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April 2018 EC summary

1 May 2018

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held 26 and 27 April 2018.

There was one apology for absence - Stephen Lawrence (Scotland) - bereavement

The Executive Committee began by observing a moment’s silence for Margaret Lawrence, who sadly passed away on 24th April.

Industrial Relations

A further ballot for TSSA members working in Scotrail CCTV control rooms has taken place and a new mandate for industrial action has been given. Further talks will take place shortly.

The Executive Committee was given a detailed report on an audit of gender-related pay in our union. Under new laws employers of 250 or more staff are required to publish their ‘gender gap’ information. TSSA employs less than 250 members, however, we decided to undertake an audit regardless and publish the results. The audit confirmed that the gender pay gap in TSSA stood at just 0.6%, which compares very favourably with other employers from a variety of industries and stood as an excellent example of good practice. The report closed by stating that the aim of the Association must be to employ more women, both into the Senior Management Team and as Organisers.

Financial

Talks continue with HS2 on the outstanding balance on the purchase price of Walkden House fol-lowing the compulsory purchase in September 2017. Tenders have been received for the re-fit of the second floor (the floor to be occupied by TSSA and our staff) in our new head office building near Liverpool Street and it is hoped that work will commence soon.

Mental Health

The Executive Committee received an update on the Association’s continuing good work in raising awareness of and supporting those affected by mental health issues. The Executive Committee considered a full report on mental health, which identified the heavy financial costs to organisations of mental health related absence and that the most significant contributor to mental ill-health was workplace stress caused by a myriad of factors. The EC noted that the Rail Safety Standards Board has prioritised mental health in its business plan for 2017-18 and that our union was also prioritising mental health awareness, training and support amongst its own employees and their managers.

It was further noted by the Executive that there was limited buy-in on the part of employers on the issue of mental health and wellbeing of their staff, however TSSA was at the forefront in bringing employers to account for the manner in which they support and adapt to the needs of their employees with regards to mental health.

Political and Campaigns

The Executive Committee agreed to a proposal to organise a rally to coincide with a demonstration which will take place on 23rd June, which will be the second anniversary of the European Union Referendum. The EC noted that the ‘Remain’ argument had been dominated largely by Neo-liberal politicians and it was imperative that pro-EU trade unions, left wing politicians and campaigners were given the opportunity to seize the narrative and put the case for remaining in the Single Market, Customs Unions and that remaining in the EU would be preferable to leaving and eroding workers’ rights. Further details will be released in due course.

Cheryl O’Brien (Wales and West EC member) presented a report written by Paul Jeffries on their attendance as TSSA delegates at the Welsh Labour Annual Conference. TSSA seconded an ASLEF motion calling for the Welsh government to promote rail freight in Wales. The Conference was also addressed by Jeremy Corbyn, who urged delegates to build on the gains in Wales at the 2017 Gen-eral Election and push for a return of a Labour Government at the next election.

The Executive Committee agreed that the General Secretary would join the ‘Justice Mexico Now’ delegation which will be observing elections taking place in Mexico in late June and early July.

The Executive Committee agreed to lend TSSA’s support to the Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish com-munity centre and their festival events which will be taking place during June and July in east and north London. You can find out more about Day-Mer by going to http://www.daymer.org.

The Executive Committee agreed to assist in raising awareness of Unite's campaign calling on Premier Inn’s owner Whitbread, to end exploitative work practices and its ‘work until you drop’ culture after Channel 4’s Dispatches recently lifted the lid on worker abuse at the hotel chain.

TSSA Democracy

Further to TSSA Circular 205/17, which was circulated to branches in November 2017, the Executive Committee endorsed a report which will be submitted to the Standing Orders Committee, along with a motion calling on Conference to endorse that report.

The Executive Committee agreed to support two motions from LU MATS & Operating Managers branch on the industrial disputes affecting University College Union members in locations across the country and on SNCF in France against President Macron’s attempts to attack terms and conditions. The General Secretary spoke in support of CGT, the French union which represents the majority of rail workers, on 2nd April 2018, where he said:

“Our solidarity with our fellow transport workers in France is not just principled, it is heartfelt. Britain’s two decade experiment with rail privatisation has turned Britain into a failed rail state. Its given us the highest fares in Europe for some of the poorest services. Our trains are for the most part over-crowded and far too much of our rolling stock is dilapidated. Our vital public service workers are also treated way too often with contempt by the Tory government.

French Rail remains a beacon service with low fares, speedy trains, a history of strong investment and high density usage. It ain’t broke, it don’t need fixing and no one working or travelling regularly on trains in Britain would recommend our broken system as any form of exemplary rail model. So we wish our sisters and brothers in the French rail unions well as they fight to uphold safety standards and public service ethos. Victoire aux cheminots! Victory to the rail workers of France.”.

The EC also agreed to contribute the sum of £50 to the UCU’s strike hardship fund.

Paul Corcoran (EC member for Ireland) gave a report on the latest Irish Committee meeting, includ-ing the decision made by the Committee to open a new Belfast Managers’ Branch.

The Executive Committee agreed that Nicola Jukes (North East EC member) and the Treasurer would be part of TSSA’s delegation to the International Transport Federation congress in Singapore from October 14th to 20th.

The Treasurer gave a full report on his attendance at the Unions21 Annual Conference in London on 13th April. The Conference was well attended, with many very interesting speakers and topics. Part of the day included the presentation of a report, ‘Roadmap to Renewal’, which detailed how trade unions can achieve relevance and increased membership. You can read the report here: http://unions21.org.uk/files1/Roadmap-to-Renewal.pdf

Time to Grow and Organising

Membership of TSSA declined slightly in the last period. TSSA Organisers, staff, Executive Commit-tee members and the General Secretary have participated in a major recruitment campaign during

week ending 27th April. The campaign has been a great success and has received lots of coverage on social media.

The Executive Committee was pleased to note that Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, would be writing to all staff working in Mayor-controlled employers encouraging them to join a trade union to give them a voice in their workplace.

Future TSSA event

The Executive Committee noted that the Future TSSA event scheduled to take place on 28th and 29th April in Birmingham had been postponed. It was hoped that lessons would be learnt and that a new event would be organised for later in the year.

Donations and Funding

Donations were authorised to the following:

  • £250 to Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation towards collection for Nelson Mandela statue
  • £100 to York Womens’ Conference
  • £50 to University and College Union hardship fund
  • £50 to Parliamentary Outreach Trust

The next meeting of the Executive Committee would be on 24th and 25th May in London

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