Bloggy Report- RMT Young Members 2012 AGM Course

Each year the RMT hold an Annual General Meeting, this is where delegates from each region act as the supreme governing body of the union, alongside this event the RMT also runs a young members AGM educational course.

I joined a group of young members from all over the country who work in a variety of grades, there were cleaners on London underground, supervisors, train operators, p-way, and station assistants- almost half of the group came from London. Most young members there had little to do with the union before this and were curious to see what it was all about.

The course itself was funded by the union in recognition that the union needs to regularly involve as well as educate its young members as they are the future (and the present.) My employer did not pay me for the week away but the union covered my loss of earnings as well as travel, accommodation and food expenses so I had nothing to lose by attending.

If we believe everything the likes of the Daily Mail write up we’d think that Bob Crow runs the union but I learnt this is not the case by far. The RMT is a bottom up union where by the members are really the ones who steer and govern the union, in fact Bob may not always agree with the decisions the members propose but once it has been debated and voted on he knows ultimately a union is about democratically reflecting its members.

The course was tutored by Dave Marshall from the organising unit who ensured that the week was quite informal but that we were able to learn as much as we could in order for us to go back to our workplaces and branches and action what we would like the union to be doing.

We also dropped in and out of the actual AGM to hear some debates and see how it all worked, as I am the young members president this year I had the opportunity to address the AGM on the 2 motions that were submitted to the AGM from the Young Members Conference in February this year. It was a nerve wracking experience but I am glad that I had the opportunity. (You can catch any part of the AGM from the webcam highlights; young members motion item 59. & 60. Wednesday 27th July: ) - login details required

I had never visited Torquay before so I was glad there was plenty of free time where we could explore the nearby caves and beach front.
This was a great opportunity to get away from the workplace and do something really positive, I now have a better understanding of the structure of the union, its history and a few ideas for the future of my union.

I thoroughly enjoyed my week and hope that the course not only remains popular but more young members get involved. The next annual general meeting will take place in Hove, Brighton about a year from now. Applications for the young members AGM 2013 course will be communicated to branches around March 2013.

Until then keep a look out for other events coming up...

Jayesh Patel, London Transport Young Members Officer

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