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September 2018 EC Summary

1 October 2018

Summary of the key issues and decisions made at the meeting of TSSA's Executive Committee held on 13 and 14 September 2018.

 

The Executive Committee welcomed Matthew Courtliff as the new EC member for the Wales and Western region.

Paul Corcoran (Ireland) was unable to attend owing to annual leave,

Walkden House at 17 Devonshire Square

The Executive Committee agreed to name the union’s new head office building ‘Walkden House at 17 Devonshire Square’. It was also agreed to name three meeting rooms after significant people in the history of the union. One would be named the Richard Roster Room, after the longest serving General Secretary of the union after Alexander Walkden, while another room would be named the Brenda Hanks Room, after our first woman President and another room would be named the Elsie Orman Room after our first woman EC member.

Work continues apace to fit out the second and lower ground floors for our use. Cabling and electri-cal wiring is in place and carpets, soft furnishing and other office furniture have been selected. It is hoped that the second floor will be available for occupation by the end of next month, while the lower ground floor will be ready for use by the end of November.

There will also be extensive remote conferencing facilities available, which will allow video-conferencing to take place, with the potential to make extensive savings on rail fares and overnight accommodation to attend meetings in future.

Industrial Relations

Members at DB Cargo, who have not received a pay rise for three years, have rejected a pay offer from the employer that effectively amounts to a pay cut. The offer is only 2.2% and would be ap-plied to basic salaries only, would not be pensionable and would not apply to bonuses. This offer also adds as a condition the alteration of the pay award anniversary date, which means that the pay offer would be for fifteen months, not twelve. The EC agreed to all actions taken to date and gave authority to the General Secretary to ballot our members for industrial action and for action short of strike, as well as to call members out on industrial action.

The EC conveyed their thanks to reps working for Network Rail on their response to Network Rail’s draft consultation as part of its Periodic Review 2018. The reps’ response was wide-ranging and detailed, and raised serious concerns with regards to cost-cutting, constant reorganisations, devolu-tion and the apparent race to the privatisation of Network Rail.

Financial

Discussions have taken place with the union’s auditors on completing the financial report for 2017. It is hoped that a report will be signed off at the October EC meeting. This matter was being treated with urgency.

Political and Campaigns

TSSA enjoyed a very successful TUC Congress in Manchester on 9th to 12th September. All TSSA’s motions were carried and all amendments to motions accepted. TSSA also put forward an emergency motion on Train Operation Companies’ pay, in light of Chris Grayling’s engagement with the media on the subject, which took place on the same day as above-inflation rises in rail fares was announced.

It was noted that the wider trade union movement were coming behind TSSA on Brexit and the need for a second referendum on any deal (or no-deal) made by the government with the EU.

Anti-Brexit rallies have continued to take place at various locations around the country, including London, Bristol and Nottingham. On 13th September, Manuel Cortes was present as a speaker at an event in York, which was very successful. You can find more details at https://www.anothereurope.org/tour/.

The Executive Committee considered a consultation which was drafted by a number of TSSA reps and activists in association with our own political and policy officers on the fare system on Britain’s railways. Currently, Britain’s raise fare structure is over-complicated, expensive, difficult to under-stand and unfairly penalises passengers who need to be flexible regarding travelling times. The EC agreed that the fare structure desperately needed to be simplified and should not act so punitively against this that wish to be flexible with departure times.

The Executive Committee agreed to make a donation of £250 to Labour Friends of Palestine & The Middle East for a fringe event taking place during Labour Party Conference in Liverpool from 23rd to 26th September in Liverpool.

The Executive Committee agreed to nominate the following candidates for Prospective Parliamentary Candidates:

Mike Katz and Patrick Hunter in Hendon
Holly Karl-Weiss in Chipping Barnet

The EC received a report from Andi Fox, Labour Party NEC member, on her work on the NEC. The EC thanks Andi for her report and looks forward to her attending a future EC meeting, where she will be able to give a verbal report.

Following a request from LU MATS & Operating Managers branch, the EC agreed to donate £100 to the Argentina Solidarity Campaign.

TSSA Democracy

It was confirmed that the TSSA Women’s Conference would take place at the Holiday Inn, Man-chester Piccadilly on 27th and 28th October. All Women members are invited, more details can be found here: https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/Equalities/women-in-focus/unfinished-business/index.cfm.

Following the carrying of Item 77 at 2018 Annual Conference, which concerned the Government’s decision to scrap much-needed rail electrification projects, including in the Midlands, Wales and the North East. The union have held discussions with the Campaign for Better Transport on producing a report making clear the benefits of electrification, for both passengers and the environment.

Currently, a paltry 34% of the British railway network is electrified, lagging far behind our counter-parts across the continent. Passenger numbers have increased since the 1990s, yet consecutive governments have failed to implement meaningful electrification programmes. In fact, much of the planned electrification for the network has not been delivered.

The EC agreed to pay for half the cost of creating the report, which was £3,240.

Time to Grow and Organising

Membership of TSSA remained steady in the last published period. However, it was clear that we had to redouble our efforts to recruit new members. Adverts would be published in the next two weeks for the mandatory reps’ training that has been in the pipeline for some months, while efforts would continue to recruit new members in TfL, London Underground and Network Rail.

Donations and Funding

Donations and funding were authorised to the following:

£3,240 to the Campaign for Better Transport
£250 to Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East
£100 to Argentina Solidarity Campaign

 

The next meeting of the Executive Committee would be on 30th and 31st October in York

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