Annual Delegate, meaning...

AT THE October branch meeting we will be proposing and debating motions for the union's 2005 Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM). It's traditionally perhaps the most dry and least "sexy" of our monthly gatherings - but it is important.

ADM is where the policies and priorities of the union are set, on anything from subscription rates to international affairs to issues of press freedom and ethics. It's also where the issues that concern us at branch level can be heard by journalists from other areas and other sectors.

And it's more effective the more members take part, and the more concerns that are raised. For example, issues such as copyright, late payment to freelances, low pay rates and safety of photographers have all become much more significant issues for the union nationally as a result of motions put forward by this branch and passed at ADM.

We've also been proud to push international issues: the campaign for a full independent investigation into the killing of Ukrainian journalist Gyorgy Gongadze, begun with a motion proposed by LFB, is now being pursued by the International Federation of Journalists, and discussed with governments.

So basically if there's something you want the union to take up, or an aspect of the way it works you'd like improved or changed, then next month's meeting is your chance. It's also worth putting yourself forward as a delegate for the conference itself. It takes place in Scarborough next spring and there's more to it than the easy to caricature procedural horse-trading around amendments, composites and references back. It's even fun, in places. So the greater and wider the involvement of ordinary members in the process, the better for us all.

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