LGBT Equality Conference – Report

CWU – LGBT Equality Conference

Thursday 7th February 2019.

The Liner Hotel, Liverpool

Delegates Report.

Maria Exell gave a short rendition on the life of Al Crisp, who had recently passed away. She reported on Al’s life in the union and his work as a union activist. She said he had a world wide depth of knowledge, a great sense of humour and always believed in seeing things from the wider angle. There was then a minute’s appreciation of Al.

SOC – The SOC reported that it will be business as usual until General Conference Rules Revision in April this year. There is to be only 1 motion in the Industrial section, and this motion will go to annual conference if carried here.

Reference Back: – Exclusion of Motion 9. Greater London Combined. Maria Exell moved that this motion should be allowed onto the order pad. The SOC attempted to convince conference that the rules are the rules and it should be excluded.

The vote was to include motion 9. Your Branch delegates voted for the motion.

Section 1 – Industrial Issues.

Motion 1 – This motion called for the LGBT Advisory Committee to work with the Postal Executive Committee (PEC), to guarantee that all members, regardless of the nature of their relationship’s, have their beneficiary wishes respected and enacted as a point of principle to ensure complete equivalence for all our members. This instruction is to also include the planned CDC pension currently in development, or any variant thereof.

Speakers showed concerned that some existing pensions which members have paid for and accumulated over the years may not pay out to a named person / partner in a same sex marriage, despite the clear wishes stated in the ‘Expression of Wishes’ forms.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – arried

Section 2 – National Issues

Motion 2 – The motion sought, by instructing the LGBT Advisory Committee to work with the NEC to:

Adopt a more prominent role in supporting transgender rights, across all CWU platforms.

Produce a statement in support and solidarity with trans people and the protection of their rights.

The mover of the motion stated that there is a rise in transphobia. There has been some issues at Pride events and there also been a rise in suicides of young people. The mover added that we stand for non-confrontation in all areas of society. We need to be clear sighted, and that equality is equality for all.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried unanimously.

Motion 3 – Conference was asked to support this motion which sought find a way to back the publication of the WORD magazine and also discover a way for its broader circulation, where this is possible and practical to do so. The LGBT Advisory Committee where instructed on this and to seek assistance from the NEC and in consultation with the three other Advisory Committees, namely the RAC, WAC and the DSNAC. The mover said that anything we can do to get the message out is the right thing to do.

The LGBT Advisory Committee asked the branch to remit the motion, if not, then they would oppose it. They added that we need a brand new publication / circulation platform and the problem with the motion is that it only talks about one type of circulation and does not go far enough.

The branch refused to remit the motion, and explained the in the past we have lost numerous publications and we do not want to lose the Word the same way.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried

Motion 4 – Probably the most contentious motion of the day, with the Redesign policy to bring the Equality Conferences to 1 day under the auspices of General Conference. The motion instructs the LGBT Advisory Committee to campaign in pursuance of the change to merge the four Equality Conferences into two consecutive days separate to Annual Conference to enable Redesign to be a success and give the four Equality Conferences to come together but to still have the same level of importance as we currently have.

There were many speakers, for and against. The main opposition was that we do not know yet under what format the Equality Conferences will take and this motion is not the way to achieve what we want, it is a step backwards.

Branch Delegate Vote – Against the motion

Motion – Lost

Motion 5 – The LGBT Advisory Committee is instructed to: lobby the NEC on the subject of guaranteeing that Parliament is representative of the people of the UK. This would encompass the NEC and the widespread trade union movement calling for the Labour Party to submit a proposition to Parliament for a law to be approved that a set percentage of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates must identify as:

Women

LGBT

Disabled

Black and Minority Ethnic.

This would also cover all parties irrespective of membership numbers.

There was two opposition speakers to the motion, mainly saying the same thing, which was that the motion is not the way to guarantee the diversity of Parliament. The LGBT Advisory Committee gave support even though the motion did not go far enough.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Lost (just)

Motion 6 – PrEP stands for pre- exposure prophylaxis. It is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently. It is not available at the point of need in England, but supplied by the NHS in Scotland and Wales. It is a postcode lottery in the UK, and we believe it purely down to cost.

Therefore, in an attempt to rectify this, conference instructs the LGBT Advisory Committee, alongside the NEC to correspond with the Health Secretary and put forward the opinions that exist to help allow much easier admittance to PrEP

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously

Motion 7 – PRIDE PROGRAMME

Conference instructs the LGBT Advisory Committee, in unification with the NEC, that plans are made to ensure that the vital work carries on during and post – Redesign.

Excellent work has been done in the branches and regions, which shows real embracement towards the Pride Programme. It is massively constructive to all LGBT workers to observe a robust CWU profile at Pride events all over country.

The mover said that there is a worry that because of cost these Pride events will fade away entirely. We should be encouraging more of them, they are Trade Union events. We are all inclusive, and we have to keep the motion going forward. Hard worked has been dine by many people in the past, please do not let them down.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried unanimously

Motion 8 – This motion dealt with the heinous subject of Gay Conversion Therapy. It is noted in the content of Stonewalls’s ‘Unhealthy Attitudes’ report. It is also existing policy to continue with the work with the applicable powers that in calling for this practice to be banned and to petition the Government make the practice of Gay Conversion Therapy unlawful in the U.K. As a statistic 15 out of 51 states in America have now condemned it.

The motion added that Conference is appalled and instructs the LGBT Advisory Committee and the NEC to ensure any such report is circulated through the suitable networks.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously.

The two National motion elected to go to Annual Conference was motion 6 & 9

Your branch delegate voted for 7 & 9.

There were 102 delegates, 29 Observers, 6 Advisory Committee members and 12 Headquarters giving a total of 149 people. There were 75 branches in attendance.

CWU – Women’s Equality Conference

Wednesday 6th February 2019.

The Liner Hotel, Liverpool

Delegates Report.

SOC – Reference Back: – South Yorks Branch – All motions should be heard before the panel session.

Your Branch delegate voted for the reference back and it was carried.

Motion SOC – reference Back: – Greater London Combined – to reinstate motion 13.

Your Branch delegate voted for the Reference Back. The Reference Back was carried.

Section 1 – Industrial Issues.

Motion 1 – It is saluted that Royal Mail are now employing more women than ever before, especially in the delivery offices. This is we believe an encouraging move; however this is also bringing the added issue of a lack of understanding by Royal Mail managers regarding women’s issues. Th motion is calling for the Women’s Advisory Committee (WAC) along with the Postal Executive (PE) and the Education Department to introduce a one-day special course specifically aimed at female issues in the workplace. Once this course has been agreed by both parties a joint roll out of the training to Royal Mail (shift and Unit) managers and the CWU local representatives will commence.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously.

Motion 2 – This motion focused on the subject of Period Poverty for many women. It is a fact that many Royal Mail delivery offices have no provision for sanitary products. With the growing influx of women in delivery offices it is essential that this issue is corrected. Where there are sanitary products, they are often low quality, and unwarrantedly expensive. It is not on Royal Mail, but BT as well. Young female workers are in desperate need of the correct facilities in premises the are still male orientated.

The WAC are instructed to work with the PEC to negotiate with Royal Mail to provide Sanitary products free of charge (or at least cost price) in all work place toilets. The work should begin ASAP and an update on progress provided to branches by end of 2019.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously.

Section 2 – National Issues

Motion 3 – The policy adopted at the Redesign Conference is noted with regards to the Women’s Regional Committees. However, it is felt that this move is the biggest threat to women’s engagement within our union structure. The WAC is instructed to work with the NEC to safeguard the future regional equality committees for female only section of the meeting. The Women’s Advisory Committee were against the motion. They and Maxiene Cartwright from the South East Anglia said the motion will lead us straight back to where we came from, and we need to not to be in the dark anymore. The decisions that we made in November were the right ones and we need to enact on these.

Branch Delegate Vote – Against the motion

Motion – Lost

Motion 4 – This motion highlights the recent horrendous outcome of a rape trial in Ireland. The motion calls for the WAC to run a crusade to remind our members that “No means No” and to fully support, in any way they see fit, the campaign for the end of “victim blaming in the courts”

One delegate explained the horror of being raped at 15 years old. She received a standing ovation for the courage she portrayed in sharing her dilemma.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – carried Unanimously

Motion 5 – People have protection in law, crime and civil, from the equality Act 2010 and the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 against sexual harassment. But these legal defences have been eroded because of government reforms since the fiscal crisis. This has given rise to the eradicating of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Therefore, conference instructs the WAC to work with the NEC and all relevant bodies to campaign for the repeal protections under the equality Act 2010 which were removed 2013, so that employees targeted by harassment by a third party are protected and that employers are given legal responsibilities to act and conduct sanctions on third parties where sexual harassment happens to one of its employees.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously

SOC – Statement from the SOC. The reference back motion 13 was accepted by the WAC.

Motion 6 – ‘Ask for Angela’ – This is a movement to assist people who find themselves in difficult social situations. This is of great assistance to defenceless people and Bars and other licenced premises voluntary promotes the scheme, whereby anyone who becomes worried by unwanted attention can approach the bar and ‘Ask for Angela’ whereupon the staff will help eradicate them from the situation.

Conference therefore instructs the Women’s Advisory Committee to work with the NEC, the “Ask for Angela” campaign and the wider union movement to raise awareness of the scheme and encourage the introduction of similar schemes nationwide.

The National Union of Students have reported a 68% increase in harassment cases, and have adopted this scheme. It is a non-expenses scheme so there is no excuse in not espousing it.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – carried Unanimously

Motion 7 – 1 in 3 women will suffer from some form of heart disease in their lifetime. This is also, not always perceived as signs differ to those of men. Heart disease also kills twice as many women than breast cancer, which is a little known fact. It is imperative that we educate our female members and their families to the indications of this and the campaign, which should include artworks and leaflets.

To this, Conference instructs the WAC to do a campaign to highlight the issue of heart disease and heart attacks amongst women.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously

Motion 8 – The Menopause. Not covered under the Equality Act 2010. Conference therefore agrees that this should be altered, and that the Menopause should become a protected characteristic.

The WAC is instructed accordingly.

Stopping managers having the ‘wriggle room’. An organising approach to get legislation is paramount.

The WAC asked the branch to remit the motion. No was reply, and the right of reply was waivered by the branch.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried

Motion 9 – NDC CASE ANALYSIS. It is a known fact the CWU internal discipline process (NDC) is a judicious and effective instrument for assisting members and reps in disagreements. However, a detailed analysis is required of case from a gender viewpoint. To this Conference instructs the incoming WAC, working with the NEC, to produce a detailed analysis of NDC cases from a gender perspective. No personal data will be required, which will ensure GDPR compliance in this matter. The report shall cover the periods 2012 to 2015 and 2015 to the present time and shall seek to identify any disproportionate trends and to make any necessary recommendations.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Unanimously

Motion 10 – Positive Action on NDC Cases.

Conference instructs the WAC, in conjunction with the NEC, to ensure that where there is a woman involved as one of the parties in NDC proceedings, the NDC panel will, where possible be composed to reflect this through the nomination of at least two women NEC panel members for these cases.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried

Motion 11 – It is recognised that despite the work done over the last few years on proportionality the quantity of females active in the CWU has not reached a number that is satisfactory. Therefore, more needs done a grass roots level. To this:

The Women’s advisory committee are therefore instructed to:- 1. Contact every female member when she joins the CWU welcoming her and informing her of the work women do within the CWU 2. To campaign to get more women as branch chairs, secretaries and treasurers of their branches 3. Reach out to branches and work with them directly to get more women stand as industrial reps. These are just a few examples and the Committee is free to add more if they wish.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Motion – Carried Unanimously.

Motion 12 – Regional Women’s Committees do treasured work in the regions in bringing forward women activists, campaigning on women’s issues, forming National rules, training and educating women locally.

Conference therefore instructs the Woman’s Advisory Committee to use all means at their disposal to reverse that decision and to ensure that these committees are kept as part of the Regional Structure.

Mover said Regional Women’s Committees are not broke, so don’t fix them. Speakers against said that the motion would not go anywhere if it got to Annual Conference. Also, with all good intentions – we are not connecting with our female colleagues, so it is broke, so we do need to fix, and that is what Redesign is attempting to do.

Branch Delegate Vote – Against the motion

Motion – Lost

Motion 13 – Accepted.

The mover said Brexit will elongate the austerity that we allegedly were coming out of.

Branch Delegate Vote – For the motion

Vote – Carried.

Motions to Annual Conference – Motion 1 to Industrial Conference.

Motion 4 & 8 (Branch Vote)

Motion 8 & 11 (Elected motions to General Conference)

Attendance

113 delegates

38 Observers

12 WAC

14 Headquarters

177 total and 83 branches.

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