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March 2017 EC summary

13 March 2017

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 2 and 3 March 2017

Apologies were received from Gerry Kennedy (annual leave)

 

Walkden House

 

On 23rd February, Royal Assent was given to HS2, a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham. Euston station will require a huge expansion and renovation, which will mean that TSSA will have to vacate Walkden House in the near future. A working party has been set up, which includes the President and Treasurer, to oversee the sale of Walkden House and the move to a new head office building. The working party is in the process of viewing properties in London which will provide both a suitable head office as well as a revenue stream in the form of rentable office space.

 

Industrial Relations

 

Bus Éireann - TSSA, together with other Bus Éireann unions, have announced an all-out strike commencing on Monday 6th March, which is the same day as the company announces 55 cost saving measures which it says are required to address the company’s financial predicament. The Executive Committee agreed to the establishment of a solidarity strike fund for TSSA members taking part in strike action on Bus Éireann.

 

Further details can be found here https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/whats-new/news/index.cfm/bus-eireann-template-letter-to-politicians

 

Organising and Membership

 

There were 60 attendees at TSSA’s Time to Grow recruitment event in Birmingham in February. The event was hailed as a great success and all those who attended have gone back to their workplaces with a strategy for increasing TSSA membership.

 

Paul Scholey of Morrish solicitors gave a presentation to the Committee on how Morrish could staff and run TSSA’s Helpdesk with support given by TSSA staff when required. The Committee received a full report from Morrish detailing how the service would be delivered and resourced and what functions the Morrish-run Helpdesk would carry out. The aim is to provide our members with a better and more comprehensive service than what is currently on offer. The EC agreed that we should enter into an agreement with Morrish for the provision of this service.

 

The EC agreed that members of Newcastle General Branch would be transferred to Yorkshire General and North East Ops branches whilst efforts are made to re-establish a branch in the Newcastle area.

 

The Executive Committee agreed to donate £2,000 towards the costs of organising the Disability Working Group’s conference in Liverpool in June. The event precedes Annual Conference and is growing year on year. Delegates to Annual Conference are encouraged to attend.

 

Political and Campaigning

 

The Executive Committee was given a presentation from Nick Lowles, who is Chief Executive of Hope Not Hate details here (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk). Nick explained the issues facing nations across the world, including the UK, United States and Europe, with the rise of hard-right,  anti-immigration politics, the lack of education and opportunities for working class people the challenges facing progressive and social democratic parties across Europe and America. TSSA is affiliated to Hope Not Hate.

 

The Executive was also given a presentation from Tom Kibasi, Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (further details here http://www.ippr.org). Tom explained the purpose of IPPR and its Commission on Economic Justice, which was launched in November 2016 and will be undertaking two years of research, communications, stakeholder engagement and coalition building to examine the challenges facing the UK economy and to make practical recommendations for reform. The EC agreed to a donation of £2,000.

 

The Executive Committee considered a request from Ayr CLP for a Constituency Development Plan (CPD). The CLP has approached the EC to request a donation to be invested in rebuilding the party locally. The EC agreed to establish a CDP with Ayr CLP at a cost of £2000 per annum.

 

Following a request from the Executive Committee, Campaign for Better Transport gave an outline of their main campaign objectives for 2017. Objectives include continuing the ‘Fair Fares Now’ campaign, ensuring that stations remain adequately staffed, championing the need for new and reopened rail lines and stations, expanding our railways and continuing their ‘Save Our Buses’ campaign. The affiliation fee is £12,500 per annum, not £13,000 as stated in January’s EC report.

 

Further to a request from Anglia South General branch the EC agreed to a donation of £100 to the Essex County Council Election Fighting Fund.

 

The Executive Committee agreed to lend assistance to Ukrainian Workers. We will highlight the plight of those in Ukraine, who have been squeezed by aggression from the east and neoliberal policies from the west.

 

Donations

 

The following requests for donations/sponsorship were agreed:

 

   £8,000 to Momentum

   £2,000 to Institute for Public Policy Research (see above)

   £2,000 to DWG Conference (see above)

   £2,000 to Ayr CLP (see above)

   £200 to Chelmsford Labour Party and the Essex County Council Election Fighting Fund

   £75 to STUC Unions into Schools events at Annual Congress

   £500 to Morning Star to assist in the construction of a new website

   £100 to International Women’s Day Celebration at TUC Women’s Conference

   £100 to Stand Up to Racism

   £25 to Clacton CLP for their Minor Injuries Unit closure campaign

   £50 to TUC Black Workers Conference social event, organised by the Fire Brigades’ Union

   £200 for Lesley Mansell’s West of England Metro mayor campaign

   £25 to Liverpool Friends of Palestine

 

Other news

 

The Executive Committee wishes to extend its thanks to Malcolm Wallace of Anglia South General branch for his article on the now closed Watford Trades Union Hall, of which TSSA was a part owner. The company was wound up in June 2016 and the assets of the company were shared equally between us, UCATT (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians), Unite and ASLEF. Malcolm’s article is extremely well researched and detailed and will be distributed to delegates at Annual Conference.

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