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August 2018 EC Summary

10 August 2018

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 2 and 3 August 2018.

Industrial Relations

Following a ballot for TSSA members working in Scotrail CCTV control rooms and continued discussions, the dispute is effectvely settled although discussions are ongoing regarding one member.

There is now another dispute in ScotRail regarding the rate of pay for rest day working for clerical staff. Authority has been given to the General Secretary to ballot these members for industrial action and to call them out, should it become necessary. It's the intention to ballot for both strike action and action short of strike if no resolution is forthcoming.

In Siemens Rail Automation, Siemens withdrew their plans to move away from a final salary pension scheme for those in the Westinghouse section of the Railways Pension Scheme. This came following authority being given to ballot TSSA members affected by the proposal. The company’s proposals would have resulted in some RPS members receiving pensions on retirement that would be a fraction of those payable if the final salary remained 100% pensionable. As yet, Siemens have not approached our representatives with any fresh proposals.

Financial

The Executive Committee agreed in principle to invest a sum of £50,000 in a GFTU project to build new accommodation, which will include classrooms, houses and offices, as well as a new gymnasium for guests of the hotel and local residents. The EC was furnished with a full business plan and GFTU will provide security against the loan.

Item 69, which was passed at our Annual Conference in June, resolved to instruct the EC to explore the possibility of using debit cards for Unity Trust bank accounts held by branches, Divisional Councils and Self-Organised Groups. Unity Trust Bank have confirmed that they have no plans to introduce debit cards for trade unions branches, but have stated that there are key advantages in making payments by electronic means, including cost, speed, efficiency and mitigating against fraud. Branches are urged to consider making as many payments as possible by electronic means, given that the cost of processing a cheque is currently 30p and will rise in the future.

Political and Campaigns

Anti-Brexit rallies have taken place at various locations around the country, including London, Bristol and Nottingham. Manuel Cortes has been present as a speaker at some of these events and a further event has been scheduled for York on 13th September.

You can find more details at https://www.anothereurope.org/tour/.

The President and General Secretary, as well as other staff and activists, were attendees at a TSSA event held at Portcullis House on 24th July hosted by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP to launch our Inclusive Rail Campaign. Inclusive Rail is TSSA's campaign to make the railway inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and other workers who may be intersex or identify as queer or non-binary gender. We will engage with individuals and groups who want to be part of making a difference, through collaboration and workplace leadership. You can find more details, including posters for workplaces and our Inclusive Workplaces Standard, at https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/Equalities/LGBT/inclusive-rail/index.cfm.

The Executive Committee agreed to a meeting of TSSA ticket office reps in connection with a consultation on rail fares being conducted by ‘Britain Runs on Rail’. The consultation poses a series of questions, including about fares structures and buying a ticket. The EC agreed that a group of TSSA reps meet at our head office to discuss and respond to the outcomes of the rail fare consultation, to invite a senior advisor to Andy McDonald MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Transport) and representatives of he Campaign for Better Transport to participate in the meeting, and to cover the costs of room hire and incidentals for hosting this meeting.

Marios Alexandrou (London Transport) gave a full report to the EC on a Trade Unions for Energy Democracy event which took place in Sheffield on 28th and 29th June. Fliss Premru also attended on behalf of the association.

The Executive Committee agreed to pay the re-affiliation fee to Freight on Rail, at a cost of £9,600 (including VAT).

TSSA Democracy

Further to TSSA Circular 205/17, which was circulated to branches in November 2017, Annual Conference instructed the Executive Committee to set up a Working Party to consider proposals put forward by the EC during consultations on our democracy, as well proposals put forward by branches during that period of consultation. The Working Party will be composed of a number of current and former Executive Committee members, as well as key members of paid staff.

Following the passing of Item 44 at Annual Conference, the EC agreed to request that all branches submit their Standing Orders for consideration and, in the event of there being no Standing Orders, model Standing Orders are adopted by default.

The Executive Committee have decided to call again for nominations for the EC seat of Wales and Western, which is currently vacant.

The EC agreed motions and amendments to motions for TUC Congress, one on Brexit and one on Britain’s Railways, while the EC agreed amendments to motions on mental health and grassland fires.

Nicola Jukes (North East) gave a verbal report to the EC on preparations for a TSSA Womens Conference, which will be taking place in Manchester on 27th and 28th October 2018. It was acknowledged that a lot of hard work had been put into the event so far and that further hard work would be required to make the event a success.

Time to Grow and Organising

Membership of TSSA remained steady in the last period. TSSA Organisers, staff, Executive Committee members and the General Secretary will participate in another major recruitment campaign during September. Previous campaigns have been very successful and received lots of coverage on social media. Training for all TSSA reps on recruiting will commence in the Autumn.

The Executive Committee was pleased to note that Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, joined a TfL trade union fair which took place on 17th July. Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander also joined Sadiq at TfL’s Palestra Office in Southwark to encourage take up of TSSA membership amongst TfL’s huge team of support staff.

Unions 21 - Roadmap to Renewal

The Treasurer represented TSSA at Unions 21’s Annual Conference in April. Unions 21 launched their ‘Roadmap to Renewal’ document at this Conference, which highlighted four areas that trade unions would have to consider to help union renewal. One area is to recognise the role of leadership to enable change within trade unions. A two day training course would be taking place in November, the Treasurer, Marios Alexandrou (London Transport) and Paul Beadle (London and North West) would be attending. The cost to the union will be £400 per delegate.

You can read the Unions 21 report ‘Roadmap to Renewal’ here: http://unions21.org.uk/files1/Roadmap-to-Renewal.pdf

Donations and Funding

Donations and funding were authorised to the following:

£500 to Lajee Centre Sounds of Freedom Tour 2018 - a group of young Palestinians musicians touring the UK
£250 to Migrant Rights Network - contribution towards a project to launch a Migration Media Charter, a set of guiding principles when reporting on and discussing migration
£200 to Love Music Hate Racism - for a float at Notting Hill Carnival
£50 to Community HEART - for their continued work in South Africa
£50 to Edinburgh Trades Council - for event at Edinburgh Fringe
£50 to Enslaved Africans Memorial - for a sculpture and garden project
£50 for ‘The Plan’ - a film about Lucas Aerospace workers who saved their jobs by innovating in new areas


The next meeting of the Executive Committee would be on 13th and 14th September in York

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