Motion 14 Pensions and gender-related pay issues

Received from: EIS

Congress believes that pensions are deferred pay and condemns the fact that the UK government has worsened public sector pensions.

Congress calls on the UK government and the Scottish government to immediately redress a key detriment suffered by members in amended public sector pension schemes, whereby such members cannot access pension benefits accrued before normal pension age (NPA) without punitive actuarial reductions.

Congress further notes with concern:

i. the increase in the gender pay gap for full-time workers reported by the ONS for 2020–21

ii. that most women still earn less than men.

Congress is clear that that the gender pay gap contributes to the gender pension gap.

Congress believes that closing the gender pay gap must be a higher priority for government, employers and the trade union movement. The gender pay gap leads to a lifetime of reduced pay and pension incomes for women that put many into poverty.

Congress believes that there should be enhanced shared parental leave entitlements, and more and better flexible working options for parents- both mothers and fathers.

Congress further believes that all sectors should form gender pay taskforces to tackle gender pay gap issues within specific areas of employment. National collective bargaining bodies may be a means of doing so in several sectors.

Congress instructs the General Council to coordinate the campaigning activity of affiliates towards:

a. improving public sector pensions, including access to pension benefits before NPA without punitive reductions

b. closing the gender pay gap.

Educational Institute of Scotland


› In paragraph 3, add new sub-paragraph iii.:

“iii. that gender pension issues are particularly prevalent in the public sector where the majority of workers are women.”

Society of Radiographers

Motion 15 Auto-enrolment reforms

Received from: Aegis

Congress argues that pressure needs to be kept up on the 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 in a single job, which is the auto-enrolment earnings trigger.

Many workers, disproportionately women, have multiple jobs which when added together means their total income is more than £10,000. They miss out on automatically benefiting from an employer pension contribution simply because of the way the pension rules work.

In 2017, an independent review of auto-enrolment recommended the following reforms:

i. reducing the minimum age from 22 to 18

ii. gradually removing the salary offset so that, over time, pension contributions become eight per cent of earnings from the first pound, not from £6,240.

The government accepted the recommendations and committed to implementing the reforms by the mid-2020s, but, as yet, no implementation timetable has been set.

Congress calls on the government to set a timetable to implement the reforms by the mid-2020s. This would mean that younger people would start saving for retirement sooner and the removal of the salary offset will give the biggest pensions boost to those on lower earnings, specifically women. Employers will contribute more, for more people.

Employees will also pay more, so this reform may not be welcomed right now with the current cost-of-living crisis, but this is a forward-looking reform. Setting a timeline gives employees and employers advance notice so they can plan for it.


Motion 10 AI and performers’ rights

Received from: Equity

Congress welcomes the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in augmenting technological and social development – if it is used ethically and responsibly. It acknowledges the TUC’s Work and the AI Revolution reports that stress the need for essential practical and legislative safeguards to protect employees and workers, in particular their intellectual property rights.

Congress notes that a central feature of Equity’s Stop AI Stealing the Show campaign is the reform of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998 to protect workers from having their image, voice or likeness used without their permission as a feature of AI-made performance synthetisation. This established process creates a synthetic reproduction of image and/or voice, often without the consent of the artist.

Congress agrees that alongside the vital role of collective bargaining, it is time for the UK government to strengthen the rights of performers by modernising copyright law. This must be a key dimension of the government’s national AI strategy.

Congress endorses Equity’s campaign and will support lobbying and campaigning efforts to achieve:

i. reform of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998 to protect against non-consensual synthesisation and to introduce image rights

ii. implementation of the Beijing Treaty to enable granting of moral rights that would allow performers to combat the misappropriation of their images, likenesses and performances

iii. implementation of provisions within the EU copyright directive that enable creatives to achieve fair returns for the use of creative content in new media services.



› After paragraph 2, add: “Congress notes that attacks on performers’ rights extends to post-16 education, where employers have stored and re-used recorded materials without the permission of the creator.”

› In paragraph 3, after “performers”, add “and educators”

› After paragraph 3, add: “Congress notes that storing and reusing content without the permission of the creator could undermine the effectiveness of industrial action.”

› In paragraph 4, sub-paragraph i., after “synthesisation,” add “, the use of recordings without permission,”

University and College Union

Motion 11 Touring in the EU

Received from: MU

Since the lifting of Covid restrictions, 2022 has seen a much needed but tentative restart to touring in the EU. Unfortunately, this has highlighted the major bureaucratic, logistical and financial obstacles to successful touring for musicians and other performers.

These issues are particularly acute for smaller and medium sized artists who do not have the finances and staff support to overcome the numerous administrative obstacles now in their path.

Congress calls on the General Council to support the Musicians’ Union’s call to government to:

i. provide a transitional support package to help musicians with the additional costs of touring

ii. work with the music industry to create an information hub to provide a reliable ‘one stop shop’ resource for the creative industries.

iii. agree a creative industries passport for people, equipment and services to allow EU-wide touring

iv. find a permanent exemption for all specialist hauliers and those with own account vehicles to tour the EU and UK.

Musicians’ Union

Motion 12 Industrial strategy for UK to provide appropriate fit for purpose PPE

Received from: College of Podiatry

Congress notes that when the Covid-19 pandemic first struck and more became known about its transmission that a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) quickly followed.

This shortage was driven by a lack of preparedness for a pandemic and a massive and sudden worldwide demand for PPE.

In its policy paper, personal protective equipment (PPE) strategy: stabilise and build resilience, the government reported that before the pandemic less than one per cent of the PPE used in the UK was manufactured here.

Prior to the pandemic PPE had been sourced mainly from China. While a massive operation was undertaken to secure PPE supplies, the UK was often fighting against other countries to move supplies halfway round the world with all the negative effects that that has on the environment and sustainability.

In its report, the government proudly reports that by the end of the pandemic 70 per cent of PPE was being produced in the UK.

This should have been the case before the pandemic and steps should now be taken to ensure that workers are never expected to put their lives at risk by working without PPE because it isn’t available when we in the UK have the resources and expertise to meet the demand.

Congress calls on the General Council to pressure the UK government to ensure that a proper strategy is in place for the future production of fit for purpose PPE not to be reliant on overseas production that can go wrong when it is most needed and is not environmentally friendly.

Royal College of Podiatry

C05 Inequalities in health

Received from: BDA, CSP

Motion 13 and amendments

Congress notes that before Covid-19, the gap in health life expectancy between the richest and poorest areas was around 19 years. For women in the most deprived areas of England, life expectancy fell between 2010 and 2019. The Health Foundation has estimated that working age adults in England’s poorest areas were almost four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those in the wealthiest areas.

Congress believes that a cross-government strategy is needed because health inequality is not simply a matter for the Department of Health and Social Care or the National Health Service. If we are to prevent ill health in the first place, we need to take action on issues such as poor housing, food quality, communities and place, employment, racism and discrimination, transport and air pollution.

Congress understands that the link between poverty and ill health is well evidenced and that in order to improve health, in-work poverty must be tackled as a priority.

The Health Disparities white paper, which promised such a strategy, was due to be published in 2021 but we are still waiting.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i. a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequality

ii. access to rehabilitation services, which is a significant barrier for people who could most benefit from rehabilitation. Gaps in rehabilitation provision are particularly evident outside of acute hospital settings. Expanding access to quality rehabilitation in community settings at home, in community hospitals and in care homes has a key role to play

iii. the commencement of the socio-economic duty, section 1 of the Equalities Act 2010

iv. a child health in all policies approach

v. above-inflation pay rises across the public services

vi. the restoration of the real terms value of the public health grant to local authorities, which was cut by 25 per cent since 2015/16

vii. reliable and regular public transport services to health centres and hospitals seven days a week and in the evenings.

Mover: British Dietetic Association
Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Supporters: Royal College of Midwives; Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

C13 Pay and the cost-of-living crisis

Received from: EIS, NAHT

Motions 47, 48, 49 and 50

Congress recognises that millions of people across the UK are struggling to survive a cost-of-living crisis. Congress is clear that this crisis exists because living costs are rising faster than pay, caused and exacerbated by global private profiteering, government decisions and mismanagement of the economy.

Ministers want workers to pay for the crisis, while continuing to provide their friends in business with profitable contracts, tax breaks and favours.

Congress notes, with frustration and anger, that the pay awards for full-time firefighters’ pay, teachers and support staff, like many other public sector workers, will, in effect, be a pay cut again this year – just as it has been for the last 10 years.

Congress condemns the two per cent pay offer made by fire employers to firefighters in June this year, the largest real terms pay cut on firefighters in living memory.

Congress applauds all staff in education for the work undertaken in schools and online throughout the pandemic and condemns the government’s recent evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body.

Congress believes that all workers deserve (Retail Prices Index) pay rises that maintain their standards of living. Furthermore, Congress supports pension and social security inflationary rises to ensure that living standards are maintained throughout society.

Congress asserts that the discourse prior to these decisions has been unfairly weighted by the right-wing, neoliberal bias of influential media outlets.

Congress condemns the Westminster government’s longstanding policy of tight constraints on public sector pay in the UK and opposes the austerity policies of successive Westminster governments and devolved administrations, resulting in perpetual cuts to public services.

Schools are now at breaking point with recruitment difficulties, with many schools simply unable to staff classes properly nor provide adequate support for pupils, particularly those with special educational needs.

Many music education hubs (Department for Education-funded providers of instrumental lessons in schools) have permanent vacancies for instrumental and vocal teachers (known as visiting music teachers or VMTs), who are increasingly migrating to the private sector.

Pay and conditions for VMTs are unregulated and vary enormously.

There is no standard framework for engaging them and most are not covered by schoolteachers’ pay and conditions. This makes VMTs a poor relation among teachers, mainly paid by the hour and only for direct contact time with pupils. Breaks and preparation are usually unpaid, as is travel between schools which is a regular feature of the working day.

Some VMTs are forced on to dubious self-employed agreements, while other are engaged on precarious zero-hour contracts. Rates of pay have barely increased over the last decade.

Congress instructs the General Council to campaign vigorously, in coordination with affiliates, to ensure that public sector pay rises match inflation, and to support and leverage affiliates’ campaigning on pay, including:

i. a united campaign of public sector trade unions to challenge austerity, pay cuts and the increased cost of living

ii. making the case for investment in public services necessary to protect resilience and improve the pay of public sector workers and to avert a deeper recruitment and retention crisis

iii. produce, on a regular basis, detailed briefings and other materials that explore the issues behind the major political/economic choices and decisions made in the UK, and expand political education programmes for workers to understand how governments affect workers’ lives and the political and economic choices of governments

iv. seek to properly reward educational staff and support the Musicians’ Union in asking for UK governments to develop a pay and conditions framework for VMTs to ensure they are treated equitably and recognised properly.

Congress mandates the General Council to take the necessary steps, in conjunction with affiliated unions and involving all political, industrial and legal means, to secure a decent pay rise for all workers.

Mover: Educational Institute of Scotland
Seconder: National Association of Head Teachers
Supporters: Fire Brigades Union; Musicians’ Union

C01 Higher pay to tackle the cost-of-living crisis

Received from: POA, Unison

Motions 1 and amendments, 2 and 3

Congress believes poverty is a choice made by the rich and powerful. In the sixth richest country, 1.3 million people live in absolute poverty. They don’t have to.

Congress believes that the cost-of-living crisis is a low pay crisis. The only way to end this is to give workers a pay rise.

Congress notes that more than a decade of government pay restraint and austerity has left workers vulnerable to this cost-of-living crisis. All workers in the public and private sector deserve a pay rise in order to survive in the cost-of-living crisis.

High inflation means urgent steps must be taken to improve pay and rebuild a fairer economy.

Congress recognises the work key workers have done over the last two years to keep the nation functioning through the pandemic.

But Congress also understands that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about what those roles actually entail within the movement, never mind in the wider public.

Congress understands there is a job of work to complete to raise awareness of the true work key workers perform in order to build support from the wider public for a new deal for workers.

Congress rejects the narrative from government and the Bank of England governor that pay rises for workers are the drivers for inflationary pressures. Congress recognises that the British economy is not working for workers and their families. Britain is suffering from an epidemic of unfettered profiteering. It’s not hard-pressed workers who are driving inflation, it is whole swathes of corporate Britain who have lined their pockets.

Further, Congress recognises the economic and financial neoliberal orthodoxy of the last four decades, coupled with the freedom of movement of capital, have had a detrimental effect on Britain. It has deprived the country of investment, eroded manufacturing, welfare and public services, reduced productivity growth to zero, and increased national debt to over £2tn.

Congress calls on the General Council to co-ordinate action between unions and prioritise educational and campaigning work on:

i. pay increases at least in line with inflation

ii. governments to take seriously their responsibilities to fund public services properly and deliver a fair wage to those who provide them

iii. a £15 per hour minimum wage for all workers

iv. no zero-hour contracts

v. a right to food

vi. an awareness campaign detailing the real work of key workers working with affiliates to highlight union members and the roles they perform to build public understanding and therefore support for a new deal for workers.

vii. action on all those issues which impact on cost of living, such as:

  • job security and proper sick pay
  • a new welfare system to protect dignity and provide adequate income
  • genuinely affordable, good quality childcare
  • employers, not workers, to bear the costs of working, eg, hospital car-parking fees and mileage rates.

viii. a new national economic policy to include:

  • the rebuilding of a strong manufacturing sector using the government’s leverage over public procurement and public investment
  • the strengthening of an accountable public sector including taking back into public ownership transport, utilities and all other public services that have been contracted out
  • establishing a national investment bank and public banks
  • exchange and interest rates appropriate to the country’s needs
  • financing should be obtained by taxing the enormous profits of corporations and the rich thus reducing inflationary pressures.

Workers are increasingly angry and willing to fight over low pay, as shown at the 18 June protest and the many successful ballots and strikes over pay.

Congress calls on the General Council to establish, convene and provide resources for a special working group of willing unions which would organise coordinated action over pay and terms and conditions where possible with all TUC unions, including further demonstrations, national and regional rallies, and coordinated industrial action where possible.

Seconder: POA
Supporters: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union; Unite; Public and Commercial Services Union

C07 Strengthening collective bargaining and employment rights following the P&O scandal

Received from: Nautilus, RMT

Motions 21 and amendments, and 22

Congress is shocked and appalled at P&O Ferries unfairly and unlawfully terminating the employment of 786 seafarers, without any notice by Zoom call and replacing them with below-minimum wage agency crew.

Congress notes P&O Ferries was in breach of multiple laws by their actions and expresses disgust at the comments of P&O chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite who told MPs that the company chose to break the law and would do it again.

Congress highlights its concern that other employers could see these actions as an opportunity to conduct themselves in a similar way. This could place in jeopardy long-established collective bargaining arrangements and statutory employment protections covering all workers across the UK.

Congress believes the actions of P&O Ferries brutally confirms a further shift in power in the workplace away from workers to employers. If a trade union inadvertently breaches anti-trade union legislation, employers rapidly achieve injunctions, yet no action could be taken to compel P&O Ferries to reverse the sackings, despite the prime minister promising this would happen.

Congress supports the work of TUC affiliates in calling for improvements to seafarer working protections, as well as wider employment protections in the UK, in particular welcoming the work undertaken in developing tripartite engagement and new legislation in defence of seafarers.

Congress is appalled that, instead of strengthening employments rights after the P&O scandal, the government has further weakened them by announcing proposals to allow agency workers to break strikes and massively increase the amounts unions can be fined for breaches of industrial action legislation. The government is also threatening to abolish rail workers’ rights to strike.

Congress applauds the immediate solidarity given by workers and unions in response to this appalling attack on our sisters and brothers.

Congress denounces the increasingly extremist rhetoric that has emerged during the Tory leadership election, which is designed as a further attack on the rights of working people to take industrial action.

Congress therefore calls for the strengthening of the rights of workers and unions including at freeports to be central to TUC campaigning as we approach the general election, including:

i. repeal of the anti-union laws

ii. introducing sectoral bargaining

iii. supporting the employment rights green paper

iv. giving unions strong powers to bring injunctions to prevent employers breaking employment law

v. ending the scourge of outsourcing and casualisation

vi. supporting the Fair Ferries strategy and framework agreements

vii. assisting affiliates in achieving measures that support domestically resident seafarer protection

viii. continuing efforts for increasing broader employment protections, including ending fire and rehire

ix. supporting stronger criminal and civil sanctions against employers who seek to circumvent due process

x. removing the cap on protective awards to prevent companies from being able to put a price on criminal conduct.

Congress calls on the General Council to defend the fundamental trade union right to strike from renewed Tory attacks.

Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Seconder: Nautilus International
Supporters: UNISON; Fire Brigades Union

Motion 23 Opposing fire and rehire: an industrial, political and organising strategy for the whole labour movement

Received from: UCU

Congress notes the growth of unscrupulous employment practices used in the post-16 education. In particular, Congress notes:

i. fire and rehire at Richmond upon Thames College and New City College, and threats to use the practice at universities across the UK

ii. subsidiary companies employing staff on poorer pay and conditions at Staffordshire University, Coventry University and Falmouth University, to name a few

iii. the emerging use of MARS (Mutually Agreed Resignation Schemes) in post-16 education

iv. casualisation and agency work across the sector.

These practices are designed by employers to deny employment rights to workers and to attack pay and working conditions.

Congress supports UCU members taking strike action to oppose fire and rehire, and the transfer of staff to subsidiary companies in post-16 education.

Congress calls on the TUC to lead:

i. an industrial response, involving coordination of industrial action by unions fighting such employment practices

ii. a political response aimed at building cross-parliamentary support for legislative reform as outlined in Barry Gardiner MP’s private members bill, including removing the ban on solidarity action and the right to take industrial action without procedural requirements and restrictions

iii. a cross-sectoral campaign for a charter which captures the support of employers who commit to refusing to use fire and rehire

University and College Union 

C14 Tackling the recruitment and retention crisis in healthcare

Received from: CSP, Unison

Motion 51 and amendments

Congress believes a healthcare recruitment and retention crisis is threatening NHS staff’s health and wellbeing. With waiting times increasing and patient outcomes worsening, this is also a threat to all workers.

Congress notes that, following decades of underinvestment:

i. there are not enough staff to meet the population’s changing health needs, with 100,000 vacancies now recorded across the NHS

ii. those who are working are doing so under immense pressure, and the intention to leave is growing.

Reality is moving ever further away from the commitment to universal provision laid out in the NHS constitution.

Congress recognises that NHS and healthcare funding are political decisions. Congress calls for:

a. an urgent retention package for NHS staff, with a restorative pay rise for all workers at its heart

b. funding to meet the increasing travel costs of NHS staff, which are largely being met by staff

c. proper career framework structures to retain and develop all registered and non-registered staff

d. strategic workforce planning, including national and regional workforce plans, based on realistic workforce assessments of service delivery plans

e. joined-up government action to guarantee future workforce supply. This should include a halt to government proposals to lower the salary threshold for student loans, extending loans’ repayment periods, and increasing repayment rates. All of which will deter prospective new healthcare students

f. banding outcomes to reflect job content

g. a co-ordinated campaign by all affiliated NHS unions and the TUC to protect members from further erosions of their terms and conditions such as pay, pensions and flexible working.

Congress notes that the Westminster government has now published the pay outcome for NHS staff in England and recognises the anger this has produced among healthcare staff and their trade unions. Congress calls on the General Council to support health unions’ plans to challenge the outcome, including potential industrial action.

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

Motion 52 Hot food for healthcare workers

Received from: SoR

Congress notes that during the height of the pandemic, NHS staff morale was boosted by gestures of appreciation from the public, such as examples of hot food being brought to hospitals for staff working at night. Now, these examples serve as cold reminders of the return to reality for NHS staff, expected to work long hours for poor reward with the added choice of eating poorly in snatched breaks or going hungry as canteen facilities close when visitors leave, or patients sleep.

Staff working during the day have access to hot food to sustain them through their shift and to allow them a break from work. Hot food stops during the night for short-term economic reasons, when minimal investment in an area like this could improve morale and staff retention. If public services such as the NHS are required 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, access to nutritious, affordable hot food should be available to all those expected to work regardless of the time of day.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. actively support health and other workers campaigning for access to nutritious, affordable hot food provision at regular intervals whenever they are at work across a 24-hour period.

ii. produce guidance for employers and health and safety reps to champion the economic, social and health benefits of investment in key workers’ diets.

Society of Radiographers

Motion 53 The treatment of overseas recruits by private sector and NHS employers

Received from: SoR

Congress asserts that health and social care have a chronic staffing crisis.

Congress further notes that the UK is now ever more reliant on the successful recruitment and retention of overseas professionals. However, the poor treatment and hostile environment many encounter when moving to the UK is shameful and counterproductive. The hostile environment in health and social care must end.

Many are being exploited. Unions regularly find examples of employers, including the NHS, threatening to recover visa fees and travel costs, or holding recruits to bogus training fees. Some private sector companies insert exceptionally long notice periods and/or extended probation periods into overseas recruits’ contracts. Clauses to recover professional indemnity risks are also known. This is on top of the long hours and poor conditions expected of all professionals in our system.

When we need to be offering globally competitive recruitment and retention packages, our welcome to those we desperately need reflects an entrenched racism and hostile culture.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. develop and publish a charter for overseas recruits into health and social care

ii. name and challenge employers in the public and private sector who fail to meet these standards.

iii. challenge the Home Office to remove the right to sponsor visas from any employer who is found to abuse overseas workers with modern slavery clauses or practises.

iv. develop materials and training to mainstream challenging equality and racism into all rep work.

v. support unions developing equality reps to champion anti-racism in workplaces.

Society of Radiographers

C10 The future for anti-racism and racial justice

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

Motions 32 and amendment, 33 and amendment, and 34

Congress notes that the TUC’s Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) has provided a crucial opportunity to create lasting change across our movement.

Congress believes that the TUC has a vital role in supporting and encouraging unions to develop and continue their own work on racial justice, including through offering practical guidance and advice. Creating lasting change takes time and it is likely that this support will need to be in place for several years.

The ARTF has amplified our capacity to secure racial justice and set in motion a process which can deliver meaningful and long-lasting change within our own unions and across wider society.

Congress further notes the work of affiliates to engage with employers in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination.

Examples of this include:

i. the creation of Black members networks in unions

ii. the appointment of anti-racism representatives in all branches of a union

iii. the launch of anti-racism roadshows across regional or bargaining networks with input from senior management to explain the actions they are taking in the fight against racism at the workplace

iv. the creation of joint race action plans with employers

v. joint race surveys across staffing groups to inform joint initiatives to tackle racism.

Congress agrees that any further work identified by the ARTF in its report to Congress can be enhanced by more affiliates seeking to adopt and benchmark the above initiatives in their engagement with senior leaders across the public and private sectors.

Congress strongly asserts that as Black workers and their communities continue to face extensive racial disparities and a hostile government that fails to recognise the systemic and institutionalised nature of racial injustices, the trade union movement must take urgent action. Congress, in particular, applauds the legal challenge against the Tories’ racist Rwanda deportation scheme.

Many unions have already commenced change projects based on the work of the ARTF. It is vital that this work becomes deeply rooted and is taken up widely across the movement.

Congress recognises that it is essential that this process continues beyond the life of the taskforce. There is too much at stake for us to fail Black workers now.

Therefore, Congress encourages affiliates to build anti-racism frameworks and membership engagement programmes while working within trade union structures and empowering communities, to build opportunities for leadership and representation and to develop education around the intersectionality between race and class.

Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Seconder: NASUWT
Supporters: Napo; UNISON; Communication Workers Union

Motion 35 Ethnicity pay gap

Received from: TUC Black Workers Conference

Congress believes that the ethnicity pay gap (EPG) is a major cause of in-work poverty experienced by Black workers and the cause of severe intergenerational inequality in Black communities.

The EPG is as high as 23.8 per cent in London with huge regional variations across the UK.

In 2017, the government committed in its manifesto to ask large employers to publish information on their ethnicity pay gaps. In 2020, only 11 per cent of companies had published this information.

The introduction of this important measure is needed to identify the disparities within the workforce and forces employers to be accountable.

Congress notes that UNISON Black workers are committed to addressing issues on racial equality and believe this campaign must be a priority for the TUC Race Relations Committee.

Congress calls on the General Council and the TUC Race Relations Committee to:

Idemand the TUC and the Anti-Racism Task Force make closing the EPG a key priority to tackle the racial and regional pay inequality face by Black workers

i. develop an action plan for use in the workplace including a collective bargaining and legal strategy.

ii. produce a TUC toolkit to implement mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to make EPG an equality priority.

TUC Black Workers Conference

Motion 16 Decarbonising public services

Received from: Unison

Congress notes that COP26 failed to put the governments of the world on course to achieve the Paris 2015 target, of keeping the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees, and no more than 2 degrees, above pre-industrial levels. Even if all the actions proposed in the Glasgow Climate Pact were achieved, we are headed for a rise of 2.4 degrees by the end of the century. This would mean catastrophic climate change with all its environmental, economic and social consequences.

Congress believes decarbonising public services is key. UNISON’s report Getting to Net Zero in Public Services, shows that getting public services to net zero needs £140bn in government funding by 2035.

Congress supports the report’s recommendations including demanding new national public service climate social partnerships, campaigning for affordable and public ownership of energy and water, developing educational materials and engaging with employers, service users and elected representatives in developing inclusive just transition boards for all public service sectors.

Congress will remain a key part of the international and national policy debates about the fairest way of achieving decarbonisation, the civil society movements that will keep leaders and governments on track, the social dialogue and negotiations needed to deliver just transition across all workplaces and will:

i. build on the momentum around COP26 and work closely with unions and civil society coalitions

ii. support campaigning for public service sectoral climate plans and funding for the just transition

iii. campaign for facility time for green reps.



› In the fourth paragraph, after “workplaces”, delete “and will” and replace with “. Congress calls on the TUC General Council to”.

› In sub-paragraph i., at the end, add “to accelerate the decarbonisation process across public services”


C06 Defending jobs and a just transition

Received from: Nautilus, Unite

Motions 17 and amends and 18 and amendment

Congress supports a move to net zero that offers a fair deal for workers and a fair future for a United Kingdom that is free from carbon emissions. Congress recognises that the decarbonisation agenda will have a massive impact on jobs and notes the just transition guidelines as established in 2015 by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The UK government is promising up to 480,000 skilled green jobs by 2030 and Congress welcomes the TUC’s involvement in the green jobs delivery group. However, there is not nearly enough detail about what those jobs are.

Congress is also concerned that some companies are using the transition into green industries to discard national agreements and remove collective bargaining.

Congress calls for a workers’ just transition, where green jobs are secure, sustainable, good jobs delivered through collective bargaining and where those workers and communities whose industries are threatened by the changes to develop a low-carbon world have jobs protected, through decarbonisation of existing industries in consultation with workers in those industries and their skills fully utilised in the sustainable industries of the future.

Congress believes that:

i. A just transition must involve adequate state intervention, investment and support to protect jobs, incomes, skills and communities.

ii. The steel industry in particular is a sustainable industry which must decarbonise and is critical to our green future. Jobs in the industry must be supported throughout the transition.

iii. Transport has significant responsibility and capability in transitioning towards a carbon free future. A just transition in transportation requires ambitious objectives from government to support the upskilling and reskilling of workers, as well as sustainable employment opportunities that supports the transport sector transitioning to a zero-carbon future.

iv. Now is the time to invest in green transport infrastructure in order to cut carbon emissions, support both communities and transport workers and rebuild our economy.

Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that any just transition strategy endorsed by the trade union movement must clearly set out:

a. realistic estimates for the numbers of new green jobs, the definition of a green job, the quality of those jobs and their likely locations and timeline

b. the skills, education and training required for those jobs and how that will be delivered

c. guarantees for health and safety practices of the highest standards, with trade unions playing a key role

d. measures to prevent any negative impact on trade unions in terms of existing agreements and organised workplaces.

Congress calls on unions to focus resources on planning for a just transition that benefits quality employment and training opportunities, and on the TUC to prioritise the carbon intensive transport sector in realising its journey to sustainability.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: Nautilus International
Supporters: GMB; Community; ASLEF

C19 Oppose the government’s unlawful immigration system

Received from: National Education Union, PCS

Motions 67 and 68

Congress notes that:

i. the Nationalities and Borders Act (NABA) effectively takes Britain out of the Refugee Convention and its established international refugee laws and practices

ii. the government’s own equality impact assessment of the NABA finds that it will discriminate on the grounds of race and nationality, by disadvantaging asylum seekers especially from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan

iii. parts of the Act empower the home secretary to secretly strip British people of their citizenship, disproportionately impacting Black British citizens.

Congress condemns the Nationalities and Borders Act as a vicious piece of legislation designed to whip up racism.

Congress condemns the proposal for a policy of pushback to turn refugees back when they are intercepted on the English Channel. Congress welcomes PCS’s decision to work with Care4Calais to seek a judicial review which forced the abandonment of the policy.

Congress condemns the government’s inhumane plan to transport people seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda to be housed in offshore detention camps.

Congress notes that Rwandan police have beaten and shot refugees protesting against poor conditions in its camps.

This is a clear attempt by the Tory government to deflect people’s anger over ‘partygate’ and the cost-of-living crisis by scapegoating desperate people trying to find safety.

Congress welcomes the protests called by campaigning organisations and the legal action taken by PCS along with Detention Action, Care4Calais and refugees against the Rwanda policy.

Congress condemns the government’s approach as brutal and racist, and notes that there are barely any legal routes for refugees to reach Britain.

Congress believes that:

a. the NABA, including its two-tier system of legal and illegal refugees, the Rwanda offshore detention policy, the threat to the citizenship of millions of British people, is racist

b. the trade union movement should mobilise alongside other campaign groups to oppose racist division when workers are being hit by attacks on living standards in the cost-of-living crisis

c. joint trade union and campaign group actions, including the legal challenge against pushbacks in the Channel, have been successful.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

1. work across the TUC to raise awareness of the cruelty of the NABA, campaign for the repeal of the Nationalities and Borders Act, challenge all racist scapegoating, as well as monitor and evidence its impact to highlight its failings

2. campaign against the Rwanda asylum policy

3. campaign, alongside other organisations, for a humane immigration policy that includes safe legal routes for refugees and asylum seekers to enter the UK

4. support protests being organised against the Act and the Rwandan policy

5. encourage unions to mobilise their memberships to collectively challenge aspects of the NABA that they are required to undertake that are potentially in breach of international law or the European Convention on Human Rights

6. support campaign groups or charities that are legally challenging aspects of the Act and take up opportunities to mount legal challenges where appropriate support, publicise and encourage involvement in any public mobilising campaigns.

Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union
Seconder: National Education Union

Motion 69 Global attacks on journalism

Received from: NUJ

Congress condemns the horrific murder of environmental journalist and NUJ member Dom Phillips and that of Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera journalist shot dead in Jenin, Palestine, while reporting on Israeli military action.

These deaths are evidence of the danger faced by journalists and the lengths hostile forces, including governments, will go to suppress freedom of the press. Phillips’ murder occurred in the context of hostility to those who work to protect Brazil’s natural environment promoted by the country’s reactionary president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Congress backs the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) call for Abu Akleh’s death to be investigated by the International Criminal Court. The IFJ’s complaint added her death to those of four Palestinian journalists killed or maimed by Israeli snipers in Gaza. All were wearing vests marked Press.

Congress notes that journalists in the UK face constant abuse and threats online and in person, including death threats to journalists in Northern Ireland.

Legislation such as the new Bill of Rights Bill, the Online Safety Bill and the National Security Bill will further undermine press freedom in the UK.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

i. affirm the importance of a free press and the freedom of expression.

ii. support campaigns to seek justice for journalists who have been killed or injured.

iii. support the NUJ’s work to raise awareness of attacks on journalists at home and abroad.

iv. support the IFJ and NUJ campaign for the murder of Abu Akleh to be investigated by the International Criminal Court.

National Union of Journalists

C15 HSE resourcing

Received from: NASUWT, Prospect

Motion 56 and amendments

Congress believes that cuts over the last decade have substantially weakened the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It is struggling to effectively regulate as it should across all sectors, from construction and factories to major hazard installations and has, due to woeful under-resourcing, failed to take any meaningful action on the work-related mental ill-health epidemic.

Congress notes with concern that the number of main grade inspectors has fallen well below 500, and that there has been a sharp decline in inspection and enforcement activity since 2010.

This is compounded by salary stagnation over ten years of austerity, making it more difficult for HSE to recruit and retain staff. There is now a capacity and experience crisis. More inspectors leave every year than HSE can recruit and train. Its science base is shrinking.

Further punishing staff cuts will exacerbate an already serious situation, meaning that more people will die in avoidable workplace accidents and from preventable diseases, while families, colleagues and communities will be denied justice. Congress notes the additional responsibilities and pressures placed on the HSE by the Building Safety Act and other related matters arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.

Congress believes the sharp decline in budget and staffing means HSE cannot fully protect workers and the public. Much of this has been done without effective parliamentary scrutiny.

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

i. appropriate funding for the HSE

ii. a substantial increase in staff capacity to deliver effective enforcement, policy making and scientific decision making

iii.HSE staff to be appropriately rewarded for their vital work

iv. a work and pensions select committee inquiry into the resourcing, work and independence of the HSE.

Mover: Prospect
Seconder: NASUWT
Supporter: Fire Brigades Union

C16 91,000 civil service job cuts

Received from: FDA, PCS

Motion 57 and amendments

Congress recognises that the government’s announcement of 91,000 job cuts in the civil service was a cynical political stunt to generate headlines and give the impression of a functioning executive. It also recognises that cuts of this size will predominantly fall on civil servants delivering services and have a significant detrimental impact on vital public services and undermines the government’s stated objective of civil service reform to champion innovation and harness science, engineering and technology to improve policy development, delivery and evaluation.

No serious government can arbitrarily determine the right size for the civil service – over 250 organisations delivering diverse public services – by plucking a number out of the air. The approach of determining the size of the civil service in 2026 by way of its size a decade earlier, would be farcical at any time, as organisations, demands and commitments from government inevitably change. To do so when that decade has witnessed Brexit, a once in a century pandemic, a crisis in energy supply and security, the challenges of climate change and need to promote biodiversity, and now a new European war, is intellectually bankrupt.

Congress recognises that just six months after the comprehensive spending review was agreed, this approach is not only causing concern among civil servants about their jobs and the services they provide but undermining the ability of the civil service to plan for the effective delivery of those services and policies.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. support public service unions in highlighting the impact of the planned 91,000 job cuts on key services and policies

ii. call on the new prime minister, once selected, to abandon the destructive approach of arbitrary job cuts

iii. campaign to support the continued investment in public services and the public servants who deliver them

iv. support industrial action aimed at preventing job cuts and coordinate such action with other unions in dispute where possible.

Mover: FDA
Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union
Supporter: Prospect

Motion 58 Defending public service broadcasting

Received from: Prospect

Congress notes that 2022 marks the BBC’s centenary, and as the debate begins about its funding model, and the government progresses its plans to privatise Channel 4, the trade union movement has a vital role to play in defending the principle of public service broadcasting, creative content and jobs.

Threats to the BBC’s future funding and plans to privatise Channel 4 are acts of cultural vandalism that must be vigorously opposed.

The BBC is more than a licence fee. Experience during the pandemic demonstrated fulfilment of the BBC’s charter to inform, educate and entertain the nation. This is made possible by its universal funding model that allows it to be a truly public service broadcaster that commissions innovative content, takes a chance new talent, and invests in jobs and output across the UK. Freezing then threatening the future of the licence fee will necessitate huge cuts, hitting jobs, regional economies, and content.

Privatising the hugely successful, self-sustaining Channel 4 will deal a heavy blow to independent production, along with tens of thousands of jobs across the country and the boundary-pushing, thought provoking content British audiences enjoy.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign to:

i. keep the uniquely British institution that is Channel 4 in public hands.

ii. protect the BBC licence fee and a sustainable funding model.

iii. highlight the important role that the BBC plays in the creative industries and the significant economic benefits that this provides.

iv. urge all unions, creative industry bodies and civic society to defend public service broadcasting.


Motion 54 Standing and profile of education in the UK

Received from: NAHT

Congress is increasingly alarmed by the falling status of education in the UK. Over 12 years of Conservative government, education has lurched from one funding crisis to the next with no vision from the government fit for education service for the 21st century.

The reckless turnover of education ministers, together with this failure to deliver real terms increases in resources for schools, short-changes children, schools and their communities.

The future prosperity of our country will be delivered by the children of today who depend on well-funded education and community services that are at the centre of the country’s economic plan.

Congress calls on all political parties to once again make education central to their manifesto commitments.

National Association of Head Teachers


› In the second paragraph, after the first instance of “schools” add “, colleges and universities”, change “short changes” to “short-changes”, replace “children” with “students”, replace “schools” with “educational institutions”, and delete “their”.

› In the third paragraph, replace “children” with “pupils and students”.

› In the final paragraph, delete “once again” and after “make” add “public funding and provision of”.

University and College Union

Motion 55 Right Support, Right Place, Right Time – SEND review green paper

Received from: AEP

Congress notes the government’s recent consultation on its review of special educational needs and disability (SEND) for children and young people (CYP) and the subsequent report expected to be published later this year.

The consultation rightly highlights the continuing poor outcomes for CYP with SEND and acknowledges the disproportionate impact the pandemic had upon CYP with SEND, and the need for them to be especially considered within the levelling up agenda.

Congress expresses its concern that despite this acknowledgement, the focus of the consultation document’s recommendations is upon changing administrative structures at national and local levels rather than addressing the narrow curriculum and pedagogical approaches currently being favoured by the government. The increasing numbers of CYP who are identified as having SEND and the growing disadvantage gap provides evidence that these approaches are not appropriate if there is a genuine desire for a system that offers CYP the opportunity to thrive.

Congress calls upon government to actively engage with a wide range of trade unions, academics, professional associations and children’s groups, who can contribute to producing a national education plan for CYP. This plan would enable all communities and their schools, colleges and early years settings to provide an inclusive learning environment for all CYP, enabling them to leave the compulsory stage of their education happy, healthy and well-equipped to enter adulthood.

Association of Educational Psychologists

C18 Rebuilding industrial power, supporting collective action and fighting for a new deal for workers

Received from: CWU, Unite

Motions 62, 63 plus amendment, 64 and 65

Congress recognises the need for unions to focus on collective action and industrial power to best represent and advance the interests of workers. and come together in leading the fight for a new deal for workers and a new social settlement for Britain. Congress underlines the role unions must play in achieving social justice and fairness for working people, the importance of articulating that change is possible. The collective is the real power of the trade union movement.

Congress prioritises supporting workers in dispute and organising and mobilising workers through trade unions to give them the industrial power to fight for decent jobs, pay and conditions.

High inflation, particularly affecting people on low incomes, and rising energy bills mean that millions do not know how they will make ends meet, feed themselves, heat their homes and pay their bills. Congress believes that the crisis in living standards and the attacks on jobs that workers are suffering requires the trade union movement to organise coordinated industrial action.

Congress believes that workers must not be made to pay for the cost-of-living crisis while profits rise. Wages were suppressed in response to the economic crisis in 2008 and they have never recovered.

Congress notes that rocketing inflation and employers’ attacks on pay and conditions to maintain profits are compounding falls in real earnings for the majority of the population over many years. Unless challenged, this will further increase the distribution of wealth and power in favour of the rich at the expense of the working class.

A Unite Investigates report has exposed how corporate profiteering – not workers’ wages – has been driving inflation. We can’t afford to accept another national pay cut to subsidise profits.

Congress notes that in recent months Unite has led and won over 300 disputes involving some 60,000 members who have been on strike winning over £50m for members across hundreds of employers. This demonstrates the power of coordinated action.

Workers are now being asked to exercise pay restraint because of inflation. Congress rejects government propaganda that increasing wages lead to inflation. In reality, inflation is driven by corporations passing on higher costs, such as fuel, and increasing profits.

Staff shortages in public services that are already struggling with the increased demands caused by the pandemic and by Brexit are causing enormous stress and threaten the health and wellbeing of many thousands of people in the UK Civil Service. Congress condemns the announcement by the government that it intends to cut 91,000 jobs. This would equate to closing 10 government departments and mean large scale reductions in services.

Congress congratulates and supports all unions taking industrial action to fight back for better pay and defending jobs, conditions, and pensions, including those taking strike action on the railways and London Underground. We note that, despite a media onslaught, there is widespread sympathy for strikes. Strong public support for a range of disputes is clear despite disgraceful attempts by the government ministers to demonise striking workers and divide workers. Recent disputes clearly show that when unions fight, we increase our appeal to non-unionised workers.

Unions made it clear at the successful 18 June TUC demonstration that saying “enough is enough” was only the start and that the movement is committed to delivering the biggest trade union led campaign ever.

Congress notes the adoption of the ‘new deal’ branding by the Labour Party but reaffirms that this must be a distinct trade union-led campaign which is not just a response to the cost-of-living crisis but the foundation of a wider social movement that empowers working-class people in the fight for real change.

Congress agrees that trade unions must lead the defence of working people in the UK.

Congress believes the Labour Party should not stand on the side-lines but should support our picket lines at the heart of this struggle and workers taking strike action to defend and improve living standards via the redistribution of wealth.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. inform and give confidence to workers about the justice of demanding decent pay

ii. actively encourage, facilitate, organise, support industrial coordination and a united campaign of coordinated industrial action between unions so that workers in dispute can most effectively harness their union power to win. Including convening a working group of unions in the public and private sectors to plan and coordinate action on pay and jobs

iii. start the race to the top by agreeing common bargaining agendas across sectors of the economy to end in-work poverty, fire and rehire and all forms of exploitative employment

iv. agree an autumn 2022 programme of ‘town hall’ meetings and rallies across the country and link up with community organisations to build collectivism, solidarity, and mobilisation

v. launch innovative forms of collective action that all workers can participate in before the end of 2022

vi. hold special Executive and General Council meetings to sharpen the overall industrial and political demands of the campaign

vii. embark on the biggest recruitment campaign ever and for unions to engage in conversation about collaboration across industries. Congress notes that unions report membership gains during periods of publicised activity and action

viii. report progress in the campaign for joint action to affiliates on a monthly basis.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: Communication Workers Union
Supporters: Public and Commercial Services Union; RMT; National Education Union

Motion 66 Organise the unorganised – linking with trades councils

Received from: TUC Trades Union Councils Conference

Congress calls on the whole trade union movement to join with us in a mission to organise the unorganised and bring trade unionism back to all workers in our towns and cities. For far too long we have witnessed the collapse in union membership and the demise of collective bargaining as the main vehicle for setting wages and conditions.

With rapidly declining living standards and a tight labour market, there is now a historic opportunity to recruit and organise workers to fight back and strike for higher pay and better conditions.

Congress applauds efforts made by some trades councils. For example, Sheffield TUC’s Sheffield needs a pay rise campaign has formed a partnership with BFAWU to put a union organiser on the streets. This model has now been extended to Leeds and Rotherham. BFAWU is now keen to extend this union towns model with other trades councils elsewhere in the UK. However, it does not have to be an exclusively BFAWU model. We call on other national unions to explore similar relationships with local trade union councils.

Congress asserts that trades union councils are an essential link for the trade union movement into our local communities. Organising on a town or city basis across different employers and economic sectors can have a significant impact on levels of union consciousness and activity on local workers who become inspired by local victories. The experience of Sheffield needs a pay rise is that workers get to know of union breakthroughs in similar workplaces and want some of the same action for themselves.

Organised workers in trade union branches who are affiliated to their local trade union council know that de-unionisation of their local labour market has led to a collapse in wage rates, the rise of zero-hour contracts and other forms of exploitative employment practices, insecure employment, minimum or no sick pay or holiday pay. We have been horrified to see bullying, sexual harassment and racism go unchallenged in such workplaces.

We cannot afford to let this become the norm whilst multinational employers rake in the profits. That’s why local union branches have proved their willingness to help fund a union organiser in their local town or city. The key is to work with trade union councils at a local level to rebuild trade unionism.

Congress calls upon the General Council to advertise this motion to all its affiliates as soon as possible.

TUC Trades Union Councils Conference

Motion 20 Technology and automation: delivering skills and workplace protection

Received from: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

It has been estimated that nine in 10 UK employees will need to be reskilled by 2030, at an additional cost of £13bn per year.

Despite this, the government has scrapped the Union Learning Fund in England and refused to address the significant failings of the apprenticeship levy system. At the same time, it remains too easy and too cheap for employers to make workers redundant.

Congress calls for the General Council to urgently campaign for the immediate implementation of the following provisions to ensure workers can retrain and take advantage of the future world of work:

i. A right to paid time off for retraining to support the development of lifetime skills.

ii. A significant and long-term investment in skills funding including the reinstatement of the Union Learning Fund across England.

iii. A fundamental overhaul of the apprenticeship levy scheme so it is accessible to all workers, with a focus on opportunities for those facing disadvantages in the labour market.

iv. The representation of workers in all discussions on skills strategy.

v. A requirement for employers to consult on new workplace technology including conducting equality impact assessments and acting on the findings.

vi. A right for workers to have a human connection in decisions about them and their job.

vii. Significantly reduced thresholds for trade union recognition to ensure effective worker voice in discussions, such as those around working hours.

viii. Strengthened protection against redundancy, including 90 days’ consultation for large scale redundancies and three weeks’ redundancy pay for all workers irrespective of age.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


› Add sub-paragraphs ix. and x. at the end:

“ix. Introduce a new national careers advice and guidance service to provide information and guidance on retraining to working people throughout their working lives.

“x. Introduce a new lifelong learning fund to support workers to access training.”


Motion 24 Improve bereavement care

Received from: RCM

An estimated one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage yet, despite this, women still face stigma and are not able to talk about their loss.

Staffing shortages and lack of funding has led to reduced training of healthcare staff in bereavement care and specialist bereavement services unable to run seven days per week

There is no entitlement to statutory maternity, paternity or parental bereavement leave following a miscarriage that happens in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. But this does not mean that a family is not bereaved or that the loss should not be acknowledged and support not given.

The Equality Act 2010 includes a protected period of two weeks against discrimination, dismissal, redundancy or unfair treatment related to pregnancy, miscarriage or related sick leave. Sickness absence certified as pregnancy or miscarriage-related by a GP or other medical practitioner is therefore legally protected. Employers must count this absence separately. Unfavourable treatment outside of this period may be considered as sex discrimination.

Congress calls for:

i. investment in specialist bereavement services

ii. unions to negotiate agreements that embed the existing legal protections for those who have suffered a miscarriage and encourage employers to sign the Miscarriage Association pregnancy loss pledge

Royal College of Midwives

Motion 25 Westminster attack on fire and rescue

Received from: FBU

Congress condemns the Home Office’s Reforming Our Fire and Rescue Service white paper, launched in May.

Congress is appalled that the white paper contains no plans or resources to improve the fire and rescue service, nor will it solve the building safety crisis exposed by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Congress believes that the white paper:

i. is the harbinger of worse fire cover, greater fragmentation, reduced resilience and worse emergency planning

ii. threatens the legal rights of firefighters to collectively bargain with the employers over pay, conditions, safety and other contractual matters

iii. threatens the right of firefighters to take lawful industrial action

iv. seeks to give chief fire officers powers to dictate cuts to public services

v. reduces local democracy by giving powers to mayors, police and crime commissioners and chief fire officers

vi. if implemented, would cut firefighters’ pay, increase hours, roles and intensity, introduce unsafe practices and stretch the service to breaking point.

Congress condemns the gimmicks contained in the white paper, such as imposing an oath and a statutory code of ethics, which will not improve the service, but instead make it easier to discipline and sack firefighters.

Congress opposes the white paper, which is an attack on the workforce and the FBU.

Congress commits the TUC to vigorously campaigning alongside the FBU in defence of firefighters and their service.

Congress further supports the FBU’s positive programme to transform the fire and rescue service for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Fire Brigades Union

C08 Campaigning for freelance and self-employed workers

Received from: AUE, NUJ

Motions 26 and 27

TUC Congress notes that inflation is impoverishing the entire British labour force. Freelance workers, however, are hit worst of all.

Congress further notes that in the UK the number of self-employed workers has increased by approximately 25 per cent since the year 2000 to around 4.2 million.

This growth makes it all the more vital that this category of worker is treated with respect, decency and fair pay – not least to prevent them becoming an easy substitute for employees across all sectors of the economy.

Congress notes:

i. growing poverty and inequality in the UK, as a result of austerity policies in recent years and cuts in funding to the benefits system before and after Covid, has directly affected those working in the creative industries

ii. many people working in the creative industries are self-employed, often because the work is seasonal, intermittent and/or project-led

iii. in a recent survey more than two-thirds of self-employed workers in the UK were without a regular income and more than half of self-employed workers said they relied on personal savings when not working

iv. self-employed workers are often unaware of the right to join an appropriate union

v. the number of self-employed workers in the UK was officially 4.1 million in 2021

vi. many self-employed workers work long hours, meaning they often work for below the recommended minimum wage, in inappropriate or unsafe situations

vii. many self-employed workers have no sick pay, no paid holidays and no ability to provide for parental leave.

viii. disabled self-employed workers have greater difficulty getting access to work grants.

In the media sector, rates paid by most news platforms have stagnated or fallen over the past decade. On some publications – the Radio Times, for example – rates have not changed in a decade. The Daily Telegraph has cut pay to features contributors by almost 30 per cent over the past 15 years. The Sunday Times has more than once imposed across-the-board reductions in freelance rates. The pattern is common to almost the entire UK news media.

The TUC notes that unlike employees, freelance workers do not have a statutory right to trades union recognition.

Congress instructs the General Council to highlight the plight of freelance workers in its wage campaigning and, in particular, to call out the hypocrisy of news platforms that call for the decent treatment of workers, while financially abusing those freelancers they engage.

Congress calls on the General Council to consult with all relevant unions on how to mobilise, represent and lobby on behalf of self-employed workers, including developing proposals and campaigning for better protections under employment law.

Mover: National Union of Journalists
Seconder: Artists’ Union England


Motion 28 Protecting public servants from bullying and harassment

Received from: FDA

Congress recognises that every employee deserves to be able to work in an environment without fear of bullying and harassment.

While most public services have tried and tested procedures for dealing with bullying and harassment from fellow employees, the system for public servants who interact with ministers and politicians has consistently been found to be unfit for purpose.

Investigations under the ministerial code have to be sanctioned by the prime minister, who is also the sole arbiter of the outcome. Investigations are not transparent, with no published process and no right of challenge. As we have seen time and again, even with accusations of serious sexual harassment, prime ministers have prioritised their own political interests over the welfare of civil servants.

In parliament, where hard-won progress has been made with an independent complaints and grievance scheme introduced through union intervention, there is still concern about the inability of parliamentary authorities to take pre-emptive action to protect employees where there are serious, substantiated allegations against MPs.

Congress believes that parliamentarians and ministers should be subject to the same standards of conduct and oversight that apply to workers up and down the country. Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to:

i. lobby the new prime minister to implement, in full, the committee on standards in public life recommendations on the ministerial code

ii. support unions in their campaign to ensure that all parliamentary staff are protected in circumstances where serious, substantiated allegations are made against a parliamentarian.


Motion 29 Working in high temperatures

Received from: ASLEF

Congress recognises the valuable work carried out by the TUC and its affiliates to improve conditions at work, making it safer and healthier for staff.

Congress notes that there’s no law for minimum or maximum temperatures at work. An approved code of practice specifies a minimum, but not a maximum, and loopholes and exemptions mean that this very weak safeguard fails to protect many workers.

Congress believes that health and safety legislation protects not only people at work, but others too, especially in safety critical industries. In excessively hot cabs, train drivers can find their ability to focus and concentrate affected, creating a health and safety concern for them, their passengers, and other railway staff too.

Congress understands that a maximum temperature for some work settings or industries may prove impracticable or impossible, but this should not be a bar to stipulating a maximum temperature at work where this can be achieved. Where it cannot be achieved, a legal obligation should still require employers to introduce mitigation to keep employees safe.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign for a legal maximum temperature of 26 degrees at work where this is reasonably practicable, and where not, to still require employers to take all reasonably practicable measures to reduce the temperature at work, and to provide further mitigating measures to reduce the risk of harm from workers continued exposure to high temperatures

ii. fully support ASLEF’s Better Driving Cabs campaign which aims to improve the driving conditions for our members.


Motion 30 The lack of health and safety legislation on footwear at work

Received from: College of Podiatry

Congress notes that trade unions have a long history of improving health and safety in the workplace and saving lives and workers from harm.

Congress further notes that members of the Royal College of Podiatry deal with the impact of ill-fitting/wrong footwear from the workforce every day in their practices.

Whether you work on a building site, as a dancer or a professional sports person, access to the right footwear is vital to health of the nation’s feet.

Hazards at work which could lead to injury include oily or slippery floors, or machines which can crush or burn. Other issues such as cold working areas like frozen food stores, or wet conditions, can bring additional problems like chilblains or athlete’s foot.

Health and safety law only requires safety footwear to be worn if there is a real risk of injury. This leaves workers vulnerable as it allows employers to interpret what a ‘real’ risk is and does not take into account professions many people may not immediately consider needing safety footwear.

Congress calls on the TUC to work with the Royal College of Podiatry and other stakeholders to campaign for tighter legislation on safe footwear at work making sure workers’ feet are protected.

Royal College of Podiatry

E1 Royal Mail

Received from: CWU

Congress condemns Royal Mail’s recent disgraceful actions in announcing on Friday 14th October up to 10,000 redundancies by August 2023.

This comes after the company posted record profits in May 2022 of £758 million, paid £400 million to shareholders and walked away from a Modernisation Agreement without any explanation.

The recent announcement is part of a wider jobs and asset stripping business plan that will lead to the breakup of Royal Mail, the end of the Universal Service and a wholesale levelling down agenda on postal workers jobs, pay, terms and conditions.

The plan is about turning Royal Mail into a gig-economy parcel courier, managing existing employees out of the business and replacing these with self-employed owner drivers and new starters on 20% less pay and 3 hour increase in the working week.

Congress resolves:

  1. To call upon the Royal Mail Board to immediately abandon their planned job losses and work and agree with the union an alternative business plan in the interest of the workers, customers and the company.
  2. To call on the Government to intervene immediately to protect the Universal Service and widen their current investigation into a takeover bid by VESA (a private equity investment group based in Luxemburg), to now include an immediate inquiry into the actions of the CEO and Royal Mail Group Board.
  3. That the General Council will work with the CWU and all unions who wish to defend this public service and save the Universal Service Obligation.

Moved: Communication Workers Union
Seconded: Unite

C17 Invest in the rail industry

Received from: ASLEF, TSSA

Motions 59 and amendment and 60 and amendment

Congress notes the significant threat faced by the rail industry due to government actions to starve the industry from the funding that is required to run a safe and viable rail network

Congress notes that rail workers across the industry have maintained and operated this essential public service throughout the Covid crisis. Instead of being rewarded for achieving this, many rail workers have instead seen no pay rises for years and their jobs threatened whilst passengers have seen train fares increasing by retail prices index inflation at a time of crisis for family finances.

Congress welcomes that the Department for Transport admitted that the privatisation of our railways was a failure. It has left us with a fragmented rail system from which many private companies have been able to extract money for shareholders and foreign governments, whilst leaving the public to foot the bill for services when the private operators have failed to deliver them.

Congress believes that the proposals under Great British Railways to move to a concession model are a missed opportunity to truly fix our railways, as the concession model places all the risk on the public purse whilst allowing private operators to still extract profits.

Congress believes that under the current government, rail is not receiving the appropriate investment it needs as has been evidenced with the cutting of HS2 eastern leg and the cutting back of Northern Powerhouse Rail. While the government will claim it wants to level up the country, its actions speak louder.

Congress welcomes ASLEF’s Invest in Rail campaign launched in 2022, which calls for investment in the railways to open new lines, electrify the network, invest in and upgrade current lines and improve access to create a rail network that truly serves the public.

Congress believes that if the trade union movement is to be successful in protecting members’ jobs, terms and conditions and in challenging the unfair pay freeze, the TUC needs to be at the centre of all efforts to maintain the maximum level of unity between workers across all industries and all unions as well as the fight against the Tory government’s attacks on industrial action by permitting the use of agency staff to replace striking workers and future plans to attack the right to take strike action.

Congress expresses alarm at the recent mixed messaging emanating from the Labour Party leadership over rail public ownership. Moving away from public ownership would be a betrayal of passengers and workers and Congress calls for the General Council to coordinate political campaigning for public ownership around the forthcoming Transport Bill.

Congress therefore instructs the General Council to provide every support possible in helping affiliates and their members in their efforts to resist ongoing employer and government attacks.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign for proper investment in our railways including the reversal of cuts to Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2

ii. support the rail unions in highlighting the profiteers extracting money from our railways including under the new Great British Railways model.

iii. fully support ASLEF’s Invest in Rail campaign.

Mover: ASLEF
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staff’s Association
Supporter: RMT

C02 Economic recovery and manufacturing jobs

Received from: GMB, POA

Motions 4 and 5

Congress recognises that the state must again become the key economic driver in recovery.

Congress believes that rebuilding a modern, high-tech, manufacturing sector as the fundamental wealth creating aspect of the economy should be a priority.

This will restore and redistribute wealth to ensure a more equal society for all workers.

Congress believes that the power of the finance sector must be curtailed and the ability of corporations and speculators to avoid taxes, transfer wealth to tax havens must be stopped.

We must build up self-reliant production, with extensive government and local government procurement from British-based and -owned producers.

Congress condemns the:

i. run-down of UK defence manufacturing and loss of more than 80,000 shipbuilding and repair jobs since the early 1980s

ii. expansion of outsourcing and casualisation in the Ministry of Defence and private contractors

iii. government’s international competition policies, including for the £1.6bn fleet solid support contract.

Congress recognises that:

a. defence manufacturing is essential to many communities, from Barrow-in-Furness to Derby, and defence spending supports many parts of the wider economy

b. up to 36p in each pound spent on defence manufacturing is returned through taxation – helping fund public services

c. the 1990s submarine order gap, which led to catastrophic losses in jobs and skills, must never be repeated

d. there is welcome potential for manufacturing orders under the Aukus agreement.

Congress further recognises that defence manufacturing cuts have hindered the UK’s ability to aid the Ukrainian people under brutal assault from Putin’s regime. Congress believes that the world is becoming less safe and the policy carried in 2017 in favour of diversifying away from defence manufacturing is no longer fit for purpose.

Congress notes the chronic lack of investment industry and that the UK’s skills development as a percentage of outputs is the lowest of all 34 listed OECD nations.

This has severely weakened the British economy, reducing our ability to fund public services, utilities and advanced technology and led to inflationary pressure taking money from our vital services.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

1. convene a major national initiative involving sympathetic manufacturers, unions, professional bodies and industrial area administrations to establish a national commission for manufacturing to oversee a revival in all sectors and plan a rejuvenation of production and skills development

2. produce a campaigning document in consultation with all affiliates on the importance of manufacturing revival for us all and seeking the support of all candidates in national and local elections for our position and publicising their responses

3. support affiliates’ campaigns for immediate increases in defence spending in the UK including GMB’s Making It campaign, for defence contracts to be placed in the UK where possible and shipbuilding orders to be placed with UK yards

4. demand a 30-year pipeline of defence work across sectors, including delivery in full of the Astute and Dreadnought programmes that are essential to jobs at BAE Systems in Barrow and Rolls-Royce in Derby.

Mover: GMB
Seconder: POA

Motion 06 Action on the cost-of-living crisis

Received from: National Education Union

Most workers in Britain are facing real terms pay cuts that add to the cost-of-living crisis, fuelling rises in child poverty, homelessness, food and fuel poverty.

Congress notes that:

i. 9 million children were living in poverty in the UK in 2020–21. This is some 27 per cent of children, or eight in a classroom of 30.

ii. Half of all children in lone parent families were in poverty as we entered the pandemic.

iii. Almost half of children from Black and minority ethnic groups are in poverty

iv. Educational outcomes for children living in poverty remain consistently lower, and this gap has widened through the pandemic.

Government-imposed limits on pay offers of five per cent or less, while inflation is rising well above 10 per cent constitute real-terms pay cuts. Rising energy and fuel costs at a time when the profits of energy companies are at their highest ever level, are the most significant contributor to rising inflation and impact on production and transport costs of all consumer goods.

Congress resolves to:

a. campaign for the government to fund free school meals for every child in primary school

b. campaign for urgent measures to eradicate child poverty through higher incomes and proper living standards

c. coordinate a campaign of industrial action across the public and private sector to win pay rises and improve standards of living.

Congress calls for solidarity actions with workers who have to strike to defend pay, pensions, jobs and standards for themselves and the wider public, including joining picket lines to publicly show support for workers in dispute.

National Education Union

C03 Food emergency

Received from: BDA, BFAWU

Motions 7 and 8 and amendment

Congress is concerned that with inflation standing at the highest it has been in 40 years and with food prices, alongside energy costs, at record levels, millions of people (including millions of children) are unable to meet their basic needs.

Congress calls on the General Council, the wider trade union movement, all political parties, religious leaders, academics, researchers, campaigners, and all the people of this country to demand that governments act now to declare a national food emergency and address the food crisis facing so many people.

Congress asserts that there is an urgent need to organise a national food emergency summit to determine how to resource and deliver a plan to ensure every citizen in the UK can access good quality, affordable, and nutritious food.

Congress last year welcomed the publication of the government-commissioned report into the national food system by Henry Dimbleby, which the prime minister promised would form the basis of a white paper providing a real opportunity to position Britain as a leader in food, health and the environment.

The government food strategy was finally published on 13 June 2022. Congress condemns the government strategy for not going far enough to address the links between food and health and for largely ignoring the recommendations made by its own lead advisor.

Congress asserts that this is not a strategy but rather a statement of intent based on a narrow-minded ideology of voluntarism and individual responsibility.

Congress is dismayed that the strategy fails to commit to recommendations including:

i. measures to enable the import of food with high animal welfare and environmental standards

ii. a 30 per cent reduction in meat and dairy consumption

iii. the introduction of a sugar and salt tax

iv. adequate public health measures

v. tackling rising food prices

vi. significant expansion of free school meals

vii. taking a stand on climate change.

Congress calls on the General Council to work with the BDA and others to press government to introduce legislation implementing the recommendations of the Dimbleby report.

Congress calls on the General Council to insist that any UK food strategy is subject to a worker-led just transition to ensure a future of good, unionised jobs including for the 175,000 workers in the meat and dairy industries.

Given that the extent of food insecurity is the result of an earnings and income crisis (not simply a cost-of-living crisis), Congress demands, in declaring a national food emergency, that the UK government and the devolved administrations deliver:

a. a rise in the national minimum wage to at least £15 an hour to guarantee workers a real living wage

b. an immediate and substantial increase to universal credit: restoring the £20 uplift, uprating benefits to keep pace with rising prices and bills, and removing the five-week wait

c. universal free school meals for every child throughout the year

d. a ban on zero-hour contracts to guarantee workers predictable incomes they can live on.

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

C04 Energy costs

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

Motion 9 and amendments

Congress notes the energy price cap could rise to £3,244 in October 2022 for a typical household, putting people on low and medium incomes at risk of choosing between heating and eating over the winter, and increasing forced instalments of pre-payment meters. Usdaw’s research showed that nearly twice as many people on pre-payment meters struggle to pay energy bills.

Congress notes that the government’s support package is based on lower predicted increases which could leave the support insufficient to cover rising costs. Energy market reform requires a long-term sustainable strategy that will contribute both to UK energy security and to achieving net zero.

Congress further notes that steelmakers, manufacturers, and other energy-intensive users are struggling with uncompetitive energy costs. UK steelmakers currently pay almost 60 per cent more for electricity than European counterparts. This threatens the viability of the government target of a 95 per cent reduction in emissions from steelmaking by 2050, as net-zero steel production is significantly more energy intensive.

Congress notes that high and unstable energy costs undermine the opportunity to support our foundational industries, secure UK fuel supplies, build supply chain capacity, and create new green jobs.

Congress believes net zero technologies also have a role to play in making energy costs in the UK affordable for businesses and households.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. campaign for immediate action on energy prices to support UK industry and help struggling households with rising bills, including a social tariff, tackling the unfair charges many low-income households face as a result of pre-payment meters, and supporting customers who fall into energy debt.

ii.  lobby the government to ensure that energy price and industrial policy incentivises rather than undermines decarbonisation, as well as supports those on low and middle incomes.

iii. campaign for the return of the gas and electricity industries to social and public ownership, with new models that take account of the interests of workers, consumers, local communities and the environment.

Mover: Community
Seconder: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Supporters: Prospect; Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

C09 Winning on equalities in the workplace

Received from: College of Podiatry, Unite

Motion 31 and amendment

Congress recognises and applauds the role that trade unions have played in campaigning for and gaining significant achievements for equalities.

All the major advances in equal pay, for example, have been achieved by trade unions. The Ford equal pay struggle led to the Equal Pay Act. However, fifty-two years on from the Equal Pay Act there are still industries with a 48 per cent gender pay gap.

Congress believes that tackling discrimination, prejudice and harassment in all its forms requires action in the workplace.

We need to ensure that equalities issues are not just the subject of good policies but put firmly on the bargaining table and deliver concrete results including agreements dealing with priority issues for women, BAEM, LGBT+, young and disabled workers.

Congress calls on the TUC General Council with all TUC affiliates, the TUC Women’s, Race Relations, Disabled Workers, LGBT+ Committees and Young Members’ Forum to:

i. support the prioritisation of equalities issues as industrial issues in the workplace

ii. promote action to close gender, race, disability pay gaps, end LGBT+ pay inequality and unfair age rates

iii. advance equality-responsive health and safety including menopause, appropriate PPE for all, recognition of sickle cell and thalassemia, long Covid, mental health

iv. campaign for legal support and negotiating best practice for equalities reps in the workplace for the right to paid time off for duties and training to enable them to deliver fairness for all

v. spread the extension of union equality reps at the bargaining table, equality impact assessments, and positive action to ensure a diverse negotiating team and tackle under-representation

vi. develop the TUC equality audit on collective bargaining to require stronger action.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: Royal College of Podiatry

Motion 38 Defend abortion rights

Received from: Unison

Congress asserts that the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court is the biggest attack on abortion rights since the 1970s.

There are many US states ready to bring in bans following this ruling. These bans won’t stop abortions. But they will stop safe abortions, and they will make it a crime to assist someone to have an abortion.

This means thousands of working-class people, mainly women, face an unwanted pregnancy, an unsafe procedure, a jail sentence. Rich people will be okay – they can afford to travel to states or countries without bans, or to check in to a private clinic.

We cannot be complacent: our right to choose and access to abortion has repeatedly come under attack, and the Supreme Court decision will give confidence to those wanting to attack abortion rights. Nadine Dorries used the publicity around the Tory leadership battle to call for reducing the time limit for abortion.

Working-class people and the trade union movement have come together before to fight for our right to choose. The TUC called the biggest ever protest to defend abortion rights against the Corrie Bill in 1979, mobilising 80,000 people onto the streets. This made a huge difference to the campaign, and to women in the workplace.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. encourage unions to affiliate to Abortion Rights UK

ii. campaign for decriminalisation of abortion in England, Scotland and Wales and for fair access

iii. organise a national TUC demonstration to defend abortion rights.



› Insert new paragraph 5:

‘’Congress believes young people need reliable sources of information about abortion via the school curriculum. This should explain the law, distinguish between fact and opinion and use accurate information about reproductive health, so that students can learn about their bodies and their reproductive rights, in age-appropriate ways.’’

National Education Union

Motion 39 Fighting for equal pay

Received from: GMB

Congress believes that women’s work is undervalued, and that we must be bold in equal pay campaigning. The undervaluing of women’s work is historic, structural, and it will be enduring if we do not act.

Low pay is an intersectional issue and it persists in roles women predominantly occupy because women are themselves undervalued.

Congress recognises that:

i. progress in eliminating the gender pay gap is slow, and the full-time pay gap rose in 2021 (from 7 per cent to 7.9 per cent)

ii. women still earn 41 per cent less on average over a lifetime, according to the latest estimate

iii. allowing cross-employer comparators would be an important step towards resolving more claims for equal pay for work of equal value.

Congress expresses its support for the GMB Birmingham City Council equal pay campaign that is seeking to rectify the historic and structural failure to pay women what they are worth. Congress notes that the council is trying to supress meaningful negotiations through legal tactics, further delaying paying what they owe.

Congress further notes that New Zealand’s Equal Pay Amendment Act lays out new factors to determine current or historical equal pay values, including whether women have had a lack of effective bargaining or representation.

Congress therefore commits to:

a. instructing the General Council to research the practicalities of how the New Zealand Equal Pay Amendment Act could be applied to the UK

b. supporting affiliates’ equal pay campaigns and GMB’s Fight for Fifteen in the Care Sector.


Motion 40 Flexible working and retention of women workers

Received from: RCM

Congress notes that more than 99 per cent of midwives and 77 per cent of NHS staff are women. Women account for 85 per cent of sole carers for children and 65 per cent for older adults. In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis soaring childcare costs reached an average of £936 a month.

Some 67 per cent of respondents to a Royal College of Midwives survey said they might stay or return to work in the NHS if there were greater opportunities to work flexibly. More than a third of those who requested to work flexibly had that request rejected. Most requests were to reduce hours or work set days of the week. Most midwives and maternity support workers work on a rota system where days and hours of work vary, making planning care difficult

Flexible working is key to women accessing and staying in work and to improved work-life balance for all workers.

In addition to an existing shortage of 2,000 midwives in England, for the first time we are seeing a drop in the number of midwives working in the NHS. The latest figures show there are more than 600 fewer midwives compared with twelve months ago.

Heavy workloads due to staffing shortages leads to high levels of stress and exhaustion creating a vicious cycle as many more consider leaving.

Congress calls on the General Council to continue to campaign to make flexible working the default and central to the ability of employers to recruit and retain staff.

Royal College of Midwives

C11 The menopause

Received from: Community, Unite

Motion 41 and amendments

Congress notes that 3.5 million women across the UK are going through the menopause.

Symptoms can include hot flushes, memory issues, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression. Congress notes that experiencing severe symptoms of menopause can be classed as a disability under the Equality Act.

Congress believes that menopause is a workplace, health and safety and equality issue that needs action. It can leave women feeling unsupported, pushed out of work or unable to access training or promotion opportunities.

Congress recognises that flexible working can make it easier to manage menopause symptoms, as can changes to uniforms, breaks, or room temperature. Congress notes Community’s research which showed 67 per cent of women who were able to work from home during the pandemic and experienced menopause symptoms said they wanted homeworking to continue to be an option.

Congress believes all employers should have a menopause policy in place to support workers as well as guidance of best practice for hiring freelance and self-employed women.

Congress recognises that awareness training for managers will help employers support workers, and signpost appropriate support.

Congress further notes that in the public sector, where the majority of workers are women, there is inconsistent adoption of good practices to support employees experiencing menopausal and perimenopausal effects.

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

i. support affiliates to introduce menopause policies into all workplaces

ii. campaign for better healthcare information for women experiencing the menopause at work and increased awareness of relevant workplace rights

iii. influence policymakers to mainstream menopause as an employment practice issue for all

iv. expand training for reps on the impact of the menopause on women

v. highlight how a workplace policy can also help to close the gender pay gap and ensure women are not forced to reduce their hours or leave their roles due to the symptoms.

Mover: Community
Seconder: Unite
Supporter: Society of Radiographers

Motion 42 Tackling and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace

Received from: TUC Women's Conference

Congress welcomes the UK government’s announcement (July 2021) that it intends to introduce a duty on employers to protect staff from sexual harassment, including harassment from third parties, and to look at extending the time limit for employment tribunal cases.

Achieving these changes to the law is urgent. Sexual harassment is rife in workplaces.

Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a major problem for many women. More than four-fifths of young women in the UK have been subjected to sexual harassment, (source: UN Women UK (March 2021).

A poll published in July by the TUC revealed that around seven in 10 (68 per cent) disabled women surveyed about sexual harassment had been sexually harassed at work.

TUC research recently revealed the persistent and widespread scale of workplace sexual harassment. More than one in two women and nearly seven out of 10 LGBT+ workers are sexually harassed in the workplace.

After lobbying from the TUC, the UK government launched a consultation on sexual harassment at work which closed in October. In their responses, 54 per cent of women said they had experienced harassment at work.

Congress condemns continued sexual harassment in the workplace. Reporting has been hampered by:

i. the failure to provide anonymity therefore increasing victimisation

ii. placing the burden of proof on the individual

iii. the adverse effect of increased stress

iv. working from home.

Sexual harassment can happen to anyone, however, the majority of those affected are women. Too many workers have had to put up with appalling behaviour for too long because they felt nothing would be done if they reported it. There is also evidence that the requirement to work from home during the pandemic has led to online sexual harassment becoming more prevalent.

Women (and anybody facing sexual harassment) need an alternative mechanism to report incidences and better protection, therefore improving chances of satisfactory results and closure.

Responding to the consultation, the government said it intends to introduce a duty requiring employers to prevent sexual harassment and introduce explicit protections from third-party harassment.

Congress welcomes the commitment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to work with the government and others to produce a statutory code of practice on harassment at work to use in legal proceedings brought under the Equality Act 2010.

While welcoming the proposals, Congress believes they don’t go far enough, particularly as these measures do not give protection for self-employed women, a vast number of whom work in the creative industries.

While the changes in employment law go some way to protect women at work, the only way women can be fully protected from sexual harassment is to make it a criminal offence, both at work and outside of work.

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

a. continue to campaign against sexual harassment

b. continue to campaign for zero tolerance of sexual harassment in workplaces, including online abuse and for companies to adopt stand-alone sexual harassment policies

c. provide support to women whose work and employment arrangements make it more difficult to access immediate assistance and seek legal redress, such as seafarers and other cross-border workers

d. develop a charter or pledge for trade union affiliates to sign up to encouraging respect and dignity to all women and an end to misogynistic behaviours – essentially creating sexual harassment free-zones

e. press the government to act urgently to turn intention into action, change the law and enforce it

f. campaign to force the government to introduce an enforceable duty for employers to take all such steps to protect workers from sexual harassment

g. campaign for the UK to ratify the Istanbul Convention and International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190, an international treaty that recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment

h. pressure the government to make the collecting of data linked to the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment and its impact an annual exercise

i. to explore how sexual harassment might be made a criminal offence.

Congress further calls on the General Council to lobby government to:

1. increase EHRC’s funding to increase enforcement effectiveness

2. implement Section 14 of the Equality Act and review the limit of two characteristics

3. increase the time to raise a tribunal claim to six months.

Congress asks the General Council to engage with employers and unions to urge them to:

I. establish levels of sexual harassment

II. consider current reporting procedure with a view to introducing anonymous reporting

III. consider better disclosing procedures

IV. provide training to increase awareness and a zero-tolerance culture in the workplace

V. provide specialist in-house support with trade union oversight

VI. provide in-house trained investigators.

TUC Women’s Conference

Motion 36 Reasonable adjustment passports in the NHS and public bodies

Received from: CSP

Congress notes that the TUC has adopted the social model of disability, and recognises individuals are disabled by environments and attitudes. To allow disabled people to access and thrive in the workplace, it is these environments and attitudes that need to be adjusted, not the individual.

Congress believes adjustment passports enable workers to more easily discuss, agree and record the adjustments they require to stay well in the workplace.

However, when moving from one workplace to another, the thought of discussing and ensuring all necessary adjustments are put in place in their new area of work can be daunting and time consuming. Furthermore, workers with a disability often face difficulties when managers are replaced, with stories of adjustments being removed or changed by management.

Making the recognition and use of adjustment passports mandatory in every public body would make disabled workers feel more confident in applying for and moving jobs between public bodies. It would also reduce the anxiety and concern around discussing the adjustments required when moving roles or management changes. Ensuring adjustment passports are implemented would help reduce workplace discrimination and ensure managers think how to make the workplace accessible for those individuals with a disability.

Congress calls on the General Council to develop a campaign and lobbying plan, to make the recognition and use of accessibility passports mandatory in all public bodies for workers with a disability.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Motion 37 Using the disability employment charter to make the national disability strategy deliver for disabled workers

Received from: TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Congress notes the long-awaited July 2021 government disability strategy and is extremely concerned about its abject failure to engage in meaningful dialogue with disabled people and disabled people’s organisations.

Congress believes the strategy lacks ambition, urgency and weight. The strategy does nothing to change society in a way that will meaningfully enhance the life chances of disabled people and will do very little to advance the interests of disabled people.

Many proposals are voluntary, a rehash of previous announcements, or lacking sanctions. There are:

i. no concrete proposals to improve the enforcement of reasonable adjustments in the workplace

ii. no plans for mandatory disability pay gap monitoring, just continued promotion of the voluntary reporting framework

iii. no clear proposals to ensure disability-confident employers must employ disabled people.

Congress notes that:

a. post-16 education is barely mentioned in the 121-page document

b. the strategy does not provide any clear direction on inclusive education, for disabled students to access mainstream education

c. the strategy does nothing to redress the constant erosion of support for post-16 disabled students.

Congress welcomes the disability employment charter, launched in October and backed by a number of trade unions, developed as a response to the inadequacies of the disability strategy. The charter includes:

1. mandatory pay gap monitoring

2. a two-week deadline for reasonable adjustment request responses

3. time off for trade union equality reps

Congress notes that UNISON has made 2022 the year of disabled workers. Initiatives like this can help to raise awareness of the inadequacies of the strategy and the solutions in the charter.

Conference calls on the TUC and TUC Disabled Workers Committee to:

I. demand a change to the National Disability Strategy

II. use the disability employment charter as a tool to campaign for a government disability strategy that delivers for disabled workers

III. support UNISON’s plans to use 2022 the year of disabled workers to publicise the charter.

TUC Disabled Workers Conference

Motion 61 Defending the integrity of the justice system

Received from: NAPO

Congress views with serious concern the major changes (or current proposals) which are detrimental to the application of natural justice in the parole board system and family courts.

The introduction of the single intervention by the secretary of state for justice in parole board hearings was imposed in July despite all expert advice to the contrary. The impact of this authoritarian and ill-considered policy has meant that highly skilled probation practitioners are now forbidden to make recommendations to the parole board as to the suitability or otherwise of the release of a prisoner into the community. This has resulted in the de-professionalisation of probation practitioners who view this change as a further attack on their integrity.

Moreover, the proposal to allow public access to parole board hearings presents a further risk to practitioners.

Congress condemns both initiatives as politically motivated and cynically populist.

In family courts, proposals are also at an advanced stage to allow media access to private and public law hearings. This threatens to make family court advisers employed by Cafcass the focus of harassment, smear campaigns or trolling by social media.

Congress notes the potential impact of these deeply flawed proposals on families, children and the highly skilled professionals who do their best to provide crucially important and impartial advice to the judiciary.


C20 Sweetheart deals and unions working together

Received from: GMB, NASUWT

Motion 70 and amendments

Congress applauds the solidarity of union members and affiliated unions standing together to take action against the poor employment practices of some employers in the education sector.

Congress asserts that trade unions must continue to work together wherever possible to achieve recognition and defend workers’ rights in an ever more hostile anti-trade union environment.

Congress notes with concern that some unscrupulous employers have sought to avoid recognising affiliated unions with an occupational and established membership claim, including through the practice of ‘sweetheart’ recognition agreements.

Congress maintains that such arrangements do not represent the interests of workers and the trade union movement.

Congress urges further action in support of the TUC disputes principles and procedures to “place a greater emphasis on unions working together on a sectoral and workplace level”.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. confirm that ‘sweetheart’ deals are not acceptable among TUC-affiliated trade unions

ii. encourage sector affiliates to work together to secure recognition

iii. consult affiliates on updating the TUC disputes procedure to better reflect the ambition for sectoral unions to work to secure joint recognition agreements

iv. encourage and support strong relationships between unions, supporting unions to work in collaboration to tackle shared challenges.

Seconder: GMB
Supporter: Community

Motion 43 Supporting trans and non-binary workers

Received from: TUC LGBT+ Conference

Congress notes that over the past few years, national and global resistance to LGBT+ rights has been led by an alliance of governments and networks of anti-LGBT+ organisations.

Congress also notes that many of the barriers to inclusion and positive workplace practice arise from a lack of confidence and education around trans and non-binary people’s experiences.

Congress further believes that it is critical that we hear more trans voices in our media and public conversation.

Congress believes that everyone has the right to be themselves without fear. Congress notes with concern a worrying rise in transphobic discourse in the UK in recent years, a shocking increase in transphobic hate crime, including in the workplace and recent reports that the Equality and Human Rights Commission is failing to act impartially and to respect the rights of trans people.

The EHRC is responsible for enforcement of equality laws based on protected characteristics.

In February 2021, Equalities Minister Liz Truss appointed Baroness Kishwer Falkner as chair of the EHRC. Baroness Kishwer Falkner has expressed views that support attacks on the rights of trans people to be recognised in their acquired gender. Her comments have compromised confidence that the EHRC has the capacity to act impartially on issues affecting protected characteristics.

It is further noted that there have been a number of resignations of staff from the EHRC who are now whistleblowing, alleging an anti-LGBT+ culture among its leadership.

Congress believes that it is essential to raise understanding in our communities, workplaces and amongst elected representatives to ensure that trans people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Congress further believes that we must urgently change the culture in our institutions to pave the way for trans equality.

Some organisations are targeting employers and schools with misinformation that seeks to sow division and suspicion about trans and non-binary people.

The trade union movement must play a central role in creating better workplaces and preventing discrimination at work by the means of organising, education, alliance-building and bargaining.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. launch a TUC alliance for trans and non-binary rights

ii. hold an event before or during Trans Awareness Week 2023

iii. continue to publicly challenge organisations that seek to create hostility for trans and non-binary rights in the UK and counter political attacks on them using all tools at TUC’s disposal

iv. provide unions with guidance on how to resolve tensions within their activist structures regarding trans rights, parallel with and connected to the TUC’s crucial work on gender equality and sex discrimination

v. produce guidance which affiliates can provide to employers on supporting trans employees and promoting trans equality in the workplace

vi. lobby the government to ensure that policymakers, equality organisations, employers and service providers are better informed about how to promote equality and inclusion for people who are transgender.

vii. demand that the government ensures the EHRC upholds the rights of all people with protected characteristics and that it instigates an investigation into allegations concerning potential failures to properly consider issues affecting members of the LGBT+ community.

viii. to publicise the results of the investigations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the European Commissioner for Human Rights which have identified the UK as one of the most transphobic countries in Europe

ix. write and distribute a briefing on the misuse of concepts such as ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘academic freedom’ examined through a LGBT+ liberation lens.

TUC LGBT+ Conference

C12 Workers’ mental health must not be the price of the cost-of-living crisis

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

Motion 44 and amendments

Congress notes the negative impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on mental health of workers and the need for organising and campaigning around mental health issues, which are a priority for unions in all workplaces.

Congress asserts that as the economic downturn deepens it will impact on workers mental health.

Congress also notes that:

i. one in four people will experience mental health problems

ii. one in six UK workers will be affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress

iii. workplace issues like pay, workloads, casualisation, inequality, pensions, health and safety, bullying, discrimination, threats of redundancy and redundancy heighten worker stress and impact on mental health

iv. UCU’s most recent cost of living report in which more than eight in 10 college workers said their financial situation is harming their mental health

v. workers who are on zero- or short-hours contracts are often reluctant to speak out when they are experiencing work-related mental health problems, due to the power imbalance of their employment situation

vi. over a decade of cuts have devastated mental health support.

Congress recognises:

a. employers have a duty of care to workers to ensure their health, safety and welfare, and should proactively support the wellbeing of their employees

b. the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) role in addressing risks to workers’ physical and mental health

c. work-related stress is a significant cause of ill health absence and one of the causes of work-related suicide.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

1. run a campaign highlighting the impact of the pandemic, cost-of-living crisis, insecure work, and redundancy on workers’ mental health

2. campaign for the government to prioritise and fund workers’ mental health and wellbeing in line with physical health and reverse cuts to mental health support

3. lobby the HSE to monitor, investigate and regulate work-related suicides, as done in France, Japan and the United States

4. lobby the government to introduce legislation so that if any employee takes their own life in the workplace, or indicators suggest it may be work-related, it should be immediately investigated as a potential work-related suicide with the burden of proof being imposed on the employer to demonstrate otherwise

5. campaign for employers to prioritise workers’ health, safety and wellbeing at work, including support for affiliates on pursuing the prioritisation of members’ health and wellbeing at work through collective bargaining.

Mover: University and College Union
Seconder: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Supporters: Communication Workers Union; Educational Institute of Scotland

Motion 45 Young workers’ mental health

Received from: TUC Young Workers' Conference

Congress notes the impact of the Covid pandemic on the mental health of young workers.

Congress further notes that a recent YouGov survey found that young people and women had taken the hardest financial and psychological hit from the pandemic. Half of those aged between 18 and 24 years’ old in the UK say the pandemic badly affected their mental health, against a quarter of those over 55. Lockdown restrictions isolated many young workers who were unable to access their usual support networks.

The pandemic had a disproportionate impact on sectors such as retail which were reliant on young workers. The resultant job and financial insecurity triggered poor mental health in young workers at a time they need to re-navigate their lives and careers. Although some employers have taken steps to address health and wellbeing concerns, the uncertainty of the future, coupled with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, is having a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of our young workers.

Congress believes there is now a mental health crisis amongst young workers.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. campaign to strengthen employment rights from day one for young workers, including increasing the amount of statutory sick pay to reflect an individual’s normal earnings

ii. call on employers to assess the impact their policies, practices and procedures (including pay and conditions) have on workers’ mental health and act upon the findings

iii. campaign for better investment in mental health services, including providing young workers with the tools and skills to manage good mental health.

TUC Young Workers Conference

E2 UK Embassy relocation

Received from: National Education Union

Congress stands united in its full opposition to the Prime Minister’s proposal to consider moving the UK Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Congress believes that such a move would have disastrous implications for the rights of Palestinians, rewarding Israel for the policies it has carried out since its occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, all designed to assert exclusive sovereignty over the city, and deny the centrality of the city to Palestinian life, economically, politically, and culturally.

Moving the embassy would contravene numerous UN Resolutions including UNSC Resolution 478, which declared Israel annexation of east Jerusalem “null and void” and called upon “all member states to accept this decision”, and “those states that had established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions..”.

Moving the Embassy would undermine a cornerstone principle of international law, that states should not annex conquered territory, a principle the UK has supported elsewhere, most notably in response to Russia’s annexation of territory in the Ukraine.

Congress therefore resolves

  1. to write to the Prime Minister calling upon her to abandon any proposals to move the Embassy and not consider any such move unless within the context of a comprehensive peace agreement endorsed by both sides; and
  2. To write to the leaders of opposition parties asking them to publicly commit to reversing any decision made to move the Embassy to Jerusalem, if in Government following a General Election.

Moved:  NEU

Seconded: UCU

E3 Save our public services from Tory chaos

Received from: GMB

Congress calls on the UK Government to commit to increase real public sector spending to save our public services.

Congress recognises that the disastrous ‘mini Budget’ of 23 September placed households under increased financial strain, almost collapsed the pensions market, and raised fears over deeper spending cuts in our services.

The Chancellor’s ‘mini Budget’ has thrown the entire economy into disarray, benefitting the already wealthy few.

Congress notes that:

i. Local councils are staring at a funding gap of £3.4 billion in 2023/24 and £4.5 billion in 2024/25

ii. NHS workers on Band 1 and bottom of Band 2, and local government workers on the lowest spine points, now earn less than the Living Wage Foundation’s base rate of £10.90 in the UK (excluding London)

iii. The 17 October reversal of some tax rises still leaves an estimated £30 billion black hole in the public finances

iv. Public sector workers have suffered too long from pay freezes and paltry raises, increasing workloads, and cuts to services

Congress resolves that the TUC must campaign vigorously against public service cuts.

Congress calls on the General Council to demand that the Government:

i. Upholds its promise to protect public services

ii. Funds restorative public sector pay awards, with annual increases of at least RPI

iii. Reverses regressive tax measures and makes sure the wealthy pay their fair share

iv. Calls a general election to allow the public to decide who they wish to govern their finances

Moved:          GMB

Seconded:     Unison

E4 Rail disputes and the new Transport Secretary

Received from: RMT

Congress notes that on 6th September 2022 Anne-Marie Trevelyan replaced Grant Shapps as Transport Secretary.

Congress notes that while the new Transport Secretary has adopted a different tone and, unlike her predecessor, met the rail unions, the government has not changed the rail employers negotiating mandate that would allow a settlement to the dispute.

Proposals remain for attacks on jobs, pay, conditions and services, including the widespread destaffing of the railways, driver only operation, the closure of ticket offices and cutting thousands of safety critical infrastructure jobs with the increasing threat of imposition of new conditions.

Congress will continue to do all within its power to support the rail unions in their disputes.

Congress calls for the new Secretary of State to prevent industrial action running through to Winter and beyond by mandating the employers to address the demands of railway workers and facilitate an acceptable negotiated settlement that’s in the interests of workers, passengers, and the country as a whole.

Congress believes that the threat of new anti-union legislation indicated by the speeches of both the Prime Minister and Chancellor at the Tory party Conference in October has served to pour petrol on the fire of the rail dispute and such legislation will cause industrial relations chaos for years to come.

Congress notes on 16th October government confirmed it will be pressing ahead with transport minimum service levels. Congress will fight this legislation and consider all means necessary to resist this attack on transport and other workers.

Moved:          RMT

Seconded:     TSSA


Motion 19 Fossil fuels

Received from: AUE

Congress notes:

i. The UK’s first red extreme heat warning was issued across a large part of England in July 2022.

ii. Increased use of fossil fuels contributes to global warming, which is risking the future of the planet for all who live on it.

iii. UK government statistics show 181,000 workers are directly employed by the fossil fuel industry.

iv. The historic role fossil fuels have played in the UK economy and the importance the workers in these industries have played in in the trade union movement.

v. Since the Covid lockdowns, the UK government’s policies on reducing dependency on fossil fuels have stalled or reversed despite the promises made at COP26.

vi. The development of many green projects has been halted.

vii. Though North Sea oil drilling and fracking are unpopular with the public, the government is encouraging their use.

viii. The continued greenwashing by fossil fuel providers, particularly Shell and BP.

ix. The need to develop sustainable energy security.

Congress calls on the General Council to continue to lobby on environmental issues and put pressure on the government to:

a. shift energy supply to renewables and away from fossil fuels

b. provide all fossil fuel industry workers with suitable alternative work

c. support financially all communities that are currently reliant on fossil fuel production

d. expand renewable energy sources including wind and solar

e. end reliance on gas for electricity generation

f. increase energy supply to support decarbonisation in industry and transport

g. rule out further expansion of North Sea drilling

h. continue the ban on fracking.

Artists’ Union England

C21 Trades Union Congress review

Received from: CWU, Equity

Motions 71 and amendment and 72

Congress notes that structural imbalances of power and wealth now permeate the world of work and the economy, leading to ever growing inequality, have been decades in the making.

Congress believes that 2022 marks a turning point in the history of the British trade union movement. After years of work by unions, a new wave of workers is fighting back and demanding better.

Unions have been building toward this moment and instead of waiting for political change, Congress believes it is time to focus on the root of our power – our workplaces, sectors, and our members themselves.

It is crucial that the TUC now coordinates, supports and fully reflects this approach, involving TUC regions and trades councils.

Therefore, Congress agrees a review of the TUC – including its overall role and purpose in the wider movement.

Congress further resolves that the review, informed by a General Council working group, should bring about as a minimum:

i. the general secretary of the TUC to be elected for a five-year term

ii. the role of a deputy general secretary elected every five years

iii. enhancing the democratic involvement of affiliates in high-level decision making to make the TUC more representative and responsive

iv. TUC structures where workers’ voices in every sector of the economy are amplified and given fair weight

v. ensuring TUC and affiliate structures properly reflect the ethnicity, gender and diversity of the members we represent

vi. decentralised TUC with stronger regions and trades councils with a reinvigorated coordinating machinery

vii. TUC resources to assist increasing sectoral and workplace density, power and unity, recognising our political strength often comes from industrial strength

viii. TUC structures that can coordinate the united power of the union movement in every workplace and community in the UK.

Mover: Communication Workers Union
Seconder: Equity
Supporter: RMT

Motion 46 Discrimination

Received from: TSSA

Congress notes with disgust and concern the disgraceful discrimination often faced by workers as a direct consequence of their height as evidenced by the actions of Go North West.

Go North West attempted to design a long-serving and loyal employee out of their job, threatened to reduce their earnings and ultimately threatened dismissal because they considered them to be too short for the job.

Congress notes that height is not a protected characteristic and believes that this encourages employers to believe that discrimination on such grounds is somehow acceptable.

Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to actively campaign to make height a protected characteristic which affords workers reasonable protections from less-than-scrupulous employers.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association