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Executive Committee report, December 2014

9 December 2014

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th December 2014.

 

One EC member was not present due to sickness and another due to work commitments.

Strategy

Talks on cooperation continue to develop with the 3000 strong Irish NBRU which organises rail and bus workers.

The TSSA will participate in the GFTU (General Federation of Trade Unions) conference in May 2015 for the first time. The General Secretary will attend along with a young member from FutureTSSA.

The president will write to branches and SOGs to remind them of the second round of consultation on the proposals for Divisional Council mini-conferences to determine the selection of delegates, motions and amendments to go to Annual Conference.

Industrial Relations

Volker Rail, the overwhelming vote for strike action resulted in the company making an improved offer. The TSSA reps recommended acceptance but this was rejected by the members. This resulted in a further improved offer which was accepted. Four new members joined TSSA during this process, taking the numbers in membership up to 36.

As a result of a racist incident when a TSSA member stood between some EDL thugs and two young men of Asian background who they intended to attack, TSSA will ask company councils to ask train operators to refuse to let those from obvious racist organisations travel on their trains.

The EC received a brief and report from our solicitors on the recent legal judgement on holiday pay. The judgement limits the scope for claiming back pay. TSSA has written to all our employers on this matter with varying replies and bargaining teams and reps will continue to engage with employers with a view to obtaining enhanced holiday pay for our members.

Finances

Progress on savings, largely through the reduction in staff numbers, are already providing benefits and a positive budget for 2015. A deficit against subs income only, of around £500k, is expected in 2014 but, with income from rental and investments anticipated to be close to this, we are reaching a reasonably secure financial position.

Branch financial returns are due to become internet only in early 2015 and it is urgent that help is given to those that will find this difficult. EC members will liaise with branches that have problems and any that do have such problems should contact their EC member or the head office or their Divisional Council secretary.

The working party that is developing the proposed banding levels and subs for the banded subs to go to conference in 2015 is progressing and a survey of salaries has given initial estimates of banded subs at a level a bit below the provisional ones set in the projected rule change agreed at 2014 Annual Conference.

The decline in membership as a result of the June 2014 increase in subs has been around the 800 anticipated.

£50 donations were made to:

  • Hazards Conference
  • Labour List

And £25 to:

  • Edinburgh Trades Council
  • Levellers’ day organising committee
  • Newcastle college railway academy

Organising and Membership

The implementation of the TSSA staff reorganisation is now progressing after a long period of negotiations and consultation.

The EC agreed to progress with a comprehensive report on communications. This group has already met a few times this year and is developing a strategy covering the many areas of communication. This is partly to replace some aspects of the Journal and the annual Activities Report.

The EC agreed a detailed education programme for activists and staff reps and delivered by the GFTU. Flyers to advertise the courses will be published (by TSSA at Derby) soon.

In Ireland the Irish Committee has agreed to rule changes being submitted to the 2015 Annual Conference that will be similar to those being consulted on by UK branches. It is proposed that the Irish Committee and the Divisional Council merge and this new body selects the motions, delegates and amendments and that staff reps be entitled to vote at the meetings. The EC agreed Rule changes to allow this to go to Conference.

A draft new rule book will be sent to branches and SOGs very soon to seek their views and based on this consultation a new rule book will be put to conference for agreement.

Reports from The Investment Committee, the Audit Committee, SERTUC Regional Meeting, ACTSA, FutureTSSA and Northwest Divisional Council were noted.

Political

The General Secretary met with the new shadow secretary of state for transport, Michael Dugher, who is expected to be closer to public ownership than the previous secretary. His father was a TSSA member and a health and safety rep at Doncaster station.

The TSSA has given full support to Neil Findlay and Katy Clark in the contest for the leader and deputy of the Scottish Labour Party. Up to £10,000, from the political fund, will underwrite their campaign. They both support public ownership of the railways and in the view of the EC, were opponent Jim Murphy, supported by Labour’s powerful right wing machine, Progress, to win, this would not help Labours future electoral prospects in Scotland.

The EC agreed to support Baroness Doreen Lawrence to the cost of £500 in her efforts to campaign for the Labour Party in the period up to the general election.

International

There were no international issues.

The above is a brief summary. If you want more details please ask your EC member.

 

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