Conference 2005

Friday, June 17, 2005

Royal Mail Outdoor & Indoor Conference day 2

Royal Mail Outdoor & Indoor Conference
17th June 2005.

Day 2
The first three motions of the day concerned the use of cars on delivery.
As with last years conference this resulted in much debate as it is such a contentious issue.

The use of cars on delivery is opposed by the union nationally & by this Branch. Last year a motion was passed that sought renumeration & safeguards for our members who use their own vehichles for delivering mail. Some have wrongly seen this as an acceptence of using cars on delivery.

Motions 5.28 & 5.30 were not carried.
However motion 5.31, which called for an agreement to be reach with the employer (who at this time is not interested in reaching any such agreement) in line with composite motion J, as carried at last years conference, by April 2006. Faliure to reach an agreement will result in the Postal Executive consulting with the membership ways that this issue can be resolved.

The use of cars on delivery effects jobs!

Other motions debated concerned:
Good Friday working issues & how to resolve difficulties in this area.

Romec Cleaners bonus scheme.

Allowance for members who use computers or computerised tills.

& a most passionate debate on ‘the Royal Mail way’. Which seeks to undermine the union. A simmilar incentive has been used in other industries. Do not be fooled into this incentive. Remember the FACT that unionised work places have higher pay & better conditions than their non unionised counterparts.

Motions carried / accepted today:
Motions 5.31, 5.32, 5.33, 5.37, 5.42, 5.44, 5.49, 5.54, 5.55, composite motion 5E, composite motion 5F, motion 5.63, emergency motion EM5, composite motion 5i & motion 5.81.

Composite motion 5F was moved by Adam Oakes on behalf of this Branch & sought to protect the jobs of our members working in quadrant.

In the main it has been a good conference with many motions passed that will improve the terms & conditions of our members.

Most of our delegation got to speak at the rostrum, myself included (it’s like staring at the lights of an on coming truck). The Executive Committees seemed more than ever to be closer in tune with the workplace reps & membership.

On several occassions clear messages were sent to seniour management that only by working with the union can we save our industry. Exclude the union at your (& our) cost.

I’d like to thank the delegation for making this, my first conference as acting branch secretary, an enjoyable & smooth conference.
Hopefully I didn’t make a hash of anything. I’m sure they’ll tell me if I did.

Also I hope that my reports have been of interest (even for those who have no idea what the listed motions are) & have given a feel for what has been happening.

Michael Williams
Acting Branch Secretary
Eastern 5.

Royal Mail Outdoor & Indoor Conference Day 1

Royal Mail Outdoor & Indoor Conference.
16th June 2005

Day 1
Pat O’Hara chaired this conference also.

This conference started at 14.00 & ended at 17.45.

The first three motions of this conference concerned Door 2 Door.
The first motion of the afternoon, motion 5.1 was not carried.
However Composite motion 5A & motion 5.6 were carried.

These motions sought out an increase in payment for D2D items, no agreement to increasing the current maximum items (except on certain criteria being fulfilled). & a new agreement on the delivery of D2D items to be finalised by the end of 2005.

Other motions carried concerned pouching off practices, pouch weights & various health & safety aspects / consequences of SDD.

Motions carried / accepted:-
Composite motion 5A, motion 5.6, emergency motion EM4 (concerning failure of Bognor Regis DO members not receiving £26.28 payment due to non implementation of SDD even though management have signed agreements in respect of SDD) 5.14, 5.15, Composite motion 5C, 5.20, 5.23, Composite motion 5D & motion 5.27.

Because of the carriage of emergency motion EM4 management (who were in attendance to this conference as observers) requested an immediate meeting with the union in regard to resolving this issue.
Possibly the best display of the power of unity I have seen to date.

Just goes to show what can be achieved by a show of solidarity. This is one of the best reasons for belonging to a union & as a rep it is great to see it in action.

One more day of conference to go.
To be one of the first to see my report of the last day of Annual conference 2005 go to our branch website, (which yet again failed to win any award in the annual branch website competition) and click on the conference blog.

Michael Williams
Acting Branch Secretary
Eastern 5

Postal Group Conference Day 3

Postal Group Conference
16th June 2005
Day 3
This was the last day of Postal Group conference & ran for the morning period only. After the break for Dinner the differing sections of the Postal Group broke away to undertake their own industrial conferences.

The day started with the carriage of emergency motion EM6.

This motion was concerning Royal Mails stated intention of removing seniority as a determining factor where office transfer is requested & how we as a union will deal with this move by the employer.

There was much debate over this issue & it was recognised by the entire conference that this was just the first step on behalf of Royal Mail to complete removal of seniority. Needless to say this is a move that we as a union will whole heartedly resist. More information regarding this move will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Yet again many of the motions on the pad were carried or accepted.

Only one motion was not carried Today, which was motion 2.96. Which concerned amending the attendance procedure.

Motions carried, along with EM7 as previously mentioned were:

Composite motion 2S, 2.83, 2.84, Composite motion 2T, 2.88, 2.89, Composite motion 2U, 2.93, 2.94, 2.95, emergency EM7 (which was unanimously carried after several speakers supporting the motion) This motion concerned the IR review. Motions 2.97, 2.98, 2.101, Composite motion 2W & Composite motion 2X.

Several of the earlier motions of the morning concerned the Attendance Procedure & should see many improvements to the procedure if attained.

Some of the improvements include:-
· Where employees have stated on their application form that they suffer from a condition / illness covered by the DDA, this will be taken into consideration when the procedure is applied.

· An end to managers harassing our members, who are off work due to ill health, by phoning or visiting them at home.

· The end of contagious disease / illness counting against our members under the procedure.

Full details to be announced.

Many of these improvements were debated at length.

In closing the conference Pat O’Hara thanked delegates for the professional way in which conference had been conducted & applauded the abilities & professionalism of many of the unions representatives.

Michael Williams
Acting Branch Secretary
Eastern 5

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Postal group conference day 2

Postal Group Conference
15th June 2005
Day 2
Conference opened at 9am & moved onto business.
As with the previous day conference made quick progress with the motions.
The majority of today’s motions were carried unanimously.

We had 2 motions submitted on behalf of our branch tabled for Today.

We were unsuccessful in gaining support for two motions submitted by the branch.

One motion called for the balloting of members, as an issue separate to pay, on the issue of moving from weekly pay to monthly pay (where members are presently weekly paid). This motion was defeated.

The other motion called for a compensatory package for members in Logistics units, adversely affected in the event of the removal of Sunday collections.

However our motion calling for the introduction of a Saturday premium was successfully moved by our letter sectional secretary which was overwhelmingly carried.

A further motion that was carried that will be of interest to our younger members seeks an end to age discrimination in the form of lower pay for our members under the age of 18. Ian Emms from our branch took to the rostrum in support of this motion.
The motion was unanimously carried after an emotive debate.

For those interested (& who have copies of the postal group agenda) the list of today’s motions that were carried or accepted is as follows:

1.1, 1.2, Composite Motion 1A, Emergency motion EM2, 1.10, Composite Motion 1C, 1.15, 1.16, 1.17, Composite Motion 1D, Composite Motion 1E, 1.31, 1.35, 1.36, 1.40, 1.41, 1.42, Composite Motion 1H, Composite Motion 1I, 1.50, Composite Motion 1J, 1.55, 1.62, 1.70, 1.75, Composite Motion 1N, 1.78, 1.79, 1.80 & 1.81.

As with yesterdays report these motions will be circulated as a separate report shortly after our return from Conference.

Michael Williams
Acting Branch Secretary
CWU Eastern 5

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Postal Group conference day 1

Postal group Conference
14th June 2005


Conference opened with an Dave Ward (Deputy General Secretary Postal) addressing the delegates.

Dave recognised the improvements made by the industry though many of these improvements are due to union involvement & hard work of our members.

Our members pay has been improved but the union has aspirations of taking Postal workers pay up to the UK national average pay, which is £430. Dave believes this is a realistic & attainable target.

Dave gave thanks to both Bob Gibson & Martin Collins for the hard work they have both done this past year on behalf of CWU members.

There are many threats to our industry on the horizon. Of these the present threat of privatisation, even though we have gained a manifested pledge from the Labour government that this is not their agenda & that they have no plans to privatise the Royal Mail, & growing competition are among the greatest threats.

The regulator is determined to rush full steam into liberalisation of the postal market even though this will have a drastically damaging effect on the universal postal service currently enjoyed by the vast majority of people within this country.

Eight years after the privatisation of BT the consequences to our members jobs became evident.

Many of the benefits that are being enjoyed by Royal Mail employees are due to the efforts of the union. Many are unaware that this is the case. The employer has taken our efforts for their own.

The process by which some areas of the union attempt to influence their members decisions on officerial elections was discussed. Dave was of the opinion that campaigning to elect officers by their geographical status must end. Rather than saying vote for this person because they are from ……. The campaigns should be more positive and state why the individual deserves to be elected on the merit of what they intend to bring to the Executive Committees etc.

Conference elections.

Several elections were conducted at Conference.
Nobby Clark was successfully returned to the retired members committee.

Business moved quickly at the postal conference during the morning session.

Motions 2A, 2.5, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2C, 2D & 2E were carried.
As was the motion 2.25 submitted by our branch.

This motion was moved by Phil Rowe (morning distribution rep & trainee delegate) & instructs the Postal Executive Committee to negotiate a package that will protect the earnings of our members who loose their ability to drive (or their license) through ill health.

Other motions carried or accepted by the PEC during the morning session were 2.27, 2.34 & 2.35.

The afternoon session carried on with the rapid pace of the morning session with motions 2G, 2.38, 2H, 2.46, 2J, 2.49, 2L, 2M, 2N, 2.64, 2.65, 2.66, 2.72, 2Q & 2R all being carried or accepted by the PEC.

These motions will be detailed & distributed to units after the delegation returns from conference.

Lots of positive motions were carried today that will effect our members lives at work & with one very important motion will help many of our members get onto the property ladder with access to affordable housing.

Watch this space.

Michael Williams
Acting Branch Secretary
CWU Eastern 5

Nobby's night

Honorary Membership awards.

On the evening of 13th June, after the close of General conference, our Branch Chairman Nobby Clark was awarded National Honorary membership to the CWU by the General Secretary of the union, Billy Hayes.

Also bestowed upon Nobby was Branch Honorary membership. This was presented by NEC member Noel McClean on behalf of the branch.

It was an emotional event & displayed the strength of conviction & commitment that union activists put into the work they do. Often without recognition & seldom with any thanks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

General conference Day 2

General Conference day 2.

Conference started with guest speaker Jeanne Drake (TUC President) addressing conference.

Jeanne told conference how the CWU had gained assurance from the government that the Royal Mail would remain In public ownership.

The TUC has gained increased protection from dismissal for striking workers & increased rights for family friendly work patterns.

Campaigning for learning has been high on the TUC agenda, a target of 22,000 Union Learner Reps by 2007 has been set.

Internationally the TUC has assisted activists in Iraq to mobilise the workforce, campaign for workers rights & re-establish the Trade Union movement. Things that were very difficult to do under Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Tony Kearns (Senior General Secretary) then addressed conference.
Tony updated conference regarding the unions finances. Policy made at previous conferences is working & financially the union is well on the road to recovery.

The morning of conference was quite positive with motions 33, 34, 36, 89, 90, 92 , 95, 96 & 100 being accepted by the NEC. Motions 35, 37, 86, 87, 88, 91 & 98 were carried.

The afternoon session commenced with a guest speaker from the CWU Parliamentary Group. The speaker pointed out areas where Labour had made significant progress & also on areas that progress still needed to be made, such as pensions & the end of poverty.

The afternoon session of conference saw more motions being accepted (which is the new way for the NEC to speed up conference) or being carried.

Motions carried/accepted were:
101, 64, 65, 77 & 78.

One motion, 81, that was originally to be accepted by the NEC, until opposition to the acceptance was raised, would have seen the appointment (rather than election) of National Assistant Secretaries. This is a position that we as a branch have long been opposed to.
Several Branches entered the debate, many to oppose the motion, Steve Clarke from our branch took to the rostrum to oppose the motion on behalf of the branch.

The motion was overwhelmingly defeated.
A total of 10 motions were defeated through the course of today, those being motions:-
43, 59, 63, 66, 76, 80, 81, 82, 85 & 97.

In all it was a very good last day of general conference with many sensible decisions made & good policy carried.

Tomorrow the Industrial Conferences start.

Michael J Williams
Acting Branch Secretary.
Eastern 5 branch

Monday, June 13, 2005

day one

Annual General Conference report
Day 1. Sunday 12/06/05

Conference opened with the CWU National President updating delegates on various issues such as the effects of major change to our members in the postal industry & in other sectors also.

New delegates were welcomed to conference.

The General Secretary, Billy Hayes, then addressed conference.
The address covered the fact that unionised workers pay is 17.1% higher than their comrades in non unionised workplaces. (A fact that is often taken for granted by many members)

There continues to be inequality in pension pay between men & women, which the trade union movement as a whole continue to campaign against. The gender pay gap during working life is also an area that the trade union movement is campaigning heavily against.

In many trade unions youth activism is low, this is a trend that the CWU actively seeks to address.

One area that the CWU is concerned with is communication with the membership. Currently, Billy stated, approximately only 17% of our membership actually read the voice. We have to examine our communication strategy & make our communications with the membership effective & of interest to them.

The CWU continues to effect global issues such as eliminating world poverty.

In the area of our own unions’ finances, we are still “not clear of the woods, but we can now see the trees!” (to quote Billy).

Conference then moved on to business.

Many positive motions were carried this morning. The first seven motions were carried overwhelmingly.

Motion 1 set out to protect the current age at which CWU members collect their pension & ensures that we will fight to maintain the present level of benefits as a minimum.

Motion 2 set out policy of actively applying pressure to government to improve the availability of NHS Dentistry across the country.

Motion 3 set out policy that we seek benefits enjoyed by citizens of Wales & Scotland for citizens of England. Namely free residential care for the elderly, abolition of student fees, free bus travel for the elderly & disabled, reduced prescription charges (the intention in Wales is to abolish prescription fees by 2007)

Motion 4 sought the end of age discrimination in travel insurance.

Motion 5 Instructed the CWU NEC to lobby government to Immediately increase basic state pension pay. Link pensions to average earnings rather than Retail Price Index. To afford all workers occupational pensions & to end means tested pensions.

Motion 6 addressed concerns with the poor standard of care in the community & set out minimum standards that the CWU will campaign to achieve.

Motion 7 set out further steps to protect our pensions in that it instructed the National Executive Committee to campaign to gain legislation to outlaw companies taking pensions ‘holidays’.

Motion 8 was withdrawn.

At this point an emergency motion was put to conference.
This motion set out to campaign to ensure that the Labour government sticks to it’s manifesto of no privatisation (in any way) of Royal Mail.

These motions are worthy of note as they demonstrate quite effectively what I’m always ‘banging on about’ that the CWU (& unions in general) are not just about work.

The day was generally a productive & positive day with many motions being carried, only 10 motions not being carried out of 34 that were either carried or accepted by the NEC.

Michael J Williams
Branch Secretary
CWU Eastern 5

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pre-conference test

I will be attending Conference again this year.
This year, however, I will be attending as branch secretary.

As with last year Conference reports / updates will be available from this blog section of our branch website.

Will the site win the coveted prize this year??