(Motions 1 and 2 and amendments)
Congress welcomes recent government figures on union membership and density in 2005. This growth reflects continuing TUC and union commitment to organising and recruitment.
Congress congratulates those unions that have engaged in successful organising campaigns and notes that organising must remain central to the work of trade unions.
But despite these efforts there is still much for unions and the TUC to do to meet the organising challenge in both the public and private sectors. Fewer than one in five private sector workers are members of a union and union members make up the majority of the workforce in only 8 per cent of private sector workplaces.
Congress believes that the priority of the British trade union movement, and therefore the TUC, is to organise and grow. Union organising efforts also need to concentrate on more than simply increasing membership. Expanding our reps base and building effective workplace organisation are just as important.
Congress urges all unions and the General Council to ensure that appropriate and substantial resources are devoted to organising and recruiting. Congress therefore agrees to ask the TUC's Organising and Representation Task Group to review and increase current TUC resources and support for organising, and calls for unions and the TUC to focus a minimum of 5 per cent of income, and, as soon as possible, 10 per cent of income, on measures to research and assist unions' organising.
Further, Congress calls for the following measures to be introduced as a matter of urgency:
Mover: Transport and General Workers' Union
Supporters: Public and Commercial Services Union
National Union of Journalists
(Motion 3 and amendments)
Congress notes that migrant workers bring benefits to all UK communities, both rural and urban, in relation to seasonal working and permanent employment in industries with skills shortages.
Congress recognises that the question of migration can be a contentious one involving issues relating to 'irregular' migration, exploitation of workers and abuse of women and children by unscrupulous agencies and employers. Congress notes that migration has caused tensions in some local communities which have become increasingly diverse and which have had greater demands placed on services.
Congress congratulates unions such as Usdaw for making unions accessible to people whose first language is not English by producing recruitment literature setting out the benefits of union membership and making this available in 35 different languages.
Congress commends the TUC for its support of migrant workers, its useful advice contained in www.worksmart.org.uk documents, and the reports Overworked, Underpaid and Over Here (2003) which highlighted employer abuse of migrant workers and Organising Migrant Workers in Construction (2006), which reported on a project to recruit migrant workers in the North East.
Congress notes with regret that, despite efforts by government, devolved government and the TUC to deal with such issues, exploitation of migrant workers continues. Congress notes that migrant workers with families often have no access to education, language provision or other local support services and face racism within local communities.
Congress, therefore, urges the General Council to:
Mover: Educational Institute of Scotland
Seconder: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Supporters: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
University and College Union
Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union
(Motions 5 and 6)
Congress congratulates the General Council on its Working on the Edge campaign. Congress is concerned by the exploitation of temporary agency workers in the UK and the growing evidence of the unfair and discriminatory conditions under which agency workers can be employed. Agency workers are often subject to:
Congress is equally concerned by the Government's persistence in blocking the passage of the EU Draft Temporary Agency Workers Directive, despite its commitment under the 'Warwick Agreement' in 2004 to help the directive become law. Of the 25 EU member states, 16 have laws that guarantee equal pay for agency workers, and many also guarantee equal terms and conditions. Studies show that these countries have not compromised their productivity or competitiveness: on the contrary, such measures have raised levels of skill, motivation and commitment amongst the workforce.
Congress agrees it is time to end the exploitation of UK agency workers and to introduce laws that give them the recognition they deserve and the equality to which they should be entitled in a just society. Congress therefore urges the General Council to intensify pressure on the UK Government to ensure the introduction of effective statutory control, either through the EU Temporary Agency Workers' Directive or domestic regulations or both, which would deliver:
Congress calls on affiliates to work with the General Council to reach out to and organise agency workers in key sectors of the UK economy and to campaign for equal treatment and full protection for all agency workers.
Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Seconder: Communication Workers' Union
(Motions 7 and amendment, and 9)
Congress notes the DTI's response to the employment status review, contained within Success at Work and expresses its strong disappointment that at the end of the extremely protracted Employment Status Review, the Government has adopted a strategy of no change to the legal framework in this area and that the Government preferred the views of employers instead of the broad consensus among unions, voluntary sector organisations and legal experts that the present legal framework lacks certainty, could often lead to injustice for workers, and is interpreted unpredictably by the courts and tribunals.
Congress deplores the increasing use of contractual arrangements denying employment rights in the name of employer 'flexibility' in both public and private sectors.
Congress further notes the Government's actions in continuing to block the draft EU Agency Workers Directive.
Congress reaffirms the TUC's policy that the law needs to be amended to ensure that full employment rights are extended to all workers who are not in business on their own account and regardless of individual tax status.
Therefore, Congress calls on the General Council to:
Mover: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
Seconder: Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union
Supporter: National Union of Teachers
(Motion 8 and amendments)
Congress reiterates its support for the repeal of all anti-union laws, including changes to legislation the Government made in the fire service dispute of 2002/2003 which it can use in the event of any fire service dispute. Congress further calls upon the General Council to lobby Government to ensure that no further anti-trade union laws are placed before Parliament.
Congress congratulates the General Council for agreeing proposals for the Trade Union Freedom Bill, which include better protection for striking workers, fairer industrial action ballots / notice procedures, reform of the use of injunctions, regaining full trade union rights for prison officers and allowing supportive action in certain circumstances.
Congress places on record its appreciation of the work of John Hendy QC and the Institute of Employment Rights for their assistance in developing the content of the Bill.
Congress welcomes the huge support from MPs who have signed the Early Day Motion in support of the campaign.
Congress believes it is important to maintain the momentum of the campaign to keep the Trade Union Freedom Bill on the political agenda and ensure its provisions become law.
Congress urges the General Council to continue to promote the campaign, until the Bill becomes law, including:
Congress notes the content of Composite 1 Congress 2005, regarding the establishment of a fund covering legal challenges, as deemed appropriate by the General Council. Congress commits to further financial/practical support to affiliates, lodging proceeding with the European Court of Human Rights under article 11 of the European Convention.
Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Seconder: Fire Brigades Union
Supporters: Prison Officers Association
Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
(Motion 22 and amendments, 23 and amendment, 24 and amendments and 25 and amendments)
Congress welcomes the publication of the Pensions White Paper but is concerned by the potential delay implementing substantial sections of reform. Congress does not accept that the state pension age must rise to fund proper state provision.
Furthermore, Congress is concerned that the government's White Paper plans for state pensions do not go far enough to provide decent pensions. Congress notes that the White Paper does not include a substantial rise in the state pension. Congress agrees to campaign for a major increase to the state pension to be made in the lifetime of the current parliament, to give all pensioners a decent living wage, and for an end to means testing.
The experience of the Working Time Directive shows that allowing an individual opt-out from the Personal Saving Accounts (PSAs) will lead to some employers putting pressure on employees to exercise this right. Congress is also concerned that the White Paper gives no consideration to those who have had their employment status incorrectly classified as self-employed in industries such as construction. Employers must contribute a viable amount to all their workers' pension saving, regardless how little they pay them. Government should lead by example in implementing best practice pension provision. Furthermore, Congress believes that personal accounts - effectively defined contribution schemes - contribute to the transfer of risk to individuals. Administering them through the private sector would compound this risk further.
Congress is also concerned at proposals to increase the state pension age above 65 and calls on the General Council to campaign against this. Congress agrees that the General Council oppose any increase in state pension age and notes a default retirement age of 65.
Congress agrees to:
Congress rejects attacks on occupational and state pensions, and the notion of a general pensions crisis used to justify them, and opposes transferring pensions' risks from government and employers to individual workers. Congress reaffirms its support for good quality, affordable, final salary pension schemes in both the private and public sectors. Furthermore, Congress considers that it is of great importance that occupational pensions do not become a divisive issue between workers in the private and public sectors as some interest groups would like. Congress recognises the crucial part the TUC has to play in making sure that this does not happen and calls on the General Council to develop a strategy accordingly.
Congress calls upon the Government to ensure that all workers whose defined benefit schemes are or have been wound up with insufficient funds are fully compensated and to fund the Financial Assistance Scheme and to secure changes to the Pension Protection Fund to enable this to be done.
Congress notes that protection for existing public sector workers won in the PSF framework agreement has been attacked since its agreement in October 2005. The PSF agreement was possible because of the unity between the public sector unions, and Congress agrees that unity will be needed to secure decent pensions for all.
Congress deeply appreciates the work done by the National Pensioners Convention regarding pensioner poverty and restoring the link with earnings. Congress therefore commits to both working with and maximising support for the NPC in their campaign to restore the link as established in legislation, by the Labour Government in 1975. Congress calls on the General Council to involve union members at all levels and pensioners groups including the National Pensioners Convention, in a campaign to:
Congress notes with concern the continuing trend of employers to close pension schemes and cut benefits, and condemns employers that have acted in this way. Congress calls on the General Council to continue to assist in mobilising and co-ordinating support of affiliates in defending members' pensions. In particular, Congress calls on the General Council to provide strong support to those 11 unions still involved in defending the Local Government Pension Scheme, regretting that the employers and Government did not see fit to apply the same principles adopted by the PSF for other public sector schemes.
Congress condemns the announcement by the BBC of its intention to close its final salary pension scheme, one of the largest in Europe, to new members, to significantly increase member contributions and increase the retirement age by five years, and welcomes the joint unions' campaign against such plans.
With regard to the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS), Congress welcomes the establishment of a Pensions Commission to examine the funding problems of the RPS for the long term. Congress would like to put on record its gratitude for the work of the TUC in facilitating a potential resolution to this specific problem.
Congress further calls for action to increase awareness among young people of the value of pensions, through the TUC's existing work in schools and colleges and through government-funded advertising
Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union
Supporters: Communication Workers Union
Transport Salaried Staffs Association
Union of Construction, Allied and Trades Technicians
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Transport and General Workers' Union
Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
National Union of Mineworkers
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
National Union of Journalists
(Motion 29 and amendments)
Congress notes that the question of the quality of working life is rapidly rising up the political agenda and has created an opportunity for a wider discussion about this issue.
Congress further notes that while the UK has more highly skilled workers, managers and professionals than at any time, there is also strong evidence to show declining satisfaction with the overall quality of work, particularly pay, working hours and involvement in decision-making. Furthermore, there is evidence to show that people are having to work longer today than a decade ago, that they have less control over their work and are subject to more extensive performance management systems.
While managerialism may argue that fewer workers means better productivity, the effect is often the opposite. Doing more with fewer people often makes their workloads intolerable and leads to poor quality of life, stress and poor job satisfaction: the so-called work/life balance ceases to exist.
Congress calls on the General Council to investigate and promote the factors that deliver high levels of job satisfaction and high quality employment, paying particular attention to:
Congress further calls on the General Council to establish a Quality of Work Task Group to develop an agenda that can be pursued in the workplace and a series of practical proposals for discussions with employers, government and other political parties, and to prepare a report for the 2007 Congress.
Seconder: University and College Union
(Motion 31 and amendments, 32 and 33 and amendment)
At a time of unprecedented change in public services, when 'reform' has rapidly become a fundamental attack on the role of the public sector, Congress believes we must provide a strong and relevant response to government policy, whilst also presenting progressive, positive and practical alternatives based on the values and experience of our members.
The legacy of record investment, public sector jobs growth and commitment to funding through general taxation is being overwhelmed by a 'reform' agenda which is based on the philosophy that the threat of privatisation is a necessary driver for performance and will see public services being sold-off in 'competitive' processes that discriminate against the public sector. Congress notes that this policy is threatening not only the effectiveness of public services, but in some cases, the very existence of those services. There is no role for markets in public services because they are harmful, wasteful, and unjust. Furthermore, Congress views with concern the view in Government that pays little respect to the importance of the public service ethos.
Congress also recognises that the quality of services and employment will be further undermined by the Government's dogmatic determination to privatise work and have more public services delivered by the so-called 'third sector.' Congress reminds government that there is no evidence that the third sector is able to deliver better public services. These policies deny the legitimate role of the public sector and lead to a loss of local and national accountability, 'marketisation', and the atomisation of public services. Wealthy individuals and private companies exploiting workers and the public alike should be named and shamed.
Congress is committed to the achievement of world-class public services and rejects the current government public sector reform policy. Congress calls on the Government to revise its public sector reform policy with a view to ensuring that all plans for public sector reform:
Congress congratulates the thousands of civil servants who have taken action over the past year in opposition to the Government's politically driven budget cuts, headcount reductions and privatisations that are damaging services and worsening working conditions.
Congress recognises it has been the willingness of union members in the civil service to take action that has so far prevented compulsory redundancies.
However, Congress notes that the Government's next Comprehensive Spending Review will intensify the drive for cuts and so-called 'efficiencies'. This will contribute to increasing workloads, stress, delays, backlogs, failing services and assaults on staff.
Congress calls on the General Council and Executive Committee to:
Congress calls upon the General Council to lead a vigorous campaign, uniting all unions by:
National Union of Teachers
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
(Motion 38 and amendments, 39, 40 and amendment, and 41)
Congress remains concerned at the lack of clear government policy on plurality of provision within the National Health Service.
Unprecedented investment and the repeated objective to provide health care free at the point of need are obviously to be welcomed and applauded.
However, at a time when the NHS workforce is under stress, not least because of mixed messages over funding levels and performance, all staff and the public deserve to be told the truth about the Government's intentions.
The current lack of clear direction is damaging the health service. For example, service reform is held up as a central objective whilst resources are given disproportionately to outdated and inefficient models of provision in the private sector.
The dedication of all who work in the health service has traditionally maintained the NHS despite underfunding, misguided policy and attempts to fragment it. It is disgraceful that this exploitative approach seems to be being pursued once again and scandalous that this should be by a Labour Government.
Congress calls on the Government to treat the workforce and the public with respect. If privatisation is the objective, ministers should state openly that this is so. If integrated service delivery is desirable, let us see policies that encourage this. If the Government really cares about good practice and reform in NHS services, we should see them encouraging and backing these reforms.
Congress values the NHS and calls upon the Public Services Forum to insist the Government makes clear its policy on public service provision.
Members want to deliver high quality, accessible public services. Congress therefore also calls on the General Council to galvanise collective pressure to secure a commitment from the Government for proper dialogue with trade unions over the future direction of the NHS.
Congress believes increased investment in the NHS and the consequent improvements for patients and staff is vital.
Congress, however, notes the creeping privatisation of the National Health Service and the exorbitant costs of the hospital building programme under the Private Finance Initiative. Congress, condemns marketisation of the service in all its forms, most recently the plan to privatise English primary care commissioning services revealed by an advert in the European Union official journal. Private firms will decide which treatments and services are available to patients and whether NHS or private hospitals provide them. As with Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS in 2005, these plans have been drawn up without consultation.
Congress believes the General Council has an instrumental role to play in confronting privatisation, job losses and service cuts and calls upon the General Council to:
Congress calls on the General Council to organise a demonstration in spring 2007 to take forward these demands.
Congress notes that, despite record levels of investment in the NHS and real advances in patient care, many NHS organisations are struggling to overcome large financial deficits.
Congress regrets that the NHS faces a £620 million deficit in 2006, and it recognises that sending in teams of accountants to improve the financial management of the worst performing NHS Trusts does not alleviate the effects of the deficits on members of the public who need to use NHS services. Among other unwelcome occurrences, a number of Trusts have been forced to delay operations, close hospital wards and impose recruitment freezes. The recovery programmes being put in place by Trusts are now starting to bite hard, with both patients and staff suffering, including many thousands of new graduates who cannot find work in the health professions they have trained for.
Congress also notes that proposals to invest in health promotion set out in the Governments' White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say are undermined by the rush to tackle historic deficits resulting in 'slash and burn' cuts to services such as health visiting, mental and sexual health.
It is no coincidence that against a backdrop of rapid reform and wider market-based initiatives, such as Payment by Results, job losses are being announced on a daily basis with many PCTs and hospitals facing financial deficits. These are stymying the efforts of members who support many aspects of the modernisation agenda and want to see the NHS thrive.
Congress calls on the Government to take a more realistic approach to resolving the current deficits, which does not put short-term expediency before the long-term health of the NHS. Specifically:
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
(Motion 45, 46 and amendment)
Congress condemns the 'direction of travel' towards privatisation contained within the Education and Inspections Bill. Congress believes the Bill will increase marketisation in the education service, encourage social segregation and undermine equality of access for young people to high quality education.
Congress believes that the TUC must continue to give the highest priority to exposing and campaigning against the damaging effects of such legislation.
Congress welcomes the Government's commitment to raising the average investment per pupil to today's private school levels and instructs the TUC to press the Government to achieve this target.
Congress expresses its deep concern, however, that the Government's funding target has been obscured by its determination to press ahead with the divisive proposals within the Bill.
Congress instructs the General Council to:
Congress notes that the Government's pre-occupation with diversity and independence of secondary schools contradicts its earlier mantra 'standards not structures'. It notes further that historically major advances in levels of achievement have followed expansion of opportunity or curriculum and assessment change. Congress, therefore, calls on the Government to recognise that further improvements to pupil achievement depend on substantial reform of curriculum and testing arrangements from 0-19 to encourage children and young people to develop the broad range of skills and understanding they will need as adults.
Congress believes that such reform could contribute towards a range of social justice outcomes including reducing pupil disaffection, reducing damaging class differentials in achievement, and improving the acquisition of key skills to enhance employability.
Congress condemns current thinking on provision of schools, which tends to fragment the system and distort proper public service accountabilities and the funding regime encouraging local authorities to support academies and adopt PFI, including Building Schools for the Future.
Congress recognises that central government, the local community, parents, carers and pupils should all be entitled to a say in shaping the service, but rejects both the present overwhelming predominance of Whitehall to the detriment of other stakeholders and also the handing over of schools to unelected and unaccountable bodies whether or not they are profit-motivated.
Congress notes that the terms and conditions of support staff have been the first casualties of fragmentation, marketisation and privatisation.
Congress calls upon the General Council to commission research and a report into the whole Academies programme, including:
Mover: National Union of Teachers
Seconder: Association of Teachers and Lecturers
(Motion 50 and 51)
Congress notes that by 2014 there will be more people over the age of 65 in the UK than under 16. Research shows that 29 per cent of people have experienced age discrimination, which can be linked to new stresses in later life both at work and at home.
Congress notes that many employees want the right to continue working after 65 and believes all employees should receive the same employment rights irrespective of age.
Congress supports a new partnership between the state, employers and individuals to take responsibility for meeting the cost of learning. The value of that partnership will depend on ensuring that education and training remains accessible to the least well-off; that employers undertake their share of financial responsibilities; and that fee increases are managed in such a way that their introduction does not inhibit learner participation.
Lord Leitchs's analysis identifies the upskilling of the adult population as a top national economic priority. The measures identified here are central to high levels of participation from the whole of that population.
Congress notes the important role further and higher education (F&HE) have in allowing all to access employment:
Congress believes employment rights for all and full access to education across age ranges is critical in meeting these challenges. Congress therefore calls on the Government to:
Mover: University and College Union
Seconder: Association for College Management
(Motions 57 and 58 and amendment)
Congress notes that one of the biggest threats to the UK's future prosperity is the continuing damage caused to the environment by over-reliance on private transport and the social exclusion caused by a transport network that does not reflect the needs of the UK.
Nearly 40 per cent of CO2 emissions are from transport. It is also estimated that traffic congestion costs businesses £20 billion per annum, with private car usage estimated to grow by between 15 and 20 per cent in the next decade.
Congress also notes that cities in the UK have the smallest cost differential between using a car and using public transport, which has a detrimental effect on modal choice. The most expensive public transport fares in Europe are found in the UK, making many journeys impossible due to cost and thereby increasing social exclusion and increasing pollution.
Congress believes that the transportation of freight must become more integrated and supports the use of road rail and port hubs which are fully modally integrated to help reduce carbon emissions from freight transport which increased by 59 per cent between 1990 and 2002.
Congress welcomes the TUC's work with the aviation, road, transport and rail unions in raising the profile of transport. However, Congress calls on the General Council to set up an integrated transport committee so that transport unions can work together to promote a transport policy that allows for economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Congress believes that in order to maintain the micro-economic well-being of the United Kingdom, professional drivers should be encouraged to remain within their industries and those industries should attract new driving recruits. Congress supports the global campaign to organise logistics and transport workers in order to fight back and drive up international standards.
Congress asks the General Council to endorse the United Road Transport Union's stance and lobby the Government to seek to have scrapped the Government's proposals to charge individual professional drivers a proposed fee of between £20 and £50 for the forthcoming introduction of professional drivers' Certificate of Professional Competence accreditation.
Congress calls for a campaign for the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992) to be applied to lorries, buses and commercial vehicles.
Mover: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
Seconder: United Road Transport Union
Supporter: Transport and General Workers' Union
(Motions 61 and amendment, and 62)
Congress welcomes the commitment to security of supply through a diverse fuel mix in the report by the Government following the Energy Review. It should therefore ensure the UK is best able to meet the challenges set out in the review. The Government must take urgent measures to ensure the UK develops and maintains the skills needed to support a diverse and secure energy supply base.
Congress is pleased with the role envisaged for the development of Clean Coal Technology (CCT) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a necessary response to climate change.
However, Congress is concerned that there are insufficient incentives in the report to encourage the private sector to make the necessary investment in coal and nuclear stations on the scale and within the timeframe required.
Congress believes the market remains uncertain and that the Government must re-consider what incentives it can introduce to include appropriate financial incentives if the current fleet of power stations is to be replaced. Failure to do this will cause delay that could compromise the ability to meet the country's electricity demand.
Congress also notes that the report of the Government's energy review The Energy Challenge clearly signalled that clean coal allied to the UK's indigenous coal reserves has a role to play in the future energy mix. Congress notes that during winter 2005, over 50 per cent of electricity generation came from coal-fired power stations, with about half from UK mined coal. Clean coal technology, including both carbon capture and storage, could cut CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations by up to 90 per cent.
Congress agrees that clean coal technology has a major contribution to make in clean power generation not only in the UK but in China and other nations still dependent on coal as a major energy source. Congress further notes the major employment opportunities that will follow the successful development of this technology.
Congress welcomes the work of the TUC in relation to clean coal technology and therefore Congress calls on the General Council to take forward the case for clean coal and the great potential of the UK's indigenous mined coal in providing secure clean energy for the future.
Congress further notes that at this year's NUM Conference it was agreed that the NUM seek to arrange a conference of current and former European coal producing countries to discuss the issue of clean coal technologies.
Congress therefore welcomes the decision of the Biennial Conference of the National Union of Mineworkers and calls on the General Council to support this initiative. Congress agrees that the conference should be held in a northern region of Britain.
Congress also welcomes the proposal to convene a Coal Forum involving all stakeholders to secure a long-term future for indigenous coal production. It is essential that this forum is able to deal urgently with the sustainability of indigenous production if the domestic coal industry is to survive.
Mover: National Union of Mineworkers
(Motions 63 and 64)
Congress expresses the profound concern of the trade union Movement at the minimalist approach of the British Government to its international obligations as demonstrated by its persistent violation of the ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining; its refusal to apply in full the EU Working Time Directive and its routine opposition to other EU provisions and initiatives which protect the entitlements of working people; and its efforts to move away from solemn commitments to refugees. Congress is convinced that this approach to its commitments is undermining the authority of the United Kingdom in international organisations.
Congress recognises that one effect of globalisation is the growing number of UK companies that establish operations in parts of the developing world. Congress has a clear policy on outsourcing but Congress now needs to define more clearly the ethical standards that should apply to such operations that should drive up labour standards rather than simply take advantage of low labour costs. Congress believes that UK companies that outsource work to developing countries should abide by the Base Code of Practice developed by the Ethical Trading Initiative which complies with the ILO core labour Conventions and in particular:
Congress believes that the FCO and DTI should encourage UK companies to adopt these standards in order that developing countries can benefit in full from UK investment and that the benefits of global trading be distributed more evenly. Congress calls on the General Council to work with other national trade union centres to create an awareness that the growing threats to economic and political stability and to peace arising from the widening inequality in wealth and income distribution within and between nations - pockets of wealth alongside large-scale poverty - climate change and energy concerns; terrorism and crime; rapidly-increasing global migratory pressures; and the spread of trafficking in labour at present are threats well beyond the scope of action by existing international institutions and that leaving the resolution of the economic threats to market forces and multinational companies would only aggravate them. Congress urges the General Council to press on the Government its view that these threats may be tackled with a reasonable chance of success only with international organisations with relevant authority and powers and with the involvement of the business world and the trade unions.
(Motions 76 and amendment, and 77)
Congress agrees that bullying in the workplace remains a major issue which unions must and do tackle on a daily basis. Congress recognises that this is a difficult issue to tackle successfully yet the costs to individual targets and the workplace as a whole are massive. Congress also recognises the work done by affiliates on this over the years both at national and local level.
Survey evidence suggests that the targets of bullying are much less likely to pursue complaints than people who have never suffered from bullying. This suggests that as well as helping individuals who are targets, unions must also formulate a collective response to tackling bullying in the workplace.
Congress believes that all employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at work. It condemns managers and other staff who abuse their positions and seek to humiliate, isolate and belittle their colleagues.
Congress condemns the rising tide of bullying behaviour that is affecting increasing numbers of teachers and support staff across the education service and deplores the pressure placed upon public sector managers and professionals from government, local authorities and Ofsted by poorly designed targets and other performance mechanisms which often take little account of available resources and, together with the use of educationally damaging league tables, creates pressure, criticism and unreasonable expectations on schools which, in turn, helps to create highly stressful environments in which bullying can become commonplace.
Congress congratulates school representatives and safety representatives for the valuable work they do in defending and supporting colleagues subjected to bullying and welcomes the important role played by school-based safety committees in seeking to promote a culture in which bullying is no longer tolerated.
Congress calls upon the General Council to:
Mover: National Union of Teachers
(Motion 74 and amendments)
Congress believes that the achievement of justice for the Palestinians will help bring peace to the Middle East and to the people of Israel.
Congress condemns the Government of Israel’s suspension of revenue payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the suspension of aid by the European Union, the United States Administration and others. These actions, which threaten the wages of approximately 160,000 workers and the well-being of the Palestinian people as a whole, are condemned by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions.
Congress condemns the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza City power station, the use of sonic booms over Gaza, and the seizure of members of the democratically elected Palestinian government.
Congress resolves to ask the General Council to:
Mover: Fire Brigades’ Union
Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland
Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
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