CWU Diversity Calendar 

CWU Diversity Calendar 

We are pleased to confirm that the CWU’s Diversity Calendar will be ready for collection from the Equality, Learning and Development Department’s Stall during the week of Annual Conference. In addition to the calendars we would be grateful if delegates and visitors attending our stall can take a moment to fill in a brief monitoring questionnaire, primarily focusing on disability and LGBT+ elements.

Lastly, Equality Officers attending Conference will be pleased to note that we have a number of quality metal badges specifically for Equality Officers on the stall. The badges will be free but we would be grateful for a suggested donation of £1 per badge with proceeds being used towards our next trip to assist Refugees in Northern France.

We look forward to meeting you all next week.

Any queries on this LTB should be directed to Fevzi Hussein, Policy Assistant fhussein@cwu.org in the first instance.

Yours sincerely

 

Trish Lavelle
Assistant Secretary

19LTB260



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CWU Consolidated Accounts 2018 

CWU Consolidated Accounts 2018 

Further to LTB 226/19 dated 11th April 2019 which invited questions to the 2018 CWU Accounts, at the closing time of 12:00 hours on Thursday 25th April 2019 no questions had been submitted.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address sdgs@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

 

Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

19LTB257

Postal Conference 2019 Policy

Postal Conference 2019 Policy

Please find attached the Postal Executive’s policy for Motions submitted to Postal Conference 2019.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely

 

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)  

19LTB254- Postal Conference 2019 Policy

LTB 254.19 Attachment 1 – Postal Conference Policy 2019         

BREXIT

BREXIT

We can advise Branches that the NEC has submitted the attached Emergency Motion on Brexit to this year’s General Conference.

Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to gsoffice@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Ward

General Secretary

19LTB258 Brexit

 

EMERGENCY MOTION – BREXIT

Conference notes the decision of the European Council on 10th April 2019 to extend the UK’s exit date under article 50 to 31st October and that nearly three years on from the referendum, as a result of the Tories’ complete mishandling of negotiations, the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is still mired in uncertainty.

The referendum itself was hugely divisive and the mainstream campaign was dominated by two right-wing visions for the future – on the one hand defending the status quo and on the other offering up right-wing populism. Neither came close to representing the interests or the voice of workers.

Since then, Conference recognises that the division of the UK along Leave and Remain lines has become more entrenched. Whilst Labour Party policy has been to keep all options on the table, this Conference believes that the overriding principle should be Labour’s Manifesto commitment to accept the result of the referendum and deliver a Brexit deal that prioritises jobs and living standards. Therefore, Conference endorses the NEC position not to campaign for a second referendum/people’s vote and recognises that the CWU’s primary role is to unite our members and all workers around a transformative domestic agenda that builds on Labour’s 2017 Manifesto and delivers a new deal for workers. However, in the event of a further vote taking place, Conference instructs the NEC to hold a national policy forum to agree the union’s position.

Furthermore, while Conference would oppose a damaging no-deal scenario, we believe it is time for the UK to move on and would support a deal agreed by the Labour leadership which protects workers and avoids a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The CWU should continue to argue that any deal should be consistent with a democratic socialist transformation of the UK economy in relation to competition, the undercutting of workers and public ownership and investment.

Given growing levels of inequality in the UK, as evidenced by a decade of stagnating wages, an explosion of in-work and child poverty, homelessness and insecurity, and Tory-led austerity, Conference recognises that, in or out of the EU, the only thing that will really improve CWU members’ and workers’ lives is a transformative Labour government that will deliver an irreversible shift in wealth and power in the UK. Conference agrees that fighting to secure this must continue to be the number one priority of our political work.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

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CWU Consolidated Accounts 2018 

CWU Consolidated Accounts 2018 

Further to LTB 226/19 dated 11th April 2019 which invited questions to the 2018 CWU Accounts, at the closing time of 12:00 hours on Thursday 25th April 2019 no questions had been submitted.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address sdgs@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

 

Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

19LTB257

End Period Poverty – CWU Conference

End Period Poverty – CWU Conference

In line with the CWU’s End Period Poverty campaign, the National Young Workers Committee have decided to support this work by calling for all delegates to Annual Conference to bring sanitary products to the Young Workers Stall at the BIC.

These products will then be donated to local food banks and campaign groups in the Dorset area.

The CWU campaign to End Period Poverty has received huge levels of support from the Labour front bench and it is vital we continue our work in this area. Please do all you can to support this initiative by our National Young Workers Committee.

Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to gsoffice@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Ward

General Secretary

19LTB251- End Period Poverty – CWU Annual Conference

Equality, Training & Development Department at Annual Conference 2019

Equality, Training & Development Department at Annual Conference 2019

The newly merged Equality, Training & Development Dept. will be in attendance in the exhibitor’s area during Annual Conference 2019 (stand “F17-F18”).

Please come and raise any and all issues you may have about equality matters and education, training and development opportunities for your Branch Representatives and members.

You will be able to discuss the various CWU Lifelong Learning projects around the country, speak to us about our online training platform “Left-click” and / or book yourself onto a course. We will also have a comprehensive range of Equality material and the usual great giveaways!

Equality, Training & Development Fringe Event Sun 28th April 2019 – 1pm Tregonwell Hall, BIC

We are pleased to be hosting a fringe event again this year entitled: Proportionality!” 

Speakers:

  • Dave Ward – General Secretary 
  • Trish Lavelle – Fringe Event Chair
  • Katie Dunning – Assistant Regional Secretary (London)

A buffet lunch will be provided so, come along, listen to the speakers and join in the debate!

Competition  Our traditional “caption competition” will be at the stall with an “iPad” as a prize! 

Meet the Head of Equality, Training & Development  Additionally, if you wish to make an appointment to meet with Trish Lavelle (Head of Equality, Training & Development), please can you contact Michelle Simpson on 020 8971 7340 or e-mail Michelle at msimpson@cwu.org and she will ensure your appointment is diarised. 

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to: Lee Wakeman (lwakeman@cwu.org) or Fevzi Hussein (fhussein@cwu.org).

Yours sincerely,

 

Trish Lavelle
Head of Equality, Training & Development

19LTB 250 – Equality & Training Department at Annual Conference 2019



NPC Eastern Region Meeting 17th April

On behalf of CWU Eastern N05 and their Retired Members, I attended the above meeting.

The Chairman ( Colin Canham ) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone, he also pointed out there were two reports being given at today’s meeting:

• Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on the 18th April 2018.

• Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting held on the 16th January 2019.

The Secretary ( Tony Garner ) gave a report on the AGM with no matters arising. Jan Shortt-NPC General Secretary attended as a special guest. Jan spoke about the recent events happening at NPC headquarters and various statements from politicians, and the move to a new Head Office due to the HS2 etc.

The Secretary then proceeded with the report of the previous quarterly meeting held on the 16th January 2019 with no matters arising.

At todays meeting the Secretary & Chairman submitted a copy of the NPC- Eastern Region Constitution with proposed revisions which were agreed, and that all members would receive a revised copy.

Jim Webb ( CWU S.E. Anglia ) was elected as an additional Vice Chairman.

There were two motions submitted & moved by the Chairman, which were both carried.

• Motion 1 Bi-annual Conference

That this Eastern Region Pensioners branch agrees to pay future delegates the extra nights accommodation before conference day enabling them to mix with other delegates for social discourse and allowing them to be in a relaxed state of mind for main conference day, also to be able to claim the standard discounted rail fare.

• Motion 2 Travel expenses claim for Quarterly meetings.

That this Eastern Region Pensioners branch agree to pay travel expenses to the committee members for quarterly meetings, i/e Secretary, Chair, Auditors etc, with a clause this will only be nesessary if delegates cannot get funding from their own branch.

Susan Boyd a delegate for Women Against State Pension Inequality ( WASPI ) spoke about their campaign. A report on ( WASPI ) is attached along with an update on over 75’s TV Licence.

Regards.

Dick Hewlett. ( CWU-NPC Delegate )

Women Against State Pension Inequality.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is a voluntary UK-based organisation founded in 2015 that campaigns against the way in which the state pension age for men and women was equalised. They call for the millions of women affected by the change to receive compensation.

The 1995 Pensions Act increased the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 in order to equalise the age with men, with the change to be phased in over ten years from 2010 for women born between 1950 and 1955. This transition was later sped up by the 2011 Pensions Act. These changes came as a shock to many women who hadn’t been aware of them. Some women discovered they would have to wait up to six years longer for their state pension which often affected their retirement plans. In 2015, WASPI was formed by five women to argue for the government to provide transitional payments to women born in the 1950s receiving their pension after the age of 60. They also call for compensation to women who now receive a state pension but had to wait longer. Three of the original founders stepped down as leaders after a split in August 2016. A further three directors resigned in February 2018 following an emergency board meeting held the previous month where irreconcilable differences led to the resignations.

Actions.

WASPI’s online petition to parliament received over 100,000 signatures resulting in a parliamentary debate on the issue of the changes to the state pension age.

WASPI crowd funded £100,000 to pay for legal action in order to challenge these changes. The money was used to take legal advice and on 8 March 2017, the group wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions threatening legal action if the government did not help lessen the impact on the affected women. This move coincided with International Women’s Day and a march in London that many WASPI members attended.

The organisation also has a number of groups across the country who campaign locally, including by asking their constituency MPs to sign the WASPI pledge.

Response.

Since the launch of WASPI, the issue of the state pension age has become more prominent leading to its discussion in a number of parliamentary debates. The issue played an important part in the 2017 general election with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn raising it in a session of Prime Minister’s Questions and the SNP pledging to support the women. However, the Conservative government rejected the calls of the WASPI, arguing that they had to make the state pension more affordable for taxpayers. Furthermore, the WASPI campaign has been criticised by some commentators.

Over 75’s TV Licence.

The BBC are consulting on the future of the free TV Licence for over 75’s and now want to meet the NPC.

Hundreds of NPC members gathered in Westminster at the beginning of March to oppose the BBC’s plans to cut the TV licence for the over 75’s, and to demand that the government take back responsibility for funding the concession. The protest took place as the BBC considers the results of its recent consultation on the future of the concessionary scheme. Sources suggest that the broadcaster is unlikely to make any formal announcement before the summer, although two options appear to be gathering support: raising the age of eligibility to 80 and reducing the value of the concession. Campaigners say there are 1.6 million over-75s with a disability, many of whom have serious mobility issues and could lose their TV licence if the rules are changed. In the meantime, pressure is mounting to stop any cut, with the NPC’s campaign receiving support from MPs, trade unions and the Mirror newspaper. A petition with Age UK which aims to safeguard the concession, currently has over 80,000 signatories and you can add your support via: http:// ageuk.org.uk/TV petition.

ROYAL MAIL: PENSIONS SERVICE CENTRE – TRANSFER OF WORK TO CAPITA – UPDATE

ROYAL MAIL: PENSIONS SERVICE CENTRE – TRANSFER OF WORK TO CAPITA – UPDATE

In October 2017 the Cabinet Office announced it had awarded the contract for the administration of the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme (RMSPS) to Capita. Royal Mail Representatives have recently been provided with an update on this matter at the Unit Reps briefings which took place in March and earlier this week in London.

Overview

On 30th September 2018, the following work transferred to Capita:

• The calculation and payment of all pension benefits for those ex-employees and their dependants whose total pension benefits were in the Royal Pension Statutory Pension Scheme (RMSPS), the government backed pension scheme established on 1st April 2012.

The affected population comprised of the following:

• Those who had left Royal Mail, Post Office Limited and associated employers (e.g. Quadrant, RoMEC) on or before 31st March 2012.

Those employees who are still employed by Royal Mail, Post Office and associated employers or who left on or after 1st April 2012 have benefits in both the RMSPS and the Royal Mail Pension Plan (RMPP).

The administration of the RMSPS benefits for these ‘dual members’ has been retained by the Royal Mail Pensions Service Centre as a temporary expedient, due to Capita’s state of readiness in September 2018. In practice this means Royal Mail’s Pensions Service Centre has continued to calculate the benefits and has passed the necessary information to Capita to make payment of the RMSPS element.

Complaints from Retired Members of the RMSPS

We have received a number of complaints from our retired members who have had significant problems with Capita’s administration of the RMSPS. Complaints have also been received by Royal Mail, a number of MPs, Capita, and the Pensions Ombudsman. As a consequence, we have recently held a number of meetings as we are pursuing

the ongoing issues with both Royal Mail and Capita. It is fair to say that Royal Mail is also concerned about the level of service being provided by Capita and as such has made representations to the Cabinet Office.

On 15th April, a written response was received from the Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office to a question submitted by John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley as follows: 

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of Capita’s performance in administering the Royal Mail Pension Scheme.

Answered by: Oliver Dowden

Following the transition of services from Royal Mail Group to Capita in October 2017, Capita’s performance fell short of expected levels. However, due to the close monitoring that has been in place through the governance arrangements, Capita’s performance has improved and is now operating closer to the contracted levels.

There is a robust governance framework in place that provides Cabinet Office with the relevant oversight to manage the contract. This framework enables Cabinet Office to monitor performance and continuous improvement but also provides an escalation route for any issues that may be encountered throughout the term of the contract.

The Governance model includes an advisory board, called the Royal Mail Pension Scheme Governance Group, which is made up of representatives from stakeholders of the scheme including Union (on behalf of members), employer and Pensioner representatives.

In addition to the above, an article appeared in Pensions Age, a leading pensions magazine which referred to the question above. The article can be accessed by using the following link:

https://www.pensionsage.com/pa/Govt-cites-governance-as-driver-behind-Capita-administration-improvement.php

Transfer of Additional Work to Capita

The plan was for the RMSPS element to transition in full to Capita on 29th March 2019, leading to Capita taking on responsibility for the calculation of RMSPS benefits, as well as payment. However, the Cabinet Office took the decision to delay this transition for a month – until the end of April. Capita management assured us at a meeting held in the Sheffield Service Centre on 28th March that the number of outstanding cases had reduced significantly and that Capita was now ready to take on this work. The latest position as determined by the Cabinet Office is that Capita needs more time to address the remaining readiness criteria and risks currently being flagged up. Consequently timelines for any future transition are still work in progress. 

CWU and Unite have agreed to continue to put pressure on the Cabinet Office regarding the ill-conceived decision to award the Royal Mail Pensions Admin contract to Capita as their quality of service is quite clearly not up standard and potentially our

members will suffer as a result.

We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and we are hoping the government will listen to all concerns as we believe there is a strong case for halting the transition of more work to Capita.

If Branches are aware of any issues our members are experiencing with Capita, please contact lsheridan@cwu.org

Further developments will be reported.

Yours sincerely

 

Andy Furey

Assistant Secretary

19LTB247 Royal Mail – Pensions Service Centre – Transfer of Work to Capita – Update



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