CWU YOUTH EVENT BIRMINGHAM 2015
REPORT BY: MATT McMASTER - YOUTH ACTIVIST
The CWU youth education event this year was held in Birmingham. The event took place at Aston university which provided all the necessary facilities and a lot more in order to cope with the rigorous time table of the weekend. The event got off to a storming start on the evening of Friday 30th October, with all delegates and representatives gathered eagerly awaiting to be addressed by Ben Abrams, the chair of the CWU youth committee. All delegates were welcomed warmly and made to feel at home very quickly. Once Ben was finished the remaining members of the youth committee introduced themselves accordingly, even our general secretary Dave Ward couldn’t resist the urge to stand and speak for a short period answering questions briefly as his keynote address to the delegates wasn’t scheduled to take place until the following afternoon. Proceedings moved swiftly on taken over by Simon Sapper, one of the leading event organisers who briefed all delegates on the weekends activities and discussions. Once the formalities came to an end, documents with the names of all delegates/representatives in attendance were issued to each person. Delegates had to go round the room and collect information on 5 people on the list. The purpose of this exercise was to break the proverbial ice and provide an insight as to whom you’d be spending the next two days with. After this exercise was complete the evening came to a close, the real fun started on the Saturday.
Saturday 31st October: Delegates gathered for breakfast and proceeded to the introduction for the day. First on the agenda was a discussion involving everyone, the topic - The EU Referendum. In attendance at the head table was two Labour MP's, both with a huge contrast in views, one of which was Kate Hoey, whom I respect greatly, so this was a huge moment for myself. The second part of the day was very interesting. Delegates were split into groups for discussions. Up for debate were four different topics...'Campaign On Housing', 'The British Bill of Rights', 'Blacklisting' and finally and finally 'Football Supporters Federation'.
Each group was sent to a room to discuss the topic. The Football Supporters Federation debating group were greeted by a representative from 'Kick It Out', an anti-racism group within professional and amateur football in the United Kingdom and also a representative from 'Away Fans Matter', a group which looks after the rights and needs of fans travelling away to watch their team. We drew up a brainstorm of different ideas to help each group and voice our opinion on different aspects of respective organisations.
Following these discussions, we then had the key note address from CWU General Secretary Dave Ward which was interesting to say the least. Dave took questions from each delegate and answered each question open and honestly. Moving on from this we then had a brief talk from Simon Sapper, again on procedures of 'conference' and what to expect when we meet again in Manchester for the annual CWU Youth Conference. Once this was finished, delegates then broke away into the same groups as previously in the day for an industrial round table discussion. Our group was graced by the presence of CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger. Everyone was given the chance to raise their hand and engage with Terry about their respective views and anything else they
wished to ask Terry, who spoke at great length to each delegate expressing his opinion on each of their queries and views.
Once the discussions had finished, the delegates gathered again as a whole to be greeted by a representative from the TUC, which is another highly respected trade union. We were talked through the new Trade Union Bill proposed by the Conservative Gogernment and advised of the threat the bill poses on trade unions and the 'Right To Strike'. Delegates then posed for pictures holding signs opposing the new Trade Union Bill.
As the day began to drift into the latter stages, delegates split into their groups again to discuss different potential motions for the mock conference to be held the following morning and deciding upon which motions to propose and bring to the table and which motions to oppose. The day then eventually came to an end with a wonderful dinner and a show by poet Stephen Morrison-Burke, a poet with an urban twist. After the show everyone headed to the pub to round off the day in style which was greatly appreciated after such a long day.
Sunday 1st November: The last day of the education event and also the day of the mock conference. It started with feedback from the different groups on their respective group sessions and what was discussed within the groups. This was then followed by the mock conference were each group had the chance to propose different motions to the conference and the committee.
Members of the other groups then had the opportunity to oppose these motions nd speak about why they were opposed to the motion. Once proposition and opposition had taken place, the conference then took a vote on whether to carry the motion or not. After the mock conference the weekend then concluded with a brief review of the weekend from Simon Sapper again. I myself personally thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I came home knowing a lot more about the CWU and the emphasis it places on young members / delegates / representatives, standing up for their rights and achieving their full potential. Our next gathering will be on 23rd January 2016 in Manchester and Im certain it will be just as invigorating.
Matt McMaster - Youth Activist
NATIONAL YOUTH COMMITTEE NOMINEE
* JOINED CWU 2013
* CWU ACTIVIST FROM 2014
* NATIONAL YOUTH EDUCATION EVENT 2015
BIRMINGHAM AND LIVERPOOL
* ANNUAL YOUTH CONFERENCE MANCHESTER 2016
* ANNUAL YOUTH CONFERENCE BIRMINGHAM 2016
* IR SHIFT REP 2016 TO PRESENT
* BRANCH OFFICER SINCE 2016
* ASSIST SUICIDE AWARENESS COURSE 2016
* POSTAL PROCEDURES AND AGREEMENTS 2016
* FAIRNESS & EQUALITY WITHIN CWU 2016
I would ask you to grant me the opportunity to represent our region on a national CWU platform. With your support, I will commit to address the burning issues that affect our youth within society such as, youth suicide, debt, homelessness and also to challenge 'zero-Hours' contract race to the bottom culture that is burdening our young workers. These issues are a high priority to me as a young CWU member. I fervently believe that there are other undoubted challenging issues that will become evident to the National Youth Committee and with your vote and nomination, I look forward to the task of tackling these issues.
VOTE MATT MCMASTER #1