Yorkshire Ridings General Branch
Vibrant and busy local branches are an important part of Equity, giving members a voice in the union. All members and student members are welcome to come to the regular Branch meetings in their area to share views and experiences, discuss issues that are important to you and put proposals to Equity's ruling body - the Council. Branches also organise social events and may raise money for local charities.
If you are an Equity member or student member based in the area you may join the branch (no charge) so please get in touch with the Branch Secretary. If you are a member or student member visiting the area you are very welcome to drop into the next branch meeting and get to know some of your fellow members.
Union Training for Branch Members
We have arranged a Training Day with Louise Grainger, Equity’s national Training Manager along with Regional Organiser Max Beckmann. The training is aimed at Branch Committee members and others who want to know more about how to make Equity work for you and perhaps become more active in the Branch. This will take place on Saturday 7 March, 10.30am - 4.30pm at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Places are limited, so please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 4 March if you want to come.
A #castitinyorkshire Working Meeting in January 2015 drafted a five point statement to explain what Cast It In Yorkshire is about. A few days later Lee Petcher, Anna Dawson and Pete Keal led a positive, well attended #castitinyorkshire “Open Space” session at Devoted and Disgruntled North. Anna’s report on this, including the five points can be viewed at: http://www.devotedanddisgruntled.com/events/dd-north/reports/castitinyorkshire
We will be asking February’s Branch Meeting to approve a motion requesting the Equity Council to endorse #castitinyorkshire. The draft text of this motion can be downloaded from http://www.equity.org.uk/branches/yorkshire-ridings-general-branch/documents/cast-it-in-yorkshire-motion If Council agrees to this, some national Equity Resources should become available for Cast It In Yorkshire.
How about sending a motion to the ARC about Regional Casting? It will be up to the meeting on February 23 to decide on our Branch’s motion to this year’s Conference.
Can You Help Your Branch?
We want to co-opt two more members on to the Committee and particularly want to encourage more Women, Minority Ethnic and younger members to help lead your Branch. Would YOU consider getting involved? Please ring 01422 885211 or e-mail email@example.com to find out more.
There are other jobs you might be able to help with even if you don’t want to join the Branch Committee. Members have asked the Branch to organise workshops - could you help with that? Or setting up rehearsed readings perhaps? How about keeping in touch with student members and potential members? We love people to help make social and fund raising events for the Branch happen. Or if all that’s too much, do you have news to share with other members … or views about how your Branch could be better? We would always welcome a short piece for the Branch Newsletter. Could you donate a prize for the raffle held at each meeting? Please support your Equity Branch so that Equity can support you.
We Want to Listen (and talk) to You
Your branch needs YOU to get involved in its meetings and activities. While your Committee has tried to offer socials and meetings with interesting speakers, recently we have failed to attract as many members to these as we would like. We particularly regret that low attendances have meant that the Branch has been unable to send either a motion or an amendment to this year's National conference. As a result, Branch members have been denied this opportunity to be involved in Equity's policy making.
What are we doing wrong? What do we need to do differently? We need to learn from YOU, our members. We have started asking members who come to meetings to fill in a short questionnaire about these issues. A similar questionnaire is available for any member to fill in at http://www.equity.org.uk/branches/yorkshire-ridings-general-branch/documents/yrg-branch-member-feedback-form. Please download a copy, fill it in and send it to us. In addition, we plan to ring a number of you up to listen to your ideas on what we need to change.
The 2014 Annual Representative Conference took place in London on 18 - 19 May. The motions at the ARC that were carried or remitted to the Council together with the action the Council has agreed to implement them can be downloaded from https://www.equity.org.uk/documents/arc-agreed-actions-to-implement.
Advice and Rights Helpline
Equity operates an Advice and Rights Helpline on 020 7670 0223 on Mondays and Thursdays between 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm. Advice given covers tax, national insurance, welfare benefits, tax credits and other related areas. Alternatively, members can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org help.
Council Supports Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign
Equity’s Council has voted to support Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign’s call for a public enquiry into the policing of the 1984 Miners’ Strike. Backing a Yorkshire Ridings Branch motion, the Council took the view that “Trade union legal rights and privileges under UK law are crucial to Equity in fulfilling its duties to members ... Serious allegations have been made that these legal rights ... were breached at Orgreave. An inquiry into what happened ... would help to establish whether these allegations are well founded.” The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign’s web site is at: http://otjc.org.uk
Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign held a demonstration outside the northern Independent Police Complaints Commission office - Pioneer House, Woolpacks Yard, Wakefield, WF1 2SG on Friday 28th March 2014 at 1pm.
February 2015 Branch Newsletter (print and web versions)
To download Large Print Versions of Branch Newsletters as PDF documents, click on the links below:
Contributions from members towards the next Newsletter welcome. Contact: email@example.com
2013-14 Annual Report
The 2013-14 Annual Report is now available in various formats:
Details of the 2014-15 Committee can be seen here.
Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings
Your Branch Committee has decided to publish a Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings to give members who haven’t been to a meeting before an idea of what we discuss when we meet. The length of time spent discussing different agenda items will vary from meeting to meeting.
We always welcome members who haven’t come to a Branch Meetings before.
Branch Meeting Minutes Now available from the Web Site
Minutes of Branch Meetings are published on the Web site to give members more information about what we discuss when the Branch meets. These are the most recent Minutes that are available for download:
November 2014 - Minutes of Branch Meeting held on 11 November which included discussion about the Cast It In Yorkshire initiative.
September 2014 - Minutes of Branch Meeting held on 13 September 2014 at which Kay Magson led a Theatre Casting Question and Answer session.
July 2014 - Notes of Inquorate Branch Meeting held 5 July 2014 at which Louise Grainger spoke about Creating Without Conflict - Harassment and Bullying in the Arts.
You will need to log into the Web site with your Equity membership number and your password before you can download the Minutes.
Thank you to Morrish Solicitors LLP and Unity Trust Bank for their sponsorship.
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