17 Principles Progress, December 2021

Outline

TSSA's Executive Committee (EC) recently received a report updating on the latest position reached with TSSA negotiations with the Boilermakers in respect of the 17 Principles detailed in the report to TSSA Annual Conference in September 2021.

Talks have continued with the Boilermakers as instructed by Conference with the Assistant General Secretary, supported by the union's appointed solicitors Morrish LLP, meeting online with senior representatives of the Boilermakers on a weekly basis with regular reports to our National Officers and our EC as required. In addition, TSSA's General Secretary met face-to-face with the President of the Boilermakers during COP26 in November. The grid below shows the consensus reached and which has now been agreed by TSSA’s Executive Committee for circulation.

Key points to note are:

  • Becoming part of the Boilermakers would mean that their funds will pay for all TSSA administrative and support services and for the staff who deliver them. This will include the costs of our members' Helpdesk and would mean no job losses for our current staff. Providing these services and support currently costs around £1.7 million a year. As part of the Boilermakers family we will pay an annual contribution towards sharing these services, but that will be based on TSSA membership numbers and will provide an annual saving of around £900,000 a year based on today's membership figures.
  • Additionally, for at least 10 years, the TSSA District would benefit from Boilermakers funds to meet the costs of a new Organising Team of 11 staff who will be deployed in areas which will lead to membership growth. This means looking for growth opportunities within our existing spheres of influence and also in new workplaces across the rail, transport and travel industries.
  • The TSSA District would continue to employ all the organising staff who are currently within our three Organising teams. The TSSA District will have at its disposal all the membership income collected in Britain and Ireland, the proceeds of the rental income from Walkden House and the return from the investments we currently hold. If the merger goes ahead, we would immediately start to fill the 5 Organiser vacancies which we are carrying meaning that going forward, our members and our activists would get even greater support.
  • TSSA's democracy would be enhanced as the TSSA District and our members would participate in 17 conferences every decade. There would be an annual Rail, Transport and Travel sector conference bringing together our activists to make decisions on dealing with the many challenges facing our members within these industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Every five years, elected delegates from the TSSA District would attend the Boilermakers convention. Our delegate entitlement to this event would be based on our membership levels.
  • The TSSA District would also hold a Biennial Conference with delegates being elected by our Branches in the same way as they currently elect those to our Annual Delegate Conference with all the processes for the submission and discussion of motions remaining as they are today. TSSA's current Rulebook will be transposed almost word for word into the new TSSA District Rulebook meaning that our Branches, Self-Organised Groups and Divisional Councils would remain very much as they are today.
  • The TSSA District would also have access to dedicated Boilermaker funds for training our workplace representatives. This would allow us to launch a new and better resourced training program over the next 18 months which would further enhance our ability to develop our workplace leaders whilst also providing a modest saving for the District of around £100,000 a year.
  • Our new union would operate in four countries - Britain, Canada, Ireland and the United States - creating a far more diverse membership. It would also bring together people from different cultural backgrounds as well as blue and white collar workers and would provide an exciting opportunity to learn from each other, promote best practice and extend our solidarity networks.


Progress

All positions agreed in discussions subject to understanding that the final agreement between the IBB (the Boilermakers) and TSSA will be drafted by lawyers to meet legislative requirements and some of the agreements might need tweaking to reflect the needs of lawyers and Certification Officer.

PrinciplePosition Agreed
1.    Post merger our union would be a district within the IBB and promoted as “TSSA, part of the IBB family” and would form part of a new IBB Railroad, Transport and Travel Sector. For the purposes of this report our union post merger will be referred to as “The District”.

1 NAME and OBJECTS of TSSA 1.1 Name This TSSA is a Trades Union called The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (“TSSA” in this Rule Book) and a part of the Boilermaker’s family.




2.    The District will have delegated authority for all industrial, policy and political decisions within The District and as such would be autonomous in its decision making. Provisions will also be put in place to ensure compliance with Irish trade union legislation so that all industrial and political decisions affecting Ireland are made in Ireland as is currently the case. The District will continue to affiliate to the TUC, STUC, WTUC, ICTU the British and Irish Labour parties and through the IBB, to the ITF and ETF.


Rule 9 deals with the powers of the District Committee which has authority to manage all affairs of TSSA. For the sake of clarity wording will be agreed between the Boilermakers and TSSA as part of the agreement for Transfer and in advance of Constitutional changes at the next Boilermakers, making clear that the authority for all industrial, policy and political decisions within The District lies with the District Committee and as such it is autonomous in its decision making.         

15 IRELAND
15.1 IRISH COMMITTEE
(a) TSSA shall have an Irish Committee and an Irish Biennial Conference whose powers shall be limited to making decisions on matters of an industrial or political nature which
(1) arise out of and are in connection with the economic or political conditions of the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and
(2) are of direct concern to TSSA members resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and
(3) do not affect members not so resident.

2.1 Powers of TSSA
(g) aid and join with other Trade Unions or other Societies or Federations of Unions having for their object, or one of their objects, the promotion of the interests of workers or the furtherance of the political objects to which Rules 14 and 15.3 refer.  




3.    The IBB Constitution will contain a clause to give effect to The District and to the existence of The District sub-section to the IBB Constitution. The District sub-section will allow for a District Biennial Conference (DBC) and delegates for such will be elected in a similar way as those currently elected to our Annual Delegate Conference. The DBC will be the only body capable of making changes to the rules of The District sub-section of the IBB rule book subject to endorsement by the IBB Executive Board and will also be responsible for setting policy for the District.


Agreed wording giving effect to TSSA District - There shall be a TSSA District for the purpose of servicing and organising those members employed directly or indirectly in the transport and travel industry in Britain and Ireland.      

Function The District will have full authority for all industrial, policy and political, decisions within Great Britain and Ireland.

Conferences – The new Rail, Transport and Travel Sector will organise an annual conference of workplace and branch and equivalent representatives. The conferences shall be attended by senior employees of the union with responsibilities for overseeing the delivery of agreed sector objectives and each Conference will receive a report of activities across the Sector.   Delegates will be allocated regionally on the basis of one delegate for every 200 members employed in the sector as at 01 January that year and these positions will be divided as near to possible to equal between workplace and branch and equivalent representatives. Every region in the sector will be entitled to no less than four delegates and at least one third of all delegates sent from each region must be female.   The Sector Conference will be a mix of :  

• sub-sector forums to enhance the unions capacity to organise and campaign within each of the sub-sectors and regions; and

• motion based debates designed to develop policy across the Sector as a whole. Each region shall be entitled to 2 motions and 2 amendments to motions. Region's with over 1000, members will be entitled to a further motion and amendment.



4.    It will be made clear to members that whilst the IBB Constitution applies to all members of the IBB, The District sub-section of that Constitution will be relevant to members of The District only.


3.1 The Boilermakers Constitution makes clear that the constitution constitutes the supreme law of the Boilermakers and supersedes the provisions in any by-laws of any subordinate body (such as TSSA District).  For the sake of clarity wording will be agreed between the Boilermakers and TSSA as part of the agreement for Transfer and in advance of Constitutional changes at the next IBB Convention.              

Agreed wording - "The Boilermakers Constitution applies to all members of the Boilermakers, The District sub-section of that Constitution will be relevant to members of The District only and will abide at all times with British, Northern Irish and Irish law."



5.    The District will have clearly defined rights within the IBB democratic structures with participation at the IBB Convention and in the annual conference for the new IBB Railroad, Transport and Travel Sector.


IBB Convention - The TSSA District Committee will decided the method of election for their allocation of delegates at the Boilermakers Convention and those elected, will be afforded delegate credentials providing TSSA per capita payments are up to date. No elected District delegate will be excluded from participation in the Convention provided they are regarded as being a member of the District by the British Certification Officer, the Northern Irish Certification Officer or Irish law.  ”

Delegate Representation at Convention
The TSSA National Secretary and District Committee members shall be entitled to attend the International Brotherhood Convention. Each TSSA Division will be entitled to elect up to 4 additional delegates. All delegates to have equal voting rights.

Rail, Transport and Travel Sector
Establishment - There will be a new Rail, Transport and Travel Sector for members who work within these industries.
Function – To make industrial, policy and political, decisions pertaining to the sector. To engage with other International bodies across the sector, including international trade union bodies, and to organise and campaign across the sector with the objective of protecting and promoting the interests of members employed in the sector. 
Conferences – The Sector will organise an annual conference of workplace and branch representatives or equivalents. The conferences shall be attended by senior employees of the union with responsibilities for overseeing the delivery of agreed sector objectives and each Conference will receive a report of activities across the Sector.
Delegates will be allocated regionally on the basis of one delegate for every 200 members employed in the sector as at 01 January that year and these positions will be divided as near to possible to equal between workplace and branch /lodge representatives. Every region in the sector will be entitled to no less than four delegates and at least one third of all delegates sent from each region must be female.
The Sector Conference will be a mix of :
• sub-sector forums to enhance the unions capacity to organise and campaign within each of the sub-sectors and regions; and
• motion based debates designed to develop policy across the Sector as a whole. Each region shall be entitled to 2 motions and 2 amendments to motions. Region's with over 1000, members will be entitled to a further motion and amendment.



6.    The District will have an elected National Secretary for Britain and Ireland (National Secretary hereafter) who will have the right to speak but not vote at all District Committee meetings if he/she so chooses, however, all industrial, policy and political decisions within The District belong with The District Committee and/or District Biennial Conference - except for Ireland as is currently the case within our union. This is in line with the current constitution of the IBB which delegates autonomy to various subordinate bodies of the IBB in the conduct of their affairs, including organising activities, the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements, and engaging in economic activity to that end where not done by the IBB itself.

12.1 National Secretary Duties of National Secretary (a) There shall be a National Secretary whose duties shall be (1) to attend all TSSA Delegate Conferences and TSSA District Committee Meetings    (2) to record the business of such gatherings     (3) to act generally under the orders of TSSA District Committee.    The National Secretary shall be, and remain, a member of TSSA and shall have the right to speak but not vote on any business at Conference and TSSA District Committee Meetings. 




7.    The National Secretary will control and be responsible for all staff matters relating to all organising staff of The District who will be based in Britain and Ireland.


TSSA District Committee following advertisement may appoint such permanent or temporary staff as it considers necessary for TSSA’s efficient running, administration and organisation. They shall have the power to delegate the appointment of staff to the National Secretary. All staff appointed shall be employed under the appropriate terms and conditions of employment as determined by TSSA District Committee and shall be under the control of the National Secretary.   


8.    The District will be managed by a District Committee, which will meet at least once every three months. However, the District Committee can hold special meetings to consider emergency issues – the National Secretary and The District President and District Vice-President (the National Officers) have the power to decide when to hold meetings over and above quarterly ones.


9  TSSA DISTRICT COMMITTEE  9.1   (a) There shall be an TSSA District Committee, elected in accordance with Rule 9.2 (Election of TSSA District Committee etc), to manage TSSA generally.    

Duties of TSSA District Committee  (e) TSSA District Committee’s duties shall be:    (1) to manage and supervise the affairs of TSSA     (2) to carry out and enforce observance of its Rules     (3) to direct the actions of the Trustees subject to consultation with the IBB Secretary-Treasurer       (4) to be responsible for the proper administration of the funds dealt with by TSSA District Office      (5) to suspend, dismiss or remove from office members obtaining benefits by false pretences or engaging in or promoting racist activity or racial discrimination, or for other actions which, in the opinion of TSSA District Committee, are detrimental to TSSA’s interests           (6) to represent TSSA’s members in disputes arising out of their employment where they are considered of sufficient importance, subject to Rules 4.4.1(a) to (e)            (7) to keep within the policy and decisions of the TSSA Biennial Delegate Conference.   



9.    Members of the District Committee will be elected by members within the District constituencies every four years from nominations sent in by branches within each District constituency. Branches will only be entitled to nominate one member for each seat within their constituency. Each candidate will require at least two nominations. The National Secretary will receive general direction from the District Committee and consequently will not have a vote on District Committee business.


9.2 ELECTION OF PRESIDENT, VICE_PRESIDENT AND TSSA DISTRICT COMMITTEE    (a) The members of TSSA District Committee shall be elected by individual vote of the members in electoral districts formed for that purpose, and subject to the provisions of Rule 9.2(b) and this Rule.       

The President and Vice-President shall hold office for a period of two years and be eligible for re-election if nominated. Their election shall be by individual vote of the members and they shall take office from the first day of the month following that in which they are elected.              

Vacancies occurring between elections may be filled by TSSA District Committee from its own number until the next election is held unless at the date when the vacancy occurs there shall be more than 12 months before the next scheduled elections in which event an election shall be held and the successful candidate shall hold office for the balance of the outstanding term.           

The electoral district for the President and Vice-President shall be the entire membership, excluding those classes defined in this Rule.            

No member of TSSA District Committee (other than the President or Vice-President) whose term of office has expired and who has been a member of TSSA District Committee (other than in the capacity of President or Vice-President) for a consecutive period of eight or more years, shall be eligible to be elected as a member of TSSA District Committee until a further period of four years has elapsed.



10. For Leadership Elections purposes (i.e. Chapter IV of TULR(C)A 1992) and drawing comparison with our current structures, the District Committee will effectively be similar to our current Executive Committee and the National Secretary role will also be similar to the current General Secretary but only be responsible for organising staff based in Britain and Ireland. Leadership election ballots for the District Committee will be conducted within set constituencies whilst those for the District President, Vice-President and National Secretary would see the entire District membership vote . All elections will be based on one member one vote ballots and restricted to members in Britain and Ireland.

Rule 9.1(a) There shall be an TSSA District Committee, elected in accordance with Rule 9.2 (Election of TSSA District Committee etc), to manage TSSA generally.   

Rules 12.1 and 9.1 deal with the duties of the National Secretary and District Committee and are a direct lift from the current TSSA Rule book amended to take account of the new titles.




11. The District Committee/BDC will not have the power to make decisions or set out policies relating to issues that might affect the IBB as a whole.


Clause 3.1 of the BoilermakersConstitution – Supreme Law - This Constitution constitutes the supreme law of the Boilermakers and supersedes any provision in the By-Laws of any subordinate body which is inconsistent with it. For the sake of clarity wording will be agreed between the Boilermakers and TSSA as part of the agreement for Transfer and in advance of Constitutional changes at the next Boilermakers Convention.            

Agreed wording - There shall be a TSSA District for the purpose of servicing and organising those members employed directly or indirectly in the transport and travel industry in Britain and Ireland.

Function
The District will have full authority for all industrial, policy and political, decisions within Great Britain and Ireland only.



12. The District Committee will be allocated a budget each year which will include all of the funds generated from the membership fees of members in Britain and Ireland. All decisions in respect of the management of that budget will belong with the District Committee who may delegate day to day spending decisions to the National Secretary. The IBB through its Secretary-Treasurer and their accounting department will ensure that administrative an professional support is provided to the District to ensure accounts are maintained in good order.


Rule 9.1(e)(4) makes clear that the District Committee will be responsible for the proper administration of the funds dealt with by TSSA District Office.  For the sake of clarity wording will be agreed between the Boilermakers and TSSA as part of the agreement for Transfer and in advance of Constitutional changes at the next Boilermakers Convention.              

Agreed wording - "The District Committee will be allocated a budget each year which will include all of the funds generated from the membership fees of members in Britain and Ireland.  The Boilermakers through its Secretary-Treasurer and their accounting department will ensure that administrative and professional support is provided to the District to ensure accounts are maintained in good order."



13. Capital assets currently owned by TSSA will transfer to IBB, however, The District will continue to manage these assets and the returns from these assets can be allocated to the budget of The District for their use or be re-invested. Consequently, The District will elect its own Trustees to invest and manage these assets following consultation with the IBB Secretary-Treasurer.


Rule 9.1(e)(4) makes clear that the District Committee will direct the work of the Trustees following consultation with the Boilermakers Secretary-Treasurer. For the sake of clarity wording will be agreed between the Boilermakers and TSSA as part of the agreement for Transfer and in advance of Constitutional changes at the next Boilermakers Convention.             

Agreed wording - "Capital assets in Britain and Ireland will be owned by the Boilermakers and managed by the TSSA District. The returns from such assets will be allocated to the budget of the TSSA District for operational use or for reinvestment following consultation with the Boilermakers.



14. The IBB has a number of dedicated funds including those for members education and organising which the District will have access to. These funds contain significant resources running into several tens of millions of dollars per year. These funds could for example be accessed to finance the equivalent of TSSA’s current Strategic Organising and Campaigns Team. In addition, the IBB can provide financial assistance to the District.


TSSA is facing significant financial challenges as a consequence of impending membership losses related to the financial crisis facing public transport and the travel trade across Britain and Ireland. The merger with the Boilermakers will help address these challenges whilst supporting the future growth of the TSSA District as part of the Boilermakers family.
Under the Boilermakers Constitution, participation in their Convention is dependent upon Per Capita Tax payments being up to date.
The Per Capita Tax Levied on the TSSA District will be set at 20% of subscription fees received each year and will be collected by the International Secretary-Treasurer no later than 01 April following the fiscal year for which they are due.
The Boilermakers agree to take on responsibility for all non-operational staff from TSSA. In addition, they will fund the TSSA District education programme and member Helpdesk for a period of ten years. The Boilermakers will further underwrite the creation of a new Greenfield Organising Team of ten Organisers and one Director for a minimum period of five years. After this period the work of the Greenfield Organising Team will be reviewed against pre agreed objectives designed to grow the TSSA District and make the Team self-sufficient within ten years. Future support from the Boilermakers will then reduce by 20% each year to zero or when the Team becomes self-sufficient whichever is first.


15. Audited Reports and Accounts of the IBB as a whole would be published as per the IBB Constitution and as such would be available to all members and the Certification Officer (CO). The District will maintain financial records relating to all its income and expenditure and these will be the subject of report to the Certification Officer and members of the IBB within The District on an annual basis. IBB would file an Annual Return with the CO in respect of The District membership (and audit) and finances etc, just as our union currently does.

TSSA District Rule book delivers this under Rule 9.4.2 Auditors




16. The IBB will employ business, administrative and support staff to facilitate the effective and efficient operation of the International, its Districts and Sectors. These staff will be located where required after taking account of the need to ensure that the location of staff will be decided on the basis of their cost effectiveness and members needs as the IBB will operate over many different time zones and countries. An agreement will be reached with the IBB on what contribution the District needs to make for this support but this is expected to be far less than the costs currently incurred by our union to undertake these tasks due to economies of scale.


The Boilermakers agree to take on responsibility for all non-operational staff from TSSA. In addition, they will fund the TSSA District education programme and member Helpdesk for a minimum period of ten years. In addition, the Boilermakers will fully underwrite the creation of a new Greenfield Organising Team of ten Organisers and one Director for a period of 10 years. After the first five years, the work of the Greenfield Organising Team will be reviewed against pre agreed objectives designed to grow the TSSA District and make the Team self-sufficient. Future support from the Boilermakers will then reduce by 20% each year to zero or when the Team becomes self-sufficient whichever is first.


17. Much of the current TSSA Rule Book would be transcribed into The District Rule Book to ensure that for example our existing branch structure stays in place.

Done and distributed to TSSA Branches and SOGs for consultation