Show me your motions
And they’re off! The Final Agenda for TUC Congress 2010 is out now, and you can read the full text of motions and amendments up for debate at the TUC site.
The Final Agenda is slightly confusingly titled though, in that it’s not totally final, and it’s not strictly the agenda. Hold on and I’ll explain the semantics here (those of a less nerdy bent may choose to stop reading now…)
In terms of being the agenda for business, Congress actually follows a running order which isn’t necessarily the same order at the Final Agenda (though which obviously does fit it all in), based also around the General Council’s Report to Congress. So don’t expect chapter 1 to start on Monday.
And in terms of finality, there are still a few more hurdles to get through.
Some unions will choose to accept the amendments other unions have offered to their motions. Often the amendments are clarifications from other unions’ experience, which aren’t contentious, and other times, an amendment might be helpful to the intention of the motion in other ways. If the amendments are accepted, the motion will be debated as though including the amendment. If the amendments aren’t accepted, they’ll be debated separately for inclusion.
And then there’s compositing. As unions submit motions independently, there are often several around the same or similar issue. Unions and TUC staff get together over the coming weeks to see if there’s scope for merging some motions and amendments together into composited motions (hereafter referred to as ‘composites’), that reflect as many of the points as possible from the original motions. So some of the motions you see in the Final Agenda won’t be debated in exactly that wording, and the final wording doesn’t appear until the last minute.
And of course, this is all happening over a fairly long time-frame, and circumstances are changing all the time. A number of unions will likely seek to add emergency motions to Congress, where the issue is too immediate to have been entered into the motions in the normal way. These can pop up at any moment. They’re discussed by Congress’ General Purposes Committee every morning of Congress, and those that are let through are publicised and allocated a slot in the running order. There’s generally only a few of these.
I think that’s hopefully satisfied any of the pedants out there. The Final Agenda is a final agenda in that it’s what’s actually going to be discussed in Manchester in a few weeks’ time. A bit like the Final Destination movie franchise though, its literal finality is possibly slightly overstated.