Draft Minutes: Regional Council meeting, 26 May 2011
*Bakerloo – M.Taylor
*Camden No.3 – John Reid
*Central Line West –V.Thomas
*East Ham – Gary Lazell, N.Robertson, A.Rowntree, U.Mirza
*Finsbury Park – John Kelly, Glenroy Watson, Frank Curtis, Dean O'Hanlon, Neil Cochrane, W.Reid, D.Rayfield, J.Leach
*Hammersmith & City – M.Harding
*Jubilee South & East London Line –J.Gwynn
*London Taxis –
*LU Engineering –L.Peacock, A.Littlechild.P.Jackson
*LU Fleet –K.Crowe
*Morden & Oval – Arwyn Thomas, G Hart
*Neasden – D.Phillips, N.Eivers, J.Wood
*Piccadilly & District West – O.New, S.Regan
*Retired Members – Carol Foster
*Stratford No.1 – Adrian Finney
*TfL No.1 –Linda Wiles, P.Rutland.
*Thames Riverboats –
*In attendance – Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Janine Booth (Council of Executives member)
*Apologies for Absence: J.Parry, D.Bishop, B.O Dowd, C.Reilly, N.Hodgson, J.Moriarty, T.O Neill
*Minutes of Previous Meeting
Proposed East Ham,Seconded Stratford.
*Matters Arising -None
2.Recruitment and Organising
Regional Recruitment Officer Dave Rayfield gave a report
*LU membership stands as 8060
*Have requested from Union Membership Department previous LU membership figures at historical points over last two years to carry out an analysis/comparison
*T/OP membership down, need to recruit/rebuild
D.O Hanlon, J.Reid and F.Curtis spoke on issue
*Need for a strategy to build membership
3. Council of Executives and Regional Organiser Reports
C of E member J.BoothReported on
*Victimisations Dispute - Eamonn Lynch won ET. Deal with LU accepted after discussions with Trains Grade which included ‘Legal Talks’ on Arywn Thomas, LU refused to discuss re-instatement at these talks. Arywn’s Tribunal this week. Trains Grades recommended strike w/c 20th June and 1 month later, GGC did not approve this proposal and asked for a new proposal on strike action. Strike pay decision deferred to stats week. Also reported on victimisations of Jayesh Patel, Tony Rowntree, Clara Osagiede and Zara Senkan.
*LU Pay - slightly improved offer; rejected; working with Unite and TSSA
*LU Station job cuts - Only around 30 or so jobs to be restored through reviews; further discussions at ACAS. Reps meeting on Tuesday 24th recommended-rejecting current position, new forms of action short of a strike, renewed public/political campaign, including against Oyster rip-off, no strikes at present, improve organisation on stations, divided opinion on whether to hold referendum.
*Track contract workers’ charter-list of contractors compiled; reduced subs being considered; publicly being drafted.
*TfL - No change to existing Pension Augmentation agreement.
*Hammersmith depot loss of posts-ballot on hold pending branch confirmation of whether to go ahead.
*LTRC resolution on ensuring members are in correct branch - to be considered by organisation sub-committee the C of E.
*Equalities - LGBT conference; TUC Disability Conference; progress towards enlarging Young Members Advisory Committee; new booklet on Equality Act; sexism survey in next RMT News.
*Manual handling - Know Your Rights Guide to be published.
*AGM - next month; branches can still submit emergency resolutions and appeals; Finsbury Park Resolution/appeal on levy for dispute fund.
*Network Rail Olympic Deal
*McNulty Report - Tories declare war on Railway workers.
*Disputes in other Regions - Mitie cleaners, Heathrow Express.
*Talks with TSSA on merger.
RO Steve Hedley Reported on;
*Victoria & Jubilee Line lines Dispute - LU want a formal Failure to agree and will arrange a meeting in June to discuss.
*Tube Lines /Alstom takeover-issue with pensions and RMT are seeking legal advice
*TfL pensions - LU tried to change benefits via consultative Forum and not as should have happened via negotiation forum. These changes now withdrawn for time being.
*ATOS - use of scheme at Finsbury Park where disabled people on benefit are pressurised to work as volunteers at the station giving information etc. A letter has been sent To Gerry Duffy on matter.
*Arwyn Thomas Tribunal - went well and should have result at earliest 27th June.
*Zara Senkan Victimisation - Protest at Trafalgar Square at 1000 on 28th May.
*Station Jobs Cuts Dispute - There should be a referendum of members on where to go with it.
*Recruitment - In current economic climate need to improve propaganda to aid recruitment.
*Trains Grade dispute - need to build on the achievements so far to date.
Questions & Discussion
*Dean O Hanlon Trains Secretary Gave report on Arywn Thomas Victimisation dispute.
*Malcolm Taylor SFC Secretary gave report on Jobs cuts disputes
JB - Enhanced AFM will cost to jobs, need for action to boycott it. Need to update membership lists.
JB - making progress on victimisation dispute and this is in large part due to working closely with Trains Grade/Strike committee, rank and file input.
JB - Should have strike dates for this dispute ASAP
JB - Sympathetic to 30th June as possible date but must take action that gives best chance to achieve objective of securing Arywn Thomas his job back.
SH – Can’t do all grades ballot until membership lists are completed.
SH – Must support Trains grade i.e. no O/T and safety advice for members.
SH – Co-ordinating with other unions would help Arywn Thomas dispute.
SH – Need to bear in mind National Union leadership are rank and file elected and are there not only to listen and follow rank and file but to also provide leadership including decisions in best interest of members. National leadership can see bigger context.
SH – A referendum on stations job cuts could mobilise rank and file in this dispute.
SH – Labour Party not offering an alternative to Tories.
4. Resolutions from Branches.
1. Reps’ responsibilities - Proposed Finsbury Park; Seconded Stratford.
Stratford No 1 Amendment accepted by Finsbury Park.
Resolution carried 6-1; 2 abstentions.
This branch believes that our union should be striving to be as strong and effective as possible, in order to be able to do its job of defending and advancing the interests of its members. The branch further believes that local reps are vital to the process of building and strengthening the union, being as they are the face of the union in the workplace and the first port of call for members with problems.
The branch also notes the disparity of organisation which exists between different branches and between different groups within branches and believes that this is due partly to the different ways in which reps carry out their role.
In short, the most effective reps tend to have the highest membership densities and the best activists in their areas. [Sentence removed by Stratford no.1 amendment]
The branch believes that the union would gain from a levelling-up process whereby all local reps would be required to carry out the role to a minimum standard as set out in a basic job description. To that end, this branch instructs the LT Regional Council to establish a working party to evaluate to role of a local rep and to propose for agreement a minimum set of responsibilities which all reps will be obliged to carry out upon being elected.
Standing orders suspended 1830.
2. LU Company Council Representation
Proposed LU Fleet; Seconded LU Engineering
Resolution carried 10-0
Under the new machinery, the RMT only has 3 Reps allowed to attend the LUCC, at the moment this consists of I Train Operator Rep,1 Stations Rep and a full time officer.
Due to LU Fleet and LU Engineering sections now coming under this machinery, this branch feels that the representation balance is now not right.
The LU Fleet Branch requests that in future the make-up of the RMT representation at this level should be more reflective of our organisation. We suggest that in future the make-up should be 1 Train Operator Rep or Stations Rep and 1 Fleet or Engineering Rep plus the full time officer. We also suggest if there are no issues from either are their seat could be given to the area that might have issues for that meeting
The LU Fleet Branch also feels that in future there should be structured dates for the LUCC prelims and for the reports so all areas of the organisation can have input and understand the agreements that have been taken or proposed.
3. Reps Guidelines, Proposed East Ham; Seconded Stratford No 1
Resolution carried 6-1; 1 abstention
This Regional Council agrees that there should be guidelines as to the role and responsibilities of level 2 and tier 2 reps.
4. London Underground Pay, Proposed East Ham; Seconded Finsbury Park
Resolution carried 5-1; 4 abstentions
This Regional Council already has policy that RMT should name a figure that the union aspires to achieve for this year’s pay award. We now resolve that this figure should be 6.5% (ie. February RPI+1%) or £2,500 whichever is higher. We feel that this would give greater benefit to the low paid grades whilst still being reasonable for the higher paid Grades.
5. General Strike, Proposed Camden No 3; Seconded LU Fleet
Resolution carried 12-0
This Region Urges the General Secretary discusses with other Union General Secretaries to organise and name a day for a one day General Strike to oppose public expenditure cuts and cuts in pensions
6. Support Political Prisoners in Zimbabwe, Proposed LU Fleet; Seconded LU Engineering
Resolution carried 9-0
Six people in Zimbabwe are now imprisoned on charges of treason for organizing a meeting to discuss the mass movements in Tunisia and Egypt. For this "crime" they face a possible death sentence. They have been tortured and are now in solitary confinement. The arrest and prosecution of the six may seem like only the latest round of repression by Robert Mugabe's government against opponents. But it is also an attack on the spirit of Tahrir Square, which has inspired people all over the world. The six prisoners include trade unionists, intellectuals, and activists in the struggle for women's rights. The effort to suppress them - and even to kill them, whether by execution or through torture and denial of medical treatment while in custody - is a vicious assault on all of us.
This motion calls on the Region to send a statement of solidarity to the campaign to free the prisoners to email@example.com and to put this motion to regional council to do the same.
7. Oppose the Cuts, Proposed LU Fleet ,Seconded P&D West
Piccadilly &District West amendment accepted.
Resolution carried 11-0
This Region opposes:
•The vicious attacks by the ConDem government on public services and working class people.
•The idea that public services should be cut in order to bail out the banks.
•Privatization and cuts to public services, whether NHS, education, civil service, transport industry or local authority, and will resist them.
This Region believes:
•Cuts will not be defeated without trade unions fighting hard to protect our members' jobs and conditions.
• This must be done whilst working alongside community groups, including tenants organizations and pensioner groups and local campaigns fighting day to day against the cuts.
This Region notes:
• That Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BA4PS), Camden United Against the Cuts (CUAC) and Lambeth Save Our Services (SOS) are broad based, democratic anti-cuts committee which brings together trade unions, community groups, campaigns and individuals to fight all cuts.
•That B A4PS and CUAC were initiated by local Trades Councils and local community groups. BA4PS and recently organized a demonstration of a thousand people in the borough and CAUL held an excellent and well-publicized demonstration outside Camden Council during the full council meeting.
•That supporters of Lambeth SOS include- Lambeth Pensioners Action Group (LAMPAG), Lambeth Tenants Council, Save Lambeth Libraries, Lambeth University and Colleges Union (UCU), Lambeth National Union of Teachers (NUT), Lambeth GMB, Lambeth UNISON, RMT Finsbury Park and Corydon and Crystal Palace UNITE. They have won their first victory when their lobbies, petitions and campaigning alongside the UNISON branch saved the jobs and services in all of Lambeth's One O'clock Clubs and Adventure Playgrounds.
This Region resolves:
• To affiliate, and put a motion for the region to affiliate, to Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Camden United Against the Cuts & Lambeth SOS at a cost of £50 (Region).
• To participate in local campaign planning meetings.
• To publicise campaign events and actions to branch members and encourage them to become involved.
. The general secretary to contact all RMT branches with details of trades councils in their area and further that as much support as possible both practically and financially be given to those trades councils in the fight against these severe austerity cuts. [This clause added by Piccadilly and District West amendment]
8.Emergency Resolution: Arwyn Thomas, Proposed LU Engineering; Seconded LU Fleet
Accepted by Regional Council as emergency.
Resolution carried 10-0
This region is appalled on the betrayal of the deal regarding Arwyn and their refusal to discuss reinstatement. We call on the GGC to ballot all members in this region for strike action and action short of strike. Also, any action to be maintained until Arwyn is reinstated
9. Emergency Resolution: Victimisations
Not accepted as Emergency Resolution by Regional Council remitted to next Regional Council (3 for 5 against)
This Branch motions that the GS requests our solicitors to study the possibility of taking LUL and her officers to court for defamation and perjury with relation to recent ET findings. Also the Union should explore the options with taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights for Discrimination on the Grounds of Union Activity. We members of Stratford No1 Branch believe that LULs action breaches the law on a persons right to private and family life. We request that the GS & solicitors write to Stratford No1 with their conclusions.
10. Emergency Resolution: Industrial Relations, Proposed Stratford no.1; Seconded Finsbury Park
Accepted by Regional Council as emergency.
Resolution carried 7-1
In the light of the recently expressed intentions of the government to turn back the clock on Industrial Relations to the nineteenth century introducing new anti-strike laws and weakening workers rights still further, we request the Regional Secretary to convene an open meeting to discuss with other trade unions a unified response to these threats
11. Defend the Right to Strike in Egypt, Proposed LU Fleet; Seconded LU Engineering
Accepted by Regional Council as emergency. Resolution carried 7-1
The new government has passed a brutal anti-strike law, designed to strangle the emerging powers of organised workers. They are starting with an attempt to prosecute the leader of the Public Transport Authority Wokers' Union, Ali Fattouh, for "incitement to strike". This branch request, The region send an official protest against this to the prime minister, Essam Sharaf, at firstname.lastname@example.org and a message of support to Ali Fattouh to email@example.com and encourage RMT members and branches to do the same. we also request The region support sending a delegation to present a petition to the Egyptian embassy on the trial date, June 4th. The region should officially affiliate to the Middle-East & North Africa Solidarity Network (MENA) - see the website http://menasolidaritynetwork.com for full details.
Regional correspondence provided to meeting - no questions/comment
6. Other Reports
*LGBT Officer Joanne Parry provided a written report on LGBT National Conference
*Political officer Unjum Mirza provided written report and spoke on forthcoming visit of from Egyptian Trade Union Movement Kamal Abu Aita
7. Progress on previous resolutions
*Regional Secretary gave updates.
-Requested outstanding reports from Functional Councils on use of Rainbow attendance process be provided to him so he can comply with the Resolution passed by Regional Council.
8. Other Business
*Linda Wiles gave report on Attendance Support Packs
*Glen Hart stated re-elections of level 1 Reps due to LU station groups reorganisation is unconstitutional.
-SH stated that this would be better discussed at Regional EC.