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April 2017 EC summary

16 May 2017

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 27 and 28 April 2017

Gary Kilroy (North West) was unable to attend as he was representing TSSA at Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s Young Trade Unionists’ May Day brigade event which will took place from 27th April to 9th May 2017.

Industrial Relations

The General Secretary gave an update to the EC on industrial relations at Bus Eireann, where TSSA members took part in 21 days of strike action, the longest continuous strike in the 120 year history of our union. They are now back at work. The EC gave thanks to all branches who have taken the opportunity to make solidarity donations to the strike fund.

A reminder of the bank details: Bank: Allied Irish, Branch: 37 upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Account name: TSSA Div Council, Sort Code: 93-11-36, Account number: 88644029, IBAN Code: IE69AIBK93113688644029, BIC CODE: AIBKIE2.

Paul Sutherland and Ian Rashbrook from Network Rail’s Digital Railway project team briefed the EC on the company’s proposals for the adoption of new control software on the UK rail network. The change presents opportunities around collective bargaining for staff in Rail Operations Centres. One advantage of the system is that it effectively delivers automatic train protection, improving the safety of railway staff and passengers.

It was reported that Abellio Greater Anglia are proposing to close a number of booking offices, but that TSSA has succeeded in securing the support of 12 local MPs in opposing the closures.

TSSA Democracy

It was agreed that the following organisations would be welcome to have stalls at our Annual Conference in Liverpool:

·      Transport Benevolent Fund

·      People’s Assembly Against Austerity

The EC will be proposing rule changes which will make clearer the timings of conference and related deadlines, reflecting the new practice of holding Conference in June.

There will be an extraordinary meeting of the EC on Friday 19 May, the day before the special delegate conference.

Organising and Membership

It was reported that Morrish is now operating the TSSA Helpdesk service for us, and the arrangement has proved successful so far.

It was reported that membership nationally has declined very slightly since the start of the year. We are recruiting in very large numbers (over 1700 last year), but members are also leaving the industries in which we organise, and therefore the union. A very modest increase in the level of recruitment would enable us to stand still and start to grow.

The EC agreed to trial a special incentive scheme to assist recruitment in the call centre at Virgin Trains East Coast, where new members who join and stay in membership for 6 months will receive 3 months membership free. The effectiveness of this trial in encouraging staff to join the association will be monitored closely.

Campaigning and Political

The EC received a report from the Communications Working Party and it is hoped that the EC will receive a draft social media policy for the Association at the June meeting.

The EC considered correspondence from the organisers of ‘Palexpo’, a two-day event at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on 8/9 July. It was agreed to write to the organisers, asking what practical support they require.

The EC considered correspondence from the Argentina Solidarity Campaign. The EC agreed to invite them to send a representative to address a future meeting. A video about the ASC is on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn7bFHc6vtI

The EC considered an invitation to support an initiative called ‘Retaining European Citizenship’, which is essentially about retaining the right to freedom of movement. The EC agreed to endorse the launch statement, as it’s in line with longstanding Association policy. You can read more about this if you’re interested at www.eucitizen2017.org

The EC considered a paper on the upcoming General Election and agreed the following donations from the Political Fund which took account of what work they had undertaken on behalf of our union:

Rupa Haq MP - Ealing Central & Acton - £4,000
Geraint Davies MP - Swansea West - £4,000
Paul Sheiff MP - Dewsbury - £4,000
Cat Smith MP - Lancaster and Fleetwood - £3,000
Ed Miliband MP - Doncaster North - £2,000
Clive Lewis MP - Norwich South - £2,000
Julie Hilling - Bolton West - £2,000
Scottish Labour Party - £2,000

Rachel Maskell MP – York Central - £1000
John Cryer MP - Leyton and Wanstead - £1000
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP - Salford & Eccles - £1,000
Angela Rayner MP - Ashton Under Lyne - £1,000
Andy McDonald MP - Middlebrough - £1,000
Lisa Nandy MP - Wigan - £1,000
John Cruddas MP - Dagenham & Rainham - £1,000
Louise Haigh MP - Sheffield Heeley - £1,000
Lilian Greenwood MP - Nottingham South - £1,000
Gareth Thomas MP - Harrow West - £1,000
Jo Stevens MP - Cardiff Central - £1,000
Ayr CLP - £1,000

There will also be a focus on encouraging TSSA members to vote Labour, and to get involved in the campaign. 

Financial and other matters

The EC received a verbal report on the future of Walkden House. Discussions are underway about the sale of the building to HS2. We continue to view possible new buildings, with a view to moving later this year.

The EC agreed to confer honorary life membership of the Association to Labour MP, Mary Creagh, for her bravery in supporting staff at Westminster Underground station immediately after the tragic incident outside Parliament in March. 

Donations

The following requests for donations/sponsorship were agreed:

STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Committee who wish to purchase a new banner after updating their name - £25
TUC Disabled Workers Conference screening of I, Daniel Blake - £25
Jimmy Reid Foundation, a think tank that pursues social justice and social radicalism for society and its citizens in Scotland - £50
British Airways mixed cabin crew (Unite) strike fund - £25
Durham Teaching Assistants (Unison) strike fund - £25

 

 

 

 

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