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MU Delegate Conference: a beginner’s guide

What is the MU Delegate Conference and why do we have it?

If you’re new to the Union, or trade unionism as a movement, the plethora of Conferences and standing orders and motions can seem baffling. But it’s not as complicated as it might seem.

So what is the MU Delegate Conference and why do we have it?

The MU Delegate Conference is about the work of the Union. Members decide what the Union will focus on for the next two years – what we campaign on, what we fight for and how we are run.

It’s also about accountability. The Executive Committee, a group of elected members who meet every month to guide the work of the Union, give their report on what the Union has done over the previous two years. Delegates hold them to account, making sure the Union is working for all musicians.

And democracy. Everyone has a say. Members elect Delegates to go to Conference – so you have a say. That’s a core trade union value.

Get involved! Follow Conference highlights on Twitter #MUconference. Email your Regional Office your thoughts on this year’s motions, which you will have received in the post with The Musician Spring 2015. And why not consider standing as a delegate next time? Look out for future editions of The Musician Extra for more information.

But it’s not as complicated as it might seem.

So how does MU Delegate Conference work?

What do you talk about? Each of the MU’s six Regions has an elected Regional Committee that talks about issues affecting them, such as local venues under threat. They send motions about these issues to be discussed at Conference. Delegates at Conference then discuss the motion, and vote to support or it or not to support it.

What happens to motions afterwards? Those that pass are implemented. So if it’s a policy issue, it becomes MU policy. If it is something practical, we do it.

What are Standing Orders? Standing Orders are the rules that govern how Conference is run – how many people need to be there to make it quorate, and the rules for speaking and passing motions. An elected Standing Orders Committee checks all the motions have a call to action.

Who chooses delegates? You do. Delegates are nominated and democratically elected. You can stand for election, as long as you’ve been an MU member for at least a year.

Can’t wait with a great idea? Think about sending a motion to your Regional Committee. Get in touch with your Regional Office to find out how. And keep an eye on The Musician Extra for how to stand as a Delegate for the next Conference in 2017.

Published: 17/07/2015

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