Mandatory Fair and Equal Training – Motion 31 – General Conference 2014
Branches will recall that Motion 31 from General Conference 2014 was remitted to the NEC. Motion 31 read as follows:
“This conference welcomes the proportionality report and the debate that is has started. But conference is also concerned at the lack of any sanction regarding reps who refuse to attend the mandatory one day equality and diversity training.
Whilst we appreciate that a one day course is not a format suitable for every rep, we believe it the responsibility of branches to ensure that every option is made available to branch reps to ensure they are able to undertake this course. However, we also believe it is time for this union to demonstrate it is serious about the equality agenda and any rep who refuses to attend the one day equality and diversity course should be referred to the National Discipline Committee as per national rules, for an investigation with the potential for the removal of that reps credentials.
The NEC is instructed accordingly.”
In response to the concerns expressed in the Motion, the NEC reviewed the format and provision of equality and diversity training.
This lead to changes to that training which were described in LTB 99/15 issued on 16 February 2015. A further copy of the LTB is attached for ease of reference.
Despite the debate at conference and the revised and refreshed arrangements as set out in LTB 99/15, the NEC remains concerned to receive largely anecdotal reports of the somewhat patchy understanding of and compliance with the requirement for all CWU representatives to undertake training in this area.
Branches will recall that the union is under some obligation in this matter. That obligation comes not only from provisions of our own rulebook (in particular Rule 2), but also from an agreement with the then Equal Opportunities Commission more than ten years ago. The NEC believes that there can be no grounds for complacency and that ensuring that there is universal take-up of this mandatory training is a priority area.
Branches are therefore advised that over the coming months, the NEC will be conducting an audit across the whole union to understand the latest position with regards to take-up
of the mandatory “Fair & Equal” training by representatives in each branch.
The audit will take the form of an individual letter to each branch seeking certain key information which the branch should be easily able to provide.
Branches will then have a limited opportunity to put in place any necessary training to ensure that all their representatives are compliant with necessary standards.
However, it will be important for branches and representatives to be aware that this window of opportunity for those who have not yet taken the necessary training will not be infinite.
It is intended to make a comprehensive report to the first NEC meeting of 2016 on this subject, in which I will make further recommendations as required.
Any queries on this Letter to Branches should be directed to the General Secretary’s office quoting reference GS 2.4.