Over 30 delegates from across the UK took part in the annul Young Members Forum, where young members came discuss to how we fight against austerity and continue to ensure that young people are at the forefront of the trade union movement. Sessions included discussing the issues that are effecting young members and updating the Young Members Charter to incorporate this, how we ensure equality is at the forefront of our campaigns, organising for the direct debit campaign and workshops on campaigning, lay organising and equality.
The platform debate was one of the main events, with Lee Vernon as the PCS YM’s Chair on how we beat austerity, BECTU’s Youth officer Sam Smith giving an update on the Ritzy Cinema strike and organising in a hostile environment, Claire Laker-Mansfield from Youth Fight for Jobs spoke on the fast food workers and the fight for a living wage and Anthony Curley from UNITE on how we work together as unions to fight back austerity not just in the workplace but in the community.
John McInally spoke from the National Executive Committee and gave an update on the National Campaign, highlighting not just the need to build for July 10th but where we go from there and how the union will continue to fight even without the other unions. There was also additional sessions from selling the Credit Union to members and a guest speech from Ruskin College and the importance of working class trade union education.
The feedback received from the young delegates and guests was all extremely positive, with young members fired up to go back to branches and workplaces to organise and build the national campaign.
An almost entirely new National Young Members Committee has been elected this year, including the Vice Chair Louise Hollingsworth and Equalities Officer Jake Kelday. The NYMC will be meeting over the next few weeks to take the action points and recommendations from the YM forum to set out a plan to build the network and ensure that young members are at the forefront of the national campaign. We also welcome our new NEC liaison officer and President of the Culture Sector., Clara Paillard, who’s keen to take forward work around campaigning against zero hour contracts and environmental issues.
The NYMC would also like to say a big thank you to our outgoing Young Members Conveners, officers, FTO Gayle Matthews and NECLO Helen Flanagan who have played key roles in building the youth work in the union and will no doubt go on to play a vital roles in the wider trade union movement.
If you’re not already involved in the YMN or are looking to get more involved in the union, there’s never been a better time to get active. If you want to know, contact your regional convener or the Full timer officer Julie Young for more information.