Opinion

Have your say at the AGM 2020

18 September 2020

The CPHVA Executive explain the value of submitting a motion to the AGM, and exactly how to go about it.

Once again Unite-CPHVA is holding a motion-based AGM prior to its annual professional conference, and this year it will be virtual! 

The elected CPHVA Executive will take forward the AGM’s agenda. Putting a motion forward to the AGM is your opportunity to influence the professional policy and work of the organisation. This may be by extending existing pieces of work or policy, establishing new ones, or reiterating current work or policy. 
Due to Covid-19, the AGM will be held virtually on 3 November between 1.30pm and 4pm. Attendance will be by self- or branch nomination. 

How to submit a motion

Motions can be submitted by any Unite-CPHVA branch or committee, and all motions will need to follow the guidelines set out in this article. Due to the pandemic, there will have been significant difficulties in arranging branch meetings. As a consequence you may need to consider discussing a possible motion with the chair of your branch and then sharing your proposal with other members virtually to ensure their support.

The guidelines 

When writing a motion you should include the following points:

  • Introduction 

Motions should start with the words: ‘This AGM.’ They should not start for example with: ‘The Newtown Branch at its meeting in January.’ The branch may wish to have the motion considered but it is the AGM that the policy must come from. 

  • What it is you want to achieve 

This needs to be made absolutely clear. For instance, it could be to:

- Raise awareness among members 
- Produce information 
- Commit the organisation to run a campaign 
- Engage with the wider union to raise issues.

  • Why you want to achieve it

You should make it clear what the motivating factors behind your motion are. For example it could be because:

- Members require information to enable them to practice effectively and safely 
- An issue is threatening the service offered 
- You feel the CPHVA could do more to support your professional agenda.

  • Who you want to do it

Generally this will be the CPHVA Executive, although they may choose to delegate the work. 

  • What is the time frame for completion?

Try to include a time scale as it helps to prioritise the work plan. However, please be realistic. All motions agreed at the AGM will be reported on at next year’s AGM and form the basis of the annual report. 


Example of a motion 

This AGM notes with concern the significant rise in the incidence of self-harm in children and young people in the UK. In 2016 nearly 19,000 children and young people were treated in hospital in England and Wales after self-harming, a 14% increase since 2012. 
School nurses are well placed to identify and support children at risk of self-harming. They often feel ill equipped to support such children. 
This AGM calls upon the CPHVA Executive, by the date of the next AGM to:

  • Produce a briefing paper for all practitioners working with young people regarding their role in identifying and supporting those who are at risk of self-harm including particular reference to the professional duty with regards to confidentiality 
  • Engage with appropriate organisations, such as the NSPCC, to raise awareness of the school nurses’ valuable role in identifying and supporting young people. 

What not to include in your motion

Try to keep motions to a reasonable limit of words (200 should be enough). Remember it is not necessary to include all your arguments in the motion itself, these can be elaborated on when you present it.

All motions will need to be seconded. It is helpful if you can come to the meeting having identified someone from another branch who is willing to do this. 

Further points to note 
All work or policy agreed at the AGM will need to be taken forward by the CPHVA Executive or delegated to appropriate groups. It is therefore important that all motions concern professional (and not industrial) issues, although there is often a significant overlap. 

For instance, a motion requesting the challenge of the down-banding of health visitors would be outside the remit of the CPHVA Executive. However, a motion requesting the CPHVA Executive produce a briefing paper regarding the consequences of down-banding for individual practitioners and organisations would be fine. 

Likewise motions cannot request that CPHVA change any of its rules, for example a motion requesting union fees are reduced. 

Any motion which seeks to commit CPHVA to spend money must be reviewed by the CPHVA Executive. 

All members are entitled to apply to be a voting delegate by contacting their regional Executive member; 10 places per region will be available. However all members are entitled to attend and take part in the debate. 

Members who attended last year’s event will testify to the lively debate! The CPHVA Executive hopes that members will feel able to put forward motions that will ensure another enthusiastic meeting, even in the new virtual format.

The deadline

All motions need to be received by 8 October.

Motions should be sent online to [email protected], or by post to Irene Fynch, 128 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN. 

If you need any help in preparing a motion, please email [email protected] or [email protected].

You can also book the AGM at bit.ly/AGM_20 

The CPHVA Executive hope to ‘see you’ in November!

Picture Credit | iStock
 

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