Please see below –
LTB 128/20 explaining rational for cancellation of AGM.
LTB 128/20 – COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – CANCELLATION AND POSTPONEMENT OF CWU EVENTS
LTB 121/20 sent out on Friday 13th March 2020 informed Branches of a number of actions we were in the process of drawing up in order that the CWU can continue to operate as a result of the above pandemic.
Over the weekend a number of developments have occurred both publically and industrially and on the afternoon of Monday 16th March the NEC Emergency Committee (EC) met to discuss the CWU approach. Before detailing the decision of the EC it is worth repeating one of the key messages of that LTB. That is, Branches will be aware that the Health and Safety department have issued a number of LTBs that are directed at the industrial health and safety aspects of this matter as it impacts upon our members working conditions. In relation to those issues branches and representatives should continue to deal with those matters through the relevant industrial departments in conjunction with the H&S Department at CWU HQs.
As we are aware this is a contagious disease and varying degrees of “self-isolation” and/or “social distancing” initiatives are rapidly coming into force. Indeed following the meeting of the EC the Government have made further announcements on this issue. These new Government announcements follow decisions taken over the weekend such as the Scottish Government has placing a de-facto ban on all events of more than 500 people. Large scale sporting events (Premier League, EFL, Rugby Six nations) have been cancelled. This is because it is accepted that such large gatherings assist in spreading this virus.
There is no escaping the fact that we face a serious situation, people have and will continue to die as a result of this pandemic. The CWU has a real responsibility to put in place what actions we believe necessary to protect out members, activists and staff and alongside them their friends, families and communities.
As a result of the current environment and the ever changing position i.e. the likelihood that the situation we face will worsen dramatically the EC believes it would be irresponsible if, at a time when people are being advised to put distance between themselves and others to minimise the risk of spreading the infection, we continue to operate as if nothing is happening.
Amongst the issues the EC had to consider for example, was if we went ahead with General Conference we are looking at approximately 1,000 people coming together to work in close proximity to each other. Precisely the type of environment we are told heightens the risk of spreading the virus.
Accordingly the EC has agreed with immediate effect to postpone and/or cancel the following specific and general events within the CWU.
- CWU Annual (General and Industrial) conference 2020.
- NEC and Industrial Executive meetings and associated subcommittee and industrial business meetings.
- All CWU schools/training and CWU organised events.
- Branch Annual General meetings/Membership meetings.
- All Regional meetings.
- Implement an avoidance of all non-essential travel policy within the CWU.
As highlighted in LTB 121/20 we are continuing to work thorough the steps we will need to ensure that the CWU continues to operate during this difficult time. This means scoping alternative arrangements to ensure that key meetings can take place in some format.
We know Branches will understand when we say the above decisions, whilst not taken lightly, are the right approach. Our aim here has been to ensure that we act responsibly when it comes to the wellbeing of members, reps and staff at what is a deeply concerning period of time for all.
As part of our planning around next steps we will also aim to scope what opportunities there are to run any of the above conference/events, etc. later in the year.
We will continue to keep Branches updated on our response to this issue as and when we implement alternative arrangements aimed at ensuring the CWU continues to operate and support our reps and members as the situation we face develops further.
Unless or until otherwise advised branches should continue to raise any issues with any CWU HQ Department as they normally would. Any changes to this approach as a result of the implementation of alternative working arrangements at HQ level will be notified to Branches immediately.
Any comments or questions on the above should be addressed to Tony Kearns at email@example.com. However we are sure you will all understand that we are now committed to putting in place operational changes to ensure continuity of our day to day operation and it will be those matters than now take priority.
Dave Ward – General Secretary
Tony Kearns – Senior Deputy General Secretary
The Branch AGM 2020, will take place at 19:30 on Wednesday, 25th March 2020 at the Rivets Sport & Social Club, Whitehead Way, Mandeville Road, Aylesbury. HP21 8AD. (Click on the link to see map) The guest speaker will be National Officer – Davie Bowman. There is parking on site and refreshments/buffet will be available.
The following changes to the Branchs Bye-Laws will be put to the AGM.
Revised Welfare Bye-Law (Bye-Law 16)
Welfare Fund trustees shall consist of the Branch Financial Secretary, Welfare Co-ordinator plus three other members of the Branch.
The Welfare Fund Trustees shall have the authority to make payments from the fund subject to the following criteria.
i. Eligibility for a welfare load would require an individual to be a fully paid up member of the Branch for a minimum of six consecutive months.
ii. A maximum of £500 will be paid by a majority decision of the welfare trustees should a grant be awarded.
iii. A member may only receive a maximum of three welfare loans should they be granted. In exceptional circumstances this may be increased only with the unanimous agreement of the welfare trustees.
Ammendment / Addition to Rule 2. The branch will also elect the following officers who will be elected to the branch committee.
To add the post of Deputy Secretary.
A Conference Mandating ‘Conference Call’ Meeting will take place on Thursday 9th April 2020 at 19:00 pm.
Following the cancellation of this Conference, this call will no longer take place.
The following motions have been submitted to conference.
“This conference censures the NEC on its handling of the closure of Alvescot Lodge.
Motion 57 passed at Redesign Conference in November 2018 was quite clear…. Our Branch notes that the review of the Unions assets is mentioned in the introduction of the redesign document but not in any of the sections 1–7. We therefore instruct the NEC to draw up a full strategic financial plan that sets out in a clear and concise way, the projected savings of each of the three elements of the asset review. This should be published to Branches before any final decision is taken to dispose of any Asset or before any special Rules revision conference necessary to enact CWU Policy on the redesign project.
Also, Annual Conference 2019 rejected motion 11 standing in the name of the NEC.
This Conference endorses the NEC strategy and recommendations for Education, Learning and Training as published to Branches in LTB 067/19.
However the NEC has proceeded with sale of Alvescot Lodge thus ignoring the wishes and instructions of 2 conferences.”
The above prop will be submitted as an Emergency Prop with in the General Conference.
The motion below will be submitted to the T&FS Conference.
“On 1st Oct 2020 BT sold BT Fleet to private equity company Aurelius (Rivus Fleet Solutions ) from Germany by way of a share buyout .At the time of the sale our members were assured that BT Fleet was a profitable company and that was why we were attractive to other companies who would invest and give Fleet the capital investment and freedom they could not get from BT. We were assured that the new owners were not asset strippers and this was a fantastic opportunity to secure our members future. However these assurances have proven to be a complete an utter falsehood when less than 3moths later Rivus Fleet Solutions announced in Jan 2020 that they intended to close 11 workshops and reduce the headcount at two more workshops who they claimed were loss making workshops by way of compulsory redundancy this involved 65 staff and 55 team members.
Rivus claim that when they bought Fleet from BT they did not know the true cost of the business or the overheads as this was hidden cost under BT. Since the separation from BT our members have lost BT broadband, BT share save, have been denied joining BT Hybrid Pension, and now have lost their job security with the threat of further workshop closures hanging over them.
Furthermore Rivus are ruthlessly cost cutting in the business and have decided without consultation with the CWU to stop paying our members a higher pay grade allowance, which has been paid for many years under a joining agreed process to carry out equipment test on vehicles which is safety related which Rivus legally have to comply with under lower regulations.
Therefore this conference instructs the T&FS Executive to prevent by all means possible up to and including industrial action any further workshop closures and compulsory redundancies and any further eroding our member’s terms & conditions, pay, sick leave, allollances, attendance patterns, etc by Rivus Fleet Solutions.”
The CWU GENERAL CONFERENCE AGENDA can be found Here