TRADES UNION CONGRESS 2019: CWU DELEGATION REPORT
The 2019 Trades Union Congress took place from Sunday 8thSeptember to Wednesday 11th September 2019.
All unions were entitled to submit two motions to the agenda. The CWU National Executive Council agreed the following motions:-
Motion 1: New Deal for Workers Campaign
Congress agrees it has never been more important in our recent history for the trade union movement to come together and deliver a bold new deal for workers.
The world of work today is a harsher and more pressurised environment than at any time in living memory – in or out of the EU new technology and the intensification of work only threatens to make this worse.
We cannot wait for political change and must mobilise to challenge unacceptable insecurity, in-work poverty and the growing pressure workers are under.
While we recognise the work that has been done on a TUC New Deal Charter, we need a major public campaign, starting now, and we call upon the TUC to re-evaluate its priorities accordingly.
Congress agrees the General Council must now implement the following in support of a New Deal:
- a national day of action in the first half of 2020, with a range of options on action for unions to choose from;
- a major effort to engage union members and all workers through social media and workplace meetings in the run-up to a day of action;
- a New Deal campaign group to be established, meeting monthly from October, with representation from each affiliate;
- co-ordinating co-operation between unions at a sectoral level on common bargaining agendas; and
- organising a summit in the first half of 2020 to agree a charter to promote co-operation on recruiting the millions of unorganised workers in the UK and ending inter-union competition.
Communication Workers Union
Motion 2: Demands for the future world of work
In recognising the scale of the problems in today’s world of work and the challenges workers and society face from automation, the use of data and the introduction of new technology and AI, Congress agrees that now is the time for the union movement to be advancing a serious set of demands on behalf of workers to redress the balance of forces in the economy and entrenched inequality in society.
The scale of the challenges workers face must be matched by the scale of our ambitions and Congress agrees that our demands for the future should include the following:
- a standard four day working week for all workers, with no loss of pay by 2025;
- worker ownership funds to transfer a stake of private companies into the hands of workers;
- through collective bargaining workers’ control over the introduction of technology in the workplace that impacts on job numbers or surveillance/monitoring of staff;
- a slowdown in the intensification of work and a reversal of the trend for ever longer working lives in terms of both occupational and the state pension age;
- legal minimum standards on pension income to provide a decent standard of living, promoted in a similar to the Living Wage; and
- maximum pay ratios of 20:1 for all employers.
Communication Workers Union
The CWU was also entitled to submit two amendments. These were as follows:-
- Amendment to Motion P39 – Mental health in low-paid employment (USDAW)
To be inserted at the end of the original motion (2 additional bullet points)
iv. organise a one day conference, and set up a cross-union working group, on mental health as instructed by Congress in proposition 63 in 2018; and
v. campaign for workplace and work-related suicide to be categories recognised in legislation and recorded in government statistics.
- Amendment to Motion P58: Trade unionism and collectivism in the curriculum (ASLEF)
To follow paragraph 5, insert a new paragraph as follows:
Congress also recognises that some unions are currently providing speakers on trade unionism to schools and colleges and calls on the TUC to support this by co-ordinating activity at a regional level, producing a briefing for speakers and helping secure speaking slots.
The CWU also submitted the following emergency motion:-
CWU – Royal Mail Dispute
Congress notes the CWU announced a ballot timetable for strike action in Royal Mail on 22/8/2019 and is holding meetings around the country in the second major national dispute in two years.
In 2017, CWU members delivered an 89% yes vote on a 74% turnout, smashing the legal threshold – we believe this will happen again.
Royal Mail has replaced its senior management team and it is clear that it plans to de-recognise the union’s influence; break current agreements; reduce the vital 6-day USO and good jobs, terms and conditions; and break up this excellent public service the People’s Post.
It has unilaterally announced moves heralding the break-up of the company, starting with Parcelforce, and a new strategy for parcels that will render the core 6-day service unsustainable and leave 20,000 jobs at risk, as well as introducing operational change without agreement, which will leave thousands of jobs under threat.
It has done nothing to tackle a bullying culture that is endemic in Royal Mail, is introducing technology in a way that leaves staff being tagged like criminals and wants to move away from the legal protections agreed with the CWU in 2012 that have prevented it joining the race to the bottom with destructive asset-stripping and insecure employment models.
This dispute is the direct result of liberalisation and privatisation and Congress expresses its full solidarity with CWU members in defence of their jobs, agreements and the very future of a vital public service.
Communication Workers Union
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
2019 TRADES UNION CONGRESS – BRIGHTON
MINUTES OF THE TUC DELEGATION MEETING
HELD IN THE NOBLESSE ROOM, JURY’S INN HOTEL, KINGS ROAD, BRIGHTON
ON SUNDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER AT 11.30AM
PRESENT: Jane Loftus (Chair), Dave Ward (General Secretary), Tony Kearns (SDGS), Andy Kerr (DGS T&FS), Terry Pullinger (DGS Postal), Maria Exall (ex officio), Tony Bouch, Stuart Davidson, Tracey Fussey, Tony Gilkes, Becca Hufton, Kirsty Lenham, Ali Moosa, Jacky Moorey, Michelle Reid-Hay, Amarjite Singh, Angela Teeling, Mark Walsh, Richard Wilkins and Rob Wotherspoon
IN ATTENDANCE: Lionel Sampson, Bill Taylor, Andrew Towers, Chris Webb, Kate Hudson, Janina Dunn, Meta Bovell and Dave Chapple
1 WELCOME – INTRODUCTIONS & APOLOGIESThe Chair welcomed all CWU delegates to the meeting in particular those who were attending the TUC Congress for the first time and asked the delegation to introduce themselves to the meeting.
2 GENERAL SECRETARY OVERVIEW
The General Secretary welcomed all delegates and said that this year’s Congress was probably the most important TUC for many years, especially the debate around Brexit and that the CWU will be pushing for the 1st May 2020 as the first day of action and new policies on a new deal for workers.
The General Secretary reminded the delegation that we are in dispute with Royal Mail and he asked that they assist in any way they could this week to help achieve a yes vote.
3 EXPLANATION OF TUC DOCUMENTS
The Head of Research provided an explanation of the TUC pack provided at the meeting which included:
- General Council Report 2019
- Final Agenda 2019
- General Purposes Committee Report and Composite
Motions and General Council Statements 2019
- Consolidated Motions and Composite Motions 2019
The SDGS gave a brief explanation of the TUC Programme of Business.
- CWU POLICY POSITION ON MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS
- The SDGS went through the CWU policy position on motions and amendments.
Policy Recommendations for the Delegation Meeting
|Subject||Submitted By||CWU Conference Policy Decision|
|SECTION 1: THE ECONOMY|
|1||Industrial strategy: delivering real change||Unite
|2||Save Our Steel||Community
|Composite 01||Real jobs & apprenticeships||03 UCU
|4||Skills and re-training||Community||S|
|Composite 02||Climate crisis and a just transition||05 Unite
|6||Securing UK green jobs||GMB||O|
|8||Public ownership of energy||Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union||S|
|Composite 03||Buses a green transport system||09 ASLEF
|11||UK Ship Register||Nautilus International||S|
|12||Artists’ studios and the community||Artists’ Union England||S|
|SECTION 2: BREXIT|
|Composite 04||Brexit||13 Musicians’ Union
|15||NHS and future trade deals||British Dietetic Association||S|
|SECTION 3: RESPECT AND A VOICE AT WORK|
|Composite 05||Sectoral collective bargaining||16 National Education Union
|17||A new framework for collective bargaining||Aegis||S|
|18||Christmas and New Year working||USDAW||S|
|19||Demands for the future world of work||CWU||Move|
|Composite 06||Collective voice l intelligence and new technology||20 Prospect
|Composite 07||New deal for workers||22 CWU
|23||Industrial action ballots||PCS||S|
|Composite 08||Free our unions||24 Fire Brigades Union
|Safety of rail workers||RMT||S|
|27||EU copyright directive||Equity||S|
|28||The inclusion of freelance workers in TUC policy||Musicians’ union||S|
|29||Ending exploitation of seafarers||RMT||S|
|30||Threat to British seafarers||Nautilus International||O|
|Composite 09||Flexible working||31 FDA
|32||Outsourcing the finance sector||Aegis||S|
|33||Are our staff wearing the appropriate footwear||The college of podiatry||S|
|36||Widening access to the airline pilot profession||BALPA||S|
|37||Smashing the gender pay gap: a vague sense of shame is not enough||Unison||S|
|Composite 10||ILO convention on workplace sexual harassment||38 CSP
|Composite 11||Mental health and wellbeing||39 Usdaw
|41||Tackling racist ideologies||Educational Institute of Scotland||S|
|42||Period poverty||TUC women’s conference||S|
|43||End discrimination in state reciprocal pension arrangements||TUC black workers conference||S|
|44||Homophobic and transphobic hate crime||TUC lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ conference
|SECTION 4: GOOD SERVICES|
|Composite 12||Privatised public services: bring them in||45 Unison
|46||NHS and workforce funding||Chartered society of physiotherapy||S|
|47||Suspend charging for NHS maternity care||RCM||S|
|48||Wholly owned subsidiaries||Society of Radiographers||S|
|49||Financial incentive to undergo NHS treatment||S|
|50||Healthy start scheme||British Dietetic Association||S|
|51||Bullying and harassment||College of Podiatry||S|
|52||Better and active safeguards for whistle-blowers in the NHS and public services||Hospital consultants and specialists association||S|
|53||Perinatal mental health services||RCM||S|
|54||Transforming social care||GMB||S|
|55||National independent living support service||TUC disabled workers conference||S|
|56||Poverty and privatisation damage children’s education||NEU||S|
|Composite 13||Trade unionism and collectivism in the curriculum||ASLEF
|59||Pupil violence and indiscipline||59 NASUWT
|61||Resourcing pupils with additional support needs (ASN/SEN)||Educational institute of Scotland||S|
|62||Relationships education||National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)||S|
|63||Small and rural schools||NAHT
|Composite 14||Public service pensions||64 PCS
|65||Rebuilding local government||UNISON||S|
|66||Grenfell Tower – never again||FBU
|67||Manifesto for justice||FDA||S|
|Composite 15||Public inquiry into TR; stop government recidivism on rehabilitation||68 Napo
|Composite 16||Over-75s’ TV licences and BBC funding||70 Prospect
|SECTION 5: WINNING MORE FOR WORKERS|
|73||Justice for Columbia||POA||S|
|74||Cuba and the US blockade||POA||S|
|75||Palestine – supporting rights to self-determination||Artists’ Union England||S|
|76||Role and remit of TUC young workers forum||TUC Young Workers Conference||S|
|77||Trades councils’ participation in Congress||TUC Trades Councils Conference||S|
|General Council Statement
General Council Report – Page 75 – Paragraph 6.12 – Amarjite Singh to speak
The above policy was agreed.
5 CWU MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS – SPEAKERS
The following CWU commitments and interventions were agreed:
|1||Industrial Strategy Delivering Real Change||Rob Wotherspoon|
|6||Securing UK Green Jobs||Tony Kearns|
|8||Public Ownership of Energy||Mark Walsh|
|Comp 05||Sectoral Collective Bargaining||Maria Exall|
|19||Demands for the Future World of Work||Dave Ward|
|Comp 06||Collective Voice Intelligence and New Technology||Andy Kerr|
|Comp 07||New Deal for Workers||Dave Ward|
|Motion 23||Industrial Action Ballots||Tony Bouch|
|34||Equality 2020||Jacky Morrey|
|37||Smashing the Gender Pay Gap||Michelle Reid-Hay|
|Comp 10||ILO Convention on Workplace Sexual Harassment||Becca Hufton|
|Comp 11||Mental Health and Wellbeing||Tony Kearns|
|42||Period Poverty||Tracey Fussey
|Comp 12||Privatised Public Services: Bring Them In||Mark Walsh|
|57||Curriculum Narrowing||Angela Teeling|
|Comp 13||Trade Unionism and Collectivism in Curriculum||Jane Loftus|
|62||Relationships education||Maria Exall|
|77||Trades Council Participation in Congress||Amarjite Singh|
|General Council Statement||
|General Council Report||Page 75
- The General Secretary gave an update on the TUC General Council statement on Brexit.
6 FRINGE MEETINGS AND RECEPTIONS
The delegation was advised of a number of fringe meetings involving, or of special interest to the CWU.
7 DELEGATION SEATING ARRANGEMENTS
The Chair confirmed that the Congress seating plan was contained on page 29 of the Congress Guide. CWU would be situated in Block A, rows – F 1 -12 and G 1 -10.
8 CWU COMMUNICATIONS
The Head of Communications advised delegates that they should email Karl Stewart with any speeches. He also asked delegates to promote the Royal Mail dispute via social media in an effort to assist the union in obtaining a large yes vote and that Tuesday 10thSeptember was National Gate meeting day and the senior officers and President would all be attending gate meetings in and around Brighton before the start of Congress and encouraged delegates to visit the CWU stall to record messages of support for our members in dispute.
9 ABSENCES DURING CONGRESS
The Chair asked the delegation to confirm to the SDGS or the Chair if they would be absent during Congress, or if they were required to leave Congress early.
11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business the meeting closed at 13.27.
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19LTB558 – Trades Unions Congress 2019 – CWU Delegation report