14/07/2007 - Members reclaim their Union

Solidarity members have reclaimed their Union at an Emergency General Meeting.  The meeting heard how all members of Solidarity had been notified of the meeting called constitutionally by 2/3rds of the membership. Notices were published on the Union website, text messages sent to mobiles and email and postal bulletins sent. Those who may have been frightened to attend had been offered personal guarantees of their safety and dedicated security to allay their fears. It was therefore a disappointment that those who have made so many allegations in recent months chose not to attend and justify themselves before our membership.
Conference endorsed the actions of General Secretary in blocking attempts by the President and Vice-President to stage an unconstitutional coup. The mood was serious at the gathering held in Brentwood, Essex. Delegates voted to: -
* Expand the Executive to seven places
* Establish a role of Treasurer, which must be separate from both President and General Secretary
* Abolish the role of Vice-President
* Ratify the appointment of lay-auditors and professional accountants
* Give the General Secretary powers to put to the members by postal ballot whether any Executive member should remain in office
* Appoint a committee of five to study the Constitution and recommend changes to be put to postal ballot of the membership
The meeting heard speeches from Mark Walker, a teacher being persecuted on account of his political beliefs, from Durham. Reports were given on recent internal disruption followed by a round-table discussion. Activity reports were given of the recent leafleting drives at parades in Southport and Belfast.
General Secretary, Pat Harrington, made clear his intention to put before the members whether Clive Potter and Tim Hawke (who have been at the centre of recent internal disruption) should remain in office under his new powers. "Who goes? You decide! Potter and Hawke are up for eviction." He declared. "They will be given a chance to put their case in a short statement and then the members will decide. Firm but fair. That's our Union".  Solidarity member Gary Aronsson commented: "It is right that the members are given the opportunity to decide this issue. It shows that we are an independent, democratic Union."
Simone Clarke, Lindsey Nieuwhof, Adam Walker and David Kerr were appointed to the Executive of the Union. Solidarity member Dave Durant: - "Three was to small for an Executive of a Union like Solidarity. The people coming on are steady, sensible and creative folk with a lot to offer the Union. They have shown their mettle in their personal battles and will provide resolute leadership."
The meeting ended with a discussion of recruitment strategy. A big push is planned over the coming months to build on recent increases.  At the close, meeting Chairman Adam Walker, declared:- "The members have spoken and Solidarity is back on track!".


Adam Walker
won Executive position


Mark Walker
Appointed Industry Sector Head for Education