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Report by Martin Mayer, member for Passenger Transport

• Successful leverage campaign wins reinstatement for sacked UNITE Shop Steward Frank Morris at Crossrail
• Steve Turner appointed Assistant General Secretary
Labour Party/Trade Union link – UNITE commences the debate
• New UNITE Credit Union to be launched in October
• Council welcomes new members Jenny Douglas and Richard Allday
• Timetable for next Executive Council elections announced

Leverage success at Crossrail

Leverage was always supposed to be a back-up to industrial action, but in this case it had to be our only weapon. It was clear that the major employers on Crossrail – the biggest construction project in Europe – were doing all they could to exclude the union. When they sacked Frank Morris, our only shop steward on the entire project, together with about 25 UNITE members, it was make or break time for UNITE. Len McCluskey authorised a massive leverage campaign – and Sharon Graham and her team at UNITE’s Organising Dept got down to work. This saw protests taking place in various locations in Europe, pressurising not just the construction employers themselves but also their clients and shareholders. The result was a fantastic victory. Frank Morris is back at work along with the other sacked members. He is recognised as a UNITE shop steward once more and the employers agree to facilitate union organising on the entire site. Another leverage victory for UNITE!

Other news from the Organising Dept

Tony Woodley, Executive Director in charge of Organising will step down at the end of 2013. Sharon Graham has been appointed Executive Director in his place to head up the union’s Organising Dept.

A total of 86,824 new members have been recruited under the 100% campaign strategy since its relaunch in November 2011.

UNITE recognition has been won at Pepsico Walkers Crisps following a successful leverage campaign. Meanwhile the Organising Dept has been assisting in the Docks Sector campaign to win recognition at Dubai Ports Thames Gateway.

Executive Council By-elections

Council welcomed new executive council members Jenny Douglas and Richard Allday following the recent by-elections:

National LGBT Representative

DOUGLAS, Jenny ....................................... 26,085 Elected

IRISH, Matt .............................................. ...10,260

MANSELL, Lesley ......................................14,644

TURNER, Mark “Pasty” ............................... 11,865

London & Eastern Territorial Representative

ALLDAY, Richard ...................................... 8,056

 BRAD, Ian ........................................... 5,878

UNITE Industrial Sector Reorganisation

Following the consultation amongst the sectors since the June EC and detailed discussions at the Council it was agreed that:

Electrical Engineering & Electronics and Servicing and General Industries combine to form a new sector called General Engineering, Manufacturing and Servicing (GEMS); GPM and IT & Communications sectors combine to form a GPM and IT Sector and that an IT and Communications advisory committee be set up for remainder of the existing electoral period and be reviewed at the end of this period. New sector to be called Graphical, Print, Media and Information Technology Sector; Motor Components and Vehicle Building and Automotive sectors are combined to form a new sector the name of which would be determined by the NIS Committee.

That there would be no immediate change to the status of the Rural and Agricultural and Sector but that the sector should be given an opportunity to implement the nine point action plan they proposed with a view to increasing the activity of the sector and growing its membership. A review of the future of the sector will take place at the end of the current electoral period.

Electoral Constituencies and Timetable for Executive Council elections

Taking into the account the reorganisation of Industrial Sectors (above) and the decline in membership affecting the number of seats in certain constituencies, Council agreed the following constituencies for the next EC Elections in accordance with rule:

REGION Seats
East Midlands 2 (1 woman)
London/Eastern 4 (1 woman)
NEYH 2 (1 woman)*
Ireland 2 (1 woman)
North-West 3 (1 woman)
Scotland 2 (1 woman)
South-East 2 (1 woman)
South-West 2 (1 woman)
Wales 2 (1 woman)
West Midlands 2 (1 woman)

*reduction of 1 seat in NEYH, all other Regions staying the same

EQUALITIES Seats

Women 1 (1 woman)
BAEM 1
LGBT 1
Disabled 1

SECTOR Seats

FDT 2 (1 woman)
RAAW 1
Motors * 2 (new merged Sector from VBA and Motor Components)
Chemical & PPT 2
GEMS ** 2 (new merged Sector from S&GI and EEE)
Energy/Utilities 1
Metals 1
Aerospace/Ship 2
Road Transport CLRD 2
Docks/Rails 1
Passenger 2
Civil Air Transport 2 (1 woman)
Finance/Legal * 2 (1 woman)
Community Youth & N4P* 1
Construction* 1 GPM/IT* 2 (new merged Sector from GPM and IT & Comms)
Local Authorities 2 (1 woman)
Health 2 (1 woman)
MoD/Govt Depts. 1
E ducation 1 *reduction of 1 seat

**reduction of 2 seats in total (previously S&GI had 3 seats and EEE had 1 seat)

TOTAL 59 (16 women)

This is a reduction of 8 seats in total from the current 67 seat Council.

The allocation of designated seats for BAEM members is to be determined. Approximately 25,000 members remain “sector unknown”. These members will be entitled to vote in territorial elections but not in sectoral elections.

A rule change to bring nominations for this election into line with the GS election taking into account the branch reorganisation was also agreed which has the effect that only workplaces where there is no workplace branch may make a nomination for sectors and equalities seats. They do not make nominations for regional constituencies.

The following timetable for the election was also agreed for 2014: Despatch of Nomination Forms w/c 6 January Nominations Period Monday 13 January – Tuesday 11th February Last date for Receipt of Nominations Tuesday 18 February Last date for Acceptance and Receipt of Election Address Tuesday 25th February Voting Papers Despatched 26 – 28 March Last date for Voting papers to be returned Wednesday 23 April. Verification of Count Thursday 24 and Friday 25 April.

UNITE Policy Conference 2014

The Council agreed that the next Unite Policy Conference will take place from 30th June to 4th July 2014 in the ACC in Liverpool. The following timetable allows for the submission of motions by all constitutional committees and branches and amendments by constitutional committees and all branches:

Invitation to submit motions despatched: 25 November 2013 Deadline for receipt of motions: 14 February 2014 Invitation to submit amendments despatched: 17 March 2014 Deadline for receipt of amendments: 16 May 2014

Elections of delegates will take place during the 1st quarter cycle of constitutional meetings in 2014

Mergers with other unions

Regrettably merger talks with TSSA have hit the buffers and it was agreed to call off further negotiations for the time being. The main problem was that TSSA has a very high officer to member ratio and TSSA was insisting on retaining a proportion of these officers in a specialist passenger transport organising unit post-merger.

A formal approach has been made to UNITE by PCS to enquire whether there is an option available for merger discussions. Council agreed to authorise exploratory talks to commence with no commitments or obligations, with the expectation of a report back to the December executive on what if any obstacles exist to beginning formal merger talks. Unfortunately this process may be hampered by the incapacitation of PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka who requires a serious operation and then a period of recovery.

Political Report

Jennie Formby, Acting Political Director, gave her first report to Council. There is grim satisfaction that UNITE has been vindicated in the Falkirk debacle, where allegations were made that UNITE had recruited members against their will or without their knowledge in order to unduly influence the selection process. However no apology has been forthcoming from the Labour Party, nor has any satisfactory explanation been given as to how such wild unsubstantiated allegations could have been made and accepted without investigation, and then even referred to the police. The aftermath is still being dealt with. The two suspensions have been lifted but Kali Murphy the candidate supported by UNITE has stepped down “in the interests of unity”. Worst still Stevie Deans, the CLP Chair and UNITE Convenor at Petroineos Refinery, Grangemouth, has been suspended by his employer on charges of abusing union release time for political purposes. A ballot of the UNITE membership is underway in his support.

On the back of Falkirk, Ed Milliband, no doubt under pressure from the Party’s Blairite wing, announced dramatic plans to “reform” the trade union/Labour Party link. The proposal appeared to demand the end of the collective role of the trade unions in the Party and replace it with individual affiliated members who choose to be actively involved. A review of the relationship between the Trade Unions and Labour Party has been entrusted to Lord Collins erstwhile Ray Collins former AGS of the TGWU and latterly General Secretary of the Labour Party. More recently the “language” appears to have changed, with recognition of the importance of the collective role of the trade unions being acknowledged. In view of the timetable for this review culminating in a special Spring Conference on 1st March to agree its recommendations, UNITE’s Executive Council agreed to defer a full political debate on this matter till the December Executive when the situation is clearer.

UNITE’s Political Strategy continues as it was i.e. to fight to win back the Labour Party to working class values. To that end, Council received reports on UNITE’s ongoing progress in recent Parliamentary selections; the need to win for Labour in the forthcoming European Elections in 2014 but also defeat the BNP candidates Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons.

Our Parliamentary work is ongoing with MPs supportive of UNITE. We are campaigning hard in a grand coalition with charities and UK Uncut against the Lobbying Bill which seeks to silence the Government’s non-party critics in the run-up to the general election. We have also worked with UNITE MPs to raise the pressure on zero-hours contracts.

Communications with members including website; other digital communications and other resources; Candidate development; Working with Labour Councillors; National Policy Forum where UNITE has helped to shape a more progressive policy agenda; and finally the Annual Labour Party Conference which was to take place the following week.

Resolution from North West Region to stop Full Time Officer being also Local Councillors. This was agreed. As the General Secretary explained we cannot afford to have Full Time Officers who devote a substantial amount of their time to Council duties. There are currently around 7 or 8 FTO’s who fall into this category of whom 2 are leaving/retiring shortly. Len will have discussions with each of them to see if they will stand down now or at the next election. No future officer will be permitted to stand as Councillor.

International Report

Council welcomed Ben Davis observer from sister union USW who attend the whole of Executive Council. He reported on the recent AFL-CIO conference and the Working America project to recruit unemployed workers. The food workers union has reaffiliated from Change to Win.

Simon Dubbins’ report dealt with the ongoing neo-liberal economic crisis across Europe which is having an increasingly adverse effect on Greece but also Italy, Spain and Portugal. The international crisis over Syria’ bloody civil war was also discussed and thankfully the receding threat of western military intervention, due in no small part to Ed Milliband’s stand in the UK Parliament. Meanwhile the gains of the Arab Spring appear to be receding in Egypt where the Morsi Muslim Brotherhood Government has been deposed leaving the military back in charge. In Tunisia there have been two very high profile assassinations of a left politician and trade union leader.

Talks have resumed at last between Israel and Palestine, but there is serious concern at the prospects of Israel making any serious concessions.

It was agreed to send a message of support to Hubertus Ballesteros, a FENSUAGRO union leader who was arrested and charged with rebellion and was due to be an official guest of the TUC and address Congress this year.

UNITE is sending a delegation to Greece in solidarity with the trade unions fighting back there. A delegation to South Africa is also being planned to assist and find our more about the internal conflict and tensions in the trade union movement and in its relationship with the ANC which is under strain.

Tony Woodley reported on possibly hopeful developments in the case of the Miami 5 with a link up with Judy Gross the wife of Alan Gross an American held prisoner in Cuba. A vigil for the Cuban prisoners held in Miami will be held outside the US Embassy in London to mark 15 years since they were imprisoned. The US Supreme Court has ruled that evidence must now be disclosed about how CIA agents bribed the defence in the original trial 15 years ago.

Legal and Affiliation Report

Audits of the Union’s solicitors are continuing and so far £350,000 has been recovered. Regional audits are underway and a number of solicitors firms have been advised of what is expected of them to maintain UNITE’s support.

Personal Injury – Direct Instructions

The Government has now implemented various changes that directly affect legal services provided to Unite members. These include:

• The end of being able to recover self- insurance premiums (SIPs) in successful personal injury (PI) cases – from April 2013. 4
• There will be no success fee from employers/insurers to provide a fund for unsuccessful cases and to pay unrecovered disbursements - from April 2013.
• Banning referral fees including union cross subsidy arrangements except where the member’s initial case details, e.g. name, address, date of accident etc are provided by him/her to the union law firm rather than by the union - from April 2013.

Implementing the above and other Government proposals will result in an estimated loss in income to Unite of £12 million. It is the revenue recovered in PI cases that fund:

• A nil cost personal injury service for members and their families.
• Employment Tribunal Cases.
• Free/discounted legal services for members and officials.

The referral fee ban that came into effect in April 2013 means in order to continue referral fees and free/discount services before the impact of the other changes is felt. The Direct Instruction procedure has been working well in practice since April 2013. Members are now getting to panel solicitors quicker. Solicitors have been designing materials for workplaces in order to advertise Unite Legal Services. The free phone telephone number will be prominent on regional legal material being produced.

Employment Tribunal Fees

The new referral form for members forms part of an ‘Application for Legal Assistance Pack’. Upon its introduction the pack has by its very nature had to include an explanation of the introduction of employment tribunal fees so that members have a full understanding of the new regime, including the loan agreement with the union (explaining the basis on which the member will be loaned the fees by the union) and a copy of the new fee remission form which the member is asked to complete so that an application for remission of fees can be made.

UNITE Blacklisting cases

13 Employment Tribunal claims continue to be pursued: 10 in the London Central Employment Tribunal and three in Ashford. Full details of the claims have now been gathered and served in the London Central claims and applications made for disclosure from employers, agencies and the Information Commissioners Office. There will be a further Case Management discussion on 17 October at which pre-hearing reviews will be listed to determine preliminary issues such as limitation.

The summary to the interim report of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on Blacklisting in Employment of April 2013 begins as follows:

“We live in an age in which conspiracy theories abound-but the blacklisting of building workers by big construction companies via the Consulting Association was no theory-it actually was a real live conspiracy. The companies set up a structure which allowed them to submit names and details of workers they deemed to be unsuitable to a central list and to check prospective employees, or the employees of subcontractors on their sites, against this list. The emphasis throughout was on secrecy, with telephone access to sensitive information restricted to only a few, with lists of names submitted destroyed at the end of each working day and no acknowledgment that such a system existed.

We believe that most of the companies are genuine in their regret at having been caught - however we are not convinced that the process would have been halted had it not been discovered.”

It is a matter of record that BAM Nuttall and Kier have been involved in blacklisting in the construction industry. BAM Nuttall, Kier and a third organisation. Ferrovial, have now entered into a joint venture to carry out work on the Crossrail project. An Employment Tribunal in which Unite Shop Steward Frank Morris asserts that he was dismissed (along with the entire workforce of a sub-contractor) because his name was on a blacklist to which the joint venture had access is ongoing.

Transparency of Lobbying, Non Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill – the so-called “Anti-Lobbying Bill”

This had its Second Reading on 3 September 2013. The Bill was forced through by 309 votes to 247. It is intended to be on the statute book by 7 May 2014, so as to harm Labour’s ability to win the General Election in 2015.

The Bill has 3 parts. Whereas Part 1 on “lobbying” Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries is currently drafted so as to be of limited concern and with no impact on Unite, Parts 2 and 3 have potential to impact on Trade Unions substantially. Of course, amendments to the Bill could make Part 1 a problem. Indeed amendments are expected from Tory back benchers intended to harm unions even more.

Part 2 Cutting spending limits “non-parties” can spend on elections etc. In short, in provisions that are almost impenetrable, the Bill tightens up what “controlled expenditure” is permissible by third parties (expanding the definition and reducing the amount). Unite is already a “third party” registered with the Electoral Commission. Expressed in simple terms the effect could be to limit Unite to spending or acting in a way that potentially benefits the Labour Party to about £390,000 from 8 May 2014 (a year before the election) and limited to only about £38,000 on “targeted” expenditure direct to the Labour Party. There are also limits on expenditure in constituencies by third parties, which are linked to overall expenditure. There are no limits on the spending of political parties.

The TUC has said that Congress would be banned in the year before the election. If that’s the case then all union conferences would be unlawful or hopelessly ineffective in that time. This would clearly undermine union democracy and the fundamental right to act to protect and promote the interests of members (for example under Article 11 of the European Convention) as well as unreasonably restricting freedom of expression (Article 10).

Part 3 Requiring a union “membership audit certificate” amounts to “state supervision of trade union membership lists”. This impacts overtly on Unite. As well as breaching Article 11, this provision also infringes Article 8 of the ECHR – the right to privacy.

Currently, under s24 Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 unions have to maintain a register of members’ names and addresses that is, so far as reasonably practicable, accurate and up-to-date. What will change? The s.24 obligation remains the same, but: Anyone can take issue with Unite’s records. 1. Unite will have to send the CO a membership audit certificate annually (Clause 36). 2. Unite must appoint a competent and independent “assurer” (from a government approved list), who has rights and obligations including to inform the CO of failings (Clause 37). 3. And the CO is given greater powers and obligations (Clause 38 & 39).

As well as seeking to stop the Bill, or otherwise limit its impact, Unite will continue to look at legal challenges and consider ways to circumvent this pernicious Bill. Currently we are looking to draft amendments primarily to interfere with the progress of the Bill and seeking to encourage the Parliamentary Human Rights Select Committee to become involved.

TUPE

Unite responded to the government’s consultation earlier this year which proposed amendments to the regulations. BIS has now said the proposed changes to TUPE are now likely to be published this month and come into force in January 2014. The proposed changes are expected to include: 1. a repeal of the provisions on service provision changes, such as outsourcing and retendering; 2. A repeal of the requirement for the transferor to provide employee liability information; and 3. limiting the future applicability of terms and conditions derived from collective agreements to one year from transfer. The uncertainty will impact on businesses and workers.

Unite made the point in response to consultation that proposals such as those to allow downward harmonisation of terms and conditions is not permitted under the EC Acquired Rights Directive and it is likely that any amendments in this area would conflict with EU law.

UNITE Affiliate Services Report

Following considerable preparatory work, UNITE will shortly be launching its Credit Union service to all UNITE members. Rather than establish a Credit Union from scratch, UNITE has assembled together a panel of tried and trusted regional Credit Unions to provide our UNITE service. Launch date is expected to be International Credit Union Day 17th October.

Other services reported on included UNITE Job Plus, the UNITE Lottery, Union Energy etc. For details please see UNITE’s website http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/memberoffers/memberbenefits/

UNITE is promoting UIA Home Insurance and advising members who used to deal with Liverpool Victoria that concerns have been raised that this firm was not always offering preferential rates to union members and was trying to sell unnecessary additional cover.

Ratification of Officers

The following people were confirmed in the posts indicated:

Assistant General Secretary - Steve Turner
Executive Officer Sharon Graham
North West - Regional Secretary Mick Whitley
South East - Regional Officer Christopher Gray
North West - Regional Women's & Equalities Officer Sharon Hutchinson
London & Eastern – Regional Coordinating Officer Mark Robinson
West Midlands - Regional Officers x 3 Brian Rickers; Sulinder Singh and Frank Keogh

Industrial Reports

1. Manufacturing

There has been a limited recovery in order books, mainly for export, but continued wage stagnation and bank lending restrictions is expected to choke off any sustained recovery.

A resolution to the CSEU locked in funds for the 35-hour week campaign, estimated to be worth £21M, looks likely. It is expected the money can be released to the CSEU to use for general campaigns. Fightbacks are ongoing at Rolls Royce and GKN over attempts to attack final salary pension schemes.

GPM membership have stepped up their campaign for recognition and a facilities agreement at the Mirror on Canary Wharf. A sacked steward has been reinstated. TATA Steels have announced job losses in Port Talbot Wales. Meanwhile at the troubled Scunthorpe plant UNITE membership has overtaken Community’s for the first time.

UNITE’s campaign to repatriate the motor components industry to Britain is gaining ground (only one third of this massive components supply industry is based in the UK). Japanese manufacturers and their 6 component suppliers are being targeted. Meanwhile UNITE success in getting BMW to bring Bentley production to Crewe securing 1000 jobs. A new agreement at BMW Cowley will see agency workers given permanent status after 2 years. Following a restructuring, London taxis are once more being produced by UNITE members at LTI Coventry.

UNITE is giving full support to our members in the King and Fowler dispute in Liverpool who are fighting a 5-year pay freeze and derecognition.

2. Services

Our CMA managers’ membership in the Post Office is being asked to support the CWU fightback against privatisation and defence of jobs and conditions with a ballot of their own for industrial action. UNITE is fully supporting the political campaign to keep the Post Office in public hands

UNITE has approved a project to appoint special UNITE organisers to the Health Sector where a real potential exist to build our membership on the back of the campaign to defend the NHS and fight against attacks on jobs and conditions.

UNITE’s campaign to defend the NHS includes support for the national demonstration at the Tory Party conference in Manchester on 29th September. UNITE has launched a very effective campaign video to demonstrate the threat to the NHS from privatisation and spending cuts.

UNITE is giving full support to the South Yorkshire Ambulance membership who are in dispute over deskilling and have been derecognised as a result.

3. Transport

The report covered: • The vigorous UNITE taxi campaign to oppose deregulation • The ongoing Isle of Man dispute and our concerns about the behaviour of the local RIO. A leverage strategy is being explored. There is no doubt this is seen as a very significant dispute for public sector workers on the island. • First Group UNITE agreement on Commonwealth Games

UNITE has won a great victory at DHL Jaguar where the employer attempted to avoid UNITE recognition by subcontracting the work to another company NRC which has national GMB recognition. This led to TUC Disputes Committee ruling against UNITE and a payment by UNITE to GMB of £31,000. However the agreement secures UNITE recognition for our members and the upgrading of 1300 agency workers onto the collective bargaining agreement at a cost of £15M.

A strong campaign in underway to win recognition at Eddie Stobbart which is strongly resisting UNITE.

At Sainsbury’s consultation has been suspended as relations between UNITE’s retail store membership and the Company deteriorate. Meanwhile Sainsbury’s UNITE distribution membership are fighting back against attacks on their pension.

As England loses its Agricultural Wages Board thanks to Tory dogma, the Labour-controlled Welsh Assembly re-establishes its own version of AWB. Meanwhile the AWB continues unchanged in Ireland and Scotland.

UNITE Community membership

Director of Executive Policy, Steve Turner reported on the success of the Community Membership initiative during its first year. Whilst initial estimations of actual membership proved to be ambitious given what we now know of the fear and isolation across many of our communities, over 40 local branches have been established, over 4,000 new members have joined, and community members have supported industrial members in their struggles against their employers. Hundreds of new community activists have been trained by the union’s education department and Unite has opened three community centres with two more due to be opened by the end of the year.

Equalities Report

UNITE ACTION FOR UNION EQUALITY REPRESENTATIVES

As part of our commitment to strengthening the role of union equality representatives, following the national equality reps conference, Regional Union Equality Reps Conferences are being held throughout the regions.

UNITE INDUSTRIAL EQUALITY STRATEGY

At the recent meeting of all National Officers with the Assistant General Secretaries, the there was a session on Equalities at which both Sarah Veale Head of Equality & employment Rights at the TUC and Diana Holland AGS spoke, followed by 3 key priorities for each area of equalities introduced by the two National Equalities Officers. This has led to a number of specific industrial developments which are making a difference for our members, and will be built on over the coming period.

ONSLAUGHT OF ANTI-IMMIGRATION MEASURES

Unite has stood firm and strongly countered the horrifying tactics of the current government. Divide and rule and racism in our communities does not create jobs, it creates discrimination, inequality, division, fear and hatred.

UNITE NATIONAL EQUALITIES CONFERENCES 2014 Arrangements are in hand for the five conferences which will take place early next year with elections and preparation of agendas proceeding in accordance with the agreed timetable.

Education report

Successful weekend political school took place in Durham. Sectoral courses have been set up for each of our 23 industrial sectors, under the heading “changes at work”. The new prospectus for 2014 has been printed also and will be available in hard copy.

National residential courses on “European Works Councils”; “Organising and Bargaining in a Global Economy” plus a relatively new course “The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations”. Unite Women's National Week will take place 27th July - 1st August 2014. The Pre-Retirement courses and the Unite Retired Members Summer School 2014 will take place 23rd-30th August 2014.

Question was also ask with regards to tutors that we employ to run course and whether they are on “zero hour” contracts Jim Mowett responded by stating that the union has only one tutor employed full time.

Unite lifelong learning team have produced there “Learn with Unite” magazine which highlights the successful progress of the union Learning Reps programs across the sectors.

TUC Congress – UNITE delegation composition

The following Scheme of representation for TUC Congress 2014 and 2015 was agreed: One delegate to be elected by and from each Regional Committee 10 Six delegates to be elected by and from the Women’s National Conference 6 Three delegates to be elected by and from the BAEM National Conference 3 One delegate each elected by and from the LGBT, Disabled Members’ and Young Members’ National Conferences 3 Thirty-four delegates elected by and from the National Industrial Sector Conferences (see details below) 34 Chair and Vice-chair of the Executive Council 2 Six delegates from the Executive Council (at least 3 must be women) 6 Total 64

Additionally, the delegation will include: • General Secretary plus supporting officers and staff, as appropriate • Nominees to the TUC General Council and General Purposes Committee (if not already delegates).

Sector Conferences in 2013 and National Equalities conferences in 2014 will elect delegates for 2014 and 2015 and a substitute delegate (extra if necessary to meet any gender and ethnic requirements) who could provide cover in either year in the case of an elected delegate being unable to attend. The EC and Regional Committees can elect on an annual basis.

Sector Conference Delegates Remarks GEMS 3 Inc at least 1 woman and 1 be BAEM Health 3 Inc at least 2 women Finance & Legal 3 Inc at least 2 women Passenger 2 Inc at least 1 BAEM Motor Industries 2 Inc at least 1 BAEM Food, Drink & Tobacco 2 Inc at least 1 woman Local Authorities 2 Inc at least 1 woman Road Transport (Commercial) 2 Aerospace & Shipbuilding 2 Inc at least 1 woman Civil Air Transport 2 Inc at least 1 woman Chemicals, Pharma, etc 1 GPM and IT 1 Community N4P 1 Construction 1 Energy & Utilities 1 Metals (inc Foundry) 1 Docks & Rail 1 Education 1 Rural & Agriculture 1 MoD & Govt Depts. 1 Total 33 Inc at least 9 women and 3 BAEM

UNITE Financial Report – 2nd Quarter 2013 end Sept 2013

Financial results for the 1st half of 2013 showed total income amounted to £80.8, up £3.3 million versus the same period a year ago. This reflected the increase in membership subscriptions implemented 1st September 2012 which more than offset the loss of paying membership. In addition, Legal Income was up substantially, although the impact of the Jackson legislation will substantially reduce Unite’s Legal Income over time.

Total Recurring Expenditure totalled £67.7 million in the 1st Half of 2013 which was £1M less than last year. This improvement was due to lower Employment Costs (excluding Organising), lower IT costs and lower Employer Dispute Costs partially offset by the additional printing and postage costs of the General Secretary election. Taking everything in account, Unite posted an overall surplus of £4.1 million for the 1st Half of 2013 – a result which was £3.5 million worse than last year.

As indicated, Unite’s liquid assets totalling £88.7 million as at 30th June 2013 up £6.1 million from year end 2012. This increase primarily reflected the leap in the market value of the Union’s Marketable Securities (up by £5.6 million) due to jump in the global stock markets and cash was up by £0.5 million.

UNITE Dispute Fund

The status of Unite’s Dispute Fund is summarised in the table below:

Opening Balance – 31.12.12 £ 27,259,536 Add: 2.5% from Branch Admin £ 1,831,063 Less: Dispute Benefits Paid (£197,224) Expenses/Costs - Closing Balance - 30.6.13 £ 28,893,375

Property Developments

Three UNITE properties have been sold– Prestwich (£750,000), Needham Market (£215,000) and Accrington (£95,000). UNITE has purchased two properties – Slough (£975,000) to become the new SE Regional Office, and Edinburgh (£837,000).

Eastbourne

The agreement reached with employee representatives regarding the future of Eastbourne (as approved by the EC in June) was ratified by employees via a ballot (vote 59 in favour to 1 opposed) and has now been implemented. The agreement includes: • A commitment by the Union to continue 100% ownership of the property for 5 years. • Professional management being brought (Chardon). • Further investment especially in the kitchen and restaurant. • All current employees (both permanent and fixed term contract) provided with continuing employment in comparable jobs. • All existing fixed term contract staff made permanent. • All existing zero hour contract staff put on annual hour contracts. • All agency workers offered permanent employment. • Employee compensation and terms and conditions modified to generally reflect the hotel industry, although still at levels which compare favourably to the industry – the lowest pay is 20% in excess of industry standard as well as far more generous holiday entitlement, sick pay and pensions. • Reflecting the huge cultural change that is required to put the operation on a viable footing, all employees were given the choice of exiting on voluntary severance or receiving a compensatory payment (50% of VR) if they stay. In the event, about 50% opted to take VR and 50% opted to stay. • Promotion of existing staff where possible to fill vacancies created by those taking VR.

Separately, in order to attract more external bookings, it has been decided to change the name of the Eastbourne operation from “The Eastbourne Centre” to “The Eastbourne Seafront Hotel & Conference Centre”. Robin Hodson, the General Manager of the Eastbourne Centre, elected to retire and a new General Manager (formerly GM of a seafront hotel in Brighton) has been appointed.

Membership Report

Work is ongoing to ensure that members are allocated by workplace and protocols are being agreed with regions to ensure that accuracy of membership data is maintained. The report covered developments in the membership communications system such as the members’ area of the Website “My Unite”; new App for members, joining online; branch Portal and branch websites. The mailing to all current, paying members, with a renewed membership card and details of subscriptions has been completed. Statistical trends in membership were reported which showed membership at August 2013 of 1,428,972 which shows a change since June of -6,416. A full written analysis by sector was provided. Passenger Transport membership stood at 84,052 of which 77,126 are male and 6,926 are female. 13,646 are declared BAEM.

Constitutional amendments

Council agreed that no member who is in receipt of a pension from any funds of the union shall be eligible to hold office as a delegate to any constitutional committee or conference of the union. This is in keeping with the spirit of the Rule Book that full time officers and staff do not hold lay elected positions of the union.

Council considered a request from East Midlands region that a Rule Change be agreed to allow retired members to vote in Executive Territorial Elections. This was declined by a very large majority vote on the grounds that this would be a substantial change to the Rules and this should be left to a Rules Conference to consider.

REMITS FROM REGIONAL AND NATIONAL COMMITTEES

Single Tier Pension Scheme - -EM Regional Committee

 

Agreed with proposal to oppose the imposition of the single tier state pension scheme.

Young members to attend as observers at National Sector Conferences - EM Regional Committee

 

Agreed to invite members of young members committees be invited to attend their appropriate sector conference as observers.

Deny thousands of job seekers back pay - EM Regional Committee

 

Agreed the proposal to call a meeting of all parliamentary group of Unite MPs to seek an explanation for the support by the Labour Shadow Cabinet in March for the government proposal to retrospective legislation to deny back pay to job seekers.

Remit left on table from March EC - Retired Members Plus and Community Voting Rights – EM Regional Committee

 

Following discussions in which the GS and EC members expressed the view that fundamental rule changes such as required by this motion should be left to the full rules conference in 2015, a vote was taken and the motion was lost.

EC Elections - Ireland Executive Council

 

Lost in light of the GS statement that the next rules conference was the correct forum for his decision.

Review decision to increase Apprentice Contribution Rates - Ireland Executive Council

 

Left on table.

Covert Illegal Operations  - LE Regional Committee

 

Agreed with proposal to publicise Unite’s support for a full public enquiry in the role of the security services and secret services.

Save Our NHS Campaign-– NE Regional Committee

 

Agreed with the proposal to give full support to this campaign and run it on a national basis.

Dispute at Runcorn TPS-– NW Regional Committee

 

Withdrawn in light of the General Secretary’s comments

Pension Protection Fund - WM Regional Committee

 

Agreed with proposal to urge the PPF and Government to end the anomaly and protect pre-1997 compensation from inflation.

Union Officers as Councillors - NW Regional Committee

 

Agreed with proposal to oppose and enforce the position that no fulltime paid officer of Unite taking on the responsibility of being a Councillor.

Bedroom Tax - NW Regional Committee

 

Supported the demand for this pernicious legislation to be reversed.

Palestine Stop G4S - NW Regional Committee

 

Agreed with the proviso that we check with GMB that the boycott doesn’t threaten their position with the company.

Appointment of Organisers - SW Reg Cttee

 

Noted in light of assurance about process for the recruitment of organisers by the Executive Officer

Membership Recruitment  - SW Regional Committee

 

It was agreed that this motion be left on the table to allow more time to consider the changes proposed to the member get member recruitment scheme.

Falkirk Selection Suspensions - Scotland Regional Committee

 

Noted in light of current circumstances and the General Secretary’s remarks

Falkirk Candidate - NE Regional Committee

 

Left on table for further consideration in December

Falkirk -IT & Comms NISC

 

Lost

Campaign against Female Genital Mutilation - WM Regional Committee

 

Agreed to support the call by the British Arab Federation to combat the crime of Female Genital Mutilation to change the law in Britain to protect girls; better enforcement of the law and education to support girls resisting FGM and empower communities.

Complaints Process -- Finance & Legal NISC

 

Agreed, with proposals re a transparent complaints process, however this will need to work within the Union’s existing rules.

Councillors against Cuts - CW&NfP NISC

 

Lost

Labour Party Councillors- CW&NfP NISC

 

Agreed with the proposal to defend any labour Party councillor penalised or disciplined for voting against the cuts.

Council Housing  - CW&NfP NISC

 

Agreed with the proposal to support tenants faced with eviction following the impact of welfare changes such as the bedroom tax and the calls for council house building; rent control and tighter regulation in the private sector along with proper regulation of housing associations.

No to Nescafe Machines and Coffee in Unite premises - CWYNfP NISC

 

Concerns were expressed about seeking to boycott companies where we have agreements/members. AGS Diana Holland agreed to take the issue on board with the FDT NISC with a view to raising the question of abiding by the International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes with Nestle and that she would advise the CYW&not for profit Sector.  In light of these comments the remit was noted.

Legal Aid--  Community Youth Workers and Not for Profit NISC

 

The proposal in the remit to campaign vigorously around the issue of legal aid and access to the justice system and meet with the shadow justice team to ensure we can build for a high quality legal aid system.

Postal Ballots - MOD & Govt Depts NISC

 

Fell not moved

4:1 Campaign for minimum staffing ratios in the NHS - Health NISC

 

Agreed the proposals to support the 4:1 campaign to achieve a national minimum mandatory patient: nurse ratio.

 UCATT threatening legal action against blacklisted Unite member - Cons. NISC

 

The motion was noted in light of the General Secretary’s and Director of Legal Services comments.

Category: 16-19 September 2013
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