AGM 2019: Quick report
AGM was back in London for 2019, and started with some people still drying off after the slight downpour outside. The morning ran fairly smoothly, with motions being passed/lost/remitted fairly quickly. We ended up ahead of schedule so completed more motions than expected before lunch. The motions covered included Mental Health, the PDC process, progression opportunities, TSP, Communications, Smarter Working, Terms & Conditions and Estates. John Parkhouse gave an update on personal casework, highlighting the difficulties and successes of the previous year. There was also a plea for members to consider signing up to be a personal caseworker and there is going to be a series of training sessions set up for our new caseworkers. The lunch break allowed for networking and there were lots of people talking to old friends and colleagues.
After lunch we had speeches from both Tina Riches from TaxAid and Fiona Eadie the FDA President. These were both well received as both ladies were chatting to members about the issues they raised at the coffee break later. Back to the motions and more varied topics were covered including Brexit, Respect at Work, Grading and Equal Pay where Helen Baird-Parker gave an update of the Equal Pay cases. At this point the agenda called for a coffee break, however thanks to an ordering mishap there was no coffee!
AGM reconvened once more and the final and largest set of motions were all about pay. Unsurprisingly there were lots of speakers in support of motions, and all the motions passed unanimously. ARC President Paula Houghton gave her address which included launching ARC’s new organising plan (there had been spoilers for it in a motion earlier in the day). You will be hearing more about the plan soon, please do share your thoughts on it. Next up was Jon Thompson giving an update and then answering some questions from the floor. Perhaps not surprisingly the topics Jon covered included Pay, digital and Respect at Work. With that, Paula made her closing remarks and AGM was drawn to a close.
A couple of hours later in the same venue delegates and guests gathered for a drinks reception, in some cases harder to recognise as they were now dressed in their finery. The room for dinner was lovely, the food even better and the conversations jovial. Paula was up again for her after dinner speech, followed by Dave Penman celebrating the FDA Centenary. The lights were then dimmed and out came the DJ, although it took a little while longer (a little more wine?) before the dancing really hot up. The traditional late night trip to a drinking establishment followed for some, though it’s probably for the best that the Sadiq cycles outside the venue weren’t available for those who were planning on cycling to the pub!
If you were at the AGM please share your comments below.
Photographs, reports and transcripts from the speakers will be appearing here over the next few weeks and in arcnews at the end of next month.