Motion 01 Covid-19 and the fire and rescue service

Received from: FBU

Congress applauds the role all keyworkers have played during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Congress notes that the fire and rescue service response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been managed uniquely through the UK-wide tripartite agreement between the FBU, fire service national employers and chief fire officers (NFCC).

The tripartite agreement, first signed on 23 March and expanded subsequently, enabled firefighters to assist local resilience forums, ambulance trusts, hospitals and other organisations with vital work.

Congress notes by June:

i. More than four-fifths of fire and rescue services had delivered packages of food, medicines and other essentials to vulnerable persons.

ii. Three-quarters had provided personnel for ambulance driving.

iii. More than 70 per cent had delivered PPE – mostly for the NHS and ambulance service.

iv. Almost two-thirds had assisted with the movements of dead people to mortuaries.

v. Some 44 per cent had assisted with face-fitting of PPE.

Congress notes that the agreement provided for risk assessments and the role of safety reps in ensuring the risks of all work undertaken was minimised. This was reflected in lower rates of absence and infection of firefighters.

Congress believes that these activities were made possible and delivered so swiftly as a result of the longstanding collective bargaining arrangements across the UK fire and rescue service. It underlines the vital role played by trade unions during this pandemic.

Fire Brigades Union

Composite 01 Covid-19

Received from: FDA, TSSA

Motion 2 and amendment, and 3

Congress believes that the government’s public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic was calamitous. That the UK government performed badly is
unquestionable. With a death toll significantly worse than the predicted good outcome, they also delivered one of the worst excess deaths rates in the world. People died and families suffered unnecessarily because of government failings including the:

i. delayed lockdown

ii. disorganised procurement of protective equipment for frontline workers

iii. scandalous failure to prevent the tragedy that spread across care homes

iv. painfully slow efforts to build up testing capacity.

These failures cannot be hidden behind the self-congratulation over the Florence Nightingale hospital build.

Congress commends the actions of health and social care managers during the coronavirus pandemic. Congress notes that they kept services going, helped reduce infection rates, and saved lives. Managers in Partnership found that more than 20 per cent of their membership worked more than 20 hours of unpaid overtime a week for many months during the height of the crisis, earlier this year, and many now face consequences as a result of their service, an impact on their physical and psychological  health from contracting coronavirus in their workplace, and an increase in stress-related
conditions from working long hours to ensure services did not collapse.

Congress notes that despite these efforts, which should be both commended and recognised, health and social care managers have been forced to operate in a hostile political environment where they are often seen as convenient scapegoats for decisions made at the ministerial level.

Over 10 years of Conservative-driven austerity left our NHS, care services and wider public services stretched beyond the capacity needed to effectively face such a pandemic. The heroic efforts of our frontline workers are therefore all the greater given the circumstances they faced.

Populism appears to have driven policy ahead of public health needs and scientific advice, with government statements flip-flopping almost daily. The extent to which ministers struggled to deal with the logistics of managing such a pandemic had more to do with their decision to boycott breakfast TV than any claims of aggressive questioning.

Congress therefore calls for an immediate public enquiry into the handling of the pandemic in the hope that any decisions needed to deal with a second spike can be based on lessons learned rather than the populist leanings of our egotistical prime minister and his cohorts.

Congress is dismayed the government has committed to only an “independent” inquiry with no timescale, rather than a full public inquiry.

Congress believes that a full public inquiry must take place and report this year before winter, when there are fears there could be a second peak of the virus.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to:
a. campaign for a public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic that is focused on learning and identifying areas for improvement

b. campaign for a fair and reasonable social care settlement— the focus of the
government should not be on a major NHS reorganisation when the social care system is on the brink of collapse after suffering decades of neglect

c. lobby the government to create an accurate picture of what happened during the first wave of the pandemic, especially the impact on BME communities, from significant scientific and social research

d. campaign for agreements to be put in place to pay overtime (where
this is not currently contractual) to health and care managers during the
coronavirus pandemic.

Mover: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
Seconder: FDA
Supporters: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers;
Royal College of Midwives

Composite 02 The economy

Received from: GMB, Unite

Motions 4, 5, 6 and amendments, and 7

Congress believes we face a challenge unprecedented in scale: the ongoing public health crisis, severe economic contraction after a decade of depression, a climate emergency and Brexit uncertainties.

The economy we rebuild cannot represent continuity with the past. Only 12 per cent of people want life to return to how it was. The coronavirus outbreak has exposed fundamental inequalities in society. A ‘people’s bailout’ must be followed by a more equitable recovery than the last.

Congress applauds the magnificent efforts of all workers delivering public services during the coronavirus crisis. It was workers who saw society through the initial wave. Congress notes that despite warm words of praise from the government, their efforts have not met with tangible reward; following years of underinvestment, they are struggling to deliver vital services.

Some of the workers society has depended on the most are those that the economy values the least. More than 200 care workers’ deaths had been linked to coronavirus to 25 May, the highest of any occupation. The median hourly rate for care workers in England was just £8.41 in March 2019, poverty statutory sick pay rates are the norm, and more than a third of care workers were employed on zero-hours contracts.

At the same time, industries that provide high-skilled and well-paid jobs are struggling to survive. To avoid a cliff edge of job losses our manufacturing industries demand a strategy that is more than short-term support. In the automotive sector one in six jobs are already at risk; the aviation crisis threatens our aerospace and metals sectors.

Congress believes further education is central to social and economic recovery through vocational and apprenticeship education meeting the skills needed for industry and public services. Congress notes the forthcoming education white paper and calls affiliates to back publicly owned, publicly accountable, fully funded further education colleges with national collective bargaining.

Workers have borne the brunt of the coronavirus crisis. Congress believes that workers should not have to pay the costs of recovery through further austerity in public services, job cuts and pay freezes.

Congress calls on the TUC to build alliances with industry and campaigning organisations to pressure government and lobby the Labour Party to implement an investment and industrial strategy integrated with long-term wider economic and social policy to meet the scale of this challenge.

This must include:

i. a National Council for Recovery and regional development councils with trade unions central, ensuring workers’ interests are at the forefront and that resources reach every region

ii. a green new deal that creates a new generation of jobs in the industries and infrastructure we need to tackle the climate crisis, transforming our economy to meet international climate obligations with investment in our manufacturing capability and sustainable infrastructure, including electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, construction materials and retrofitting all homes, carbon capture and storage, synthetic aviation fuels and the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. We must build the infrastructure we need for a fully integrated and green public transport system to encourage people to return to public transport when it is safe to do so. We will not meet our climate obligations without more people and goods using our railways, waterways and buses

iii. using the multi-billion public procurement budget to Build Local, Buy UK, to rebuild and re-shore supply chains and jobs

iv. ensuring bailouts reach further than the boardroom, using public ownership and government equity stakes with social obligations where public funds are used, including protecting jobs and pay and ambitious equalities and ‘just transition’ commitments

v. a target of full employment with quality job and pay guarantees for workers and new sector-wide skills councils

vi. economic justice for those most affected by coronavirus

vii. full funding for a significant expansion of public services to meet the needs of the nation and a corresponding expansion in the number of jobs in order to deliver those services, with immediate improvements to pay and progression and sectoral bargaining with the trade unions on the recovery plan to cover all workers in the public sector or delivering services to it

viii. an end to two-tier workforces bringing outsourced public service functions back into public ownership.

ix. urgent reforms to statutory sick pay so that ill workers are not left out of pocket. The recent pandemic has exposed without doubt that SSP is not fit for purpose and is insufficient for people to survive on. This change must involve an increase in SSP to enable workers to receive a living wage whilst they are off sick

x. trade deals that protect UK industries against artificial dumping and protect public services

xi. a shorter working week with no loss of pay to realise the benefits of new technology and to facilitate new green job creation in order to mitigate against mass unemployment

xii. keeping public-sector jobs based in local communities

xiii. ensuring that the needs of workers with protected characteristics are met and that structural discrimination revealed by the pandemic is addressed

xiv. keyworker status for all public sector workers and for outsourced workers providing services to the public sector to enable them to access more affordable housing.

Congress believes unions played a vital role in protecting workers employment and safety during the pandemic and that role will be equally important in the future. The case for powerful trade unions is stronger than ever and Congress reiterates its support for repeal of the anti-trade union laws.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: GMB
Supporters: Public and Commercial Services Union; University and College Union; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers; Fire Brigades Union; ASLEF; Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

Motion 08 Retail recovery plan

Received from: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

The TUC is deeply concerned by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK retail sector.

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium, lockdown is estimated to have cost ‘bricks and mortar’ non-food retailers £1.8bn per week in lost sales. This year we have already seen several well-known retailers falling into administration, closing stores and cutting jobs.

The TUC believes that the retail sector needs an urgent recovery plan and that workers in retail, distribution and clothing manufacturing need action to protect their livelihoods.

The TUC agrees to campaign for:

i. a recovery plan from government to address the challenges facing the retail sector urgently

ii. a fundamental reform of business rates

iii. an immediate and comprehensive review of rental values and lease arrangements, including further measures to prevent commercial landlords taking legal action for rental defaults during this crisis

iv. a reform of tax laws to ensure that companies pay their fair share of tax through tackling tax avoidance as well as creating a more level playing field between online and bricks and mortar retailers

v. funding for local authorities so they can invest in their local economy, transport networks and high streets

vi. investment in skills for retail workers, including through union learning and high quality apprenticeships

vii. a new deal for retail, distribution and home delivery workers based around a real living wage and guaranteed hours.

At this time of economic uncertainty, workers need stronger protections against redundancy and dismissal with rights from day one of employment.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Motion 58 Campaigning for a new deal for workers in the wake of coronavirus

Received from: CWU

Throughout the pandemic unions have shown they are essential to workers across the UK. This is the moment to harness our collective strength, grow our movement and confidently assert our industrial and political agendas to deliver a new deal for workers.

Congress recognises the work done on this by the TUC and the New Deal for Workers Working Group and believes this group should continue to drive this agenda forward.

Congress affirms the Organise 2020 pledge for greater co-operation to grow the movement and the commitments that:

i. The General Council will review and publish progress annually.

ii. The TUC will convene and co-ordinate activity on a sectoral level.

ii. Unions will work together to root out insecure employment, including through the use of common bargaining agendas across sectors.

Delivering on this agenda for greater co-operation between affiliates is crucial to the movement’s future.

Congress agrees that bringing about the biggest mobilisation of workers to fight for shared industrial and political demands in the wake of coronavirus pandemic is the key task in winning for working people. To achieve this the TUC will:

a. develop the demands in the New Deal Charter asserting a distinctive trade union agenda to build a new economy and a fairer world of work

b. work with affiliates to support mobilisation in demanding higher employment standards within sectors

c. develop a mobilisation and action strategy, to be agreed by the General Council by the end of 2020, in support of the New Deal campaign.

Communication Workers Union

Motion 59 Defend national collective bargaining in the fire and rescue service

Received from: FBU

Congress notes the long-standing collective bargaining arrangements within the UK fire and rescue service, embodied in the National Joint Council (NJC) and the Grey Book.

Congress notes the role of the NJC and the Grey Book in determining firefighters’ pay and conditions, as well as resolving a wide range of disputes.

Congress commends the NJC for its rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including its key role in the tripartite agreement between the FBU, fire employers and the chief fire officers’ body, the NFCC, to enable firefighters to assist the NHS.

Congress notes the evidence from the first round of fire inspection reports in England in 2018–19, which included numerous positive comments about the role of union reps in improving matters such as equalities, health and safety, grievance and discipline.

Congress condemns the political attack on the NJC and Grey Book made by the chief fire inspector in England, Tom Winsor, in January 2020. In particular his call for a pay review body to replace these existing arrangements. Congress believes there is no basis for the chief inspector’s attack on collective bargaining and his attacks on the FBU.

Congress believes that any moves by the Westminster government to break up the NJC and the Grey Book would damage industrial relations and disrupt the UK fire and rescue service.

Congress supports the FBU’s campaign to maintain collective bargaining across the UK fire and rescue service.

Fire Brigades Union

Motion 60 Collective bargaining – essential to rebuild our economy post-Covid-19

Received from: PFA

Congress demands union recognition for all workplaces and to campaign for the introduction of collective bargaining across all sectors of the economy. The PFA has a long-established position in English football as the representative of all professional players in the Premier League and EFL. Through the solidarity of the players, the PFA has been able to play a key role in how football is run and has ensured that players’ employment rights and terms and conditions are amongst the best in the world. This has not always been the case with the union having to fight for recognition and challenge restrictive practices such as the maximum wage and the retain and transfer system.

Congress agrees that with the pandemic impacting heavily across all parts of the economy, it is more important than ever that workers have a strong voice and have access to strong and effective representation through collective union engagement. Even in the football industry where there is solid support from members and agreements in place with the Leagues, clubs are still attempting to impose measures rather than seek agreement in the first instance.

In sectors where workers lack strength and face hostility from employers, the situation is much worse. If we are to rebuild our economy and level up in the process, then it is vital that workers play a key role, with collective bargaining and union involvement an essential ingredient of this.

Professional Footballers’ Association

Motion 15 A ‘news recovery’

Received from: NUJ

Congress notes how the Covid-19 crisis laid bare the vital role public services play in everyday life. Congress further notes that trustworthy, relevant, impartial news critically underpins democratic society and its component communities, particularly during a health crisis – something recognised during the pandemic by the designation of journalists as key workers.

At a time when accurate reliable news is more important than ever, Congress believes it is alarming that the news industry is under unprecedented strain following the lockdown period, with widescale cuts and redundancies taking place aimed at grassroots journalistic roles.

Congress welcomes the publication of the NUJ’s News Recovery plan in April, aimed at tackling the existing faultlines in the sector with a series of measures intended to reconfigure the news industry and ensure it is firmly rooted in the public good.

In supporting this aim, Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i. tech giants to pay their way, after years of exploiting editorial content without paying for its creation, through a digital information levy

ii. government investment in public-interest news, through arms-length funding mechanisms, with no public funding to any company making redundancies, paying out dividends or resisting union recognition

iii. tax breaks for news subscriptions and support for new media start-ups

iv. a widescale media literacy campaign to tackle disinformation and fake news

v. greater plurality in the media and tighter ownership regulation

vi. support for public service broadcasting and independent oversight of the BBC’s licence fee settlement to ensure it is free from government interference.

National Union of Journalists

Composite 04 Child poverty

Received from: BDA, National Education Union

Motions 16 and amendments, and 17 and amendment

Congress condemns the rapid increase in child poverty across a decade of austerity. Research shows 33 per cent of all children in the UK live in poverty.

Congress recognises that Covid-19 has shone a light on the severe inequalities that exist in our society on the poverty gap in terms of employment, pay, housing and access to services, including the ‘digital divide’.

Low pay and insecure employment have condemned 10 children in every class of 30 to “being locked into a cycle of poverty from which most will have great difficulty escaping” (Prof. Alston, UN Special Rapporteur).

Congress notes Black children are two to three times more likely to be trapped in persistent poverty than children in White families and believes racism and class stereotypes stigmatise and undermine working-class children.

Low levels of statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay increase the risk of child poverty. Poverty damages every aspect of a child’s life, adversely affecting their ability to enjoy their childhoods and achieve their aspirations.

This unprecedented event has plunged millions of children, many of whom were already struggling to secure a decent diet, further into food insecurity. That is, limited access to food, at the level of individuals or households, due to lack of money or other resources.

Before the pandemic hit, 4.27 million children were living in poverty and were affected by moderate to severe food insecurity. Data gathered by the Food Foundation on food insecurity levels during the Covid-19 lockdown showed that among households with children, the prevalence of food insecurity has doubled since the crisis hit.

Congress notes the government’s chaotic handling of free school meals provision during the coronavirus lockdown, resulting in uncertainty, anxiety and bureaucracy for families and schools.

Congress demands a public review of the basis on which a lucrative national contract for providing free school meal vouchers was awarded during the pandemic.

Coronavirus is a natural phenomenon – how we react to it isn’t. Failing to eradicate child poverty is the result of political failure.

Congress instructs the TUC to:

i. work with the Child Poverty Action Group to campaign for government to:

  • restore money lost through freezing benefits, tax credits and subsequent rises in line with inflation
  • end the tax credit two-child limit
  • abolish the £20,000 pa benefit cap
  • overhaul the benefits system, removing unnecessary obstacles and administrative delay
  • address the causes of structural racism that lead to disproportionate poverty in Black communities

ii. incorporate measures to end child poverty within TUC campaigns for a green economy and jobs-led recovery after coronavirus

iii. build on increased community action to empower communities to be at the centre of campaigns to end child poverty

iv. campaign for improvements to statutory parental leave rights including a significant increase in statutory payments

v. lobby the government to end the digital divide, starting with the introduction of a publicly funded right for free computer equipment and free access to broadband at home for all children living in poverty in the UK.

The Food Foundation established the Children’s Food Charter in 2019, which has been updated to reflect recent events. Given the scale of the challenge and importance of children’s health and diet the provisions set out in the charter are now more important than ever.

Congress notes the charter calls for:

a. a new children’s right to food commission

b. a nutritious start in life for every child

c. a healthy lunch every day

d. an end to the stigma attached to hunger

e. prioritising health over profit.

Congress agrees to support the charter and campaign for its plan to tackle children’s food insecurity and inequalities in obesity and protect every child’s right to food.

Mover: National Education Union
Seconder: British Dietetic Association
Supporters: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers; NASUWT; Communication Workers Union

Composite 05 Ending the homelessness crisis

Received from: ASLEF, Unison

Motion 18 and amendments

Congress notes that during the pandemic, the government found the wherewithal and resources to house the majority of homeless people previously sleeping on the streets to try to keep them safe from Covid-19.

Congress is aware that homeless people sleeping on the streets face a large number of dangers and threats in ‘normal’ times, not just when there is a deadly pandemic, ranging from violence and abuse to hypothermia. Congress further notes the amount of vulnerable former servicemen and women who end up homeless after leaving the armed forces.

Congress believes that it is completely unacceptable for society to allow people to remain destitute and without housing. Congress further notes that the UK has a chronic shortage of housing, with many families living in cramped and unsuitable conditions due to the lack of available social rent and truly affordable family homes, and young people struggling to get on by paying exorbitant rents but lacking the savings to buy a property.

Housing-first policies, such as those famously in place in Finland, have seen people able to rebuild their lives from homelessness to holding down jobs and participating in the community. It is clear that living in suitable housing underpins success in all aspects of life.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign for a full programme of social rent and truly affordable home building, with safeguards to ensure that those in need of housing can access these homes

ii. advocate for stringent laws against offshore property ownership and the kind of investment purchasing which results in hundreds of homes sitting empty

iii. lobby the government to introduce a housing first policy for England to provide homeless people with a stable home from which to rebuild their lives during and after the pandemic

iv. lobby the government to extend the Everyone In scheme, guaranteeing funding for and removing legal barriers to accessing emergency accommodation

v. lobby the government to increase housing benefit to the level of average rents and prevent evictions and cancel arrears for renters who have lost income due to coronavirus

vi. lobby the government to support veterans by ensuring housing support for veterans is properly resourced

vii. call for protections on the supply of land, the prevention of public land sales, together with taxes on land and powers to facilitate compulsory purchase to prevent land banking by private developers

viii. argue for guarantees on the security of tenure for private tenants and legislation that implements rent controls.

Mover: ASLEF
Seconder: UNISON
Supporters: Communication Workers Union; Community; Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Motion 14 Britain, We Need Our Steel

Received from: Community

Congress notes and endorses the joint union campaign Britain, We Need Our Steel. Congress recognises that steel is a great British industry that is essential to our economy and way of life. Congress further recognises steel is a strategic foundation industry vital to the supply chain for crucial sectors like automotive, aerospace, construction and defence.

Congress notes that our steel sector makes an economic contribution of more than £5bn a year and supports tens of thousands of high-quality jobs in parts of the country that need them most. Congress believes that while steel has an illustrious heritage it is as important now as it has ever been because rebuilding our economy will require millions of tonnes of steel and the passion and skill of our world class steelworkers. Congress further believes that as the country charts a new course we must retain and develop our sovereign steelmaking capacities and that a green British steel industry is fundamental to a low-carbon future.

Congress firmly believes that with government backing, responsible ownership and public support, this great British industry will continue to deliver for our country for many generations to come. Congress calls on the General Council to support the campaign and lobby government to:

i. act to ensure our infrastructure is built with our steel

ii. intervene to support industry and stimulate steel demand

iii. implement trade arrangements that are fair and friction-free

iv. create a level playing field so we can compete

v. develop an industrial strategy with steel at its core.


Composite 03 Support for the arts, creative industries and music

Received from: Equity, MU

Motions 10, 11 and 12

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on artists and the arts and culture sector. The UK music industry – which is worth £5.2bn to the economy and enriches all of our lives – is on its knees. The Covid-19 crisis has decimated the live music scene. Most musicians are still not able to return to live gigs. It will be well into 2021 before the return to anything like normality. Almost 40 per cent of the MU’s 32,000 members have not been eligible for either the furlough scheme or the SEISS and so have been reliant on the pittance of universal credit or small handouts from hardship funds. Artists and their families are in severe poverty, living off savings if they have any and facing destitution. Many self-employed artists fall between the cracks and do not qualify for government measures, have had work for the foreseeable future cancelled and/or cannot access their studios due to safety and lockdown. A significant number work part-time as lecturers or in community arts and the short-term, temporary, precarious nature of this work means that they have essentially lost two streams of income as well as not qualifying for government self-employed support.

Congress recognises that the creative sector cannot recover without investment in both workplaces and workers. The government has responded by ploughing £1.57bn into the cultural sector, but the majority of this money is going to the companies and organisations themselves – not to the workers. Re-opening theatres, film and television sets and venues is not enough – government and the industry need to protect and preserve the thousands of people whose skills and talents are the basis of our success, and especially freelance and self-employed creatives. Without investment, the first to leave the sector are likely to be our BME, women, disabled and working-class talent, worsening the diversity of the sector.

Congress believes that a successful and sustainable return to work across the creative industries is contingent on four, interrelated pillars:

i. workforce protection – extension of funds to creative workers and action to fill the gaps in support provided so far

ii. safe opening – including ticketing subsidies, investment in digital content that pays creatives fairly and underwriting the insurance risk of TV and film productions

iii. protecting infrastructure – the £1.57bn in funding for the arts announced by the government must recognise the breadth of the sector and not just the elite or mainstream arts

iv. equality – no-one should be left behind in the recovery and additional funding made available to institutions must be attached to clear organisation-specific commitments to eliminate gaps in representation and pay.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

a. lobby the government to bring in a sector-specific support package to allow musicians and performers to survive this lengthy period of unemployment

b. campaign to highlight the fragility of the music sector in the UK

c. lobby the government for adequate support that addresses the needs of artists, including access to affordable studio provision

d. work with AUE and other culture sector trade unions to protect the sector

e. ensure TUC affiliates offer proper rates of pay for services and work they ask those in the arts and culture sectors to undertake

f. campaign against the impact of cuts on the arts and culture sector and initiate a network of trade unionists, community groups, local and regional organisations to develop a long-term investment strategy for the arts

g. campaign for investment and initiatives to support the whole arts sector to recover from the recent large-scale disruption due to coronavirus.

Congress endorses the four-pillar plan for recovery and supports efforts by creative workers to achieve a fair, safe and sustainable return to work.

Mover: Equity
Seconder: Musicians’ Union
Supporter: Artists’ Union England

Motion 13 Streaming

Received from: MU

Streaming is a phenomenal success and record labels are reporting record profits from it. But, at the moment, it’s not sufficiently benefiting musicians and songwriters themselves at what is an incredibly difficult time for them.

The Keep Music Alive campaign aims to ‘fix streaming’. As a first step, we are urging government to undertake a review of streaming to ensure that the music ecosystem is transparent and fair.

Most musicians earn a very low royalty on streaming due to their contract with their record label. If streaming was dealt with as radio is, the majority of musicians would earn more from it. Streaming services are, essentially, a sophisticated version of radio.

Consumers using Spotify to stream a track do not feel they are purchasing the music they listen to in the way they do when downloading from iTunes. The most popular services on Spotify are the curated playlists where the listener chooses, for example, ‘modern country’ or ‘heavy metal’ and a selection of music is then streamed to their device just like radio.

Without changes to the rights management regime and/or adjustment to existing contracts, the majority of performers will never earn more than a pittance from streaming.

Congress calls on the TUC to support the Keep Music Alive campaign.

Musicians’ Union

Composite 06 Time to end racism and act on systemic inequalities exposed by Covid-19

Received from: Unison, Unite

Motions 19; 20 and amendments; 21; 22 and amendment; and 23 and amendments

Congress condemns centuries of racism and colonialism powerfully exposed by Black Lives Matter and unites in opposing structural inequality, discrimination and entrenched disadvantage faced by women, Black and Asian ethnic minority workers, disabled and LGBT+ workers, including the decade of austerity, which have meant unequal exposure, disproportionate impact and deaths from Covid-19.

Congress believes that the coronavirus outbreak has exposed fundamental inequalities and institutional discrimination in the UK’s economy and society. Women and Black and Asian ethnic minority workers are over-represented in low paid, undervalued occupations and sectors our society now finds essential, where the risk factor is high.

Congress condemns the unequal treatment that has left:

i. BME workers at much higher risk: Black men face a mortality risk from coronavirus that is 3.3 times higher than that of white men, and Black women facing a risk of death that is 2.4 times higher than that of white women

ii. sharp gender disparities: 75 per cent of workers in occupations most exposed to coronavirus are women

iii. disabled people at twice the risk of death compared to people who are not disabled

iv. mortality rates in the most deprived areas that were more than double those in the least deprived areas

v. older workers and other at-risk groups not receiving the protection and support they need

vi. younger workers bearing the worst economic burden from job losses and hours reductions.

Congress deplores the UK government’s and employers’ inaction in carrying out risk assessments to prevent the foreseeable deaths of Black workers from Covid-19.

Congress expresses deep frustration and anger that, despite the efforts of families, campaigners and trade unions, and promises of change, Britain appears no closer to eradicating institutional and other racism.

The disproportionate deaths and hospitalisations of Black people is a national scandal. Black people are up to four times as likely to die from Covid-19 than white people. This devastating toll has exposed decades of entrenched inequality and systematic racism in work and wider society.

The coronavirus does not discriminate; however, it does exploit the disadvantages, deprivation and health and social inequalities that are driven and maintained by the institutional and structural racism that is common across the UK. Black workers lack confidence both that their concerns about the health risks of Covid-19 are being taken seriously and that they will be treated fairly if raising concerns about Covid-19 risks at work. Congress notes new analysis by the Labour Party that suggests inner city areas with much higher than average Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations have among the highest rates of furloughed staff. Therefore, workers in these areas could be at a higher risk of redundancy.

In a study published in July, the Kings Fund found that in the NHS – Britain’s biggest employer – BME staff feel they have not been given equal opportunities to progress in their careers and that they have been denied developmental opportunities that come readily to white colleagues. Very few people at the most senior levels of the NHS reflect them. And, on top of that, each working day can mean facing a range of micro-aggressions. The most recent NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report found that 29 per cent of BME staff face bullying, harassment or abuse from colleagues, an increase on the previous year.

From three case studies of NHS employers, the think-tank identified changes that could make a difference: improving staff development and career progression, providing psychologically safe routes for raising concerns (specifically by appointing ‘freedom to speak up’ guardians) and staff networks.

Covid’s disproportionate impact on the BME community has highlighted long-standing, structural race inequality. The killing of George Floyd has brought into focus not only police brutality against people of colour, but also global inequalities in health, education and employment. Racism has deepened and been amplified by over ten years of austerity. The death of George Floyd has led to a growing Black Lives Matter movement globally, including the UK. Systemic and everyday racism, Brexit, austerity, deaths at the hands of the state, hostile environment and Windrush scandal have led to a steady worsening of racism.

Covid-19 is having a disproportionate adverse impact on the health, lives and livelihood of Black people. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the impacts of racism in all aspects of society and in the labour market, with BME people contracting and dying of Covid-19 in disproportionate numbers. Black Lives Matter.

Continued warm words from governments are not enough and action is needed today. Employers, governments, public bodies and regulators must be properly resourced and held to account for their duty of care, legal and lawful responsibilities. This includes, but is not limited to, the Health and Safety Executive, the Care Quality Commission (and devolved equivalents), the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the departments of the Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments.

Ten years after the Equality Act 2010, Congress condemns the government’s failure to enact Section 1 to redress socio-economic and class inequalities; the removal of third party harassment suffered by front line workers during the pandemic; the removal of dual discrimination to enable BME women to challenge dual discrimination they have faced; and the use of Covid-19 to lift gender pay reporting requirements, and much more.

There have been numerous reports and investigations into racism, and while noting that the government have established a new temporary commission to look into racism, we feel that there is no lack of evidence: quite the opposite – the evidence is there and what’s needed is action.

Unions are the voice of working people. Solidarity is central to our movement but solidarity alone is not enough – unions must be a driving force in anti-racist campaigning to bring about immediate, sustained action to end inequality.

Congress calls on the TUC to continue and extend its work in this area, campaigning on the national and international stage as well as in workplaces.

Congress welcomes the decision by the TUC to renew the TUC Stephen Lawrence task group in order to tackle some of these issues.

Congress calls for action and for the TUC General Council with TUC Women’s, Black Workers, Disabled Workers and LGBT+ Committees to:

a. build on the achievements of the Stephen Lawrence Task Group to address institutional racism and all forms of institutional sexism, disability and LGBT+ discrimination and structural inequality

b. ensure equality impact assessments alongside risk assessments as a legal requirement

c. prioritise safety, jobs and income, with action to:

– close gender pay gaps, identify and close ethnicity and other equality pay gaps, protect pregnant women, support childcare and caring

– rebuild and strengthen the Equality Act and EHRC, including statutory rights for union equality representatives and union equality education

d. research and develop a campaign for policies to protect and compensate the groups most affected by coronavirus

e. support mandatory individual risk assessments for workers in at-risk groups

f. recognise that hundreds of workers have died due to institutional discrimination

g. campaign for an end to discriminatory labour market policies, including age-based redundancy payments

h. lobby government for action for change, presenting recommendations in consultation with the TUC Race Relations Committee and Black trade union structures

i. engage and work with grassroots Black race equality community organisations including offering solidarity/support to the wider UK Black Lives Matter movement and offering practical assistance for protests and demonstrations

j. hold a virtual organising event on how unions can support the BLM movement

k. ensure the new TUC race equality task group includes the voices of Black trade unionists and undertake a robust and open review of the progress made by the TUC and affiliates in tackling racism within our own organisational structures

l. campaign vigorously again the disproportionate impacts on Black workers, service users and communities of the economic downturn that the coronavirus crisis has caused and will continue to do so.

Congress calls on the General Council and the TUC to campaign for:

  1. a public inquiry into deaths in minority communities
  2. risk assessments for Black workers and appropriate PPE
  3. the implementation of the Windrush Lessons Learned review
  4. implementation of the Lammy review of the justice system
  5. the closing of the ethnic pay gap
  6. governments to act on Theresa May’s comprehensive Race Disparity Audit
  7. the UK government to enact the public sector duty on socio-economic inequalities contained in Part 1 of the Equality Act
  8. the decolonisation of public services including building names, signage, awards, conventions, practices, monuments and artefacts associated with an unacceptable and shameful racist past.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: UNISON
Supporters: GMB; Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; Artists’ Union England, NASUWT; Public and Commercial Services Union; Prospect; Royal College of Midwives; Community

Composite 07 De-colonising, organising and challenging racism

Received from: EIS, UCU

Motions 24 and amendment, and 25

Congress commends campaigns including Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford for confronting the many ways in which the UK’s colonial legacy continues to influence education today.

At all levels, the UK’s education system has been built on historical structures that privilege the views and experiences of those in power. These perspectives have informed the ways in which institutions and research are funded, as well as the way in which curricula are developed and taught.

Congress has a clear ambition to build an inclusive, fair and harmonious society. Advancing race equality, tackling racism and addressing barriers that prevent people from Black and minority ethnic communities from realising their potential are clear objectives of Congress.

One key aspect of building equality in society is to address inequalities in the workplace. Congress notes that each sector must identify and confront institutional and cultural barriers to diversity, whether conscious or unconscious, and not shy away from addressing racism, racial discrimination or harassment where it exists.

Their influence is also evident in the deeply unequal recruitment and progression outcomes for different groups of students and education staff. In higher education, for example, just 25 Black women were recorded as working as professors in 2018 compared to 14,000 white men. In schools, only 14 per cent of teachers and 7 per cent of headteachers are Black. The rate of under-representation remains entrenched. In Scotland the number of teachers from a BME background is only around one-third of the proportion of BME pupils in Scottish schools, with said teachers being significantly under-represented in promoted posts.

De-colonising education is a critical step towards tackling the systemic racism and structural inequality in our society. It is crucial that this work also extends to our own trade union education programmes and organising approaches.

Congress demands determined action by government and employers on the recruitment and progression of Black workers by tackling discrimination and deepening understanding of the causes of historical and contemporary racism.

Congress supports educators across all sectors in promoting and developing diverse and inclusive curricula; in challenging their institutions to address structural barriers to equality; and in working with other groups campaigning for a fairer and more representative education system.

Congress resolves therefore to support the work of affiliates in challenging this inequity.

Congress also supports the work of affiliates in Scotland to ensure that anti-racist education is embedded in the Scottish curriculum, including an examination and exposure of Scotland’s historic links to the slave trade.

Mover: University and College Union
Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland
Supporter: National Education Union

Motion 26 Black Lives Matter and the impact of Covid-19 on Black members and communities

Received from: TUC Black Workers Conference

Congress deplores the government and employer’s inaction in carrying out risk assessments to prevent the foreseeable deaths of Black workers from Covid-19.

The disproportionate deaths and hospitalisations of Black people is a national scandal.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to Black (BME) people in the UK being disproportionately affected and being over four times more likely to die. ONS and Public Health England reports evidence this. This devastating death toll has exposed decades of entrenched institutionalised and systematic racism in work and wider society both in the UK and the Black Lives Matter Movement in the USA.

The coronavirus does not discriminate; however, it does exploit the disadvantages, deprivation and health and social inequalities that are driven and maintained by the systemic institutional and structural racism is common in workplaces, communities and society across the UK. Covid-19 is having a disproportionate adverse impact on the health, lives and livelihood of Black people. Black Lives Matter.

Many of those who have died are frontline essential workers who haven’t been given proper safety protections, including PPE.

A second spike will see more Black people dying disproportionately and we believe that government and employers, in addition to carrying out risk assessments, must include individual equality impact assessments, supporting people that Black people live with, and public transport and facilities workers.

We must not lose sight of the social inequality and consequence of embedded structural and systematic racism in our society from the education, policing, housing, politics, economic deprivation and health inequality care system which have been starkly highlighted.

Congress calls on the TUC Race Relations Committee to work with the General Council to draw up a comprehensive and robust action plan, with targets and timelines to challenge pervasive racism in employment. This should include working with unions to support test cases in sectors to ensure fair employment, recruitment and promotion outcomes for Black workers and action to end the racial and ethnicity pay gap.

Congress calls on the TUC Race Relations Committee and affiliates to:

i. publicly join the call by the Ubele Initiative for an independent public inquiry into BME deaths from coronavirus

ii. request a meeting with the EHRC to support their investigation into BME deaths

iii. call on government to take urgent action to protect Black workers without detriment to pay, terms and conditions and to categorise Black workers as high risk

iv. urge public sector employers and service providers to carry out equality impact assessments

v. provide specific guidance, support and advice to Black workers on their rights and the responsibilities of employers

vi. develop trade union education programmes to create a culture of awareness in our society about systematic racism

vii. engage with Black workers in the trade unions, labour movement and the wider community to make the trade union movement more reflective of the membership at lay and officer level

viii develop trade union education programmes for activists and officers on racism

ix. campaign to stop institutional, structural and systemic racism and oppression and support campaigns against Black deaths in state custody in the UK

x. encourage all Black workers to join a union and encourage unions to recruit, organise and support precarious (including migrant) Black workers.

TUC Black Workers Conference

Motion 29 New deal for women workers

Received from: TUC Women's Conference

Life has changed intensely for many women over the past 40 years. The hopes and opportunities offered to women have grown beyond recognition. Despite this progress women are still underrepresented in high-ranking positions and overrepresented in low-skilled, low-paid, part-time, precarious work.

In today’s environment too many women find themselves being corralled into jobs below their skills and abilities because of childcare and domestic responsibilities. Moreover, women continue to face maternity discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace and are discriminated against in terms of pay.

In the year since the government introduced a requirement for UK employers to disclose their gender pay gap, there has been no significant change. All sectors continued to pay men more than women in 2019.

Official Office for National Statistics data record a gender pay gap of 17.3 per cent, one of the highest in Europe. The gap is largest for women in their 50s and 60s – 28 per cent.

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Labour’s landmark Equal Pay Act inspired by the women strikers at the Ford car plant in Dagenham.

When introducing the Act, Ted Heath declared that employers would need five years to bring women’s pay into line with men’s. However, after 50 years the latest estimate is that, on the current rate of progress, it will take another 60 years to achieve equal pay.

Congress condemns the fact that so many women are still being cheated out of pay and pension contributions because of a lack of workplace pay parity.

Pay transparency is a vital part of winning equal pay for women. Women in trade unions are more likely to know their pay. Congress welcomes equal pay initiatives across the trade union movement such as the case of NUJ member and BBC presenter Samira Ahmed in November 2019.

Congress notes that there is no provision in UK employment law to bring class actions, which means every individual woman’s claim must be separately argued, unless settlement can be agreed for groups of women.

The number of women in employment is higher than ever before but half a century later, the law is failing to deliver equal pay. This woeful situation can’t be allowed to continue.

Congress recognises that progress has been too slow. We urgently need a new deal for women workers in the UK.

Congress calls on the TUC Women’s Committee and affiliates to:

i. call for mandatory reporting of gender pay gap action plans

ii. campaign for reform of the law on equal pay so that employers are held to account

iii. campaign for class actions in this area of employment law

iv. support pay transparency initiatives – ensuring any woman can ask their employer to provide information about the pay of a male colleague and an employer is compelled to comply

v. lobby for a new Equal Pay Bill

vi. provide support and leadership to trade unions for workplace campaigns on equal pay.

Congress calls on the TUC Women’s Committee to lobby the government to:

a. introduce a plan to abolish the gender pay gap

b. introduce strong enforcement penalties against employers who do not meet this or are not seen to be making inroads towards closing the gender pay gap

c. conduct a review and consultation of the current Flexible Working Regulations to include a right to have, as opposed to a right to request, flexible working

d. apply the new duty to prevent sexual harassment provisions as soon as possible

e. tackle job segregation and ensure part-time work is available in all job roles

f. implement legal rights to take cases on dual race and sex discrimination

g. implement statutory rights for union equality reps

h. restore employment rights from day one and tackle zero-hours contracts

i. restore the questionnaire procedure and mandatory equal pay audits.

TUC Women’s Conference 2020

Composite 08 Women will not be silenced: poverty, Covid-19 and the disproportionate impact on women

Received from: EIS, National Education Union

Motions 27 and amendments and 28

Congress notes that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on women’s lives and that this is likely to worsen. Black women, disabled women and women in poverty are disproportionately affected.

During lockdown, working-class women are more likely to have lost their jobs, or been furloughed. Women were already more likely to be in precarious and low-paid work, be at risk of redundancy and less able to access statutory sick pay. Women have been subject to pregnancy and maternity discrimination and have lost out on pay and promotion. Women have also suffered from the lack of flexible working that genuinely meets their work/life needs, rather than just suiting employers.

Congress notes that women are disproportionally concentrated in low-paying industries, including cleaning, cashiering, caring, catering and clerical work. These jobs are often part-time, and increasingly, do not pay enough to lift a family out of poverty. Furthermore, these jobs are vulnerable to budgetary cuts, changing social habits and may not be done from home.

Congress is concerned at the decline in the number of high street shops, and subsequent loss of jobs, and the impact of Covid-19, which have exacerbated the pressures on women relying on such employment.

Congress acknowledges that the effects of poverty are pervasive and long-lasting, and that women are more likely to live in poverty than men: most women still earn less than men, have lower incomes over a lifetime and are more likely to live in poverty in old age.

Almost half of single parents, mostly women, are living in poverty.

Poverty often leads to no access to the internet or reliance on pay-as-you-go services to access healthcare, education and benefits online.

Women are shouldering the responsibility of unpaid caring and domestic roles. Childcare provision for low-paid care workers has been particularly problematic during the pandemic.

Violence against women has increased significantly whilst specialist services and refuges face funding shortfalls.

Congress calls for the UK government to invest in improved retraining opportunities for women, including within further education, and to invest in free provision of child and social care to enable more women to access education, training and quality jobs.

Congress instructs the TUC to:

i. campaign for gender equality to be at the heart of government plans to rebuild the economy, including calling on government to:

  • support the Pregnancy and Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Bill
  • give an immediate cash injection to fund the childcare sector, additional funding targeting provision supporting children from low-income households and support provision of childcare for those who do not work traditional working hours: many women, in particular key workers, work shift patterns and struggle with childcare arrangements
  • ratify the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment (C190)
  • provide day-one rights for parental leave and change the law so that flexible working is a right open to all workers from day one of employment, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis
  • counter the growth of unsustainable insecure employment

ii. encourage affiliates to:

  • develop and share good practice on strategies to address gender inequalities at work
  • bargain for workplace domestic violence policies

iii. ensure women workers are at the centre of the TUC’s social, economic and political work

iv. use HeartUnions week to focus on improving the working life of care workers and those with unpaid caring responsibilities

v. invite the Women’s Budget Group and End Violence Against Women to address the General Council

vi. support the WHO call for governments to include in their response plan to the crisis the need for ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic violence services

vii. show solidarity with women in Turkey organising against violence and to resist the threat by President Erdogan to repeal ILO Convention (C190)

Mover: National Education Union
Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland
Supporters: UNISON; Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers;
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; ASLEF

Motion 30 Gender Recognition Act reform, trans people’s rights and solidarity across the trade union movement

Received from: TUC LGBT+ Conference

Congress recognises:

i. that transgender and non-binary members are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace

ii. the continuing attacks on trans people within mainstream and social media largely led by groups who argue against the proposed reforms to the GRA seeking to roll back the existing rights of trans people

iii. the importance of standing up for the rights of trans and non-binary workers: a majority Conservative government is using trans rights as a wedge issue to divide working class people – myths and tropes about trans and non-binary people are regularly being promoted in the Murdoch papers

iv. the need to widely promote the message that trans women are women, trans men are men and that non-binary identities are valid – we must also encourage others to be trans allies and provide training to give them confidence to stand up for trans colleagues

v. transgender and non-binary people should be addressed by their correct pro-nouns and wilfully mis-gendering individuals is unacceptable

vi. that using sex and gender binary monitoring questions are discriminatory against non-binary people – non-binary people are thereby mis-gendered.

Congress notes:

a. Transphobia is continuing during lockdown and beyond, clinic waiting times are increasing, and gender recognition reform is again delayed.

b. Global campaigns by reactionary organisations including the ‘Alliance Defending Freedom’ are supported by powerful Evangelical and other conservative Christian institutions. These organisations are also homophobic, biphobic and against women’s rights and they have financial resources to support legal cases.

c. In the UK, anti-trans campaigners are deliberately stoking dissention between LGB and T sections of our communities, including the founding of the anti-trans LGB Alliance.

d. These groups continue to campaign against the proposed reforms to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and are seeking to roll back the existing rights of trans people.

e. The rise in anti-trans sentiment. Many conservatives have tried to portray trans rights as a danger to women and also children. This is reminiscent of homophobic lies of the past and we reject this.

f. These issues have been made more contentious by our society’s deep gender segregation. We should fight for all public places to be safe spaces.

Congress reconfirms its support for the TUC policy:

  1. All trans identities should be believed and respected, and that for all social purposes, trans women should be treated as women and trans men treated as men.
  2. Other gender identities (non-binary etc) are equally authentic. This is a social question rather than a scientific one. Past attempts to categorise human beings by purely scientific methods have often led to barbaric outcomes.

Congress notes and affirms 2018 Congress proposed reforms to the GRA.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC, the incoming TUC LGBT+ Committee and affiliates to:

i. restate wholehearted commitment to trans rights

ii. promote the truth that trans rights are human rights

iii. continue work to counteract the transphobic myths being perpetuated, including the insidious myths that trans rights threaten women’s safety or equality

iv. continue the campaign for progressive reform of the GRA across all trade union LGBT+ groups

v. campaign for the Westminster government and Scottish Parliament to progress GRA reforms

v1. promote trans ally training, information and educational materials to all affiliates on how to be a trans ally

vii. ensure that appropriate gender-based training and trans/non-binary awareness training is made available across the trade union movement to train all workplace reps and officers to ensure that all members are treated equally regardless of gender identity

vii. lobby for long-term change in monitoring questions and an end to transphobia

ix. encourage greater awareness of the issues for non-binary workers

x. support our trans and non-binary members and make clear the links between transphobia, homophobia and biphobia in society.

TUC LGBT+ Conference

Motion 31 Covid-19 and disabled workers rights

Received from: TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Congress notes the Covid-19 pandemic has seen disabled people:

i. denied homeworking, forced to attend unsafe workplaces

ii. lose pay through statutory sick pay or furlough

iii. lose reasonable adjustments when redeployed and homeworking

iv. issued with unsuitable PPE

v. ignored in care homes

vi. denied access to vital communication

vii. have their rights trampled, including Care and Mental Health Acts changes.

UNISON’s Covid-19 disabled workers survey found:

a. 20 per cent unfairly denied working from home

b. 15 per cent pressured to return to work before ready

c. 73 per cent more or equally productive at home

d. 54 per cent would benefit from home working in future

e. 27 per cent not received reasonable adjustments needed for home working

f. most unaware of Access to Work or faced delays from lack of capacity and paper systems.

Congress calls on the TUC Disabled Workers Committee to demand that the government’s proposed disability strategy learns from the pandemic and includes:

  1. stronger enforcement of reasonable adjustments and disability leave
  2. increased Access to Work capacity, online options and publicity
  3. mandatory disability pay gap monitoring and action plans
  4. new vision for independence and human rights-based social care
  5. BSL Act
  6. incorporation of UNCRPD into UK law.

Congress urges the TUC to campaign on these issues during the Year of Disabled Workers.

TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Motion 35 Justice and jobs for seafarers

Received from: RMT

Congress applauds the maritime unions’ prolonged campaign which persuaded the UK government to pass legislation to extend the application and enforcement of national minimum wage rates to all seafarers working on all vessels between UK ports and from a UK port to energy installations on the UK continental shelf. This new provision will be in force by October 2020 and Congress calls for proper enforcement.

Congress notes, however, that seafarers employed on flag of convenience vessels on international routes from UK ports are not covered by this reform and that 80 per cent of ratings working in the UK shipping industry are non-UK seafarers. As a result, the very existence of UK ratings remains under threat.

This is driving job losses and injustices at companies like P&O Ferries, who recently used Covid-19 as cover to make hundreds of seafarers redundant in Dover and Hull while retaining Filipino crew paid £4.50 per hour to work twelve-hour days, seven days a week for up to six months between Hull and Rotterdam.

Congress notes that the government said in June they will consider whether further legal changes are required when Equality Act regulations are reviewed later in the year. Congress calls for this review to outlaw discrimination, sub-minimum wage rates and excessive hours for seafarers on ships working on international routes from UK ports. Congress also calls for UK seafarer protections to be pursued in free trade agreements negotiated after the UK leaves the European Union.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Motion 36 Crew change crisis during Covid-19

Received from: Nautilus

Congress notes that during the coronavirus pandemic countries closed their borders leaving around 300,000 seafarers globally unable to return home at their end of their contracts. This includes an estimated 2,000 UK seafarers who were stranded onboard as crew changes were cancelled.

Maritime professionals supply 90 per cent of global trade, including medical supplies, PPE and food which were vital during the pandemic. Despite this, many countries ignored the basic human rights of seafarers, banning them from leaving their ships, refusing them medical care or transiting countries to return home. Some seafarers are being forced to work way beyond their contracts and some have been onboard for up to 15 months.

Congress welcomes the UK government’s initiative and leadership in hosting an emergency crew-change summit to address the unfolding emergency, encouraging other countries to designate seafarers as keyworkers and facilitate safe passage to allow crew to leave their vessels and for relief crew to join.

Congress congratulates the UK government for taking an international lead on this issue and encourages them to continue to press other countries to support seafarers.

Congress calls on the government to work with unions and international organisations to seek improvements to global legislation and close the loopholes which allow vital employment protections to be ignored at times of crisis.

Congress further calls on the government to conduct a full review of the impact of the pandemic on the maritime sector and the nation’s resilience.

Nautilus International

Motion 37 Lack of financial support for seafarers as key workers during Covid-19

Received from: Nautilus

Congress notes the UK government designated seafarers as keyworkers during the coronavirus pandemic in recognition of their vital role keeping the UK supplied.

According to a survey by Nautilus International, around 11,000 UK seafarers fell through the gaps of the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme due to their employment and tax status by being employed by companies who do not operate UK PAYE.

Despite being keyworkers and crucial to the nation many of these seafarers are facing a triple whammy: no income support from government; unable to leave the country to work, and an unbudgeted tax bill.

Congress therefore calls for the government to:

i. review its decision not to extend support to seafarers that takes into account their employment status

ii. launch a full review into the employment status of seafarers that typically sees them employed via agencies based in offshore jurisdictions.

Nautilus International

Motion 38 Respect for workers’ rights

Received from: NUJ

Congress condemns the actions of the non-TUC-affiliated British Association of Journalists in striking a behind-closed-doors recognition deal with the London-based broadcaster Iran International, in order to block a recognition application from the National Union of Journalists.

It notes that journalists at the broadcaster had been organising for nearly three years and had built an active chapel, representative of the overwhelming majority of editorial workers. During this time, the NUJ has supported journalists experiencing harassment and intimidation from the Iranian state, through the weaponising of family members in Iran – hauled in for questioning, detained in solitary confinement, assets frozen, and instructed to tell their relatives to quit their jobs as journalists in the UK and return to Iran.

Congress reaffirms the right of workers to be collectively represented by a union of their choice, as protected under Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998. It further affirms its commitment to protecting any worker from being bullied and intimidated to join a union chosen by their employer.

Congress calls on the General Council to uphold the principle that workers choose their own union, and to campaign for a reform of trade union legislation to ensure that cynical union-busting moves to block and stymie trade union recognition applications are made unlawful.

National Union of Journalists

Motion 39 Opposing new Tory anti-union legislation

Received from: TUC Trades Union Councils Conference

Congress believes that:

i. The election of the Boris Johnson-led Tory government represents a renewed threat to the pay, jobs and working conditions of workers as well as trade union rights.

ii. This government will act in the interests of big business.

Congress notes:

a. the government’s implicit support for the High Court decision to prevent strike action in Royal Mail despite the national CWU ballot result of a 97 per cent yes vote on a 76 per cent turnout

b. the Tory manifesto commitment, and included in the Queen’s Speech, to introduce new anti-union legislation, targeted specifically at the rail and transport unions, which, if established, could set a precedent for other public service sectors.

Congress believes that:

1. There needs to be an immediate meeting of the TUC and the unions to discuss and prepare the union movement for attacks by the Tory government.

2. No union or unions must be allowed to fight alone – if any union is targeted by anti-union laws, all others must come to their aid, supporting any action they deem necessary.

Congress urges the TUC to:

i. alert all local members to this attempt to undermine the effectiveness of union action

ii. organise a special conference open to workplace reps and shop stewards on opposing the anti-union laws

iii. organise a Saturday London demonstration as soon as possible on the demands:

  • “Stop the Tory anti-union laws.”
  • “Defend the transport unions.”
  • “For workers’ unity against the Tories”

TUC Trades Councils Conference


Composite 14 Self-employment

Received from: Community, Prospect

Motions 61 and amendment and 62

Congress acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on all workers across the economy.

Congress notes that the crisis has had a particularly devastating impact for freelancers and the self-employed. Congress notes that almost half of self-employed people have lost work during the crisis for economic reasons (such as lack of demand or restrictions on activity), or health and caring reasons (such as illness, shielding, self-isolation or childcare).

Lockdown has exposed the vulnerability of the three million self-employed workers who have been excluded from government support schemes. Congress recognises many of those workers have struggled to make ends meet during the crisis.

Congress recognises the ongoing crisis facing freelancers in industries where many thousands have fallen between the gaps of the CJRS and the SEISS and left with no financial support at all.

Congress believes that the self-employed are a vital and growing part of our economy and acknowledges a growth in trade union membership amongst this group of precarious workers. Congress believes we need long-term solutions to address the inequalities faced by freelancers and the self-employed that the crisis has exposed. No groups of workers should ever again be left without a safety net at times of crisis.

Congress resolves to:

i. campaign for a ‘new deal’ for freelancers with the aim of ensuring better workers’ rights and more security at work for the self-employed

ii. ensure that high-quality self-employment is part of the TUC’s plan to ‘build back better’ after the pandemic

iii. examine best practice and new ideas for organising and providing a voice for self-employed workers

iv. convene a working group of affiliated trade unions to meet regularly to co-ordinate campaigning and recruitment of self-employed workers

v. lobby the government set up a task force to look at the ways that the self-employed can be better supported through the tax, welfare and employment system, including the extension of sick pay to the self-employed, shared parental leave and pay.

Mover: Prospect
Seconder: Community
Supporter: College of Podiatry

Motion 64 Regulation

Received from: Prospect

Effective regulation is key to protecting the health and wellbeing of workers and citizens, enabling a successful economy, protecting our natural environment and building a fairer society. Effective regulation has its foundation in cutting-edge science, research and effective legal enforcement. The Covid-19 crisis underlines the importance of regulation, collaborative working and international cooperation.

Congress applauds the dedication and expertise of staff employed in safety, environmental, health and other regulators. Their work protects and enhances all of our lives in countless ways.

Congress is concerned that the strength and effectiveness of social and environmental regulation in the UK faces a number of threats:

i. Funding, staffing and pay in regulatory agencies has been hard hit by cuts over the past decade – with some budgets cut by as much as half and most subject to the public sector pay restraint.

ii. Government ministers often indulge in negative rhetoric about regulation, proposing repeated “red tape challenges” that would further erode regulatory standards post-Brexit.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

a. support a TUC campaign highlighting the essential role of regulation in supporting a safe, fair and productive economy and protecting the health and welfare of citizens

b. continue to lobby and campaign for regulators to be adequately funded and staffed, and for their employees to be fairly rewarded

c. ensure that the voices of members in regulated sectors as well as regulatory bodies are heard in debates about the future of UK regulation post-Brexit.


Motion 65 PPE in healthcare and equalities

Received from: College of Podiatry

The TUC and affiliated unions have raised many times over the years, major issues with PPE and issues with poor fit. One example is the disproportionate impact on female workers due to most PPE not being made to fit their body shape or size.

This has come to the fore due to Covid-19. The College of Podiatry has been contacted by many members having difficulties getting properly fitted PPE, especially facemasks, due to masks being too big for their faces and thus not being able to pass ‘fit tests’.

There is also a lack of attention in the design of PPE to those who, for example, have facial hair due to their religious beliefs and we had examples of managers asking staff to shave to make the PPE fit.

Legally, PPE is supposed to be suitable for the individual but for too long employers have been allowed to get away with providing one size fits all PPE from footwear to facemasks. This is putting workers’ health and lives at risk and was even more heightened by the pandemic.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to work with the affiliated unions to fight for correctly fitting PPE and where necessary ensure the legal frameworks already in place are used against rogue employers who do not take adequate steps to protect their workforces safety.

College of Podiatry

Motion 40 No ‘back to normal’ for public services

Received from: Unison

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that austerity has left public services in a weakened state to respond but that there is currently enormous public goodwill to all workers who have contributed in a time of crisis.

Yet despite their massive contributions: councils, schools, colleges, universities, police and justice, energy, transport, water, voluntary sector, health and social care are all facing cuts as a result of the pandemic and a recession.

Congress believes that unions have a crucial role in defining a new social contract that addresses the weaknesses that the pandemic has exposed.  Decent work, equality, security and a voice at work need to be at the heart of this contract. A fair safety net and proper sick pay for all. The role of health and safety reps has never been more important.

Strong public services are needed with new jobs and pay rises.

The crisis has visibly shown the difficulty in responding effectively when services are fragmented and outsourced. The advantages of directly provided services and public ownership must be translated into a reality on the ground.

‘Back to normal’ is not good enough for our public services.

Congress calls on the General Council to lead a campaign for:

i. rebuilding public services with investment

ii. tax justice

iii. a living wage

iv. job security and proper sick pay

v. funding the £10bn spending gap in local government

vi. the in-sourcing of public services

vii. an investigation into the failings of governments to protect their citizens.



  • In paragraph 4, delete ‘rises’ at end and add “justice to remedy endemic low pay”.
  • At the end of paragraph 5 add: “with a return to the core social values of community ownership of services that we use and rely on.”
  • In final paragraph, sub-paragraph iii., replace “a” with “an equality-proofed”
  • Add at the end of sub-paragraph vi.: “with the introduction of an ‘insourcing first’ policy for all public services”.


Motion 48 Supply teachers and umbrella companies

Received from: NASUWT

Congress notes that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed how much of the UK economy is based upon low-paid, insecure and intermittent employment, often through employment businesses or umbrella companies.

Congress further notes that the education sector is one of the sectors identified as having the fastest growth in insecure work.

Congress deplores the growing trend towards the casualisation of work, precarious employment and the use of umbrella companies, who make substantial profits and are largely unregulated, whilst depressing the pay of supply teachers.

Congress believes that this trend has brought into sharp focus practices whereby supply teachers have been furloughed under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and have been paid at only 80 per cent of the national minimum wage.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. lobby the government and parliamentarians for specific legislation to ensure that workers have the right to decide whether or not to be employed through an umbrella company

ii. press for a licensing scheme to monitor and review compliance of employment businesses and umbrella companies operating in education

iii. campaign for public procurement rules to be strengthened so that public sector bodies are prohibited from using employment agencies and umbrella companies that fail to meet minimum standards.


Motion 49 Above and beyond in education

Received from: NAHT

Congress pays tribute to all those working in education who have gone #aboveandbeyond in delivering education to children during the pandemic and utterly rejects the criticism from government that education has been somehow slow to react in bringing children back into school.

Congress condemns the mixed messages emanating from government that have caused school leaders uncertainty about charting the safest way forward for the communities they serve. Congress also condemns the lack of specific guidance for BME school staff and for those serving BME communities, given the heightened health risk factors associated with Covid-19.

Congress shares the concern of all those that work in education about the potential for the attainment gap to grow, particularly for vulnerable children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Congress calls on the General Council to work with unions to press government to:

i. establish sufficient funding to allow all schools to cover additional costs associated with a full school return from September

ii. focus resources on mental health and wellbeing programmes for pupils who need support

iii. recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach does not exist, particularly with regard to special schools and to early years settings where there will be particular requirements that need to be addressed.

National Association of Head Teachers

Motion 50 Review of education

Received from: AEP

Congress notes the impact that the coronavirus lockdown has had on many children and young people (CYP), exacerbating food insecurity and safeguarding vulnerabilities leading to increased physical and mental health risks.

Many CYP have also faced challenges in learning at home whilst some CYP with special educational needs have had limited or no access to their special provision and support. Others are reported to have thrived through following different educational programmes and approaches while maintaining regular contact with staff from their settings.

The significance of the role of educational settings and staff within the lives of CYP and communities is much wider than ensuring that they follow the national curriculum. Yet, much of the reported discussion around the return of all CYP to full time education has focused on “catch-up” without any consideration of the need to review and learn from these past months and the role that education in its widest sense plays in the overall nurturing and development of CYP and families.

Congress calls on the government to commission an independent review into the education available for CYP within England to include:

i. comparison with other nations and countries with different educational philosophies to those favoured within England

ii. a move to prioritise relationships within learning as the most effective contributor to educational achievement

iii. a focus upon the professional expertise of educators in shaping learning experiences for CYP informed by robust psychological evidence and knowledge

iv. specific lessons learned from experiences within lockdown.

Association of Educational Psychologists


  • In paragraph 3, sentence 2, after “past months”, delete “and” and insert: “. Education recovery must address”.
  • In paragraph 3, at end after “families”, insert:
    “with significant investment in schools and learning to meet the challenges of building a sustainable future. Education must encourage confidence and critical thinking skills alongside stimulating a yearning for knowledge.”
  • In the final paragraph, add final sub-paragraph v.:
    “v. recommendations for a fair and inclusive system putting needs of learners at its core.”

National Education Union

Motion 51 Fund the future

Received from: UCU

The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the limitations of the free market in the further and higher education system.

A decade of marketisation has led both to record student debt and a failure to invest in staff, with a resultant increase in casualisation, workload and inequality among workers in these sectors.

While colleges and universities have been on the frontline of this crisis – training and supporting thousands of key workers, developing research to beat the virus and ensuring students continue their education – they face an uncertain future.

Universities face a potential £2.5bn loss of income, and colleges a further £2bn, due to the impact of Covid-19. Without government support this could lead to an estimated loss of at least 60,000 jobs and £6bn lost to the UK economy.

Post-16 education is vital to rebuild our economy. Congress calls upon the UK government to withdraw their ideological attempts to restructure colleges and universities; to focus properly on students and staff safety; to ensure that the sector’s income is guaranteed so it can help lead the economic revival; and to commit not to allow our colleges and universities to go bankrupt.

Congress commends the work undertaken so far by the sector’s unions and the NUS, including UCU’s ‘Fund the Future’ campaign, and agrees to showcase the critical role that properly funded colleges and universities can play in building back better.

University and College Union

Composite 11 Recruitment and retention and an early pay rise for NHS staff

Received from: CSP, RCM

Motions 42 and amendment and 43 and amendments

Congress asserts that health and care workers have never been more vital to the health and welfare of the nation. This year’s global pandemic has brought this more than ever before to the forefront of the public mind and thrown into sharp relief the contributions made and the greater exposure to risk. But these contributions are not new – while we are in exceptional times, this is the daily work of CSP members and other NHS workers.

Maternity services work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Results of a survey by the RCM have shown that this is regularly without a break. Over three-quarters of respondents skip meals at work, over half feel dehydrated because they don’t have time to drink and 87 per cent delay using the toilet because of work demands.

The NHS is facing a workforce crisis – tens of thousands of vacant posts, rising waiting times and unmet patient need. And that is without the huge demands that will be placed on the service by the restoration of services suspended during the pandemic and by the long-term rehabilitation needs of Covid survivors. This is especially crucial as many Covid survivors will themselves be NHS staff, and many thousands more will be facing significant long-term psychological distress due to their experiences at work during the pandemic.

The RCM’s most recent estimate is that England is short of approaching 2,500 midwives and NHS Digital estimated that there were more than 88,000 NHS vacancies in England at the end of last year. We need to recruit and retain staff. Fair pay is crucial to ensuring the NHS has the workforce it needs for the future. Fair and decent pay is central to this and is an important indicator of the value that public service workers feel they are accorded.

Congress notes that austerity and cuts to the NHS and wider public services didn’t work in 2010 and it won’t work now.

Congress notes that applause for the NHS during the pandemic has translated into a solid belief that staff deserve an early pay rise. UNISON polling found that 69 per cent think all NHS staff should get a pay rise before the end of 2020; two-thirds believe such an increase should be significant.

While public support for the NHS during Covid-19 has been appreciated and a boost to morale, midwives and MSWs and other NHS workers have always and will continue to deliver safe, quality services. They deserve pay that reflects that, not through a one-off bonus but through a substantial consolidated increase.

Congress notes the RCM, CSP and the other NHS health unions are calling for the government to bring forward an NHS pay rise.

Congress believes that delivering this is an urgent priority that cannot wait until next April. The current three-year NHS pay agreement has only been a small first step towards redressing the damage done to public sector pay by the preceding decade of pay restraint.

Congress calls on the TUC to join NHS health unions in calling for a meaningful and immediate pay rise for NHS staff.

Mover: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Seconder: Royal College of Midwives
Supporters: UNISON; GMB; FDA; College of Podiatry

Motion 45 Safe maternity care

Received from: RCM

In 2019, the sixth MBRRACE Perinatal Mortality Surveillance report Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care was published. Mortality rates among Black minority ethnic women are five times higher than white women during pregnancy and childbirth. This is unacceptable.

The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified the entrenched disparities in health. The UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) study found that Black pregnant women are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19, while Asian women are four times as likely.

The quality of investigations into maternal deaths must be improved and subsequent recommendations implemented so that future harm to families can be avoided.

Continuity of care significantly improves outcomes for all women from all backgrounds, particularly those in areas of high socio-economic disadvantage. More specialist midwives in every trust and every health board is a first step to ensuring that all women have the positive pregnancy and birth experience they deserve.

Congress calls on the TUC to lobby the government to:

i. conduct a review of the current research evidence about the key reasons why BME women are at higher risk than their white counterparts, identifying key recommendations for service change

ii. conduct a root and branch review of the resources that maternity services need to improve the maternity care that BME women receive

iii. commit to invest in the extra resources identified

iv. commit to more specialist midwives in every trust and health board so that every woman gets the high-quality care and support they need throughout their pregnancy.

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 46 Violence in the NHS

Received from: College of Podiatry

In the latest available annual NHS staff survey, from last year, 14.5 per cent of staff said they had experienced physical violence from patients, their relatives or the public. Shockingly, some NHS staff reported attacks from their colleagues. As the NHS employs over 1.5 million people that is around 600 times a day.

Facing the prospect of violence in the workplace is not part of the job in any workplace, let alone in a healthcare setting.

Our members are there to give healthcare to the public who need it and not to be service users themselves because they have been on the wrong end of a violent attack.

Congress believes that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of our members so that they can go to work without fear. Collecting statistics is not enough and action is what is now required.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to work with affiliated unions to ensure that every case of violence is properly investigated and where necessary the legal frameworks already in place are used against perpetrators or employers who do not take adequate steps to protect NHS staff.

College of Podiatry

Motion 47 An NHS supply chain that works for all

Received from: BDA

Congress notes with concern the manifest failures and problems that have resulted from the privatisation of NHS procurement and supply chains, and the disastrous results of this in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Privatisation left us unprepared for a pandemic. If it were not for coronavirus, the huge problems with outsourcing NHS supply chain might not have been brought to public attention in such a stark way. Now that they have been brought to our attention we need to act, urgently.

Congress agrees that the procurement of goods for the NHS should itself be a function of the NHS, not an additional profit stream for private contractors who have not delivered an efficient or effective system. We need an NHS supply chain that puts people before profit, which takes responsibility instead of abdicating it, and which prioritises long-term planning and community safety. Procurement should be brought back in-house, with a direct line of accountability through the Department of Health and Social Care, the secretary of state and parliament.

Congress therefore calls on the government to:

i. end the privatisation and outsourcing of the NHS supply chain with a simplified system to be brought under direct NHS control

ii. keep all NHS services, including logistics and procurement services, off the table in international trade agreements

iii. hold a public inquiry, as soon as possible, into their handling of the PPE crisis, looking at the role of the NHS supply chain in the failings that have emerged and are still emerging.

British Dietetic Association

Composite 12 Delivering a national care service

Received from: CSP, Unison

Motion 44 and amendments

Congress notes the terrible impact that Covid-19 has had on the adult social care sector.

Thousands of older and disabled people have lost their lives, while the virus has exacted a heavy toll on the care workforce.

Congress believes the pandemic has highlighted the many serious problems with the existing system – such as chronic underfunding, poor employment practices, fragmented service delivery, and the predominance of the profit motive.

Congress is encouraged by the overwhelming consensus that ambitious reform is needed for the sector and the growing impetus behind calls for a national care service.

As part of this, Congress asserts that the ambition should be to deliver the vast majority of care through public funding, and to substantially increase direct public provision of care, with greater parity sought with the NHS in terms of access, pay and training. Upfront investment is also needed to ensure quality, joined-up care for health patients and social care.

Congress also believes that several more immediate actions are required, such as a substantial funding boost, action to address pay and conditions, a focus on training and professionalism – including for line managers and senior managerial staff, who do not receive training comparative to their counterparts in the NHS – collective bargaining, a workforce strategy for the sector, and a move away from the current commissioning model.

Congress calls on TUC General Council to:

i. highlight the glaring inadequacies of the current social care system

ii. campaign for fair pay, living wage, proper sick pay and decent conditions for our under-valued care workforce

iii. support the introduction of a national care service

iv. back efforts to accelerate upfront social care investment

v. campaign alongside unions, service users and other supportive organisations to achieve this.

Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Supporter: FDA

Motion 09 Building a democratic new economy

Received from: CWU

Congress believes the coronavirus pandemic has not just created a public health crisis but exposed an underlying crisis in our economic model and the world of work. It is little surprise that polling reveals widespread opposition to simply returning to the ‘normal’ way of doing things.

There is a growing consensus that essential workers have been underpaid, that trade unions have been crucial to ensuring workplaces are safe, that our work/life balance has been wrong, that the basic safety net of statutory sick pay and universal credit is inadequate and that an unequal society is one that is vulnerable to crises.

Congress believes that just as there was a demand for change in 1945, this is the moment for the labour movement to assert an ambitious agenda rooted in our values of equality, collectivism and universalism.

Congress agrees that while arguing for a recovery that safeguards and creates good jobs, the TUC and unions must be vocal on the need to build a better future and put forward our vision for a green and democratic new economy underpinned by high-quality public services, including:

i. public ownership of Royal Mail to build a new role for postal workers rooted in their local communities, with tailored services to support the growth of local businesses

ii. universal access to full fibre broadband, through public ownership of BT and securing good jobs for all workers in the industry

iii. the establishment of a publicly owned Post Bank through the Post Office network, reunited with Royal Mail.

Communication Workers Union


  • At the end, add new subparagraph iv:
    “iv. the establishment of accessible government services located back in the high street throughout the UK, providing quality public sector jobs in the heart of all our communities, not just Whitehall, large city government hub sites or in red wall Tory seats.”

Public and Commercial Services Union

Motion 52 Undermining the impartiality and integrity of the civil service

Received from: FDA

Congress recognises that an impartial and permanent civil service is the bedrock of effective and efficient government. Civil servants, appointed through open and fair competition rather than patronage, are able to give their best impartial, professional advice to ministers without fear or favour. Ministers, accountable to parliament for their decisions, are free to ignore or act on that advice, but ultimately it is their decision and this must be implemented by the civil service.

This process, enshrined in legislation, is one of the reasons why the UK civil service is independently judged in the InCiSE Index as the most effective in the world.

While there is always tension in government between ministers and civil servants, the current government has adopted an operating model of routinely briefing against and undermining both the service and its senior leadership. Anonymous briefings, providing ministers with plausible deniability, undermine not only the careers and lives of individuals who are constitutionally unable to defend themselves, but represent a serious threat to ability of civil servants to speak truth to power.

Whatever the source of these repeated briefings, it is the responsibility of the prime minister, as the head of government and minister for the civil service, to put a halt to this practice. Congress therefore calls on the TUC to call on the prime minister to:

i. publicly and repeatedly condemn the practice of briefing against civil servants when they occur

ii. commit to treating briefings in the same manner as leaks, including launching inquiries and taking action against perpetrators as necessary.



  • Insert new paragraph 4:
    “This threat is exacerbated by proposed radical changes to the Government Communications Service. Greater politicisation of government communications and centralisation for its own sake will undermine the vital qualities of impartiality, nuance and expertise and will damage citizens’ confidence in the information they receive.”


Motion 56 Rebuilding the probation service

Received from: NAPO

On 13 June, the secretary of state for justice announced that all probation services will revert to public ownership and control, bringing an early end to the 20 community rehabilitation company contracts in June 2021. This change of direction represents a significant victory over a privatisation policy that has been an unmitigated disaster for staff, clients, victims and the taxpayer.

Now that the first part of the campaign to save probation has been achieved, Congress believes that there is a need for substantial investment in the probation service in order that the damage of the last six years can start to be repaired and the service can once again excel at reducing reoffending and protecting the public.

Congress instructs the General Council to work in partnership with the probation unions and the official opposition to press government ministers to take the necessary steps to recover what was once a world-class probation service with the following objectives:

i. fully unified service provision, delivered within the public sector and never for profit

ii. removal of probation from the civil service and release from the prison-dominated culture which means that probation is the forgotten ‘P’ in HMPPS

iii. a service built on evidence-based practice

iv. a service rooted in the local community and partnering with local specialist providers.

Congress instructs the General Council to include a progress report to the 2021 Congress.


Motion 57 Cafcass services need the right support from government

Received from: NAPO

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is a non-departmental public body, currently part of the Ministry of Justice.

The most recent National Audit Office report from October 2018 shows the MoJ as having four strategic targets. These do not feature Cafcass at all, beyond that which is to “deliver a modern courts and justice system”.

The fourth and last sub-objective regarding that target is to “support better outcomes for children, families and vulnerable adults”, which looks like an afterthought.

Cafcass is clearly not a priority for the MoJ. The minister of state for children and families is based in the Department of Education and has responsibilities for child protection (including protection from child sexual exploitation and safeguarding), local authority children’s social care and family law.

Cafcass workloads are at an all-time high and work demand is up by 7 per cent on this time last year. The situation is critical and the organisation requires appropriate support from government.

Congress instructs the General Council to work in partnership with the family court unions and the official opposition to press government ministers to take the necessary steps to ensure that Cafcass is placed within the remit of the DfE.

The General Council should include a progress report to the 2021 Congress.



Composite 10 Pay

Received from: GMB, PCS

Motion 41 and amendments

Congress notes that while businesses and banks were bailed out after the 2008 financial crisis, public sector workers have suffered a decade of austerity, pay cuts and worsening conditions. The Covid-19 crisis has now demonstrated the true value of their work to the country.

We note that, since 2010, average civil service pay has fallen in value by over 20 per cent at the same time as MPs’ pay has increased in value by 20 per cent. Congress condemns the government for continuing to limit pay increases in the civil service and related areas to between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent.

Congress condemns the insulting pay offer of 2 per cent made by fire and rescue service employers, despite firefighters and emergency control staff taking on additional work and facing the Westminster-imposed pay cap for many years.

Congress utterly condemns the Treasury for considering imposing a two-year public sector wage freeze to pay for increased government borrowing during the pandemic.

Congress believes that the pandemic has brought about huge changes in society and a reawakened respect for public sector workers, and that there is now a popular awareness of the potentially devastating effects of another round of austerity.

Congress resolves to step up to the plate, recognise that the scale of the problem requires a joint union response, and work together to organise a fight for fair pay for all public sector workers.

Congress calls on the General Council to coordinate a public sector pay campaign for significantly above-inflation pay increases accompanied by a high-profile media campaign that rejects any attempt to make public sector workers pay for the pandemic crisis. This work should include facilitating where possible co-ordination of the campaigning priorities of affiliates, bargaining timetables and pay demands, campaign activities, ballots and industrial action. Congress calls on affiliates to work in co-operation and solidarity when determining their industrial response to attacks on the public sector.

Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: GMB
Supporter: Fire Brigades Union

C13 Rail emergency measures, publicly owned rail and a new deal for transport

Received from: ASLEF, RMT

Motions 53, 54 and 55

Congress notes the paramount role our railway has played during the Covid-19 pandemic in ensuring that key workers and goods are able to be transported across the country. Yet already government is attacking our heroes with the prime minister making driverless trains a condition of London transport funding and reports that rail funding will be linked to staff cuts.

Congress pays tribute to the key workers of the coronavirus pandemic who, in protecting our lives and livelihoods risked and sadly lost their lives.

Congress is concerned the pandemic has increased car use at public transport’s expense, which will be disastrous for our climate and health, as raised carbon emissions increase vulnerability to diseases, with evidence air pollution is a factor in higher rates of coronavirus deaths.

Congress agrees that to stop the coronavirus crisis accelerating the climate crisis we need to massively expand transport operating subsidy, capital investment and capacity to make bus, metro and rail passenger and freight services more frequent, affordable, attractive and safer to use.

Congress believes that our railway will play an essential role in our low-carbon economic recovery. Investment in infrastructure will create jobs, whilst making low-carbon transport even more efficient.

Congress notes that the government is reviewing the EMAs and considering the recommendations of the unpublished Williams Rail Review, potentially as a way to introduce concessions like those run by TfL.

The EMAs and the concession model that the transport secretary has said he is looking to introduce gives government more control over our railway than the franchise system. However, this new model also means that almost all financial risk sits with the taxpayer whilst private companies are still able to take profit out of our system.

Even before coronavirus, many TOCs were dependent on direct and indirect tax-payer subsidies that guaranteed regular profits with some, like LNER and Northern, already back in public ownership.

Congress believes that the pandemic has shown how the dogma of rail privatisation falls apart at a time of national emergency when government intervention becomes necessary.

Congress believes that the time is right to eliminate the leech of the private sector altogether from the delivery of rail services by taking our trains back into public ownership. Congress calls on the General Council to make the case via a campaign of political and public engagement to influence the government in its review.

Congress will campaign for:

i. no transport austerity: protect and improve rail, tube, bus, maritime, transport and offshore jobs, pay and conditions

ii. stronger safety standards and stronger powers for safety reps

iii. all key workers to benefit from the coronavirus compensation scheme

iv. an end to outsourcing, which is unfair and unsafe: Sadiq Khan should lead by ending the privatisation of Tube cleaning

v. scrapping planned new anti-union legislation against rail workers.

Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Seconder: ASLEF
Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Motion 32 Young workers, mental health and work

Received from: TUC Young Workers' Conference

For young workers, the labour market is typically characterised by low pay, precarity and job insecurity. There is a specific impact on mental health for people engaged in precarious work.

Many young workers deal with a toxic working environment such as bullying, harassment, rude and abusive customers and age discrimination.

As a result, young people’s working lives are negatively affecting their mental health. Poor working environments and the lack of certainty around working schedules, earnings and job security continue to have a specific detrimental impact on the wellbeing of young workers.

Congress notes:

i. Mental health problems are one of the main health issues for young people, with 10–20 per cent of those aged 16–24 experiencing mental health problems.

ii. 75 per cent of people who have lifelong mental health problems start to experience these by the age of 25.

iii. 72 per cent of young Usdaw members reported that financial worries are impacting their mental health.

iv. 45 per cent of 18- to 30-year-olds hold back from talking about mental health in the workplace.

In addition, Congress notes:

a. Access to mental health services has been severely limited due to austerity-driven health service cuts, with experts suggesting that the ‘treatment gap’ is worst for those aged 21–25.

b. The transition from children to adult mental health services can create huge problems for young people aged 16–19 if not handled sensitively.

Congress further notes:

  1. Mental health has been a TUC Young Workers Forum Priority Campaign in 2019/2020 and it applauds the work carried out by both the Forum and affiliates on this vital issue over the past year.
  2. The Campaign Planning Template has been developed, which will be invaluable in supporting young trade unionists across our movement to campaign for positive mental health and wellbeing with and on behalf of workers across the econo

Trade unions have to better address the particular prevalence of precarious work, low pay and bullying for young workers and the negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. campaign to raise awareness of how work affects mental health and its impact on young workers

ii. produce guidance for trade union reps on what employers must do to reduce pressure on their employees and put their workers’ mental health first

iii. 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 on the findings

iv. support campaigns by unions representing health care workers and other campaigning organisations to restore urgently needed funding to mental health services

v. make the case for employers in public-facing sectors to protect workers and act to ensure workers are treated with respect

vi. 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.

Congress further resolves to call on the TUC Young Workers Forum to:

i. ensure that the relationship between precarious work and mental health is incorporated into the work of the TUC Young Workers’ Forum on this priority campaign

ii. engage with young representatives of unions whose members are found in sectors where precarious work is the norm, irrespective of whether those unions are represented on the Forum, to further develop the TUC’s resources in this area.

TUC Young Workers Conference

Composite 15 Health and safety representatives

Received from: NASUWT, UCU

Motion 63 and amendments

Congress applauds the work done by health and safety representatives during the Covid-19 crisis in making workplaces safer and Covid-secure.

Congress asserts that the coronavirus crisis has further demonstrated the vital role of health and safety representatives in workplaces, both in supporting members and ensuring their voice is heard.

Congress rejects employer attitudes to consultation with health and safety reps where it fails to match up with the SRSC Regs’ “in good time” requirements but instead is left to a last-minute, tick-box exercise that attempts to overlook the workforce’s experience and concerns.

Congress believes that the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the significance of risk assessment, and the importance of having trained health and safety representatives in appraising risk assessments and giving advice to employers.

Congress asserts that the statutory right of health and safety representatives to facilities release time is essential and must be protected.

Congress further notes that many workplaces do not have health and safety representatives, and that urgent action is required to grow the number of health and safety representatives.

Congress believes these are vital trade union duties that benefit all workers and their employers and Congress believes reps should be supported by adequate paid time off as per the Brown Book to ensure the work is done and potential reps are not deterred in times of crisis.

Congress calls on the General Council and affiliates to devise a coordinated strategy for recruiting higher numbers of health and safety representatives across all sectors.

Seconder: University and College Union
Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Motion 66 Solidarity with Palestine and resisting annexation

Received from: Unite

Congress stands united in its full opposition to the Israeli government’s declared intention to annex great swathes of the West Bank, a move that is illegal under international law and that makes clear there is no intent on the part of the Israeli government to end the occupation and recognise the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. It will be another significant step in the creation of a system of apartheid.

For too long the international community has stood idly by as the Israeli state has been allowed to carry out its crimes and this cannot be tolerated or accepted any longer. Decisive action is now urgently needed in relation to Israel’s illegal actions against the Palestinians.

Congress therefore resolves to:

i. fully support and play an active role in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s actions to build a broad coalition against the proposed Israeli annexation and to urge all affiliates to do likewise

ii. send a letter to the prime minister demanding that the UK take firm and decisive measures, including sanctions, to ensure that Israel stops or reverses the illegal annexation, ends the occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza, and respects the right of Palestinian refugees to return

iii. communicate its position to all other national trade union centres in the International and European Trade Union Confederations and urge them to join the international campaign to stop annexation and end apartheid.



Composite 09 A new deal for workers with a real living wage

Received from: BFAWU, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Motions 33 and amendment, and 34

The TUC believes that the coronavirus crisis highlights the need for a ‘New Deal for Workers’ that includes:

i. a real living wage: we need the national minimum wage immediately increased to £10 per hour for all workers regardless of age and we call for £15 per hour for all workers – we need working people to be able to live and not simply survive

ii. minimum contracts of at least 16 hours per week for all workers who want it; a right to a ‘normal hours’ contract that reflects the hours that are regularly worked; and a ban on zero-hours contracts

iii. increasing statutory sick pay to a worker’s normal pay, to be paid from day one of absence; the lower earnings limit that means low paid workers are not entitled to SSP to be abolished

iv. protection at work legislation that would make it a specific offence to assault public-facing workers

v. universal credit to be replaced by a social security system that supports low paid workers

vi. stronger protections for workers, from day one of employment, against redundancy and dismissal

vii. fair treatment and equal pay: many frontline key workers are women whose jobs have been undervalued and underpaid for too long – we need more affordable childcare and improved family-friendly rights

viii. more support for BME workers who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus and the crisis

ix. stronger trade union rights so that all workers can benefit from a union voice at work

x. a Ministry of Labour and Labour Inspectorate to ensure that workers have a voice at the cabinet table: a single enforcement agency should be adequately funded to deal with individual employment rights issues.

Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Seconder: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union
Supporter: Unite

E1 The future of the Springfields Fuels manufacturing site

Received from: Prospect, Unite

Emergency motion

Congress is concerned that the announcement by EDF Energy on 27 August to bring forward the closure of Hunterston nuclear power station by January 2022, and the further significant and credible risk that other EDF nuclear stations will follow suit,  will have a devastating impact on the UK nuclear fuel supply chain, the UK’s energy security and its indigenous nuclear fuel manufacturing capacity.  

This decision places into immediate jeopardy the future of Springfields Fuels Ltd, the UK’s only nuclear fuel manufacturer, supporting 4,000 skilled jobs in the North West of England.  

The Government’s industrial strategy pledged to ensure continued operation of these facilities and secure the long-term future of these important UK strategic national assets 

Urgent strategic intervention is needed to secure this goal, including commitment to a replacement nuclear programme that will provide a future market for UK-produced fuel as well as helping to meet the UK’s net zero commitments.   

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:  

i. Lobby government to take immediate steps to establish a tripartite forum, including the recognised unions, to secure the future of Springfields Fuels and the high quality jobs that it supports;  

ii. Press for early publication of an Energy White Paper and support a Westminster Parliamentary debate that commits to support for nuclear as part of a low carbon energy future, including manufacturing capacity and jobs in the supply chain;  

iii. Ensure any future UK nuclear power stations source their fuel from UK manufacturers.  

Moved: Prospect 
Seconded: Unite