Executive Committee Report - December 2020

COVID-19 and the transport industry

The Executive Committee was updated on the situation as the second wave of Covid-19 spreads across the UK and its effect on the travel and transport industries.

Passenger numbers remain down, with working from home remaining the new normal for millions of people. Some 85% of regular timetabled rail services are running, though the picture varies from one region to another, while the government continues to financially support the industry in lieu of lost ticketing revenue.

The future remains unclear, both in terms of whether there will be a return to pre-Covid passenger levels in the foreseeable future and what, if any, ‘recalibration’ will take place in service levels given this uncertainty. It was confirmed to the Executive Committee that the protection of jobs would be paramount in any and all discussions with employers regarding any alterations to services should they occur.

Vaccines for Covid-19 would be rolled out very soon, and it was hoped that this would be efficacious in tackling the virus.


The Executive Committee endorsed an Officers’ decision to instruct the General Secretary to ballot members working in Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), the major operator of passenger and vehicle ferries, and ferry services, between the mainland of Scotland and 22 of the major islands on Scotland's west coast. TSSA rejected CalMac’s derisory pay offer, which amounted to a pay cut, while CalMac refused to enter arbitration talks at ACAS.

The Executive Committee also authorised the General Secretary to instruct members to participate in strike action and action short of strike should it become necessary.


The Executive Committee agreed to engage Change Lab Democracy to provide our platform to facilitate Annual Conference online next year. This decision followed a meeting with a member of the National Education Union staff to gauge their feedback and experiences with the platform in facilitating their Annual Conference. The President and senior officials of the union met with a representative of Change Lab to further understand the platform and how it works.

The EC also agreed to use the platform to run its January meeting in order to get a feel for the system.

The Executive Committee also agreed that 2022 Annual Conference would take place in Sheffield in the month of May. Conference will be extended to include events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the National Association of Railway Clerks, which renamed as TSSA in 1951. A working party will be set up, chaired by the President, to plan the celebrations. EC members on the working party alongside the President would be John Haynes (Wales & Western), Melissa Heywood (Midlands) and Nicola Jukes (North East).


The Executive Committee agreed to maintain honoraria payments for officers of Divisional Councils at the same rates as agreed in 2019.

The Executive Committee agreed to the union’s budget for 2021.

TSSA Website

The Executive Committee agreed that a meeting would be arranged with the Treasurer as Chair of people from across the union, including the EC, activists and representatives of SOGs to discuss what they would like to see from our new website. This will be arranged within the next three weeks, with feedback relayed back to the EC.


Following a request for a donation from Julie James, who is standing for re-election as a Member of the Senedd for Swansea West, the EC agreed to donate the sum of £250 from the Political Fund.

The Executive Committee also agreed to endorse the candidature of Tracy Brabin for Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Any other business

The Executive Committee noted reports submitted by Steve Whitehead on the National Pensioners’ Convention EC and NPC National Council.

The EC also noted reports submitted by the North West and Scottish Divisional Council, as well as the Retired Members’ Group on their AGM and new constitution.

The EC noted an annual report on the work of think-tank CLASS, the Centre for Labour and Social Studies.

The Executive Committee agreed to make a donation of £50 to the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign and will circulate the campaign’s appeal for donations to branches and SOGs.

The Executive Committee also agreed to make a donation of £25 to York Disabled Workers.


*Apologies were received from Al Stolen (London South)

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