CWU General Conference 2011
Motions 36 - 70


This conference recognises the progress the CWU has made in the publication of documents by electronic means. LTB's and Branch Officers Bulletins are now more accessible to the membership. National and Branch officials also have benefited by the publication of information by the CWU.

We also recognise that technology does not stand still and over the last few years officers of the union have been using mobile phones and other hand held devices to access emails and documents as part of their everyday work.

Recently the CWU has been sending out LTB's and other documents by email, and attachments to the email have had documents embedded in them. In some cases the main information relating to the email sent out. There will be a perfectly good reason for this but embedded files are not accessible to mobile phones and some hand held devices.

This conference therefore instructs the NEC to review current policy with a view to having more documents accessible to use by mobile phones and other hand held devices. It is recognised that this may not be possible in all cases but whenever possible the documents should be sent as attachments rather than embedded files.

Scotland No.1



This conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to establish by the end of 2011 a video conferencing facility in each of our regional offices. The cost of setting up this facility will be paid by Headquarters.

In the event a region has already established this facility then the cost of setting it up will be reimbursed back to the region.

Northern Ireland Combined



This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to provide facilities within CWU HQ, Wimbledon in addition to the current comms, which will enable visiting members to have a secure wireless connection.

An ever-increasing number of Branch Officers conduct the majority of their business via laptops, netbooks and smart phones and although there are a number of public wifi systems, e.g. BT Openzone, provision of this facility would go some way to easing the time pressure on CWU activists.

Scotland No.1



The immense problems faced in the Congo, because of the ongoing War and the hunt for precious minerals, do not just affect women. Children born to women through rape have no father, no home and no money. Girls as young as 3 have been raped, the youngest recorded rape was on a six month old baby. Many Women in the Congo are subjected to brutal rape and as a result are rejected by their husbands. Many are infected with Aids and/or HIV as a result.

Following a recent documentary shown on BBC 3 ‘The World's Most Dangerous Place for Women', showing the brutality and repeated rape inflicted upon women in the Congo, this conference instructs the NEC and the WAC to raise awareness of the issues faced by the women and children through whatever means necessary.

This conference also instructs the NEC to make arrangements for consultation with the CWU International & Equality Departments and other outside bodies such as the United Nations, on how the CWU can assist collectively with the possible use CWUHA.

Eastern Regional Women's Committee



This conference is appalled in the way the Moroccan workers and other workers are treated in Gibraltar.

The treatment of Moroccan workers by the Gibraltarian and British governments is "Britain's dirty little secret".

It is now 40 years since the Gibraltar state and the British Government called on Moroccan workers to take up employment in Gibraltar, following the closure of the border with Spain.  Soon after, there were around 5000 Moroccan migrant workers in Gibraltar who worked for the Public Services Agency, in construction, property and service operations around the naval dockyard. These workers played a significant role in the economy of Gibraltar at a time when it was on the verge of collapsing and they have been very influential in the development of the thriving economy of Gibraltar today and have very few rights to the following:

  • Public housing
  • Voting rights
  • Private funds
  • Citizenship rights

This conference instructs the NEC to liaise with the RAC and campaign and with other like minded trade unions and organisation to highlight this appalling policy and campaign to put these injustices put right.

South East Wales Amal



Conference notes that:

•  The siege of Gaza is being maintained by the Israeli government;

•  Illegal settlements are continuing to be built in east Jerusalem;

•  A growing number of governments are supporting the declaration of an independent Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders.

Conference instructs the NEC to reaffirm its commitment to a just peace for the Palestinians, and to this end agrees;

•  To actively support the flotillas and convoys taking aid to Gaza;

•  Endorses the TUC decision to “encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation, and the construction of the Wall”;

•  To step up the union's involvement in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, encouraging all regions and branches to affiliate.

London North Western C&C




This conference agrees that the current CWU education/training system is too bureaucratic.

The unions priority must be training of CWU Representatives to enable them to represent members at the workplace.

Conference instructs CWU headquarters to arrange for basic training (in conduct/attendance procedures and negotiation/IR framework procedures etc) for Industrial Representatives within 3 months of taking office. If necessary they will liaise and use the knowledge and experience of industrial field officers, branch and senior workplace representatives.

If this is not achievable then consideration should be given to the industrial department at CWU HQ taking responsibility for training of Industrial Representatives.

Greater Manchester Amal


This conference notes the work carried out by the Education Department in bringing reps forward.

The matter of residential and week long courses is a matter of concern for our activists and reps who have family/carers commitments.

Within our own structure we are holding back reps that are not able to progress due to constraints within their personal life.

Therefore this conference instructs the NEC to make arrangements with the Education Department that will assist more activists to progress with the aid of more ‘family friendly' courses.

Eastern No.5


Conference agrees the education and training courses provided by the CWU is second to none within the trade union movement and is something we must continue if we are to remain an active workplace trade union. Conference welcomes the fact that regional education and training courses are growing from strength to strength with many courses being delivered locally.

However, conference agrees that opportunities to hold regional education and training courses must be extended and the current barrier of student members be relaxed, as many courses are cancelled due to branches or regions not being able to secure 10 or more delegates to attend.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC to liaise with the Head of Education and Training to enter into negotiations with the current provider (s) to allow branches or regions to run regional education courses where the number of students attending isn't a barrier.

In the event of any of the current education provider (s) not willing to reduce the numbers required to hold a course, Conference further instructs the Head of Education and Training to seek agreement (s) with other providers.

Gloucestershire Amal



Conference notes that due to the decline in membership, the sustainability of owning and maintaining the Elstead Hotel and Alvescot Lodge needs urgently reviewing.

The NEC is therefore instructed to report back to Conference 2012 with its findings and recommendations in relation to the future and sustainability of both sites.

London Parcels and Stations Amal

London West End Amal


If carried 54 Falls

This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to undertake a review of the current Branch rebate system.

Such a review shall examine the rebates required to maintain and improve all aspects of Branch representation of its membership, and take into account all aspects of Branch expenditure within the CWU.

The NEC is further instructed to seek the views of Branches within the review and to produce a report to Branches by no later than 31st January 2012.

Newcastle Amal



This Conference instructs the NEC that the current 30p per mile rate for CWU business should now be raised to 40p per mile due to the high cost of fuel until such time fuel prices drop below 95p per litre.

Merseyside Amal



This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to undertake an ongoing full root and branch financial investigation, audit and review at all levels of the CWU.

The principle of the review shall be to identify financial best practise, introduce savings, eliminate waste, reduce expenditure and secure the future of the CWU.

The review shall commence following the closure of Conference, and Conference further instructs the NEC to produce quarterly reports to Branches on the findings and progression of the review, and contain recommendations where necessary.

Such recommendations shall, where necessary, form the basis of motions to future CWU Rules and other Conferences.

Conference further instructs the NEC that the financial review shall be an ongoing process, and shall include ideas and suggestions from Branches.

Newcastle Amal



Conference notes the review of officers pay and the report to branches in LTB165/2011. Conference welcomes the report and the depth of analysis that the report contains.

Conference recognises and values the contribution of national officers of the union and recognises that the cost of national officers is only one feature in considering the future financial viability of the CWU.

Conference notes the reduction in officer numbers already achieved since amalgamation and the creation of the CWU, however conference believes that the report fails to instigate or propose changes to the current pay levels in the spirit of motion 55 carried at 2010 annual conference

Conference believes that officers of the union will respond positively to a reasonable request to accept a pay cut in the Campaign to maintain the CWU as a stand alone union. Conference believes that substantial savings can be made and this without plunging officers of the union into financial difficulties, or undermining their contribution. Conference recognises that our members have to live and exist in London on salaries a fraction of those of the officers of this union and recognises that our NEC is clearly familiar and experienced in conducting negotiations and relationships with Unions and therefore instructs the NEC to use its expertise to:-

  • Carry out a pay & grading review.
  • Design a pay & grading structure for national officers of the union which reflects their contribution, maintains differentials and promotes equal pay.
  • Negotiate with the officers group to achieve an agreed reduction in salary within the grading structure.

Conference believes that there is an opportunity to make huge savings by reducing the overall pay bill whilst still maintaining generous and attractive salaries. If the current officers refuse to assist in the campaign to reduce costs to the union the NEC is instructed to assimilate the new grading structure in a phased manner which avoids conflict with those in office.



Conference notes that CWUHQ have in the past removed money from Branch accounts for money believed to have been owing to certain departments. Conference agrees that in the future before such actions are taken an explanation should be provided to the Branch concerned as well as giving the Branch a finite period of time to challenge the validity of the explanation.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Bristol and District Amal


This Conference acknowledges that the recent changes to the membership subscription rates are now more fairly based in relation to the hours our members work.

Conference agrees however that they are still not entirely fit for purpose and need to be reviewed further.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC embark on a review which will take into account anomalies such as different pay rates for different employers; and different pay rates for the same employer.

The NEC shall publish a report to Branches based on the findings of the review by no later than 31st January 2012.

Newcastle Amal



Conference notes it is now four years since the carriage of Motion 60 and that the LTB and legal advice does not cover the full terms of motion 54 carried at 2010 annual conference, in particular point 2.

Conference acknowledges the legal advice contained in LTB 179/11 regarding the CWU pensions which virtually rules out the viable prospect of merging the CWU pension scheme.

Conference further agrees that the continued operating of the current pension schemes, in particular the ex UCW scheme and the ex NCU scheme pose a real threat to the sustainability of the CWU finances and potentially threatens the CWU as a stand alone Union.

To this end conference instructs the NEC that a review of the benefits and contributions must take place to all the current pension schemes.

This review will include reviewing:

  1. changing the accrual rate;
  2. review employee contribution rates to the ex NCU and UCW pension schemes (based on the individual's ability to pay);
  3. changing the way salary increases feed through to pensionable benefits;
  4. closing the pension scheme to future accrual of benefits;
  5. a plan to reduce the Union's total costs to the pension scheme; and
  6. a plan to reduce the deficit payments.

The list is not exhaustive.

The outcome of this pension review must be presented in a report to the November 2011 NEC meeting with recommendations which will reduce the CWU's total expenditure towards pensions.

London West End Amal

South East London Postal & Counters

Essex Amal

Northern Home Counties Postal


Conference agrees that the CWU needs to ensure that all service providers remain cost effective and provide value for money whilst not reducing the quality of the service they give. It is therefore agreed that the contracts offered to all service providers will be for a maximum of three years and such contracts will only be given or renewed after a formal tendering process has taken place. The Union will however continue to use both BT and Royal Mail who will be exempt from this process and it will remain the intention to use providers who have Trades Union recognition. The responsibility for both introducing and overseeing this policy will lie with the SDGS.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Bristol and District Amal


The NEC is instructed to carry out a review of the present Rebate system to see if changes can be made that will benefit the Branches in their need for additional revenue to recruit new Members from their core Businesses or from other Communications and Logistics Businesses, its unfair that the additional cost be met by any Branch, when the revenue generated from new Members goes directly to CWU HQ, with this review to be completed by January 2012.

York and District Amal



This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to pursue the following policy to retain the CWU members Death Benefit grant with the current terms and conditions as defined in national rule 4.1.11.

Retired Members Conference


This conferences instructs the incoming National Executive Council to bestow National Honorary Membership upon: Martin Collins, former National Assistant Secretary, Joe Reynolds, former National Assistant Secretary, Dave Johnson, former Assistant Secretary Clerical, John Farnan, Dave Warren, Bernard Roome, Members of the National Executive Council, Philip Bowyer, former Deputy General Secretary (UNI), Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strikers and former MP Bob Laxton.

National Executive Council



This conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to bestow National Honorary Membership upon: Derek Saunders, Joe Nalty, Colin Maloney, Ernie Cattermole, Eric Lee, David Dodd, Archie Sinclair and Dougie Taylor, former members of the UPW LDC 3 who were disciplined as a result of supporting the Grunwick Dispute.

National Executive Council



This Conference recognises that CWU Membership is in decline and it is of vital importance that the Union responds swiftly and appropriately building a stronger union better structured to service its members and better placed and equipped to grow membership outside its traditional bases.

Conference believes that one way to secure this is through further investment in the Organising Department. There are many employers in the Telecoms section in particular where there are considerable untapped membership bases. Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk Group for example have approximately 10,000 potential CWU members spread across many sites from Stornaway to Portsmouth.

Whilst congratulating the field organisers on the work they have been doing in these areas so far, Conference believes they are spread too thinly. Conference is also concerned that there are large parts of the union who underestimate its relevance and importance, when organising should be central to the growth, longevity and succession planning of any trade union.

The NEC is instructed to:

  • ensure that the organising agenda is made central to the strategic activity of the union
  • undertake a review of its target areas accordingly
  • increase the resources by at least one additional field organiser

Liverpool Clerical



Conference recognises the considerable work that is still required to ensure that as many non members as possible in our core industries are recruited into the CWU.

Conference notes the work that is being done by Branches and Recruitment Organisers to make this a reality.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC that funding for Recruitment Organisers must remain a priority for the Union and that this must include the continuation of at least two full time Recruitment Organisers for the Postal Sector to ensure resource is focussed and not spread too thinly across the Union.

Western Counties



If carried 62 Falls

Conference recognises that the CWU has at present a declining membership, Conference agrees to the following strategy on how we can Organise and Modernise to survive 2011 and onwards.


To Have a Successful Organising Union the CWU's Initial Strategy should be to have A Rep in Every Workplace or A Voice in Every Workplace. The following paragraphs are on how we develop a strategy to engage members at the workplace and identify potential activists and leaders in every workplace.

Organising Models

  • Organising around local issues

  • One to One Communications

  • Identifying potential activists

  • Small task Activity

  • Various Communication Methods

    •  Meetings

    •  Newsletters

    •  Text Tree's

    •  E mail

    •  Facebook

    •  Twitter


  • Field Officers meet with Branches Branch Officials / Area Reps to identify vacancies in all workplaces.
  • Arrange Workplace visits where there are recognised and non recognised industries find out where potential members congregate for coffee, lunch etc
  • Find out local issues by one to one communications
  • Find out what members feelings are using the ;
  • Anger Hope Action method
  • Arrange Meetings
  • Identify any potential leaders through discussions
  • Arrange small task activity
  • Introduce a communication strategy
  • Ensure regular support from identified Branch Leaders.


Need to be Realistic with flexibility built in with continuous evaluation steps to enable monitoring and revisiting of aims and goals Dates need to be well communicated to all key players.

  • Process to be an ongoing process to evolve and roll forward continually
  • A Rep In Each Workplace 12 Weeks
  • 3 Weeks For Branch Review
  • 2 Weeks For Realistic Communication Review
  • Ongoing Informal Training / Mentoring Program.
  • From Week 4 Onwards Workplace Involvement
  • From Week 4 Onwards Branch Inclusion
  • From Week 5 Weekly Monitor of Progress
  • Week 9 Examine If Any Further Resources Needed
  • Week 12 Evaluate and start again!

Regional Secretaries

  • Need to make this a Regional project
  • Ensure they get buy-in from branches
  • Coordinate assistance from Regional Organiser/ Ambassadors/Field Officers & CWU HQ
  • Monitor /motivate/control/ guide

Developing Roles

Field Officials

  • Re-Define the current role and build in an Organising approach throughout the role.
  • Develop a Coaching and Mentoring role.
  • Ensure regular contact with all Branches, Officials Area and Unit Reps.
  • Identify Best Practice amongst Branches Reps etc and encourage other Branches to adopt the best approach.
  • Give all “Train the Trainer” course.
  • Field Officials to identify Informal Training Needs to help Branches Organise.
  • Deliver informal training at the regular Area rep/Unit rep meetings. Non recognised industry reps to be invited to these meetings.


  • Evaluate Branch Position to Deliver
  • Review Branch Structure /Realign Model
  • Remove Committee Jargon and Review Processes that slow down change
  • Branch Buy in to Project
  • Re-assess Branch Organising Role
  • Identify Branch Roles and Responsibilities
  • Branch Communications check
  • Improved Branch Involvement not Isolation
  • Workplace Communication
  • Set out Period for Branch Change Communicate Timescales
  • Visit Workplace Speak to Members Gauge Local Opinion, Local Issues
  • Draw up Workplace Action Plan Involving Interested Parties
  • Design Mentoring Program and One to Ones
  • Utilise Knowledge Experience Outside of Branch Office / Level – Region / Division etc
  • CWU HQ Buy In

Branch Officials / Area Reps

  • Re-define the role and build in Organising as a key factor
  • Lead Rep of each Function/Area
  • Key Link between Workplaces and the Branch and also the Division/Region
  • Provide support and mentoring for reps and activists
  • Co-ordinate with the local reps/activists
  • Assist in day to day communications
  • Deal with IR issues and Representation
  • Provide reports to the Branch / Division / Region on all current issues
  • Assist in all campaigns in relation to Function / Role
  • Once all the above is in place look to adopt Best Practice in line with the other Roles

Local Reps

  • To Identify Local Issues and Encourage involvement of members.
  • Be the lead for Communications amongst local members, to be the “Voice in the Workplace” for the members.
  • Ensure they “Meet and Greet” all “new faces”.
  • Ensure that the CWU is Visual, Heard and Active within the workplace!


To review what we have put in place as a result of our new strategy we would look at the below points every 3 months as a way of evaluating progress:

  • Have the number of Reps increased?
  • Have workplaces become more involved in the CWU's campaigns and values?
  • Do we have more Lay members becoming active?
  • Has the Branch training requirements increased?
  • Has the Branch Website had increase in hits?
  • Have text / email databases increased?
  • Have turnouts at membership meetings increased?
  • Have membership levels increased?
  • Have we reached our goal?

Other forms of evaluation would be;-

  • Members / Workplace Feedback
  • Mentors Feedback and Evaluation
  • Workplace Update and Questionnaire
  • Communication Evaluation
  • Branch Committee Feedback
  • Review from a Regional / Divisional Position
  • CWU HQ Measurement


Review current communication strategies and ensure a Branch Officer is in charge of overall communications to put in place

and ensure :-

  • The Branch to utilise Workplace Meetings, Notice boards
  • One to One Contact with Workplace
  • To Utilise Media modes such as Website, Email, Text, Podcasts and Social Sites
  • To use Direct Mail, Leafleting
  • To Utilise Experienced Officials / Reps
  • Utilise other Unions Best Practice
  • Utilise CWU HQ Expertise

Assistance and Support

  • Assistance and Support mechanisms need to be in place from Branch to regional levels
  • Utilise network for Workplace Support
  • Visible Branch Support
  • Visible Area support
  • Mentoring / One to One Training
  • Correct Communication flow - No Overload
  • National Assistance Availability

Conference is instructed accordingly and CWU HQ are instructed to assist all Branches to adopt this approach as soon as possible.

Hull and East Ridings Amal

Durham County Amal

North East Region




Conference notes with serious concern that within both Royal Mail Group and British Telecom there are in the region of 35,000 non members.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC, as a matter of urgency to mount a serious and sustainable membership drive in Royal Mail Group, British Telecom and all other related businesses.

To this end, the NEC will co-ordinate with Regional Secretaries and the various industrial groups in order to ensure that branch has a plan in place to mount a serious recruitment drive within all work places by cross referencing staff in a post with up to date branch and CWU HQ's membership list.

London South West

South East London Postal & Counters



Conference recognises the importance of Work Place Reps and the important role they have to play in meeting the Organising and Recruitment Agenda. It is accepted that currently there are concerns over the support, training and tools that new reps are given to do the job and an introduction to the world of the CWU.

Therefore conference is instructed to introduce a Reps' Charter of an agreed mandatory training programme for all CWU reps alongside an agreed set of tools for the role. 

The Charter will include agreed timescales for training and support mechanisms which will cover a five year period to ensure that new CWU reps have a clear plan of development to undertake their role.

In addition an agreed set of tools for the job will be provided which will include a reps welcome pack that has a clear guide to the roles and responsibilities of the role and information about the CWU and its structure.

The NEC is instructed to have this ready for the next set of branch elections in 2011/12. 

Tyne and Wear Clerical

North East Regional


This conference believes that if we are to overcome our current financial problems and build a strong and progressive union for the future we need to take the Union back to the grass roots by building a strong regional presence. The National Executive Council is therefore instructed to work with Branches and Regions with the aim of establishing jointly funded enhanced regional offices that will cater for the following:

A Legal Services Department including secretarial support and ET panels working in partnership with a local firm of solicitors:

A Training and Union Learning Department with responsibility for holding and running local training courses and developing the ULR programme in accordance with national guidelines:

Organisation and Recruitment Department: working in conjunction with Trade Union Organisers and the NEC with responsibility for developing a target driven regional recruitment strategy:

Resource centre/library for use of activists as well as facilities for members of the public: Regional Committees will be required to establish project management GPC's to establish in collaboration with the SDGS and NEC how the above arrangements can be speedily met and financed.

Manchester Clerical


Conference commends the issuing of certificates as recognition of long term membership of the union – building on the spirit of this initiative. This conference instructs the NEC that a letter from the General Secretary will be issued to long term members upon retirement thanking them for their dedicated support & membership and wishing them a happy retirement. The defined length of membership to trigger this letter of recognition will be established by the NEC.

Northamptonshire Amal


This conference instructs the NEC to ensure that the organising department responsible for the membership data base to make the data base system more user friendly at branch level. Branch officers should be able to manage member's work places, especially when we need the accurate information for ballots and this would stop any challenges by the employers.

This policy should be put into place as soon as conference is adjourned.

South East Wales Amal


This Conference recognises the fact that the Trade Union movement needs to be imaginative and innovative if it is to address declining Trade Union membership in the UK. In particular we need to reach out to areas where there is no history of recognition and access for recruitment.

To this end, we instruct the NEC to work through the TUC with other affiliates to run a trial of a stand in one of the major UK shopping centres actively selling and promoting Trade Union membership as an insurance type product for work. The stands to be staffed by employees who would be bonused on the number of new members recruited. Membership to be set at £5 per month for the first year.

South West and Thames Valley


If Carried 68 Falls

Conference notes the propositions that were passed at CWU Women's Conference in February this year, calling for action to be taken to implement Rule 2 fully, and agrees that it is time that the CWU implemented its obligations under that Rule.

Therefore the National Executive Council, in conjunction with the Advisory Committees, is instructed to draw up a set of proposals on how to achieve this across all parts of the union, and bring forward a motion to General Conference 2012, along with any necessary rule changes.

Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester




This Conference notes that amendments to Rule 2 were passed at the 2004 Rules Revision Conference reinforcing the need for positive action within the CWU to achieve equality. Specifically, rules 2.1.5 and 2.1.6 introduced the need for proportionality and for positive action “until such time as the Union is satisfied that its structure reflects and supports the gender and racial balance of the members it represents”. Conference is therefore disappointed to note that despite these rules having been introduced into the Union's Rule Book 7 years ago, replacing the previous Rule 2.1(d), and the passing of Motion 78 from the Black Workers Conference at last year's General Conference, there has been little progress in achieving those aims, either for black people or women. Conference therefore instructs the NEC, in the course of the union's restructuring, to introduce a framework for positive action that enables the hierarchy of this union, from branch to NEC, to truly reflect the membership it is supposed to represent.

CWU Black Workers Conference

West London

London Region



Annual conference in its present format is no longer fit for purpose. The NEC is therefore instructed to bring to Annual Conference 2012 a rule change that takes into account the following;

Split the Annual General Conference from the Industrial Conferences. Industrial conferences to be held every 2 years, between Conferences, Policy Forums will be held when needed, that can make decisions by card vote on industrial matters. At least one will be held every year when there is no Industrial Conference.

This rule change to be published to Branches by December 2011 and a consultation process to take place with branches and regions prior to this.

Greater Manchester Amal



This Conference is concerned that the restructuring of the union does not result in the work of the Health & Safety Department being split between the two industrial executives.  The CWU's achievements and reputation in the field of health and safety are second to none and the department currently works closely with the TUC and the HSE to promote health and safety in all workplaces.  Any attempt to water down the CWU's involvement in this role would be very short-sighted and should be avoided at all costs.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC to ensure that any future restructuring of departments at Head office does not have a detrimental effect on the invaluable work done by the Health and Safety Department.

Northern Home Counties Postal