CWU General Conference 2011
Motions 71 - 100


Whilst this conference agrees that Branches should be established and maintained in accordance with broad criteria determined by national conference. It equally recognises the right of members to have a say in any changes to Branch structure and their rights as per current arrangements to endorse any merger or changes by way of a membership ballot.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Manchester Clerical



Conference is concerned that with proposals to change Union structure and streamline departments due to the necessary need to cut expenditure, organising and recruitment will become a secondary and unimportant department and focus of the CWU.

This Conference instructs the NEC and General Secretary to ensure the priority and stand alone status of this department, and that organising and recruitment remain the fundamental focus of this union, to sustain and further increase its membership in all businesses that we represent.

South West and Thames Valley



This Conference recognises that for a number of years the return rate of voting papers for CWU National Elections has been worryingly low.

Conference agrees that the decision to include voting papers in the mailing of the “Voice” accounts for this decrease in membership returns.

To address this matter and return an increase in voting returns, Conference instructs the NEC that future national elections are mailed separately in an identified mailing to any other CWU postings.

Portsmouth and District Postal


This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to produce a report published no later than November 2011 with regards the future vision of the union in the next five years and beyond.

The report must include the full scope of the union's activities from the workplace to CWU headquarters. The review will also look at the current branch structure and how it works between the region and headquarters.

The viability and upkeep costs of 150 the Broadway must also be looked at to include the following issues.

1. The annual building running costs.

2. Loss of revenue if the CWFS move out.

3. Benefits of London Division Committee utilising Space.

4. Current value of building.

5. Ability to rent out unused/ under utilised space.

6. Availability of a smaller property with lower running costs away from Wimbledon (not necessarily London).

7. Utilisation of other CWU properties.

The report will look at all officers' roles and their responsibilities and the size of their relevant departments, taking into account the Regional / Field costs associated with each one. It will also determine if any workloads can be taken out, workloads can be better balanced, to cut out multiplication of tasks, better communications between departments.

Both NEC along with Postal and Telecoms executives to be reduced in line with the percentage drop in membership levels since merger.

All national advisory committees to also be reduced in line with percentage decreases in membership since merger.

The following departments should also look at the following ideas to reduce costs or generate further income.

The Education & Training Department to do a feasibility report on generating additional finance by delivering courses to other institutions, hiring out the Alvescot training facility for at least 3 months a year to other trade union / institutions and the promotion of the Elstead Hotel for training / briefing events.

The Equal Opportunities Department should also report back the benefits of merging some equality briefings and conferences to reduce costs whilst safeguarding the role and responsibilities of the department, the report will also look at any avenues the department could use to generate some income by sharing its expertise with other like minded organisations.

The Health & Safety, Communications, Research, Legal Services and International Affairs departments should also look at utilising the services they provide to the CWU to service other like minded organisations and smaller unions to generate income and further expertise. Furthermore they should also look at ways of reducing any multiplication of tasks and continue to seek value for money in services they use.

The current branch structure should also be reviewed to look at our changing industrial future; closures, downsizing and relocations of workplaces will have a detrimental effect on branches and their ability to serve their members. The report will also look at how we represent the member's expectations during these changes and safeguard some of our more active branches. The report will also provide the platform to move branches from across the three constituencies closer and give a better alignment of branches; this would also bring savings with reduced multiplication of tasks and workloads.

The report will need to deal with both reducing staff in a sensitive manner and also look at how we deal with appointed officers as we move forward over the next five years.

Finally the report should also consider how to resolve the current pension problems and look at the following ideas.

1. Closure of the three schemes and opening of a new scheme

2. Introduce employee contributions / increased employee contributions

3. Introduction of a CARE based scheme.

This list is not exhaustive and any other views or ideas to be included in the report. The report must also include the views of branches and regions.

Merseyside Amal



Conference agrees that over recent years due to branch amalgamations the size of some branches has greatly increased. In some regions these branches are the “dominant factor” in the outcome of National and Regional Ballots. For example in the Regional, Divisional and Cross-Branch Area Elections.

Conference instructs the executive to set up a working party to look at fairer voting systems that address this voting system, and report back to branches by General Conference 2012.

Portsmouth and District Postal



This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council that a review of all roles and departments at CWU HQ takes place with a view of seeing where work could be merged or absorbed into other roles or departments within Headquarters.

This review should take place immediately following the close of conference and no further officer's / employees positions should be filled on a 5 year basis or permanent basis, until the review has been completed.

As such, the review should be completed and published prior to the closing date of motions to conference 2012 to allow Branches to forward motions to conference based on the findings of the report.

Durham County Amal

Cleveland Amal



Conference notes that there are now 90,000 members less in the CWU than there was in 2000.

Conference also recognises that the overall total costs of the departments are now higher than in 2000.

Conference acknowledges that with membership levels still falling that the continued costs of duplicating departments at CWU HQ is unsustainable.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC to produce a special report which identifies scope for shared services and the possible amalgamation of departments. This report to be placed before a one day special rules conference to be held no later than 30 September 2011.

This report will also detail how the Union can provide improved services from any amalgamation of departments.

The report will also set out the strategic direction and principles that will underpin the future of the CWU and organisation and containing the Union's principles.

The review will be undertaken by the SMT and 3 members of the NEC (2 Postal and 1 Telecom).

London Parcels and Stations Amal

London South West

Essex Amal


Conference notes that some branches still conduct elections whereby members can only vote in person. Conference is concerned that requiring members to attend a meeting, in person, often in the evening and sometimes in licensed premises, in order to vote in branch elections may mean many women, ethnic minorities, disabled and other members are not able to participate.

Conference is further concerned that this practice, if challenged, may be found to indirectly discriminate against some members and as such, may not be equality proofed and therefore not comply with equality legislation.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC to work with the relevant department(s) to ensure that all branch elections are conducted in a way which allows for maximum participation of all members and ensures all branch elections fully comply with relevant equality legislation.

North West Regional Committee


This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to produce a report published no later than December 2011 with regards the future vision of the union in the next Five years and beyond.

The Report to contain the following options:

To remain a stand-alone Union within the Communications Sector

To merge with another Union in the Communications Sector

To merge with another Union in the Financial Sector To merge with another Union in the Transport / Warehousing Sector

To merge with another Union in the Public Sector

To merge with an Organising Union

Merseyside Amal



This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to introduce a dedicated debt management advice service (through our current panel of solicitors) as part of the benefits provided to CWU members.

Durham County Amal

Cleveland Amal

Not Carried


This conference instructs the incoming NEC to revise the CWU Legal Services' approach to dealing with Employment Tribunal cases, recognising the need to provide the highest quality legal service to CWU members when they most need them, such that representation is provided to members at Tribunals - unless “there is no reasonable prospect of success” for the case.

This decision about “representation” of members at Tribunals will be given priority within the Legal Services department to ensure members receive representation as soon as practicably possible from the commencement of Tribunal proceedings.

North Midlands

Not Heard


This Conference recognises the enormous strain placed on our members when they develop underlying health conditions, which have the potential to impact on ones ability to work or travel to work.

This conference also notes the continuing failure in various workplace scenarios of employers not acting in the spirit of the DDA – subsequently these members are potentially finding themselves at great risk of being managed out of their respective businesses.

This conference instructs the incoming NEC, via the Equal Opportunities Department, to liaise with the DAC and various industrial officers to ensure this issue remains a serious focus for all our recognised employers and that people's health disadvantages are duly recognised as per the DDA.

CWU Disability Conference



Several years ago the DAC in the spirit of inclusion unanimously agreed to hold the DAC Annual Conference in different areas of the UK each year, this was to enable CWU members with disabilities the opportunity to attend the conference held in their vicinity, in particular those members who could not travel long distances.

This policy has been carried by each DAC since and has been a huge success. The DAC were the 1 st Advisory Committee to hold conferences in Belfast, Dundee and Swansea, since then the other Committees have followed suit.

This Conference agrees that this policy should remain in place and that the DAC should maintain their policy of rotating venues, taking into account relevant cost factors in line with NEC policy.

The NEC and the DAC is therefore instructed to ensure this policy remains in place.

CWU Disability Conference

Not Heard


That conference notes the disturbing trend amongst employers to under report RIDDOR reportable incidents by failing to ensure that those incidents” where a person at work is incapacitated for work of a kind of which he /she might reasonably be expected to do, either under his or her contract of employment. Or, if there is no such contract, in the normal course of his work, for than three consecutive days” are properly reported.

Our Members are being encouraged to work on “other duties” for in excess of the “three days” criteria. In many cases, without a RIDDOR report being submitted, this will obviously increase if Lord Young's recommendations come into force on moving to seven days.

This cynical and misleading approach has the effect on minimising the resource applied in accident investigation and prevention in these cases. It falsely gives the impression of significant improvements in safety performance and it can undermine our member's access to their statutory rights.

The NEC is instructed to coordinate the gathering of information from representatives on this perceived management failing with a view to formally challenging the efficiency of the safety management systems of the respective employers where we have members that we represent and where necessary raising examples with the relevant authorities.

North East Regional Health and Safety Forum



Conference acknowledges the value of the donation of blood and organs for the benefit of those who need this life saving service.

Donating blood and organs contribute to life changing and life saving events to those receiving them.

There is currently a vast shortfall in donations, which this conference believes could be alleviated by a successful campaign by the CWU working with employers.

Conference instructs the NEC to campaign jointly where agreement can be reached, with all employers where the CWU has representation, to actively encourage and raise awareness to all employees to become donors.

Eastern Regional Safety Forum


Conference instructs the NEC to promote and campaign for cleaner computer workstations in the workplace. We should inform both the membership and the employers about the health issues associated with computer equipment such as keyboards, touch screens and the computer mouse.

This vitally important and ubiquitous work equipment should be cleaned and

maintained with special regard to the transmission of harmful bacteria as this is an important health and safety issue for everyone.

London Regional Safety Forum



Conference recognises that stress in the workplace is still a major health problem for our members. This is confirmed by surveys carried out by the TUC across all industries.

Conference agrees that where policies and procedures designed to recognise and deal with stress issues exist, they should be used to their full potential for the benefit of our members.

Conference instructs the NEC to reinvigorate the employer's commitment to their stress policies/procedures and implement them fully within the workplace.

Eastern Regional Safety Forum



Conference agrees that under the current Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, otherwise known as RIDDOR, that injuries and deaths caused by road traffic accidents do not have to be reported to the HSE and are not investigated by the HSE.

Conference instructs the NEC to campaign, in conjunction with the TUC and other interested bodies to improve RIDDOR and ensure that these accidents are both recorded and investigated by the HSE.

Eastern Regional Safety Forum



This Conference notes and condemns the Prime Ministers speech at Munich Security Council which took place on Saturday 5th February 2011, in which he stated that he wanted to see the end of multiculturalism, which had failed in Britain.

This conference agrees that the Prime Minister's speech is a desperate attempt to establish a link between global terrorism and the values of multiculturalism in our British society.

The General Conference condemns terrorism in all its forms, and all illegal wars of aggression.

Multiculturalism is an important fabric of our society that promotes tolerance and diversity, which allows ‘live and let live' ideology, and supports the natural process of integration, rather than state dictated integration and true national identity, by alienating the communities and their cultural values.

By brandishing multiculturalism as a facilitating tool for terrorism, the Prime Minister has in fact demonised the minority communities, mainly Muslims for being the main cause of global terrorism. Mr Cameron's vision denies the real issue and actual causes of global terrorism, such as: poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunities, exploitation, radicalisation, suppression, failed foreign policies and illegal wars of aggression. Expression of such views also provides oxygen for far right organisations.

It is also noted that the timing of speech had given the EDL an unwarranted support for their campaign of hatred, as they held a fascist rally in Luton on the same day of the speech. This Conference further notes that Marine Le Pen, the new leader of France's far right Front National, has congratulated Mr Cameron for what she claimed was his endorsement of her party's position.

This Conference therefore instructs the NEC, in conjunction with the RAC, to use all available political influence to form a political front with likeminded political parties and organisations, in order to confront the Tory Agenda of attacking the minority communities' way of life and our diversified British society.

CWU Black Workers Conference



This Conference welcomes and applauds the work being done by UK Uncut and others to highlight the lack of Tax Justice in the UK.

Conference notes that literally billions of pounds each year is evaded and avoided via illegal activities, tax loop holes and tax havens and that much of this money could be collected and used to fund public services and so prevent the slash and burn approach now being taken by the Con-Dem Government.

Conference notes that for the most part the silence on this matter from the Labour Opposition is deafening and therefore instructs the NEC to ensure this issue is placed before the policy review currently being carried out by the Labour Party with a view to ensuring that both a robust policy emerges that will have genuine support amongst the general public and that staffing levels at HMRC are significantly increased.

Western Counties




This conference instructs the incoming NEC that any Branch Political funds being held at headquarters due to excess funds being held in the Branch Political account will be released immediately and transferred to the relevant Regional Political Committee.

Midlands Regional Committee

Northamptonshire Amal



This Conference instructs the incoming NEC

•  That the existing wording of the Constituency Development Plan agreement be re-worked and greater emphasis given to each party's obligations.

•  That CWU Constituency Development Plan Agreements should take cognisance of geographic spread and MP/MSP/AM gender balance.

•  That specifically, the Parliamentary Group of MP's in the Westminster Parliament be on a ratio of 40% women and a minimum of one BAME

•  That the constituency MP/MSP/AM should be a member of the CWU.

•  That the constituency MP should attend and take a full part in the CWU Parliamentary Group of MP's.

•  That the constituency MP/MSP/AM is supportive of CWU policy and campaigns and where necessary express that support in the respective parliament or assembly through verbal contributions and questions, signing motions and being present in the chamber to vote on matters important to CWU.

•  That the constituency MP/MSP/AM must demonstrate a desire to work with CWU branches in the constituency and assist them build levels of Labour Party membership amongst CWU members. That they write to all CWU members in their constituency asking them to join the Party.

•  That the constituency MP/MSP/AM produce an annual mail shot to CWU members in their Constituency.

•  That the MP/MSP/AM visits their respective Regional Committee at least once in their Parliamentary term.

National Executive Council



This Conference agrees that the present Regulation of the Energy Companies that supply gas and electric in the UK is not in the interest of the consumer.

This Conference therefore instructs the NEC and the Union to pursue a policy within the Labour Party that calls for the next Labour Party manifesto to seek to have the UK Parliament set the maximum rate per kw/hr that a Company can charge domestic customers.

Greater Manchester Amal


Conference instructs the NEC to undertake a review of the current political rebate system to Branches and Regions.

Such a review shall examine the rebates required to maintain and improve our current political lobbying process based on the following:-

  • A further rebate to be paid pro-rata dependant on the number of Labour MP's within a Branch area
  • A further rebate to be paid to Regional Political Funds dependant on the number of Labour MP's within the Region

Further, the NEC is instructed to seek the views of Branches and Regions, and to produce a report to Branches by no later than 31st January 2012.

North East Region


Conference notes the ongoing crisis in political representation for working people and trade unionists. Conference instructs the NEC to explore all options available when considering how to gain effective political representation.

This to include exploring discussions with the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and Anti cuts candidates that are emanating in the Campaigns against this Governments attacks on Royal Mail and the welfare state.


Motions Not Admitted to the Agenda


Conference recognises that the current “ERICA” accident on duty reporting system is open to abuse by management.

Conference instructs the executive to negotiate a secure system of reporting accidents, which includes a mandatory right for members to include a written statement in their own words, of their version of events of the accident.

A copy of the ERICA report is given on completion to the member, and where requested members have the right to be accompanied by a CWU Representative when reporting the accident.

Portsmouth and District Postal (Not Admitted)


This Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to negotiate with all CWU represented businesses a more robust procedure for reporting accidents and near misses to Safety Representatives that complies with the health and safety legislation.

Additionally, the CWU should challenge the perception of businesses that safety improvement procedures only endeavours to focus on the blameworthy aspects of accidents to our members.

North West Regional Health and Safety Forum (Not Admitted)


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.

London Regional Safety Forum (Not Admitted)


This Conference instructs the NEC to take all steps in its power to ensure that all Royal Mail Pension Plans are uprated by the Retail Price Index (RPI) and not the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

London Postal Engineering (Not Admitted)