C02 The climate emergency, defending jobs and a just transition

Received from: GMB, Prospect

Motions 9 and amendment, 10 and amendment, 12 and 15

Congress recognises:

i. The climate emergency is the gravest threat currently facing humanity.

ii. The UK’s plan to address the climate crisis still lacks real detail, especially in key areas like heat decarbonisation.

iii. Energy is at a crossroads. The energy sector is an important source of unionised jobs, but current policies are failing workers as jobs are offshored and terms and conditions attacked.

Congress notes:

a. 800,000 UK manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 15 years and the number of renewable energy jobs is falling.

b. Most of the UK’s nuclear plants will be shut down by 2030 with a disappointing lack of progress in securing the next generation of nuclear power; and the future of the world’s best-developed gas distribution network is under threat.

c. The green industries of the future, like offshore wind and electric vehicles, will require a reliable source of domestically produced steel.

d. It is nonsensical to continue importing dirty steels or renewables components from countries with appalling human rights records on the other side of the world while our fabrication yards lie empty.

Congress further notes:

1. The Green Jobs Task Force report and agrees that a detailed long-term plan for net-zero to support good quality green jobs in the UK is needed.

2. The upcoming COP26 meeting is a key opportunity to agree a viable strategy for addressing the climate emergency. But the success of such a strategy depends on having a skilled and diverse workforce to deliver it. The strategy for addressing the climate emergency must include a just transition for workers in high-carbon sectors. No worker should be left behind.

3. Ensuring that goods and services procured by the public sector are produced in the UK will further benefit efforts to tackle the climate crisis, as shorter supply chains mean fewer carbon emissions. Using more carbon-efficient infrastructure such as rail freight can have an even more significant impact on emissions.

4. The Green Jobs Task Force report recognises that strong procurement rules and guidelines can be a way to stipulate that companies receiving public money must operate a high standard of workers’ rights and employment conditions, and recognise a trade union.

Congress believes:

i. Tackling global warming requires a co-ordinated international response – not the unilateral tearing down of our industries.

ii. The government must work to protect British goods and jobs, in order to ensure there is fair and high-quality employment for all.

iii. We need a balanced energy mix that includes renewables, nuclear, and the flexibility currently provided by gas.

iv. Net-zero means we need to grow Britain’s steel industry, not shrink it, and in doing so create new jobs and opportunities in parts of the country that most need them.

v. Our steel industry has to decarbonise, in a responsible way. The future of British steelmaking is supporting green jobs at the core of a low-carbon economy. Steelworkers must get all the support they need to adapt to new circumstances and acquire new skills where jobs change or evolve.

Congress firmly believes:

i. Workers and unions must be at the heart of the broader fight for climate justice and the decision-making process to deliver a just transition that protects jobs and high-carbon communities including steel.

ii. Workplace representatives play a valuable role in driving action to reduce employers’ carbon emissions and to press for changes to ensure the long-term sustainability of their organisations.

iii. Trade union environmental representatives play an important part highlighting the impact of the climate emergency within their trade union structures and help mobilise members.

iv. The work of environmental representatives should be backed by legal rights.

Congress resolves that the TUC will support and campaign for:

a. a comprehensive, publicly funded government plan to fully address the climate emergency, including a just transition for workers in high-carbon industries

b. a green industrial strategy based on a foundation of steel and manufacturing jobs

c. radical policies to support strong UK supply chains, including tough social value in procurement targets and procurement policy that ensures goods are produced in Britain and services create British jobs

d. the support and financial backing we need to decarbonise our steel industry and secure its long-term future

e. the construction of new nuclear plants, benefiting communities from Sizewell to West Cumbria, and the development of Small Modular Reactors

f. low-carbon heating, with ‘green’ and ‘blue’ and other forms of low-carbon hydrogen used as the default for heating buildings supported by the electrification of heat, with investment in production of these forms of energy and CCUS to provide a sustainable future for gas workers

g. a moratorium on Contracts for Difference awards that enable the offshoring of jobs

h. exploring proposals for a UK carbon border tariff

i. legal rights for trade union environment reps.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

1.  provide environment reps with resources to help mobilise other members

2.  continue to support the steel unions’ “Britain, We Need Our Steel” campaign

3. work with regional and local trades unionists to lobby public sector organisations for high-quality procurement rules.

Mover: GMB
Seconder: Prospect
Supporters: Unite, Community, ASLEF and FDA

C03 Rail cuts, climate change and a post-pandemic recovery

Received from: ASLEF, TSSA

Motions 13 and 14

Congress notes with growing alarm:

i. The government intends to cut £2bn from rail industry support, which will possibly see the loss of at least 10,000 railway jobs and cuts to many services.

ii. While the coronavirus has rightly been the focus for governments around the world over the last two years, the climate change crisis has not disappeared.

iii. Climate change is increasingly out of control, while ahead of the UN’s decisive COP26 conference in Glasgow, the UK government claims to be showing climate leadership to the world.

Congress acknowledges:

a. The financial cost of this pandemic cannot be met with more failed austerity measures, but by growing our economy. We must grow our economy in a way that not only doesn’t exacerbate the climate crisis, but indeed reduces carbon emissions.

b. At 1 per cent, rail is the lowest contributor to transport carbon emissions and will play a significant part in meeting the climate change challenge. Rail freight results in an average of 76 per cent lower emissions than the equivalent road journey.

c. Instead of recognising the long-term national interest, the Tory government is concerned with the short-term expediency of clawing back its coronavirus pandemic support to rail, just at a time when it should be encouraging people back onto rail.

d. Public transport use collapsed during the pandemic, with the majority of leisure and commuter travel disappearing as lockdowns took place and people were told to stay at home. It remains to be seen whether the pandemic has had a long-term effect on how we work.

e. The loss of jobs and services to cut support are not matched by the government’s continuing desire for private sector involvement in rail that will add to costs and fragmentation.

f. The cuts may only be the start, with further change to come following the announcement in May of wholesale restructuring of the industry by 2023.

g. The burden will continue to increasingly fall on passengers through above-inflation fare hikes that build on the 48 per cent real terms increase since 1997.

h. Once rail infrastructure is allowed to diminish, and our capacity reduces, it is far harder to get it back. That is why we must work to ensure the temporary reduction in passenger numbers does not lead to long-term decline of our network.

Mindful of these facts, Congress calls on the General Council to:

1. campaign for more rail investment, not cuts

2. draw attention to the government’s inconsistencies on rail and climate change

3. centre investment in low-carbon transport to ensure a future green economy

4. campaign for the safe return of passengers to public transport.

Mover: ASLEF
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

C05 Support for the cultural sector

Received from: Equity, MU

Motions 18 and amendment, 19, 20 and amendment, 21, and 22 and amendment

Congress notes that before the pandemic, the creative industries accounted for more than two million jobs across the UK and contributed around £112bn to the economy. Despite its success, the sector remains host to a disproportionate level of precarious employment, long working hours, low pay, harassment and discrimination.

The pandemic has exposed the fragile nature of the arts and culture sector in Britain, with a disproportionate impact on already disadvantaged groups, and, crucially, the significant sums made available by the government to “rescue” the sector from collapse do not address its underlying structural problems.

These include a steep fall in public and business investment in the arts since 2008, and the fact that the sector’s workforce is overwhelmingly freelance, with many ineligible for recent government schemes to assist the self-employed.

Yet, before lockdown, the UK’s creative sector was growing at five times the rate of the wider economy and in 2018 contributed £111.7bn to the exchequer – more than the automobile, aerospace, oil and gas industries combined. This, in spite of the UK consistently spending less on its cultural life than our European neighbours.

Congress notes:

i. growing poverty and inequality in the UK as a result of austerity policies in recent years

ii. cuts in funding to the benefits system directly affecting those working in the creative industries

iii. increasing insecurity across the creative sector due to the impact of Covid-19 and many creative workers being ineligible for pandemic-related support schemes

iv. the expansion of the gig economy in the sector, which has led to an erosion of workers’ rights and conditions

v. that universal credit has failed to address these issues

vi. that many creative workers have been doubly affected by precarious working in both the cultural sector and in other jobs taken to support a career in the arts.

Congress further notes that the government’s £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund has largely been spent on buildings and venues. Very little has directly supported the industry’s workforce beyond the funds ringfenced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in recognition of the failures of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Congress agrees that our national museums and galleries are important parts of our nations’ heritage and cultural life. The collections they manage are free for all to view and should remain so. They are key to our tourism industry and one report prepared for the Arts Council England suggests that, per year, the sector as a whole produces £1.45bn for an overall public investment of £0.66bn, and the sector raises £3 for every £1 of public investment. Their cultural value to the country is incalculable.

However, Congress notes that successive governments have significantly reduced the Grant in Aid (GIA) funding available for these institutions, requiring them to increase revenue through fundraising, retail activities, special paid exhibitions, sponsorship and more. Congress notes the catastrophic impact that the pandemic has had, and the likely ongoing effects due to loss of tourism and increased pressures on the availability and level of future sponsorship funding.

Congress also notes that rates of pay for staff in museums and galleries are, frankly, woeful and several institutions have undertaken restructures, at least in part as a response to the pandemic, with consequent job losses and increased work pressures on remaining staff. Congress agrees that the funding model for the institutions is a significant factor in the impact of the pandemic and more broadly.

As a result of the “Keep Music Alive” campaign and pressure from the MU, the DCMS Select Committee recently conducted an inquiry into streaming.

After many years of arguing that streaming is hugely unfair to musicians and performers, the committee’s conclusion that music streaming needs a ‘complete reset’, so that artists, performers and songwriters who currently receive “pitiful returns” are fairly rewarded, was very welcome.

Most musicians earn a very low royalty on streaming due to their contract with their record label, and session musicians earn nothing at all. 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.

Congress believes that it is time to campaign for fundamental reform in the creative industries in order to redistribute wealth, income, power and decision-making.

We welcome steps taken by unions and campaigners in the sector to address these issues, including the publication of “Making Culture Ours”, “Performance for All” and other initiatives.

Congress calls on the General Council to support:

a. expanded investment in arts and culture for the wellbeing of all – including increasing cultural funding from 0.6 per cent of GDP to at least the European average level of 1 per cent

b. ensuring that public funding for arts and culture meets minimum agreed standards of pay and employment

c. dignity at work for all through renewed lobbying for an extension to employment tribunal claim time limits and the implementation of ILO C190

d. promoting the role of creative arts education in society

e. ensuring an equitable and non-discriminatory balance and distribution of funding

f. democratisation and regionalisation of funding and decision-making structures and promoting democratic accountability across the creative and cultural sector

g. increased funding for the arts and entertainment industries including at local authority level

h. national, regional and local authority support for community art centres that provide facilities such as studios and performance spaces for creative arts, crafts, music and theatre

i. campaigning for additional, no strings attached, financial support for all of the national museums and galleries

j. campaigning for a real-terms increase in Grant in Aid for all national museums and galleries

k. campaigning for an improved funding model for the sector that reduces reliance on paid exhibitions and sponsorship and safeguards and improves access for all

l. government to legislate so that performers enjoy the right to equitable remuneration for streaming income

m. government to refer cases to the Competition and Markets Authority to undertake a full market study into the economic impact of the major music groups’ dominance.

Congress further notes:

1. While issues of low pay and job insecurity are complex, universal basic income (UBI) could improve the lives of those working in areas most exposed to precarious working, low wages or automation including the cultural and creative sector.

2. Others have serious reservations based on its potential to drive down wages, increase precariousness, and undermine unions’ bargaining power.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. co-ordinate input from unions to set up discussions where available research on UBI can be explored as a potentially important part of future social policy including its impact on disabled people, costs and potential for knock on cuts in other areas of social provision, and the alternative of fundamental reform of the social security system

ii. consider a pilot basic income guarantee for creative workers, offering a simple, universal payment to all artists each month, akin to the scheme soon to be trialled in the Republic of Ireland.

Mover: Equity
Seconder: Musicians’ Union
Supporters: FDA, Artists’ Union England, Public and Commercial Services Union, Prospect

C12 Invest in public services

Received from: GMB, Unison

Motions 53; 54 and amendment; 55; 56 and amendment; and 57 and amendment

Congress believes the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted brutally the damage that a decade of austerity and underinvestment in public services has inflicted.

The pandemic has had a severe impact on staff. They have been under huge amounts of pressure and are exhausted, traumatised and struggling with their mental health.

Congress congratulates all public sector workers for the dedication they have continued to demonstrate, along with other key workers, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite their commitment, millions of workers are being placed in an impossible position by the longstanding failure of governments to back up ambitions for public services with the resources need to deliver them.

The budget plans outlined by the chancellor in March reveal spending constraints that will heap further pressure on public services still reeling from more than a decade of cuts.

Already, we are seeing jobs cuts, ruthless fire and rehire measures, councils being forced to withdraw and scale back local services and the imposition of a pay freeze affecting millions across public services.

The health and care sector face particular challenges, compounded by low pay, and urgent reforms are needed.

Congress notes a report on NHS staff burnout from the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee found that burnout is widespread and excessive workloads due to understaffing is a key driver. Maternity services are stretched almost to breaking point.

Congress recognises the impact of exploitative employment conditions in social care, noting:

i. Research for GMB Scotland’s Show You Care report found that four-fifths of care workers felt undervalued by their management or employer.

ii. Work by UNISON continues to show non-compliance with the minimum wage in the sector.

iii. A recent GMB survey found that three-quarters of care workers said that their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

These exploitative working practices disproportionately affect older women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers.

The value of these workers must be properly recognised now and into the future.

Congress calls for:

a. sustainable long-term investment in all our public services, enabling them to meet day-to-day demands and address backlogs in the NHS and the challenge of long covid

b. decent pay and reward for people working in public services and across the wider economy, including an immediate end to the pay freeze

c. the creation of a fair and equal society that addresses the serious structural inequalities exposed by the pandemic

d. economic policies that create a greener and more sustainable economy.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

1. continue the campaign for fully funded public services to meet the needs of the current and future UK population

2. give the highest priority to making progress on public sector pay, ending the pay freeze and paying all workers a decent, living wage commensurate with our skills and contribution to society

3. work with public sector unions on campaigns to address the workforce crisis in the NHS urgently, for a meaningful and sustainable pay rise to address years of shortfall, and protected time to access mental health and medical services for NHS staff to aid a quicker recovery from the effects of the pandemic

4. support a campaign for the fundamental reform of the social care system that reflects:

5. the GMB’s campaign for care workers to be paid at least £15 an hour to bring earnings in line with the average for workers in the whole economy and the NHS, and to give care workers the reward and recognition they deserve.

6. UNISON’s campaign for a national care service, incorporating sustained funding and the creation of a comprehensive framework of provision mirroring the NHS.

Seconder: GMB
Supporters: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Midwives, British Dietetic Association, Fire Brigades Union and the Royal College of Podiatry

C16 Increasing membership in the private sector and mobilising for a New Deal for all workers

Received from: Aegis, CWU

Motions 69 and amendments and 71

It has never been more important in the history of our movement for this generation of trade union leaders and all trade unions to campaign and take action together in pursuit of shared industrial and political demands.

In 2020 we agreed to mobilise for the “New Deal for Workers” campaign, and we must now urgently up the ante on this by taking the following actions:

i. The existing TUC New Deal Charter must be sharpened with simple over- demands and a contemporary narrative.

ii. A mobilisation strategy must enable each union to pitch their key issues to their own members, whilst also linking this to the overarching demands and narrative of the New Deal campaign.

iii. The strategy must include coordinated activities to build union density and workplace activity in order that we can grow our strength from our base.

iv. A national rally will be held in spring 2022. In advance of this there will be a national tour and town hall style meetings to strengthen the campaign and the turnout for the rally.

v. All unions and their branches, TUC regions and trades councils will be asked to make the New Deal campaign an ongoing key agenda item, including a coordinated communications/engagement strategy in advance of the rally.

vi. We will build a social movement in support of the New Deal campaign by engaging community and appropriate national membership organisations.

vii. The heads of communication of each affiliate will meet once the mobilisation strategy has been agreed by the General Council to agree a joint approach to the public promotion of the New Deal campaign.

Congress agrees the New Deal mobilisation plan will be agreed by the General Council by October 2021 and will include an ongoing programme of action beyond the rally.

Congress notes there are currently around 18 million non-unionised workers in the private sector in the UK. Only 10 per cent of workers aged 16–24 in any sector of the UK are in a union. Around 40 per cent of all current union members are over 50.

We are not recruiting enough young members to replace those members whom we will lose to retirement over the next 10–15 years.

Congress believes if we don’t do something different, the future of trade union membership in the private sector will continue to decline.

Serious commitment from the movement to address these challenges has already started.

Last summer, the TUC General Council and the general secretaries of all TUC affiliates signed up to the TUC Organising Pledge.

The pledge commits the movement to addressing six strategic challenges, which is a positive initiation.

However, so much has changed, at pace, since making this commitment and therefore Congress calls on the General Council to go a stage further, which would include:

a. a concentrated, focused, digital marketing campaign specifically aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds in the private sector

b. a dedicated budget and resource to support and work with affiliates to help achieve increased membership in the private sector.

Mover: Communication Workers Union
Seconder: Aegis
Supporters: National Education Union, University and College Union

C17 Colombian government violence; justice for Colombia

Received from: BFAWU, POA

Motions 73 and 74

Congress pays tribute to the Colombian people for their commitment to human rights, peace and social justice through trade union-led, national strike protests that have mobilised millions of people.

Congress condemns the horrific abuses against protesters committed by security forces under President Ivan Duque. Between 28 April and 30 June, human rights groups documented the police having committed over 4,000 acts of violence, 44 killings of protesters, 82 permanent eye injuries, 28 cases of sexual violence and over 2,000 arbitrary arrests.

Colombian government ministers made dangerous and unfounded insinuations linking protesters to criminal organisations and legitimising police violence against them.

Colombian trade unionists also face stigmatisation even as they are being killed. According to the International Trade Union Confederation, 22 Colombian trade unionists were murdered between March 2020 and April 2021, the world’s highest figure.

Congress is concerned that Britain’s free trade agreement with Colombia and its training of Colombian security forces is giving the green light to state violence, while impunity still surrounds most killings of trade unionists and social activists.

Congress resolves to:

i. call on the British government to review security and trade partnerships with Colombia in response to human rights abuses

ii. pressure the British government to demand accountability for perpetrators of state violence and full investigations into killings of trade unionists and social activists

iii. lobby the British government to increase its efforts to support full implementation of the 2016 peace agreement

iv. support the vital work of Justice for Colombia by affiliating at national, regional and branch levels.

Mover: POA
Seconder: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union


Motion 11 Decarbonise and decolonise in the fight for climate justice

Received from: UCU

Congress recognises the urgency of the climate crisis, and the need to achieve a just transition to a zero-carbon economy that ensures no community is left behind.

Congress notes that the consequences of climate change are not distributed equally, and the climate crisis we now face is intrinsically linked to the legacy of colonialism and imperialism that has promoted and supported carbon-intensive economic systems around the globe. Climate change is caused overwhelmingly by higher income nations, communities and individuals, yet poorer nations and communities will be most acutely affected by its impacts.

It is therefore vital that the approaches we take to addressing the climate crisis are bound up with efforts to decolonise our structures, institutions and employers.

Congress rejects attempts by the Westminster government to deny the realities of structural racism and the need for decolonisation. Congress also notes with concern the Climate Change Committee report that suggests the government is still too slow on reducing emissions.

Congress resolves that the TUC should campaign for education for sustainable development to be embedded across the education system and trade union education by 2030, ensuring all young people and adults are equipped with the skills they need to understand climate change and respond to its impact on communities, industries and economies.

University and College Union


Add at end of paragraph 3:

“, including efforts to embed anti-racism and climate justice at the heart of UK policy-making.”

In paragraph 5, insert colon after “campaign for” and create new sub-paragraph i.
using the remaining text.

Add new sub-paragraph ii.:

“ii. inclusive curricular entitlements supported by anti-racist teacher education and training.”

Add new final paragraph:

“Congress also calls on the General Council to establish an annual environmental audit of affiliates’ work on sustainability and to showcase examples of effective practice.”


Motion 60 Health regulatory reform

Received from: HCSA

Congress notes the government’s plan to grant new powers to health regulators to set their own rules and remove much of their functioning from parliamentary oversight and legislation.

Congress agrees that regulators play an important role in policing professional standards among health workers, but believes that this power comes with responsibility and to ensure fairness requires the utmost transparency and balance.

Congress notes that medical regulator, the General Medical Council, has this year faced criticism for an approach to allegations aimed at building the case for charges rather than truly impartial investigation, which subsequently saw it found guilty of racial discrimination by an employment tribunal.

Congress believes that for regulators to operate fairly and in the interests of all parties, accountability, remits and processes need to be enshrined in law and should not be written by the regulators themselves.

Congress further believes that health regulators should remain fully accountable to the public and the professions which they regulate and as such the best route to achieve this is proper parliamentary scrutiny of their activities, set out in law.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. voice its concern over current proposals for reform of health regulators

ii. oppose the proposal to grant health regulators the power to set their own rules and processes

iii. lobby to ensure that the activities are subject to democratic scrutiny and that their processes and rules continue to be set out transparently in law.

Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association

Motion 72 Palestine

Received from: National Education Union


i. stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people following the latest attacks by Israeli state forces on the people of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the occupied territories

ii. condemns the bombing of media offices in Gaza and pledges solidarity with all media workers reporting on the conflict.

Congress notes:

a. 233 Palestinians, 66 of whom were children, and 12 Israelis, including two children, were killed in May.

b. More than 60,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza with homes, schools, roads, medical facilities and other vital services destroyed or disrupted.

c. The Gaza blockade, annexation of Palestinian land, settlement expansion, and forced evictions of Palestinian families have been condemned by the United Nations as breaches of international humanitarian law.

d. B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have concluded that the Israeli regime is guilty of apartheid, with HRW stating that the authorities have “dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity” and that, “in certain areas, the deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

Congress calls on:

1. the British government to work towards a full and lasting peaceful solution to the conflict that recognises Palestinians’ right to self-determination

2. the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute individuals credibly implicated in crimes against humanity

3. the General Council to reaffirm policy to “boycott the goods of companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”.

National Education Union


At end of the final paragraph, after “Wall”, add “and to take meaningful
action to highlight UK pension funds that hold shares in investment funds and companies that aid Israel’s breaches of international law.”

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

C13 Public sector pay and pensions

Received from: EIS, PCS

Motions 58 and 59 and amendment

Congress condemns the UK government’s continued public sector pay restraint policy and its refusal to address public sector pension deficiencies.

The government’s public sector pay policies have resulted in the value of the average public sector worker’s pay falling over the last 10 years; workers are working harder and more flexibly, for less pay in real terms. Long-term pay restraint is having a detrimental impact on the living standards of workers and it is compounded by rising inflation.

Congress condemns the government for ripping up the pensions cost-sharing agreement for public sector schemes and for treating the cost of the McCloud/Sargeant remedy as a member cost, ensuring that the bill has to be met entirely by the scheme members.

Congress notes that evidence from the first round of scheme valuations in the public services does not support the claim that future pension costs in the public services are unaffordable, representing a risk to the public finances.

Congress welcomes the legal action being taken forward jointly by unions to challenge these scandalous government actions and calls on the General Council to coordinate union campaigning on public sector pensions.

Congress calls on the UK government and the devolved administrations’ governments to redress the detriment suffered by members conscripted to the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme (and other similar schemes) in 2015, whereby such members cannot access pension benefits accrued under the scheme before normal pension age (67/68) without actuarial reduction. Public sector pension schemes need to be improved to allow workers to access their pension at a reasonable age without punitive reductions.

The justification for higher pension age is longer life expectancy, but there are great variations in life and disability-free life expectancy.

Congress believes that in a post-pandemic world of work the need to reduce the pension age is more urgent than ever as a means to address the shameful levels of social and health inequality.

Congress calls on the General Council to embark upon a high-profile and coordinated campaign in 2021/22 to assist with the harmonisation of the campaigning activity of affiliates and highlight the need for a major programme of pay restoration that recognises the vital contribution made by all frontline workers across public and private sectors during the pandemic. This campaign should aim:

i. to improve the value of public sector pensions

ii. for the immediate honouring of the public sector pension cost-sharing arrangement measures

iii. for a reduction in the state pension age, and in the normal pension age for public sector schemes.

Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland
Supporter: NASUWT

C08 Online abuse: time for real change

Received from: CSP, PFA

Motion 40 and amendments

Congress calls on the General Council to join with the PFA in its fight to eradicate online abuse and tackle the disgusting and abhorrent racist and discriminatory abuse that its members and the wider footballing community endure day-in, day-out in their working lives.

The racism directed at the players after the Euros Final has taken an already shocking and appalling situation to new depths and it is high time the government showed a real intent and determination to hold the perpetrators to account.

It is not enough to rely on the social media platforms to police themselves as time after time they have failed to stop the abuse or indeed demonstrated sincerely that they have a genuine will to do so. Social media sites enable, empower and embolden racists to spew their abuse, safe in the knowledge there will be little or no recourse for their indefensible actions.

The legislation going through parliament is a step in the right direction but should be stronger, and robust regulation without fear or favour is needed in this sphere now.

This England team embodies the best of all of us and Congress is incredibly proud of the way PFA members have performed and conducted themselves and the way they have united a nation after some of the hardest times. Those young players played their hearts out and came so close to bringing football home.

In recognition of what they achieved and the rights we hold dear as trade unionists Congress calls on our movement to take up this fight so that the union members in our ranks can be given the respect and protection they rightly deserve.

Congress deplores the online abuse directed at trade union reps, officials and leaders for simply representing their members.

The abuse and threats to NHS staff, public servants and their unions, whether online or onsite must stop. The pandemic has seen a major increase in this.

Congress calls on social media platforms, employers and the government to take action to counteract and protect.

Bullying and harassment in any form, online or in person, is wholly unacceptable and Congress calls upon regulatory authorities to improve enforcement and increase sanctions against those who abuse others online.

Mover: PFA
Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Supporters: Royal College of Midwives, Accord

C09 Strengthening regulatory bodies

Received from: NASUWT, Prospect

Motion 41 and amendments

Congress asserts the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the key role that regulators such as the HSE and EHRC should have in ensuring that all workers are treated fairly and are safe at work.

Congress further asserts that regulations are pointless without enforcement. It is concerned that government funding of the HSE has been cut in real terms by 60 per cent since 2009/10.

Congress is alarmed by the actions of key regulatory bodies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted adversely on the health, safety and fair treatment of many frontline workers. The HSE was forced to recruit retired and outsourced inspectors to deliver Covid-19 spot-checks using short-term funding.

Congress condemns the cuts to the budgets of regulatory bodies over the last decade which has left them ill-equipped to protect workers and the public.

Congress is appalled by the lack of prosecutions taken against employers despite thousands of deaths of frontline workers.

Congress agrees that ensuring adequate regulations, inspection and enforcement must be a key priority to ensure that all workplaces are safe for all.

Congress applauds the sterling work undertaken by health and safety and equality representatives during the pandemic.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign for and lobby the government to increase the budgets of the HSE and EHRC substantially and to boost the numbers of inspectors on the ground to deliver effective enforcement, policy-making and scientific decision-making

ii. campaign for and lobby the government to ensure that local authorities and fire authorities/boards are also adequately funded to carry out their statutory duties

iii. highlight regulatory failings in the forthcoming Covid-19 independent public inquiry.

Seconder: Prospect
Supporter: Fire Brigades Union

C04 Tackling the UK skills gaps and boosting maritime training

Received from: Community, Nautilus

Motion 16 and amendments, and motion 17

Congress notes that without action seven million extra workers will have insufficient skills for their jobs by 2030. Congress further notes that adult participation in further education fell by 39 per cent between 2012–13 and 2018–19.

Congress notes that 11.3 million people in the UK lack the basic digital skills to use the internet effectively, while five million lack basic literacy and numeracy skills, creating barriers to these workers accessing jobs.

Congress notes that barriers facing workers who wish to access training are difficulties getting time away from work, cost, digital exclusion and lack of understanding about what skills will be needed.

Congress notes that the government’s apprenticeship levy has been a wasted opportunity that has seen £2bn of unused employers’ levy funds returned to the treasury instead of funding training for young people and upskilling existing workers.

Yet with work changing rapidly, workers urgently need new skills. Congress believes that reskilling initiatives should be focused on upskilling workers to better paid and better quality jobs.

Congress believes some employers have been unwilling to invest in skills, training and retraining, contributing to reported labour shortages.

Congress believes that fair pay for FE staff – including closing the £9,000 pay gap between teachers in schools and FE colleges – is crucial to ensuring that the sector can play its full role in upskilling.

Congress believes that it is essential that workers in the UK have the skills for the jobs of tomorrow.

Congress notes the Seafarer Cadet Review Report launched by the Maritime Skills Commission in June 2021, which recommends that the government must modernise UK maritime training if UK seafarers are to remain competitive in the global shipping industry and overhaul funding for seafarer training.

Over the past 40 years, the number of British officers in the Merchant Navy (MN) has fallen by around two-thirds. Consistent under-recruitment means the total is predicted to fall a further 30 per cent within the next decade.

The report recommends that UK MN officer training should be fully funded by government and officer trainees/cadets be given access to new skills for the future, modern technology such as simulators, and blended learning tools. This will enable the UK to maintain its leadership in maritime expertise and attract global investment.

A survey conducted by Nautilus International as part of its input into the Maritime Skills Commission report found that recently qualified MN officers believe UK merchant navy training was in desperate need of modernising with new skills such as leadership training and that ship owners, colleges and sponsors needed to take a much more active interest in cadets’ training experiences.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. support union campaigns to publicise training opportunities, and the importance of skills development

ii. call on the government to create an improved integrated adult skills system in the UK to make employers invest in training

iii. call on employers to provide additional support to workers at risk of digital exclusion

iv. call on employers to pre-emptively retrain workers and provide information about the key skills their workforce will require in the future

v. campaign for a right to retrain and reskill for those at risk of unemployment

vi. support industrial action by UCU members campaigning to improve pay and conditions in FE.

vii. Congress therefore calls on the government to commit to supporting UK seafarers’ training by:

viii. providing 100 per cent of the costs of training

viii. modernising course content to ensure it provides the skills to promote the competitiveness of UK seafarers in a global industry

x. supporting efforts to encourage more graduates to consider careers in shipping.

Mover: Community
Seconder: Nautilus International
Supporters: University and College Union, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

C01 Recover and rebuild: a post-pandemic plan for public services and safety at work

Received from: NASUWT, Unison

Motions 1; 2 and amendments; 3; 4; 5 and amendments; 6; 7 and amendment;
and 70

Congress notes that, over the last 18 months, the UK has faced, in Covid-19, a crisis like no other.

The UK has suffered worse health and economic outcomes than most other countries. A major reason for these failings is the fact that the UK has been hamstrung by a decade of damaging austerity, disinvestment from public services and deep structural imbalances of wealth and power in the world of work, the economy and wider society, that were decades in the making.

Congress places on the record its profound thanks for the bravery and sacrifice of public service workers. In giving thanks to the workers Congress calls on the government to assign a national day to remember those who lost their lives and to remember the sacrifices of all workers.

As a trade union movement we will continue to mourn and to honour all those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. In honouring their contribution, Congress agrees to campaign for the public inquiry into the pandemic to have the authority to compel disclosure of evidence under oath and enable the voices of workers to be heard.

Congress notes the dispute over Covid-19 safety at the DVLA in Swansea. Congress applauds PCS members who have been engaged in strike action and condemns the employer for allowing a mass Covid-19 outbreak to develop, involving over 500 cases and one death. Congress condemns the actions of ministers who intervened at the 11th hour to scupper an agreement to resolve the dispute.

Congress agrees to support the PCS campaign for a full independent investigation into events at the DVLA, for the Minister for Transport, Grant Shapps to resign, and the call of no-confidence in the Chief Executive, Julie Leonard.

Congress agrees that the situation at DVLA is indicative of the government’s disastrous handling of the pandemic, which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of workers and millions of Covid-19 infections, which have, and could, lead to serious long-term illness. Congress also notes that key workers have been most at risk and most disproportionately detrimentally affected by the pandemic.

This should be a 1945 moment with a new social settlement, not only to rebuild from a crisis but to tackle the very same issues we face today that the Beveridge report highlighted then.

Trade unions must now join together and lead the way through the collective power of campaigning and action to make change happen on the ground.

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted significantly on all parts of society. Inequalities and inequities have widened as a result of the pandemic and it has severely disrupted the education of children and young people, and negatively affected their wellbeing.

Congress celebrates the work of the education workforce in responding rapidly, flexibly and sensitively in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Congress notes the resignation of Sir Kevan Collins, following the refusal to implement many of the recommendations contained within his government-commissioned report into what should be done to support the wellbeing of children and young people.

Congress instructs the General Council to continue to campaign for safe working conditions in all public workspaces, with a full range of mitigations that meet and exceed the government-issued guidance and regulations, eg ventilation. This campaign should also ensure that the additional resources are commensurate with the risks faced by public workers, and that the health and interests of public workers are properly and fairly considered.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i. no compulsory return to workplaces that are not safe for workers able to work from home

ii. new-technology agreements with employers that enable homeworking wherever possible

iii. pay rises for public sector workers in line with the demands tabled by their respective trade unions

iv. a pandemic-proofed future in which the interests of workers are protected and where safety comes first

v. both Covid and long covid to be recognised as industrial diseases, with appropriate loss of earnings compensation

vi. calls for a ‘right to rehabilitation’ and the investment needed to deliver it, for those requiring rehabilitation after Covid-19 as well as others whose needs have not been met or have worsened as a result of the pandemic

vii. staff wellbeing and recovery, including access for frontline staff to mental health and psychological wellbeing services

viii. a significant increase in funding for mental health services and improved access for all individuals at the point of need.

Congress agrees to campaign for a new post-pandemic plan before the end of 2021, as part of a cross-union action for a New Deal for Workers and profit-free public services – championing long-term sustainable investment, decent jobs and fair pay across local government, to stop and reverse the privatisation of the NHS, establish a fully funded national care service, to return support for disabled people to pre-2010 levels, defend education, policing and public services more widely, guarantee everyone a living income through the welfare system, build a new generation of accessible and sustainable public housing to address the affordable housing crisis and promote a national mission to abolish in-work poverty.

Congress confirms that it is vital that action is taken to support education recovery. The recovery should be a fully funded programme to address and resolve the effect of societal inequities on children and young people’s education. This must include a root-and-branch review of the academic curriculum prescribed for children and young people aged from 2–18 years of age.

Congress instructs the General Council to campaign for an adequately funded package of recovery measures to:

a. significantly increase funding to schools, further and higher education to enable the workforce to meet the needs of children and young people, including action to end the teacher recruitment and retention crisis; increase staffing to create smaller class sizes; fully utilise supply teachers and ensure properly paid additional education staff; to increase ASN specialist support; and to implement a national mentorship programme for young people who have been disproportionately disadvantaged by Covid-19 disruption

b. secure the rights of children and young people to a high-quality education, including access to a broad and balanced curriculum and the right to be taught by qualified teachers

c. tackle the racial, socio-economic and gender-based disparities that have been exposed and further exacerbated during the pandemic

d. ensure high-quality early years provision is available to all children to support them to have a good start in life

e. end unnecessary restructuring leading to dismissal of education staff

f. add its support to the National Children’s Bureau campaign “Children at the Heart”, which calls on the government to “produce a recovery and rebuild plan designed to enable our children to thrive.”

Seconder: NASUWT
Supporters: Communication Workers Union; Public and Commercial Services Union; Educational Institute of Scotland; Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; POA; Association of Educational Psychologists; National Education Union; Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers; Royal College of Midwives; and Community

Motion 08 The economic impact of Covid-19: defending disabled workers’ rights in current and post-Covid-19 periods

Received from: TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Disabled workers have been particularly affected by the pandemic, and the government’s measures in response to it.

Congress is extremely concerned:

i. about the disproportionate effect the coronavirus crisis has had, and is continuing to have, on the employment prospects of disabled workers

ii. that the coronavirus pandemic is severely impacting on disabled workers’ jobs, pay and entitlements – statistics also show that two in three who die from Covid-19 are disabled

iii. that deaf and disabled members have lost their jobs and facing extreme hardship as a result

iv. that the pandemic has exacerbated existing accessibility, isolation and disability rights barriers

v. that as unemployment increases, disabled workers are perceived to be draining the economy and face increased hate crime attacks.

Congress recognises:

a. If you are disabled and male, you are 6.5 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than a man who is not disabled.

b. The rate of death for disabled women is 11.3 times greater than women who are not disabled.

c. Workers having to shield are facing particular issues, especially if they cannot work from home.

d. Pre-existing disablist attitudes also mean that employers incorrectly believe that disabled workers are less productive than non-disabled workers. This has led to workers with impairments being much more likely to lose their jobs than workers without.

e. The lasting effects, known as long covid, can be extremely debilitating. The National Institute for Health Research has identified that ‘long covid’ may not be a single syndrome, but up to four different ones which may be experienced simultaneously. These subtypes include the after-effects of intensive care, post-viral fatigue, lasting organ damage and symptoms that fluctuate and move around the body.

f. Equity data reveals that at least 40 per cent of its members, and notably including many who are disabled, were ineligible for any form of Covid-19-related government assistance. Additionally, the re-introduction of the minimum income floor for self-employed workers applying for universal credit will ensure the maintenance of a punishing economic environment for disabled self-employed workers.

g. Existing reasonable adjustments should be reviewed as we are now working in a rapidly changing environment that should not leave disabled workers behind.

h. Employers must ensure they continue to meet their legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, as for example we see a change in the working environment, changes in office working dynamics and more home working.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council and the TUC Disabled Workers Committee to continue to campaign for rights for disabled people at work including:

1. a legal duty for employers to consider all disabled workers suitability for working from home, including ensuring that employers must rewrite jobs descriptions so that jobs can be performed from home

2. reforming the Access to Work fund to make it easier for disabled workers to work from home

3. giving disabled workers a new status of employment protection

4. an extension of the furlough scheme, or a creation of a scheme for shielding people who cannot work from home

5. improving the EHRC Employment Statutory Code of Practice

6. a campaign to have long covid recognised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010

7. raising awareness of the effects of long covid accompanied by a guide for reps supporting members

8. providing guidance for employers to review HR policies protecting disabled workers in the event of another pandemic

9. commissioned research on the specific economic and social plight of disabled self-employed workers and utilising this research to devise a targeted campaign to support the interests of this group of workers: this research should, in particular, focus on how the various government schemes introduced as a result of Covid-19 discriminated against disabled self-employed workers

10. ensuring this campaign involves leading campaigning organisations, eg Inclusion London, Disability Solutions West Midlands etc

11. encouraging employers to review reasonable adjustments for disabled employees

12. encouraging trade unions to highlight with employers and within their own memberships the disproportionate effect Covid-19 has had on disabled people

13. encouraging employers to develop robust strategies to support disabled people to help them stay in work in more flexible workplaces

14. developing a series of posters/adverts with positive images of disabled workers, working in the workplace, and at home.

TUC Disabled Workers Conference

C07 End fire and rehire; redundancy rights now!

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

Motion 35 and amendment, and 37

The government is determined to drive down people’s pay and working conditions, enabling employers to continue using ‘fire and rehire’ when they have the power to outlaw it and to strengthen our employment protections.

An escalating number of employers across all sectors are using our weak employment protections to fire and rehire; one in 10 workers have experienced fire and rehire, with BME workers hit hardest. And a quarter of all workers have experienced a worsening of their terms and conditions – including a pay cut – since the pandemic began.

Congress notes with deep concern the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment across the UK. In sectors such as retail, the pandemic has accelerated existing trends, with at least 180,000 retail jobs lost in 2020 and up to 200,000 at risk in 2021.

Even before the pandemic one in nine workers – 3.8 million people – were already ‘insecure’, without access to basic rights at work. They could be dismissed at will, including those on zero-hour contracts and agency workers. Fire and rehire is an additional insecurity, affecting workers who thought they had secure and regular work and incomes.

Congress expresses its support for all workers who face the threat of fire and rehire, affirms its solidarity with British Gas workers who led the first national gas strike in ten years, and resolves that there must be an industrial and a political response that ends the practice for good.

Congress believes if we allow practices such as fire and rehire to escalate they will become normalised, undermining all of our pay and working conditions, damaging our society and people’s lives. It will deepen poverty even further and accelerate our obscene wealth inequalities, harming people’s mental health and their ability to plan and build their futures.

Congress further notes that the devastating impact of redundancy is worsened by the current lack of adequate rights to support and training opportunities. This has a disproportionate impact on Black and minority ethnic workers, young workers, women, disabled workers and those with caring responsibilities.

Congress calls on the TUC to urgently campaign for the immediate implementation of the following provisions to assist workers:

i. an end fire and rehire, including supporting the Private Members’ Bill to deem the practice as unlawful dismissal and support disputes where members face fire and rehire

ii. exposing the government for failing to end this practice and the employers who use it

iii. a 90-day statutory period of redundancy consultation where more than 100 individuals are at risk of redundancy

iv. a personal retraining budget for all workers given notice of redundancy to ensure the best chance of re-entering the workplace as soon as possible

v. a significant increase in statutory redundancy pay, so that all workers are entitled to three weeks’ pay for each year of service

vi. closing the loophole where, in locations with less than 20 employees, employees are not entitled to redundancy consultation, even where the decision affects more than 20 people

vii. strengthening protection against redundancy and health and safety rights for pregnant women and new mothers.

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

Motion 36 Support British Gas workers; oppose fire and rehire

Received from: TUC Young Workers' Conference

Congress notes that Centrica/British Gas served a section 188 notice on the GMB in July 2020 before meaningful negotiations over plans to “modernise” terms and conditions.

They gave “field-based” workers an ultimatum – sign their deal by 23/12/20 or lose up to £2,000 and other employment rights.

GMB members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action (89 per cent), yet the company refused further negotiations.

Parent company, Centrica plc UK, domestic heating business, declared an adjusted operating profit of £229m during the first half of 2020, up 27 per cent. Despite this, Centrica have continued trying to cut pay and conditions.

During the pandemic, employers such as British Airways have also threatened workers with fire and rehire on worse pay and conditions.

Congress believes:

i. The unjust, unfair practice of fire and rehire is a threat to workers – trade unions must work together to oppose it.

ii. This is a bare-faced attempt to drive down pay and working conditions that unions have worked hard to secure. If we do not confront it now, usage will increase.

Congress resolves to:

a. campaign with affiliated unions under the banner of the TUCYWF to outlaw fire and rehire and raise public awareness

b. organise a webinar to educate trade unionists on how it is being used and what we can do to fight against it

c. write to Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea condemning his actions and demanding he removes his threat to fire and rehire British Gas workers and share this on social media.

TUC Young Workers Conference

C15 Defending and supporting union reps and winning rights for union equality reps

Received from: RMT, Unite

Motions 67 and amendment and 68 and amendment

Congress pays tribute to our movement’s local reps who are on the frontline defending workers’ rights, conditions, and safety. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic reps have played a key role supporting workers and are for many the first and main point of contact with the trade union.

Congress is determined to ensure that the searing existing inequalities exposed and deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic are not just revealed and measured, but actively tackled across all trade union activities.

Our reps are also absolutely critical for organising and building the union at the workplace. They are the lifeblood of our unions.

From ending pregnancy discrimination to ensuring progression of Black workers, from reasonable adjustments for those with long covid to sexual harassment procedures also recognising LGBT+ workers, unions need knowledge, skills, understanding, diverse involvement, paid time off and facilities. We need major change for unions to have a deep, effective, long-lasting impact on ending inequalities faced by women, Black and Asian ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT+ workers.

In the same way as union safety representatives transformed action on health and safety at work in the 1970s, so in the 2020s we need that same transformation to action on equality at work – strengthening and embedding the role of union equality representatives across workplaces and sectors and putting their rights to paid time off and facilities on an equal basis and a statutory footing.

Congress notes that it is exactly because reps are so important and successful to sustaining the unions that they are under increasing attack from employers. This can range to various forms of victimisation and outright dismissal on spurious grounds.

Congress welcomes the support and briefings that the TUC provides for reps and believes the attack on reps is an issue we must seek to face together wherever possible.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council with the TUC Women’s, Black Workers, Disabled Workers and LGBT+ Committees and affiliate unions to:

i. act now to strengthen the role of union equality representatives through promoting negotiations for paid time off and facilities including access to union education

ii. intensify the campaign for fair and equal statutory rights for union equality representatives

iii. campaign for changes in the law to not only substantially increase the protections afforded to reps but also to increase the rights and powers of reps at the workplace

iv. develop a training framework so that union equality reps, including women’s advocates providing support to women facing violence and harassment and disability champions can be given the appropriate training and support by the TUC and affiliates to carry out their duties to a high standard and promote equality in every workplace

v. hold an event specifically on this issue to ensure that we coordinate information, campaigning and other responses, including coordinated industrial action

vi. name and shame bad employers – create and maintain a searchable database, accessible to all affiliates, of employers who attack reps, industrial disputes and strikes, by employer, union and location

v. report progress on this item to affiliates.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Supporter: Royal College of Podiatry

C10 Tackling structural racism, inequalities and the ethnicity pay gap in medicine following the Covid-19 pandemic

Received from: College of Podiatry, Unison

Motions 42 and amendment, 43 and 44 and amendment

Congress asserts that racism in the UK is not history but a daily experience for Black workers. Black workers, under-protected and over-exposed to Covid-19, had additional vulnerabilities created by a lifetime experience of structural racism, from housing to healthcare to work.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted endemic inequalities throughout most of society.

Congress notes the RCP has seen the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on its women members, who have been impacted with childcare issues, poorly fitting PPE, being disadvantaged due to maternity issues and domestic violence.  Our disabled members have juggled with their need to work while being told to shield, but not being eligible for the “benefits” offered by the government. Our BME members are having difficulties with accessing alternative PPE when beards, turbans and hijabs have not been taken into account. Our LGBT+ members have faced lockdown away from their supportive communities and were forced into environments of prejudice.

These issues will not go away even if we manage to deal with Covid-19 in the long-term.

Congress notes:

i. A 2021 UNISON survey of Black staff in social care found:

    • 46 per cent of respondents had experienced racism at work in the previous year.
    • 60 per cent felt able to raise concerns about infection control with their employer.
    • 21 per cent said they would get no sick pay at all if they needed to self-isolate.

ii.  TUC research also exposed the over-representation of Black workers in insecure work. The tragic death toll of Black workers during the pandemic should have renewed a commitment to tackle racism. Instead, the government minimised the reality of racism and dismissed the concept of institutional racism.

iii. In the NHS, the most recent staff survey showed that Black workers were significantly more likely to be deployed to a Covid work area, and significantly less likely to be able to work flexibly or from home, than their white colleagues.

iv. In late 2020, the government published the long-awaited report into the gap in pay in medicine due to an individual’s sex, which shone welcome light on the career-long inequalities facing women hospital doctors. Its recommendations were meaningful and wide-ranging.

Congress is however dismayed that the government has to date resisted calls to carry out a similar exercise to investigate the causes of, and issue recommendations to remedy, the ethnicity pay gap within the medical profession.

Congress notes that this gap is particularly visible among the most senior grades, with minority ethnic hospital consultants earning around 5 per cent less than their white peers. There is also significant overrepresentation of BME doctors in lower-paid medical grades.

Congress also recognises that there is a significant ethnicity pay gap for Black workers classed under medical and non-medical grades in the NHS, and that Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers are more likely to work in lower paid roles in social care.

Congress believes that a complex range of factors have led to this inequality, both in financial terms and in terms of career opportunity, and that this issue must be taken seriously by the government, its drivers properly assessed, and remedial action taken to correct this unjust imbalance.

Where the government steps back, the trade union movement must step forward and Congress welcomes the creation of the TUC taskforce and its work.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

a. produce resources to support the work of trade unions in:

    • negotiating for race equality in the workplace
    • training for reps and activists to track and challenge racism
    • tackling the ethnicity pay gap
    • supporting Black workers’ self-organisation.

b. challenge the government’s attempts to dilute and repress efforts to tackle racism

c. call on all political parties to work on a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, increase investment in prevention and public health, and tackle the underlying socio-economic inequalities at the root of preventable ill health and mortality

d. support the campaign to close the ethnicity pay gap in medicine and allied professions and lobby for an independent government-commissioned review to make recommendations so that all hospital doctors, no matter their ethnic background, have an equal opportunity to advance through the medical profession.

Seconder: Royal College of Podiatry
Supporters: Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, GMB, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Motion 45 Tackling the widespread epidemic of structural and systematic racism

Received from: TUC Black Workers Conference

2020 further exposed decades of structural, systemic and institutional racism endured by Black people. The murder of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Black people needs immediate action. This is an opportunity to ensure that society, politicians and employers address with urgency the historic disparities, behaviours and attitudes.

Congress calls on the trade union and labour movement to seriously engage in reshaping the changes Black people have been demanding for decades. No more research or task force, it is time for change.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. support affiliates to ensure:

    • the health, safety and welfare of Black workers are taken seriously and supported as a collective issue and not individualised
    • a campaign to change the national education curriculum to include Black history, the slave trade and the colonial empire and its impact
    • under-representation of black people in political life including parliament, councils, assemblies and public office is addressed
    • all employers are required to conduct regular mandatory equality impact assessments with monitoring and firm enforcement and redress

ii. be involved in TUC initiatives around international trade negotiations, ensuring fair/ethical agreements that provide “economically developing countries” opportunity and a level playing field to trade with post-Brexit UK.

TUC Black Workers Conference

Motion 48 Covid-19 equality impact assessments (EQIAs) now!

Received from: TUC Women's Conference

The Covid-19 crisis has impacted women with job losses, maternity/pregnancy discrimination, unsafe working practices, working from home issues including domestic abuse, being undervalued as key workers, and serious problems for migrant women workers. Self-employed and freelance women are also vulnerable.

EQIAs are essential for negotiating recent changes to working practices, particularly home-working policies, risk assessment, redundancies, working hours, fair pay and conditions.

The government has not performed any EQIA on its Covid-19 measures nor consulted with the EHRC when developing guidance.

Congress welcomes the Women’s Budget Group report, Creating a Caring Economy, calling on government to take action to address inequality.

Therefore, Congress calls on the General Council and affiliates to:

i. prioritise protecting everyone’s safety, jobs and income

ii. encourage women to become health and safety and/or union equality reps

iii. train reps to carry out EQIAs

iv. campaign for mandatory workplace EQIAs – and for implementing and monitoring their actions

v. campaign to extend the equality duty to the private sector

vi. in all TUC Women’s Committee activities, give consideration to the particular challenges faced by self-employed/freelance women

    • write to MPs for a strategy supporting women through Covid-19, tackling child poverty and addressing Covid-19’s immediate impact through:
    • new redundancy protection for pregnant women/new mothers
    • a national childcare strategy
    • a national funded strategy supporting women facing domestic violence/abuse
    • decent social security, not universal credit
    • a public sector pay rise
    • national living wage increases
    • a trade union rights’ framework.

TUC Women’s Conference

Motion 49 Fighting back against the international far right for LGBT+ equality

Received from: TUC LGBT+ Conference

Congress recognises that while the global pandemic took hold during the last year, this has not stopped far-right governments of the world from continuing to pursue their anti-LGBT+ agendas, and that this has included countries within Europe, including Hungary and Poland.

Congress notes the comments of the EU Commissioner in September that LGBT+ Free zones do not belong in the EU and her criticism of the Law and Justice Party in Poland. Congress will continue to work with affiliates of the ETUC to promote LGBT+ equality Europe-wide at work and in wider society.

Congress believes that leaving the European Union should not prevent the United Kingdom from being a/the leading voice for LGBT+ equality and citizens around the world and standing up against anti-LGBT+ regimes on the global stage, particularly those stemming from previous British imperialism and colonial rule under the Commonwealth.

Congress calls on the incoming TUC LGBT+ Committee to work with the TUC General Council and international partners to work with our LGBT+ communities based overseas to reaffirm our commitment to their struggle and to develop a package of strategies, led by the needs of those directly involved in local LGBT+ campaigning, for a campaign in support of international LGBT+ equality.

Congress calls on the General Council to subsequently launch this campaign in conjunction with the TUC and affiliates to maximise awareness of the campaign and to highlight how LGBT+ workers and our allies can support our overseas LGBT+ family to improve international LGBT+ equality.

TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ Conference

C11 Tory attacks on our rights: defend democracy, trade unions and the right to protest

Received from: FBU, Unite

Motions 50 and amendment and 51 and amendment

Congress notes that the increasingly authoritarian legislation introduced by the Conservative government poses a threat to the UK’s democracy, and our fundamental civil and human rights.

Congress believes that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a huge attack on the right to protest effectively, while the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill licences undercover operatives from state agencies to commit criminal offences in the course of their deployment.

Congress notes that many MPs and civil society groups have raised concerns about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill being rushed through without proper scrutiny, despite being widely seen as harmful to democracy and human rights.

The Tories are centralising wealth and power. They are terrified of the threat of growing discontent and protest against their policies of the vicious cuts that we have seen over the past decade, their cuts to come, and the dangerous ‘divide and rule’ strategy they have embarked on.

There is growing opposition to this draconian agenda throughout the labour movement, civil society and communities, defending the right to resist this government. The trade union movement has a proud history of protesting – and advancing the right to protest – as part of the struggle for worker and democratic rights in this country, from the Suffragettes and Tolpuddle Martyrs to the poll tax revolt, Fridays for Futures and Black Lives Matter.

Congress believes that trade union activity will be targeted by the Tories’ authoritarian measures and that unions must be central to the fight to defend democracy.

Congress resolves to:

i. campaign with civil society groups against specific measures of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, mobilising trade unionists for campaign events, including a joint union rally, and against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill

ii. oppose and actively campaign against any attempts to scrap or curb the Human Rights Act

iii. campaign for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws and for the positive legal rights for workers to take action.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: Fire Brigades Union
Supporters: UNISON, Public and Commercial Services Union

Motion 52 Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Received from: TUC Trades Union Councils Conference

Congress notes the proposal for an amendment to the Public Order Act (1986), entitled the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

This Act is a declared response to the actions of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter. It has a specific section on the policing of protests that gives the police extraordinary powers aimed at the very nature of protest.

It gives the home secretary the power to define ‘serious disruption’ as whatever she chooses with minimal scrutiny by parliament. The criteria for whether a protest can go ahead and will effectively be in the hands of the home secretary.

It proposes completely disproportionate punishments of up to ten years for criminal damage to a memorial (defined as “a building or other structure, or any other thing” which has “a commemorative purpose”).

It will effectively make the nomadic life of Gypsies and Travellers illegal. It is therefore overtly racist.

Congress believes the Bill is not only a threat to civil liberties and the right to protest in general but will, undoubtedly, be used against trade unions and their members going about perfectly legitimate activity.

Congress therefore:

i. urges all trades councils to oppose and campaign against this Bill

ii. calls on trades councils to seek to create the broadest possible alliance – in particular with those grass-roots campaigns directly affected, such as Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, and civil liberties organisations such as Liberty and Open Democracy

iii. calls on the Labour Party to oppose the Bill and the motives behind it.

TUC Trades Union Councils Conference

C14 Defending public service broadcasting and saving Channel 4 from privatisation

Received from: Equity, NUJ

Motions 65 and 66

Congress notes the UK government’s intention to privatise Channel 4, a publicly owned but self-funding broadcaster.

Congress believes that Channel 4’s publisher-broadcaster model and unique public service broadcaster (PSB) remit has been integral to the success of the British television industry in the nearly 40 years since it was launched. While state-owned, it is 90 per cent funded by advertisements, at no cost to the taxpayer, with a remit to be innovative, producing content ranging from Channel 4 News, Dispatches and Unreported World to It’s a Sin, Gogglebox and Paralympics.

Despite the pandemic, C4 reported a record surplus; opened new Leeds headquarters; established creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol; spent half its money outside London; supported 10,600 jobs and contributed almost £1bn to the UK economy.

Congress believes the privatisation proposal makes no economic sense, is being driven by ideology and would be an act of cultural vandalism.

Congress further notes that privatisation will remove Channel 4’s legislative responsibilities to nurture new talent, to reflect cultural diversity, to show alternative viewpoints and to invest in UK film. Congress fears C4’s award-winning, hour-long C4 News would not survive.

The loss of this remit would also affect the employment opportunities available to performers and other creative workers from under-represented backgrounds who are more likely to currently gain employment in C4-commissioned programming that aims to represent the UK’s cultural diversity.

Congress believes that the pandemic has shown how vital it is to have sources of reliable, accurate information and news, as shown by increased viewing figures for our PSBs.

Congress notes with concern the government is being advised on the future of PSB by a secretive panel made up of many of its own supporters, not set up under Cabinet Office guidelines.

Congress resolves to:

i. oppose the privatisation of Channel 4

ii. campaign in support of public service broadcasting and against any sale or merger of C4, and for full transparency on the activities of the government’s PSB panel

iii. support campaigning by the Federation of Entertainment unions to protect public service broadcasting across the UK.

Mover: Equity
Seconder: National Union of Journalists

Motion 34 Creative workers touring in the EU

Received from: MU

The impact of the government’s hastily signed Brexit deal is now being felt across the creative sector, with musicians, actors and technicians facing major issues when looking to tour in EU countries.

The government has repeatedly said that the UK and EU positions on a touring deal were fundamentally incompatible and that waiving visas for musicians and other performers would have been ‘incompatible’ with the manifesto pledge to reclaim Britain’s borders.

Congress does not accept this and believes that most of the UK’s population would understand the need for frictionless travel for musicians and other creative workers, who are playing gigs abroad rather than contributing to immigration.

All musicians at every stage of their career must have access to the European market, in the way that they had pre-Brexit, to enable the £5.8bn music industry to lead the country out of the economic slump created by the pandemic.

Congress calls on the General Council to support its calls for the government to:

i. negotiate a visa waiver agreement for performers and crew with the EU

ii. establish bilateral agreements with EU countries regarding work permits

iii. work to remedy the issues caused by the change in cabotage rules.

Musicians’ Union

Motion 38 Ending harassment and abuse of journalists

Received from: NUJ

Congress condemns the increasing rate of journalists across the UK being harassed, abused and physically attacked in the course of their work. It notes the NUJ’s survey of members which found that journalists had been punched, threatened with knifes, forcibly detained, kicked and spat at. They also reported online and offline death threats, rape threats and other threats to physically harm them, their families and their homes.

Congress further notes that women and Black and minority ethnic journalists face disproportionate abuse and that such harassment risks silencing journalists and censoring debate.

Against that backdrop, Congress finds it disturbing that incidents have continued to rise, with a proliferation during lockdowns, particularly at demonstrations where reporters and photographers have been harassed and physically attacked, accused of being “collaborators”, “government agents” and purveyors of “fake news”.

Congress reaffirms the vital role journalism plays in a democratic society. Congress welcomes the action plan from the government’s National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, launched in February, and instructs the General Council to support its measures and further campaign for:

i. improvements in public discourse, particularly amongst those in public office, and their responsibility to ensure media access and refrain from denigrating journalistic work

ii. action from the tech giants to stamp out disinformation and fake news, shown to undermine trust in journalism and increase hostility towards journalists, and overdue action to stop its platforms disseminating racist abuse

iii. better awareness of the role of journalism in our society and the need for greater diversity and plurality.

National Union of Journalists

Motion 39 Freedom to disconnect

Received from: College of Podiatry

Congress welcomes the very real benefits that agile working and technological advances have created, particularly over the last 12 months.

However, we are concerned that many workers now feel pressurised to be available and online outside of their contracted hours – effectively working for nothing.

The pressure to respond to emails, other electronic communications and calls outside of normal working hours is detrimental to hard-fought improvements in work/life balance, can have an adverse effect on family life, mental health and wellbeing and ultimately only benefits the employer.

Congress welcomes the advances in establishing the right to disconnect in Ireland and other parts of the world and calls on the UK government to introduce similar legislation to protect working people.

Congress calls for legislation so that workers have the right to not routinely perform work outside normal working hours; not be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters out of hours; and a duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect.

Royal College of Podiatry

Motion 46 Time to stop sexual harassment in schools and colleges – it’s no joke

Received from: National Education Union

Congress asserts that all young people are harmed by sexism and misogyny, which create stereotypical ideas about men and women and fuels sexual harassment. Congress was incensed but not shocked by the findings of Everyone’s Invited, which builds on campaigning by education unions, about what girls and young women experience and the destructive pressures on boys. Online spaces can be places where young people harass each other or are exposed to content that is sexist, demeaning to women, and negative about LGBT+ identities. One in three teenage girls receive unwanted sexual messages online and the amount of self-generated sexual imagery is increasing.

A sexist working environment is harmful for all education staff and yet women workers in education don’t have confidence that they can report harassment. The TUC asserts that unions must make sexual harassment a union issue and increase the confidence of members to use their trade union to prevent abuse, report abuse and robustly tackle incidents.

Sexual harassment continues to be trivialised and minimised and the experiences of girls and women ignored. Unions must raise awareness and mobilise members to challenge inappropriate behaviours at work.

Congress agrees to:

i. share advice with workplace reps about the prevalence and harm from sexual harassment and the need to encourage reporting

ii. gather good practice from affiliates

iii. lobby the government to introduce a new specific duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment

iv. reinstate employment tribunals’ powers to make wider recommendations to employers, to root out cultures that enable harassment.

National Education Union  

Motion 47 Breastfeeding and returning to work

Received from: RCM

The Acas guidance, “Accommodating Breastfeeding Employees in the Workplace”, was published in 2014 and sets out the legal requirements and best practice recommendations for employers to support women returning to work after having a baby.

Unfortunately, it is being ignored by many organisations, as mothers report expressing milk in staff toilets and not being allowed paid breaks in which to do so and having nowhere appropriate to store their milk during the working day.

The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are breastfed exclusively for a minimum of six months and continue for up to two years, supplementary to other food. For mothers, breastfeeding is protective against some cancers, obesity, diabetes and postnatal depression. For babies, it reduces the risk of certain infections, diabetes and has many other health benefits.

The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world and although 81 per cent of mothers start by breastfeeding, this declines to around 17 per cent by three months. According to national statistical infant feeding surveys, mothers have cited returning to work as one of the reasons for not their fulfilling breastfeeding intentions.

Breastfeeding employees must be accommodated fully in the workplace. Congress supports the review and strengthening of Acas guidance, and for its provisions to be placed on a statutory footing.

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 63 Reunified probation service needs investment

Received from: NAPO

Congress welcomes the reunification of the probation service and recognises the efforts of Napo, sister trade unions and partner organisations in the long campaign to reverse the ill-considered part-privatisation of the service in 2014.

Congress also recognises that serious damage has been sustained by the service over the last seven years to what was once a gold standard public institution, and that a major investment programme will be required to restore probation back to the levels of excellence that our members and the taxpayer demand.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to do everything possible to support the crucial second part of the campaign to deliver the probation service out of HMPPS control, and for it to become a properly funded and locally accountable autonomous agency.


Motion 64 CAFCASS in crisis – the government must act now!

Received from: NAPO

The work carried out by CAFCASS within the family justice system is vital to the wellbeing of children facing family conflict, and especially the welfare and safety of vulnerable children.

The workload position within CAFCASS is now critical and unsustainable due to the increase of open public and private law cases within the family justice system, which has risen exponentially over the last 12 months, compounded by the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many CAFCASS staff report that they are at breaking point due to relentlessly high caseloads and the increased demands brought about by the rise of litigants in person, due to clients being unable to secure affordable legal advice. This also impacts on the capacity of the family courts to manage cases in a timely manner.

Congress believes that unless serious and urgent action is taken by government to provide realistic funding and alternative avenues for legal support there is an imminent danger that CAFCASS will move into a state of irreparable decline, with many staff being unable to continue working under such conditions or moving to higher paid employment elsewhere within the social work sector.

Congress calls on the General Council to urgently engage with the family court unions and the justice secretary to explore the steps that need to be taken to prevent such a scenario.


C18 Claim your life back: the three-day weekend

Received from: CWU, UCU

Motion 26 and amendments

Congress notes that the weekend was won by trade unions, securing greater freedom for working people from the domination of employers. Our movement should be proud of this achievement.

But Congress notes there has been little progress in further freeing working people, that working hours in the UK are now amongst the highest in Europe, and that during the pandemic they increased further, with people working from home putting in an average of six hours unpaid overtime per week.

Congress notes that long working hours and lack of work/life balance are associated with worsening mental and physical health. Pilots of longer weekends have been successful, with workers reporting that their health and work/life balance had improved.

Congress further notes that an increase in leisure time now enjoys broad public support.

Congress believes that working people must be able to exercise more freedom over their time. Reduced hours can increase overall employment and protect jobs.

Congress believes it is vital that trade unions seize this moment to campaign for a shorter working week, with no loss of pay, and that we must lead on making this a reality for workers in the UK.

Congress notes that the growth of automation has brought new urgency to this debate. We must strive for workers to benefit from new technologies and associated productivity improvements.

Congress therefore resolves to:

i. plan and launch a public campaign for a three-day weekend/four-day working week, including political lobbying, and an effort to build popular support for the policy – the four-day week/extended weekend should be a reduction in overall hours worked, with no loss of pay

ii. set up a working group of trade union representatives, to discuss how to plan and campaign for its implementation in each sector

iii.dedicate resources to political education on the importance of winning free time for working people.

Mover: University and College Union
Seconder: Communication Workers Union
Supporter: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

C06 Right to food

Received from: BDA, BFAWU

Motion 32 and amendment, and motion 33

Congress recognises that we are seeing a crisis of food poverty born out of the political choices and systemic failings created over the past four decades, which have now reached a tipping point for so many in our communities.

In 2019, the government commissioned Henry Dimbleby to carry out an independent review of our food system.  The government has committed to use the recommendations of the report as the basis for a national food strategy in the form of a White Paper. We must hold them to account on this.

Malnutrition, obesity, food poverty and many of the other challenges within or as a result of our food system existed long before Covid-19 or Brexit and now is the time for urgent fundamental change.

The right to adequate food is a fundamental human right, firmly established in international law. Yet many in the UK find themselves in a position where due to a lack of income they have no access to adequate food, never mind decent nutritious food. We cannot continue to have a system that simultaneously makes so many of us ill while leaving so many of us with too little to eat.

Congress recognises the fantastic work of Ian Byrne MP in putting pressure on Henry Dimbleby to include the right to food in the National Food Strategy and notes that this is the first independent review of England’s entire food system for 75 years. Its purpose is to set out a vision for the kind of food system we should be building for the future, and a plan for how to achieve that vision. Yet the NFS consulted no unions.

The “Right To Food” campaign is arguing that the 11 million people in food poverty should be central to this strategy.

Congress calls on the TUC and its affiliated unions to support the “Right To Food” campaign because enshrining the right to food into law would clarify government obligations on food poverty and would introduce legal avenues to hold government bodies accountable for violations and raise millions out of food poverty.

Congress believes that nobody should live in food poverty and that everyone should have a right to affordable, nutritious food and that this right should be enshrined in law.

Congress welcomes the recommendations in part one of the report including:

i. the protection of the UK’s food standards and public health during trade negotiations, which should be opened up to greater parliamentary scrutiny

ii. the expansion of free school meals and the holiday and food programme and the Healthy Start voucher scheme in England.

Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that the government accept the recommendations in the report and to publish a comprehensive national food strategy as soon as possible.

Congress also calls on the TUC to demand the government:

a. consults unions to inform its White Paper

b. introduces sector collective bargaining, and reinstates the English AWB

c. tackles supply chain inequality, ensuring profits go to workers, including impoverished food workers, not just investors.

Mover: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union
Seconder: British Dietetic Association
Supporter: Unite

Motion 23 A new deal for self-employed workers

Received from: Prospect

Congress believes that workers who are self-employed or freelance are critical to our economy and society and that these workers deserve proper rights and protections at work. Congress further believes that the pandemic has exposed the precarious nature of self-employed and freelance employment for many, and the inadequate nature of government understanding and support for this important part of the labour market. It is estimated a fifth of the self-employed population are in debt because of the pandemic.

All workers deserve dignity and the right to operate free from bullying and harassment. Yet self-employed and freelancers are often exposed to negative and unsupportive cultures in their workspaces.

Congress believes that there can be no economic recovery without a recovery for the self-employed and notes that key sectors such as the creative industries depend on freelance workers.

Congress supports action by unions to represent the interests of these workers and calls for a full inquiry into the treatment of self-employed and freelance workers during the pandemic, including the issue of exclusions from government support.

Congress commits to campaign for a new deal for self-employed and freelance workers after the pandemic, including stronger health and safety protections, the extension of statutory sick pay and paid parental leave to self-employed workers, and widened access to universal credit.



At the end of paragraph 1, add:

“Congress notes the particular challenges facing PAYE freelancers, recent mothers, directors, and others excluded from government support.”

At the end of paragraph 5, after “credit”, insert “, including through the removal of the minimum income floor.”


Motion 24 Government’s betrayal of key workers

Received from: RMT

Congress is appalled that despite being praised as heroes during the pandemic, key workers are bearing the brunt of the government’s workplace austerity.

In rail there is an open-ended pay freeze, thousands of jobs under threat and attacks on conditions, whilst publicly subsidised privateers are making pre-pandemic levels of profits. The government’s proposed “Great British Railways” will perpetuate privatisation and attacks on pay.

In a similar way, bus companies are to pay huge dividends on the back of government support while services and jobs are threatened. On London Transport government insists on massive cuts, driverless trains and attacks on pensions. In the maritime and offshore sector the government is permitting a race to the bottom, even allowing anti-union operator Irish Ferries, who pay below the minimum wage, to begin operating from Dover.

Congress believes that when there are clear alternatives to austerity, including borrowing and investing to boost economic growth, the government’s betrayal of key workers is an ideologically driven false economy. This is confirmed by government’s refusal to take meaningful action against fire and rehire and their decision to enact legislation giving the Certification Officer more power to entrap and weaken unions.

Congress welcomes campaigning undertaken by the TUC and affiliates supporting key workers and calls on the General Council to:

i. seek to coordinate action, including industrial action, of affiliates fighting attacks

ii. lobby MPs, making the case for more decent, secure jobs, in contrast to the workplace levelling down being pursued by the government

iii. call a national protest highlighting this issue.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers


In paragraph 5, sub-paragraph iii., delete “highlighting this issue” and replace with:

“that brings together affiliates and community organisations in order to recognise the wider role that key workers play in providing vital services to their communities.”

Communication Workers Union

Motion 25 Westminster government attacks on firefighters’ rights, pay and conditions

Received from: FBU

Congress notes the home secretary’s written statement on 16 March 2021, announcing a White Paper on “fire reform”.

Congress rejects plans to impose Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) governance on every fire and rescue service in England, which would undermine democracy and accountability.

Congress condemns the HMICFRS reports in 2021, which contain premeditated attacks on firefighters’ longstanding collective bargaining arrangements, pay and conditions.

Congress condemns Thomas Winsor, the chief fire inspector for England, for his destructive recommendations to abolish the NJC and impose a pay review body, made up of Westminster-appointees, required to work to an agenda and within terms of reference set by government.

Congress rejects Winsor’s demand to tear up the Grey Book, governing firefighters’ national pay and conditions.

Congress further rejects Winsor’s demand that chief fire officers are granted “operational independence”, which would reduce accountability to local communities, while giving them a free hand to dictate to firefighters.

Congress further condemns Winsor’s remarks made in the Daily Telegraph
(18 March 2021), suggesting firefighters’ right to take industrial action should be reviewed by Westminster politicians.

Congress therefore mandates the General Council to support the FBU’s campaign in defence of:

i. fire and rescue services’ independence and democratic governance

ii. firefighters’ pay and conditions of service

iii. the dignity and professionalism of firefighters

iv. firefighters’ right to representation by the trade union of their choice

v. the rights of firefighters to organise and bargain collectively for pay and conditions.

Fire Brigades Union

Motion 27 Flexible working and workers’ rights

Received from: Accord

Received Accord

Congress notes that more than eight in 10 workers want to work more flexibly in the future. As a recent TUC report argues, genuine two-way flexibility can be a win-win arrangement for both workers and employers, allowing people to balance their work and home lives, promote equality at work and boost morale and motivation.

However, Congress also notes that too often so-called flexibility can be a one-way street. Zero-hours and casual contracts and other forms of precarious employment dominate parts of our labour market – leaving many workers unsure how much they will earn, or what shifts they are expected to work.

Over the course of the pandemic many office-based workers have worked effectively from home or in a hybrid way, but Congress notes that enforced working from home has the potential to entrench existing inequalities. With this in mind, Congress urges employers to work positively with unions to agree approaches to hybrid and flexible working – flexible working needs to be negotiated and agreed with workers, not imposed in a top-down manner.

Congress urges the General Council to continue to campaign for government to take action as outlined in the TUC report The Future of Flexible Work, to ensure every worker can work flexibly.

Congress also calls on the General Council to co-ordinate union efforts to ensure that every worker – including those working flexibly – has effective access to and support from a union, because the best way to ensure fair flexibility for workers is through collective action.



At the end of paragraph 4, add:
“with all jobs that can be worked flexibly advertised as such. Cultures of presenteeism must be eliminated and the gains made in accessing remote working maintained with no loss to pay or working conditions.”


Motion 31 Universal credit

Received from: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Congress is concerned that the events of the last 18 months will have a financial impact on those in and out of work that will be felt for generations to come. For many of those in need, the crisis is exacerbated by the additional stress and suffering caused by the ongoing failures of the universal credit system.

This system of universal credit was sold as something that would protect the vulnerable and ‘make work pay’ yet we now know that it has failed to do this on almost every level.

Congress is concerned in particular by the following:

i. the five week wait

ii. the ‘two-child rule’

iii. monthly assessments which are out of touch with the pay schedules for most low-paid workers

iv. the payment to a single recipient – reducing financial independence for vulnerable women.

On top of these fundamental flaws in the design of universal credit, the government is looking to reduce payments by £20 per week, taking away a much-needed lifeline from claimants.

Congress welcomes the work done by the TUC to raise awareness of the flaws in universal credit and calls on the General Council to continue to mount a high-profile campaign for fundamental reform, including:

a. permanent retention of the £20 uplift introduced during the coronavirus crisis

b. immediate reform of the fundamental flaws in the system as laid out above

c. universal credit to be replaced by a social security system that supports low-paid workers and the self-employed.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Motion 28 Build back fairer

Received from: Nautilus

Congress notes the UK government’s campaign to “Build Back Better” but highlights that the effects of Covid-19 were not felt equally and a return to ‘business as usual’ includes a return to an unequal society.

The trade union movement has a unique opportunity to be at the heart of a conversation to define what the future of the UK economy and society should look like. This means a future built on a foundation of fairness for all.

For the maritime industry, the pandemic provided a stark reminder of the vital role that seafarers and the maritime sector play, with seafarers in the UK being designated as key workers. However, it also exposed and intensified longstanding issues in the industry that can no longer be ignored. These include unfair workplaces and working practices, unfair pay, unfair treatment and unequal access to opportunities.

Congress therefore calls on the government to ‘Build Back Fairer’ by:

i. recognising seafarers as key workers – now and permanently

ii. working towards a new era of accountability and transparency in the shipping industry

iii. ensuring a fair transition for UK seafarers to exploit green jobs, new technology and automation that is human-centred

iv. ensuring fair access to quality jobs and training opportunities for UK seafarers.

Nautilus International

Motion 29 Transport for London’s broken funding model

Received from: TSSA

Congress notes that Covid-19 exposed the broken funding model that finances Transport for London (TfL) and its provision of public transport services.

Unlike its equivalent in other major world capitals, TfL is reliant on fares income alone after the Conservative London mayor, now prime minister, agreed in 2016 to end the substantial support received from the UK government in the form of the General Operating Grant.

Since then, and without the anticipated revenue from the delayed Crossrail Elizabeth Line, Transport for London has been running a deficit, leading to cuts to services and a 20 per cent reduction in staff.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, ridership on London’s bus and Tube services plummeted, leading to the publicly run TfL having to approach the UK government for assistance amid fears that transport in London would have to be cut back.

Reluctant short-term support from the Tory government that only offset some of TfL’s funding issues initially came with strings that included increasing fares and the congestion charge. Subsequent short-term packages have required TfL to produce a financial sustainability plan and have imposed a requirement for a further £900m in savings on top of already planned cuts amounting to £730m. Those cuts include the introduction of driverless trains on London Underground and benefit changes to the TfL pension fund.

What TfL needs is a long-term funding settlement that gives it a secure future, and with this in mind, Congress instructs the General Council to add its voice to these calls.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association


Add a final paragraph:

“Congress agrees to give full support for the fight against the Transport
for London cuts, including any industrial action affiliates may need call to defend their members jobs, conditions and pensions.”

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Motion 30 Auto-enrolment and the lowest paid

Received from: Aegis

Congress acknowledges that a major incentive for workers to save for retirement is the tax relief they receive on their pension contributions. Everyone who saves into a pension is entitled to a government ‘top-up’ of at least 20 per cent, whether they are a taxpayer or not. However, due to a tax loophole, thousands of the lowest paid workers are not benefitting from this. Non-taxpayers in a Net Pay Scheme don’t and they miss out on the government top-up. Industry experts have highlighted this injustice to the UK government, but it has done nothing to address it. The government continues to encourage the lowest paid to save for their retirement while denying them tax incentives.

Congress also argues that the pressure needs to be kept on government to make sure that auto-enrolment makes pensions open to all. There are an estimated 4.8 million low-income workers excluded from auto-enrolment as they earn less than £10,000 a year, the auto-enrolment trigger. Many work part-time and have more than one job, which means their total income is more than £10,000.

However, they miss out on an employer pension contribution because of the way the pension rules work. Congress calls on the TUC to campaign to stop the low-paid falling through the cracks of auto-enrolment by developing it in a way that helps low earners save for a decent retirement. This means bringing together low-income multiple jobs for the purpose of automatic enrolment.


Motion 61 The state of school buildings

Received from: NAHT

Congress notes, with sorrow, the dilapidated state of disrepair of our schools and colleges, many of which are well beyond their intended use date. It is vital for the education of the next generation and for the health and welfare of members who work in the profession that every building is fit for purpose.

Congress calls on the government to commit to the estimated costs of bringing the school estate up to an acceptable standard as a bare minimum.

Furthermore, in light of our new understanding about the importance of ventilation in slowing the spread of Covid-19, Congress presses the government to carry out an urgent review of ventilation in all schools, proving financial support for those that require immediate work to bring this up to an acceptable standard.

National Association of Head Teachers

Motion 62 Standards in public life

Received from: FDA

Congress recognises that maintaining high standards in public life is essential to the delivery of high-quality public services and maintaining trust in the motives of those who lead our public services.

25 years ago, the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) was established under Lord Nolan, and it articulated the seven “Nolan Principles” of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership. Over those 25 years these principles have underpinned the public service ethos of the country.

The principles apply to anyone who works as a public office holder and includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all public servants.

Lord Nolan’s original report made clear that independent scrutiny was vital to underpin these principles. It is disappointing, therefore, that the prime minister has rejected the recommendation of the CSPL to allow for independent investigations into breaches of the ministerial code. The prime minister is not only the sole arbiter on breaches of the code, but he alone decides whether an investigation even begins.

As the most senior public servant in the country, the prime minister sets the tone for standards in public life. His conduct and the conduct of his ministers have implications across our public services.

Congress calls on the prime minister to immediately adopt all of the recommendations of the CSPL on the ministerial code, the business appointment rules and transparency in lobbying, as a first step in to restoring faith in standards in public life.


E1 National insurance – fair funding for frontline services

Received from: GMB

In response to the new tax hike on working people announced by Boris Johnson on 7 September, breaking his own manifesto, Congress believes that:

i. he financial burden of rebuilding the economy, and addressing the underfunding crisis in health and care that pre-dated the pandemic, should not be borne by working people who are being hit by a double whammy of tax rises and real-terms pay cuts.

ii. Additional funding should not be raised through the further Conservative attack on those in low-paid and insecure work that the tax hike represents, and which will have severe equality impacts.

iii. Funding should be prioritised for and received by frontline services and all workers who help deliver them, and safeguarding jobs under threat, not the wholesale cronyism that has seen highly lucrative contracts and consultancy opportunities awarded to well-connected profiteers, exemplified by the Greensill scandal, who have accumulated wealth to the cost of our communities – workers must not pay the price.

Congress resolves that the TUC should urgently:

a. campaign against the rise in national insurance

b. call on the government to present a transparent report on all public spending since March 2020 and fully costed alternative proposals for raising revenue for debate by parliament

c. investigate counter-policies for raising funding from those who have profited from the pandemic, and for potential cost savings that could be realised by re-integrating public services – including by ending disguised profits, consultancy contracts, and artificial management fees in the care sector.

Mover:  GMB

Seconder: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen


E2 Defending rail jobs and services

Received from: RMT

Congress notes that on 9th August rail workers received notice of a mass redundancy scheme by Network Rail, which could be expanded throughout the company, following the threat of thousands of job losses across the sector, the implementation of a pay freeze, threats to working conditions and reductions in service levels.

Passengers are also facing significant fare rises following the publication on August 18th of the RPI rate that could lead to 4.8% fare increase in the New Year.

The attack on rail services and rail workers jobs together with rising fares means passengers will be paying more for less.

At the same time, despite being kept afloat by the government due to the extra funding needed to cover the drastic fall in passenger numbers during Covid-19, it is business as usual for the privatised rail industry who continue to make substantial profits on the back of the taxpayer, fare paying passengers and rail workers.

Congress believes that this is no way to run a railway and no way to treat rail workers who have been praised as heroes for keeping goods and people moving during the pandemic.

Congress agrees to fully support the rail union affiliates in their campaigns to prevent redundancies and protect jobs and conditions, and for fairer pay and fair fares and for a properly staffed, expanding, publicly owned railway as vital to attracting passengers back to our railways and meeting the climate change challenge.

Moved:          National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Seconded:     Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association