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The Quick Guide to MU Conference

MU Conference

If you’re new to the Musicians’ Union (MU), Conference can seem confusing. People talk about motions, refer to standing orders, and call on a group of people to do things. But it’s not as complex as it might seem. Here’s our quick guide to the 37th Biennial MU Delegate Conference…

The MU Delegate Conference is an important part of our Union’s democracy. Delegates look over what the Union has done over the last two years, and hold the MU’s Executive Committee to account. Delegates also decide what the Union will focus on for the next two years – what we do, what we fight for, and how we are run.

What’s the Executive Committee? The Executive Committee (EC) is a group of democratically elected MU members who meet every month to guide the work of the Union. They are the decision-making body of the Union – a bit like a company board. It’s the EC’s report that is presented to delegates at Conference. Delegates read the report and ask questions to hold the EC to account.

How do you decide what else to talk about? Each of the MU’s six Regions has an elected Regional Committee that talks about issues affecting them, such as local venues under threat. They send motions calling for action on these issues to Conference. Delegates at Conference then discuss the motions one by one, and vote to support them or not.

What happens to motions afterwards? Those that pass are implemented. So if it’s a policy issue, it becomes MU policy. If it is something practical, we do it.

What are Standing Orders? Standing Orders are the rules that govern how Conference is run – how many people need to be there, and rules for speaking and passing motions. An elected Standing Orders Committee made up of MU members checks that all the motions comply with the MU’s rules and include a call to action.

Every member gets a say – that’s a core trade union value. Delegates are MU members, nominated and democratically elected by other MU members. You can stand for election too, as long as you’ve been an MU member for at least a year. Why not stand as a delegate next time? Look out for future editions of The Musician and The Musician Extra for more information.

Get involved! Follow this year’s Conference highlights on Twitter #MUconference. Contact your Regional Office with your ideas and thoughts on this year’s motions, included with The Musician Spring 2017. And find out how to get active in the Union – see you at Conference 2019?


Published: 24/07/2017
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