GENERAL CONFERENCE 2015 – EMERGENCY MOTION E8
In accordance with the policy set out in Emergency Motion E8, which Branches will recall was carried at this year’s CWU General Conference, the purpose of this LTB is to provide branches with a report on the review of the Postal Executive election arrangements which has now been completed and to provide branches with the conclusions, recommendations and proposed rule changes which the NEC have agreed upon.
Branches will recall that we have previously addressed this issue in the following LTB’s, 339/15 dated 15th May 2015 and 478/15 dated 16th July 2015.
For ease of reference E8 is reproduced below:
Conference recognises that the ballot paper used for the election of Postal Executive Committee (Postal Grades) members 2015 contained changes to the number of candidates members were entitled to vote for in comparison to previous elections.
This may have inadvertently caused uncertainty for branches when making recommendations and for members when recording their vote.
Therefore in order to protect the integrity and reputation of the CWU there is now a requirement to re-run the ballot for the 2015 Postal Executive Committee (Postal Grades) positions only.
The NEC are therefore instructed to re-run ballot for the Postal Executive Committee (Postal Grades) positions at the earliest possible opportunity and to publish the revised balloting arrangements to branches by no later than May 2015 with a view to concluding the re-run ballot by no later than July 2015.
Additionally the NEC is instructed to conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant union rules and election regulations to ensure that there is no uncertainty regarding any future Postal Executive elections.
The review will be concluded by August 2015 and a report containing the conclusions, recommendations and proposed rule changes to be submitted to the 2016 Rules Revision Conference will be published to branches by September 2015.
National Executive Committee
As can be seen above E8 contained 2 specific instructions for the NEC to progress, these being the re-run of the 2015 Postal Executive (Postal Grades) ballot and to conduct a review of the relevant election rules and regulations.
In respect of the re-run ballot LTB 339/15 dealt with this issue and the result of the re-run ballot was declared in LTB 478/15.
This completes the policy instruction contained in paragraphs 3 and 4 of E8 and in accordance with the election regulations for this ballot we have received no further complaints or correspondence and accordingly this particular element of E8 is now concluded.
Dealing now with the second specific instruction, the review of the rules and regulations – E8 instructed the NEC to conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant rules and regulations. In order to do this NEC agreed to set up a working group to consider this matter. The working group consisted of the following CWU National representatives:
• Vice President
• General Secretary
• Senior Deputy General Secretary
• Deputy General Secretary (Postal)
• Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)
The working group met on the 7th July 2015 and prior to the meeting the group were provided with a discussion paper drawn up by the SDGS that laid out options that could be adopted in future when dealing with Postal Executive elections. Again for ease of reference and completeness I have attached a copy of that discussion paper to this LTB.
The meeting proved to be very productive and the options contained within the discussion paper were debated at length, however the working group did not reach a consensus and in any event at the time we also needed to understand any implications that may arise from the adoption by the Postal Executive of a new IR structure in The Post Office (POL) that was in the process of being placed before the PE for endorsement.
This agreement made reference to PE members from The Post Office serving on a National Consultative Committee and we needed to establish if this would introduce further reserved seats, additional to those for PTS grades, before we could finalise a position on the issue of future PE elections.
Following discussions with Andy Furey, Assistant Secretary Postal, it was established that there will not be reserved seats required as a result of the new IR agreement. As such we remain in the same position as we did prior to commencing this year’s PE ballot.
Given that the working group did not reach a consensus the NEC has agreed that the most straightforward way to deal with this matter is to report that in future when we issue a notice informing Branches of the candidates in each respective election that we also inform them of how many votes members will be entitled to cast in each election.
This would ensure that Branches will know, prior to ballot papers going out, what wording will appear on the ballot with regard to the number of votes that can be cast along with an explanation as to why i.e. with an explanation of the rules concerning the number and makeup of the PE.
Additionally for completeness the NEC will be submitting the following proposed rule amendment to National rule 8.7.4 for consideration at the forthcoming 2016 Rules Revision Conference:
“The method of recommending support for candidates to its own Branch members shall be a matter for each Branch. Notification of names of candidates and voting entitlement will be published to branches in advance of the despatch of ballot papers to assist branches in this matter.”
The above policy was agreed by the NEC at their meeting on 24th September 2015.
In conclusion we believe that if we could have adopted this approach prior to ballot papers going out for 2015 PE elections then there would have been no complaints and no requirement for us to have submitted the Emergency Motion. Whilst this is a matter of regret the purpose of the motion carried at conference was to look to the future and ensure no repetition.
In the absence of a firm view to make wholesale change, some of which would need a more wide ranging discussion around the composition of the PE than the timescales within E8 allows, the NEC believe the position set out above is the correct one.
The above process will mean that branches will know prior to any ballot papers going out for the next scheduled PE elections (2017) exactly how many votes their members are able to cast. This will enable Branches to advise their members accordingly and arrange whatever publicity they feel is necessary to vote for the number of candidates they may wish to recommend.
Obviously if there is any change to the composition of the PE before 2017 there would be a need to revisit this issue. Likewise we will monitor the 2017 election process closely as part of an ongoing review of this issue.
Further to the above I will ensure that we introduce revised protocols within my department to ensure we do everything within our power to avoid any similar situations from arising in future elections.
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