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Executive Committee report, October 2013

30 October 2013

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the October meeting of TSSA’s Executive Committee

Date Thursday 24th and Friday 25th October 2014

13 of 15 EC members present. Both of those absent were for medical reasons

Strategy

The main item on the agenda was the proposals, initially agreed at the September EC meeting, to increase TSSA income where practical and significantly reduce expenditure.

A statement outlining how our EC intends to progress a root and branch review has been circulated to Branches, Reps, Divisional Councils and SOGs.

A report on the Operational Plan 2013-2015 was reviewed.  This extensive plan covers a wide range of issues relating to campaigning, organising, education, recruitment and increased numbers of reps, branch development, political and community work.  Much of this will be contained in the Activities Report which is produced in time for Annual Conference in May 2014.

An interim educational programme was adopted.  This has been reduced pending the outputs from the EC decision to reduce expenditure.

Industrial Relations

The EC agreed to support a Manifesto for Collective Bargaining which is backed by many other unions.  It is a ten-point plan to counter the powerful corporate interests in favour of working people.

TSSA members in Dublin Bus who refused to cross picket lines in early August and lost three days’ pay were reimbursed in part with strike pay.

Finances

In the light of the serious financial reductions that will need to be introduced over the next few months the EC set an early example by:
•    Not accepting an invitation to send a delegates to the International Transport Workers Federation Women’s conference in Delhi in January 2014
•    Cancelling its Christmas dinner

The Audit Committee met on 23/10. It scrutinises various aspects of the TSSA’s financial management.  Amongst its various suggestions was the reviewing and possible updating of the TSSA Code of Governance.

Small donations were agreed:
•    £50 to No Dash for Gas and Fuel Property for a fringe meeting at the TUC
•    £50 to the Punto Final project to gain justice and reparation for the crimes of the Franco Regime

Campaigning

The EC heard two guest speakers from the Cuban transport trade union.  They spoke in particular of the challenges to trade unions posed by the economic liberalisation and they also raised the issue of the Cuban five.  These five men were sent from Cuba to the USA to infiltrate ex-Cuban mafia and terrorist gangs who had killed hundreds of Cubans over the last 50 years, including the blowing up of a Cuban civilian plane.  When they supplied the information on the terrorists to the FBI, instead of the terrorists being arrested, the Cubans were and 4 have been in jail for 15 years, with one released this year.  The campaign to release the others is growing worldwide.

On the Friday morning the EC had a session on campaigning led by Nadine Rae, TSSA’s National Organiser.  It summarised the content of the current reps’ educational events such as Empower in London on 12/10/13 and raised the EC awareness of the various campaigns such as Action for Rail, Better Rail and Better London Transport.

Organising and Membership

A number of inactive branches will be closed after a previous review by the EC and proposals being sent to the Divisional Councils to consider.
Retired TSSA members will form now opt into the Retired Members Group rather than opt out.

Political

TSSA supports the Defend the Link campaign to retain the historic link between the Labour Party and trade unions.  A model letter from Constituency Labour Parties to Ray Collins who is reviewing the relationship was accepted.

Mary Creagh, the new shadow Transport Secretary, had met with the General Secretary very soon after taking up the position and her attitude on East Coast public ownership had been very positive.
 

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