Congress Decisions 2007

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Congress Decisions 2007

Listed below are the decisions taken by the 2007 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 2007 - 2008.

Resolutions Carried

1 Migrant workers

Congress recognises the benefits to the economy, public services and local communities of the presence of migrant workers but believes that more must be done to tackle exploitation and abuse by unscrupulous employers, to encourage recruitment of migrant workers to the trade union movement and to improve and enhance support services provided to migrant workers and their families.

Congress, therefore, calls on the General Council to:

i) continue to campaign against the exploitation and abuse of migrant workers and to publicise examples of this as widely as possible; and

ii) share best practice amongst affiliates in relation to recruitment, organisation and support structures for migrant workers covering: membership, language provision, branch structures, befriending schemes and health and safety advice.

Congress also calls on the UK Government and the devolved administrations to:

a) ensure the availability of a full range of support services for all migrant workers and their families, particularly in relation to education and language provision; and

b) ensure that sufficient resources are available to education authorities and other providers so that appropriate additional support is available to the children of migrant workers for whom English is not their first language.

The Educational Institute of Scotland

2 Managed migration: impact on performers

Congress believes that migrant workers make a major contribution to Britain's economic and cultural life. However, it understands the need for an objective system for determining whether people are allowed to enter the UK to work, in the interests of migrant workers and the wider community.

In addition, Congress supports the enforcement of decent working conditions and employment rights to protect vulnerable workers from undercutting, excessive hours and inferior working conditions.

Therefore, Congress is alarmed by changes proposed under Tier 5 of the Government's points-based system, whereby temporary workers in the arts and entertainment sector will lose current safeguards protecting vulnerable workers in the UK and supporting work opportunities for British talent overseas.

In particular, the new system must include a test against the impact on the resident labour market and levels of pay against industry norms, as operates currently in consultation between Work Permits UK and the entertainment unions. It is not sufficient for an employer with no track record simply to vouch for the migrant worker with no additional protection being in place.

The lack of consultation will also prevent the operation of Equity's bilateral agreements with performers' unions overseas, which currently ensures that the displacement of work opportunities in the UK is balanced by an exchange of work opportunities for British performers (particularly on Broadway).

Congress, therefore, calls upon the Government to work with the entertainment unions to ensure that safeguards are included in the new points-based system, protecting vulnerable workers and supporting work opportunities for British talent overseas.


The following amendment was ACCEPTED

Paragraph 4, line 3, after 'entertainment unions.' insert new sentence:

'This should be accompanied by rapid and effective sanctions for employers failing to comply.'

Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

4 Gangmasters and the construction industry

Congress notes the introduction of the Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004 which required the licensing of employment agencies in agriculture, food processing and shellfish collection.

Congress welcomes the introduction of Jim Sheridan's 10 Minute Rule Bill on 13 June 2007, which sought to extend the Act to include the construction industry - a sector where unlicensed gangmasters have become increasingly active since the introduction of the Gangmasters Act.

The increased activity of unlicensed gangmasters in construction has dramatically increased exploitation of many vulnerable workers, especially migrant workers - exploitation that includes poverty pay, illegal deductions, dangerous working conditions, intimidation and physical violence.

Congress notes with regret the 25 per cent increase in construction deaths in 2006/7, many of whom were migrant workers, and is deeply concerned that there may be a correlation between increased gangmaster activity and industry fatalities.

Congress further notes the commitment of former Prime Minister Tony Blair to 'consider carefully' Mr Sheridan's Bill and that 'it is important to keep the matter under review'.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to mount an effective and vigorous campaign in support of extending the terms of reference for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to include the construction industry, that will:

i) protect vulnerable workers from exploitation and abuse;

ii) drive rogue labour providers out of business;

iii) safeguard the future of the decent, law-abiding agencies; and

iv) ensure that the Treasury is not cheated and defrauded of millions of pounds of tax and VAT by criminal gangmasters.

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

5 Work experience

Congress welcomes the campaigns waged by media unions and others against the exploitation of those on bogus work experience schemes.

Congress believes well-organised, structured work experience is of great value to potential new entrants to the media industry and other professions.

However, Congress expresses its grave concern at evidence submitted to HMRC that demonstrates many such young workers are being exploited through working for weeks and months for no pay and with no rights, in breach of the National Minimum Wage laws, Working Time Regulations and employment laws.

Congress is further concerned at the failure of HMRC to act on such evidence.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) support calls for action to be taken by HMRC to end such exploitation through more rigorous enforcement of the NMW and WTR;

ii) work with media unions to name and shame persistent offenders; and

iii) lobby government, both for more resources for enforcement of employment rights and to promote collective enforcement mechanisms.

National Union of Journalists

8 Collective bargaining rights for freelances

Congress welcomes the growth in union recognition agreements since the introduction of the statutory recognition procedure in June 2000.

Such recognition agreements provide the basis for improved rights at work for millions of employees.

However, Congress is concerned that many companies are avoiding their obligations to freelance, casual and atypical workers under Fairness at Work through the loophole in the law that means freelances - often doing the very same work as staff and who often were previously staff for the same companies - have no legal right to collective bargaining. Congress believes this has led to the increasing casualisation and the development of a two-tier workforce.

As a result millions of working people are being denied basic employment, representation and bargaining rights. Congress believes such a situation is unacceptable.

Congress calls on the TUC to make campaigning for such rights for all and access to statutory recognition procedures for all a priority. Congress urges the TUC to help co-ordinate the lobbying and campaigning activities of those unions with members affected by such exploitation.

National Union of Journalists

9 Dispute resolution and employment rights

Congress notes the proposal to repeal the current workplace dispute resolution procedures and agrees the objectives of any replacement procedures must be to:

i) protect and/or enhance existing employment rights;

ii) ensure that workers can easily enforce them;

iii) promote the internal resolution of disputes via trade union representation and collective bargaining; and

iv) extend best practice across all sectors and workplaces.

Congress calls on the General Council to press for new procedures that:

a) actively promote the constructive role of trade unions in dispute resolution;

b) provide a stronger advisory role and increased resources for ACAS, together with a statutory code of practice;

c) simplify Employment Tribunal applications and procedures; and

d) strengthen the right of individuals to be represented at grievance and disciplinary hearings.

In addition, it is essential that there is a more robust, better co-ordinated and effectively resourced approach to enforcement to ensure, at the very least, employer compliance with minimum standards.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

In sub-paragraph a) after 'dispute resolution' add 'and prevention'.

In sub-paragraph b) delete 'for ACAS' and insert 'to ensure that ACAS is adequately funded to provide a free early dispute resolution service and proactive pre-tribunal conciliation service in line with the recommendations of the Gibbons Report'

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

'c) ensure ACAS is funded to expand its dispute prevention activity, especially in the area of business support to SMEs;'


10 Trade union democracy

Congress notes the ASLEF-United Kingdom decision concerning s174 of the TULRCA.

Congress calls on the UK Government to recognise fully the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and to amend TULRCA to recognise the autonomy of trade unions and their right to determine their own rules as to membership, drawing upon the decisions of the ILO and international human rights instruments.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

The following AMENDMENT was accepted.

Paragraph 1, line 1, replace 'notes' with 'welcomes' and after 'TULRCA' add ', which denies to British trade unions the basic right to freedom of association.'

Paragraph 2, line 2, delete 'amend TULRCA to recognise' and replace with 'repeal all legislative provisions which restrict'.

Paragraph 2, line 3, delete 'as to' and replace with "and".

Paragraph 2, line 3, delete 'drawing upon' and replace with 'to conform with'.


11 Disregarding time limits in disciplinary procedures

Congress notes with increasing concern the abuse by some employers of the time limits set out in disciplinary procedures, in particular in relation to the suspension of employees. Congress fully accepts that all disciplinary matters should be properly investigated; however, where an employee is suspended every effort must be made to stick to the time limits agreed. Suspension is a supposed to be a neutral act but for the individual concerned it is an anxious and stressful time. Congress calls on the General Council to make every effort through all channels to highlight these concerns and promote best practice in this area of industrial relations.

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

12 Exclusion of seafarers from legal protections

Congress notes with concern the continuing routine exclusion of seafarers from key elements of labour and social regulation - both within the UK and in Europe. Congress also notes the stated opposition of shipowners to signs that the European Commission may be moving to end such systematic exclusions. Noting that there are no sustainable arguments in favour of the automatic exemption of seafarers from regulations affecting shore-based workers, Congress calls upon the General Council to lobby both the UK Government and the European Commission on this issue, and to give full support to the maritime trade unions in their efforts to ensure that seafarers enjoy the same protection as all other groups of workers.

Nautilus UK

13 The governance of Britain

Congress welcomes the Green Paper The Governance of Britain and subsequent consultation documents. Congress believes that the proposals as a whole will enhance the quality of democracy in the UK, and build trust in governance amongst citizens. It particularly welcomes the Government's commitment to place the civil service on a statutory footing which will include measures enshrining its core principles and values in law, which is Congress policy.

Congress notes in the Green Paper:

i) a reaffirmation of human rights, including the right of assembly and association;

ii) proposals for re-invigorating democracy at all levels, including in local communities;

iii) mechanisms for making the executive more accountable; and

iv) a new duty on public bodies to involve local people in major decisions.

The Government also intends to initiate an inclusive process of national debate to develop a British statement of values, which might include a Bill of Rights and Duties and the creation of a framework of civic responsibilities.

Congress welcomes this debate and urges the General Council to encourage the widest possible participation amongst unions.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted.

Insert new penultimate paragraph:

'Congress recognises that this national debate must acknowledge the multi-cultural character of British society, and that the diversity of our communities is also the basis of our unity.'

Communication Workers' Union

18 Trade union rights for prison officers

Congress supports the POA and its officials for the stance taken in accordance with the union's policies for fair pay and full staffing in all penal establishments.

Further, Congress notes with concern the continued attacks made by the Prison Service and Government against the union, its members and officials, particularly by the use of court action and the threat of imprisonment against POA officials.

Congress reaffirms its policy to insist that prison officers have returned to them full trade union rights, including the right to restrict and withdraw their Labour - these rights being no different from those enjoyed by other public and emergency service representative bodies.

Congress calls upon the Government to return human rights to POA members and to ensure that they do not seek to place these draconian restrictions against any other public sector trade union.


20 Shrewsbury pickets

Congress notes the renewed campaign to seek justice for 24 building workers convicted in 1973 under the 1875 Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act.

Congress recognises the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the Shrewsbury pickets was politically motivated and biased, and that the 24 building workers were victims of a miscarriage of justice.

It is further recognised that Dennis Warren, Eric Tomlinson, John McKinsie Jones, Arthur Murray, Mike Pierce and Brian Williams, who all received custodial sentences, were political prisoners; as were 18 others who were charged and received varying degrees of suspended sentences.

Congress further acknowledges that at the 1976 Congress there was a call for a parliamentary inquiry into the jailing of the Shrewsbury pickets.

Congress, therefore, calls on the General Council to renew the call for a parliamentary inquiry. The inquiry should:

i) encompass all dates following and including 6 September 1972 up until the release of Dennis Warren and Eric Tomlinson;

ii) include an immediate Freedom of Information request for the release of all government and police papers relating to the 'Shrewsbury' trials;

iii) examine any link between Central Government and the North Wales and West Mercia Police Divisions investigations;

iv) examine any link between UK building employers and the Conservative Government and specifically the Home Secretary Robert Carr; and

v) investigate the systematic intimidation and abuse suffered in prison by Eric Tomlinson and the late Dennis Warren.

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

21 Organising and independent trade unionism

Congress agrees that the independence of our trade union movement and the independence of every affiliate is one of our guiding principles.

Congress will oppose any move to incorporate affiliated unions into any form of government or employer-based structure that would limit our ability to act independently, properly represent our members and develop the organising agenda to which the TUC is committed. Congress will oppose any attempted isolation of unions refusing such incorporation. Congress urges all unions seeking to recruit the same body of workers to explore ways to establish new, united and independent organisations, using the good offices of the TUC in this direction.

National Union of Teachers

24 Single Equality Act

Congress notes the Discrimination Law Review is due to consult on the Single Equality Act in 2007.

Congress is concerned that any delay in publishing the Green Paper would jeopardise the introduction of the Act in this Parliament.

If disabled workers are to achieve equality at work we need a single, coherent and comprehensive Single Equality Act that strengthens existing discrimination legislation and gives support for trade unions to address inequality through collective bargaining.

Congress calls on the General Council to strengthen its campaign for a Single Equality Act to include:

i) the duty on all employers in all sectors to promote equality and eliminate discrimination for all strands of equality;

ii) a right for trade unions to take class actions;

iii) statutory rights for trade union equality representatives;

iv) the right to disability leave;

v) compulsory equality audits for all employers in all sectors and that action should be taken as a result of audits and published in organisations' annual reports;

vi) statutory codes of practice, enforceable in tribunals, should be introduced for all strands of equality;

vii) consistency of protection, standards and time limits; and

viii) public procurement to require organisations to be compliant with discrimination law and promoting equality.

TUC Disability Conference

27 Supporting working carers

Congress notes that a growing proportion of the UK population are carers and warmly welcomes the Government's extension of the right to request flexible working to carers of adults. This will make it easier for carers to enter, and remain in, paid work. We need to make it easier for carers to juggle work with caring. One in five carers has had to give up work because of their caring responsibilities.

However, more needs to be done. The recent Carer's UK report Real Change highlighted the financial hardship many carers face. Many carers struggle to pay household bills and use most of their income to meet the rising costs of caring.

Congress believes there is an urgent case for more government, employer and union action on carers to help carers stay in work and to better support them financially. Carers need:

i) the right to paid time off work for family/caring emergencies; and

ii) removal of the earnings rule from Carers Allowance enabling many more carers to access this benefit.

Congress resolves to:

a) support the work being done by affiliates to negotiate paid time off for family/caring emergencies;

b) help affiliates make the case for more support for carers to Government;

c) circulate examples of how unions and employers working together have made a difference to carers; and

d) continue in its work on the gender pay gap to highlight the high price women in particular pay for having to take unpaid time out of the labour market to care.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


Insert new sub-paragraph iii):

'iii) an entitlement to flexible working, for those parents who currently have a right to apply.'

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

28 Slavery

In 2007 we are commemorating the bicentennial of the legislation that led to the eventual abolition of the European trade in African people. This was the worst crime against humanity. Britain and its society profited from slave labour, and the descendents of slaves continue to make a positive contribution to life in Britain. This deserves to be fully acknowledged.

Black people still suffer in many aspects of British society especially in education, health, employment and the criminal justice system. Despite many initiatives, our progression is slow and for many there are no discernable improvements at all.

The bicentenary is about both commemoration and liberation. Congress believes that the TUC and its affiliates should take this opportunity to raise awareness of both historical and contemporary forms of slavery.

Congress calls on the General Council to encourage affiliates to undertake activities during 2007 to mark both the bicentenary and the achievements and positive contribution of black people.

Congress demands that the TUC lobby the appropriate government departments to review the inequalities in black British life and commit to:

i) having a true and positive black history perspective reflected in the National Curriculum and in further/higher education;

ii) driving agenda for change within the public sector to address inequalities in service provision; and

iii) full implementation of the RRA Act to ensure that there are no barriers to black employment and progression in the public/private sector.

There will be a positive legacy for black people in 21st century multicultural Britain.

TUC Black Workers' Conference

The following AMENDMENT was CARRIED

In sub-paragraph ii) after 'address' insert:

'the stereotyping of young black people in British society and'


29 Strengthening the framework for fairness

Congress salutes the hard work of unions and activists that achieved the GB Sexual Orientation regulations banning discrimination in goods and services, and resisting attempts to give wide-ranging exemptions to faith organisations. While this was a significant achievement, the regulations contain limitations and omissions on accommodation, harassment and teaching. Further, protection for trans service users is delayed to the end of the 2007.

Congress expresses particular concern about government guidance for schools on the sexual orientation regulations which - while positive in parts - specifically advises that it is lawful to teach 'that same-sex sexual activity is a sin'.

Congress notes there is an opportunity to win vital improvements in the proposed single equality bill. Improvements already in the Government's proposals must be welcomed and reinforced. Others currently missing require strong and co-ordinated lobbying.

Congress welcomes the work of the TUC and education unions in tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in education. What is being taught in schools affects every one of us. Congress urges affiliates to lobby for:

i) the sexual orientation schools' guidance to be amended to remove reference to same sex relationships as 'sinful'; and

ii) the strongest and most comprehensive single equality bill, including duties to promote LGBT equality.

TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Conference

The following AMENDMENT was CARRIED

Insert new paragraph 3:

'Congress is dismayed by the Government's lack of recognition of the crucial role of education in promoting greater equality and social justice beyond the legislative framework.'

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

'ii) well-resourced, systematic and wide-ranging support of teachers to create a positive understanding of same-sex relationships and to effectively tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia;'

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

30 Securing a UN resolution to protect human rights of LGBT people internationally

Congress acknowledges the UK achievements made in respect of LGBT equality in recent years.

However, in over 70 countries around the world, LGBT people still continue to suffer the most severe oppression and discrimination. Many are tortured and killed simply because of their sexual orientation. This is a fundamental breach of Article 1 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights that 'All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights.'

In view of the increasingly global world economy, equal human rights for LGBT people remain a trade union issue.

Congress calls upon the TUC and its affiliates to:

i) work closely with Amnesty International, human rights organisations and appropriate NGOs to address the UN to secure an international resolution protecting the human rights of all LGBT people;

ii) work with the British Government, particularly the Foreign and Home Office, to increase their awareness of the serious discrimination and persecution taking place against LGBT people in many countries; and

iii) encourage the British Government to challenge international abuses of LGBT people through the UN and work towards securing a resolution to protect the human rights of LGBT people everywhere.

Nationwide Group Staff Union

31 Remploy

Congress condemns the proposal to close 43 Remploy factory sites with the loss of 2,300 disabled jobs and up to 700 non-disabled jobs; supposedly aimed at getting more disabled people into open employment but actually planned since June 2005.

Congress recognises that at the heart of this dispute is a policy muddle and agrees that offering disabled people the opportunity to participate in mainstream employment and maintaining Remploy factories are not mutually exclusive. Congress supports both aims.

Congress will not be complicit in the privatisation of our public services and rejects the Remploy strategy as part of a wider campaign to privatise Jobcentre Plus. Remploy's Interwork function should be returned to JobCentre Plus which has the expertise to do the job.

Congress calls on the Government to:

i) place a moratorium on factory closures;

ii) hold an independent enquiry into the Remploy Board's stewardship and its strategy since June 2005;

iii) examine the methods used to persuade MPs and charities that factory closures are the only answer to the issue of disabled people's employment; and

iv) use the EU Procurement Directive to encourage public bodies to place orders with Remploy to create a steady stream of work out of the billions paid annually for goods and services.

Congress further calls on affiliates to support the Remploy trade unions' campaign to stop these factory closures and support their alternative business proposals which can substantially improve the company's financial position without the need for factory closures or job losses.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert at end of sub-paragraph i):

'and ensure that the views of disabled people themselves are taken into account before making further changes;'

Add new sub-paragraph v):

'v) take the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to joined-up government by recognising the value of work in relation to addressing health inequalities, managing long-term health conditions, and as a fundamental component of well-being.'

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

32 Genetic testing

In 2011 the current moratorium and concordat on genetic testing for the insurance industry will cease to exist.

A review of this concordat and progress on the production of a policy framework to ensure that the use of genetic testing is transparent and fair is due to take place in 2008.

The rapid progress of technology has brought down the cost of screening and access to genetic testing and as a result there is an urgent need to have clear policy and regulation on the use and storage of sensitive and personal data.

Without realistic and enforceable control of genetic testing, employers and insurers will rely on self-regulation. This is unacceptable and has the potential for misuse and discrimination in the workplace and the wider community.

Congress is concerned that there has been little, if any, debate with unions on the use of genetic testing in employment or in health care.

Congress calls on the General Council to open the debate with the public and affiliates on the use and control of genetic testing in employment with the intention of raising awareness and to develop public policy on this very important issue.

Congress further calls on the General Council to engage with government about how best to implement robust mechanisms for the regulation and management of genetic testing in the workplace.

Society of Radiographers

33 Manufacturing and globalisation

Congress recognises that the future ability of trade unions in the UK to sustain collective influence in a global economy requires a global response. As the global marketplace takes ever greater control with less accountability, trade unions need to work more closely with international trade union partners.

As an increasing proportion of UK manufacturing is owned by global corporations so the ability to influence business strategies and security of employment is undermined. As labour markets are exploited by trans-national employers where costs are cheapest and regulation non-existent, it falls upon the trade union movement to act in a concerted manner to challenge the absence of ethical and labour standards wherever they occur. Congress believes that the politics of the global market reflects a one-party system concerned with the interests only of its own corporate class. In the absence of collective nation states being able or willing to challenge this authority, the collective trade union movement remains the only credible alternative.

Congress calls upon the General Council to press the Government to:

i) use procurement to underpin UK manufacturing wherever possible,

ii) apply or introduce legislation to remove the disadvantage suffered by UK workers when compared to other developed manufacturing members of the EU;

iii) lift training support to a minimum of NVQ level 3; and

iv) remove legal barriers to cross-border trade union co-operation and merger.


34 Manufacturing in the United Kingdom

Congress is profoundly concerned about the decline of employment in manufacturing in Britain from four million in 2000 to below three million in 2006. Despite ten years of financial stability and economic growth the loss of manufacturing jobs in Britain has been much faster and productivity improvement much slower than in any other European Union country. In the European Union, Britain also has the largest trade deficit and British energy prices remain the highest. For years, investment in British manufacturing has been inadequate to maintain competitiveness despite deregulation, tax incentives, and other employer-friendly policies and the close attention the Government has paid to CBI advice.

Congress is convinced that economic growth cannot be maintained indefinitely in the absence of a thriving industrial base and that without the contribution to growth of technical advance in manufacturing, it will be increasingly difficult for the United Kingdom to maintain rising levels of public expenditure. Congress calls on the Government to reassess the impact on manufacturing of the instability and over-valuation of Sterling in relation to the Euro and the systemic conflict between the narrow remit of the Monetary Policy Committee and the needs of manufacturing.

Congress in addition calls on the Government to work in close co-operation with the TUC to establish a fair trading environment for British manufacturing by addressing, in particular, the excessive costs of energy; inappropriate trade and public procurement policies; and the failure to utilise available EU resources to promote British manufacturing advance.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Paragraph 2, after first sentence ending 'expenditure' insert:

'For example, Congress is concerned that although the defence industrial base will be boosted by the Carrier contracts, it is likely that only one shipyard will be needed after 2016. As a result there is a challenge of retaining technical expertise and training apprentices without the prospect of secure employment.'

After this insertion, make existing 'Congress calls on...' into new paragraph 3.


36 Climate change

Congress notes with concern the recent reports of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, which highlight the global scale and severity of the impact of climate change. It welcomes the publication of the draft Climate Change Bill as an important part of the UK's response to these challenges. Congress:

i) supports the principle of statutory targets for reducing carbon emissions, but believes that the UK's target of 60 per cent reduction by 2050 may be insufficiently ambitious;

ii) agrees that the proposed legally binding five-year 'carbon budgets' will help provide clarity on the UK's pathway towards its key targets, but considers that these will need to be buttressed by other measures to provide the long-term policy certainty needed to encourage the necessary investment in low-carbon generating capacity; and

iii) welcomes the proposed formation of a Committee on Climate Change to provide independent expert advice and guidance to Government, but considers that to ensure that it commands public confidence this Committee must include a voice for key stakeholder groups.

Congress also believes that the proposed Commission for Employment and Skills should be tasked with undertaking a cross-cutting review of the employment and skills required to sustain a low-carbon economy, bring forward environmental markets, enhance economic performance, and develop skills for sustainable production and consumption.

The General Council is instructed to pursue these objectives urgently and to press for greater policy cohesion across government departments.


39 Freight on rail

Congress notes the recent success of the TUC one-day conference on climate change. The conference recognised that a major shift in the transportation of goods from road to rail would make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions, Government costs and congestion and improving safety. It was stated that we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions globally by 60 per cent by 2050 if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The movement from road to rail can significantly reduce carbon emissions, as rail produces between five and ten times less emissions per tonne carried than road transport and an average freight train can remove 50 heavy goods vehicle journeys from our roads.

Furthermore, rail freight could save significant amounts on road repairs, as HGV lorries can cause substantial and costly damage to road surfaces.

To this end, Congress welcomes the Government's aim to secure a significant shift to rail freight and the announcement in June 2006 by the Rail Minister to award £44 million in new rail freight grants, which will lead to the equivalent of more than 2.1 million lorry journeys and 631 million lorry kilometers being removed from Britain's roads over the next three years.

Congress calls on the General Council in tandem with all the transport unions to lobby the Government to honour its commitments to the rail freight industry and increase the rate of freight carried by rail and, therefore, we continue to call for a balanced and integrated transport policy that embraces road, rail and air.

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

40 The environmental benefits of shipping

Congress expresses concern that the UK is still not harnessing the environmental benefits to be gained by increasing the proportion of freight carried at sea. The UK lags behind many other EU member states in the volumes being moved by waterborne transport, and has failed to take advantage of the EU 'motorways of the sea' proposals.

Congress also notes with concern that the public and political debate over 'food miles' fails to reflect the fact that the vast majority of food from abroad comes by sea and, as such, can have less of a carbon footprint than produce grown in the UK.

Congress calls for the General Council to support lobbying for incentives to encourage the expanded use of waterborne transport, and for measures to overcome actual and mythical obstacles to the use of short sea shipping. Congress also urges the General Council to press the Government to seek to enter fully into the European 'motorways of the sea' programme, identifying routes, ports and suitable new technologies to encourage a modal shift of freight to shipping.

Nautilus UK

41 Transport

Congress recognises the importance of all forms of transport to the United Kingdom and globally, both economically and environmentally.

In regard to the movement of goods, Congress recognises that the increased use of lean manufacturing and retailing has had a particular detrimental effect on terms and conditions of employment and family-friendly working patterns of logistics workers here in the UK and the rest of the world and calls for a national and international campaign, involving the relevant global union federations, to work to improve working conditions.

Congress recognises the importance that all forms of public transport have in moving people safely and securely for work and leisure. Privatisation and deregulation of have resulted in a lowering of safety and security standards as firms try to reduce costs to improve their balance sheets. The safety and security of the travelling public or those working in these industries should not be put at risk to improve the profitability of companies, which are increasingly becoming global transport companies. The transport of goods and people also clearly contributes to the effects of climate change and the sector needs to reduce its impact on the environment as part of a wider approach.

Therefore, Congress rejects the failed free market approach to public transport and calls for the General Council to campaign for the benefits of a fully integrated public transport policy, including a positive role for aviation, which also encompasses public ownership of rail and bus travel.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Paragraph 2, add at end:

'The impact of the Working Time Regulations, as they apply to mobile transport workers in the UK, has had little or no effect on the long working hours of professional drivers. Any review of the legislation must incorporate a change in how 'Periods of Availability' are defined in law.'

United Road Transport Union

44 Affordable housing

Congress welcomes the determined efforts of trade unionists, tenants and communities to ensure that the issue of affordable housing has been lifted up the political agenda.

Congress notes that the number of new households continues to outstrip the number of new homes being built every year, and that the shortfall of affordable homes carries significant social and human costs, including homelessness and significant deprivation.

Congress also notes the unresolved dispute around the 'fourth option', agreed by the Labour Party conference, which would allow local authorities to retain their own stock and enjoy a level playing field on debt write-offs and decent homes investment.

Congress welcomes the Government's commitment to making affordable housing a priority. However, with ordinary working people priced out of the market in most towns across the UK, house price inflation massively outstripping wages growth and ever-higher levels of indebtedness, there is a danger that the government response won't match the scale of the problem.

Congress also supports the crucial role of a democratic process in ensuring a viable and sustainable planning strategy.

Congress demands that the General Council lead a campaign for:

i) affordable, social wage solutions to the current housing shortage, including a significant increase in the number of new homes for social rent;

ii) an expansion of options for real low cost home ownership;

iii) local authorities having the ability to bring their housing up to standard and build new council homes; and

iv) the involvement of tenants and communities in the housing programme.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

At end of paragraph 2 insert new sentence:

'This situation has also detrimentally affected public services, with large numbers of public service workers unable to live in the communities they serve.'

Insert new sub-paragraph iv) and re-number subsequent sub-paragraph:

'iv) until public consultation on the Green Paper Homes for the Future: More Affordable, More Sustainable is completed, a moratorium be implemented on further transfers or privatisations;'

Fire Brigades' Union

45 Child poverty

Congress applauds the Government's commitment to halve child poverty between 1999 and 2010, on the way to its elimination by 2020, and welcomes the reduction of 17 per cent by 2005. However, Congress notes with dismay the slowdown in progress towards this target, which in 2007 leaves one in three children in poverty, and believes the target is unattainable with current policies.

Trade unionists working in education understand how poverty creates major barriers to educational success and suffer frustration that 3.8 million children in the UK cannot concentrate on learning because of the inadequate diet, poor health, and disrupted family lives which result from poverty. Under such circumstances, Congress believes that education staff are not to blame for these children's lack of achievement. Congress recognises that a reduction in child poverty would have a large positive effect on overall educational performance, unlike policies for a diversity of school types, choice or frequent testing which further reduces the motivation of low achievers.

Congress invites the General Council to display continuing commitment to the End Child Poverty coalition, and to press the Government to allocate the £4 billion necessary to raise one million children from poverty by 2010. Congress calls on the General Council to continue to lobby the Government to accept that its aspiration to close the social class gap in educational performance cannot be met without stronger anti-child poverty policies.

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new second paragraph:

'Congress welcomes the Prime Minister's commitment to raising education spending to £8,000 per pupil and urges that a date be set to achieve this goal. Congress believes that schools in socially deprived areas should benefit from this commitment so that children in poverty can receive the additional support they need.'

National Union of Teachers

50 The health of the public sector workforce

Congress notes with concern the negative effect that constant organisational change, the threat of redundancy, vacancy freezes and working in a target-driven environment is having on the health and welfare of NHS employees.

Congress notes that stress, bullying, violence and musculoskeletal disorders are rife in the NHS which, unsurprisingly, correspond with high levels of sickness amongst NHS employees.

Congress recognises that the health and wellbeing of the public sector workforce is central to the effective delivery of public service reforms.

Congress notes the Department of Work and Pensions' strategy Health and Wellbeing - Caring for our Future, which aims to reduce sickness absence and give all employees access to competent occupational health advice and support.

Congress believes that the NHS should have exemplar occupational health services that set the benchmark for other services.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for pro-active, accessible, well-staffed and holistic occupational health services that promote preventative strategies and effective rehabilitation in order to best serve the health needs of public sector workers.

Society of Radiographers

51 Civil service/NDPB dispute and welfare reform

Congress fully supports civil and public servants campaigning and taking industrial action against massive job cuts. Congress notes that the cuts are accompanied by increased use of consultants and contracting out as government departments struggle to deliver vital services.

Congress notes that HMRC is seeking to save £105 million by cutting staff, but spending £106 million on management consultants who often do the same work as staff.

Congress opposes the Freud report proposals for contracting out Jobcentre Plus employment services and the proposed transfer of core welfare state functions to private companies, charities and faith groups. There is no evidence that the 'third sector' is able to deliver better public services. Congress also opposes any increased reliance on sanctions to get lone parents, those receiving incapacity benefit, and the long-term unemployed into the labour market.

Congress also notes with concern the DWP press release, issued to coincide with the TUC Disability Conference, announcing that trade unions would be asked to bid for contracts to carry out DWP work. Congress calls on affiliated unions not to cooperate with this divisive attack on civil servants' jobs.

Congress resolves to call on the General Council and Executive committee to:

i) mobilise full support for the civil service unions in their opposition to job cuts and privatisation and in seeking national pay bargaining rights;

ii) call a national demonstration in support of all public services and against further privatisations; and

iii) increase the public profile of its campaigning to defend the welfare state.

Public and Commercial Services Union

52 The relocation of ONS and HSE from London

Congress notes that the Civil Service provides services to citizens throughout the UK and appreciates the value of situating civil service work at appropriate locations around the country. However, Congress views with concern the proposals to relocate from London the head office of the Health and Safety Executive and to close the London office of the Office for National Statistics. Congress recognises that these particular relocations will not only cause considerable hardship to individual civil servants, but also threaten to undermine the ability of both organisations to undertake effectively their key roles as a consequence of the inevitable loss of key staff unwilling to uproot themselves and families from London.

In the case of the ONS, Congress notes that the closure of the London office:

i) is expected to lead to compulsory redundancies;

ii) will potentially lessen the influence of official statistics within national government;

iii) will cause a fall in the quality of UK official statistics as few ONS staff are able or willing to move from London and there is no evidence that sufficient trained and skilled staff can currently be recruited outside of London;

iv) will potentially diminish the role of official statistics in the London-based policy process; and

v) will lead to a consequential damage to the reputation of UK official statistics.

It is anticipated that similar issues will emerge for the HSE.

Congress offers its support to the civil service unions in their campaigns to reverse these decisions, and urges the Government to reconsider urgently.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Delete penultimate paragraph and replace with:

'Relocating the HSE's headquarters would weaken policy-making by isolating it from the practical expertise of operational staff as well as marginalising its influence with ministers.

Congress does not believe that the HSE has made a convincing business case for these proposals, which follow funding cuts that have already caused significant job losses.'


53 The future of the Post Office

Congress is alarmed by the proposal to close 2,500 post offices and the negative impact this will have on service provision across the UK and especially on vulnerable communities.

To address these concerns and ensure a sustainable future for the Post Office that includes a significant network of crown offices with a long-term future it is essential that the following improvements are made to government policy:

i) increased funding for the entire network, with a commitment by government to support the Post Office financially beyond 2011;

ii) a commitment to limit closure based on a social evaluation of the impact on local communities;

iii) establishment of a more functional replacement for the Post Office Card Account based on the concept of a 'Universal People's Bank' to be operated by and through the Post Office;

iv) extension of the consultation period and procedures dealing with post office closures to 12 weeks and expanding the role of regional/local authorities in strategic decisions on the Post Office network;

v) improved access criteria that ensure that 99 per cent of those living in an 'urban deprived area' are within 0.5 miles of a post office and that consideration be given to other major factors such as transport links, travel times and post office opening times; and

vi) a commitment by local, regional and national government fully to utilise the post office network to provide access to services, thus ensuring it is the shop front for government services.

Communication Workers' Union

54 Fires in high-rise dwellings

Congress notes the findings of the coroner's inquest into the fatal fire at Harrow Court, Stevenage on 2nd February 2005 that claimed the lives of a resident and two firefighters.

Congress notes the successes of the fire and rescue service in increasing public awareness of the dangers of fire and the need for home safety measures. However, this tragedy also highlights the particular danger, to both residents and to firefighters, of fires occurring in high-rise buildings even where smoke detection systems are installed. Despite the progress in preventative community safety initiatives, Congress recognises that fires and other emergencies will continue to occur. When they do, the public and firefighters deserve the most effective emergency response possible. Therefore, community safety activities must be developed alongside the maintenance of an effective emergency intervention strategy and the training and equipment that support it.

Congress calls for fire services and other public authorities to work together with trade unions and tenants and residents groups to ensure:

i) public awareness of the risks of using tea lights without appropriate holders;

ii) firefighters are provided with adequate opportunities for familiarisation visits to all high-rise buildings;

iii) firefighters are provided with suitable realistic training for incidents in such premises;

iv) systems to allow the rapid reporting of, and repair to, damaged dry rising mains;

v) hard-wired smoke alarm systems are provided wherever possible; and

vi) planning to ensure that adequate numbers of firefighters and fire engines are mobilized to fires in high-rise buildings.

Fire Brigades' Union

55 NHS Together campaign

Congress congratulates the TUC, affiliated unions and the non-affiliated health trade unions for their support for the NHS Together campaign, aimed at celebrating the achievements of the NHS but also raising awareness of developments that have the potential to unravel these achievements. We pay tribute to the leadership shown by the TUC and the historic collaboration between all the trade unions in our collective desire to influence the modernisation of the NHS.

Congress notes that the campaign has been successful in a number of areas, including promoting a better dialogue with both staff and unions within the NHS over future changes. Congress calls on the TUC and affiliates to maintain support for the campaign to ensure that these successes can be built on. In particular, maximum support for the next planned national campaigning event on Saturday 3 November would send a powerful message about the commitment of the trade union movement to our national health service in the run-up to its 60th anniversary and our desire to see it delivering the highest possible levels of service to NHS patients and their families.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

56 2006 NHS survey

Congress notes the publication of the 2006 NHS survey. Its key findings show little or no improvement, and in some areas show a worsening working environment for NHS staff. Congress notes that the response rate nationally to the survey was lower than in the previous year. Congress also notes that:

i) 70 per cent of respondents indicated that they were working more than their contracted hours;

ii) only a third of staff had a well-structured appraisal;

iii) 32 per cent of staff had experienced work-related stress;

iv) levels of violence, bullying, and harassment remain high; and

v) 32 per cent of NHS staff indicated an intention to leave the NHS.

Congress notes the great efforts being made by the NHS trade unions through the Social Partnership Forum to address this matter and calls on the General Council to offer whatever support is necessary to improve the situation in time for the 2007 survey.

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

57 Local government pay and conditions negotiations

Congress believes that unity is strength and that the combination of those who work for the same employers creates benefits for all through the unity of their approach. Congress also believes that there are, within the workforces of larger employers, for example local government, small distinct groups of employees whose specific needs are not always met by generalist approaches. Congress notes that the interests of those workers are often best met by smaller discrete unions specifically organised for that purpose. However, Congress further notes that the aspirations of the members of smaller unions sometimes can only be achieved by working in combination with larger groups.

Congress applauds the work of the 11 affiliates that successfully combined to represent and fight for the interests of the entire local government workforce in the 2006 pensions dispute. It commends that action as a process to all affiliates and requests the General Council to use its influence to ensure that the voice of smaller affiliates is heard in any future negotiations over local government pay. The General Council should, in particular, work with affiliates to ensure that discrete mechanisms, in whatever form, for the negotiation of pay and conditions continue to exist to represent the interests of minority groups with specific interests.

Association of Educational Psychologists

58 Comprehensive education

Congress reaffirms its support for the principle of high quality comprehensive schools available to all young people within their local communities.

Congress welcomes the Government commitment to increase per capita investment in publicly funded schools to the level of that spent on each pupil in the private sector.

Congress also recognises the key role played by local authorities in the provision of a democratically accountable and fully comprehensive education service for all our communities.

While welcoming genuinely altruistic and philanthropic inputs to state schools, Congress opposes initiatives such as skills academies and city academies that:

i) give undue influence or control over state schools to unaccountable individuals or businesses;

ii) fragment coherent and harmonised provision of comprehensive schools for all; and

iii) act as a vehicle for the marketisation and privatisation of the public education service.

Congress, therefore, calls on the General Council to campaign for the advancement of comprehensive education and to ensure that both the UK government and the devolved administrations continue to improve funding for state education to at least the level of that in the private sector.

The Educational Institute of Scotland

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new penultimate paragraph 5:

'Congress welcomes the TUC's report, A New Direction, calling for a review of academies. Congress urges the TUC to intensify its campaign against academy status and to work with organisations, such as the Anti-Academies Alliance, in order to persuade government to return academies to the local authority family of schools.'

National Union of Teachers

59 Regional collaboration for school improvement

Congress congratulates the workforce in the schools and local authorities which have collaborated in the 'London Challenge' initiative, led by Professor Tim Brighouse as Chief Adviser for London Schools, on their impressive achievements in supporting local schools facing challenging circumstances assisted by dedicated central government funding to the value of £40 million per annum. Congress notes that the attainment gaps for students from more deprived families, and from ethnic minority communities which tend to underachieve, have consequently narrowed faster in London than elsewhere.

Congress therefore broadly welcomes the Government's recent City Challenge announcement to the effect that similar programmes, centred on regional collaboration for school improvement, are to be introduced for Black Country and for Greater Manchester schools, supported by an additional £75 million of central government funding. Congress believes that such regional and sub-regional initiatives can help to improve education outcomes for local children, and calls for:

i) the relevant school-based and local authority workforce to be properly involved and their professional associations fully consulted as these programmes are designed and implemented; and

ii) these initiatives to be based on identifiable best practice in school improvement activity, and based on the promotion of local schools and education services as genuine professional learning communities, and not driven by pressures for further savings in local authority budgets and the erosion of education support service provision.

Association of Professionals in Education and Children's Trusts

63 Criminal justice policy

Congress believes that it is the failure of increasingly punitive government policies and the 54 Criminal Justice Acts since 1997 that have led to the current crisis in the criminal justice system, whereby prisons are overcrowded, and the Probation Service, despite never performing better against all targets, is under attack, under-funded and facing an uncertain future.

Congress calls on the Government to act as a matter of urgency to:

i) address sentencing policy to restore the use of custody for only the most serious offenders, promoting instead a more extensive and appropriate use of community sentences, fines and discharges;

ii) restore confidence in community penalties by halting the current Offender Management Bill that will result in the dismantling and fragmentation of the Probation Service; and

iii) ensure that the Probation Service is properly resourced to play its full part in the reduction of re-offending.


66 Extension of the term of protection for performers' rights

In December 2006 the Treasury published the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property prepared by a team led by Andrew Gowers, former Editor of the Financial Times. The report recommended the rejection of the music industry campaign to extend the period of protection for performers' rights and for sound recordings.

While performers currently receive a period of protection of 50 years, authors and composers enjoy a period of protection of life plus 70 years. Performance has been recognised by international treaties and conventions as a creative act in itself, therefore Congress believes that performers should receive due recognition as creators. In addition, advances in health and social care that have resulted in a greater life span for all citizens, including most performers, have produced a situation that Congress does not believe was anticipated by either the drafters of the international conventions on copyright or by UK legislators: performers' rights are now beginning to expire during the lifetime of the performer. Congress regards this as being morally wrong and in the interests of fair treatment seeks a realignment of the balance between performers and their 'cousins' the authors.

Congress asks the General Council to add its voice to the lobby to extend the period of protection for performer rights and for the copyright in sound recordings so as to ensure that performers are treated with fairness and receive just reward for their creations and performances.

Musicians' Union

67 Licensing Act 2003

Successive government ministers promised that the Licensing Act 2003 would encourage the growth of live entertainment and be particularly good for live music. However, Congress notes that extensive research has shown that, while many established large and medium venues have benefited from the Act, smaller venues often regard themselves as being burdened with red tape and consequently think carefully about whether to put on live entertainment, as recorded music and big screen sport is not licensable. This means that the Act has had a broadly neutral effect on the provision of live entertainment across England and Wales.

To ensure that the Act is indeed live music- and entertainment-friendly, and actively encourages it, Congress urges the Government to take the following action:

i) introduce an inexpensive, fast track method of varying a licence to include regulated entertainment;

ii) explore tangible benefits such as tax breaks, etc. for venues that demonstrate a clear commitment to the provision of live entertainment;

iii) introduce an exemption from the 'regulated entertainment' provisions of the Act for venues with a capacity of 100 members of the public or less;

iv) where residents complain of excessive noise, in new dwellings that have been built next to existing established live entertainment venues, ensure that the 'agent of change' is responsible for the venue being made compliant with any conditions that might be added to the Premises Licence; and

v) take appropriate action to ensure that the provisions of the Act and the accompanying statutory guidance are uniformly adhered to.

Musicians' Union

68 Multilateralism and the ILO

Congress affirms that achieving peace and security at home and abroad depends on the achievement of social justice and development internationally and calls attention to the crucial role which the International Labour Organisation should be enabled to play in a period of rapid globalisation and interdependence in combating peacefully poverty, discrimination and exploitation and in promoting the free exercise of inalienable human rights. Congress considers that the tripartite structure of the ILO equips it uniquely to help build civil society and to establish a rule-based international system with independent and authoritative means of supervision.

In the light of the pressing need for new international instruments to guide the development of migration policies and to tackle the flouting of elementary justice in respect of the employment of women and children, Congress regrets deeply the failure of the British Government to join with other European Union governments in increasing the resources available to the ILO as well as the inadequate response of the Government to fulfilling its own obligations under ratified Conventions.

Congress calls on the Government to:

i) bring British law and practice into conformity with the requirements of ratified Conventions;

ii) ratify Convention 26 on minimum wage-fixing machinery; and

iii) channel additional resources to the ILO through the regular budget, particularly for programmes to promote employment, to combat discrimination and end forced and child labour, and to encourage international co-operation in bringing justice and compassion to handling the international migration of working people.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

In paragraph 1, add new final sentence at end:

'The ILO's unique tripartism and workplace focus must be defended in the context of UN reform.'

Paragraph 2, line 4, delete 'increasing the' and replace with 'supporting increased'

Replace existing sub-paragraph ii) with:

'ii) re-ratify Conventions 26 - minimum wage-fixing machinery, 94 - labour clauses in public contracts, 95 - on the protection of wages; and ratify Conventions, particularly Maritime, adopted since 1997.'

Sub-paragraph iii), line 1, after 'budget,' add 'following the tripartite Governing Body priorities,'

Nautilus UK

69 Workers' rights

Congress welcomes the new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) unifying the previously separate ICFTU and WCL; reaffirms its commitment to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, with particular reference to Article 23; and congratulates those responsible for the launch of Your Company in August 2006, as part of the TUC's website

Congress notes the constitution of the ITUC, which pledges to struggle for 'the emancipation of working people and a world in which the dignity and rights of all human beings is assured...'; and which recognises 'the urgent need to transform social, economic and political structures and relations which stand as obstacles to that vision...' and the need for 'democratic governance in the interests of labour, which it holds superior to those of capital'. Congress further notes the implications of the content of the website, which reveals the considerable discrepancy between average profit created by, and average wages received by, the average UK worker.

Congress therefore instructs the General Council to sponsor and participate in a national and international campaign for universal fundamental reform of fiscal policy and of book-keeping and accountancy practice, as an inseparable part of the consolidation of the above developments into a Universal Declaration of Workers' Rights.

Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

70 Child labour

Congress asserts that children must be protected against work that is harmful, economically exploitative, hazardous, and likely to undermine their education, their health and their physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

Congress deplores the fact that there are increasing numbers of children in the UK who are forced to work as a result of poverty and deprivation.

Congress believes that the opportunities arising from the 2012 Olympics could, if unchecked, further exacerbate the problem of exploitative child labour.

Congress believes that continuing action is needed to ensure that:

i) the human rights of every child are respected;

ii) children are protected from harmful labour; and

iii) effective action is taken to eradicate all forms of forced labour, prostitution and child trafficking.

Congress urges the Government to take action to:

a) introduce effective legislative measures to combat harmful child labour;

b) tackle those factors that cause children to undertake harmful work;

c) provide effective alternatives to exploitative child labour;

d) develop a school curriculum framework that helps raise awareness of the nature and effects of harmful work;

e) support the efforts of trade unions in protecting the interests of child workers;

f) ensure that no child is exploited in the UK's preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games; and

g) press the International Olympic Committee to set and enforce agreed labour standards to protect all workers.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Paragraph 1, line 3, after 'development' insert:
'; and for which they have not reached the minimum age, in accordance with ILO Conventions 138 and 182.'

In sub-paragraph ii) delete 'harmful labour' and replace with 'child labour as defined by ILO conventions'.

In sub-paragraph iii) delete 'all forms of' and replace with 'child', and after 'prostitution and' delete 'child'.

In sub-paragraph a) delete 'harmful'.

In sub-paragraph b) delete 'harmful work' and replace with 'child labour'.

In sub-paragraph c) delete 'exploitative'.

In sub-paragraph d) delete 'harmful work' and replace with 'child labour, and the knowledge of occupational health and safety'.

In sub-paragraph e) after 'in' insert 'ensuring free, compulsory, formal education for all and". After 'child workers' insert 'performing work permitted by ILO Conventions.'

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

71 EU Reform Treaty

Congress notes that:

i) the work to give effect to the June 2007 agreement on the EU Reform Treaty has begun with the aim of new draft legislation agreed by the Council of Ministers in December 2007;

ii) the target for ratification is before June 2009;

iii) there will be a referendum in Ireland following the Irish Taoiseach's statement that 90 per cent of the previous Constitution is included in the new Reform Treaty;

iv) the Labour Party Election manifesto pledged that the UK electorate would be given the final say, in a referendum, on the ratification of the Constitution; and

v) the ETUC position prior to June 2007 was 'no legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights - no Treaty' and this demand has been satisfied for 26 EU Member States.

Congress considers that:

a) the Labour Party should honour this pledge and hold a referendum on the ratification of this new Reform Treaty; and

b) the pledge was right at the time of the election and is right now - Europe can only be developed with the wholehearted support of its citizens.

Congress is also concerned that the competition protocol in the Reform Treaty could be a Trojan horse to promote unfettered privatisation throughout the EU.

Congress is bitterly disappointed that the Charter of Fundamental Rights will not apply to British workers and their trade unions and calls on the Government to show commitment to Europe's social dimension as this is necessary for British trade unions' support for the future development of Europe.


73 Solidarity with Zimbabwean trade unionists

Congress notes the appalling situation facing Zimbabwean workers:

i) inflation rocketing so that prices are out of reach of ordinary workers;

ii) declining life expectancy, with women likely to live no longer than 34 years;

iii) high rates of HIV/AIDS, with treatment restricted to supporters of the Government; and

iv) violent repression and harassment of trade unionists.

Congress expresses its solidarity with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and their affiliated unions, and welcomes the widespread international support that they have received, especially from the South African trade union movement. Congress welcomes the action taken by French trade unions to prevent Robert Mugabe attending the Franco-African summit, and by Portuguese trade unions to oppose his participation in the forthcoming
EU-Africa summit.

Congress rejects Robert Mugabe's claim that the problems facing Zimbabwe are the result of imperialist intervention, which is a smokescreen to obscure the responsibility of his destructive and corrupt regime and to deter opposition domestically and regionally. Congress shares the South African trade union movement's concern not only for Zimbabwe, but also for Swaziland, where the longest state of emergency has resulted in similar repression of free and independent trade unions: accordingly, Congress sends its solidarity to the Swaziland trade union movement too.

Congress calls on the General Council and unions to continue to express solidarity with Zimbabwean trade unionists, and encourages unions to affiliate to Action on Southern Africa and join the ACTSA/TUC solidarity committee.


The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Insert new penultimate paragraph:

'Congress also condemns the growing government attacks on the Zimbabwean student movement, including the mass expulsion of students at the University of Zimbabwe in July. Congress expresses its solidarity with the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) in its mission to champion and protect education as a fundamental human right.'

University and College Union

76 Venezuela

Congress congratulates the Venezuelan government on their achievements in using the country's resources for the benefit of the majority of its people.

The massive improvements which have been achieved, particularly in the fields of education, health care and land reform have the overwhelming support of the Venezuelan people.

Congress particularly welcomes the advances for workers and trade unionists including:

i) the announcement of the re-nationalisation of all privatised utilities;

ii) the increase in the level of the minimum wage;

iii) the announcement of a progressive reduction of the working week; and

iv) the setting up of Workers' Councils in factories and workplaces.

Congress deplores the attempts of the US administration to meddle in the internal affairs of the Venezuelan people and to attempt to undermine these initiatives. Congress notes and supports the decision of the Venezuelan government not to renew the licence for private TV station RCTV which supported the military coup against the democratically elected government.

Congress resolves to:

a) ensure information on the positive work of the Venezuelan government and the achievements it has made for the people of Venezuela is circulated widely;

b) encourage affiliates to deliver support and assistance to independent trade union organisations in Venezuela; and

c) encourage affiliates to consider twinning arrangements and other methods for promoting solidarity with Venezuelan trade unions.

Fire Brigades' Union

The following AMENDMENT was accepted

Paragraph 1, line 1, after 'Congress' insert: 'reaffirms its 2005 motion on Venezuela and'

In sub-paragraph b), after 'Venezuela' insert: ', namely those organised under the umbrella of the UNT'

National Union of Mineworkers

79 Abuse of technology

Congress acknowledges that developments in technology have made significant improvements to supporting workers and working practices.

Congress recognises, however, that there is significant and growing evidence of the abuse of technology, particularly through mobile phones, emails and internet sites, which is not only contributing to increasing working hours and workload but is also providing a vehicle for bullying and harassing workers and for false allegations to be made publicly against them.

Congress is concerned that such abuse is in many cases having a devastatingly adverse effect on workers' health, wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem, and, in some cases, their career progression.

Congress, therefore, calls upon the General Council to:

i) campaign for a review of regulatory and legislative provisions to secure more accessible avenues of redress for those who are named or exposed to public ridicule and subject to false allegations on websites;

ii) produce appropriate guidance, including a model workplace protocol, to encourage employers to take action to address such abuse and misuse; and

iii) press the HSE to include reference to technology, its use and abuse, in health and safety good practice guidance and in all workplace health and safety audits, including risk assessments.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

Composite1 National Minimum Wage enforcement

Congress believes that effective enforcement is essential for the success of the National Minimum Wage and is alarmed at the scale of underpayment that is being uncovered by the Minimum Wage Compliance Officers, with over £3 million in arrears being uncovered last year. Congress also believes that any regional variation in the minimum wage will undermine and complicate effective enforcement.

Congress is further concerned that this situation will get worse as the number of migrant workers continues to increase and that these vulnerable workers are often unaware of their employment rights, including those relating to the Minimum Wage, or fearful of taking any action to enforce them.

Congress welcomes the recent consultation process on improving the enforcement mechanism of the Minimum Wage through a more effective penalty regime and a fairer way of dealing with arrears owed to workers.

However, Congress notes the failure by HMRC management to deliver on Gordon Brown's commitment made in December 2006 to increase resources by 50 per cent and believes further action is needed and calls upon the Government to take action to address the situation through:

i) further substantially increasing the National Minimum Wage enforcement budget to allow for more Compliance Officers and more targeted and pro-active enforcement, especially in those sectors employing larger numbers of migrant workers;

ii) greater publicity about the right to a minimum wage in every workplace and the enforcement process;

iii) introducing stiffer financial penalties for employers found underpaying the Minimum Wage or those who dismiss or victimise workers because they have sought legal redress relating to the NMW, and ensuring that workers receive interest on the money that has been withheld from them; and not expanding existing exemptions from current minimum wage coverage e.g. through the National Framework for Volunteers;

iv) allowing trade unions to take representative and group cases to Employment Tribunals, rather than every single underpaid worker having to submit a separate application; and

v) enabling Compliance Officers to enforce the NMW in respect of holiday pay.

Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Seconder: UNISON

Supporter: Public and Commercial Services Union

Composite 2 Agency workers

Congress notes the overwhelming evidence that agency workers receive worse terms and conditions than directly employed workers, particularly in relation to pay, holiday entitlement and sick pay. This legalised discrimination denies essential protections to workers and leads to increasing casualisation and insecurity across the economy.

Congress recognises the excellent work done by the trade union movement in bringing the issue of unfair treatment of agency workers to the forefront of the political agenda. Congress congratulates Paul Farrelly MP for taking forward his Private Members Bill on agency workers and expresses its thanks to the 108 Labour MPs who attended the second reading of the Bill on 2 March. Congress condemns the Government opposition to this Bill, despite its landmark level of parliamentary support. Although the Bill was given insufficient time to proceed, it served to raise awareness of the issue among key interest groups.

Congress records that the Government has repeatedly stated that it supports the underlying principles of the EU Agency Workers Directive that would provide for equal treatment rights for agency workers, and notes the Government commitment made at Warwick to introduce domestic legislation if there was no progress on the EU Directive. Congress also notes that progress on European legislation has been stalled for over five years and is unlikely to be progressed in the near future.

Congress recognises that there is still much work to be done to end the exploitation of agency workers in the UK who are afforded some of the lowest levels of protection in Europe with no right to equal pay or conditions or right to legal employment status.

Congress believes that the introduction of equal treatment rights for agency workers is the only effective way to tackle exploitation and undercutting whilst also recognising the need for better regulation, enforcement and licensing in the agency sector.

Congress regrets that many public authorities and their contractors have over-used agency workers, undermining collective agreements, team working, services and abusing migrant workers. Such workers are outside the two-tier workforce prevention agreements and Congress resolves to tackle this loophole in 2007 and 2008 alongside other implementation problems.

Changes to regulations governing employment agencies must also provide greater protection for vulnerable workers in the entertainment industry. The TUC will therefore actively support the Equity/BECTU campaign to prevent rogue agents exploiting performers by charging up-front fees and commission, which can leave workers with less than the minimum wage.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for the introduction of a time limit within which workers in the entertainment industry must be paid by employers/hirers.

Congress calls on the TUC to continue to mount a high profile campaign for UK legislation in this parliament to outlaw discrimination against agency workers in basic terms and conditions, from day one of employment; campaign to end the exploitation of agency workers; and calls on the Government to honour its commitments and urgently introduce a legal framework giving agency workers equal treatment compared to their directly employed counterparts.

Mover: Unite

Seconder: Communication Workers' Union

Supporters: UNISON


Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

Composite 3 Employment and trade union rights

Congress welcomes legislation enacted since 1997 that has improved the rights of millions of workers.

Congress notes that many of these measures were introduced against a background of opposition from employers and others on the grounds that they would damage jobs and the economy. Congress notes that such predictions proved to be groundless with the economy remaining strong and levels of employment growing. Whilst understanding the challenges of the global market for workers in the 21st century, Congress believes that these cannot be overcome by driving down terms, conditions and other hard-won employment rights.

Whilst welcoming progress made so far, Congress considers that much more needs to be done to improve matters further and, in particular, calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i) an end to National Minimum Wage exemptions;

ii) an end to current balloting arrangements for union political funds;

iii) full employment rights for all workers from day one of employment;

iv) full compensation for workers who lost their occupational pensions before the Pension Protection Fund was established;

v) protection against outsourcing and off-shoring jobs, especially where public finances are involved;

vi) fast-track action on equal pay to address the problems associated with pay inequality that still adversely affect women workers;

vii) the Trade Union Freedom Bill, including provisions in line with this year's request to the UK Government by the ILO Committee of Experts to amend legislation to allow workers 'to participate in sympathy strikes, provided the initial strike they are supporting is lawful';

viii) better, more enforceable rights to time off for trade union activity and training;

ix) an end to the opt-out from the European Charter of Fundamental Rights; and

x) a renewed campaign, in collaboration with the National Pensioners Convention, to increase the state pension above the official poverty level, to mark the 2008 centenary of the first old age pension.

Mover: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Seconder: Unite

Supporter: Communication Workers' Union

Composite 4 Trade union rights and freedoms

Congress reiterates its support for repeal of the anti-trade union laws. Congress welcomes the Green Paper The Governance of Britain, which will begin a national debate on a new constitutional settlement, including a Bill of Rights. Congress urges the Government to ensure the incorporation of all International Labour Organisation conventions into any new Bill of Rights and for the General Council to vigorously campaign for this objective. Congress re-affirms its support for the Trade Union Freedom Bill, which is to be placed before Parliament for a second reading on 19 October 2007.

Congress notes the 2005 and 2006 Congress decisions endorsing a lobby of parliament in support of the Bill and the unanimous support for a lobby from all the Regional TUCs, the Wales TUC and STUC. Congress agrees that the lack of progress made to date on the repealing of the anti-trade union laws introduced by the Tory government is totally unacceptable. Action must be taken without further delay to restore the rights of the worker in the workplace.

Congress therefore agrees to step up the campaign for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws and urges the General Council to organise a lobby of parliament in support of the Trade Union Rights and Freedoms Bill, tabled by John McDonnell MP.

Congress welcomes the growing support for the Trade Union Freedom Bill, including from Harriet Harman MP, the successful candidate in the Labour Deputy Leadership contest.

The Bill is scheduled for its second reading on 19 October 2007 and Congress urges the Government to allow sufficient parliamentary time for the Bill to be debated and voted upon.

In support of the above campaigns Congress urges the General Council to:

i) examine whether the TUC can replicate the highly successful aspects of the Your Rights at Work campaign organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions; and

ii) support the establishment of a Trade Union Week in Parliament along the lines of the successful STUC event in the Scottish Parliament.

Congress notes the need for the TUC and its affiliated unions fully to support TUC policies, once democratically adopted by Congress. Congress agrees that whilst it wishes to work constructively with the Government, it should be made clear that TUC policies that are contrary to the Government's policies will be fully acted upon.

Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Seconder: POA (UK)

Supporter: National Union of Mineworkers

Composite 5 Union and professional standards

Congress recognises the important role that trade unions, and especially the smaller specialist unions such as the Professional Footballers' Association, play in upholding professional standards and promoting the welfare of the industries in which they work, as well as defending and advancing members' terms and conditions. The work of these unions ensures that they are able to retain a strong identity and speak with authority on behalf of their profession. This helps to create a real sense of pride amongst union members and offers a distinctive way of attracting, organising and recruiting these members.

This important work, in the case of the PFA built up over the century since its formation, gives the union a status and a responsibility to its members and its industry.

Congress believes that in a fast changing world it is important for the unions to continue and, where appropriate, develop this aspect of their work and to that end asks the General Council to bring together, biannually, through the TUC senior managerial and professional unions group, those unions with an interest in promoting professional standards within their own sector to see what lessons can be drawn from respective experiences.

Mover: Professional Footballers' Association

Seconder: Equity

Supporters: Society of Radiographers

Association for College Management

Composite 6 Single Equality Act

Congress welcomes the publication of the Consultation Paper A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill, but is deeply disappointed at the contents. The proposed Bill represents an opportunity to bring discrimination legislation into the 21st century and ensure that working people are treated equally regardless of sex, race, disability, sexuality, age, religion or belief.

Congress condemns the failure of the Green Paper on the Discrimination Law Review to seize the opportunity provided by the much-needed Single Equalities Bill to promote the equalities agenda in all areas, including the private sector. Congress believes that some of the proposals laid out in the Consultation Paper would actually have the effect of weakening our current discrimination law.

Women working full time still suffer a 17 per cent pay gap - rising to 40 per cent for part time women workers - with no sign of this gap closing. Under the proposals employers will not be legally obliged to carry out equal pay audits or to monitor and report on their equality practices. The public sector will have no statutory requirement to consider equality in contracts with the private sector. The Green Paper has missed a vital opportunity to make fundamental changes to the law to ensure that discriminatory practices are prevented through proactive action, rather than being addressed after they have occurred.

Congress believes equality is brought about by levelling up, not by suppressing or reducing the pay and conditions of all workers. This comes at a cost which government and employers must be prepared to meet and ensure adequate funding.

Congress notes the prompt action of the TUC in organising a meeting of affiliates to discuss and co-ordinate responses to the Green Paper. Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that:

i) lobbying and campaigning for improvements to the proposals are a high priority both during and beyond the consultation period; and

ii) the campaign focuses on the need for statutory rather than voluntary measures to be introduced if real change is to be achieved.

Congress urges the Government to extend the scope of the subsequent Bill to include:

a) much tougher enforcement of the law;

b) a duty on all employers to eliminate discrimination in their workplaces;

c) an obligation on employers to monitor their workforce on grounds of gender, race, disability, age and sexuality and to publish this information;

d) an obligation to include in their monitoring information relating to pay and working conditions, and introduce a right for trade unions to take class action;

e) rights to paid carers' leave; and

f) recognition and statutory rights to time off and training for union equality reps.

In particular, Congress calls on the Government to:

1) extend the public sector equality duty to all areas and reject the notion that it should be weakened as the price for its extension to cover age, sexuality and religion/belief;

2) provide for public procurement to be used as a means of promoting compliance with equality duties;

3) strengthen equal pay legislation in ways that address the gender pay gap and provide for equal pay for work of equal value and include the introduction of mandatory equal pay audits, the right for unions to bring representative actions, legal acceptance of 'hypothetical comparators'; and

4) maintain rights for individuals and unions to take judicial review action against public authorities if necessary, in order to ensure effective enforcement and remedy.

With these inclusions, the Government would take a giant step towards finally eradicating discrimination in our workplaces.

Congress calls on the Government, at the time of the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, to ensure that all its policies and practices are based on maintaining an impetus on driving the equalities agenda forward in all areas.

Congress notes with concern that proposed government funding for the Commission will be inadequate to meet the demands of the role it is expected to fulfil and calls on the Government to provide sufficient resources for the Commission to use its enforcement powers effectively.

Congress calls on the General Council to mount a major campaign in pursuit of these objectives through parliamentary and other means, and to encourage affiliates to recognise and use the strength of trade union organisation and collectivism to secure equality in the workplace.

Mover: napo

Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Supporters: Nationwide Group Staff Union



Public and Commercial Services Union



Composite 7 Violence against women

Congress recalls the resolutions adopted in 2004 and 2006 and applauds the work so far undertaken by trade unions to promote workplace policies that address violence against women, especially domestic violence, and believes that further action can be taken through workplace bargaining, as well as by mobilising international solidarity. Congress, in particular, welcomes the partnership conference in July 2007 between the TUC, Amnesty International UK and the End Violence Against Women coalition to address 'working together to end violence against women.'

An important outcome of this conference was recognition by the delegates of the need to condemn so-called 'honour killings'. Congress reiterates the position that there are no such things as 'honour killings', and that they need to be recognised for what they are - murder and domestic violence.

Congress reiterates its call for the UK Government to develop a national strategy to address all aspects of violence against women in the UK.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) develop and disseminate occupational safety and bargaining materials and best practice aimed at harnessing the fullest potential for workplace action and employer policies to address and mitigate the effects of violence against women;

ii) offer strategic solidarity for women experiencing violence both at home and abroad, including by the promotion of action within the ITUC and Global Union Federations and at the ILO; and

iii) condemn honour-based violence and build a broad alliance to oppose the treatment of women in this way. So-called honour killings represent the extreme expression of a patriarchal belief in women as commodities. Like domestic and workplace violence there is no space for cultural sensitivity on such issues.

Congress calls on affiliated trade unions to support lobbying, policy, organising and workplace strategies for tackling violence against women and girls, including through membership education.

Congress calls on the General Council and affiliated trade unions to continue to work in partnership with Amnesty International to advance these objectives.

Mover: Accord

Seconder: Musicians' Union

Supporter: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Composite 8 Private equity

Congress notes with concern the accelerating trend in the global economy towards an increasingly short-term outlook among financial investors. In particular, private equity, hedge funds, and others treat enterprises primarily as vehicles for speculation rather than investing in new products and services, high productivity and sustainable technologies.

Private equity firms, described as locusts by the German Minister, Franz Münterfering, typically borrow enormous sums of money to buy up companies, load them with the debt, hide behind a lack of transparency and independent data, demand excessive rates of return, strip assets, destroy quality jobs and significantly reduce corporation tax despite high operating profits. Congress believes that self regulation by the private equity sector will be wholly inadequate.

Congress also notes that wherever private equity takes an interest in communications companies, such as Deutsche Telekom or Airwave, there is an immediate attempt to slash hard-won conditions of employment.

Congress recognises the importance of raising public and political awareness on the issues posed by private equity, in particular how short-termism in business can lead to asset-stripping and job losses. The absence of accountability and transparency in private equity companies also needs to be highlighted and addressed.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) continue to support affiliates' campaigns exposing the failings of private equity;

ii) maintain pressure on the UK Government to ensure that PE partners are subject to a fair and progressive tax arrangement;

iii) campaign for the strengthening of information and consultation rights where companies are taken over by private equity, plus the extension of TUPE to cover circumstances where a change in ownership arises through share purchase;

iv) ensure a review of the impact on pensions in terms of transparency of information provided by the PE industry so trustees have sufficient powers to call in the Pensions Regulator when PE firms are planning to invest in their company; and

v) establish a database to monitor the activities of private equity funds in the UK and overseas.

Mover: Connect

Seconder: GMB

Supporters: Unite

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Composite 9 Coal industry

Congress shares the Government's objectives set out in the energy White Paper, Meeting the Energy Challenge, published in May 2007, of securing diverse and sustainable energy supplies at acceptable cost and in an environmentally benign way.

However the White Paper contains insufficient measures to ensure that these objectives are met. There is no doubt that a substantial energy gap is opening up by 2015 that requires the urgent commissioning of new coal power stations that are carbon-capture ready. More fiscal and other incentives are necessary to incentivise the investment in new capacity, such as carbon pricing or a clean carbon obligation comparable to the renewables obligation.

Congress further notes that the need to burn coal at increased levels is undisputed and to meet our emission reduction targets there is a critical need to utilise clean coal technologies currently available such as Supercritical Pulverised Fuel Technology and Pressurised Fluidised Bed Combustion Technology and to develop further new clean coal technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Although welcome, the current competition for a commercial scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant needs to be extended to prove the different CCS technologies. The Coal Forum established under the energy review has confirmed the urgency of the need to take action now to avoid depending on gas. Congress calls on the Government to accelerate the pace and scale of its CCS ambitions and come forward with further measures to achieve its energy objectives.

Congress agrees that the May 2007 White Paper refused to recognise the need for UK deep-mined coal within a balanced indigenous energy supply.

Congress notes that the Government has accepted that fossil fuels will continue to be the predominant source of energy and should accept that UK-produced coal plays a major role in our energy supply and that reliance on imported coal to meet future energy requirements should be treated with caution, as the industrialisation of Asia has increased greatly and will continue to increase demand for more of the world's coal.

Last year the UK imported 50 million tonnes of coal and burned 68 million tonnes, generating nearly 37 per cent of our electricity requirement.

Congress therefore agrees that representatives of the TUC and affiliated energy unions seek urgent discussions with Government to secure the extraction and exploitation of the nation's massive coal reserves in the best interests of security of supply for the British people, recognising that almost every other coal producing nation is expanding its coal industry whilst Britain continues to close its mines as a result of adherence to the free-market philosophy.

Mover: National Union of Mineworkers

Seconder: British Association of Colliery Management - Technical, Energy and Administrative Management

Composite 10 Railway industry

Congress considers that privatisation in the transport industry continues to work against the public interest. This relates not only to rail services directly: it also restricts developing optimal national responses, consistent across government departments, to the needs of British industries for an efficient transport infrastructure and to the challenges of fulfilling international obligations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Congress, therefore, again calls for a publicly owned and accountable railway industry that is electorally popular, economically justified and achievable at minimal cost by initially absorbing franchises as they expire.

Congress condemns the massive rises in unregulated fares by some train operators, particularly on routes where they operate as a monopoly. Congress calls for an immediate end to this practice and for those concerned to be better policed by the government. Congress also condemns the closure and reduced opening times of booking offices. As well as the increased risk of crime and vandalism it also diminishes the level of service to passengers who lose out on the availability of cheap, off-peak fares that are not available from ticket machines. Furthermore, Congress condemns the over zealous use of penalty fares, simply to boost company profits, that revenue staff are being forced to impose without discretion.

Congress is gravely concerned that the UK already has the highest rail fares in Europe and considers urgent action is needed to redress this problem in order to promote the use of rail travel that will deliver greater social inclusion and essential environmental benefits.

The disadvantages of privatisation are not restricted to passenger operations. Because only a small percentage of the potential freight load possible is carried by rail, and the Government will not take action to improve matters, freight operating companies are competing for the same contracts, which makes freight jobs vulnerable.

Congress considers the continuing debacle of maintenance undertaken by Metronet on the London Underground under the public-private partnership must be addressed urgently and calls for all the work to be taken back in-house as a priority.

Metronet's collapse could jeopardise Tube services and London's preparations for the Olympic Games. Congress urges the Government to support the Mayor's desire for infrastructure work to be taken under direct London Underground control and urges the General Council to support an early conference to campaign for this position.

Mover: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Supporters: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen


Composite 11 Housing

Congress notes with concern the current housing crisis brought about in part by average UK house prices in excess of £200,000 and house price inflation running at 11.3 per cent, which is predicted to continue at high levels for the foreseeable future. Congress further notes that the rises in interest rates over the last 12 months have worsened buyer affordability.

Congress further recognises that the most vulnerable in our society are likely to be the most adversely affected by the current housing shortage. We need a major programme of investment and reform, based on a partnership between public and non-profit bodies, to build the houses that the UK so urgently needs. Congress further notes the poor safety record of the house building sector and its failure to train adequate apprentices for the industry.

Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to campaign for:

i) government to enable local authorities to improve all existing council homes and estates;

ii) government to allow local authorities to start a new house building programme;

iii) adequate revenue for council homes to be maintained now and in the future;

iv) Britain's new housing developments to be built on a plural model, so that tenants and owner-occupiers live side by side, and our schools in particular are able to draw on a much wider social mix;

v) the Government's affordable house-building programme to be subject to contract compliance processes that deliver access to training, skills and trade unions; and

vi) an extension of the scope of the 'key workers' scheme to cover more low-paid essential workers in the transport industry, for example, to improve access to affordable, good quality accommodation within reasonable reach of workplaces and other facilities.

Mover: Unite

Seconder: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Composite 12 Public services

Congress believes that the Brown government must move on from the mistaken policies of marketisation, 'efficiency savings' and crude targets that have led only to privatisation, cuts and the demoralisation of public service staff, and set a course based on high quality, accountable services through co-operation with users and staff. Congress believes that only such a change will restore public confidence.

Congress recognises that in recent years there has been significant investment in key parts of the public sector. However, it is not convinced that the most effective use has been made of this investment or that all the staff who provide public services are properly valued.

Under-funding, despite rising operational demands, is leading to an over-reliance on the private sector, but there is no evidence to support assertions that this will reduce costs, increase efficiency and/or provide better value for money.

There is a real danger that such a short-term and short-sighted approach will lead to an irreversible loss of skills and capacity from the public sector.

The Government's intention to limit public sector pay settlements throughout the CSR07 period compounds these policy failures, and Congress opposes it.

We reject the transformation of local government in the recent Bill, from service provider to commissioner, believing it leads to fragmentation and marketisation. This is at odds with the integration of services through LAAs and LSPs and the priority of community involvement and scrutiny. Congress believes that trade unions should have a right of representation on LSPs.

Congress urges the Government to:

i) review urgently the new local commissioning role in local government;

ii) commit to a transparent, evidence-based approach to reform, with staff and user involvement;

iii) provide quality employment, an end to the two-tier workforce and unfair public pay ceilings; and

iv) apply these principles throughout the public sector.

Congress is deeply concerned that the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review will lead to further cuts and privatisations across the public sector. Key public services are at risk, including defence support, lorry and bus road-worthiness testing, health and safety enforcement, and forensic science.

We note the review of the NHS and fully support the NHS Together national demonstration in defence of NHS values and principles.

Congress welcomes the Speak Up for Public Services lobby organised by the TUC in January and it commits the General Council to take forward campaigning in response to CSR07 to achieve:

a) public services which are properly accountable to users, staff and local communities;

b) public services which are accessible to all, unrestricted by 'choice', 'competition' and 'contestability';

c) reform based on sound arguments not waves of initiatives;

d) a moratorium on further privatisation;

e) a commitment to provide adequate core funding for quality public services;

f) increased investment in the skills of public sector workers;

g) fair pay for all public servants, including respect for the recommendations of public sector pay review bodies; and

h) re-engagement by government with the public sector workforce in order to restore the damage to morale caused by the combination of cuts, untested reform and endless re-organisations.

In addition, Congress urges the General Council to:

1) support the EPSU framework on public services and resist European Union attacks;

2) develop talks on strategic direction with the STUC, WTUC and ICTU on developing national differences; and

3) build broad community and user alliances to maximise political and bargaining strength on our key issues.

Congress is concerned at the privatisation emanating from EU regulations such as the tendering of Caledonian MacBrayne Lifeline ferry services. Congress urges the UK Government to challenge these regulations and requests the General Council convene a conference of affiliates to discuss a campaign to oppose EU privatisation directives.


Seconder: Prospect

Supporters: Unite

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Composite13 Public sector pay

Congress reaffirms its support for properly funded, high quality public services and welcomes the substantial additional investment in the public services made in recent years by the Government.

Congress, however, rejects any suggestion or proposals from whatever source that high quality public services can be assisted or improved on the basis of unfair, discriminatory or de-motivating public sector pay policies which reduce the real or relative levels of pay of the staff concerned.

Congress deplores the Government's 2 per cent pay limit on public sector pay increases and rejects the argument that it will help combat inflation.

Congress believes that there is no evidence that public sector pay is fuelling inflation and believes that public sector workers are the victims not the cause of inflation.

Congress believes that all public sector workers are entitled to levels of pay and working conditions that:

i) appropriately recognise the demands upon them;

ii) reflect their valuable contribution to the country and society as a whole; and

iii) compare fairly with the pay and rewards available in other comparable employments.

Congress notes that millions of public servants are already struggling to live on low pay. In some civil service departments there are full-time staff who are paid less than £11,000 per year.

Congress condemns the obscene bonuses paid to executives in the City and notes that the current tax system allows many wealthy people and companies to pay little or no tax.

Congress also confirms its opposition to regional pay as nothing short of a cynical attack on all public sector pay.

Congress believes that the lesson of the successful 2005 joint union campaign to defend existing public sector members' pension age is that we are stronger when we take action together.

Congress believes that the sector-wide pay freeze has created the conditions for another co-ordinated campaign including industrial action if necessary. We note that affiliates have been holding discussions on such a campaign since the Spring.

Congress, therefore, instructs the General Council to give full support to affiliated unions' efforts to protect their members' real and relative pay levels, to oppose the Government's two per cent pay target for public sector workers, and to co-ordinate a joint campaign of opposition at national and local levels to the Government's unfair public sector pay limit, including co-ordinated joint industrial action.

Congress calls on the General Council and Executive Committee to:

a) convene an immediate meeting of interested unions to discuss coordinated industrial action;

b) give full support to any such action;

c) develop local and regional campaigns of public sector unions; and

d) step up campaigning for a fairer, more redistributive tax system.

Mover: Public and Commercial Services Union

Seconder: National Union of Teachers

Supporter: POA (UK)

Composite 14 Raising the participation age in education and training

Congress welcomes the policy of raising the age for participation in education and training to 18. The 14-19 White Paper committed the system to reaching a participation level of 90 per cent at 17 by 2015. Even so, that leaves behind the most vulnerable: these are the people with few or no qualifications at 16 who are seven times less likely to stay on in education although they would gain considerably from doing so.

Congress is pleased that the options available to young people will include participation at school, in college, in work-based learning, or in accredited training provided by an employer, especially through bona fide workplace apprenticeships.

The new policy raises a range of issues, the most challenging of which is how to secure proper employer commitment. Employers have a largely unimpressive record for educating their young employees. The policy must not, by default, result in raising the school leaving age as a consequence of the failure by employers to provide training opportunities. It will be critical to establish processes that ensure that the young people in employment are placed on training that is valuable to them and their future.

Successful education enables, not coerces, learners. Coercive 'education' undermines educators' professional support, and development of reluctant young learners risks creating 'last resort' providers and needs firm duties on employers.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) lobby Government to make arrangements that ensure that employed young people receive their training entitlement and that the provision is of a high standard, which delivers recognised industry qualifications that provide meaningful skills for life;

ii) oppose criminalisation for non-attendance; and

iii) lobby for statutory time off to study for young people.

Mover: Association for College Management

Seconder: National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

Supporters: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

University and College Union

Composite15 Privatisation and job losses in further and higher education

Congress notes that under the guise of ideas of 'contestability', linking skills provision to 'employer-demand', and 'widening the provider base' in post-compulsory education, core education functions are being passed into the control of the private sector.

Congress is concerned that entire departments will be contracted out to private providers, putting commercial interests before those of learners.

Congress further notes that these developments put jobs at risk, and threaten to create a two-tier system in staff pay and terms and conditions; increase workloads; damage the quality of provision and the reputation of UK further and higher education; and increase financial instability across both sectors.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) continue to campaign to ensure that further and higher education remain public services that are built around adding public value to post-compulsory learning;

ii) campaign for long term stability in FHE, particularly in terms of public funding and staff pay and conditions; and oppose the use of 'brokers' through Train To Gain;

iii) facilitate greater campaigning and research links between public sector unions to develop a research base on private providers and build up best practice of combating privatisation, to enable unions to pool knowledge and resources, and to report back within the year on progress;

iv) lobby the Government to extend the end of the two-tier workforce in local government to FHE, including all staff who currently work for private contractors;

v) instigate TUC research into the record of both contestability and PFI in FHE and to assess its record in providing value for money; and

vi) lobby for a moratorium on further initiatives to subject the education system to the short-term imperatives of 'employer-demand', contestability, private control and public-private partnerships until the impact of such initiatives both in the UK and abroad are fully evaluated.

Congress is also concerned that job losses and insecurity because of frequent college reorganisations and mergers remain a big problem in further education. Congress believes this is detrimental not just to the staff affected but to the overall reputation of the sector as a provider of quality learning.

Accordingly, Congress calls on the Government, and Welsh and Scottish executives to:

a) recognise the extent of this problem and, in consultation with trade unions and other stakeholders, take appropriate action to bring stability to employment in FE colleges; and

b) ensure that any future reviews and/or consultations on any aspect of further education take meaningful account of the impact of any change on staff job security.

Mover: University and College Union

Seconder: Association for College Management

Composite 16 Arts funding and the Olympics

Trade unionists across the UK shared the surprise and excitement of the rest of the country when it was announced that London would host the 2012 Olympics. Congress supports the vision of the games and the desire to deliver a positive legacy of regeneration and reconstruction. The games will also provide a unique opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent and creativity of the UK's creative and cultural industries.

However, Congress expresses grave concerns about the prospect of a reduction in arts funding for 2008-11 arising from the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review and its disappointment at the decision to divert £112m of lottery money from the Arts Council to the Olympics and that activities that are part of the proposed Cultural Olympiad will not receive any public or Lottery funding.

Congress notes the serious implications which will result for the arts in general and theatre in particular, including:

i) a return to the disastrous 'stop-start' funding approach of Conservative Governments;

ii) a reduction in the benefits to the public of accessible and original theatre combined with outreach work aimed at building a more diverse audience;

iii) a quick and adverse impact on employment and pay levels in this labour intensive sector, jeopardising trade union initiatives on low pay, training and equal opportunities; and

iv) a self-defeating reduction in the enormous economic spin off benefits of theatre (calculated at £2.6b from just £121m of public subsidy in 2004).

Congress further notes the tight financial constraints on the British Film Institute arising from reductions in arts funding and that the Government may divert funding from museums, libraries and archives, which are a unique and treasured national asset.

Congress calls on the TUC to seek assurances from Government that future funding for the performing arts - either directly from the public purse or from the Lottery - will be ring-fenced and protected at least in line with inflation, and that the funding of the UK's cultural institutions is protected to maximise the great opportunity in 2012 to publicise the heritage of the UK and wider world and not made a casualty of increasing Olympic costs.

Mover: Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

Seconder: Equity

Supporter: FDA

Composite 17 Colombia

Congress notes the deteriorating situation in Colombia and deplores that it remains the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist. Justice for Colombia (JFC) reported to its affiliates in March 2007 that 84 trade unionists were assassinated in Colombia in 2006, the vast majority by the armed forces and their paramilitary allies - a 20 per cent increase on the numbers killed in 2005.

Congress condemns the continuing abuses against trade unionists and other members of civil society in Colombia and the Colombian Government's anti-union policies, links with paramilitary death squads and use of violence to silence political opponents. The TUC and JFC have condemned the Colombian Government for allowing targeted murders of trade unionists by the paramilitaries to continue with complete impunity; and Congress notes the latest political scandal involving high-level politicians aligned to the present Uribe regime who were forced to resign because of their links to the paramilitaries that perpetrate such vile crimes.

Congress congratulates Justice for Colombia for raising awareness and in providing solidarity to Colombian trade unions and for organising the protest demonstration outside the Colombian Embassy in March of this year, in which senior trade union officials made representation to the ambassador on behalf of the Colombian trade unions seeking an end to the assassinations and an acceptance by the Colombian Government of the UN human rights report that stated that there had been an increase in civilians murdered by the armed forces.

Congress notes the widespread opposition to UK military assistance to Colombia including from the Colombian trade union movement and the majority of Labour MPs and Labour NEC members. Congress notes with concern the growing use of torture of trade unionists and their children by the army, police and paramilitaries. Congress, therefore, commits to raise these issues with the Colombian Embassy in the UK, the Colombian Government and the UK Government as a matter of urgency.

Congress endorses the calls from Colombian civil society, supported by the EU, for a humanitarian prisoner exchange as a first step towards peace in Colombia. Congress also puts on record its support for the ILO Permanent Representation in Colombia and deplores the ILO Employers' Group attempt to silence debate of the situation in Colombia at the ILO Conference.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i) press the UK and Colombian governments to work to strengthen rather than weaken collective bargaining in Colombia, including support and adequate funding for a truly independent ILO mission in Colombia;

ii) ensure that Colombia remains a TUC international priority;

iii) continue supporting, both politically and financially, the activities of Justice for Colombia;

iv) make urgent representations to the Government to withdraw military assistance to Colombia; and

v) support a humanitarian exchange of prisoners and a negotiated political settlement to the conflict.

Mover: Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Seconder: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Supporters: TSSA


Composite 18 Leitch review of skills and ESOL

Congress notes the Government's intention to implement the recommendations of the Leitch Report. Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i) a return to the principles of lifelong learning rather than the narrow employer and economic focus of the Leitch Report;

ii) a reversing of the cuts to adult learning funding and an end to the system of funding only those adult learning programmes that meet the narrow range of government targets;

iii) long-term public funding to provide rich and varied learning opportunities for everyone, irrespective of age or employment status; to guarantee equal status for accredited and non-accredited courses, including skills, leisure, social and cultural; and to prioritise adults benefiting least from school and a return to a fair fee policy for all;

iv) learning in the workplace to be 'employment'-led rather than just employer-led so the needs and aspirations of workers are taken into account and are met alongside those of the employer and particular attention is paid to the need to ensure equality of access to learning in the workplace;

v) a right to paid educational leave for all employed young people and adults up to Level 2 within the current Skills Pledge initiative, and within legislation after 2010 if there is insufficient take-up by employers of the Skills Pledge;

vi) all employers to support lifelong learning through the provision of paid time and resources for lifelong learning; and to set an example by requiring this to be mandatory in the public sector by 2012; and

vii) the Government to establish statutory workplace training agreements so that workplace and Lifelong Learning Committees become part of collective bargaining procedures.

Congress expresses alarm over government funding proposals for ESOL.

The ESOL programme has been a major success and has embedded in many training programmes run by affiliates in cooperation with employers. ESOL has been the first step for many home-based migrant workers on the learning and education path and is invaluable given the entry of the new accession states. Congress believes that ending universal entitlement to ESOL is contrary to the Government's stated intention of promoting social inclusion and that it will have a detrimental effect on low paid workers in particular.

Congress calls on the Government to recognise this essential work being carried out in this area and to protect the funding for this work. Specifically Congress agrees to work with other interested partners in order to secure restoration of the right to universal free ESOL training up to Level 2 and the right of asylum seekers to free learning from when they arrive in this country.

Unions are vital in ensuring this campaign remains high profile. We urgently need evidence of the damaging effect withdrawal of funding has had or could have on members' lives and union organisation. Congress urges unions to gather and share evidence and to use this to further the campaign. The extension of ESOL, which we welcome, should be through extra resources from the Government, not through a switch of resources from successful programmes.

Mover: University and College Union

Seconder: Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

Supporters: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


Society of Radiographers

Emergency 1 Defence of public services

Congress registers its disgust and dismay at the treatment by the Government of the POA, following its decision to call a 24-hour stoppage of work on 29 August 2007.

Congress fully supports the full implementation of the Pay Review Body recommendations for the POA's members and all other Independent Pay Review Body recommendations for their individual remit groups.

Congress expresses its concern at the failure of the Government to engage the POA in meaningful negotiations, as had been promised by the Secretary of State for Justice, and the consistent resort by the Government to the use of court orders, threats of imprisonment, sequestration and fines.

Congress calls upon the Government to recognise the POA as a free and independent professional trade union; to recognise the union's strong case for urgent action on pay; and to act together with the POA to improve prison conditions for staff and inmates and, through rehabilitation, the general public.

Mover: POA (UK)

Seconder: GMB

Motions Lost

72 EU Constitution/Reform Treaty

Congress notes the proposals in the new EU Reform Treaty are substantially the same as the EU Constitution rejected by the French and Dutch electorates in 2005. Indeed the French architect of the Constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, stated the new EU treaty would be 'very, very near to the original'.

The Treaty includes:

i) changing the European Union from an intergovernmental arrangement into a state with a single legal personality and corporate existence;

ii) forming a centralised government including an EU President, a Foreign Minister called a High Representative, a diplomatic service and an EU Public Prosecutor;

iii) giving further powers to EU institutions, including the European Court of Justice and European Central Bank;

iv) reducing significantly the democratic power of member states to block neo-liberal EU legislation;

v) giving the EU the power to change itself without further treaties or referendums;

vi) consolidating the single market and the drive to privatise public services;

vii) further militarising the EU; and

viii) abolishing Britain's veto over transport and many other areas.

At the 2005 General Election all three main political parties promised a referendum on such changes. Congress therefore calls on the Government to hold an urgent referendum on the EU Reform Treaty and for the General Council to also vigorously campaign for a referendum.

Congress also urges the General Council to campaign for a 'No' vote in line with the Congress policy decided in 2005.

Finally the General Council is also urged to campaign for this position within the ETUC.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

80 Childcare

Congress deplores the decision of the General Council, reported to the Women's Committee on 16 January, not to expand upon current childcare provisions for 'in session' hours only childcare, for conferences and events run by the TUC. This decision has been taken regardless of the overwhelming endorsement of TUC Women's Conference 2005 to support such a move.

The TUC Women's Committee have repeatedly made it clear that inadequate, inappropriate or unaffordable childcare is a huge barrier to parents and carers and, in particular, to women's involvement in the trade union and labour movement.

Congress believes that childcare provision solely for conference hours is certainly not adequate for delegates wishing to expand their knowledge and experience at any conference, e.g. fringe events or organised social events such as the International Women's Day rally this year, or simply to network and debate outside of session times.

Congress deplores the TUC's decision to base any recommendations or conclusion upon outcomes of the latest consultation with affiliates, citing their lack of commitment or response as a reason not to expand childcare provision. Congress believes that the TUC should be a 'leader' of best practice, not solely the provider of the 'average' of its affiliates.

TUC Women's Conference

General Council Statements

General Council Statement on public sector pay

The Public Service unions, and the TUC care deeply about delivering high quality public services.

Public services reform and particularly public services pay, have been major General Council concerns throughout the year. Public servants have continued to demonstrate their dedication and commitment in responding to national emergencies, tackling floods and their aftermath, preventing the spread of foot and mouth, tackling terrorism and crime and delivering health, education, justice and welfare services to the country. Yet below inflation pay rises mean pay cuts in real terms for public sector workers who deserve better treatment.

Recent years have seen a sustained commitment to increased investment in many areas of the public sector and an expansion in public service employment after years of under-investment. This should give public service workers and users cause for celebration. But instead there is increasing concern - shared by the General Council - that the benefits which should flow from this welcome investment in public services are being jeopardised by job cuts, below inflation pay rises and the increasing use of outsourcing and privatisation in public services.

Government policy on public sector pay settlements for 2007/08 is based on a two per cent target, with the scope to go even lower. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury stated in May 2006 that 'within this overall envelope there will be justification for lower awards for those workforce groups for whom the current level of pay is already generous.' He also stated that public sector pay restraint was necessary in the context of a tight spending round in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

The last time large numbers of public sector employees received such low increases was in 1993, when the then Conservative government imposed increases of 1.5 per cent on all groups. That was at a time when the economy was only just coming out of recession. The economic picture today is much healthier with the government recently claiming the longest run of quarterly increases in economic growth since comparable records began. The ostensible justification for pay restraint is the danger of fuelling public sector pay inflation yet this has not been cited by the Bank of England in their report to government on the factors linked to inflation.

It is surely wrong that public servants should be made to bear the brunt of government cost cutting. And it is doubly wrong that in the fourth richest economy in the world, while some of the UK's lowest paid workers should be expected to take what is in effect a pay cut, company directors received last year a 37% rise in their rewards package, worth £14 billion paid out in bonuses.

This situation risks a return to the boom and bust years of the 1980s and 1990s of public sector pay which did so much to damage public services. Recent progress made within some sectors of the public service in modernising pay structures risks being undermined by under-funding and pay squeezes. The growing gap between private sector and public sector earnings will result in recruitment shortfalls, failure to retain staff, and poor staff morale.

There is also grave concern at the damage done to established mechanisms for pay determination by some recent government actions. The staging of the NHS pay review body recommendations can only undermine the credibility of their awards, particularly when they were paid in full within Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In teaching, during the current settlement period, there are clear signs that pay has not kept up with inflation, risking damaging faith in those multi-year deals which can do so much to promote stability. This must be addressed by the Pay Review Body and the Government. In addition, the use of the CPI, rather than the RPI as a reference point for pay rises is an unwarranted departure from accepted norms within pay bargaining, which take the RPI as the key indicator as it reflects changes in the real cost of living more accurately than the narrower CPI. . The framework of public sector pay determination rests upon a foundation of fairness, equity and respect - as set out in the public sector pay and reward principles, negotiated with and agreed by government through the Public Services Forum. Urgent action is needed by government to restore belief in governmental support for those principles.

The General Council is also deeply concerned over the use of local and regional pay in public services. The threat has loomed heavily for the past few years and developments in the Ministry of Justice have put this threat into sharp relief. The Civil Service remit guidance requires departments to consider local pay as part of the business case they submit to the Treasury every year and all groups covered by the review bodies have an obligation to consider local pay in their terms of reference . The Ministry's review of pay structures has introduced five separate geographically based scales with three extra variations for specialist staff. The General Council is opposed to this development and similar developments in public services, which would exacerbate existing regional inequalities, particularly where the public sector is a dominant local employer. The General Council remains opposed to the use of regional pay which threatens to undermine national pay and bargaining frameworks which promote stability, fairness and equal pay.

In addition to these major pay issues there is also deep concern over the programme of job cuts and relocation being driven through in the wake of the Gershon and Lyons revie ws. Targets appear to have been set for job cuts with little concern for the quality of service to users, often among the most disadvantaged in society, nor the added stress imposed on remaining public service staff that are under pressure to provide the same level of service. All too often there has been little real consultation with the recognised unions nor sufficient efforts to avoid job losses, particularly compulsory redundancies, through the agreed procedures for relocation, retraining and transfer elsewhere within government.

Added to these twin pressures on pay and jobs are the pressures of increasing workloads arising from continual change in the organisation, funding and delivery of public services. The programme of privatisation, outsourcing, commissioning and marketisation across the range of public services, in Health, Education, Local Government, National Government, the Justice System, Emergency Services and elsewhere continues to cause major disruption both to users of public services and staff. Services are being fragmented by handing them over to private providers instead of investing in public capacity, while mounting evidence shows that real service improvement is being undermined by the imposition of market models.

The General Council expresses its solidarity with unions faced with these pressures and challenges and in particular gives full support to unions taking action to defend jobs and services and to win fair pay. Through the regular meetings of the Public Services Liaison Group the TUC will continue to bring all public service unions together for campaigning on a united basis to coordinate union action and campaigning, including where appropriate industrial action.

The General Council calls for a fresh start from government in their approach to public service reform. Work is underway to take forward a compact which would, in line with the Warwick agreement, ensure that all workers delivering public services, whether directly employed or contracted, had access to basic skills, advice and unions. The Public Services Forum has helped encourage all government departments, the NHS and many local authorities to sign up to the Skills Pledge and to develop a skills strategy across the public services. Further work is also needed to ensure delivery of the two-tier workforce agreement across the public sector.

Those moves are welcome and steps in the right direction but much more is needed. Government should act with energy to restore faith in - and adhere to - the proper functioning of the pay determination machinery; honour Pay Review Body awards and demonstrate adherence to the agreed public sector pay and reward principles - including in particular the need for fairness and equity for the lowest paid, and the vital need to deliver on equal pay; take urgent steps to end the current disputes across government; rebuild constructive relations with the public services trade unions and ensure that there is genuine consultation on proposed changes in the organisation of public services. The public services trade unions, and the General Council, are certainly not opposed to change and care deeply about delivering high quality public services, but this will not be achieved at the expense of hard working staff, nor at the risk of jeopardising the public service ethos which is so important to their work.

adopted 10 September 2007.

Childcare at TUC events

This statement explains the General Council policy on childcare at TUC events and has been prepared in response to the criticisms of the General Council made in the motion selected by delegates at the 2007 TUC Women's Conference as the Conference's motion to Congress.

The General Council emphasises that all trade unionists, including those with childcare responsibilities, need to be able to make a full contribution to trade union events and also recognises the fact that lack of provision by the trade union movement, along with many other organisations in society, has meant that parents have been denied the opportunity to participate fully in our events.

The General Council also recognises that women still shoulder the bulk of caring responsibilities in society and that single parents face particular pressures. Therefore the provision of childcare facilities is an integral part of the commitment to promote equality which now forms part of the TUC constitution and which unions are obliged to adopt themselves as part of their affiliation to the TUC.

As was made clear by the Women's Committee and others during the consultation on structures and services carried out in 2005-6, participation in an event such as Congress involves more than being present during the formal sessions. Some of the most important and rewarding work takes place outside the normal hours and therefore if delegates with childcare responsibility are to play a full part in such events childcare facilities need to be available outside the core hours.

The General Council is also committed to ensuring that childcare provision, whether provided directly or indirectly, is of top quality to ensure a positive experience for children; and that childcare workers' hours, treatment and rewards meet high standards too.

However the General Council also recognises that childcare facilities in the evening, and even early in the morning cannot be provided simply by extending crèche hours. The most sensitive times of a young child's day are when they are getting ready for bed or waking up and childcare facilities provided at such times need to be done on an individual basis in a way that meets the needs of the child, the parent and the workers providing the childcare facilities.

It was on this basis that the TUC has introduced a new service for delegates attending this year's Congress, in addition to the usual crèche facilities near to the conference centre provided whilst Congress is in session. Under this arrangement the TUC office made extensive enquiries about the range of facilities that could be provided to meet delegates childcare needs outside of conference hours and informed unions about the availability of this service in all the materials sent to unions concerning Congress. It was for unions to inform their delegates of these arrangements and for the delegates themselves to make arrangements that best suited their own needs and the needs of their child(ren).

The major point of difference between the TUC and the Women's Conference concerns the cost of such out-of-hours provision. The survey of union childcare facilities conducted last year produced a very limited number of responses, but it was clear from those that were received that very few unions provided evening childcare for delegates attending their own events.

It was not the intention of the General Council, as some delegates to the Women's Conference concluded, that the TUC should only match the facilities provided by unions, but in a recognition of the importance of such service sought to give a lead by facilitating an extended service.

The General Council believes that in terms of the respective obligations and roles of the different parties, the proper balance is for the TUC itself to provide and meet the cost of crèche facilities during Congress hours. It also accepts an obligation to provide information about the widest possible range of facilities to meet the needs of delegates for evening (and even early morning) childcare. It believes that it must be for the parent to make arrangements that meet their needs and those of the child and that the union itself should play some part, both in recognising the need for such a service and seeking to raise awareness within unions, by providing appropriate financial support for this out of hours service. This is something which some, but not all unions do at present.

In terms of overall take up of childcare facilities at Congress, this remains very limited with only five children registered for the crèche this year and, to date, even fewer delegates requesting advice regarding evening arrangements via the new service. But for the reasons stated above the TUC is committed to continuing to provide and develop such a service and encouraging unions to review and improve their own services - with the guiding principles being as set out above: to provide a facility that meets the needs of the child, the delegate and the childcare worker, with the costs and responsibilities shared in such a way that the delegate is comfortable with the facilities; that the TUC makes the arrangements and meets the costs of the core crèche but for the arrangements geared specifically to the individual needs of the child and delegate out of hours appropriate financial support should be the responsibility of the union.

To take this policy forward the General Council is committed to working with the Women's Committee to maximise the involvement of trade unionists with childcare responsibilities in TUC and union events.

Adopted 10 September 2007.

General Council and General Purposes Committee Nominations and election results

General Council

Section A

(unions with more than 200,000 members)


(ten members)

Gail Cartmail

Tony Dubbins

Martin Mayer

Len McCluskey

Doug Rooney

Brenda Sanders

Derek Simpson

Pat Stuart

Paul Talbot

Tony Woodley


(seven members)

Bob Abberley

Jane Carolan

Gerry Gallagher

Dave Prentis

Alison Shepherd

Eleanor Smith

Liz Snape


(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)

John Hannett

Fiona Wilson

Section B

unions with between 100,000 and 200,000 members

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Mary Bousted


Paul Noon

University and College Union

Sally Hunt

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Alan Ritchie

Section C

(eleven to be elected)

Name Union Votes

Jonathan Baume* FDA 431,000

Brian Caton * POA 594,000

Bob Crow RMT 328,000

Jeremy Dear * NUJ 382,000

Gerry Doherty* TSSA 498,000

Michael Leahy* Community 416,000

Joe Marino BFAWU 245,000

Judy McKnight* NAPO 330,000

Robert Monks URTU 60,000

Ged Nichols * Accord 408,000

Keith Norman ASLEF 191,000

Brian Orrell * NUMAST 429,000

Tim Poil * NGSU 412,000

John Smith* MU 459,000

Matt Wrack * FBU 376,000

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

Lesley Mercer - Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Julia Neal, Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Section E

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

Mohammad Taj - Unite

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 UNISON

Section I

Member representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workers

Maria Exall - Communication Workers Union

Section J

Member representing young workers

John Walsh - Unite

General Purposes Committee

(Five to be elected)

Name Union Votes

Andy Ballard ATL 766,000

Phil Davies* GMB 5,788,300

Peter Hall* RMT 5,496,000

Alastair Hunter* UCU 5,819,000

Linda McCulloch* Unite 5,846,000


Mansell-Green* UNISON 6,239,000

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