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Executive Committee report, March 2015

12 March 2015

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA’s Executive Committee held on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March 2015.

Two EC members were not present due to sickness. This included John Prest, who has now resigned from the EC due to ill health.

Strategy

The EC spent the Friday morning session on recruitment, discussing recent initiatives and many examples of good practice from EC members.  A strategy and programme will be put to the next EC meeting in April and this will include a session covering recruitment at the Conference in May. TFL, NWR, Crossrail & HS2 offer many recruitment opportunities and it is proposed that in the short term they will be key.  The recruitment strategy will depend in part on the proposed banded subscriptions and also on the communications developments. 

Industrial Relations

The EC endorsed the actions taken so far in the Translink dispute (Ireland) and gave authority if needed to take strike action or action short of strike action.

TSSA Democracy

The following important positions were elected unopposed:  President: Mick Carney, Treasurer: Jason Turvey, Wales & Western EC member: Cheryl O'Brien and Midlands EC member: Bob Bayley.

The EC received further responses from the various bodies on motions passed at 2014 Conference and these will be circulated to branches etc as usual.
 
The EC considered the Scrutineers' report on the 2015 Conference and the various delegations.  Some further requests for nominations to complete gender and ethnicity balanced delegations will be issued.

The EC endorsed the appointment of Derrick Codling as the Association's nominee to the BR Superannuation Fund Management Committee.

Organising and Membership

The implementation of the TSSA staff reorganisation is progressing with all the evaluations now completed and training and developments plans will be drawn up where required.  The staff re-organisation has resulted in a shortage of resources in finance and administration and these will be filled on a temporary basis pending the longer term out-sourcing of some finance work, some of this possibly to be undertaken by the GFTU.

In recognition of branch responses on two significant EC proposals that had taken their first steps through 2014 Conference, the EC agreed to withdraw a) the proposed New Rule Book and b) the Divisional Council mini-conferences to decide on delegates, motions and amendments.  The number of responses had been low but they were generally against progressing both proposals.
 
The EC decided not to continue with the motions and rule changes but to instead request the SOC timetable an open debate and Q&A session at conference to ways to improve our activity and the level of participative democracy.

The EC noted the following recent reports:

  • Legal cases where costs are expected to exceed £5k or more
  • SERTUC regional meeting
  • PSC AGM and the minutes of the PSC Trade Union Advisory Committee meeting
  • Welsh Labour Party Conference
  • Dunfermline & West Fife CLP
  • UAF Conference

The first annual TSSA Journal was at the printers and nearly ready for distribution.
 

Finances

The next step was taken in implementing the 2014 Conference policy on banded subs in the interest of fairness and also as an important recruitment and retention tool.  The EC decided to propose the bands and rates for subs as follows, up to £20k/€25k, £2.30/€2.80 a week, £20,001-£50k, £4.60/€5.50 a week, and over £50k/€60, £5.60/€6.60 a week. It was also agreed to propose that retired/superannuated members subscription rates would be as per those for ordinary members earning up to £20k/€25k

The management accounts for January showed a much improved position and with an anticipated operating deficit for 2014 in the region of £200,000, when other income from rent and assets are included the TSSA should very soon be in a healthy state.

Branch financial returns are now internet only and around 2/3rds of branches are now on line. EC members are liaising with branches that have problems with this or alternatively they can ask for help from the head office or their Divisional Council secretary.

£50 donations were made to:

  • Venezuela Solidarity Campaign for June rally.
  • Labour Friends of Palestine for 2015 plan. 
  • TUC Black Workers Conference - 2015. 
  • TUC Aid Appeal, Gaza Plant Nursery.

Plus:

  • £12,500 for Campaign for Better Transport affiliation and ask that they present to a future EC meeting.
  • £84 to Chris Bennett, a former long standing TSSA member requesting help for his young daughter who is dying from cancer
  • 50 euros to Sean Kenny, Irish Labour, for Rail presentation. 
  • £25 to Edinburgh & Lothians May Day committee.
  • £25 to GMB Northants for Workers Memorial Day.

Political   

Rachael Maskell, who was supported by TSSA as Labour Party Candidate for the York Central constituency, won the selection process. 
2014 conference called on us to engage with the People's Assembly, and we will affiliate nationally to them at a cost of £100.  This will also allow branches to affiliate locally.

The TSSA supported the Time to Act – Climate Change demonstration on 7/3/15.

International

The PSC, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, approached the rail unions, RMT, ASLEF & TSSA, for a high level transport delegation to Palestine to meet with local transport groups and other organisations to discuss the problems they face under occupation.  Both RMT & ASLEF had already agreed to participate and the EC decided that the TSSA should join them.  Our delegation will be the General Secretary, President and Andi Fox of the EC.  The estimated cost will be £6.5k and will come from the political fund.
 
The above is a brief summary. If you want more details please ask your EC member.
 

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