Congress Decisions 2001
Listed below are the decisions taken by the 2001 Trades Union Congress on the motions and amendments submitted by unions. The numbers given to resolutions and motions refer to their number in the Final Agenda, or to that of the Composite Motion.
As is noted at the end of this document a number of motions were remitted to the General Council due to the early closure of Congress following the terrorist atrocities in the United States on 11 September. The General Council will consider these motions and circulate their comments to all unions.
Congress recognises the many problems existing for workers in the UK's 5,000 call centres. Congress applauds campaigns like 'It's your Call', which raised these issues' profile. Now this must be used to ensure that the appalling experiences we heard about are never repeated.
Continuity of union membership is particularly difficult in call centre organisations due to the high staff turnover. With union penetration of only 44%, efforts must be made to retain existing union members when they change jobs.
Congress particularly notes the problems facing agency workers whose conditions of employment often don't even match the relatively poor level of their colleagues. They do the same work, meet the same targets but endure worse rates of pay, worse protection and worse prospects. Agency workers have fewer rights than others and the inconsistency of management and conditions makes it difficult to get mortgages and pensions. Even with the provision of stakeholder pensions, some workers are still not able to make pension contributions due to their poverty wages.
Congress therefore instructs the General Council to:
i) encourage the development of membership transferability schemes such as the CWU-UNIFI "Movin' On" agreement;
ii) campaign for equality of rights for agency workers including the right to take part in industrial action against the indirect employer;
iii) promote the implementation of Best Practice codes on the use of agency workers and the management of call centres; and
iv) campaign for better pension provision for those on low incomes.
Communication Workers Union
The following amendment was ACCEPTED
Insert new paragraph 2:
"Congress has a responsibility to ensure that these workers are organised, able to address their problems through trade unions, and to avoid inter-union competition which is contrary to the workers best interests."
Insert new sub-paragraph ii) and re-number existing sub paragraphs ii) to iv) as iii) to v):
"ii) ensure the unionisation of call centres is effectively co-ordinated, taking necessary steps to avoid inter-union competition,".
Transport Salaried Staffs' Association
Congress welcomes the legislation giving part-time and fixed-term workers improved employment rights and protection from discrimination. However it has concerns about the inadequacies and loopholes in the domestic regulations implementing European directives covering such workers. Congress believes adequate rights for these workers are not incompatible with flexibility for employers.
Under the part-time workers regulations, workers may compare themselves only with full-time workers on the same contract and with the same employer. This excludes the vast majority of part-time teachers in universities, colleges, adult education and many of the lowest paid workers in other industries from pursuing legal remedies against adverse treatment.
The fixed-term workers regulations also restrict temporary workers to comparing themselves only with permanent employees of the same employer. Agency workers are specifically excluded from the provisions.
Congress deplores the continuing use of employment agencies to circumvent the employment rights of workers. It welcomes the recent Court of Appeal Judgement (Allonby v Accrington College - extending employment rights for agency workers and referring equal pay and pensions questions to the ECJ) and the BECTU decision of the ECJ on holiday pay for short contract workers.
Congress will campaign for the Government to:
i) make the case to business for good legal and negotiated employment rights for all workers;
ii) ensure that domestic legislation following European Directives gives full comparable rights to all part-time and agency workers; and
iii) use its powers under section 23 of the Employment Relations Act to extend employment rights to 'atypical workers'.
NATFHE - The University and College Lecturers' Union
The following amendment was ACCEPTED
Insert new sub-paragraphs iv) and v):
"iv) ensure that UK regulations achieve the EU directive objective to prevent the abuse of fixed term contracts by ensuring that employment under such contracts cannot continue beyond an initial specified period; and
v) ensure that employers can no longer require workers on fixed term contracts to waive rights to redundancy payments."
Association of University Teachers
Congress notes that ILO Convention 147 on Minimum Standards for Merchant Ships requires flag states to regulate the terms and conditions of employment and social security rights either via legislation or through collective bargaining agreements.
Congress expresses alarm that the Department of Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency do not ensure that port state control inspections cover not only safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, but also the social conditions onboard all vessels visiting the UK.
Congress is concerned by the continuing exclusion of seafarers from most employment protection legislation such as the minimum wage and recognition rights for trade unions.
Congress calls upon the Government to take positive steps to encourage social dialogue between the maritime unions and shipowners as a condition of ship registration in the UK as occurs in most European countries.
Congress also urges the Government to support a strategy to underpin minimum social standards in the UK shipping industry to include the re-establishment of a set of national minimum terms and conditions.
Congress calls on the UK maritime authorities to ensure that social conditions onboard all vessels calling UK ports are included in port state inspections, and that ILO provisions with regard to the encouragement of collective bargaining are met, so that the UK maritime unions may ensure that standards on UK vessels at all times reflect at least those stipulated by the relevant international organisations.
National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers
Congress urges the General Council to campaign in co-operation with the entertainment unions and other relevant affiliates to obtain funding at national and regional level to provide a network of educational theatre companies which will take its work to schools, hospitals, nursing and residential homes, prisons, and so on. Congress suggests that funding should be sought from the Arts Councils, Regional Arts Boards, local authorities and government departments including the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Education and Skills. These companies would provide work for arts practitioners and an invaluable service to many members of the community who are otherwise deprived of state funded theatre and would simultaneously be a part of the inclusive community as envisaged by the Government.
Congress believes that children are neglected by the UK media:
i) lack of funding is eroding the provision of quality children's TV in this country, leaving American programmes to dominate children's culture;
ii) children's radio has almost disappeared;
iii) children's theatre is seriously underfunded and theatre in education has declined steeply;
iv) some children never visit museums and art galleries because their schools cannot afford such outings; and
v) drama is no longer a part of the core curriculum and many schools have poor provision for drama and music because of money problems.
Congress calls on the Government to recognise its responsibility to children - and through them to the future cultural health of the UK - by increasing the funding for children's arts and education.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for such funding and to monitor the progress in achieving it.
Writers' Guild of Great Britain
Congress believes that comprehensive education has improved demonstrably the educational opportunities, life chances and achievements for all children.
Congress condemns the denigration of our schools by Government, which reinforces the demoralisation of teachers and undermines the successes of schools, students and their teachers. It deplores Government proposals which will lead to the establishment of a two-tier system of secondary education and condemns proposals for:
i) an expansion of specialist and advanced specialist schools involving more favourable funding and leading to the creation of privileged intakes and increased forms of selection; and
ii) City Academies which are new forms of independent selective school, owned and run by private companies.
These proposals will undermine the comprehensive principle of equality of opportunity and further weaken comprehensive education.
The funding of schools must be equitable and meet the educational needs of each pupil and that the Government's current review must establish a system without preference or disadvantage.
Comprehensive education in the 21st century should be underpinned by principles of social justice, a right of access to a balanced and broadly based curriculum and equality of opportunity for all children and young people.
Congress instructs the General Council to:
a) place the defence and promotion of comprehensive education at the heart of the TUC's work and campaign on education;
b) establish a working group to draft proposals for comprehensive education and for the General Council to seek the necessary public endorsement; and
c) represent and actively promote the TUC's position on comprehensive education to Government.
National Union of Teachers
The following amendment was ACCEPTED
Insert new paragraph 2:
"Congress notes the continuing success of the fully comprehensive state school system in Scotland, where:
1) the comprehensive structure and ethos are deeply embedded;
2) academic attainment - particularly among girls and working class children - continues to improve; and
parental support means that 96% of Scottish children attend public sector local authority schools."
Educational Institute of Scotland
Congress notes that up to 10% of 16 to 18-year-olds are not currently in education, employment or training. Congress recognises that the introduction by the Government of the Connexions Card represents a genuine attempt to promote widening participation.
Congress welcomes the pilots of the Connexions Card and believes that they should be informed by a structured involvement of the trade union movement. In particular, those unions with a direct interest in the learning and skills agenda should be given an opportunity to shape this important development.
Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to establish appropriate mechanisms for consultation between Government and unions across the whole range of Connexions initiatives. These mechanisms should ensure that the unions representing education and training practitioners should, as key stakeholders, be given an assured involvement.
Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Congress deplores the decline in the provision of health screening in schools. Checks carried out in primary schools by podiatrists and other health professionals are a cost-effective way of screening for defects that might not be picked up otherwise, and provide an ideal opportunity to offer simple health education to children. Congress calls on the UK Health Departments to introduce comprehensive health checks and health education in schools.
Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
Congress welcomes the initiative of the Deputy Prime Minister and the HSC in calling a Construction Safety Summit in February 2001. The Safety Summit was called against the background of a significant increase in fatal accidents in the last year and a total of 938 construction fatalities in the last decade. Congress also notes that 25,000 workers are forced to leave work every year through occupational ill-health - a large number of these from the construction industry.
Congress is concerned that the safety of construction workers is severely compromised by the widespread use of bogus self-employed labour and the hostility of many employers to trade union health and safety representation.
Congress notes that the Government are committed to introducing a wide-ranging Safety Bill. Congress also notes that as part of in the consultation document Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice, the Government made a commitment to review employment status. Congress urges the Government to make parliamentary time at the earliest opportunity to introduce regulations to include:
i) provision for trade union roving health and safety representation where appropriate;
ii) full legal and industrial protection from dismissal for trade union health and safety representatives, including the right to stop the job where there is a threat of serious injury;
iii) a new offence of corporate killing with provision for a custodial sentence;
iv) provision for occupational health, including rehabilitation as part of the Safety Bill; and
v) the introduction of a clear legal definition of a 'worker', rigorously enforced.
Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
Congress welcomes the Labour Governments manifesto commitment to review the Employment Relations Act and in particular to improve legislation in respect of family-friendly employment.
However, Congress regrets that in the Prime Ministers own words British law remains 'the most restrictive on trade unions in the Western world'. Recent court judgements on the definition of a trade dispute and industrial action balloting requirements have made the situation even worse.
The UK remains in breach of internationally accepted standards on trade union rights including ILO Conventions 87 and 98 and, more specifically the European Charter of 1961, article 8 of which provides for the right to strike.
Congress notes the passage of Composite Motion 1 at the 2000 meeting of Congress and believes that, following the recent General Election, there is no better time to pursue Congresss policies on extending employment rights in the UK.
Congress demands that workers in the UK are treated no less favourably than their European colleagues, and that UK employment legislation is improved to equal standards existing elsewhere in Europe.
Congress instructs the General Council to campaign vigorously to ensure the Government reviews the Employment Relations Act and related legislation to achieve the aims of this policy and real fairness at work.
Congress calls upon the Government to introduce immediately a review of the Employment Relations Act, and to continue to develop and improve employment rights to provide equality of opportunity for all, including:
i) the removal of the 21 employee statutory recognition threshold which denies five million workers the right to claim statutory recognition and the requirement for a 40% yes vote in recognition ballots;
ii) automatic recognition awarded where union membership is at 50% plus one within a bargaining unit, without the existing qualifications;
iii) legislation that ensures all employment rights apply to all employees, regardless of length of service, hours worked, contractual status, or the size of the company where individuals are employed;
iv) the right to automatic reinstatement for all employees unlawfully dismissed for taking part in industrial disputes and in light of the 87 workers in Friction Dynamics who were sacked eight weeks after a lawful industrial action ballot the eight-week limitation be removed;
v) ratification and compliance with all ILO conventions on the definition of a trade dispute and on the right for workers to take solidarity action, especially where employers transfer work to circumvent lawful disputes;
vi) the law should be amended so that the contract of employment is suspended during a dispute rather than leading to an automatic breach of contract and the possibility of dismissal;
vii) there should be a right not to be discriminated against on grounds of union membership together with the right to be represented by a union and seek collective bargaining;
viii) inadequacies of the de-recognition provisions for non-independent unions;
ix) oppose the introduction of a registration fee and costs recovery in Employment Tribunals; and
x) the principle of the right of trade unionists to be represented collectively and individually by their trade union;
xi) statutory consultation on redundancies and closures regardless of numbers involved or employed;
xii) workers to have the right to time off for trade union duties and activities;
xiii) parental leave and family-friendly policies to be based on paid time off;
xiv) a joint government/TUC review of restrictions placed on trade unions under law over their election/appointment procedures, with a view to ending the more restrictive and costly requirements of the Act;
xv) statutory right to internal disciplinary and grievance procedures;
xvi) rights to admit or exclude members in line with union rules;
Congress welcomes the Information and Consultation Rights and urges the General Council to ensure:
a) recognised unions have exclusive rights to information and consultation; and
b) where no union is recognised, employers must establish permanent, democratically-elected bodies to inform and consult the workforce, but not being used to block statutory recognition applications.
Congress is alarmed at the recent court decisions in the cases between the RMT and London Underground and Midland Main Line, and the implications that this has for the whole trade union movement. Despite a ballot that produced a 9-to-1 majority in favour of industrial action, the company sought and were granted an injunction at the High Court, claiming that they had not been provided with sufficient information about RMTs membership.
Congress believes that the effect of this ruling, and the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold it, putting responsibility on unions locally as well as nationally, is to thwart the clear intention of the Employment Relations Act 1999 to remove the obligation to provide the names and addresses of those taking industrial action.
Congress notes that in the second case, relating to Midland Main Line, a small group of persons who were not identified as being in the grades being balloted or were considered to be out of benefit, were involved.
Congress deplores the willingness of employers to engage in court action but not in meaningful negotiations that might resolve disputes. When members are prevented from taking industrial action by petty procedural/legal points it does nothing to enhance good industrial relations.
Congress calls upon the Government to legislate, as a matter of urgency, to amend the 1999 ERA, to reverse the effects of the Court of Appeal judgement, to repeal anti-union laws and introduce a framework of industrial relations legislation for the benefit of working people.
Congress condemns the £180,000 in costs incurred by the RMT in fighting the court cases and congratulates the magnificent solidarity shown by RMT and ASLEF members on London Underground during the dispute.
Congress will campaign to remove the requirement on unions to provide 'such information in the unions possession as would help the employer to make plans' when organising lawful industrial action since it places an almost impossible obstacle course in the way of unions endorsing members right to strike.
Congress affirms that a major objective for the TUC is to be united in policy and purpose to enable us to campaign effectively in an organised and united way. Affiliates must obey all internal TUC rules and practices and adhere to core trade union principles.
Congress further affirms that advancing meaningful trade union and employment rights is a fundamental campaigning activity of the TUC. Congress therefore calls on the General Council to establish a Charter of Workers Rights in the UK. All affiliates be urged to promote this activity among its wider membership to gain mass support for the legislative changes required.
Mover: Graphical, Paper and Media Union
Supporters: Educational Institute of Scotland
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
National Union of Journalists
NATFHE - The University & College Lecturers Union
Transport and General Workers Union
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Congress notes with deep concern recent instances of managements of privatised companies in the railways, steel, telecommunications and other strategic sectors of the economy bringing their industries to the brink of disaster to the significant detriment of wide public interests. Congress notes too that companies in these sectors have shown scant respect for the dignity of their employees by denying them a voice in decisions which signally bear on their employment security and their families welfare as well as a lack of attention to the safety of their employees and customers.
Recognising that governments of several other European Union countries as well as the US Government maintain residual powers - consistent with obligations under international treaties - to safeguard national interests in such areas as defence, the economy, and employment, Congress calls on the Government to take powers to ensure that:
i) it and employees concerned are properly informed of, and consulted in advance about, plans involving the possibility of the closure of manufacturing or other industrial enterprises, plants, or other establishments when such closures might impair seriously strategic economic or defence interests;
ii) it can delay the application of such decisions by companies if - in the judgement of Parliament - they put national strategic interests in jeopardy; and
iii) planned closures of plants employing large numbers of people are brought to an independent tribunal to guarantee transparency in regard to the intentions of management.
Congress welcomes the draft Directive on Information and Consultation agreed at the European Employment and Social Policy Council meeting in Stockholm in June this year.
Congress notes that the UK financial services sector has seen an unprecedented level of merger activity in recent years which has lead not only to thousands of job losses but to heightened fears of redundancies for those still in employment.
Congress calls upon all employers, in financial services and elsewhere, to welcome the new right for employees to find out company plans before they have been made public, and to have their views listened to, as a major opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and enhance security of employment.
Congress nevertheless has concerns about the application of the Directive in the UK and calls on the Government to apply the Directive:
a) equally to the public sector
b) at the earliest possible stage for all employers, including small employers; and
c) specifying recognised trade unions as relevant partners.
To maximise the Directives effectiveness, Congress calls upon General Council to campaign for implementation arrangements, underpinned by sanctions for non-compliance, which ensure that
1) where unions are recognised, these are the appropriate channel for information/consultation; and
2) in non-recognised workplaces, employers must hold free and fair elections for independent workplace representatives.
Congress believes that the Directive should be quickly implemented, that it should be fully transposed with no dilutions or exceptions and that effective remedies are vital. Congress further recognises the need for training workplace representatives to ensure that consultation does not undermine the trade union role.
Seconder: Independent Union of Halifax Staff
Supporters: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Manufacturing Science Finance
i) the commitment given by the Government before the general election to review the Employment Relations Act;
ii) the Governments recognition that rather than having to rely on the tribunal system it would be far preferable to strengthen internal procedures for resolving employment disputes. Too many employers have no effective workplace procedures. Congress supports proposals to require employers to establish proper arrangements.
Congress opposes, however, the Governments proposal to introduce a fee for submitting an application to an Employment Tribunal, as this will not only penalise low paid and unemployed workers, but also clearly undermines the principle of equal access to justice for all.
Congress also has concerns about other aspects of the proposals for Employment Tribunals, including:
a) the introduction of costs recovery and adding the cost of management time in defending cases to award costs against applicants;
b) the removal of the Polkey principle in order to allow tribunals to disregard procedural breaches by employers, reversing current law and encouraging employers to disregard basic standards;
c) penalising workers by barring applications when workplace procedures are not followed.
Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to lobby the Government to ensure that the review of the Employment Relations Act takes place as promised, and vigorously to lead a campaign of opposition to all aspects of the proposals for Employment Tribunals which disadvantage applicants.
Mover: Nationwide Group Staff Union
Seconder: Bradford and Bingley Group and Alltel Mortgage Solutions
Supporters: National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades
Congress welcomes the Governments commitment to reducing crime and the fear of crime. Congress supports the Governments aim to develop the principles of restorative justice, so that offenders are challenged to face up to the impact of their offending behaviour and are dealt with in a manner which includes recompense to the community. However, Congress deplores the trend towards court hearing centres and the undermining of community based local justice. Congress calls upon the Government to respect and uphold lay participation in the criminal justice system by magistrates and jurors, and abandon any further attempts to restrict or remove the right to elect trial by jury.
Congress condemns the continued rise in the prisoner population, including a substantial increase in the number of children in custody, and the use of imprisonment as the only option to be 'tough on crime'.
Congress calls on the TUC to press the Government to adopt criminal justice policies that deliver effective rehabilitation through properly funded probation and community based programmes and actively pursue policies that address the causes of crime and social exclusion.
Further, Congress expects that the Government recognise the need to ensure that the act of imprisonment is not used as a political statement rather than as a punishment, is part of the rehabilitative process and remains the responsibility of the State.
Mover: Association of Magisterial Officers
Seconder: Prison Officers Association
The Government has accepted its responsibility to be an exemplary employer, in e.g. the civil service and the NHS. Congress now urges it to:
i) demonstrate this commitment to best practice by going beyond the minimum requirements and institute more flexible and paid parental leave;
ii) review the delivery of the civil service partnership agreement on race;
iii) institute comprehensive programmes of equality for disabled staff; and
iv) implement the recommendations of the report Equality in Performance Review which demonstrated systematic disadvantage for Black, Asian and disabled civil servants.
Congress reaffirms the positive role of trade unions in achieving equality in employment, and in advancing equal opportunities more widely. We particularly applaud the work of the TUC Stephen Lawrence Task Group.
Congress welcomes Labours manifesto commitments to improved childcare and other family friendly measures.
Congress resolves to:
a) urge affiliates to fully participate in the TUC/DTI equal pay partnership project, on the understanding that action, not exhortation, is now required to close the gender pay gap;
b) continue to press the Government to legislate for paid parental leave, and the right for women to work part time after maternity leave;
c) welcome the new rights to paid paternity and adoption leave but to press the Government not to exclude workers earning under the Lower Earnings Limit from these valuable rights;
d) develop TUC and affiliates internal structures that support equal opportunity and promote diversity in membership and support changes to TUC and affiliates constitutions and rules, including equality audits, to effect this; and
e) support a new TUC award for achievements in equality, details to be prepared by the General Council in the coming year.
Congress also recognises the relatively low-key response to the Shipman murders, which went unnoticed for so long, which indicates the low value society places on older women. Congress will combat the ageism and misogyny that leads to the near invisibility of older women, and the disregard of their contribution.
Seconder: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
NATFHE - The University and College Lecturers Union
Composite 6 Equal pay Congress is concerned that despite 30 years of equal pay legislation the statistics on the gender pay gap show that on average women continue to earn only about 80 per cent of men's earnings. In many sectors the pay gap is even wider.
Congress is further concerned that the pay gap is both concealed and perpetuated by individualised performance-related pay in the context of broad-banded salary structures and by employers' enthusiasm for US-style workplace policies discouraging employees from exchanging information about their earnings.
Congress recognises the work done by the EOC Equal Pay task force in drawing attention to the scale of the challenge in bridging that gap. However, Congress regrets the Government's failure to accept the recommendations of the task force on the need for compulsory equal pay audits.
Congress recognises the double discrimination faced by women and black people in managerial and professional occupations. Women and black people are significantly under-represented in managerial and professional occupations (30% and 25% of these occupations respectively) in comparison to men (over 40% of these occupations). Women and black people are also routinely paid less than their male and white counterparts (33% less and over 20% less respectively).
Congress is also concerned by the continuing evidence that black and ethnic minority workers are discriminated against in appraisal systems which involve subjective assessments by line managers. This will affect performance pay reviews, bonuses and promotion and career development prospects. As ever more workers are covered by performance pay systems, the extent of such discrimination is likely to grow. Moreover, because many of these pay systems lack transparency or are inadequately monitored, discrimination can remain hidden.
Congress is concerned that trends towards secrecy, a lack of transparency and individualised pay packages have a particularly negative impact on the earnings of women and black people employed as managers and professionals.
Congress believes it is now time for concerted action to win equal pay for the many thousands of women who deserve to be earning a decent wage that is comparable to the wages men can expect to take home. Congress welcomes the TUC/Union Learning Fund project to train 500 equal pay reps.
Congress calls on the TUC to institute a programme building on the 2000 campaign, including:
i) equal pay monitoring guidance for affiliates drawing on the EOC Task Force Report etc;
ii) a working seminar/conference for affiliates on monitoring of equality in pay systems;
iii) a new CRE code of practice which makes specific reference to discrimination within performance related pay systems;
iv) the sharing of best practice amongst affiliates in identifying and challenging the different types of discrimination found in pay systems; and
v) TUC and other guidance on equal pay audits to include all aspects of inequality, both race and disability as well as gender.
Congress calls on the TUC to lobby Government to legislate to:
a) reform equal pay legislation in line with TUC recommendations, including allowing for claims to be dealt with more speedily and to be brought on a 'class' basis;
b) require employers to carry out equality impact assessments and pay audits, to include mandatory auditing of recruitment, training and promotion practices, target setting where auditing reveals certain groups are under-represented in professional and management grades, and all forms of pay basic pay, discretionary pay, performance related and bonus pay, enhanced pensions, health insurance, cars, and other pay related benefits;
c) produce a pay equity plan based on job classes, not individuals;
d) ensure that job classes in which women predominate are properly evaluated, on the basis of their contribution, to avoid inadvertent or indirect perpetuation of pay discrimination;
e) implement the plan to remove the gender pay gap, over a period of time if necessary; and
f) involve unions throughout this process including the publication of the findings to recognised trade union reps and employees in an accessible format.
Congress further notes the link between low pay and equal pay. Given that many low paid workers are women, Conference calls on the Government to ensure that its pay awards do not exacerbate low and equal pay problems and to re-introduce a fair wages resolution to protect pay rates for workers in public services.
Congress also recognises that a minimum wage set at an appropriate level would lead to the earliest possible equalisation of pay. It therefore calls on the TUC to further lobby Government to give a commitment to close the gender pay gap by raising the National Minimum Wage to half male median earnings.
Finally, Congress believes that the TUC can play a valuable role in supporting the efforts of individual unions to raise awareness of the issue of equal pay, aimed at encouraging women workers to challenge unfair treatment.
Mover: Graphical Paper and Media Union
Seconder: Manufacturing Science Finance
Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists
Congress is dismayed and alarmed by the recent civil disturbances in Oldham, Burnley, Bradford, Leeds and Stoke on Trent.
These disturbances illustrate the endemic racism that continues to blight communities across the UK.
Congress notes that the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination report on the UK (August 2000) continues to express concern about the UK and in particular a concern that the Government is failing to take the lead in sending out positive messages about asylum seekers and protecting them from racial harassment which has led to an increase in racial attacks against both asylum seekers and established black communities.
The Committee also noted with concern the continued high level of unemployment among ethnic minority groups. The Committee recommends that the Government intensify its efforts to ensure full enjoyment of all basic rights, without discrimination, giving particular attention to the rights to employment, education and training, housing and health. Congress calls on the Government to redouble efforts to urgently increase public sector investment in deprived inner city areas and to ensure that all public authorities implement effective anti-racist policies, particularly in recruitment and promotion practices.
However, Congress believes that, in order to ensure that the UK becomes a truly diverse and inclusive society, the Government needs to provide strong leadership in the struggle against racism by signing up to Article 14 of the UN Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which allows the right of individual petition.
Congress further calls upon the General Council to continue to encourage unions to support those fighting racism both in UK institutions and in local communities.
Seconder: Fire Brigades Union
Supporter: Association of University Teachers
Congress notes with concern the breakdown of positive community relations in many of our most disadvantaged areas, particularly those that have suffered rapid decline in manufacturing industry.
Congress welcomes the variety of new initiatives since 1997 which have sought to embed strategies for neighbourhood renewal and improved support services for young people. Congress further welcomes the increasing co-ordination of such initiatives at local and national level.
Congress remains concerned, however, that many new initiatives in working with young people and community groups involve short-term funding with no conditions to ensure that staff employed in new projects are properly qualified and paid according to nationally negotiated scales and pension schemes. Congress particularly notes that anti-racist work with young people and communities is an essential part of the recognised qualification training in this area.
Congress urges the Government to address the grave threat to the integral development of young people posed by insecurity and by the lies of extremist groups, and to work out a strategy, enlisting the full participation of trade unions, to restore community links and support to families affected by industrial change. Congress calls on the General Council to examine with government and local government the need to impose more rigorous conditions of grant aid and more strategic funding that will ensure the deployment of professional staff working to recognised ethical standards and longer term funding for community development.
Congress further calls on the General Council to progress as a matter of urgency in the coming year existing policies relating to the need for statutory youth service provision and the building of closer links between the trade union movement and the main organisations involved with community work and neighbourhood renewal.
Mover: The Community and Youth Workers Union
Seconder: ISTC - The community union
Congress welcomes the Governments impressive record in delivering low inflation, low unemployment and a long-term strategy for growth and stability.
However, these results have been attained when manufacturing is experiencing challenges. Manufacturing is vital to the success of the whole economy, directly providing over 4 million jobs, nearly a quarter of our GDP and over £150 billion in exports.
Congress congratulates the TUC on its campaign to defend jobs in manufacturing, in particular its defence of workers in Corus and Vauxhall.
Congress welcomes the co-ordination of action and solidarity between workers across Europe in defence of jobs in manufacturing challenging decisions made at a European level.
Congress believes that in this era of restructuring and global markets the Government needs an active industrial policy to support manufacturing in a climate of fast moving international capital.
Congress further believes that any national strategy for manufacturing must also be underpinned by targeted support for specific industries within the sector that are suffering from the current economic slowdown.
In addition Congress recognises that not all geographical regions within the UK enjoy similar levels of prosperity. Any strategy for manufacturing must look carefully at regional disparities.
Congress welcomes the Governments commitment to strengthening the Regional Development Agencies with the key role in delivering an active industrial strategy, and in improving regional competitiveness.
Congress accepts the reality that a factor in the demise of UK manufacturing is the failure to be as productive as many of our European counterparts and that a failure to improve productivity, through working in partnership with employers and increasing investment, will consign manufacturing to the gloomiest of futures.
Continuing productivity is necessary to encourage the level of increasing investment that the industry needs. Without continued financial support manufacturing industry will be unable to generate vital wealth creation in the economy.
Congress calls on the UK Government to:
i) develop an active industrial policy to support the growth of UK manufacturing, placing full employment in every region at the heart of strategy;
ii) extend R&D tax credits, and introduce measures to encourage long-term investment in UK capital markets and skills training;
iii) improve regulations to protect workers employed by companies who announce redundancies or plant closures, so that it is no longer cheaper and easier to sack British workers than in other European countries;
iv) sign up to the Directive on information and consultation and introduce effective information and consultation legislation together with stronger employment protections and legislative measures to develop a highly skilled and motivated workforce within manufacturing industries in the UK; and
v) develop the European system of partnership at all levels within the UK, with the involvement of employees, unions, employers and government.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
a) continue its campaign of support for manufacturing by promoting the positive impact upon productivity and competitiveness of a highly trained, involved and motivated workforce;
b) promote trade union membership and partnership as best practice in improving productivity;
c) stress the benefits of manufacturing in the UK and campaign for investment in manufacturing from employers, inward investors and government; and
d) continue its strong defence of manufacturing jobs in conjunction with the European trade union movement.
Mover: Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
Seconder: Transport and General Workers Union
Supporter: Graphical, Paper and Media Union
Congress believes that a national integrated transport system - taking in rail, bus, road, air and ships serving the needs of society and the public is urgently required.
Congress welcomes the Governments commitment to the British shipping industry, but is not convinced that new job opportunities will result from the steps taken so far. There must be development of employment protection policies similar to those adopted by other countries.
Congress calls on the Government to continue developing employment opportunities, for ratings in particular, as rapidly as possible, with both sides of the industry, and to explore the employment protection policies adopted by other countries to determine how they could be applied to bring about an end to 'social dumping'.
Congress welcomes the Cullen report into the Ladbroke Grove disaster and the report of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee into the railway industry, noting that they are a damning indictment of the private sectors involvement in what should be a publicly owned railway network that forms part of an integrated public transport system.
Congress reaffirms its commitment to public ownership and public accountability of the railways, and instructs the General Council to work with the rail unions in the 'Take Back the Track' campaign launched by ASLEF, the RMT and TSSA and endorses its central demand that Railtrack should be returned to the public sector, as a first step towards restoring the entire railway industry to an appropriate form of public ownership; in the interests of rail safety and the efficient management of an expanding rail network serving the national interest.
Congress notes the funds being paid to Railtrack for investment currently secure no direct return for the public. Public investment in Railtrack should secure ownership and control of the company: this would require no increase in the current expenditure plans.
Congress condemns the huge payouts to shareholders and top executives by Railtrack and other private railways companies. This is an abuse of taxpayers money, which should be directed towards maintenance and renewal of the network, the training of staff and the introduction of badly needed safety systems which could prevent further disasters.
Fragmentation of the network and putting profits before safety have been contributory factors to failures of the privatised system, the tragic accidents that have continued to occur, and reduced safety standards, as they would if the Private Public Partnership goes ahead on London Underground.
Congress believes that maintenance and renewal of the rail network should not be by contractors, or sub-contractors, who face constant pressure from Railtrack to cut costs and, by implication, standards. All of this work should be done by Railtracks own staff, and no further contracts should be signed with outside organisations.
A publicly owned Railtrack undertaking maintenance and renewal work itself, alongside a continuing independent role for the Rail Regulator, will help deliver the leadership and strategic direction the industry lacks.
For the same reasons, the re-franchising process for Train Operating Companies should not proceed at this time and should be put on hold until the full results of the Cullen Inquiry are known.
Congress reaffirms its concern over the European Unions policies on the separation of railway infrastructure and operations and expresses its concern at the European Commissions proposals to make public transport services subject to public procurement rules and the implications which this would have on workers in the transport industry, as well as on the operational and safety effectiveness of the services subsequently provided. Congress instructs the General Council to highlight the possible impact of the proposed Regulations and to press for their withdrawal, or for appropriate amendments to be made.
Congress resolves that the railways should feature as a significant part of any campaign to defend the public services and keep them in, or restore them to, the public sector, noting that the experience of railway privatisation is a vivid example of the crisis and disruption which flow from private, profit-driven ownership of such services.
Congress believes that where transfers of rail staff occur as a result of contract changes, they should be on the basis of enhanced TUPE Regulations which include full protection of pension rights, and instructs the General Council to campaign for such changes.
Congress calls upon the General Council to establish a Rail Transport Task Group to carry forward policy and campaigning on public transport issues and to better present the case for an integrated transport strategy.
Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Seconder: Transport Salaried Staffs Association
Supporter: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
Congress believes the Governments energy review is not a moment too soon and urges it to address non-market mechanisms to ensure a sensible mix in the countrys generating capacity for the medium term. Proper long-term planning is needed to manage the future fuel mix.
Bearing in mind that the last large coal fired electricity generating station (Drax) was commissioned more than 20 years ago and that in current circumstances it is unlikely that any new nuclear capacity can be commissioned in the short term, Congress remains concerned that the Governments energy policy objective of fuel diversity will be damaged.
Congress notes that in recent years a number of problems with alternative sources of energy have been experienced by electricity generators and in such circumstances coal has provided the additional power when needed. It also notes with concern the decline that has resulted, as a consequence, in the levels of coal stocks held by both coal producers and electricity generators.
Over the last 10 years CO2 emissions have actually risen, despite Kyoto, in all sections except manufacturing and electricity generation and the UK contribution to CO2 emission reductions is therefore entirely due to a once-only switch from coal to gas and nuclear generation.
Worse, the 25% of electricity currently generated by the nuclear industry with no CO2 emission will shortly start to fall until it is negligible by 2020, while gas supply will become more and more vulnerable.
At the same time, continuing pressure from the Regulator has fragmented the industry and driven down the value of companies - precisely the opposite policy to that pursued throughout the rest of the EU, so that it is becoming more and more difficult to raise capital for energy investment. This has led to cuts to investment, insecurity for employees and potential risks to safety and security of supply.
California is a ready example of what happens when energy liberalisation goes awry.
Given the differential economics of coal, nuclear and gas stations Congress believes an urgent priority for any Government will be to underwrite a programme of new clean coal power stations which would be environmentally benign and provide an opportunity for UK manufacturing to generate export earnings.
There is an urgent need for increased research and development across all energy sectors to maintain fuel diversity, meet emissions targets, and ensure that the UK is able to compete in the growing world market for environmental technologies.
Congress, therefore, asks the General Council to ensure that the review is comprehensive: that all relevant trade unions can have a full input into the review; that Government accepts that it cannot leave so significant a sector entirely to the market or the Regulator and that a real balance is absolutely essential between energy sources and suppliers if we are to have any hope of both meeting our obligation on CO2 emissions and maintaining a healthy economy.
Mover: Engineers and Managers Association
Supporters: Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
Institution of Professional, Managers and Specialists
Congress welcomes the steps the teachers union affiliates (ATL, NASUWT, NUT and UCAC) have, with TUC support, taken to strengthen liaison over policy and campaigning issues.
Congress further welcomes the fact that the four unions, at their annual conferences, passed resolutions in identical terms calling upon the Government to establish urgently an independent inquiry to carry out a thorough review of teachers' pay and conditions and any other relevant matters affecting the future of the education service.
Congress welcomes the review of workload established by the Government as a first step towards addressing the increasingly significant problems of teacher recruitment, retention and motivation and recognises this will have implications for other staff in schools.
Congress urges the Government to agree that the terms and conditions of teachers in England and Wales should be no less favourable than those in Scotland including a limit to the working week of 35 hours. Congress recognises there must be a complementary role for other members of the education team and calls on the Government to support proposals to build the education infrastructure.
Congress further believes that the recruitment and retention of teachers necessary to end the teacher shortage crisis requires an independent and unfettered review of teachers' pay.
"Congress also notes the significant contribution of Soulbury officers to the improvements of educational opportunities for our children and young people. To ensure the necessary recruitment and retention of those officers, Congress believes it is necessary to re-establish the various linkages between the pay of Soulbury professionals and head teachers."
Mover: Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Seconder: National Union of Teachers
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
Association of Educational Psychologists
Congress welcomes the second Labour Government's commitment to Lifelong Learning, and its rejection of 'spin'.
However, Congress is concerned at the continuance of policies which by pursuit of inappropriate private funding measures, excessive reliance on business interventions, and misleading multiple media 'launches' of new initiatives, jeopardise the achievement of the Government's own key objectives and mask the continuing neglect of core funding for the structure of post-school education.
Congress asserts that our universities, colleges and adult education are part of the public service, for which the Government must take prime responsibility, providing continuing planned resources, to restore and maintain their capacity to deliver Government targets. This will only be achieved by a sustained, transparent and consistent funding regime which:
i) tackles past under-funding;
ii) properly values all staff, rather than scapegoating them for failed Government initiatives;
iii) creates a level playing field between colleges and 6th forms, new and old universities without reduction in real terms' funding in any sector;
iv) works more creatively to open access, targeting under-represented social groups and improving student financial support;
v) improves democratic, accountable regional planning and co-ordination;
vi) builds a genuine learning society, relevant to everyone's needs and aspirations;
vii) develops long-term planning, and
viii) involves education staff in the process.
Congress asserts that the role of private finance and business personnel in education is secondary to the creation of a publicly funded, publicly accountable education system, which is not mortgaged to the private sector or contingent on the interests of private capital.
In addition, an essential requirement for an effective post-16 system is the stimulation of increased demand for training from employers. Congress believes this can be achieved by application of a sector-based statutory framework providing for financial incentives supporting companies that train and penalising those that do not.
Congress expresses its disappointment at the lack of sufficient representation of teacher and lecturer unions on local and national learning and skills councils. Congress instructs the General Council to maintain and expand co-ordination on LSCs between affiliates through a working group.
Mover: NATFHE - The University & College Lecturers Union
Seconder: Graphical, Paper and Media Union
Supporter: National Union of Teachers
Congress expresses concern at increasing disengagement from political processes by citizens perceiving that government is neither accountable nor responsive to local and regional concerns, reflected in the low General Election turnout.
Congress notes the commitment in the Labour Party's Election Manifesto to develop Regional Assemblies in England and expresses concern that this commitment was absent from the Queen's Speech. However, the Government is committed to consultation and Congress welcomes the Government's undertaking to legislate for regional assemblies where there is public support.
Congress believes that all regions require an autonomous democratic voice in line with those in most other European countries. The establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland and Welsh Assemblies have provided the communities they serve with a voice and with powers to assist them to develop and sustain their local economies, support their industrial base and tackle employment issues. Congress believes that England, without similar structures, could be disadvantaged within Europe.
Regional Assemblies would provide a means to determine regional priorities for action and implementation taking into account the needs of the region concerned. The issues to be dealt with will include employment, public services, manufacturing, skills training, regional planning, transport and infrastructure. Congress recognises that the development of such regional strategies by Assemblies would help TUC affiliates to further the interests of their members and their families.
Congress demands legislative time to enact this important democratic agenda and looks forward to engaging constructively in the consultative process on the legislation.
Congress agrees to develop a co-ordinated policy to influence the debate on the future of regional government including regional assemblies, following the decision to split regional policies between at least three government departments after the 2001 general election.
Congress agrees that TUC policy should highlight:
i) the benefit of devolved policy-making and delivery of public services, providing better frameworks for their reform and enhancement
ii) making lifelong learning a reality, providing access for all across local areas;
iii) providing opportunities for localised joined-up government, giving citizens easier access to quality services, protecting and enhancing employment; and
iv) the principle of decentralising power to the lowest level thereby reconnecting citizens to government by increasing participation in elections and other democratic processes with citizens able to identify the impact of their vote on public service delivery in their areas.
Congress instructs the General Council to establish a working party to undertake the following work, reporting back to the Council by April 2002:
a) organise a major policy forum involving trade unions, politicians and other relevant domestic and international organisations to identify opportunities and barriers to delivering regional government, ways of engaging union members and citizens in the process and establishing partnership opportunities between the participants to progress the agenda;
b) commission qualitative research amongst unions and citizens to examine ways of reconnecting people to political and democratic processes; and
c) produce a TUC strategy for unions to use to influence political debate on regional government, highlighting opportunities for meeting unions, government and public agendas.
Mover: Manufacturing Science Finance
Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union
Association of First Division Civil Servants
Congress notes there is an urgent need to increase the positive public profile of trade unions in Britain.
Congress calls upon the General Council to embark upon a memorable national TV advertising campaign similar to that recently organised by UNISON.
As part of the campaign the General Council should highlight the many successes and achievements of the TUC and affiliated unions, including the victory to secure holiday rights for all workers from day one of their employment, the introduction of a national minimum wage, the campaign on paternity and maternity leave and pay.
In addition, consideration should be given to the publication of a guide to workers rights, with a synopsis of key employment legislation affecting UK workers. This should also include a section focussing on recent changes resulting from Britain's continuing membership of the EU.
Congress agrees there will be a significant cost to this campaign and agrees that affiliates should be asked to contribute proportionately.
Recognising that young workers will be a crucial target audience for such a campaign, Congress agrees that it should include use of a single gateway telephone number to ensure anyone wanting to join a union can do so without needing to know in advance the appropriate union for their workplace.
It will be important to evaluate the success of the campaign. The General Council must therefore establish appropriate ways of testing and tracking the impact of the campaign among, in particular, target groups such as young people.
Mover: Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union
Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union
Congress calls on the New Labour Government to repeal all anti-union laws introduced since 1979 to date and introduce positive trade union rights in line with ILO Conventions and the United Nations Charter. Congress also declares its full support for all trade unions who adopt a policy of non-compliance with laws which have been designed to render trade union rule books ineffective, thereby denying the democratic rights of trade union members.
Mover: National Union of Mineworkers
NOTE: All motions not listed above were remitted to the General Council as a result of the early closure of Congress following the terrorist atrocities in the United States. The General Council will consider these remitted motions and circulate their response to all unions through the TUC MAIL .
Report (9,500 words) issued 28 Sep 2001
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printed 19 June 2013 at 16:30 hrs by 220.127.116.11