CWU General Conference 2011
Motions 1 - 35
1 CATEGORY A:
If Carried 2, 3, 4 and 5 Falls
That this union notes:
1) The all out attack launched on working people and the vital ervices they rely on by the Con-Dem coalition government.
2) That the attacks on British workers are part of a global attempt to make workers pay for the economic crisis.
3) The wave of mass protests and general strikes across Europe.
4) TUC leader Brendan Barber's call for united campaigning against cuts and that “Where members, faced with attacks on jobs, pay or pensions, take a democratic decision for industrial action, they will have the support of their unions. The TUC stands ready to co- ordinate that.”
5) That a number of unions are already making moves towards National coordinated strike action.
1) This crisis was caused by bankers and politicians, not workers. It's the bankers and the rich who should pay the price.
2) There should be no cuts made on working class people's jobs, conditions and services. We should not pay for the bankers' crisis.
3) The government should be creating jobs, investing in a Sustainable future and protecting public services.
4) The response of the trade union movement in countries such.as Greece and France should act as a model for resistance here.
5) We need to build the fight against the austerity measures at a local and national level both through building unity across the campaigns organising resistance and through industrial action.
6) It will take strike action on the scale we have seen in Greece and France to stop Cameron's attacks.
1) To work with other trade unions and campaigning organisations to stop the cuts in our local area.
2) To call on the TUC to coordinate a 24-hour general strike against the cuts and attacks on wages and pensions.
3) To call on our union leaderships at branch, regional and national level to seek to coordinate campaigns and strikes with other unions.
South Central No.1
Eastern Regional Committee
2 CATEGORY A:
If carried 3, 4 and 5 Fall
Conference believes the coalition government has gone too far with its slash and burn policy on cutting local services.
Considering the level of cuts amongst most council's, the most vulnerable groups of people are having their services cut more severely than others. Predominately Youth services and elderly care seems to being hit the hardest with some council's slashing youth provision by over 50 % and some even cutting it altogether.
Not only are these cuts hitting people hard now, they are going to cause problems
for years to come if something isn't done immediately. Conference therefore instructs the NEC to undertake by every means possible to them, to lobby and protest against the Coalition government's cuts to services and also how local councils are applying these cuts.
3 CATEGORY A:
If carried 4 and 5 Fall
This Conference condemns the massive cuts in services cavalierly pursued by the current Conservative-Lib-Dem led Government, without any regard for its consequences.
Conference believes that Government spending cuts will severely damage public services and put more than a million people out of work.
Conference agrees that these are political choices, and not determined by economic necessity.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to campaign, within the wider Trade Union and Labour movement, against the savage cuts being imposed by the Government.
North West Regional Committee
4 CATEGORY A:
If carried 5 Falls
This conference rejects the present Government's so called ‘Big Society' concept. This ‘Big Society' is a euphemism for a less caring society in which private business is given free rein to exploit ordinary working people. If developed it will inevitably lead to a diminution of the Health Service, of education and of working people's rights. The NEC is instructed to actively campaign alongside the many organisations that have declared their hostility to this so called Big Society and to other initiatives which are being fraudulently launched on the back of the financial crisis.
5 CATEGORY A:
This Conference registers its extreme concern about the increase in youth unemployment, announced recently. The Office of National Statistics revealed that one in five 16 to 24-year olds are now out of work, after a rise of 32,000 saw the figure reach 951,000 - the highest level since records began.
Conference notes that areas with high levels of urban deprivation already have higher than average unemployment figures and higher numbers of young people not in Education, Employment or Training.
Conference believes that the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance and the tripling of tuition fees for studying at university will make it more difficult for young people to obtain the qualifications they require to obtain jobs.
Conference further believes that the abolition of national programs aimed at helping young unemployed people, such as the "Future Jobs Fund," is also a retrograde step.
Conference instructs the NEC to campaign for the Tory-Lib Dem Government to reverse these disastrous policies and provide proper support for our young people.
6 CATEGORY A:
This Conference is concerned that the recently announced Comprehensive Spending Review on 22nd June 2010 is a direct attack on women and disproportionally affects their lives and the lives of their children.
Women are harder hit by cuts in pension credits, working tax credit, childcare support and cuts to public sector jobs mainly held by women, abolishing health and pregnancy grades, Sure Start maternity grants with the added cost with the rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20% to name just a few as these hit low and middle income working parents hardest.
This lack of fairness clearly shows that the Tories are not even going through the motions of considering what impact their policies will have on women. In addition that adequate Equality Assessments have not been considered.
This motion therefore instructs the NEC to:
- Lobby this Con Dem Government to reassess these policies.
- To develop more partnerships with political contacts to challenge the political and economic policies that have a detrimental and disproportionate affect on women's lives.
- And that the NEC instructs the WAC to further highlight these issues and to circulate relevant information to female members.
- To ensure that all aspects of Equality are adhered to and Equality Assessments are carried out.
Not since the end of the First World War have we seen such a complete reversal of women's opportunities and economic independence.
CWU Womens Conference
7 CATEGORY A
That the coalition government are currently making savage cut backs in local councils forcing the closure of Youth Centres, Sports & Leisure Centres, Library's and many other closures.
That these closures will effect not just our members' but fully impact their children and all youth in the UK leaving many children with nowhere to go to socialise, take part in activities and support local communities.
Conference instructs that the National Executive works with the Youth Advisory Committee and the CWU to actively support the action group ‘Save all UK Youth Centres'.
Eastern Regional Committee
8 CATEGORY A:
Conference applauds the action of students in marching and protesting against cuts in EMA and the increase in tuition fees.
Conference believes that building links with students and young workers in opposing cuts in public spending and building the campaign against post office privatisation is a key goal for branch youth officers and young members.
Conference believes that working with local authority and education unions and developing links with anti cuts groups is an obvious role for involving our young members in the wider movement to assist in developing their education and skills and promoting the CWU as a vibrant fighting union.
Conference instructs the NEC to encourage branches to involve their youth officers in these struggles and revitalise the local Trades Councils and anti cuts groups.
9 CATEGORY A:
This Conference notes with dismay the announcement made by Riven Vincent on 20th January where she stated that she would have to put her daughter into care because of the lack of respite care available. Her daughter is blind, quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. This conference notes that the overwhelming number of carers are women who rely on respite care and local health services, all of which are under threat from a Government intent on a cuts agenda. This case highlights the need for awareness within the union for a plight that can affect all of our women members – that of cuts in health, social security and jobs.
As part of its overall opposition to this Conservative led governments cuts to public services and public spending this conference agrees that the CWU needs to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of the debate about the misery that will affect society and of which women will bear the brunt. In doing so this conference notes and welcomes the work done by the Fawcett Society in highlighting how these cuts will disproportionately affect women. The CWU also needs to take this message out to women in the workplace and rise to the challenge of the changing and increasingly female and part-time workforces in our industries.
In order to do this the CWU, in line with its standing within the TUC and the wider labour movement needs to ensure that we continue to be seen as a progressive force in this area particularly with regard to caring about the issues that affect women, those with disabilities all sexualities and ethnic minorities. We must also be seen to care about the plight of the young and the challenges that no retirement age will bring to the ageing.
To that end, this Conference welcomes the commitments previously given by both the General Secretary and the Senior Deputy General Secretary that as long as they are holding positions in this union, there will be an Equal Opportunities Department and an Equal Opportunities Officer, given the challenges that will face our women members both in and out of work, we affirm our support for this position.
Further this Conference instructs the NEC to ensure that they are working with the Policy Department, Organising Department and with the WAC to ensure our approach and our response to members highlights the women's dimension to these issues.
CWU Womens Conference
10 CATEGORY A:
Conference welcomes our involvement in the High Pay Review as a means of highlighting the vast disparity in pay between top and low earners, but is concerned that this earnings gap is increasing and is fostering growing inequality and poverty in our society which impacts negatively on the lives of our members and their families.
Conference also welcomes the publication of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone and its central thesis that income inequality in society is detrimental to everyone and that people living in societies where income is distributed more equally fare much better in terms of their health and wellbeing, reduced crime levels and increased satisfaction and happiness.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC that the CWU should join and participate in The Equality Trust.
Greater London Combined
11 CATEGORY A:
If Carried Comp 18 Falls
This Conference is concerned that the Government are considering giving Companies greater freedom to sack ‘under-performing' workers as part of an overhaul of Employment laws to boost the economic recovery.
Conference is concerned that David Cameron hopes that ‘relaxed' employment laws will help to boost the private sector and encourage firms to take on thousands of new workers. The new ‘employers' charter' will allow companies to sack workers during the first two years of their employment without the threat of being taken to a tribunal for unfair dismissal. Currently an employee can bring an unfair dismissal claim after only ONE year.
To reduce the number of ‘vexatious allegations', Conference is concerned that workers will also face a fee when lodging an employment tribunal claim.
Conference believes that it is typical of this government to claim the only way to bring unemployment down is to make it easier to sack people. Conference instructs the NEC to resist, by all means possible, Government measures to further erode the already unsatisfactory Employment legislation in this Country.
12 CATEGORY A:
This conference instructs the incoming NEC to ensure our National Health Service be protected against any form of Privatisation (this coalition Government is the most vicious we have ever experienced).
We must publicise through the national press and utilise whatever resources are available (Labour Party, TUC, other unions, affiliated organisations, general public etc) to ensure that the NHS remains free at the point of delivery and continues to provide a universal service.
Midland Regional Committee
13 CATEGORY A:
Conference notes that the licensing and merchandise for each Olympic Games is worth hundreds of millions of pounds. By contrast, the sportswear and other Olympic logo goods on which this marketing is based are made by workers who, like most workers in global supply chains, earn poverty wages and do not have access to fundamental labour rights.
It notes that during the bid process for the London 2012 Olympic Games, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said “we will make sure this is… an Olympics that values the people who will work to produce it”. Olympics Minster Tessa Jowell also said that the Government is, “very keen that all the contracts (awarded for the Games) are characterised by good employment practices”. Conference believes that respect for labour rights should be integral to the London 2012 Olympic Games, consistent with the Olympic Charter principle that, “Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”.
Conference instructs the NEC to:
Call on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to ensure that workers' rights are respected in the production of all Olympic goods.
Call on the Government to ensure that LOCOG's funding agreement allows this to take place.
Call on the wider sportswear industry and the Olympic movement to take responsibility for working conditions in their supply chains.
Support the Play Fair 2012 Campaign organised by the TUC, Labour Behind the Label, War on Want and others to pursue these demands.
National Executive Council
14 CATEGORY A:
This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to join forces with other unions and the TUC to campaign for the removal of the different rates of minimum wage and to replace them with one single minimum wage rate for all workers, regardless of age or status.
Mid Wales, the Marches and North Staffs
15 CATEGORY A:
This Conference agrees that the present system of Monitoring the Care and Wellbeing of Elderly People is NOT working.
A new Independent body, The Society for the Protection and Care of Older People (SPCOP) needs to be set up.
The S.P.C.O.P. must be independent of National/Local Government and the NHS.
To have the ability to attend private homes (together with the Police) when required.
To have the same access to the Police as the R.S.P.C.A.and Child Protection Agency.
Conference instructs the NEC to work with the R.M.A.C., N.P.C. and T.U.C. to pursue this Policy.
North Wales and Marches
16 CATEGORY A:
Conference instructs the NEC to explore ways to improve the working conditions across call centres in the non recognised area of the telecoms sector by
Setting up a charter for call centre working conditions
Lobbying employer groups and associations to adopt any such charter
Lobbying MP's to sign up and promote any such charter through Parliament
Central and West Lancs
17 CATEGORY A:
This conference notes that the introduction of the Fit Note process to replace the sick certificate has introduced inconsistencies by companies in their approach.
It was intended to return individuals to work earlier and therefore beneficial to both individual and employer. There is a general acceptance that the process is not working and the current indications suggest that there will be further reviews of the way that affect the operation of the health service and the way that companies respond.
The NEC is instructed to:
Campaign actively to ensure that all current processes are addressed to improve the fairness of the system.
That no detriment clauses are included in any negotiations that take place with the companies where we have representation.
South London, Surrey and North Hampshire
18 CATEGORY A:
The CWU condemns the Coalition Government's proposal to both increase the qualification period for eligibility to Employment Tribunals to two years, and apply a fee to lodging of complaints at ET's.
Furthermore this Conference congratulates the legal service department for their input to the consultation paper named Resolving Workplace Disputes. With the consultation closing on the 20th of April the CWU must be prepared to continue the fight against the excesses of this consultation and protect the rights of workers.
Once the outcome of the consultation has been published and the expected excess still exists then the CWU should mount a campaign against the proposals through its membership and the Trade Union movement in general. The NEC is instructed accordingly.
London Postal Eng
19 CATEGORY A:
Conference believes that the Conservative - Liberal Democrat Coalition Government is on the offensive against working people. We are concerned that detrimental changes will be made in the area of trade union rights and employment law.
Conference notes the recent calls of Boris Johnson and other leading Coalition politicians to restrict the right to strike and Government proposals to extend the period for employees before we gain our basic rights at work.
We further note the already draconian restrictions on trade union rights including severe limits on legal strike action, laws against taking solidarity action and any form of political action, and the denial of the right to reinstatement when unfairly sacked - all legislation maintained under 13 years of a Labour Government.
We applaud John McDonnell's Private Members Bill on Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) in 2010 which attempted to improve our legal right to strike and regret its lack of Parliamentary support.
Therefore Conference instructs the NEC
- To oppose any attempts by the Con-Dem Coalition to attack our rights and to support other Unions who may be targeted
- To continue to work within the TUC and labour movement, and in wider society, with the 'United Campaign' to achieve the repeal of all anti trade union laws
- To continue to work with the Institute of Employment Rights to achieve improvement in employment rights including rights from day one
- To work to ensure Labour Party policy reflects our aspirations for the repeal of anti trade union laws and for extending positive rights for working people
Greater London Combined
20 CATEGORY A:
Conference is fully aware of the exorbitant charges being made by Residential Care Home owners to both local authorities and independent residents. There can be no fair justification for weekly fees that can be compared to staying in 5* hotels whilst providing what can only be described as basic/comfortable accommodation.
There is also evidence that self funders in care are getting better rooms because they are paying higher fees for the same care as the local authority residents and the extra profits are just lining the pockets of the home owners.
There is also a serious increase in the number of residents who are home owners who now have to sell their own private homes in order to fund their stays in the residential homes and having bought their homes many years ago this is totally unfair.
Couple this with having their occupational pensions being taken off them as well as all their state benefits and being left with £10 a week is not treating the elderly with the respect that they deserve.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC & the RMAC to undertake a serious campaign to Lobby the Government & the Works & Pensions Sub-Committee to
a) Lower the fees for Residential Care Homes whether these are Private or Local Authority Homes
b) Looking into new rules for the charges in order that residents do not have to sell their own homes to fund their stays in homes.
c) To ensure that residents do not have their full occupational pensions taken from them by the local authority and to ensure they have some monies for their own use.
The list is not exhaustive.
Central and West Lancs
21 CATEGORY A :
Conference is concerned that workers in the sex industry, the majority of whom are women, are stigmatised by society and denied basic human rights available to all other working people.
This Conference recognises that sex workers need our support to fight against criminalisation, hypocrisy, prejudice, violence and exploitation. They need full entitlement to human, civil and labour rights and for these rights to be recognised and respected.
We therefore instruct the NEC, to offer full support to the Sex Workers Branch of the GMB, the International Union of Sex Workers and the English Collective of Prostitutes in their struggle to achieve decriminalisation of sex work and affording them the full protection of the law.
22 CATEGORY A :
Conference is concerned about the fast approaching Agency Workers Directive and the lack of communication taking place to both branches and affected members from HQ.
The Agency Workers Directive has the potential to not only affect branch membership but the overall finances of the CWU with a possible loss of all agency members.
Conference recognises the limitations we have in protecting agency jobs but understands the need to keep members up to date on what the CWU has done and will continue to do around the Agency Workers Directive preparing all involved for the future.
As the Agency Workers Directive is due to come into effect at the end of the year, the NEC is instructed to ensure members affected are kept up to date via all communication streams available and in addition arrange a timetable of meetings to inform all members/branches affected no later than November 2011.
Tyne and Wear Clerical
23 CATEGORY A :
This Conference welcomes the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 and notes that there is now provision within the Act for Employment Tribunal Judges deciding in favour of the employee to make recommendations to employers on their future policy in relation to the claim before them.
Conference agrees that this provision could potentially have benefits to our membership and therefore instructs the NEC to ensure a process is put in place to collate as far as possible such Judgements and ensure that representations are made to the appropriate Employer.
24 CATEGORY A :
This Conference instructs the incoming NEC to mount a campaign through all available avenues for HRT tablets to be free of charge. As the need is paramount when our Women members go through Menopause.
York and District Amal
25 CATEGORY A:
Conference will be aware of recent press reports concerning the forced marriage of a young gay woman. The Forced Marriage Unit has reported a rise in LGBT victims seeking help. The issue of forced marriage of LGBT people is a hidden and secret scandal, often overlooked or not even on the radar.
Conference instructs the NEC to work with the LGBTAC in campaigning to ensure this invisible but all too real abuse is exposed to the glare of publicity and that the horror of these and all forced marriages is ended and that the victims are able to access the various organisations that can help them.
The NEC, together with the LGBTAC, is further instructed to work with organisations such as the Forced Marriage Unit and the Albert Kennedy Trust to assist it in achieving the aims of this motion.
CWU LGBT Conference
26 CATEGORY A:
This conference recognises that it is in the best interests of the membership to maintain pension increase orders using the RPI calculation rather than the CPI calculation for pension schemes.
It therefore instructs the NEC via RMAC to use all avenues to secure RPI as the continued calculation for pension increase orders. This to include wide ranging campaigning as is felt necessary to gain a successful conclusion.
CWU Retired Members Conference
27 CATEGORY A:
1. The increasingly widespread use of “kettling” – containment of large groups of protesters within a small area by a police cordon for long periods of time, often without access to toilet facilities, water or any means of leaving except in an extreme medical emergency – as a means of controlling protests, including student fees protests in November and December 2010;
2. That the use of “kettling” often occurs without the police being able to prove that it is effective in stopping illegal activity, or that illegal activity would have occurred had the technique not been used;
3. The policy motion on Policing of Protest passed by the Autumn 2009 Party Conference, which recognised that “kettling” must only be used where it is “absolutely necessary and proportionate”.
Conference further notes that:
1. Under the European Convention of Human Rights it states that “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person”. This right has often been recognised as absolute, within the scope of the exceptions provided.
2. There is a legal power for the use of “kettling” in primary legislation with police relying on common-law powers for dealing with breaches of the peace to justify the use of the technique;
3. Prior to the introduction of ‘kettling' as a policing technique, protests were managed through the use of arrest powers, which do not punish the many peaceful protesters for the behaviour of a few who may potentially pose a threat.
Conference believes that:
1.‘Kettling' does not represent the principle of ‘policing by consent', and should never be used in situations involving peaceful protesters, including vulnerable individuals such as children.
2. Alternative methods need to be devised for the management of protests which do not infringe fundamental British liberties, values and traditions, including but not limited to the use of arrest powers at protests and better use of surveillance techniques using existing powers and methods.
3.‘Kettling' endangers people's lives and compromises the authority of the police by turning peaceful protesters into police detainees.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to:
1. To contact and lobby the Police Authority to demand and ensure that this undemocratic practice is ended.
2. Work with the police to develop alternative methods of protest management which do not infringe the fundamental rights of liberty and security of person.
3. Use their best endeavours to ensure that those responsible apologise for the use of the technique at protests in the past.
28 CATEGORY A:
Conference agrees there is a worrying trend of voter apathy within the CWU's internal elections and ballots which must be addressed. However, Conference notes that the TULR Consolidations Act 1992 restricts trade unions to conducting postal ballots for elected officers and National Executive positions.
The CWU spends hundreds of thousands of pounds each year organising ballots and elections for a variety of nationally elected positions and this conference believes the time has come to address the serious lack of member participation.
Conference notes changes to legislation have permitted local authorities to allow constituents to cast their vote online to elect councillors and Members of Parliament. Therefore Conference agrees that the CWU campaigns for changes to the TULRCA 1992 which would give members of trade unions the opportunity to vote online.
To further the aims of this motion, Conference instructs the NEC to lobby the Government, the Labour Party, Trade Union Congress and others to allow its members to fully participate in the democratic election processes.
29 CATEGORY A:
Conference recognises the dire straits the CWU finances are in and the need to re-evaluate every aspect of expenditure. The NEC is instructed to investigate the potential benefit of consolidating the National Youth Education Event and Youth Conference into one weekend with a view to maximise attendance and participation and save money.
A report and recommendation shall be agreed and delivered by General Conference 2012.
Tyne and Wear Clerical
Doncaster & District Amal
30 CATEGORY A:
Conference recognises that retirement is a youth issue that affects all our employed members. This conference agrees to oppose any further rises to the retirement age and instructs the NEC to work alongside any other relevant organisations to campaign against any rises to the retirement age for our members.
31 CATEGORY A:
This Conference instructs the incoming NEC to actively campaign through all available mediums to get the EU Package Travel Directive, changed to take into account the rise in budget airlines and the significant numbers of people booking flights, accommodation and tours directly from the internet, because the directive only takes into account “all in” package holidays from a travel agent and covers them but not those booked independently.
York and District Amal
32 CATEGORY A:
Conference applauds the important work done by Eaves Women's Aid and its sister groups The Poppy Project and Lilith Research and Development.
However, this work is now undermined by a massive cut to the budget, which will leave women experiencing domestic abuse and women who have been trafficked in even more vulnerable positions.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to affiliate to Eaves Women's Aid.
Midlands Regional Committee
Mid Wales The Marches & North Staffs
33 CATEGORY A:
This conference condemns the decision taken at the United Nations on the 16th November to remove sexual orientation from an anti-execution resolution despite this resolution containing such references for the last ten years.
This conference agrees such a decision is shameful and may encourage murders of LGBT people.
This conference therefore instructs the NEC to work with the LGBT Advisory Committee and relevant CWU, TUC, International Lesbian and Gay Association and other national and international bodies it deems necessary to achieve the reintroduction of the reference to LGBT people in the UN anti-execution resolution.
CWU LGBT Conference
34 CATEGORY A:
Conferences endorses the terms of LTB 855/10 which recorded the decisions taken by the CWU delegation at the TUC Congress in Manchester 2010.
National Executive Council
35 CATEGORY A:
Conferences endorses the terms of LTB 087/11 which recorded the decisions taken by the CWU delegation at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester 2010.
National Executive Council