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March 2018 EC Summary

14 March 2018

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 1 and 2 March 2018.

There were three apologies for absence - Stephen Lawrence (Scotland), Nicola Jukes (North East) and Paul Corcoran (Ireland) - all due to the adverse weather

Future TSSA event and Cuba May Day event
Future TSSA is the group for TSSA members under 35 years of age. If you are under 35 and are interested in becoming more active in your union, why not start by coming along to our event on 28th and 29th April in Birmingham? The focus will be exploring the relevance of Trade Unions for young workers in the 21st century. Speakers will include activists involved in the McStrike and Picturehouse Cinemas disputes, Labour Party, Momentum and more!

This is an excellent chance to meet fellow young workers across TSSA, to learn and look at getting involved and, most importantly to socialise. All TSSA members under 35 are automatically members of Future TSSA. To apply to attend, visit www.tssa.org.uk/apply-course.

 The Executive Committee also agreed to select two TSSA members under the age of 35, one woman and one man, to attend the annual Cuba May Day celebrations. The Executive Committee would like thank all those that applied to attend for their interest in the event and those that were not selected are encouraged to apply for the Future TSSA event in Birmingham.

Industrial Relations
The Executive Committee agreed to endorse a settlement following the valuation of the Freightliner section of the Railway Pension Scheme, which revises the pensionable pay cap, maintains the Normal Pension Age and introduces salary sacrifice on pension contributions.

The dispute in Scotland over the closure of Scotrail CCTV offices is ongoing, despite prolonged attempts to settle the matter. The Executive Committee gave the General Secretary authority to re-ballot members in Scotrail for strike action and action short of strike and to call them out should it become necessary.

Financial
The purchase of 17 Devonshire Square was completed last month. The building, which is located near to Liverpool Street station in London, is fully let and includes some retail space, which will provide a considerable source of rental income. Work has begun on seeking a contractor to convert the second floor of the building for the use of the Association. It is also hoped that there will be settlement with HS2 on the compulsory purchase of Walkden House soon.

Political and Campaigns
The Executive Committee was addressed by Eileen Turnbull, Secretary and Researcher for the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, who gave an update on the application made by the campaign to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The campaign made the application in April 2012 and, after  submitting further evidence in several tranches over the following five years, the CRCC decided not to refer the strikers’ case to the Court of Appeal.

The campaign’s legal advisors have advised them to challenge the ruling of the CRCC through a judicial review and an application has been made. This comes at considerable cost and the pickets are not eligible for Legal Aid, so the Executive Committee agreed to donate £5,000, of which £2,500 would be donated straight away, with a further £2,500 to be donated should the campaign lose the judicial review. You can find out more about the campaign and affiliate your branch and/or Divisional Council here http://www.shrewsbury24campaign.org.uk.

The Executive Committee  was also addressed by Stephen Joseph, Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport. Stephen confirmed that the campaign was to become more ‘virtual’, with increased use of its website and social media. Stephen detailed the work of the campaign over the last twelve months, as well as highlighting several areas for focused work in the future, against funding cuts to bus services in rural areas and for reopening railway lines which were closed under Beeching which could be restored to service. You can see more details on the campaign by logging into http://www.bettertransport.org.uk.

The Executive Committee agreed to endorse Julie Morgan for the position of Welsh Labour deputy leader. It was also agreed to endorse the bids of seven Labour Party members for PCC position in constituencies including Thanet South, Chipping Barnet and Truro and Falmouth.

The Executive Committee agreed to donate a sum of £50 to the TUC International Women’s Day Celebration event, which will be held on 8th March at TUC’s Congress House in London. The details have also been passed on to our Women in Focus Self Organised Group for further dispersal. There are also International Women’s Day Celebration events organised by the TUC at other locations around the country on March 8th. Go to https://www.tuc.org.uk for more details.

The Executive Committee also agreed to donate £50 to a Sylvia Pankhurst event taking place on 9th March at the Cheviot Centre, Wooler, Northumberland. The event will be a performance of ‘Sylvia’, a one-woman show telling the story of Sylvia Pankhurst against the backdrop of her paintings and photographs of the people and places of the Suffragette movement. The details have also been passed on to our Women in Focus Self Organised Group for further dispersal, but you can find out more at https://www.lynxtheatreandpoetry.org/sylvia.

TSSA also agreed to sign up to the Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse, which encourages employers to develop domestic abuse policies, offer training in domestic abuse initiatives to staff and hold a register of domestic abuse help and support resources.

The Executive Committee agreed to endorse a report received from Abortion Rights and seek a member to attend their Annual General Meeting.

A full report was considered by the Executive Committee from Barry James, a TSSA activist who agreed to attend the Labour Party National Policy Forum at very short notice. The Executive Committee would like to convey its thanks to Barry for his attendance and detailed report.

TSSA Democracy
Owing to a number of technical issues with regards to elections for reps in London Underground, the Executive Committee decided to declare these elections null and void and commence new elections as soon as possible. The EC will be taking control of these elections.

An extraordinary Executive Committee meeting took place on 14th February, where the EC agreed to changes to the rules governing the Political Fund, following the passing into law of the anti-trade union laws contained in the Trade Union Act 2017. All new members who join the association after 1st March have to ‘opt in’ to contributing to the Political Fund. The Certification Officer has agreed the changes and issued a compliance certificate.

The Executive Committee agreed to support a motion from TfL Central on the collapse of Carillion.

A number of stalls were agreed for Annual Conference, including Leicester Morning Star readers, Stand Up to Racism and make Votes Matter. A number of speakers were also proposed and will be confirmed in due course.

Time to Grow and Organising
Membership of TSSA declined slightly in the last two periods. TSSA paid Organisers are now more focused than even on recruitment and Organising Directors are receiving weekly reports from our membership department on net recruitment. Members are strongly encouraged to continue to recruit. Additionally EC members will take part in a recruitment exercise in Birmingham following the April meeting as part of activities during the first of four recruitment weeks in 2018.

Donations and Funding
Donations were authorised to the following:

  • £5,000 to the Shrewsbury 24 campaign
  • £125 to Manchester May Day Festival
  • £50 to TUC International Women’s Day Celebration
  • £50 to Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign
  • £50 to Sylvia Pankhurst event

The next meeting of the Executive Committee would be on 26th and 27th April in Birmingham

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