General Conference Observer Report

COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION

CENTRAL COUNTIES & THAMES VALLEY BRANCH

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019 – OBSERVER’S REPORT

 

GENERAL CONFERENCE

Reference Back

Motion 97 – Greater London Combined Branch reference back was carried.

Motions 1, 2 and 3

These motions were all Health and Health & Safety related. Motion 1 from Greater Mersey and South West Lancs dealt with the issue of Workplace Suicide. Motion 2 was to review the current legislation on the Mental Health Act, this was moved by the Disability Conference. Finally Motion 3 was to enable easier access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), which is form of protection to avoid HIV transmission.

Your delegates voted for these motions and they were all carried unanimously.

Motion 4

Moved by the Women’s Conference delegate, this motion concentrated on the issue of the Menopause, and the problems this generates. Unfortunately, this is not covered by the Equality Act (2010). The NEC were instructed to get this changed. Amazingly the executive urged branches to oppose this motion, as they did at the Women’s conference. This attempt failed again as the motion was carried, and your delegates voted for the motion, as they did at the Women’s Conference.

Emergency Motion E2

This motion covered the issue of medical implants and the fact that the regulations need toughening up. The Executive accepted the motion so there was no debate and no vote was taken.

Motion 5 and 6

Both these motions were carried unanimously, and dealt with the issues of the introduction of the Civil Liabilities Bill and Cervical Cancer respectively.

Your delegates voted for these motions and they were all carried unanimously.

Motions 7 to 10 inclusive were not reached.

Motion 11

This was the first NEC proposition on the paper and concentrated on the issue of Education, Learning and Training. This was the motion that could have been the end for Alvescot Lodge, the training establishment in our Branch area. There was many speakers for and against the motion and took all the time set by for this section. Your branch delegates were mandated to oppose this motion. The Chairperson of the conference called for a card vote, as the show of hands was too close to call.

CARD VOTE NO.1

For the motion – 74,707

Against the motion – 97,718

Abstentions – 867

Not Voting – 13 Branches

The motion was lost.

Motions 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 – These motions were not reached.

Emergency Motion E3

This motion was tabled by the Executive. It was carried.

Your Branch Delegates voted against the motion.

Motion 17

Greater London Combined Branch moved the motion that dealt with the issue of the Governments proposals on ‘settled status’ with regards to the restrictions on free movement to EU citizens. The motion further added to instruct the National Executive Council to campaign against discrimination towards CWU members who are EU citizens by the UK Government.

Your Branch Delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously.

Motion 18

Moved by the West Yorkshire Branch, the motion called for the abolishment of street harassment of young girls and women, which ranges from verbal sexual comments to unwanted sexual physical contact. The motion instructed the NEC to work with Plan International UK to totally eradicate this despicable behaviour.

Your delegates fully supported this motion. It was carried unanimously.

Motion 19 – This motion was not reached

Motion 20 & 21

Both of the motions were accepted by the NEC. Motion 20 dealt with the scandalous Windrush issue, and motion 21 instructed the NEC to highlight the appalling issue of ‘Hate Crime’ at every opportunity.

Motion 22, 23, 24 and 25 – These motions were not reached.

Motion 26 and 27

Both of these motions were carried unanimously. Motion 26 covered the bestowing of Honorary Membership to Linda Roy, Steve Bell, Dave Mitchell and Ray Atkinson.

Motion 27 instructed the NEC to work with the corresponding Industrial Executives and conduct a full branch consultation followed by a report to a decision making forum for consultation, amendment and endorsement so rule changes can be put before Annual Conference 2020.

Your Branch Delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously.

Emergency Motion 1

This motion dealt with issue of the need for the CWU to increase its membership across our core industries and the wider communications and financial service sectors. The NEC stated that the motion does not indorse the strategy within LTB 147/19 which allows for a new Head of recruitment and Organising and therefore opposed the motion.

Your delegates voted against the motion. The motion was lost.

Emergency Motion 5 and Motions 28 – 33 – These motions were not reached.

Motion 34

The North East Health and Safety Forum’s motion stated the need for the introduction of a Stress Risk Assessment to be used in every workplace in the UK.

Your delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously

Motion 35 – This motion was not reached.

Motion 36

This motion dealt with the issue of improving OHS standards and the treatment of ill health at work both physical and mental. This motion was accepted by the NEC.

Motion 37 – This motion was withdrawn.

Motion 38

This motion from the women’s conference detailed the work done over recent years on the issue of proportionality and the number of females active in the CWU. However, more needs to be done especially at grass roots level.

Your Branch Delegates were mandated to support this motion, and duly obliged. The motion was carried unanimously.

Motion 39

Motion from the LGBT Conference sought to develop a campaigning strategy of rising awareness of transgender issues within the union.

Your delegates supported this motion. It was carried unanimously.

Motion 40

This motion came from the Disability Conference and concentrated on the CWU communications where not all features are disability friendly. The motion then instructed the NEC to liaise with the DAC (Disability Advisory Committee) to make all comms disability friendly.

The NEC opposed the motion. Your delegates voted for the motion, but it was unfortunately lost.

Motion 41

Another motion on how to increase our membership. This time from South West Wales Amal. They indicated that we need to put in place a far stronger and robust organising strategy using the membership to deliver ground-breaking and new ways reach particular workers in workplaces who are not members of a trade union.

Your Branch Delegates voted for the motion. It was carried.

Motion 42

This motion called for Unionline to hold a seminar at least once a year on updating CWU field officials and branches on new law issues in the UK workplace. Also to assign a solicitor for advice on case management and for advice also on employment law.

The NEC opposed the motion. Your Branch Delegates supported the motion and it was carried.

Motion 43 and 44 – These motions were not reached.

Motion 45 – This motion was accepted by the NEC

Motions 46, 47, 48 and 49 – These motions were not reached.

Motion 50

This motion concentrated on the issue of the voting record of some of the CWU supported MP’s, and the dismay caused by their voting. The motion called for the NEC to continually monitor and report back to Regional Political Forums on the supported MP’s MSP’s and Assembly members voting record. If at any time a sponsored politician does not support a CWU position, policy and / or values, with the view to withdrawal of support if not addressed.

The NEC asked the mover to remit the motion. This was agreed,

 

Motion 51

This motion from Northern Ireland Telecom instructed the NEC to seek assurances from the Labour party that CWU members in Northern Ireland contributing to the party by means of the political levy continue to receive value for money especially by lifting its injunction on fielding candidates for election to the Local Assembly and local councils.

The NEC opposed the motion on the grounds that it does not run the labour party and also it is unable place in the motion as a rule change in the first section of a rules revision session at the next Annual Conference as that is the SOC’s job.

Your Branch Delegates voted against the motion. It was not carried.

Motion 52 – This motion was not reached.

Motion 53

The motion expressed sincere concerns on the capitalist system which offers very little for the average worker. It also stated that the CWU should be leading a nationwide campaign on ‘World of Work’ and following the suggested agenda:

A minimum £10.00 per hour.

Quality Apprenticeship Schemes with Qualifications.

Collective Bargaining.

Full Trade Union Recognition.

Long Term Local Employment Opportunities

Recruitment from all Communities.

This list is not exhaustive

Your Branch delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously

Motion 54

This motion covered the issue of zero-hour contracts and instructed the NEC to lobby the TUC and the Welsh TUC to join with the Scottish TUC, who have done superb work on the Better than Zero campaign and create their own campaigns to fight against the exploitation of these workers.

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

Motion 55

Basically, the motion decries the privatisation of virtually every nationalised industry the Conservatives could lay they hands on. It went on to instruct the NEC to support campaigns and initiatives with like-minded organisations that promote re-nationalisation of our public companies.

This was a composite motion, but Greater London Branch pulled out of the composite.

Your Branch delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously

Motion 56 – Motion not reached

Motion 57 – This motion was accepted by the NEC

Motions 58, 59 and 60 – These motions were not reached

Motion 97 – This motion fell because of the consequential in Motion 55, which was carried.

Motion 61

This was an NEC motion regarding the ‘Mental Health Strategy’ carried in 2018. It explained how it will be arranged and the events that have been orgainsed to promote the strategy.

Your Branch delegates voted for the motion. It was carried unanimously

Motion 62 and 63 – These motions were not reached.

Motion 64 – This motion was accepted.

Motion 65 – This motion was not reached

Motion 66 – This motion was withdrawn

Motion 67 – This motion was not reached

 

Delegate observer

Heather Mason