CWU WELFARE FUND – REGULATIONS
The NEC accepted Motion 65 submitted to General Conference 2015, the motion is reproduced below for ease of reference as is motion 128 submitted to General Conference 2014 that was also accepted by the NEC and is referred to in 65/2015.
MOTION 65 2015
Conference further to the acceptance of Motion 128 at General Conference 2014, to assist branches on National Welfare Fund applications.
Conference notes with concern that no LTB has been issued and no progress appears to have been made.
Conference instructs the NEC to implement this policy within six month of the close of General Conference 2015.
MOTION 128 2014
Conferences recognises the current economic climate, is placing an increased strain on members and their families. More members are seeking the services of the National Welfare Fund, and branches need more support to assist members in vulnerable circumstances.
Conference calls for the NEC and Finance Committee to produce a comprehensive LTB to assist branches in National Welfare Applications to include:
1.How should branches present applications, and what supporting paperwork is required?
2. What circumstances are covered by the fund?
3.Clarification on the regulations of the fund
4. A realistic indication of timescales of this process
5.A support list of useful contacts e.g. Rowland Hill Fund, CAB, Debt Charity’s,
Bereavement Services, Macmillan Nurses, Samaritans, DWP,
This list is not exhaustive
The NEC has now considered these motions and produced a new set of regulations laying out how applications to the Welfare Fund should be made. It is simply not possible to predict every single set of circumstances that may befall any of our members that could then lead to financial hardship and thus a request for assistance being made.
However, by laying out as clearly as we possibly can what is required to make an application and in particular regarding the supporting corroborative evidence needed, then that is all we can do to point both members and branches in the right direction.
It is also not possible to state with any certainty how long it will take to process claims. All claims have to be placed before the Trustees to reach a decision on an award (if appropriate). Given that the Trustees are also Industrial and National Executive members they face a heavy workload and so some time delay is to be expected and indeed if the full and proper consideration is to be given to each case, on its own merits, then time is required to ensure the cases are given the respect our members deserve.
Additionally the Trustees have no control over the volume or timing of cases as presented, however they have and will continue to endeavour to deal with applications as speedily as is practicably possible.
Branches should also note the maximum amount of money that can be awarded has by necessity had to be reduced, as the economic situation facing our members worsens we see an increase in the number and type of claims being presented. Couple this with a fall off in the traditional sources of income that put cash into the Welfare Fund i.e. affinity partnership deals, this change will ensure we help as many of our members as it is possible to do.
We all have to acknowledge that this is not an easy subject to deal with, it is extremely emotive and relies on those making a decision to strike a balance between being as fair, but as dispassionate as they can be in these circumstances.
The NEC believes that the attached regulations address this point and in doing so addresses the conference policy.
Finally Motion 128 2014 also sought a list of useful contacts for other organisation that can help in the circumstances that the Welfare Fund deals with it. Please find this list below. In order to assist branches we have also attached a further document that gives a brief overview of precisely what each of these organisations exists to deal with, we believe this will enable branches to guide our members to seek alternative support and advice if the specific circumstances warrant it.
• Money Advice Service
• BT Benevolent Fund
• Rowland Hill Fund
• Citizens Advice Bureau
• SSAFA (Soldiers Sailors Airman Families Association)
• Department of Welfare and Pensions (DWP)
NOTE: The CWU does not imply any support or accept any responsibility for the outcomes of members dealing with any charities or other organisations listed, these are a matter of personal choice to contact, engage or follow any advice given.
The NEC hopes that branches will appreciate the difficulties involved in trying to address all the concerns raised around the issue of the Welfare Fund, we believe we have gone as far as we can in offering the advice, guidance and other options needed to assist members in difficult times.
Branches should note that these new regulations will be applied to all claims made to the Welfare Fund that arrive in CWU HQ from the 1st September 2015.
Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Deputy General Secretary