You are:

2021 annual conference

Latest Updates

  2021 Annual Conference Supplementary Agenda

  2021 Annual Conference Supplementary Agenda Circular

  SOC information on deferred 2021 Annual Delegate Conference


Our Executive Committee (EC) agreed on 18th May to move the 2021 Annual Delegate Conference from an online event in June to a face-to-face event from 18 - 20 September in Birmingham. 

While confident that the systems are in place to have an effective online conference, the EC were concerned that the event would not be problem free. Recent trials have identified IT problems which almost certainly could be overcome. However there were also problems which little could be done about, the most obvious one being individual problems with broadband which ultimately could cause delegates to be cut off intermittently during speeches or voting.  The EC were also concerned that, regardless of how well organised and planned the event was, for a significant number of delegates the experience might well feel sterile. 

The Government has a four-step plan to ease England's lockdown which could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June if strict conditions are met. If is accepted that Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all moving at different rates but it is still likely that restrictions across all the nations will be lifted during the summer. 

With this in mind the EC agreed to delay Conference by just over 3 months until September by which time our staff will have returned to our offices and most of our members will have had their second vaccine. If there is no significant spike in covid infections over the period necessitating further restrictions on social contact, the EC is confident that delegates could enjoy a relatively safe "business-as-usual" Conference in Birmingham. 

In the event that restrictions on social contact were again introduced then the EC has agreed that the union could still go ahead with an online Conference. 

This could be done at relatively short notice given that most of the arrangements are already in place to facilitate such an event. 

In terms of a business-as-usual conference the EC have agreed that we continue to explore the possibility of using technology to allow delegates to participate remotely if any were reluctant or unable to attend the September Conference in person. The practicalities around this will need to be the subject of a future circular. 

The EC will also begin discussions with SOC about the possibility of opening up the Conference agenda to allow Branches and SOGs to withdraw one of their motions and resubmit an alternative on the understanding that those with amendments to the original motions would also be given the opportunity to submit a new amendment. This will ensure Conference can debate current issues.

Further circulars will be issued on the new arrangements for Conference in due course.