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Executive Committee report, July 2015

5 August 2015

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 29th and 30th July 2015.

The Executive Committee welcomed Steve Andrews, the new EC member for Anglia & London North East, to his first meeting since being elected.

 

Strategic

The Executive Committee were given a detailed report on the 2015 Trade Union Reform Bill, a bill devised to attack trade unions and civil liberties.

A number of EC members have made themselves available to attend a General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) summit meeting in Stafford on November 20th to 22nd. The summit will allow delegates of all affiliated unions to look at ways of collectivising and pooling resources to achieve economies of scale. Final numbers and those members attending will be decided and announced in due course.

TSSA’s Kyle Williamson will also attend the summit as he is an Executive Committee member of GFTU.

Industrial Relations

The Executive Committee were given a report on the recent and very successful strike action taken by TSSA members on London Underground on July 8th and 9th. The report also detailed the very slow and difficult progress made in negotiations with LUL management. It was looking very unlikely that further strike action could be averted based on the complete lack of good faith shown by the LUL management. Further strike action would take place on August 5th and 6th.

First Great Western - following the de-recognition of TSSA for manager grades and the dispute with RMT, FGW have been instructing, and in some cases pressuring, managers to cover duties of striking RMT members. After contact from TSSA, FGW have conceded that managers will only cover if they volunteer to do so.

Virgin Trains East Coast - pay talks continue with the management of VTEC, however the latest offer put before TSSA reps had been rejected.

TSSA Democracy

The Executive Committee agreed to dates for meetings of the EC in 2016 - there would be eight formal meetings in 2016, as well as meetings as required during TSSA Conference on 7th to 9th May 2016.

The Executive Committee also agreed which EC members would be appointed to a number of internal bodies, including the Communications Working Party, Audit Committee and Joint Staffs Committee. There was also agreement on EC members appointed to other external bodies, including Andi Fox (EC member for North East) on Labour Party NEC, appointments to Labour Party Regional Boards, TUC Regional Councils, and the nomination of the General secretary to serve on TUC General Council.

The President was nominated to represent TSSA on the Ruskin College Council.

The Executive Committee also agreed two motions that will be submitted to TUC Congress in Brighton in September. These would cover the topics of pensions and public ownership of the railways.

Organising and Membership

In response to passed items 59 and 60 (TSSA Organisation) at Annual Conference, the Executive Committee instructed each branch to provide copies of minutes, notices, agenda and details of affiliations in order to assist in forming a picture of branch activity across the union.

Following this exercise the Executive Committee has agreed a new branch structure which will be circulated to all Divisional Councils for comment by October 19th. DCs will be invited to either agree with the Executive Committee’s proposals or to make alternative proposals with supporting arguments as to their viability. The EC will make a final decision on branch structure at the meeting scheduled for October 29th and 30th.

It was noticed that net membership had declined by approximately 300, this was due in part to the increase in subscriptions and possibly industrial action taken in areas such as London Underground.

Finances

The Treasurer gave a report on the state of finances of the union, which are stable. The staffing re-organisation is almost complete and the pay deal for TSSA staff has been agreed. There has been good performance of our investments and there is currently no requirement to liquidate assets to bolster our main account.

The Executive Committee agreed to authorise those responsible to enter formal talks with Morrish on the renewal of our contract with them as our supplier of legal services.

It was also agreed that TSSA enters dialogue with Union Income Benefit (UIB) regarding a number of member services that UIB can offer TSSA members, including insurance, prepaid cards and shopping discounts. This arrangement would not include any services which incurred debt, such as loans or credit cards.

The Executive Committee agreed to make the following donations:

  • €2,000 (€1,000 this year with a further €1,000 next year) to Brendan Ryan TD for his campaign for re-election in the forthcoming Irish General Election
  • £10,000 to Sadiq Khan, TSSA’s preferred candidate for London Mayor, for his campaign
  • £500 for Labour MPs for Solidarity with Greece (see below)

All these donations will be sourced from the Political Fund.

Political

The Executive Committee agreed to nominate Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party, with Andy Burnham as second preference, with Angela Eagle being nominated for deputy leader with Tom Watson as second preference. Each of the candidates gave a 10 minute statement to the EC, followed by questions from members.

It was agreed by the Executive Committee that the following MPs would form the new group sponsored by TSSA:

  • Geraint Davies MP (Swansea West)
  • John Cryer (Leyton and Wanstead)
  • Cat Smith MP (Lancaster and Fleetwood)
  • Clive Lewis MP (Norwich South)
  • Ed Milliband MP (Doncaster North)
  • Paula Sheriff MP (Dewsbury and Mirfield)
  • Rupa Huq MP (Ealing Central and Acton)
  • Racheal Maskell MP (York Central)

International

The President, General Secretary and Andi Fox, EC member for North East, were part of a multi-union delegation which travelled to Palestine in July. A verbal report was given to the EC detailing the harrowing experiences of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, including cessation of water and electricity supplies and both frequent and routine persecution of the Palestinian people in their everyday lives.

The President has committed to compiling a report on behalf of TSSA documenting the experiences that he and our delegation had whilst in the Occupied Territories, which will follow in due course.

The General Secretary, as part of his role as Honorary President of Greece Solidarity Campaign (GSC), has assisted in setting up a Labour MPs for Solidarity with Greece group. It is hoped that a fringe meeting of the GSC at Labour Party Conference in September. It was intended that a field trip of both the General Secretary and a select group of between 10 and 12 Labour MPs be organised to Greece in October. The EC agreed to donate £500 from the Political Fund to assist in this.

This is a brief summary. For further details, please contact your Executive Committee member.

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