Delegates from across the country gathered in Auckland in July for our second Biennial Conference. The Conference name and theme, ‘Organising Our Future, Te Anga Whakamua’, set the stage for a forward-looking event focussed on preparing our union and our workforce for the world of work ahead.
Our membership was well represented by attendees from diverse backgrounds including delegates from all our industries, representatives from our democratic networks and committees, regional representatives and our National Executive members. Together, the Conference delegates embodied who we are as a union.
Delegates participated in different workshops to explore new and exciting ways of organising. E tū member Roszanne Davidson particularly enjoyed learning about political organising around election campaigns.
“What stood out for me was the political organising strategies workshop” Roszanne says.
“I learnt that there’s more to the political side of things than meets the eye. The people doing the work behind the scenes are the unsung heroes.”
As the highest decision-making body of our union, the Conference endorsed a number of remits and rule changes, including a remit that E tū supports the NZ Council of Trade Unions’ policy outlining opposition to the occupation of Palestine.
Charlie Ross, a representative from the Taranaki Delegates Forum which put up the remit, says he is very happy with the outcome.
“We discussed it at our Forum and we were keen to voice our support for the people in Palestine. We can only do what we can do, but it’s important that we stand up for them. I thought it was awesome that the Conference passed the remit.”
The Conference also recognised outstanding contributions to our union with Life Memberships awarded to E tū activists that have put in the hard yards. For Wellington caregiver Marianne Bishop, that was a real highlight.
“My favourite thing was Kristine Bartlett being awarded her Life Membership. She really deserved it for sticking with the equal pay fight for so long, and she got so many people a life-changing pay rise,” Marianne says.