LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE 2017: CWU DELEGATION REPORTS
The 2017 Labour Party Conference was held in Liverpool from Sunday 24th to Wednesday 27th September 2017.
The following is a report on the decisions taken by the CWU delegation at their meeting on Sunday 24th September 2017.
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
2017 CWU Labour Party Delegation Meeting
Tennyson Suite, Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel, Brighton
Sunday 24th September 2017, 8.30am
PRESENT: Beryl Shepherd (Vice President), Dave Ward (General Secretary), Tony Kearns (SDGS), Andy Kerr (Deputy General Secretary, T&FSE), Craig Anderson, Paul Braithwaite, Kye Dudd, Kate Dunning, Scott Hartles, Kate Hudson, Steve Jones, Brian Kenny, Steve Phillips, Sajid Shaikh, Joyce Stevenson, Alan Tate, Dave Tee and Richard Wilkins
IN ATTENDANCE: Jane Loftus, Chris Webb, Bill Taylor, Maria Exall, Lionel Sampson, Andrew Towers and Meta Bovell
Beryl Shepherd, Vice President welcomed all CWU Delegates particularly those attending the Labour Party Conference for the first time. She especially welcomed our young worker delegate, Scott Hartles from Scotland No.2.
Maria Exall was attending the meeting in an ex-officio capacity as Vice Chair of TULO.
The General Secretary also welcomed delegates and observers to the meeting and said that he expected this conference to be very positive for all concerned.
Apologies had been received from:-
• Terry Pullinger – on annual leave
• Craig Anderson – attending a course at Ruskin College; due to arrive Sunday evening
• Natalie Fleming – will no longer be able to attend as a delegate due to domestic issues
3 LABOUR PARTY DOCUMENTS
Bill Taylor, Head of Research ensured that all delegates had the appropriate documentation:-
• NEC Annual Report 2017
• National Policy Forum Report 2017
• CAC Report No. 1 and Appendix of NEC Rule Changes
• Labour Party Annual Conference Guide
• CWU Policy Document: 2017 Summary
4 CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE (CAC) REPORT NO.1
Andrew Towers, Head of Political Strategy advised delegates that each day they would receive a Conference Arrangements Committee Report.
CAC Report No.1 issued that morning, contained the day’s agenda and the full list of all contemporary motions submitted. The Appendix contained the NEC’s Constitutional amendments.
CWU Contemporary Motion
Andrew Towers also explained that the Labour Party Policy was made via the National Policy Forum (NPF) process. The Policy Commissions considered submissions from individual members, trade union affiliates and other affiliated organisations. Following consultations within the wider party, policy documents agreed by the NPF needed to be endorsed by Annual Conference.
Contemporary motions to annual conference allowed CLPs and unions to address issues which could not otherwise have been raised through the NPF process. Each affiliate was therefore entitled to submit one Contemporary Motion to Labour Party Conference.
The CWU submitted a motion on ‘Industrial and Economic Strategy’, using the Royal Mail dispute as a contemporary hook. This motion was therefore deemed as being contemporary. We had subsequently worked with other affiliates (UNITE and Aslef) to bring together a composite motion on the subject.
Those contemporary motions meeting the strict criteria would progress to the Contemporary Motions Priority Ballot. Andrew Towers explained that CLPs were also entitled to vote on four subjects, which may or may not be the same as those selected by the trade unions.
The Senior Deputy General Secretary, Tony Kearns, advised that all Contemporary Motions were contained on page 15 of CAC Report No.1.
As stated, trade union affiliates would choose four contemporary issues and in accordance with colleagues in TULO the General Secretary recommended the following contemporary issues in the Priorities Ballot:
• Tackling Insecure Work
• Building an Industrial and Economic Strategy for all
• Public Sector Pay and Access to Work
• Grenfell Tower Fire
The contemporary issues were agreed.
Andrew Towers and the Chair agreed that they would collect and complete the priorities ballot paper.
5 NATIONAL POLICY FORUM (NPF) REPORT 2017
The NPF Report 2017 contained the Policy Commission Annual Reports.
• Early Years, Education and Skills
• Economy, Business and Trade
• Environment, Energy and Culture
• Health and Care
• Housing, Local Government and Transport
• Justice and Home Affairs
• Work, Pensions and Equality
In addition there were the following Appendices:
• Submitting organisations
• National Policy Forum membership
The NPF Report 2017 was agreed.
6 LABOUR PARTY NEC ELECTION
The General Secretary advised that the Delegates Report contained details of the candidates standing for the Labour Party NEC.
There were 12 individuals to be elected, 6 of whom must be women.
Originally there were 13 candidates listed however following discussions at TULO, Usdaw agreed to withdraw Joanne Cairns and therefore the recommendation was to vote for the 12 remaining candidates, who were:-
ASLEFThe recommendation was agreed.
The election would take place on Monday 25th September 2017 and ballot papers would be collected and completed by Andrew Towers and the Chair.
7 EMERGENCY MOTIONS
A number of Emergency Motions had been submitted but none had been placed on the agenda.
The Chair explained that if further emergency motions were submitted and a decision of the delegation was required – a formal ‘consultation form’ would be circulated. If a further meeting of the delegation was needed this would be arranged.
8 NEC CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
The NEC Constitutional Amendments for 2016 were contained in CAC Report No. 1. Andy Kerr DGS (T&FS) and LP NEC member explained the NEC’s proposed rule changes.
It was agreed that the CWU would support the NEC’s position on Constitutional Amendments
9 CARD VOTES
The Chair advised that there would be a number of votes during conference and for the constitutional amendments CWU would be required to do this by submitting card votes. Each delegate was allocated a card vote booklet. These would be administered as a delegation. Therefore 4 volunteers were required to look after the card votes on the floor of conference.
The following names were put forward and agreed.
• Brian Kenny (Steve Phillips as deputy)
• Katie Dunning (Richard Wilkins as deputy)
10 INTERVENTIONS / SPEAKERS
The CWU speaker on our Contemporary Motion on “Building an industrial and economic strategy for all” would be the General Secretary.
The Senior Deputy General Secretary, Tony Kearns indicated that he would like to speak during the Environment, Energy and Culture debate.
11 LEADERS SPEECH
The Chair advised that delegates would receive an invitation card for the “Speech by the Leader of the Labour Party” delivered to their rooms. This will be on Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 12.15pm and she reminded delegates that they needed to be in the hall early to take their seats
12 POLICY SEMINARS
There are 9 Policy Seminars taking place in the Brighton Conference Centre. The CAC Report No. 1 (page 12) contains the details and locations of all the Policy Seminars.
Monday 25th September 2017 (16.15 – 17.30)
• International Buckingham, Hilton Hotel
• Justice & Home Affairs Edinburgh, Hilton Hotel
• Economy, Business & Trade Balmoral, Hilton Hotel
Wednesday 27th September 2017 (09.00 – 10.00)
• Brexit Buckingham, Hilton Hotel
• Early Years, Education and Skills Edinburgh, Hilton Hotel
• Housing, Local Government & Transport Balmoral, Hilton Hotel
Wednesday 27th September 2017 (10.15 – 11.15)
• Health and Social Care Buckingham, Hilton Hotel
• Environment, Energy and Culture Edinburgh, Hilton Hotel
• Work, Pensions and Equality Balmoral, Hilton Hotel
The Chair stated that if anyone wished to make an intervention on any subject covered in the seminars, this would need to be in line with CWU Policy and delegates should have a copy of the 2017 CWU Summary Policy Document.
13 CWU RECEPTION
The CWU would be hosting a reception this year in the Albert Room at the Grand Hotel. This would take place on Monday 25th September 2017 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
It was agreed that Kate Hudson, Craig Anderson, Dave Tee and Steve Phillips would act as door stewards.
The Leader of the Labour Party would be in attendance during the course of the event.
14 FRINGE MEETINGS (FEATURING CWU SPEAKERS) AND RECEPTIONS
The Chair advised the delegation that a full list of fringe meetings could be found in the Conference Guide. However, she highlighted some fringe events and receptions of particular interest or that featured CWU speakers:-
Sunday 24th Sept @
5.30pm – 7.30pm
[Invitation event]Viscount Room, Hilton Metropole HotelSunday 24th Sept @
7.30pm – 9.00pm
GSWorld Transformed Winning in power 2022The Synergy Centre, 78 West Street & Middle Street
Monday 25th Sept @
GSWorld Transformed State of the UnionsThe Synergy Centre, 78 West Street & Middle StreetMonday 25th Sept @
Kate HudsonLabour’s industrial strategy [part of World Transformed]The Synergy Centre, 78 West Street & Middle StreetMonday 25th Sept @
6.30pm – 8.30pm
[Invitation event]Albert Room, Grand Hotel
Tuesday 26th Sept @
Justice for Colombia receptionHall 7 WYE, Hilton Metropole HotelTuesday 26th Sept @
6.30pm – 9.00pm
GSLRC Fringe – Forward to a Labour GovernmentFriends Meeting House, Ship Street
15 MEDIA CONTACTS
The Chair reminded delegates not to talk to the media without prior reference to Chris Webb, Head of Communications. She also emphasised the need to obtain permission from any individual before photographs of delegates were posted onto Social Media etc.
16 ABSENCES DURING CONFERENCE
Some delegates indicated that they would be absent during some periods of the conference to attend morning fringes, and the Chair requested that she or the SDGS be notified of lengthy absences.
17 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The General Secretary advised the delegation that this year we had an exhibition stand at the Labour Party Conference (also at the TUC Conference). He invited all delegates to visit the stand during conference.
Delegates were also given passes to the World Transformed Conference which the General Secretary explained the CWU had secured an number of trade union focused fringe sessions for.
The Meeting concluded at 10.05am.
The following is a report on the decisions taken by the CWU delegation at their meeting on Monday 25th September 2017.
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
2017 CWU Labour Party Delegation Meeting
Renaissance Suite, Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel, Brighton
Monday 25th September 2017, 8.30am
PRESENT: Beryl Shepherd (Vice President), Dave Ward (General Secretary), Tony Kearns (SDGS), Craig Anderson, Paul Braithwaite, Kye Dudd, Kate Dunning, Scott Hartles, Kate Hudson, Steve Jones, Brian Kenny, Steve Phillips, Sajid Shaikh, Joyce Stevenson, Alan Tate, Dave Tee and Richard Wilkins
IN ATTENDANCE: Jane Loftus, Chris Webb, Bill Taylor, Maria Exall, Lionel Sampson, Andrew Towers and Meta Bovell
APOLOGIES: Andy Kerr (Deputy General Secretary, T&FSE)
1 CONFERENCE ARRANGMENTS COMMITTEE (CAC) REPORT NO.2
CAC Report No.2 issued that morning, contained the day’s agenda and the result of the Contemporary Motions Priorities Ballot (in Appendix 1 on page 22).
The eight subject areas selected for debate were:
Top 4 Issues from Affiliates Ballot
Top 4 Issues from CLP BallotGrenfell Tower
Pay HousingWorkers’ Rights
Social CareGrowth and Investment
As a result of the Compositing Meetings, nine composite motions were agreed and listed on pages 9 – 21. The recommendation was to support all 9 composite motions.
• Composite Motion 1 – Growth and Investment
• Composite Motion 2 – Public Sector Pay
• Composite Motion 3 – Public Sector Pay
• Composite Motion 4 – Workers’ Rights
• Composite Motion 5 – Housing
• Composite Motion 6 – Grenfell Tower
• Composite Motion 7 – Rail
• Composite Motion 8 – NHS
• Composite Motion 9 – Social Care
The General Secretary recommended that the delegation support the all 9 Composite Motions and the list of subject areas.
The delegation agreed to support the composite motions.
2 INTERVENTIONS / SPEAKERS
The following delegates indicated that they would like to speak.
Composite Motion 5 – HousingSteve Jones
Composite Motion 8 – NPF Report on Mental Health
It was also agreed to support the Labour NEC statement on Brexit.
3 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business.
The Meeting concluded at 9.05am.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s office email@example.com.
The compositing meetings agreed 9 composite motions which are printed below.
Composite 1 – Growth and Investment
Building an Industrial and Economic Strategy for All
Conference notes that ONS Labour market figures released on 16th August estimated real wages for employees fell by 0.5% compared with a year earlier. TUC analysis shows nominal wage growth is still approximately half of the average before the 2008 crash; real wages have not yet recovered and are not expected to until at least 2021. ONS GDP data on 24th August confirmed that per capita growth is below last year’s.
Successive Tory governments have failed to deliver the required funding to improve the UK’s infrastructure and boost our economy. The latest World Economic Forum report ranked the UK 24th out of 138 countries on the perceived quality of its infrastructure and that the UK invests less in infrastructure as a share of GDP compared with similar countries.
The Conservative austerity agenda has created a low pay, low productivity, unbalanced economy over-reliant on consumer debt. Work has become increasingly insecure. Conference believes the Labour election manifesto put forward the economic strategy necessary to reverse these trends, transform our economy and provide decent work for all.
Conference believes that infrastructure investment can improve the quality of jobs, skills and training and enhance the lives of citizens whilst also reducing carbon emissions. Public investment in infrastructure pays for itself as evidenced by a report by the OECD which showed that investing 0.5% of GDP in infrastructure could boost overall GDP by almost 0.6% whilst reducing the nation’s debt as a share of GDP by 0.2%.
Conference also believes the commitment in the manifesto to public ownership and public investment is essential to building an economy that works for all.
On 14th September the CWU balloted over 100,000 postal workers in Royal Mail in the first national dispute since privatisation. Staff in Royal Mail are under relentless pressure to work faster and harder than ever before. Their pay, pension and terms and conditions are under attack while in just three and a half years Royal Mail has paid out almost £800m in dividends. This is the familiar story of privatisation and Conference expresses its solidarity with CWU members in Royal Mail. In particular Conference endorses the manifesto commitment to re-nationalise Royal Mail at the earliest opportunity.
Conference welcomes Labour’s long term strategic vison for jobs and growth and pledge to create a National Investment Bank and National Transformation Fund to increase public investment to stimulate growth, create good jobs, raise living standards and improve the public finance. Labour should continue to develop these plans to invest – such as in our social housing, transport, communications and energy system – to ensure all communities benefit from economic growth and to rebalance our economy, sectorally and geographically.
Conference endorses the manifesto commitment to deliver universal superfast broadband by 2022 and to target the roll out of ultrafast broadband within the next decade.
Conference condemns the Transport Secretary’s statement on 22nd August which blamed “businesses, mayors and devolved authorities” for poor rail infrastructure. This was especially crass in light of the electrification works he cancelled just weeks earlier and reaffirms that Labour’s transport policy should include commitments to rail electrification and investment in new lines. We believe that these areas require modern regional transport infrastructure investment to create future prosperity. Conference calls for Labour’s transport policy to include the creation of a publically owned rail freight infrastructure operator under the management of Network Rail to help ensure consistency of supply from this sector, particularly in undertaking infrastructure work and renationalisation of our ports, starved of investment since privatisation.
Conference recognises that the postal industry as a whole is rife with exploitative employment models. Conference agrees that the liberalisation of the industry has driven a race to the bottom on terms and conditions and regulation must be overhauled as part of an industrial strategy to provide a new deal for workers. Conference additionally believes a Post Bank can play a key role in providing banking services for SMEs and tackling financial exclusion.
In stark contrast to the Tories, Labour’s industrial strategy and commitment to strengthening trade union and worker rights, including collective bargaining, and develop quality apprenticeships would deliver decent work, greater security, equality and higher wages as part of creating sustainable economic growth.
Conference welcomes the commitment to using public procurement as an important mechanism in driving up working standards and in creating a stable environment to re-shore and strengthen our manufacturing base and supply chain.
An economic strategy based on these foundations becomes more important given the economic uncertainty ahead under this government and was the basis to our popular pledges on the doorstep. Labour achieved a 9.6 per cent national vote share increase at June’s General Election (Labour’s largest increase since 1945). A Labour government is needed which replaces Tory austerity with policies to deliver an economy that works ‘for the many, not just the few’.
Mover: Unite the Union
18LTB044 Labour Party Conference 2017 – CWU Delegation Report