Congress Decisions 2006

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Congress Decisions 2006

Listed below are the decisions taken by the 2006 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 or Emergency Motion.

This document also includes those General Council statements not already included in the General Council Report and the result of nominations and elections to the General Council and General Purposes Committee for the Congress Year 2006 - 2007.

Resolutions Carried

4 Strengthening workplace democracy

Congress deplores the archaic form of dictatorship, under the guise of management prerogative, which often prevails in workplaces.

Congress notes this is tempered only by recognised union representatives accountable to their members, and expects this essentially democratic function to be reinforced by government.

Congress resolves to prioritise a campaign for workplace representatives (including health and safety and union learning reps) to have:

i) stronger statutory rights to paid facility time and facilities, including the removal of barriers to part-time workers' involvement and unequivocal rights for elected national negotiators to attend national negotiations;

ii) statutory rights to negotiate on pensions, training and equality - including the right to request an equality audit of employers' employment practice;

iii) information on good practice and legal rights through TUC Education (unionlearn), including the argument for a Trade Union Freedom Bill a century after the 1906 Trades Disputes Act;

iv) access to groups of non-union members to explain the benefits of union membership; and

v) the right to establish workplace education and training committees and meet members to discuss training requirements.

Congress will:

a) campaign for public sector bodies to set an example by adopting some of these measures immediately;

b) approach the Government to secure at least two trade union representatives on learning and skills bodies and post-16 college and university governing bodies;

c) encourage unions to develop their lifelong learning policies in partnership with public sector universities and colleges; and

d) oppose privatisation and cuts in courses.

University and College Union

10 TUPE regulations

Congress welcomes the recent changes to the TUPE regulations (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2005).

However, Congress is concerned that the exemption to make fair dismissals for 'economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reasons' is so broadly defined that, in essence, it provides a 'catch all' opportunity for employers to dismiss in transfer situations. Congress calls upon the General Council to open discussions with the Government with a view to abolishing circumstances where an ETO reason may apply.

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

11 Redundancy law

Congress believes that current redundancy laws lack clarity, are not strong enough to ensure meaningful consultation with trade unions and do not provide sufficient protection or compensation for affected staff. Congress notes that a particular weakness is the lack of any duty to consult collectively if fewer than 20 redundancies are proposed. Congress also notes that some employers fail to begin consultations as soon as redundancies are contemplated and have little intention of reaching agreement through a process of meaningful consultation.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to seek changes in existing legislation to ensure that redundancy laws are made more transparent, and in particular that collective and individual rights in redundancy situations are improved.

Association for College Management

12 Irish Ferries

Congress notes with concern the events surrounding the Irish Ferries dispute last year and congratulates the Irish unions for ensuring, through the settlement to the dispute, that the Irish minimum wage will apply to migrant workers on Irish Ferries' ships. Congress condemns the company's attempts forcibly to replace British and Irish seafarers with low-cost, non-resident labour (paid at less than UK/Eire rates), and notes with particular concern the use of uniformed security guards in an attempt to end a sit-in by crew members and to remove them from the ships.

Whilst congratulating the TUC on its work to address the exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers, Congress highlights the lack of similar protection for workers on merchant ships and calls for particular attention to be given to this special area. Recognising the importance of the ferry sector for the employment of British and Irish seafarers, Congress calls on the Government to act to prevent the exploitation of such crews by rigorously enforcing ILO convention requirements on employment conditions and to protect the EU maritime skills base by ensuring that all seafarers working on UK ferries or ferries trading regularly between the UK and other EU member states have terms and conditions that are compatible with both member states, irrespective of the flag of the vessel.

National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress believes the exploitation of foreign national seafarers on UK ships and in UK waters also needs to be addressed by the removal of the seafarers' exemption contained within the Race Relations Act 1976 and by ensuring that such seafarers are no longer exempt from the national minimum wage.'

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

13 Penalties for failure to implement statutory provisions

Congress believes that the failure of employers to implement statutory provisions affecting employees working conditions is becoming increasingly common. Congress asserts that it should not be the responsibility of the individual employee to engage in lengthy and costly litigation to ensure the implementation of statute.

Congress calls upon the Government to provide an effective and efficient mechanism whereby employers who fail to implement legislation are put on notice and subject to a substantial fine and/or custodial sentence if they do not comply.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

14 Flexible working

Congress welcomes the recommendations of the Women and Work Commission. Congress notes the emphasis on flexible working and agrees that promoting access to flexible working is one of the most effective ways of tackling occupational segregation and raising the status of part-time work.

Congress is also aware that many workers need to care for their children before or after school but are unable to agree working hours that enable them to do so. Parents are also legally responsible for ensuring their child attends school and can be prosecuted if their child is persistently absent, yet may struggle to take personal responsibility for their child's school attendance whilst needing to attend their paid work at the same time.

As a result, in their efforts to balance their contractual duties with their parental responsibilities, parents of school-age children often find themselves caught up in disciplinary action or falling foul of sickness absence procedures because ultimately the care of their children has to take priority.

Therefore, Congress calls upon the General Council to:

i) lobby Government to stand by its expressed intention of extending the right to request flexible working to all parents of dependent children and to implement this as a matter of urgency;

ii) continue to commission research into working-time flexibility and circulate best practice amongst affiliates; and

iii) work with affiliates in building the business case for the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new sub-paragraph ii) and re-number subsequent sub-paragraphs:

'ii) remind the Government that its drive to raise achievement of those pupils who are currently least successful needs the active support of parents. Many of these are restricted in offering support because of lack of flexibility in their working arrangements;'

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

15 Equality reps

Congress believes that discrimination on grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, age and religion or belief still persists in many UK workplaces. Congress welcomes the Government's Discrimination Law Review and urges the Government to use this opportunity to strengthen and improve anti-discrimination laws. Congress also believes that in addition to strong legislation, effective collective bargaining and union representation are the best means of tackling discrimination at work. In order to be able to deliver on equality and discrimination issues at work unions need to have representatives who are dedicated to promoting equality and trained to handle discrimination issues. These representatives should also be an integral part of unions' negotiating teams on all workplace issues, not marginalized.

To this end, Congress welcomes the recommendation of the Women and Work Commission to provide £5 million for a capacity building exercise for union equality representatives. Congress urges the Government to ensure that a ring-fenced grant allocation of £5 million is provided within the Union Modernisation Fund budget and that separate and specific criteria are devised, in consultation with the TUC, for grant applications.

Congress additionally calls on the General Council to co-ordinate union applications for money for equality representatives capacity building so that the best possible spread of activities is organised and the case is made for moving equality representatives onto a statutory footing, so that they have guaranteed access to paid facility time.

Nationwide Group Staff Union

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress further calls for full funding for the implementation of all the recommendations of the Women and Work Commission, and for the EOC, in order to meet its additional duties as required by the Women and Work Commission, prior to the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.'

napo - the Trade Union and Professional Association for Family Court and Probation Staff

16 Violence against women

Congress deplores the problem of violence against women and girls within the UK and around the world.

Congress asserts that violence against women is an affront to human rights, a blight on civil society and undermines equality, social justice and democracy.

Congress welcomes the constructive development of international campaigns, such as the International Day Against Violence Against Women led by Amnesty International and a coalition of women's organisations and trade unions.

Congress re-affirms its opposition to all forms of violence against women and calls on the General Council to:

i) lobby the Government to establish a cross-departmental working group, involving trade unions and women's organisations, to establish a coherent national strategy to end all forms of violence against women and girls in the UK;

ii) ensure the fullest participation of all TUC affiliates in the international campaign to end violence against women;

iii) work with affiliates to develop and disseminate campaigning and organizing materials to help stop violence against women and to increase workplace and public awareness on this issue; and

iv) compile evidence on the impact of violence against women and girls on their educational access and participation, employment and careers.

TUC Women's Conference (exempt from 250 word limit)

17 Valuing trade union race equality committees

Congress believes that more must be done to ensure the voice of black workers is heard throughout the trade union movement and congratulates all TUC affiliates who have strong and effective race equality committees - the T&GWU, for example, is proud of its democratic, constitutional, national and regional race structures, made up of elected lay delegates from across the union.

Congress also fully recognises that due to continual barriers in workplace, branch and industrial structures, race committees have been pivotal in ensuring the involvement of black members.

Congress believes that the progressive work of union race equality structures is central to growing trade unionism amongst black and migrant workers, and in challenging racism and fascism. It is vitally important for black members to come together to set the agenda for advancing race equality in the workplace and unions to play a full role in organising diverse workers. Congress must also have rules to ensure that black members are represented at all levels of unions.

Congress calls upon the General Council to promote the value of constitutional race equality committees and rules to tackle under-representation in effecting real change for black workers and to highlight this in the next TUC Equality Audit.

TUC Black Workers' Conference (exempt from 250 word limit)

18 Islamophobia and racism

Congress is anxious to counter the growing culture of Islamophobia as another manifestation of racism, which is borne out of a transatlantic agenda for the Middle East and the consequent terrorist atrocities of recent years. In the workplace the impact of this can be corrosive on relationships and it impacts on Asian communities as a whole. Fear and ignorance breeds prejudice and prejudice is undiscerning. Many innocent people suffer as a result. It is every bit as important that we combat racism, fear and prejudice as it is that we combat terrorism.

Congress, therefore, calls upon the General Council to:

i) encourage affiliated unions to share and promote good practices aimed at countering Islamophobia in the workplace, as part of their anti-racist strategies; and

ii) use these examples to promote a similar sense of responsibility amongst employers such that a joint approach to this aspect of racism and discrimination may be developed - one that is inclusive and which values racial, religious and cultural diversity.

napo - the Trade Union and Professional Association for Family Court and Probation Staff

The following AMENDMENTS were accepted

Insert new second paragraph:

'Congress notes that the fascist BNP made the promotion of Islamophobia a key plank of its election campaign.'

Add new sub-paragraph iii):

'iii) continue to support campaigning against the BNP as a priority in the coming year.'

Communication Workers' Union

Add new sub-paragraph iii):

'iii) ensure Islamophobia and racism plays no part in the sentencing of offenders and is given a zero tolerance in the criminal justice system.'


19 Deportation of children of asylum seekers

Congress is concerned that the processes for deportation of 'failed' asylum seekers do not take into account the needs of the families of asylum seekers and the communities of which they have been a part during their residence in the United Kingdom. Congress is aware of the damaging emotional and psychological effects on children, both those of asylum seekers and those children of UK citizens who have become their friends, brought about by the sudden deportation of asylum seeker families. Congress expresses its concern about the additional psychological demands this process places on children who will already have had significant traumatic experiences prior to their arrival in the United Kingdom. Congress further notes that the deportation of the children of asylum seekers is contrary to the guiding principles of the Government's strategy for children Every Child Matters.

Congress instructs the General Council to investigate further the effects of this experience on children in our communities and to make representation to the Government to ensure that the needs of children and their communities become important criteria in the consideration of requests for residence by asylum seekers and that these are fully taken into account in any decision- making.

Association of Educational Psychologists

20 Access to Work and the public sector

Congress notes with alarm the proposal to withdraw the Access to Work scheme from public bodies, and calls on the TUC to campaign against this. The scheme provides vital support to disabled people in employment and its withdrawal would certainly add to the unacceptable proportion of disabled people excluded from work. There would be a loss of valuable skills to public bodies and a contradiction with their statutory duty to promote equality would be created.

Congress further notes the incompatibility between this proposal and the Government's professed objective of transferring large numbers of disabled people from dependence on benefits to employment. These inconsistencies demonstrate the increasing gap between the political rhetoric of inclusion and the resources necessary to make inclusion a practical reality. They also highlight a worrying lack of 'joined up government' that will further compound the social and economic disadvantages already faced by disabled people.

TUC Disability Conference (exempt from 250 word limit)

21 Remploy

Congress welcomes the advances, under Labour, in getting more disabled people into work, but recognises that real progress has been slow.

A decade after the Disability Discrimination Act became law disabled people are still twice as likely to be out of work as non-disabled people.

Congress is concerned that discrimination by many employers is rampant and this is why many disabled people are not working.

Congress recognises the supportive environment that Remploy factories offer to disabled people, when run well.

Congress acknowledges that although the Remploy Review has caused uncertainty and widespread anxiety to our members, it has afforded us the opportunity to show the Remploy management structure as bureaucratic and lacking accountability. It has also allowed us to highlight the low level of commitment and professionalism of certain key management positions.

Congress regrets that the terms of reference set for the Remploy Review were based on flawed unit cost comparisons contained in the National Audit Office report.

Congress rejects arguments that Remploy's factory-based businesses are unsustainable and is firmly opposed to Remploy becoming an employment agency at the expense of its manufacturing businesses.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) support the campaign to defend Remploy factories from closures;

ii) lobby the Government to make the businesses profitable and streamline the top-heavy management to create even more jobs for disabled people; and

iii) lobby Government to ensure Remploy factories benefit from positive procurement strategies.


26 TUPE and pensions

Congress notes that the TUPE Regulations in the UK still do not make any requirement for the provision of comparable rather than minimum pensions for transferred employees.

Congress reaffirms its view that the protection of workers' pensions is essential in the UK's excessively flexible labour market. In the light of this, Congress condemns the view expressed by the Chief Executive of the National Association of Pension Funds that employers should be able retrospectively to reduce benefits in final salary schemes and notes that this is a completely inappropriate and unacceptable policy position for an organisation with a pro-pension mandate.

Congress calls on the General Council to continue campaigning to protect workers pensions and specifically to seek an amendment to the TUPE Regulations to require the provision of comparable pensions for transferred employees.

Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

27 Manufacturing

Congress expresses its concern at the crisis in manufacturing industry, with tens of thousands of job losses and the threatened closure of factories from Peugeot Ryton to HP Sauce.

At the present rate, and with the growth of China and India as industrial powers, manufacturing will disappear in Britain within the next twenty years, to the detriment of the country's economic health and the security, living standards and job opportunities of working people.

In no other European country would industry face such difficulties without government assistance and Congress believes that there is an urgent need to rehabilitate the idea of state intervention to help ensure that balanced economic development challenges prevailing free-market dogma.

The admission by the President of General Motors Europe that it is easier to sack British workers because of the flexible labour market reaffirms the need to bring UK law into line with the consultation obligations of the EU Directive on Collective Redundancies.

Congress therefore instructs the General Council to campaign for pro-active government policies including:

i) public sector purchasing designed to support UK jobs;

ii) the state to identify 'manufacturing champions' and, where necessary, use public funds to take a stake in such companies and support as appropriate;

iii) legally binding commitments to refund any aid received by an employer that decides to relocate or close; and

iv) preventing companies relocating without first consulting in depth with their employees and the local community alternatives.

Transport and General Workers' Union

The following AMENDMENTS were accepted

Add paragraph at end of the motion:

'Congress urges the Government to make the regeneration of British manufacturing a primary national goal to be taken into account in all national economic, trade, energy, and foreign policy decisions and to ensure that British manufacturers can compete on equal terms with counterparts in other EU countries.'


Insert new paragraph 2:

'Congress is also concerned with the impact of privatisation that has directly resulted in the demise of the nation's railway traction and rolling stock manufacturing capability. This is in spite of the railways being subsidised heavily by the taxpayer.'

Insert new sub-paragraph ii) and re-number existing paragraphs:

'ii) measures to reverse the demise of the indigenous railway manufacturing industry;'

Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

28 Science

Congress recognises that science and technology play a key role in underpinning economic success and in delivering wider societal benefits. Yet despite the high profile given to science and innovation through the Treasury's ten-year investment framework, science for the national good is under threat.

World-leading research programmes, including into breast cancer, agri-engineering and animal diseases, have been closed. Research on the impacts of climate change, pollution and biodiversity currently faces substantial cuts.

It is not in the national interest to close down so much work of practical application, peer-reviewed for quality, and providing direct support for the UK's international commitments on climate change and the environment. It also puts the UK at real risk of being unable to respond when the next major crisis occurs.

Congress is concerned that there is no effective central oversight for the health of the nation's science base. Policy management and decision-making have become very fragmented and lack strategic coherence.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to campaign for a joined-up approach to science policy-making that recognises the value of public sector science. This must include designated ministerial responsibility and authority for:

i) exercising effective powers of scrutiny over proposals to close research facilities and publishing their findings on a timely basis;

ii) establishing a database of public sector scientific capability, including collecting, analysing and reporting on annual returns of scientists employed by government, their location and areas of expertise; and

iii) taking forward a strategy to maintain and enhance the science skills base.


30 Bank holidays

Congress welcomes the Government's recent announcement to treat public holidays as an addition to the 20 days' annual leave entitlement in the Working Time Directive, but is concerned that workers will have to wait up to three years before the eight days' additional leave is fully implemented.

Congress notes that approximately one million of the UK's worst paid and poorly treated workers stand to benefit from the addition of bank holidays to statutory paid holiday entitlement.

Congress rejects any proposal that would lead to this increased entitlement to be offset against future increases in national minimum wage levels because low wage workers are those most likely to benefit from the additional holidays.

Given the commitment made in the Government's manifesto to exclude bank holidays from the minimum holiday requirements of the Working Time Directive, Congress believes that this commitment should be implemented in full with effect no later than from 1 October 2007 and should not be subject to a phased approach over the next three years.


34 Accountability and standards in public service

Congress recognises a continuing decline of public trust in governance at all levels. Reasons for this include behaviour that flouts ethical standards, and confusion about effective accountability of both elected politicians and public servants. The prevalent culture of scapegoating compounds this confusion, when the response to the emergence of problems in policy or service delivery is often to demand the sacking of individuals rather than seek to understand the complexity of how services are best designed and delivered.

Congress therefore believes it important that all in public office uphold the highest ethical standards, and that there should be a clearer understanding of the respective accountability of politicians and individual public servants. Politicians should be prepared to acknowledge their own responsibility for the policy framework and delivery of services within the provision of adequate resources whilst acknowledging the professionalism and expertise of public servants.

Congress urges the General Council to foster public debate about how to ensure fair and meaningful accountability that recognises both the rights of politicians and public servants and also provides effective mechanisms to hold individuals to account, and help reassure the public, when problems emerge.

Whilst welcoming the revised Civil Service Code (which offers greater clarity about the rights and responsibilities of individual civil servants) Congress calls for comparable changes to the Ministerial Code. Congress further reaffirms its support for a Civil Service Act which will give statutory force to the values and ethos of the civil service and the accountability of civil servants.


35 National register of assaults on public sector workers

Congress believes that there continues to be justifiable, deep concern about the number of public sector workers who are subject to physical and verbal abuse in the course of their work.

Congress asserts that although numerous strategies have been adopted at local and national level to seek to address these, they have failed to resolve the problem because one of the major barriers to effective targeting of action to protect staff is the absence of accurate, national data on the nature and incidence of such assaults. In local authorities many individual workplace-based records of assaults on the workforce are not passed to the local authority and those that are referred are not reported or recorded in a standardised way.

Congress calls upon the General Council to campaign for a national, public register of incidents, updated annually, of verbal and physical abuse in each of the public services. Further the General Council should press the Government to require standardised record keeping and a statutory requirement for referral to the national register by local employers. Penalties and remedies for non-compliance should also be devised.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress notes that budget cuts increase the risk of assaults and that current legal avenues do not provide redress to injured workers. Congress agrees to launch a campaign for adequate staffing levels and for the introduction into law of a new offence of assaulting civil/public servants during their work.'

Public and Commercial Services Union

36 Regional pay in the public sector

Congress regrets the remarks made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a CBI dinner on 5th June about doing more to encourage local and regional pay in the public sector.

Such a move would:

i) erode the genuine efforts being made to introduce pay systems based on equal pay for work of equal value into the public sector;

ii) undermine the integrity of existing national pay review bodies; and

iii) introduce significant inefficiencies into the public sector by replacing unified, national bargaining arrangements with many hundreds of local negotiations.

The decision of the Chancellor to make his announcement in this way was also counterproductive to established partnership working with trade unions in the public sector.

Congress acknowledges the difficulties of working in high cost areas of the UK, the solutions for which go wider than pay. Congress calls on the TUC to support affiliates to engage constructively in addressing these difficulties rather than going down the dead alley of local and regional pay.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

The following AMENDMENTS were accepted

Insert new paragraph 4:

'Congress opposes moves to devolve the pay of teachers in Wales to the Welsh Assembly Government, resulting in worse pay and conditions for those teachers. Congress also supports efforts to seek pay and conditions for teachers in Northern Ireland that are comparable to England and Wales.'

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Add at end:

'Congress calls on the General Council to:

a) raise these concerns with the Government at the earliest opportunity;

b) provide research assistance to affiliates on the development of local/regional pay in the public services; and

c) provide political support to those affiliates seeking the retention or introduction of national pay.'

Fire Brigades' Union

37 Fire and rescue service strategic planning

Congress notes with concern that the 'modernisation' agenda within the fire and rescue service appears to be focused on cost-cutting and reducing levels of emergency cover rather than on genuine improvement.

The Buncefield oil refinery explosion and fire in Hertfordshire was the biggest peace time conflagration since the Second World War, requiring resources and assistance from numerous United Kingdom fire and rescue services and other emergency services.

This incident, along with incidents such as the July 2005 bombings, clearly demonstrates the need for new national standards of emergency response, capable of dealing with three simultaneous 'New Dimension' type incidents in geographically different locations in the UK; as well as the need for strategic planning for all incidents at a local and regional level. Such strategic planning must involve fire and rescue services, and other services likely to be involved. It must also ensure that local democratic accountability is maintained.

The current national framework and guidance for fire and rescue service 'integrated risk management planning' does not adequately take account of such needs. This weakens the ability of the service to respond to incidents requiring a regional, supra-regional or national level response.

Congress calls on the Government to address this matter urgently in consultation with fire and rescue service employers, the FBU, and the public and to ensure sufficient investment is made available to individual fire and rescue services to ensure that they are able to plan, control, manage and deliver the appropriate emergency response to all incidents on all occasions.

Fire Brigades' Union

42 NHS Breast Screening Programme

Congress welcomes recent advances in the treatment of breast cancer such as herceptin and notes the vital role unions played in supporting their members so that decisions on prescribing the drug were made on clinical grounds and not on cost.

Congress applauds the tremendous work of radiographers and other NHS staff in making the NHS Breast Screening Programme - which saves 1400 lives a year - so successful.

Congress notes this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Forrest report which led to the founding of the NHS Breast Screening Programme and calls on the TUC's General Council to back Breakthrough Breast Cancer's new campaign to improve the effectiveness of the screening programme.

Congress recognises that in line with the recommendations of experts, the NHS breast screening programme aims to screen eligible women once every three years but, in reality, too many women are forced to wait longer. Congress further recognises the main reason for these delays is often a lack of capacity in the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

Congress notes there are a growing number of women becoming eligible for breast screening, and that the Government expects this increase to peak in 2015, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in women aged 50 to 70, in England, between 2005 and 2025. Congress calls on the TUC General Council to support Breakthrough's campaign to ensure the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review increases the capacity of the NHS Breast Screening Programme to meet this demographic challenge.

Society of Radiographers

43 Obesity crisis

Congress remains acutely concerned about the escalating obesity crisis in the country, particularly regarding children who are now affected.

Congress calls on the General Council vigorously to campaign for the following steps to be taken to tackle this problem:

i) increase support for local food projects that contribute positively to nutritional status and increase skills and confidence among young people;

ii) ensure a drastic reduction in targeted advertising of 'less healthy' foods to children;

iii) encourage manufacturers and retailers to promote 'healthy foods' to the public;

iv) encourage manufacturers and retailers to provide a consistent and clear approach to labelling foods (signposting);

v) highlight the dangers of 'special offer' promotions that encourage the purchase of large quantities of high calorie/high fat foods for children and also lead to excessive alcohol consumption amongst adolescents and young children;

vi) seek an improvement in nutrition education in schools by supporting healthier food choices, re-introducing cooking skills within the national curriculum, teaching young people about healthy eating and how to understand food labelling; and

vii) promote healthy eating campaigns through workplaces to benefit the health of workers and to support them in guiding their children towards healthier eating patterns.

British Dietetic Association

44 Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

Congress welcomes the recommendations of the Zahid Mubarek Inquiry. Congress recognises the work already done by the POA, NAPO, PCS and all criminal justice unions to ensure that the criminal justice system continues to address racism and discrimination in all its forms.

Congress demands that the Government adopts a rigorous zero-tolerance approach to racism and violence amongst the prison population.

Further, Government should provide all the resources required to ensure appropriate treatment, therapy and care is given to all offenders who have mental health aspects to their criminal behaviour.

Congress expresses its heartfelt condolences to the Mubarek family following the preventable murder of Zahid and pledges to campaign in his honour to ensure that prisons are improved, made safe and are free from discrimination.


47 Early years education

Congress urges the General Council to ask the Government to:

i) re-consider the current plans for the curriculum for early years children, which represent an over-prescriptive and formal curriculum for reception-aged children;

ii) take into account the progressive experience of Wales in the New Foundation Stage and also the Scandinavian experience of countries such as Finland in the planning and implementation of an early years curriculum; and

iii) take account of current psychological knowledge and research into child development and learning.

Association of Educational Psychologists

48 Class size

Congress notes that the UK has some of the largest class size averages across the European Union and further notes that existing research evidence suggests that reducing class size can play a significant part in improving attainment, pupil motivation and pupil behaviour.

Congress also believes that children learn better and that teaching conditions are enhanced in classes with smaller numbers of pupils. Reducing class sizes is also of particular advantage to children in the early years of education, assists with social inclusion and allows for a greater level of pupil/teacher interaction.

Congress, in particular, welcomes the recent announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer committing a future Government to match the per-capita spending on public education with that in the private sector. This should ensure that class sizes are reduced in the public sector to bring them into line with those in private schools.

Congress, therefore, calls on the present Government to ensure that the necessary resources are available to the appropriate UK and devolved authorities to allow class sizes to be reduced in all publicly funded schools in the United Kingdom.

Educational Institute of Scotland

49 Local authority support for schools

Congress recognises the important functions undertaken by local authorities and related agencies in working with local schools to achieve a range of key educational objectives, including:

i) a broader and more flexible 14-19 curriculum;

ii) the provision of valuable in-service professional development opportunities for classroom teachers;

iii) effective external support for schools causing concern, to improve their performance;

iv) holistic child development via closer links between formal education and other children's services;

v) facilitation of sustainable inter-school networks and collaboratives; and

vi) specialist advice for schools via ICT, SEN, ethnic minority achievement, early years and other dedicated support services, to raise standards of attainment.

Congress acknowledges that these functions require the deployment of highly trained educational improvement and children's services development professionals. Indeed, Congress favours systematic investment in professional learning and development at all levels of the education workforce, to ensure high-quality service delivery, at all times, in the interests of the nation's children. Congress, therefore, urges the Government to maintain and enhance its encouragement of the National Standards for Educational Improvement Professionals, originally launched by the DfES in 2003, and to support the professional accreditation of educational improvement and related staffs and consultants, based on these national standards.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

In sub-paragraph ii), replace 'classroom teachers' with 'school workforce'.

Insert new sub-paragraph v) and renumber sub-paragraphs accordingly:

'v) intervening to tackle poor performance by schools in the management of the workforce;'

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

52 'Journalism Matters'

Congress welcomes the launch of the NUJ's Journalism Matters campaign, which aims to highlight the important role journalism can play in promoting democratic participation in local communities and across the UK.

Congress condemns the actions of those media and publishing companies who are axing frontline newsgathering and specialist reporters, closing editions, reducing news pages, marginalizing public service programmes and cutting editorial budgets whilst posting record profits and increased shareholder dividends.

Congress believes the result of such cuts is to reduce local and specialist media coverage, leading to a detrimental effect on local communities, public knowledge and democratic participation.

Congress calls on the Government to investigate the operation of regional monopolies in the local newspaper industry which act against the citizens' interest, and the failure of OFCOM to maintain and strengthen public service broadcasting across the ITV regions.

Congress urges affiliates to back local Journalism Matters initiatives with the aim of pressuring local media to invest in and promote rather than cut back newsgathering resources.

Congress believes the Government should consider urgent action to promote greater plurality in media as a step towards encouraging greater democratic participation.

National Union of Journalists

53 Status of the artist

Numerous government ministers have cited the UK creative industries as a means to combat the threat that our traditional manufacturing industries face from the new economic giants of China and India. Congress agrees that support and encouragement for the 'creative economy' will be beneficial and provide us with effective means by which we can compete on a global scale in the 21st century.

However, Congress is concerned that the support for the creative industries will ignore the status of the actual creators who provide the essential raw material for these industries. Congress, therefore, calls upon the UK Government to examine the UNESCO Status of the Artist Treaty (1980) and the subsequent recommendations resulting from a review of the status of the artist in 1997. These international instruments address many aspects of this sector's status including tax and national insurance, pensions and, most importantly, they recognise these individuals' right to come together to form their own trade unions to negotiate and set minimum terms and conditions and to promulgate other basic rights that are essential to the well-being of all workers, no matter what employment relationship they have.

UNESCO has recognised the unique contribution that creative workers make to society; the UK Government should embrace its work and ensure a secure future for these workers if they want to encourage and expand our country's creative capacity.

Musicians' Union

54 New technology and payments to performers

Congress recognises that new technology is revolutionising how many people consume music, films, radio and television programmes.

These exciting developments mean that high quality sound and images can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on a range of devices. Even traditional TV viewing is changing, with the Government confirming the switch to digital between 2008 and 2012.

Congress supports the right of performers and other rights holders to share in the success of their work, by receiving ongoing payments for the use of their work.

Trade unions must continue to have a central role in this process by reaching collective agreements with broadcasters and producers achieving rights under contract.

However, Congress also calls upon Government to create a framework that provides more support to the creators who are essential to the UK's creative industries.

As a result Congress calls upon the Government to take measures to improve the current legal framework:

i) introduce a levy on recordable media and associated devices, coupled with a broader exemption for fair use by consumers;

ii) confirm support for an international audiovisual treaty on performers' rights through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO);

iii) extend the current term of copyright protection on sound recordings and performers rights; and

iv) implement the manifesto commitment to work with industry to address the threat of piracy.

Congress calls upon the Government to implement these policies both through its review of the UK intellectual property framework and in its discussions with the European Commission regarding its review of EU copyright legislation.


55 Public funding for theatre

Congress supports public funding for the arts and theatre in the UK. Theatre in this country is hugely popular and the envy of the world - based on a strong tradition of public subsidy enriching the nation's cultural health.

Public support for theatre makes sense artistically due to its intrinsic value and the need to provide a range and quality of new work; it makes sense socially by providing a means to explore cultural identities and an as educational instrument; and it makes sense economically, as theatre has an economic impact of £2.6bn a year from an annual UK subsidy of £120m.

Congress recognises that the Government has a positive record of supporting theatre since 1997. This included an additional £25m in funding for producing theatres in England in 2002.

These relatively small sums helped to revitalise theatre over this period. However, Congress shared the widespread disappointment at the real terms cuts in arts funding announced in 2004.

Any reduction in funding will only lead to less activity and diminish the positive work achieved by earlier investment. The structure of the theatre industry means new technology offers no identifiable scope for efficiencies and the sector is already characterised by very low wages.

Congress calls upon the Government to identify an above-inflation settlement for theatre when it announces funding allocations in the next Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007.

Congress also believes that UK theatre requires a more consistent approach to long-term funding, so the benefits of the previous uplifts are not lost.


56 Transport policy

Congress believes that the reunification under public ownership and control of the national railway system is central to a strategy for the future of Britain's railways. Congress believes the policy for a publicly owned and accountable railway should begin with the passenger train operating companies.

Congress recognises the threat of terrorist attacks on public transport remains high and supports efforts to counter this. Like employers such as Transport for London, Congress considers the workforce has a vital role to play in the fight against terrorism. Congress is, therefore, critical of the reluctance of the railway industry collectively to engage with the unions on this matter. Congress calls on the General Council to continue to work with the rail unions to ensure their full involvement in transport security.

Congress supports campaigns for safer stations. However, Congress is concerned that action often results from high profile, violent incidents. Congress demands that stations are made safer by ensuring they are adequately staffed, protected, equipped and maintained at all relevant times. This must be done in a way that doesn't compromise health and safety and staff are fully protected regardless of shift times.

Congress considers leaving many stations in a poor state of repair is a false economy. Congress believes that investment in improving the station environment will result in improving personal safety and significantly more journeys being made by train. Congress calls on all concerned to work together to deliver the improved facilities and services that passengers deserve and a better working environment for staff.

Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new paragraph 2:

'Congress calls on the London Mayor to retain the London Underground East London Line in the public sector and to not allow this service to be privatised as is currently being proposed. Congress fully supports the rail unions' campaign to keep the East London Line wholly in the public sector.'

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

59 Energy prices

Congress notes that when it comes to the price and supply of energy there is no level playing field for UK manufacturing compared to its EU partners. Congress views this as a significant factor, particularly for heavy industrial users of energy, in the determination of future investment in UK plants and their overall viability in the short to medium term.

Congress believes that government needs to adopt a strategic view of the industrial impact of energy prices and calls upon the Government to introduce regulatory steps to ensure security of supply to industry until such time as the UK becomes self-sufficient in energy supply.

Congress further instructs the General Council to support the campaign to persuade the Government to:

i) encourage the creation of a 'reserve market' for gas where industrial users can be properly rewarded for reducing demand when supplies get tight;

ii) establish a strategic gas storage plan which could be implemented through the National Grid;

iii) compensate industry in the event that gas supplies are cut off in an emergency;

iv) facilitate and encourage diversity of energy source;

v) send the appropriate signals to discourage market speculators whose actions are undermining industry's ability to compete on an even basis with sister plants in the EU and elsewhere; and

vi) bring together representatives from industry and the owners of the Interconnector gas pipeline with a view to establishing a tri-partite group through which greater transparency and visibility of the Interconnector operation can be achieved.


60 Energy Review

Congress notes the Government's Energy Review and agrees with the premise of the review that climate change must be tackled, but the UK also must ensure it has secure energy supplies at affordable prices so that the poorest in society are not adversely affected by changes in energy charges.

Congress therefore calls on the Government to promote the use of renewable resources such as solar, wind and water power in combination with other initiatives such as clean coal technology, which is addressing the problems of coal's excessive production of carbon dioxide.

Congress believes that it is vital for the UK economy and environment that UK energy use becomes more sustainable and that the UK should aim for a long-term self-sufficiency in its energy needs and requirements.

Congress also notes that transport is one of the worst polluters in the UK environment and welcomes the Government's target for 10 per cent of transport fuel to be from renewable resources by 2015. However, to increase this further Congress believes that the UK rail network should be fully electrified and that all public transport in urban areas should be run on bio-fuel in order to help cut emissions into the environment.

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

65 Trident

Congress notes that the Prime Minister has stated that a decision on whether or not to replace Britain's nuclear weapons system, Trident, will be taken this year.

Congress welcomes the demand of the Defence Select Committee for a full public and Parliamentary debate on this issue.

Congress believes that Britain's nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction, capable of killing millions of people and are tied into US military and foreign policy and that far from deterring nuclear threats, replacing Trident may increase the risk of nuclear conflict.

Congress is alarmed that a successor to Trident could cost tens of billions of pounds.

Congress believes that in the absence of any rational argument for Trident replacement such expenditure would not only be immoral but a scandalous waste of public funds that could otherwise be invested in health, education, pensions, transport and manufacturing.

Congress also notes that the UK is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has made 'an unequivocal undertaking' to accomplish the total elimination of its nuclear arsenal.

Congress calls upon the Government not to replace Trident and also requests that the General Council urgently explores how it can work with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to oppose the replacement of Trident.

Finally Congress urges the Government not to reach a final decision on Trident replacement before issuing a consultative Green Paper on all the options for replacement, including non-replacement and a policy of arms diversification, followed by a White Paper and a deciding vote in Parliament.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

66 Control Arms Campaign

Congress welcomes the UK Government's commitment to ensure negotiations for an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) begin 'no later than 2006' and their aim to table a resolution to open negotiations at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) later this month.

Congress notes that Amnesty International and Oxfam have combined with IANSA to campaign for an ATT through the Control Arms Campaign and encourages trade unions to support this campaign.

Congress notes that international support for an ATT is growing with over 50 supportive countries but more are needed to pass the resolution by a majority vote and take the initiative forward.

Currently, there is no comprehensive international agreement governing the transfer of weapons, yet over 1,000 people are needlessly killed by armed violence every day.

Congress notes that existing loopholes in UK arms control legislation can undermine the UK's credibility on this issue. 2007 is the three-year review of this legislation.

Congress calls on the UK Government to:

i) encourage as many governments as possible to support a resolution to open negotiations for an ATT at the UNGA, based on states' existing responsibilities under international human rights and humanitarian law and for those negotiations to include tough enforcement and monitoring mechanisms and be completed within the fastest possible timeframe; and

ii) ensure the review of UK legislation upholds the 2001 manifesto commitment to regulate arms brokers and traffickers wherever they are located.

Congress calls on the General Council to raise these concerns with the UK Government.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Add at the end of sub-paragraph ii):

",and at a minimum for these to include full extra-territorial controls for those involved in brokering and trafficking of small arms, light weapons and ammunition."

Nationwide Group Staff Union

68 Responsible use of the internet

Congress, noting the potential benefit of the internet in democratising knowledge capital:

i) affirms that the right to knowledge is an essential human right;

ii) condemns the reported action of the search engine website Google in responding to political pressure to limit that right; and

iii) calls on the General Council to campaign, both nationally and internationally, for responsible use of the internet.

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

69 Fairtrade and seafarers

Congress welcomes the agreement earlier this year on an international Bill of Rights for the world's seafarers. Congress recognises the intense levels of exploitation and wage dumping within the shipping industry and urges the TUC to maintain pressure upon the UK Government to ratify, implement and enforce the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 as soon as possible.

Congress particularly welcomes the concept of a Maritime Labour Certificate to demonstrate compliance with convention standards. Congress is concerned that seafarers' working conditions are not presently addressed within the criteria for Fairtrade products and services, even though more than 90 per cent of world trade is moved by ships. Congress also notes with concern the fact that considerable proportions of aid and relief cargoes are carried by ships registered in flag of convenience (FoC) countries, which regularly infringe minimum international safety and employment standards. Congress therefore urges the General Council to campaign for UN agencies, charities and relief organisations to use ships that are not registered with FoC states and that meet international safety and labour standards.

Congress also calls for dialogue between the TUC and Fairtrade groups to ensure that seafarers' working conditions and shipboard social standards form part of the assessment process for Fairtrade status.

National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers

70 International development

Congress believes that at the beginning of this new millennium, the current levels of global poverty and deprivation are still unacceptably high and remain an affront to humanity.

With the resources available to the international community there is no excuse for this situation to remain. Unbelievably the number of children that still live in poverty is 1 billion, every second child - a fact we all should be ashamed of.

Congress reaffirms that it is time to 'Make Poverty History'.

The efforts of the UK Government in raising the issues of aid, trade and debt in order to create a more prosperous and just world are to be applauded. But more must still be done.

Unions are unique in their ability to build capacity and to develop and support effective civil societies. Therefore, Congress calls on the UK Government to make greater resources available for the trade union movement to carry out this work. This is common practice in the Nordic countries, Germany and the Netherlands and must become common practice in the UK.

Derbyshire Group Staff Union

72 Cuba

Congress expresses its alarm at the recent aggressive lobbying by the US Government, which is an attempt to involve the UK and European Governments in the further tightening of the US illegal blockade of Cuba.

Congress records its serious concern at the 'classified' meeting between FCO officials and Caleb McCarry, the Bush administration's Cuba Transition Co-ordinator.

Congress deplores the contents of the report by McCarry's Commission aimed at the destabilisation of Cuba following the death of President Fidel Castro and in turn exposes US plans for possible attacks on Cuban living standards involving the disbanding of co-operatives, privatising hospitals and schools and dismantling social security and pension provision.

Congress condemns these plans with their classified annex of measures which remain secret for 'national security reasons' with the object of ensuring 'effective implementation' and calls on the UK Government to raise these concerns with its counterpart in the US administration.

Congress is aware of the ongoing efforts of the TUC and Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) and congratulates them on successfully organising the European Trade Union Solidarity Conference in February 2006, recognising its vital importance in the face of these new threats to the Cuban people.

Congress resolves to maintain its support for the efforts of trade unions and the CSC within the trade union movement to build alliances and intensify through a broad-based campaign the fight against these new threats and to bring to an end the illegal and inhumane 45-year US blockade which is a violation of Cuba's sovereignty.

National Union of Mineworkers

The following AMENDMENTS were accepted

Add new paragraph at end:

'Congress recognises Cuba's outstanding international solidarity despite the blockade, including 25,000 health professionals in 69 countries and 10,000 free medical scholarships for students from developing countries. Congress particularly praises humanitarian efforts for Pakistani earthquake victims, 73 per cent of whom were treated by Cuban doctors - facts largely unreported by the media.'

National Union of Mineworkers


Insert new paragraph 4:

'Congress notes that the report opposes Cuba's 'interventionist and destabilising policies in other countries'. This indicates a threat to the supply of thousands of Cuban doctors to poor communities in Haiti, Guatemala, Bolivia and Venezuela.'

Communication Workers' Union

75 unionlearn and new opportunities for union members

Congress welcomes the creation of unionlearn as a means for unions to open up learning opportunities to their members.

It notes that different unions have used these new opportunities to provide new learning initiatives and it particularly welcomes the Professional Footballers' Association commitment to education as the vast majority of PFA membership require re-training to learn new skills in order to enter into new occupations as their football career ends.

Through the PFA Education Department the union spends several million pounds every year on vocational training and specially tailored university degree courses. Every player who has been a PFA member, even if only as a trainee, has access to funding and advice in order to develop their future career or personal development. Courses can be as diverse as sports science, law, accountancy, plumbing or black cab and taxi driving.

Through the unionlearn initiative the PFA has recently appointed Oshor Williams as its first union learning representative linked to football clubs in the North of England. It hopes that he will be the first of many.

Congress notes the PFA's wholehearted endorsement for the unionlearn initiative. It welcomes many other imaginative initiatives taken by unions to increase opportunities for their members and urges the General Council to continue to develop and promote the delivery of learning services through unionlearn.

Professional Footballers' Association

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

At the end of the first sentence add:

'The development of the learning and skills agenda and the rapid growth in the number of union learning reps offer unions a means to build workplace organisation, meet a vital membership need, appeal to new generations of workers and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.'


78 Occupational health

Congress notes the high level of work-related illness in the construction industry:

i) three million days per year are lost in the construction industry due to occupational ill health;

ii) 7 per cent of the workforce is affected by illness related to their working environment;

iii) workers in construction have a higher than average prevalence of work-related ill health; and

iv) the Building and Civil Engineering Benefit Scheme reports that the average age of retirement out of the industry is 62 as a result of poor occupational health.

Poor occupational health and the inadequate coverage of pension provision in the construction industry means that many building workers are forced to rely on state benefits and this places a huge financial burden on the welfare state.

Congress notes the completion of a pilot occupational health scheme in the construction industry, Constructing Better Health, which was managed by a joint board of trade unions, employers and health specialists. The pilot scheme found that one-third of the workforce needed early intervention on health issues.

Congress calls on the General Council to mount a campaign for a national occupational health scheme for the construction industry and for the establishment of a board representing stakeholders across the industry charged with the responsibility of managing the scheme.

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

79 Health and Safety Executive

Congress calls upon the General Council to do all in its power to secure better enforcement of health and safety legislation by the HSE, particularly in the music and entertainment sectors. This matter is given added importance by the forthcoming application to these sectors of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations in February 2008.

Congress believes it is vital that the noise regulations are properly enforced in order to protect many workers in the entertainment industry from suffering further hearing damage or loss. Unions representing these workers are concerned that the HSE neither affords the sector sufficient attention nor allocates the necessary resources needed to ensure that employers are meeting their obligations under the legislation. Consequently, the precious resources of the health service are often unnecessarily called upon, so creating additional costs for government and the taxpayer. It should also be noted that vigorous enforcement of the noise regulations will also benefit audiences.

Congress agrees that if the General Council receives an unsatisfactory response from the HSE it should coordinate a campaign to bring pressure on the Government in order to achieve a truly protective regime for workers and members of the public alike.

Musicians' Union

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new paragraph 3:

'Congress supports the principles proposed in this motion. The trend for the HSE to become less of an enforcement agency and more of an advisory body is symptomatic of a deregulatory approach. This is epitomised in the recent, scandalous decision to take textured coatings out of the asbestos licensing regime.'


80 Safety footwear

Congress recognises the need for healthy feet for all in our community and the important role played by HPC registered podiatrists/chiropodists in educating the public in this area. However, Congress is concerned that in many parts of industry where there is a requirement to wear safety footwear this same attention to detail is often missing. Congress believes that the provision of appropriate and properly fitted safety footwear is of vital importance to safeguard workers from occupational ill health.

Congress believes that it is unacceptable for employers who provide safety footwear simply to block buy safety footwear and instruct workers to wear them. It believes that HPC registered podiatrists/chiropodists should be involved in the assessment and fitting of such footwear as needs of individuals will vary.

Congress calls on all affiliates to ensure that this matter is high on the negotiating agenda in all areas of industry.

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

81 TUC policy and campaigning

Congress welcomes the work of the TUC, its General Secretary and staff in providing the foundation, process and expertise to progress TUC resolutions.

Congress notes the success of recent campaigns taken forward by the TUC with unity, determination and enthusiasm. Further, Congress recognises that all TUC affiliates have a part to play in fully supporting all campaigns of general interest.

Congress acknowledges that when TUC policy is adopted by Congress TUC affiliates and the TUC itself should fully support any campaign that seeks to achieve any such policy.

Congress recognises the right of any affiliate union to campaign on behalf of its members. The TUC will always seek to maximise the impact and effect of any affiliate union or groups of unions campaigning that seeks to achieve Congress policy.


Composite 1 Organising

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:

i) amendment of TUC practices and procedures to prevent any return to past practices where unions accepted 'sweetheart' deals or were invited into workplaces by employers in order to undermine the organising efforts of sister unions and workplace democracy and to assist unions organising against such practices by non-TUC unions as at the Racing Post;

ii) promoting the benefits of trade unionism amongst young people within schools, colleges and universities, and consulting affiliates on young member structures and how to best organise young workers. A report to be presented to Congress 2007;

iii) the re-focus of TUC international work to encourage and support unions in organising together in solidarity at European and global level;

iv) TUC-led measures to assist the work of affiliates in the private sector, including work to research the needs, concerns and aspirations of workers within key parts of the private service sector, and to make recommendations for developing this vital area of work;

v) the TUC to use the forthcoming DTI review of support for workplace representatives to make the case for an improved framework of time-off, facilities and support for union reps; and

vi) the TUC's Organising and Representation Task Group to encourage unions to forge community alliances that will add value to organising initiatives, particularly those targeting the most vulnerable workers in the private sector; and provide resources and support for unions in their community organising endeavours.

Mover: Transport and General Workers' Union

Seconder: Accord

Supporters: Public and Commercial Services Union

National Union of Journalists



Composite 2 Migrant workers

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 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:

i) continue its encouragement to affiliates to recruit migrant workers;

ii) use every opportunity to publicise the benefits of migrant workers to the national and local economy;

iii) challenge myths about migrant workers;

iv) publicise the exploitation of migrant workers;

v) enter discussions with government and campaign for a working group comprised of trade unions and government to tackle issues such as education, language, local service provision and racism;

vi) share best practice in the recruitment of migrant workers and managing the practical issues affecting migrant workers;

vii) insist Government ends adult education cuts and funds skills and language courses for migrant workers and their families;

viii) provide guidance to Trades Councils on working with local decision makers and community groups to dispel myths about migrant workers;

ix) work to establish 'befriending' campaigns in workplaces and communities; and

x) issue generic leaflet templates in multiple languages that can be badged with individual affiliates' logos. This will assist smaller affiliates to recruit in this very important area. Individual affiliates to pay for printing costs, not translation.

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

Composite 3 Agency workers

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:

i) unfair treatment, with no statutory bar to employers discriminating against agency workers in terms of pay and/or working conditions;

ii) exclusion from a range of other employment rights, including maternity, paternity and parental leave, redundancy pay and sick pay; and

iii) lack of training, access to pensions or protection from unfair dismissal.

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:

a) equal treatment for agency workers, with 'day one' rights to basic terms and conditions of employment no less favourable than directly employed workers;

b) extended employment rights for all agency workers to ensure they are as well protected as all directly employed workers; and

c) an effective licensing system for all employment agencies with a resourced enforcement regime able to identify and combat rogue agencies effectively.

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

Composite 4 Employment status

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:

i) campaign for the Government to reconsider its approach to employment status for atypical workers;

ii) continue pressing the Government for an extension of employment rights to all workers from day one;

iii) press the Government to honour its Warwick commitments by supporting the principles that underpin the draft EU Agency Workers Directive;

iv) highlight the activities of companies that deny employment rights to workers by manipulating contractual conditions;

v) campaign against the casualisation of the workforce, denying basic rights to public and private sector workers;

vi) campaign for a new and wider definition of 'worker' in the European Commission's forthcoming Green Paper on labour law; and

vii) work with other campaigning organisations to further these aims.

Mover: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Seconder: Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

Supporter: National Union of Teachers

Composite 5 Trade Union Freedom Bill

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:

i) continuing to lobby Government;

ii) working with sympathetic MPs to promote and publish the Bill in Parliament, including sponsoring the Bill as a Private Members Bill if possible and/or as a Ten Minute Rule Bill;

iii) setting a date for the lobby of Parliament as per the 2005 Congress Composite 1;

iv) organising a national demonstration, separate from May Day, in support of the Bill in 2007; and

v) under the auspices of the General Council, establishing contact meetings of affiliates, on a similar basis as the May Day contact meetings, to assist and involve TUC affiliates in the promotion of the campaign.

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

Composite 6 Pensions

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:

i) campaign for the reinstatement of the basic state pension indexation link to earnings before the next general election and ensure that the value that has been lost since the link was broken is restored. Uplift the state pension to £114 per week immediately and re-establish the link to earnings in 2007;

ii) oppose any increase in the state pension age;

iii) campaign against any decision to allow a workplace saving opt-out;

iv) resist any moves to allow the private sector to profit from the administration of PSAs; and ensure that the National Pensions Savings Scheme (personal accounts) is administered within the public sector, and that contributors have a simple default investment option;

v) ensure that PSA administration costs do not exceed the Pension Commission's 0.3 per cent target so individuals' pension pots are maximised;

vi) lobby government to ensure employer contributions are paid on the basis of all employees' pay;

vii) ensure that the low paid have the right to contribute to the NPSS on all earnings, with accompanying compulsory employer contributions;

viii) call on the Government to ensure that workers are correctly classified and that employers will pay a contribution into their PSA; and

ix) campaign to protect workers from any increased risk.

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:

a) defend the PSF framework agreement;

b) protect occupational schemes from unilateral reductions in benefits; and

c) campaign for good quality, defined benefit pension schemes across the public sector, accessible to all workers engaged in public sector work irrespective of salary or employer.

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

Mover: GMB

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

Composite 7 Quality of work

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:

i) work organisation and job design;

ii) autonomy and control over the process of work;

iii) long-term health;

iv) flexibility in working arrangements, in particular, the prevalence of remote working and virtual teams which are changing the nature of office-based working;

v) fair reward;

vi) the importance of collective and individual employee involvement as instruments that deliver a higher level of satisfaction and fairness in employment;

vii) employment security; and

viii) equality issues.

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.

Mover: FDA

Seconder: University and College Union

Supporter: Connect

Composite 8 Public services

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:

i) are accompanied by a clear and evidenced-based business case to demonstrate how they will improve the specific public service; and

ii) take account of staff, public and parliamentary responses to full consultation and the need to win staff support.

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:

a) offer full support to the civil service and other public sector unions in the event of further industrial action to defend jobs and services against cuts, privatisation and offshoring;

b) ensure public sector unions are engaged with the Government on the Spending Review 2007;

c) coordinate a high profile campaign on the threat to public services from the Government's current public sector reform policy; and

d) mobilise parliamentary support for the TUC's policy and work with public sector affiliates in organising a rally and lobby of Parliament, and debate proposals for the organisation of a national demonstration and campaign day to promote public services and to oppose the policies of contestability and privatisation, at the earliest possible date after Congress.

Congress calls upon the General Council to lead a vigorous campaign, uniting all unions by:

1) continuing to provide critical analysis of private sector initiatives;

2) promoting progressive alternatives;

3) building the international coalition against the global trade in education, health and other public services;

4) organising communities against the transfer of public land and assets to the private sector;

5) campaigning against destructive reforms in health, education, local government and criminal justice and wherever they appear in public services across the UK;

6) building campaigning alliances on key issues to maximise political and bargaining strength;

7) providing affiliates with campaign material and advice;

8) developing the case and campaign for a strong and accountable public sector, as a vital contribution to the cohesive, economic and social well being of the UK as a balanced and economically mixed democratic society; and

9) preparing a thorough response to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit's Discussion Paper The UK Government's Approach to Public Services.


Seconder: PCS

Supporters: Napo


National Union of Teachers

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers


Composite 9 National Health Service

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:

i) coordinate a major campaign across health unions, patients, users and professional groups and communities, to challenge the marketisation of the NHS, halt further privatisation and expansion of private sector involvement;

ii) campaign for a fully-funded and resourced NHS with an emphasis on quality of service as opposed to cost-cutting and wasteful pursuit of targets;

iii) campaign for a nationally planned and managed service;

iv) call on the Government to engage in partnership with all staff to promote co-operation and positive transformation;

v) defend and promote systems of greater cooperation and collaboration in Scotland and Wales, that provide an alternative vision of healthcare;

vi) provide capacity-building advice for unions to collaborate and to challenge marketisation; and

vii) lead a political campaign to defend and promote existing excellence in the NHS, using all means at the disposal of the trade union movement.

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:

a) longer timescales for NHS trusts to establish financial stability;

b) an end to job cuts and freezes;

c) an urgent rethink on the expensive distraction of bringing competition into the NHS;

d) a halt to the quick fix of targeting staff training and development for cutbacks; and

e) the development of a long-term strategy, including a financial strategy, for health service staff education and development which provides stability, is sustainable and is informed by clear and unambiguous data from effective workforce planning.


Seconder: SoR

Supporters: Prospect

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


Composite 10 Education and Inspections Bill and marketisation of education

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:

i) establish a working group to draft a strategy paper to be presented to the Government setting out the TUC's alternative to Trust, Foundation and Academy schools;

ii) continue to give the highest priority to campaigning against the Government's attempts to privatise public services and co-ordinate a national demonstration against the marketisation and privatisation of education and the Government's Academies and Trust Programme;

iii) hold a conference to launch the strategy with the aim of enhancing comprehensive education, developing the campaign to block the damaging aspects of the Bill and raising the level of school funding; and

iv) monitor the Government's progress in securing parity in funding with private schools and press the Government to achieve this target by the end of this administration.

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:

a) admissions procedures;

b) the impact of the current funding regime in promoting academies;

c) the impact on standards achieved by pupils; and

d) the impact on the whole education service in the communities in which they are based.

The findings of such research should be published widely.

Mover: National Union of Teachers

Seconder: Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Supporter: UNISON

Composite11 Education and training, age and employment rights

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:

i) two in three jobs created over the next ten years will have to be filled by adults;

ii) the Government's FE white paper focuses on vocational skills for the 16-25 age group, shifting funding away from adult learning; and

iii) the impending retirement of thousands of F&HE staff will lead to severe difficulties, potentially affecting the quality of the education provided.

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:

a) ensure that the most disadvantaged in society have access to education and training;

b) invest more in adult skills and reverse the current and impending cuts to adult education;

c) overcome its reluctance to put pressure on employers, and identify strategies for ensuring employers' financial contributions to training provision;

d) revisit the timescale for the changes to fee assumptions, with a view to introducing these more gradually, and over a time period that makes the increases more palatable to potential learners and their employers;

e) address F&HE recruitment and retention problems by ensuring secure funding for competitive salaries and closing the FE pay gap; and

f) amend the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations to offer full protection for people dismissed from employment at or over the age of 65, allowing them to continue working if they are willing and able to do so.

Mover: University and College Union

Seconder: Association for College Management

Composite 12 Integrated transport

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

Composite 13 Clean coal and energy

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

Seconder: BACM-TEAM

Supporter: Prospect

Composite14 Internationalism and globalisation

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:

i) ensure at least a living wage is paid throughout the supply chain;

ii) ensure that the right to join a trade union is guaranteed and appropriate trade unions are recognised throughout the supply chain; and

iii) contribute a percentage of their profits to local health, education and housing projects.

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.

Mover: Community

Seconder: Connect

Composite15 Workplace bullying

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:

i) continue to campaign publicly on the issue of workplace bullying;

ii) promote the role of safety representatives and safety committees as a means of improving union organisation to improve the health, safety and welfare of all staff;

iii) put pressure on employers to implement effective policies to combat bullying which have been agreed with the recognised unions; and

iv) publicise cases where unions have intervened successfully to support members who have been subjected to bullying behaviour;

v) draw up guidance, building on the excellent TUC/Industrial Society guide Beat Bullying at Work for unions with examples of collective responses that have been identified by affiliates; identification of new forms of bullying such as abuse of performance management and discipline procedures; and monitoring and sharing initiatives to identify and tackle patterns of workplace bullying.

Mover: National Union of Teachers

Seconder: Connect

Supporter: FDA

Composite 16 Palestine

Congress supports:

1. the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination;

2. the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland;

3. the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied territories; and

4. the removal of the illegally constructed 'apartheid wall'.

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:

1. call on the British Government to maintain all funding to the PA and call for the restoration of all EU and other international aid to the PA;

2. pressurise the Government of Israel to restore the revenues collected by them to their rightful owners, the PA;

3. make appropriate representations to the quartet (US, EU, Russia and the UN) to take immediate steps to achieve a negotiated settlement based on justice for the Palestinians;

4. raise these issues in the ETUC, ICFTU, Histadrut and ILO and all appropriate international and national bodies;

5. continue to make every effort to promote dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists and the building of direct links with Palestinian trade unions;

6. seek to bring about greater cooperation amongst solidarity organisations supporting the rights of the Palestinian people, such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and encourage all affiliates to affiliate; and

7. call on the British Government to make public its concern at Israel's continued attacks on Gaza.

Mover: Fire Brigades' Union

Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland

Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Emergency 1 Attacks on fire cover and trade union organisation by Merseyside Fire Authority

Congress condemns the recent decisions of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority to implement cuts which will lead to a reduction of 120 frontline jobs. Congress notes the dispute which has arisen as a result. The Fire Authority proposals include:

i) introducing a 96-hour continuous shift at six fire stations;

ii) imposing a new shift system in the emergency fire control centre which will result in 15 job losses; and

iii) reducing night-time cover at four busy city centre fire stations.

Congress is concerned that this level of job reduction in an emergency service will place at risk both the public and the firefighters serving them.

Congress is alarmed at the anti-union stance which appears to have been taken by the Chief Fire Officer in Merseyside and by the Fire and Rescue Authority. This has included the removal of check-off arrangements; the removal of union notice boards and information from fire stations; and threats to the careers and promotion prospects of union members including new recruits.

Congress is further alarmed that the Fire and Rescue Authority have refused to allow any national assistance in the resolution of the dispute and procedure which is a normal and regular part of industrial relations in the fire service.

Congress urges all affiliates to provide whatever financial and moral support they can to FBU members in Merseyside. Congress further supports the call made by the Fire Brigades Union for an independent inquiry into industrial relations within the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

Mover: Fire Brigades' Union

Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Emergency 2 Thomson/TUI Call Centre, Glasgow

Congress records its anger at the shameful announcement on 30 August by Thomson Holidays that their TUI Glasgow Call Centre would close on 12 December 2006 with the loss of 450 jobs.

Congress notes that all workers were served with their statutory redundancy notice one week before the £1.4m public subsidy received from the Scottish Executive was due to end and before any attempt was made to open consultation with employee representatives or trade unions.

Congress believes that Thomson have been cynical in attempting to present employees with a fait accompli and had been planning this closure for some time.

Congress further notes that Thomson announced that they will be creating 100 new jobs at their call centre in Coventry.

Congress calls on Thomson to:

i) review their decision to close the Glasgow call centre; and

ii) begin meaningful consultation with employee representatives with a view to agreeing ways of:

avoiding the dismissals;

reducing the numbers of employees to be compulsorily dismissed; and

mitigating the consequences of any necessary dismissals.

Congress notes that TUI promotes itself as an employer whose ambition is to make people happy, something which they claim applies to staff just as much as customers. Congress views Thomson's actions as those of an employer more concerned with making workers profitable.

Congress notes that many trade union members use Thomson Holidays and calls on the General Council to circulate affiliates with a request for them to ask their members to boycott Thomson Holiday products should this matter remain unresolved.

Mover: Transport Salaried Staffs Association

Emergency 3 HSE job cuts

Congress notes with deep concern the announcement by the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive on 10 August 2006 that due to financial constraints it is intended that between 250 and 350 HSE jobs will be cut by 2008. Congress also notes that the HSE's budget may be cut further as a result of the Chancellor's decision to cut the budget of the Department for Work and Pensions, the HSE's sponsoring department, by 5 per cent for the 2008-2011 CSR.

Such a reduction in HSE funding and staff would, if enacted, inevitably have an adverse impact on the HSE's effectiveness and ability to enforce health and safety standards at work.

Congress also notes that current indications are that the cuts will primarily hit administrative and policy functions. Experience of widespread cuts throughout the Civil Service, resulting from the implementation of the Gershon Review, shows that this has serious consequences for delivering key services. In the HSE, it will have a detrimental effect on recent developments of frontline roles to support and enhance the work of inspectors. Congress recognises that cuts in any area of staffing will undermine the HSE's campaigns to reduce work-related deaths, injury, ill health and sickness absence. In particular, it would leave workers in high-risk industries such as construction and agriculture vulnerable to hazards at work. Congress expresses further concern at the particular implications for young and migrant workers, many of whom work in low paid and high-risk jobs.

There is still some way to go to meet the HSE's public service agreement targets, which requires maintaining the right mix of skills and expertise, and the staff numbers to deliver them.

Congress reaffirms TUC policy of proper levels of funding for the HSE to enable a substantial increase in the number of inspectors to provide a robust regulatory regime of inspection and enforcement, as well as guidance and education.

Accordingly, Congress calls upon the General Council to seek Government intervention to ensure that the HSE has the resources to prevent job cuts and avoid reversing the gradual improvement in the health and safety record of Great Britain; and to give full support to any campaign against the cuts by the HSE trade unions for the Health and Safety Executive to be properly funded and resourced.

Mover: Prospect

Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union

E4 Corporate manslaughter

Congress notes the introduction into the House of Commons of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill on 20th July 2006.

Congress is alarmed that in spite of the conclusions of the Joint Report from the Home Affairs and Work and Pensions Committees, and the Scottish Expert Group on Corporate Homicide, the Bill specifically excludes the possibility of an individual being guilty of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence of corporate manslaughter.

Therefore Congress calls upon the TUC actively to campaign within the parliamentary timetable at the various stages of this Bill for the specific inclusion of secondary liability for corporate manslaughter against individual directors and senior managers.

The penalties for such an offence should include imprisonment.

Mover: Amicus

Emergency 5 Closure of the Northern Foods Bakery in Trafford Park

Congress is appalled by the recent announcement by Northern Foods on the proposed closure of the Trafford Park bakery in Manchester with the loss of 700 jobs, in addition to the closure of the Shropshire plant. The Manchester plant supplies pies and pastries to Britain's multiple grocers. It is one of many closures of factories that supply prepared foods to the supermarkets.

Congress calls on the General Council to make representations to the competition commission investigation into the powers of supermarkets. This submission should deal with how the multiple retailers are abusing their purchasing power in the UK and overseas to depress wages and conditions of workers in the supply chain, leading to job losses as employers like Northern Foods resign from unprofitable supply contracts. This proposed closure should be cited in detail as a prime example of this abuse of power.

Congress considers that the shift in relative bargaining power between the suppliers and the multiples can only be addressed by the creation of an independent regulator with powers to ensure that workers in the supply chain in the UK and overseas get a fair deal. Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for this.

Congress notes that the company is currently involved in the 90-day consultation period with GMB on these 700 redundancies. Congress calls on Northern Foods and the multiple grocers to reconsider the proposals to close this plant and to come forward with viable proposals to secure the future of the plant.

Mover: GMB

Seconder: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

Motion remitted

73 Venezuela

Congress welcomes the success of the visit by President Chavez and the important work of the TUC delegation to Venezuela which helped establish strong solidarity links between trade unions in the UK and Venezuela.

Congress reaffirms its support for the process of social and economic change in Venezuela that has resulted in:

i) Venezuela being declared free of illiteracy by Unesco;

ii) more than 1.2 million people being given access to healthcare;

iii) the building of 657 new schools and eight universities;

iv) millions of hectares of land being redistributed; and

v) the creation of the UNT as an independent trade union federation.

Congress also welcomes the growth of new media organisations such as Vive TV, Catia TV and TeleSur which help to combat the campaign of misinformation being run by sections of the media.

Congress applauds the work of solidarity campaigners in the UK who have built social, political and cultural support for the Bolivarian Revolution. Congress believes that it is vital to build practical trade union solidarity with UNT.

Congress therefore resolves to:

a) establish a campaigning trade union solidarity group, to co-ordinate solidarity work, comprising representatives of affiliates and a representative from each of the three existing solidarity organisations; and

b) task such a group with campaigning, amongst other things, for affiliates to deliver assistance to independent trade union organisations in Venezuela, against misinformation in the UK about the situation in Venezuela and to oppose any attempts at external interference in Venezuela's democratic process in line with Congress policy.

National Union of Journalists

Motion withdrawn

67 New trade union international body

Congress notes that on 1 November the founding conference of a new trade union international body will take place in Austria. This new organisation will result from the merger of the ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) and the WCL (World Confederation of Labour).

This merger at a world level poses a series of problems concerning the defence of basic trade union principles. Not least the recognition that society is divided into antagonistic interests.

The objective of this new organisation will no longer be exclusively to defend the workers' interests but to promote the social dimension of world governance: that is globalisation.

Congress doubts that a trade union organisation worthy of the name can fight based on these premises. We all know that as this project is implemented on an international level, the proposals will find relays in each country in very concrete ways.

The statutes of all real trade union confederations will contain a phrase defending the specific interests of workers as a class whose content (if not its form) is the same.

Congress therefore calls upon the TUC delegates at the founding conference to:

i) reject the creation of this new international body that will not be based on trade union principles; or

ii) reject any constitution that would not be in line with the TUC's basic principles, that is the recognition of two classes with antagonistic interests.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

Motions lost

71 European Union trade policy

Recalling trade union support for the ending of dumping of food exports from the European Union in order to give small-scale producers in developing countries opportunity to make a sustainable living for their families, Congress is deeply concerned at the failure of the European Union to reach an equitable agreement on the elimination of agricultural subsidies. Congress notes with deep concern the plans of the Commission Member for Trade to weaken unilaterally the minimal instruments available to the European Union to defend EU manufacturing industries against dumping since they would be likely to accelerate the decline of manufacturing employment in the United Kingdom, particularly in the clothing, footwear and steel industries, while encouraging governments in other countries to continue to intervene directly in the sectors by denying trade access, subsidising investment, maintaining undervalued currencies, and permitting the violation of trade union and other basic human rights in employment.

Congress rejects the view that the UK and other EU countries are entering a post-industrial era and calls on the General Council to work through the ICFTU and the ETUC for a multilateral agreement to liberalise fair trade, in particular by enabling the poorest developing countries to gain access to markets of industrialised countries. Congress urges the British Government to resist EU proposals to dismantle means of action to resist dumping.


82 The importance of equality

Congress records the important role that equality issues play in building up trade union organisation and membership. Campaigning on equality issues such as work/life balance, gender and race pay gaps, on rights for disabled people at work and against harassment and bullying can help take our movement in the new areas where trade unions have yet to organise and can help strengthen our movement in areas where we are already involved.

Congress also notes that new legislation giving LGBT workers, older and younger workers and workers with religious affiliations more rights creates further opportunities for the trade union movement to take initiatives in the area of equality.

Congress believes the General Council must listen to the voices of the equality conferences as the collective opinion of workers affected by discrimination and prejudice. Therefore Congress asks for the General Council to consider the right of:

i) the equality conferences to submit two motions to Congress; and

ii) direct representation from the equality conferences to the General Council.

Congress asks for a report to be produced in time for the TUC LGBT Conference in 2007.

TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Conference (exempt from 250 word limit)

General Council statements

European migration

1 The TUC wants workers to be treated with respect, treated fairly and treated equally, wherever they come from. Government and employers have responsibilities to ensure that people who come to Britain to work are not exploited, and are able to do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. If migrant workers are treated fairly and paid a decent wage, they represent no threat to the livelihoods of people who are already living and working in the UK, and the work they do and the wages they get for it will pay for the increase in services required to meet the needs of new arrivals. Unions must, and are committed to, play our part in making sure indigenous and migrant workers are treated equally and have their rights respected.

2 The TUC welcomed the extension of the European Union in 2004 to cover eight countries in Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Malta. We further welcome the negotiations for the accession of Bulgaria and Romania. Expanding the European Union is a good thing for Britain because it produces more markets for our goods and services and more people to do the jobs the British economy and society need. And it is good for the people of Eastern Europe because it provides them with growth, better jobs and wages, and spreads and deepens European democratic values. Creating a common market means that workers must have rights as well as businesses, and there must be freedom of movement for workers as well as for capital, goods and services.

3 We note that the accession of Bulgaria and Romania will take place on either 1 January 2007 or 1 January 2008 and that a decision will be taken by the European Council in the autumn. When that decision is taken, Member States will be presented with the opportunity of placing transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania to the rest of the EU, though the TUC considers that no persuasive case has been made for such restrictions. Movement by the self-employed cannot, in any event, be restricted.

The economic impact of migration

4 We note also the debate that has taken place this summer in the UK over our experience of the impact of the last accession in 2004. Since then, large numbers of workers from Eastern Europe have entered the UK labour market, although there is little knowledge about how many remain. In general, over that time, employment has grown strongly, although unemployment has recently increased as well, and over the economy as a whole, wage growth has been slow. There are reports of pressure on public services created in particular areas by increased numbers of migrant workers, often with limited English, although it is uncertain how much pressure is being put on services like schools (many of the migrant workers are young adults without dependants) or health services, and how much of the pressure on housing and transport is due to migrant workers. Certainly we would welcome increased funding for investment in the infrastructure of public services that would improve the ability of such services to react, especially to unforeseen and sudden increases in demand and there is a clear need to develop better co-ordination among the agencies providing services to migrants, as work by the Eastern England Development Agency in association with unions and others has shown.

5 The TUC is concerned about indications of rising unemployment, but we note that unemployment has not been rising in the parts of the country where migrant workers have moved to, nor have the skill and labour shortages in the sorts of jobs that migrant workers are doing (eg agriculture, warehousing, construction, personal services and hospitality) disappeared. We do believe that more effort needs to be put into preventing job losses in manufacturing, improving skill levels generally, and tackling unemployment among particular groups at a disadvantage in the labour market. Similarly, the TUC is concerned about displacement of labour from full-time, permanent employment by agency labour, often recruited from Eastern Europe. However, we reject the fallacy that there is a fixed amount of work to go round, and that any increase in the number of working people in a country will automatically increase competition for those jobs. Migrant workers have filled many hard-to-fill vacancies, in some cases vital work in areas of the economy such as education, health, social services, transport in the public sector and in agriculture, construction and hospitality in the private sector. The impact clearly needs to be better understood, and the TUC would welcome moves by the Government to improve our understanding of the impact of migration

6 The TUC also notes the arguments about the slow growth in wages in the economy overall, and the possible attribution of this to migration. We are aware of severe levels of exploitation of some migrant workers, although some of course are well-paid professionals, and others are engaged in industries like the health services and education. There are many accounts of undercutting of normal wage arrangements, especially in construction although this may be the result of self-employment rather than employment. However, there is comparatively little evidence that the number of migrant workers entering the economy has had a direct effect on wage levels as a whole. It may simply be that the growth in employment has been primarily in lower wage employment filled by Eastern European migrants, holding average wage growth down across the economy without affecting the wages of the vast majority of indigenous workers.

7 There has also been considerable debate for some time about the impact of migrant workers on the economy as a whole and on the exchequer. Most of the evidence suggests that migrant workers have a positive impact on the economy - increasing growth rates over the last few years by between 0.5% and 1%, and making a net contribution to the Exchequer. Socially, there have been concerns, often whipped up by racist parties and the right-wing media, about lack of integration and social conflict, but overall the picture seems to be one of migrant workers being welcomed into Britain and valued for their contribution (although we acknowledge that in different economic circumstances, those pressures might well change).

8 The TUC believes that migration so far from Eastern Europe has filled an important gap in a growing labour market and has contributed to the growth of the UK economy in the last few years. The experience has therefore on balance been positive for the UK economy as a whole. Much less attention has been paid to the impact of migration on the labour markets of Eastern Europe and the TUC will be keeping this under review with trade union colleagues in these countries.

Exploitation and fairness at work

9 We are particularly concerned about the way that some migrant workers are exploited. By exploitation we mean outright illegality (pay levels below the minimum wage, unlawful deductions, withholding of passports and so on); immoral treatment (low wages, long hours, sub-standard accommodation, misleading promises, abusive management), and comparative exploitation (lower wages or worse conditions than their fellow workers). Some migrant workers are well-paid or decently treated, but many are not, and it is these workers who we believe need protection.

10 Such exploitation is not necessarily because they are migrant workers (some indigenous workers are exploited as well) but several factors make this more common for migrant workers:

  • lack of knowledge about their rights, and lack of the means to enforce them (although these apply to many indigenous workers too);
  • the tendency for migrant workers to be counted as self-employed with the attendant difficulty of providing protection;
  • language difficulties;
  • their conditions of entry into the UK (eg being recruited by agencies who thrive on lower wages);
  • being away from home (fewer support structures, being separated from their families, temporary nature of their experience); and
  • even some Government policies (restrictions on claiming benefit make it difficult to walk away from exploitative or dangerous work, even where theoretically migrant workers have that right).

11 Although the actual legal status of migrant workers from other EU nations is clear because of the free movement of workers, there can be confusion about what precisely their legal status is, especially when they are self-employed, and these issues are of course particularly a problem for migrant workers from outside the EU. The TUC believes that there should be a rational public debate about how to ensure that migrant workers are engaged in regular legal employment.

12 Examples drawn from one TUC region illustrate the sort of exploitation referred to:

  • Polish and Lithuanian workers engaged for the daffodil season in Cornwall reported that they had been stopped from working for the first few weeks so that they were in debt to the agency for travel, rent and other fees. They were packed eight to each caravan with no heating, and charged £50 a week, including £5 a day transport to get to the field. They were even charged for the elastic bands to tie the flowers. When the police raided the site they found some workers who had been doing 70 hours a week but after all the deductions were left with just 21p.
  • The South West TUC discovered three Polish workers living in the back of a trailer lorry on an abattoir loading bay. When confronted, the employer claimed it was like a palace to them and he didn't know what the fuss was because there was no window for anyone to see in. The skilled bone cutters were paid less than the local workers, abused and denied basic rights.
  • Latvian building workers were being paid £4.50 an hour cash 'off the books' by a Torquay building contractor. When they complained, the builder called the police to 'evict' them from cramped accommodation he was charging them £50 a week each to live in. Before they could collect outstanding pay, workers had to sign agreement not to report builder to press or Inland Revenue. The workers were left homeless, without any rights to employment law or benefits.
  • A farm worker in Somerset was paid £5 an hour (well under the agricultural wages board minimum). The wage did increase to £5.40 (still below the proper rate for the job) but so did the £100 a month rent. Electricity and other fees were deducted from pay. He worked for over a year but was not allowed to take holidays.
  • Workers at a distribution depot in Avonmouth were told that they were not entitled to take a Bank Holiday because they were Polish.

13 There are, traditionally, three ways in which workers' rights can be improved. Firstly, they can be given more and better rights at work; secondly more can be done to encourage the implementation and enforcement of those rights; and thirdly, they can act collectively to improve their position - the latter avenue is dealt with in the next section.

14 In terms of stronger rights at work, the TUC welcomed the Gangmasters' Licensing Act as a key measure to assist migrant workers (and others) to resist exploitation. But much more is needed, such as:

  • the adoption of an EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers. Comparators between agency staff and permanent employees need to be enforceable from day one. Exclusions of areas like pension rights from such comparisons could provide a massive loop-hole for exploitation and undercutting;
  • the scope of the Gangmasters Act needs to be extended to provide a broader licensing regime across the economy - not just agriculture, horticulture, gathering shellfish and food processing;
  • there needs to be effective implementation in UK law of the Posted Workers Directive, especially to ensure that posted workers' pay etc is determined by existing national level agreements;
  • the territorial scope of UK employment rights needs to be clarified and this area of abuse closed down; and
  • the extension of employment rights to all workers (rather than solely employees as is the case in some laws) and tightening up on bogus self-employment.

15 Of course, improvements in the law will not on their own improve conditions for migrant workers. The laws must be enforced, and employers should be encouraged to implement them in spirit as well as to the letter. More enforcement of existing rules could mean more government inspection (health and safety, minimum wages) or self-enforcement: support for unionisation, community groups and welfare advice services, better language training and translation of key information. The TUC supports a substantial expansion in the provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). There could be substantial fines and/or custodial sentences for employers when they consistently do not comply with the requirements of employment law. There should be measures to discourage the development of an informal sector, with dubious self-employment, persistent temporary contracts, hiring by the day and so on. There should be a ban on those agencies who employ workers solely on bogus self employed status from winning government contracts.

16 In Ireland, the government, unions and employers have reached a new social partnership, Towards 2016, which includes a number of measures designed to protect the rights of both migrant and indigenous workers, such as:

  • the establishment of a new Office of Employment Rights Compliance (ODERC) with an increase from 21 to 90 in the number of Labour Inspectors in addition to new support posts, allowing for joint investigation units to target serious abuses of employment standards;
  • the tax system will be reformed to prevent people in the building industry and elsewhere from being forced into bogus self employed status to allow employers to avoid pension contributions etc;
  • employers will be obliged to keep accurate employment records in a prescribed format for inspection by the Labour Inspectors;
  • there will be a new Employment Rights procedure to allow easier access to justice and with compensation where rights are denied. Powers to award up to two years pay by way of compensation is a very significant change and will help many migrant workers whose cases are usually about bread and butter issues like payment of correct wages;
  • in effect, the exploitation and abuse of workers is now a de facto criminal offence;
  • new standards of compliance with labour law in order to tender for public procurement contracts - in other words, the taxpayer will no longer subsidise exploitation or sharp employment practices;
  • legislation to regulate employment agencies and educational establishments to prevent them from undermining employment standards and immigration law;
  • legislative changes to prevent Irish Ferries type collective redundancies and 'Gate Gourmet' type unfair dismissals; and
  • a code of practice to protect people working as domestic servants.

17 The TUC intends seeking discussions with the Government about this important Irish initiative and ways to strengthen the rights of people at work so that exploitation is eradicated.

Union action

18 As indicated above, collective action by and on behalf of migrant workers is a key component in combating exploitation. Unions are increasingly engaged in ensuring equal treatment for migrant workers, whether through agreements with employers, the use of supply chains, or the provision of information and services tailored to migrant workers' needs, as the following examples show:

  • the T&G made Sainsbury's and Tesco aware this July of examples of bad practice at S&A Produce at their Brook Farm, Herefordshire strawberry farm. Their intervention helped persuade the employers to enter into talks with the union, where agreement has so far been reached on dropping charges for basic medical services and providing accommodation for workers overnight at the end of their contract (not all problems have yet been resolved);
  • at London Luton Airport last autumn, the T&G discovered that baggage handlers brought in by an agency from Poland were being paid around £2 an hour less than the ground staff employed by Big Orange Handling, which is a jointly owned venture between easyJet and Menzies. The T&G threatened strike action unless the issue was resolved and the Polish workers won an immediate pay increase to bring them up to the same level as the permanent employees;
  • similarly, the T&G stepped in when local stewards in Exeter discovered the problems being faced by Polish agency workers at a meat processing company. These included worse employment conditions than British workers, and housing which put ten workers into a two bedroom property with rent of £40 per person per week, payable to the agency. With assistance from the Federation of Poles in Britain, the T&G got the contract with the agency terminated and all the agency workers taken on as direct employees;
  • an USDAW rep won the TUC Midlands Regional Union Learning Representative of the Year award after Project Troika, ESOL courses for small groups of migrant workers, was launched by the union and management at the Christian Salvesen service and returns centre in Lutterworth. The turnover of new starters at the vehicle service and returns facility where more than 70% of workers come from all across the globe - including Eastern Europe - has fallen from 80% to 18%;
  • when Unison in Scotland discovered that twelve nurses had paid £500 each to St George's Recruitment Agency to get placed in employment with the NHS - payments which are unlawful in the Philippines - they worked with the Philippines government to take legal action against the agency. Unison has set up an Overseas Nurses Network in Scotland;
  • GMB Midland and East Coast Region, in partnership with Prospects Services Ltd, won an award for its project, Reaching Out to New Communities which responded to the increasing number of people coming to the region from Eastern Europe and Portugal. The main focus of the project was to enable migrant workers to learn English and thus learn about their rights, but it also involved the development of a Handbook containing practical advice. The Handbook was developed for the GMB by two young people who are themselves from Eastern Europe, and it is available in English, Polish and Lithuanian; and
  • a number of unions have started to use workers from the migrant communities to recruit and represent them. Last year, Polish union confederation Solidarnosc seconded an organiser to the North West TUC to develop contact between Polish workers and trade unions in the region. The T&G has begun to employ Polish workers (and British born Polish speakers) as organisers to recruit and represent Polish migrant workers in the construction and food processing industries, and UCATT has recruited Polish workers who speak English as reps on large sites in the North East.

19 Unions need to continue to develop and strengthen initiatives aimed at recruiting, organising and representing migrant workers. Links with local communities inside the UK, and also with trade union movements in Eastern Europe, can be particularly helpful in making contact between unions and migrants, and in this context, the TUC has been developing closer links (often on specific projects such as the EU-funded ICICLE project which dealt with the implementation of information and consultation regulations) with Bulgarian and Romanian trade union confederations, as well as stepping up links with Turkish trade union confederations (the ETUC has covered all three countries for some time).


20 The TUC will continue to support stronger employment rights for migrant workers to ensure that they are treated equally with indigenous workers, and as more migrant workers enter the UK labour market, the need for such rights becomes ever stronger. Unions must also continue to strengthen their capacity to recruit, organise and represent migrant workers. The TUC supports the free movement of workers in the European Union, and believes that where there is a single market, and increasingly a single labour market, there must be EU-wide regulation of that labour market.

adopted 7 September 2006

Joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain

The TUC and the Muslim Council of Britain will work together in support of workplace justice and against Islamophobia

The TUC and the Muslim Council of Britain make this joint commitment to work together on issues of common concern in the belief that by combining together we will be able to achieve more towards those objectives we share in common than we can do by acting alone.

Our two organisations may have different origins but we share many important common goals and beliefs.

The Muslim Council of Britain is an umbrella organisation which brings together hundreds of faith organisations across Britain, all representing members of one of the world's great religions. The Council's aims are to benefit members of the Muslim community and promote a greater understanding of that community within society as a whole whilst working towards the common good of all. It seeks the eradication of disadvantage and discrimination and the betterment of community relations.

The TUC is a non-religious organisation, bringing together unions whose members include people of different religions and none. It speaks on behalf of people at work and campaigns for workplace justice. It is committed to the promotion of equality for all and the elimination of all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination.

Our two organisations respect our differences and recognise everyone's right to hold their own beliefs but we share the view that they must do so in a way that respects others' rights and does not impose their beliefs or lifestyle on others.

The shared belief of the MCB and TUC in justice, equality and opposition to prejudice is matched by our belief that these objectives can be better achieved in the workplace by a framework of legislation that provides for workplace justice and by workers joining together in independent trade unions. We believe it is in the interests of workers to join the appropriate trade union at their workplace and that employers should recognise such unions.

We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge facing us today.

The TUC report Poverty, Exclusion and British People of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Origin published in 2005 demonstrated that many people from substantial parts of the Muslim community suffer massive disadvantage and discrimination: 69 per cent classified as poor compared with 22 per cent of the country as a whole. Overall British Muslims are three times more likely to be unemployed than the population as a whole.

Islamophobia is a real and present threat, fuelled by misunderstandings, prejudice and the characterisation of whole communities because of a small number of dangerous extremists and a loud but tiny fringe made larger than life by some sensation mongering and self-fulfilling reporting in some parts of the media. Such groups threaten their own communities just as they threaten society at large.

Whilst much reporting, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 7 July 2005 bomb attacks, has been sensitive and emphasised the strength of society achieved through diversity, there have been too many examples of stereotyping, prejudice and even incitement in the media's handling of community relations.

The rise of the far right and electoral successes of the BNP, sometimes through the exploitation of heightened feelings of deprivation and discontent amongst certain white groups, are alarming features of recent years and we commit ourselves to work together to address both the problems faced by these groups as well as counter the political exploitation of this constituency.

In order to develop our joint working we will continue with a regular dialogue between our two organisations and look to go beyond this framework through more detailed contacts and jointly organised events for members of our two organisations.

The TUC will use its networks to counter widespread misunderstanding of Islam and the way the religion relates to modern society, whilst the MCB will use its networks to raise awareness within the Muslim community of the values of union membership and the important role which unions have in seeking justice and fair treatment in the workplace and in wider society.

Adopted 7 September 2006


The trade union movement has long campaigned for peace and disarmament, and in particular against weapons of mass destruction. We recognise that in today's international climate, the possession of nuclear weapons would either have no effect on, or increase, the threats of terrorism and nuclear brinkmanship that we face.

The General Council therefore renews its call, as set out in the 2003 Congress resolution on disarmament, for 'efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction and [our call] on those with the biggest arsenals to initiate multilateral initiatives under the aegis of the United Nations to achieve substantial progress towards world disarmament.'

The General Council notes that the decision on a possible replacement for Trident will be taken within the next year. The General Council is concerned about the potential economic impact that the non-replacement of Trident would have on both the MOD civilian workforce and on manufacturing industry generally and specifically those working in the defence industry. We remind Congress that many of these people live and work in remote parts of Britain where there is little other alternate employment let alone skilled employment of this nature. Therefore we believe that the issue of diversification to protect the jobs of those engaged in work that could be affected by this decision needs to be fully explored, as does the alternative defence initiatives.

The General Council also recognises that many unions have not yet reached a view on this issue, and believes that there should be an opportunity for a proper consultation on the issues of jobs, defence and public expenditure within the trade union movement, pending the publication of a Green Paper, and that the General Council should initiate such a consultation without undue delay before a final Government position is reached.

The General Council is also concerned that the cost to public expenditure could be tens of billions of pounds, which could otherwise be invested in manufacturing, health, education, pensions and transport and this is another important factor which has to be considered in this debate.

The General Council therefore calls on the Government for a full, rational and open public and Parliamentary debate on the replacement of Trident before any final Government decisions are taken, including a Green Paper covering all the options for replacement, including non-replacement, a White Paper and a deciding vote in Parliament.

Adopted 13 September 2006

General Council and General Purposes Committee Nominations and election results

General Council

Section A

(unions with more than 200,000 members)


(six members)

Gail Cartmail

Tony Dubbins

Doug Rooney

Derek Simpson

Ed Sweeney

Paul Talbot


(six members)

Bob Abberley

Jane Carolan

Dave Prentis

Alison Shepherd

Liz Snape

Sofi Taylor

Transport and General Workers

(four members)

Barry Camfield

Jimmy Kelly

Patricia Stuart

Tony Woodley


(three members)

Sheila Bearcroft

Allan Garley

Paul Kenny

Communication Workers Union

(two members)

Jeannie Drake

Billy Hayes

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

(two members)

Chris Keates

Sue Rogers

National Union of Teachers

(two members)

Lesley Auger

Steve Sinnott

Public and Commercial Services Union

(two members)

Janice Godrich

Mark Serwotka

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

(two members)

Pauline Foulkes

John Hannett

Section B

unions with between 100,000 and 200,000 members

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Mary Bousted


Paul Noon

University and College Union

Paul Mackney

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Alan Ritchie

Section C

(eleven to be elected)




Jonathan Baume*



Brian Caton *



Bob Crow *



Jeremy Dear *



Gerry Doherty*



Michael Leahy*



Joe Marino



Judy McKnight*



Robert Monks



Ged Nichols *



Brian Orrell *



Tim Poil *



Matt Wrack *



Section D

(women from unions with fewer than 200,000 members)

(four to be elected - no contest)

Sue Ferns -Prospect

Anita Halpin - National Union of Journalists

Sally Hunt - University and College Union

Lesley Mercer - Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Section E

Member representing black workers from unions with more than 200,000 members

Mohammad Taj -Transport and General Workers Union

Section F

Member representing black workers from unions with fewer than 200,000 members

Leslie Manasseh - Connect

Section G

Member representing black women

Gloria Mills -UNISON

Section H

Member representing disabled workers




Mark Fysh *



Tony Sneddon



Section I

Member representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workers

Maria Exall - Communication Workers Union

Section J

Member representing young workers




John Walsh *



Stephen Gribben



General Purposes Committee

(five to be elected - no contest)

Phil Davies -GMB

Peter Hall - National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Linda McCulloch - Amicus

Annette Mansell-Green - UNISON

Tony Woodhouse - Transport and General Workers Union

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