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April 2016 EC summary

28 April 2016

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 21 and 22 April 2016

Industrial Relations

TSSA received a positive ballot result over London Underground’s proposals regarding Night Tube and Pay for Service Control staff. However, following consultation with members, the Association decided to accept the Pay & Night Tube offer. Our union remains in dispute over protection of staff on the track at night.

Following positive votes for strike action on Scotrail and Network Rail over plans to integrate control and delay attribution (including a 100% ‘yes’ vote in Network Rail), agreements with both employers have now been made and TSSA is consulting with members about whether to suspend the dispute.

Talks with London Midland over pay differentials between train drivers and train driver managers continue.

The dispute on Virgin East Coast over remuneration for rest day working continues.

TSSA Democracy

In view of concerns raised by the scrutineers about the level of participation in union democracy, the EC agreed to organise at least one event per division in summer or autumn in this year to promote to members the concept of participatory democracy within the union, with the aim of explaining our democratic structures and encouraging members to become more involved.

The Executive Committee received a report from the Communications Working Group confirming that, following a suggestion that proceedings of our 2016 conference could be broadcast live via webcast, we would not at this time pursue this owing to concerns over confidentiality, gaining permission from delegates and cost. The current practice of sharing selected quotes and images via social media will be continued.

A venue and date for the 2017 conference was agreed by the EC and this will be announced at the 2016 conference.

The EC considered an invitation to send a delegate to an ETUF Youth Trade Union Regional Seminar in Prague on 2nd and 3rd June. It was agreed that Gary Kilroy, EC member for the North West, could attend this seminar.

Organising and Membership

Membership of the association continues to slowly decline. In the London Transport division, it was noted that the implementation of changes in London Underground (known as 'Fit for the Future Stations') has meant that a number of members are leaving employment and that at the same time new people are joining LUL, and that an increased effort needs to be made to recruit them to TSSA.

The EC considered a proposal to trial a digital recruitment strategy, the initial trial will last six months and will cost £5,000. The success (or not) of the campaign will be measured and reported on during the trial.

Finances

The following requests for donations/sponsorship were agreed:

· Professional TU for Prison Correctional & Secure Psychiatric Workers - £25
· Belfast & District TUC: George McBride Headstone - £25
· Community H.E.A.R.T. - £50
· Cuba Solidarity Campaign: Miami Five to Britain - £50
· Working Class Movement Library - £50
· ACTSA: Women's Rights in Swaziland - £50
· Karl Marx Library & Workers' School - £50
· TUC LGBT conference - £50
· TUC Disabled Workers conference - £50
· Convoy to Calais - £250
· Junior Doctors’ strike - £500

Political

The EC agreed to spend £20,000 from the Political Fund on a targeted campaign to encourage TSSA members in London, Wales, Scotland and Bristol to participate in this year’s local elections. The data from this campaign will remain available to us afterwards, and should help build political engagement amongst some of our members.

The EC agreed to donate £10,000 to Sadiq Khan's London mayoral campaign, from the Political Fund. The EC also agreed to spend £10,000 from the Political Fund on ‘Zac Attack’, a campaign via national media and social media focusing on Zac Goldsmith’s alleged non-dom tax status.

As an affiliate to the People’s Assembly, TSSA can send a delegate to their steering group meetings. It was agreed that Chris Clark, EC member for London Transport, should be the association’s delegate.

It was agreed that TSSA would put forward a motion to Labour Party conference proposing that the current nominations threshold for candidates for leader should be reduced from 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party and European Parliamentary Labour Party to 10%.

The EC considered a proposal to donate to Momentum, the organisation building on Jeremy Corbyn’s successful campaign to lead the Labour Party. A donation of up to £10,000, either in cash or in kind, was agreed. This will come from the Political Fund.

The EC received a request for support from JC4PM, which is organising a series of fundraising and entertainment nights across the country in support of Jeremy Corbyn. The EC agreed to use the Political Fund to purchase a number of discounted tickets for the events in Sheffield (at which Manuel Cortes is speaking) and Cambridge, with the tickets to be offered to members in those areas.

The EC considered a report prepared by the Political Officer. The report notes that TSSA’s political strategy and campaigning work has delivered the strongest possible position from Labour in favour of a publicly run rail system, and full backing for the policy from the Labour leadership. However, our union needs to be creative in keeping this topic on the agenda and developing the policy framework into an in-depth strategy for Labour to deliver in 2020. It was agreed that TSSA will organise a series of round table policy seminars with the shadow rail minister and key stakeholders, and industry and academic experts presenting the key questions and some initial solutions for discussion. The EC also agreed to further joint work with Labour to develop the ‘People’s Railway’ grassroots campaign.

It was agreed that TSSA would renew its affiliation to Freight on Rail, at a cost of £8000. The EC also agreed to contribute £380 towards the preparation of a report on the impact of mega-trucks, which if allowed on Britain’s roads would pose a threat to other road users, the environment and the jobs of members who work in rail freight.

The EC considered a motion from Euston branch on the plight of 550,000 Commonwealth citizens in receipt of ‘frozen pensions’. The EC agreed to refer the matter to SERTUC.

Strategy

It has been agreed that TSSA will enter into exploratory talks with Ireland’s National Bus & Rail Union (NBRU) on the possibility of forming a transport federation in Ireland.


This is a brief summary. For further details, please contact your Executive Committee member.

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