Next week, Community reps and members will be gathering in Belfast for our Biennial Delegate Conference.
For those of you who have never heard of our Biennial Delegate Conference before, this is where we gather to vote on motions, share learning and shape the direction of our union for the next two years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the last time we were able to hold our conference was in 2019, so I am delighted we can be back together in person this year.
The theme of our conference is Standing Together. Over the past three years, we can all think of times we’ve stood together. Now as we go forward, there is much to discuss on how we can stand together as a union over the next two years.
There will be lots of interesting topics and motions discussed at conference on how we can do just that.
One such example is Motion 8, on technology agreements in the workplace.
With technology developing as quickly in years as previously took decades, our movement must respond to increased automation and the role this has in workplaces.
Technology agreements ensure structured discussions between employers and employees ahead of any technological change in a workplace.
Motion 8 sets out how Community will respond to this in our recognised workplaces, and how we will adapt to the continually changing world of work.
Another is Composition J on perhaps the greatest challenge we face – climate change – and how we ensure how planet is liveable for future generations.
As a union we need to ensure that workers are at the heart of all industrial change as we move towards net-zero, particularly for energy intensive industries like steel.
Composition J sets out a roadmap for how we do this, and work with the steel industry to support it to decarbonise.
A third is Composite Motion F on the menopause revolution, and how we support those experiencing menopausal symptoms at work.
Women experiencing the menopause are amongst the fastest growing cohort in the workplace, numbering over 3.5 million.
Despite 62% saying this had impacted them at work, many feel unable to access support or adjustments in the workplace and can feel side-lined or ridiculed by managers.
Composite Motion F sets out how we will ensure that all workplaces have menopause policies and how Community will lead the way on educating about menopause in the workplace.
All of this and much much more will be discussed at our conference in Belfast next week. I look forward to meeting those Community members who are joining us there. I hope you find the conference enjoyable, and leave feeling freshly inspired on how you can stand with your colleagues.
If you are not joining us, do keep up to date with conference goings on via our social media channels. You will find more about the future of your union, and you never know, you could be joining us for the next conference!