Welcome to what will be the first of our regular newsletters for our women's network. These newsletters will be one of the many ways that we connect with each other over the next couple of years. This one has been put together by me, Sheryl Cadman the secretary responsible for women's issues, but the aim is for these newsletters to have contributions from you, the women in our union. Our first task is to think of a name and then to develop our own logo.
Many of you will have attended one of the seminars that we held in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland over the last few months. At each seminar we discussed the structures for women within the National Distribution Union and ways in which we could have the involvement of more women and ways in which we could use our budget more effectively.
At each seminar union women agreed that we need to continue to have women's structures in the union and that there should continue to be union seminars for women. There was strong support for spending our budget on more seminars and reaching out to more women, rather than spending it on meetings for a few women. The outcome of this debate was a change in the rules; see the biennial conference report, which puts the emphasis on networking rather than formal women's committees.
The practical application of the change in rules means that any woman member who wants to can be a member of this network and we will spend the majority of our budget in providing more seminars on a range of topics delivered through-out the country. The goal is to have greater participation by NDU union women!
By the way, at the Auckland Seminar two of you put up your hands to help out with these newsletters. I left the meeting early and I don't have your names. Please contact me, because as you can see, I need a little help with the layout and so on!
The union held a very successful conference earlier in the year. There was great participation from the women who attended. As indicated above the rule changes will give NDU women the opportunity to participate in our network if they want to. The changed rules also allow us to have a women's conference prior to the Biennial Conference. At the conference, after an exhaustive ballot, we elected Lynn Davis, delegate at Alsco in Rotorua and Joan Foley, delegate at Upper Hutt Woolworths, as the women's representatives on the National Executive. Joan and Lynn will go to alternate executive meetings where they will report to the Executive on the work that we're doing as a network and on any issues that affect women.
We are seeking a women's representative for the Southern ROC. The ROC meets three times a year in Christchurch. The ROC is made up of delegates from the regions active Local Organising Committees along with a women's rep, a runanga rep and a fono rep. If you are a South Island member of this network and would like to be the rep could you please let me know before the 20th January 2009. Please also contact me if you want more information on the role. If we have more than one nomination we will hold an election next year.
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