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Executive Committee Report - April 2019

28 May 2019

There was one apology for absence - Gary Kilroy (North West), annual leave.

Membership and Time to Grow

Membership of the union remained steady. It was clear that recruitments weeks, which take place periodically throughout the year, yield increases in membership, but a concerted collective recruitment effort on the part of reps and activists was essential for the sustained growth of the union.

Recognition agreements with Southern for On Board Supervisors, with Rail for London (responsible for Crossrail from Stratford to Paddington) and High-Speed 2 have given us further recruitment opportunities. The compulsory training for reps in recruitment skills continue. The Executive Committee received a detailed report on rep engagement and feedback from recruitment training, which shows that attendees rated the course as either ‘good’ or ‘great’. So far over 150 reps have attended this course.

There remained work to do on the compulsory recruitment skills training to get the remainder of representative establishment onto the courses and this will be the focus of the Executive Committee and the union going forward.


The Executive Committee approved TSSA’s Strategic Vision 2019-2022, which will be presented to our Annual Delegate Conference in June.

Industrial Relations

The Executive Committee were given a presentation by Ian Rashbrook of Network Rail on the future of the digital railway. The introduction of new signalling and traffic control systems will go some way to increasing line capacity and offer effective solutions when services are disrupted. It was noted that the introduction of new rolling stock should be the driver to replace life-extinct signalling systems, evidence for this is the section of the Great Northern line between Drayton Park and Moorgate, which is introducing new signalling as new rolling stock, which is compatible with in-cab signalling, is introduced. Network Rail is engaging with our reps to ensure they are inadequately trained in the new technologies that a digital railway will bring.

TSSA Democracy

The Executive Committee agreed to requests for three stalls at Annual Conference, including for Disability Working Group, Cuba Solidarity Campaign and TSSA Labour. The EC have already agreed a number of stalls, including Scottish Morning Star, Labour Party and Love Music Hate Racism.

The Executive Committee agreed to look at the operation and efficiency of our Self-Oganised Groups with a view to increasing their sustainability.

Financial and Notable Donations

The Executive Committee agreed to the following donations and affiliation fees:

• £100 to People’s Assembly

• £25 to GMB Northants Community branch for an event to mark Workers’ Memorial Day

• £100 to Cuba Solidarity Campaign to support Cuba 60 anniversary events

• £100 to Redhills to assist in the restoration of Durham Miners’ Hall

• £50 to TUC Disabled Workers Conference for an event to celebrate the achievements of disabled workers

The Executive Committee agreed to invite a representative of the Jubilee Debt Campaign on their work over the last two years.

Political and Campaigns

The Executive Committee received detailed reports on National Pensioners’ Convention National Council, TUC North West Conference and TUC Yorkshire and Humber Conference, as well as a detailed reports on TUC Women’s Conference from both Nicola Jukes (EC member for North East) and Sarah-Jane McDonough (Euston branch).

Delegates at TUC Women’s Conference attended a fringe meeting which featured Thabitha Khumalo, a member of parliament for Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwean opposition party. Thabitha described her experiences of being on the run from Zimbabwean Defence Forces and law enforcement agencies. She also believes that she will be arrested on her return to Zimbabwe.

Speakers at the Conference included Mark Serwotka (General Secretary of PCS), Frances O’Grady (General Secretary of the TUC), Diane Holland (Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union) and Mandy La Combre (Trade Unio Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment) who spoke on abortion and the fact that it remains illegal in Northern Ireland.

TSSA moved on Universal Credit and Maternity and Pregnancy Regulations, both motions were carried.

Stephen Lawrence (EC member for Scotland) gave a detailed verbal report on Scottish TUC Conference, which took place on 16th and 17th April. The Conference was addressed by Richard Leonard, who is the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Central Scotland region. Motions were moved and passed by TSSA for the re-nationalisation of Scotrail, a motion opposing the privatisation of Network Rail, as well as motion on women in directorships in Scotrail.

The Executive Committee thanked Nicola, Stephen and Sarah-Jane for their reports and to all our delegates for their work.

Other business

The Executive extends its thanks to Keeley Lipscombe for her detailed report from the latest General Federation of Trade Unions EC meeting.

The gender pay gap in TSSA was 3.3% in 2018

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