Composite 03 Buses and a green transport system

Received from: ASLEF, TSSA

Motion 9 and amendment, and 10
Congress notes that the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, compared the provision of transport, especially in rural areas, as “an essential service, equivalent to water and electricity”, and that by “abandoning people to the private market in relation to a service that affects every dimension of their basic well-being is incompatible with human rights requirements.”

Congress believes that it is essential that the government makes a fully integrated and green transport network a priority. This means reducing the amount of passenger and freight kilometres on our roads and moving them to greener alternatives such as rail and waterways. This will additionally have major public health benefits, particularly in urban areas, as we remove carcinogenic diesel particulate emissions that currently account for 30,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

Congress believes that good public transport should be a universal basic right but since 1985, bus services have been subjected to de-regulation and the private sector profit motive. Since 2010, local authority funding outside London for unprofitable bus services has been cut by 46 per cent as a result of the government’s austerity agenda, resulting in a loss of over 3,000 services in England and Wales. A properly integrated transport system with a nationally coordinated timetabling system at its heart would see different transport modes complement each other as well as the infrastructure created to reduce carbon emissions to the smallest possible level.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for a fully integrated transport system, the re-opening of the railway and the creation of new infrastructure in order to ensure we have the capacity for growth.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign with others for the re-regulation of the bus industry in the public sector so that services can better address inequality and poverty, allowing access to employment, education and healthcare – and the ability to be a part of society.

In addition, Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for further
electrification of the railway as well as increased modal shift from road to rail and waterways for freight.

Mover: ASLEF
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Motion 11 UK Ship Register

Received from: Nautilus

Noting that two years ago the government announced plans to double the number of vessels on the UK Ship Register, Congress expresses concern that official statistics announced in July 2019 showed that the register has nearly halved in that period, with many companies re-flagging vessels due to the uncertainty around Brexit.

Noting that the UK-flagged fleet sustains significant numbers of British seafaring jobs and provides career development ashore due to the importance of the maritime cluster, Congress is concerned that having no ships would be highly detrimental to the UK as an island nation and presents significant threat to the UK’s economic and strategic resilience.

Further, British seafarer numbers are continuing to decline, and, on current trends, their numbers will diminish by a further 30 per cent over the next decade.

Congress therefore calls for the government to:

i. properly enforce national minimum wage and work permit requirements for all seafarers working on domestic shipping services and ensure the legislation covers those operating in the North Sea UK continental shelf

ii. introduce cabotage legislation to establish a legal playing field and facilitate the promotion and enhancement of British shipping and British seafarers in coastal and offshore services

iii. ensure a flag and employment link to the UK Tonnage Tax scheme

iv. further enhance the amount of support available for the training of British seafarers through the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme to match that made available by the UK’s main competitors.

Nautilus International

Motion 12 Artists’ studios and the community

Received from: AUE

Congress notes that:

i. 67 per cent of studio sites in London identified in 2014 as at risk of closure within five years had closed by November 2017.
ii. The risk of closure remains high with 24 per cent (57) of current sites providing artist workspace at risk of closure within the next five years.
iii. In London workspaces are becoming more expensive. In 2014, 56 per cent of sites charged an average of £11 per square foot. Three years later this had risen to 79 per cent of sites.
iv. The situation is similar in most major UK cities such as Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. Gentrification, and the pressure of spending cuts in local authorities, means many are closing arts and community spaces.
v. Artists are amongst the poorest workers in the UK with the majority earning less than £10,000 per annum (Arts Council England 2018).

Congress will press for:

a. urgent government action to address the challenges facing ordinary artists, in particular the provision of affordable studios for rent
b. investment to create jobs and support the development of all the creative arts, including the provision of affordable working spaces for artists in all localities
c. provision in schools, colleges, libraries and other community spaces for artists to work
d. resistance to gentrification and any negative effects on established cultural and local communities
e. an immediate cap on rent increases for artists’ studios
f. action, on equality grounds against the disproportionate impact, particularly on black and women artists, of the national shortage of affordable studio space.

Artists’ Union England

Composite 04 Brexit

Received from: MU, RCM, TSSA

Motion 13 and amendment, and 14

Congress recognises that the promises that were made during the EU referendum campaign are now distant memories, and that a Tory no-deal Brexit looms on the horizon – with potentially devastating results for workers in the UK.

Congress notes that the Tories have so far miserably failed to negotiate a Brexit deal that protects our jobs and our rights.

Congress notes with concern that Brexit, especially under ‘no deal’, would hit the NHS hard, with new immigration hurdles deterring EU healthcare professionals from coming to the UK to work in the NHS and the deep risk of wholesale privatisation flowing from a trade deal with the Trump White House. Congress fears the agenda of many Tory MPs is to enter into a devastating trade deal with Donald Trump which will reduce our rights and standards and leave our NHS and agriculture vulnerable to predatory US companies.

Congress believes too many Tory MPs are unwilling to defend the Good Friday
Agreement which has brought peace and prosperity to Ireland. A hard border will have a devastating impact on the lives of people on either side of it.

Congress condemns the Tory government’s plan to categorise migrant workers earning less than £30k a year as ‘low skilled’ and allow them to stay in the UK for just 12 months. We will not let right-wing politicians and bosses divide our class. We will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with migrants to stop any attacks on them.

Congress will campaign against the damaging right-wing agenda behind Brexit and supports a confirmatory public vote on any deal or no deal with a remain option. Congress will continue campaigning for reforms to help build a Europe for the many through solidarity across borders.

Congress also supports a general election as a matter of urgency so that the British people can elect a government committed to ending austerity and building a new economic settlement that leaves no-one behind.

Mover: Musicians’ Union
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
Supporter: Royal College of Midwives

Motion 15 The NHS and future trade deals

Received from: BDA

Congress is deeply concerned that our NHS is under threat from commercial interests on both sides of the Atlantic.

Furthermore, Congress is alarmed that during his visit to the UK in June, President Trump asserted that the NHS would be “on the table” in any future trade deals with the US “or a lot more than that”. Even though he appears to have backtracked on his statement, there remains concern over what exactly any future trade negotiations with the US would mean for the NHS.

Congress notes that it has been British governments that opened up the NHS to EU competition laws, leaving our health service more exposed to private intervention than any other EU country.

Our NHS is never safe during a Tory government whoever is prime minister. To keep our NHS public, we need a government committed to doing just that.

Therefore, Congress reasserts its policy that “we reject a vision of free trade” that “offers up public services like the NHS to rapacious multinational companies”.

Congress calls on the General Council to demand that the NHS is specifically excluded from any future trade deals.

British Dietetic Association

Composite 14 Public service pensions

Received from: FBU, PCS, SoR

Motion 64 and amendments

Congress condemns the disproportionate and unjustified decision of the treasury chief secretary in January to suspend the process for rectifying the downward breaches of the cost cap in public service pension schemes. Many scheme members are now denied the reductions in contributions and pension benefit improvements that are due to them and are forced to continue overpaying for lesser benefits for an uncertain period, without a timescale and an unclear outcome.

Congress welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in June in favour of the FBU’s case, which found that the Westminster government’s transitional protection arrangements for pensions amount to unlawful discrimination.

The government argued that a potential read-across of the court ruling in favour of the FBU and judges’ cases about age discrimination in the transitional protection for older scheme members in 2014/15 means that other schemes are affected, and that “it is not now possible to assess the value of the current public service pension arrangements with any certainty.” But the government has also acted in a hypocritical manner, by imposing extra employment costs for pensions, as they did not defer the change to the discount rate from April this year, for the same reason.

Congress welcomes the intervention of the General Council, including the general secretary and president by meeting the treasury chief secretary in June, and the steps being taken following that meeting, for scheme specific talks with treasury officials to test assumptions and the scenarios displayed by different contributions, benefits and demography.

Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that the TUC organises joint
union campaigning, including building for joint industrial action if necessary to
protect defined benefit pension provision in public services and until the valuation suspension is reversed.

Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: Fire Brigades Union
Supporter: Society of Radiographers

Composite 05 Sectoral collective bargaining

Received from: National Education Union, PCS, Unison, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Motion 16 and amendments

Congress reaffirms the right for workers to bargain collectively on pay and
conditions with their employers and endorses the aspiration of extending this
bargaining beyond the issues of pay and conditions. Congress supports the
restoration of sector- and industry-wide collective bargaining machinery, in
particular in sectors characterised by small workplaces or weaker workplace
union organisation.

Congress believes that the introduction of such machinery should be accompanied by steps to improve and extend the rights of unions and their members to access and organise in the workplace, in order to ensure not only better pay and conditions but also higher union membership and more effective workplace organisation, representation and bargaining.

Sectoral collective bargaining needs to go alongside increasing union membership in the workplace. Congress agrees the TUC will campaign for effective trade union rights to access the workplace and for the union membership thresholds to trigger statutory recognition ballots to be reduced to 2 per cent of the workforce or 500 members.

Congress welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to new sectoral bargaining machinery and affirms the TUC’s willingness to work together with Labour and other parties on promoting such arrangements accompanied by the other measures above.

Congress notes that the break-up of sectoral collective bargaining in the public sector, including the UK civil service, has led to pay segregation by gender and that a restoration of sectoral collective bargaining can play a positive role in reducing income inequalities and discriminatory pay gaps.

Congress agrees that such machinery should also be seen as a priority for sectors such as the schools sector where sector-wide pay and conditions have been undermined through privatisation, outsourcing and academisation and sector specific collective bargaining for teaching and support staff has been abolished in England and for teaching staff replaced by a discredited government-appointed pay review body whose recommendations are cut back or ignored. This should include re-establishing in England the School Support Staff Negotiating Body, put in place by the last Labour government but scrapped by the Tories.

Mover: National Education Union
Seconder: UNISON
Supporters: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers,
Public and Commercial Services Union

Motion 17 A new framework for collective bargaining

Received from: Aegis

Recieved from Aegis

Congress’s understanding is that the Labour Party, if elected to government, intends to include sectoral councils as a key part of its proposals for new legislation on fair work at the heart of the first Queen’s Speech. Given that an election is due any time, there is a premium on Congress shaping proposals so that Labour hits the ground running and secures protection of collective bargaining coverage for millions of more workers.

Congress notes that the TUC is working on a statement on collective bargaining setting out proposals for regulatory reform to facilitate a step-change in collective bargaining coverage and we welcome this move.

The overall aim is to design bargaining machinery and rights that both sets decent standards and strengthens union membership.

There is wide agreement among UK unions that raising collective bargaining coverage must go hand-in-hand with raising union membership. This will require a package of proposals to re-establish sectoral bargaining, strengthen workplace/enterprise bargaining and boost organising rights for unions.

As part of the proposals Congress calls on the General Council to secure a commitment from Labour to ensure that any company that receives government funding or grants (tax payers money) to help set up in the UK, or to help through a troubled period, must have a union recognition agreement that supports collective bargaining with an independent trade union that is affiliated to the TUC.

Aegis

Amendment

  • Add at end of paragraph 2: “Collective agreements lead to higher pay, better pensions, enhanced safety at work and better terms and conditions.”
  • Add at end of paragraph 4: “It should include a new duty to bargain on companies with over 250 employees. This would cover half of all employees in the private sector, which must be a priority for union organising.”

Prospect

Motion 18 Christmas and New Year working

Received from: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Congress is concerned that many workers in a wide range of different sectors are not receiving a decent break from work over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Congress notes the results of Christmas and New Year working surveys by Usdaw, with more than 18,000 responses from retail workers. More than three-quarters of respondents said that they spend too little time at Christmas with family and friends. More than two-thirds felt under pressure to work on Boxing Day and 75 per cent said that working over New Year affected their ability to enjoy the holiday.

Christmas Day trading legislation means that nearly all shops do not trade on Christmas Day. However, many retail workers report that for them Christmas is just a day off, not a holiday. Long hours in the run-up to Christmas and shops reopening early on Boxing Day leaves many retail workers too exhausted and with insufficient time off to enjoy the Christmas holiday.

The Scottish Parliament has passed but not enacted legislation that would stop large shops opening on New Year’s Day. Usdaw is campaigning for this legislation to be enacted.

Congress commits the TUC to supporting the campaign for a longer break for retail workers over the Christmas and New Year period, including:

i. early closure on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
ii. closure on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (and 2 January in Scotland)
iii. no loss of pay for retail workers when stores are closed.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Amendment

  • Insert new paragraph 4:
    “Distribution workers play a vital role behind the scenes in UK retail, often working outside of traditional hours to ensure that shops and warehouses are fully stocked. It is important that these workers also benefit from a full Christmas Day and New Year’s Day holiday break.”
  • In existing paragraph 5, between “retail” and “workers” insert “and distribution”

GMB

Motion 19 Demands for the future world of work

Received from: CWU

In recognising the scale of the problems in today’s world of work and the challenges workers and society face from automation, the use of data and the introduction of new technology and Al, Congress agrees that now is the time for the union movement to be advancing a serious set of demands on behalf of workers to redress the balance of forces in the economy and entrenched inequality in society.

The scale of the challenges workers face must be matched by the scale of our ambitions and Congress agrees that our demands for the future should include the following:

i. a standard four-day working week for all workers, with no loss of pay by 2025
ii. worker ownership funds to transfer a stake of private companies into the hands of workers
iii. through collective bargaining workers’ control over the introduction of technology in the workplace that impacts on job numbers or surveillance/monitoring of staff
iv. a slowdown in the intensification of work and a reversal of the trend for ever-longer working lives in terms of both occupational and the state pension age
v. legal minimum standards on pension income to provide a decent standard of living, promoted in a similar way to the living wage
vi. maximum pay ratios of 20:1 for all employers.

Communication Workers Union

Amendment

  • Add new sub-paragraph at the end:
    “vii. Underemployment and short-hours contracts need to be tackled alongside measures to reduce the standard working week. All workers should have a right to a contract for at least 16 hours per week, a contract that reflects and guarantees their normal weekly hours and an end to zero-hours contracts.”

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Composite 06 Collective voice and new technology

Received from: Accord, Community, FDA, Prospect

Motion 20 and amendments, and 21

Congress believes that the development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data, block-chain and growing automation will transform the world of work in the years to come.

Congress notes that these technologies have potential to significantly improve the experience of workers in the UK, but that there are also risks associated with a loss of transparency and accountability, the misapplication of new technology or a narrow focus on cutting costs by replacing jobs instead of enhancing quality.

The challenges ahead are enormous and could do irreparable damage to public service provision. Workers in professional roles will not be immune from the changes. The exploitation of all workers is a real risk. Congress notes that these changes will be felt particularly sharply in financial services – where it is estimated that up to 30 per cent of jobs in the sector could be potentially automatable by 2029 across advanced economies. The rise of challenger banks and companies operating in the shadow banking sector – many of which are not unionised – will pose additional challenges in the sector.

Congress also notes the potential digital dividend that could be realised as
a result of the application of new technology. This transformation will only be
successful if workers have a real voice in how technology is developed and used.

Congress expresses solidarity with tech workers, at Google and elsewhere, who are campaigning for collective voice, better working conditions and against bullying and harassment.

Congress further believes that the trade union movement has a responsibility not just to respond to technological change, but to actively shape the future of work.

Trade unions should be at the forefront of campaigning for the ethical and socially responsible development of AI and new technology, including a collective voice for tech workers.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to:

i. campaign for worker voice in the development, introduction, and operation
of new technologies in the workplace, including through new technology
agreements in collective bargaining arrangements, lobby for legislation to
guarantee trade union consultation through the automation process and
support union efforts to develop agreements with employers that provide
job security, income security and fair share of productivity gains when new
technologies and ways of working are introduced

ii. support campaigns to expand collective bargaining coverage in the tech sector, and explore strategies for building solidarity between tech workers and those impacted by new technology

iii. campaign for worker representation in government bodies concerned with
the impact of new technology on our economy and society and call on the
government to establish a Future of Work Commission involving unions and
employers, to ensure a just transition and that the digital dividend does not
simply accrue to the tech giants and entrench existing inequalities support investment in workforce skills, with a focus on improving access for
underrepresented groups in STEM, in particular women.

v. lobby for new legislation and enforcement on fair use of algorithms in
workplace decision-making

vi. support mechanisms to reduce working time in line with productivity increases

vii. organise for recognition agreements to include workers’ ownership of
workers’ data

viii. support the development of the TUC’s new Digital Lab initiative, to help unions develop their digital capacity and campaigning

ix. support unions in understanding, assessing and considering the oncoming
waves of automation among workers.

Mover: Prospect
Seconder: Accord
Supporters: Community, FDA

Composite 07 New Deal for Workers

Received from: CWU, GMB, Unite

Motion 22 and amendments

Congress agrees it has never been more important in our recent history for the trade union movement to come together and deliver a bold new deal for workers.

The world of work today is a harsher and more pressurised environment than at any time in living memory – in or out of the EU, new technology and the intensification of work only threatens to make this worse. Millions of working people either have insecure contracts, experience stress, feel unsafe, experience discrimination, don’t know their rights, are underpaid for their overtime, are in poverty or don’t feel like they have a voice at work.

We cannot wait for political change and must mobilise to challenge unacceptable insecurity, in-work poverty and the growing pressure workers are under.

While Congress recognises the work that has been done on a TUC New Deal
Charter, we need a major public campaign, starting now, and we call on the TUC to re-evaluate its priorities accordingly.

Congress agrees the General Council must now implement the following in support of a New Deal:
i. a high-profile national day of action on Friday 1 May 2020, with a range of
options on action for unions to choose from
ii. a major effort to engage union members and all workers through social media and workplace meetings in the run-up to a day of action
iii. a New Deal campaign group to be established, meeting monthly from October, with representation from each affiliate
iv. initiate wide-ranging industrial analysis, informed by affiliates, with the aim of developing a common industrial strategy and the meaningful co-ordination
of collective bargaining. The scope of the analysis will include: industrial
information sharing, mapping the top employers including their global
structures and owners, potential for leverage and campaign plans
v. co-ordinating co-operation between unions at a sectoral level on common
bargaining agendas
vi. organising a summit in the first half of 2020 to agree a charter to promote
co-operation on recruiting the millions of unorganised workers in the UK and
ending inter-union competition.

Mover: Communication Workers Union
Seconder: Unite
Supporter: GMB

Motion 56 Poverty and privatisation damage children’s education

Received from: National Education Union

Congress notes that austerity and privatisation disproportionately damage the poorest children’s education.

83 per cent of teachers responding to a NEU poll said that poverty increases
absence. Privatisation of education fuels inequality. Competition and deregulation disproportionately harm the poorest. High exclusion levels and off-rolling further damages the life chances of working-class children.

End Child Poverty research shows that 30 per cent of children are living in poverty and it is increasing where poverty is high. The Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts that over five million children will live in poverty by 2022. Of pupils eligible for FSM, 28.7 per cent are identified as having SEND.

Congress calls on government to:
i. implement a comprehensive child poverty reduction strategy that updates
benefits in line with inflation; restores the value of benefits caused by the eightyear freeze; ends the two-child limit; and reforms universal credit
ii. end privatisation of education; create a legislative instrument that sees all
schools return to local authority governance; and end the competition between schools driven by league tables and punitive inspections
iii. increase investment in SEND specialist services and school SEND budgets.

National Education Union

Motion 57 Curriculum narrowing

Received from: NASUWT

Congress deplores the impact of reforms which have led to a narrowing of the
education curriculum and the loss of teacher and support staff jobs.
Congress asserts that every pupil should be entitled to receive a broad and
balanced curriculum that enhances life chances and enables children to realise their full potential.

Congress is appalled at the loss of subject specialist teachers in many schools,
driven by failed government policies, lack of funding for education and the failure of schools to invest in teachers.

Congress demands action by the government to:
i. ensure a genuine broad and balanced curriculum as an entitlement for
every pupil
ii. protect jobs of teachers and support staff.

NASUWT

AMENDMENT

  • In sub-paragraph i., add at end:
    “and that art, drama, music, languages and other creative/humanities subjects are given equal weight to STEM subjects”

Artists’ Union England

Composite 13 Trade unionism and collectivism in the curriculum

Received from: ASLEF, CWU, UCU

Motion 58 and amendments

Congress notes that the 21st century curriculum for schools in the UK now includes a range of topics which have been added over recent years, including social care, computer programming and politics. Congress also welcomes the proposed introduction of inclusive sex and relationship education in the curriculum.

Despite this modernisation, the curriculum is still lacking any formal education
about the trade union movement.

Lessons on the history of trade unionism, including how to become a trade union member and how unions operate in the twenty first century workplace, along with an understanding of workers’ rights, would give young people an understanding of the reasons for collectivism and the kind of successes that can be achieved when they are fought for collectively. Young people should also have the opportunity to learn about specific events in trade union history and why they still matter today.

Congress acknowledges the importance of including an understanding of trade unionism and workers’ rights in initial training and CPD for schoolteachers, and in the importance of supporting and utilising the existing professional expertise of trade union tutors, lecturers and researchers in taking this work forward.

Congress recognises that some unions are currently providing speakers on trade unionism to schools and colleges and calls on the TUC to support this by coordinating activity at a regional level, producing a briefing for speakers and helping secure speaking slots.

Congress calls on the General Council to lobby the UK parliament and devolved legislatures to include in the secondary curriculum specific education on the history of trade unionism and collectivism, workplace rights and the current role and operations of trade unions today.

Mover: ASLEF
Seconder: Communication Workers Union
Supporter: University and College Union

Composite 17 Pupil behaviour and mental health 

Received from: AEP, NASUWT, National Education Union

Motion 59 and amendment, and 60 

Congress is alarmed at the reports that serious violence involving children and young people is a significant and growing problem within schools and on our streets and notes the increasing concerns being reported about youth violence, knife crime and the behaviour and mental health of children and young people. 

Congress deplores the decimation of services under austerity, pushing families and communities to breaking point, and seeks concerted government action to address the causes of disaffection and violence. 

Congress deplores the government’s failure to respond appropriately to preventing and addressing serious violence involving children and young people and notes with concern the devastating impact of serious violence, including knife crime, on children and young people’s safety, wellbeing and future life chances. 

Congress applauds the commitment and efforts of public sector workers who are dedicated to working with children and young people suffering under austerity policies, deeply regretting the violence they may face and further applauds the work of teachers and headteachers who, every day, seek to ensure that schools are safe sanctuaries for all children and young people. 

Congress rejects the expectation that teachers and other public service workers should accept violence as part of the job and applauds the efforts of unions in taking industrial action to protect their members from pupil violence and abuse. 

Congress welcomes DfE making £10m available for a network to help schools to manage their children’s behaviour, however, there are concerns about how this money will be used given a recent report from the BBC. It sent FOIs to 1,000 secondary schools and academies last year and received 600 responses. Two hundred of those responding had set up isolation units and they reported that 225 CYP had spent a whole week in isolation booths as a single punishment. 

Being kept apart from other children and young people for the whole of the school day means that children are not able to participate in the usual school life. Many of the children and young people whose behaviour leads to them being socially isolated from other children are those who do not communicate easily with others, eg those with autism and are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of isolation that infringe the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Congress calls on the government to: 

i.support schools and colleges in dealing with violence and disruption
ii.commit substantially to increase the levels of investment in specialist education provision, welfare and support services for children, young people and families
iii.reverse the effects of austerity policies
iv.end the culture of blaming teachers for pupil behaviour
v.ensure that additional monies will be used to support schools to develop effective whole-school policies that foster positive relationships between all members of their communities
vi.give a guarantee none of the £10m will be spent on setting up isolation units. 

Mover: NASUWT
Seconder: Association of Educational Psychologists
Supporter: National Education Union

 

Motion 61 Resourcing pupils with additional support needs (ASN/SEN)

Received from: EIS

Congress recognises that education is a human right and that inclusive education is the foundation of a just society. Congress also values the work of special schools and special units.

Congress notes the increase in the number of pupils with ASN/SEN in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland; almost one in four pupils having recognised ASN/SEN needs, including mental health-related needs.

Congress asserts that in order to deliver inclusive education, all schools must be sufficiently staffed and resourced to meet each child’s needs; all staff must have access to training and have protected allocated time to plan how to meet the individual needs of pupils; access to specialist colleagues and resources must be available when needed.

Congress notes the recent EIS report on ASN which concludes that in Scotland these requirements are not being met, echoing similar scenarios in other parts of the UK, where teachers have too little time and many different additional support needs to meet within increasingly large classes; fewer support staff and services, and inadequate resources to meet the needs of the students.

Congress notes that the numbers of ASN/SEN pupils has risen during a time of worsening child poverty; and that disproportionately high numbers of children living in poverty have additional support needs.

Congress instructs General Council to campaign with affiliates and partners for better ASN/SEN resourcing through increased core funding in all jurisdictions in order to support teachers, support staff and specialists to deliver adequate SEN/ ASN provision and mitigate the effects of poverty.

Educational Institute of Scotland

Motion 62 Relationships education

Received from: NAHT

Congress notes the legal expectation placed on schools to provide age appropriate relationships education to all pupils from September 2020.
Relationships education in schools must be inclusive of all protected characteristics and treat the different types of relationships in our society equally, reflecting their equal status under the law and so promoting tolerance and respect for diversity.

Congress calls for the General Council to lobby government to provide more clarity and support to schools to deliver inclusive relationships education.

National Association of Head Teachers

Composite 12 Privatised public services: bring them in

Received from: PCS, Unison, Unite

Motion 45 and amendments
Congress is still opposed to the privatisation of public services, PFI and the use of wholly owned subsidiaries by public bodies. It is time to bring all these
services in-house.

Carillion’s collapse in 2018, and damning National Audit Office and select
committee reports, reveal on-going problems with the stability of major contractors and also outsourcing spreading to new areas.

Privatisation often starts with the lowest paid staff, disproportionately women and Black staff, and then spreads further. Too often public funds are lost in opaque and off-shore company structures.

Congress salutes all union activists organising, negotiating, campaigning and
winning in contracted-out services and the many outsourced workers taking
industrial action for fair pay and conditions, and in support of campaigns to bring services back in-house, including the brave strikers who have taken indefinite action in government departments.

Congress welcomes developments in Scotland and Wales where the
governments are taking a more responsible and fair approach to workforce
standards in procurement. There are also public bodies and councils looking at
in-sourcing afresh.

Congress calls on the General Council to develop a campaign and plan for:
i. support for Labour’s plans to create a presumption that service contracts will be brought back in-house and delivered by the public sector
ii. the bringing back of services in-house in the first year of a new Westminster
government
iii. ending the whole discredited and inefficient marketisation system
iv. sector-wide agreements secured through collective bargaining and the relevant public sector pension schemes becoming the minimum basis for the pay, terms, conditions and pension provision applying to all service providers in that sector through public procurement ‘fair wages’ regulations
v. trade union recognition and Freedom of Information Act applying to service
providers
vi. all public contractors to pay ‘fair tax’
vii. new public investment with public money and also how to end existing PFI schemes.

Mover: UNISON
Seconder: Unite
Supporter: Public and Commercial Services Union

Motion 46 NHS and workforce funding

Received from: CSP

Congress notes the plans set out by the government in June to start to address the acute staffing crisis in the NHS but expresses real concern that the funding to realise the plans will not materialise. The “Interim” NHS People Plan for England spells out how the workforce will be supported and developed over the next 10 years through:
i. actions to increase the number of staff
ii. a commitment to create inclusive and positive workplace cultures, tackle
violence and bullying and offer greater access to flexible working
iii. a stronger emphasis on apprenticeships, education, training and professional development
iv. staff and unions engagement in shaping the final plans.

Realising the plan requires government plugging a huge funding gap that includes:
a. Health Education England has faced annual budget cuts in recent years but it is estimated to need at least £900m extra annually to recruit and train staff.
b. A £1.5bn shortfall in public health budgets needed to help prevent illness and encourage healthier behaviours, meaning unsustainable pressures on the NHS and staff will persist.
c. Without a £4.4bn boost for social care, older people’s inability to access it will add to the workloads of NHS staff.
d. A similar sum for capital spending otherwise staff will be without the equipment they need to deliver effective patient care and working in ageing, cramped and ill-suited buildings.

Congress calls on the TUC to work with affiliates to campaign ahead of the autumn statement to ensure an adequate and sustainable funding settlement for the NHS and social care.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

AMENDMENT

  • In paragraph 2, add to sub-paragraph a.:
    “The Health Foundation, King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust report a reduction in
    national spending on education and training, from 5 per cent of health spending in 2006/07 to 3 per cent in 2018/19 (equal to a shortfall of £2.9bn).”

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 47 Suspend charging for NHS maternity care

Received from: RCM


In 2017 the government started more rigorously enforcing charges for migrant women for care during pregnancy and childbirth. Charges start at £6,000 and can rise to tens of thousands for more complex maternity care.

Research shows that charging for maternity care reduces the likelihood of
vulnerable migrant women receiving care. These women are at greater risk of poor maternal health outcomes, including maternal deaths, and premature birth.

The charging regulations have seen undocumented and destitute women billed thousands of pounds for essential maternity care at 150 per cent of the standard tariff – meaning they are being asked to pay more than the actual cost. Where bills are unpaid for more than two months, the NHS notifies the Home Office. Women are being deterred from seeking maternity care because they fear they cannot afford to pay and will be reported to the Home Office. The RCM is also concerned that the government has been withholding evidence on the health impact of the charges and that measures to protect survivors of sexual violence from being charged aren’t working.

The latest round of regulations point to more aggressive efforts to identify and charge migrant women. Requirements to produce ID before receiving care are an additional barrier to access for these pregnant women and distract from the NHS’s caring-first ethos. We do not believe midwives should be acting as border guards.

Congress calls for the immediate suspension of charging for NHS maternity care.

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 48 Wholly owned subsidiaries

Received from: SoR

Congress notes with concern that NHS Trusts continue to explore ways of
outsourcing some of their workload to outside companies, commonly referred to as wholly owned subsidiaries. In the Society of Radiographers Yorkshire and North Trent region alone there are nine ongoing programmes.

Congress recalls these companies are set up to avoid tax and as a way of opting out of national terms and conditions thus reducing staff costs by employing workers on less favourable terms than Agenda for Change and worse pension arrangements than the NHS scheme.

Congress notes that in September 2018, NHS Improvement told Trusts to pause any plans to set up wholly owned subsidiaries because of concerns that they were being used solely for tax avoidance purposes. The impact on workers terms and conditions was not considered important.

Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. maintain pressure on NHS Trusts and join with other health unions in calling
for this pause to become a complete cessation in setting up wholly owned
subsidiaries
ii. support any union members taking action against these shell companies.

Society of Radiographers

AMENDMENT

  • Insert new paragraph 3:
    “Congress congratulates those unions and their members who have fought successful campaigns against subcos in areas such as Wigan, Bristol, Leeds, Tees, Leicester and Mid-Yorkshire.”
  • Insert new penultimate paragraph:
    “Congress is particularly concerned that since the pause, and subsequent guidance from NHS Improvement, a number of new subcos have been established.”
  • In sub-paragraph i., after “unions” insert “and campaigners”

UNISON

Motion 49 Financial incentive to undergo NHS treatment

Received from: SoR

Congress notes that those individuals who pay for private health care are often given a financial incentive to undergo NHS treatment. This is especially true in cancer care where strict waiting targets ensure the NHS delivers treatment quickly, making it impossible for private health care to compete. Instead private healthcare “customers” are offered an incentive to use the NHS.

Congress believes it is scandalous and unethical for private health care insurance companies to offer a financial incentive to patients who opt to continue with NHS funded care to save the insurers money. This reimbursement is a fraction of the total cost of treatment and thus saves the insurance companies vast sums of money which instead is delivered to shareholders.

Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. take a stance against this financial-based incentive
ii. ensure the money instead is paid to the NHS to fund patient care at a far lower rate than if they were to pay for an individual’s full treatment.
iii. work with a future government to achieve this.

Society of Radiographers

Motion 50 Healthy Start scheme

Received from: BDA

Congress is concerned that the Healthy Start voucher scheme is not being properly managed or promoted.

Healthy Start is a means-tested scheme available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for all women who are pregnant under the ages of 18, as well as pregnant women and their children four years or younger who are on a low-income meeting certain eligibility criteria. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old receive one £3.10 voucher per week which could buy two litres of semi-skimmed milk, 1kg of carrots, 900g frozen peas and four apples at a typical discount supermarket. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

Congress notes that charities and health groups, including the British Dietetic
Association, have warned Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt
Hancock that low-income women and children in over 130,000 households are missing out on £28.6m of free fruit, vegetables and milk due to poor promotion of the Healthy Start voucher scheme.

Congress calls on the General Council to demand that the government boost
promotion of the Healthy Start voucher scheme, which can be worth up to £900 per child over the first four years of life.

British Dietetic Association

Motion 51 Bullying and harassment

Received from: College of Podiatry

The College of Podiatry, like all NHS unions, has seen increased incidents of our members suffering from bullying and harassment. In the last staff survey 28.3 per cent of respondents to the annual survey reported at least one incident of bullying and harassment in the last 12 months – that’s over 850 a day, every day of the year.

Other surveys report similar levels, and our reps deal with bullying and harassment complaints on a daily basis. It affects all members in independent practice or in the NHS and our LGBT+ and disabled colleagues are impacted on a disturbingly regular basis.

This year’s figures had barely changed on previous years, yet little at system level has been implemented.

Congress agrees that change is needed. We need to improve how formal
complaints on bullying and harassment are handled in the NHS, ensuring
appropriate resources, representation and support is available for individuals going through a process. We need to ensure access to alternative means of resolution, such as mediation, where appropriate. We need to encourage and enable early intervention to tackle low level, unprofessional behaviour before it escalates to bullying or harassment. And we need to ensure that outcomes reflect the level of behaviour.

We need to give our members the tools, the support and the confidence to call out this behaviour.

Congress says enough is enough and calls on the General Council and the unions to work together to ensure that this issue is taken seriously, and more is done to protect our members in their workplaces.

College of Podiatry

Motion 52 Better and active safeguards for whistle-blowers in the NHS and public services

Received from: HCSA

Congress calls for better and active safeguards for the protection of whistle-blowers in the NHS and other public services. It is unacceptable that workers in the NHS and other public services continue to fear that they risk their jobs, or the application of other detriments, because of raising genuine concerns about patient care and shortcomings in service provision.

The extant and welcome ‘Speaking up’ policy which was formulated and
implemented through the NHS national staff council has set out the goal of a
protective and encouraging workplace environment for those who genuinely sound the alarm about shortcomings in care and service provision. But charters such as these need to be solidly underpinned by the creation of a purposely designated agency that is charged with the active protection of genuine whistleblowers in the NHS and all public services and that has:
i. truly independent leadership and oversight
ii. a remit that allows it to scrutinise all actions taken to address the concern(s) that have been raised
iii. powers to review and amend all adverse circumstances that might befall the genuine whistle-blower at any time after concerns have been raised.

Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association

Motion 53 Perinatal mental health services

Received from: RCM

Congress notes that:
i. perinatal mental health problems affect up to 20 per cent of women during
pregnancy and postnatally
ii. almost 25 per cent of maternal deaths are attributable to mental health related causes
iii. up to 40 per cent of fathers report having concerns about their own mental health
iv. children of parents with severe mental illness are at an increased risk of
themselves developing mental illness and/or substance misuse
v. postnatal depression can be linked to both behavioural and emotional
problems in the children of affected mothers.

Congress believes that with the right care, including specialist maternal mental health services, these conditions can be effectively recognised and treated.

However, Congress notes with concern that resource constraints have resulted in:
a. variable or even non-existent provision of specialist services for women who experience severe mental health problems, resulting in poor or even unsafe individual care
b. a shortage of specialist perinatal mental health midwives
c. cuts to the amount of training for midwives in the appropriate identification,
referral and care for women experiencing mild to moderate mental health
issues, which can then escalate to more severe problems
d. costs of £1.2bn a year as a consequence of inaction.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to support and campaign
alongside the RCM, Maternal Mental Health Alliance and other organisations that are calling for increased investment in perinatal mental health services and in training for all maternity staff to identify, care for and refer women who experience poor mental health.

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 54 Transforming social care

Received from: GMB

Congress believes:
i. Social care work provides dignity, independence and respect to those in need of care and support.
ii. Social care is currently in a crisis of fragmentation and privatisation.
iii. There has been a deplorable race to the bottom in employment standards, with a third of care workers employed on zero-hours contracts, and widespread noncompliance with minimum wage legislation.
iv. Cuts have increased pressure on the NHS, other public services and families.
v. Integration with the NHS requires comparable pay, conditions and
professional standing.
vi. Care must feature within the UK’s industrial strategy and we recognise its
importance to wider society and the economy.

Congress notes that the GMB:
a. has spent the last decade securing and improving recognition agreements with employers operating across social care
b. is campaigning for members in social care through the Go Public campaign and is sponsoring the APPG for Social Care
c. is the first union to champion sectoral bargaining for social care and has won
support from major employers.

A Survation poll for GMB showed 83 per cent of the public agree that care work is highly skilled and increasingly complex and the pay for this work should reflect this.

Congress resolves to:
1. support GMB’s efforts in securing sectoral bargaining for social care
2. back the GMB Go Public campaign striving to achieve pay justice for care
workers and parity with AFC NHS workers on pay and skills
3. support GMB’s efforts to fully fund the care sector and calls for its integration with health.

GMB

AMENDMENT

  • In sub-paragraph ii. after “privatisation” add:
    “, with our biggest care home operator paying £48.5m to shareholders in two years but no corporation tax”
  • In paragraph 4., sub-paragraph 1., replace all from “GMB’s” to “care” with:
    “TUC work to develop the union movement’s position on sector bargaining”
  •  Add a final new sub-paragraph:
    “4. back UNISON’s widely supported Ethical Care Charter, which commits
    councils to standards that protect service users and care workers.”

UNISON

Motion 55 National Independent Living Support Service

Received from: TUC Disabled Workers Conference

There is no doubt that social care is in crisis. A crisis brought about by years of
Conservative governments’ ideologically driven austerity policies. Today we have a failing system unable to meet current need; and certainly, unfit to respond to predicted future growth.

Healthcare and social care serve very different kinds of need. The overwhelming majority of disabled people who receive social care do not receive healthcare interventions through their packages. This makes the NHS responsible for social care which subsequently medicalises the service. This is not the answer.

A National Independent Living Support Service is the way forward; a resource that best affords disabled people choice, control and independence.

Therefore, Congress calls on a newly elected Labour government to establish a National Independent Living Support Service (NILSS). A service that:
i. gives new universal right to independent living
ii. is enshrined in law and delivered through a new national independent living
service co-created between government and disabled people
iii. is funded through general taxation and managed by central government
iv. is free at the point of need
v. is led by disabled people and delivered locally in co-production with
disabled people.

TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Motion 34 Equality 2020

Received from: Unite

The Equality Act 2010 was a major milestone in advancing equality and
strengthening anti-discrimination rights. Ten years on, looking at ‘Equality 2020’, we know progress has been stalled by the disproportionate impact of austerity policies and cuts, and a shameful government-led backlash against equality. The devastating increase in hate crime and harassment, the undermining of equality auditing and monitoring, the change in objectives of the Equality & Human Rights Commission alongside a vast reduction in funding and staffing have all taken their toll.

In the face of this major onslaught on our equality achievements, unions have
remained firm, with the TUC remaining right at the forefront of defending and
building equality for all and ensuring the powerful voices of trade union women, black workers, disabled and LGBT+ workers across industrial sectors and union affiliates are not just included, but strengthened and acted on.

Congress reaffirms its strong commitment to continuing to lead the way on
advancing equality for all and calls on the General Council with the TUC Women’s,  Black Workers, Disabled Workers and LGBT+ Committees and Conferences to:
i. evaluate the achievements of the Equality Act 2010
ii. identify, and campaign with affiliates on, key issues of Equality Act unfinished business, including statutory rights for union equality representatives and mandatory equality audits, with full action to close gender, race, disability and LGBT pay and pension gaps
iii. challenge the myths and stereotypes about who trade unionists are, with action that positively supports and reinforces union organising.

Unite

Motion 35 Class inequality

Received from: Equity

Congress notes the recent report by the Social Mobility Commission that found that inequality and class privilege remain entrenched in the UK. It found that those from working-class backgrounds face considerable disadvantages in the labour market, are less likely to be in professional jobs than their more affluent peers and if they do get a professional job, earn 17 per cent less; with multiple disadvantages faced by women, people with disabilities and BME groups from working-class backgrounds.

Congress notes the ongoing work by Equity to address the disadvantages faced by working-class performers and creative practitioners getting into and making progress in the creative industries. A core issue is the prevalence of low pay and sometimes no pay and the precariousness of work in the sector, which is predominately freelance, characterised by insecure and short-term contracts. This disadvantages those without independent financial means, working other part time jobs, who do not have the flexibility when auditions are called and work is offered at short notice.

Congress affirms the vital role played by trade unions in combating class inequalities, by challenging discrimination and securing financially sustainable careers with decent pay and conditions.

Congress supports plans by the TUC for a major new initiative on class and calls on the General Council to campaign for measures that will help close the privilege gap, including calling on the UK government to introduce a legal requirement on public bodies aimed at reducing socio-economic disadvantage.

Equity

Motion 23 Industrial action ballots

Received from: PCS

Congress believes that the Trade Union Act 2016 is a direct attempt to limit the ability of unions to defend their members’ jobs and livelihoods.

Congress notes that the Act requires 50 per cent of those entitled to vote to turn out and that several unions, including PCS in a ballot returning a 79 per cent yes vote for action, have seen their members denied their right to strike by the threshold requirement.

Congress also notes that, together with developments in methods of organising including the use of new digital technology, had union members had the opportunity to cast their votes using a range of methods more appropriate to the 21st century, they would have smashed the 50 per cent threshold.

Congress notes that the Knight Review recommended that e-balloting should be tested as a means of ensuring “that ballot results are a true reflection of the views of those entitled to vote.” Yet, despite the legislative stipulation that the government must publish a response, no such response has been forthcoming.

Congress welcomes the Labour party’s pledge to repeal the Act. Congress calls for the repeal of all the anti-union laws and, as an urgent first step, for the introduction of e-balloting.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign for the introduction of online workplace and telephone voting in statutory ballots;
ii. demand that the UK government immediately commissions the pilots of e-balloting recommended in the Knight review
iii. call on the Labour party to include online balloting as a manifesto pledge.

Public and Commercial Services Union

Composite 08 Free our unions

Received from: BFAWU, FBU, NASUWT, POA, TSSA, Unite

Motion 24 and amendments, and 25

Congress notes that the anti-trade union laws – not just the 2016 Trade Union Act, but multiple laws going back to 1980 – continually undermine workers’ ability to organise and campaign. A further example of anti-union laws is the Criminal Justice Public Order Act 1994, Section 127, which makes it a criminal offence to induce prison officers to take any form of industrial action and by doing so could lead to contempt of court.

These laws mean our movement is fighting the challenges of low pay, insecurity and erosion of hard-won terms and conditions with our hands tied behind our backs.

It is clear that we now face a major threat from a right-wing Conservative
government who, despite what they may be saying, are prepared to cut workers’ rights and further undermine trade union organising in order to achieve their ideological aims outside the EU.

Congress welcomes recent Labour Party conference policy (2015, 2017, 2018) to repeal all anti-union laws and replace them with strong legal rights for workers and unions, including rights to strike and picket.

Congress believes it is crucial the next Labour government acts quickly to
implement this policy.

Congress believes workers need strong rights to join, recruit to and be represented by an independent union; strike/take industrial action by a process, at a time and for demands of their own choosing, including in solidarity with any other workers and for broader social and political goals; and picket freely.

Congress applauds the work of TUC affiliates in continuing to take action, including strike action and action short of strike action, to defend members at work and challenge employers that breach statutory trade union rights.

Congress welcomes Labour’s commitment to reviving collective bargaining but believes that – to quote the Institute of Employment Rights – “collective bargaining without the right to strike is collective begging”.

Congress is concerned by the lack of legislation allowing trade unions to have
direct access to workers in unorganised workplaces. There is legislation enshrined in New Zealand which allows trade unions the right to approach workers in their workplaces without obstruction from anti-union employers, which has seen a significant growth in trade union membership.

Congress calls on present and future governments to legislate to incorporate
access laws for all trade unions onto the statute book.

Congress agrees to campaign, and encourage affiliated unions and trades councils to campaign, for the repeal of all anti-union laws which may be given effect by new permissive legislation and their replacement with strong legal rights, including to strike and picket; and for a clear commitment on this from Labour.

Congress agrees that the General Council will ensure that these demands are
central to all campaigning around employment and workers’ rights, such as the New Deal Charter.

Mover: Fire Brigades Union
Seconder: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union
Supporters: Unite, NASUWT, POA, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Motion 01 Industrial strategy: delivering real change

Received from: Unite

Congress believes that government failure to deliver a coherent industrial strategy has led to a collapse of investment and confidence in UK manufacturing. This amounts to gross industrial sabotage resulting in the loss of some 500,000 skilled manufacturing jobs over the past decade.

Congress notes that closures announced by Honda and Ford, the crisis in our steel industry, deep concerns over a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the impact of growing protectionism and a collapse in investment and consumer confidence threaten to seriously undermine UK manufacturing.

Re-balancing our economy and supporting a ‘just transition’ towards sustainable, long-term economic growth requires a radical, alternative political and economic vision. Congress believes that only a Labour government committed to proactive state support and intervention will deliver such a programme.

Congress calls on the General Council to support:

i. procurement policy that supports a ‘build local’ strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and invest in skilled jobs and apprenticeships

ii. investment in research and development and our capacity to design, engineer and manufacture in the UK

iii. ending the housing crisis with a million new council homes and a refit programme to bring existing housing stock up to standard

iv. a ‘just transition’ from ageing to new technologies including energy, steel, construction, automotive and transport sectors

v. an urgent review of the apprenticeship levy and a union voice on national skills bodies

vi. reform of merger and acquisition regulation to promote long-termism and protect the interests of workers and communities

vii. the promotion, extension and co-ordination of collective bargaining and sectoral collective bargaining.

Unite

Amendment

  • Add sub-paragraph viii) at end:
    “viii. the development of a national strategy for rail freight, to include opportunities to increase the amount of freight moved long-distance by rail, and planning policy which allows for the strategic development of freight terminals and freight interchanges between the rail, road and maritime networks.”

ASLEF

Motion 02 Save Our Steel

Received from: Community

Congress notes that since the tragedy of SSI in 2015 steel unions have been in crisis mode fighting for the survival of UK steelmaking. Congress further notes the recent breakdown of joint venture talks between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp and the liquidation of British Steel which left the workforce at those companies and entire steel communities facing an uncertain future.

Congress recognises that steel is a strategic foundation industry that supports other vital industries like automotive, shipbuilding, rail, defence and construction, and strongly believes the future of UK steelmaking must be secured. Congress deplores the fact that after four years of crisis government is still failing to deliver meaningful progress towards a level playing field for UK steelworkers and in fact the situation is getting worse; energy prices paid by UK producers can now be double those paid in France and our business rates ten times those paid on the continent. Congress also notes the impact on the sector of new macro-challenges like Brexit-related uncertainties and US tariffs which have compounded problems of global steel overcapacity and led to an increasing trend towards protectionism.

Therefore, Congress calls on the General Council to continue to support the unions’ Save Our Steel campaign and strenuously lobby government to:

i. develop an effective industrial strategy with steel at its base

ii. deliver the long-overdue steel sector deal

iii. take any action necessary to safeguard national steel assets faced with closure

iv. avoid a no-deal Brexit that would devastate UK steelmaking.

Community

Composite 01 Real jobs and apprenticeships

Received from: College of Podiatry, SoR, UCU

Motion 03 and amendments

Congress believes apprenticeships are a distinctive and highly valuable part of the vocational education sector, ensuring that those who want to earn while they learn have the opportunity to do so. They provide an important route to employment and higher levels of learning, directly connecting people to the labour market and contributing to an educated, productive, innovative and engaged workforce and citizenry.

Congress notes its concern that the drive to grow apprenticeships has too often been at the expense of quality and genuine job creation. The central importance of education within apprenticeship programmes is not recognised. Apprenticeships are not just about training for tasks or for specific job roles; they should include a broad education which prepares people for the changing world of work and empowers them to be engaged, adaptable and resilient.

Congress believes the apprenticeship levy, while providing a funding boost
for apprenticeships directly from employers, does little to influence where
apprenticeship opportunities are, what level they are at, or who can access them.

It has been too easy for levy-paying employers to recoup their payments by
rebadging existing training schemes as apprenticeships.

Congress also notes that established education providers are disincentivised from offering degree-level apprenticeships due to low-level funding by the Institute for Apprenticeships. This has left certain job roles without the apprenticeship route, or the qualification has been diluted by employers, at a detriment to degree-level professions.

Congress welcomes and adopts the work of UCU in their Charter for Real Jobs
and Apprenticeships and asks the General Council to support campaigns that
deliver an expansion of high-quality apprenticeships. These must have education at their heart, relate to real job opportunities, receive a proper living apprenticeship wage and get to the root of tackling inequality in access to education and the labour market.

Mover: University and College Union
Seconder: Society of Radiographers
Supporter: College of Podiatry

Motion 04 Skills and re-training

Received from: Community

Congress notes that skilled employment is vital to our economy and is more likely to provide well-paid and decent work. However, Congress remains concerned that government expenditure on education and training remains severely squeezed. Congress further notes that British employers are spending 50 per cent less on training per employee than the EU average.

Congress recognises that with the changing world of work, some jobs are being automated and that the people working in those jobs may need to reskill to find new work. Congress acknowledges trade unions have a responsibility to be at the forefront of campaigning for and securing better skills provision. Congress celebrates the difference that the union learning agenda has made to millions of working people.

Therefore, Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. lobby the government for better skills provision, including, but not limited to, free college courses for people who have left employment

ii. call on employers to recognise the importance of and to provide transferable skills, reskilling opportunities and well-paid apprenticeships

iii. continue working to understand the impact of technological change on workers and how this affects the skills agenda

iv. support unions to continue to open up opportunities for union members to access skills-based learning and the opportunity to retrain

iii. work with unions and employer organisations to develop effective skills audits, with workers at the centre.

Community

Motion 65 Rebuilding local government

Received from: Unison

Congress notes that local government has borne the brunt of the government’s public sector austerity agenda since 2010. The National Audit Office has reported a 49 per cent real-terms reduction in government funding for English local authorities 2010–2011, and 2017– 2018. UNISON research reveals at least a 25 per cent drop in employment too. Similar cuts have occurred in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland due to austerity, the Barnett Formula consequentials and decisions of the respective devolved governments.

Increased demand for council services due to the wider impacts of austerity has left councils at breaking point. The Local Government Association estimates a funding gap of £1.5bn in social care, a sector that is in crisis. The example of Northamptonshire, which has been forced to call in commissioners and cut many vital services and jobs, is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

Congress believes that local government needs far more resources in order to
do its vital work supporting people from cradle to grave, and providing support
to society’s most vulnerable people, through youth services, homecare, libraries, housing, schools and other services. The government must commit far more funding to councils through the Spending Review and Fair Funding Review, and it must take serious account of deprivation when deciding how to distribute resources to councils.

Congress calls on the General Council to launch a high profile campaign, calling on the government to reverse the local government funding cuts and provide councils and devolved governments with the resources to invest in local, democratically controlled, publicly provided services.

UNISON

AMENDMENT

  • In paragraph 3, after the first sentence ending “services”, insert new second sentence:
    “More resources are also vital to ensure councils can continue to invest in cultural services, from theatres to festivals, that support local jobs and economic development and help to make areas interesting and vibrant places to live and work.”

Equity

Motion 66 Grenfell Tower – Never Again

Received from: FBU

Congress is appalled that two years after the Grenfell Tower fire, 300 residential and public buildings are still wrapped in the same ACM cladding and at least another 1,700 hospitals, care homes, schools and high rise residential buildings still have combustible cladding on them.

Congress is dismayed that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry announced it will delay its phase 1 report and will not begin phase 2 until later this year.

Congress notes the Metropolitan Police announcement that prosecutions of those responsible for the fire will be delayed until after the public inquiry.
Congress is appalled that the politicians and businesses responsible for a system, which enabled such a devastating fire, have not been held to account.
Congress applauds the work of the bereaved, survivors and residents from the
Grenfell community, who have campaigned resolutely for justice.

Congress supports the FBU’s campaign Grenfell: Never Again and endorses its
demands:
i. the removal of all combustible cladding and a ban on the use of all combustible materials in such circumstances
ii. a national review of the stay put policy, involving the FBU and representatives of tenants’ organisations from across the country
iii. the strengthening of tenants’ rights and support for a democratic and
independent tenant organisation
iv. new national accountability structures for the fire and rescue service and for the fire safety regime (to tackle the power of corporate interests)
v. an increase in the number of trained and specialist fire safety officers in fire and rescue services.

Fire Brigades Union

Composite 16 Over-75s TV licences and BBC funding

Received from: NUJ, Prospect

Motions 70 and 71
Congress notes the BBC’s plans to make most over-75s pay the TV licence fee from June 2020, only offering free licences to pensioners who provide evidence that they claim the means-tested pension credit. Congress recognises the vital role that free TV licences play in the lives of many over-75s and that this is a welfare benefit that should be funded by government, not the BBC.

According to research from the House of Commons Library, around three million households will lose their free TV licence as a result. Up to 1.3 million families entitled to pension credits do not claim the benefit, heightening concerns that the change will increase hardship amongst pensioners already living in poverty.

Congress believes that the issues around free TV licences highlight wider concerns about the long-term role and government support for public service broadcasting.

Congress recognises the important role that public service broadcasting and
the BBC play at the heart of UK culture and creative industries. The BBC plays an integral role in developing and nurturing talent, technical, craft and creatives’ skills across the UK. Congress agrees that the BBC (and other broadcasters) should and can do more to promote diversity and equality in the industry, both behind and in front of the camera, and supports the Federation of Entertainment Unions’ campaign to achieve this.

Congress notes that the BBC has also taken seriously the challenge to provide
employment outside of London, opening production centres in Media City in
Salford, other parts of the English regions and in Scotland and Wales.

Congress also notes that the BBC is rightly held to a high standard as a publicly funded, national broadcaster. Congress recognises whilst the BBC should be open to scrutiny it is also often subject to additional public criticism that is not always fair, in context or in comparison with other broadcasting organisations.

Congress condemns the decision of the government to transfer the cost and policy responsibilities to the BBC, which has forced the corporation into this decision or face having to close channels and axe programming. It believes our public service broadcaster should not be responsible for public policy decisions on a welfare benefit. It further believes that such a step will have grave implications for the relationship that the public has with the BBC, at a time when it is under increasing pressure.

Congress resolves to:
i. support calls for a reversal of this wrong-headed and unfair decision by the
government, and to campaign for government to fully fund free TV licences for over-75s
ii. campaign for the creation of a sustainable funding model for the BBC in future licence fee settlements adequate and long-term funding for the BBC
iii. re-affirm its commitment to public sector broadcasting free from political
interference and shielded from the whims of the government of the day.

Mover: Prospect
Seconder: National Union of Journalists

Motion 26 Safety of rail workers

Received from: RMT

Congress notes with deep sadness and dismay the death of two Network Rail track workers who were also RMT members, after they were hit by a train at Margam, South Wales on 3 July. Such tragedies also have a devastating effect on other rail workers and communities involved.

This tragedy occurred despite previous warnings from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch that there has been “too many near misses in which railway workers have had to jump for their lives.”

Despite these warnings the safety regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), has failed to take effective action against Network Rail. Congress is concerned the ORR is also the railway economic regulator seeking to reduce Network Rail costs.

Rail workers are also increasingly at risk of assault, with a 27 per cent increase in assaults in the last year. The Railway Safety Standards Board (RSSB), which is responsible for coordinating the industry response, is funded by the railway companies and has done little to address this risk.

Congress also notes both the ORR and RSSB have sided with, and coordinated responses with, the government and train companies to attack the unions safety concerns relating to driver-only operation during the current disputes. This has included the RSSB highlighting the financial benefits of sacking guards.

Congress believes the development and enforcement of rail safety standards and regulation should be reformed as soon as possible so that it is genuinely independent and separated from economic regulation and the interests of private rail companies.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Motion 27 EU Copyright Directive

Received from: Equity

EU directives have been vital for creating and improving intellectual property rights that enable performers and authors to get remunerated and to benefit from commercial revenues – and share in the success – of a production, which is given value from their work. Through collective agreements and contracts, Equity is able to negotiate performers’ exclusive rights for secondary and additional use payments for the repeat use of their work.

The new EU Copyright Directive marks a critical step forward for performers and authors in getting fairer remuneration for use of their work, depending on how the UK enshrines the directive into national legislation. For example, there should be full implementation of the “principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration” in Article 18, by which authors and performers will be able to seek compensation for the exploitation of their work, proportionate to the revenues generated by their material, rather than based on a flat rate. Its aim is to correct a “value gap” that has opened up between content sharing providers and content creators, which has allowed a few companies to earn huge profits without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives whose work they depend on.

Congress calls on the UK government to implement this directive fully into UK law in a manner which delivers on its goals and to work with trade unions and other stakeholders to that end.

Equity

Motion 28 The inclusion of freelance workers in TUC policy

Received from: MU

Congress acknowledges and applauds the work of the TUC in protecting workers from across all sectors in the UK.

In the growing ‘gig economy’ climate, we recognise that organising workers has become more complex and that TUC policy has had to adjust accordingly.

In campaigning for improved terms and conditions for the ‘falsely’ self-employed it is important to remember that many truly self-employed workers, particularly musicians and performers, are keen to maintain their self-employed status whilst still needing union representation.

Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that all policy work and consultation responses adequately represent freelancers as well as employed workers.

Musicians’ Union

Amendment

  • Add at end: “in whatever sector they work in.”

College of Podiatry

Motion 29 Ending exploitation of seafarers

Received from: RMT

Congress is appalled by the ongoing exploitation of foreign seafarers in the UK shipping industry.

Congress is concerned that the growth in ratings jobs in recent years has been mainly restricted to seafarers from outside the UK with a lack of basic trade union or employment rights. These seafarers are often employed on short term contracts that pay well below the national minimum wage (NMW) for excessive working hours. This corrosive practice is common in all sectors – roll-on, roll-off ferries, cargo, cruise and offshore supply.

Congress notes that these disgraceful employment practices are legal, mainly as a result of the failure to implement the recommendation of the government-commissioned Carter Report which advised in 2010 for the outlawing of nationality-based pay discrimination against seafarers in the UK shipping industry.

Congress notes that as a result of prolonged campaigning the UK government has committed to introduce legislation in the Autumn of 2019 to extend the application and enforcement of the NMW to seafarers working in UK territorial waters and out to energy installations on the UK continental shelf.

Congress is concerned, however, that this will not apply to seafarers working on routes between UK and foreign ports.

Congress therefore welcomes Labour’s commitments for the Carter Report’s recommendation to form the basis of legislation to outlaw nationality-based pay discrimination and for the extension of sectoral bargaining to the shipping industry, and also agrees to campaign for these policies to be adopted by the current government.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Composite 09 Flexible working

Received from: Community, CSP, FDA

Motion 31 and amendments
In 2018, Congress resolved that the government should introduce the right to
request flexible working from the first day of employment. This year, we need to take that further.

The FDA has partnered with the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College, London to commission research to analyse current civil service flexible working trends. Whilst posts are advertised as flexible, in reality there is a reluctance to promote those with compressed-, reduced- or remote-working patterns to senior roles within the civil service. Our research, due to be published in autumn, will enable us to lobby employers to proactively support those seeking to work flexibly across the public sector.

Genuine flexible working for everyone – not just working from home because of limited office desk space – can help build more diverse leadership, break the glass ceiling and reduce the gender pay gap. Many employees with working patterns outside of 9-5 perceive these to be a barrier to promotion. Flexible working is no longer just for parents, or those with caring responsibilities. True flexibility allows both the employer and any employee to balance their work around their life, without detriment to either.

Congress notes that organisations that offer flexible working confirm that it aids recruitment and retention, improves productivity, reduces stress and makes staff feel more valued and motivated.

Congress calls on the government and employers to not only introduce a ‘day one’ right to flexible working, but to also:
i. advertise how roles can be worked flexibly, with explicit examples provided in job descriptions
ii. separate out remote working policies from flexible working provisions
iii. promote flexible working at senior levels, encouraging a more inclusive
workplace
iv. promote flexible working within public services and encourage private sector employers to offer it to all workers as a positive workforce measure.

Congress believes there is a culture of denying flexible working to men. This culture negatively impacts on women as they may have to take up more flexible working to compensate, which can result in progression opportunities being reduced.

Congress resolves to campaign for flexible working practices to be equally
available regardless of gender.

Mover: FDA
Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Supporter: Community

Motion 32 Outsourcing the finance sector

Received from: Aegis

The UK finance sector is a key part of the economy. It provides over 1.1 million workers with relatively good-quality jobs. However, the sector is changing as more established providers transfer work and employees to third parties to administer.

The terms and conditions of many of these third parties are often in no way comparable with the traditional businesses and they are often non-unionised. There is a real danger that good-quality jobs will disappear if Congress doesn’t protect them collectively.

In their place Congress could find the types of precarious work found in other sectors like hospitality and retail. This would have a devastating impact on the UK economy and the pride of the people who work in financial services.

Since the financial crash 11 years ago the culture of cost-cutting across the industry has hit an all-time high. There is now a significant risk of a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of workers contractual rights to gain a competitive cost advantage and collective bargaining is a vital part of preventing this.

Although the sector is large, union density is not and there’s a danger that outsourcing is likely to lead to a further decline in membership unless Congress acts.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to conduct research to establish:

i. how widespread this practice is in the finance sector
ii. the impact it has on collective bargaining and union membership
iii. how the TUC can help unions in this sector seize the opportunities it creates.

Aegis

Motion 33 Are our staff wearing appropriate footwear?

Received from: College of Podiatry

Trade unions have a long history of improving health and safety in the workplace and of saving lives and keeping workers from harm.

The College of Podiatry believes that employers have to do more to ensure that workers have access to appropriate and sufficient footwear to protect them from harm.

Our members manage the consequences of inappropriate footwear in the workplace every day.

Whether you work on a building site, an aircraft, as a dancer or in a sporting arena, access to appropriate footwear is vital for overall health and wellbeing.

As well as the obvious hazards at work which could lead to injury, such as slippery floors, or machinery which can crush or burn, other issues such as cold or wet or hot working environments can bring additional problems such as chilblains or fungal infections.

Employers must be held accountable and must ensure that workers have access to footwear, that is approved, appropriate to their job and agreed with trade union representatives.

Congress calls on the TUC to work with the College of Podiatry and other stakeholders to ensure that information on safe and appropriate footwear is available to all workers.

The College of Podiatry

Composite 02 Climate crisis and a just transition

Received from: ASLEF, AUE, National Education Union, Prospect, UCU, Unite

Motion 5, and 7 and amendments

Congress notes the recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change that the UK move to a net zero target for emissions by 2050 and the UK parliament’s declaration of an environmental and climate emergency following a motion tabled by Jeremy Corbyn. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. The autumn IPCC report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Net zero cannot be achieved without urgent investment in new, low-carbon energy generation Congress believes climate change is a trade union issue. The future of our planet is at risk if we don’t organise now to force governments to cut emissions in line with the IPCC report.

Congress welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s acknowledgement that it cannot be
workers and communities that pay the price for changes to the energy system
and commitment that the next Labour government “will guarantee that all energy workers are offered retraining, a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition”. The challenges of just transition will have greatest impact in regions and localities without equivalent employment opportunities.

Congress commends trade unions for the work they have done in promoting and developing an understanding of what a ‘just transition’ means, including the views of workers in the industries affected.

A just transition means:
i. a balanced low-carbon energy mix
ii. investment in skills and infrastructure
iii. education and training must be reviewed to ensure young people and workers are equipped to live and work in a just transition towards a sustainable future iv. protecting and creating high-quality jobs and employment
v. no community left behind
vi. unions must be at the heart of a reinvigorated industrial strategy.

Congress welcomes the principles developed in the TUC’s statement on a just
transition published in July 2019, namely:
a. A clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy, taxing the very wealthy and closing tax loopholes in line with Labour Party manifesto commitments.
b. Workers must be at the heart of delivering these plans.
c. Every worker should have access to funding to improve their skills.
d. New jobs must be good jobs.

Congress calls on the General Council to put these at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis and moving to a greener, fairer economy.

We must keep the pressure up. Greta Thunberg and the school students have led the way but educators and the trade union movement as a whole must now act to ensure that they don’t fight alone.

Congress resolves:
1. that the TUC calls for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school strike on 20 September.
2. to campaign for national and regional Just Transition Commissions including
full union and education representation to develop, monitor and implement
the process.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: University and College Union
Supporters: National Education Union, Prospect, ASLEF, Artists’ Union England

Motion 06 Securing UK green jobs

Received from: GMB

Combatting climate breakdown is not just a moral issue, but an economic one for communities and workers across the UK. It should be a top priority for governments.

Decarbonisation could produce thousands of well-paid, skilled jobs in renewables and in the supply chain, but this requires political will.

Congress will campaign for:

i. Fair funding: the cost of decarbonisation must be borne by the wealthiest not the poorest, through progressive taxation including corporation taxes. Costs are currently added to household bills, hitting those least able to pay.

ii. Public money: no company registered in a tax haven should be awarded public subsidies, and a register of all companies in receipt of public money, and how much they receive, should be published.

iii. Local labour in construction: any body awarding energy construction contracts in the UK to be legally required to include local labour clauses in those contracts.

iv. Skills for the future: investment in skills to meet our needs now and in the future.

v. Fair pay and rights at work: companies in receipt of subsidies, their contractors and sub-contractors, to be covered by a new national recognition and collective bargaining agreement.

vi. Performance: companies in receipt of public subsidy must report all information on the output and performance of all renewable energy facilities to ensure delivery of secure, reliable energy in a cost-effective manner.

Congress commits to working within the Labour Party, across the wider movement and lobbying government to make the policies in this motion a reality.

GMB

Motion 08 Public ownership of energy

Received from: BFAWU

Congress applauds the rising number of climate emergency declarations, and the inspiring actions of school students and young activists.

Congress acknowledges the efforts of energy unions and the TUC to make commitments on just transition a reality for workers in energy-intensive industries, and to ensure union protections for workers in the green economy.

Congress welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to bring energy transmission and distribution networks back into public ownership, and to set up a National Energy Agency (NEA).

Congress notes the failure of for-profit approaches to energy transition and decarbonisation. The UK and the EU are both failing to meet their respective targets.

Congress notes that the renewables sector has benefited from public subsidies that guarantee returns for non-UK private companies. The large numbers of renewable energy jobs promised by politicians have not materialised, as the apparent betrayal of the BiFab workers in Fife tragically illustrates.

Rapid decarbonisation will require a dramatic scale-up of renewables. Guaranteeing private profit through power purchase agreements must be replaced by direct public ownership and control over deployment, integration and operation of renewables.

Congress notes that workers in the retail and customer service operations of the “Big Six” should be incorporated into a new public system under the proposed NEA.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i.        commit to a full reclaiming of the power sector to public ownership, encompassing existing and future generation capacity, transmission and distribution networks, as well as retail and customer service operations.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

Amendment

·           Insert new penultimate paragraph:
“Congress reaffirms the TUC’s 2012 Congress policy on the public ownership of the big banks, which could play a central role in building a sustainable economy, investing in a publicly owned energy sector and creating decent, unionised jobs in the interests of working people.”

Fire Brigades Union

Motion 37 Smashing the gender pay gap: a vague sense of shame is not enough

Received from: Unison

Fifty years since the Dagenham Ford machinists went on strike for equal pay, the UK has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe.

Congress notes that the gap widened in 2018/19, albeit marginally, and pay equality is still a long way out of reach.

Congress acknowledges the intersectionality impact on the gender pay gap, with Black African, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women experiencing significantly higher gaps than white women.

Congress believes that publishing gaps will not be enough on its own to bring about real change. A vague sense of shame is not enough. Tougher action is needed and there should be a commitment to enforcement and compliance. Mandatory publication and enforcement of action plans would mean employers would have to try much harder to close any pay gaps.

Congress also believes that improving data requirements is needed e.g. breaking down pay gaps for separate pay systems and publishing gaps for discrete job roles. The current, 250-employee reporting threshold should be lowered to 50 to enable better comparisons across the board.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. lobby and campaign for mandatory publication of action plans, improved data requirements and a reduced employee-reporting threshold
ii. lobby the Westminster and devolved governments to implement measures that support women better in the workplace, including action on bias in recruitment processes/procedures, improvements in carer’s leave and addressing the part time pay/promotion penalty
iii. support unions collectively bargaining for gender pay equality.

UNISON

AMENDMENT

  • Insert new sub-paragraph iii. and re-number iii. as iv.:
    “iii. campaign for pay gap reporting within employers for disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”
  • At end of existing sub-paragraph iii., add “including guidance to make the case for improved workforce monitoring to tackle pay inequality across other protected characteristics by employers.”

FDA

Composite 11 Mental health and wellbeing

Received from: CSP, CWU, Equity, PFA, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Motion 39 and amendments, and 40

Congress calls on the General Council to support the provision of services for
trade union members with depression and mental health and wellbeing issues.
We are passionate about helping our members in good times and bad and hope that the message that support extends beyond the workplace resonates strongly throughout the trade union movement.

Congress believes that too little attention is paid to the particular pressures faced by low-paid workers and the impact those pressures can have on mental health.

Congress is concerned at the lack of respect shown to workers and notes
that dealing with rude or abusive members of the public creates a toxic
working environment.

Congress further notes that staffing levels, unreasonable targets, short and
unpredictable working hours, inadequate family-friendly rights together with a lack of management support can make work extremely stressful.

Whilst anyone can develop a mental health problem, insecure hours and low pay are risk factors with 63 per cent of low paid workers surveyed by Usdaw reporting that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health.

The relationship between mental health and poverty is complex; nevertheless there is an established link, with the poorest fifth of the population twice as likely to be at risk of mental health problems.

Low pay – alongside insecure and short-term contracts – is also a feature of work in the entertainment industry, which also presents challenges to mental wellbeing; a survey of the mental and physical health of workers in the industry identified financial pressures as the biggest contributor to mental health problems.

There are also numerous difficulties and obstacles that an elite athlete has to face on a daily basis. Competition, injuries and loss of form are some of these but there is also the insecurity that short-term contracts bring and the worrying realisation that a career can come to an end with a bad injury or mistimed tackle.

Players are acutely aware that within a relatively short space of time they will need to transition into another career, which is always a daunting prospect. Given all these pressures it is important that the union is there to assist and support and can meet the needs of their members at critical times in their lives both during their playing career and beyond.

For many years the PFA has recognised the pressures and stress that life as a
professional sportsman or woman can bring. Consequently, have put in place
vital support for members in dealing with the challenges that are inherent in our profession, put substantial financial resources into education and training but also a nationwide network of qualified counsellors to be on hand when required.

Congress agrees that the TUC will:
i. campaign for employers to be under a legal duty to assess the impact their
policies, practices and procedures (including pay and conditions) have on
workers’ mental health and act upon the findings
ii. make the case for employers in public-facing sectors to protect workers and act to ensure workers are treated with respect
iii. support affiliates to tackle disability discrimination by holding employers to
account for their failure to make reasonable adjustments, compelling them to
address the causes of mental distress in their own policies and practices
iv. organise a one-day conference, and set up a cross-union working group, on
mental health as instructed by Congress in proposition 63 in 2018
v. campaign for workplace and work-related suicide to be categories recognised in legislation and recorded in government statistics
vi. continue to campaign for the government to address the funding crisis in
mental health services, to achieve real parity of esteem between mental and
physical health and ensure all workers suffering from mental health receive the expert support they need.

Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Seconder: Professional Footballers’ Association
Supporters: Communication Workers Union, Chartered Society
of Physiotherapy, Equity

Motion 41 Tackling racist ideologies

Received from: EIS

Congress deplores the rise of right-wing populism within many countries, including the UK, such populism usually including an overt anti-immigrant message based on an underlying racist ideology. The effects of the rise in right-wing populism and nationalism have been an increase in hate crime and anti-immigrant violence.

Another more pervasive effect is that dog-whistle racism and coded racist arguments have entered the main political discourse of the UK.

Congress acknowledges the positive work that the TUC and affiliates have done to tackle racist ideologies but recognises the urgency of intensifying such work in the fractured world in which we live.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

i. seek to increase TUC anti-racist union learning for members
ii. call for anti-racist professional learning to be offered to public sector employees, including teachers
iii. lobby and campaign, with affiliates and stakeholders, for increased funding from the UK government and devolved administrations in order to facilitate an expansion of anti-racist education delivered by specialists or specialist organisations to schools, colleges, and communities
iv. continue to mobilise and support public campaigning against racism and racist ideology.

Educational Institute of Scotland

Amendment

  • Add new sub-paragraph v.:
    “v. commits to investigating methods, including approaches to stewarding and other types of security, to ensure trade union members are not put at risk from far-right and/or racist groups or individuals when marching, protesting, picketing or engaging in any other democratic activities.”

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Motion 42 Period poverty

Received from: TUC Women's Conference

The trade union movement is beginning to address period poverty and it is encouraging to see a number of affiliates running campaigns highlighting the very real issues many will face if they live in a household impacted by poverty and are prevented from being able to access sanitary wear due to a lack of financial resources. This motion calls on the TUC Women’s Committee, and the TUC General Council, to make this issue one of its campaigning priorities until such time as access to sanitary provision becomes free for everyone at point of need.

Congress acknowledges during a woman’s lifetime she will spend £18k on her periods, however for some women the impact of poverty, pay and welfare cuts can mean choosing between food or sanitary wear. Period poverty is real and predominately affects schoolchildren, homeless women, refugees and asylum seekers.

A Plan International study shows 10 per cent of young women have been unable to afford period products, 12 per cent have had to improvise with toilet paper or socks and over 137,700 have missed school because of period poverty.

It is simply not acceptable that girls are having to miss school because of not being able to afford basic sanitary products when they have their period. Nor is it acceptable for workers to have to suffer the indignity caused by having to use unsuitable and inappropriate non-sanitary wear products to cope with menstruation when they are doing their job. The CWU has been running its own very successful workplace-based campaign on period poverty and we believe the time is right for a more co-ordinated labour movement campaign and action plan to be led by the TUC.

Congress commends the Scottish government for introducing schemes to offer access to free period products to low-income families and in educational institutions. It also commends the Welsh government for ring-fencing £1m for free sanitary products for those most in need. Sadly, there has been no indication for any such moves in the rest of the UK.

Congress calls on the TUC General Council to:

i. lobby the government to provide free sanitary wear to low-income families, schools, colleges, universities and homeless shelters
ii. encourage affiliates to raise the issue of period poverty with members asking them to lobby their MPs for policy change
iii. champion the work of charities such as the Red Box Project and Bloody Good Period.

TUC Women’s Conference

Motion 43 End discrimination in state reciprocal pension arrangements

Received from: TUC Black Workers Conference

Congress is concerned that Black workers face discrimination in the labour market, due to disadvantage in getting decent and well-paid jobs, destitution in retirement caused by low pay, an ethnic and racial pay gap and lack of access to good occupational pensions.

Annual increases in state pension should not be based on the country where a British person resides when they retire but on the fact that they have paid national insurance contributions to the British state.

The reciprocal pension arrangements impact disproportionately against people who are Black, retiring and from predominantly Commonwealth countries.

Citizens of 30 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, like Gibraltar and Switzerland, will keep their entitlement and receive a state pension increase every year. If you live in any of the 47 Commonwealth countries (except Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica and Mauritius) your pension is frozen at the rate and date of your retirement if you live outside of the EU or EEA countries.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. work with TU affiliates to raise awareness of this issue
ii. lobby the government to end this discriminatory application of the state pensions increases between people choosing to retire in EU, EEA and Commonwealth countries.

TUC Black Workers Conference

Motion 67 Manifesto for Justice

Received from: FDA

Since 2010, the Ministry of Justice has suffered harsher budget cuts than any other government department, being slashed by over a third. CPS prosecutor numbers are down by almost a third since this date, whilst their pay has been cut by 20 per cent in real terms. Legal aid rates have been cut by 42 per cent. As a result, there is a recruitment and retention crisis in both defence and prosecution.

All of this combined with the recent explosion in digital evidence has created a
perfect storm of ever-increasing workloads, increasing complexity of casework and insufficient resources both for defence and prosecution.
Congress supports the FDA’s Manifesto for Justice – endorsed by both the Bar
Council and Law Society – and calls on the government to urgently meet its four key demands:
i. a properly resourced CPS – to protect the public with a robust and effective
prosecution service
ii. no more cuts to legal aid – to ensure that justice is available to all
iii. investment in digital disclosure – to maintain public confidence in justice
iv. competitive pay and fees – to recruit and retain lawyers for a sustainable
criminal justice system.

FDA

Composite 15 Public inquiry into TR; stop government recidivism on rehabilitation

Received from: NAPO, Unison

Motions 68 and 69
Congress notes the significant victory by the probation service trade unions in their campaign to return Probation work to full public control and ownership.

Congress notes the significant U-turn announced by the government to begin to restore the probation system after its wrecking by Chris Grayling in 2014; marked a watershed in the campaign and will result in 80 per cent of the work currently under the remit of the private sector being transferred to the National Probation Service from the 20 community rehabilitation companies by the end of their contracts, and in Wales by December 2019.

Hidden behind the headline is the news that the government will attempt yet
another part-privatisation of probation services, this time selling off the delivery of unpaid work and rehabilitative interventions to the lowest bidder. The government cannot be allowed to repeat the same mistakes again.

Probation professionals believe that there is a place for a genuine mix of providers of specialist services in probation but no one should ever profit from the delivery of justice.

In order to repair probation and deliver quality rehabilitation and risk management it is vital that professionals working in the system are involved in designing its future shape.

The General Council are instructed to assist in furthering the unions’
combined objectives:
i. maintaining the campaign of opposition to the proposed ‘mixed market’
and the further involvement of private sector suppliers, some of whose failed
operational models have a direct link to serious further offences
ii. the full harmonisation of pay, terms and conditions to match those in the National Probation Service for all probation workers currently employed in the CRC estate
iii. restoration of probation into a government-owned concern where the service can again be managed by people who know what they are doing
iv. seeking a public inquiry into the Transforming Rehabilitation project where
those responsible for its design and disastrous outcomes can be accountable to the taxpaying public.

Congress calls on the TUC to support union campaigns for a probation system:
a. staffed by professionals properly recognised and valued for their skill and
experience with training and development embedded and properly resourced
b. that works with all local partners and stakeholders, and is rooted in and
accountable to the local community
c. that involves high-quality, specialist, third-sector providers
d. where quality and evidence-based practice guide decisions and when things
go wrong lessons are learned by the whole system
e. where practitioner workloads are managed to allow them to work effectively and reflectively with clients
f. that restores the confidence of sentencers and the public in rehabilitation and risk management.

Mover: Napo
Seconder: UNISON

Motion 72 ILO campaigning

Received from: NUJ

Congress notes that 2019 marks the centenary of the foundation of the
International Labour Organization (ILO) and believes its founding principle that
universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

In celebrating the centenary of an organisation born from a desire for global peace in the aftermath of World War One, we note with alarm the growing threat to social justice from the rise of extreme right parties and those who seek to undermine human rights, including the rights of all workers.

Congress welcomes the adoption of landmark instruments on violence and
harassment and a declaration on the future of work at the 2019 session of the ILO.

Congress notes that currently the ILO can only make determinations in respect of governments. This severely limits the ability of the ILO to promote social justice, especially social protection, wages, secure work and gender equality.

Congress calls on the General Council to work with the ITUC and affiliates to:
i. campaign for reforms to allow the ILO to make determination in respect of
employers, not just governments
ii. fully utilise the ILO in the fight for gender equality and ending workplace
discrimination
iii. campaign for inclusion of health and safety standards in the list of labour rights
iv. campaign for ILO action on its Global Dialogue Forum 2014, with particular
reference to the abuse of unpaid workers and interns in the media industry.

National Union of Journalists

Motion 73 Justice for Colombia

Received from: POA

Congress is deeply alarmed at recent findings by the International Trade Union
Confederation on violence against trade unionists in Colombia. The ITUC says
Colombia accounted for almost two-thirds of worldwide trade unionist murders in 2018, with 34 out of 53 documented cases committed there.

These shocking figures are more than double Colombia’s tally of 15 murders the previous year, which even then made it the world’s most dangerous country for trade unionists. More than 3,000 trade unionists have been killed in Colombia in the last 30 years.

Colombia is among the worst countries for general labour conditions, which
is directly connected to violence against labour organising. Congress believes
ending this violence will not only save lives but improve conditions for millions of working people.

Despite the violence, the world’s richest countries have invited Colombia to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development even though its record violates established standards on labour conditions.

Congress notes that the UN says implementing the 2016 peace agreement is
critical to tackling violence in Colombia. More than 700 social activists, trade
unionists and FARC former guerrillas have been murdered since the agreement was signed.

Congress asks the General Council to:
i. lobby the British government to pressure the Colombian government for full
implementation of the peace agreement
ii. support Colombia’s exclusion from the OECD until it drastically cuts violence
against trade unionists and social activists
iii. support the work of Justice for Colombia politically and financially and
encourage all unions to affiliate.

POA

Motion 74 Cuba and the US blockade

Received from: POA

Congress expresses its alarm at the Trump administration’s recent actions to tighten the blockade against Cuba.

The decision to implement Title III of the Helms-Burton Act expressly aims to deter vital foreign investment. It could see British companies being sued in the US courts for “trafficking” property nationalised after 1959. New measures to reduce CubanAmericans’ ability to visit family or send money home takes US aggression and cruelty against Cuba to unprecedented levels. Congress considers this an act of economic warfare intended to cause tangible suffering to the Cuban people with the objective of creating unrest and instability.

Congress recognises that despite these actions, and despite suffering 57 years of illegal blockade, Cuba has made world-renowned achievements in education, health, social welfare, women’s representation and international humanitarianism: including 400,000 medical volunteers in 165 countries since 1960; training 31,000 doctors from 65 countries since 1998; and the second highest number of women MPs in the world (53.2 per cent).

Congress acknowledges the Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s (CSC) work alongside
UK unions against the blockade including the successful campaign to overturn the Open University’s ban on Cuban students in 2016.

Congress congratulates the Cuban people on the 60th anniversary of the
Revolution and the 80th anniversary of the CTC and agrees to support and
publicise the Unions for Cuba Conference in November 2019.

Congress welcomes recent high level exchanges between Cuba and UK and
calls on the General Council to lobby the UK government to oppose all US
extraterritorial threats against British companies.

POA

Motion 76 Role and remit of TUC Young Workers Forum

Received from: TUC Young Workers' Conference


As young worker issues become more prevalent, the TUC Young Workers
Conference notes that Congress has adopted 2019 as the Year of Young Workers and believes that a strong and effective TUC Young Workers Forum is necessary to challenge injustice and demonstrate to the next generation of trade unionists the power and influence of the TUC and its affiliates.

Congress commends the changes made to the Young Workers Conference’s own constitution to annually and directly elect the Forum.

Congress calls on the newly elected Forum to conduct a comprehensive review of its own remit to ensure that it can meet the present and future challenges facing young workers as effectively as possible. That review should:
i. actively explore how the Forum’s programme of work can more actively support young worker projects undertaken by individual affiliates, beyond the single priority motion adopted by the Conference itself
ii. consult with affiliates to identify best practice for young member structures and remits and identify appropriate amendments to its own structure and remit
iii. bring a report with associated recommendations to the 2020 Young
Workers Conference.

TUC Young Workers Conference

Motion 63 Small and rural schools

Received from: NAHT

Congress notes the enormous pressure on schools due to the current funding
crisis and, in particular, the constant threat this places on the survival of small and rural schools.

Congress further notes the vital role that small and rural schools play in the life of their community especially where the provision of local services has been under constant attack due to austerity.

Congress calls on the General Council to press government to:
i. recognise the invaluable contribution of small and rural schools to their
community
ii. ensure every small and rural school is sufficiently funded and supported to
enable it to continue to play its essential role in the community it serves.

National Association of Head Teachers

Motion 44 Homophobic and transphobic hate crime

Received from: TUC LGBT+ Conference

The assault on two LGBT+ women in London brought public attention to the rising hostility towards LGBT+ community. Mainstream political parties are spouting hate speech with alarming frequency. Ann Widdecombe suggested science could provide ‘an answer’ to being gay. This view reinforces the prejudice that same sex attraction is an illness to be cured and that LGB people are somehow confused about their sexuality – prejudices that fuel hatred and violence against LGB people. Homophobic and transphobic views have direct consequences for LGBT people and communities as ‘hate speech’ is often the first step in the process towards actual violence.

Congress notes the ongoing threat to the safety of LGBT+ people in public spaces. We regret recent violent incidents against LGBT+ people on public transport, including the attack on Chris and Melania on a bus in Camden, and on LGBT+ people walking in the street in both Southampton and in Liverpool. We are aware that homophobic and transphobic attacks can swiftly escalate with fatal consequences.

Congress notes the unacceptable levels of hate speech used by both public figures and general society during the May 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom, with the LGBT+ community often finding themselves the target of hate speech. Homophobic and transphobic views expressed by public figures on public platforms embolden those who share their views to express them verbally and physically.

The imposition of austerity measures a decade ago created a myth of scarcity increasing socio-economic disparity. This scarcity myth and the division it engenders between communities has fomented a rise in hate crimes.

LGBT+ education is under threat akin to Section 28, affecting the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ educators and a generation of LGBT+ young people.

Britain is becoming an increasingly hostile environment for LGBT+ people, especially for those at the intersections of marginalised communities. We need a movement against this growing culture of exclusion and division. Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, including stalking, harassment and violent assault, have more than doubled in England and Wales in five years and as most hate crimes go unreported these statistics hugely underestimate the true scale of violence.

Combating ‘hate speech’ or the negative stereotyping of minorities and vulnerable groups requires sustained and wide-ranging efforts, including strong equality and non-discrimination legislation and enforcement. In addition to legislation and enforcement, there is a requirement for LGBT+ activists and trade unionists to be equipped to call out and combat rising levels of hate speech.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to:

i. lead an inclusive campaign engaging people around universal human rights,
increasing awareness of intersections between LGBT+ rights and the Black,
disabled workers’ and women’s movement, organising collective resistance to
the interconnected threats we all face
ii. ensure the voices of LGBT+ people are at the heart of its work to challenge hate speech and crime
iii. create campaigning resources enabling workers around the country to rapidly organise local protests in response to hate crime incidents
iv. explore ways to highlight the fact that LGBT workers still face significant
discrimination and violence
v. prioritise campaigning against the growing phenomena of homophobic
and transphobic hate crime in the coming year, and to develop initiatives to
promote awareness of how this seriously affects LGBT trade union members
both at work and in society
vi. campaign for a review of existing LGBT+ hate speech legislation and how this is applied.

Congress further instructs the TUC General Council to initiate a training programme, including a TUC LGBT+ leadership school that will develop future leaders, where LGBT+ trade union activists will have the opportunity for education and skills training and TUC LGBT+ activist education so they can promote positive initiatives on issues such as tackling hate crime within their own unions and in the wider movement and equip LGBT+ trade unionists to lead in combating hate speech.

TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ Conference

 

E1 HS2: access to workers

Received from: ASLEF, Unite

Emergency motion

Congress notes HS2 will dramatically cut journey times from London to the Midlands and the North promoting investment and creating jobs.

Congress further notes that HS2’s success relies on the thousands of construction workers employed to build it.

Congress notes the TUC and HS2 signed the Initial Framework Agreement in 2016 that should underpin standards, including on union organisation throughout the life of the project.

Congress is dismayed by the letter sent by CSJV to Unite on 30 August 2019 reiterating its refusal to allow union officials to undertake the standard practice of meeting workers during their breaks in the site’s canteens, a flagrant breach of the IFA.

The history of major infrastructure projects is that in the absence of good industrial relations projects are forever blighted by unsafe working practices, industrial disputes, low productivity, bullying, blacklisting and workforce exploitation.

Congress is aware Costain and Skanska are proven blacklisters and on the HS2 project Unite has exposed abuses including the underpayment of overtime and annual leave.

Congress commits to ensure that HS2 is built on good practice, including the industry’s norms on access to workers. To achieve this HS2 must uphold its own rules and protect workers on the project.

Congress calls upon the General Council and all affiliates to provide support for union access, initially to construction workers during break times in canteens, throughout the publicly funded project.

Congress calls upon HS2 to immediately enforce the IFA and ensure future suppliers comply with the standards agreed in 2016.

Mover: Unite 
Seconder: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen 

E2 Royal Mail dispute 

Received from: CWU, Unite

Emergency motion

Congress notes the CWU announced a ballot timetable for strike action in Royal Mail on 22/8/2019 and is holding meetings around the country in the second major national dispute in two years.

In 2017, CWU members delivered an 89% yes vote on a 74% turnout, smashing the legal threshold – we believe this will happen again.

Royal Mail has replaced its senior management team and it is clear that it plans to de-recognise the union’s influence; break current agreements; reduce the vital 6-day USO and good jobs, terms and conditions; and break up this excellent public service the People’s Post.

It has unilaterally announced moves heralding the break-up of the company, starting with Parcelforce, and a new strategy for parcels that will render the core 6-day service unsustainable and leave 20,000 jobs at risk, as well as introducing operational change without agreement, which will leave thousands of jobs under threat.

It has done nothing to tackle a bullying culture that is endemic in Royal Mail, is introducing technology in a way that leaves staff being tagged like criminals and wants to move away from the legal protections agreed with the CWU in 2012 that have prevented it joining the race to the bottom with destructive asset-stripping and insecure employment models.

This dispute is the direct result of liberalisation and privatisation and Congress expresses its full solidarity with CWU members in defence of their jobs, agreements and the very future of a vital public service.

#WeRiseAgain

Mover: Communication Workers Union 
Seconder: Unite

E3 Respect ASDA workers 

Received from: CWU, GMB

Emergency motion

Congress notes that:

Throughout the summer, ASDA’s workforce has suffered extreme stress: forced to sign a new contract, which had previously been voluntary, or face dismissal.

ASDA has insisted employees sign “Contract 6”, which has inferior terms and conditions, by 2 November 2019 or lose their jobs.

Previously, ASDA employees changed working arrangements to assist the business.

ASDA is cutting paid breaks, holiday entitlement, bank holiday premiums, night-shift premiums, increasing work on bank holidays and introducing greater flexibility to only benefit the employer.

Thousands of low-paid, part-time women workers, many with caring and childcare responsibilities, will be hardest hit by ASDA’s ‘flexibility’ demands.

GMB’s huge August 14 rally and march past Asda’s Leeds HQ and demonstrations in Liverpool, London, Hull, Crewe, Dundee, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cwbran, South Shields, Stockport, Portsmouth, Livingston, Newcastle-under-Lyme and elsewhere.

Protests will continue week after week until ASDA offers the workforce a better deal.

In September 2019, GMB exposed ASDA’s decision to remove contractual sick pay during their notice period from employees who have not signed Contract 6.

Congress condemns Asda’s draconian approach and agrees this is no way for a 21st century employer to treat loyal workers who have given long service.

Congress calls on all trade unionists to support ASDA workers in the store where they shop and join the store demos.

Mover: GMB 

Seconder: Communication Workers Union

Motion 77 Trades councils’ participation in Congress

Received from: TUC Trades Union Councils Conference


Congress accepts that trades councils are the voice of the TUC at local level and have a combined affiliated membership of hundreds of thousands. Yet trades councils are seriously underrepresented within Congress. Currently, they are entitled to a single delegate to Congress and can submit only one motion. Trades councils’ total affiliated membership, in a single trade union, would mean a far larger Congress delegation.

Congress therefore agrees a rule change, so that at Congress 2020 trades councils shall be entitled to:
i. a Congress delegation of nine
ii. a single seat on the TUC General Council
iii. entitlement for the trades councils’ Congress delegation to speak and vote
on any motion, amendment or other Congress business, in addition to its own
single motion.

TUC Trades Councils Conference