoon.

The hotel itself was situated almost opposite the venue, which was a bonus, especially with the torrential rains to come.

The conference itself took place at the Liverpool ACC convention centre.

As you entered the building it was like entering Heathrow during security checks, but with the addition of masks to mar your appearance.

I guess for some long-standing members it was bittersweet, as sadly some of the UNISON delegates have been sadly lost to Covid. Nevertheless, the event was well attended, and I watched on as old faces greeted one another with joy.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first conference, but I guess, once again Covid has a lot to answer for the way this year’s conference was run. No workshops, no group discussions, as I had probably expected.

The new delegates were warmly greeted during an hour briefing. Then the rest of the day was ours, before getting down to business on Sunday morning.

Motions, Amendments to Standing Orders, Amendments to NDMC Constitution.

In all there were 25 motions which were heard all day Sunday and Monday morning. The panel got through most of them, and most were passed. Some fell though as there was no one to move them. All the Caucus motions from the Black members, LGBT, Women’s, and Deaf members were passed.

On the final day we had the opportunity to hear from the only guest speaker Christina McAnea, union General Secretary, who having had disruptions with her train had to make do with the good old virtual presentation.

And that was UNISON’s 27th National Disabled Members conference over for another year.

– Jenene Aikman