AGM elects Claire Locke as Chair and pays tribute to Bob Crow

Members of London Met Uni UNISON Branch held a well attended and inspiring Annual General Meeting on 12th March 2014 (see photo slide show below).

Claire Locke, formerly President of the Students Union, was elected as our new Branch Chair, following in the foot steps of Maggi Loughran who stood down.

The AGM was on the day Bob Crow tragically died, so members paid tribute to the legendary trade union leader with a minutes applause (instead of silence), following a moving and emotional farewell from invited guest speaker Janine Boothe from the RMT’s NEC. Janine went on to talk about the RMT dispute with London Underground as well as her book on the privatisation of the tube.

Sandy Nicoll, another guest speaker, SOAS Branch Secretary and Higher Education Service Group Executive member for London, updated members on the national pay dispute and encouraged members not to give up. Sandy congratulated our branch members for holding firm during the dispute and supported our call for continuing the dispute.

Outgoing LGBT Officer, Jacq Applebee, delivered her poem ‘we need a decent pay rise‘, uplifting the mood, as we passed a motion on the continuing the campaign for Fair Pay in Higher Ed. We called a lobby on the 26th March for fair pay in HE (which turned out to be a great success).

David Summers, Health and Safety Officer, introduced a motion against the punitive new ID card replacement costs of £12 which members angrily rejected as unfair and unjustified and we pledged to oppose the new costs on staff.

Finally, a motion supporting the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance was introduced by newly elected Women’s Officer, Wilhelmina Lutterodt.

A full set of papers, including three motions and some officers reports, are here: London Met Uni UNISON Branch AGM

Ros Hanmer, LGBT Officer, also paid tribute to Bob Crow, who she met only two week previously.

Chris Manna presented the accounts which had been audited in-house and was thanked by the branch and by the auditors, Linda Butcher and Rouhsanthi Sivanesan, for keeping them in such good order.

Max Watson, Branch Secretary, said some fond words of thanks to the larger-than-life Maggi Loughran via video link-up as she stepped down as Chair due to ill health. Members gave Maggi a warm round of applause as Claire Locke also thanked her as she stepped into her shoes. Like Claire, Maggi was also home-grown talent – a former Guildhall student.

Before the main AGM, cleaners met separately, and elected Luis Alfredo and Hector Fabio as their reps. They also heard a guest speaker from SOAS branch about their Justice for cleaners campaign.

Members in catering also met separately and elected two new reps: Dianna Cunningham and Paola Morena.

A full list of elected reps can be found on our website.

Members who attended the AGM received a free Thermo-mug but they quickly ran out as over 75 members turned up. For those who left empty-handed more mugs have been ordered which you can pick up at the next ‘Reclaim your Lunch Hour’ events.

Overwhelmingly, members reported feeling inspired and encouraged that our branch continues to go from strength to strength in extremely tough times and our new full time official, Jamie Brown, also praised the branch for our professionalism.

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