Special General Conference – ‘REDESIGN’

SPECIAL GENERAL CONFERENCE

‘REDESIGN’ OBSERVER REPORT

3RD / 4TH NOVEMBER 2018 – BOURNEMOUTH

 

Motions need to read in conjunction with the Special Redesign Conference Booklet – Delivering a Connected Union.

Agenda Changes:

 

Withdrawals;

Motion 1 and Motion 2

 

Withdrawal from Composite;

Motion 4 – London Phoenix & Portsmouth & District Postal

Motion 12 – NW Cumbria

 

Policy Change;

Motion 57 – NEC change to support.

 

Reference Back;

 

Motion 82 – The branch in moving the reference back, complained that there was no reason for this to be excluded from the agenda. The emphasis was on a stand-alone union. The SOC did not disagree with the statement but the rules at present say that amendments to reports are not allowed, the constitution does not allow it.

Your branch delegates voted against the reference back, and it was not carried.

 

Motion 88 – This motion called for financial report of the costs / expenditure / savings with regards to the decisions of the Special Conference. The SOC explained that this was outside the terms of the policy, as it mentions any policy carried at the Special Conference.

Your branch delegates voted against the reference back, and it was not carried.

 

Motion 59 – The reference back was to move this motion directly behind motion 56. The reason for this was that the branch was adamant as to the importance of the motion as it calls for a long-term feasibility study. The SOC had decided on this order as they believed 57 & 58 are as important as they considered the entire asset.

Your branch delegates voted against the reference back, and it was not carried.

 

Motion 80 – The mover of the reference back stressed that retired members need to have a voice and a vote. They added that ‘Redesign’ changes this. The SOC said that the reason this motion was excluded is that it did not include an instruction.

Your branch delegates voted against the reference back, and it was not carried.

CONFERENCE AGENDA

 

Section 1 Branches

MOTION 1 – Withdrawn

MOTION 2 – Withdrawn

MOTION 3 – This motion was to stop the NEC in removing the 50% of the branch funds, but to make a higher percentage available in the ‘withheld Rebate Fund’. The mover explained this way makes it more effective to maintain funding for branches and increase the access to the rebate fund. This fund is essential for the benefit of the membership and the union as a whole. The motion was also an excellent compromise to the other motions and worthy of conference support. The NEC were against it – it was obvious they wanted the branches’ money back, but it was not exactly mentioned.

Your conference delegates voted for the motion, and it was carried easily.

The carrying of this motion, as a consequential meant that motions 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,13 and 19 fell.

MOTION 12 – Withdrawn

MOTION 14 – Motion 14 was asking conference to instruct the National Executive to remove point 3 in the fourteen measures which encourages branches of less than 500 members to merge.

Your branch delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

MOTION 15 – Motion 15 dealt with the issue of amendments to Section 1 (branches) appendix A sections 4,5 and 6, and appendix B sections 1,2,4,10 and 11.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

Motion 16 – Withdrawn

Motion 17 – The motion dealt with the subject of centralised purchasing. The mover explained the branches could opt out of the scheme at any time and stressed that the whole idea is to get numbers upfront so items can be purchased at a much lower cost. The NEC opposed this motion.

Your delegates voted against the motion, It was not carried.

Section 2 Regions

MOTION 18 – This motion instructed the NEC under section 1 to bring forward a new recommendation to include a representative benefit package to incentivise new reps, with the aim in reducing financial disadvantages. The NEC speaker asked for the branch to remit the motion or they would have to oppose it. There was 3 speakers against the motion explaining that this is about balance in work, but this is not the way to achieve it. The NEC speaker said that they will be adopting a ‘new rep package’ but not this way.

The Chairperson asked the branch to remit the motion. This was agreed.

MOTION 20 – Motion called for, under section 2 ‘Regions’ recommendation 3, to adopt the posts of Regional Financial Secretaries, and the fact that no one person can hold more than one senior regional post.

The was no opposition to this motion. The was carried.

MOTION 21 – The motion called for regional sub-committees which would meet 4 times a year. The NEC was against this.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 22 – The motion attempted throughout section 2 to retain regional women’s structure and an industrial balance.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 23 – The motion called for the inclusion of a young worker elected from the young workers committee.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 24 – The motion called for the deletion of recommendation 8 in section 2 appendix A.

The NEC speaker said that if you give more power to the regions, you have to have regulatory voting from a majority.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 25 – Motion called for an inclusion to Section 2 Appendix A, this was for all elected attendees to the new Regional Executive Committee and existing Regional Sub-Committees, that all travel & subsistence costs will still be met from their parent branches. The NEC in their contribution asked the branch to remit the motion.

The branch agreed to remit the motion.

MOTION 26 – The speaker called for a more democratic means of voting in regions. For example, the one branch one vote principle where small to medium branches feel less dominated.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 27 – The motion called for a new rule to make the attending of Regional Committees mandatory. The question however, what would be the penalty for non-attendance. The NEC supported this.

Your delegates voted to support this motion. It was carried.

MOTION 28 – Motion 28 instructed the NEC to bring forward a rule change to change the words ‘Leads’ to Facilitator or Coordinator instead. The mover said that these people will facilitate and coordinate and should be named as such.

The NEC opposed the motion

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

Section 3 – Equality

MOTION 29 – The motion called for the retention of motion based Equality Conferences on an annual basis.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 30 – This motion called for the current structure on Equality Conferences, and therefore remove paragraph 7 from appendix A in section 3.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 31 – This motion called for the continuation of the current advisory committees, until such time as the Regional Leads and new advisory structure is fully operational.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 32 – This motion was accepted by the NEC and accepted by conference.

Section 4 National Structures

MOTION 33 – Withdrawn

Motion 34 – This motion seeked the introduction of an additional 4 seats to sit on the NEC that are not on the Industrial Executives. 2 from the Postal Constituency and 2 from the Telecoms and Financial Services Constituency.

This was quite a heated discussion, Tony Kearns SDGS for the NEC stated that we already have these positions in place. Kate Hudson the Midland Regional Secretary said that is a fallacy, and the argument is all to do with costs. She added that this is the biggest chance we have get this rule changed, so lets not let it go.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

MOTION 35 – This motion attempted to remove Paragraph 6f of the Redesign Document and replace with: 4 equality strands lay members (2 from women, BAME, LGBT, and Disability) from the date of introduction 4 strand members will be elected by and from all members in the postal constituency and 4 strand members will be elected by and from all members in the Telecoms and Financial services constituency.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 36 – This was another motion to review the recommendations as they relate only to equality strands which must ultimately both retain constituency balance and safeguards, as well as the allowance for candidates to achieve continuity for consecutive elections.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 37 – This was a motion much the same to the sentiments of motion 35, the only difference if the identification with the strand. The argument is that, for example, you do not have to be gay to identify the gay.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 38 – The mover explained that Conference agrees that the two Young Workers elected from the Postal & T&FS constituencies who are elected to serve directly on the NEC will automatically be members of the National Young Workers Committee. The elected representatives would therefore be required to carry out the duties of the National Young Workers Committee Member in addition to the duties that they are expected to perform on the NEC.

Conference also agrees that all Central Services National Officers will be elected via an individual member ballot.

With the move to Biennial Conferences all National Officers will produce an annual report to the membership.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 39 – Our first motion at the conference was moved by our own Retired Members Representative, Steve Taylor, who attempted to persuade the National Executive to ensure that there is a National Retired Members Committee consisting of 1 delegate per regional committee, elected by and from the branches of the region, plus a nationally elected retired NEC member.

The NEC were against this motion, their contribution was, to be quite honest, feeble at its best. The speaker said that we need to look at the bigger picture not just one section, and this should have been looked at under the regional section.

The vote was taken, by a show of hands, which was carried by two thirds, the chairperson called not carried, which was a complete travesty. A card vote was called but the chairperson ruled this out of order, because of the time lapse in calling for it plus the fact that there was, apparently, less than 30 people standing. The motion was not carried.

MOTION 40 – Midland No.1 branch in moving referred to our motion and remarked that retired members have the basic right to have a voice, and have a vote, but only if the branch has a retired members section. In opposition to this the NEC and many branches said this was undemocratic and would be non-inclusive. It would be morally wrong.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 41 – Motion was to amend the first paragraph and insert ‘except where they apply only to retired members’. The NEC needed clarification on what they intend to pay for whether it is constitutional or general issues.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

MOTION 42 – This motion seeked removal of current and any future reserved seats to the Postal Executive Committee. The NEC said it was part of the review on the Industrial Executives in Redesign, and that was a promise. It was added that this is the time to put the motion in at Annual Conference 2019, and the mover was asked to withdraw the motion for now. The mover, who had right of reply, said now is the time not later and are fed up with promises. They refused to withdraw the motion.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

Section 5 Conferences

MOTION 43 – This motion was to delete the proposed changes in the document and retain the industrial conferences on an annual foundation. The NEC said that any industrial issues would be covered by ‘purpose built’ issue driven forums. The venues are smaller and cheaper to run. A point of order was raised, the speaker said that no details of policy forums had been made available so it was unfair to speak of these in an attempt to win an argument. In addition the speaker said that we have already given away money and equality rights, it is not the time to concede democracy. The NEC speaker continued after the point of order by saying that ‘is democracy measured on the time we have conferences and elections. Policy forums can work, and the Four Pillars campaign proves that.

There was a hand vote, which the Chairperson could not call either way. So a card vote was called.

RESULT:  FOR – 83,262, AGAINST – 83,797, ABSTENTIONS – 1,652, NOT VOTING – NOT VOTING – 6,640

Motion was Lost

MOTION 44 – This was about Annual Conference and the move to biennial events. The mover stated that move was not in the best interest of the membership of the union whether politically or industrially. After two speakers had spoken there was a call for the motion to be put. There was an immediate point of order asking for clarification as to whether a right of reply can be given when a vote has been called for. The chairperson seeked clarification on this and read out the rules pertaining to this. The motion was voted on. This once again went to a card vote. Your branch delegates voted against the motion

CARD VOTE RESULT:

FOR – 87,020, AGAINST – 79,259, ABSTENTIONS – 1,934, NOT VOTING – 7,138

As a consequential of the motion being carried motions 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 52 falls

MOTION 50 – This called for forums to be called either by the NEC, Industrial Executives or the request of branches representing not less than 51% of the membership effected.

The NEC said that they thought the number should be less, so forums can be called easier and be more reactive. They would like the motion remitted. If not the NEC would oppose the motion. The mover agreed to remit the motion.

MOTION 51 – Motion asked for single equality conferences to remain a stand-alone equality conference. The NEC speaker said that equality should and will not be a side issue.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 53 – Retired biennial conferences from 2019. Motion called for a retired member event in the year between the conferences. The youth have one, equaity have one, why not the retired members.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

MOTION 54 – Motions to Annual Conference. The mover of the motion stated that no clarification has been given on how many motions regions can submit on Health & safety subjects. With the coming of Brexit. It is more important than ever to be able to maintain the number of H&S motions. Lets not forget safety issues built trade unions.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

MOTION 55 – This was accepted by the NEC and not opposed by any branch.

 

Section 6 Education, Learning and Training

MOTION 56 – Alvescot Lodge Education Establishment – There was some very emotional speeches, not just on education but networking also. There were plenty of speeches that asked for the NEC to do a feasible study regarding courses for other unions etc. Many contributions also alluded to alternative running costs and whether these could be ascertained before making a decision. Unfortunately, the motion was opposed by as many branches including quite a few branches from the Eastern region which was extremely disappointing, this was probably down to the lack of costings which would be asked for in motion 57 and or 59.  The main question that hung over the motion was that do we save Alvescot Lodge at any cost, or do we get some financial facts determining the attractiveness of the three assets. People said that they want residential training, but seemed that it had to be Alvescot Lodge. Steve Phillips tried to get into the debate for the branch but was totally ignored by the chairperson of the conference. The other side of the argument said that did we need residential training as opposed to actually keeping Alvescot as a building. Dave Ward stated that £470.000 is needed to run Alvescot Lodge, which does not include the maintenance costs. He added that new training is required, but we need to cut this cost, to this the NEC will support motion 57.

The vote was taken. Your branch delegates voted for the motion. This motion was lost.

MOTION 57 – As mentioned in the motion above, this motion concentrated on the idea of instructing the NEC to pull together a full strategic financial plan that sets out a clear and concise way of the three elements of the asset review. This would at least give Alvescot Lodge a bit of a life line.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

As a consequential of 57 being carried motions 58,59,60,61,62 and 63 falls.

MOTION 64 – This motion seeked to instruct the NEC delete the recommendations in Appendix A and insert – That the Framework Policy document for Education, Learning and Training be endorsed except that the first paragraph of Scoping Group page 39 is deleted and the following paragraph is inserted. “A Scoping Group will be set up to develop a comprehensive Education, Learning and Training Strategy which will include representation from four representatives from the NEC (two from each industrial constituency), the Education, Learning and Training Department, a Regional Secretary and the General Secretary’s department, 2 Lead ULRs and 1 Tutor. This group will report to the NEC and be charged with setting out a new comprehensive policy building on the themes in this document and the following specific factors as follows:”

The NEC was in opposition to this. The speaker said that why just ULRs, why not other members of the NEC that have knowledge as well.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was not carried.

MOTION 65 – This was accepted by the NEC with no opposition from the branches.

MOTION 66 – This motion sought to divide up the monies (50%)from the sale of Alvescot Lodge and the yearly savings on running costs, to assist for the proposed Education & Training Agenda. The mover said that nothing has been agreed on how the branches are to fund this ‘training agenda’ hence the motion. It is an attempt to ringfence money to education which is most important. Opposition said that this idea was premature and no study has been done on the finances yet. The mover was asked to withdraw the motion. The mover refused.

Your delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

Section 7 – NEC Enabling Motions 67 to 72

All the motions in this section were carried. Notes on certain motions are:

Motion 69 – Part of the motion instructs the NEC to bring forward to a Special Rules Revision Conference any rule amendments that are necessary to enact the CWU policy on Redesign for Equality. This could have a negative effect on Equality and impacts on the Equality Conference.

Motion 70 – This will add 4 extra NEC seats

Motion 71 – The retention of Annual Conferences and policy forum guidance wanted.

Motion 72 – More info needed, not necessarily financial but on the scoping group that will be formed.

 

OBSERVERS SATURDAY 3/11/18

Gordon Mason

Andy Batson

OBSERVERS SUNDAY 4/11/18

Tim Bond

Mark French

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