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August 2017 EC Summary

7 August 2017

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 3 and 4 August 2017

The Executive Committee welcomed five new members whose terms began on July 1st - Marios Alexandrou (London Transport), Paul Beadle (London North West), Paul Corcoran (Ireland), Nicola Jukes (North East) and Al Stoten (London South).

Political and Campaigns

The General Secretary has been visiting locations including South Wales, Leeds, Leicester and Sheffield, liaising with local Labour Party members of parliament in response to the Government’s u-turn on major electrification projects in Wales and the north. Excellent media exposure has been gained, both for the plight of those lines affected and for the association. Rallies are being planned across the areas affected by the Government’s decision (including Midland Mainline, Trans-Pennine Express and Great Western in Wales) to gain local population and media support for reinstating electrification.

The General Secretary held discussions with Labour Party front bench and back bench MPs on Brexit and Labour’s plans for EU nationals currently residing in the U.K. The issue of having no physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was discussed, and the Labour Party and TSSA share much common ground on the freedom of movement issue. It was clear that neither Labour or ourselves want a ‘hard border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic. There were expected to be difficulties with the issue of the European Union (EU) Customs Union, which exists to negotiate trade tariffs collectively on behalf of its members. The key issue is the difficulties if remaining in the customs union but not being in the EU (as is the case with Turkey). A round table event would be arranged in the near future with Kier Starmer MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) and a number of reps, particularly from Ireland, who would be most adversely affected by any ‘hard border’ option, to discuss how leaving the EU may affect them.

The Executive Committee received a report from Steve Leggett, former EC member for London South, on a South Eastern Region TUC meeting which took place on 8th July 2017. In addition, the EC agreed to make a donation of £25 to the striking British Airways cabin crew.

The Executive Committee received correspondence from the White Ribbon Campaign, which is the largest global effort of men working to end male violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign aims to educate and raise awareness of violence against women, and to engage men in these issues. Supporters of the campaign are encouraged to wear a white ribbon to show their solidarity with women who are the victims of violence. The Executive Committee agreed to help publicise this campaign.

You can find out more by going to: http://www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk

The EC agreed to encourage branches to affiliate to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC). EC member for the North West, Gary Kilroy, a recent visitor to Cuba on behalf of the association, is open to invitations to come to branches to speak on Cuba on the work of the CSC. Cuba has been in the news recently, firstly for US President Trump’s decision to reverse Barrack Obama’s relaxation of the embargo against Cuba, but also because of the Open University’s policy to bar Cuban students in deference to the United States.

You can find out more on the CSC by clicking here http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk

Following contact from Ealing Trades Council, the EC agreed to send a letter of support for Kensington and Chelsea Residents’ ongoing campaign to save Earl’s Court (which sadly has recently been demolished) and the destruction of the West Kensington and Gibb Green estates and the London Underground depot at Lillie Bridge.

 

Industrial Relations

Scotrail is proposing to cut jobs in its two CCTV control rooms in Dunfermline and Paisley. The matter was put to TSSA Annual Conference as a motion, the terms of which was to vigorously fight these cuts and to defend the jobs of those working in Scotrail CCTV rooms. this motion was carried. The dispute is now at formal dispute resolution, however the Executive Committee instructed the General Secretary to ballot our members in Scotrail CCTV control rooms for industrial action (both strike action and action short of strike) should it become necessary and authorised the General Secretary to call such action if members balloted in favour of doing so.

Financial

A compulsory purchase order has been served on TSSA for Walkden House, meaning that the building must be vacated by September 25th. A Working Party of EC members and staff have been viewing properties for a replacement head office and work continues in this regard, however an interim arrangement has been made whereby the association will rent space in Euston Tower as a temporary head office. The association will suffer a significant loss of rental income until such time as a new, permanent head office is sourced and occupied.

The Executive Committee agreed that, further to the rule change passed at Annual Conference regarding the submission of branch returns, that branches will be contacted to inform them that, if they do not submit branch returns, then they will not be able to pay their officers commission. Further, once branch returns have fallen behind, then it will not be possible to pay commission in arrears once the returns are up to date.

Donations were authorised to the following:

Campaign for Climate Change: £50
Freight on Rail: £200 to assist in carrying out research on pollution and safety

TSSA Democracy

Following the EC’s withdrawal of Item 64 at Annual Conference, the EC agreed that the General Secretary will conduct a tour of the country to gain consensus on proposals to allow divisions to follow the example of the Irish division in selecting delegates for Annual Conference as a division rather than individual branches or they can opt to retain current arrangements with both systems running side by side. A key benefit of divisional delegations is that they can better reflect the demographic of that division’s membership and allows for gender balance and scope for delegations to include disabled, LGBT and BAME members. Divisions would be free to decide which method suits them and would be free to maintain the status quo of branch delegations if they wish.

The Executive Committee agreed to consider an request from the Future TSSA Self Organised Group to relaunch the SOG, which organises young TSSA members. The EC agreed in principle to support a relaunch event later in the year or in early 2018, as well as hold an annual event to coincide with the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival.

The Executive Committee agreed two motions to be placed on the agenda for TUC Congress in September, one motion being on Brexit and the other on transport policy (buses).

The EC was pleased to hear the news that London Transport Retired branch would be holding their inaugural meeting on 19th September.

The TSSA Social Media Code of Conduct has been approved by the Executive Committee and a copy of the policy will be sent to all branches, Divisional Councils and reps, as well as being published on the TSSA website.

The Executive Committee agreed appointments of EC members to a number of bodies and sub-committees, including the Audit Committee, Investments Committee, Campaigns Committee and Communications Working Party.

The Executive Committee received a motion passed at TfL Central branch calling for a number of actions to encourage low-carbon investment by the TfL Pension Fund. The Executive Committee will action this.

Time to Grow

Executive Committee members gave reports on the work being undertaken in their respective divisions to increase recruitment and retention. Time to Grow is being made a standing item on the agendas of Divisional Councils across the country. Membership was growing in every major employer where we have full negotiation rights, with the exception of London Underground. Remedial action was being taken in the division to strategise and increase recruitment on LUL.

EC Meetings for 2018

The Executive Committee agreed that meetings for 2018 would take place on the following dates:

18th and 19th January
1st and 2nd March
26th and 27th April
24th and 25th May
2nd and 3rd August
13th and 14th September
30th and 31st October
6th and 7th December

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