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Executive Committee report, January 2015

30 January 2015

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA’s Executive Committee, held on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th January 2015.

One EC member was not present due to sickness.

Strategy

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. TSSA will submit two motions, one on public ownership of the railways. The next EC meeting will be at the GFTU premises at Quorn, near Loughborough on 5/6 march.

Industrial Relations

Merseyrail is proposing sale of its smartcards in local shops but NOT in stations and this is seen as an obvious move to reduce workloads which will almost inevitably be followed by proposals to cut booking office jobs. This is not the first company to take this sort of action which, at least in the short term, will have a negative commercial impact.

In an unprecedented move the Executive Committees of TSSA, RMT, ASLEF along with appropriate lay members of Unite, will meet on 5th February to discuss the implications for the Railway Pension Scheme of the end of contracting out of the second state pension which impacts on national Insurance payments. The rail unions will be coordinating their approach to railway companies.

Finances

Branch financial returns are now internet only and it is urgent that help is given to those that will find this difficult. EC members are liaising with branches that have problems and any that continue to have such problems should contact their EC member or the head office or their Divisional Council secretary.

£50 donations were made to:

TUC work with Pride events in 2015

University of Warwick for cataloguing labour movement documents

War on Want campaign against military drones

Magen David Adom UK blood service in Israel

Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign

Plus:

£77 for sponsorship of the Morning Star at a SERTUC regional meeting

£200 to the Tolpuddle martyr’s Festival (which includes advertising)

£50 (from the political fund) Bridgend constituency Labour Party

£200 (from the political fund) to the Labour Representation Committee for an event to influence Labour’s manifesto

Organising and Membership

The implementation of the TSSA staff reorganisation is progressing with the senior posts appointed and other staff being allocated by the end of February.

Discussion on a recruitment strategy will be a key item on the March EC agenda.

The first annual TSSA journal is due for distribution this month (January 2015).

The branch responses on the proposed Divisional Council mini-conferences to ‘filter’ the branch proposed motions, amendments and delegates to Annual Conference were discussed. There had only been 8 responses and these had been largely against the proposed changes. The EC will, rather than proceeding with the conference decision propose an open session on how to improve TSSA’s internal democracy.

In response to a letter from Midlands Retired Branch on subscription rates for retired members the EC proposes that subs for retired members will be equal to the lowest rate payable under the proposed banded subs

Reports from Scottish and North West Divisional Councils, Disability Working Group, and SERTUC Transport Industries Network were noted.

Political

The EC stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Jim Mills, previous TSSA President (1981-1987), Labour Party activist and socialist.

TSSA will support Rachael Maskell as Labour Party Candidate for the York Central constituency. She is a senior unite the union official and was chosen over Jo Coles who is the office manager of Ed Balls.

A General election campaign budget plan was agreed. This will be targeted much more than previous years to support Labour Candidates who support TSSA policies and especially in marginal constituencies. Key seats in which members will be encouraged to participate in campaigning include: Brighton Kempton (Nancy Platts), Crewe (Adrian Heald), Norwich South (Clive Lewis), Great Yarmouth (Lara Norris), Peterborough (Lisa Forbes), Thurrock (Polly Billington, Cardiff Central (Jo Stevens), Swansea West (Geraint Davies), Calder Valley (Josh Fenton-Glynn), Halifax (Linda Riordan), Pudsey (Jamie Hanley), Leeds East (Richard Burgon), Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith), North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark), Hastings and Rye (Sarah Owen), Bolton West (Julie Hilling), Livingstone (Graeme Morrice), Dumfermline and West Fife (Thomas Docherty). There will be others so TSSA members wanting to get involved should. The total donation of £106,000 has been democratically decided and will be transparently given.

International

The EC has agreed to half fund a young TSSA trade unionist on a ten day May Day Brigade to Cuba. TSSA’s youth organisation FutureTSSA will be asked to propose one delegate.

 

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

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