TRADES UNION CONGRESS 2022: CWU DELEGATION REPORT
The 2022 Trades Union Congress took place from Tuesday 18th October to Thursday 20th October 2022
All unions were entitled to submit two motions to the agenda. The CWU National Executive Council agreed the following motions:-
MOTION 1 – NEXT STEPS FOR THE NEW DEAL FOR WORKERS
Congress agrees it has never been more important in the history of our movement for all unions to come together in leading the fight for a New Deal for Workers and a new social settlement for Britain.
Unions made it clear at the successful June 18th TUC demonstration that saying ‘enough is enough’ was only the start and that the movement is committed to delivering the biggest trade union led campaign ever.
Congress agrees to:
- Start the race to the top by agreeing common bargaining agendas across sectors of the economy to end in-work poverty, fire and rehire and all forms of exploitative employment.
- Agree an autumn 2022 programme of “town hall” meetings and rallies across the country and link up with community organisations to build collectivism, solidarity and mobilisation.
- Launch innovative forms of collective action that all workers can participate in before the end of 2022.
- Immediately hold special Executive and General Council meetings to sharpen the overall industrial and political demands of the campaign.
- Embark on the biggest recruitment campaign ever and for unions to engage in conversation about collaboration across industries.
Congress notes the adoption of the New Deal branding by the Labour Party, but reaffirms that this must be a distinct trade union led campaign which is not just a response to the cost-of-living crisis but the foundation of a wider social movement that empowers working class people in the fight for real change.
Communication Workers Union
MOTION 2 – TRADES UNION CONGRESS REVIEW
2022 marks a turning point in the history of the British trade union movement. The structural imbalance of power and wealth that permeates the world of work, the economy and growing inequalities that have been decades in the making, has provoked a new wave of workers fighting back and demanding better.
Unions have been building toward this moment and instead of waiting for political change, Congress believes it is time to focus on the root of our power – our workplaces, sectors, and our members themselves.
It is crucial that the TUC now coordinates, supports and fully reflects this approach.
Therefore, Congress agrees a top-to-bottom review of the whole of the TUC – including its overall role and purpose in the wider movement.
Congress further resolves that the review must also bring about as a minimum:
- A five-year term for the elected General Secretary of the TUC.
- A Deputy General Secretary of the TUC to be elected on a five-year term.
- A working group formed by the General Council focused on reforming the structures of the TUC so it is driven by coordinating the united power of the union movement in every workplace and community in the UK.
- To ensure that TUC and affiliate structures properly reflect the ethnicity, gender and diversity of the members we represent.
- Strengthen the coordinating role of TUC Regions.
- Strengthen the role of Trades Councils and reinvigorate its coordinating machinery.
Communication Workers Union
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
2022 TRADES UNION CONGRESS – BRIGHTON
MINUTES OF THE TUC DELEGATION MEETING
HELD IN THE WORDSWORTH ROOM, WATERFRONT JURY’S INN, KINGS ROAD, BRIGHTON
ON MONDAY 17TH OCTOBER AT 4 P.M.
PRESENT: Tony Kearns, Andy Kerr, Karen Rose, Jane Loftus, Steve Croke, Andy Hopping, Sajid Shaikh, Graham Colk, Fiona Curtis, Nadeem Khan, Trish Vollans, Rob Wotherspoon, Andrew Mercer, Maria Exall
IN ATTENDANCE: Chloe Koffman, Lionel Sampson, Janina Dunn, Chris Webb, Peter Metcalfe, Laura Smith
1 WELCOME – INTRODUCTIONS & APOLOGIES
The 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.
Apologies were received from Dave Ward General Secretary (RMG dispute), Andy Furey Acting DGS (P) (RMG dispute), Bill Taylor (Covid), Angela Teeling (Domestic), Mark Walsh (A/L).
2 GENERAL SECRETARY OVERVIEW
The Senior Deputy General Secretary welcomed all delegates and said
3 EXPLANATION OF TUC DOCUMENTS
Bill Taylor provided an explanation of the TUC pack provided at the meeting which included:
- General Council Report 2022
- Final Agenda 2022
- GPC Report and Consolidated Final Agenda 2022
- Congress Guide 2022
- CWU POLICY POSITION ON MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS The SDGS went through the CWU policy position on motions and amendments.
6th September 2022 CWU Research
TUC Congress 2022 Final Agenda
Table 1: CWU motions to move, second, amend and possible interventions ActionMotionMove63 71 Second29 (Aslef) Amend32 (Usdaw) 44 (UCU) Possible interventions3 (BFAWU) 6 (NEU) 7 (BFAWU) 9 (Community) 17 (Unite) 23 (UCU) 41 (Community) 62 (Unite) 70 (NASUWT)
Table 2: Policy recommendations for the delegation meetingMotionDetails of MotionUnionCWU Position
S = Support
O = OpposeSection 1 – The EconomyP01 Higher pay to tackle the cost of living crisisCongress calls on the General Council to co-ordinate action between unions and campaign for pay increases at least in line with inflation and a £15 per hour minimum wage. UNISON
Amend PCSSP02 Cost of living crisisUnions in dispute over pay and terms and conditions should, wherever possible, link up and call action in a synchronised manner that links industrial action and strikes together.Prison Officers Association (POA) SP03 The real work of key workersCongress understands there is a job of work to complete to raise awareness of the true work key workers perform in order to build support from the wider public for a new deal for workers, which has to include £15 per hour for all workers and no zero-hour contractsBakers, Food and Allied Workers’ UnionSP04 Defending manufacturing jobsCongress recognises that the 1990s submarine order gap, which led to catastrophic losses in jobs and skills, must never be repeated.
This Congress condemns the run-down of UK defence manufacturing and instructs the General Council to campaign for immediate increases in defence spendingGMBOP05 Economic recoveryCongress recognises that the state must again become the key economic driver in the UK’s recovery.
Congress believes that rebuilding a modern, high-tech, manufacturing sector as the fundamental wealth creating aspect of the economy should be a priority.POASP06 Action on the cost of living crisisCongress calls for solidarity actions with workers who have to strike to defend pay, pensions, jobs and standards for themselves and the wider public, including joining picket lines to publicly show support for workers in dispute.National Education Union (NEU)SP07 National food emergency summitCongress calls on the General Council, the wider trade union movement, all political parties, religious leaders, academics, researchers, campaigners, and all the people of this country to demand that governments act now to declare a national food emergency and address the food crisis facing so many people.Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ UnionSP08 A national food strategy – a missed opportunityCongress last year welcomed the publication of the government-commissioned report into the national food system by Henry Dimbleby, which the prime minister promised would form the basis of a white paper providing a real opportunity to position Britain as a leader in food, health and the environment.
Congress calls on the General Council to work with the BDA and others to press government to introduce legislation
implementing the recommendations of the Dimbleby report.British Dietetic Association
Amend UniteSP09 Energy costsCongress calls on the TUC to:
i. campaign for immediate action on energy prices to help struggling households with rising bills and support UK industry
ii. lobby the government to ensure that energy price policy incentivises rather than undermines decarbonisation, as well as supports those on low and middle incomes.Community
Amend TSSASP10 AI and performers rightsCongress endorses Equity’s ‘Stop Stealing the Show’ campaign and will support lobbying and campaigning efforts to achieve:
i. reform of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998 to protect against non-consensual synthesisation of images and voices.Equity
Amend UCUSP11 Touring in the EUCongress calls on the General Council to support the Musicians’ Union’s call to government to agree a creative industries passport for people, equipment and services to allow EU-wide touring.Musicians’ unionSP12 Industrial strategy for UK to provide appropriate fit for purpose PPECongress calls on the General Council to pressure the UK government to ensure that a proper strategy is in place for the future production of fit for purpose PPE not to be reliant on overseas production that can go wrong when it is most needed and is not environmentally friendly.Royal College of PodiatrySP13 Inequalities in health – the Health Disparities white paperThe Health Disparities white paper, which promised such a strategy, was due to be published in 2021 but we are still waiting.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:
a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequality and above-inflation pay rises across the public services.British Dietetic Association
Amend Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Amend Royal College of Midwives
Amend TSSASP14 Pensions and gender related pay issuesCongress instructs the General Council to coordinate the campaigning activity of affiliates towards:
a. improving public sector pensions, including access to pension benefits before NPA without punitive reductions
b. closing the gender pay gap.Educational Institute of Scotland
Amend Society of RadiographersSP15 Auto-enrolment reformsCongress argues that pressure needs to be kept up on the government to make sure that auto-enrolment makes pensions open to all. This should include reducing the minimum age from 22 to 18.AegisSP16 Decarbonising public servicesCongress will remain a key part of the international and national policy debates about the fairest way of achieving decarbonisation and a just transition. Congress will build on the momentum around COP26 and work closely with unions and civil society coalitions. Unison
Amend FDASP17 Defending jobs and a just transitionCongress calls for a workers’ just transition, where green jobs are secure, sustainable, good jobs delivered through collective bargaining and where those workers and communities whose industries are threatened by the changes to develop a low carbon world have jobs protected and their skills fully utilised in the sustainable industries of the future.Unite
Amend CommunitySP18 Just transitionCongress supports a move to net zero that offers a fair deal for workers and a fair future for a United Kingdom that is free from carbon emissions.
Congress calls on the government to focus efforts on a just transition in transport.Nautilus
Amend AslefSP19 Fossil fuelsCongress calls on the General Council to continue to lobby on environmental issues and put pressure on the government to shift energy supply to renewables and away from fossil fuels Artists’ Union EnglandSSection 2 – Respect and a Voice at WorkP20 Technology and automation: delivering skills and workplace protectionCongress calls for the General Council to urgently campaign for the immediate implementation of provisions to ensure workers can retrain and take advantage of the future world of work. USDAW
Amend AegisSP21 The need to strengthen employment rights following the P&O scandalCongress is appalled that, instead of strengthening employment rights after the P&O scandal, the government has further weakened them through new laws on agency workers breaking strikes and heavier fines for trade unions.
Congress calls for the strengthening of the rights of workers and unions including at freeports.RMT
Amend FBUSP22 Fair ferriesCongress supports the work of TUC affiliates in calling for improvements to seafarer working protections, as well as wider employment protections in the UK, in particular welcoming the work undertaken in developing tripartite engagement and new legislation in defence of seafarers.Nautilus InternationalSP23 Opposing fire and rehire: an industrial, political and organizing strategy for the whole labour movement.Congress supports UCU members taking strike action to oppose fire and rehire, and the transfer of staff to subsidiary companies in post-16 education. University College Union (UCU)SP24 Improve bereavement careCongress calls for:
i. investment in specialist bereavement services
ii. unions to negotiate agreements that embed the existing legal protections for those who have suffered a miscarriage and encourage employers to sign the Miscarriage Association pregnancy loss pledgeRoyal College of MidwivesSP25 Westminster attack on fire and rescueCongress condemns the Home Office’s Reforming Our Fire and Rescue Service white paper, launched in May.
Congress commits the TUC to vigorously campaigning alongside the FBU in defence of firefighters and their service.FBUSP26 Plight of freelance workersTUC notes that unlike employees, freelance workers do not have a statutory right to trades union recognition.
Congress instructs the General Council to highlight the plight of freelance workers in its wage campaigning and, in particular, to call out the hypocrisy of news platforms that call for the decent treatment of workers, while financially abusing those freelancers they engage.National Union of JournalistsSP27 Self-employed workersCongress calls on the General Council to consult with all relevant unions on how to mobilise, represent and lobby on behalf of self-employed workers, including developing proposals and campaigning for better protections under employment law.Artists’ Union EnglandSP28 Protecting public servants from bullying and harassmentCongress believes that parliamentarians and ministers should be subject to the same standards of conduct and oversight that apply to workers up and down the country.FDASP29 Working in high temperaturesCongress calls on the General Council to campaign for a legal maximum temperature of 26 degrees at work where this is reasonably practicable, and where not, to still require employers to take all reasonably practicable measures to reduce the temperature at work. AslefSP30 The lack of health and safety legislation on footwear at workCongress calls on the TUC to work with the Royal College of Podiatry and other stakeholders to campaign for tighter legislation on safe footwear at work making sure workers’ feet are protected. Royal College of PodiatrySP31 Winning on equalities in the workplaceCongress calls on the TUC General Council with all TUC affiliates, the TUC Women’s, Race Relations, Disabled workers, LGBT+ Committees and Young Members’ Forum to support the prioritisation of equalities issues as industrial issues in the workplace.Unite
Amend Royal College of PodiatrySP32 TUC anti-racism taskforceCongress believes that the TUC has a vital role in supporting and encouraging unions on a formal basis to develop and continue their own work on racial justice, including through offering practical guidance and advice.USDAW
Amend CWUSP33 The future for anti-racism and racial justiceCongress calls upon the General Council to embed the TUC anti-racism taskforce within the structures of the TUC.NASUWT
Amend UnisonSP34 Working in partnership to defeat racismCongress agrees that any further work identified by the anti-racism taskforce (ARTF) in its report to Congress can be enhanced by more affiliates seeking to adopt and benchmark initiatives across the public and private sectors.NapoSP35 Ethnicity pay gapCongress calls on the General Council and the TUC Race Relations Committee to demand the TUC and the Anti-Racism Taskforce make closing the EPG a key priority.TUC Black Workers ConferenceSP36 Reasonable adjustment passports in the NHS and public bodiesCongress calls on the General Council to develop a campaign and lobbying plan, to make the recognition and use of accessibility passports mandatory in all public bodies for workers with a disability.Chartered Society of PhysiotherapySP37 Using the disability employment charter to make the national disability strategy deliver for disabled workersConference calls on the TUC and TUC Disabled Workers Committee to demand a change to the National Disability Strategy.TUC Disabled Workers ConferenceSP38 Defend Abortion RightsCongress calls on the General Council to encourage unions to affiliate to Abortion Rights UK and campaign for decriminalisation of abortion in England, Scotland and Wales and for fair access.Unison
Amend NEUSP39 Fighting for equal payCongress believes that women’s work is undervalued, and that we must be bold in equal pay campaigning
Congress commits to supporting affiliates’ equal pay campaigns and GMB’s Fight for Fifteen in the Care Sector.GMBSP40 Flexible working and retention of women workersCongress notes that more than 99 per cent of midwives and 77 per cent of NHS staff are women. Congress calls on the General Council to continue to campaign to make flexible working the default and central to the ability of employers to recruit and retain staff.Royal College of Midwives
Amend Chartered Society of PhysiotherapySP41 The MenopauseCongress believes all employers should have a menopause policy in place to support workers as well as guidance of best practice for hiring freelance and self-employed women.Community
Amend Society of RadiographersSP42 Tackling and preventing sexual harassment in the workplaceCongress calls on the TUC Women’s Committee, the General Council and affiliates to continue to campaign against sexual harassment and to explore how sexual harassment might be made a criminal offence.TUC Women’s ConferenceSP43 Supporting trans and non-binary workersCongress believes it is essential to raise understanding in our communities, workplaces and amongst elected representatives to ensure that trans people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. We must urgently change the culture in our institutions to pave the way for trans equality. TUC LGBT+ ConferenceSP44 Workers’ mental health must not be the price of the cost of living crisis.Congress calls on the General Council to run a campaign highlighting the impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis, on workers’ mental health. Also
for the government to prioritise and fund workers’ mental health and wellbeing.UCU
Amend Educational Institute of ScotlandSP45 Young workers’ mental healthCongress calls on the General Council to call on employers to assess the impact their policies, practices and procedures (including pay and conditions) have on workers’ mental health and act upon the findings.TUC Young Workers ConferenceSP46 DiscriminationCongress notes with disgust and concern the disgraceful discrimination often faced by workers as a direct consequence of their height as evidenced by Go North West. Congress calls upon the General Council to actively campaign to make height a protected characteristic. Transport Salaried Staffs’ AssociationSSection 3 – Good ServicesP47 Cost of living crisisThe cost of living crisis has been caused and exacerbated by UK government decisions stretching back over decades. Congress instructs the General Council to expand political education programmes for workers to understand how governments and their economic choices affect workers’ lives.Educational Institute of ScotlandSP48 Pay and the cost of livingCongress mandates the General Council to take the necessary steps, in conjunction with affiliated unions and involving all political, industrial and legal means, to secure a decent pay rise for all workers.FBUSP49 PayCongress calls on the government to properly reward educational staff for the brilliant work that is done each and every day in settings throughout the UK and to avert a deeper recruitment and retention crisis that will severely damage the life chances of millions.National Association of Head TeachersSP50 Pay and conditions for instrumental and vocal teachersPay and conditions for instrumental and vocal teachers (known as visiting music teachers or VMTs) are unregulated and vary enormously. Congress calls on the General Council to support the Musicians’ Union in asking for UK governments to develop a pay and conditions framework for VMTs to ensure they are treated equitablyMusicians’ unionSP51 Tackling the recruitment and retention crisis in healthcareCongress believes a healthcare recruitment and retention crisis is threatening NHS staff’s health and wellbeing. Congress calls for an urgent retention package for NHS staff, with a restorative pay rise for all workers at its heart. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Amend Royal College of Midwives
Amend Royal College of PodiatrySP52 Hot food for healthcare workersCongress calls on the General Council to actively support health and other workers campaigning for access to nutritious, affordable hot food provision at regular intervals whenever they are at work across a 24-hour period. Society of RadiographersSP53 The treatment of overseas recruits by private sector and NHS employersCongress notes that the UK is now ever more reliant on the successful recruitment and retention of overseas professionals. However, the poor treatment and hostile environment many encounter when moving to the UK is shameful and counter productive. The hostile environment in health and social care must end.Society of RadiographersSP54 Standing and profile of education in UK Congress is increasingly alarmed by the falling status of education in the UK. Congress calls on all political parties to once again make education central to their manifesto commitments.National Association of Head Teachers
Amend UCUSP55 Right support, right place, right time – SEND review green paperCongress calls upon government to actively engage with a wide range of trade unions, academics, professional associations and children’s groups, who can contribute to producing a national education plan for children and young people (CYP) including those with special educational needs and disability (SEND).Association of Educational PsychologistsSP56 HSE ResourcingCongress believes that cuts over the last decade have substantially weakened the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Congress calls on the General Council to lobby and campaign for appropriate funding for HSE. Prospect
Amend FBUSP57 91,000 civil service job cutsCongress calls on the General Council to support public service unions in highlighting the impact of the planned 91,000 job cuts on key services and to call on the new prime minister to abandon the destructive approach of arbitrary job cuts.FDA
Amend ProspectSP58 Defending public service broadcastingCongress calls on the General Council to campaign to keep the uniquely British institution that is Channel 4 in public hands, and to protect the BBC licence fee and a sustainable funding model.ProspectSP59 Invest in RailCongress welcomes ASLEF’s Invest in Rail campaign launched in 2022, which calls for investment in the railways to open new lines, electrify the network, invest in and upgrade current lines and improve access to create a rail network that truly serves the public.
Congress calls on the General Council to fully support ASLEF’s Invest in Rail campaign.ASLEF
Amend RMTSP60 Rail IndustryCongress notes the significant threat faced by the rail industry due to government actions. Congress believes that if the trade union movement is to be successful in protecting members’ jobs and in challenging the unfair pay freeze, the TUC needs to be at the centre of all efforts to maintain the maximum level of unity between workers across all industries and all unions.TSSA
Amend AslefSP61 Defending the integrity of the justice systemCongress views with serious concern the de-professionalisation of probation practitioners and notes the potential impact of the Government’s deeply flawed proposals regarding the parole board system and family courts.NapoSSection 4 – Winning more for workersP62 Rebuilding industrial powerCongress calls on the General Council to facilitate and encourage industrial coordination between unions so that workers in dispute can most effectively harness their union power to win. UniteSP63 Next steps on the new deal for working people campaignCongress agrees it has never been more important in the history of our movement for all unions to come together in leading the fight for a new deal for workers and a new social settlement for Britain.CWU
Support amendP64 Joint union action on the cost of living crisis and jobsCongress calls on the General Council to actively organise and support a united campaign of coordinated industrial action including convening a working group of unions in the public and private sectors to plan and coordinate action on pay and jobs. PCSSP65 Cost of living crisisCongress believes that, to strengthen our hand at this critical time, the General Council must plan and encourage coordinated strike action between affiliates to maximise its impact and effectiveness.Congress believes the Labour Party should not stand on the sidelines but should support our picket lines.RMTSP66 Organise the unorganized – linking with trades councilsCongress asserts that trades union councils are an essential link for the trade union movement into our local communities. Organising on a town or city basis across different employers and economic sectors can have a significant impact on levels of union consciousness and activity on local workers. The key is to work with trade union councils at a local level to rebuild trade unionism.TUC Trades Union Councils ConferenceSP67 Oppose the Nationalities and Borders Act (NABA)Congress instructs the General Council to work across the TUC to raise awareness of the cruelty of the NABA, challenge all racist scapegoating, as well as monitor and evidence its impact to highlight its failings.NEUSP68 Refugees and asylum seekersCongress calls on the General Council to campaign for the repeal of the Nationalities and Borders Act and to campaign against the Rwanda asylum policyPCSSP69 Global attacks on journalismCongress instructs the General Council to support campaigns to seek justice for journalists who have been killed or injured and to support the NUJ’s work to raise awareness of attacks on journalists at home and abroad.NUJSP70 Single-union recognition agreements/sweetheart dealsCongress calls on the General Council to confirm that single union recognition or “sweetheart” deals are not acceptable among TUC-affiliated trade unions.NASUWT
(oppose both amendments)P71 Trades Union Congress ReviewCongress agrees a top-to-bottom review of the whole of the TUC – including its overall role and purpose in the wider movement.CWU
Support RMT amend
Oppose FDA amendP72 Trades Union Congress ReviewCongress agrees that it is time for a root and branch review of the whole TUC, including its role and purpose in the wider movement.Equity
The above policy was agreed.
5 CWU MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS – SPEAKERS
The following CWU commitments and interventions were agreed:PROPOSITIONTITLESPEAKER42Tackling & Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Trish Vollans
Seconder43Supporting Trans and Non-binary Workers Maria Exall
SeconderComp 1Higher Pay to Tackle the Cost-of-Living Crisis Andy KerrComp 2Economic Recovery and Manufacturing Jobs Rob WotherspoonComp 3Food Emergency Graham Colk
- GS nominated for General Council
- Maria Exall nominated for General Council (LGBT Section I)
- Jane Loftus nominated for Section D (Women from Unions with fewer than 200,000 members
The recommended candidates were agreed.
7 FRINGE MEETINGS AND RECEPTIONS
The delegation was advised of a number of fringe meetings involving, or of special interest to the CWU.
8 DELEGATION SEATING ARRANGEMENTS
The Chair confirmed that the Congress seating plan was contained on page 27 of the Congress Guide. CWU would be situated in Rows E – 11 & 12, F 1 -12 and G 1 – 6.
9 CWU COMMUNICATIONS
The Chair asked delegates to consult Chris Webb, Head of Comms or Marcus Barnett, Press Officer prior to interacting with the media.
10 ABSENCES DURING CONGRESS
The Chair asked the delegation to confirm to Karen Rose 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 5.30 p.m.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s office email@example.com.