November is proving to be a time of changes, challenges and excitement at TSSA as we carry on the work of building a union that is fit for the long-term future. Your Executive Committee met for a one-day session on 8 November. We were proud to welcome the newly elected General Secretary, Maryam Eslamdoust, to her first full meeting of the Executive. We also welcomed four new Trainee Workplace Organisers who briefly joined the meeting to introduce themselves to the EC. These new trainee organisers will be able to help our union recruit new members and focus on delivering improvements in the pay, terms and conditions of our members.
On 7 November Executive Committee members received strategy training from Unions21 as part of the ongoing governance training programme following the recommendations of the Kennedy and Conley report and to ensure that your Executive Committee always reflect best governance practice.
The Executive Committee meeting on 8 November was divided into six sections which covered: Strategic reports, committee reports, Democracy, Industrial Relations, Politics and Campaigns, and Administrative. In this way your Executive Committee can oversee and manage every aspect of the governance of the union.
The Executive Committee considered the most recent membership statistics and considered strategies to further improve the retention and recruitment of members. Several action points were decided which will enable the Executive Committee to better monitor membership trends and data in the future. In particular, a working group of three Executive Committee members was appointed with a special focus on membership strategy.
A Pensions report was received, and the Executive Committee were happy to note that the pension fund is in good health.
A financial report was received and analysed by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee agreed to donate £500 to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and £500 to the Red Cross Israel and Palestine appeal. TSSA is proud of our strong international links. Central to our values is a belief that all people should enjoy freedom and prosperity, wherever they live in the world. To help improve the lives of many people suffering across the globe, TSSA affiliates and works with a number of organisations campaigning for change in different countries throughout the world. As a democratic organization, all our policy decisions are agreed and democratically voted upon directly by our members at our annual delegate conference. This includes our support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which our members voted to affiliate to in 2003.
The Executive Committee considered several confidential reports, including a regular report about HR matters.
An investments committee report was considered and noted by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee reaffirmed its pledge to hold a consultative review to ensure the smooth running of future elections. The review – the scope of which is to be determined by the EC, the General Secretary, and representatives of the staff body - will involve colleagues from across the Association. It will consider the comments of the scrutineers and all the concerns that have been raised in writing by members during the recent General Secretary election.
Your Executive Committee are now inviting TSSA members onto a working group to review our Rule Book. This is important because the Rule Book sets out the framework within which all TSSA’s activities are regulated, and all members and officials are bound by our rules. Members who want to take part in the working group to review our Rule Book have been asked to send a 200-word statement outlining their skills, relevant experience and why they want to be involved to email@example.com by 12 noon on 1 December. The Executive Committee will facilitate a working group reflecting the expertise and diversity of our membership.
The Executive Committee considered best practice for the Self Organised Groups. All the SOGs have been asked to report back to the EC on their activities and it is expected that responses will be received by 1 December.
A number of letters and emails from Branches and Self Organised groups were considered by the Executive Committee and appropriate responses will be sent to the relevant bodies.
The Executive Committee considered the ongoing situation in Transport for Wales in relation to the fleet managers.
Iain Anderson was appointed to the role of Employee Director on Railtrust Holdings Limited and Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited
Politics and Campaigning
A number of branch political fund donations were considered and agreed by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee considered correspondence from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign regarding sending a young member on a delegation to Cuba. The EC will consider the item again at their next meeting before making a decision.
The Executive Committee discussed several administrative actions and agreed to donate £50 towards a fundraising appeal to Bristol Children’s Hospital.
If you have any questions for the Executive Committee, then please contact the President or your Divisional Executive Committee representative. The next scheduled meeting of the EC is 5/6 December.