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Congress Report 2011

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date


Report 2011

The 143rd annual Trades Union Congress

12-14 September, London


General Council members 2011 - 2012................................................ 4

Section 1 - Congress decisions............................................................. 7

Section 2 - Verbatim report of Congress proceedings....................... ...29

Day 1

Monday 12 September................................................................................................ 30

Day 2

Tuesday 13 September.................................................................................. 67

Day 3

Wednesday 14 September........................................................................................ 109

Section 3 - Unions and their delegates......................................................... 131

Section 4 - Details of past Congresses.......................................................... 137

Section 5 - Members of the General Council 1921 - 2011.................. 140

Index of speakers.............................................................................................. ....146

General Council Members 2011 - 2012

Bob Abberley


Jonathan Baume


Sheila Bearcroft MBE


Christine Blower

National Union of Teachers

Mary Bousted

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Joanna Brown

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Tony Burke


Jane Carolan


Gail Cartmail


Brian Cookson


Bob Crow

National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers

Mark Dickinson

Nautilus International

Maria Exall

Communication Workers Union

Sue Ferns


Steve Gillan


Janice Godrich

Public and Commercial Services Union

George Guy

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

John Hannett

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Dave Harvey

National Union of Teachers

Billy Hayes

Communication Workers Union

Sally Hunt

University and College Union

Tony Kearns

Communication Workers Union

Chris Keates


Paul Kenny (chair)


Michael Leahy OBE


Angela Lynes


Fern McCaffrey


Paul McCarthy


Len McCluskey


Sean McGovern


Leslie Manasseh MBE


Lesley Mercer

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Gloria Mills CBE


Andrew Murray


Ged Nichols


Paul Noon


Tim Poil

Nationwide Group Staff Union

Dave Prentis


Alice Robinson

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Malcolm Sage


Mark Serwotka

Public and Commercial Services Union

Alison Shepherd


Eleanor Smith


John Smith

Musicians' Union

Liz Snape MBE


Michelle Stanistreet

National Union of Journalists

Jane Stewart


Patricia Stuart


Mohammad Taj


Steve Turner


Simon Weller

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Fiona Wilson

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Tony Woodhouse


Matt Wrack

Fire Brigades Union

Brendan Barber General Secretary

Section 1

Congress Decisions

Listed below are the decisions taken by the 2011 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.

Resolutions Carried

10 Vulnerable and atypical workers

Congress notes the extremely valuable work already undertaken on vulnerable workers, including the by TUC Commission on Vulnerable Employment.

Noting the spread of atypical employment (including freelance, casual, short-term contract and self-employed workers), Congress wishes to further develop the TUC's strategic approach in this area, by encouraging campaigns for trade union recognition and by focusing on both private and public sector areas of organisation.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to convene a meeting of unions interested in pursuing this work.

Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

The following Amendment was ACCEPTED by the mover

Insert new paragraph 2:

'Congress welcomes the campaigning work by affiliates around agency workers. Congress recognises that the Agency Workers' Regulations will provide new rights for an important group of vulnerable workers providing opportunities for the trade union movement to organise agency workers to tackle the exploitation of vulnerable workers.'

In existing paragraph 2, line 2, after 'contract' insert:

', agency'

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

11 Payroll companies

Congress notes that increasingly employers and employment agencies are attempting to flout laws on employment status by forcing workers to be paid via a payroll company. Workers are then forced onto a contract of self-employment and denied even the most basic employment rights. By making workers falsely self-employed, employers avoid paying national insurance contributions of 13.8 per cent, holiday pay, sick pay and pension contributions. This is costing the Exchequer millions of pounds in tax avoidance and amounts to a multi-million pound hidden subsidy for companies who enter into such arrangements.

Congress further notes that while this practice is most common in the construction industry it is already spreading into other sectors. Unless changes in the law are introduced and enforcement activity dramatically increased, unscrupulous employers and agencies are likely to force a greater number of workers into payroll companies in order to avoid complying with the Agency Worker Regulations and existing employment legislation.

Congress calls on the TUC General Council to campaign actively for a change in the law to prevent payroll companies being able to classify workers as self-employed and to increase its activities in order to eradicate false self-employment from the UK economy.

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

The following Amendment was ACCEPTED In paragraph 2, line 3, insert new second sentence:

'As an example, in commercial aviation it is known that at least one employer is insisting that pilots not only become self-employed but must also base themselves for tax and social security purposes in a country other than their main residence.'

British Air Line Pilots' Association

12 Employment law

Congress agrees that the TUC campaign for a change in the law that currently allows an employee in the UK to be dismissed because an employer has grounds to believe that they may have committed a criminal offence, even though under criminal law they would be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

13 TUC support for smaller trade unions

Congress acknowledges and celebrates the development of the large unions that between them represent the vast majority of trade unionists in the country.

Congress also celebrates the smaller affiliates who represent specific crafts, skills and professions. Those affiliates are frequently not recognised by employers and can be overlooked when negotiations are taking place.

Congress notes, with regret, that some consultations and negotiations have led to the erosion of employment rights of those trade unionists represented by the smaller craft, skills and professional affiliates.

Congress calls on the General Council to alert all affiliates to be mindful of the important role played by smaller affiliates and the need for their inclusion in consultations affecting the interest of their members. There is a need to ensure that the employment rights of members in small affiliates are not eroded when larger affiliates reach agreements on behalf of their members.

Congress believes that this can best be achieved by affiliates working cooperatively together to secure the widest possible recognition in the workplace.

Association of Educational Psychologists

The following Amendment was ACCEPTED by the mover

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress notes the strong occupational identity, high membership density and reciprocal loyalty among members of specialist unions and acknowledges that such unions can lead industrial relations in certain sectors and calls on the General Council to ensure small affiliates are better represented within internal TUC structures.'

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

14 The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda

Congress is deeply concerned by evidence that the Tory-led coalition's cuts to welfare and public spending are disproportionately disadvantaging low-income working families, women, black and disabled workers.

Congress notes research highlighting that women are paying a heavy price for the changes to tax, benefits and tax credits with pregnant women, single parents and low-income families the hardest hit.

Already the impact of this government's economic strategy can be seen in rising unemployment amongst women. April 2011 saw the highest number of women claiming out-of-work benefits for 15 years.

Congress recognises that support for low-income families, disabled people and carers is crucial to the struggle for equality in the UK.

Congress welcomes the TUC-coordinated campaign to resist the cuts and notes with pleasure that half a million people took to the streets to March for the Alternative in March 2011.

Congress agrees that the TUC will:

i. continue to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of cuts on low-income families, women, black and disabled workers.

ii. support trade union campaigns promoting an alternative to the coalition's welfare and public spending cuts

iii. support affiliates in their work to reach out to low-income working families, women, disabled and black workers to ensure their voice is heard in campaigns against the cuts.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

The following amendment was ACCEPTED by the mover

Add a final sub-paragraph after iii.:

'iv. highlight the specific impact of cuts on child poverty and the risk of recent progress in this area being reversed, and continue to promote the TUC's own recommendations for addressing child poverty.'

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

15 No cutting back on women's equality: women united against the cuts

Congress is appalled at the government's spending cuts to jobs, services and the welfare state and the disproportionate way they affect women of all ages in public and private sectors and the most vulnerable in our society.

Congress believes that the coalition government's assertion that the Comprehensive Spending Review is based on fairness is a fallacy. Congress is also deeply concerned at increasing women's poverty, job insecurity, the impact on their families for decades to come, and the growing employer backlash against women's rights as workers and trade unionists.

It is predicted that at least half a million public sector workers will lose their jobs. Congress believes that these cuts in jobs, services, pay and pensions are driven by ideological dogma, evidenced by the government's refusal to consider the very real alternatives, including taxing banks and financial institutions that caused the credit crunch, a fairer tax system, and growing, not shrinking, our public services to provide jobs and boost the economy.

Services targeted include adult social care, children's services and mental health services. When services are run for private profit, quality of care and service falls, and it is inevitable that as services return to critical care rather than early intervention, women will bear the brunt of these cuts, as service providers and carers. The proposed privatisation of the health service beginning with the GP commissioning process will impact severely on women's health, welfare and work. This will lead to a reduction in qualified health staff including nurses and needs to be resisted and opposed. There is clear evidence that mortality and morbidity decreases as numbers of professionally qualified staff increase.

Women have felt the impact of redundancies and closures on top of pay freezes and recession. Women in the public sector have been hard hit and the unions have come together to say this is unfair and wrong.

Women generally make up a high number of public workers, and disabled women are targeted not only in this way but also by the benefit cuts such as the replacement of Disabled Living Allowance with new personal independence payments which will have far tighter eligibility criteria, by the access to work changes, by cuts to NHS services of particular value to disabled people, and reductions in funding to local authorities for supported employment.

Congress asserts that the coalition government's plans undermine the status of women as equal partners with men in the world of work, home and society as a whole.

Congress commends the TUC on the campaign All Together for Public Services and asks that the TUC recognises that it is not only employed women who are vulnerable, but the many women who work freelance and casual contracts. Congress highlights this and feels convinced that equality legislation aimed at protecting these and other women will be watered down if possible by the coalition government, whilst seeking to create 'The Big Society'.

Congress welcomes the growing mass opposition to the government's cuts programme, including the inspiring protests by students, young people, disabled groups and black communities. Women facing the multiple impacts of cuts have been at the forefront of these protests.

Congress calls on the TUC, with affiliates, to:

i. use all means possible to exert pressure on the government and politicians at local, regional and national level to withdraw from this attack on our communities, to look again at an alternative budget and to commit to properly funded, publicly provided services

ii. protect our achievements and gains through 'eternal vigilance'

iii. fight for the rights of women workers and expose their actual financial losses as part of our campaign against job and service cuts

iv. ensure women's equality is central to the trade union campaign for jobs, growth and justice - for an alternative to the cuts

v. advance the aims of a Women's Charter including mandatory equal pay audits; decent pensions for all women; family/children's rights; statutory rights for union equality reps and equality impact assessments

vi. organise and support working women for the TUC rally on 26 March 2011

vii. link up with TU Council of the Isles Women's Committees, community and women's organisations who share these aims with women's organisations and campaigning groups involved in anti-cuts campaigns

ix. work with affiliates in delivering a campaign to raise awareness of this unfairness and supporting women workers to oppose detrimental changes to benefits and cuts to services

x. highlight the disproportionate impact on women of government cuts

xi. support women in communities fighting to defend public services

xii. build support for co-ordinated industrial action in defence of public service jobs and conditions in line with TUC policy.

TUC Women's Conference

16 Race equality and the attack on public services

The government's policies will have devastating implications for black workers and their communities. It is predicted that at least half a million public sector workers will lose their jobs.

Congress notes that UNISON has more than a million members delivering essential services to the public. These services matter to the most vulnerable people in society.

Black unemployment has increased sharply and these figures are likely to worsen as cutbacks take effect.

Specialist services provided by the black voluntary sector are already under threat and it is likely that many will face extinction as a result of cuts to grant funding. Analysis by IPPR revealed that nearly half (48 per cent) of young black people are unemployed, compared to 20 per cent for young white people.

Congress believes that defending public services is a vital issue for black communities in the UK. It calls upon the TUC and TUC affiliates to ensure that:

i. race equality is a key part of the TUC and affiliates' anti-cuts campaigns both nationally and within local communities

ii. equality impact assessments are used to challenge cutbacks and highlight its discriminatory effect on service provision

iii. negotiating, bargaining and organising around race equality is increased, not decreased.

TUC Black Workers' Conference

17 Mental health at work

Congress notes that one in four British workers experience conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress. Mental health problems are still taboo in the workplace. Workers are scared to discuss their impairment at work because of the negative reaction they will get from their employers and work colleagues. This concealment of mental distress impacts further on their health as employers challenge sickness absences or changes in performance. Many people work in a culture that allows intimidation, bullying or harassment, which will increase their reluctance to disclose mental health issues to their employer.

Congress opposes the cuts in the health services that support people with mental health conditions. The impact of public service cuts on workplace stress and mental health should become a factor in the TUC All Together for Public Services campaign with a briefing detailing the cumulative impact of cuts in public services on people with mental health conditions.

Trade unions need to protect and support the mental health of their members. We need to create workplaces where mental health issues are addressed and supported appropriately. Our members need to know their rights and new rights under the Equality Act 2010 and what this means in practical terms. Congress calls on the TUC General Council to:

i. ensure trade unions are aware of the legislative framework that can support mental health and well-being

ii. support trade unions in negotiating workplace policies that support mental health, including disability leave agreements

iii. encourage trade unions to tackle workplace cultures that inhibit disclosure of mental health as impairment.

TUC Disability Conference

18 Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts

Congress is concerned that the Tory-led government is fostering a progressive image on LGBT equality while carrying out unprecedented attacks on the rights of LGBT workers and provision for LGBT service users.

Congress is deeply concerned about the effect of the comprehensive spending review cuts and other coalition government policies on the LGBT community. The devastating impact of the public sector cuts is well documented. The lack of data on LGBT people makes the impact on them less easy to quantify.

Congress knows that:

i. Workplace discrimination remains widespread. In the fear and uncertainty of cuts - homo/bi/trans phobia can run rampant. LGBT workers fear to complain while jobs are threatened.

ii. Services for LGBT people don't win popularity contests and are among the first to be cut.

iii. When times are hard, LGBT people need public services more than ever. Services change and save lives.

Of particular concern are the following:

a. The planned cuts of around 20 per cent in police funding over the next five years are likely to affect the recording and investigation of homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

b. The reduction or removal of central and local government funding for LGBT voluntary sector groups will have a serious impact on health and support services for the LGBT community.

c. The £20bn efficiency savings in the NHS as well as the move to GP commissioning of hospital services may result in prejudicial allocation of services to the LGBT community. Of particular concern is the likely impact on trans healthcare, and the potential for the denial of gender reassignment treatment. Already at least one Trust has announced its intention to halt gender reassignment surgery, and others have stated their intention to cut back 'non-essential' procedures. In addition, cuts to mental health services are likely to affect LGBT people disproportionately.

There has never been a greater need for unions to be publicly demanding LGBT equality. Congress calls on the TUC and affiliates to work with their LGBT groups to:

A. highlight attacks on LGBT workers and services

B. maintain a high profile commitment to LGBT equality in all negotiating, organising and campaigning

C. campaign against the erosion of the equalities agenda

D. continue to defend the vital importance of services that meet the needs of all.

The anti-cuts march on 26 March was also about the alternative to the proposed government cuts to jobs and services. Congress calls on the TUC and affiliates, in the continuing campaign against the cuts, to:

1. campaign for the implementation of the Robin Hood Tax

2. urge the government to take action on tax avoidance and evasion as part of the campaign, and to use the Single Equality Duty and Equality Impact Assessments to challenge the impact of financial decisions on LGBT and other communities.

TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Conference

19 Public sector equality duty

Congress welcomes the strengthening and extending of the public sector equality duty by the 2010 Equality Act, but is concerned that the potential weakening of the specific equality duties could lead to a shift of focus away from key equality considerations. Congress also objects to the characterisation of equality impact assessments as meaningless bureaucracy. Public sector organisations are required to have due regard to equality in delivering all of their functions - as employer, service provider and in procurement.

This presents a powerful tool and negotiating lever for unions in protecting their members. Congress calls on the General Council to work with affiliated unions to ensure that all union representatives are equipped to understand and use the public sector equality duty in collective bargaining by the provision of training, sharing of good practice, and the development of briefing and training materials. Most important will be continuing to ensure equality considerations are mainstreamed into collective bargaining and for the benefit of all members, rather than being seen as the concern of a limited few.

Further, Congress calls on the General Council and affiliated unions to campaign for the continued need to assess properly the impacts of policies, to ensure that they genuinely pay due regard to equality and diversity and ensure that increasingly limited public funds are spent in way that truly benefits the whole of UK society.


20 Proposed reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Congress is opposed to the attempts by the UK government to undermine the work of the EHRC through the proposals to amend The Equality Act 2006 that form part of its recent consultation exercise.

Congress is concerned, in particular, about the proposals which would (inter alia):

i. repeal the 'general duty' contained within Section 3 of the 2006 Act

ii. amend the equality duties contained in

Section 8

iii. amend the requirements to monitor progress and to provide reports contained within Section 12

iv. change the core functions of the EHRC, which would not enhance its human rights remit

v. remove the EHRC's 'good relations duty'

vi. repeal the EHRC's power to make provision for conciliation services

vii. remove key elements of the EHRC's responsibility for providing information, advice and support.

Congress, therefore, calls on the General Council to continue to campaign publicly against these proposals and to oppose any changes to the 2006 Act which would undermine the important work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission across the UK.

The Educational Institute of Scotland

26 Independent Commission on Banking

Congress notes that the final report of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) is due to be published on 12 September.

The Commission was asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider structural and related non-structural reforms to the UK banking sector to promote financial stability and competition.

Congress believes that the terms of reference of the Commission were too narrow and calls upon the government, when considering the final report, to also consider how professional standards can be improved in banks in order to increase skills and help to rebuild consumer confidence.

Congress also notes the Finance Sales and Advice campaign strategy launched by UNI Europa, which seeks to remodel remuneration in banks on customer service and satisfaction levels rather than product sales.

Congress believes that the issues of professional standards and sales incentives are of central importance to the reputation and sustainability of the industry, and that there must be no return to the practice of mis-selling that resulted in huge financial settlements to customers and greatly damaged the image of institutions.

Congress also believes that the continuing job losses in the industry should be addressed by the government when it considers its response to the ICB's final report, as banks who have cut their staffing levels may not be well positioned to properly support the recovery in the UK economy in the future.


27 Sickness and absence policies

Congress notes that savings are being made by public sector employers to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to provide a service to patients and clients.

The austerity programmes across the public sector have afforded employers the opportunity to alter terms and conditions of employment to the detriment of the safety and the well-being of members.

In the NHS, employers are using efficiency savings to introduce amendments to sickness and absence policies that seek to punish staff who are judged to be failing to maintain attendance. Many of the new procedures that have been introduced pay lip service to an employee's well- being, are time-consuming to manage with no discernable financial or service benefit and threaten the most vulnerable in the workforce.

As a result of these changes to the negotiated policy, members feel threatened and intimidated and attend work when they may not be able to work effectively or are a danger to themselves and others in the workplace.

Congress calls on the TUC to work with employers to ensure they there is a more responsible attitude to any changes to agreed and negotiated policies, and not see sickness and absenteeism as 'soft targets' to save money.

Society of Radiographers

34 Working for free

Congress congratulates the ongoing work of the TUC's Rights for Interns campaign, which is working to ensure that no-one is expected to work for nothing and that a fair wage for a day's work is always the norm in every sector.

It is unfair for interns, who are often employed full-time, not to be paid the 'going' rate for the work they do, just as it is wrong that many performing artists are expected to work for nothing when they are engaged for charitable and fundraising events.

It is extremely unfair to put professional musicians into a situation where they are emotionally blackmailed into working for no fee and are asked to give their services to a good cause. This is particularly unjust when others associated with the event, such as venue staff, lawyers and caterers, are being paid.

Congress agrees that there is nothing wrong in asking a worker to donate to a good cause, but just as with any other member of the public it must always be a choice made freely by the individual and not a decision that they feel pressured into making.

Musicians' Union

35 Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) remains an essential tool in tackling unscrupulous employers who might otherwise exploit workers of all ages. Unfortunately, since its inception, the differential structure of the NMW has discriminated against young workers.

Congress believes that all workers should be paid the 'rate for the job' and that there should be a significant monetary increase ensuring low-paid workers are not left behind once the expected resurgence in average earnings growth begins.

Future NMW rates should go beyond just keeping pace with average earnings and become a living wage for all. Such an increase can also help address the gender pay gap, as the TUC estimates that two-thirds of low-paid workers covered by the NMW are female.

Congress also finds it unacceptable that apprentices under the age of 19, as well as those over 19 whilst in their first 12 months of employment, are excluded from the NMW and could receive as little as £95 a week. By ensuring that all apprentices are entitled to an hourly minimum wage, the Low Pay Commission can prevent exploitation, improve quality in apprenticeships and encourage more people to complete their course. Congress also notes the existence of unpaid internships and feels that these are exploitative and exclusive in terms of access. It fully supports Interns Aware and other organisations' attempts to challenge existing practices.

Congress calls on the TUC and affiliates to campaign for the government to:

i. end the discrimination inherent in NMW age differentials

ii. end exemptions in apprenticeships and internships

iii. take significant steps towards closing the gender pay gap for low-paid workers

iv. introduce stringent financial penalties for employers who do not comply with the law on the payment of NMW

v. raise the NMW to £7 per hour minimum or to where it would constitute a living, as opposed to a minimum, wage (whichever is higher).

TUC Young Members' Conference

42 Maritime safety

Congress notes with deep concern the way in which the government has been gambling with safety at sea by tabling proposals that radically reduce the support systems for shipping and seafarers in distress around the UK coast.

In particular, Congress is disturbed by the proposals to:

i. more than halve the number of Coastguard rescue stations

ii. remove the provision of emergency towing vessels

iii. scrap the Maritime Incident Response Group specialist service for fighting fires onboard ships

iv. privatise the search and rescue helicopter service

v. end the long-distance maritime search and rescue support provided by Nimrod surveillance aircraft.

Congress believes that the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is chronically under-staffed and under-resourced and that this is having a severely detrimental impact on Britain's status as a major maritime nation - with consequences including the UK's failure to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 within the timeframe urged by the European Commission, and the Commission's decision to begin proceedings against the UK for its failure to implement the European Port State Control Directive.

Congress therefore calls upon the UK government to abandon the ill-advised proposals for dangerous cuts in the maritime safety net and to ensure the MCA has the staff and the resources it needs to match the marked rise in demand for its services.

Congress also urges the UK government to act urgently to discharge its national, regional and international responsibilities by ratifying the MLC 2006 and implementing the European Port State Control Directive.

Nautilus International

43 Piracy/Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Congress notes with concern the continuing and worsening problem of piracy taking place in the Indian Ocean.

Congress also notes that the tactics used by pirates have changed leading to an increasing number of armed attacks on merchant ships and in some cases the murder of seafarers.

Congress demands that the UK government, working with all appropriate authorities, must ensure that seafarers have the best possible protection from attack and that sufficient naval resources must be deployed to ensure the safety of all seafarers in the area. Congress recognises and applauds the contribution made by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in protecting seafarers from around the world as part of the existing European Union Naval Force, which is currently patrolling the most dangerous area in the Gulf of Aden. Congress, however, recognises that more resources are needed in the area and therefore notes with the utmost concern the UK Government's decision to cut back the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, placing at risk potentially up to 150 officer jobs and a further 250 ratings jobs, possibly placing in jeopardy the very existence of the RFA.

Congress therefore calls on the UK government to reverse these job cuts and calls on the TUC vigorously to oppose cuts to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary that will inevitably weaken the response to piracy, thus placing more seafarers at risk.

Nautilus International

50 Save the NHS

Congress recognises that the White Paper on health Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS poses a major threat to the NHS.

The current proposals, if passed, would:

i. transfer responsibility for the NHS from the Health Secretary to a new NHS Commissioning Board

ii. abolish SHAs

iii. abolish PCTs

iv. create 500-600 groups of GPs called Consortia

v. force all hospitals to become FTs

vi. encourage 'any willing provider'

vii. increase the powers of Monitor to oversee FTs

viii. reduce NHS management costs by 45 per cent over four years.

GPs are not trained to 'commission' and will have to use private organisations to manage this, as the government plans to open the doors of all our health services to profit-driven, unaccountable multi-national healthcare companies. This will destabilise our NHS and cost £3bn to implement at a time of £20bn in cuts.

Congress calls on the TUC to campaign and build anti-cuts unions to defend the NHS with health unions, patients' organisations, GP practices opposed to the changes and the public.

Congress calls for:

i. the end of privatisation in the NHS

ii. total opposition to FTs, which should be replaced by local health services with elected health workers, community representatives and elected representatives from local and national government

iii. nationalisation of the pharmaceutical companies.

TUC Trades Union Councils' Conference

51 Southern Cross and the care sector

Congress notes with acute concern the crisis engulfing adult social care, with:

i. shocking revelations of abuse, as at Castlebeck's Winterbourne View care home, exposing serious regulatory failings

ii. 31,000 Southern Cross residents and their families, and 44,000 staff, enduring months of uncertainty about their futures.

The Southern Cross debacle demonstrates how handing over the care of vulnerable and defenceless people to the private sector opened social care up to financial exploitation. Those who require care are not packages to be bought and sold. Congress deplores the fact that recipients of care are paying the price for the failure of high finance. Despite the known risk of premature death associated with forced moves, residents have few rights to stay in their care homes.

Lessons must be learnt from Southern Cross and Winterbourne View.

Congress calls for:

a. government to end its procrastination and provide sufficient support to ensure that in the wake of Southern Cross's failure, homes don't close, and residents aren't turned or forced out

b. a public inquiry into the background to the Southern Cross crisis to establish who profited from the financial engineering; and landlord links to tax havens.

Congress further calls for:

1. robust regulation to protect the most vulnerable and defenceless members of our society

2. all care homes to be returned to public control, so that profit never again takes precedence over care

3. those who made a killing out of Southern Cross to take a 'hair cut' in the form of a levy.


The following Amendment was ACCEPTED by the movers

In the final paragraph, ('Congress further calls for') insert new sub-paragraph 2:

'2. the establishment of a new, independent and 'fit for purpose' public regulator sufficiently resourced, and with the necessary legal powers, to conduct financial checks and due diligence on care home operators and undertake a comprehensive inspection regime backed by statutory minimum standards and staffing levels'

Re-number existing sub-paragraphs 2. and 3. as 3. and 4.

Communication Workers' Union

52 Arthritis

Congress notes that with arthritis rates increasing, an ageing population, and rising obesity, foot experts warn that many people put themselves at risk by wearing poor footwear and are missing out on treatment due to arthritis in the feet being neglected. Add the cuts in NHS foot health services and the UK could face an arthritis crisis.

Osteoarthritis, which is the most common form, is caused by stress to the cartilage in the joints. Osteoarthritis is particularly common in feet as the many small joints bear the brunt of the stresses the body experiences.

A survey from the SCP revealed a significant proportion of the public could be putting themselves at risk by wearing inadequate sports shoes which do not provide the right mechanical assistance for the foot. Over three-quarters confess to not wearing sports shoes designed for the sport or fitness activity they participate in, running the risk of increased strains and ultimately of developing injury and arthritis. It is also considered that wearing high heeled shoes alters the body's posture and increases pressure on the foot. Worn frequently, these shoes can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

This lack of awareness means that people are not seeking treatment for arthritis in the foot. Congress believes this situation must be addressed and calls on the General Council to lobby the DoH to support the SCP campaign on this issue and ensure that an intensive awareness campaign is launched, encouraging the population to seek professional advice in response to their symptoms.

Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

53 Misuse of anti-psychotic drugs

Congress notes with alarm that 180,000 people with dementia are prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, that in two out of three cases their prescription is thought to be inappropriate, and that inappropriate use of anti-psychotics leads to 1,800 deaths each year and deprives many people with dementia of their quality of life.

Congress notes with dismay that in too many cases, these drugs are prescribed before non-drug interventions have been attempted, often as a way to deal with difficult and challenging behaviour.

Congress further notes that, while in some cases the use of anti-psychotic drugs is appropriate, they must always be used under careful supervision for limited periods, and then only when non-drug interventions have been attempted.

Congress calls for all people with dementia on anti-psychotics to have their treatment reviewed in line with best practice as a matter of urgency.

Congress further calls for people with dementia, carers and healthcare professionals to be provided with information and advice on the appropriate use of anti-psychotic drugs for people with dementia.

Society of Radiographers

54 Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children

Congress considers that a national review into the use of psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, on school-aged children in the UK is urgently needed. This is in agreement with the views publicly expressed by individual educational psychologists, the British Psychological Society and the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP).

Congress has significant concerns that the neurological impact of psychotropic drugs on the developing brains of children has not been fully researched. The potential damage that such drugs could cause needs further investigation.

Congress is further concerned about children being treated with psychotropic drugs ahead of new diagnostic criteria, DSM5, in 2013. These criteria will result in more inclusive definitions of mental health and could consequently lead to even more children and young people being referred for treatment by these medications.

Congress therefore calls on the government to establish an urgent review into the national intervention practices for children and young people considered to have issues with mental health, prior to the introduction of DSM5. Congress further calls for this review to consider seriously the potential long-term damage caused by psychotropic drugs compared with other therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy.

Association of Educational Psychologists

58 The McCormac Review of Scottish teachers' pay and conditions of service

Congress expresses its concern regarding the decision of the Scottish government to establish a review of teacher employment chaired by Professor Gerry McCormac without any consultation with the recognised teacher trade unions in Scotland. Congress calls on the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to confirm that any recommendations which emanate from the McCormac Review that impinge on contractual elements of teachers' pay and conditions of service will be the subject of full and proper negotiation with the Scottish teaching unions through the existing national bargaining machinery, the Scottish Negotiation Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

Congress expresses its opposition to any attempt to impose contractual change on Scottish teachers and calls on the General Council to provide full support for affiliates representing school teachers in Scotland in the event of a dispute arising from any imposition of changes to terms and conditions of employment.

The Educational Institute of Scotland

59 Protecting local children and young people's services

Congress recalls the ambitious Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda initiated under the recent Labour government, based on a holistic approach to supporting children and young people and focused on better co-ordination of local education and children's services and the associated development of the children's workforce.

Congress therefore unreservedly condemns the deep cuts to the funding of these important local services now being made within many local authorities and voluntary organisations, under the impact of the coalition government's four-year Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), resulting in service contraction, redundancies, detrimental changes to staff pay and conditions of employment and widespread workforce demoralisation.

Congress nonetheless welcomes the continuing influence of the original ECM agenda, including ongoing, national-level initiatives to enhance graduate leadership of the early years curriculum, and to promote professional standards and supervision for social workers in the field, and the persistence at local level of multi-agency joint working in the interests of children and young people.

Congress therefore re-asserts its support for the adoption of effective national and local policies to protect children and young people's services, and the dedicated specialist staff who deliver these services, in order to secure job security and fair pay and conditions of employment for the children's workforce and appropriate quality assurance and democratic accountability mechanisms for all local children's services.


The following Amendment was ACCEPTED by the movers

In paragraph 2, line 4, after 'voluntary organisations,' insert:

'such as reductions in homecare, closure of residential care homes, closure of up to 400 libraries, connexions and youth services being decimated; leisure and culture, housing advice services reduced or closed and social workers laid off,'

Add at end of paragraph 2:

'Congress reasserts all these services contribute to an inclusive approach and should be defended.'


60 40-hour week prisoner working

Congress notes that within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill that the emphasis is on prisoners working 40 hours per week using the expertise and innovation of the private, voluntary and community sectors to help develop working prisons. It is envisaged that prisoners will be paid a wage under the Prisoners Earning Act 1996 and part of that wage will go towards their upkeep and victim support.

Whilst Congress supports the ethos of constructive activity, with training and education as a part of the rehabilitation of offenders, it cannot support the exploitation of labour. Furthermore it cannot accept the fact that whilst public and private sector workers are losing their jobs, employers may use prisoners as a cheap alternative alongside making workers redundant.

Congress therefore calls upon the General Council to enter into dialogue with the coalition government to ensure that working prisons protect against unscrupulous and profiteering employers.


61 Privatising justice

The government's U-turn on its plans for a rehabilitation 'revolution' has resulted in a shift to a more punitive-based approach to sentencing in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The intention to reduce entitlement to legal aid will impact most on the poorest and most vulnerable who appear in the family and criminal courts.

Furthermore, the MoJ's announcement in July that it will review the feasibility of tendering all probation work, including core services, demonstrates that it is interested only in the cost of interventions (and the profit to be made from them) whilst being ignorant of the value of the vital work undertaken by probation staff. Insult has been added to injury by the inclusion in the announcement of the possibility of imposing further cuts on top of the existing major cut in the service's budget, thus compromising its ability to protect the public and rehabilitate offenders.

Congress is appalled by this government's prioritising of a market approach over the safety of communities. Congress recognises that privatisation of core services such as court reports and supervision of high-risk offenders is a fundamental threat to probation, an internationally respected public service.

Congress calls on the General Council to provide every support to probation unions taking whatever action is necessary to prevent the wanton destruction of the service and the further loss of skilled and dedicated public sector staff.


The following amendment was ACCEPTED by the movers

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress condemns the proposed cuts of 23 per cent of MoJ total budget, the closure of 135 courts and the threat to 15,000 jobs. Congress reaffirms its opposition to the increasing privatisation of the justice system, including criminal enforcement and prisons, and resolves to campaign to keep justice public.'

Public and Commercial Services Union

62 Family Justice Review

The interim Family Justice Review (FJR) report published in March 2011 recommended that the government consider creating a Family Justice Service combining Cafcass, the Legal Services Commission and the Family Court Service. Its aim is to better coordinate family court service provision and improve work undertaken with children and families. This appears consistent with the recommendations contained in Eileen Munro's Review of Child Protection which reported in May 2011 and called for a reduced bureaucracy and target culture in social work organisations along with greater autonomy for practitioners.

Napo supports the work of the FJR having expressed concern for some time about the direction Cafcass has taken in its organisation of private and public family work. Cafcass' focus on performance management reinforced by repressive internal inspection processes has demoralised staff. This, combined with a significant increase in workloads, has further undermined the ability of staff to prioritise their work with children and families and has led to a national dispute between the organisation and its recognised trade unions.

Congress expresses support for the development of an improved child-centred service in the Family Courts. In line with this support Congress calls on the General Council to write to the Family Justice Review, ahead of its final report in October, supporting the creation of a Family Justice Service based on professional values and best practice in line with the principles set out in the Munro report.


66 Educating consumers about intellectual property rights

Congress notes the successful passage of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) in 2010. It is currently estimated that copyright theft, for example through illegal downloading, is depriving the creative businesses of up to a fifth of their revenues every year. In an industry that requires substantial levels of upfront investment, this level of infringement is a serious threat to jobs and the creation of new content such as films, TV programmes and new music.

The internet presents a great opportunity to reach out to new audiences. However, legislative measures such as the DEA are vital in order to allow the creative industries to continue to flourish. Without strong and effective measures to tackle illegal file-sharing, it will be impossible for performers and creators to continue to provide the content that will drive the digital economy.

Congress believes that the measures introduced through the DEA, starting with a process of sending letters to educate and alert consumers found to have acquired copyright material through illegal downloading, have a good chance of significantly reducing this problem.

Congress supports the efforts of the Federation of Entertainment Unions to highlight this issue and its work through the Creative Coalition Campaign to educate consumers about the importance of intellectual property rights as a vital source of funding that maintains and creates jobs and provides sustainable income for performers.


67 Media regulation

Congress is appalled at the culture of journalism fostered at News Corporation and condemns the use of illegal methods to intrude into the lives of members of the public in pursuit of profit rather than quality journalism.

Congress welcomes the inquiry into media ethics and believes that genuine investigative journalism, freedom of expression, diversity and plurality, limits on cross-media ownership and trade union recognition must be key principles underlying media regulation.

Congress agrees that the PCC be wound up and replaced with an independent body which can earn the respect of readers, the general public and journalists alike. It should have clear powers to order meaningful recompense and ensure that the right of reply is established.

Congress notes that the UK government has opened consultations on a new Communications Bill and opposes the Culture Secretary's stated aims that this legislation should further lift regulations across the media industries and weaken the institutions of public service broadcasting.

In the light of these developments, Congress calls on the General Council to work with affiliated media trades unions and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom to:

i. organise a one-day conference by the end of February 2012 on media ownership and regulation with a view to developing TUC policy and influencing future Labour Party policy

ii. establish a working group to organise policy and public interventions around the new Communications Bill

iii. publicise this media policy widely amongst affiliates and the general public.

National Union of Journalists

68 BBC licence fee

Congress believes that the BBC is being subjected to death by a thousand cuts:

i. The present government has frozen the BBC licence fee for six years, at a time when RPI has risen to over 4 per cent.

ii. The previous government made the BBC responsible for funding the digital switchover and delivering a digital help scheme; all of which comes out of the licence fee.

iii. Congress notes the key value of the BBC's move to Salford but that it comes at a cost to programme-making.

iv. The government is trying to make the BBC responsible for S4C, which will not necessarily have the interests of Welsh-language programming as its primary focus and can only be detrimental to both parties; both financially and creatively.

All of this diverts precious money from programme making, which is the BBC's core function. Not only do shows suffer (and with that the incomes of writers, performers and production workers), but it reduces the BBC's future income from overseas sales, DVDs and downloads. There is only so much that can be loaded on to the BBC's back before it breaks.

Congress asks the government to unfreeze the licence fee and to give the BBC the respect and the freedom it needs to carry on with its primary purpose, which is to continue to make first-class British television and radio shows, the envy of countries everywhere.

Writers' Guild of Great Britain

The following amendment was ACCEPTED by the mover.

In paragraph 1, add additional point v.:

'v. BBC Radio 4 is suffering cuts to what are considered by them to be high-cost programmes - drama and, strangely, the short story - thus perversely throwing away spoken word product that is the envy of the world and historically provides vital opportunities to new and established writers and actors.'


69 Great Britain Football Team

Congress calls on the General Council to support a united Great Britain football team in the Olympic Games in London in 2012. The opportunity that the Olympics present in bringing together all four home nations to compete as one is a tremendously exciting prospect that has not been replicated in over half a century. In these days of political separation and movement towards the break up of the United Kingdom, football and the Olympics allows the people of Britain to focus on what unites us and serves as a reminder of the great achievements that have come about when we have pulled together in the national interest.

Devolution has played an important and progressive part in shaping modern Britain but these developments cannot and should not be allowed to fundamentally alter the great affinity that exists amongst British people as a whole. Of course there are those who are against such a union but Congress believes that on this special, once in a generation occasion, we put aside any differences and get behind our men and women whether they be English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish and ensure that we see Great Britain at its best.

Professional Footballers' Association

70 World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions and EU trade agreements

Congress notes the EU is negotiating a multi-billion pound free trade agreement with the Indian Government that includes World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions, which will allow transnational companies to bring in local labour to work temporarily inside the EU, including the UK.

Congress is alarmed Mode 4 will mean it will be almost impossible to enforce employment rights for Indian workers because they will be employed by 'companies of convenience' with their employment contracts registered in India, outside the jurisdiction of UK courts.

Congress is appalled Mode 4 also allows for the negation of other domestic legislation that protects workers, which will lead to the displacement of existing workers from their jobs, exploitation of migrant workers and the undercutting of those already resident in the labour market. This will also result in an attack on collective agreements and trade union organisation.

Congress condemns the fact that the free trade agreement is also about liberalisation of sections of the Indian economy, EU access to public procurement and the pharmaceutical industry, and strengthening the power of EU business in India.

Congress notes the agreement is to be concluded by December 2011 and requires ratification by member states.

Congress welcomes that TUC representations have been made and welcomes the support of Indian trade unions.

Congress calls for a campaign against this agreement, a raising of awareness with the public, media and politicians and, if the agreement is implemented, safeguards to prevent exploitation and protect jobs, conditions and employment rights.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

The following amendment was ACCEPTED by the movers

In paragraph 4, line 3-4, delete 'and the pharmaceutical industry'

At the end of paragraph 4 add:

'without strengthening their obligations to provide decent work for Indian workers.'

Add new final paragraph:

'Congress notes the proliferation of FTAs benefiting multinationals in places where trade unionists are routinely tortured and killed, i.e. Colombia and Central America, and calls on the EU not to make agreements that undermine democratic accountability in host countries.'


71 Peace in the Middle East/South Asia

Congress notes that the 'war on terror' is still continuing and has failed, after ten years, to bring the promised peace and stability to either the Middle East or the wider world.

Congress believes it is time Britain disengaged from this conflict and in particular urges the rapid withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan. The occupation there has brought devastation to the country, cost the lives of thousands of civilians and hundreds of British soldiers and destabilised nuclear-armed Pakistan. The future of Afghanistan can only be determined through talks between the parties in the country itself.

Congress believes the attack against Libya has been misjudged and, while holding no brief for the Gadaffi regime, believes military action should be halted immediately and that international efforts should be focused on securing a peaceful political settlement to the conflict.

Since there can be no peace in the region without justice for the Palestinians, Congress endorses the call for the recognition of the State of Palestine and urges the British government to take all actions appropriate to help achieve this objective. Congress calls for immediate, unconditional negotiations between the Israeli government and the representatives of the Palestinian people to secure peace.

Congress reaffirms policy adopted in 2010, particularly the instruction to the General Council 'to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall.'


The following Amendment was ACCEPTED by the movers

Insert new paragraph 5:

'Congress deplores the anti-democratic law passed by the Knesset banning individuals and organisations in Israel from calling for the boycott of Israel.'

Add at the end of the last paragraph:

'Congress calls on all unions on the basis of this policy to review their bi-lateral relations with all Israeli organisations, including Histradrut.'

Public and Commercial Services Union

72 Egypt

Congress welcomes the overthrow of the repressive Mubarak regime in Egypt and salutes the role played by Egyptian workers in this fight for freedom and democracy.

Congress recognises the important role played by the Centre for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) in promoting independent trade unions in Egypt for more than two decades.

Congress welcomes the formation of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) in March this year by representatives of independent unions across Egypt, including the CTUWS.

Congress urges affiliates to support the TUC and ITUC appeal for financial assistance for independent unions in Egypt.

Congress condemns threats by the interim Egyptian government to criminalise trade union activity, curb freedom of assembly and to deny the right to strike. It calls on the Egyptian government to respect the internationally recognised rights to join and form trade unions, including the right to strike.

Congress calls for the premises and documents of the old official labour front (ETUF) to be handed over to the new EFITU federation. It calls on the Egyptian government to recognise the EFITU as the legitimate representatives of Egyptian workers.

Congress calls on all global and regional labour federations and the ILO to recognise and support the new independent unions, and to cease links with the old labour front.

Congress calls on affiliates to make direct links with the EFITU, CTUWS and individual independent unions, in order to build solidarity and provide support.

Fire Brigades' Union

73 Playfair 2012

Congress notes that the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games present significant opportunities to mobilise trade union support for decent working conditions in Olympic and sportswear supply chains. 'Decent work' is recognised as a key route out of poverty and is included in the Millennium Development Goals.

Congress welcomes the work of Playfair 2012, which calls on the Olympic movement and sportswear industry to ensure that the rights of the mainly female workers making their products are respected, in line with internationally recognised standards and the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Congress believes that trade unions need to build on their work undertaken in support of Playfair 2012 as the games approach, so that members are well informed about the issues and encouraged to take actions to promote decent work. Unions' expertise and relationships with key suppliers/sponsors can further this objective.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. undertake to promote Playfair 2012 actively to trade union members

ii. encourage affiliates to take Playfair actions aimed at influencing decision-makers to ensure workers in global supply chains can enjoy decent work

iii. share best practice and lesson learning from Playfair with the Brazilian trade union movement through the international Play Fair Campaign, in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics

iv. continue to campaign on these issues as part of the international Playfair campaign after the end of the London Olympics.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

79 Maximum working temperature (health and safety)

Congress agrees that the TUC increase the pressure on the government of the day to legislate for a maximum working temperature that covers all workplaces.

A maximum temperature of 30°C or 27°C should be pursued for those doing strenuous work, where once the temperature reaches the maximum limit, then control measures must be implemented to reduce the heat and/or the effect on the employee.

Congress would also ask that the TUC put pressure on the Labour Party to ensure that this long-standing campaign forms part of their manifesto pledge.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

Composite 1 Trade union rights

Congress asserts that in the current global economic context, trade union organisation has never been more important as a means of ensuring social and economic justice for all.

Congress rejects the vicious attacks on ordinary workers and families, on jobs, living standards and on workers' rights that has been in evidence in the UK since 12 May 2010.

Congress believes that the coalition government's declaration that 'Britain is open for business' is an attempt to justify the attacks on workers in the UK and is symptomatic of the orchestrated assault on workers and unions around the world.

Congress condemns the actions of the coalition government in circumventing the statutory rights and protections for workers through the publication of the Employers' Charter and in reviewing employment law in order to enable employers to sack workers with impunity.

By restricting the freedom of some employers, including those of new academy schools, to enter into binding collective agreements with trade unions, Congress believes that the UK government is at risk of breaching the International Labour Organisation's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which guarantees the right to collective bargaining.

Congress is aware of the threats made to trade unions and the organisation of working people by this Conservative-led government.

Congress further notes that a number of affiliates have taken lawful industrial action in order to defend pensions, employment and public services.

Despite such actions being lawful, this government has sought to use them as a justification to further erode employment rights and civil liberty.

The trade union movement will not be deterred by threats to make the laws on ballots even more restrictive if our members take lawful industrial action.

Congress condemns the hypocrisy of calls for increased turnouts and removal of simple majorities in industrial action ballots, which would mean many MPs would not have been elected if applied to them.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign vigorously against the government's plans to tighten further already draconian antiunion legislation, using industrial, legal and political strategies.

Congress calls on the General Council strongly to oppose proposals to:

i. end facility time for trade unionists

ii. ban strikes in essential services

iii. remove collective bargaining rights in

education and health sectors

iv. place even greater requirements on industrial

action ballots and setting minimum levels of

participation in strike ballots

v. limit workers' rights at employment tribunal

and in cases of collective redundancy and

transfer of undertakings.

Congress believes a coherent response is required from the labour movement and calls on the TUC to develop an industrial strategy of resistance so that workers are not left to fight alone against draconian laws and exploitative bosses. The TUC should respond to any further attempts to shackle working people's rights with a co-ordinated campaign and supporting action.

Twenty-five years after the Wapping dispute, Congress remembers the shameful role News International played on behalf of the Thatcher government in weakening unions throughout the print media industry.

Congress notes the failure of recognition laws to protect unions in anti-union companies, leaving workers vulnerable to the pressures of unprincipled employers.

The in-house News International Staff Association (NISA), set up and funded by News International, failed to win a certificate of independence from the Certification Officer. Yet, under UK recognition laws, Murdoch was able to use NISA to block legitimate attempts of unions seeking recognition.

Congress therefore calls for the recognition laws to be amended to remove this barrier.

Congress also calls for the introduction of a conscience clause in law to ensure that journalists standing up on a principle of journalistic ethics have protection against dismissal, and for Congress to support the broadest dissemination of the NUJ Code of Conduct.

Congress applauds the magnificent efforts of the emergent student protest movement in defence of education as a fundable public good.

Congress deplores the severe attack on the right to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly, with increasingly aggressive police tactics including 'kettling' of protesters.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

a. reaffirm the right to peaceful protest as a basic democratic freedom, campaign to maintain that right and seek help from organisations in monitoring future demonstrations

b. call for full independent investigation into any allegations of police aggression or instances of 'kettling' being used during future demonstrations and protests.

Congress agrees that the right to strike is a core human right. Congress notes that the UK's antistrike legislation is in breach of international law and binding international treaties ratified by the United Kingdom and binding upon it, confirmed in judgments of the ILO, the Committees of the European Social Charter, and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

Britain has a raft of anti-union legislation, which makes it one of the most repressive countries in the EU for working people to organise and defend themselves. Congress believes that workers and their trade unions in the UK should have rights at work at least as good as the best of those enjoyed by fellow workers in other countries of the European Union.

In this vein, Congress celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of European Social Charter. Article 6(4) of the European Social Charter recognises that workers have a right to collective bargaining and a right to strike. However, Congress is concerned that for 2010 the European Committee of Social Rights concluded that the situation in the UK was not in conformity with Article 6(4) - particularly noting the complexity of the law when taking industrial action; the excessive procedure of giving notice to the employer; and the limited protection offered to those workers taking industrial action.

Congress reaffirms its commitment to the removal of anti-trade union laws and calls on the TUC to lobby government to implement fully Articles 2 and 4-6 of the European Social Charter, which set out the labour rights of European citizens.

Congress calls upon the General Council to:

1. prepare a dossier of evidence on how the coalition government has flouted international law on the rights of workers

2. consider bringing a legal challenge to the current UK breaches of international labour law

3. campaign for MPs to pledge support for the UK to conform with Article 6 (4) and to press the UK Parliament to honour their obligations under the Social Charter, paying particular attention to Article 6 (4)

4. embark on a campaign to make the government action the Social Charter by removing the anti-trade union laws and allowing the citizens of the UK to enjoy the rights afforded them under Article 6 (4)

5. campaign with unions internationally for the right to strike to be protected.

Congress believes that workers' individual rights are best protected by a strong and free trade union movement.

Congress therefore resolves to work for a new framework of trade union law that will be compliant with international labour codes, which will promote:

A. the right to organise

B. the right to bargain collectively

C. the right to strike.

Mover: Unite

Seconder: GMB

Supporters: NASUWT

University and College Union

National Union of Journalists


National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Composite 2 The government's deregulation agenda

Congress notes with concern that the government has started to review employment legislation with a view to deregulation.

The government's recent consultation called 'resolving workplace disputes' was little more than a series of proposals designed to make it more difficult for employees to take cases to employment tribunals. The consultation exercise was launched at the same time as their Employer's Charter, which contained a number of crude suggestions as to how employers could legally sack people. The government appears only to be interested in responding the rhetoric from small firms' organisations about 'burdens'.

The government's rationale is that it would encourage employers to take on more employees. Congress rejects the government's assumptions that employment rights are creating an unnecessary burden on businesses. There is no reliable evidence to suggest that deregulation creates jobs. Research carried out by the OECD shows that this is not the case.

The UK is one of the most lightly regulated economies in the European Union. Deregulation will result in greater numbers of workers being badly treated at work, without creating any extra jobs.

Congress does not agree that there are too many groundless complaints being made by workers. Congress believes that most workers and their union representatives do everything possible to resolve complaints internally. Many of the proposals in the consultation document centre on early resolution of disputes in the workplace, and Congress believes that trade union organisation and representation is key to achieving this objective.

Congress is extremely concerned by the proposals for changes to employment tribunal procedures. Congress is firmly opposed to proposals for claims to be struck out without the claimant having the opportunity to present their case before the employment judge and to mandatory pre-claim conciliation with resulting increased complexities in the tribunal process. Congress also opposes an increase in the cap on un-assessed costs and the extension of cases that can be heard by a judge sitting alone and rejects any introduction of fees to initiate a claim.

Further, Congress strongly believes there should be no increase in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal and that such a move would disproportionately affect vulnerable workers, including women, black and minority ethnic workers, young workers and disabled workers, who are more likely to have a pattern of short-term employment.

Congress is aware that by increasing the unfair dismissal qualifying period, a greater number of workers in casualised industries such as construction will be sacked before the end of the qualifying period, as companies ensure that they are not liable for redundancy payments and other benefits.

Congress is further concerned that the government has also announced its intention to try to reduce the consultation period over redundancies and erode the rights to protection of terms and conditions in TUPE transfers.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign against these proposals and to defend existing employment protection rights and the valuable role played by trade unions in resolving disputes in the local workplace.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

i. build a campaign to resist any measures that will make it harder for workers to enforce their rights

ii. campaign for an amendment to the forthcoming Agency Worker Regulations which properly enshrines the government's obligation under EU law to prevent misuse in the application of the principle of equal treatment

iii. continue to lobby for better enforcement mechanisms and to resist any further cuts in funding for enforcement and advisory bodies, such as the HSE, Acas, the GLA and the EHRC.

The coalition government has launched its Red Tape Challenge with the aim 'to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation'.

The Red Tape Challenge has opened up consultation on regulations covering many sectors and topics including employment law, road transport, retail, equalities and health and safety.

The Red Tape Challenge announcement finishes with the rallying call 'together we can fight back - and free up business and society from the burden of excessive regulation'.

Congress deplores the Red Tape website gimmick, which is intended to bypass normal policy making and consultation processes. Congress does not agree that regulations - and the inspections and administration that go with them - have grown to an unmanageable level. Congress does not believe that regulations have either hurt business or done real damage to the economy.

No one wants regulations that are irrelevant or counter-productive but the goal should be better regulation, not less regulation. Congress believes that good regulation and workers' rights protect consumers and employees, save lives and help build a fairer society.

Congress agrees that the TUC will:

a) encourage its affiliates and trade union members to respond to the Red Tape Challenge to make the case for regulations that protect workers

b) campaign to protect good regulation and ensure that the government's deregulation agenda will not succeed in weakening statutory rights and legal protections covering workers and workplaces.

Mover: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Seconder: Accord

Supporters: Prospect

Communication Workers' Union

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Composite 3 Defending Multiculturalism

Congress notes that the Prime Minster, David Cameron, in a speech at the Munich Security Council, stated that multiculturalism in Britain had 'failed'. He made a direct connection between this supposed failure and the growth of terrorism. Congress rejects this approach, which gives aid and encouragement to racism.

Congress condemns his Government's cynical cuts to English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) provision. These plans are a huge blow for community cohesion, hit women the hardest and fly in the face of David Cameron's call for immigrants to learn English.

Congress declares its continued support for an endorsement of multiculturalism in the promotion of social and economic policy. In a globalised economy the diverse nature of UK society allows the country to directly connect with the most dynamic parts of the world economy. The skills and connections of multicultural Britain should be used to open markets for British business in the developing economies.

Congress also believes that the specific needs of ethnic minorities must be addressed in our society. Trade unions are committed to ensuring that the diverse needs of all faith communities, and those of no faith, should be recognised by the provision of prayer rooms in workplaces, and by allowing leave to be utilised for religious holidays.

Congress is concerned that Coalition plans to subjectively limit the annual number of non-EU migrants allowed to work in the UK undermines the contribution they make to the UK economy and encourages the far right and others to blame migrants for economic problems that are nothing to do with them.

Congress supports continued, campaigning against the fascists of the BNP, and the violent Islamophobes of the EDL.

Congress welcomes the initiatives of such campaigns as Unite Against Fascism, Hope not Hate, and One Society Many Cultures. Congress calls upon the General Council to ensure their actions are promoted by the TUC.

Further, the General Council should:

a) Incorporate the campaign against the far right into campaigning to defend public services

b) Support the campaign to ban EDL/SDL/WDL from holding demonstrations and rallies

c) Produce publicity exposing the far right, and promoting an agenda for public services, social justice and growth.

Mover: Communications Workers' Union

Seconder: UNISON

Supporters: University and College Union

Transport Salaried Staffs Association

Composite 4 Alternative economic strategy

Congress rejects the government's economic strategy and its failure to address the real interests of working people throughout Britain. Congress is concerned at the continued flat-lining of UK economic growth as a result of the austerity measures introduced by the Tory-led government. Congress notes the appalling impact on working people of the economic policies of the Westminster coalition. Their austerity measures have created the worst squeeze on living standards in recent history while weakening the prospects for recovery. This agenda will create a further shift in wealth and income from the majority to the profits of big business and the pockets of billionaires. This is being done by means of pay cuts and freezes, attacks on pensions and the decimation of public services.

Having footed the bill for the immediate banking crisis, people continue to pay dearly with their jobs and falling incomes and through attacks on occupational pensions, state benefits and public services. Congress reaffirms its belief that it is fundamentally wrong that the public have to pay disproportionately and repeatedly for the excesses of the wealthiest who grow richer even at times of economic restraint. Such widening inequality means that not only are our members' real living standards falling, as Mervyn King acknowledges, but the fall in demand affects the real economy, leading to the lack of growth and jobs that we are now experiencing. Pay freezes cannot be continued. Congress affirms that reducing employment rights and increasing labour market 'flexibility' is not a route to sustained economic growth and improved productivity.

Congress rejects the government's misguided economic policy that has, amongst other things, had a disproportionately adverse impact on certain groups in society like disabled people, women and young people. Congress believes economic policy should be geared towards creating full employment and investment in high quality public services. Congress also believes economic policy should be the foundation for delivering fairness in a way that benefits all parts of the country and all sections of society regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief. Congress condemns the abolition of the Future Jobs Fund and EMA and calls for their reinstatement with the raising of the participation age to 18 by 2015. Congress believes that a strong and growing economy is vital to provide high quality, well-paid, secure employment and measures to reduce inequality throughout our society, and invest in the infrastructure and the preservation of the welfare state, should be developed.

Congress believes that institutions such as the OECD are right to condemn the policy of slash and burn in the public sector. Our policy is 'no cuts'. However, it is evident that the British people also expect and deserve a radical and plausible alternative economic strategy based on sustainable growth resolving the crisis while putting people's needs for jobs, homes, decent pensions and secure living standards first. The free market, neo-liberal model that has dominated for the past three decades has been exposed as a failure; a major change of direction is needed. Higher taxation on financial institutions and the wealthy, including tackling tax avoidance, should play a major part in this. Furthermore, Congress recognises that to rebalance the UK economy away from a dependence on financial services, active industrial policies are required. Congress also supports an economic strategy that explores the benefits of land value taxes, delivers a peace dividend through the scrapping of Trident replacement and takes key drivers of economic growth and wealth creation back into public ownership.

Congress believes that at the heart of such a strategy must be a profound rebalancing of the economy, with a far stronger manufacturing element. Congress further notes the recent government procurement decisions, such as in transport and energy that have failed to support UK manufacturing industry. Without the added value and growth that a stronger manufacturing sector can deliver, the economic recovery will spiral into a double-dip recession at worst or stagnation at best.

Congress therefore urges the government to build upon the steps towards such an industrial strategy eventually taken by the Labour government, focusing on green manufacturing, state procurement policies and control over takeovers, as well as using state-controlled banks to make strategic industrial investments. The chaos created by the major banks and financial institutions should be ended.

Congress calls on the TUC to continue to lobby both government and the Opposition to produce active industrial policies to stimulate economic growth and to safeguard and develop jobs and skills in UK manufacturing and, in particular, to:

i. ensure that effective government policies are implemented to improve UK manufacturing industry supply chains

ii. increase infrastructure investment to stimulate the economy

iii. produce procurement policies and guidelines that include social and community benefit clauses that support UK economic and social growth

iv. ensure that low-carbon economic objectives are underpinned by a fully-formed industrial policy

v. enable improved access for industry to capital and finance to continue investment in UK manufacturing including through the creation of a publicly owned banking service, democratically and accountably managed

vi. focus on promoting opportunities for young people, with universal access to meaningful education, training or employment.

Congress notes that ordinary people continue to suffer the consequences of the financial crisis created by the irresponsible activities of unscrupulous bankers and financial institutions. Congress believes that an alternative must also include stricter control of the financial sector. Congress notes that the crisis of the past four years highlights the failure of the banks to play a positive role in developing a modern economy. Despite taxpayers' subsidies, the banks continue to fail to provide adequate lending for investment funding in new technologies and sectors, mortgages for homes, etc. Congress calls on the General Council to continue campaigning for greater economic fairness, promoting greater use of responsible banks in providing services to the millions of members of TUC affiliates and the introduction of a rule that no board member or senior executive of a bank saved from failure by public funds would be allowed to hold a similar post unless they can prove to the regulator that they warned against the risk-taking that led to failure. Such a new form of banking could play a central role in building a sustainable economy in the long-term interests of the majority, investing in transport, in green industries, in housing, creating jobs and assisting a recovery in the interests of working people.

Mover: Unite

Seconder: Community

Supporters: Fire Brigades Union

Transport Salaried Staffs Association


Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers


National Union of Teachers

Composite 5 Pensions

Our pensions represent the most important condition of employment after pay itself, enabling workers to survive into old age without poverty. Workers' pension funds represent the single largest source of investment finance and are central to growing our economy from recession.

Congress congratulates unions for the successful industrial action on 30 June in defence of pensions which exposed the government's pensions plans to closer scrutiny, raised a public debate, and mobilised hundreds of thousands of people on pickets, rallies and marches.

Congress reaffirms its support for the existing public sector pension schemes, and its opposition to the government's attempts to impose unnecessary cuts on those schemes and present those cuts as an economic necessity rather than a political choice on its part.

Constant attacks on public and private sector pensions, fuelled by this coalition, threaten their viability, meaning that the rights of current and future pensioners to draw their pensions are under threat.

This includes the decision to change the uprating measure from RPI to CPI thus reducing the value of benefits by around 15 per cent, a government attack now being opportunistically replicated across the private sector.

Congress notes the Chancellor's statement in the 2010 CSR that 'from the perspective of filling the hole in the public finances, we will seek changes that deliver an additional £1.8bn of savings per year in the cost of public service pensions by 2014-15'. Congress condemns the government's continuing attempts to impose contributions increases, which are simply a tax on public sector pensions. The intention to increase contributions by 50 per cent plus will cause many members to reconsider their membership. Congress condemns misleading statements by government ministers on the affordability of public sector pensions and notes that the Hutton report showed costs falling, and that the NAO report showed the reforms agreed in 2007/08 'reduces costs to taxpayers by 14 per cent'. Congress notes that the total cost of providing tax relief to higher rate taxpayers is more than five times the cost of public sector pensions. Congress believes that the so-called 'reform' of public sector pensions is about making them 'affordable' for privatisation.

Abolition of the Fair Deal arrangements will lead to a critical point in schemes where government will be liable for finding additional money to pay current pensioners because there are not enough people contributing to the schemes.

Provisions for Admitted Body Status must be preserved to ensure that workers who are TUPE'd in and out of local government do not have their pension entitlements eroded and that private companies are not given an unfair advantage when bidding for local government contracts.

Congress recognises that pensions are an important element of the reward package and are in fact deferred pay. As the government seeks to dramatically cut the value of pension provision for millions of public sector workers, it is vital that the impact on this total package is addressed.

Congress further recognises that many public sector workers, particularly those in more senior managerial and professional roles, are paid significantly below levels they could achieve in the private sector. The government's own evidence suggests that for the civil service, this results in rates of between 20 per cent and 50 per cent below private sector comparators for some of the more senior grades, even accounting for pension provision. This situation will only deteriorate as a result of the freeze on public sector pay increases and the disproportionate impact this has on the civil service where structural pay progression has already been abandoned.

Congress calls upon the government to recognise the value it gains from committed public servants and the need to ensure that they are rewarded fairly for the work they do for the public. Congress further calls upon the government, as an integral part of any pension reform, to commit to open and transparent pay arrangements for public servants that includes reference to external pay comparators as part of a process for pay determination.

Congress further recognises that occupational pension schemes must be designed around the demands of the occupation, including the physical demands of those occupations. Retirement age cannot simply be determined by general conclusions around life expectancy but should be based around the requirements of the relevant profession.

Congress notes the probability of another round of crisis in teacher recruitment and retention if the government imposes its proposals for public sector pension reform, in the forms of a large volume of premature retirement, difficulty in recruiting graduates who are deep in debt, and increased unattractiveness of headship. Congress notes also the threat to the teacher pension scheme from a high opt-out rate.

The government are putting public sector pensions at risk and have failed to act on the private pensions scandal. Further, with some 14 million workers in the private sector having no workplace pension provision, Government and employers should be encouraging people to save for their retirement, not attacking those workers who do.

Congress restates its commitment to fair pensions for all private and public sector workers and existing pensioners and to continuing to campaign, including with pensioner and other organisations. Congress reaffirms existing TUC pensions policy, including for increases in the state basic pension and for a requirement on all employers to contribute adequately to occupational pension schemes for their employees.

Congress asserts that attacks on pay and conditions of service, including pensions, should be challenged by all appropriate means, including legal action.

Congress therefore welcomes the coordinated action by TUC affiliates, securing a judicial review of the imposition of a stealth tax switch to CPI pension indexation.

Congress condemns the undemocratic, underhand and dishonest way in which the coalition government went about changing the index used for public service pension increases from RPI to CPI. Congress notes that this change also affected millions of members of private sector schemes.

Congress is particularly concerned about the retrospective nature of the change that has also resulted in on-going windfall savings for employers whose liabilities have been slashed as there is no obligation to use these savings to improve scheme funding levels. Congress calls on the General Council to work with affiliates in campaigning for the reversal of this government policy.

Congress welcomes the TUC's support for public sector workers in coordinating and leading talks with the government on public sector pensions. Congress calls on the General Council to ensure that the TUC continues to coordinate opposition to the government's proposals, including support for further coordinated negotiations and for further industrial action as necessary, coordinated as far as possible among the public sector unions.

Congress recognises that the TUC and public sector unions must continue to work together in order to secure fair outcomes for every scheme. Congress agrees that the government must not now be allowed to 'divide and rule' through individual scheme negotiations.

Congress calls on the government to respect the experience and knowledge brought to pensions negotiations by the trade unions, who have close to their hearts public service delivery as well as the interests of staff.

Congress expresses its concern at the unsatisfactory response of the Labour leadership and instructs the TUC General Council to press for support for future action in defence of the agreement signed with the last Labour government.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. robustly defend public sector pensions and campaign for affordable pensions for all workers on the basis that provision should be based on levelling up and making private companies face up to their responsibilities rather than cutting public sector pensions

ii. support and co-ordinate close collaboration between affiliates in defence of schemes

iii. mobilise, politicise and campaign with pension groups and civil society to prevent poverty in the future.

iv. give full support to industrial action against pensions cuts, including action planned for this autumn, and maximise its co-ordination

v. use the media to dispel the myths and falsifications around pensions

vi. campaign for Fair Pensions for All.


Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union

Supporters: National Union of Teachers

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Transport Salaried Staffs' Association




Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Fire Brigades' Union

Composite 6 Low-carbon economy

Congress notes with concern the record increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 reported by the International Energy Agency, believes that this underlines the urgency of a concerted approach to tackle climate change and that this requires effective government action both nationally and internationally.

Congress recognises that decarbonising the economy will also be essential to promoting growth and high quality employment and to ensure the security of energy supply.

To this end, Congress endorses the challenging target to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2025, published in the UK's fourth carbon budget, and the need to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Action to meet these targets must be underpinned by a balanced energy policy and appropriate measures to ensure just transition for workers and citizens.

Congress does not believe that the changes needed will be delivered by the market alone. Government needs to intervene more actively both to incentivise investment in low-carbon generation, transmission and distribution networks and to ensure a stable and predictable policy framework. It is essential that the government's proposals for electricity market reform address these requirements. Simultaneously, a policy focus on low-carbon manufacturing is necessary as, to date, the low-carbon debate has been primarily focused on supporting power sector decarbonisation.

Congress welcomes the work undertaken by the TUC in partnership with the Energy-Intensive User Group (EIUG). However, as supported by the research with EIUG, Congress is concerned that the poor implementation of environmental and energy policies in the short term could jeopardise the long-term future of energy intensive industries and limit their ability to be part of the solution to climate change. This would, therefore, impact on jobs and skills in heavy industry, have a knock-on effect on the UK's industrial supply chain and increase 'carbon leakage'. Most notably, the carbon floor price, which was announced in the Chancellor's 2011 Budget, will impose an additional cost on energy-intensive industries over and above those set by the European Union and reduce UK competitiveness.

Congress notes that the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has announced the development of a package of measures to mitigate the effect of government policy on energy-intensive industries but Congress is concerned about the lack of clarity on when the mitigation package will become available. Therefore, Congress calls on the government to ensure that effective mitigation policies for energy-intensive industries are developed and introduced before the carbon floor price is introduced. Furthermore, Congress commits to continuing its work to ensure that energy and environmental policies support a continuing and increasing role for UK industry in a lower carbon economy.

Congress requests that the General Council make it absolutely clear that although the government now recognises that the country's security of electricity supply is threatened by plant closures in the next decade that failure cannot be allowed to happen. Its current policy is insufficient to ensure replacement capacity from clean coal.

The consequences of not working to secure our own supply of electricity now will endanger the life and prosperity of us all. Safe secure forms of energy in the quantities required need to be secured without delay.

Congress recognises that fossil fuels and nuclear fission can sustain the electricity generation required as part of a balanced energy policy. Each form of energy has its own positives and negatives. Gas, coal and nuclear keep the lights on at the moment although indigenous gas is running out. The country needs the development of Clean Coal and Carbon Abatement Technology applied to all sources of fossil fuel power.

Congress welcomes the work of the General Council in preparing a response to the

Government Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper 2011 and asks that the General

Council do what it can to obtain a secure, low-carbon, affordable and safe electricity supply for the UK to all generating capacity derived from hydrocarbons.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for:

i. a Green Economy Council that puts jobs, skills and growth at the heart of its mission

ii. a strengthened Green Investment Bank

iii. a pan-government strategy for science, engineering and technology (SET) and other

specialist skills, needed to develop and sustain a low carbon economy

iv. greater government support for low carbon R&D

v. government support in key industrial sectors for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and more comprehensive inclusion of industry in the UK CCS roadmap.

Mover: Prospect

Seconder: Community

Supporters: National Union of Mineworkers


Composite 7 Defending Public Transport

Congress believes public transport is essential to tackling social exclusion, linking communities, reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainable growth.

As with other public services there is an all-out attack on public transport that will have disastrous consequences for users, workers and communities.

The reduction in bus subsidy and local authority funding mean bus services face cut after cut, which could tip services into a spiral of decline.

The Scottish Government's Ferries Review will lead to the fragmentation and privatisation of publicly owned ferry services, threatening lifeline support for communities, encouraging social dumping and further reducing UK seafarers.

In addition the EU Transport White Paper threatens the privatisation of all transport sectors.

Congress acknowledges that the UK railway has the potential to double its traffic by 2030 and notes that the government-commissioned Rail Value for Money study produced by Sir Roy McNulty identifies the separation of operations and infrastructure and wider industry fragmentation as the primary reason why the railway is so unsustainably expensive.

Congress therefore regrets that McNulty prescribes further fragmentation by proposing that the private companies who run train operations are given control of signalling and track maintenance in some regions. Congress regards these as the single most important elements of rail safety that should never be run for profit.

Congress is concerned by recommendations to 'downgrade' many rural lines to super tram or light rail status because they are too costly and believes this will undermine the role of such lines in the national rail network by cutting out the vital 'feeder effect' into mainline routes.

If implemented, the McNulty review will mean massive cuts in staffing on stations and trains and in rail infrastructure and operations, leaving a less safe railway for workers and passengers.

The railways will become more fragmented, privatised operators will become more powerful, regional services will be under threat and fares will become even less affordable. The devastation of rail jobs and capacity will be increased by the scandalous decision to award the Thameslink rolling stock contract to a company outside the UK.

Additionally Congress is alarmed by plans to make large cuts to industry staff, which will threaten safety and undermine the social fabric of the railway. Congress regrets that McNulty ignores that there is no correlation between public subsidy and increased labour costs but a close correlation between public subsidies and company profits. Congress further regrets that the report contains no recommendations for dealing with excessive executive reward.

Congress also has serious misgivings over proposals to increase off-peak train fares.

Congress restates its policy aspiration of a reintegrated railway and asserts that reintegrating track and train under a publicly owned and publicly accountable structure is the only way to deliver the efficiency and cost savings the rail industry must make to grow sustainably and calls on the General Council to campaign with the rail unions and community groups to this end.

Congress agrees to campaign for the protection of public transport, including renationalisation of our railways, defending UK train manufacturing and a fully integrated, publicly owned and accountable public transport system.

This campaign should include days of action with passengers and communities and the lobbying of Parliament and local authorities.

Mover: National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers

Seconder: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Supporters: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Composite 8 Thameslink Rolling Stock project

Congress deplores the decision of the DfT in June to award preferred bidder status for the Thameslink Rolling Stock project to Siemens in preference to Bombardier of Derby.

Congress regrets the attempts by the government to present the announcement as good news for British employment, when the vast majority of the jobs alleged to have been created were in maintenance, which would be undertaken by either bidder. In fact, the decision is disastrous for British train manufacturing, with 1,400 job losses already announced by Bombardier and serious fears existing amongst the workforce that the Derby factory may close altogether with a knock-on effect on its supply chain.

Congress believes that the British-designed Bombardier train was superior to that offered by Siemens, offering lighter weight, higher reliability and lower energy consumption. Congress also notes that Bombardier is a highly unionised company in contrast with Siemens which refuses to recognise trade unions in its UK rail business.

Congress calls upon the government to reverse its decision on preferred bidder status for Siemens, if necessary by conducting a completely new fast track procurement which fairly assesses the technical capability of the bidders, their record as good employers, their willingness to invest in training and other facilities in the UK, and the socio-economic impact of their proposals.

Congress reiterates its policy that the government should develop a strategy to encourage high-technology manufacturing in a low carbon economy, which requires on-going dialogue between government, industry and trade unions and which uses public procurement sensibly and creatively, including community benefit clauses, to ensure that wherever possible UK taxpayers' money is spent supporting the UK economy.

In support of this policy, Congress instructs the General Council to campaign to have the European procurement rules strengthened to clarify the use of social and economic factors as a legitimate part of public procurement contracts, including the implications for the local labour market and lifetime costs of the contract.

Mover: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Seconder: Unite

Supporter: Community

Composite 9 Public services and their importance to the economy

Congress condemns the cuts to public spending outlined in the 2010 Spending Review, which will take the share of national income spent on the public sector back to the levels of the late 1990s - since when the needs and costs associated with demographic and economic change have significantly increased. All services are already in danger, with the increasing threat of privatisation evidenced by the Open Public Services White Paper. This ideological assault threatens the efficiency, equity and democratic accountability of public services and puts in jeopardy the employment of hundreds of thousands of skilled and committed public servants.

Congress believes that cuts in jobs, public services, pay and pensions are not necessary to pay for the national deficit.

Congress notes that the combination of public services cuts, wage freezes, benefit cuts, growth in unemployment, changes to the calculation for pensions and other benefits from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to Consumer Price Index (CPI) and unchecked inflation, amount to the biggest attack upon living standards in this country since the 1920s. Congress condemns the attack on occupational pensions in public and private sectors including the ending of final salary provision; a move from RPI to CPI; increased contributions; and longer working age.

Congress condemns the continuing attempts by government to deepen inequality, and make workers and the poorest and most vulnerable in society bear the brunt of reducing the deficit. Congress condemns the government's onslaught against the welfare state, including measures to force more people off disability living allowance, and its attempts to hand swathes of the public sector over to its friends in business.

Underneath the rhetoric of 'fairness' employed by right-wing ministers seeking scapegoats, government policy is worsening the economic situation of millions of ordinary people in an attempt to protect the rich from the effects of recession.

Not only will these cuts add to unemployment and weaken growth when our economy is still recovering from the impact of the financial crisis, they will make it impossible to develop the services and infrastructure this country needs. The private sector is being directly affected too as government procurement accounts for one third of spending on goods and services across the rest of the economy. In the retail sector, businesses have closed and others are struggling due to the squeeze on consumer demand that has been in part fuelled by job losses and pay freezes in the public sector.

Congress rejects the idea that the UK public sector had in recent years become 'too big' or inflated with unproductive 'non-jobs', noting that:

i. most successful European economies have far larger levels of public spending and employment

ii. new jobs created are vital to meeting growing social and economic needs

iii. little-understood administrative and 'back-office' roles are in fact essential to the smooth running of key services and public functions, and make up a lower proportion of public sector jobs than equivalents in the private sector. These include such vital services as forensic science, climate research and public audit functions.

Congress believes that public investment and employment to deliver essential infrastructure and high quality services remains essential to a balanced, prosperous and sustainable economy. Congress calls on the General Council to continue campaigning for its alternative economic agenda of more not less investment in public services, strengthening manufacturing, creating green jobs, promoting progressive taxation including collection of the taxes avoided, evaded and uncollected from wealthy individuals and companies, which account for £120bn, a Financial Transaction Tax and guaranteeing fair pay and decent employment. Given the fact that an alternative is available, Congress agrees to oppose all cuts that adversely impact on public and community services, welfare, living standards, jobs and pensions as unnecessary, unjust and economically damaging.

Congress salutes those students, trade unionists and community activists who have been in the forefront of the resistance to cutbacks.

Congress applauds the work of the General Council in campaigning against the economic policy of the Conservative-led coalition government.

The March for the Alternative on 26 March 2011 represented a major step forward in co-ordinating both the response of the trade unions and of the wider opposition in the community to the government's policies.

In order to expand the campaign against the government's austerity agenda, both in the public and private sectors, Congress supports a national day of action with pensioners organisations, youth and student groups and other local community campaigns.

Congress believes that:

a) these attacks will have a disproportionate effect on women, disabled people, younger people and other groups

b) the organised labour movement must play a crucial role in organising resistance to the government's austerity programme through coordinated political campaigning and industrial action.

c) opposition to the cuts must be stepped up now and that action cannot wait until the next general election.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

1) support and co-ordinate campaigning and joint union industrial action against attacks on jobs, pensions, pay or public services

2) step up its promotion of the economic alternative to this government's destructive policy.

3) continue to work with all affiliates, other professional organisations, the NUS and student organisations, community groups, equality groups, pensioner groups (where appropriate) and campaign groups to build broad resistance to cutbacks and attacks on living standards at local and national level

4) co-ordinate industrial and other action across affiliates for either national, sectoral, or regional activity, either one-off or discontinuous, which will have the greatest impact in reversing the government's disastrous policies.


Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union

Supporters: Communication Workers' Union

University and College Union

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers



Fire Brigades' Union

Composite 10 All Together for the NHS

Congress deplores the government's Health and Social Care Bill that will break up the NHS and put profit ahead of patients. Congress believes the Bill and Any Qualified Provider policy take the NHS down the road of a fully blown market.

Congress notes that despite being forced into a 'listening exercise', the key elements of government plans remain: Monitor will have the power to enforce competition law; consortia can outsource commissioning; the private patient income cap will be abolished; the Any Qualified Provider policy remains; the NHS will operate increasingly at arm's length from the Health Secretary.

This will lead to fragmented services and a postcode lottery of care, hitting the vulnerable and poorest the hardest. Money intended for patients will be diverted to shareholder profits and increased bureaucracy.

Congress also notes the impact on staff, with the government intent on undermining national workforce structures for pay, bargaining, terms and conditions.

Furthermore, Congress notes that these changes are planned at a time when the NHS across the UK is suffering massive strain as it struggles to cope with huge 'efficiency' targets. The government's demand for £20bn savings in England alone is already leading to cuts to services and increased workloads for staff unable to provide the care their patients need. Congress is hugely concerned that healthcare rationing is already taking place for vital procedures.

Congress believes we should be proud of our NHS as a service free at the point of need delivered by highly skilled dedicated public servants. Patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. The NHS has been ranked world number 1 for quality, equity and safety, despite the UK spending less than other major developed countries.

This high performance is due to the whole healthcare team, including managers, working together to deliver safe and efficient care. Congress rejects the myth that managers are the problem rather than part of the solution.

The NHS is not perfect but it has a track record in excellence and innovation. Nurses, doctors, allied health professionals and other NHS staff want to continue adapting services to benefit patients. The government's costly reforms, by replacing collaboration with competition, will not.

Congress welcomes the work of the TUC-coordinated All Together for the NHS alliance to fight the Bill in England and cuts across the UK. Congress believes it is essential that unions strive to work with patients and charities to strengthen our case.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

i. step up its excellent campaigning and lobbying on the Bill and to put forward positive alternatives to meet future health challenges

ii. maintain the unity of the All Together for the NHS alliance

iii. continue campaigning inside and outside Parliament to stop the Bill and other damaging policies such as Any Qualified Provider

iv. build campaigning outside the union movement and affiliates to pass on the message to members, their families and communities what these changes will mean for them - and that they should join us in the campaign.

v. work to highlight and fight cuts to jobs and services across the NHS

vi. rebut the myth that you can cut backroom staff without harming frontline care

The NHS is at a crossroads. We can still change course, but we need to act now.


Seconder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Supporter: FDA

Composite 11 State education, free schools, academies and privatisation

Congress welcomes research by Ipsos Mori confirming that there is overwhelming public support for education provision to be democratically controlled and accountable.

Congress asserts that the British public wants and deserves high quality and universal public services that are accessible to all.

Congress further welcomes resistance to the privatisation of the NHS and believes there is an equally strong case to be made against the breakup of state education. Congress condemns the government for its clandestine policy of school privatisation by supporting transfer to chains and urges it to come clean.

Congress further condemns the government's attempts to divert public funding for higher education into the emerging for-profit sector. This untried experiment will force down quality as happened in the USA and do serious damage to the UK's proud international reputation for excellence. The equivalent privatisation policy for the NHS proved highly unpopular with its staff and the public, and Congress calls for a similar public debate on the privatisation of education, including the for-profit sector in higher education.

Congress recognises the importance of public services to supporting and enabling the most vulnerable in our society so that all children can access education and opportunity.

Congress recognises that all public service unions are taking a strong stand against privatisation including through industrial action when necessary.

Congress notes that while public services, including education, are being cut, the government is using public money and public servants to promote and fund free schools; almost 100 DfE staff are working on the free schools programme at a cost to the taxpayer of almost £4m a year.

Congress notes that free schools can be set up by any group of individuals, a company, or academy chain sponsor anywhere in England without regard to their impact on other local schools; are state funded but unaccountable to democratically elected local authorities; do not have to employ qualified teachers or abide by the national pay and conditions for school teachers; can determine their own admissions arrangements and their own curriculum.

Congress believes that free schools will undermine existing schools and cause schools to close by drawing away pupils and the funding attached to them; undermine and erode national pay and conditions for school teachers and trade union organisation in the education sector; reduce education standards by undermining the importance of pupils being taught by qualified teachers; undermine community cohesion.

Congress deplores the secrecy surrounding the government's free schools policy with its refusal to reveal expenditure on individual schools. Congress further deplores the waste of public money on free schools, which are being opened regardless of need, and the lack of public accountability for this money.

Congress notes the contrast between the government's language of autonomy for

academies, including free schools, and the reality of schools moving from local authority influence to academy chain or federation control, with the top-slicing by chains of a substantial percentage of academies' budgets.

Congress commits the General Council to support joint work by the education unions in

building a strong public coalition to:

i. mount a high profile campaign to advance the cause of state education and to oppose privatisation.

ii. ensure the right of every child to have equality of access to schooling

iii. ensure that all children and young people are taught by qualified teachers

iv. confirm the rights and entitlements of teachers and support staff to national pay and conditions of service frameworks and collective representation through their trade unions

v. urge trades councils and trade unionists locally to support and initiate campaigns against the establishment of free schools in their area

vi. ensure that state-funded schools and associated land and assets are publicly owned and managed in trust for the public.


Seconder: National Union of Teachers

Supporters: Association of Teachers and Lecturers

University and College Union

Society of Radiographers

Composite 12 Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries

Congress notes the importance of the creative industries as a source of employment and economic growth in the UK, which has an unrivalled reputation for the quality of its arts, culture and heritage. This reputation has been earned over many years and is due in no small part to public funding from successive governments. This sector, which includes the performing arts and broadcasting, now accounts for economic output of at least £60bn per annum, 8 per cent of the UK's GDP and nearly 10 per cent of the UK's businesses. There are 2.3m UK workers in the creative sector.

Congress further notes the prevalence of irregular and insecure work in the creative sector. Performers, models and other creative workers, particularly young workers, commonly experience low pay, denial of the National Minimum Wage, long working hours and unscrupulous practices by entertainment agencies.

Now the arts in the UK are having to share the burden of an economic policy which has led to substantial cuts in public funding over the next three years, the reductions in public funding for core workplaces that are more likely to use union negotiated agreements also means that unemployment and exploitation in the sector is likely to increase. Training and development opportunities for young people entering the sector and small venues, which are vital for those starting out in the industry, are severely under threat.

Congress also notes with great concern the recent cuts in Arts Council England subsidies to writers' organisations and to companies which present writers' work. It notes in particular that despite the huge increase in, and success of, new writing over the last decade, new writing companies like Out of Joint and playwrights' development agencies like North West Playwrights and Theatre Writing Partnership have suffered disproportionate cuts in funding because companies in London are less dependent on local authority funding, companies outside London are more vulnerable to 'double-whammy' cuts from both the Arts Council and local authorities. Therefore, taken as a whole, national and local cuts in arts funding will widen the existing gap in provision between London and the rest of England. As happened in the 1980s, the brunt of the theatre cuts will be borne by freelance artists (including actors, directors and designers as well as writers) who are employed production by production, rather than by permanent staff.

Lost Arts has been set up by eight unions that represent the people who work in the arts in the UK. It will record and catalogue all of the projects, events, initiatives, performances, organisations and companies that will be lost due to the cuts in public funding.

This is not to suggest that the arts are more important than other sectors that are suffering similar cuts; but at the same time we want to make sure that the effects of these cuts are properly accounted and freely publicised. By keeping an account of the damage done, we hope to win the argument for public funding of arts and culture once and for all.

Congress calls upon the General Council with entertainment unions and other bodies to support the Lost Arts campaign and campaigning for a restoration of lost Arts Council and local authority subsidy to the arts, both during the course of this parliament and beyond.

Congress also resolves to fight for decent work in the entertainment and creative industries. Congress calls on the government to stop the attacks on public funding for the arts and culture, to introduce better regulation of entertainment agencies and stronger enforcement of employment rights.

Congress further supports the ongoing campaign to achieve an exemption from the Licensing Act for live entertainment and supports the work being done by unions in the sector to organise creative workers and extend the use of union-negotiated terms and conditions.

Mover: Equity

Seconder: Musicians' Union

Supporter: Writers' Guild of Great Britain

Composite 13 Health and safety

Congress notes that health and safety is a cornerstone of a civilised society.

Congress notes that any death or serious injury at work is one too many.

Since the Conservative-led government took power, ministers have targeted both safety legislation and the Health and Safety Executive, due to the government's ideological obsession with cutting 'red tape'.

Congress notes that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) faces spending cuts of at least 35 per cent over three years, leading to an estimated budget reduction of over £80m per year by 2014-2015; to possibly 700 redundancies; and to potential office closures when enforcement activities have already fallen to an all-time low. Government cuts will make it impossible for the HSE to ensure workplace safety.

Congress also notes that cuts in local government spending will impact on the role of environmental health officers.

Congress expresses concern that the consequential reduction in health and safety enforcement activity, with an anticipated 33 per cent reduction in proactive HSE inspections will lead to an increase in accidents and fatalities. Even in industries where unannounced inspections will continue, such as construction, the number of inspections is set to substantially diminish.

Congress recognises that construction fatalities rose by 22 per cent last year and management failings are a factor in 70 per cent of fatalities, yet just 30 per cent of companies are convicted following a construction worker's death. Construction companies are increasingly voluntarily entering administration to escape justice following the death of a worker.

Congress believes that the decision to close the HSE's Infoline will result in it becoming impossible for workers or the public to report dangerous working practices to the HSE.

Congress believes that there will be an inevitable link between the current government's deep cuts in public spending and a reduction in the policing of workplace health and safety by agencies like the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Highways Agency (HA). The proposed reduction in the government's contribution to the Health and Safety Executive will inevitably have an impact on the budgets of both agencies for their own health and safety work. Inevitably essential health and safety work between agencies and trade unions will be shelved as a result of the wide-reaching budgetary cuts. Given the very high level of work-related fatalities in the road transport sector, this is of grave concern. A coordinated approach by the relevant enforcement agencies must be adopted urgently so that the causes of work-related accidents on roads are fully investigated and preventive action can be taken.

Congress condemns the reckless implementation of Lord Young's proposals to dismantle much-needed protections for workers and the communities they serve. Abolition of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority will create an insecure environment for school trips, with teachers reluctant to organise visits and parents fearful for the safety of their children.

Congress fears that the Lofstedt Review will result in the scrapping of important safety regulations in the name of cutting red tape. Congress rejects any assertion that regulation is anti-competitive or a constraint on business. Successful businesses don't fear regulation that is clear and properly enforced. It is a vital part of levelling the playing field and ensures that competition is not purely on the basis of cost minimisation and lower standards.

Congress requests that the General Council continue to be actively involved in campaigning with all affiliates affected by any watering down of health and safety imposed through the government's health and safety reform.

Congress calls on the TUC General Council to launch an active and broad-based campaign to reverse the government's cuts programme, to campaign to keep health and safety in the workplace unaffected by any proposed budgetary reductions and lobby for the introduction of legislation that guarantees the safety of all workers.

Congress also requests that the General Council help prepare the basis for a legal challenge for those affected by any imposed change that would have prevented harm prior to any such watering down.

Mover: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

Seconder: Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

Supporters: United Road Transport Union

National Union of Mineworkers


National Union of Teachers


Composite 14 Work-related stress

Congress agrees that work-related stress has been a growing problem for many years and in the current climate of cuts and reform in the NHS will see more victims succumb to this serious illness. Within the podiatry profession the SCP has witnessed many of its members being placed under severe pressure by a combination of measures overseen by NHS employers in an attempt to make savings and conform to the reform agenda. Podiatry services have been redesigned resulting in job losses, and downgrading larger workloads. In addition, job vacancies have been frozen, which leads to patients not receiving timely care and literally tens of thousands of patients are discharged from podiatry patient lists, denying them access to NHS treatment, as a cost-saving exercise. This causes unnecessary anxiety to the clinician as it is they, not the senior executives whose decision it is, who have to explain to the elderly and, in some cases, vulnerable patients that they no longer qualify for care.

Congress believes this combination of issues for SCP members creates a downward spiral that can lead to stress and mental health issues. Sickness levels go up, other staff are under even more pressure and so the cycle continues.

Congress also recognises that job cuts and greater workloads will increase stress for all public servants and particularly for managers who are responsible for ensuring continuing delivery of key services whilst their own jobs and those of their staff remain under threat in this period of considerable change and upheaval.

Congress believes that this is an unseen side of the cuts agenda and calls on the General Council to highlight this matter in future campaigning material, publicity and in the media.

Mover: Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Seconder: FDA

Emergency 1 TUC response to the riots

Congress welcomes the TUC response to the riots that saw some of the worst rioting for over a decade in England towns and cities.

Congress recognises that criminality and violence cannot be condoned or excused, but simplifying the underlying causes can lead to the wrong solutions.

It is accepted that this is a complex area and does not need a knee-jerk reaction from the coalition government nor senior politicians giving soundbites and blaming certain sections of society or indeed the criminal justice system.

Congress recognises that government needs to reflect and a root and branch review involving the trade union movement can assist government in ensuring an outcome that is fair and balanced.

Congress also recognises the professionalism of public sector workers and indeed those in the private sector who did everything to protect the general public during the riots and aftermath: the emergency services such as prison officers and related grades, fire fighters, police officers, ambulance workers along with nurses and doctors. Without our frontline services putting the general public first, the riots could have been so much worse.

Congress places on record its condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives during the riots.

Congress instructs the General Council to further influence the coalition government in establishing the true underlying causes of the recent riots.

Mover: POA

Seconder: Fire Brigades' Union

Emergency 2 Pre-abortion counselling

Congress welcomes the overwhelming rejection of parliament to the amendment on abortion counselling to the Health and Social Care Bill. This would have stripped non-statutory abortion providers such as Marie Stopes and BPAS of their role in offering impartial advice and counselling to women considering abortion and enabled organisations opposed to abortion to be contracted to counsel women on their pregnancy options.

Congress notes that parliament debated and voted on abortion rights in May 2008 when MPs voted to maintain the upper limit of 24 weeks. The move to reduce the upper limit to 20 weeks was supported by Cameron. This time Cameron has supported and then not supported the amendment, flip-flopping on a crucial issue for women.

Congress notes that the government now intends to review abortion counselling services.

Congress believes in a woman's right to choose with balanced, professional support and care from regulated bodies. Congress believes that women's access to impartial, non-directive and clinical information on pregnancy choices must be maintained and unions must challenge any move that would result in women being offered pre-abortion counselling, where there is no such guarantee.

Congress instructs the General Council to:

?reaffirm Congress policy of a woman's right to choose as set out in motion agreed at 2008 TUC Congress

?encourage affiliates to do the same

?re-issue the TUC leaflet 'abortion - a trade union issue'

?continue to support the campaign against these detrimental changes to abortion counselling.

Mover: University and College Union

Seconder: Unite

Emergency 3 English Defence League

Congress is appalled at the treatment of NUJ members in East London on Saturday 3 September 2011.

Journalists were carrying out their work, reporting the EDL event, taking photographs and recording eye witness accounts on behalf of a wide range of media outlets.

Journalists were subjected to harassment, threats and abuse including physical assaults, racist abuse and bottles and fireworks being thrown at the press. One journalist was subjected to a sexual assault and another suffered burns after an EDL protestor set the journalist on fire.

Congress publically condemns the actions of the EDL and the ways in which they target media workers and Congress will continue to support all trade unionists that are targeted by the far-right.

Far-right attacks on media workers are aimed at deterring them from carrying out their work and are designed to intimidate trade union members and stop the media reporting on far-right activity.

Such attacks are a violation of press freedom and an attack on our democracy.

Congress expresses solidarity with NUJ members and calls on the General Council to campaign publically against far-right groups.

Congress urges the General Council to:

i. call on the police to take action to identify and prosecute EDL supporters who attack trade unionists

ii. support and assist affiliate unions when far-right groups threaten the health and safety of their members.

Mover: National Union of Journalists

Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Emergency 4 Agency workers

Congress notes with concern the report of 5 September 2011 that the government plans to reduce the rights that the Agency Worker Regulations introduced on 1 October this year. Congress, however, believes that the existing regulations already fall short of the legal and moral requirements that the Agency Workers Directive imposes on EU states.

The subsequently issued statements by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) on 6 and 10 September supported the review of so- called 'gold-plated' provisions. The REC has produced a specific briefing document on the 'Swedish Derogation' advising agencies how to use this to best advantage.

Congress notes with concern in recent weeks the increasing numbers of employers, including the major supermarkets' meat supply chain, seeking to avoid the application of equal rights for agency workers by applying 'the Swedish Derogation'. This will allow employers, in conjunction with agency businesses, to avoid equal pay by directly employing the agency workers on contracts that may offer as little as one hour's work per week.

Congress therefore instructs the General Council to explore grounds for a legal challenge against the UK government in respect of its failure to properly implement the spirit and the legal requirements of the Agency Workers Directive.

Mover: Unite

Emergency 5 Save Bombardier jobs

Congress notes at the Transport Committee hearing on 7 September 2011 the Secretary of State for Transport and European Commission representative said it would be legally possible to reverse the decision not to make Bombardier preferred bidder for the Thameslink rolling stock contract.

Congress welcomes the leader of the opposition's call on 8 September for a parliamentary debate in support of the campaign to save Bombardier jobs.

Congress condemns the government's betrayal of rail workers and their abject failure to protect jobs and act in the national interest.

Congress welcomes the campaign of the TUC and affiliates to date and requests the General Council convene an urgent meeting of affected affiliates to consider all possible steps to stop the closure of the Bombardier Derby Litchurch Lane works and to consider supporting the parliamentary rally for Bombardier called for 12 October.

Congress agrees to continue to campaign to save Bombardier for as long as it takes. Noting existing Congress policy to re-nationalise the railways and that train manufacturing was previously undertaken by British Railways Engineering, Congress believes in the event of Bombardier withdrawing from the UK, consideration should be given to nationalisation to save UK train manufacturing and prevent devastation of jobs and communities.

Congress recognises that a reversal of the decision is likely to impact on the expectation of other workers employed by Siemens and would assure its members that the principle of supporting British manufacturing and protection of jobs is the overriding issue.

Mover: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Section 2

Verbatim report of congress proceedings

The following pages give a full verbatim report of the proceedings of the 143rd annual Trades Union Congress, which met in London from Monday 12 September to Wednesday 14 September with Michael Leahy presiding.

Congress decisions are marked with a *



(Congress assembled at 10.00 a.m.)

The President (Michael Leahy): Good morning, colleagues. Would delegates take their seats and would Congress come to order.

Congress, I have great pleasuring in opening this, the TUC's 143rd Congress, and the first ever to be held at Congress House. I would warmly welcome all delegates to the hall. Also, I give a special welcome to everyone joining us online, the first time that the Congress has been broadcast live on the web via the TUC website. I would also like to welcome everyone watching the live feed in Congress House.

The programme of music this week has been put together by Music for Youth. Many thanks to the Bromley Youth Music Trust who have been playing for us this morning. I am sure you will show your appreciation in the normal way. (Applause)

Appointment of tellers and scrutineers

The President: The first formal item of business is to ask Congress to approve the tellers and scrutineers, as set out on page 7 of the General Purposes Committee Report booklet. Can I have your agreement? Is that agreed? (Agreed)

May I remind everyone in the hall, first of all, to switch off their mobile phones. Please make yourselves aware of the emergency procedures for Congress House. They are on display throughout the building and at the back of the hall. If you have mobility or disability issues, please make yourself aware of the nearest refuge points. If there is an emergency, you will receive further instructions on what to do from me. There is no fire alarm test scheduled. If you hear the alarm, brothers and sisters, it is for real. If any delegate requires first aid they should contact the Congress House reception, extension 1215.

Welcome to Sororal and Fraternal Delegates

The President: Congress, I would now like to welcome the sororal and fraternal delegates and visitors to Congress who are seated at the back of the hall. This year's delegate from the Trades Union Councils Conference is Jim Thakoordin, who is seated with the UCU delegation. We will also be welcoming Norma Stephenson, sororal delegate from the Labour Party, who will be addressing Congress on Wednesday morning.


The President: Colleagues, we now come to the Obituary section of the General Council's Report from page 173 when we remember our trade union colleagues who have died during the past year. You can read more about the contribution these colleagues have made to the trade union movement in the General Council Report. In our report we list Colin Barnett, former north west divisional officer for NUPE; John Batstone, the long serving chair of the National Association of British Steel Pensioners and Community representative on the TUC Pensioners Committee; Andrew Boyd, former TUC regional education officer for Northern Ireland; Dennis Delay, former secretary of the TUC Steel Committee; Jayaben Desai, the leading figure in the landmark Grunwick dispute; Keith Faulkner, senior events officer for the TUC; Mick Graham, national secretary of the GMB's public services section; Roy Jackson, former TUC assistant general secretary; Miriam Karlin, who was an actor and member of Equity's council; John Macreadie, former deputy general secretary of CPSA; Terry Marsland, senior official in the Tobacco Workers Union, TASS and MSF; Alf Parish, former national official of the print workers' union SLADE; Tony Stewart, who worked in the TUC Economic Department; Clive Webster, deputy general secretary of Accord, and Les Wood, former general secretary of UCATT. I have to say also that since the last report went to press the death has occurred of Jack Whyman, former executive committee member of the AEU and former General Council member.

Congress, in asking you to stand in memory of these former colleagues, I also ask you to remember other trade union colleagues who have died in the past year, both here and around the world. At this time, I am sure our thoughts are also with those who have suffered loss in the manmade and natural disasters of the past year, including those who lost their lives in New Zealand, the Japanese earthquakes and the devastating attacks in Norway in which so many young socialists lost their lives.

Congress, let us, therefore, re-commit ourselves to the cause of world peace. Please stand now for a moment's quiet reflection.

(The Congress stood in silent tribute)

Report of the General Purposes Committee

The President: Congress, I now call upon Peter Hall of the General Purposes Committee to report to us on the progress of business and other Conference arrangements. Peter.

Peter Hall (General Purposes Committee): Good morning, Congress. The General Purposes committee has approved 14 composite motions. Composite Motions 1 to 14 are included in section 3 of the GPC Report and Composite Motions booklet that you have all received. On behalf of the GPC, I would like to thank all those unions that have co-operated and worked together to reach agreement on the composite motions.

The GPC has also approved two emergency motions. Emergency Motion 1 on the TUC's response to the riots is to be moved by the POA. Emergency Motion 2 on Pre-abortion counselling is to be moved by UCU and seconded by Unite. Copies of both of these emergency motions have been placed on your seats and the President will indicate when it is hoped that the emergency motions will be taken.

Congress, please be reminded that only materials approved by the GPC may be distributed in the hall. Let me also remind delegates that the mover of each motion may speak for up to five minutes and other speakers for up to three minutes. Thank you for your co-operation. I will report further to you on the progress of business and other GPC decisions when necessary throughout Congress. Thanks.

The President: Congress, I now invite you formally to receive the GPC's Report? Can we agree? (Agreed)

Congress, the GPC reported the approval of two emergency motions. Emergency Motion 1 is the TUC's response to the riots. Emergency Motion 2 is Pre-abortion counselling. If time permits I will try and take these emergency motions after the published programme of business this afternoon. I will let you know if it looks likely nearer the time. Would the movers and seconders, in those circumstances, be ready.

Just a reminder to delegates, as Peter Hall has reported, movers of motions will get five minutes - I repeat, five minutes - and all other speakers three minutes. As Congress will last for three days rather than the usual four, I intend to keep strictly to these timings to ensure that we will be able to take all scheduled business. I hope you will co-operate with that for ease of reference. It would also be helpful if speakers could line up ready in the seats at the side of the front hall.

Congress, please listen carefully while I explain how I intend to take the debate on the General Council's Statement on the TUC's Future Campaign Strategy and Composite Motion 4: Alternative Economic Strategy. First, I will invite the General Secretary to give his address to Congress and to move paragraph 1.7: Continuing the campaign, which contains the General Council's Statement on the TUC's Future Campaign Strategy. I will then call Chapter 1: The All Together Campaign and paragraphs 1.1 to 1.6. Then I will call paragraphs 4.1 to 4.5 and paragraph 4.18. Then the mover, seconder and supporters of Composite Motion 4: Alternative Economic Strategy. Then I will take any other speakers on the General Council's Statement and Composite Motion 4. I will then take the vote on the General Council's Statement followed by the vote on Composite Motion 4. If that is clear, I will now call the General Secretary.

General Secretary's Address

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): President, Congress, welcome everybody to Congress House to this first ever Congress to be held here in the movement's home. Those of us who work here and the many of you who come here regularly might take the building for granted, but it is worth spending a moment or two reminding ourselves of the significance of this building in the history of the trade union movement.

The idea of a dedicated home for British trade unionism was conceived in the depths of the Second World War - when London was under constant bombardment and trade unionists were among those fighting at home and abroad for the very survival of our democracy. It was financed by contributions from our hard pressed members, many struggling to make ends meet. It was built on the site of a former brewery, and we bought the site for £25,000. That secured a 999 year lease, so we will be here for a while yet. It was intended as a resource for the whole movement: a conference facility, a research centre, a focal point for our trade union education and a meeting place.

But this was never purely a functional building. It was dedicated to work and it contains great works - the Epstein statue in the courtyard under whose shadow we meet - dedicated to the victims of world wars. The Meadows bronze that you passed on your way in - the Spirit of Trade Unionism - the strong helping the weak.

Congress House was opened in the mid-1950s, at a time when the country was determined to put behind it the poverty of the thirties and the devastation of the war. It was conceived in hope and dedicated to progress, sentiments that we will echo this week.

Let us also reflect on the fact that we meet ten years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. As our American colleagues reminded us, on the 1st anniversary of September 11, over 500 of those who died that day were trade unionists. They included 12 members of the Flight Attendants Association, killed when their planes, their workplaces, were turned into weapons of mass destruction, 43 members of the Hotel Employees Local working in the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center, and 343 fire fighters who gave their lives in their heroic attempt to save others.

Ten years on the world is a very different place. London, too, has known mass death from terrorism, and far, far too many others have also died in the conflicts around the world since the 9/11 outrage.

This is the first Annual Congress to be held in the capital since 1902. When that Congress met in Holborn Town Hall just a mile from here, the Labour Party was just two years old, formed as a result of a Congress resolution, with a mandate to advance the interests of working people, to bring social justice through Parliamentary action and to tackle the gross inequalities that tore Victorian society apart. That was a period of momentous change, and that generation of trade unionists played a vital role in changing the course of our economic and social history.

We are at such a turning point again, and we face such a challenge again, as our economy continues to be ravaged by the consequences of the gravest global financial crisis that any of us have ever seen, and we have a government locked into policies that are making things worse, not better.

Last month, as our cities burned amidst the worst rioting in decades, social divisions in modern Britain were laid bare. The violence and the criminality that we saw shocked us all, and none of us would seek to justify or condone it in any way. The victims were overwhelmingly frightened ordinary people in working class communities - with the police and emergency service workers called on to put their safety on the line to restore order. The Prime Minister chose to describe these events as 'criminality pure and simple', but it isn't so simple. What happened in August actually revealed deep fractures within our society, a society that ranks amongst the most unequal anywhere in the developed world, where a super rich elite have been allowed to float free from the rest of us, where a generation of young people are growing up without work, without prospects and without hope, none harder hit than the black youngsters held back by an unemployment rate approaching 50 per cent. As we make the case for opportunities for all, we cannot, must not and we will not allow the riots to be exploited by EDL thugs. So today, let us pledge to fight the Far Right wherever and whenever it peddles its racist poison, and let us take heart from the local elections when the BNP suffered the worst rout in its sorry history.

Congress, the Government's response to the riots has been profoundly wrong. Rather than addressing the complex long-term factors that lie behind the alienation - the poverty, the lack of social mobility, young lives stunted by hope denied - they have instead reached for simplistic clichés about moral decay. And yet as they have retreated to Victorian language about the undeserving poor, they have said nothing about moral disintegration among the rich: the financiers with huge assets sneakily channelled through the tax havens, the out of control traders and speculators who razed our economy to the ground and the super rich tax cheats whose greed impoverishes our schools and hospitals.

Let's be clear about this: high moral standards, yes, of course, but not just for the poor and the ordinary, they must be for the rich and the privileged too. (Applause)

And in a year when we commemorated the 25th anniversary of Wapping, let us say loud and clear that moral standards must apply to you to, Mr. Murdoch. Let's also resist blatant double standards, so that someone who steals a bottle of water goes to jail while there are second chances aplenty in the corridors of power.

Congress, what happened in our cities last month has not just raised alarming questions about the country we have become. It has not just exposed the pernicious inequality bequeathed by neoliberalism, but it has also underlined the folly of coalition policy in withdrawing EMA help from disadvantaged teenagers, cutting youth services by two-thirds and more and abolishing the Future Jobs Fund and the Youth Guarantee that gave new chances to young people previously in utter despair.

Of course, I accept that the riots were not caused by the cuts, but as any fair-minded person must see the cuts will undoubtedly make the underlying problems much worse.

Congress, the coalition has set the cruel and mistaken objective of getting rid of the deficit within just four years. This is not just austerity - it's austerity on speed, rashly carried out at a time when yields on UK debt are at historic lows, the deepest cuts in the UK since the 1920s, deeper cuts than in any country outside of those with sovereign debt crises, and cuts that would make even Margaret Thatcher look like a spendthrift.

We were told 'We are all in this together', but the cuts have hit middle and low income workers in both private and public sectors, and hardly been noticed by those who did so well out of the banking bubble. The less you had to do with causing the crash, the bigger the price you are having to pay. Public service workers and users may be the most obvious victims, but the private sector is suffering just as much. Don't forget the public sector spends more with private companies than it does on the wages of its own staff. But the damage goes deeper. Cuts have hit business and consumer confidence. With living standards facing their most severe fall in almost a century and real wages just about everywhere falling fast, it's no wonder so many companies are in trouble, and even those with healthy balances are failing to invest. No one denies the deficit, but this is a government that has turned the crisis into a major smuggling operation. Contraband policies that were kept from voters before the election are suddenly centre stage. Remember, 'No top-down NHS reform'? Remember, 'I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS'? Yet we have the biggest and most complex health reorganisation ever, a deeply damaging Bill still going through Parliament, big cuts already biting hard with over 50,000 NHS jobs set to go, and the profit motive being injected right into the heart of the NHS.

Congress, let's be 100 per cent clear: our NHS is not for sale, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. (Applause) And nor should our education and schools system be broken up and taken out of any genuine local democratic control in the misguided drive for academies and so-called free schools.

I am sure that there are some ministers who recognise and regret the pain that they are causing, perhaps who genuinely cannot see the alternative, but what worries me is that those really in the driving seat are pushing forward an agenda to permanently shrink the state. For them this isn't temporary pain, but the culmination of a long held dream - a chance to influence policies under cover of the crash that they know that voters have rejected over and over again. It's marketisation and privatisation on a huge scale - warmer words when they are wrapped up as localism and the big society - but the same old hard right ideology.

What's even worse is that, for sure, it's hurting, but it ain't working! It is now clear that the government won't even clear the deficit. The cuts have stamped on growth, and the UK economy is still producing less than before the crash, when other countries have at least recovered that gap. Spending is being slashed as the global economy teeters on the brink of a crisis that could dwarf even the financial meltdown of 2008.

In America the President has now proposed a bold new initiative to encourage growth and jobs, but it is being hampered by Republican intransigence. It's high time those Tea Party crazies woke up and smelled the coffee. In Europe, politicians have failed to find a convincing response to the sovereign debt crisis. As Greece has shown, you can't cut your way to financial health. Growth is the only answer. When even the IMF and the World Bank call for more stimulus and less austerity, our own government's nakedly political agenda is revealed as the economic fig leaf slips. Economists now openly talk of a double dip. Remember what they said about us when we warned that that was exactly what the cuts could lead to. Whether we technically go double dip is still open, but unless we change course the best we can look forward to is bumping along the bottom for years, and change course we must.

All of this puts a huge responsibility on to our shoulders. No one else can claim to speak for so many of those bearing the brunt of austerity. No other part of civil society has the organisation, the resources and the reach of our trade union movement. That responsibility is one that we have willingly accepted. Up and down the country, trade unionists have led the fight against the government's brutal agenda, not just defending the NHS and local libraries, not just speaking up for our welfare state and a decent benefits system to support the most vulnerable, but representing the interests of all working people. As we will debate on Wednesday, nowhere is our fight more urgent than when it comes to public sector pensions.

All workers - all workers - deserve decent pensions and security in retirement. But let's be clear: the government's plans for public service pensions are not about their long-term affordability. They are all about making hard pressed public sector staff sacrifice their long-term pensions security to contribute even more to short-term deficit reduction, and that is wrong, wrong, wrong! (Applause)

Congress, whether it's fighting cuts to pensions, fighting NHS reforms or fighting inequality, one thing is for sure: we're at our best when we are united. We saw that on March 26th as we staged our magnificent March for the Alternative, the biggest event the TUC has organised in decades. There were half a million people from every walk of life, black and white, young and old, men and women, most union members but many who were not. That was proof of how powerfully we can make our case when we reach out beyond the confines of our movement, building a coalition as wide as it is deep.

Now as I move the General Council's statement setting out our campaign plans, I want us to recall the success of that day, to recognise what we can achieve when we work together, to hear how loudly our voice is heard when we speak together, and to see the impact when we properly plan and use our resources wisely. The statement that we have before us today is based on those insights. It is an ambitious two-year plan, and the General Council will decide in October whether affiliates, through the affiliation fee, should give us the extra resources needed to win this battle. In the two years ahead of us, we have to go further. We have to take our campaign to where our opponents are strongest. They say that the cuts are necessary, that we have 'maxed out the nation's credit card', however fatuous that analogy may be, and too many agree, even if they hate the way the cuts are being done. That's because the government has largely succeeded in making the deficit the key problem, so we have to shift the terms of the debate.

We say that you can't cut the deficit by depressing the economy, that it's only through jobs and growth that we can heal the public finances. Of course the deficit is important, but it is just one symptom of what's wrong. The problem is the collapse of the economic model that politicians and policymakers have backed since the 1980s. Deregulation, the worship of markets and suspicion of the state failed to deliver what was promised. Instead, this led to an economy run in the interests of banks and finance, where the super-rich prospered, but wages were held down with many workers resorting to credit to keep up. That model has blown up in our faces, turning into an angel of destruction.

The task now is to build a new economy that delivers for all, that pays fair wages so that companies can have customers, that nurtures success stories like our creative industries. It's time to think big. Let's exploit new technologies in the fight against climate change and forge a new future for manufacturing. Today let's offer our support and solidarity to the workers at Bombardier and the people of Derby as they are fighting to save their jobs, their communities and their industry. (Applause)

Let's make the case for tax justice - and let's say loud and clear to the Chancellor that any plans to cut tax for the richest one per cent by scrapping the 50p rate are a disgrace and we will fight them tooth and nail.

On a day when the Vickers' Report fails to deal with what really needs to be done to transform our banks, let's argue for real reform of our financial system, turning the banks from casinos that enrich themselves into utilities that serve us.

Congress, we have to win the case for an economic alternative, developing our sophisticated arguments for growth and investment into the straightforward ideas that are the new common sense, showing we can win the intellectual high ground as well as the industrial battles. In other words, we've got to build a mass movement for change.

This year we had a March for the Alternative. In the year ahead, I want us to build a Movement for the Alternative, one that cannot be ignored by any politician in any party, one that builds on the great diversity of our cuts campaign and one that inspires the millions of people out there who believe in social and economic justice. We need as many ways for people to get involved as possible. We need to use the potential of the new social media and we need to be armed with the case for change.

The TUC has a special role. Just as on March 26th, many look to us for coherence, for arguments, and for campaign leadership. That sets us a very great challenge in the year ahead. It's one that we shouldn't take on lightly. It's not something for you just to mandate Congress House to do. It's not an issue where you pass the responsibility. Instead, it's one where we recognise that the TUC is more than the staff and offices where we are meeting this year. It's every union, every officer, every activist and every member. So please vote for the General Council statement, but do so in the knowledge that the vote is just the first step. This is not just a vote that I am asking for but a commitment - a pledge to work with every ally we can muster as we fight our greatest battle in living memory. Out of the ashes of this financial crisis which dragged the world to the edge of the abyss, let's get Britain back to work. Let's save our public realm and let's build that new economy. Together, let's achieve something of which this generation can be proud. Thanks for listening. (Applause)

The President: Thank you, Brendan, for moving paragraph 1.7, containing the General Council's statement on the TUC's Future campaign strategy and, more importantly, for that inspiring speech, setting out the challenges facing the trade union movement and the importance of unity and building alliances in the months and years ahead. Thanks, once again.

Alternative Economic Strategy

The President: Delegates, we now turn to Composite Motion 4, The Alternative Economic Strategy. The General Council support the composite motion.

Tony Burke (Unite) moved Composite Motion 4.

He said: Comrades, if there were any doubt as to the objectives of this coalition of millionaires, this has been removed by the attack being waged against our working people, against our young people and against the sick, elderly and disabled across our country. The dangerous message of fear and despair is taking hold in our communities where there is already very little hope or confidence about what the future will hold.

On the back of a financial crisis not the making of our class but created by the spivs and speculators in the City of London and Wall Street, an unregulated market based on speculation and manipulation and a drive for self-enrichment, this government are attempting to drive home a hard right agenda that without a co-ordinated and sustained industrial and political opposition could see the destruction of much of the social fabric of our country.

Make no mistake, Congress, driven by the memories of Thatcher before them, there is a concerted attempt to destroy in one term what has taken generations to build. The cuts are biting deeply into every area of public life as the ideological dogma of cutting the deficit rather than growing the economy takes effect. We have got stagnation as the government slashes and burns and our people pay the price for the mistakes of the rich and wealthy. Our young people face an uncertain future, as Brendan says, where we are approaching 50 per cent unemployment in a number of areas. The failure of the government and private industry to invest in the infrastructure of our country, in the core sectors of the economy, in emerging technologies and what they are doing to our people is unforgivable.

The government say that there is no plan B. Well, I've got a message for them. They've got no plan A either. They are like Mr Micawber, waiting for something to turn up. We are in a spiral of decline, of decreasing demand leading to further job losses in the public sector, in the private sector and in manufacturing. Let us be clear, Congress: you can't cut your way out of recession, and removing workers' rights is not a strategy for growth. What we need is a well resourced strategy for growth, a strategy that puts people before profits and puts hope and confidence back into the hearts of our members.

We need a strategic investment bank, using the assets that we already own, helping to re-balance the economy, with investment in public infrastructure, housing, communications, transport, within our struggling private sector, manufacturing and developing green technologies. We need to create employment in high skill, high value industries that will enable us to transfer production away from the weapons of mass destruction to those more socially useful. Such measures would create thousands of decent, well paid stable jobs with skills that will rebuild our reputation as a nation for manufacturing and technological excellence. We also need a fair tax strategy, ending tax evasion and avoidance, and a procurement strategy that recognises social and workers' needs.

Comrades, let's be clear. There will be no room for bystanders in the coming battle. Our fight to stop these vicious cuts destroying our communities will not be won easily. The battle is for our future, and it will be a long and drawn out battle. It will be one that we will need to develop strategically, but it is one that we must win. If this government does not change course, this will not be a winter of discontent. We have to have a winter, a spring, a summer and an autumn of struggle for our unions and our members. It's a battle that we are up for. Let's win it. Thank you.

Keith Jordan (Community) seconded Composite Motion 4. He said: Conference, let's be very clear. Osborne's policies are hurting, not working. Since coming to power, the Tories and their Lib-Dem lackies have managed to choke off the recovery. Now the economy is well and truly flat-lining. Government spin doctors are already saying that there will be more bad news this week. Unemployment is rising, inflation is still high and working people are feeling the squeeze. So what are Osborne and Cameron going to do about it? Carry on regardless. They seem to think that plan A is a life jacket that will carry us all to safety. In fact, plan A is a millstone around the necks of all of us. Congress, it is not time for plan A. It's time for plan B. It's not time for arrogance. It's time for humility. It's not time for cuts but time for investment. When everybody else is cutting back, we need the government to step up and take action. Let's face it, it's common sense that you will never cut the deficit without increasing economic growth. I don't think this coalition's got any common sense. Their heads are full of other ideas like rolling back the state, cutting so-called red tape and attacking employment rights.

What do we want as a plan B? Let's start with immediate investment in major infrastructure and construction. Let's see high speed rail built to help bridge the north/south divide. Let's have an industrial policy that supports UK manufacturing and genuinely boosts exports. Let's have banks that serve society rather than serving themselves.

Congress, as trade unionists, we know what is really happening out there. We see first hand job cuts, pay cuts and their effects on our communities. We say, 'No more'. Let's keep on campaigning for an alternative. Please support the composite.

Matt Wrack (Fire Brigades' Union) supported Composite Motion 4. He said: The financial economic crisis that has wrecked the world since 2008 was not an act of nature or an act of God. No, it was sparked by the actions of people, in particular, within the banks and finance sector. Since then it has unleashed unemployment, poverty and homelessness upon millions and millions of people across the globe. How has that happened and how was it allowed to happen? It happened because for 30 years we have been told that privatisation, deregulation and lowering tax at the top is the way to ensure prosperity. The market has been worshipped and, of course, it has all now blown up in their faces. They have created a class that is out of control, without any morals, a feral class. Unfortunately, in this case it is the feral class of billionaires who do whatever they want in order to boost their wealth and profits.

That banking collapse in 2008 prompted a collapse in private investment, and that collapse accounts for the loss of output and all the subsequent problems which we debate in relation to the deficit and so on. Our resolution, which has been incorporated into the composite, addressed, in particular, the question of the banks, because we need policies that are more now about addressing the fundamental problems in relation to the banks rather than simply bailing them out and propping them up at taxpayers' expense. We believe at the heart of that there has to be a debate around public ownership.

From what we have seen so far and what we have seen in response to the crisis is the privatisation of the gains but the socialisation of any losses. In other words, it is socialism for billionaires but not for the rest of us. Despite that bailout at our expense, the banks still continue fail to lend and fail to provide investment, despite their profits and despite their return to bonuses. We believe that we need to put on the agenda the question of public ownership in the banking sector. We need a banking service that is aimed at serving the economy and the people, rather than a casino for billionaires. People will, of course, say that this is out-dated and a return to the 1970s and the 1980s. We, in our union, are proud that we still commit ourselves to socialism within our rule book, and we want a bit of socialism for us rather than simply for the billionaires at the top. Instead of them dictating to us the policies that are needed, we believe that the people need to start dictating to them the sort of policies which are needed to preserve our livelihoods, our homes and our jobs. We need to put that on the agenda from now. I support the composite.

Harriet Yeo (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association): Congress, I have a disability but I didn't cause this financial crisis. I know lots of other people with disabilities and they didn't cause this financial crisis, but they are paying for it, living in fear of their benefits being stopped. I know students, and they didn't cause the financial crisis, although they are paying £9,000 a year to help the country out of its debt. I know elderly people who are having their benefits eroded, and they are paying to help the country out of this crisis, but they didn't cause it. You didn't cause it. The bankers caused the financial crisis, and it should be the bankers who are paying for it.

Before this government came to power you would have imagined that the CBI and this government would be consistently singing from the same hymn sheet, but even the CBI are beginning to worry about this government's spending cuts. Just last week, the CBI was voicing its concerns about the government's spending on transport infrastructure. I may not agree with the CBI's financing model, but I do agree that if we want this country not to come to gridlock, we must invest in our transport infrastructure, taking as much of the burden off the road as possible and putting it on to rail. If the CBI is castigating this government, then, surely, the government should realise that they have got it wrong and do what is needed to successfully grow the economy? Even the Bank of England are turning their backs on George Osborne. I look forward to the day when this country can do that as well.

Just last Thursday the Bank of England refused to turn on the tap in a huge blow to George Osborne as he sought another multi-billion pound dose of electronic money to save the coalition's skin. Once again, to save the coalition's skin, he would risk the workers' very livelihood. The fact that the CBI, the Bank of England and, even according to some reports, the IMF head, Christine Lagarde, are turning their back on this rich man's government is bad. Even Argos is turning its back on George Osborne, asking him to think again about the spending power of the poorer households, but with average families set to be £4,000 a year worse off by 2013, it is going to take a massive u-turn for Argos's Terry Dudley to have his dream come true.

Let's face it, you need a backbone to admit you may have done something wrong and sort it out, and backbone is something that George Osborne lacked and, along with this government, a conscience.

The only people whose income seems set to climb, and in all probably will not be spending their money at Argos, are the high earners whose wealth has grown as the average person's has fallen. Conference, I have got the red light now. I would ask you to pass this motion unanimously, and then with the TUC go on to pass this government into the realms of history, showing what they were - despicable, for reach people but not for the workers. (Applause)

Ian Fleming (UNISON) supported Composite Motion 4.

He said: Congress, we all know that there is a better way. Not the cut, cut, cut, but to stimulate economic growth and develop jobs and skills. We are seeing falling living standards for working people, pay cuts and pay freezes across the public services. This problem is being felt particularly acutely in the community and voluntary sector. UNISON has 60,000 members in that sector who provide essential services to vulnerable people and groups. For years they have been under pressure as the commissioning and procurement system forces organisations to cut costs to a bare minimum in order to survive. Pay is forced down and the quality of services suffers and much of our sector's expertise is wasted. It is years since most of our members in the community and voluntary sector have had any sort of pay increase. Indeed, many charities are now cutting pay. UNISON members in Quarriers - a charity which supports young people - were forced to take industrial action last week in a response to pay cuts of between 10 per cent and 23 per cent, and the employer's complete refusal to engage in constructive dialogue.

Members of the Nokia Housing Association have been hit with pay cuts and other reductions in terms and conditions which equate to between a 35 per cent to 58 per cent loss in pay. Other employers are using these tough times as a cover of cutting a range of terms, conditions and freezing pay. Employers are reducing redundancy arrangements to make it cheaper to cut jobs and many are cutting maternity and paternity pay and annual leave entitlements. The effects on individual workers and their families are profoundly worrying.

UNISON recently researched the effect of the cuts on our members and their families. Worryingly, it shows that people's health is suffering. One person who was interviewed said that she felt suicidal as a result of the impact that the cuts were having on her ability to provide a decent service.

Bullying is an increasing problem and pressure is mounting on many middle managers to produce results with half the numbers of staff. Our members reported struggling to afford the basics for life, like food, energy, petrol and transport. So the cuts and many employers' response to them are causing a real fall in living standards. Low paid workers, providing essential services in our communities, will be made poorer by having their pay cut, and unemployment is rising as employers cut jobs to retain contracts. Society is becoming less equal.

We all know that this situation was created by the financial institutions and we know that there needs to be tighter control, regulation that protects the taxpayer and more transparency in reporting mechanisms. We need to focus on opportunities for young people.

Support the composite and let's make sure that the government and opposition provide active industrial policies, not like the recent employers' charter, but something that will stimulate economic growth and safeguard and develop jobs and skills for the future.

Bob Crow (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) supported Composite Motion 4.

He said: I thought Brendan's speech was very interesting when he spoke about the history of the TUC and how the Labour Party was only two years' old when the Congress was last held in London. My union was one of several that moved the resolution for the founding of that Labour Party Congress in the Memorial Hall, Farringdon, which is just a mile down the road.

When Thomas Steel went to the rostrum, he moved that there should be a party of labour because at that time our union supported the Liberal Party. It was recognised over 109 years ago that you can have all the parties you want, but if you just massage the economy, you will continue to have booms and dips.

We have to recognise the fact that it is not just the Tory and Liberal policies that have been wrong, but Labour's policies for privatisation were wrong too. If we want to have real control over our economy, we should take over those industries. People said to me last week that if we take them over, there will be a lot of compensation to pay. I do not think we should pay a single penny of compensation. In fact, why should we pay compensation to the likes of Electrícité de France and the people who have run away with billions of pounds in the water and energy industries? They should be paying us compensation. In fact, some of them should be getting six months inside for the way they have treated us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us put forward an alternative solution. When bombs drop on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, the government finds the money just like that, in the same way that Rory McIlroy puts his hand down the hole on a golf green and picks a golf ball up. Why is it that if we can find money to destruct society, we cannot find money to construct society? (Applause)

My view is this. Do not bring the lame ducks back into nationalisation. That was Margaret Thatcher's old trick. She brought Rolls Royce back, she put taxpayers' money into it and gave it back to her friends in the City. Do not take the lame ducks back. Bring back the white swans to provide education, health, schooling and everything that we demand in a civil society. I ask you to support. (Applause)

Sheila Bearcroft (GMB) supported Composite Motion 4. She said: The timing of this debate, Congress, is crucial in the economic life of the United Kingdom. We all know where to lay the responsibilities and the blame for the economic situation we are in today. It is not the fault of the workers in public services, the people surviving on a meagre benefits allowance or working people who do not earn enough to pay 50 per cent tax.

Fair and square the bankers brought us to this crisis, turning the world's economy into a casino where they gambled but they always won. Black or red - if you are banker you cannot lose. Red - you get a massive salary with millions in bonuses. Black - you get someone else to pick up the bill and you get a massive salary and millions in bonuses.

As the banking crisis unfolded in 2009, Fred the Shred reportedly acted like someone off to play a game of golf. He was more interested in securing his huge pension than in the economic crisis he had helped to create. Bankers have, however, been a bit worried lately about what the Vickers' Commission report would say. In the past few weeks, they have been beating a path to their mates in No. 10. They have been worried about whether they might be reined in from the freedom to gamble with our lives and our children's futures.

Once again they have got their way. Unsurprisingly, the Vickers Commission report, which came out this morning, rejects putting a clear division between risky investment banking and the high street banking on which we rely. Instead, they are calling for a financial ring-fence. The question is how high and how wide will the ring-fence be? Will bankers skip over it easily or get their lawyers to find ways around it?

This is not the clear separation we want. It gives no guarantee that our money is not gambled away again. In any case, the coalition government looks likely to delay the implementation of these reforms until 2019, which leaves plenty of time for the bankers to accumulate more bonuses. No board member or senior executive of a bank which has been saved from failure by public funds should be allowed to hold a similar post. Colleagues, I will conclude by saying that in the Welsh alphabet, we have no 'W' so I would send a clear message that must go out to the bloody 'bankers' who brought Britain to the brink of bankruptcy. I support. (Applause)

Jerry Glazier (National Union of Teachers) supported Composite Motion 4.

He said: We have heard how devastating government economic policies are depressing and not stimulating the economy and how they have, and will have, devastating impacts upon society, especially upon the poor, the young and the old who are vulnerable. We desperately need economic policies which enhance opportunities and not restrict them.

The government's scrapping of the Future Jobs Fund and Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is simply perverse. Contrary to government-speak, access to education through EMAs has made a crucial difference. EMAs have encouraged students to stay in education. EMAs have enabled students from poorer backgrounds to stay in education. EMAs have had a beneficial impact upon young people who have low or moderate achievement at the end of Year 11 in schools.

The cuts to EMAs will also destroy the contracts which exist between students, schools and colleges which ensure their attendance in education and support their progress. These cuts are also perverse at a time when the numbers not in education, employment and training (the so-called NEETs) have dramatically risen since the election of this government. Compared with 2010, they were up in July of this year by almost 18 per cent, a depressing increase of almost 120,000. The total is now almost 800,000.

At the same time, over the past year, the government has set about the systematic destruction of Connexions, with a loss of thousands of jobs across the country. High-quality professional careers advice has been eradicated with responsibility placed upon schools, which have few resources to make effective provision. Careers advice is to be largely provided by an online system for all, young and old, but a very poor substitute for direct contact and support for students seeking assistance with post-16 education and hard-to-find employment.

Congress, the NUT is committed to campaign for an economic strategy which boosts employment and creates a fair society for all. I ask you to vote for this crucial composite.

Paul Noon (Prospect) supported the General Council's statement but abstained on Composite Motion 4.

He said: My union's intervention in this debate is not to seek to persuade you to vote against the composite. We will not be voting in favour, but given the list of supporting unions, it will inevitably be carried. We are not fundamentally opposed to the composite. We agree with most of the text and recognise that in TUC composites there is a wide range of issues covered so even when we do not think the words are brilliant, we would not normally trouble Congress with an intervention.

However, like all other union delegations, we are here to represent the interests and views of our members. There is one aspect of the composite which we and our members will not, and cannot, support. The end of the last sentence of the fourth paragraph calls for re-nationalisation of key drivers of economic growth and wealth creation. The original RMT amendment gave energy, transport, water and telecommunications as examples and, although these are not included in the final text, there is no doubt that this is what is meant, as Bob confirmed with admirable clarity.

My union has a significant number of members in some of the areas targeted by the composite to return to the public sector, particularly throughout the electricity supply industry, in BT, O2, Vodafone and other mobile and fixed line operators. I have not met many, if any, who would now want a return to the public sector. In fact, most of the people there have never worked in the public sector, anyway. Of course, why would they - for the benefit of pay freezes, job cuts and underinvestment?

Things may be tough in the private sector, but Prospect represents professionals and managers throughout the economy and in recent times we have done much better, by any measure, in the private sector than in the public sector. The TUC has a long history of taking account of the views of union members in an industry before pronouncing on what should happen to them. I am sure we will do this when we come to pharmaceuticals later in the week.

Our clear policy, after consulting reps and members in ASI and telecoms, is against re-nationalisation. Of course, no government of any colour would do this. A policy of buying the companies and paying for the shares would create deficits which would make present economical troubles look like happy times. Re-nationalisation without compensation (that siren call of the 1970s) would wreck the UK's position as a trading nation. No one would do business with us. Just as a by-product, think of what it would do to the pension schemes which invest in these companies or to our members who own shares in them.

Finally, the call for re-nationalisation ignores the fact that the structure of these industries has changed since they were privatised. The telecoms industry in particular is vastly different with many players who did not exist doing things that had not been thought of at the time of BT privatisation.

Our public services, health, education, local and central government all require investment. We would be quite happy to support calls from the rail unionists to take their industry back, but a wholesale re-nationalisation of efficient and well-run companies would, in our view, be nuts. We support the General Council's statement and abstain on Composite 4. Thank you.

Dave Bean (Public and Commercial Services Union) supported Composite Motion 4. He said: We share Unite's policy that there should be no cuts. Cuts only damage the economy and divide our movement. As we have seen in Greece and Ireland, cuts lead to more cuts. It is like the mediaeval quacks who kept cutting away the infected parts of the body and then wondered why the patient died.

Congress, the medical profession has learnt to treat the problem and not just to hack away at it and in economics we need to learn the same lesson too. We have to offer an alternative to the failed policies of George Osborne and his Cabinet of millionaires. That alternative cannot be based upon the demands of the City but on the demands of our people for jobs, decent pay and fair pensions.

That alternative needs to address the £120 billion in tax avoided, evaded or simply not paid and not let off those with Swiss bank accounts, as in the recent deal brokered by Osborne, to collect only a fraction of the tax which they owe whilst being able to retain their anonymity.

On top of that, the Chancellor wants to cut the tax that the rich do actually pay. The scrapping of the 50 per cent tax rate would be a disgrace and an insult to the poor and the vulnerable.

PCS supports the emphasis on green manufacturing and, alongside our sister unions, the CWU and the TSSA, produced the One Million Climate Jobs NOW! pamphlet, a considered and costed programme to create jobs and invest in industry which can also transform our economy into environmental sustainability.

The announcements today regarding the restructuring of the banks will not put things right. Our economy has to shift away from its dangerous over-reliance on a deregulated and risky finance sector. We need state-controlled banks which act and invest in the public interest. They should not invest in what produces the highest returns for an already super-rich elite but what creates a return for our communities.

Congress, did we nationalise the banks in the bail-out or did we just privatise public money? If we allow the same bankers to run our banks and economy again, how can we reduce inequality, how can we get investment in jobs and how can we stop the tax avoidance schemes which deprive us of the revenue to invest in decent public services and welfare for all?

Achieving our aims, a just economy, a more equal society and full employment requires us to be bold. That is why PCS is pleased to support Composite 4. (Applause)

Maria Exall (Communication Workers Union) supported Composite Motion 4. She said: Free market liberalisation has been in force in our sector since the 1980s in telecom and since the 1990s in post. Yes, we agree with this composite; there is a major change in direction needed.

In the post, we have seen worse services for the customer and massive job losses, all set to accelerate if privatisation goes ahead. In telecoms, the boom industry of the late 20th century, there has been a great expansion of services, but the development of an infrastructure fit for the UK economy and society is held back by the liberal competitive model. Long-term investment has suffered, but nowhere more so than in the quality and spread of broadband and super-fast broadband.

We have called for greater government intervention to secure comprehensive coverage. The government need to consult with all the stakeholders to develop a proper strategy, a strategy that can deal with the digital divide which is becoming wider and wider in our society. We want a universal service obligation for broadband and we want Ofcom to have a duty to promote investment. We want investment of the 4G spectrum revenue back into the telecom sector and we want a requirement from employers in the telecom sector to provide workforce training - a bank of skills for the future. For all these reasons, we support an economic strategy which explores the benefits of taking back key drivers of economic growth into public ownership.

Further, any modern economy needs a financial services sector, but one which supports the real economy and job creation. The signs of the 2008 global crash and recession were apparent in the early 2000s. Do you remember the dot com bubble? Do you remember the collapse of WorldCom and Enron? This happened because of a combination of fantasy economics and criminality.

Unfortunately, the fantasy and disconnection from reality continue. Every time George Osborne speaks on the ever-worsening monthly statistics and says that he is sticking to Plan A - that is 'A' for austerity - he provokes a private sector investment strike. The problem is not public sector debt; it is private sector stagnation.

Congress, there is an alternative. The apparent laws of competition and profit are actually irrational and inhuman and they are an ideological excuse for exploitation and greed. There is an alternative to cheap labour, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and social division, which is democratic control and public ownership. That delivers better services. Rational planning and investment deliver better working lives for all. Industry must serve the people and not enslave them. Support Composite 4. Thank you.

Anita Halpin (National Union of Journalists) spoke in support of Composite Motion 4. She said: President, Congress, it has been said in a book which has been read by millions, 'The last shall be first.' I would like, first, to put on record that the NUJ is pleased to support Composite 4. It has taken a long time for this movement of ours to adopt an alternative economic strategy.

But I want to return to paragraph 1.7 which is what you might call a campaigning strategy, as I am sure Brendan would agree. It is a very strong statement with a very strong introduction and, yes, the fight must go on.

Brendan, our resources include our members. We may be best served, as we will debate later in the week, by you coordinating action, helping us to work and allowing us to express solidarity. That is the next debate on union rights.

However, you did allude to the fact - I will summarise the last paragraph - that the General Council has in mind that in addition to its normal affiliation fees adjustment, it would levy (my word, not yours) an additional 10p per member per year.

Lots of big unions make up the membership of this TUC, but the great majority are smaller specialist unions like my own. For me, as treasurer of my union, £3,000 a year (which is what the 10p poll tax, to coin a phrase, might be what we are asked to pay) would give me a lot of leaflets for my colleagues at the BBC, who have already had two days out in striking against cuts and for security. They will obviously be taking action on pensions as and when appropriate. It would certainly be a lot of money for my members at South Yorkshire, who have just gone back after 55 days of striking. It is only now that management are prepared to talk to them.

Last year, Brendan, you proposed this smaller Congress in alternate years - and you can have your say on that later - but it is important that the TUC is going to be able to fulfil the primary purpose of promoting trade unionism. You said that by saving money, you would be able to put more resources into recruitment, organising and those sorts of campaigns. It has to be the sort of campaign that we are talking about with 'All Together; it is going to be a fight to the death.'

All I am saying on behalf of the NUJ, and maybe on behalf of some other smaller unions like my own, is that in October, when the General Council has a mind to consider the levy of 10p next year and the year after, could it also give consideration to the money that the smaller unions might be able to better use to maximise their resources as a movement? This is not meant to be a negative point, but I felt that it was something that somebody had to say.

We look forward to seeing each other and mobilising for whatever comes next. Maybe some of the money that we save will allow us to mobilise even better. I thank you for your time and I know the General Council will give it consideration. (Applause)

* The General Council Statement was ADOPTED

* Composite Motion 4 was CARRIED

Independent Commission on Banking

The President: I call now Motion 26, Independent Commission on Banking. The General Council supports the motion.

Ged Nichols (Accord) moved Motion 26. He said: Today is a critical day for the future of our country, not just for the economic future but for the social and moral fabric of our society too. The publication today of report of the Independent Commission on Banking provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to learn the lessons of the financial crisis of 2007/08.

Before I talk about the ICB's recommendations to the government, let me take this opportunity to remind you of the impact of the failures of successive governments and financial regulators to impose methods to restrain greed and short-termism in the boardrooms of some of our largest financial institutions.

The bailing out of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, where the majority of my members work, cost UK taxpayers billions of pounds and pushed our country into massive debts and years of severe economic hardship. This has led to savage cuts in frontline public services, policing, healthcare and our armed forces, to name but a few, to the detriment of our society as a whole, hitting the most vulnerable and those least able to cope the hardest. It has also led to redundancies and reduced terms and conditions of employment. Those of you from unions representing people in the professions know full well that this is no fault of the workforce.

Public sector employees and those who depend upon the services they provide are rightly angry and they are paying the price for boardroom greed and incompetence. Let us also recognise that over 150,000 bank employees have lost their jobs since 2008, 30,000 of them in the Lloyds Banking Group alone. Bank staff are just as angry and bitter about the failures of their bosses, politicians and regulators as everyone else, perhaps even more so since those who still have jobs in a once-respected profession have seen it dragged through the mud and become a badge of shame rather than a badge of honour.

Accord's response to the Independent Commission on Banking's interim report focused upon three key strands that we thought were essential if banking was to be rehabilitated and society protected from a disastrous repeat of the financial crisis that we are still enduring. The first was to ring-fence retail banking away from investment banking. Secondly, banking needed to be based on professional advice rather than on a sales culture. Thirdly, there needed to be a greater focus on the need for a cultural change in banks since if the focus is merely on structures then the necessary lessons will not be learned and the seeds of the next financial crisis will be sown.

The report of the ICB today is welcome in so far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. It is welcome that the ICB has recommended a strict ring-fence between retail and investment banking. This hopefully means that never again will UK taxpayers have to bail out City bankers who constantly preach that they are risk-takers and wealth-creators but in reality they have socialised risk for privatised profit.

It is welcome that the ICB appears to have recognised that competition in the banking sector is determined by more than how many branches a particular bank may have. In particular, I believe that the Lloyds Banking Group should not have to sell off more branches than those already stipulated by the European Commission.

However, I am very disappointed that, on first reading, there does not appear to be recognition of the need to change the culture within UK banks and a core belief that the TUC should urge the government to focus more on changing the bank culture. What our country and our people need are decent banks, charging decent prices, doing decent things, serving our communities, serving customers and not foisting unwanted products upon them, supporting small and medium-sized businesses, making reparations to our society and to our economy for the damage that they have inflicted, helping to build a better Britain and, in doing so, providing decent work, secure jobs, fair rewards and dignity at work for their employees. (Applause)

Gail Cartmail (Unite) seconded Motion 26. She said: There was a lot riding on the outcome of the Vickers' Report, but we are not surprised that the banking lobby put pressure on the Independent Commission on Banking and the government to kick it into the long grass.

The banking lobby are masters of smokescreen and banks should be held to account and face appropriate penalties for their failures to increase lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and to curb bonuses under Project Merlin. Yet instead, what we have heard today are dire warnings of the consequences for the economy and a mass exodus of companies if the proposals go ahead.

Whatever the outcome, it is the workforce that is bearing, and will continue to bear, the brunt. As has been said, 150,000 jobs have been slashed across the sector since the start of the crisis in 2008. Workers face an increase in the pace, volume and intensity of work with fewer people to deliver it and to cope with the very often stressed-out customers.

Regulatory overhaul should improve professional standards, confidence and trust, but these changes will do nothing to tackle the workload or intense scrutiny that the workforce is under which has led to an increase in workers involved in performance improvement plans, who then face disciplinary processes on grounds of performance. Also, there is still no movement to close the appalling gender pay gap of 50 per cent in the industry, as exposed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The drive for sales has not gone away. Sales targets continue to be an issue for our members. As long as remuneration policies are linked to sales targets, the potential will remain for future misselling scandals like the personal protection insurance.

The Vickers' report, as has already been said, missed a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference to those of us who deserve change for the better. The suggestion to create firewalls in 2019 will bring immediate uncertainty to workers across the sector. This morning, Sir John Vickers did not dissent from the assertion that the cost to the industry of these changes is roughly equivalent to the top bankers' bonuses. Nor can we help but notice that the Robin Hood transaction tax which we all support would represent a fraction of this cost.

We demand that the unbridled greed of bosses is curbed and the workforce protected from paying for the price of reform. (Applause)

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): President, Congress, let me reiterate the General Council's support for the Accord motion and its call for higher professional standards and proper staffing levels throughout the banking industry.

The General Council recognises the importance of this report by the Sir John Vickers' Commission, which is being published today, although, of course, we will need time to look at the detail. However, the initial strong impression is that it is merely tinkering around the edges of what is one of our central economic problems.

It goes without saying that we need safe banks so that we avoid a repetition of the 2008 crash and the colossal taxpayer bail-outs which followed. We need clear, strong, ring-fencing between investment and high street banking and tougher capital requirements too. These reforms need to be made as soon as practicable. They should not become victims of the special interest pleading by the bankers whose sole interest is to return to business and bonuses as usual.

In a sense, the Vickers' Commission was asked the wrong question because the bigger issue is not just how we make the banks safer, crucial though that is, but how we make them useful. How do we get the financial system to drive investment and create jobs? How do we support businesses in the real economy? How do we get responsible credit flowing again?

We want our banks to become like utilities, supporting ordinary working people and the real wealth-creators in our economy, namely, manufacturing and communications, the creative industries. They may be businesses which do not deliver an immediate fast buck or a quick return on investment but potentially deliver lasting economic value. With growth stalling, confidence on the floor and a double dip looming, we need a proper debate and radical thinking on how our banks can help us rebuild our economy in the long term.

Let us make the two banks which are part-owned by the taxpayer work on behalf of the public at last. Let us set up a proper green investment bank, free from Treasury restrictions, which has the financial clout to nurture the low carbon industries of the future. Let us think about a national investment bank and regional banks to support growth and jobs where they are needed most.

Congress, the kind of banking system we have is absolutely fundamental to the kind of economy that we have. For three decades, neo-liberalism allowed the banks to float free from the interests of the real economy with the catastrophic results that we have all seen. In the years ahead, we have to make the banks start working for us. If we can do that then we can lay down stronger foundations for a fairer economy. Thank you for listening. (Applause)

* Motion 26 was CARRIED

Trade union rights

The President: We now turn to Chapter 2 and Composite Motion 1, Trade union rights. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Len McCluskey (Unite) moved Composite Motion 1.

He said: Sisters and brothers, this debate could be a ritual. Every year we unanimously vote for the compromise and then we get on with working within laws which we do not really expect to change. Congress, it is past the time that we took a different approach.

This composite makes clear what is needed. Let me read you just one sentence: 'Congress calls on the TUC to develop an industrial strategy of resistance so that workers are not left to fight alone against draconian laws and exploiting bosses.' What does 'resistance' mean? It means learning from the student movement's struggles to support decent education and from the young people of UK Uncut taking direct action. It means building on the impetus of the magnificent trade union demonstration March for the Alternative in March, the biggest in our history. It means learning from our best fighting traditions. It cannot mean meekly accepting the laws as they stand.

Unite has spent enough time going in and out of court arguing for the basic right of employees to collectively withdraw their labour at British Airways and elsewhere. Of course we must win the argument for trade union rights and use the language of fairness and freedom which resonates with those who are not our members. Let us remind people that trade unions are a power for good. From the abolition of child labour to the family-friendly policies of today, our movement has always stood on the side of the angels.

Our problems today are with the Tory/LibDem pantomime horse which is flirting with new anti-trade union laws, but it would be dishonest of us to pretend that this is not in some measure a bipartisan problem. The fact that we have come to the end of 13 years of a Labour government with the Thatcher laws still in place is a stain on Labour's record and a betrayal of its historic mission and purpose, spelt out by Brendan this morning, of advancing working people's rights. (Applause)

I welcome Ed Miliband's identification with trade union values. They are values which are shared, incidentally, by the majority of British people. However, we want to see empathy turned into policy, Ed, and a clear understanding that the next Labour government will recognise the value to our society of free trade unions and legislate accordingly.

Today, as the composite makes clear, the Bullingdon Bolsheviks in government are threatening to bring in still further laws to attack free trade unionism. They should be careful. My message to the government is this: push us outside of the law and you will be responsible for the consequences. We will bring Wisconsin to Westminster. Let it be clear, Prime Minister: we will not have our human rights taken away from us. Our movement does not speak for itself alone but for millions of decent people across the country who are not prepared to put up with more class legislation designed to make it harder for ordinary working people to stand up for themselves while the feral ruling class get away scot-free with their crimes. (Applause)

Congress, law is an essential thing for a civilised society but class law pushed through a Parliament full of expense cheats, by a cobbled-together coalition which no one voted for, is not going to paralyse me and it should not paralyse our movement.

In finishing, Chair, let me ask this question. Why should the working people of Britain (a country which has sometimes stood alone in the cause of freedom and democracy) enjoy fewer rights and freedoms than our brothers and sisters in France and Germany? How can that be right? Our rights, including the right to organise and struggle together for a better life for ordinary working people, are not the gifts of ministers and judges. They are ours to assert with confidence in the justness of our cause and our strength to secure it. (Cheers and applause)

Paul Kenny (GMB) seconded Composite Motion 1.

He said: We live in a country where politicians and media moguls talk about freedom. They talk about it with such self-righteous passion that it would bring a tear to a glass eye. For so many of those dinner party evangelists what they really mean is a world away from the civil and political freedoms that this movement champions.

The TUC is no Johnny-come-lately to the demand for an end to repressive regimes across the globe. There are no excuses for protecting our exports and arms sales to avoid criticising regimes who torture their citizens and attack trade unions and civil groups. What is all this to do with our government and our country? It is the hypocrisy of their double standards.

Ministers admit that the right to strike is a basic human right and freedom, but they then threaten to outlaw or seek to frustrate that same right if you dare to exercise it. This is at a time and in a country where employment and trade union rights are shackled and abused to an incredible level.

This trade union movement has much to be proud of. Its values of decency, respect, tolerance and liberty have never wavered or been subject to the twists and turns of fashion. Would society really view homophobia or racism with the same disgust had it not been for trade union campaigns? I doubt it. On pensions, social housing, equality, tax benefits and health and safety, trade unions have campaigned and fought for social, political and industrial change when politicians and press barons called us loony or wreckers.

Our trade union movement has beliefs built on the experience of millions of working people. I am proud of my union and I am also proud of all of yours. We campaign for others to benefit. We are not threats to freedom but to greed, exploitation and hate. That is why our ability to defend and promote the interests of working people by industrial action is feared by the CBI, political elites and employers who see their workforces as little more than compliant tools.

As Tory and Labour governments over the last 30 years introduced or maintained the anti-worker legislation, we carried on, adapted, hoped for better and tried to continue to protect people at work. We have had to deal with judges, union-busting firms, legal inducements and victimisation, but a line in the sand has now been drawn. More anti-union laws are being threatened, no doubt on the back of public sector workers fighting to save their pensions, jobs and our services, a fight about to be joined by millions of others.

Bad laws have to be broken. Civil disobedience in protest at the erosion of civil liberties and freedoms has a place in our history. Let us be proud of what we have done, what we do and most of all what we will be prepared to do in order to protect and reinstate the freedom to organise working people for social justice. If we cannot do that, what is our purpose? If we do not fight to protect our health service and our futures then who will? In the months ahead, we will be assaulted on all sides by business, political parties and the media, but so be it. The freedom to organise, defend and protect the right to strike are not abstract phrases from the past but a living values.

The President: Could you wind up, Paul, please?

Paul Kenny: I will do. I am well wound up, actually! (Laughter) Millions of people, inside and outside of trade unions, can and will fight. If going to prison is the price to pay for standing up to bad laws, then so be it. As long as I do not have to share a cell with some expense-fiddling MP, I will put my name in the frame. To those who say that the time is not right or people are not ready, I say that the clock has stopped. Let us make it clear: we will give politicians the biggest campaign for civil disobedience that their tiny little minds could ever imagine. I am happy to second. (Applause)

John Rimmer (NASUWT) supported Composite Motion 1. He said: Congress, over the last 16 months, working people in this country have been subjected to a relentless attack by the coalition government. No part of a working person's life has been left untouched. Regulation and good practice guidance has been ignored, pay has been frozen, the value of pensions reduced, working conditions worsened and thousands of jobs lost. Safety at work has been seriously compromised. Justified protests have been met with threats to further reduce trade union rights, remove the facility of those who represent workers and to restrict access to justice by creating even higher hurdles for abused employees to seek redress.

Where regulations have remained untouched, the coalition has created a climate where employers act with impunity, flouting the law at the expense of workers' rights. When the government issued its declaration of war - its open assault on workers' rights with the Employer's Charter - it signalled open season for the employers to please themselves and ride roughshod over our country's workforce.

The coalition's declaration that Britain is open for business has created conditions where employers are able to sack workers during the first two years of their employment, employers are exempt from a wide range of employment laws and reduced statutory sick pay. This is not Britain open for business; this is Britain up for exploitation and abuse.

Working people need more protection and representation than ever before. We need to be clear about this government's intent to attack trade union rights through even more regressive legislation - we have some of the most restrictive legislation in the western world - to remove our fundamental right to take industrial action. Many of our most important rights are enshrined in the International Labour Organisation's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, such as the freedom of association, the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Congress, these fundamental rights are under attack from the coalition government's intent to break trade unions. We are under siege from a government intent on maximising profits whilst working families suffer and workers' rights are obliterated. Congress, support Composite Motion 1 and show this capitalist government that Congress is determined to protect and defend all working people and all working families through effective trade union action. (Applause)

Loraine Monk (University and College Union) supported Composite Motion 1. She said: The trade union movement was built on the ideal of the rights of people - the right to work, the right to be freed from wage slavery, the right to association, the right to free speech and the right to express our dissatisfaction by demonstration.

Public demonstrations forced the Tolpuddle Martyrs to be pardoned and established the right to belong to a trade union over 170 years ago. The match workers' strike, the dockers' strike, the battles of Cable Street and demonstrations against the poll tax are all demonstrations which reflected the concerns of the people who fundamentally disagreed with the government of the day and whose actions led to change.

With a Parliamentary democracy which allows the vote only once in five years and a Parliament itself so remote from real people's lives, the right to protest is more important than ever. On December 10th, 2010, I stood with other lecturers and students unable to get to Parliament to lobby against the rise in tuition fees, to object to the privatisation of education and to the end of the idea of education for all. We stood doing nothing by the Cenotaph in the cold and dark. There were no gangs, no hoodies and no children's monsters conjured up by the tabloids. It was just young and old people standing together for education.

We were charged at by the mounted police. They thundered down Trafalgar Square pushing us onto the other police lines which barred the way to Parliament. They did not care who was hurt. Like many other people that day caught up in the violence, I complained but was told that the Police Reform Act 2002 excludes any complaint related to the direction and control of a police force by the chief officer or anyone under his delegated authority. In other words, whatever the police do to innocent protesters on any day of protest cannot be investigated or challenged.

This is reminiscent of totalitarian regimes which allow no criticism. The letter began by saying that the Metropolitan Police wanted feedback to reflect on the ways in which they could - wait for this - 'improve their service delivery'. Well, on their service delivery, they should stop trying to beat us into submission. My feedback is that the police should uphold the right to peaceful protest. The government must not harass and kettle protesters under the pretence of security. Finally, we must repeal the section of the Police Reform Act 2002 which stops the actions of a chief officer or anyone else being called into question and being held to account for their disgraceful harassment of innocent protesters and brutality against young people, many of whom were marching for the first time in their lives on that day.

Make no mistake, it is the government which is to blame. We must resist any use of the police to suppress the discontent of the people. We must defend our hard-won rights and our hard-won welfare state. We must defend the right to protest. Congress, I move. (Applause)

Michelle Stanistreet (National Union of Journalists) spoke in support of Composite 1. She said: Just last week Rupert Murdoch wrote a letter in News Corporation's annual report and spoke of the major black eye the company has received from the phone hacking scandal. I can think of many who may like to dispense rather more than a black eye to the man ultimately responsible for the cynical closure of a newspaper in a desperate act of damage limitation, not least the 280 staff who lost their jobs, and the scores more freelancers and casuals whose incomes were slashed overnight.

Murdoch went on to say, as he did at the infamous Parliamentary hearing, that this episode has been the most humbling of his career, yet with his actions it is clear that he lacks humility now just as he did 25 years ago when he used the full force of his influence brutally to break the unions with the backing of the courts, the police, and the government, as instruments of his will. Murdoch did Thatcher's dirty work then and in his wake came many more employers hell-bent on keeping unions out. Murdoch's reward was a loophole in the UK recognition laws to use his puppet News International Staff Association as a mechanism to block unions seeking recognition. Journalists who have been made redundant or summarily dismissed since the News of the World closure have found out to their peril just how seamless the links between the company and their staff association really are. Journalists at Wapping have been denied the collective protection and representation of an independent trade union for decades. There is a clear parallel between the effect of union-busting and the moral vacuum that has been allowed to grown up at News International. Collective trade union representation is a moral human right and it is high time Murdoch was forced to let the NUJ back in. The NUJ code of conduct governs all our members and is at the heart of what we stand for as a union. It is high time that journalists had the right to a conscience clause in law so that when they stand up for a principle of journalistic ethics they have a protection against being dismissed.

Far from being humbled, Murdoch's lies keep coming. Ever since the hacking scandal broke the blame has been squarely placed on anyone but those closest to Murdoch, not just for the culture and for the unethical practice but for the carefully woven cover-up. For the hundreds of ordinary journalists sacrificed it is the end of a career, the loss of their livelihoods, and reputational damage on a scale that no one can yet quantify, whilst those at the top get away with impunity. Rebekah Brooks' eventual resignation came with a huge pay-off, a chance to travel the world on Rupert's tab, and the promise of another job when this blows over. We now know that Andy Coulson was taking Murdoch's shilling even when he was installed in Downing Street, and James Murdoch presided over the cover-up pushing the lie that this scandal was the actions of a single rogue reporter, a lie that only emerged with the revelation that the phone of Mersey teenager, Milly Dowler, had been hacked and her messages listened to and deleted. So, the absence of genuine humility and lack of personal responsibility could not be clearer when Murdoch says: 'The behaviour carried out by some employees of the News of the World is unacceptable and does not represent who we are as a company. It went against everything that I stand for.'

We believe that this scandal shows exactly what Rupert Murdoch and his sidekicks stand for: power at all costs, contempt for our politicians and our police who fell over themselves to do his bidding, and an interest in journalism and the media only because it furthers his commercial influence. This is another Wapping moment in our history. We want Congress to lead the way and ensure that we right the wrongs of union-busting at News International, that we deliver union recognition back to the union, and that ethical journalism is protected from the bosses with the introduction in law of a conscience clause. Please support the motion. (Applause)

Steve Gillan (POA) supported Composite 1.

He said: In what should have been a celebration, the 50th anniversary this year with regards to the signing of the European Social Charter which heralded member states and their citizens the social rights with which to improve their standard of living and social wellbeing, unfortunately, it did not extend as far as Great Britain. The reality is that since the Thatcher anti-trade union laws came in we have some of the most restrictive laws in Europe. Unfortunately, and let's be absolutely clear about this, it is not just a past Conservative government or this coalition government, a Labour government had every opportunity to get rid of the anti-trade union laws in this country, and they did not. They abandoned decent hardworking workers. To restrict them in this way is shameful.

In supporting Composite 1 my union knows only too well about the restrictions. We have been restricted since 1994 under the Criminal Justice Public Order Act, section 127, which makes it illegal for prison officers to take any form of industrial action. Unfortunately, governments do not look at trade unions as the solution to many problems; they see us as the problem. We have made applications to the International Labour Organisation in respect of the restrictions that we have. In many cases the ILO has come back and said where the government have chosen to restrict the POA, and prison officers, under the guise of essential services, then they should have adequate compensatory mechanisms for resolving pay and industrial relations matters. That has not happened. Since 1994, we have been deprived of that. In actual fact, you could say where others have collective bargaining, we have collective begging. That is the reality.

I am pleased to say that this week the POA will be lodging our case with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the right to strike, and I would like to thank John Hendy QC for assisting us with that application. Speaking in support of the composite, we have some of the most anti-trade union legislation in Europe. I will make it absolutely clear on behalf of the POA that if it is the will of our members, irrespective of the law, and they wish to protect themselves against any government who are tampering with their pensions or the collective bargaining issues and want to take action, then we will defy the law and take that action. Thank you. (Applause)

Glenroy Watson (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) supported Composite 1.

He said: Good morning, President. Good morning, Congress. Comrades, we must be very clear when we are confronted, as the mover has said, by people who do not agree with us. What we are faced with - this is the reality - is that those who are demanding another way, their way, about the consultation of our members, speak from a point of hypocrisy. We must not be shy about that.

The reality is that with many of the people who are trying to have a go at the trade union movement about the way in which we consult our members on industrial action, when we compare the means by which they have gained power, we know it does not reflect or represent anybody. The reality is that we are governed in this country by a group of people who have no mandate. Their position was never put to the country. This is a coalition of convenience. This is a condemned coalition. How dare they raise that spectre to us.

When we see the behaviour of people such as the Mayor of London trying to challenge the work that we are doing to defend our members' jobs, we realise that we are faced with hypocrisy and we have to challenge these people. We have to say that we are the only ones where, for every policy and every action that we take, we go back to the members to seek their views. We do not act in a way that lacks even the basic consultation after we have been elected. So, where do they come from? The reality, comrades, is that if we were getting it wrong, if we were not representing our members, if we were not taking effective action against these attacks on our members, they would not care.

It is because we are successful, it is because we are doing the right thing and it is because the members are defending and acting on behalf of what we are doing that hypocrisy is actually raising its head. Support Composite 1 and let's actually ensure that we speak with strength and power. Thank you, comrades. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 1 was CARRIED

The government's deregulation agenda

The President: I call Composite Motion 2, The government's deregulation agenda. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Paddy Lillis (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) moved Composite 2. He said: Congress, employment rights and basic regulations covering the workplace are at the heart of getting a decent deal for workers. These rights include employment rights, such as the right to go to a tribunal over unfair dismissal, the right to be consulted over redundancies, the right to have terms and conditions protected if your business is transferred to another employer. It also includes rules over health and safety and the protection of equality and anti-discrimination legislation. All this is now under threat. The Tory-led coalition is starting to make the case for sweeping changes to individual and collective employment rights.

Earlier this year the government launched a so-called Red Tape Challenge. The government say they wants to tackle over-regulation, reduce bureaucracy, and cut red tape, but in reality it is an attack on workers' employment rights, it is about reducing the rules and regulations that employers have to comply with. What the Tories mean by red tape is the existence of basic rights for people at work. Only last week reports emerged that David Cameron wants to look at the agency workers' regulations. The government seem to blame basic employment rights as being in some way responsible for the slow economic recovery. They are wrong. The economic downturn was not caused by excess regulation but by unregulated financial markets. There is no evidence that deregulation creates jobs. Fair regulation should be an essential part of a modern economy, a key element of a modern labour market.

Scrapping employment laws will do great damage to the United Kingdom workplaces and the rights and safety of workers. Scrapping employment laws will do greater damage to workplaces and all rights. The workers who will suffer the most will be the low paid and the most vulnerable in society. Congress, employment rights and workplace regulations exist to offer workers a basic protection while at work and it will be the worst employers who will benefit most from the deregulation. The United Kingdom is one of the least regulated labour markets amongst the developed countries and the Tory-led coalition is seeking to target and erode the minimal rights that workers have at work.

How do we respond to the challenge? Earlier this year as part of the Red Tape Challenge the government announced a review of Sunday and Christmas Day trading hours. We encouraged USDAW members and reps up and down the country to respond to the consultation. They did respond in their thousands and brought down the website. In fact, Vince Cable said at the British Retail Consortium Conference that the Red Tape Challenge on trading hours had backfired and that workers who wanted regulation were bombarding the website and making their voices heard.

Congress, deregulation is a major threat. We have to respond to that challenge and there may be many different ways for the trade union movement to make its voice heard. We need to mobilise trade union members to get involved and, if necessary, continue to bombard government online consultations, such as the Red Tape Challenge. We need to get the message across loud and clear that workers want more employment rights and they want strong regulation in the workplace. We need to make the case for rules and regulations in the workplace. We need to lobby for workers' rights, we need to campaign for employment rights, and we need to raise the challenge when the Tories and their Lib-Dem friends start making the case for deregulation. Thank you. (Applause)

Ged Nichols (Accord) seconded Composite 2.

He said: To describe legislation that provides basic protection for vulnerable workers as red tape and a burden on business is, frankly, dishonest and pathetic. If you run a business, then you have to accept the responsibilities that go with it. Good employers know that treating workers well brings rewards. Well-treated workers are more productive and more likely to stay, cutting costs on litigation and recruitment.

One of the many troubles with this government is that they swallow all the business whingeing and look at employment legislation from the wrong end of the telescope. In fact, the reality is that the number of cases in the tribunals each year is a tiny proportion of the total UK workforce and, in any case, if all employers operated like the good ones it would do much more to reduce the rate of litigation than illiberal attempts to deny justice to workers who have been badly treated.

The disgraceful Employers' Charter was supposed to reassure employers that they could sack people quite easily and that therefore no changes to legislation were required. It backfired and backfired completely, partly because it was wildly inaccurate and misleading but also because it was a licence from the government to treat employees badly, which no fair-minded employer would want to do. A responsible government should be focusing on how to enforce employment law more effectively, as the previous government was doing, and give proper funding to ACAS and the Health & Safety Executive, and other statutory bodies, rather than setting up feeble gimmicks like the Red Tape Challenge. They should acknowledge that real evidence that regulation does not hurt business or damage the economy does not exist. I second. (Applause)

Leslie Manasseh (Prospect) supported Composite 2.

He said: I want to address specifically the proposed changes which affect access to employment tribunals. The agenda is very clear here. The government want fewer ET cases and so, probably, do we, but instead of considering how to moderate the conduct of employers which gives rise to those cases in the first instance, the strategy is to make it harder for workers to have their case heard. As ever the assumption is that too many workers are making unjustified claims rather than too many employers are treating people unfairly and unlawfully.

The facts simply do not bear this out. Of course, there are examples of poor and opportunistic cases but these are a very small minority. In virtually all cases employment tribunals are the very last resort for a worker when all else has failed. There are plenty of existing procedural safeguards which both encourage conciliation and prevent weak cases from taking up time unnecessarily. That is why almost 50 per cent of cases are settled before any hearing takes place.

Of course, the devil is in the detail. Some of the proposals in isolation can be portrayed as relatively minor but taken together they constitute a major attack on the right of workers to get redress for unfair treatment; none of them works to the benefit of the claimant, all of them tilt the balance further in favour of the employer. It is deliberate, it is calculated and it is carefully thought out. As Ged said, treating people fairly at work is not a burden on business, it is a basic right that should be at the heart of any civilised society and it is a right that needs to be enforced.

The UK already has one of the most lightly regulated employment markets in Europe. Reducing access to employment tribunals will further erode such rights that exist and put a price on them that will hit the most vulnerable workers the hardest. For example, increasing the length of service threshold to two years for unfair dismissal claims will disproportionately hit black and minority ethnic workers who are more likely than white workers to have less than two years' service.

Here is an idea. One straightforward way for the government to reduce the number of employment tribunal cases is to encourage workers to join a trade union. Our early intervention in workplace problems is the best, quickest and cheapest way of resolving them. Of course, the real intention is not to resolve problems, it is to prevent them being heard and in so doing give employers even more licence to ignore basic and fair employment standards. Please support. (Applause)

Andy Kerr (Communication Workers Union) supported Composite 2. He said: Congress, the composite is absolutely essential in taking a stand against the government's deregulation agenda and defending the hard-won rights of workers throughout the UK economy. I want to focus in particular on the situation facing temporary agency workers who form one of the most vulnerable sections of the UK workforce.

The CWU and other TUC-affiliated unions have campaigned hard for equal rights for agency workers for many years in a determination to bring about change, and play a critical role in the adoption of the EU Temporary Agency Workers Directive in 2008. This directive is due to be implemented into UK law under the Agency Workers Regulations coming into force on 1st October 2011. Whilst the forthcoming regulations will create new rights for agency workers, we have serious concerns that they contain a number of weaknesses, which mean that many agency workers will not receive equal treatment intended under the EU Directive. One problem area is that regulations allow for an opt-out, which means that agency workers on a permanent contract with an agency and in receipt of pay between assignments are exempt from equal pay. If agencies move their workers to permanent contracts with a minimum of pay for one hour a week between assignments, they can avoid paying them equally with permanent employees. Agencies are already applying this tactic to avoid equal treatment.

If the Agency Workers Regulations are implemented to protect agency workers as the EU Directive set out to do, they need strengthening, as does the government's guidance to employers. In particular, they must properly enshrine the government's obligation under the EU Directive to prevent misuse in the application of the principle of equal treatment for agency workers. There is real concern where reports in the press this week suggest the Prime Minister has sought legal advice on watering down the forthcoming Agency Workers Regulations. Whilst this raises serious alarm bells, it nevertheless typifies the government's general approach and demonstrates that we must campaign hard both to strengthen and to resist any weakening of employment rights. Congress, I ask you wholeheartedly to support Composite 2. Thank you. (Applause)

Dave Allen (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) supported Composite 2. He said: When the government talks about deregulation and employment law they mean only one thing, giving companies greater power to get rid of workers while avoiding any kind of natural justice. The government's proposals are a sacker's charter. The claims that this is being done to encourage companies to hire staff is completely false, with no grounds whatsoever. The reason companies are not hiring more workers is not because employment laws are too strict, it is simply because government policies have stalled the economic recovery. Rather than looking to take workers on, many companies are laying people off.

UCATT operates in an industry where half the workers are officially self-employed or are forced to work under the banner of bogus self-employment with no rights at all. Even if you are directly employed the nature of the industry means that contracts are often shorter than a year. Many workers in the construction industry spend the majority of their working lives without any employment rights. Frequently, we find cases of workers who have worked with the same company employer for many years but do not even have a written contract. It is a scandal and an outrage that workers in a so-called fair society that is supposed to have equality for all are treated in this manner. To suggest that by extending the unfair dismissal rules from one year to two years will result in more construction workers being recruited is the logic of a simpleton. It is the argument being made by a government which is entirely out of touch with all reality, a government that does not know and does not care how industries operate.

Congress, it is entirely right that we should be opposing these policies. We must fight them all the way. Cutting employment rights will cause increased employment insecurity for all. As a movement we need to be fighting harder to ensure that in future all workers have employment rights and that they cannot be undermined by false self-employment or evasion attempts by employers. We need to send a clear message to this government to ensure that the hire and fire culture of employers who exploit workers is ended once and for all. Thank you. (Applause)

Iain Loughran (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) supported Composite 2. He said: The CSP wish to highlight our particular concerns about the government's proposals to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one year's service up to two years' service. This change would result in up to three million workers in the UK having a significant cut in their employment rights and as appears standard with this government's agenda it is those least able to afford it who will have to pay. It is young workers, female workers and workers from ethnic minority backgrounds who are much more likely to have less than two years' service and would be unable to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. That means if you are dismissed by a bullying boss, or on competence grounds with no investigation, or just before you reach your two years' service, then that dismissal will be fair. Although we know it certainly is not fair, we will not be able to challenge it any more. That does seem very unfair.

We know it is costly to take legal action; it costs time, it costs money, and it is very stressful for all involved, but we all know it is a vital part of maintaining good employment rights for all of our members. As union reps and as members we work hard on resolving disputes in the workplace to avoid unnecessary legal action, hard work that saves the public sector up to £400m a year. We will keep working hard to resolve disputes, especially those that affect the most vulnerable in society, and we will keep fighting hard to protect employment rights, especially the ones that protect the most vulnerable in society, and I hope we will start now by supporting this composite motion. Thank you. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 2 was CARRIED

Vulnerable and atypical workers

The President: Now I call Motion 10, Vulnerable and atypical workers. The General Council supports the motion.

Luke Crawley (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) moved Motion 10.

He said: The amended motion lists the workers covered by this motion. All of these workers are groups that are ripe for trade union recruitment. All of these workers have been increasing in number in the workplace and unscrupulous employers use them to reduce their costs at the expense of the workers' rights. The motion refers to them as 'vulnerable' because they often feel they have little or no power to protest at their treatment or to join with others in the workplace to try and improve their position. They are atypical because they do not fit easily into the neat definition of someone directly employed by a company and paid at least the national minimum wage for a defined number of hours per week.

BECTU, one of the biggest unions in broadcasting, has thousands of freelance members engaged in a variety of contracts working on film, TV production, and increasingly in theatres. We have members engaged through agencies. We have members engaged who are self-employed. We have all kinds of workers, many of whom could be classed as atypical. Our main focus on vulnerable workers in the media is to try and help those who are new to the world of work, those who are most easily exploited because of their ambition to work in the media. Employers take them on as interns, so called, and pay them little, often nothing. We have been campaigning for several years and have successfully taken cases to employment tribunals. Most recently we made use of the new HM Revenue & Customs complaint procedure. Our member was taken on as a runner/driver working on a film production for expenses only. He came to us when they would not even pay his expenses. The HMRC complaints procedure worked. Our member was awarded the national minimum wage for the hours that he worked, and expenses.

More recently, we launched a website. It is online at funded by the Union Learning Fund. Its main aim is to try and get the message across to young people who want to work in theatre, TV or film-making that they are workers and that they do have rights, and it provides information on training, insurance, health and safety, as well as suggesting to them they may consider the possibility of joining a trade union, and obviously we would like that to be BECTU. Our communications officer, Sharon Elliott, has done a great deal of work on that site and thanks are due to her. The site celebrates the drive and enthusiasm of those new to the industry whilst giving them the confidence to insist that they be paid for what they do, a novel concept for some young people, unfortunately. It also points out the benefits of joining a union, as I have already said. It was confirmed last week that HM Revenue & Customs will now be targeting the film and television industry as an area where this kind of practice is prevalent.

As I said at the beginning, these kinds of practices are becoming more and more widespread across many industries and this motion calls on the TUC to convene a meeting of interested unions to share their experiences. This is an area where unions could and should be recruiting and organising members. Support the proposition and help us to do that. Thank you. (Applause)

Jeff Broome (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) seconded Motion 10. He said: Congress, USDAW welcomes the motion from BECTU on vulnerable and atypical workers because as trade unionists protecting vulnerable workers is at the heart of what we do. We need to extend the protection of union membership to those who need it most. That is why it is important that the TUC continues to campaign on the issues of vulnerable and agency workers. Congress, we believe in fairness and we believe in giving everyone a voice at work. The trade union movement rightly welcomed the Agency Workers Regulations. These are important regulations which will deliver key new rights to many vulnerable workers. However, if these new rights are to deliver equal treatment we need to ensure there is effective enforcement, trade union representation for agency workers and trade union organisation of this group of vulnerable workers. Congress, without enforcement, representation and organisation, the new rights for equal treatment will fail to deliver for agency workers. This also has big implications on the core workforce because the continuing exploitation of vulnerable workers will undermine and erode the terms and conditions of the permanent workforce.

USDAW has launched its own agency workers campaign. Our aim is to ensure that agency staff know their rights and to organise agency workers to get equal treatment. We have successfully launched our new website, Unfair Ground, and have provided guidance and information for agency workers' reps and officials. We have also made good use of to reach out to this group of workers. We are winning the hearts and minds of trade union activists in the core workforce. We also understand the importance of attacking the exploitation of vulnerable workers and we all stand together. Congress, USDAW welcomes the TUC work on vulnerable workers, particularly the new Basic Rights at Work website, which will provide vulnerable workers with vital information. We need to work together to extend this work, in particular to organise vulnerable workers. Please support. Thank you for listening. (Applause)

Ravi Kurup (Public and Commercial Services Union) supported Motion 10. He said: Congress, I draw your attention to the second paragraph of this motion. This is not a new issue; PCS already had to deal with the issues of these new working practices many years ago. When the last government and the chancellor, Gordon Brown, mooted job cuts in the civil service we identified that such job cuts would lead to malpractices in the employment industry. Long ago we argued for the proper compliance of employers, gangmasters, the minimum wage and stringent enforcement.

Job cuts in the civil service have made it impossible to police the rogue employers who are spreading the use of atypical employment practices. For example, HMRC is responsible for the compliance of employment, self-employment and companies paying the minimum wage, whereas Defra has the responsibility for gangmasters, and the Health & Safety Executive for health and safety laws. The fact is an atypical worker is actually a failure of the regulatory process. The government departments have lost the workers and when the migrant workers are coming in in large numbers, coupled with the loss of jobs, we are unable to regulate the practices. Whilst we campaign for stronger action against atypical workers we must also campaign against job cuts in the civil service. For example, if you do not have enough inspectors to look at the issues of employment, self-employment, the status of migrant workers, the companies who bring in malpractices, the minimum wage or people who smuggle human beings into the UK, then what happens is that people will suffer at the end of the day. The poor people suffer.

What I am asking you to do is this. Whilst you support this motion you must also fight the job cuts in the civil service because of the regulatory processes. Any motion you pass will not come to fruition because you need people to enforce the regulations. Without regulations poor people will not get justice. Therefore, a stitch in time will save nine. It is time for us to put up a fight against job cuts and support the poor migrant workers. Thank you. (Applause)

* Motion 10 was CARRIED

Payroll companies

The President: I now call Motion 11, Payroll companies. The General Council supports the motion.

George Guy (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) moved Motion 11. He said: Congress, UCATT has a wealth of experience in dealing with construction companies, subcontractors, agencies and the like. However, we have seen a shift in employment status over many years from direct employment to false self-employment. This type of work for many construction workers has seen the protection that employment legislation gives taken away. For instance, UCATT has since the introduction of the Working Time Regulations pursued, and continues to pursue, countless claims for holiday pay through employment tribunals where we have been extremely successful. However, in order to skate round such obligations industry has adopted new methods of employment, such as composite and umbrella companies, and in recent years payroll companies where individuals receive a contract of service as opposed to a contract of employment. The use and interpretation of these contracts has become more complex over the years.

The construction workers' entitlement to employment rights and protection, which many other workers take for granted, has been eroded. The shift to false self-employment within construction means that in excess of 50 per cent of workers are now engaged by this method. It is often the case that in order to gain employment workers reluctantly sign away their rights. Over the last couple of years we have seen a shift to payroll companies. These companies have absolutely nothing to do with construction, they put nothing into the industry, yet they make a tidy living from those working in it. They are what you would call parasites.

Let's just examine the role of a payroll company. The largest one I believe to be Hudson Contract Services, who say that their aim is to reduce the tax burden for over a thousand UK construction companies operating under the Construction Industry Tax Scheme. In one year alone they say they saved clients over £25m in employers' National Insurance contributions simply by the client placing the tax and employment law liabilities with them. Hudson claim to have contracted and paid over 75,000 individual construction workers under the construction industry tax scheme. In January this year the Daily Mirror's investigation exposed how companies and employment agencies through payroll companies can easily register workers as self-employed when in reality they are employees. By using the payroll companies to register workers as self-employed the companies concerned can avoid paying employers' National Insurance contributions. As the workers are officially classed as self-employed, they are denied even the most basic employment rights meaning that they could be sacked without notice or reason, they do not receive redundancy pay, holiday pay, sick pay, they do not have a pension entitlement, and in a perverse twist the workers themselves rather than the contractors they work for have to pay the payroll company for its services. The payroll companies need to deduct the flat rate fee of between £15 and £20, or a percentage of earnings, directly from the workers' pay. It simply cannot be that agencies or payroll companies can decide whether an individual is self-employed or not. That is clearly the role of the Revenue & Customs. At a time when this government is imposing massive cuts in public spending, it seems inconceivable that the money being lost to the Treasury in this manner goes unchallenged.

As a union we have met with the Revenue & Customs on a number of occasions and they too are growing concerned and alarmed, as we are, at the growth of payroll companies within industry in general. We have campaigned as a trade union for many years against the use of false self-employment. Every worker should be directly employed and covered by legislation, even though that legislation is the most basic legislation. The use of payroll companies is not confined to construction. Unfortunately, the practice which was once peculiar to our industry has now spread to others, including agriculture and, as the amendment to the motion refers, aviation. Most affiliates will at some time in the future be faced with the same problem. This situation clearly must be challenged and that is why we call upon the General Council to campaign actively for a change in the law which will prevent agencies or payroll companies dictating whether an individual is classified as self-employed. Congress, please support the motion. (Applause)

Jim McAuslan (British Air Line Pilots' Association) seconded Motion 11. He said: In an attempt to offload risk a growing number of employers are unfairly forcing pilots to register themselves as self-employed. This should be a concern to every passenger and every taxpayer in this country. Like many unions, we are concerned about workers who are to all intents and purposes employees but are forced to register themselves as self-employed. Perhaps the courts are waking up to this as the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Autoclenz Ltd. v Belcher found that the presence of a substitution clause previously seen as a knockout blow to prove that there was not a contract of employment was in fact an empty vessel. BALPA is encouraging fellow trade unionists and the TUC to use that judgment to launch a major attack on the abuse by employers of self-employed status.

BALPA's concern goes much wider than employment status. We believe that the practice goes against our own Civil Aviation Authority's regulations, which say that the employment of freelance flight crews may only be used in exceptional circumstances. In some airlines, and you know who I mean and I cannot name them because my lawyer will not let me say it, the exception is fast becoming the norm to the point where the majority of pilots are actually operating under these freelance contracts not knowing from one week to the next where they are going to be based or whether or not they are going to have any work. As well as safety, we have the issue of this bogus self-employed status, as the mover has said, leading to a major loss to the Exchequer. This is aggravated when some airlines (and you know who I mean) insist that people are not only self-employed but they have to set up a limited company with fellow pilots and register themselves offshore in a foreign land. BALPA knows that many individuals have had to go along with this façade because they are desperate for work in the current economic climate. Not only are these people employees, they are also UK residents and should be paying UK tax; it is a huge loss to the UK Exchequer.

Bogus self-employment is bad for jobs, bad for safety, and bad for the country. The government should act now, and so should we. It is our bread and butter. Let's challenge this practice. I second. (Applause)

* Motion 11 was CARRIED

Employment law

The President: Now I call Motion 12, Employment law. The General Council supports the motion.

Ronnie Draper (Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union) moved Motion 12. He said: The motion actually focuses on a bizarre interpretation of legislation. In the UK we have always prided ourselves on a judicial system that works on the basis of innocence until proven guilty. I suppose in the main that works very well, but when it comes to the world of employment law it suffices to presume guilt on the basis of an employer's reason to believe. Activities like sabotage, theft, or even sometimes the written word, things that are put in emails and texts, on Facebook or in Twitter, can always lead to somebody losing their employment. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everything was based on 'had reason to believe' and if that was applied to criminal law? The courts would grind to a halt and the jails would be full, if indeed they were not already. Think about all the high profile miscarriages of justice we see and then multiply it by whatever amount you like and you will still be underestimating what would happen in criminal law if we applied the same things that we do in employment law. In criminal law there is a presumption of guilt and a reason to believe that a person or persons have committed a crime, otherwise nobody would ever appear in court, but it is an assumption that has to be proved by the accuser and not by the accused. If I say that somebody committed a crime against me, there has to be strong prosecutable evidence to charge that person with the offence. Guilt would not be decided by me, it would not be decided by somebody in my family, or somebody in my employ. Hearsay, the fact that they wear a hoodie or they have tattoos, or because I did not like their views, would not be enough to assume guilt, but in employment law there is no need to have evidence so long as the employer has the belief of guilt. Every fulltime official, every lawyer, probably every activist, has dealt at some time over their lives with somebody who has been dismissed irrespective of whether or not there is irrefutable evidence to prove guilt.

Within our union we have had two recent cases in South Wales where members were dismissed despite no concrete evidence being presented. In one case DNA evidence was taken and the person was proved innocent by the police and yet still those people lost their jobs. The power to dismiss over the right to natural justice is the inspiration for this motion and for our Executive to make it a high profile challenge to our Parliamentary group. Companies can jump on a bandwagon and use this crazy legislation to rid themselves of whoever they want. Firebrands, a tremendous trade unionist, the health and safety rep who gets the job done, all of these people can find themselves on trumped up charges from an unscrupulous employer. They can find their employment challenged and compromised. Yes, the employer could end up in a tribunal and, yes, there could be some financial recompense, but at the end of the day, given the success rates that we have at tribunals, the person still loses their job. What happens to the person who has worked for a company for less than 12 months? They have absolutely no chance at all. When we hear people talk about workers in Britain being the easiest to dismiss, it is not rhetoric; that is absolute fact. Whilst heinous interpretation of employment law is allowed to remain in place, the trend will continue.

Comrades, we are up against it with this shower in power. Trying to change employment law for the better will be a real challenge. We have all seen on a weekly basis Cameron and his cohorts trying to weaken our protections at every turn of the page. Still, we have a chance, we have an opportunity to change minds. We should be agitating in the corridors of power and we should be sowing seeds amongst potential and future Members of Parliament. Employment issues have to become manifesto issues and we are the people who should be making that happen. We may have to endure four years of misery but when we come to power again then we have to name the price for that power. We cannot allow ourselves to be sidetracked by peripheral issues, wish lists should become our demands, and a fairer deal for workers in Britain has to be top of our demands. We are not calling for preferential treatment but we are looking for the right to defend our civil liberties. We are asking for the government to give workers parity in law with a criminal, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right not to be hired and fired at a whim. Please support the motion. (Applause)

Max Hyde (National Union of Teachers) seconded Motion 12. She said: Congress, this is a short but important motion. If an employer thinks it more likely than not that an employee is guilty, they can be treated by the employer as if they are guilty. Is there not something fundamentally wrong with a law that allows for complete injustice? We must as a movement campaign vigorously for it to be thrown out. This law has destroyed the careers of teachers and even in some cases their lives. As teachers we often work with vulnerable and damaged children and may face allegations that could be false or even malicious. It is absolutely right and proper that such allegations are investigated thoroughly. It is not right and proper to assume the allegation somehow tarnishes irrevocably that individual so that then the law says they can be dismissed with no recourse.

As a member of the General Teaching Council for England, I have seen many cases where a careful investigative approach has shown there was no need for the dismissal; in fact it was not in the public interest. If that is not bad enough, we now face an unprecedented level of threat from the wholesale privatisation and fragmentation of the education system. Instead of dealing with one local authority and reminding them of their statutory duty of care to their employees, I will potentially be dealing with hundreds of employers, many of whom will be buying the advice that they want, not the advice they should have, employers with no equality training who do not see equality and diversity as something to celebrate.

Congress, we cannot and must not allow 'no smoke without fire' to pass as a reasoned argument in a just society. Is it not just a bully's charter? Brothers and sisters, in the interests of fairness and justice for all support this motion unanimously. I second. (Applause)

* Motion 12 was CARRIED

The President: Congress, unfortunately, I am afraid to inform you that we are running over time and we are unable to complete all of this morning's business but I will endeavour to take the outstanding motion at the most appropriate opportunity. Congress, that completes our business for this morning but may I remind delegates that there are the various meetings taking place at lunchtime. Details of these meetings are displayed on the screens and can also be found on page 20 of the Congress Guide, or in the leaflet included in your Congress wallet. Delegates, I would remind you also that we are on a tight schedule and I will be starting this afternoon's business at 2.15 promptly. Thank you.

Congress adjourned.


(Congress re-assembled at 2.15 pm)

The President: Congress, many thanks, once again, to the Bromley Youth Music Trust who have been playing for us this afternoon. (Applause)

Congress, this afternoon, in a change to the published guide, we will no longer be showing the Robin Hood Tax video at the start of this session. Instead I intend to take Motion 27, Sickness and Absence Policies, before the President's address. The unions involved have been informed.

Delegates, we were not able to take the debate scheduled for this morning on Motion 13: TUC support for smaller trade unions. If time permits, I will try and take Motion 13 after the published programme of business this afternoon. I will also try and take one or more of the emergency motions approved by the GPC after Motion 13. I will let you know, obviously, if it looks likely nearer the time. Would movers and seconders be ready, please.

Sickness and absence policies

The President: I call Motion 27, Sickness and absence policies. The General Council supports the motion.

Pamela Black (Society of Radiographers) moved Motion 27. She said: Delegates, NHS terms and conditions state: 'Employers will amend, in partnership with local staff side, their local policies and procedures consistent with the provisions of this agreement.' It does not say that treating them mean will keep them keen. The Department of Health says that good management of staff leads to higher quality of care, more satisfied patients, lower patient mortality and that treating staff fairly and giving them support creates a culture of staff engagement. Staff engagement equals reduced absenteeism. Rather than follow this route, there are employers in the NHS who are more content to tear up the nationally agreed terms and conditions by deferring pay progression for sickness absence. It goes without saying that these routes have not been taken in partnership with local staff sides.

We all agree that managing sickness absence is not an easy task. Staff do become ill. They have to have surgery, they become depressed, they have accidents and acquire diseases and infections that absolutely prevent them from turning up to work in a hospital environment. This is just plain commonsense. How is someone going to react when they know if they stay off work because they have an infection that they will jeopardise their earnings and their employment? How will they feel if the policy that is in place to protect themselves and their patients will result in them losing their next pay increment? They are damned if they do and they are damned if they don't. They are left to make a decision - be responsible or take a risk. However, the consequences of their actions could be far-reaching and devastating to the patients in their care.

Trusts are working hard to eradicate hospital acquired infections. Money is being spent on raising awareness, and for what? To meet the targets for improvement of infection control. That is absolutely essential. All that will be wiped out the instant one or two employees cross the threshold with a raging infectious disease because an employer wants to save money. Consider, if you will, the areas that are most vulnerable - the kitchens, the wards, the patients with low immunity to infection. All of these areas are at risk if an employer feels the urge to control absenteeism with penalties rather than be responsible and work with the staff to improve attendance. A trust's reputation will be seriously damaged and they will be responsible for any compensation to the patient, and no amount of pay progression deferment will be able to compensate for that.

Let's be honest. Sickness absence does negatively impact on patient care. It can reduce staff morale and it does cost organisations money. There can even be a presumption that there are some malingerers out there, but why should the majority who work hard and follow all the policies be penalised for the few who don't? What responsible employer penalises the majority to save a few bob?

Managers, like myself, walk a fine line being supportive to the poorly staff member and supporting the remaining staff who are having to cover for the absence. Staff morale can become extremely low. Stress increases, resulting in more staff going off sick and it has a devastating effect on the service. I rely on well-structured, robust policies that are properly managed, that have been developed in full consultation to make sure that my staff know that I respect them and will not tolerate irresponsible behaviour. We need clear procedures and processes that are well managed to support the return to work of the employee and to prevent or reduce premature or ill-health retirement. Managing sickness absence effectively ought to improve organisational productivity and improve patient care, not put it at risk.

Our staff and employees are our greatest resource and should be treated as such and not as commodities. Yes, we have financial savings to make across the NHS, but using soft targets like sickness absenteeism is not the way. Thank you.

James Donley (GMB) seconded Motion 27. He said: Congress, no one should have to go into work when they are too ill to do their job. This should be especially obvious in the NHS where all staff, whether they are a nurse, a paramedic or a hospital porter, work in close proximity to patients who are highly vulnerable to illness. Unfortunately, attacks on staff sickness and absence are part of a much larger trend within the Health Service. It is a trend that includes down-banding, cuts in take home pay and widespread job insecurity. We know that redundancies are a regular feature of this government's agenda. What the coalition doesn't seem to understand is that job cuts in the public sector are not equating to less work. Quite the opposite. NHS workers are being expected to do more for less, and this is escalating into stress and overload. The pressure that staff are now under will inevitably lead to higher rates of sickness absence, absence for which staff could now be penalised.

Behind this injustice is, of course, the government's austerity programme, and the hardest funding settlement ever imposed on the NHS. Already it is obvious that the multi-billion pound savings demanded by government are unrealistic and unachievable without cutting services. However, axing high profile services that the public relies upon is difficult, so the next things under attack are the staff's terms and conditions. These are terms and conditions which have taken years to secure, an Agenda for Change agreement with its sole purpose to address the inequality long endured by health workers. We will not step back and allow the Tories with the Lib-Dems piggy-backing to destroy the NHS on the health workers' terms and conditions.

The government has made it clear that one of its motives for forcibly converting hospitals into foundation trusts is to fragment the terms and conditions of the staff. The same motive lurks behind the 'Any qualified provider model' which will ultimately open up more and more of the Health Service to cost cutting private sector operators. In essence, the government wants the NHS done on the cheap by staff paid on the cheap. We have said all along that Lansley's so-called reforms will have catastrophic consequences for the nation's health and for the public servants who deliver the Health Service.

Public servants protecting our nation's health deserve dignity at work. They are the key to patient care, quality and outcomes. To attack NHS staff is to undermine the service they are able to provide. That is why the cuts in terms and conditions must stop. The Health Bill must be scrapped, and the government should give the NHS the fair funding settlement it was promised. Please support.

* Motion 27 was CARRIED

Report of the General Purposes Committee

Peter Hall (General Purposes Committee): Good afternoon, Congress. I can report that the General Purposes Committee has approved a further emergency motion. Emergency Motion 3 on the English Defence League will be moved by the NUJ and seconded by the RMT. The President will indicate when it is hoped that this emergency motion will be taken. I will report further to you on the progress of business and other GPC decisions when necessary throughout Congress. Thank you.

The President: Thank you, Peter. Congress, the GPC reported the approval of a further emergency motion, Emergency Motion 3, English Defence League, in the name of the NUJ. I will take this emergency motion when a suitable opportunity arises and endeavour to give the Congress as much notice as possible.

President's Address

The Vice President (Sheila Bearcroft): Colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to ask the President to address you, Congress. Thank you.

The President: Congress, it is a great honour for me to be your President. It is a privilege to be the first person from my union, Community, to perform this role. It is a pleasure to be the second Welsh person in three years to hold this post. First, Sheila, now me. That is evidence, I hope, that Ryan Giggs isn't the only talented left-winger in Wales. I am not going to mention rugby because we have a nation in mourning.

Let me begin by saying thank you to all those people who have made this such a memorable year for me. Thank you to everyone in the TUC and my colleagues on the General Council. Thank you to my friends and colleagues in Community, who have been a significant support. Above all, my sincere thanks to my family, to my wife, Irene, who is here today, and my sons, Sean and Greg, for their love and support through many years. Thank you.

It has been a year of countless highlights. I have been proud to be part of our campaign against the cuts, never more so than when I addressed the huge crowds in Hyde Park during our March for the Alternative. I have been proud to be President of the International Metalworkers Federation (Steel and Non-Ferrous Section) as well as your President. I have been proud to support the TUC's international work. Today, let us offer our solidarity to our trade union brothers and sisters in the Middle East as they continue to struggle for jobs, democracy and equality.

In May I was privileged to lead the TUC delegation to the ETUC Congress, which took place this year in a most appropriate place - Athens. There I found for myself what austerity means in practice. How the cuts cause untold damage to public services, living standards and economic prospects. In Athens we elected a new ETUC leadership team, including Bernadette Ségol and Judith Kirton-Darling, whose commitment to the steel industry I know is second to none. I am sure that you will join with me in wishing them well as they fight the EU's misplaced retreat into austerity as they resist the attacks on workers' jobs, wages and pension rights across the continent.

Congress, this year may have been particularly special for me, but trade unionism has been my life's work. When I left school at 16 and started work at Panteg steelworks, the first thing that I did was to join the union. At that time it was the British Iron and Steel Kindred Trades Association. How times have changed. A year later after joining, I was a union rep. That, for me, personally, was the beginning of a long love affair with this great movement of ours.

I grew up in the valleys of South Wales, not just a coal and steel heartland but a trade union heartland too, a place with a big sense of community, where people take great pride in manufacturing industry and where trade unions have always been part of its social fabric. They opened libraries, educating working people, supporting members far beyond the factory gate. That's why my theme this year is Strong Unions, Stronger Communities.

We all know with the economy scraping along the bottom with cuts hitting the vulnerable hardest, and with public services at risk, I believe there has never been more need for an effective trade union presence in the diverse communities that make up our modern Britain.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot risk a repeat of the 1980s when our movement was sidelined, unions were marginalised and workers suffered terrible consequences which they still suffer today. Remember how it felt, remember the impact of the Tory cuts back then. Remember how their industrial vandalism scared so many communities that we still see today. Congress, let us remember what Thatcherism did to ordinary working people, and let us say, loud and clear, never, ever again. (Applause)

Over the past year we have begun to build a huge anti-cuts movement in Britain, a unique alliance with trade unions at its heart, but we must go even further, brothers and sisters, taking our message out into every workplace and every community across the country. Together we must show the people of Britain that cuts are a completely false economy, that austerity is not an answer, that there is an alternative based on jobs, growth and fair taxes. I am proud to have led a union which, as its name suggests, has been at the forefront of community trades unionism. I am very proud that we have taken lifelong learning into the communities, proud that we led the fight for pensions justice, helping secure the Pension Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme, and very proud that earlier this year we helped secure the future of steelmaking in the north-east of England with the resurrection of the Teesside Cast Products Plant. (Applause) It is the first time ever that steelworkers in this country have reopened after being shutdown. Last month the new owner, SSI, began the process of recruiting a thousand skilled steelworkers, with another four thousand jobs secured in the supply chain. That's great news for the region.

What has happened, I believe, in Teesside isn't just an outstanding example of the power of trade unions and community campaigning. It is also proof that our manufacturing industry can have a bright future. Congress, it is only by making things and selling them to the rest of the world that we will be able to generate the wealth we need to build a fairer society, to tackle the inequality that exists and fund, more importantly, world class public services.

When it comes to manufacturing, be in no doubt that Britain can be amongst the best in the world. We build - this is a fact - more cars here than ever before. We build aero engines and help to assemble many of the aircraft they power. We also make the world's best steel and the world's finest shoes. Colleagues, let's not forget that we design, manufacture and export trains. Today, let us say, loud and clear, to the government that the decision not to award the Thameslink contract to Bombardier in Derby is an absolute disgrace. (Applause) Let me be clear, it is an insult to British manufacturing, British skills and British workers. We must do everything in our power to get ministers to change their mind. It is high time our procurement rules were fit for purpose. It is just plain wrong that we can't take into account social dimensions when making these decisions. Other countries in Europe are able to do it, so why can't we?

Congress, we can do so much better than this. The right policies for manufacturing can help deliver the economic recovery, rebalancing and renewal that this country so desperately needs. It is time, Congress, to be bold.

The existential challenge posed by climate change gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop the green industries, jobs and skills of the future. It is one that we must take. Let's manufacture the wind turbines in the country using British steel. Let's lead the way in carbon capture and storage technology. Let's build the next generation of electric vehicles here and let's make Britain a centre of excellence for high speed. Colleagues, we have got the skills, the expertise and the R&D facilities. All we need now is the political will for it to happen. Where better to start than with an active green industrial strategy? We've got to get away from short-termism of the finance speculation. We've got to create sustainable wealth for all, and we've got to learn from what the likes of Germany have already achieved.

One thing is for sure. We can't have a strong economy without a strong manufacturing base. So now is the time for real change, not business as usual, but an industrial renaissance, not another dose of free market madness but intelligent intervention. These are the things, Congress, that I have campaigned for throughout my working life. These are the causes that bring us together as trade unionists, and these are the challenges that we must now rise to.

It won't be easy, but I am convinced that we can make progress where it matters most. I believe the arguments are all on our side, and I am confident that we can win the battle for Britain's future. Congress, let's build that stronger economy, let's build that stronger community and let's together build a stronger trade union movement. Thanks for listening. (Applause)

Vote of thanks to the President

The Vice President: Congress, I now call upon Gerry Doherty to move the vote of thanks to the President.

Gerry Doherty (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) in moving the vote of thanks, said: President and Congress, it is a great honour to be able to stand in front of you this afternoon moving a vote of thanks to someone who I think has conducted himself in a really remarkable manner through the very difficult year that he has presided over the Trades Union Congress. I did, however, note, Michael, your reference to the Welshman, Ryan Giggs, in your Presidential Address. I hope that wasn't a pitch for an ageing footballer to be included in the British Olympic Team, if it ever comes about next year, because if it is, I am going to make a pitch for an ageing Scottish one. We should have Dennis Law as a striker. (Laughter)

Michael's background is in the steel industry. One of the pleasures that I have in standing here and moving this vote of thanks is that my maternal grandfather was involved in the steel industry in a place called Cambuslang. It was an subsidiary of the Ravenscraig works. I remember as a little boy going down with him every month to the steelworks to pick up his pension. He lived with us. We never saw him for the whole weekend. You know what Scotsmen do when they've got a few quid in their back pocket. He used to turn up the following Monday and he always had a bag of fruit for us young kids and a bunch of flowers for my mum. That was his rent for the following month until he picked up his pension again. That steelworks in Cambuslang is no longer there anymore, and neither is Ravenscraig. I have watched what has happened as industrial heartlands of this country have had their heart ripped out of them. It was really during the Thatcher years, but what we have now are the sons and daughters of Thatcher who have come back to finish off the job that she didn't do.

As Michael said, he left school at 16 and immediately joined the union. That was the norm in those days. He became a branch rep the following year at 17 years old. I think that is quite something. However, what Michael didn't say was that he was the youngest ever official of the ISTC, a very proud union, a predecessor union of what is today Community. That is quite an accolade to be the youngest ever ISTC official. Michael's comments today about the dark days of Thatcherism, the Tory cuts and the lessons of the 1980s are testament to the struggles that he has faced and the lessons that he has learnt. We would be very unwise to disregard them today.

Talking about history, Michael said today that he is the first member of his union to preside over Congress. However, in its previous incarnations, his union has been central to the work of Congress since the start in 1868. John Kane of the Amalgamated Iron Workers' Union spoke at the 1868 Congress, like Michael today, on why trade unions are an absolute necessity. He spoke of why employers were opposed to the social interests of trade unions and working men in the same style that Michael warned our current government of the madness of their austerity programme when he spoke at our rally in Hyde Park. Michael has always supported the diversity of trade unions, respecting the representation of smaller unions at the TUC. He often talks of trade unions being a force for good in the communities in which our members live. In his own words, he prefers the power of influence to the influence of power. But he is prepared to use power when necessary, for example, when he led the first ever strike over pensions by a union in the UK and succeeded in getting the employer to re-open an occupational pension scheme after he closed it without consultation. He also led a five-and-a-half year campaign for justice for those who lost their occupational pensions when their employer became insolvent. Commenting after serving a writ on a UK government, he memorably said, 'People have said that I'm looking to end up in the House of Lords. After today, I'm more likely to end up in the Tower of London.' That campaign was eventually won in December 2007, winning £12.3 billion for 140,000 pension scheme members, the largest ever financial settlement by a British trade union against an employer - a UK government.

Let me tell you more about the man. Michael wears his Welshness as a badge of honour. However, if you are celebrating any event at all in his company, don't ask him to sing. I am told he is the only Welshman on God's earth who can't sign a note, despite even having his headquarters in Covent Garden. (Laughter) Michael, you thanked your wife and family. I am a trade union leader, and I know the toll that it takes on a wife and family being a trade union general secretary. This whole movement owes a vote of thanks, yes, to your wife but to all general secretaries' partners, but to be general secretary of a union and for a whole year to also lead the TUC really does deserve a vote of thanks to your partner and your family.

Michael, you have been a great President. Thank you for everything you have done for the last year. Please have a great week. (Applause)

Ged Nichols (Accord), in seconding the vote of thanks, said: Congress, we listened earlier to Michael bringing the real world outside of this hall in front of us as trade unionists and, as ever, I think he was spot on in what he said. We are grateful for his wisdom, concern and understanding of trade union priorities. That deep understanding might have something to do with where he comes from. When Michael was a school boy at the Twmpath Secondary Modern in Pontypool, there was nothing he liked more than playing rugby. He was a good player. He was representing Pontypool Schoolboys before his career was cut short by injury. He was a gifted and promising fly half in period when Pontypool gave the great Welsh sides some of their most gifted players, including the legendary Pontypool front row of Graham Price, Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner who, to the uninitiated may not know that they were know as the 'Viet Gwent'. Two of the 'Viet Gwent' were ISTC members at the Panteg steelworks, where Michael grew up. He grew up in a terraced house with a tin bath and an outside toilet, and he learnt to stand up for himself - I guess you would have to stand up - but he also learnt how to stand up for others too. Bobby Windsor, one of those legends of Pontypool, said recently, 'Nowadays in the gym if you can't lift weights any more, you just stop, but when we were shovelling at the steel works you got the sack if you stopped.' They were hard men, the 'Viet Gwent', slaving at the coalface of international rugby, taking the strain and the knocks while others took the glory. I will leave you to draw your own comparisons between that and Michael's career in this great movement of ours.

Lord Brookman, Michael's predecessor as General Secretary of the ISTC, said that Michael was the union's youngest ever official. It is a great achievement. Keith Brookman went on to say that Michael earned a reputation for being tough and for complete loyalty. He has been unfairly stigmatised by some as a right-winger, but he has always put his members' interests first and he was a critical figure in the running of the 1980 steel strike in defiance of some of the senior officers of the union who viewed him as a dangerous leftie. How times have changed. (Laughter)

When interviewed in 2001, Michael said: 'The Thatcher government wanted a fight with a union, and it picked the steel workers to warm up for the miners.' He said that that period taught him that strikes should only be used as a last resort, as after the strike the steel workers continued to face problems as British Steel cut costs in the run-up to privatisation. Michael said that most of his time was spent dealing with job losses, closures and trying to mitigate the damage.

How refreshing, therefore, it must be for him, and I am sure it was for all of us as the round of applause showed, to hear about us spearheading the talks that have led to the re-opening of the Teesside Cast Products Plant. It is truly an example of the power of trade union community campaigning.

Michael is still a keen sportsman. Despite the great working relationship that he and Brendan have enjoyed, he has never forgiven for cancelling the cricket match between the General Council and the press that used to take place every Saturday before Congress. Admittedly, we didn't win very often. That was usually because the press team contained a couple of ringers who were really good players and miraculously, for that day a year, seemed to have NUJ membership. Michael was our team captain and he always took the match very seriously. I remember him berating Brendan and I for being late for the game just before Congress 2006. Brendan and I had other distractions. We were in a pub outside Brighton watching Everton beat Liverpool 3-0.

(Groans from the floor) On that note of discord, at least with my fellow general secretaries at the CWU and Unite, I will close by saying that I think we are very fortunate to have Michael preside over our important discussions this week. His speech today, his personality and the contribution his union makes to our movement make me delighted to second the vote of thanks. Michael, have a great Congress. (Applause)

Public services and their importance to the economy

The President: Thank you, Gerry and Ged. I hardly recognise myself. Delegates, I call Composite 9. The General Council supports the composite.

Jane Carolan (UNISON) moved Composite Motion 9.

She said: Comrades, a UNISON motion on public services has almost been a staple in the Congress agenda for too long. We had criticisms under Thatcher and Major, criticisms under new Labour, when Congress dithered about whether to oppose PFI, and now, perhaps, we have the greatest threat yet: the new austerity agenda being preached by Osborne, cutting spending to the level of the '90s despite demographic change and emerging needs. There has been a major acceleration in the rate of attacks on public services and people are now waking up to the consequences. When rioting broke out the press suddenly realised that when young people complained there were no services for them, it was not just a whinge for Kevin the teenager. It was the stark reality that youth services are an early and obvious victim. No youth services, no educational maintenance allowance, no jobs or apprenticeships and cuts to university places. What a time to be 17! But, then, don't be a parent requiring a pre-school place and don't be a pupil in a state school expecting you will get a first class education. Your classroom assistants will have been made redundant and your early year will have its budget cut so that Tarquin and Tabatha from up the road go to their free school, with uniforms and read Latin. Don't think you can substitute your inadequate education at the local library because it won't be there. Don't expect that your grandma will get meals on wheels or a home help, unless you can afford the much increased fees. Don't expect, if you see a child in need, that somebody will rush in to help. An overworked child protection social worker will work wonders to make sure they get assistance, but they can't work miracles without resources. Don't ever assume if your son, daughter, brother or sister, can't afford a mortgage that there will be social housing available. There won't be. There won't be housing advice, either.

The welfare state is no longer a safety net and the NHS is no longer safe. Comrades, the greatest myth is that we are all in this together. What member of this multi-millionaire Cabinet will face the slightest difficulty? The worst part is that cuts are only part of the agenda. The other part is the privatisation of the services that we provide, and the pretence that public sector jobs can be done more cheaply. Well, yes, they can, if the wages are cut, if the terms and conditions are cut and if the pensions are non-existent. Of course, that is cheaper. It is cheaper for the private sector providers and their shareholders, but not for those who are employed to provide the services and not for those who needed the services.

How many in this hall watched Panorama on the private providers of social care? We saw about companies whose only concern for those in their care has never extended beyond maximising their own greed. Their motto is, 'Never mind the client, look at the profit margin'. That is capitalism in action but certainly with no place in caring.

Let's not pretend that there are so-called 'back office staff' whose jobs don't matter. The reality is that our lives, our services, our jobs, our pay and our pensions are being trampled over. Even in George Osborne's universe that matters. Unemployed public servants don't vanish. They claim benefits, increasing public spending. Public sector workers in a pay freeze cannot spend as inflation rises. But the results of these actions, as Keynes noted, is that public expenditure increases even as economic demand falls. That is the real tragedy of the world we live in. Real needs are not met and real people suffering deprivation.

What is the answer? According to several top economists we need to cut the top rate of tax. Who is a top economist? Is it one who realises that if you want a well paid job you have to give the paymasters what they want, and thus a justification for their greed? Or maybe a top economist is one with amnesia, because tax-cutting agendas have been tried before. Global Reaganomics and the evidence is there. Trickle down theories are exploded and the evidence that the only economic indicator that was increased was the inequality gap.

Comrades, we have to stop apologising in saying that cutting public services is not the way out. There are cuts that we support: cut Trident, the use of consultants and privatisation, but don't cut taxes. The government should pursue the tax dodgers with double the zeal that is shown against so-called 'benefit cheats', whether those dodgers are individuals or corporations. I would love to see a TV campaign calling on accountants to shop their tax cheat clients. I've even got the slogan for them: 'Be a grass - make them pay tax.'

An alternative economic strategy is the only way forward. Neo-liberalism is a failed ideology. The belief in the infallibility of markets is blown apart by the evidence of the real world. We are speaking for all of the working people of this country, from hospital porters to consultants, from dinner ladies to chief executives. Our only defence is standing together. Please support this composite. (Applause)

Janice Godrich (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Composite Motion 9. She said: Congress, this debate is about the key role that public spending can play in helping to get us out of the mess caused by the investment bankers and speculators when they crashed our economy. It touches on the discussion we will have on the alternative economic strategy because we say that austerity is not the answer. Yet a key component of the austerity budget is a cut of £81 billion to public spending. Both in Britain and internationally, the evidence tells us that cuts make the problem worse. Job cuts and pay freezes depress demand. Consequently, many economists now predict we are on the verge of the current recession worsening. Of course, the threat to our public services isn't just economic. The Guardian called it 'The end of the NHS as we know it', no longer a comprehensive service that is free and available to all but a return to the days when most people had limited access to free services and everyone else having to find money for private insurance and private care.

Nick Clegg's comments in relation to the recent riots speak volumes about this government's true motives. He suggested that those people who behaved so despicably should have to look their victims in the eye. They should have to see for themselves the consequences of their actions and they should be put to work clearing up the damage they have caused so they don't do it again. Well, if it's good enough for rioters, why haven't those who have caused the crash been subject to the same strictures? They set a disgusting example, with the rich evading and avoiding paying taxes on an industrial scale, MPs fiddling their expenses and police officers reportedly taking bribes from a media organisation that had a murdered girl's mobile hacked? If we are talking about victims, why aren't those who suffer domestic violence or lose their benefit victims? Why aren't lolly pop ladies who have lost their jobs victims? Why doesn't Nick Clegg see senior citizens who no longer have access to day care facilities as victims? The truth is that every cut creates a victim, and that is why we welcome the fact that this composite rejects all cuts. We can't say some jobs and services are defendable but others are not. We shouldn't fall into the trap of choosing between firefighters, nurses, Jobcentre workers or coastguards, or choosing between a library, a youth club or a health centre. Let's choose to stand together in line with trade union principles of solidarity and unity, and recognise that an injury to one is an injury to all. We need to show this government that we mean business, as Dave Prentis did when he pledged to mount the most sustained campaign of industrial action since the 1926 General Strike unless the government drops its proposed changes to pensions. Dave was also right to point out that the attack on pensions isn't an isolated one, but part and parcel of their deficit reduction programme, and that our members, the people who provide public services and use them will bear the brunt. The huge mobilisation for the March for the Alternative and the support for 30th June gives us confidence. Let's support this motion. Stand up for our members in order to protect their lifestyles, not the privileged lifestyles of the rich and famous. Thank you.

Tony Kearns (Communication Workers Union) supported Composite Motion 9. He said: A number of people who have spoken today made reference to the Con-Dem government. I was taken this morning with Danny Alexander's statement. Danny Alexander, you will remember, is the Tory lackey who fluffed his government lines on pension policy live on television, who said that what he expects from us today is sabre rattling. Then I read in the media, by the self-appointed media clowns, like Leo McKinstry in the Express, that the unions are destroying the country. I suppose the good thing about that was that it was in the Daily Express so not a lot of people read it. What we are seeing now is an alliance between the government and the media which is going to launch a consolidated and concerted attack on public services, the workers and those like ourselves who are prepared to stand up and defend it. I think we need to set the record straight and say that the reason why we are in a so-called economic crisis is because capitalism failed and we should not be afraid as a trade union movement that capitalism failed.

Brendan said this morning that the public sector spends more in the private sector than it does on wages. The only place where real jobs are being created directly and indirectly is through public spending and in public services. I remember a year ago when the business leaders wrote to The Times and said that we don't have to worry about the government's cuts because the private sector will create all these jobs. I don't see these business leaders writing to The Times now telling us how many jobs they have created, because the answer is that it is in the public sector where jobs are created and not the private sector. You would wonder whether they have learnt anything from the mistakes of the past. I am talking about the greed and avarice of bankers, who produce nothing socially useful, who brought the economy to its knees.

We see this morning Adam Posen, who is an external member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee saying: 'The banks should go further and buy not only gilts but more risky assets.' So, once again, reverting gambling with our futures is the ethos of the bank. They are behaving as if nothing has happened. If Danny Alexander wants us to stop sabre rattling, then Danny Alexander and his mates need to give our kids a proper education. If Danny Alexander wants us to stop sabre rattling, then he needs to give our youth jobs now and in the future. If Danny Alexander wants us to stop sabre rattling, then he needs to give our pensioners security and safety now and in the future, and that means investing in those people who provide those services.

Furthermore, if Danny Alexander is going to make statements, he needs to go and read a dictionary and look at the words 'liberal' and 'democrat'. He should tell his mates Clegg, Cable and Davey to stop their big business mates, Cameron, from ruining our country. The point is that the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that while Osborne's tax cuts are going to represent a 10 per cent drop in living standards, the Telegraph today reports that payouts to bosses in the top 100 FTSE companies have risen by 87 per cent in the past year. The self-imposed two-year pay freeze is over and the pigs are back at the trough. The reality is that the market, as it is known, has failed. If the alternative to the failed system is to say that we are going to stand up and defend public services, then that is what we are going to have to do.

The CWU conference earlier this year unanimously carried a policy to support a call for a 24-hour general strike. The responsibility of all trade unions and all trade unionists is to work together. This campaign is not just about us, it is about the communities. It is also about saying to this government, and to anyone who wishes to be in government, that we don't accept cuts and the future of the jobs in this country lies in the public sector and public services and we will defend them.

Terry Hoad (University and College Union): supported Composite Motion 9. He said: Conference, the UCU is giving its enthusiastic support to this composite motion. We are actually all in this together. The people in this hall and the members we represent are all in this together because we are the ones who are being hit by this government's punitive cuts agenda. These are ideologically driven cuts and they have been since the day that the Lib-Dems ensured that David Cameron got his hands on the keys to Downing Street. I want to focus, as a previous speaker did, in particular on the pensions aspect of this, and to talk about why these ideologically driven cuts have to be resisted.

As recently as November 2006 the unions agreed reforms to make the pension scheme sustainable in the long-term. The government's new proposals, on the other hand, are driven by the Treasury's desire to bolster its coffers and to smash public sector pensions. The average weekly pension for a woman working in local government is £60 a week, and for men £85 a week. The government wants to introduce changes that will see a lecturer with a £10,000 pension lose around £36,000 in the course of their retirement. Nick Clegg in June joined in the gold-plated pension jibes saying that other workers in the private sector would not be willing to contribute their taxes towards such extravagantly generous provisions.

Our battle has to be for decent pensions that keep people out of poverty and in dignity in their old age. We can't go along with Clegg's view which would have hard working people in this country begrudging someone a pension of about £6,000 a year. Last week the government was looking at ways to cut the 50p tax rate for the 1 per cent of people who earn more than £150,000 a year, and reneging on promises over the NHS. Some people would say that you just couldn't make it up. The British public isn't stupid and they need to stop being treated as such by this coalition. Parroting that we are all in this together, in their sense, or that there is no alternative is just offensive nonsense. It is offensive nonsense when the richest thousand people in Britain saw their collective wealth rise by 18 per cent last year. The majority of the people in this country are in it together. They are in the mess that the coalition is making, but don't believe for one minute that those who are creating the mess are in it with us. What we need now, as many people have said already, is sustained, co-ordinated and determined action. Please support this motion and the fight back against these ideological self-serving policies of the government. Thank you very much.

Jeff Broome (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) supported Composite Motion 9. He said: Congress, public services are at the heart of our community, and the Tory-led coalition cuts to public services affect us all. They destroy lives, cripple communities and strangle growth. This government continues to cling to the mantra that the private sector will find jobs for unemployed, ex-public sector workers. This completely ignores the problems faced by the private sector.

Public sector job losses lead to fewer customers shopping in the retail sector. This results in more job losses in the private sector, in shops, distribution and manufacturing. The retail sector has had a tough time this last 12 months. A number of high profile retailers - TJ Hughes, Oddbins, Focus, Habitat and Jane Norman - have gone into administration. These are the signs of a private sector that is suffering from low customer confidence and the squeeze on consumer spending. The consumer and customers which the private sector depends on are often public sector workers, who are facing job losses and job insecurity.

Congress, we are all in this together. We depend and rely on public services. Public sector cuts will have a big impact on the private sector. Public investment and public sector employment is important to the wider economy. The Tory-led coalition continues to believe that economic growth is possible in the shadow of damaging cuts. They continue to believe in the fantasy of job creation without investment.

USDAW believes that public sector cuts have a big impact on all workers including those who we represent. That is why we, the trade unions who organise in the private sector, will oppose the cuts in public services and why we will support public sector trade unions in their efforts to protect jobs and livelihoods of public sector workers. Thank you.

Brian Cookson (NASUWT): Congress, NASUWT, the teachers' union, is very pleased to support Composite Motion 9. The coalition government is making an ideological assault on millions of people in this country. It is a agenda-driven, threatening the efficiency, equity and democratic accountability of public services. It puts in jeopardy the employment of hundreds of thousands of skilled and committed public servants and the lives and life chances of the people they serve.

Colleagues, there is an alternative, and the alternative includes a financial transaction tax, a Robin Hood tax, a tax that will take money from the bankers without hitting ordinary working families. Lack of banking regulation has driven millions worldwide into poverty. A Robin Hood tax would be a first major step into placing the banks at the centre of repairing the untold damage that they have done to the UK and world economies by their reckless actions. It is supported by the European Parliament, a growing number of European ministers and it has increasing worldwide support. This tax should be at the forefront of all agendas to replace the ideologically driven excuses for dismantling our public services.

In the UK, a small 0.05 per cent tax on major transactions like stocks, bonds and foreign currency would raise more than £20 billion. Do not tell us that this would drive the banking industry out of the country. This is a mere scare tactic with no foundation, spread by those who have forfeited their right to have any credibility or trust.

No, Mr Osborne, despite your claims, none of the measures you have introduced go anywhere near forcing the banks to redress the misery of the crisis they have created. Together with other measures that must now be pursued, based on promoting progressive taxation, including the collection of taxes avoided, evaded and uncollected, this financial transaction tax is not only an alternative, it's a solution. We must fight this government's demolition agenda, place the responsibility to fund the preservation of our essential public service infrastructure where it belongs - on the banks! The TUC has produced excellent materials on the Robin Hood tax. They need promoting widely and visibly to redress the rhetoric of this government that there is no alternative. The video that you would have seen at the beginning of this afternoon needs showing at every opportunity throughout the UK. Colleagues, we have got to promote and support a financial transaction tax and save public services. Support Composite Motion 9.

Helen Kenny (Prospect) supported Composite Motion 9. She said: In its approach to public services, this government is guilty of double-think, mis-information and, in some instances, outright lies. George Orwell defined double-think as, 'The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.' Stating that the private sector will create the jobs and growth necessary for recovery while at the same time believing that public spending must be cut is poor double-think. Government procurement accounts for £236 billion per year. Government spending can help boost business confidence by investing in areas such as broadband and energy infrastructure. These are vital to the economy but will also provide confidence for private sector investment. Then there is the multiplier effect on the rest of the economy. Growing businesses are more likely to invest in research and innovation, thereby creating jobs and fuelling the recovery.

Moving on to mis-information, the suggestion that cutting back office staff won't impact on frontline services. This is an artificial divide, Congress. Support staff are vital and often have specialist skills and expertise. We have highlighted the Audit Commission's climate research and forensic science. Looking at the Audit Commission, high quality audit will be a vital defence against some of the problems that are likely to arise as public bodies seek to downsize as a result of swingeing budget cuts. Cuts to the budgets of both research councils and higher educational institutes' capital budgets will have a devastating impact on climate research. This area of research is a force for the public good and we believe that it is important to have research in this area that is independent of corporate interest.

Now we come on to some outright lies. I work for the Forensic Science Service, which the government has decided to close because it is, apparently, losing £2 million per month. Setting aside the absurdity of expecting forensic science to make a profit, it is clear that the losses are not of that magnitude. Government investment in a major restructure had almost turned the organisation around before they pulled the plug, with no notice and little consultation, even with their own experts. The Home Office has stated on numerous occasions that the private sector has the capacity. We know that is false. Our colleagues in those companies are drowning in work and the situation will only get worse for them. This is the very human cost of this government's approach to public services. Hundreds of dedicated forensic scientists have, and will be, made redundant, and many will choose or be forced into a career change. It is a kneejerk, short-sighted approach that will devastate my profession. Please support.

Andy Noble (Fire Brigades' Union) supported Composite Motion 9. He said: Congress, I want to start with a message for David Cameron. Last month after the riots he turned up at Salford Fire Station to thank firefighters for the work that they had done after the recent unrest. On a similar occasion last year, he turned up at Carlisle Fire Station to thank them for some of the work that they had done. Our message to David Cameron is simply this: stop the hypocrisy. Stop patting us on the back when you are cutting our jobs, slashing our pay, pensions and when you are trying to privatise our public service.

The government is in denial about the firefighter jobs cull which is currently on-going. In the House of Commons in February, Fire Minister, Bob Neill, said it was scaremongering to suggest that 1,000 firefighter posts could be lost as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review. He has refused to answer direct questions in Parliament about the numbers of firefighters. New research by the union based on the Freedom of Information Act requests confirms that over 1,000 jobs were in fact lost in the first round of the cuts up to April 2011, the hardest hit areas being Scotland, the south-west, Yorkshire and the west Midlands. So much for scaremongers. In the space of one year, we've seen the largest single fall in fire-fighting numbers since the Second World War, and that is in just the first of the four years. When the government says it is back-loading the cuts to our service, it is an absolute disgrace because what is to come will be much worse.

The union believes that ever-increasing cuts to central government grants to fire authorities up to 2014 will lead to the loss of 6,000 fire-fighter posts and possibly even more. What does this mean for the public fire service? It means what fewer fire-fighters always means, that it takes longer to get to a fire or another emergency in response to a 999 call. Longer response times increase the risk to life and result in more property damage because of fires, and certainly a poorer response to other major incidents.

The FBU warns that the Fire Service will reach a breaking point with widespread incidents such as civil disturbances, floods and wild fires. Cameron's promise not to cut frontline services has proved absolutely worthless. You don't get much more frontline than 999 response and we have certainly been cut to pieces.

We know that this is not just a financial exercise. We also know that it is a softening up exercise in an attempt to open the fire and rescue services to market forces. We have already got evidence of this in Cleveland Fire & Rescue, which has established a mutual trading arm, and we also know that they are exploring the possibility of establishing a social enterprise company to take on core fire and rescue service activity. We are also aware that a private sector provider from Denmark has signed a memorandum of understanding with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. Of course, we have got the goings on in London with one of the best examples of why the private sector should be kept well away from the emergency services - AssetCo. That is the only company I know that spends more time in the courtroom than the boardroom. It is an absolute disgrace that London's fire appliances are owned by a company that is constantly in the court fighting off bankruptcy charges. It is an absolutely disgrace that we are considering putting profit before the protection of people's lives, whether that is in the Fire Service or in any other industry. Please support.

* Composite Motion 9 was CARRIED

Equality Audit

The President: The TUC Equality Audit is one of the most important pieces of work that we do at the TUC. It allows us to examine what we are all doing to promote diversity within our own organisations. The unions have already received copies of this year's Equality Audit. I now call upon the Assistant General Secretary to introduce the Equality Audit for 2011.

Kay Carberry (Assistant General Secretary): President and Congress, I am very pleased indeed to present the report of the latest TUC Equality Audit. We know that there is a popular stereotype of what the typical trade unionist looks like, but that cannot be further from the truth. If you just look around the room, you will see that that stereotype is a bit outdated.

Women are now more likely to be union members than men in all sectors, ages and types of job. Union density is higher among black workers than white and that is for both men and women. However, at the same time, we still have not got to the point where we can claim completely fair representation within the Movement's structures and that is what this Equality Audit Report is all about. For example, although women are equally represented or even outnumber men in many unions today, last year less than a third of those attending the TUC shop stewards' training were women. Yes, there has indeed been a lot of progress in gender equality at the top of unions in the past eight years while we have been running the biennial equality audits and this was recognised in the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Sex and Power Report this year but, at the same time, men still outnumber women three to one at general secretary level.

One very good thing about this latest TUC Equality Audit is that it shows that unions are taking concrete steps to address under-representation more than ever before. It shows that unions have stepped up recruitment activities aimed at women, black, disabled, LGBT and young workers. For example, the proportion of unions targeting young workers for membership has risen dramatically over the last four years and now it is nearly half of all unions. There are some very good examples too of how unions are actively encouraging under-represented members to put themselves forward for union posts. An example is the training courses that the TUC ran with the Federation of Entertainment Unions this year to give black members the knowledge and confidence to run for office in their unions.

So we know that big companies are dithering about whether they will adopt voluntary targets for women on their boards, but while they are doing that a growing number of our unions have changed their rules and have guaranteed representation on their executives bodies by reserving seats not just for women but for black, disabled and LGBT members too. This leads to fairer representation, but it does other good things. For example, it also leads unions to take up a much wider range of issues broadening the collective bargaining agenda.

It is also very good to report that unions are more active than ever before on behalf of disabled members and on issues affecting LGBT members. Many more unions are monitoring the proportion of their officials, executive members and conference delegates who are LGBT. You will remember that just a few years ago, unions would have considered this far too sensitive to do. Trade unions are participating in Pride events up and down the country, giving them support and taking the trade union message to the LGBT community.

Congress, there are far too many good examples in the Equality Audit Report for me to do justice to them in just a few minutes. I do hope that everybody will take some time out to read that report. It is not only a great measure of how we are doing collectively, but it is also telling us a good story about ourselves. It shows us how we can do even better so that we can build a more diverse and sustainable trade union movement for the future which we need so much. So, President, I commend the report to Congress.

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda

The President: I now call Motion 14. The General Council is supporting the motion.

Paddy Lillis (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) moved Motion 14. He said: Congress, over a year ago, David Cameron pledged to cut the deficit in a way which was fair, open and responsible. We know that the cuts have been none of these things. Tell me what is fair about over one million unemployed women? The latest figures published only last week show that female unemployment is at a 23-year high and this figure is set to rise as the Tory-led coalition push ahead with their flawed economic strategy, which is to dismantle many of the vital public services provided to women and children.

They are also forging ahead with their assault on benefits for working parents and disabled people, tax credits cut, disability living allowance torn apart, child benefit frozen and housing benefits capped. What is fair about working mothers losing almost £3,000 of their family income or forcing disabled people off benefits into a shrinking and often inaccessible job market? What is fair about cutting maternity grants, closing Sure Start Children's Centres and freezing child benefit?

Childcare support has also been badly hit by the cuts. A recent survey by the Daycare Trust found that over one-third of mothers said that a reduction in childcare support would leave them socially isolated and would make it much more difficult for them to see their midwives or health visitors.

There is very clear evidence that women are paying the highest price for the spending cuts. Congress, the austerity measures have failed the fairness test and are rolling back progress made on the equalities agenda. The impact of the cuts is falling most heavily on those in our society who can least afford them. David Cameron and George Osborne claim, 'We are all in this together'. They claim that they are committed to women's equality and that social mobility and tackling child poverty are still their priorities. They make these claims when their economic policies risk undermining women's connection to the world of paid work not only in terms of unemployment and mounting job losses, but in terms of making work pay as services for women and children are sliced.

Their reckless economic strategy threatens greater inequality. Their cuts agenda is hitting the most disadvantaged groups the hardest. It puts at risk the incoming job security of millions of working families across the United Kingdom and puts thousands more children at risk of falling into poverty.

The scale and the pace of the cuts are relentless and it is the disadvantaged in society who are paying the highest price. One thing is clear about this Government and that is that they say one thing and do another. They say that they want to mend a broken society by pulling the rug of financial support from under the feet of working families. They say that they care about community cohesion by forcing thousands of vital services to close. These are services like community law centres, citizens' advice bureaus, rape crisis centres and the list goes on.

The trade unions say what they mean and mean what they say. We mean it when we say that we are highlighting the unfair and unequal impact of the cuts. We mean it when we say that we will campaign to promote an alternative to the cuts. We mean it when we say that we will reach out to low income working families, to women workers, to disabled work people and to black workers to ensure that their voice is heard and the trade union movement campaigns against these cuts. Congress, USDAW asks you to support this motion and the impact of the cuts on the equality agenda.

Lesley Mercer (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) seconded Motion 14. She said: Last week, I was able to speak to some CSP members working in children's health about how they saw the interrelationship between poverty and cuts and children's health. Their feedback was really valuable and I am going to share some of that with you now.

If a parent with a disabled child cannot get that child to a hospital appointment because of cuts in local funding for taxis or special ambulances, that child really suffers. Cuts in subsidised swimming and football clubs locally affect children with dyspraxia. Some of you here today will know what that is but for those of you who do not, it is a problem with coordination. Children with dyspraxia need to reinforce their physiotherapy treatment with regular extra physical activity. They do not get that with cuts in local support and they go on to have more serious accidents and do less well at school.

Our members also found poor living conditions with houses which are too cold, too damp or too overcrowded because families cannot afford better. Children with existing conditions like asthma and cerebral palsy become more ill. Most people know how poor nutrition affects learning and concentration, but it affects muscle health too and physios are often the first to spot these things. Members tell me that they are seeing more and more children for whom school dinners are now the main source of nutrition and probably the only hot meal of the day.

A paediatric manager down in Wales told me last week that the doctors in her area are prescribing more and more antidepressants to children, the result of growing stress among families battling with unemployment and also in-work poverty.

Congress, we live in the world's fifth largest economy and these are the real-life experiences of people right at the lower end of the income scale. I say shame on those who are clamouring for tax cuts for those people right at the opposite end of the income scale. Please support. (Applause)

Cecile Wright (University and College Union) supported Motion 14. She said: Wilkinson and Pickett, the authors of The Spirit Level, point out that phenomena usually described as social problems, social unrest, ill-health and unemployment are more common in unequal societies than ones with better economic distribution.

It is also well-reported that the disparity between the rich and the poor in the UK has widened over the last 25 years. Interestingly, this situation has occurred against a background of successive governments, including the current coalition government, having a social mobility strategy at the heart of the policy agenda.

The UK remains one of the most unequal societies in the developed economies. The coalition government's austerity measures, cuts to welfare and public spending cuts will serve to further embed social division. Within this, it would appear that low income families, women, disabled workers and young people are destined to be at the sharper end of the growing inequality that affects the country.

Focusing on young people, for instance, a recent study conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research stated that nearly 50 per cent of black young people aged 16-24 reported that they were out of work compared with 20 per cent of white people of the same age. Further, the study revealed that not only had the absolute level of employment risen for this group, but they were at the sharpest end of joblessness. Also, we find within this group that they are likely to stay on in education beyond the age of 16. However, it is a disgrace that there is only one university in the UK, e.g. the London Metropolitan, that appears to have more black students attending that university than the whole of the Russell Group top universities.

Against the background of the withdrawal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance etc, there are greater barriers to these young people getting into higher education. Are these groups simply meant to be surplus to requirements? UCU for one does not think so. The social and economic situation has consequences, as we saw with the unrest across the country over the summer. Indeed, it was Martin Luther King who said that social unrest is the voice of the voiceless.

We have a responsibility to strengthen our resolve and work with the voiceless. We have a responsibility to ensure that we stand with our communities to ensure that they do not suffer from the vagaries of the market and the cuts of the coalition government. Please support the motion.

Pat Stuart (Unite) supported Motion 14. She said: It is already clear that the cuts imposed by this coalition government are impacting most heavily on women and also on black workers, workers with disabilities and others who are already disadvantaged in the world of work and will widen the equality gap, potentially setting us back years.

These effects are clear in my own not-for-profit section of Unite where the youth services are being decimated and funding is being slashed to a range of organisations providing services to those with greatest need in the community. My own branch has been busy representing members, both at a political level and at an industrial level, who face swingeing service-destroying cuts to mental health services, services to the homeless, family support services and community advice services among others. Our members are facing the threat of redundancy. They are losing their entitlement to annual leave - some of them losing up to a week -- they are losing their public holidays or they are losing some of their sick pay entitlement.

Even those losing their jobs suffer extra distress because these are the kinds of people who work in our sector and who work in public services as well. It is extra distress at the thought of the reduction or loss of the services they care about providing and the people who rely upon those services.

Most of our members are women and a high proportion of them are black. What is happening to them is a microcosm of the triple whammy that women are facing at present in the economy: (1) women's jobs are most at risk from cuts; (2) women disproportionately rely upon many of the services being damaged; and (3) the increased burden of care arising from the vacuum in the support services falls upon carers, most of whom are women.

There is little point in appealing to the moral sensibilities of the government because (a) they do not have any, and (b) their view of the world is tainted by that hostility to women which is a classic feature of right-wing politics. We see elements of it all the time in their pronouncements. The specific help so far has included cutting the childcare element of tax credits, abolishing the health and pregnancy grant and cutting entitlement to child benefit. It is a real help to us, I do not think!

Congress, we now need our brothers in the unions to help us to make the plight of women and the issues we are facing a key campaigning priority. We need your assistance to highlight the equality gap which is growing in front of us now rather than reducing. The amendment makes a point about the inevitable effects on children of driving women into greater poverty. The rich louts in the government do not care. In fact, every time they look around they think of something else for which to blame us. Single parents were to blame for the riots, but I will not start on that. Please support the motion. (Applause)

Annette Mansell-Green (Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association) spoke in support of Motion 14.

She said: Good afternoon, Congress, and thank you for allowing me to speak in this debate as I think this is the maiden speech from the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association. We would like to particularly support another small specialist health union affiliate, the CSP, in their amendment regarding child poverty.

In doing so, what I would like to do is to highlight a particular area of concern to our members and that is the cuts that are being faced by the children and adolescent mental health services across the country with some areas facing cuts of up to 25 per cent in those services. There is also the threat of privatisation.

I think we understand that in order to address these health inequalities, and particularly mental health issues suffered by this group of people, we need a multi-agency approach. You cannot deliver a multi-agency approach through health and social care with local government and the NHS with private sector involvement. Having said that, we do have members who do work for the private sector and there are particular issues to address around that under different headings.

Congress, we know that health inequality and in particular mental health are both the cause and effect of poverty, particularly hitting children the hardest. Cuts to this service are of vital importance with members facing up to 25 per cent cuts in service delivery and also redundancies.

Poor mental health is more prevalent in poorer areas and within already disadvantaged groups. What are some of the issues faced by these young people when it comes to mental health problems? They include self-harm, alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, conduct issues, emotional issues and a variety of aspects of the autistic spectrum.

Our children and adolescents deserve a fair opportunity in life to participate and to contribute to society. We have heard from other speakers that there is a disproportionate effect on BME groups. They are more likely to experience the risk factors associated with mental health such as deprivation, discrimination, poor education and employment prospects. Coupled with cuts to other services such as the EMA, it is a double whammy for already disadvantaged and discriminated against groups.

Another group that we need to consider are the children of refugees and asylum seekers who are at very high risk of mental health issues due to the fact that they have suffered traumatic experiences prior to arriving in this country and then discrimination when they do. Looked-after children and young offenders are two other groups. You can see that there are areas in which we need to work together as a movement with all our specialities - the big unions and the small - in fighting these cuts and stopping the prevalence and vicious circle of health inequality, social deprivation and poverty. (Applause)

* Motion 14 was CARRIED

No cutting back on women's equality: women united against the cuts

The President: I now call Motion 15. The General Council supports the motion.

Diana Holland (Unite) moved Motion 15.

She said: President, Congress, I am moving Motion 15, No cutting back on women's equality, on behalf of the TUC Women's Conference.

In March this year, the TUC Women's Conference debated many vital issues, but it was this motion that we chose to bring here to Congress. It is a motion which shows the anger, the unity of purpose, the strength and the humanity of working women across our movement and our communities. Women and children did not cause this global economic crisis and yet it is women and children who are being singled out to pay the highest price. Two-thirds of the cuts are funded by taking money from women. On average, every man is losing £4.20 a week, which is bad enough, but every woman is losing £8.80, which is more than double. Single parents, who are mostly women, are losing on average one full month's income a year.

We have heard about scrapping the Health in Pregnancy Grant which takes £190.00 a week from all pregnant women, the freezing of child benefit, the shameful robbing of thousands of pounds from women in their late fifties through changes to their state pension age and the impact upon women of the devastating attacks on our welfare state and public services.

As Brendan Barber said this morning, the cuts are also being used to smuggle in ideological policies that never appeared in any manifesto, undermining hard-won achievements for working women, their families and communities. It is things like taking away free fruit from children in school, abolishing the Women's National Commission, abolishing the Agricultural Wages Board, the Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Group and hidden cuts to Access to Work. Just what contribution do these cuts make to dealing with the global economic crisis? They are unfair, unjust and just plain wrong.

We have an alternative and we will unite to achieve it. Last night, at the TUC Women's Reception, we also condemned the invidious and slimy attacks on abortion rights and highlighted the hostility to women underpinning this right wing cuts agenda. We were alerted to the major threat to our achievements on maternity and family rights of which we can rightly be very proud. I watched the short film here at lunchtime showing a child of today dressed as a chimney sweep. We do not need to learn again why child labour is wrong, nor do we need to learn again why we need maternity rights or why we need, as unions, to negotiate and build upon those legal minimums.

When I first became a union officer over 20 years ago, every week I was representing women who were sacked when they became pregnant and women whose pension entitlement was reduced or non-existent because of pregnancy, childbirth and caring. These are lessons we do not need to learn again. That includes the current threat to the migrant domestic worker visa which ended their slavery status in 1998.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and their millionaire team should hang their heads in shame. An attack on the most vulnerable shows your own weakness not strength. Last weekend, migrant domestic workers made their work visible in a protest with brushes, sweeping up outside Parliament. We should join them and sweep this latest attack on the most vulnerable in our community out of Parliament and into the dustbin where it belongs. (Applause)

So, we are angry, we are organised and we have been taking action, but we need to ensure the huge alliance that we are building has the diversity of women and men, together and equal, with issues of women's equality centre stage and not at the margins. Yesterday, I came across a document that a national officer had passed to me. It is an agreement which came from nearly 60 years ago. It says: 'In April 1953, the NJC approved the principle of equal pay for equal work' and it then went on, 'but in the light of the situation obtaining generally in this regard, the implementation of the principle was deferred until the time should be appropriate.'

In the light of the situation obtaining generally in this regard today, working women need action now for our charter, to oppose cuts and to continue to advance equality and let no one say that we need to defer implementation of the principle of women's equality to a more appropriate time. Inequality and disunity is too high a price to pay. Congress, I move. (Applause)

Susan Highton (UNISON) seconded Motion 15.

She said: Congress, it is fitting that this motion was chosen by the delegation for the TUC Women's Conference to be heard today because what this government is doing to our public services, to our communities, to our health service and to the most vulnerable members of our society will impact upon women's lives in the way that many never imagined when they listened to the promises of Cameron and Clegg at election time last year. Almost immediately, they froze child benefits, scrapped pregnancy grants and raised the criteria for the tax credit despite the fact that their own Minister for Equalities warned that these measures had not been equality impact-assessed and would have a detriment effect on women. Cameron and Clegg chose to ignore this advice.

Now we see Sure Start Children's Centres being forced to close across the UK or the service has been cut to a minimal level, the very centres which provide a lifeline to women and children most in need of support and a way in which women can re-enter the workforce and escape the benefits trap. Users of Sure Start services are mostly women and the vast majority of staff employed in them are also women, many of them members of UNISON. At a time of recession, the need for public services increases and not decreases.

Southern Cross is a prime example of just how badly things can go wrong when private companies take over the services that the public sector could, and should, provide. The care of over 30,000 vulnerable people is now uncertain as is the future of the staff providing this care.

This past week, members of my union stood vigil in support of the NHS as this government drove through the Health and Social Care Bill. It is a bill that will yet again impact detrimentally upon women's lives and women's equality. It is a hidden attack on women.

Our experience of privatisation has been a disaster. For our members, it means lower wages, longer hours and poor standards for how else can they provide a cheaper service? For patients and service users, it means longer waiting lists, lower standards and less choice. If maternity services are cut or centralised, how many mothers and babies will be at risk? If facility services are cut, how many women will suffer the agony of being told that no help is available for them unless they can pay? How many waiting lists will go up and will private patients leapfrog the queue so that women are left waiting for hip and knee surgery to make their lives more bearable?

In the Cinderella services of mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, how many women will struggle on with their own problems or try to deal with their family members' problems whilst the queue for help grows longer and the specialist services they so desperately need are withdrawn? Cameron would like us to believe that his 'Big Society', volunteers and unpaid workers will fill the gap, but we know that women's organisations providing support to women who experience domestic abuse, those at risk in trying to escape forced marriages and women who have suffered sexual abuse and rape are now seeing their funding withdrawn or slashed by local authorities trying to make ends meet and the emergency services being used.

Please support this motion and let us all go out and fight for what we deserve. We deserve public services and we deserve women to be at the forefront. (Applause)

* Motion 15 was CARRIED

Race equality and the attack on public services

The President: I now call Motion 16, Race equality and the attack on public services. The General Council supports the motion.

Mark Clifford (UNISON) moved Motion 16 on behalf of the Black Workers' Conference. He said: I move Motion 16, Race equality and the attack on public services, on behalf of the Black Workers' Conference.

Congress, we meet at a crucial time, just a month since the civil disturbances which scarred, scared and shocked our nation. It is at a time when the fate of public services hangs in the balance with a White Paper promising reforms which will further undermine the fabric of the public service ethos as we know it. It is at a time when our unions are needed by black workers more than ever to defend their jobs, pay, pension and terms and conditions.

Congress, this motion highlights the devastating impact the Tory-led government attacks are having on public services and rolling back years of progress on race equality. Black unemployment has increased sharply. The figures are getting worse as the scale of the job cuts take effect. Analysis by the IPPR revealed that 48 per cent of young black people are unemployed compared with 20 per cent of young white people, a social travesty on a massive scale.

These figures show that young people are paying a heavy price for the recession and economic crisis caused by rich bankers. The situation has been exacerbated by the coalition government's policies, which have consigned many young people to long-term unemployment and restricted access to further and higher education, plunging many into debt. They have withdrawn funding for Connexion services, youth clubs, community centres and the Jobs for the Future programme. The list is endless.

The government's cuts and lack of funding for local authorities are punishing local communities and pushing our poor communities deeper into poverty. Where communities once had hope, the slash and burn government policies are giving rise to despair, dissolution and disharmony.

When the government cuts funding to local government in cities like Birmingham, London, Manchester, Bradford and Leicester, it is cutting lifelines to some of the most deprived communities in the UK - our communities. Those same policies robbed a generation of achieving their ambitions and aspirations in the 1980s and 1990s. Many communities have never recovered from the onslaught of the Tory policies of worklessness, living on the breadline and trapped on benefits. We know which communities are going to suffer disproportionately. They are communities whose histories were already blighted by discrimination, poverty and workplace exploitation, their future still gripped by the stranglehold of institutional racism.

David Cameron's talk about the 'Big Society' is just that; talk. His words ring hollow when we know that the community and voluntary sectors have been facing budget cuts of their own. Those groups providing specialist services to the black community have faced some of the deepest cuts. It brings home the responsibility that trade unions have. Only we have the collective power and the will to truly tackle racism in the workplace.

As I marched with hundreds of thousands of ordinary people on March 26th, I felt proud of what we, as a movement, had accomplished. We sent a message to the government that we were not going to stand aside and let them target the poor, the old and the sick and that we were not going to let them feather the pockets of their friends and make us pay the price. It is vital for us now, as trade unionists, to negotiate, bargain and organise to make sure that black workers and black communities are not made to pay the price for the reckless gambles of the bankers.

Equality is one of the most important tools we have to challenge the unfairness and inequality of the government plans. We believe that black people need trade unions and trade unions need black people now more than ever before. Congress, we need to go further. We need to ensure that race equality is a key part of the TUC's and the affiliates' agendas to defend public services and to focus on their anti-cuts campaigns, both nationally and within local communities.

Trade unions in particular have always faced the social challenges of our time. We have never shied away from meeting them and we must forge ahead in finding solutions to the challenges of our time. We will organise, we will lobby and we will be relentless in our campaign for a better future for all. Thank you. (Applause)

Zita Holbourne (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Motion 16. She said: Black workers are bearing the brunt of cuts to the public sector. As the largest employer of black workers with 640,000 employees, the cuts to the public sector are having a disproportionate impact. At least 27,000 black workers are set to lose their jobs. Cuts to the public sector are having a knock-on impact on the voluntary sector with slashed funding leading to respected longstanding black organisations, which provide valuable services to black communities in the most deprived and vulnerable areas, ceasing to exist.

Job segregation, discrimination in recruitment, pay progression and appraisal mean that black workers are already in the lowest grades on the lowest pay, living in poverty so are more likely to be impacted by cuts with devastating consequences. As the public sector has a high concentration of women workers, this means that black women will experience a double impact and this will also hurt not just them but their dependants and families. Young people will be unable to get employment in the public sector because of job cuts and the government's plan to make us work longer to receive our pensions. Young black people are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be unemployed with nearly half of young black people out of work. It is essential, therefore, that all trade union anti-cuts campaigns tackle the racism of cuts.

PCS and the TUC Race Relations Committee, alongside a range of unions and national and local anti-cuts groups, have been working with Black Activists Rising Against Cuts UK, a national campaign with regional structures to tackle the disproportionate impact of cuts on black communities, service users and workers. All anti-cuts campaigns need to include black workers, service users and communities in their activities as these are the people who can speak first-hand on how the cuts are impacting upon them and ensure that the discrimination of cuts is addressed. PCS has a national strategy to tackle the discrimination of cuts and has delivered a programme of training to equip both lay and full-time officer negotiators in using the law, including the Equality Act and equality impact assessments, to challenge any potential disproportionate impact of cuts on black workers and service users.

Whilst there is no longer a requirement for Equality Impact Assessments in law, employers must still demonstrate due regard and unions should negotiate for EIAs to be policy if they have not already done so. The Cabinet Office and many civil service departments have agreed that EIAs are the best way of making assessments. It is essential that assessments of the impact are carried out prior to any cuts taking place and that steps and measures are taken to avoid any disproportionate impact and that, as trade unionists, we insist upon this.

To end, trade unions have a responsibility to practise equality and to tackle and challenge any discrimination at work. This should remain a priority in bargaining, organising and negotiating. Equality is not an add-on. It should be at the heart of any campaign, not least the campaign against cuts. Please support the motion. (Applause)

* Motion 16 was CARRIED


Chris Murphy (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) spoke paragraph 3.10. He said: This may not be the most important issue this week or this year, but it is about disability. The TUC - and I am looking at the General Council - should take on board what I would call 'the walking wounded'. There are disabled people who are unfortunately very limited in mobility and need wheelchairs. However, there are the walking wounded - and I am classed as one of them - who are independent and can get around to a degree.

You can get a blue badge which allows you to park in convenient places because of a physical defect or because you are disabled. You have to apply and, if you are lucky, you are given one. However, when you make an enquiry through your union as a delegate to the TUC - and I am talking about Brighton, Liverpool or Manchester - there are parking facilities but you have to pay for them. In Liverpool, it was difficult to park and if you parked, your car was towed away.

I am asking the General Council - and I expect that there will be gnashing of teeth and crying tonight about the great cost of the hall, which you are not going to believe - if trade unions can be asked before every conference if they have any walking wounded. I know I am not using the correct PC term, but they are those people who are independent and still want to be active. If there are facilities available so that they can drive themselves there, park their motorcars, get into the conference and get out (which is all we ask for) I hope the General Council and the organisers of Congress will pay attention to this. If not, I will do my best to come back and hound you next year. (Applause)

The President: Thank you, colleague, for those heartfelt remarks on behalf of the disabled. We take on board your comments and certainly we will look seriously at these when we do the review of Congress after the event. Thank you very much for those comments.

Mental health at work

The President: I will now move to Motion 17, Mental health at work. The General Council support the motion.

Sean McGovern (Unite) moved Motion 17 on behalf of the TUC Disability Conference. He said: Congress, if you had a mental health condition, would you tell your employer? If you were stressed and it was affecting your health, would you tell your boss or any of your colleagues? Most workers do not. There is such a thing as an environment of fear where many people are afraid of bullying and other forms of discrimination so they are not open about their mental health condition. Trade unions have always played an important role in negotiating for dignity at work. We at Unite have recently launched our stress and mental health campaign, which includes a lot of information as well as a negotiator's guide for reps.

Congress, this is the time to organise around this vital issue. We need support for workers with mental conditions on our bargaining agendas so that we can negotiate for reasonable judgment, sufficient disability leave and a workplace free of stigma. We all know that the horrific government cuts will put more pressure on workers, which will worsen their conditions or even be the cause of another condition. We all remember the government's pledge: 'We will protect the NHS from cuts.' The reality is proving very different.

There have been serious cuts of 15 per cent to jobs in mental health trusts and this is just the beginning. This government has the audacity to admit that its massive cuts to the public sector undermine its pledge to help one million people recover from mental health conditions by the year 2014. We will see the devastating long-term effects of these cuts with specific care models for those with long-term conditions or severe mental illnesses not being developed or piloted or best practice not being disseminated across the country.

We now know that some of the deepest cuts will hit people in the mental health services. The figures show that in total 6,346 jobs could be at risk across the 53 mental health trusts and, yes, you have guessed it - a high proportion of those will be at clinical rather than at management level.

This government thinks that it is easier to make these cuts because people using mental health services cannot, or dare not, speak up, but we will show them. Congress, please support this motion. I move. (Applause)

Julie Robinson (UNISON) seconded the Motion 17.

She said: Congress, 45 per cent of our workers are experiencing, or have experienced, mental ill-health. Many of our colleagues do not disclose that they have these conditions. We have to ask ourselves why our colleagues, some of them really close friends, do not divulge this information. I think Sean has covered the reasons in his speech. It is all part of hidden disabilities. No one questions a wheelchair user or a blind person etc. When you look as fit as a butcher's dog, it is hard for employers and workmates to understand that your diabetes, cancer or mental health means that you could be disabled.

No one likes the idea of standing up and shouting that they had Prozac for breakfast so the motion calls on the General Council and also affiliates to ensure that activists and members are made aware of all legislation that can support our members who are experiencing mental ill-health. Training should support affiliates to negotiate policies which support mental health, including disability leave agreements. This training should include ways of helping our colleagues to disclose their mental health conditions to ensure that our members and employers become more aware of mental health conditions.

In summary, I have noticed in the equality debates that we have had only movers and seconders. I would hope that is only because of the plea from the President to keep the debate short and not because of apathy from the affiliates. I move. (Applause)

Mandy Hudson (National Union of Teachers) supported Motion 17. She said: The NUT is proud to support this motion from the Disabled Workers' Conference regarding mental health. We have done quite a lot of work over the years on mental health issues. What I want to focus on now is particularly how the trade union movement can support those colleagues with mental health conditions.

I find that this matter only comes to people's attention when stories are told of the horror and stress that individuals go through when trying to cope in a workplace which is completely overwhelming. We know now that what we face in terms of the cuts is a completely overwhelming situation for all of us. For many years, those with mental health conditions were considered to be weak and all they needed to do was to pull themselves together. I believe that there is a systemic failure of institutions in society as a whole to recognise the fact that if people are working in stressful conditions, they are going to crack. That is something that we all have to recognise.

The TUC, according to the numbers that I have seen this week, represents six million workers and yet we know that our power goes further in terms of the tone that we set. I would encourage the General Council to continue to roll out the training used for disabilities generally and mental health in particular. There are many good publications out there regarding courses on disability championing, mental health awareness and work/life balance. All of those are there to help raise awareness.

I would also stress that we need to watch our language. I have just been listening to the equality debate. Let us get away a little more from the suffering, the victims and the vulnerable because we could all be considered to be suffering and vulnerable victims. We are the ones who can actually power the fight-back on this. We are much stronger together. Let us get rid of the negative reactions. We need to empower our reps within each workplace to be able to see beyond an individual situation and to fight a system which causes so many people to be under so much mental distress. Thank you very much. (Applause)

* Motion 17 was CARRIED

Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts

The President: I now call Motion 18, Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts. The General Council supports the motion.

Bev Miller (UNISON) moved Motion 18.

She said: President, Congress, I am Bev Miller, a UNISON delegate, a TUC LGBT Committee member and proud to move Motion 18 on defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts. This motion is a composite of motions and amendments submitted to this summer's TUC LGBT Conference. There was little else on our minds at that conference which opened on the day of the teaching unions' pension strike and there has been little on our minds since. We were angry and determined then and we are even more angry and determined now.

As LGBT people, we are faced with the most vicious onslaught of our lives on our jobs, on our terms and conditions, on the services that we use and on the benefits on which we rely. We are under attack as workers and as trade unionists. Can you imagine being a black LGBT person with a disability?

Congress, this is not news to anyone here. Everyone who is not a banker or a millionaire is affected by the cuts. What this motion highlights is the specific and disproportionate impact upon LGBT people. This Tory-led government has, with characteristic duplicity, re-branded itself as caring about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. They have their action plans and their ministerial statements saying that they want to tackle prejudice.

They say, 'We will take a range of measures to end discrimination in the workplace.' Then why do we continue to hear reports of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the workplace with members afraid to complain as they know that their jobs are at risk?

They say, 'We will promote better recording of hate crimes against disabled, homosexual and transgender people.' Then why introduce 20 per cent cuts across the police service, which will make tackling hate crimes a pipedream for police forces? They say that they are developing plans to deal with the devastating discrimination faced by transgender people. Then why are gender reassignment services being deemed non-essential and subject to ever more severe rationing?

Congress, we must expose the short-sighted nature of these cuts - the relatively miniscule amounts of money saved compared with the huge costs in human terms. There is the cost of unemployment, damage to mental health, relationship breakdown, lives which are ruined and, in some cases, suicide caused by failure to provide these vital services. Regardless of its talk, this government has no interest in equality, no interest in removing barriers and no interest in fairness.

The gains made in LGBT equality is the legacy of years of trade unions and community organisations campaigning and the work of the previous Labour government. Cameron cannot admit that LGBT people will be among the hardest hit by his Government's austerity measures. LGBT people work disproportionately in the public and voluntary sectors which are being cut.

As a community, LGBT people are more reliant upon public services. The few dedicated and valuable services that have been established do not, as this motion says, win popularity contests. Local newspapers are not likely to run campaigns to save their local LGBT support group or dedicated mental health services.

Delegates, it is up to the trade union movement, working with the LGBT community, to defend these vital services and oppose the cuts and attacks on our pensions. Members in our service should not pay the price for the greed of the financial institutions which caused the mess. We must highlight the alternatives and campaign for the implementation of the Robin Hood tax. As long as this government carries on with its reckless handling of the economy, it will be cuts, cuts, cuts.

Our legal rights to equality are of little comfort when so many of us are being made redundant or redeployed to lower grades with less pay. We must ensure that equality impact assessments are used to challenge discriminatory practice against LGBT people. We will not be marginalised, we will not be silenced and we will not lose the rights that many before us fought so hard to gain. We will be out, proud and determined to win this fight. Congress, please promote equality, oppose the cuts and support this motion. I move. (Cheers and applause)

Harry McAnulty (Unite) spoke in support of Motion 18. He said: We have to note the devastating impacts across Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales that the austerity ConDem cuts are having on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. The already marginalised communities experience a range of health inequalities, experience discrimination in all walks of life, and are subjected to homophobic hate and abuse, all recognised by government departments. The communities are being further beaten into the ground by the ConDem spending review. In London almost one in 200 people aged between 15 and 59 are living with HIV. The HIV virus disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men across Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, and in some areas one in four gay and bisexual men are living with the virus. Charities who carry out HIV prevention work like the Terence Higgins Trust, GMFA, and CASE, have had their budgets slashed by up to 43 per cent but yet there continues to be a 70 per cent rise in HIV infection cases from the early Noughties. Other charities that provide a range of mental health support for LGBT people have also been targets of the same vicious austerity measures. We have also heard from other speakers of the attack on youth services by local authority cuts, and services that support LGBT youth have greatly been reduced or are under increasing threat.

These changes in funding with no impact assessments are further threatening and marginalising the LGBT community. With the reduction in police funding across the regions equality has indeed slipped down the agenda. Job losses such as LGBT hate crime officers are impacting on the investigation and reporting of hate crimes; indeed, the transgender community is also feeling the impact of the ConDem attacks on services. The NHS trusts have stopped referral for gender reassignment surgery for trans people. High levels of suicide among trans people waiting for surgery is well documented in US research which cites that 41 per cent of trans people have attempted suicide. Just last week the Health and Social Care Bill was discussed in Parliament. If this is passed it will change the nature of how services are commissioned with more responsibility falling upon GPs. The Equality and Human Rights Commission on Trans report recognises that GPs may have less of an interest in gender issues, therefore impacting on the vital services.

It is evident that the services for LGBT people do not win popularity contests and they are among the first to be cut. Congress, we need to highlight the attacks on LGBT key workers in organisations, maintain the commitment to LGBT equality, campaign against the erosion of the equality agenda, and defend LGBT support services. Congress, the cuts are having a real and devastating impact among the LGBT community. I hope that all unions can stand united with fellow workers to fight against the austerity measures, an attack on society's most vulnerable and on working people. Comrades, I urge you to support this motion. (Applause)

Dave Brinson (National Union of Teachers) spoke in support of Motion 18. He said: By choosing to bring this motion, the LGBT conference is recognising that the government's savage cuts agenda threatens every area of the equality agenda. We made significant gains under the previous government in terms of equality legislation but legislation alone does not achieve equality. LGBT people still face discrimination, ignorance, intolerance, and hatred and they rely on the support of public services and those funded voluntary sector groups in challenging and combating this.

If we really want to change attitudes in society we need to invest in education and in youth work. We celebrate those professionals delivering equality work, whether in schools, local authorities, or in the voluntary sector. People like Elly Barnes who led such fantastic work for LGBT History Month at Stoke Newington School. I have to give a shout out for Elly's fantastic work if only for the fact that Toby Young hates it. (Laughter) Toby Young does not think that our young people should learn about gay and lesbian history. He thinks they should spend that time learning about the Ancient Greeks. There may be a shock coming to you there, Toby. (Laughter/Applause)

The motion acknowledges the coalition is trying to make positive noises on equality issues. The fact that the Red Tape Challenge in the equalities section asks in the very first question whether we should scrap the Equality Acts altogether casts some doubt on that. If this government is serious about equality, then they are currently failing to put their money where their mouth is or whatever orifice it is that they are currently talking out of.

We keep hearing how frontline services are to be protected. This is Cameron's big lie. Are the thousands of professionals working for local education authorities, often with the most vulnerable kids, now being made redundant en masse not frontline services? Are those specialists leading equality and diversity work, health education, and anti-bullying work in schools and local authorities not frontline services? Are those voluntary groups working with young LGBT people who have seen their funding slashed or scrapped altogether not frontline services? The government's cuts agenda is an attack, an ideological attack on public service, an attack on ordinary working people, a wholesale attack on the equality agenda, and we need to put a stop to it. Support this motion. (Applause)

* Motion 18 was CARRIED

Public sector equality duty

The President: I now call Motion 19, Public sector equality duty. The General Council supports the motion.

Sue Gethin (FDA) moved Motion 19. She said: The FDA was pleased when the 2010 Equality Act clarified and strengthened equality rights in the United Kingdom but we are disappointed that this government has weakened the public sector duty by failing to back it up with specific duties regulations, particularly as this appears to be happening out of a belief that these duties create an unnecessary burden on authorities, which is a premise we do not accept.

This is a complex and confusing area of employment legislation and regulation and the FDA is calling upon the TUC General Council to help equip affiliated unions with the expertise to work with public bodies to ensure that progress gained to date is not lost and also to campaign to retain and assimilate good practice on publishing meaningful equality data. This can be done through the use of effective equality impact assessments.

We would like the TUC to continue to act as a conduit to share good practice, allowing affiliates and reps to learn from each other and to ensure that training and briefing materials are available for affiliates and their reps, which will allow us to build up the necessary expertise.

The draft regulations laid before Parliament in July 2011 weaken the specific duties which are supposed to back up the public sector equality duty such that they provide little support for individuals and groups seeking to hold public bodies to account, and nor do they provide guidance to public bodies on how to meet the general equality duty which remains a requirement.

It is said the changes are being made to reduce bureaucracy and the burden on public authorities. However, we believe that having information published to demonstrate that issues are being dealt with would indeed be a lesser burden on a public authority than reacting to the numerous questions raised by citizens, the press, staff, and trade unions, about the same issue. If the information is already out there, then the authority need do nothing more than point the questioner to it and in doing so it demonstrates openness and transparency. Organisations that have been using best practice to date may also believe that what they were previously doing will become unnecessary.

The government has stated that its new approach to the specific duties is about improving transparency and democratic accountability. However, we do not feel that the light touch approach gives the necessary power and information to allow citizens, community organisations, and trade unions, to question the equality commitments of public bodies, particularly if there is a requirement for public bodies to commit to a single objective towards achieving equality.

The regulations drafted imply that one objective will be enough to meet the requirements of the general duty, although this covers eight protected characteristics and has three elements, eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity, and fostering good relations. As the necessary information may no longer be readily available, trade unions and others are likely to resort to freedom of information requests to get this information that should have been published. This will thus increase the bureaucracy compared to the publication of equality impact assessments in a timely and open fashion.

The FDA believes that equality impact assessments are a good starting point for those seeking to establish whether public bodies have paid due regard to equality. We do not accept the government's statement that publishing evidence is unnecessarily prescriptive. We are also concerned that the draft regulations expect the public bodies will be held to account only after the event. This goes against the purpose of the duty to pay due regard and will be costly and ineffective in the way of operating as potential issues and concerns will fail to be addressed at a formative stage.

Effective equality impact assessments are a vital tool for public bodies to demonstrate that they have taken account of the public sector equality duty. Equality impact assessments should not be just a tick box exercise, they should be meaningful, effective, properly evaluated, and carried out by those who are trained to do so. Congress, I urge you to support Motion 19. Thank you. (Applause)

Elizabeth Cameron (UNISON) seconded Motion 19.

She said: I am delighted to be seconding Motion 19, the public sector equality duty. President, Congress, UNISON campaigned relentlessly for the public sector equality duty following publication of the Stephen Lawrence Report. This report found evidence of entrenched institutional racism in some of our public institutions. The purpose of the public sector equality duty is to seek to bring about transformational change in eradicating, I stress, persistent and systematic discrimination in our public institutions.

UNISON welcomes the strengthening and extension of the public sector equality duty in the 2010 Act. It is very disappointing and deeply distressing that the coalition government's approach has been to weaken the specific equality duty rendering them almost meaningless, and abolishing the requirement to carry out an equality impact assessment prior to making changes to procedures, policies, and practices.

EIAs have enabled the public, trade unions, and under-represented groups to scrutinise and influence public authorities. EIAs have become simple to operate, widely accepted, and defined by the court as an essential requirement before decisions are made. They have helped to drive improvements in public policy. UNISON argues that EIAs are still the best way of complying with the general duty when changes are made and the government has said that the intention of the revised specific duty is to move from a process-driven approach to a focus on transparency and a shift in approach, a focus on performance, not process, and yet have removed the two practical tools that deliver this. Their commitment to equality and transparency has been shown for exactly what it is, a hollow sham. Revising the duties in this way is a retrograde step and takes us back to the 20th century model of equalities, all talk and no action.

We reject this approach. UNISON believes that the equality impact assessment is an effective tool in eliminating discrimination. It is a modern approach that shines a light in the darker corners of our public institutions. It helps to remove entrenched barriers that pervade those institutions. It improves equal access and enhances public accountability. They are a key component in giving substance to the general duty and are necessary to demonstrate that public authorities, who should by example be leading, are taking due regard to and complying with meeting their statutory obligations under the general duty, and are delivering all of their functions as employers.

In UNISON we publish a range of extensive guidance to negotiators and branches to use in defending members' jobs and protecting services. We are collating examples of good practice where trade unions are engaged in using the equality duty to protect members' jobs and services. Our experience to date has shown that where UNISON branches and paid officials actively use these equality impact assessments we can make a real difference. We will continue to hold public authorities to account, and this government to account, for their policies which threaten to roll back years of progress on equality. Congress, please support the motion. (Applause)

* Motion 19 was CARRIED

Proposed reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The President: I now call Motion 20, Proposed reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The General Council supports the motion.

Anne McCrae (Educational Institute of Scotland) moved Motion 20. She said: I am pleased to be moving Motion 20. Comrades, I am going to present you two fairly simple, very strong but very simple arguments why the labour movement should be opposed to this government's proposals to reform the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

First of all, the first argument like so very much of what this government wants to do is that their proposals are inevitably politically and ideologically motivated. I think what it shows and exposes is actually the reality of what they want to do, that in fact equality and human rights issues are far less important to them than actually allowing the needs of business and the needs of the market to be unhampered in any kind of way. I think the second argument as to why we should be against these changes is about cutting jobs, about cutting public services, and about cutting quite vital public information on the nature of inequalities in our society.

I will just explore the first argument, initially. The proposed change to the remit of the EHRC has, I think, been wrapped up in this whole thing about bureaucracy, unnecessary bureaucracy, and about this Red Tape Challenge that we have heard various other speakers talk about. Actually, as we all know it is not really that at all, it is yet another attack on working people, an attack that goes along with attacks on our pay and conditions, attacks on civil liberties, and attacks on our pensions. The best way to fight those, of course, is to fight back. I applaud the brothers and sisters in the PCS and Unite who have actually walked out on a couple of occasions to fight back about that. I think that is really important.

Employers believe that they have to be free of these regulations and that means they want to be free of health and safety regulations, they want to be free of any kind of responsibility for decent pensions, and free from equality and human rights regulations, but without those regulations employers have the green light to abuse and to exploit workers.

The Commission is absolutely vital in its role in enforcing equality legislation. It is important that we defend it. It is also about much more than that. The proposals of this government are to repeal the general duty, which is about a duty that the EHRC has to promote understanding of the importance of equality and diversity. The government does not like the vagueness of that; they do not like that at all. They want to have it removed.

I think it is really important that we defend that duty and defend the right to be promoting equality and diversity because of the position we are in at the moment where, and again I am repeating things that have been said already but I do not apologise for repeating them, we have the opportunity for difference to be constantly exploited and the potential for racism to flourish whether it be the EDL or whether it be the BNP. My home town in Edinburgh, unfortunately, had an organisation called the SDL, the Scottish Defence League, trying to get onto our streets on Saturday, and they were stopped. That kind of a context is really important. That is where I think defending the EHRC sits. The kind of anti-traveller, anti-gypsy sentiment that we have seen in the attempts to evict the residents of Dale Farm is also part of that and of course inevitably I cannot fail to mention the August riots in England, which also show the fractures and inequalities in our society.

With that kind of background it is really, really important to promote equality and diversity; it is very vital indeed. The EHRC has done very, very important work on a number of things. I think it was mentioned this morning the very useful inquiry they had into the sex discrimination in the finance sector and the massive pay gap, gender pay gap, in that sector. There are also things like the defence of the Coleman case, which they supported in the Court of Justice of the EU which upheld Sharon Coleman's case of discrimination by association and gave new rights to six million carers. All of these things are really, really important and they have all been thanks to the EHRC.

One other area, of course, and the second argument that I put forward to you is that it is not only those kinds of aspects but it is also the fact that jobs are being cut. I think the seconder from the PCS is going to go on and talk about that a little more. We have put in our consultations, three-month consultations, and I am sure you have put in one of those, but we also have to continue the campaign to defend the EHRC. Please support the motion. (Applause)

Jane Aitchinson (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Motion 20. She said: President, Congress, this so-called reform as my sister from the Educational Institute for Scotland has already very clearly explained, is just another cut. Congress, this is a devastating cut, a cut that threatens the very viability of the Equality and Human Rights Commission if we allow it to take place. This is part of what the government are describing as an attack on red tape but what they are attacking here is not red tape at all. This is an attack on the safeguards that we have fought for to provide much needed protection for workers, to stop us from being further exploited or disadvantaged by ruthless employers because we are black, or because we are LGBT, or because we are women, or because we are disabled, or because we are pregnant, or just because our face does not seem to fit.

The EHRC is an independent body responsible for enforcing equality and human rights. In its first two years alone it ensured the protection of six million carers. It advised 70,000 workers through its helpline and it helped 136,000 businesses to uphold equality in their workplaces even through the tight times of the recession. All this costs UK citizens £1 a head per year so clearly this is not about saving vast amounts of money. This is about allowing the Tories' big business backers to maximise their profits at the expense of workers and workers' rights.

The government intends to slash the EHRC budget by 68 per cent, threatening jobs and services to the very core. PCS members in EHRC have already been forced to stage two strikes in defence of their jobs and the services they are rightly proud to provide. These cuts, if they are allowed to take place, would hurt those in society who are already suffering the most from the Tory cuts. The Tories do not care who their cuts hurt, but we care, we care because we fought for much of the legislation that the EHRC enforces. We represent the workers they defend and we represent the EHRC workers themselves whose jobs are even more needed in Cameron's Britain.

Who was not inspired, Congress, by the brave and determined women of Dagenham, celebrated in the film Made in Dagenham which we saw released last year. Their equal pay victory is just one example of the protection the EHRC upholds. We must fight just as hard as those Dagenham sisters to defend the victory that they won for us. When these cuts are defeated, and, Congress, they will be defeated, we cannot afford to start back at year zero on equality. The cuts are designed to divide us. Fighting every cut unites us, so let's fight every cut together. Thank you. (Applause)

* Motion 20 was CARRIED

Defending multiculturalism

The President: Congress, as I indicated earlier, I may be in a position to take the business that was dropped from the agenda this morning after Composite Motion 3, Defending Multiculturalism. That business is Motion 13, TUC support for smaller trade unions, moved by the AEP, seconded by ASLEF. I may also be able to take Emergency Motion 1, TUC response to the riots, moved by the POA, seconded by the FBU. Will unions please be ready in case we have enough time? I now call Composite Motion 3, Defending multiculturalism. The General Council supports the Composite Motion.

Billy Hayes (Communication Workers Union) moved Composite Motion 3. He said: When David Cameron told an international audience that multiculturalism in Britain had failed, he attacked our diverse communities and our future economic prospects. In March this year support for the Tories was falling so he used coded racism to whip up his core vote. It is not only that this approach is morally wrong, it is also factually wrong.

Multiculturalism has been a success in Britain and makes a major contribution to progress in our society. In a globalised world, in a globalised economy, multicultural Britain has a competitive advantage. Our diverse communities link us directly to other nations and other developing markets. The many languages and social skills of our population offer us a personal connection with the most dynamic parts of the world economy. We have a pool of talent in our population who can speak the language of the markets and the market-makers in China, India, Latin America, Africa, and so on.

As trade unions we have an interest in promoting more open connections to the world economy and the free movement of people and goods. We need to overcome the traditional problems of under-investment in a productive economy and the over-reliance on the City of London. Attacking multiculturalism is attacking our future prosperity but Cameron's speech also gave aid and comfort to the racists and the fascists.

One of the EDL leaders said that Cameron was 'now saying what we were saying.' Nick Griffin said he agreed with Cameron's approach. Le Pen, leader of the fascist Front National, said, 'It is exactly the type of statement that has barred us from public life for the last 30 years. We congratulate him.' It is then vital that the Trade union movement takes a stand against such people. The prime aim of the BNP is to have an all-white Britain. The prime aim of the EDL is to terrorise the Muslim community from a participation in public life.

The TUC's annual report documents our support for the anti-racism and anti-fascist campaigns in the past year. We have done good work in the past 12 months, particularly against the BNP, but in the next year we can expect the government cuts to hit harder and the economy to continue to stagnate. Inevitably, this is fertile ground for the racists. We must expect more problems from the violent Islamaphobes in the EDL. We need to mobilise against them as we did recently in the East End of London. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain's Muslim community as we did when we held a General Council meeting in a mosque in East London some years ago now.

The BNP has been dealt some huge blows and is breaking up but they can revive in one form or another. The CWU welcomes the amendments from UNISON, UCU, and TSSA, and of course the General Council support, but we live in very dangerous times. We hope many unions will send delegates to the convention on multiculturalism called by the UAF, One Society Many Cultures, on October 15th at the TUC. We stand positively in favour of multiculturalism and positively against racism and fascism. I move. (Applause)

Lilian Macer (UNISON) seconded Composite Motion 3.

She said: UNISON members are committed to provide quality public services that change people's lives, services that help people back into work, that help our children get the best start in life, and help care for our sick and elderly. We ensure that our world-class public services are there for everyone and we rely on people of all races, religion, and background, to deliver them. That is why the fight against racism, against prejudice, is a fight for our public services. That is why we work so hard to fight the fascists and the far right. It is a workplace issue for UNISON. Without our black members, our migrant worker members, our public services would grind to a halt and, Congress, the NHS would collapse. There is no doubt that services provided by local government would also be affected.

The politics of demonising and scape-goating immigrants, Muslim people, and other black communities, for the problems caused by ruthless employers and financial crises is not restricted to the far right. It has entered mainstream. We now have a government that wants to exclude certain people from our society to create a smaller Britain, a less tolerant Britain. Among many of the reckless policies introduced by the Tory-led government are attacks on migrant workers. They talk about managing migration. They mean dividing up people into good migrants and bad migrants, and not done on the basis of what they are able to contribute. Perhaps it is your neighbour or your work colleague who goes from being a human being to an illegal overnight. These processes demonise our workers and we cannot tolerate that.

This motion highlights the damage that both the words and actions of the government have done to our society. Our members know that the fight for public services is a fight against the far right. Our members and activists work hard throughout the year to challenge the BNP and the English, Welsh, and Scottish Defence Leagues, the Defence Leagues which have disfigured our cities and over the past year intimidating and dividing our communities in the cruellest possible way, reviving some of the ugliest forms of racism and violence on our streets. They want to show that our communities are in conflict with each other. The best response to them is to unite our communities and workplaces against the far right. That is why I want to ask you, Congress, to support the campaign to ban the English, Welsh, and Scottish Defence Leagues from holding demonstrations on our streets. Congress, please support. (Applause)

Kathy Taylor (University and College Union) supported Composite Motion 3. She said: UCU, like every other trade union here, condemns the Prime Minister and his government's appalling and continuing attacks on multiculturalism. You will remember, I am sure, that his speech was made on the same day, the very day that the English Defence league brought its hate to Luton. The EDL, and others who are like minded, should know that in every community all over the country and wherever the EDL arrive to peddle their messages of hate decent fair-minded people are coming together in their thousands to challenge and oppose them.

I want to congratulate all those people and all the trade unionists who made the 3rd September in Tower Hamlets a day of anti-racism and anti-fascism by their united mobilisation to combat the EDL in their own community. As a trade unionist I know we can beat them through organising. As an educator I know we can beat them through exposing them and challenging their racist messages. Multiculturalism is being scape-goated by the far right as the cause of every kind of social ill, from the lack of affordable housing and secure well-paid jobs to failing schools, yet the right conveniently ignore the fact that the government's massive cuts in funding for education and the welfare state have already hit our ethnic minority communities so hard.

We applaud genuine efforts to enhance community cohesion but creating a vibrant and cohesive community requires that people have jobs, that they have homes, that they have hope, and that they can feel safe from the bigotry and violence of the EDL and the BNP. Cameron's panacea to his perceived crisis is to call for more immigrants to learn English. They are empty words. As with so much of this Government's despicable track record so far their policies and their actions have actually done the complete opposite. Their proposals to inflict yet further cuts on adult education and their vicious attacks on the welfare state have hit hardest precisely those non-native speakers of English who need English to support their children, find work, access education, and play a full role in their communities. The proposed changes mean almost 80,000 people across England will lose the right to free language courses with women representing more than two-thirds of those affected, according to the government's own assessment.

Congress, there is some good news. Action for ESOL, the campaign which brought together unions, teachers, students, and community groups, has forced a government U-turn, a tremendously successful campaign for those who supported it. It is an example to us all of what can be achieved by those with a common purpose, united and determined to fight back. While the reversal is great news we should not assume it is permanent. It remains vulnerable. ESOL courses remain vulnerable. We have won this particular battle but not the war. We need to continue to fight for free ESOL provision and a right to language education for all those who need it.

Finally, Congress, language education is about the whole person and their capacity to take charge of their lives and to participate actively and critically in all aspects of their world. Please support this motion and continue to support the campaign to defend English-speaking as a second language courses. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Joel Kosminsky (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) supported Composite Motion 3.

He said: This is my first time at Congress. Please be gentle with me. (Applause) We are very pleased and delighted to be supporting this composite. 'Multiculturalism' is a word you hear a lot but what exactly is it? It is more than going for a curry down Brick Lane: buses 8 and 25 are just round the back there, they run all day and all night. Multiculturalism is having the world on your doorstep and being the better off for it. Multiculturalism recognises and embraces the skills and contributions of all our brothers and sisters and the work of others who have joined us, and the way they enrich our society.

I come from the east end of London and the accent sort of gives it away. The east end of London - Shoreditch, Hackney and around the docks - has been a melting pot for a thousand years. I am one of those people who came in, indirectly, many generations ago. I would not be here if there had been caps on migration then. Caps on migration now encourage racism as they did before and keep divisions between not just working people but us and everybody else. I hate orders. I hate barriers. I hate racism. I have had all of them.

I was born a Jew but I have never had that faith. What does the word 'Jew' give you as an immediate assumption: that I am pro-Israel, that I am anti-Palestine, that I am rich, powerful, and successful? Apart from the successful bit, that is wrong on all counts. So, it is assumptions, and assumptions generate prejudice. We are all different. We are all equal. We need to support each other and the people who come to this country for a better life because they are helping us as much as we help them. Please support this composite. Thank you. (Applause)

Kamaljeet Jandu (GMB) spoke in support of Composite Motion 3. He said: Thank you, President, sisters and brothers. In addition to what has already been said, I just want to illuminate a particular aspect of this debate and give a clear message as well. It has been many years since I was told by somebody to go home or to go back to where I came from. I remember the moment when that was said to me and I remember saying, 'What, Coventry?' I thought, 'Fair enough.' Then I was told, 'We'll pay your fare to go home.' It's like, 'What, £2 to get the number 88 from Camden to South London? Okay, fair enough.'

Congress, I think as with all people in this room I celebrate Christmas, I celebrate Easter, I celebrate St. Patrick's Day; it is a moment for families to come together as with all of you, and others will in addition to that celebrate Diwali, Eid, Ramadan, and Hanukah. All these things happen and, frankly, what is the problem? That is the real question that is coming out here. I am English of Asian heritage. The English Defence League does not represent my interests so the message to the English Defence League, to those opposing English people of colour, and to Cameron, is quite simple: We are here. We are always going to be here. Get over it. If you don't like it, you emigrate. (Applause)

Zita Holbourne (Public and Commercial Services Union) supported Composite Motion 3. She said: The Prime Minister chose to make his comments in Munich on the day when the EDL was staging a protest in Luton, disgracefully making a link between multiculturalism and terrorism. Cameron claims that state multiculturalism has failed but 'state multiculturalism' is not a term we should acknowledge or recognise. Multiculturalism was built and developed in the UK over centuries. It cannot suddenly fail. It is not a government policy and it cannot be taken away by the likes of Cameron. Multiculturalism is what makes the UK a strong, vibrant, enriched society; to remove it you would have to erase history.

PCS put an emergency motion to the TUC Black Workers' Conference earlier this year calling for signatures of all affiliated unions to challenge Cameron and his attack on multiculturalism, to work with One Society Many Cultures, and to ask Cameron how he will tackle the extremist elements of the EDL and the BNP. In response to Cameron's attack a national petition attracted 7,000 signatures and a rally sponsored by One Society Many Cultures at which a number of trade unions were represented took place. Since then a book has been published entitled, Defending Multiculturalism: A Guide to the Movement. I am going to plug it. The launch is tomorrow at 1 o'clock in Bookmarks and I contributed to it along with a whole range of trade unions and the diverse range of contributors. Please come along to the launch in the fringe tomorrow.

One aspect of the motion we need to be cautious about is supporting the campaign for a ban on the EDL, the SDL, and the WDL, from holding demos and rallies. Whilst we are completely against them being allowed to express and spread their hatred, recent calls for bans have led to anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigners and trade unionists also being barred from marching as evidenced with the 30-day ban that is taking place currently in five London boroughs this month. Therefore, we believe this demand should be kept under review as it should not be for government to decide if we can protest as trade unionists.

Whilst there was a ban on marching in Tower Hamlets, we should congratulate those involved in the campaign by community activists and trade unionists in Tower Hamlets that prevented the EDL gathering in the Sainsbury's car park, using several pubs as a meeting place, and congratulate the RMT on threatening to close down Liverpool Street Station and stop trains if the EDL dared to go there. (Applause) This meant that the EDL did not succeed in holding a demo in Tower Hamlets and the counter-demo and rally that took place was a tremendous show of unity, strength, community, and multiculturalism, standing together against the racist and fascist EDL.

Finally, the far right will blame black workers and service users for the lack of jobs, housing, and services, instead of looking at the real cause, which is this horrendous Tory government that we have. Therefore, it is important that all anti-cuts groups include campaigning against the far right and their attacks on black and migrant workers and communities in their campaigns. The attack on multiculturalism is not going away so we must continue to campaign in its defence at the same time as celebrating multiculturalism. Please support. (Applause)

Matt Wrack (Fire Brigades' Union) supported Composite Motion 3. He said: I am speaking in support of Composite Motion 3 but again with some reservation on one point. I think Billy outlined very well the danger from the far right as cuts take hold, as unemployment rises, and as poverty increases. In those situations division is possible and in those situations racism and the far right can, unfortunately, gain an echo. In terms of campaigning directly against the EDL, the BNP, and other far right organisations, we also have to make our campaign for decent conditions, decent housing, decent jobs, and a decent future for all, central to that as well.

I was very proud, along with Zita and a number of other people in the room, to be in Whitechapel the other week to protest against the EDL attempting to march through east London. I think that bit of east London is very rich in history for this debate. Going back to the 1930s, of course, we famously had the Battle of Cable Street in October 1936, but alongside that there was a campaign, for example, to improve housing conditions, and a united tenants' movement demanding decent housing for all that undermined the basis for fascism at the time.

Our concern on this is about point six and the call for support for a campaign on the banning of EDL and other such marches. As has been said, that ban was not the ban that was imposed. The ban that was imposed by the Home Secretary is a general ban on political marches for 30 days in all neighbouring boroughs, including the marches organised by anti-racists, including marches on the issue of the cuts, and ironically including any potential march around the anniversary of Cable Street. This should come as no surprise to us. History demonstrates very clearly that that will always happen; such powers will be used against us. I think even more alarming was one of the arguments I heard that the cost of policing should be used as an excuse to justify a ban on marches, not just the EDL march but anti-racist marches as well.

I will just finish on this point. In Cable Street we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street this October. It is the most famous victory of anti-fascists in the history of the British working class and the British labour movement. Ironically, there were very similar debates in the run-up to the events around Cable Street in October 1936 on how fascists should be confronted and taken on. On the question of bans I will say this. In October 1936 it was not the police who banned fascist marches in East London, it was East Londoners, working class people, trade unionists. They got together, they organised, they came out on the street, and they banned fascists from going through the East End. That is how we defeat fascism: 'They shall not pass.' (Applause)

Billy Hayes (Communication Workers Union) in exercising his right to reply said: Thanks, President. I just wanted to deal with the two reservations that have been raised. If you read what the motion says at point (b), we are talking about a ban on the EDL, the SDL, and WDL, not a generalised ban. We did not support the ban in east London, we contributed to the counter demonstration; in fact, Tony Kearns spoke. We just want to clarify that one point. We understand the whole point about the generalised ban. It was just to clarify that one point. Thank you.

* Composite Motion 3 was CARRIED

TUC support for smaller trade unions

The President: I now move to Motion 13, TUC support for smaller trade unions. The General Council support the motion.

Kate Fallon (Association of Educational Psychologists) moved Motion 13. She said: President, Congress, I am speaking today to ask you to show your support for the small trade unions. The AEP is the Association of Educational Psychologists. We are a small specialist trade union and professional association with 3,500 members, the large majority of whom are women. Ninety-three percent of educational psychologists across the whole of the UK who are eligible to join the union have done so. We like to believe that we have a good track record at organisation. It also means that we can speak with some authority on behalf of our whole profession.

Educational psychologists work mostly in local authorities with schools, families, and children, particularly on behalf of those children with special educational needs. We work alongside a wide range of other public sector workers, many of them members of bigger unions. We also have a good record of working closely with other unions in the workplace, of helping with negotiations and taking industrial action, which has had positive results for the whole of a local authority workforce.

Local authorities have largely recognised the well-known big unions for negotiation and consultation and we want to put on record our appreciation for the work that these unions have done. For many years they have helped to achieve and maintain generally good employer/employee relations and working conditions for local authority staff. Some local authorities also recognise the smaller specialist unions like ours and include us in the same negotiations and consultations as the bigger unions understanding that sometimes we have some specialist occupational needs. However, sometimes the local authorities will not recognise us and we are not allowed at the table.

Our members have employment rights that have been as hard fought for as for the members of other unions and we are facing similar threats to those faced by all other trade union members who work in the public sector; indeed, threats to our members are also a threat to the very continuation of the profession. We still have nationally agreed terms and conditions of service and we need those to be represented at the negotiating table. Where we and the other small specialist unions are not directly represented within all the current negotiations we need the bigger unions to support us when we try to gain recognition, and to remember us when we cannot.

There have been some instances recently where the bigger unions have negotiated changes to terms and conditions for their members which local authorities then expect to be able to impose upon the smaller groups of workers. Some of these changes may prevent our members being able effectively to support some of the most vulnerable children in our communities. Unwittingly, the large unions may agree to changes which would undermine our hard fought for national agreements.

Congress, I am not suggesting that the bigger unions concerned do not care about our members. However, we want to raise awareness of the small unions and call upon the bigger unions to remember us, to talk to us, encourage us to be included in consultations, and to acknowledge some of our specialist occupational needs when they are the lead negotiators so that our employment rights are also defended.

The trade union movement was founded upon different occupational groups working closely together in the knowledge that solidarity brings strength. TUC history records many occasions when larger groups have helped to support smaller groups. We recognise and celebrate the bigger unions and the strength that we all gain from that size but we still believe that there is an important role to be played within the trade union movement by the smaller affiliates who represent a range of very specific crafts, skills, and professions. Congress, let's look after each other and work together in the traditional spirit of trade unionism where the big guys do not forget to look out for the little guys. Congress, I move. (Applause)

Alan Donnelly (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) seconded Motion 13. He said: We are proud to be a small trade union, very proud to be a small independent trade union. First of all, Congress, I think we have heard many things today about history. It may be we need to look at the history books and see where we came from, where the TUC came from. It was small unions coming together to help each other, to make a better socialist society. That is where it came from. I am not here to knock the big unions because of the work they do for their members but we also need to look at history.

I left school in 1976 and in 1979 when the Tories took over there were 13 million in the TUC, today there are 6 million under this new administration, but how many will there be at the end of this administration? I do not know. On behalf of the small trade unions, when the General Council goes away it should look at the structure. We have done that in our own trade union, looked at the structure of the union. It would be a fine legacy of the TUC at the end of this regime if there were more TUC members than there were at the end of the last Tory government's term. I think the TUC needs to look at that. We faced those issues. We have had to look at our structure. We had the membership down to 13,000. The industry I was in was where your father got you your job and you became a turnout of your father. He would get up at 4 o'clock in the morning so the chances were you knew what it was about. That is how the industry has changed. Sixty per cent in the train driving grade now have come from outside the industry where most of them were not involved in trade unions and had no time for trade unions.

When it comes to running a small trade union cost is a big issue. Cost is a massive issue. Our contributions are not the smallest, in fact they are probably up with the highest, but the bottom line is you have to sell the trade union movement to the members. I am not here to knock the TUC because I am very proud to be in the TUC, but reducing it is not sending the message out. First of all, as a small trade union we do have a cost and the costs of our trade union, our rule book says, will be the general secretary, president, and two delegates, and because of what has happened this year there are no delegates, there are no lay members we have sold the union to the trade union movement before.

One of the things we did was set up meetings ? and we never recruited anybody in the branch rooms ? for non-trade unionists to attend and we sold the trade union movement to them. There is a massive role for small trade unions. Also, Brendan, and Ged, if you look at the Premier League now and look at the big four, you have had more experience than me of being outside the big four so you should know what it is like when you have a big four. Cheers. (Laughter/Applause)

Annette Mansell-Green (Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association) spoke in support of Motion 13. She said: Thank you, President. Good afternoon, Congress. I am now a member of staff for a smaller trade union. I started my trade union activity many years ago as a member of a smaller trade union that is sitting over there, the Musicians' Union, and then spent 18 years as an activist within UNISON. I have experience from all different types of trade unionism and trade union organisation.

This morning Brendan said we need to build a mass movement for the alternative. Congress, the only way we are going to do that is by working together in solidarity for a common cause. The HCSA, as I said this morning, is making its maiden speeches this week and there is a good reason for that. Our members, the hospital consultants and specialists, do have a choice, they can join a professional association, they are members of the Royal Colleges, and they can join a professional association that is also a trade union and a proud affiliate of the TUC. We are here, we have a voice, we have a purpose, we deserve recognition, we deserve equality, and we are ready.

As far as we are concerned, and we have heard it a few times already this week, we are all in this together and together we should be. I am sitting in a line of delegates from the smaller specialist trade unions and we are all starting to talk to each other now in a positive and cohesive way about what we can do for our members in their particular specialist areas where we have a common cause and a common goal, and I welcome those opportunities; also to work with the larger unions where we can would be very, very beneficial. We are grateful for the cooperation and joint working that we have with the associations that are not trade unions; we can sometimes develop fruitful outcomes with them.

Members choose to join us for specific reasons. They want a voice and they want to be involved in collective responses, they want to be part of our movement. At a time when we have a government that is hell-bent on weakening our influence, our opportunities, and our rights, it is vitally important that we work together as affiliates whatever our size.

Finally, a little story: on a blog that is used for hospital doctors somebody suggested that our general secretary should ride through the streets doing a Lady Godiva to draw attention to the plight of our members and the threats to their pensions. I think perhaps a better alternative would be if we join together in a joint campaign and fight for the retention of our pensions, which I hope to speak about on Wednesday, in a collective trade union response. However, we do reserve the right to see our general secretary riding on horseback through the streets of Coventry. Thank you. (Applause)

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): There was a whole mix of interesting ideas in that debate that we will all be pondering on, I am sure. The General Council asked me just to give a brief word of explanation. The General Council is supporting this motion, which deals with two issues: firstly, it deals with the issue of the importance of the involvement, active involvement, of smaller unions in the affairs of the TUC and, of course, on that issue we are proposing further constitutional changes in the structure of the General Council from next year onwards. We take very seriously, too, in the TUC our responsibility for bringing unions together in particular sectors, big unions and small, to carve out common strategies to meet the challenges we face. For example, all our health unions meet together regularly under TUC auspices, big and small, and in other sectors too.

The other issue that the motion deals with is about consultation and involvement of smaller unions in the bargaining structures that exist in different sectors. The small point of explanation is this, that the spirit of the motion is absolutely supportive, that all unions together, big and small, in key sectors really should share information, should share intelligence, and should try to form common cause in their negotiating strategies. But as to the structure of bargaining machinery, that is an issue the unions within each sector really have to resolve. The TUC role occasionally has been to become involved when there is a formal dispute arising between unions but that is the exception rather than the rule. The rule is you have to resolve those matters within each sector. We support the motion with that point of explanation.

On the suggestion of general secretaries acting as Lady Godiva, a number of unions are already making those plans and I am looking forward to that as a key part of our campaign. (Laughter)

* Motion 13 was CARRIED

The President: Colleagues, that concludes this afternoon's business. May I remind delegates that there are various meetings taking place this evening and details of those meetings can be found on page 11 of the Congress Guide.

I would also like to remind delegates to complete and return the equality monitoring form that has been sent to them. Delegates should have received lilac forms which should be returned to delegation leaders. If any delegates have not received a form they should see their delegation leader. Delegation leaders should return their white forms in the box provided at the TUC information point at the bottom of the entrance stairs.

Could I also remind delegation leaders that the ballot for Section C of the General Council takes place tomorrow morning. Unions eligible to vote for Section C should collect their ballot papers from the TUC information point at the bottom of the entrance stairs from 9 a.m. Ballot papers only will be provided in exchange for an official delegate form. Please note that the ballot closes at 12 noon tomorrow.

Thank you, Congress, for your cooperation this morning and this afternoon. Congress is now adjourned until 9.30 tomorrow morning. Thank you.

(Congress adjourned at 5.30 p.m.)



(Congress re-assembled at 9.30 a.m.)

The President: Congress, come to order. Thank you. Again, many thanks to the RGS Senior Chamber Group who have been playing for us this morning, and I am sure you will record that in the normal way. (Applause)

Delegates will be aware that I am to be joined on the platform this morning by Ed Miliband. I will formally be introducing Ed in a little while.

May I remind delegation leaders that the ballot for Section C of the General Council takes place this morning. Unions eligible to vote for Section C should collect their ballot papers from the TUC information point at the bottom of the entrance stairs. Ballot papers will only be provided in exchange for an official delegate form, and please note that the ballot closes at 12 noon today.

Congress, this morning in a change to the published guide I intend to take Motion 59, Protecting local children and young people's services, before the address by Ed Miliband. The unions involved have been informed.

Delegates, we now return to Chapter 4, Economic and Industrial Affairs. I call Motion 59, Protecting local children and young people's services. Note, please, the General Council supports the motion.

Protecting local children and young people's services

John Chowcat (ASPECT) moved Motion 59. He said: Just prior to the General Election in 2010 in the world of children's services we had hope. There was a genuine belief that we would make progress through what the Labour government called its Every Child Matters agenda, which promised improved and better coordination in children and young people's services and enhanced investment in developing the children's workforce. But today the coalition government's comprehensive spending review has left local authorities in England (who run many of these services) this financial year with a funding gap no less than £6.5bn, which means that frontline services simply cannot be sustained in the sense that we have known them over the years. The resultant cuts to local authority children's services, in particular, have been very deep and damaging.

Just prior to the summer there was a survey by the Director of Children's Services and by the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services confirming that the average level of cuts in the current financial year in children services has come out at 13 per cent. In particular, the axe has fallen on youth work, vital as it is, on early years support, and on key school improvement services. They have been the hardest hit. For the children's workforce this has meant widespread job losses, sometimes in the form of compulsory redundancies so that key and expert professionals have been losing their livelihoods. For those who remain, a very recent survey by the Hay Group shows that local government is twice as likely to have reduced workforce costs by cutting established terms and conditions, for example, the size of redundancy payment packages and mileage allowances, than any other part of the public sector. As for staff training and development budgets, forget it; they have either been slashed or they have been deleted altogether.

Colleagues, there is more pressure to come, not just with further cuts under the CSR over the next few years but in the Open Public Services white paper published by the coalition government in July. They said this, and I quote: 'We will also introduce an open commissioning policy in a number of specific services. In those areas commissioners should consult on and be challenged by potential providers from all sectors on the future shape of services; seek and fully consider a minimum of three providers, from whichever sector, when they contract for services and transparently link payment by results.' Colleagues, we have been warned.

The momentum of the original Every Child Matters agenda from the previous government means that although under-funded some national initiatives have survived today. They include the growth of graduate leadership in the early years sector and the development of new professional standards for social workers, and despite the severity of local budget cuts local efforts to develop multi-agency working to boost children's services is proceeding in various forms, and it deserves our support.

Delegates, just to finish, is it not clear that all of us in this room now face a long period in the UK of economic stagnation at the very best with productive capital in spare supply and our public services disrupted? We need to ask the question, what future does this offer to the next generation. Our children do deserve better. Defending children and young people's services is a vital step in ensuring that our children get that better future through a stronger start in life.

Colleagues, the UNISON amendment to this motion is welcome and accepted. Please support Motion 59. (Applause)

Chris Tansley (UNISON) seconded Motion 59 as amended. He said: We thank the mover for accepting the amendment. Congress, cuts are affecting all parts of society but nowhere can this coalition's hypocrisy be seen more clearly than the effect it is having on young people. They say they are concerned about social mobility and the younger generation being outside as a whole while education maintenance allowances have gone. Connexions have been slaughtered with half the workforce, 8,000 staff, and half the local Connexions centres closed down, and more savage cuts to come. Just what is it, Congress, about young people that this coalition does not like? Some local authorities appear to have washed their hands of career service advice completely and are no longer fulfilling their statutory duties, a position UNISON is going to challenge legally. Fiddling while Rome burns the government propose to fill the gap by telling schools they must give careers advice for their pupils but giving them no money to do so, not even a penny.

It is much trumpeted that all-age careers guidance service is now being whittled down so guidance for young people will consist of little more than just a website. Even the Tory-led Education Select Committee and the government-appointed and grandly entitled Advocate for Access to Education, Simon Hughes MP, can see that the car crash is now ahead and they are demanding that the government funds face-to-face guidance for young people. This careers story is replicated across every local authority service. This government has left young people facing terrible choices after leaving school with excessive university fees, a threadbare replacement for the education maintenance allowance, no jobs, no careers advice, and no youth services to support them.

Congress, this coalition is consigning a whole generation of our young people to a bleak future of joblessness and alienation. I also ask that you support our members in Barnet, who have been subjected to the coalition-supported 'easy council' approach with services and jobs under siege and are walking out this lunchtime. Please support the amended motion. Thank you. (Applause)

Loraine Monk (University and College Union) spoke in support of Motion 59. She said: The Connexions service closed and the funding ended in the middle of the riots. What timing. Of course, there is no connection at all because we must remember it is not political. This was an act of a cowardly government. They then just said, 'Oh, it's on the councils but we are not going to give the councils any money, we will give it to the schools, but they won't have any money either.' They are clowns. They could not run a circus let alone an economy, if they are not allowing our young people to have the proper guidance they need to make the right choices in the jobs that they do. (Applause) We were a model for the world with the Connexions service, people came from other places to set up that kind of system, and we are closing it. What a joke.

With the courses I teach we cannot now reach the young people. We have empty spaces on the courses and we cannot go to Connexions, so the young people do not know there are vacancies, they are still on the dole, and our members will be on the dole soon enough because the courses will close. What kind of system is it? As we have seen Stuart Hall saying in The Guardian today, they know what they are doing, they are trying to dismantle the welfare state and they are trying to deprive our people of any chances in life. Mr. Osborne, we are sick of being whipped by you. You may like it but we do not. (Applause) I am saying that we have to take collective and individual action to defend our services, to defend education, to defend health, and to defend welfare benefits. We have to say, 'No more. No more now.' (Applause)

* Motion 59 was CARRIED

The President: Congress, before I introduce our guest speaker this morning, may I please ask the photographers to take into consideration the needs of the delegates during this next session. Delegates, may I ask you in turn to be tolerant of the needs of the photographers who, after all, are union members just trying to do their job.

Address by the Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party

The President: Congress, it now gives me great pleasure to introduce Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Labour Party and Her Majesty's Opposition. Ed last addressed our Congress in Liverpool two years ago when he was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. A lot has happened since then in the world of politics and following his return to parliament by the people of Doncaster in May 2010 Ed succeeded in the Labour Party's leadership contest to become their leader at last September's Labour Party Conference. In all his roles in Parliament, government, and opposition, Ed has shown that he is prepared to engage with and listen to the trade union movement. With a stagnant economy, growth in unemployment, an assault on our public services and a generation of young people experiencing deep despair rather than hope, there is certainly a lot of common ground on which we campaign.

Ed will first address Congress and then has generously agreed to take a question and answer session giving delegates a chance to put their questions to him directly. Ed, you are very warmly welcomed here today and I warmly invite you to address Congress. (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Mick, thank you very much and, friends, thank you for that reception. Ten years ago Tony Blair came to the TUC but he did not deliver the speech he came with and we all know why; indeed, some of you were there in Brighton that day when we said, at that time, we will never forget, and we must not. You were there trying to comprehend what had happened, united in shock and sorrow with those who feared for their loved ones. So, let us today remember all those who died, including the British citizens and the heroic public service workers, the 343 fire-fighters of the New York Fire Department. We saluted their courage ten years ago and we should do so again today. (Applause)

I am proud to come here today as Labour's Leader, proud of the relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party based on shared values of equality, fairness, and social justice. Most of all, I am proud to be here because of who you represent, the hardworking men and women of Britain, the people who look after the sick, who teach our children, and who through their hard work create the wealth of this country. They are the backbone of Britain and you represent them. They are people like the Sodexo dinner ladies I met in Richmond last year. They told me of their circumstances: no sick pay, shift patterns changed without any notice, and having to buy their own uniforms. We can all imagine the strain, you know the strain that puts on them and their families struggling to make ends meet, not knowing when they are going to be called to work, losing money, and fearing illness. That is the story of too many people in Britain today.

You may think what chance do those low-paid women have against one of the most powerful companies in the world, but you would be wrong. They got together, they sought the help of a union, UNISON, and they campaigned for these basic rights. They won better pay, statutory sick pay, and formal recognition of their union. Let us applaud them for what they have achieved and the example they show about what can be done.

I also think of the Vauxhall car workers I met in Ellesmere Port. During the recession in 2008 their whole plant and the livelihood of those workers was under threat. What did they do? They sat down with the management. They worked through the problems and, yes, they made some sacrifices and by doing that they saved their jobs.

These two stories, as you know, show what trade unions can do for the hardworking people of this country and they are repeated in thousands of stories around this country every day, but you will not hear about these stories in most discussions of your work. Too often the spotlight of publicity falls elsewhere but I come to this Congress as a Labour leader who believes you deserve credit for these stories, for the daily work you do. What do people say when new democracies form around the world, what do even the Tories say, they say the right to join a trade union is vital. I say, if we say it abroad we should say it at home too. (Applause)

These are the reasons why I value the link between the trade unions and the Labour Party. It explains why I want reforms to the Labour Party to strengthen our movement and why I will resist any attempt to break our relationship. The three million trade union levy payers, working men and women, are a huge asset to our party. They should never ever feel like passive unwanted members of our movement, and I know that too often in the past they did. I want them to feel part of it. I want them to feel proud of it. I want us reaching out to the people who are not members of the Labour Party but are members of trade unions, and also to people who are not members of the Labour Party or the trade unions because we need to hear their voice too. That is the way we become a stronger movement.

Of course, there are times when you and I will disagree. You will speak your mind and so will I, but our link is secure enough, mature enough, to deal with disagreement. The relationship between party and unions, for me, is not about romance or nostalgia; it is about respect and shared values. It is a relationship in which we listen to each other when we disagree and we know one thing above all, that what unites us is greater than what divides us.

By now maybe you are thinking, okay, we have seen this movie before. He is about to get to the bit where he says, modernise or die. You are half right, I am going to talk about change but I am not just going to talk about how people need to change to suit our economy, I am going to talk about how we need to change our economy to suit the hardworking people of this country. For me, there is too much fatalism and pessimism in this debate about economic change. Leadership is not simply about telling people to accept change being forced upon them. It is also about helping people to shape change, shape our economy, and shape our future. That is what our Movement at its best has always been about.

Today I want to talk about the big choice our country faces over the coming years. What is that big choice? The big choice is this, whether we carry on as we are or whether we change the way our country works for the hardworking people you represent. Let's face facts. The British economy is not working for millions of people in this country and you know that. Most people's living standards are being squeezed while those at the top are seeing runaway rewards. In the face of massive competition from countries like China and India too often the British answer seems to be, let's compete on low pay and low skills, and too often it leaves workers facing insecure prospects.

My message to you today is not simply about this government, not simply about the immediate economic difficulties we face; it is something more profound than that. We have a big task ahead of us. We have to challenge many of the assumptions on which economic policy has been based for a generation. If we do not do that, we will surely fail the next generation in this country. Financial services are important to Britain, we all know that, and unions organise in the financial services, but unless we broaden our economic base and tackle the irresponsibility of the banks we risk a repeat of 2007 and what happened with the financial crisis.

Of course, jobs must be our priority but they have to be decent jobs at decent wages that provide proper opportunities for all our young people, whether they go to university or not. And, yes, all of us believe in rewarding entrepreneurship and wealth creation but if we just shrug our shoulders about inequality, about the growing gap not just between the rich and the poor but between the rich and everybody else, it will hurt not just our society but our economy as well. These are big challenges, challenges of changing the assumptions of the past for the next Labour government, for business, and indeed for the trade unions.

I want to talk to you today about how we as a country can build that new economy together. First things first, we all know there needs to be a plan B. The Tories' plan A is just A for austerity and that is what we are seeing. We have had nine months of the British economy flat on its back, zero growth, unemployment up, one in five young people out of work, and what does Mr. Osborne say? He says, 'Britain is a safe haven.' Tell that to the thousands of people who lost their jobs last month. Tell that to the 16,000 businesses that have gone bust in the last year. Tell that to the millions of British families struggling to make ends meet. There is no safe haven for them.

The Tories have forgotten a fundamental lesson: you cannot cut your way out of a deficit. You need to grow your economy as well. The government's policies are hurting but they are not working. What is the result, tens of billions of extra borrowing over the coming years? The evidence, friends, is piling up to show the Tories are cutting too far and too fast. It is not just a slogan, it is the truth. Also, they are failing to share the burden of deficit reduction fairly between those who are responsible for creating the crisis and those who are not, a trebling of student fees, rising rail fares, and higher pension contributions. In government we worked with trade unions to reform public sector pensions. We sat down and we negotiated. It was difficult but we had an agreement. That shows the way we should reform pensions in this country. It is not about change versus no change. It is about how change is done and what kind of change it is.

The Tories have set about reform in completely the wrong way. Even before John Hutton's report was completed, as you know, they announced a 3 per cent surcharge on millions of your members. It was a typically bad move by a bad government trying to pick a fight. I fully understand why millions of decent public sector workers are angry, but while negotiations were going on I do believe it was a mistake for strikes to happen last summer, and I continue to believe that. (Calls of 'Shame, shame.') What we need now is meaningful negotiation to prevent further confrontation over the autumn. Ministers need to show public sector workers and the people who rely upon these services that they are serious about finding a way forward.

The Tories claim to be the party of reform but their actions risk derailing the vital reform of public sector pensions because many people may now opt out of the system. That will not save money. It will end up costing taxpayers billions of pounds and, at the same time as we see millions of hardworking families being hit, who is getting a tax cut? This year they are cutting taxes for the banks and now what is George Osborne's obsession, cutting the 50 pence tax rate for the richest 1 per cent of the population, for people who earn over £150,000 a year. They have raised VAT, they have cut tax credits, and they say these changes are set in stone and cannot be reversed.

It tells you everything you need to know about this government, that at the same time as they are chomping at the bit to cut the 50p tax rate, what excuse do they plan to hide behind? - the claim that it does not raise that much money because most people avoid paying it. It is absolute nonsense. If that is the best they can do, I have a suggestion: Mr Osborne, if people are avoiding their taxes it is your job to stop them, and you should not forget it. (Applause) What do they offer for the other 99 per cent of the population, greater insecurity, make it easier to sack people, and reduce protection against unfair dismissal. This is not an accident. It is because of their values. It is because of what they believe. It is because they believe in one rule for those at the top and another rule for everybody else.

Of course, and we have heard it before, they say there is no alternative, but there is, and it is fairer and it makes economic sense. First, prioritise tax cuts for the hardworking majority, not the super rich, and cut VAT now to 17.5 per cent to get the economy moving again. Second, insist that those who caused the crisis take responsibility for helping to put it right. That is why we say, renew the bankers' bonus tax and use the money to support enterprise, to put the young unemployed back to work, and to build homes. Third, provide some international leadership. If every country and continent simply looks after itself that will not get the growth that we need. I say to this government, if you want an export-led recovery you will not get it from a world engaging in collective austerity. That is the lesson of history, that is the lesson the 1930s, and a lesson that they are forgetting.

These are things that Ed Balls and I would be doing to get growth going at home and abroad, but the challenge we face is even greater. This is not just another turn of the business cycle. A successful economic future can only be built on a different set of values and a different way of doing things, hard work, long-term commitment, and responsibility, rejecting the old view that the best government is the least government, the old view that short-term shareholder interests are always in the best interests of Britain's companies, and the old view that employee representation must mean confrontation, not cooperation.

A new economy will mean the government, employers and the workforce, all shouldering new responsibilities. For government it must ensure the rules of the system over the long term, the patient investment, the responsible business because paying our way in the world is going to be tougher than it has ever been. The short-term, fast buck, low pay solution just will not work, it will not work competing with China and India, and it is no good the government just walking away.

If we are going to be best at the things that really matter to the future of this country, advance manufacturing, creative industries, pharmaceuticals, renewables, all those growth industries, a government has to work in partnership with business and the workforce to understand what technologies and skills we need for the future, to provide the certainty they need to invest, to look at what government buys so that innovative companies and British companies can succeed. That includes companies like Bombardier being cruelly sold down the river by this government. (Applause) We need a government that will make sure good regulation enables companies to build and win new markets and to build in every region and nation the universities, the skills, the banking services, and the leadership in cities and regions that can help every part of Britain grow and succeed.

Sometimes governments should get out of the way, sometimes small businesses are held back by regulation but sometimes government should lead, and the financial crisis taught us that. Let me also say to you the crisis has significant implications for the way government is going to work in the years ahead and the choices open to us. We are not going to be able to spend our way to a new economy. The deficit caused by the banking crisis is not going to be cured easily. We need economic growth. We need people, including those at the top, to pay their fair share of taxes, but if we were in government we would also be making some cuts in spending.

I sometimes hear it said that Labour opposes every cut. I know some of you wish it was true, but we do not. We committed ourselves to halving the deficit over four years. That would mean cuts, like our plans for a 12 per cent cut in the police budget, not the 20 per cent being planned by this government, like cuts to the road programme and, yes, some reform of benefits as well. There are cuts the Tories will impose that we will not be able to reverse in government and it is straighter for me to say that to you now, but getting the deficit down does mean rooting out waste. We all recognise that not every penny the last government spent was spent wisely. All of us know there is waste in any government; in this government too. I say to this government, stop the waste, stop the waste of £100m on creating another tier of politicians with elected police commissioners, and stop the waste of billions of pounds on the NHS reorganisation, a reorganisation that nobody wants and nobody voted for. (Applause)

So, government has to change if we are going to support the new economy, but here is something very important, business has to change too. In Britain we should reward productive companies, not predator companies. The way our banks work needs to change, not just separating retail and investment banking, of course that is important, but greater competition in our banking services so that small businesses get a proper deal from our banks which up and down the country they do not get at the moment. Frankly, if we can strike off rogue doctors and lawyers for doing the wrong thing, the banking industry must be willing to strike off the bankers who did the wrong thing and put at risk our country and our companies.

Let's not pretend any more that we are neutral about the way different businesses are run, we are not, between the way Southern Cross runs its business and the way a good company like Rolls Royce runs its. The new economy must mean more firms who invest long term and pay their employees fairly. That is why back in power just as a first step we will ensure that every major government contract demands firms who provide apprenticeships for the next generation to get on. You know this, good employers recognise the need to foster cooperation between workforce and business, but others need to do it better. Let's face it, some need to make a start.

During the last 12 years, chief executive salaries have quadrupled while the share prices overall have remained flat. In some cases high rewards are deserved, we all know it, the country knows it, but in others they are because of the closed circle of cosy remuneration committees that just award each other high pay and bonuses. Frankly, it has to stop. Some companies have already decided that workers on remuneration committees are a good thing. I say every company should have an employee on their remuneration committee that sets top pay. That is a basic requirement in the modern civilised society. So, for me, the demand for change is from government, employers and trade unions.

You know that the challenge of the new economy is to recognise that Britain needs to raise its game if we are to meet the challenges of the future and to get private sector employers in the new economy to recognise you are relevant to that future. Unions can offer businesses the prospect of better employee relations and higher productivity, as you did during the last recession. Of course, the right to industrial action will be necessary and is important as a last resort but, in truth, strikes are always a consequence of failure, failure we cannot afford as a nation. Instead, your real role is as partners in the new economy but as you know better than I just 15 per cent of the private sector workforce is represented by trade unions.

You know that you need to change, if that is to change. That is why so many unions are making huge efforts to engage that other 85 per cent that is currently unrepresented. You know the biggest challenge you face when you try to do this is relevance, relevance in how firms grow, relevance in how workers get on, relevance right across the private sector, and you know you will never have relevance if you allow yourselves to be painted as opponents of change. In this new economy you can and must be the agents of change, and you know also the new economy that emerges from this crisis must be built on cooperation, not conflict, in the workforce.

Let me end with this thought. I know what a tough time many of your members are having at the moment, tough times that are being felt by millions of people around this country. The economic crisis is casting a long shadow over the hardworking people of Britain, the decent men and women who do the right thing and who just want their kids and grandkids to do slightly better than them; so, it feels like quite a dark time.

The reason why I am in politics and the reason why I believe in the power of politics is that I do not think these things are inevitable. So, yes, this generation in one sense faces a huge challenge, a challenge that comes out of the economic crisis, but in another sense out of crisis, as we always know, comes the chance to reshape your economy and your society, the opportunity to grasp the change we need in this country, to say it does not have to be this way, an opportunity to rewrite the rules, to build an economy that works for the hardworking majority of this country, to build a society that restores responsibility from top to bottom, to build a country that stands up for the next generation, that fulfils the promise of Britain, and to build, above all, the more prosperous, the more just, the more equal society we all want to see. Thank you very much. (Applause)

The President: Thank you, Ed, for that incisive, wide-ranging and excellent address. I think for the trade union movement the most poignant word is 'together'. I think there is a realisation in the trade union movement and the Labour Party that if we are to achieve change we can only do it together, change of an economic strategy and certainly an early change of government.

I will now hand over to the General Secretary who will chair the question and answer session.

Questions and Answers

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): Colleagues, I think you know Ed agreed to take questions and we are going to take groups of questions on some of the key issues that he touched on in his address. The first one is that hugely important issue of public sector pensions and four unions actually submitted questions on this issue, starting with Nigel Titchen from Prospect.

Nigel Titchen (Prospect): The government's decision to change the index used for public sector pension increases from RPI to CPI will reduce the value of the pensions affected by 15 per cent. In addition, the Department for Work & Pensions has estimated that private sector pension scheme members will lose over £80bn in accrued rights. Will the Leader of the Opposition commit to reverse this government's decision at the next General Election? (Applause)

Janice Godrich (Public and Commercial Services Union): Mr Miliband, I would like to give you an opportunity to stand up on the side of hundreds and thousands of workers whose pensions are under attack. Alan Johnson, your ex-Cabinet colleague, said that the pensions deal struck between the unions and the previous Labour government was fair and reasonable, and the National Audit Office has recently concluded that public sector pensions are affordable. Will you defend the deal, the negotiated settlement we agreed, and will you support trade unionists taking industrial action to defend that deal? (Applause/Cheers)

Mary Locke (UNISON): Good morning, Ed. At the current time, public sector workers feel that they are under attack from all sides, our jobs cut, our pay frozen and our pensions worsened. What is more, a lot of us feel like we are getting a worse press than the bankers who caused the economic crisis. Many of us here have always stuck by the party so what can Labour do now in Parliament and in the press to stick up for us? (Applause)

Katie Collins (The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists): Can Mr. Miliband comment on whether the Labour Party supports public sector workers such as podiatrists in their fight to resist being forced to pay more, work longer, and get a worse pension as this government has proposed? (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Thank you. Let me deal with Nigel's question and then the other three questions, which I think are in a way very similar. On CPI/RPI, Nigel, what I say to you is that I do not want to become Nick Clegg, somebody who tells you a promise before an election and then breaks it afterwards. I cannot promise to reverse CPI/RPI because I do not know where the money would come from to do that. We said we oppose the permanent change that there was to CPI/RPI, that it was completely the wrong thing to do, and that it has been an attack on the pensions of many workers, but I think that I have to be candid with you about what we can at this stage afford to say that we can do and what we cannot, otherwise I do not think we would have credibility as a party and I do not think we can have a proper relationship.

Let me come to Janice's question, Mary's question and Katie's question, which in a way are all related. On the question of the Alan Johnson agreement, the Alan Johnson agreement was a good agreement. The Alan Johnson agreement was essentially a framework agreement out of which negotiations in different sectors flowed. It is also right to say, and again this may not be popular with everybody in the room as I think what I said about public sector pensions was not that popular, that actually the John Hutton report is also a decent report. I will tell you why. (Voices of dissent) I thought you would not like that.

What are the three issues that it looks at? It talks about final salary to career average, which is actually not about the cost of the pensions but about the distribution. It says there should be a cost ceiling just like Alan Johnson said. It also says that over time people have to work longer. It also says something incredibly important, which is that the government need to engage in meaningful negotiations with you. That is what should be happening.

So, Janice, the best thing that can be done is to avoid industrial action happening by a government willing to negotiate properly, that is what needs to happen. (Voices of dissent) That is what needs to happen. What I am going to do is stand up and say that the government need properly to negotiate with you on these issues.

Mary, yes, we are going to stand up and say the government are doing the wrong thing in relation to public sector pensions, as I did in my speech, which is why I said the 3 per cent surcharge was wrong. We will indeed point that out and say it is the wrong thing to do and that they should be engaging in proper, constructive negotiations, negotiations which are continuing. It is our job to force them to take those negotiations seriously. (Voices of dissent)

Katie, in answering your question, I do understand the position of health service workers, in particular ? and you work in podiatry ? who are facing these difficult changes that are happening. My challenge back to the government, and it is the government's responsibility and we need to hold them responsible for this, my challenge back to the government is that they need properly to negotiate in good faith. That is what we should force them to do.

Brendan Barber: Thank you, Ed. Let's move on to some wider public service issues. There are four unions with questions in this area. First, the CSP, Alex Mackenzie?

Alex Mackenzie (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy): What is your strategy for the next stages of the Health and Social Care Bill, a bill that poses such a risk to our NHS? (Applause)

Mary Bousted (Association of Teachers and Lecturers): I was proud to take action on June 30th in defence of our pensions. (Applause) Just for information, the government are not prepared to negotiate. All they are prepared to do is negotiate how they implement the changes they have decided. There are no real negotiations going on. We can give you chapter and verse about that, and we need to hear it. (Applause) This is the question: do you agree that the threat of privatisation is as stark in education as in the health service and, if so, will you alert the public to this?

Betty Joseph (National Union of Teachers): As Leader of the Labour Party would an outcome from the Policy Review that Labour should support the return of all academies, including free schools, to their local authority family of schools be something you would welcome? (Applause)

Cecile Wright (University and College Union): Good morning, Mr. Miliband. Do you believe that the private sector, in particular for-profit companies, should have any role whatsoever in our education system? UCU believe they should not. (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Let me deal with those questions in order, Brendan. First of all, on the Health and Social Care Bill, we are going to carry on fighting this bill tooth and nail. It is a terrible bill not just because it diverts money from patient care and takes away money at a time when the health service, as you know, is facing the most difficult settlements for a generation, but also because actually it is a free market free-for-all. That is what they are introducing. Whatever claims they make about the changes that have been made, frankly, they are not fundamental changes to the nature of this bill. For example, under this bill, which I do not think has had that much attention, hospitals can be fined up to 10 per cent of their annual turnover if they engage in anti-competitive practices. This is a bad bill and it is a bill we are going to fight, including in the House of Lords and including mobilising people in the country against it.

Mary, thank you for your question about schools. Let me tell you about my view on this and in a way it relates to the other two questions. For-profit schools are completely wrong. I am completely against for-profit schools. We do not need the profit motive in education. We do not want education to be warped by the profit motive. I am absolutely clear about that. (Applause)

On the role of local authorities, I think local authorities do have an incredibly important role, and I see it locally. Actually, what you need is academies, free schools, and other schools working much better together on the things on which they need to work together on. (Voices of dissent) Let me just tell you about my experience of academies. I have two academies in my own constituency. They have made a big difference to educational standards in my constituency and that is my local experience. (Voices of dissent) I am sorry people say 'shame' because I care about the kids in my constituency and they have made a big difference, it has made a big difference to kids in my constituency. Of course, a local authority role in relation to schools is important. I invite the lady who asked the question to come to Outward Academy with me and see the differences being made and then we can have another discussion about it. (Voices of dissent)

Brendan Barber: We will move on to a couple of questions in the transport area, to the transport policy, from RMT, Mick Tosh.

Mick Tosh (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers): Mr Miliband, the rail fares in Britain are the most expensive in Europe. Passengers are getting hammered. They are experiencing an 8 per cent hike in fares. Private operators continue to make massive profits. Will you and the Labour Party consider the option of public ownership of the railways, if it can be demonstrated to provide a better deal for passengers and the taxpayer? (Applause)

Harriet Yeo (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association): Ed, the coalition government is due to respond shortly to the McNulty Report on value for money in the rail industry. I would like to ask you for your views on one particular issue, namely, the impact on small stations that only have one member of staff at any one time and mainly serve rural and suburban communities. If the coalition government accept McNulty's recommendations on this, these stations will no longer be staffed at all and will cause a great deal of inconvenience to passengers who will lose the assurance of assistance in the event of accident or assault, or when travelling as a disabled person. What, if anything, does Ed think the Labour Party should do to oppose this attack on a valuable service to the communities affected? (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Let me deal with both of those, Brendan. First of all, on the question from Mick, I think the East Coast is a very interesting example. The East Coast is working well in public hands and I do not think we should be ideological about saying that the East Coast must go back into the private sector. It is something we talked about in our manifesto and I think, Mick, we do need to look at all the options, that is what our policy review is doing, all of the options about a way forward for rail services in this country, mutual options, public options, private options, and you have my absolute assurance that we will engage creatively in that debate and that Maria Eagle, our transport spokeswoman, will do that.

Harriet, I am aware of this issue partly because I have small stations in my own constituency of the kind that you are talking about. I think it is what is called category E. Workers at those stations where people are being particularly affected. That certainly was not the intention on setting up the McNulty Review. What does the government need to do? It needs to sit down with the unions on this and find a way forward which does not involve the kinds of things that you are talking about, and again you have my assurance that we will work with you to try and make that happen.

Brendan Barber: Ed, thank you. Two questions now on another issue you touched on, Ed, the union/Labour relationship. The first is from Sandy Mathers of the SOR?

Sandra Mathers (Society of Radiographers): Good morning. Now that the coalition government occupies the centre ground of politics, what do you consider to be the role of the Labour Party? (Applause)

Dennis Stinchcombe (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers): Good morning, Ed. I know you touched on it in your speech but could you clarify what you believe is the most important aspect of the Labour/trade union link? (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Let me deal with both of those. Sandy, on your question, I do not believe this government is in the centre ground of politics. When you look at what they are doing on the economy and the way they are going about cutting the deficit, when you look at what they are doing on the NHS, when you look at what they are doing on education, on welfare, they are not in the centre ground of politics. We have to take on the idea that this is a centre ground government. Even some Tories are now saying that they are abandoning the centre ground. I think we absolutely have to take that on.

Just on the question about the link, what is the most important thing about the link? The most important thing is the people. We have a link to USDAW in our constituency and, indeed, we have a link to Unite. The most important thing is the people, the three million levy payers, and part of the changes we are looking to make in the Labour Party is to involve them more in what we do as a party. I think our strength as a movement comes not just from the relationships at the most senior levels but comes from the people themselves on the ground who actually keep us in touch with the community. That is what our changes are trying to achieve and that is the most important thing about the link.

Brendan Barber: Okay, thank you, Ed. There are just a few more questions now on other topics: from Unite, Vicky Grandon?

Vicky Grandon (Unite): Does Ed believe it is fair that British trade unions have fewer collective rights than our sisters and brothers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the rest of Europe? (Applause)

Laura Bailey (Equity): I am an actress starting out in my career and lots of young people in the creative industries are working for free or for very low pay for years and often for large powerful companies. So, what are you going to do to improve our employment rights and to give us a fair chance at work? (Applause)

Brian Strutton (GMB): Ed, I am sure you will agree with the GMB that there needs to be a credible alternative to the ConDem's programme of cuts which instead commits to investing in jobs and young people, and community services. As part of that credible alternative the Plan B that you referred to in your speech, will you join with President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel in supporting a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions which would support some positive policies from you? (Applause)

Julia Upton (Communication Workers Union): Hi, Ed. The UK government is investing a total of only £830m in super-fast broadband compared to £570m every year until 2025 in France. Do you agree that more government intervention is needed to enable all UK homes to share in the benefits of high-speed digital networks? (Applause)

Jonathan Ledger (Napo): Thank you. Mr. Miliband, the TUC's excellent response to the riots published last week identified many significant factors that contributed to what took place. These included a link between poverty and criminality, the impact of inequality and deprivation, and the loss of vital support services infrastructure in communities as a result of spending cuts. Do you agree with this analysis and, if so, what will you be doing to challenge the reactionary dogma emerging from many politicians and commentators about the riots? Will this include practical policies aimed at the long overdue need to address the causes of crime in our society? Thank you. (Applause)

Ed Miliband: Thank you. Let me deal with those. First of all on the question about collective rights, this is always going to be a continuing discussion between the trade unions and the Labour Party, but let me just make this point, and it goes back to what I said in the speech that 15 per cent of people in the private sector workforce are in trade unions. The reason why, or part of the reason why, there are these different arrangements on the Continent is that you have a completely different economy and a completely different level of union representation. Your challenge to us, and this is something we discussed during the leadership election, is to say we need to be able to get in and recruit those people in the private sector and often we cannot because employers put barriers in the way. It is something that I said in the leadership election that I thought needed to be looked at.

Laura, on your question about young people and what is happening to young people in this country, you are completely right about what you say and there are certain things that need to be done. For example, internships, currently the way they are made available to young people is grossly unfair and is on the basis of a closed circle. That needs to change. I think we need a living wage in this country to make sure that young people, and others, are properly paid. I think there are changes that need to be made to help young people but the most important thing that needs to be done, and this is why it is terrible the government got rid of the Future Jobs Fund, is we need to give opportunity to young people. There are one in five young people out of work. Actually, after a lot of different tries with different things, I think the Future Jobs Fund was working in giving real jobs and real opportunities to young people and I think the Conservative-led government were completely wrong to get rid of it.

On Brian's question about the international financial transactions, we do support that, we do support a global financial transactions tax. I think it could provide a way forward both to take action against speculation and to raise resources. I think it is an important idea.

On broadband, yet again it is an example of what I talked about in my speech, which is that government can play a role to make sure that the right things happen, and broadband is an essential part of our future infrastructure. The government got rid of the levy that we were proposing and which would have enabled us to fund super-fast broadband and, as a result, the plans have been set back. It was the wrong thing to do. We do support that rollout.

Then the last question, which in a way is a bigger question than just on the specific issue of the riots, the way the Prime Minister responded to the riots actually spoke precisely to this point about whether he is in the centre ground or not, and I think it showed he was not. Of course, nobody excuses and nobody justifies what happened in the riots. Go round to all the places affected and young people there will not excuse or justify what happened. It is ludicrous to say that hope and opportunity are not an essential part of getting young people in this country to do the right thing. Actually, the Government is taking away hope and opportunity. I heard backstage some of your debate about youth services. That can make an enormous difference to young people in this country. Youth services, jobs, educational maintenance allowances, what has happened to tuition fees, all of those things can make a huge difference to the future of young people in this country. Why were the government so resistant to have a commission of inquiry into the riots? I do not think they really want to know the truth about what is happening in these communities and what would make a difference. (Applause) That is why I think the commission of inquiry is going to happen but we have to make sure that that is held accountable so that we get the right solutions as the questioner asked for. Thank you.

Brendan Barber: Ed, thanks again for coming this morning and also for facing those questions, pretty tough direct questions, but it is important that we have this dialogue. Your central message about the need to make that case for a new economy is absolutely the work that we are engaged in too and there is no doubt that unless we are able to work together to get that message across, build public support for change, we are not going to see the changes that we need. Ed, it is an important relationship and it is important that this dialogue continues.

Many, many thanks again, and I am sure colleagues will want to show their appreciation. (Applause as Ed Miliband, left the conference hall)

Low-carbon economy

The President: Thank you, Brendan. Delegates, I call Composite Motion 6, Low-carbon economy. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Nigel Titchen (Prospect) moved Composite Motion 6. He said: President and Congress, this motion builds on an existing policy and seeks to ensure that the need to tackle climate change is undertaken with urgency and in a way that will support high quality green growth and employment across the economy. An Aldersgate Group report on Greening the Economy notes: 'Economies must be transformed to provide rising prosperity to citizens, strengthening new growth sectors and modernising traditional sectors. The report also makes clear that this must extend beyond traditional environmental technologies to all sectors that must play a leading role in the transition to a green economy, including automotive, aerospace, information technology, the built environment, farming and the water industry. However, it concludes: 'Whilst the UK economy has strong green foundations on which to build, it is rapidly losing ground to developing nations and other competitors.'

The Committee on Climate Change has correctly prioritised de-carbonisation of the energy sector, and this must be underpinned by a balanced energy policy. However, this will not be delivered by the market alone and requires government intervention. Congress, we must hold the government to account on their proposals to ensure that the investment we need in all energy sources is delivered. We already know that the measures outlined in the White Paper will not now reach the statute book until 2013, and that Cambridge Econometrics has found that meeting the UK's Fourth Carbon Budget will be very difficult. It has blamed this on a mismatch between the targets and the policies in place to meet them.

As Congress policy already recognises, a stable floor for carbon can play an important role in kick-starting investment alongside strategic government support to stimulate innovation and supply chains. It is both right and proper that all low carbon plants should be treated in the same way. To date the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has failed to provide such certainty, but getting the carbon price right is essential to support the business case for investment in low carbon generation.

Congress, science, technology, engineering and maths skills are at the core of a green economy, but the government is far too complacent about ensuring the UK's future skills base. We had high hopes that the Green Economy Council would put jobs, skills and growth at the heart of its mission, but instead of the promised green economy roadmap the government recently published a short report. Although full of good intentions, the report says very little about how the aspirations will be delivered and falls far short of the active industrial strategy that the UK urgently needs to deliver green growth. There is no analysis of the employment implications and only one short paragraph on skills, which is why Prospect is calling for a strategy for the specialist skills needed to develop and sustain a low carbon economy. It is simply not possible to make Britain greener without investing more. The government's approach to the Green Investment Bank exemplifies its penny-pinching approach. The Tories made a lot of noise before the election about setting up a green investment bank, but the coalition has back-tracked, instead opting for a fund that might someday evolve into a bank. The Spending Review provided for £1 billion of capitalisation by 2013, but analysts have recently argued that to make a significant impact the green bank would need £6 billion and should be established as a proper bank.

The spending cuts will massively impact on all environmental and sustainable development work across both public and private sectors. Furthermore, the government's decisions to axe funding for the Carbon Trust, the Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environment Pollution means that it has, effectively, lost all of the expertise that should be under-pinning its environmental and sustainability policies. We believe these damaging policies should be urgently reversed.

In May 2010 the coalition government pledged that it would be the greenest government ever. However, recently published findings by the Pew Environment Group showed that the UK has dropped from third to thirteenth position in the world rankings for investment in green growth. Therefore, Prospect has today published a pamphlet entitled How Green is our Government, which calls on the coalition to act now and act decisively to turn the rhetoric of its claim to be the greenest government ever into reality.

Congress, support the composition motion, support green jobs and support sustainable green growth. (Applause)

Jacque Hatfield (Community) seconded Composite Motion 6.He said: Congress, last year the coalition government promised to be the greenest government ever. I think it's another promise they have just forgotten. We also fought for measures to bring about the low carbon economy, but it's no easy task and we must make sure that it works properly. All too often the Department for the Environment doesn't talk to the Business Department and, ultimately, it's the workers who end up paying the price. The crazy thing is that our manufacturing base should be the key to a low carbon economy. After all, you can't make the wind turbine without making steel.

Current government policy is making manufacturers think twice about investing in the UK. Thanks to the TUC, the government is starting to listen but they are not acting fast enough. Six months ago Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said that the government would announce some support for energy intensive industries, like steel and ceramics. The idea is that this will help those industries to be part of a low carbon economy, but so far we haven't heard any details. The problem is that companies are making decisions now and workers are losing their jobs now. My question to the Minister is: where's the support? We need a policy focus on low carbon manufacturing. The government must support carbon capture and storage in key industrial sectors. We need a green industrial strategy in place before the carbon floor price is introduced. The carbon floor price will impose additional costs on industry and amount to £9.3 billion. Inevitably, this will affect communities, families and our members. Other EU countries have already taken action to help industries. Why does the UK always have to be the last?

Congress, this government's claims to be the greenest government ever is fast becoming the biggest sham ever. Support the composite, support UK manufacturing and support a low carbon economy. Thank you.

Chris Kitchen (National Union of Mineworkers) supported Composite Motion 6. He said: Delegates, the NUM is supporting this composite not for the obvious reason that it recognises that the continued use of fossil fuels is required to keep the lights on and that coal will be part of a balanced energy policy. We all accept now that something has to be done to cut carbon emissions. Clean coal and carbon abatement technology can achieve this not just in the UK but worldwide as climate change is a global problem. Delegates, the unfortunate fact is, whether we look to offshore wind, clean coal or nuclear, the costs are going to be higher than what they are now. For that reason, we should look to get the maximum benefit for our money. One of those benefits should be to retain a deep mine indigenous coal industry to improve our security of supply and to reduce our reliance on imported energy.

Comrades, it has been said that there is coal out there for us to buy when we need it, but when we have to rely on imported energy, whether it be gas or coal, the free market forces will dictate that costs will go up as that is the business model that the Tory policies give you where it is considered that 'greed is good'. That higher cost will be passed on to the customer. A balanced low carbon economy should not be at any price. We must not allow ourselves to be held to ransom and miss the opportunity of reducing our reliance on imported energy. Thank you.

Terry Fox (National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers) supported the composite motion. He said: Congress, I am the national president of NACODS, the pit deputies union, which is one of the smallest unions. The advantages are clear. Fossil fuelled electricity has three advantages: reliability, availability and affordability. It is why fossil fuels will remain an important part of our future energy mix. We believe that the right mix of options - carbon capture and storage, alongside fossil fuels - holds the key to our energy supplies and, in turn, security of supply. It is not about low carbon versus affordability versus energy security. These elements all have to work together.

Security is a major component of our economic regeneration by using indigenous coal. By 2020 well over 80 per cent of the UK's electricity generation will be fuelled by coal and gas. Coal-fired power stations are an integral part of our energy mix, providing around a quarter of our electricity needs, but just look at the last few winters we've had. Look at how exceptionally cold and enduring they were and the way our energy system coped demonstrates why we continually need coal. Yet fossil-fuel fired power stations - we are the first to acknowledge - are the most polluting form of electricity generation, with coal producing around twice as much carbon dioxide compared with gas fired electricity generation.

We need to meet the challenge of decarbonising the next generation of our fossil-fuelled power stations. That is why CCS needs to be a crucial part of this element in the government strategy on the climate change agenda. It is the only technology that can significantly reduce CO² emissions from fossil fuelled power by as much as 90 per cent. Also it will play an important role in balancing the electricity system. Without CCS and reducing emissions by 2050, electricity will be 70 per cent more expensive. We all see our bills and the 18 per cent rise that is dropping through our letter boxes now.

This industry is set to become a multi-billion dollar global one. In the UK alone, CCS has the potential to create up to 100,000 jobs, according to the IEA. If we are to deploy low carbon energy technologies, investment is required and it is required now.

In conclusion, Conference, we need more energy but fewer emissions. So I will end where I began. The challenge is vast, the prospects daunting, but it is always within our reach. The glass is definitely half full. Please support.

The President: Colleagues, we had a long list of speakers on this subject, but because of the time and we are trying to get emergency resolutions in today, I am taking one final speaker from UCATT.

Dennis Doody (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) supported Composite Motion 6. He said: Conference, I want to thank you for this indulgence. Twenty-seven years ago, Margaret Thatcher accused the National Union of Mineworkers of wanting to live in a museum society in their struggle to protect the mining industry. That occurred during 1984. The accusation was baseless because during that dispute the NUM was proposing a mixed energy policy, including the harnessing of wind, wave, solar and, of course, clean coal technologies. If anybody was living in a museum society it certainly wasn't the NUM, but it certainly was Mrs. Thatcher.

This composite has many facets but I want to focus my attention on the huge advantages of investing in a low carbon economy. The company I work for, Wakefield District Housing, is committed to reducing our organisation's carbon footprint. To help achieve this, we have recently invested in true zero carbon social housing. The project is unique because it is the only one of its type in Great Britain. We have invested in voltaic solar panels, which provide our tenants with free electricity. We have biomass heating systems. We have fitted both ground and air sourced heat pumps, and we are investing in retro-fitting and looking to sell electricity back to the National Grid.

On our carbon neutral site, we are integrating into the development a knowledge centre to explain and highlight the advantages of investing in renewable energy. If the example set by our housing organisation was followed throughout Great Britain, we would be well on the way to meeting the challenge of reducing Britain's carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. Alongside of this, the obvious advantage is that it would create thousands of jobs involving construction and manufacturing. Currently in the UK we have the shameful statistic of having over one million people on council house waiting lists. I understand that this year there is a further rise by 17 per cent of homelessness in Great Britain, in the fifth largest economy on this planet. That is an absolute disgrace!

If we invested in sustainable construction, we would put back to work the thousands of construction workers who have lost their jobs due to the recession, it would boost Britain's manufacturing base but, more importantly, it would provide much needed homes for those who need them. Please support the composite.

* Composite Motion 6 was CARRIED

Report of the General Purposes Committee

Peter Hall (General Purposes Committee): Good morning, I can report that the General Purposes Committee has approved a further emergency motion. Emergency Motion 4 on Agency Workers will be moved by Unite. The President will indicate when it is hoped that the emergency motions approved so far will be taken. I will report further to you on the progress of business and other GPC decisions when necessary throughout Congress. Thank you.

The President: Thank you, Peter. Delegates, as Peter has reported, we now have a further emergency motion. Emergency Motion 4 is on Agency Workers. We now have four outstanding emergency motions and I will try to take them as business allows. Emergency Motion: TUC Response to the Riots will be moved by the POA and seconded by the FBU. I hope to take it after the scheduled business this morning. I will let you know if that looks likely nearer the time.

Delegates, I call Composite 10 - All Together for the NHS. The General Council support the composite motion.

All Together for the NHS

Eleanor Smith (UNISON) moved Composite Motion 10. She said: Conference, I am the President of UNISON and I move Composite Motion 10 - All Together for the NHS. Exactly a week ago MPs were beginning the two day process in the House of Commons of washing their hands of the responsibility of our NHS. Then, on Wednesday night, they voted by a majority of 65 to give the Health and Social Care Bill its Third Reading. Shamefully, only four Lib-Dems voted against the Bill, with a handful of others choosing to do the proper Lib-Dem thing of sitting on their hands by abstaining, gutless to the last.

This now means that all that stands between the government and its aim of breaking up the NHS is the House of Lords and us. Let's be clear on the Bill. It hasn't really changed. Yes, they held what was laughingly called 'a listening exercise' and, yes, there have been some minor tweaks around the edges, but all the essentials are still there as this composite makes clear.

The government said that its regulator, Monitor, would no longer promote competition, but instead it will now prevent anti-competition behaviour. It sounds like the same thing to me. They said it would not be an economic regulator because they changed the title of the section of the Bill, but it is still enforces competition law and holds current powers with the Office of Fair Trading. So it is still an economic regulator. They say the responsibility for the NHS will still reside with the Health Secretary, but this is simply not true. He or she will no longer have to provide or secure services but will instead do so through arms length bodies, such as the new Commissioning Board. So one of the founding principles of the 1946 NHS Act is unravelled.

Also they have stopped privatisation. What a joke! The policy of Any Qualified Provider remains, and this was never in the Bill, anyway. They are just getting on and doing it, with companies gearing up to plunder the NHS for all it's worth. If anything, changes to the Bill make the prospect of creeping privatisation even more certain. The government has added in the legislation favouring either public or private sector provision. What this means is that the NHS can never again enjoy its position as the preferred provider of care.

Finally, MPs have begun to wake up to the damage that will be done by removing the cap on income from private patients, something which UNISON has been warning about for over a year and which my union played a key part in inserting in the foundation trusts legislation under the Blair government.

The government has not acted on this at all. They claim it will allow hospitals to improve NHS services. They are wrong. In the current climate of cuts and austerity, hospitals will be forced to do all they can to raise cash from whatever sources. If they can get unlimited amounts from those able to pay, they will have to do so, or risk going under. This approach puts in danger the very basis of the NHS's philosophy, based on need and not ability to pay. We cannot let this happen.

UNISON has been fighting tooth and nail since the original White Paper came out last summer and we will not stop. The TUC in the All Together for the NHS campaign has a valuable role to play. It brings in all the professions of the Health Service together to demonstrate our unity in this fight. It is important that we keep this together and bind in those non-affiliates such as the BMA and the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery. We have to be firm and clear. This Bill must be defeated for the future of the NHS. It must be saved from the ravages of the Tory ideology and their Liberal puppets.

As the composite makes clear, our NHS is number one for equity, number one for quality and number one for efficiency. It is the jewel in our public service crown, so I will not stop until we have saved it. I urge everyone here to do the same. Congress, save the NHS and kill the Bill. Thank you. (Applause)

Alex Mackenzie (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) seconded Composite Motion 10 on the NHS. She said: I ask you, is the Health and Social Care Bill anything about improving the NHS for patients, about better working between the different parts of the NHS and social care, about keeping the NHS, a service I have worked for all my life, safe for future generations? I think not. This Bill is about one thing and one thing alone: ideology. An ideology that puts competition and the market above all other considerations. The language is of patient choice. 'Any Qualified Provider' sounds better than 'Privatisation', but I fear that the reality will be fragmented and destabilised services, healthcare increasingly rationed and delivered by postcode lottery, NHS patients pushed to the back of the queue as trusts struggle to balance the books, and professional collaboration undermined.

The NHS is being asked to save £20 billion in efficiency savings. Will these reforms help? Will Any Qualified Provider save money? No, but it will certainly help the profits of private companies, not to mention the insurance industry, and they deliberately avoid TUPE regulations in the process. No wonder overseas healthcare companies are rubbing their hands, and the coalition is waving to them saying, 'Come over here. Britain's open for business.' The rest of the country might be struggling but there's money to be made out of the NHS.

If the NHS was broken there may, just may, be a case for change, but the NHS has been ranked no. 1 in the world for quality, equity and safety, despite spending less per head than many other major developed countries. All of this is being put at risk. The Bill was already complex when it was first tabled, and MPs were allocated just two days last week to debate more than one thousand further amendments. Can anyone call that democratic?

The Prime Minister has claimed that the amended Bill has the support of the health professions. Perhaps he has been badly briefed. All the major professions I work with were horrified. Eighty-nine per cent of CSP members believe that patient care will suffer as a result of these reforms, but it isn't all over yet. The Bill still has to go through the House of Lords and back to the Commons. There is still time to protect the NHS. Please think about anything that you can do, big or small, to support the campaign All Together for the NHS, and please support this motion.

Jon Restell (FDA) supported Composite Motion 10. He said: As the composite motion points out, we can be proud of the NHS. Our colleague from the CSP said it is number one for quality, equity and safety, and low on costs. This is the one country out of 11 industrialised countries where wealth does not determine your access to healthcare. So it is a shame that this government choose constantly to criticise the NHS and insist that it needs a complete makeover.

Our NHS is delivered by the whole healthcare team. It is not just doctors who make you better. It's the whole team. All Together for the NHS is a great campaign and an uplifting campaign, bringing together all the health unions under one banner and recognising the contribution of everyone in the team. When it comes to managers, guess what? It turns out that NHS managers are pretty good value for money as well. They are not a drain on the public purse. They are not preventing doctors and nurses from getting on with their jobs. The position is the reverse, in fact. The NHS managers enable them to get on with their jobs.

Increasingly, the evidence - that is not something that this government worries about - shows that we may, in fact, be under-managed in the NHS. Hold on to your hat: the problem may be too few managers, not too many!

Now, of course, we find that the government has been making it all up, anyway. Don't let facts get in the way of a bit of public service bashing. It turns out that the estimates they provided on costs of commissioning were slightly exaggerated - 50 per cent exaggerated. Apparently, they only found this out on the day after the vote on the Third Reading of the Health Bill. A coincidence? Don't you believe it. The general public know the truth about the NHS. It is low cost with high returns. Petition after petition and survey after survey show how much the public loves and trusts the NHS. The Second Reading of the Bill in the Lords is on 11th October - less than a month away - so let's keep up the campaign, keep up the united front and keep in touch with the Great British public. They will not let go of their NHS. Thank you.

Andy Ford (Unite): Delegates, our union has over 100,000 members in the Health Service. I work in the National Blood Service. The NHS is under threat as never before. The Tories want to destroy the NHS for one simple reason - it doesn't make a profit. It is a service provided for need, not for profit. The NHS is an element of socialism in a capitalist system. As we have heard this week, it is a dysfunctional capitalist system. The NHS was set up by Nye Bevan, who was a convinced, determined and resolute socialist. Those are the sort of people we need to lead this struggle, not people who sit on a fence and tell us things that we don't need to hear. We need people to fight all the way with us and be with us when we are struggling.

The NHS comes from a bargain reached for working class people during the war. That's a promise which Cameron and Clegg are going back on. It is another broken promise. They promised not to reorganise the NHS from the top down, but that is exactly what they are doing. They are also betraying the promise made to people who fought in the war who were told that they were coming back to a welfare state and told that they were not coming back to for profit medicine of the 1930s, which had failed in the 1930s, was proven to have failed, and all sorts of books written by Nye Bevan have proved that.

The reorganisation will cost £3 billion. That is £3 billion too much. York University has estimated that the market measures which are in force already have increased administration costs by 14 per cent. As previous speakers have said, the NHS administration costs are amongst the lowest in the world. Private medicine will increase. Our members already report situations where people walk into a hospital lab and say, 'Put these samples on first. These are for the private patients.' That is the sort of going on. Private medicine does create that situation.

I said that I work in the National Blood Service. Within weeks of the government taking power - I won't say 'elected' because they took power - they happened on the National Blood Service. They said they were going to privatise key elements of the National Blood Service. Why they would do that, I don't know.

Our union, in co-operation with UNISON, set up a website. We had 40,000 people signed up to that website to help us oppose the privatisation of the National Blood Service. That threat has been withdrawn now. That shows, in a small way, how we can defend the Health Service. There has to be unity between the workers and the patients and service users. That is the only way to do it. I found that when we go out and request support, we do get the support we need. We can't rely on politicians to save the NHS. It is down to us. It is our duty. We are the one set of people who will do this job for us. We have no vested interest in being bribed and taken to conferences. We care about the Service.

We don't want to go with the situation in America where, just a month or so ago, a 24 year old father died because he could not afford medication for a tooth infection. In America, if you get ill, you will go bankrupt. That is the situation the Tories want to get us back to, unless you are very, very rich, that is. I move you support the composite.

Annette Mansell-Green (Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association) supported Composite Motion 10. She said: Conference, I want to start with a message to Ed. We are not opponents of change. We are not against change. We are actually quite progressive as a movement, especially when we work together. The HCSA is non-political. It has no dogmatic opposition to NHS reform. However, it is anxious to ensure that what is recognised is the professionalism of doctors in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients. We need to provide a framework for the best possible delivery of patient care within the funds available.

We are genuinely of the view that the enormity of the funding reduction, taken together with the reforms outlined in the Bill, provide a political and organisational climate to create the perfect storm.

Morale in the NHS is at a very, very low ebb. Staff are finding themselves facing pay constraints, reductions in pension entitlements and redundancies being imposed, not for clinical reasons but for financial reasons, just to save money. All these situations potentially combine to create a climate where things could go horribly wrong in one or more trusts.

We have recently carried out a survey of our members on their attitude towards the pension reforms in the NHS about a fund that is actually in surplus, not in deficit. You may be surprised to hear, colleagues, that the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association trade union members are now saying, 'What are we going to do about taking some form of action to protect our futures?'

So long as the NHS is funded by taxation, as it should be, and allocations made by Parliamentary vote, it is considered, at best, naïve for the Secretary of State to relinquish his responsibility. The founding principles of the NHS, namely, that healthcare should be based on clinical need, universally available and free at the point of need, should be enshrined in law and binding on what everybody is charged with the delivery of that fundamental objective. Removing ministers from that duty carries enormous risks.

Patient choice is a driver in the NHS but 'Any decision about me should not be made without me.' This is a slogan which would be a powerful reminder of how GP commissioning should be conducted and a yardstick against which it will be judged. Integrated care, as other speakers have mentioned, is the key. We need collaboration, not competition. This campaign must continue with extra vigour if we are to retain the NHS with its founding principles intact. This is not a toy to be played with in a game of political ideology. Our members are proud of our NHS and will always put patients first. We must continue with this excellent campaign run by the TUC and we will play our active part too. Thank you for listening. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 10 was CARRIED

Save the NHS

The President: I now call Motion 50 - Save the NHS. The General Council supports this motion with a reservation. I will call on the DGS to explain the General Council's position after the mover and seconder. It will be moved on behalf of the TUC Trades Union Councils' Conference.

Pat Stuart (Unite): Conference, I am speaking on behalf of the TUC Trades Union Councils' Conference to move the motion. I think it is important that they have chosen a motion of such significance. I will acknowledge the qualifier myself because it is also a qualifier from my union, about nationalising the pharmaceutical industry. Obviously, we would want to ensure that if that were to be a choice for us next week that full discussions had taken place with all those unions which organise in the pharmaceuticals industry. That would be a natural pre-requisite, and that includes my own union. I have no qualms about making that point here.

The point is that this motion has been brought forward from what was a lively conference with a wide range of issues being discussed is significant of the fact that this is what matters to people in their communities. The trades councils are us in the communities, really. They are our presence in the communities. This is what they feel is most pressing for people, that concern over the NHS and where it is going. We can feel the sense that people want to know that your family, parents, children and you are going to be safe and get the very best care possible when you go into hospital. It has been steadily undermined for people due to the political threat that is hanging over the Health Service at present.

A report in today's press says that increasing numbers of people are facing longer and longer waiting lists for elective surgery as health care trusts try to save money, and they are being forced into the private sector, if they have any money at all. If some people are being forced into the private sector because they can't stand the pain that is often associated with waiting for operations for months and months, then all those people who don't have the money to do that are suffering that pain for all that much longer time. These are serious issues for all of us. We have to concentrate people's minds. It is appropriate that this message is coming from the trades councils and that we can address it, just after addressing the issues raised by our healthcare workers and their concerns. Organising in healthcare, like anywhere else, is not easy. It is a pity that Mr Miliband is not here to hear the rest of our debate today. It might be worth somebody pointing out to him next time they are talking to him it might be easier for us to do the difficult job of organising workers if we were able to point out to people that, as trade unionists, we would have the same full range of human rights that trade unionists do across much of the rest of the civilised world. We don't have that at present. We have our ankles shackled. That point needs to be made at some point. It is not just a private sector argument, either. This is what matters to the trades councils at this point. I am quite proud to be representing them to put this motion to Congress today. I ask you to support it. Thank you.

John McCormack (University and College Union): Congress, I am a member of the Trades Councils' Joint Consultative Committee. The Government has used a whole range of myths, of euphemisms, to justify their NHS reforms. I think it is time for this Congress to start challenging and debunking some of them. They use words like 'efficiency', 'restructure' and 'reorganisation'. What that does is justifies and facilitates the private sector Trojan Horse worming its way into the very centre of the NHS. This NHS should be used not for the benefit of shareholders but for the benefit of the millions of stakeholders here and out there who rely on the NHS. They are the people the NHS was devised for. They use words like 'attacking bureaucracy'. That is quite reasonable except when you realise that the British NHS is amongst the most efficient and cost-effective of any comparable NHS system anywhere in the world, whether it is private or publicly owned. None of that is recognised by the government. They say that they will defend frontline services. There are two things to say about that. First of all, it is not true. They won't defend them. Secondly, it implies that only frontline services are valuable within the NHS. Colleagues, I am sick of ordinary hardworking people in the back office in the NHS, who may be working on frontline services, having their role devalued by this government. This Congress should value, welcome and congratulate all of the staff within the NHS who work hard to deliver the service. All of them are necessary and all of them should be valued.

The NHS exists to help people get over diseases and accidents. Part of that is that if there is a parasite in the body, they will do their best to eliminate and get rid of it. Colleagues, this Congress has got to attack the private sector parasites who are getting into the NHS, waiting in the wings, hovering over every hospital and surgery, trying to get their sticky, grubby little fingers on the wealth and resources of the NHS. That has got to stop!

An old saying states that attack is the best form of defence. Therefore, as well as defending the Health Service against the attacks of privatisation, we should be taking the arguments to the private sector and letting it be known now that their time is limited, and that we will be campaigning not just to defend what we have but to increase public sector involvement, to take over the bits of the Health Service that they have already got their sticky little fingers on.

This motion comes from the trades councils, and trades councils are at the heart of our communities and at the heart of the trade union movement. Together, both collectively, here and out there, we've got to campaign and defend the National Health Service. Thank you, colleagues.

Frances O'Grady (Deputy General Secretary): Congress, I have been asked to give the view of the General Council. The General Council supports this motion with a reservation. There is much to welcome in the motion, in particular, the call for campaigning to defend the NHS with health unions, patients, GPs and the public. Of course, as you have acknowledged, the TUC is already campaigning hard under the banner of All Together for the NHS. Many of you will have taken part in the candle-lit vigils that we held outside Westminster and throughout the country last week.

The content of the motion is a little out of date now that the White Paper has been succeeded by a Bill now going through the Parliamentary process. It is very clear that TUC policy is to oppose the so-called reforms of the NHS and, indeed, privatisation by stealth. However, as the mover of the motion acknowledged, the TUC does not have any specific policy currently regarding the nationalisation of the pharmaceutical industry and, as a point of principle, whilst the TUC believes there is an absolutely critical role for public ownership in key sectors of the economy - that was reflected in composite motion 4 that was passed earlier - the General Council would not wish to call for the public ownership of any particular sector without first fully examining the economic implications and also making sure, critically, that we first consulted with all unions with an industrial interest in that sector.

* Motion 51 was CARRIED

Southern Cross and the care sector

The President: Colleagues, I call Motion 51 - Southern Cross and the care sector. The General Council supports the motion.

Justin Bowden (GMB) moved Motion 51. He said: Britain 2011: Winterbourne View care home. The learning disabled, the autistic and the suicidal, the most vulnerable people in our society, on prime time television being beaten and abused in the one place that they should feel safe - their home!

Britain 2011: Southern Cross, the largest care home provider in the country, broken up and brought to the brink of collapse and bankruptcy by the toxic combination of private equity and privatisation greed.

Britain 20th Century: the 'Big Society' disgrace, where private comes before people and where invisible landlords, hidden tax havens and meetings behind closed doors, play pass the parcel with 31,000 vulnerable Southern Cross residents, while local and national government look on, content, apparently, to let the market rip. This was also predictable. We can say 'We told you so', and we did. For nearly two years GMB was warning that the business model used in the private care sector was unsustainable, the product of a culture of greed and gullibility that has dominated the financial markets since they were deregulated during the Thatcher years.

In 2006 Southern Cross was floated on the London Stock Exchange, alongside the lethal sale and leaseback model that separated the ownership of the homes from the care of the elderly. Profit was put before people. Private equity filled its boots. Companies like Blackstone, estimated to have made £600 million out of Southern Cross in secret financial dealings, a modern day scandal in which the losers are the 31,000 residents, 43,000 staff and the British taxpayers whose money mostly financed their greed. Yet, back then, Southern Cross and private equity were the darlings of the City and New Labour alike, lauded as the epitome of how the private sector could run things better and cheaper.

Today Southern Cross is as dead as a Norwegian Blue, a failed brand from a failed system, operating in a failed market. In a matter of weeks new operators will have their names on the doors of Southern Cross, but changing the name won't change the game, and it's the game that must change. The time is now long overdue for a new standard of care, a standard of care sufficiently funded and resourced from taxation that guarantees all our elderly and vulnerable - those who have served and worked for this country all their lives are cared for safely, with dignity and respect.

What about Southern Cross right now? The residents and staff are being carved up amongst 32 new operators, some of them as debt-ridden and broke as Southern Cross itself. Some residents and staff still don't know who is going to be taking over the running of their homes in a matter of weeks. They are treated as mere pawns in some big city monopoly game, left worried out of their wits.

This motion demands action and support from government now, action to ensure that those worries are eased and that the homes are not closed in the next phase of the breakup. Politicians in all parties, in all parts of the UK, must take responsibility for this care sector crisis and take actions which put the residents first. This motion insists that the government guarantees that no Southern Cross home will close and no resident will be turned out or forced to move against their will.

The politicians have another responsibility - to investigate and expose the scandalous financial engineering in the City of London and Wall Street that led to the crisis and to make the guilty pay. They have an absolute responsibility to outlaw such financial engineering in social care and to make sure that this never happens again. The kings of private equity, in secret, hidden from the eyes of the press and public, have perpetrated ravages on the British economy and British jobs. Under current rules more is known about the Mafia than the antics of private equity. It is about time that they came into the light. It is time they were held to account and, above all, it is time the tables were turned and people were put before profit.

Finally, Congress, the politicians must also rule on whether, ultimately, private equity and the private sector are fit to care for our elderly, our most vulnerable and our most dependent. If they don't act, if they do nothing and nothing changes, then, Congress, there will be another Southern Cross. Please support.

Bob McGuire (Communication Workers Union) seconded Motion 51 as amended. He said: The amendment to the motion reads: '2. the establishment of a new, independent and 'fit for purpose' public regular sufficiently resourced, and with the necessary legal powers, to conduct financial checks and due diligence on care home operators and undertake a comprehensive inspection regime backed by statutory minimum standards and staffing levels.' Breaking that down into English, if the RSPCA can kick a door in to protect a dog or a cat, then we need proper legislation that allows us to protect our mums, dads, grand dads and grandmas.

The demise of Southern Cross left the public shocked, that an organisation tasked with caring for the old and the vulnerable was able to expose itself to a level of financial risk that resulted in so much anguish for residents, their families and the staff. The shock across the nation was absolutely unbelievable. Southern Cross collapsed as a result of pursuing a controversial business model of selling and leasing back its properties to fund rapid expansion, so much so that within four years - you have already heard the mover say this - that they earned over £600 million in profit. For years the company's finances prospered. It also attracted private equity from property investors, but the bubble burst and it has left 752 care homes to be taken over by the various landlords, whilst the 31,000 residents and the 43,000 staff face an uncertain future.

The company's business model was based on the assumption that the care sector was a growth industry where occupancy rates would continue to stay high and, therefore, it would have no problems in paying the annual rent increases it had promised the landlords. It is known that out of the 752 Southern Cross care homes, 250 will immediately go to landlords who will then provide a care home service, but it remains unclear what is going to happen to the other 500 homes. Negotiations are going to continue for months, and this will clearly involve landlords selling and closing homes. Some of the landlords are, themselves, in financial difficulties, and it is still unclear who actually owns 116 of the homes.

Southern Cross employees were working in uncertain conditions. For many months staff pay was frozen, turnover rates of 40 per cent were not unusual, while initially Southern Cross announced 3,000 job losses. All this leads to serious questions over whether this type of sector should be in private hands at all.

This motion and the amendment are saying that we need tougher regulation, essentially, to safeguard vulnerable people, a new public regulator should be created with the legal powers to set minimum standards, monitor performance, audit finances and closely inspect working practices to re-establish public confidence in the care of the elderly. As a start, in a nutshell, we are saying that we want to ensure that our mums, dads, grand dads and grandmas are looked after properly. (Applause)

Alexis Chase (Unite) supported Motion 51. She said: We support this motion because it highlights the problem of growing old in Britain today. Being poor, sick and old can be quite frightening and very worrying, because for people like Southern Cross you are not a person, you are just a profit margin.

One of the scandals of Southern Cross has been the disregard of this government for the failure of the market to do anything other than to protect and maximise its profits. At no point have Cameron, Clegg or Osborne criticised the business model used by Southern Cross. At no point have they demanded that the private equity companies that made money out of these elderly people make any kind of reparations to them. The whole issue of Southern Cross should be regarded as a watershed moment. This should be the time when decent people in this country stand up and say, 'This government has got to go.'

When elderly people can be used for the sake of profit and then discarded, we should be saying, 'You need to go. You're unscrupulous, you're disgusting and you're absolutely wrong.' There should be no place at all for someone like Cameron to stand here prating on about a big society and how we should act responsibly, when he is allowing these people to get away with wholesale robbery and leaving people vulnerable, frightened and alone. It's a disgrace. Support this motion and support the fact that the care of the elderly should not be left to private profit. It's something that should be done by the state via local authorities, and regarded as the valuable and important work that it is. Get rid of this government and get rid of the private sector ethic. (Applause)

Gordon McKay (UNISON) supported Motion 51. He said: Congress, during the past six months we have heard time and time again that the scandal of Southern Cross reminds us all of the failures of capitalism. What absolute nonsense, Congress! Southern Cross showed us that the privatisation of health and social care under the Tories worked exactly in the way in which it was meant to work for the benefit of the rich and powerful. Blackstone is the American private equity fund that previous owned Southern Cross did exactly what the free market economic model would tell them to do - screw every penny out of your investment and then walk away. Blackstone knew the drill off by heart. Buy the care providers, buy the company that owns the leases to the care homes, allow for a period of property speculation and then strip the assets and sell off the lot. Result: £1.1 billion profit in five years for the private equity shareholders and 750 care homes threatened with closure and 31,000 women and men threatened with eviction. Make no mistake, Congress, the only thing that saved these people from eviction wasn't David Cameron's caring side. It was the fact that there were so many of them. If this had been one or two homes affecting 100 people, they would have been on the streets before Cameron and Clegg could have reminded us of the benefits of Rachmanism, but 31,000 people were too much for them.

That is the second reason why capitalism works for the wealthy under the Tories. Whether it was Railtrack, RBS, Lloyds, the PFI providers of schools and hospitals before them, the services that Southern Cross provided could not be allowed to fail. After the speculators walk away with their bonuses and dividends having run these vital public services into the ground, the ordinary people have to pick up the bill and rebuild the services so that the Tories can hand them back again to their friends. These, are, of course, the Tory plans for all our health and social care. When Cameron tells his business friends that the dead hand of the state is getting in the way of entrepreneurship, he means the entrepreneurs like Southern Cross. When he talks of the enemies of enterprise, he means care workers who get paid a proper wage working in local authority workers, as compared to Quarriers, who want to cut their staff's wages by 23 per cent.

Capitalism does work. It works for private equity firms like Blackstones. UNISON wants a system that works for the residents of the care homes. Ed Miliband told us this morning that the next Labour government will have some hard spending choices to make. Well, here's an easy one, Ed. Stop handing over money to rogues like Southern Cross and instead invest in publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly owned care services that we can be proud of, rather than private services that we are ashamed of. Please support.

* Motion 51 was CARRIED


The President: I now call Motion 52, Arthritis. The General Council supports the motion.

Katie Collins (Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists) moved Motion 52. She said: I would suggest that if you asked most people about arthritis, they would say that it was something that happens to older people and it was just a natural ageing process which they could not do much about apart from taking some sort of supplements.

In fact, there are about 200 different musculoskeletal conditions which the term 'arthritis' can cover, but it is usually linked to inflammation within a joint. Whilst arthritis is often associated with old age, it can in fact occur at any age and usually develops between the ages of 20 and 50.

The cost of arthritis to the economy has been estimated at £8 billion a year and with arthritis rates increasing in an aging population, this cost is only likely to increase. Arthritis in many forms, including osteoarthritis, can be initially detected in the feet due to stress that feet go through in everyday activity. It has been identified that early detection of arthritis in conjunction with education on footwear and the fitting of insoles can contribute to reducing the painful and often life-altering symptoms of arthritis.

Podiatrists are therefore key members of the health profession team that detects arthritis in the early stages. The earlier these changes are noted, the easier it is to treat and in many cases prevent further deterioration. A recent survey by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists highlights that significant proportions of the public were putting themselves at risk of developing arthritis by not wearing appropriate footwear including sports shoes and over-using high heels. Therefore, the podiatrist can educate the public about correct footwear and, if needed, prescribe insoles to further prevent foot injury and reduce strain on foot joints and cartilage.

The Society for Chiropodists and Podiatrists feel that the public are not being made aware of the risk appropriately and are missing out on treatment due to arthritis in the feet being neglected. Coinciding with this are the cuts the ConDem Government is pushing on to the public sector and NHS, including cuts in foot health services. Therefore, if this situation is allowed to continue, we could see the UK facing an arthritis crisis. This will only be made worse if the Health and Social Bill is passed by the Lords and GP commissioning is undertaken. Many specialist services have concerns that not all commissioning GPs would fully understand the intricacies of each specialism.

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and its members share these concerns. Because of their expert knowledge base, podiatrists and chiropodists can tackle arthritis in a number of ways including educating the patient, helping to prevent deterioration, manufacturing insoles, treating ulcers that occur due to arthritic deformities, helping to support patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, treating children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and so on. However, will a GP, who may have had little experience themselves with our service, just think of us as toe nail cutters and do not commission us in an appropriate way, potentially curtailing even more important services to patients?

This motion is therefore calling upon the General Council to lobby the Department of Health to support the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists' campaign on this issue and to launch an intensive campaign to encourage people to seek professional help with their foot health. Please support. (Applause)

Richard Evans (Society of Radiographers) seconded Motion 52. He said: It is a pleasure and a privilege to support the ever-popular footcare motion at Congress and I am glad to see that, if you read the text, high heels are back in our book.

Arthritis is a scourge. Arthritis causes pain and disability affecting the lives of millions. The cost in terms of treatment and interventions is huge, to say nothing of the cost of lost work and blighted lives. Members of the Society of Radiographers examine and diagnose cases of arthritis every day, but by the time changes in joints and bones are visible on an X-ray, the disease is already established. Incidentally, those changes do become very painfully visible on X-rays.

This motion is about early detection, as Katie said, and about prevention. In the foot, simple actions and precautions can prevent arthritis later. Why is it that insufficient attention is paid to prevention in healthcare in this country? It is one of the ideals upon which the NHS was founded. It is not only that free care is there for all, but also that ordinary people will enjoy better and better health. It is right that we should be pressing for public health promotion and initiatives for effective disease prevention. It is good sense, it is low cost but it is in the NHS so it is under threat. Please support the motion. (Applause)

* Motion 52 was CARRIED

Misuse of anti-psychotic drugs

The President: I now call Motion 53, Misuse of anti-psychotic drugs. The General Council supports the motion.

Sandra Mathers (Society of Radiographers) moved Motion 53. She said: President, Congress, dementia is one of the most severe and challenging disorders we face in the UK. Dementia affects both men and women from all social classes and from all ethnic groups. This disease has, or will, affect us all at some time in our lives. I am sure that the majority of delegates here either have known, or currently know, of someone who is either living with the disease or caring for somebody who has the disease. The symptoms of agitation, aggression, wandering, shouting, repeated questioning and sleep disturbance can occur at any time in the disease.

My mother developed it when I was in my early twenties and I am now watching my friends having to care for their parents. Despite what is claimed, very little has changed over the intervening years in the provision of care and support. The figures used currently indicate approximately 700,000 people with dementia in the UK. It is estimated that due to the change in demographics in 30 years from now, this will rise to 1.4 million. I would say that this is a conservative estimate as these are based on statistics from 2007. Quite literally, we are sitting on a time bomb. The national cost is currently £17 billion per year and estimated to rise to £50 billion in 30 years' time. Need I say more?

Evidence has shown that dealing with these patients with challenging behaviour has developed in an ad hoc manner rather than being planned and commissioned. It is by no means standard across any county or region within the UK. Current methods of treating this disease include delivering doses of anti-psychotic drugs in order to calm the patient. Reviewing such treatment seems to indicate a positive response by only a few patients. Of the 180,000 treated with these drugs annually, 36,000 will have some benefit from treatment. On the other hand, such users can equate to 1,800 deaths and of 1,620 patients who have suffered adverse effects, half of these may be severe.

It has also been estimated that approximately two-thirds of these prescriptions may well be unnecessary. The inappropriate prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs has been described as a serious clinical and human rights issue. I want to tell you a short story. Perhaps some of you may have already heard it. A daughter cared for her father at home until it became obvious that she could do so no longer and he required specialist care. He was admitted to a care home. Although showing symptoms of the disease on admission to the home, he was actually able to get about and sometimes was able to have a conversation.

A few days after he was admitted, she noticed a rapid deterioration in his condition. When she went to visit him, he was slumped in a chair unable to speak or move. She thought he had had a stroke, but after a lot of questioning she was told that when he went to bed, he saw flashing lights and was becoming agitated. He was shouting and disturbing the other patients. It had been decided to put him on the new regime of anti-psychotic drugs to calm him down.

After a period of time, her father's condition deteriorated as he was entering the terminal phase of the illness. One day she was called and sat all day at his bed. As the light faded, all of a sudden his room was filled with flashing lights from the neon sign which was outside her father's bedroom window. Rather than looking at the man as a person and at the conditions in which he was living, he was drugged. Had the drugs hastened his end? There is no way of knowing, but it is clear that he did not need to have the drugs.

Congress, we need action now against the inappropriate use of anti-psychotic drugs with this group of patients. NICE guidelines from 2007 recommend that patients who display behaviour which is challenging should be given an early assessment not only to establish factors which contribute to their agitation, but to also establish appropriate treatment for their behaviour. Much of this is centred on staff training with good knowledge of the individual, the establishment of a dementia specialist within staff and a dementia-friendly environment. The giving of anti-psychotic drugs is not a replacement for good clinical care and practice.

I ask you to support this motion and with your unions advise at every opportunity the establishment and implementation of national standards for the treatment and care of people living with dementia. (Applause)

Katie Collins (The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists) seconded Motion 53. She said: Research says that many dementia patients being prescribed chemical anti-psychotic drugs could be better treated with simple painkillers. A British and Norwegian study published on the BMJ website found that painkillers significantly cut agitation in dementia patients.

Agitation, a common dementia symptom, is often treated with anti-psychotic drugs which have risky side effects. The Alzheimer's Society wants doctors to consider other types of treatment. Experts say that each year about 180,000 patients in the UK are unnecessarily prescribed anti-psychotics, which have a powerful sedative effect and can worsen dementia symptoms and increase the risk of stroke or even death. They are often given to patients that dementia makes aggressive or agitated, but researchers from King's College, London and Norway speculate that the behaviour may sometimes be caused by pain which patients are unable to express in other ways.

They studied 352 patients with moderate or severe dementia in nursing homes in Norway. Half were given painkillers with every meal whilst the rest continued with their usual treatments. After eight weeks, there was a 17 per cent reduction in agitation symptoms in the group being given painkillers, a greater improvement than would have been expected from treatment with anti-psychotics. The researchers concluded that if patients' pain was properly managed, doctors could reduce the number of prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs.

Professor Clive Ballard, one of the report's authors and Director of Research at the Alzheimer's Society, said that the finding was significant. 'At the moment, pain is very under-treated in people with dementia because it is very hard to recognise', he said. 'I think this could make a substantial difference to people's lives and it could help them live much better with dementia.' However, he said that painkillers should only be given to patients under the supervision of a doctor.

The Alzheimer's Society is issuing new guidance calling upon doctors to think much harder before prescribing anti-psychotics and to look at prescribing pain medication instead. The National Care Association said that the study highlighted some of the complexities of dementia. 'Pain in itself is debilitating so to identify it as the root cause of agitation and aggressive behaviour is a major breakthrough which will enable us to support people appropriately' said its Chairman, Nadra Ahmed.

A government programme to reduce the inappropriate prescription of anti-psychotic drugs is already underway in England. Congress, share the concern highlighted by the Alzheimer's Society regarding the widespread misuse of anti-psychotic drugs in the treatment of patients suffering from dementia. It is time for the government to act and to stop this abuse of some of the most vulnerable in our society. (Applause)

* Motion 53 was CARRIED

Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children

The President: I now call Motion 54, Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children. The General Council supports the motion.

Kate Fallon (Association of Educational Psychologists) moved Motion 54. She said: President, Congress, I am here today to ask you to support our call for an urgent national review into the use of powerful psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin with school-aged children. We are concerned that not enough is known about the long-term effects of such powerful drugs upon the development of children's brains.

We are receiving increased numbers of reports from our members that children with behavioural difficulties are being prescribed drugs without full discussions with all the other professionals to see if some other strategies or approaches could be used instead of, or at least alongside, the medication. Very often these drugs are being administered to the children by support staff in school and we share the concerns expressed by the GMB about the responsibilities therefore being placed upon their members in this respect. We fear that the drugs are being seen as a quick fix.

In 2013, we are expecting new criteria for the definition of mental illness to be adopted here in the UK. These criteria will lead to many more children being diagnosed as mentally ill based upon reports of their behaviours. A shy child could be diagnosed with social anxiety. A sad or temporarily withdrawn child could be diagnosed with depression. These are also conditions which are also likely to be treated with medication and under these circumstances, Congress, we will be putting potent drugs into children with little or no understanding of what it will lead to.

In a society that always wants quick results, using drugs to improve behaviour is very tempting, but there can be other ways of improving children's behaviour which typically involve time and energy from people.

Simply relying upon medication in isolation is no solution. We must foster a more collaborative approach to the treatment of school-age children with conditions such as ADHD. We should ensure that teachers, school support staff and educational psychologists are involved alongside the parents and doctors to try to develop consistent approaches and support for the children. There should be consistent approaches and support which are not solely reliant upon medication or on increasing the dosage of more tablets at the start of the day when the drugs do not work, but those which involve all the adults who work with the child and utilise all the skills and resources which they have.

NICE has issued guidance on the use of psychotropic drugs for children. It believes that there is no need to review that guidance. It says that they do not have the evidence to review the guidance. They do not have the evidence, Congress, because the Department of Health does not collect the data.

We have evidence that the current guidance is not being followed. For example, children under six are being prescribed the drugs, but there is no monitoring of that practice. If we fail to review our practices, we run the risk of even more children being prescribed with drugs whose long-term effects are not categorically known to us. We run the risk of committing children to long-term drug use and of committing the long-term spending of public money to increase the profits of pharmaceutical companies, public money which could go some way towards funding more adults being available to work directly with children.

Congress, I urge you to support this motion to instigate a full and urgent review into the use of psychotropic drugs with school-aged children and into the long-term effects of the use of those drugs. (Applause)

Mary Turner (GMB) seconded Motion 54. She said: This motion raises real concerns about behaviour-altering drugs are being prescribed to our children and about their long-term effects. Congress, as parents and as a society, we have to get to the bottom of this. We have to ensure that these drugs are not prescribed unless it is safe and necessary to do so. We have to consider other ways of managing behaviour. There are lots of things which influence behaviour - and now you know what is coming - which can be as simple as providing proper nutritious free school meals, for which we had to campaign for a very long time. We were getting there but we know what happened. This lot of parasites got in and pulled the plug! In our opinion, a review of these behavioural drugs cannot happen soon enough. It is too important for the wellbeing of our children for the government to sit on its hands.

Congress, there is a broader context to this debate. We know that in the past few years, demand for all kinds of medical support in schools has increased, support for everything from asthma and diabetes to pupils with very complex physical needs. A lot of the responsibility for delivering this care has fallen on school support staff with no medical background whatsoever.

Congress, at the GMB, we are inundated with examples of schools expecting their secretaries and teaching assistants to perform often complex medical procedures such as tube feeding, tracheotomy care and IV drip replacement. In many cases, the staff have little or no training or supervision. We did a survey last year which found that 57 per cent of support staff had not received relevant professional training for these medical duties. Sixty two per cent said that they felt vulnerable about what they were being asked to do. It is scandalous when you think about it. It is certainly not fair to staff or to the children that they look after for schools to rely upon their secretaries and TAs like this.

We are warning that the makeshift arrangements schools have in place are inadequate and close to breaking point. There should be a fully regulated system of medical provision with better guidance for schools about who is responsible, with healthcare professionals willing and able to take a lead role and with a clear and reasonable limit to the basic medical duties that school support staff have to undertake.

With all these issues, Congress, we run up against the same obstacle, which is a government hell-bent on breaking up the education system through its academies and free schools. Now, more than ever, the school system needs to be held together for the sake of the children who rely upon coordinated care.

I will just finish by saying this. I was a public service worker for 40 years and was proud of the job I did. I now represent public sector workers. For the benefit of this parasite coalition government, every single worker who delivers public services delivers frontline services. It is not just who Cameron and Clegg decide to identify. You deliver public services to the most vulnerable in our society. You are the front line. You are the people the clients see first. You are the ones who take the stick. So, Mr. Cameron, leave us alone. We do not get gold-plated pensions. Remember, you are not in the real world.

* Motion 54 was CARRIED

State education, Free schools, Academies and privatisation

The President: I call Composite Motion 11, State education, Free schools, Academies and privatisation. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Chris Keates (NASUWT) moved Composite Motion 11.

She said: Congress, the date of 12th May 2010, when the coalition government took office, marked a turning point for state education. It signalled the end of over a decade of genuine partnership between the government and unions which had provided gains in teachers' pay and working conditions to support them in raising standards, a recognition of support staff as important parts of the education team around the child, major improvements in educational standards with standards of literacy and numeracy vastly improved, more young people going on to further and higher education and record levels of investment in education. By 2010, England was one of the top 20 performing countries in education in the world. Of course, it was not always perfect - no system is - but the broad direction of travel was right.

The advent of the coalition government saw the obscene squandering of this legacy of success and the adoption of a 'scorched earth' policy. Despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, the coalition claimed that state schools routinely failed children and young people, teaching standards were poor, sacking teachers was too difficult, the curriculum was too broad, too many subjects were soft options, diplomas lacked rigour, education spending had been profligate, the system was over-regulated, schools lacked autonomy and the country was racing to the bottom of international league tables. The Education Secretary pledged publicly to end the monopoly of state education and declared himself not to be ideologically opposed to schools making a profit. Not one scrap of evidence was, or has been, produced to justify such denigration of state schools and the relentless reform which has followed.

Swingeing cuts have been made to local authority and school budgets, removing special needs, behaviour, advisory and other vital support services. The Education Secretary's ideological academisation project is being driven forward through bribery and bullying without any evidence that standards will be raised and by riding roughshod over the views of staff, parents and local communities.

This academisation, passing into private providers the ownership of a school, stealing the assets from the local community, severing local democratic accountability and incurring risks to the public purse has nothing to do with raising standards and tackling disadvantage. The highest performing schools in this country are community schools. Take note, Labour leadership.

The coalition is driven by contempt for state education and other public services and a free market ideology that choice for the consumer is central to the delivery of services. The Education Secretary is arrogantly taking to himself, without a mandate from the people of this country, the freedom to give away 150 years of state school history to his few friends to enable them to turn a profit at the expense of our children and young people. It is the teachers and support staff who raise standards; academies and free schools are about lining the pockets of business. (Applause)

Just like the NHS, state education is not a discretionary commodity. It is not for the few. State education must be about equality and social justice. It must be distinguished by universal access and delivery according to need. We have common cause, common goals and a common enemy. We must win this war against those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. We must oppose the Education Bill with the same vigour as we opposed the NHS Bill.

State education, which has secured opportunities for the many and not just for the privileged few, now stands on the brink of annihilation by this Government. As trade unionists, workers, parents, carers and grandparents we must do everything we can to fight this pernicious Education Bill and secure quality education for future generations. I move. (Applause)

Nina Franklin (National Union of Teachers) seconded Composite Motion 11. She said: We second Composite Motion 11, particularly concentrating on the latest and worst attack on state education, the free schools, many of which started only a few weeks ago.

Free schools form a huge attack on state education. They take away the community schools' capacity to educate pupils in a local area. The free schools have a huge effect on the funding of education. The government uses taxpayers' money to give to elite groups of parents and various other people to provide education. They completely disrupt what is happening locally and, not least, can have a huge effect on the pay and conditions of our members, for which we fought for many years to win and to preserve. One of the main tenets of the free school programme is that you can break up national pay and conditions and you do not even need a qualified teacher to teach a class of children.

The current Education Bill which is making its way through Parliament also completely undermines the role of the local authority in education and therefore leads to its fragmentation and break-up. There has been much research done and evidence provided by the free schools in Sweden, on which the government has based its programme, which has shown that they have led to massive inequality and social division. They are not seen as a success in Sweden and yet here we are undertaking a similar programme in this country.

In the NUT, we believe that local authorities are best placed to provide proper oversight of schools and to ensure that education is democratically provided. In Bristol, my local area, the largest free school in the country, which started in September, will without doubt lead to the closure of a good local comprehensive school which has been getting excellent results within that community. It means that the community will then be fragmented as most of the children who go to the local comprehensive school will not be able to get into the free school because it will have control over its admissions.

Congress, we use the old phrase, 'Education should be a right and not a privilege', but the old ones are often the best. Education should be a right and not a privilege. What is happening with the free school programme and general privatisation through academies is that a right to a good local school in every community and a good education is being denied to many children.

Alice Robinson (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) spoke in support of Composite Motion 11.

She said: President, Congress, the threat to state education can be clearly seen in the government putting political dogma above universal access to the highest quality education provision, based upon the needs of students instead of on the educational establishments that their parents can afford, in its push to bribe, force and encourage schools to become academies. The decision taken by so many schools to take part in the 'dash for cash' has itself undermined the role and sustainability of our local education authorities as the providers of central services. These include providing support and advice for special educational needs and other essential services such as local educational medical services and children's centres.

This shameful situation has now been openly supported by the leader of the Labour Party. (Applause) The threat to state education can also be seen in the dual standards of funding for schools and academies with academies and free schools to date getting a higher rate of funding directly from central government, often at the expense of money top-sliced from local authorities. The funding of free schools has also seen a huge financial investment in them at a time when the budgets in many local authority schools are shrinking.

Two years ago, Lesley Ward, the President of the ATL, highlighted her concerns around the poverty of aspiration suffered by many students from disadvantaged homes. Imagine my concern when I realised that this poverty of aspiration had been adopted by the current government. For the students of free schools that have been established in the middle-class enclaves in many of our suburbs, the curriculum is that of a prep school. Two of them include Latin. However, for one of the free schools which has been proposed in the most deprived area of Oldham, the proposal for the curriculum is for literacy, numeracy and discipline.

Robert Lowe, in 1867, said, 'We must compel our future masters to learn their letters.' He would have gone down really well with the current government because he also wanted payment by results for the three Rs.

I suppose we should not have been surprised by this current government's belief in the acceptable nature of the privatisation of education. Michael Gove has clearly indicated that he is open to this development. The same, however, should not be said of the Liberal Democrats whose manifesto before the last election bore no relation to their current support for free schools, academies and the increase in tuition fees. Mr Miliband, I am appalled at your statements this morning. (Applause)

Mark Campbell (University and College Union) spoke in support of Composite Motion 11. He said: UCU, like hopefully everyone still in this hall, believes in free, democratically-accountable state-funded education for all paid through progressive taxation. We fully defend and champion comprehensive education, neither academies nor free schools. We further believe that free education should not end at 16. It should be available to all who would benefit from it and that means across adult further education and universities. University education should be free. (Applause)

However, what we are having foisted upon us by this Tory coalition are supposed free schools. They would better be called free market experiments because that is what they are. We also have massive cuts to further adult and university education. These cuts involve the disgusting removal of EMA, attacks on ESOL and the most vulnerable in our communities and now £9,000 a year to go to university. It is destroying the chance of a future for working class children. That is what this government is doing. (Applause)

Now they are taking away 80 per cent of government funding for universities and for humanities 100 per cent is being removed. Therefore, our working class children will be narrowly streamlined into what will be notionally referred to (although not in practice) as 'vocational jobs' and they will be denied a liberal education. That is what this government is doing in its attack on all of us.

Now, they are talking about introducing for-profit private universities and it is those universities in the current HE White Paper that we have to do everything to oppose. They even have the gall, as the last speaker said, to use taxpayers' money to fund these things. Millions of pounds are going into the establishment of free schools with the idea that they will give private universities loan money in order to get the students they will be taking from our public universities. It is disgusting and Ed Miliband should have said that. (Applause)

Now, let us be clear. These are Condem policies that are part of a neo-liberal assault on working-class education around the world. We need to resist that with everything we have and that resistance has started. During this week alone, in Greece, there are over 200 universities in occupation. In Chile, there are massive demonstrations of students and workers fighting for publicly-funded education. We have seen demonstrations in Spain, Italy and Egypt in the revolution led by education workers.

In Britain, we now have the chance to go forward collectively with our students in November when millions of us will be on strike. We will be on strike with our students at our side even if Ed Miliband is not there. Our students will be there, our communities will be there and that is how we will win. We will win by solidarity, unity and by taking this government on and not complying with their ideas. (Cheers and applause)

Richard Evans (Society of Radiographers) supported Composite Motion 11. He said: Our members are very happy to support our sisters and brothers in the teaching unions and particularly to support this important composite. Setting this call to defend state education within the context of wider public services' campaigns is exactly right. We should all be fighting for state education just as hard as we are battling to defend our NHS, council jobs and social services.

Education is not generally ignored or under-valued. The majority of people care passionately about standards, attainment and opportunity. It is personal because we all want the best for our own children. Sadly, it is that passion which can be cynically manipulated. It is that passion which makes any parent susceptible to the old lie that excellence in education needs to be bought. It is that passion that is vulnerable to the new lie that the public service approach to education has failed.

The fact that trade unions are opposed to cuts and attacks on the public sector gives rise to another lie - that we are therefore opposed to excellence, we stand in the way of progress and we betray a head-in-the-sand attitude to economic reality. Worst of all, we have been accused of having an ideological approach to supporting public services. Well, who is ashamed of an ideology which seeks the highest standards of education for all children? (Applause) Is anyone here ashamed of an ideology which provides healthcare regardless of the ability to pay? Are we ashamed to stand together to ensure dignity for the elderly, opportunity for the disadvantaged and care for the disabled? Are we ashamed of that? No, we are not.

I will tell you who should be ashamed. This coalition government should be ashamed. They should be ashamed by the damage that they are doing across the public services. They should be ashamed of the deceit in every speech and briefing. They should be ashamed of the casual indifference to the neediest people in society. They should be ashamed of their prostitution to private profit.

There is overwhelming support, this motion says, amongst the public for public sector education. The British public are looking to us to provide the voice to oppose the government's attacks on public services. The British public, apparently, will not find assurances from Mr Miliband. It is up to us to support the composite. (Applause)

Alison Shepherd (UNISON) supported Composite Motion 11. She said: Educational issues have had a very high profile over the past year and have been highlighted in debates this week, but this composite is all about dismantling state education and support and opening up the market.

A lot of my working life has been about opening up chances for many young people to be the first in their family to go to university and how great is that. You do not have to go very far back to find the first in the family to stay on at school until 16 or even the first in the family to get any sort of secondary education. Life has been very short in terms of our education system but we have a great one.

Does anyone think that the opening up of these opportunities would have been achieved by the assortment of individuals, special interest groups and private companies to whom this government is so keen to hand over our education service? You do not have to work in education or be a parent to take an interest in this. Education belongs to all of us. Change is necessary. We live in a changing world. We do want better for all our young people and children, but we are clear. We want to see the change within the framework of a state education system, democratic and accountable. Support this composite and campaign. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 11 was CARRIED

The McCormac Review of the Scottish teachers' pay and conditions of service

The President: We now move to Motion 58, the McCormac Review of the Scottish teachers' pay and conditions of service. The General Council supports this motion.

Alan Munro (Educational Institute of Scotland) moved Motion 58. He said: Congress, today Professor Gerry McCormac delivered his report entitled 'Review of Teacher Employment' to the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. Every teacher in Scotland will pore over his report and question whether it offers the prospect of enhancing teacher professionalism or whether the stability that was secured in industrial relations in Scotland's schools following the 2001 pay and conditions agreement, when teaching unions, Scottish ministers and employers concluded a landmark deal, is at an end.

This 2001 agreement, entitled 'A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century', was very significant. While the pay element has often attracted attention, the so-called pay bonanza was largely a catching-up exercise bringing Scottish teachers' salaries into line with graduate earnings across the economy. The reason the agreement was so significant was that it was built upon open negotiating machinery founded on trust. That trust has largely evaporated. Before setting up this review, the Cabinet Secretary made no reference to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers ('SNCT') or to teachers' unions. The terms of reference of the review included public expenditure issues and affordability.

The Cabinet Secretary took the decision that change was needed and in so doing he failed to discuss his decision with SNCT partners. As we move forward from the review, there is unlikely to be a basis for teachers to trust COSLA, the organisation of employing local authorities in Scotland, to embrace genuine dialogue through the SNCT as giving the COSLA submission to McCormac was cost-driven and managerialist.

McCormac has resisted the demands to cut costs by, for example, raising class contact time for teachers. There is real concern that his desire for a flexible approach to working hours will threaten the stability provided for in the current agreement. McCormac raises significant concerns for the EIS in his report by, for example, totally disregarding workload, which is a massive issue for teachers; by removing reference to the detailing of what can be expected of teachers in routine administration; by replacing the defined list of duties of teachers by reference instead to professional standards; by seeking to define working hours flexibly; using other professionals to deliver parts of the curriculum, and the removal of chartered teacher status thereby closing down a route for professional advancement. These last two, using other professionals and the removal of the chartered teacher status, are both opposed by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, which has expressed concerns.

The report is clear. It is solely for the SNCT to consider alterations to the current handbook setting out our conditions of service. That in itself is welcome. The retention of collective bargaining arrangements is, we believe, a prerequisite to proper workforce engagement. Despite the list of concerns that we have, it is important that Scottish ministers and local authority employers recognise that change cannot be imposed and must be considered properly through the bargaining machinery. We are now entering into a difficult period of negotiations, compounded, of course, by difficult economic factors.

This is a challenge for all public sector unions, as we know. While McCormac has recognised that the SNCT is the appropriate body to take changes forward, there are serious concerns that the Cabinet Secretary, who showed a cavalier disregard for the bargaining machinery in setting up this review, and the Scottish employers, who have an outdated managerialist approach to changes, will refuse to negotiate meaningfully. The industrial landscape for teachers in Scotland would therefore be very bleak as they are for all public sector unions. The immediate challenge will be to protect our bargaining machinery and our members from changes imposed from above. We seek support, Congress, for the aims of this motion, I move Motion 58. (Applause)

Dave Harvey (National Union of Teachers) seconded Motion 58. He said: As the NUT has a sum total of zero members in Scotland, Congress might find it slightly odd that we are speaking on an issue which appears only to affect teachers in Scotland, but given our strong and longstanding relationship with the EIS, we are very pleased to second so that we can demonstrate support for our Scottish colleagues.

Teachers in England and Wales had changes to terms and conditions imposed upon them by the last Tory government in the 1990s so we are only too well aware of the direction in which a one-sided review can lead. Sidetracking existing bargaining machinery, as happened in England and Wales 20 years ago and as is beginning to happen in Scotland now, can lead to the removal of collective bargaining rights, as occurred in some North American states earlier this year. The NUT wants to salute the public sector workers in places like Wisconsin where our brothers and sisters are still waging a vigorous and determined fight against those state governments which are trying to undermine their rights.

The NUT welcomes the fact that the EIS has brought this issue to Congress. It is confident that delegates will express solidarity through a unanimous vote of support for it. (Applause)

* Motion 58 was CARRIED

TUC response to the riots

The President: We now go to Emergency Motion 1, TUC response to the riots. The General Council supports the emergency motion. We are running a little behind time so if the contributors that we call could be as brief as possible, we will be able to get this through before lunch. It is moved by the POA and seconded by the Fire Brigades' Union. I call on the POA.

Steve Gillan (POA) moved Emergency Motion 1.

He said: We are absolutely delighted with the TUC response to the riots. We believe that it is balanced, fair, appropriate and something on which the trade union movement can build. There has been a lot of knee-jerk reaction and we have seen some disgraceful comments from the coalition government and senior politicians in relation to blaming certain sections of society. Indeed, Kenneth Clarke made comments last week when he said that it was 'the broken prison system which caused the riots'. Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? It is because he has an agenda of privatisation on his mind for our public services including prisons. I believe that a more appropriate headline would have been, 'Broken coalition government policies contributed to the riots.' That is the reality. (Applause)

What we cannot allow to happen, as a trade union movement, is for them to deflect attention away from the real issues. We have an opportunity to mould our views so that we can influence government.

I want to speak about the brave public sector workers who protected the general public such as prison officers and related grades, fire-fighters, police officers, ambulance workers, nurses and doctors. That is against the backdrop of having two-year pay freezes, attacks on their pensions and a variety of other issues. They put the general public first before themselves. The government needs to get to the root causes of what has happened to our society. We all know what some of those causes are: alcohol abuse, drug abuse, mental health issues, education, social exclusion, deprivation and unemployment. Until the government gets to grips with those issues, we are just going to go round in circles.

Congress, I think this is an opportune moment to place on record our condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the riots. I leave here with this: the General Council has to influence this coalition government in establishing the true underlying causes of the recent riots. We should not allow them to deflect attention away from those issues. (Applause)

Rose Jones (Fire Brigades' Union) seconded Emergency Motion 1. She said: The Fire Brigades' Union is happy to support this emergency motion from the POA. Fire fighters, along with other emergency services, shop workers and others in the private sector, were at the sharp end of the August riots. Fire fighters were ambushed, shot at, spat on, threatened with knives and verbally abused whilst trying to help our communities. The trade union movement needs to be clear: we condemn attacks on workers in all sections. No one goes to work to be attacked. No worker should be attacked doing their job.

I am sad to say that these attacks were not a one-off for fire fighters. They face physical attacks on a daily basis. FBU research has shown that there are at least 1,500 serious assaults on fire fighters every year. That equates to 40 a week. Both the present and previous governments have done nothing to tackle this issue.

For the FBU, the wider context is important in this debate. It was no surprise to us that the riots took place in some of the most impoverished communities in England and no surprise that the communities are facing some of the most savage cuts at the hands of this government. Already this year 1,000 fire fighter frontline jobs have been cut with plans to cut thousands more. The metropolitan areas like the West Midlands and Greater Manchester have been the hardest hit with fire fighters and control staff stretched to almost breaking point during these riots.

In the run-up to the election, David Cameron had a photo call at a fire station whilst also claiming that there would be no frontline cuts. We did not believe him then and we do not believe him now. This is the message to David Cameron: we do not want your Tory right wing law and order agenda. Stop cutting our services. Stop destroying our communities. (Applause)

Helen Flanagan (Public and Commercial Services Union) supported Emergency Motion 1. She said: I welcome the POA raising these issues at Congress as any attempt to have a sensible discussion on these matters has been treated with aggression and contempt from elements of the press and politicians alike. The motion rightly states that we cannot condone the actions of rioters and looters. They were not a progressive outburst of anger and were very divisive, but we know that it is one thing to condemn and another not to analyse.

The conditions of mass unemployment, deprivation and cuts cannot be ignored. Our society is more unequal today than it has been at any point since the 1930s and the impact on young people is acute for reasons already set out by speakers today. It is clear that young people are suffering the brunt of the economic crisis. However, being young does not make you a rioter and whilst it could be said that young people may be more vulnerable to the dominant culture of consumerism, we should not fall into the trap of allowing focus to be on age and therefore division because this is clearly a class issue.

The trade union movement has a role in developing a joined-up planned response and we should prevent a permit being given to police to crush anyone who shows opposition. We should expose injustices in a criminal justice system and not allow sentencing to be undermined with the severe penalties we have seen, e.g. a six-month prison term given to someone for stealing a bottle of water. In our response, we should go beyond pushing the government to establish the underlying causes, but force changes in society to provide a decent future for young and working class people.

Mary Bousted (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) supported Emergency Motion 1. She said: What lessons should we learn from the riots? David Cameron's delayed reaction to the recent riots was not his finest hour. The Prime Minister's talk of a slow motion moral collapse which has taken over parts of our country in these past few generations did nothing to explain the causes of the chaos which for a few days hit parts of our inner cities. When politicians talk of morality, it is time to ask hard questions.

Let us start with David Cameron's announcement of a family test which is to be applied to all government policy. 'If a policy stops families from being together', he said, 'we should not do it.' But, David, how are families going to be helped to spend more time together when over one million of them will be stripped of child benefit by 2013? This measure alone will tip the balance towards two parents having to work full-time and fitting child care and contact around the edges of the day when both are too exhausted to do more than go through the motions of a bedtime story.

Another hard question that the coalition government is furiously ducking is the effect of local government spending cuts on support for the most vulnerable children and young people. Despite the government's denials, it is clear that Sure Start provision, which has been so effective in helping the most vulnerable parents to cope more effectively with the demands of bringing up babies and toddlers, is being cut to the bone. Children's centres are being closed while youth and community workers are being made redundant in a programme of savage cuts which disproportionately affect the most dispossessed.

Harriet Harman was quite right to raise the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance when debating the causes of the riots with Michael Gove. The Secretary of State's furious reaction was more an indication of his fear that the riots could, in part, be explained by a huge sense of injustice felt by inner city youngsters that they are excluded by accident of birth from a better life. It is a blot on our nation that 15 per cent of all 16 to 24 year olds are not in employment, education or training and it is disgraceful that in one of the richest societies in the world, we are prepared to waste a generation of young people on the sacrificial alter of budget cuts for a banking crisis that they did nothing to create. (Applause)

So when David Cameron talks of a moral collapse, does he include in his analysis the greed of the bankers which precipitated the financial crisis that has so devastated the current living standards and the hopes of the poorest? Does he understand the complete sense of hopelessness engendered by the prospect of unemployment and existing on the margins of society with skills and talents going to waste while the devil makes work for idle hands?

To raise these questions is not in any way to condone the criminality, the violence and the murderous disorder of the riots. Those involved in the riots must be subject to justice, but legal redress alone will not make things better in the future. To coin a phrase, 'We have to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.'

I have one final thought. The riots happened in the school holidays. The function of schooling in giving purpose and order to young people whose lives are haunted by absent parents, family disorder, financial worries and dangerous neighbourhoods has not been adequately understood. For many of our poorest children and young people, school is the place where they learn what it is to be a good citizen, how to respect others and crucially how to have respect for themselves. Teachers are immensely skilled in building a better society. Instead of initiating another review of schools, David Cameron would do better to ask teachers just how they instil citizenship and respect in young people for others. He would be much better enquiring just how teachers do it. (Applause)

* Emergency Motion 1 was CARRIED

The President: That concludes the morning's business, but I hope you will be polite enough just to let me finish the announcements. I remind delegates that there are various meetings taking place at lunchtime. Details of these meetings can be found on page 11 of the Congress Guide. I would also like to remind delegates to complete and return the equality monitoring form which has been sent to them. Delegates should receive lilac forms which should be returned to delegation leaders. If any delegates have not received a form, they should see their delegation leader. Delegation leaders should return their white forms in the box provided at the TUC information point at the bottom of the entrance stairs.

Congress is now adjourned until 2.15 this afternoon. Thank you.

(Congress was adjourned at 12.50pm.)


(Congress reassembled at 2.15 p.m.)

The President: Good afternoon. I call Congress to order. Many thanks once again to the RGS Senior Chamber Group who have been playing for us this afternoon. Please show your appreciation in the normal way. (Applause)

Delegates, you will see that a delegates' questionnaire has been distributed on your chairs during the lunch break. Please complete and return these to the TUC information point situated at the bottom of the entrance to the stairs.

Congress, as you know, we have three outstanding emergency motions. I intend to try to take two of those emergency motions this afternoon, Emergency Motion 3, English Defence League, to be moved by the NUJ, and Emergency Motion 4, Agency Workers, to be moved by Unite, after the scheduled business this afternoon and before the ballot results for Section C of the General Council. I will be taking Emergency Motion 2, Pre-Abortion Counselling, tomorrow. I will let you know if it looks likely nearer the time. Would the movers and seconders, however, please be ready? Thank you for that.

Congress Awards

The President: Delegates, we are going to start this afternoon by recognising the immense contribution made by the lay activists in our unions. The first award to be presented is the Organising Award, which this year goes to Anas Ghaffar of USDAW. Anas became a union rep just three years ago and since then he has graduated from USDAW's Organising Academy and now runs a team of 12 store reps. He has managed to boost people's awareness of the union and what it can do for them. In the last six months alone he has recruited over 300 members. That is a brilliant achievement. Anas, will you come up? That is brilliant. (Presentation amid applause)

The next award is the Women's Gold Badge. This year's recipient is GMB member Evelyn Martin MBE. (Applause) Evelyn came to the UK from the Caribbean in the 1960s and has dedicated her whole working life to looking after others, as a mother, a care worker, a union activist, and a member of her church. She has been an active trade unionist since 1973 and today she combines her union activity with helping homeless people in Stoke Newington. So, Evelyn, would you come up to take your award. Well done, Evelyn, richly deserved. (Presentation amid applause)

This year's Safety Rep Award goes to Cliff Mayor, who is a member of UCATT. Cliff has been active in unions and has had a particular concern about health and safety of his colleagues since he was 17. His proudest recent achievement is a system he has developed that allows his members to report health and safety issues easily and confidently. So, Cliff, will you come up and have your award presented. Well done. (Presentation amid applause)

The winner of this year's Learning Rep Award is Jonathan Waterhouse, who is a member of USDAW. As well as improving his own qualifications via Union Learning Jonathan has encouraged 100 of his colleagues to achieve their first full Level 2 qualifications and is currently using the promotion of the union learning agenda to increase membership. Jonathan, come up and receive your award. Well done. (Presentation amid applause)

Our final award for this year is the Congress Award for Youth, which is awarded to Nick Parker. Nick is a member of the PCS and works at the Job Centre Plus call centre in Lincoln. As well as organising a number of workplace campaigns Nick is involved in the Lincoln and District Trades Council, where he has campaigned against the far right and organised the trades council's first May Day Rally for 20 years. It is great to have young people participating like that. Come up and receive your award, Nick. Well done, Nick. (Presentation amid applause)

The President: Congress, that completes the Lay Rep Awards. Delegates can read more about the award winners and their achievements in the Congress Guide. I am sure you will want to join with me in sending our congratulations to all the award winners. Well done. (Applause)

Defending public transport

The President: Now I call Composite Motion 7, Defending public transport. The General Council supports the composite motion

Bob Crow (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) moved Composite Motion 7.

He said: Thank you, president, delegates. I am delighted to be supporting this composite with other rail unions. Brothers and sisters, I do not know if people are aware of the Sir Roy McNulty Report but the Sir Roy McNulty Report was actually commissioned by Labour and is now being carried out by the Conservatives and Liberals. It is ironic, really, that in the 1960s the Beeching Report was initiated by the Conservatives and rolled out by Labour.

We have a situation now with a railway industry where, I have to say and as Ed Miliband said this morning, we need agents for change. I have always been one of those agents for change. The reason why I am an agent for change is that over 110 years ago we had 120 different railway companies operating in Britain and those 120 railway companies in Britain went to four big companies, then just after the War it was nationalised, and now we are back again to 103 railway companies. We have seen steam, we have seen diesel, we have seen electricity, we have always seen change in the railway industry, but all of a sudden this bloke, Sir Roy McNulty, walks along and says he knows what is best for the people who travel on the railway and work on the railway.

What he is basically saying and has come up with, and I suppose he would do, really ? if you are paid over £200,000 you would ? is the answers that people want. People should read this report. Don't read the report, actually, just have a summary of the report. This morning there was a fantastic debate I heard here and a speaker mentioned hypnotic drugs, about people having hallucinations and one thing and another; McNulty must have been on those drugs, I reckon. That is what he must have been talking about. (Laughter)

McNulty says that the British railways are 30 per cent more expensive than they are in Europe. I will tell you the reason why they are 30 per cent more than they are in Europe: ours are privatised and theirs are nationalised. You do not have to be a genius to work that out. (Applause) He says that we are the fourth most productive railway in Europe, our workers. Of course, we have a unique railway system. It ain't like from Barcelona to Madrid where you have a brand new track and brand new infrastructure, and a fantastic piece of railway, can I say.

Network Rail has to pay the train operating companies £125m to maintain their railways for them. You imagine having someone come round to mend your washing machine and they knock at the door, your washing machine is broken and your laundry is inside, and the washing machine bloke (or woman) is standing there with his bib and braces on, and you say to him, 'By the way, mate, before you come in here I want to charge you £10 to come and repair my washing machine.' (Laughter) He would think you had gone crackers but that is what this lot are doing. We have to pay those people £125m to maintain their railway and on top of it since 1994 they have received over £20bn of taxpayers' money to run the railway.

When people talk about saving money and we need to get real, I will tell you how we need to get real. Ed Miliband said this morning that the East Coast Mainline railway was running well, but it is nationalised, that's what it is. I will tell you what, to my good friend Paul Noon I say, you haven't got to pay a single penny of compensation. All you do is when the contract comes up change the colour of the trains, give the staff new overalls, and say, 'Thanks very much, Mr. Branson, away you go, we're going to run the railways, save the money, and give it to the nurses and doctors, and education. Away you go.' (Applause)

Brothers and sisters, at a time when people are saying they are hard-pressed, under capitalism there are certain rules that are applied. If, for example, energy prices go up by 18 per cent, then you have to pay it. If raw materials go up by 20 per cent, you have to pay it. If train fares go up by 8 per cent, you have to pay it. But when a worker asks to put their labour up they say they cannot afford it and the reason why is that big businesses have an ideological hatred for working people. They do not want you to have anything. It is about time we recognised the fact that if you want to have economic success you only have to take the railways back. You ain't got to spend a penny in compensation. It is about time we said to these people, 'These railways were stolen off us without a penny of compensation and it's about time it's put back in the hands of people that work it and travel on it.' (Applause/Cheers)

Simon Weller (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) seconded Composite Motion 7.

He said: We had some involvement with McNulty when he had the great and the good of the railway all gathered in the King's Rooms not far from here going through what he was proposing, what he was going to say to us, and we had some death by PowerPoint. It was nine hours of PowerPoint. One of the slides was on unproductive relationships within contracting and how the railways operate. Unproductive relationships: trade unions. It begs the question, unproductive for whom? The response from McNulty was, 'Well, you've done all right for your members but you're old-fashioned.' That was his entire response to the unproductive relationship that they saw as the trade unions. I think the clues became clearer further on when there was a slide about two hours later, and this is verbatim, on, 'Changes to terms and conditions, especially drivers, will generate cost savings.' That tells you where they are coming from.

They say pay is too high in the railway. They say there has been wages drift. What they forget is when we were privatised we spoke to the new employers and restructured. We were keen to restructure. The reason we have decent wages in the railway is because we are unionised, because we discuss productivity, because we discuss flexibility, and because we negotiated commitments, and in return we obtained a four-day week, a 35-hour week, and an increased salary. (Applause) If this is what was being discussed earlier today, about, 'Modernise or die', and 'Don't be the opponents of change', I will have to tell you that as a trade union ASLEF was doing it nearly 20 years ago.

The Tories have not modernised, they have not changed, it is the same mantra, 'Attack the workers'. When faced with their botched privatisation, and it is botched, they identify the problem as being fragmentation. Their medicine to cure the railway is more fragmentation. We have to remember that it is a deadly fragmentation too.

One key recommendation is to give the maintenance of the track and signalling to the profit motivated train operating companies. The last time track and signalling was handed to a private profit motivated company it was Railtrack. We do not want to see the return of Railtrack and we must really pray we do not see the return of Ladbroke Grove, Potters Bar, or Hatfield. (Applause)

Gerry Doherty (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) spoke in support of Composition Motion 7. He said: One of the drawbacks of being General Secretary of a railway union is that you usually have to follow Bob Crow when he has said everything, but as has been said before from this rostrum, McNulty, for £200,000, actually identified what was wrong with the railways, and everybody knows it.

There are two issues. Simon mentioned that one is fragmentation and the other one is ownership. Why is it costing so much to run Britain's railways as opposed to Europe's? It is because we run them for a profit and other places run them as a service to passengers. McNulty identifies fragmentation and Simon says his solution, at £200,000, is more fragmentation. I thought if that is a difficulty you reintegrate. Even Sir Roy McNulty does not appear to understand that. He does talk about wage drift and, as Bob said, the report identifies that it is the fourth most productive workforce in Europe.

McNulty says not a word about executive reward, not a word; not a word about Souter taking £55m out two or three months ago in the same week that it was announced the train fares were going to go up by 8 per cent in January. These people have a front to them. Richard Branson, that great entrepreneur, has not really cured the West Coast mainline but he has personally taken £18m out since privatisation. I am not going to say anything about Iain Coucher, who was until last year the Chief Executive of Network Rail, and the excessive bonuses that he paid himself.

Listen to this. One of the recommendations from McNulty, recommendation 24, is less restrictive franchises to allow TOCs more freedom to respond to the market. That means to the TOCs shut train stations, and he recommends the closure of 675. If people stop using trains because they become dangerous, they become no-go areas at night, then you respond to the market. This is Beeching Mark II. Bob mentioned Beeching. People will stop using train stations because they will be less attractive to them, particularly women, particularly the disabled.

So, what do we do? We need to come together to fight this. This is not about trade unions themselves standing alone and arguing against McNulty. We have to involve passengers. We have to involve the whole of the trade union movement. It is our railway. It should be given back.

This is the last time I will come to the rostrum to argue for public ownership of the railways. I am going to retire in a couple of months. I have been coming here for the last eight years arguing this and for eight years you have supported us. This morning when Ed spoke that was the first time a Labour leader has not actually ruled out nationalisation of the railways. He did not actually say he was going to do it but he did not rule it out either. Ed, I am telling you just now, bring it back in. It will be cheaper, it will be better, and it is the right thing to do. (Applause)

Jim Kelly (Unite) spoke in support of Motion 39. He said: Chair, Unite is the leading bus workers union. We have firsthand experience of what happens to the public transport system when you leave it to private fat cats. Thatcher's privatisation and deregulation of the buses in 1986 was a disaster for local bus services. The McNulty Report is a continuation of the failed policies of fragmentation, deregulation, and decline in services. Fares have risen faster than inflation, passenger numbers have slumped, and frequencies have been cut while bus workers' terms and conditions have suffered. What has happened since 1986 shows that private transport companies are in fact national monopolies and that competition does not work for workers or passengers.

This ConDem government now is cutting 20 per cent of the money it gives to local authorities for public transport. It puts more bus services in jeopardy. Some rural counties risk losing 50 per cent or even 100 per cent of their council-funded bus services. Chair, other councils are cutting all weekend and evening services. In many areas concessionary fares schemes for young people and for free bus pass holders during the peak hours are being withdrawn. Cuts to public transport impact on the elderly, young people and the unemployed: so much for social inclusion. Chair, together these changes will mean another £100m in funding being lost from the bus network. All in all, buses could be tipped into a spiral of decline from which they will struggle to recover.

McNulty believes that fragmentation was the main cause of the high cost of rail travel. Unbelievably, he suggested that a further break-up of publicly maintained rail is the solution. Moving control over access and maintenance duties from Network Rail will see standards fall, creating increased risks and more costs. Colleagues, what we need is not McNulty. What we need is a safe, low-carbon, environmentally friendly, public transport system with good jobs, and good terms and conditions for unionised members within that industry.

I will finish with this, colleagues. The composite calls for an industrial fight-back and it calls for linking in with our communities. That is absolutely right, fantastic goals, and I am sure we are all going to support them. I am somebody who works in London in the transport sector. We are now going into an election. We are eight months away from five million Londoners voting for the next Mayor of London. That Mayor of London has the TfL budget, the biggest local authority budget in the country. His policies impact on taxis, the Woolwich ferry, buses, the Underground, CrossRail and train services. Colleagues, it is up to us as a trade union movement to link in with our communities to defeat the most high profile Tory outside of central government. We need all our union movement, all of our community behind that goal in May next year. To that end we need the trade union movement in London backing Ken Livingstone for the next Mayor of London. Thank you, Chair. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 7 was CARRIED

Thameslink Rolling Stock project

The President: I now call Composite Motion 8, Thameslink Rolling Stock project. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Simon Weller (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) moved Composite Motion 8.

He said: This is another example of ineptitude from the Government, another example that we are not all in it together. The Tories' decision to allow the contract for the Thameslink Rolling Stock (which will go from the south of England to the Midlands) to go to the German-based Siemens rather than the Derby-based Bombardier has dealt a death blow to train manufacturing in the UK. We cannot put it any more starkly than that. ASLEF understands what a grave decision this has been for the Bombardier workers.

We met our Unite colleagues two years ago to discuss this very issue. We were there because we are the end user, discussing changes to the rolling stock, to the driving cabs. The Secretary of State, Hammond, claims it is EU procurement laws that stop him making the correct decision. It is also a ridiculous decision because there are compatibility issues. Where this rolling stock is going to run, as I say, from Brighton on the south coast upwards, it runs through an area where the other train operating companies all operate Bombardier rolling stock. What they are proposing to do is to put a completely incompatible type of rolling stock in amongst all the other stuff. If it breaks down, there is no way of clearing it out of the way. Hammond says, 'Oh, it's the EU procurement laws.' Somehow the French government gives its rail contracts to Alstom, which is a French firm, the German government gives its contracts to Siemens, which is a German firm. The Spanish government goes slightly better. They do not have a tradition of building trains, they do not have a train-building manufacturing base so they create one to give their contracts to their own manufacturing base.

What do our lot do? They do nothing. They mither on about value for money yet do not take into account the cost of the social devastation in Derby, the roll-on and knock-on effects on the supply chain that supplies Bombardier and the workers that are in the supply chain, the communities and firms that rely on those workers that rely on other workers. They do not consider that. What they do not even consider is that the tax revenue lost in Income tax and the other bits and pieces is greater than the difference between the two bids.

Hammond told us, the unions, he could do nothing about it. We met him recently and he said, 'Well, there is nothing I can do. I can't do anything about it,' but last week he told a Select Committee he could do something. Now he describes going back and doing some proper consideration about the social impact. It is the nuclear option. What option do the laid-off workers of Bombardier have with the nuclear winter that has just been bestowed on them by the Tories? Support the Bombardier workers, support this composite. (Applause)

Diana Holland (Unite) seconded Composite Motion 8.

She said: I want to begin by paying tribute to the Bombardier workforce and the people of Derby. This struggle over the Thameslink contract is one in a long line since the disaster of Tory rail privatisation. The Bombardier site is currently the last UK based manufacturing site and workers have seen it change hands five times in the last 12 years. Unite is the lead union on site and we are campaigning together as joint unions with RMT, TSSA and GMB. The rally in Derby on 23rd July was supported by thousands. I felt we were the most popular people you could find; everybody came out onto the streets to support us. The support from across the TUC and the trade union movement in Europe and internationally has been overwhelming.

Over the summer we have been building this huge alliance, an alliance calling on the government to step back, to look again at the full cost of the contracts and to stop looking for excuses by blaming the last government and blaming European law. They must act now to ensure a future for a very proud history of rail manufacturing in this country. We met the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, last week and I gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee. Our questions remain: 1. Has the contract been awarded on ability to manufacture trains or on company credit rating? The structure of the contract is new, 30-year leasing added to manufacture and maintenance placing Bombardier at an absolute disadvantage financially right from the start. 2. Why is it that social and economic costs were not even calculated, that is what Hammond said, let alone taken into account?

Everyone in Derby is affected. 1,400 jobs are threatened right now, a world-class training centre is under threat, 15 apprenticeships have been stopped and a further 100 cancelled. Social costs also include workers in the supply chain; not one constituency will be untouched, more or less. Over 800 sites throughout the UK supply the Derby site and a further 200 sites globally. A detailed Unite study has shown that already nearly half of those have started to make people redundant and within the next 12 months the rest will. Compare this with Siemens' statement that if they had lost the contract no jobs would have been lost in Germany or the UK, and Hammond is still claiming that this is best value for UK taxpayers. Just which planet is he on?

Finally, our third question, why is the government not taking action even now as Labour's Transport Secretary did at the same stage in the Intercity Express programme, and in Belgium where protests led to action to protect their last rail manufacturing site?

This motion is about saving UK rail manufacturers, it is about Derby and the East Midlands' economy, it is about skills and the future for young people and workers across the country, it is about implementing social clauses and fighting for better, and keeping UK rail manufacturing on track. I support. (Applause)

Audrey McJimpsey (Community) spoke in support of Composite Motion 8. She said: Congress, Community is supporting this composite because it is about procurement, it is about the mistakes in procurement that successive governments have made, and it is about the damage those decisions are having on our communities. Sadly, the Thameslink decision is just the latest example. As ever it is not just the company that loses the contract that suffers, it is the suppliers, the contractors and most of all the local community.

I work at Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries. It is a supported employment factory where the overwhelming majority of the workforce is disabled people. It is a vital source of employment. Most of our business comes from procurement, and rightly so. It is really important to me and my members that local government, devolved government, and Westminster, think about the consequences of procurement decisions. They need to think about value for people not just value for money. After all, where is the value for money to the UK government if the decision puts hundreds of thousands of UK workers on the dole?

The fact is the power is already in place so that governments can procure goods or services close to home. They can add community benefit clauses to tenders that ensure local communities can benefit from what is taxpayer's money. Article 19 allows the right to reserve contracts to supported businesses which employ a majority of disabled workforce. The problem is that the government do not use these powers, they just count their pennies. When manufacturing is suffering the economy is struggling and when people are losing their jobs we need all the help we can get. Building our own trains would be a good start. Please support this composite. Thank you. (Applause)

Ian Murdoch (National Union of Teachers) spoke in support of Composite Motion 8. He said: 'What are you thinking of doing when you leave school?' That is a question secondary teachers have to ask all the time. If you teach in Eton or Winchester you can probably do it without a lot of trepidation for the feelings of the pupils that you are asking it of. You may have a bit of trepidation for the country if it is a young Cameron or a Clegg minor that you are asking the question of, but in most state schools today it is a lot harder to look your pupils in the eye when you ask this question, with youth unemployment soaring and with training and education opportunities being cut away. If you teach in a secondary school in Derby, what are you supposed to say when so many of your bright enthusiastic pupils are facing unemployment?

I have been an economics teacher and I guess the government would want me to say, 'Fair competition rules in the European Union means that generations of skilled employment in this town have to come to an end, girls and boys.' 'Oh, dear,' they say, 'so what is the Plan B for us and our families?' The government says, 'There is not a Plan B. You don't plan things like jobs, they depend on market forces. If you are cheap and flexible, and grateful, maybe some kind of job will come along one day.'

If it happens like it did in the 1980s with the coalfields, with the steelworks, with the engineering works, maybe a job will come along in 10 years' time, 15 years' time, 20 years' time, not that any self-respecting teacher would peddle this neo-liberal twaddle, I hope. (Laughter) The truth is that the kinds of market forces that are at work in Derby are not an external event like the weather. This market is rich, greedy, selfish people who will devastate whole communities if they are given the chance to make just a slightly bigger profit. They can do this when no one makes them pay, as other speakers have said, for the external social and economic costs that they generate by their activities in Derby, or anywhere else.

Congress, it is time that this worship of the market by all politicians was brought to an end. It is time our movement made it change. We need a plan B. That plan B has to be a planned economy. It has to be a slightly stronger plan B than our speaker this morning was suggesting, I would suggest. We cannot let another generation be thrown on the Thatcherite scrapheap. I and other teachers when we look children in the eye want to be able to tell them that they have a real future in this country. Thank you. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 8 was CARRIED

Maritime safety

The President: I now call Motion 42, Maritime safety. The General Council is supporting the motion.

Mark Dickinson (Nautilus International) moved Motion 42. He said: For almost a year now my union has been fighting government plans which threaten drastically to reduce the support system for shipping, seafarers, and the public, in distress around the UK coast. It was a very proud moment in my union's history when we were able to join all of you, all our sisters and brothers, on that historic occasion on the March for the Alternative on 26th March. Today we are here to appeal to you the delegates to support our call for ministers to abandon their proposals for cuts in the maritime safety net and to ensure that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the MCA, and the staff, have the staff and the resources it needs to match the marked rise in the demand for its services.

Britain is an island nation, I do not need to remind you of that, and we remain highly dependent on shipping for our economic wellbeing. The amount invested in protecting our maritime industry is already woefully insufficient and the plan to slash the MCA's budget by more than 20 per cent over the next four years will see the end of the contract for four emergency towing vessels at key points around the UK coast and the scrapping of the Marine Incident Response Group that provides specialist fire-fighting chemical and rescue emergency support for ships around the UK, not just UK ships of course.

Ministers had also been planning swingeing cuts in the Coastguard Service, involving the closure of more than half the coastguard rescue stations around the UK, but thanks to a united and sustained campaign by the unions and the public the government have backtracked on that with a modified package that will at least retain a national network of 11 operation centres and sub-centres. The threat to the ETVs and to the MIRG service remains and at the end of this month the UK could be left with no emergency towing vessels and no cover around its coast.

ETVs were introduced in 1994 following the official report into the Sea Empress and Braer oil spills in Wales and in Scotland. They have since become a model for other countries. On average, they have been called out around 180 times a year and the number of recent incidents and near misses in the Channel alone demonstrates the value of these vessels. If they are removed, the costs of any future oil disaster and spill could far outstrip the entire £80m the government aims to save through these proposals. Indeed, the Sea Empress disaster alone cost more than £140m to clean up and the economic and environmental costs of a similar disaster today could cost in excess of £1bn, or more. It is not just the money that we are talking about, it is the safety of life at sea, it is passengers and crews, and of course the wellbeing of the marine environment.

Nautilus is also very disturbed at the potential loss of the Marine Incident Response Group. That was launched in 2006 following long-running concerns over the decline in the number of fire brigades capable of delivering emergency support at sea. With ships getting bigger, carrying more passengers, carrying ever more hazardous cargoes, and alongside significantly reduced crewing levels, the support offered by this service remains critically important. Scrapping it will save the DFT £340,000 a year ? £340,000 a year.

So, what price safety at sea? It is thanks to the professionalism of Nautilus and RMT members that shipping disasters in our waters are rare but scrapping these vital services is like cancelling your home insurance because you did not have a fire last year. It is essential we retain these services and the ability to cope with maritime emergencies as they occur. The cuts in the MCA budget pose serious social threats to seafarers. The flag has grown a lot since 2000 but the increases in the budgets of the MCA have not kept pace. The National Audit Office investigated this and concluded it is under-resourced. We have not ratified the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, Liberia and Panama have, and we have not and we are being taken to court by the European Union for failing to implement the European Port State Control Directive. I have run out of time. Thank you, President. Thank you. (Applause)

Alan Grey (Prospect) seconded Motion 42. He said: Congress, this motion continues the underlying theme of this week, which is government cuts and deregulation leading to serious impacts on service provision and increasing safety risks. This time it is in the maritime environment. Prospect represents the specialists in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency covering ship safety, technical support, vessel traffic management, hydrography, and safe staffing policy. All of these specialist areas are suffering serious recruitment problems because of government pay policy, and the resultant understaffing is making it difficult for the MCA to meet its current legal and statutory obligations. A further 20 per cent cut in the budget for 2015 can only make that worse.

This is like a different deregulation slant here, Congress, where instead of trying to cut regulations they simply have not implemented them and have not resourced the MCA to enforce them. Despite the importance of the new directive on Port State Control, the lack of underpinning UK legislation and failure to update vessel traffic management regulations severely constrains the authority of the inspections. The failure to install a computer to implement the system or to provide the necessary portable IT equipment to inspectors makes enforcement almost impracticable. On top of that, Congress, penny-pinching over out-of-hours conditions means that there are no mandatory inspections at weekends, so Saturdays and Sundays is a good time to sneak in and sneak out of port in the UK.

I am pleased to report, Congress, that the MCA's attempts to undermine the collective bargaining process by asking volunteers to attend on the terms rejected by the trade unions fell flat; they did not get them so the situation still applies. Like most of the ConDem government's policies this is very much a false economy. The failure to implement the directive by 1st January this year means that the UK will not be able to comply with the provisions for banning repeat offending vessels from EU ports and thus European infraction proceedings could financially exceed any spending on personnel or equipment that is required. Every government body of the MCA is suffering from under-funding and the malaise of low morale. If this leads to them not being able to function properly, the effect on maritime safety could be disastrous. Please support this motion. (Applause)

* Motion 42 was CARRIED

Piracy/Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The President: Now I call Motion 43, Piracy/Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The General Council supports the motion.

Mike Jess (Nautilus International) moved Motion 43.

He said: Colleagues, when your members are at work do they face the risk of being shot at with AK47s and rocket-propelled grenades, kidnapped, tortured, or held hostage for months on end? Ours do. Piracy, I am sorry to say, has been with us for centuries but it is a modern manifestation very different from Johnny Depp. It is a brutal and increasingly terrifying reality brought home only yesterday with the news of the brutal killing and kidnap of the British couple in Kenya. Unfortunately, it has been a big issue for our union for more than 25 years. In that time we have seen hundreds of members killed, injured, held hostage and threatened by an increase in audacious attacks. Numerically, it keeps on growing. Attacks worldwide increased by 39 per cent last year to 406 cases, the highest in six years but, even worse, the attacks are also getting more violent and seafarers are paying the price: over a thousand crew members held for ransom last year, 120 vessels fired upon compared to 74 in 2008, eight crew members killed and 68 injured, 153 ships were boarded and there were 84 attempted attacks. Already this year there have been 23 hijacks and seven deaths by Somali pirates. Ships are being forced to change their routes and piracy is starting to strangle important supply routes. The critical north-south run from the Arabian Gulf carries 40 per cent of world oil. It is now costing the global economy around £12bn a year.

Against this background Nautilus and seafarers' unions worldwide have welcomed the deployment of naval forces in the high-risk areas. Their presence has clearly prevented many hijackings. The percentage of successful attacks fell from 65 per cent to 17 per cent last year and on average five out of every six attacks were repelled in 2009, but the pirates are smart. They have been changing their tactics to try and outflank the navies. Using hijacked merchant vessels as mother ships, they have shifted their focus from the Gulf of Aden hundreds of miles into the Indian Ocean.

Naval officers say that trying to keep a lid on piracy in the new sea area is the same as trying to police the whole of Europe with a handful of squad cars. The European Naval Force, for instance, consists of eight ships covering an area of 2.8 million square miles. Commanders say that is less than a tenth of the actual ships they need to secure the shipping lanes. So, the news of defence cuts reducing the Royal Navy surface fleet combined with the NATO action in Libya, which has seen ships switch from piracy patrols to supporting regime change in North Africa, has created a huge concern amongst seafarers serving in the danger zones.

A particular concern to us is the impact of the defence cuts on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, a civilian service that provides vital at-sea support to the Navy. Three ships are being cut from the RFA fleet as a result of the Strategic Defence Review and around 400 jobs lost from the merchant seafarers who crew them. The cuts in the RFA, which crudely marry the cuts in the Royal Navy surface fleet, not only undermine the already overstretched capacity to provide efficient, effective anti-piracy patrols but also jeopardise the UK's ability to protect its seafarers. These reductions also affect the UK humanitarian programmes. Only last week the RFA vessel, 'Wave Ruler', was delivering post-hurricane relief to island communities in the Caribbean. Where the Royal Navy goes the RFA goes in supporting military or peacekeeping operations all around the world. The RFA has a remarkable history that stretches over a century of service and support, and the Nautilus and RMT members who work in the RFA fleet not only have a wide range of specialist skills but also frequently go into frontline service as civilians alongside the armed forces.

Colleagues, it is bad enough that piracy has come out of the history books to haunt our members in the 21st century but it is even worse if government spending cuts are to result in the erosion of what little naval protection they currently have. Please support this motion, support Nautilus and the RMT in our joint campaign to protect our members, international seafarers and a vital strategic support delivered by the RFA. (Applause)

Mick Tosh (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) seconded Motion 43. He said: Just about a year ago a petition was handed into the International Maritime Organisation that had one million signatures on it. It said, 'Enough is Enough.' That was in response to the piracy that is ongoing. It is already the case that governments are not doing enough to combat piracy and it is also against this background that the British government is proposing to cut staff on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary service has a long and proud history of providing efficient and economical worldwide support and strategic sealift to the Royal Navy. It has always been a civilian crew fleet and many of our members, and those of Nautilus, have died in the service of the RFA. As well as their support for the military, RFA ships have become increasingly involved in providing relief after natural disasters in such areas as Africa, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean, as well as recently working with the US Coastguard on successful counter-drug smuggling operations in the Caribbean.

At the current time, RFA vessels are undertaking the following tasks: minesweeping around the Gulf, working in the Caribbean on action to combat drug trafficking, assisting air training exercises, helping anti-smuggling operations, keeping shipping lanes open and, of course, importantly, supporting the campaign against piracy.

The need for adequate crewing and the staffing at the RFA is greater than ever. We face cuts of 250 ratings from a workforce of 1,200. These are highly skilled people. They will still be the largest single group of ratings at work in any one company in this country. That tells you where we are with the backdrop of an industry where we are actually losing people's jobs on a daily basis. It is also the case that if the cuts go through the RFA will suffer yet another hammer blow to the number of seafarers employed in the UK shipping industry whose members have already plummeted by tens, if not hundreds of thousands, in recent years.

On 29th September this year there will be World Maritime Day. Please support our brave seafarers of the RFA and ask your MPs to sign Early Day Motion 1315 in support of the campaign. Congress, please support the motion. Thank you. (Applause)

* Motion 43 was CARRIED

Working for free

The President: I call Motion 34, Working for free. The General Council supports the motion.

Danny Longstaff (Musicians' Union) moved Motion 34. He said: I will be brief because I am doing this for nothing. (Laughter) I have just a little story. You want a new car, you build a garage, you buy your insurance, road tax, cleaning stuff, the wax, everything. Then you go to the showroom, you tell the salesperson you will look after the car, you will garage it, clean it, and you will use it to transport your family and children. Then you say, 'Can I have it for nothing?' What a really stupid scenario; that is not going to happen. It never does; it never will.

There is another scenario. You have a budget of £400,000 to stage an event, free to the public. You build three temporary stages, paid for. You book security, paid for. You pay for advertising and a firework display. You book sound engineers, lighting equipment, and crowd barriers, and close the roads, all paid for. You then offer the opportunity to local bands, orchestras, musicians, dancers, theatre companies, all professionals, to showcase their acts, not paid for. Unlike the first scenario, this one is real.

What do we do as a union? Do we advise members to boycott the event; possibly, if you want to read the next day's headline, 'Union stuffs your party'. Blackmail? Yes, I think that is blackmail. So, we are opposed to working for nothing; not always, though. We all have a choice. Offer us payment, which is paid to others without even thinking, then we have the choice.

Finally, Mr. President, you mentioned in your interview Tony Blair's opinion that the music industry is more important than the steel industry. We have never believed that but from what I have just said you must agree we are, sadly, cheaper. Please support this motion. (Applause)

Gail Renard (Writers' Guild of Great Britain) seconded Motion 34. She said: You would not ask anyone else to work for free. You wouldn't say to a miner, 'Come on, dig us a ton of coal as a favour,' or to a printer, 'Be a mate, run off today's newspapers for free,' or to a prison guard, 'What, you want money? Your work looks like so much fun.' Musicians, actors and writers are workers too. A labourer is worthy of their hire and working for free can be expensive. Let's tot up the cost, a day off work for preparation and travel, then there are the travel costs themselves, plus childcare at £5 to £8 an hour, lost earnings, and on and on and on. To put it another way, we cannot afford for others to be so charitable. Fair pay for all workers, please. Thank you. (Applause)

Alec Clark (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) spoke in support of Motion 34. He said: I do not wish to undermine those who wish to volunteer and give their time for free; in fact to all volunteers I salute you and the valuable contribution you make to society as a whole. However, particularly in the case of the young, this area must not be used or abused as a source of cheap labour with a promise of something better to come. In fact, internships and their like raise the whole issue of access and equality. How can someone with no money work for nothing? They must be on subsistence as a bare minimum.

I would say to all young people, if you wish to use your time effectively and are willing to work for no pay, then join in the struggle to save your right to work and to earn a fair and equitable living. Take the opportunity to defend the nation in which we live, which is under attack, and its values and its freedoms. This may be a far better use of your time than becoming the next generation of an automaton political researcher on the slippery slope to being cloned as your next MP having never done an honest day's work in your life.

Work should never be relegated to a second division, take it or leave it hobby. Work is a basic human right and a fair day's pay for whatever shift at whatever rate you put in should go without question. Young people and their efforts in whatever field they choose are the economic and social bedrock on which our nation is built. Under no circumstances should we allow the ConDem pact in any way to undermine those foundations. Young people have the right to work and to be paid fairly for their toil. Wealth and prosperity do not just appear in a magic mist. No, they are built on the hard work and intelligence of extraordinary working men and women. We should not be prompting comfy internships based on dynastic models where bloodline overrides ability, hard graft, and simple nous. Every young person in the UK has the right to work. Every young person has the right to support in order to succeed and do their very best.

Mr. Clegg, perhaps you would be better off spending your time creating employment for the 24 per cent of young women and men who are currently on the dole. This may be a better use of your very limited tenure and well-rewarded internship. Rather than polishing the silver spoon that is available to only the few that can afford it and are well connected, work, fair pay, and equality, are the bedrock on which we build our working nation, not the destruction of the hard fought for workers' rights. We will not return to Dickensian Britain without a fight. I urge you to support. (Applause)

* Motion 34 was CARRIED

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage

The President: I call Motion 35 - Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage. The General Council supports the motion.

John Walsh (Unite), for) moved Motion 35 on behalf of the TUC Young Members' Conference. He said: President and Congress, the primary rationale for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage was to address injustice and inequality in the labour market and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable from exploitation. Twelve years on, and those most vulnerable to exploitation, the young and inexperienced entering work for the first time, are still discriminated against by law.

Current age banding within the National Minimum Wage means that school leavers are paid almost 40 per cent less than those aged 21 and above. In jobs where training is minimal, this can lead to unscrupulous employers sacking young people when they become too old, unless affordable. Don't forget that these rates don't just engender discrimination against the young, because if you are older you cost more to train and to employ, so why bother? After all, there is always an inexhaustible supply of young workers.

Recently, the introduction of the National Minimum Wage for apprentices, as recommended by the Low Pay Commission, gained a lukewarm response. Currently, apprentices under 19 and those in the first year of their training must be paid at least £2.50 an hour. To me that still feels a little exploitative. Historically, apprenticeships have been plagued by high drop-out rates. Where money is concerned, the introduction of a standalone minimum wage doesn't get to the heart of the problem. Even when training is paid, it is not unusually enough to live on. On a wage of £100 a week, which can be typical within the first year of an apprenticeship, most would struggle to live independently. University students have access to grants and loans, but there is no equivalent funding for apprentices. When young people don't have the support of their family behind them, when things get tough, it's very tempting to drop out and take an unskilled but higher page job. Too many of my friends did that during my apprentice years and they have stayed there.

The current tuition fees debacle is likely to trigger increased demand for apprenticeships from those who would otherwise have applied for university, but with increased competition for places, the danger is that apprenticeships could become the preserve of better off families.

Not having access to adequate funds can also limit young people in the kinds of apprenticeships that they take on. A young person looking for an apprenticeship in aerospace engineering, say, living in the countryside, will have to travel a great distance in order to fulfil their ambitions. If the government wants to create tens of thousands of new apprenticeships, some detailed thinking needs to be done in order to help facilitate this, because the situation will become more and more acute for those from low income backgrounds.

Finally, I will reiterate the points of the previous motion on internships. These are most common amongst university students. Somewhere along the way it has become reality for those wishing to undertake such placements to do so for free, utterly unpaid, save for a contribution towards travel and, if they are lucky, food. The vast majority of employers expect interns to accept that they are volunteering the hours that they work and to bloody well appreciate the opportunity that they are being given. Is it fair that thousands of people, year on year, are backed into a corner like this? Employers are extremely reluctant to change this practice. The government is unable, effectively, to force their hands, and the pool of willing work experience flunkies remains ever replete, so it is up to us.

Ultimately, the same argument is being made against the abolition of age banding and exemptions. These arguments were made against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in the first place. The business community and conservatives said that it will cost jobs and harm business. They said it would hurt young people. When there was no discernible impact on employment levels, they U-turned and pretended it was the best idea in the world. Why would we hesitate for so long to redress an unfair system like this. Thank you, Congress. Support the motion.

Fern McCaffrey (GMB) seconded Motion 35. She said: Congress, this motion touches on four key areas of concern to the GMB: discrimination against young workers, the National Minimum Wage rate, apprenticeship exemptions and internships. It has always been our policy that all workers are paid the rate for the job regardless of age. When the National Minimum Wage was introduced, the apprentice exemption was generally accepted. Traditionally, apprentices accepted lower pay in exchange for a high quality of training, leading to a qualification and the opportunity to earn higher pay in the long run. However, the reality is that apprentices in some industries, especially in non-unionised companies, are receiving shamefully low pay in exchange for poor quality of training. That is exploitation on two levels.

In the second year of apprenticeships, pay rates are still painfully low. Minimum wage rates have fallen behind inflation. We need a real hike in rates, especially for young workers. In this dire economic situation, more and more young people are chasing fewer job vacancies. Work experience placements and internships are largely unpaid, something which I experienced last summer. It was a highly valuable experience but, goodness me, a little bit of money or a free lunch would have gone a long way. For those interested in the media and politics, the only way to get access into a job is by becoming an unpaid intern. Only young people from the charmed circle of the wealthy and upper-class backgrounds can afford to take up such internships. This would deter those of us from low income backgrounds from even applying as they cannot afford to live without pay. Unpaid internships exploit workers, while simultaneously preventing equal chances in the job market, but the work they carry out is real work and should be paid as such.

Interns dare not challenge their employers for fear of losing placements and opportunities with some of the most powerful and high profile companies in the UK. We believe that all interns and apprentices should be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and be entitled to the same employment rights as everyone else. Government action on effective enforcement and funding is clearly needed, especially in the domain of Westminster where the practice is rife, unless, of course, you are family member brought in to pad out an expenses claim.

The GMB's support for the TUC Young Members Forum's calls for an improvement in the quality of apprenticeships, for apprenticeships to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage, an increase in minimum wage rates in line with inflation, increased levels, awareness of rights and rates for apprentices, interns and young workers. Please support this motion because it is so important. (Applause)

The President: Congress, isn't it great for an old fogey like me, and many of us in this room, to hear two young people speak with such commitment and eloquence. The future is safe in their hands. (Applause) I call on the Deputy General Secretary to respond.

Frances O'Grady (Deputy General Secretary): It is a shame to spoil it with an explanation on behalf of the General Council from an old fogey. Congress, the General Council supports this motion from the Young Members' Conference, just as we applaud the excellent work that they do. With youth unemployment nudging one million and good apprenticeships massively over-subscribed, and with many young workers, as we have just heard, forced into unpaid internships, it is more important than ever that young workers and apprentices have a strong voice within the trade union movement.

One of the most important issues facing young workers, of course, is pay. We believe, as trade unionists, that collective bargaining, recruiting and organising apprentices and young workers is always going to be the best way to counter exploitation, but we recognise that the National Minimum Wage, while not perfect, has provided a lifeline for many vulnerable workers. However, a word of explanation is required about the proposal in Motion 35 to raise the National Minimum Wage to £7 for all.

The General Council firmly supports increasing the National Minimum Wage to as high a rate as possible and our long-term aspiration has always been to move from a minimum wage to a living wage. Another key goal is to eliminate age discrimination in pay rates so that all workers, regardless of age, are paid the rate for the job. The statutory pay law was only won after years of trade union campaigning, and it goes without saying that we continue to push for more improvements. However, at a time when youth unemployment is so disturbingly high, we do need to be mindful of the potential impact on jobs. International evidence suggests that youth unemployment is more sensitive to minimum wage increases than is the case for older workers, although the risk is diminished when there is a differential rate for younger workers, as we have in the UK.

While we support the motion, at this stage we believe it is best to avoid a specific figure. That is why the TUC's submission to the Low Pay Commission calls for the minimum wage to be lifted as high as possible beyond inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the highest. Please let me make it clear that the General Council believes that a significant rise for young people that begins to tackle that gap can be achieved without an adverse effect on jobs. We retain the highest possible ambitions for the minimum wage and we will continue to do everything in our power to achieve real improvements for all. Thank you.

Steve Warwick (UNISON) supported the motion. He said: I am another old git but, if my weight was my age, I would be in my late teens or early 20s. (Laughter) Before I get to the nub of the motion, UNISON believes it is more important now than ever. Before we are able to hear and respond to the voices of young trade unionists, it is, after all, young people who are bearing a disproportionate hit from the Con-Dem cuts. It is not just a matter of trying to ride the impact of the coalition's ideology or economic policies for a few years. We are talking about policies that have the potential to do harm for the rest of their lives. With youth unemployment running at around a million, black youth unemployment is running at twice the rate of their counterparts, tuition fees going through the roof, Connexions and the youth services are collapsing. That is just a few examples of the way in which young people are paying the price for bailing out the w..bankers.

It is timely that this motion provides us with the opportunity to develop solid policy on a matter which affects far too many young workers, apprentices and interns. I want to thank the TUC Young Members' Conference for submitting this particular motion to Congress. In doing so, I want to encourage all affiliated unions to ensure that they are fully represented at the TUC Young Members' Annual Conference, and also on the TUC's Youth Forum.

UNISON is only too well aware of the impact of coalition cuts on jobs, services and pensions. They are all on the coalition's shopping list and all for the benefit of their friends in the City. On the frontline it means greater and greater pressure on our members to deliver vital public services with fewer and fewer resources. You can imagine what it is like for our members when they see a co-workers being made redundant just as an apprentice joins the workforce. Our answer cannot be to reject the apprentice. Our answer must be to organise. We must organise to defend jobs, services and pensions, and to defend apprentices and the apprenticeship schemes. For apprentices, that means we must defend them from exploitation by negotiating good quality schemes, refusing their use for job substitution, securing the rate for the job and organising them as trade union members. We must encourage employers to support the creation and expansion of apprenticeship schemes, but selling our labour and the labour of our young people cheap must end now. Please support.

Helen Flanagan (Public and Commercial Services Union) supported Motion 35. She said: Apprenticeships and the rate of the National Minimum Wage are important industrial and political issues because they deal with inequality. It is important to address why the Young Members' Conference chose to raise this topic as an issue when there are so many other pressing matters for youth, such as high youth unemployment, tuition fees, the EMA and youth services.

Apprenticeships as a means of on-the-job training should be supported, but only where they are long-term, meaningful and lead to employment. Too often they are overt means of exploitation as cheap labour. Even in the civil service apprenticeships have been introduced in Jobcentres for six month periods, at the same time as the DWP is sacking workers on fixed term contracts. It is easy for employers to exploit workers like this because it is partly due to lower rates of pay for apprentices and young people.

The different rates for the National Minimum Wage are an economic oddity and can't be justified. It makes no sense that at 16, legally, you can have sex, at 17 you can die for your country, at 18 you can vote and get married without parental consent, but you can't get equal pay until you're 22. There is very little evidence from economists or academics that raising the rate of pay would have a damaging impact on the labour market, and actually enforcement would become easier with simplification. A further aspect is that this inequality also extends the benefit rates for young people.

The primary reason why the Young Members' Conference raises this issue in particular is because year after year the forum has demanded that the TUC should call for equal levels of the minimum wage. Whilst we should welcome the TUC's submission to the Low Pay Commission calling for the minimum wage to be in line with inflation or earnings, it is not really acceptable that the General Council repeatedly tell the Young Members' Conference that equal levels of wage are not realistic or achievable. What happened to aspirations and fighting against discrimination.

The trades union movement has been criticised recently for not defending younger workers. I would ask that Congress rebuff this claim by actually fighting for equal pay for young workers rather than just congratulating us for being here. Thank you. (Applause)

* Motion 35 was CARRIED

Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries

The President: I call Composite Motion 12, Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Laura Bailey (Equity) moved Composite Motion 12.

She said: Congress, this is my first time at Congress. (Applause) I am an actress and a proud member of Equity, and I propose this composite motion.

The creative sector now accounts for economic output of at least £60 billion per annum, which is 8 per cent of the UK's growth domestic product and nearly 10 per cent of the UK's businesses. Why, then, are creative workers suffering exploitation and unemployment? In 2010 Equity conducted a survey of 845 of its members. In the previous year 70 per cent earned nothing or under £10,000. This is happening because no or low paid work is being disguised under the Voluntary Worker Agreement. Creative workers' desire to succeed in a competitive industry is also subject to exploitation. More and more there are no alternatives for us. Even some training institutes are telling their graduates that they should expect to work for up to five years for free if they want a career in entertainment!

In my first year after graduating I secured a part in an unpaid fringe production, the offset being the performance opportunity that all our expenses were covered and that we would be staying in top quality accommodation. A week before we opened, it came to our attention that some of us were expected to share rooms. It was not the reality, but the principle was at stake. Why should we accept less than what was promised to us, especially when it is in exchange of a wage?

With my principled and courageous company, we, together, told our production team that if they didn't sort out that we each had our own room, we weren't going on. It took a massive amount of communication, united strength and guts to get what was due to us, and that's not even broaching a wage. However, we achieved it.

I gained a dance and drama award scholarship to train which comprised a significant amount of taxpayers' money. Those of us in receipt of these scholarships leave drama school and emerge into an industry where there is no support structure in place, through which we can continue to utilise the opportunity that our scholarship afforded us. Some may say, 'It is my choice to be an actress in a vulnerable and competitive industry.' I believe that this choice is as valid as someone's choice to be a doctor and work endless shifts in an often high pressure environment, to be a fire-fighter and enter life-threatening situations or to be a teacher and work all hours under the sun. Just because I have the luxury to choose the industry into which I enter, does that mean that those industry employers can set whatever standards they like for their workers and that we have to accept it?

What do we want? We were promised essential sector specific advice on the complex nature of the legal framework that covers workers and low pay in the entertainment industry. Over a year later no action has been taken. Provide us with the necessary knowledge to support and empower our own workers. Secondly, in our highly competitive industry, many vulnerable and freelance workers are, understandably, too scared to enforce their rights. Give us an amendment on the Employment Act that enables workers and their trade unions to take representative and group cases to employment tribunals. Thirdly, government art funding, or what's left of it, in some cases is being handed out to arts organisations that are then not paying their creative workers union minimums. In short, that government funding is going towards the just production of creative industry. If we only buy coffee that is Fair Trade, clothes that are Fair Trade, then shouldn't our theatres be Fair Trade, too? Why should everyone here, in other unions and other industry sectors, be fighting for the arts? It is so that they do not become lost to us. It is so that when our nurses have had a particularly hard day at the bedsides of our sick, they can come home and watch their favourite TV programmes and distract themselves from the hard reality for a while. It is so that our students, our industry's future, can immerse themselves in inspiring and educational theatre, so that society can be educated on your industries and the impact that the cuts are making within your sectors, so that we can see that our challenges and plights are shared so that we might begin to find solutions to them.

We are a powerful ally. I urge you to support our motion. (Applause)

Barbara White (Musicians' Union) seconded Composite Motion 12. She said: The Lost Arts has been created by the Federation of Entertainment Unions and the Lost Arts website will keep a running total of the revenue lost to the arts and the wider economy as well as the jobs under threat over the three years to 2015. Sometimes people ask me how I can fight for the arts when so many essential services are in danger of being axed. To me the answer is simple. The arts are a frontline service. All of the things that we need and value are equally important. You can only compare like with like.

Obviously, the arts sector recognises the need to contribute to the economic recovery, but it has already sustained significant cuts when £112.5 million of Arts Council Lottery Funding was diverted to the Olympics. The arts are vitally important to the UK's economy. We have the largest cultural economy in the world relative to GDP. Every one pound that is invested in culture produces two pounds. Music on its own contributes nearly £5 billion. The cultural industries are of enormous and growing value.

At a time when our general economy is struggling, it seems illogical to cut spending and, therefore, cause permanent damage to the arts, which is one of the areas that has consistently maintained growth.

With the arrival of the Olympics next year, it is essential that business and cultural institutions continue to deliver the quality and range of programmes that have been admired across the world. The Olympics will attract tourists to this country, but a health cultural realm is also a powerful reason that we are a tourist destination. In order for this to continue, there must be continued investment in the arts.

Alison McGovern MP tabled an Early Day Motion to support the Lost Arts campaign. At the launch of the campaign, she said, 'When times are hard, that is when we need our culture most of all.' The largest amount of money ever spent on the arts was during the war years. Winston Churchill resisted closing down theatres at the beginning of the war when plans for the blackout were being discussed. He argued that the populations of the cities needed theatres and cinemas to help them have a little enjoyment amid the agonies of war. His Finance Minister said, 'Britain should cut arts funding to support the war effort.' Churchill's response was, 'Then what are we fighting for?' The fact that the arts have a value in a civilised society seems to have been rejected by this government. There is a dark, new philistinism about, and I live in fear of death by a thousand cuts.

Gail Renard (Writers' Guild of Great Britain) supported Composite Motion 12. She said: The biggest industrial sectors in the British economy are the financial services and the creative industries. The difference is that we are prettier and more trustworthy and we actually pay a return on your investment. Cutting arts funding is not only a cultural disaster but it makes no economic sense. The Arts Council's theatre budget for 2008 was £54 million. In return, the theatres paid back £76 million in VAT in London alone. That's a 40 per cent dividend, which even the greediest bankers would envy. The hit plays War Horse, Enron and Jerusalem were made not by commercial producers but were the fruits of our subsidised theatres. All were enormously successful, transferring to the West End, Broadway and beyond. Besides VAT, they earn even more millions for Britain in tourist dollars than other related industries, including some of yours.

The arts are actually responsible for 8 per cent of the GDP. These figures prove beyond a doubt that this subsidy is not a handout or a charity but an important way to stimulate our economy, create employment and help Britain out of the recession. The pride and prestige that these successes bring to our nation is incalculable. By losing theatre funding we are also losing the training and developing ground for writers who go on to become our greats, from Alan Bleasdale, who gave us Boys from the Blackstuff to Heidi Thomas who wrote Cranford, and who amongst us doesn't love Cranford?

Mr. Clegg has shown us the importance of an apprenticeship in his own career. We just ask for a level playing field. In these hard times, we are looking for more, not fewer industries in Britain. This is one. The arts are one of our finest exports and for the smallest of investments bring rich rewards. Aside from all that, it's a great night out, too. Thank you.

Luke Crawley (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) supported the Composite Motion. He said: I want to touch on a few aspects in relation to broadcasting under Composite Motion 12. As was said yesterday, broadcasting is rife with bad practices and the issue of low pay, no pay and so-called interns working for free over very long hours and in very poor conditions are rife. This composite calls for proper training and it is fair to say that there are almost no apprenticeships left in broadcasting. Both the BBC and ITV have both reduced the amount of money they are prepared to spend on training people in broadcasting techniques.

Broadcasting is a very important force in the economy. As the motion says, along with the performing arts, broadcasting generates around £60 billion per annum. For that to continue, there really must be quality training but also quality jobs for those who have completed their training. Instead, we have universities who churn out so-called media graduates, who are all keen and ambitious to work in the media, many of whom are very ill-equipped to work in broadcasting. It is that ambition which leads to the kind of abuses I touched on yesterday in relation to the film industry, and today I will tell you a short story about exploitation in the theatre industry. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the British theatre. It is not only one of the best in the world but it also employs thousands of BECTU members, both as stage crew, front of house and admin. Even here there are abuses.

Kevin Spacey - you may have heard of him, the famous Hollywood actor - in his day job, he also helps to run the Old Vic Theatre. BECTU has generally had a good relationship with the Old Vic, and we are recognised there for all staff except for actors and musicians, of course. The Old Vic advertised six places for interns. They would have expected to work at the Old Vic on the admin side over specified periods, directed by the Old Vic. If it had been on the stage and they had been working for free, obviously, our sister union, Equity, would have raised the issue. Had they been in the orchestra pit, the MU would have been there, but because in was in our area, the admin area, where we were recognised, we wrote to Mr. Spacey to tell him that this was illegal as the law required the Old Vic to pay the National Minimum Wage. After some delay he wrote back to us saying that the Old Vic's lawyers had assured him that it was not illegal and that it was perfectly okay to exploit people in this way. He did not use the word 'exploit', needless to say. We challenged him when writing back asking for a meeting to discuss the matter, because we regard it as an abuse and because it means that jobs that could be done by our members for proper pay, proper salary and with proper conditions, are being done for free. This sad story indicates that even good employers like the Old Vic try to exploit young workers, rather than offering properly paid jobs with thorough training. I would urge you to support this motion because it is a very important issue in the arts, in the creative industries, in broadcasting as well as everywhere else. Proper training, quality jobs and proper pay are equally important. Thank you.

* Composite Motion 12 was CARRIED

Educating consumers about intellectual property rights

The President: I now call Motion 66 - Educating consumers about intellectual property rights. The General Council supports the motion.

Malcolm Sinclair (Equity) moved Motion 66. He said: The title of this motion - Educating consumers about intellectual property rights - sounds somewhat obscure. It isn't. As you have been hearing from Laura and others, the UK's creative and cultural industries - our film, television, music, publishing and sport industries, let it be said - are world class. The workers behind these industries have immense talents and are the backbone of one of the most important sectors of our economy. We were very pleased that Brendan Barber, in his address to you yesterday, picked out the creative industries as one of our great success stories. We are not just talking about Oscar winning actors, BAFTA winning actors or grammy winning musicians and singers, but also the thousands of people who are not in the spotlight, such as sound engineers, script writers, stage hands, retail shop assistants, editors and freelance photographers, among many others.

Unfortunately, however, something called 'online copyright infringement' - what we call theft - and in particular illegal file sharing, is having a significant negative impact on the creative sector. Declining investment, due to lost revenues in these sectors, means that many thousands of jobs are now at risk. It has been calculated that in 2008 alone, 39,000 UK jobs were lost due to piracy activities, and across Europe nearly 200,000 jobs were lost. This situation is completely unacceptable. These jobs - union jobs - must be protected.

The problem is not just about job cuts, as we have heard earlier. Low pay is endemic in the entertainment industry. Without these additional and often quite small payments, which arise through the re-use of recorded material, performers will not be able to earn a decent living, and ultimately the diversity and breadth of talent in the UK creative sector could be lost. Too often illegal file sharing is seen as a victimless crime. The reality is very different. Without the revenue from the distribution of creative content, there will be fewer films, fewer songs and TV programmes able to be commissioned. Job losses will be felt right across the change from production to distribution, from technicians to manufacturers and from logistics companies to staff in High Street shops. Consumers are just as vulnerable as workers. Many ordinary people are currently unaware that the use of sites providing illegal downloads does not only have consequences for workers and businesses in the creative sector, but it is actually breaking the law. Educating consumers is a key provision of the Digital Economy Act, which passed into law in May 2010 with great support from the trade unions and the TUC. A great job done!

What is something called 'Notice sending to consumers'? Notice sending is really educating people. Notice sending to consumers rather than heavy-handed legal action has, in our view, a good chance of changing behaviour and attitudes by directing consumers to the range of legal, online services that they can access, often at very cheap and reasonable rates. No one wants to see consumers and especially our young people being punished for trying to access entertainment. That is why it is our responsibility as creative workers to play our part in efforts to direct consumers to legal services. I urge you to support the motion.

John Smith (Musicians' Union) seconded Motion 66.

He said: Congress, bringing intellectual property and piracy to Congress is not new. We have been doing it for a while now. I can just record one of the victories. The victories are very few but we do get them occasionally. Yesterday, the European Council announced that they agreed that a directive should go through to extend the term of protection of performers and their recorded performances from 50 years to 70 years. This was a Congress motion a couple of years ago, and I want to thank everybody, particularly the TUC, for supporting it until we got it. Don't just believe what you read in some of the papers. It's not all about Cliff Richard. It is about lots of elderly performers who get income from their recordings and they really need it. It is good in these days to record a little victory.

Moving on to this particular issue - piracy. Malcolm was right in what he said. Consumer awareness is at the centre of this. That is part of the Act, but how you do that is quite difficult. The Digital Economy Act has this graduated response. There are three levels to it. The first level is that a letter will go to the subscriber to the Broadband account that is infringing copyright. That could be somebody's dad, and he doesn't know that his 14 or 15 year old is sitting in his bedroom downloading thousands of tracks, films, games or whatever. There is a bit of a wake-up call in this. So this is an educative process all along for people to realise that downloading is actually wrong. It is people's property that you are taking.

The furore when, in the riots, people were breaking into stores and stealing trainers, televisions and electrical goods, we all understood what was happening there, but the music and film industry has been dealing with this for ages. We have had a virtual shop with no window, where people just go and help themselves. As Malcolm said, it seems that people think this is okay because it is on the internet. It is not okay. It belongs to somebody.

The MU has a website called Music Supported Here. There is a link from our site on to it. The idea of this website is to bring together the artists and the fans. I am not talking about the stars again. I am talking about bands that are working their way up. So they can discuss this in chat rooms and talk about why bands sometimes make available individual tracks available free and then want to be paid for others. This is the way you have to relate to it - the human stories about people working in studios, developing their product, changing the lyrics, changing the chords, changing what they do and getting ready for the release, only to find that it is on some Russian website and people are making money out of it. It's heartbreaking for them. We have to talk about these human stories and it is up to us to do it. The unions can play their part. Thank you to the TUC and the part it has played in the Digital Economy Act process so far. There is a long way to go. Please support this motion and take us to the next level. Thank you.

* Motion 66 was CARRIED

Media regulation

The President: We now move to Motion 67 - Media regulation. The General Council supports the motion.

Barry White (National Union of Journalists) moved Motion 67 on media regulation. He said: Congress, as the last speaker said, it is not often that you can come to Congress and announce that we have won something, but we have. In the past couple of months we have achieved a great victory over the abuse of power, corruption and cronyism. The most powerful media mogul in the world has, in the words of the Wapping Post's 25th anniversary edition, been humbled and rumbled. If you don't believe me, there it is! You can get a copy from the Bookmarks stall upstairs.

Let's dedicate this victory to the women and men of Wapping who, 25 years ago, had the vision and courage to stand up to Murdoch. (Applause) This summer the media and political landscapes have witnessed some amazing events. As I said, the world's most powerful media company was stopped in its tracks not by a government or the media regulator but by popular protests. Although a certain type of tabloid journalism has been discredited by the phone hacking scandal, let's not forget that it was good investigative journalists like Nick Davies in The Guardian, who did so much to expose the abuses of power, rottenness and corruption inside the management of News International and the police, which gave encouragement and ammunition to the wide coalition of campaigners, trades unionists, media reform organisations, media academics, a few brave politicians and the public. You can meet some of them tonight at the NUJ fringe meeting at 7 o'clock at the NUJ headquarters.

We have an opportunity to change for the better the media in the UK so that the public interest and not the commercial interests of the few dominate. Public inquiries are often the British establishment's way of kicking difficult issues into the long grass. This must not happen with the Leveson inquiry. We must build on that sense of public outrage which forced the Murdochs to withdraw their bid for BSkyB, to recast the media landscape to reflect the democratic and ethical values that we have been campaigning for.

In the second paragraph of the motion, we set out key principles, such as freedom of expression, diversity and plurality, limits of cross-media ownership and, as Michelle Stanistreet explained yesterday, effective trade union organisation at the workplace. This won't be easy. Any tightening of regulation and strengthening of our trade union rights are anathema to this coalition government, which believes in more deregulation and fewer collective rights at work.

Furthermore, the Press Complaints Commission is currently looking for a new Chair to replace Lady Buscombe. The NUJ has been critical of this body for many years, but its absolute failure to tackle the practices of the Murdoch press forced the Prime Minister to announce that the Leveson inquiry would, 'look into press regulation because the way the press is regulated today is not working.' We should also be aware that running alongside Leveron is the government's consultation on its new Communications Bill. A green paper is expected by Christmas. Leveson is not expected to report until the autumn of 2012, and we need to make sure that the inquiry will feed in radical policies which will be included in the new Communications Bill.

Earlier, I said we had to build on the sense of public outrage that was so central in defeating Murdoch. Thanks to the online campaigning organisations, like 38 Degrees, who were critical and crucial in organising the popular protest to Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, and to MPs, we have succeeded in involving tens of thousands of people in this campaign. We must keep up this pressure. Now it is not just about Murdoch. It is about limiting the power and influence of all media moguls in the future so that we never allow the corporate media to exercise and abuse such power again. Thank you.

Sharon Holder (GMB) seconded Motion 67. She said: Congress, for over 40 years the Murdoch empire has tightened its grip over the British media, British politics and the British society. Between them, the four Murdoch titles - The Times, Sunday Times, Sun and the News of the World - until recently commanded over 37 per cent of the national newspaper market. While Murdoch's part-owned BSkyB dominated pay TV, and Sky News is central to the 24-hour news agenda, it is a platform of enormous and irresponsible power, which is why the history of News International is a history of scandal and disgrace: Wapping in 1986, Hillsborough in 1989, for which the Campaign for Truth continues, and phone hacking in 2011. Murdoch changed the rules of engagement for popular journalism. No more progressive popular campaigning and no more forward with the people. In its place we had gutter journalism and the lowest common denominator.

GMB members, like everyone in this hall today, and everyone across the country, have been outraged and appalled by the phone hacking revelations. At GMB Congress this year 600 delegates listened in stunned silence to Tom Watson MP as he alleged that the Murdoch henchmen had systematically conspired to invade the private lives of thousands of British citizens, the details of which were soon to become public knowledge. Everyone thought that the News of the World was unassailable, but an unprecedented campaign by honourable journalists, backed by people power, turned this unaccepted wisdom on its head.

So where do we go from here? We believe that Parliament must act in the wake of the hacking scandal. Self-regulation has manifestly failed. The toothless Press Complaints Commission has operated in the interests of the press barons, not the public. It needs to give way to a genuine, independent regulator with proper powers to end press abuse.

GMB fully supports the concept of total freedom for the press, save for the constraints of restricting incitement, but when the press maligns individuals and misreports the news, there should be a body that insists on corrections and a right to reply. For too long the right-wing press has misrepresented trade unions and working people. Innocent people's lives have been destroyed by misreporting and unwarranted exposure. It is time for a strong, free and independent press, with objective reporting, a plurality of views and an end to the bias against the labour movement, because a free and fair press is an essential part of a democratic society. In Britain we have suffered from its absence for far too long. Thank you.

Tony Burke (Unite) supported Motion 67. He said: Congress, as has already been said, 25 years ago Rupert Murdoch made his infamous move to Wapping, sacking five-and-a-half thousand print workers overnight. Let's recall that that Wapping dispute was not about new technology. It was a plan to break trade unionism and to generate vast profits to expand Murdoch's global media ambitions. Twenty-five years ago Murdoch broke unionism in his newspapers and created those profits which he used to launch his vile, right-wing, multi-media empire and extending those tentacles into the political class. Twenty-five years ago Murdoch was able to take advantage of what I describe as 'the perfect storm'. Yes, he took advantage of the availability of technology, but he had anti trade union legislation, a rogue union and a conservative government willing to place the resources of the state, including the Metropolitan Police, at his disposal. We know he kept those links with the Metropolitan Police.

Congress, the phone hacking scandal and the involvement of the Metropolitan Police is the logical continuation of the mindset that created the anti union 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986. News International generated massive profits to expand their empire into a global empire, starting with Sky Television, and from there on he was able to dominate the media in America with bile-driven right-wing TV stations, such as Fox News. That influence knew no bounds, even to the back door of No. 10 Downing Street. He and his key executives behaved like members of a despotic banana republic. We should place on record our thanks to Tom Watson and Chris Bryant for their fearless refusals to be intimidated, and also to Ed Miliband for extracting the Labour Party, hopefully, from this nest of vipers.

Thank God we've seen the end of this useless and toothless Press Complaints Commission. Congress, the Leveson inquiry into cross-media ownership has to be clear. No one company should ever own so much of our media, newspapers, TV, film and websites. We need a proper Press Complaints Commission to bring to heel wrongdoing, and Murdoch should never, ever own BSkyB. We need to scrap the part of the Employment Relations Act that stops unions organising within inside News International, because he has got his own in-house union that stops us doing that.

These last 25 years are a reminder. We have to consider how to prevent the media abuses that we have witnessed, we need a new framework for employment law and to rebalance the economy, the economy based around the opportunity for people to be represented by trade unions.

On behalf of Unite, the five-and-a-half thousand veterans of Wapping and the sacked print workers, support the motion and consign James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson to the dustbin of history where they belong, and make sure that this never, ever happens again. (Applause)

* Motion 67 was CARRIED

The President: Let me make a plug for the Morning Star, a newspaper that supports the trade unions' agenda and is a Murdoch free zone. So read it!

BBC licence fee

The President: I call on Motion 68 - BBC licence fee. The General Council supports the motion.

Gail Renard (Writers' Guild of Great Britain) moved Motion 68 - BBC licence fee. She said: Congress, I am afraid that the Writers' Guild gets only one delegate. The BBC is being subjected to death by a thousand cuts. We all want to save money but you don't save on heating by burning down your house. The present government are doing just that with the BBC. The government giveth and the government taketh away.

The government have frozen the BBC licence fee for six years at a time when RPI has risen to over 4 per cent. This means that the BBC will be starting from further and further behind every year. On top of that, the previous government made the BBC responsible for the digital switchover and for delivering a digital help scheme, all of which has to come out of our licence fee. The BBC has had to build a new media centre at Salford, creating much needed jobs in the north, which is great, unless there are no shows to make. All of this is a further cost out of our programme making.

The government are also trying to make the BBC responsible for S4C. Between us, Welsh language programming isn't top of the BBC's pops. This can only hurt both parties, both creatively and financially.

Fewer shows also mean that the BBC's income from overseas sales, DVDs and downloads will be greatly reduced. This cuts down on millions of pounds that, once again, should be used for future BBC productions. It is a continuing downward spiral and we are getting dizzy. Not only is the BBC's output suffering, but with it the income of writers, performers, production workers and countless related industries. There is only so much that can be loaded on to the BBC's back before it breaks. We can't make shows on fresh air. We are creative but not that creative. Let's ask the government to unfreeze the licence fee and to give the BBC the respect, the finance and freedom it needs to carry out its core function, which is, after all, making first-class British television and radio shows which are the envy of the world. Otherwise, I predict that the BBC will be out of business within ten years and Dr. Who will soon become Dr. Who Was That? Thank you.

Corinna Marlowe (Equity) seconded Motion 68. She said: Congress, Equity strongly deplores the BBC cutbacks and the recent decision to reduce the slots for short story reading on Radio 4. In 2009 there were six slots a week, and next year there will be two. This is a huge loss. If cuts must be made, this choice seems crazy. A single voice telling a story is cheaper than most forms of broadcasting, with only one actor, the writer and minimal production costs.

The petition from National Short Story Week already has more than 6,500 signatures. Please, add yours. On it, writer and actor, Simon McBurney, reminds us that: 'Being read to is one of all our earliest experiences. A short story can make us stop for a moment and listen. To listen is to hear others and to awaken our ability to feel.'

If you see someone sitting still in a parked car when they have reached their destination, they are probably waiting until the story is over to get out. From a artistic point of view, the writing and reading of short stories are important skills which it is difficult to practise anywhere else. Many readers and writers have started with stories before continuing with longer fiction. Ian Rankin, creator of Inspector Rebus, says: 'I got my real start with short stories on Radio 4. I would hate for future generations of writers not to have the same chance.' That goes for readers, too.

There was no apparent consultation before these cutbacks in drama and stories, not with listeners, writers, performers or in the creative community in the BBC. The Controller of Radio 4 says that the cuts in stories are to make the World at One 15 minutes longer. My husband was a producer on the World at One back in the '70s when the slot was lengthened to 40 minutes. He says that items were often stretched beyond their natural length. Do Radio 4 listeners really want to hear more news and current affairs? T.S. Eliot wrote: 'Human kind cannot stand very much reality.' If we can stand it, it is available all day on Radio 5.

Those among us with sight impairments, the housebound and the unwell particularly value the comedy, drama and stories only available on BBC radio. To cut short stories is very short-sighted. The BBC has a duty to stimulate creativity and cultural excellence and to nurture new talent. These deplorable cuts may well place it in breach of its Charter. Sign the petition and support this motion.

* Motion 68 was CARRIED

Great Britain Football Team

The President: I am now going to call Motion 69 - Great Britain Football Team. This is not a somewhat uncontroversial subject. (Laughter) The General Council has taken the difficult decision to leave this motion to Congress.

Gordon Taylor (Professional Footballers' Association) moved Motion 69. He said: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of Congress and President. I am the Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, the oldest sports persons' union in the world. I appreciate that I have been handed a hot potato. As President, Michael should know when Dai Greene, at the World Athletic Games, won the 400 metres hurdles, everybody in these islands was delighted.

Let me start by telling a tale about the Olympics. Long after the crowd had left and the cameras had moved on, a lone runner entered the stadium to complete the 26 mile long marathon in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Injured earlier in the race during a fall he stumbled along for more than hour after the other finishers. Hurling himself over the finishing line, John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania finished last. Before you judge him as a loser, take careful heed of the words he uttered when asked why he did not quit the race earlier when he had been injured. He said: 'My country did not send me seven thousand miles to start the race. They sent me seven thousand miles to finish it.' Ladies and gentlemen, this is a duty of ours, a once in a lifetime opportunity, when we talk about the next generation and the youngsters of all sports, to take part in a very special Olympics, when we are hosting them for the first time in over 60 years.

If you saw the television programme Who Do You Think You Are, who do we think we are? I was born in Ashton under Lyne, so am I an Ashtonian, I live near Manchester, so am I a Mancunian, am I a Lancastrian, am I a north-western, am I an Englishman, am I British, am I European or am I a member of the whole human race? I know that the only chance we have got is by coming together, irrespective of colour, creed, culture, politics or religion. Perhaps we should rely more on the United Nations and then, perhaps, we wouldn't send so many young people out to war to die somewhat needlessly. (Applause)

I respect being part of Great Britain. I am proud of being part of this island race. I am sure with my predecessors, there would have been a fair amount of Irish and, perhaps, Welsh blood. I was thrilled at Mary Peters' skills for Northern Ireland in past Olympics; Alan Wells of Scotland with his great speed; Lynn 'the leap' Davies, and in our current game, the football game, what contributions the likes of Denis Law, Kenny Dalglish, John Charles, Ryan Giggs, Danny Blanchflower and the great George Best. Why should we deny that opportunity to the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Charlie Adam, Darren Fletcher, Johnny Evans, who come from the different countries of Great Britain, who would want this once-in-a-lifetime special achievement?

Why should it be that we only think of ourselves as being British - Great Britain - when it comes to New Year's Eve, the Millennium, the Proms or Armistice Day? Then, again, FIFA has promised that the separate identity of Ireland, Wales and Scotland will be safe for the future. I am aware, of course, of the qualities of devolution and how important it is for local people to have a say in what is happening locally. I suppose trusting Sepp Blatter and people would be like asking the chickens to trust you-know-who - Colonel Sanders, of course.

We are the host and football is the world game. We need to show the strength of our islands. This is where the game began. It is part of our legacy and heritage. We need to put out a Great British team. We need to put the 'Great' into Britain. I hope we can win gold. As a trade unionist, not only that, that gold is more than just about winning the football tournament. It will be about bringing jobs and creating wealth throughout all our islands of Great Britain. Above all, it will be about welcoming people of the whole world, ensuring that this country is up to that and proud of that tradition. I hope you will support the motion.

Alan Grey (Prospect) supported Motion 69. He said: Congress, there is an old joke: 'What do you call a Scot in the finals of a major international football competition?' 'referee.' (Laughter) I can remember the good old days when we had the moral high ground, but that was in the days of 1974 and 1978 with Archie Gemmill, Billy Bremner, Denis Law and others. A slightly different take on that is, 'What do you call a referee in the 2010 World Cup Final? A Prospect member.' (Laughter)

Congress, Prospect represents professional referees, mainly those who form the select group who officiate in the English Premier League. Their membership density is over 90 per cent. Our members take the view that we should back a GB football team as that would demonstrate the same unity across the whole nation around football as it does in all other sporting activities at the Olympics. They also believe that having separate national teams would sit uneasy when in all of the other sports we have GB representation.

Congress, the sensitivities around this subject are understood, but the argument that this would be the first step towards a British national football team seems to have no foundation in the context of the Olympics. We are represented by Team GB in a lot of the sports played in the Olympic Games, but we are also represented by Team England, Team Wales, Team Northern Ireland and Team Scotland in the Commonwealth Games. Competitors are no less patriotic when they compete for Team GB than for any of the home nations and the pride of people from the home nations in Team GB's achievements is not diluted because the successful competitor was not from their home country. We see no pressure being exerted for a Team GB in the Commonwealth Games.

Having a GB football team at the Games could provide a terrific opportunity for the officials of the home nations to work together and to share skills and experience although the appointment of officials will still be by FIFA from the worldwide international list. In the 2004 Olympics, the English assistant referee, Phil Sharp, was selected. Surely, if the four home nation football associations were willing to participate fully in the Games, the hope for UK-based officials to be selected for next year's Olympics would be enhanced.

Prospect believes that the Games being in London next year provides a great opportunity to showcase the talent of officials and hopefully some of them will be able to emulate the achievement of Howard Webb, Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey, who officiated in last year's World Cup Final. Congress, please support the motion. (Applause)

Janice Godrich (Public and Commercial Services Union) opposed Motion 69. She said: We have been asked by the devolved administration committees in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to intervene in the debate and to explain why.

I would like Congress to consider three points. First, we think that this is a hugely controversial issue for the devolved nations. It does nothing to allay the real fears that the precedent created will be used in future years to threaten the status of individual nation teams in European and World Championships. As one of our Scottish NEC members put it when we discussed this motion, 'PCS must defend the basic fundamental human right of Scotland not to qualify.' (Laughter and applause)

Similarly, we feel that some of the language used in the motion sways slightly towards jingoism and rather than acting as a united force could have the opposite effect. Thirdly, we would respectfully suggest that there are other more pertinent issues relating to football that Congress and the movement should consider. These include, for example, tackling racism in football (both amongst fans and clubs), the lack of opportunities for black managers, the exorbitant cost of tickets affecting fans at a time of recession, the differential between funds for Premiership teams and teams in the lower divisions struggling to survive and, finally, the corporate power and influence over clubs and the game. On that basis, we will not be supporting the motion. (Applause)

Gordon Taylor (Professional Footballers' Association) replied to Motion 69. He said: I do respect and appreciate those who spoke against the motion. When you mentioned some of the points that need to be higher up the agenda, I agree with you. However, they are high on our agenda. I am proud of the efforts that we have made with regard to anti-racism in this country when you consider how things were. (Applause) That has been one of our proudest achievements.

We have set a fine example internationally regarding the integration of players from all over the world. We also have our community and corporate social responsibility projects involving a number of players who are now helping the government with anti-crime, anti-obesity, anti-truancy and literacy programmes.

You also mentioned jobs and keeping clubs alive. There has been a government report on football, but I can tell you that with the PFA and the loans that have made, hopefully we can keep Plymouth alive now. These clubs create jobs throughout the whole of our community. We have more full-time football clubs in more towns and cities for the size of our island than any other country in the world and I am particularly proud of that. (Applause) I do appreciate that women's football is becoming more and more popular. We have affiliated them to our union and we will be doing all we can to make sure that they are successful.

I have already mentioned how we have integrated many players here from many foreign countries. We did not win the World Cup bid, but all the players who play here could not believe that the contracts were worth what it is said they were worth. They have not suffered the abuse that has taken place in eastern Europe. We can see the progress that has been made from the bad reaction to our English players in Spain and Bulgaria recently.

Football is there to set an example and so is sport. I just think that the very fact that we have the Olympics here means that there is an opportunity for the world to focus upon the good things that are happening in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Southern Ireland too. Let us be proud of what we have achieved. If we are going to be hosts, let us be the best hosts in the world and not spoil that by not even agreeing on a Great Britain football team. Thank you. (Applause)

The President: Just before we move to the vote, I just reaffirm that the General Council's position is to leave the motion to Congress. We will move to the vote.

* Motion 69 was CARRIED


The President: I call Motion 60, 40-hour week prisoner working. The General Council supports the motion.

Peter McParlin (POA) moved Motion 60. He said: For the avoidance of doubt, this motion is regarding a 40-hour working week for prisoners and not prison staff. We are being told that Britain is open for business. I will leave that to one side for the moment, but I will tell you that prisons are open for business - commercial business, it would appear. I will explain what the government means by that as we go along.

We have always had work in prisons. Certain tabloid editors wish that we could return to the days of breaking up rocks, the treadmill and sewing mail bags. I have to make my apologies to the CWU as 30 years ago, when I was an officer at Wandsworth, I was in charge of quality control for the mail bags. We did eventually lose the contract and I have to admit that the fact that the postmen and postwomen of Britain lost parcels was probably due to my lack of quality control knowledge. That is what happens when you have amateurs in a process.

We have moved on from there and there is quality work done in prison along with some repetitive and mundane work. That quality work is provided by prison officers, by instructional officers and by teachers because there is an ethos of the need to install basic skills and social skills in prisoners. If you cannot read the safety notice, you are going to struggle in an industrial environment. If you cannot get off your drug addiction, I would say that you have very little hope, when you emerge from prison, of getting a reasonable job, moving on with your life and being properly rehabilitated.

Now things have changed. Currently we have approximately 9,000 prisoners, 400 workshops up and down the country, rehabilitation programmes, drug programmes and education programmes. We also have well-meaning industrialists, entrepreneurs and charities within the system with an ethos of the need to rehabilitate prisoners.

As part of their 'rehabilitation revolution', although they do not want to pay for it, the government are expanding the prison industry. They have looked at the figure of 9,000 and the figure of 87,000 and said, 'There is something here that we can latch on to.' They are now scouring the country for contracts to bring within prisons. I do not claim to be an economist or an industrialist, but if they have a captive cheap labour force, earning on average £9.60 per week, low start-up costs and factory feed-up within prisons where they can charge commercial rates, there is an economic opportunity for their friends in the City.

How do I know this? Am I scaremongering? I know this because I am part of the Advisory Group. You may ask, 'What on earth are you doing on the Advisory Group?' They invite us to these groups because they realise that we may want to raise some issues with them. The problem is that the Advisory Group does not meet very often. It has only met twice in the last six months and when you give advice, they do not listen to it.

I suppose I am scaremongering. There are still some well-meaning entrepreneurs and charities involved in the process, but the bigger fish are coming in and licking their lips. Given the economic climate, they will take advantage and take work away from outside law-abiding people. We need to have a dialogue with government to minimise those risks. A commitment from this government that they will not do that to outside workers will not be good enough. We will need more than that. We will need a formal detection mechanism and to get towards that we need dialogue. Therefore, I ask you to support this motion to enable the TUC to go to the government and start that dialogue to get those protections. Please support this motion. (Applause)

John McCormack (University and College Union) seconded Motion 60. He said: The UCU supports the POA's concerns expressed about the 40-hour week for prisoners. Congress, it is no problem to think about what is best for prisoners and the effect that it has on the community. It is no coincidence that 80 per cent of prisoners currently in prison have a literacy level at, or below, the benchmark of the average 11 year-old. 50 per cent of the crimes that are committed in this country are committed by people who have already served time in prison. We have to address the revolving door of offending and re-offending.

If Kenneth Clarke wants to look at examples of constructive activity then he can see the plethora of research that has been carried out with prisoners, with the probation service and others in the whole of the prison system. Every one of them comes to the same conclusion: prison education is by far the best way of ensuring that people have a chance at life and will stop re-offending. We have to invest in the prison service and invest in prison educators.

Sadly and regrettably, the current perverse system of choosing which colleges and providers actually give that service has created a lack of investment and attacks on prison educators, on their jobs and on their terms and conditions. UCU, as the union which represents most of those educators, has committed itself to fighting against those attacks. Rehabilitation is not a soft option. Re-offending is not acceptable. Therefore, the answer is not rocket science. The situation is that we must give people in prison an opportunity to get skills so that they can play a constructive and meaningful role once they leave prison. The stark truth is that if there are fewer criminals, there are fewer crimes and there are fewer victims of crime. That is what we want to achieve. That is the lesson that Kenneth Clarke should learn - education and not slave labour. (Applause)

Peter McParlin (POA) replied to Motion 60. He said: Just on the point of slave labour, it is the government's intention to revisit the International Labour Organisation's Forced Labour Convention. I anticipate they will drive a coach and horses through that.

* Motion 60 was CARRIED

Privatising Justice

The President: I now call Motion 61, Privatising justice. The General Council supports the motion. It will be moved by Napo and seconded by the POA.

Tim Wilson (Napo) moved Motion 61. He said: Congress, whatever you think of the previous record of Justice Minister, Ken Clarke, his first move in June 2010, announcing bold plans to reduce prison populations by reserving jail for more serious offenders, presaged hope for a more liberal sentencing policy using less costly and more rehabilitative community penalties delivered by the probation service.

In late June of this year, bounced by Cameron, Clarke lost his battle with the right wing of his party as a result of which more prisons - and that means private prisons - will be built. Further cuts to probation plus increased privatisation of its functions have also since been announced. I guess we could have expected nothing less from a government which, since coming to power 16 months ago, has widely trumpeted its belief in withdrawing the state from its responsibilities. Nowhere is this more irresponsible or reprehensible than in its abandonment of the duty to oversee the criminal justice system. In abrogating its state functions and opening up the rehabilitation of offenders and protection of the public to its privateer friends, the government retreats behind slogans such as 'The rehabilitation revolution', 'Social impact bonds' and 'Payment by results'. In so doing, it shies away from the fact that it has no plan B when its tacky list of penal experiments comes unstuck and results in more crime and more harm to the public.

Congress, criminal justice must be about protecting society, period, which requires close oversight and joined-up thinking by government. This government does not care that in handing justice over to private companies who are interested in making millionaires of their shareholders they leave the fate of our society in the hands of a group which has no concept of society, let alone a just and fair one.

Now, throw into the mix the serious riots in August and check whether the coalition will pass the test. We have seen Cameron run to categorise the rioters merely as 'criminal', glossing over that many of the disturbances were in the poorest, most cruelly cut areas or involved those with hugely diminished life options. We have heard the government's call to lock up most of them, to ramp up the moral outrage, anything to distract from the fact that the situation is rather more complex and that any sense of fairness in our society is increasingly absent.

The government has been indecent in its haste to cover its feral uber-class, rich without responsibility, privileged without conscience and which, to the government's shame, is a legitimised mirror image of the street anarchy which government condemns but will not understand in social justice terms. Challenging this is our duty, Congress. How can we tackle unrest among the poor and underprivileged when the rapaciousness at the opposite end of the social spectrum is connived at and encouraged even by this government?

Since 1908, the probation service of England and Wales has been the mortar between the bricks of the criminal justice system. Probation's public sector status has assisted in the consistent and dispassionate dispensing of justice for poor, for rich, for all strands of diversity. It is no surprise then that probation is a justice model admired and copied worldwide.

For crime to be reduced, it requires a universally-shared perception of the quality of justice in our society. The way forward must be for probation to continue as a public service, properly resourced, and not fragmented and thrown to the conscience-free trans-globals. Congress, support Napo's resistance. I move. (Applause)

Peter McParlin (POA) seconded Motion 61. He said: We are pleased to second Napo's motion. We support rehabilitation. We can even live with a rehabilitation revolution. If you have a rehabilitation revolution, I cannot see how you can possibly give the rehabilitation revolution a sporting chance if you start dismantling the experts in the field who are going to do most of the work from the very beginning before you have begun that revolution.

In the 19th century, when we were a force to be reckoned with and we used to invade countries, we used to keep the standing army and the civil service of those countries. We just used to just shoot the leaders and substitute them with our own. I am not suggesting for one moment that they should be doing that, but perhaps they should be looking higher up at where the problem is if there are any issues with the way in which the revolution in rehabilitation has gone and assist Napo and the probation service to carry out their work.

Currently, we have the most privatised prison system in Western Europe. Incredibly, we lock up more prisoners than the United States of America. The only country in the world which has a more privatised prison system than us is Australia and given their uncertain start in life, I might give them the benefit of the doubt. (Laughter) I am very wary about using two legs good, four legs bad, but in the criminal justice system it has to be the responsibility of the state as we are locking up its citizens. Thinking that there are people making a profit out of the misery of victims of property crime, violence, rape or murder is morally repugnant and it will always be morally repugnant. (Applause)

We also support the amendment on public services, public responsibility and accountability. I have to say that when the government has to re-open the courts that they are closing, they will re-open them privately. I know that when my trade union breaks the law which prevents us from taking industrial action, I want to be processed into prison by the public sector so please support. (Applause)

Chris Baugh (Public and Commercial Services Union) spoke in support of the amended Motion 61. He said: The purpose of the amendment is first to support the motion and the comments made by Tim in moving it and, secondly, to recognise the common nature of the threat, the common campaigns and actions that we need to take with our sister unions, Napo and the POA. It is a common fight that we are going to need to wage if we are going to seriously challenge the massive cuts in the police, probation, court, legal aid and prison budgets.

The PCS amendment draws attention to the scale and impact of cuts and privatisation in the criminal justice sector. The Justice in Meltdown report, produced in collaboration between ourselves, Napo, the POA and the Police Federation points to cuts ranging from 20-25 per cent across the Ministry of Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service and police budgets. Fifty three magistrates' courts and 11 county courts have been closed. A further 16 magistrates' courts and another 31 county courts are planned for closure. This is a third of all courts. Cutting court time will cause massive delays, it will ratchet up costs and it will reduce access, which will yet again hit the poorest and most vulnerable. Likewise, a £350 million cut in the £914 million legal aid budget will hit one in four people seeking legal aid, again hitting the poorest, the most vulnerable and those most in need.

In the context of an estimated £2 billion worth of outstanding court fines, the government is now looking to privatise criminal fine enforcement, affecting 1,500 staff in the guise of mutualisation, classic double-speak. It is nothing to do with cooperative principles and everything to do with bringing in private capital. We are worried that this will replicate the scandal of the joint venture exercise of the privatisation of QinetiQ in the Ministry of Defence, which made senior civil servants millionaire capitalists overnight.

Reference has also been made to the scandal of prison privatisation. My final point is that in the context of cuts in police numbers, a prison population at record levels, a deeply unequal society, an estimated 13.5 million people living in poverty and the worst riots on UK soil for decades causing magistrates' courts to be kept running all night in order to dispense fast-track convictions, in cutting the criminal justice sector the government is playing a very dangerous game and we call upon them to think again. PCS will be putting our alternative to the privatisation model. We are balloting our members in criminal enforcement in opposition to it. We are consulting our members in the Ministry of Justice in the build-up to November. We want to work with our colleagues in the POA against prison privatisation but rather than shooting the leaders, for the next and biggest statement of our intent we want to take action together in November. I move. (Applause)

Maureen Le Marinel (UNISON) spoke in support of Motion 61. She said: Napo is our sister union in the probation service and CAFCASS. We have worked together for many years to oppose the dangers of privatisation and competition.

In the police service, UNISON is fighting on many fronts to protect essential policing services from this government's obsession with privatisation as the answer to public service reform. Nick Herbert, the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, has gone on record as saying that the public does not care who delivers support services in police and probation and that these services can be provided just as well by the private sector. I said to Ms May at the UNISON conference in June and I will say it now to you, Mr. Herbert that that is complete and utter rubbish. You need to change your stance now before you and your government ruin a proud and crucial public service.

When a member of the public makes an emergency call to the police, they want to know that the person on the other end of that phone is professional, trained, they know the neighbourhood and they are working solely for the public good. The private sector cannot guarantee this. When a member of the public is visited by a victim liaison officer from the probation service, they want to know that the person dealing with them has their interests at heart and not those of shareholders of a private sector company.

It does matter who provides our public services and it is our members who are delivering against the odds for communities across the UK. On a daily basis, as the recent disturbances across the country have shown, dedicated and proud public service workers have been working at the weekends when they are not contracted to do so and staying on at the end of shifts because they care about the communities and their colleagues.

Privatisation has been a total disaster for the probation service and now we face the prospect of community payback (or community service as it used to be called) being put out to competition. Community payback is a local service which allows offenders to make reparation to the community at the same time as getting help from probation to address their offending behaviour. So what does the government do? It puts together six mega regional contracts or lots to run community payback, loading the dice against the public sector and setting probation trust against probation trust. Out of the window goes any pretence of localism. UNISON and Napo are united in our position to these crazy competition proposals. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Napo to defeat these dangerous plans, which could see some probation trusts being unviable if they lose their community payback work.

In the police service, we face similar pressures with forces being told that they have to go to shared services. I say that those forces which are going down that line are lazy. They should be making those savings themselves and putting that money back into the frontline of policing. These initiatives are not about efficiency or effectiveness. I support. (Applause)

* Motion 61 was CARRIED

Justice Family Review

The President: Congress, as I indicated earlier, I hope to be in a position to take outstanding emergency motions after Motion 62, Family Justice Review and the regional dimension paragraphs. Those emergency motions are Emergency Motion 3, English Defence League, moved by the NUJ and Emergency Motion 4, Agency Workers, moved by Unite.

I now call Motion 62, Family Justice Review. The General Council supports the motion moved by Napo and seconded by PCS.

Jonathan Ledger (Napo) moved Motion 62. He said: First, I would like to put on record my union's thanks for the support of PCS in seconding this motion.

CAFCASS, the Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service, was created in 2001. It brought together family court welfare officers (previously part of the probation service) and guardians working for local authorities. The staff in CAFCASS undertake highly sensitive and demanding work with children and families either in contested proceedings between separating couples or in decisions about the future of children in care with the local authority. It is tough work, little known about and rarely acknowledged, but undertaken by staff dedicated to the best interests of the children and families with whom they work.

Organisationally, CAFCASS made slow progress in combining its services, but the progress made was significantly challenged following the tragic death of Baby Peter in 2007. The reaction of social care agencies was fairly consistent with a focus on accountability and central control. In CAFCASS, this was translated by the implementation of targets and a rigid performance culture reinforced by external Ofsted inspection and internal performance management. Once trusted and respected, staff of all grades found themselves vulnerable to spurious action plans and performance improvement processes which promoted suspicion and anxiety at the expense of creativity and innovation.

In addition, family courts, sensitive to the public and political reaction to the Baby Peter tragedy, massively increased the request for reports and assessment in care proceedings. The knock-on effect to staff in CAFCASS was an increase in workloads which has reached chronic levels in many parts of the service. Consequently, both the recognised trade unions are now in dispute with CAFCASS over workloads. It is a telling indictment of the oppressive culture that the organisation has created that in an indicative ballot of Napo members about the dispute, there was a 62 per cent turnout with 94 per cent voting in support of industrial action.

It is in this context, therefore, that Napo has welcomed the Family Justice Review currently examining the organisation of the family justice system. The seconder of the motion will talk about the review in more detail, but it is encouraging that the panel undertaking the review has strongly referenced the work of Professor Eileen Munro at the LSE. The Munro Report followed a comprehensive review of child protection. It was published in May 2011 and its 15 recommendations have been accepted by the government. These include reducing central regulation and prescription - that is targets and administration - and moving from a compliance culture to a learning culture; revising all statutory guidance; and greater emphasis in serious case reviews (after a child is seriously hurt or dies) on the causes and what obstructed best practice; the reform of social work training and placements to prepare students more for the challenges of the job; and greater autonomy for practitioners.

All these recommendations resonate with the experience of Napo's members in CAFCASS. Napo therefore welcomes both Munro and the Family Justice Review as an opportunity to free family court staff from mechanistic targets and demands which disrupt best social work practice with children and families, counter an impressive performance culture by creating a supportive professional development focus, and increase autonomy and decision-making for experienced and skilled staff supported by their employer rather than treated with suspicion and distrust.

This is the route to a stronger and more coherent family court system for the benefit of the children and the families that it serves. (Applause)

Paula Brown (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Motion 62. She said: PCS is pleased to second this motion because it gives us the chance to focus on this particular aspect of social justice and to focus TUC resources on helping some of the most vulnerable members of our society. They are people who are caught up in often very complex legal processes which are very expensive and stressful to go through. PCS represents legal advisers, ushers and other frontline workers in family courts who, as well as facing attacks on their pay and pensions, are also dealing with management reviews.

This morning, Ed Miliband spoke about unions engaging with change. Our members will do just that but we need to ensure that in doing so, the changes brought about by the reviews and the amalgamation of existing services do not descend into a mere ideologically-driven cuts exercise. The TUC must ensure that the newly-created body is able to sustain the public service ethos central to the provision of support to children and families caught up in a system which actually has a rising number of cases to deal with each year. It is essential that any efficiencies realised from the review are channelled back into the system to speed up the legal proceedings, to provide more flexibility for hearings and to offer a greater use of mediation, all of which should lead to faster resolution for families who need our help. Please support this motion. (Applause)

* Motion 62 was CARRIED

English Defence League

The President: I now call Emergency Motion 3, English Defence League. The General Council supports the emergency motion, moved by the NUJ and seconded by the RMT.

Anita Halpin (National Union of Journalists) moved Emergency Motion 3. She said: Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the NUJ has had to come to this rostrum to report abuse and hostility by the far right against our members, but hopefully it will be the last. We do not want to have to come back here year after year. We do not want to have to add the death of a journalist in this country to the too long list of deaths of media workers around the world. It is a dangerous profession.

Journalists, like all workers, have the right to work without being threatened verbally or politically. Attempts to deter journalists from carrying out their work are a violation of press freedom and in contempt of democracy. Be in no doubt that the EDL and other far right groups and websites have abused photographers and journalists both verbally and physically. Some of my photographer colleagues here can bear witness to that themselves.

Verbally, a website calls photographers 'whinging left wing idiots' - I am glad some of them are left wing - and ends with a threat that anyone taking photos or filming, unless they have been invited by the EDL, should be treated as a hostile. Redwatch continues to feature NUJ members and prints their home address and other details. Journalists are not hostile. Journalists are honest seekers of truth, exposing the brutalities of racists and thugs and we ought to thank them.

Physically, we are abused. During an EDL protest in Leeds two years ago, a journalist was punched in the head. That was not an isolated incident as explained by this emergency motion, which unfortunately we bring to you. When the EDL was in east London on Saturday 3rd September, one journalist was sexually assaulted. Another one was torched and rushed to hospital, although luckily he suffered minor burns. Who knows what it will be next time? Who knows who it will be or where it will happen? NUJ members have received death threats from the far right. One EDL organiser, after that Leeds demo in 2009, declared a fatwa against an NUJ member.

There are ways in which we can respond. We ask this Congress and affiliates to call upon the police to take action to identify and prosecute EDL supporters who attack not only NUJ members but any of you, wherever you work, as many other trade unionists are on sites like Redwatch. We know that all affiliates will support us.

If you want to show that you will not tolerate fascism in our towns or our cities, can I invite you all to Cable Street on Sunday 2nd October and to the cultural events that surround that historical event? Eventually, we won that fight against fascism and we will win this one. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Bob Crow (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) seconded Emergency Motion 3.

He said: We have pleasure in supporting this resolution. We make it clear from the point of view of our union that even if we detest Conservative or Liberal policies, as long as they do not have racist or fascist views, any political party has the right to demonstrate. If the Conservatives did want to hold a demonstration, we would support their right to have one. However, it stops, as far as I am concerned, when you attack someone because of the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation. That is when brotherhood and sisterhood, as far as I am concerned, come to an end. That is the difference. (Applause)

I differ from my good friend, Matt Wrack, when he said that the police should not put a ban on the march. It is okay when you can get people on the streets wanting to stop it, but when you cannot get them on the streets, then you have a problem. Therefore, the police should ban the EDL because of what took place there two weeks ago. With all the so-called analysis and intelligence that the police had, the situation was remarkable. We told them on the Friday afternoon that they were going to two pubs in the Euston Road, but they could not care less. It is marvellous that they can hack into people's phones and know what is going on, but they do not know what is going on when it comes to the far right. When miners were moving people on pickets across Britain 25 years ago, they stopped people going through the Dartford Tunnel, but they failed to stop these racists moving about on the tube system.

I will tell you what took place on that weekend. On that Friday, the police were going to run shuttle services on some parts of the Central Line direct to Liverpool Street non-stop. It is marvellous, isn't it? You cannot even get on a train some mornings, but this lot can get you from A to B as quickly as possible when it suits them and it was stopped. I will tell you something. I could not give two hoots about what was said between Peter Hendy, the Commissioner of Transport, and Boris Johnson. Our members felt threatened. EDL members were smoking and drinking. If anybody else was smoking or drinking on a train, they would have been nicked, but the old Bill turned their eyes to what was going on. It is a disgrace.

Therefore, we say that the EDL needs to be wiped out because they do not stand for what decent human beings stand for. We have a message, which is that we could not care less what Hendy or any other authority says. If our members or the travelling public feel threatened by racists, we will not go to work, with or without a ballot, and we ask you to support us. (Applause and cheers)

* Emergency Motion 3 was CARRIED

Agency Workers

The President: I call Emergency Motion 4, Agency Workers. The General Council supports the emergency motion. It is moved by Unite and seconded by the CWU.

Steve Turner (Unite) moved Emergency Motion 4.

He said: Not satisfied with their vicious cuts and privatisation strategy, a class war is effectively being waged in our communities across the nation, replacing hope and confidence with fear and despair. On an industrial front, with the ink barely dry and with just three weeks before their introduction, Cameron and co. are now looking to review and repeal already weakened protections in the Agency Workers Regulations for some of the most vulnerable workers in our communities.

Already undermined by the Swedish Derogation within them, the struggles of a generation for equal pay are being shoved aside as Cameron's Cabinet of millionaires are now arguing that the remaining protections have been unnecessarily gold-plated by their own government. Just last week, it was announced that Cameron had taken his own personal legal advice on how to address this problem and just three questions were being asked. First, can they stop the introduction of the regulations altogether? Secondly, can they postpone the introduction from the scheduled 1st October of this year? Thirdly, could they weaken already limited protections provided within them?

It is now crystal clear that this 'unfair, don't care' government is far from satisfied with the existing wholesale provision of escape routes that have been provided in the regulations for the worst of employers, allowing decent employers, with decent relationships with trade unions who negotiate industrial best practice, to be undercut by the worst. This is resulting in thousands of agency workers being denied equal pay, even after the 12-week period, with those with whom they are working alongside. While the wholesale exploitation of the vulnerable appears to know no bounds in Tory Britain, bad employers in core sectors of our economy, across food and transport, services and manufacturing, are taking up Cameron's call and gearing up to exploit.

Unite is already gearing up for an industrial fight-back. For example, we have seen hundreds of agency workers in food sector supply chains threatened with new contracts which will deny them their right to equal pay. We have seen 1,000 workers contracted by DHL at Jaguar Land Rover issued with new contracts denying them their rights to equal pay. Under the guise of providing permanent employment for vulnerable workers in workplaces across our country, the Swedish Derogation is allowing agencies to directly employ people in collusion with employers on the minimum wage with impunity under a contract of employment for as little for one hour a week.

Contrast this, Congress, with the benefits of recession provided to our self-appointed elite. Whilst the Tories and their partners in crime disgracefully label our youth as 'a feral underclass', the genuine guilty continue to pillage our communities and our society unabated. This is a group which has shown deep and complete contempt for our wider society. They have no regard for the struggle to meet rising costs on falling incomes and they are happy to call for the removal of the 50p higher tax threshold for the richest 1 per cent in our society whilst working-class families are being forcibly evicted in an exercise of class-cleansing across our inner cities.

Congress, it is our duty to defend those who often cannot defend themselves and to do so using all of the tools in our armoury, whether they are industrial, political or indeed legal. Support the motion, Congress. (Applause)

Andy Kerr (Communication Workers' Union) seconded Emergency Motion 4. He said: As the TUC, we have campaigned for a number of years on the Agency Workers Directive. It took a lot of hard work and hard talking with the past Labour government to get to the position on agency workers in which we are today.

I mentioned this subject yesterday. We did not do all that talking to be in the position explained by Steve. I will explain to you what the Swedish Derogation is. The Swedish Derogation was brought in in that country many years ago. It describes the way in which pay is applied to agency workers in Sweden. The basis of that was fairness as you had equal pay whether you were an agency worker or worked for a client.

What has been brought into place in the UK is nothing like that whatsoever, as Steve outlined. The qualifying period in the UK is 12 weeks whereas it is from the first day in Sweden. It is not the same and it is derogatory to use the words 'Swedish Derogation'. The Swedish Derogation is something to which we should aspire and try to achieve. I negotiate with blue chip employers, as Steve has mentioned, who are quite disgusted at the way in which some agency employers are treating their workers at this point in time. They are not waiting until 1st October or until this week. I know of employers in this country who put people onto contracts three months ago, with fine print which you can hardly read with a magnifying glass. People are signing contracts not knowing what they are signing up to, not knowing that they can be laid off after 12 weeks and not knowing that they have to go on minimum wage for four weeks.

I do not understand how somebody in this country can survive on £20 odd a week, but that is what agencies in the UK are actually applying at this point in time. For all these reasons, we must challenge this in any way possible and if there is a legal loophole for the employers, there is surely a legal loophole for the trade unions. I ask you wholeheartedly to support this motion. (Applause)

* Emergency Motion 4 was CARRIED

Scrutineers report

The President: Congress, I will now invite Glenroy Watson, the Chair of the Scrutineers, to give the results of the ballot for the General Council.

Glenroy Watson: I present the Scrutineers' Report. If you turn to the back of your agendas, I will give you the result of the ballot for the General Council.

General Council

Section A (Unions with more than 200,000 members)

Unite (eight members)

Tony Burke Gail Cartmail

Len McCluskey Andrew Murray

Jane Stewart Pat Stuart

Steve Turner Tony Woodhouse

UNISON (seven members)

Bob Abberley Jane Carolan

Angela Lynes Dave Prentis

Alison Shepherd Eleanor Smith

Liz Snape

GMB (four members)

Sheila Bearcroft Paul Kenny

Paul McCarthy Malcolm Sage

Communication Workers Union (two members)

Billy Hayes Tony Kearns

NASUWT (two members)

Brian Cookson Chris Keates

National Union of Teachers (two members)

Christine Blower Dave Harvey

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

Prospect Paul Noon

University and College Union Sally Hunt

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians George Guy

Section C (Unions with fewer than 100,000 members)

Eleven to be elected -* = elected

Name Union Votes

Jonathan Baume* FDA 356,000

Bob Crow* RMT 387,000

Mark Dickinson* Nautilus International 458,000

Steve Gillan* POA 386,000

Michael Leahy* Community 379,000

Jonathan Ledger Napo 345,000

Robert F Monks URTU 262,000

Ged Nichols* Accord 382,000

Christine Payne Equity 258,000

Tim Poil* NGSU 356,000

John Smith* Musicians' Union 481,000

Michelle Stanistreet* NUJ 398,000

Simon Weller* ASLEF 360,000

Matt Wrack* FBU 455,000

Section D (Women from unions with fewer than 200,000 members)

four to be elected - no contest

Joanna Brown Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Sue Ferns Prospect

Lesley Mercer Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Alice Robinson 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 Prospect

Section G (Member representing black women)

Gloria Mills UNISON

Section H (Member representing disabled workers)

Sean McGovern - Unite

Section I (Member representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workers)

Maria Exall Communication Workers Union

Section J (Member representing young workers)

Fern McCaffrey GMB

General Purposes Committee (Five to be elected - no contest)

Mike Clancy Prospect

Phil Davies GMB

Peter Hall RMT

Chris Tansley UNISON

Linda McCulloch Unite



The President: I call Congress to order. Thank you to Taneisha Jackson and Stephanie Forbes, who have been playing for us this morning. Please show your appreciation in the normal way. (Applause)

Congress, could I remind you to complete your delegates' questionnaire and return them to the TUC information point situated at the bottom of the entrance stairs. I now call upon Peter Hall, Chair of the General Purposes Committee, to give the GPC Report.

General Purposes Committee Report

Peter Hall (General Purposes Committee): Good morning, Congress. I can report that the General Purposes Committee has approved a further emergency motion. Emergency Motion 5 on Save Bombardier Jobs will be moved by the RMT. The President will indicate when the emergency motion, approved so far, will be taken and will report further to you on the progress of business and other GPC decisions if necessary before the end of Congress. Thank you.

The President: Thank you, Peter. Congress, as has been reported, we now have a further emergency motion, Emergency Motion 5, Save Bombardier jobs. Along with Emergency Motion 2, Pre-abortion counselling, this means that we now have two outstanding emergency motions and I will take them this morning after the scheduled business so will the unions involved please be ready.

Congress, we start this morning by welcoming this year's Labour Party sororal delegate, Norma Stephenson. Norma has been a health worker and active member of UNISON for 30 years. A former UNISON president, she has recently been elected as a Labour councillor and Police Authority member in Stockton-on-Tees.

Norma has served on the National Executive of the Labour Party for eight years, and she is currently Chair. She is a passionate advocate of equality. Norma, you are very welcome here today and we look forward to hearing your contribution. I invite you to address Congress. (Applause)

Address by Sororal Delegate from the Labour Party

Norma Stephenson: Good morning, Congress. Thank you for giving me some of your valuable time to address you this morning.

Congress, I have been a trade unionist all my working life and a member of the Labour Party for almost as long. When my union, UNISON, asked me to be one of the trade union representatives on Labour's NEC, I could not have been prouder. It has not been easy. There have been many disputes and many disagreements but, like the rest of my trade union colleagues, most of whom are in this room, I have never forgotten, first and foremost, that we are trade unionists on the Labour Party NEC and we know what that responsibility entails.

Now, here I am - a trade unionist and Chair of the Labour Party. That is something that could never have been achieved without that link. When the question is asked, 'What does the modern Labour trade union link look like?', it looks like me. That is important because to the public all politics looks like blokes and some things never change. (Applause)

Many women in this country have similar stories and similar lives. They think like me and they talk like me, but no one sees us. No one sees them. Without the trade unions, there would be no one like me ending up here. That is one reason why the link between the trade unions and Labour is so important. It is not ideal and it could be better. It could be beefed up. I have to say that a better link between the trade unions and their representatives on Labour's NEC would be a help.

Congress, Refounding Labour - nobody asked for it and nobody wanted it, but we have got it - is a minefield. The one thing I want out of it is a stronger and equal bond between the trade unions and the Labour Party. Why? - because we are fighting the same battles. There are cuts everywhere which are hitting Labour communities, hitting local councils and hitting council staff. In all these places, Labour's battle is the trade union battle and there are some great examples of joint working.

There is John Healey and the TULO health campaign. We had high streets up and down the country last weekend with trade unionists and Labour campaigners working together, fighting the threats to the NHS. We all know, as Brendan said last week, that this government is not just taking apart our health service, it is decimating public services across the board, sacking people left, right and centre but they are not even content with that. They are still attacking those left in the workplace through freezing our wages yet again and they are now coming after our pensions. This is despite being told by John Hutton that this body and the Labour government redressed the pensions issue just a couple of years ago.

Congress, who is suffering the most? You know, I know and the coalition knows. Let us not let those Libs off the hook. It is the women and young people in this country. Now, more than ever, we need unity between the political and industrial wings of our party. We need it, our children need it and our public services need it.

I am not a professional politician. I am a trade unionist, I am a health service worker and I am a Labour councillor. I am proud to be all of these things, and I am proud to bring greetings to you from the Labour Party. Thank you. (Applause)

The President: Norma, thank you for that great speech. I would now like to present you with the TUC Gold Badge. Well done. (Applause) (TUC Gold Badge presented to Norma Stephenson amidst applause)


The President: Delegates, we continue today with Composite Motion 5, Pensions. The General Council supports the composite motion and I will call on the General Secretary during the debate to explain the position.

Dave Prentis (UNISON) moved Composition Motion 5.

He said: President, Congress, UNISON represents over one million public service workers and the campaigns we are fighting are not just about pensions, they are not just about jobs and they are not just about pay. They are about the kind of society that we leave for our children. They are about protecting and passing on the rights that our grandparents fought for - the welfare state and universal public services. They are about breaking the political consensus that says that markets know best.

We stand for ordinary people who serve the public by caring and educating, making our communities safer, cleaner and healthier. They are ordinary people who had nothing whatsoever to do with this financial crisis and yet they are being made to pay the price. The coalition is taking away their pay, privatising their jobs, there are daily rounds of redundancies and yet, on top of this, they now want to take away their pensions. They are the pensions that our members worked and saved for every week of their working lives, not for a life of luxury but for some basic security in retirement. They have put away a little each week for dignity so that they do not have to rely on means-tested benefits in old age. There are no gold-plated pensions, but just enough to get by. An average pension for a woman in local government is £59 a week and is that to be taken away from her through some means-tested benefits?

Congress, our members are no militants. Striking is the last thing that they want to do. No, they are not asking for this conflict. We have spent eight long months looking for an agreement, always willing to talk, to find a way through. It is less than four years since we agreed to close our health service pension scheme to new members. New schemes have been brought in recognising that people are living longer. We did that. There has been a new local government scheme capable of investing £3 billion a year in our economy because it is cash-rich. We did that.

However, now the coalition wants its pound of flesh. They are intent on re-opening the protected schemes, demanding that hundreds of thousands of health workers, mainly women, work six or even 11 years longer before they get a pension. They are intent on closing the new schemes just coming in, the ink barely dry. They are bringing in new new schemes with far worse benefits. They are intent on stopping our members who are privatised taking their pensions with them, cut off completely from their pension scheme, locked out. To add insult to injury, they are intent on imposing a tax on public service workers who save for their pensions. That is a staggering 50 per cent increase in their contributions but, Congress, not a single penny goes into the pension schemes. Every single penny is to be siphoned off by the Treasury to pay for the deficit created by the failure of the banking system. It is an unprecedented attack on ordinary working people. They are audacious and devious means to pay for the greed of others.

Congress, we have had enough. We have been patient, we have co-operated but there comes a time when we have to say, 'Enough is enough.' If we do not say it now, they will be back for more and more and more again. Today, Congress, I want to make it clear to this coalition that we will negotiate with them any time, any place, anywhere, but if they impose change by diktat, we will take industrial action. (Applause)

Today, Brendan Barber has convened a meeting of all public service unions to look at united, coordinated industrial action when the talks fail. In moving to industrial action, I commit UNISON to work as one with our sister unions, the GMB and Unite. Today, as General Secretary of UNISON, I give formal notice to 9,000 employers that we are now balloting for industrial action. (Cheers and applause)

It is a ballot unprecedented in scale. It will cover over one million workers in health, local government, schools, FE and higher education, police staff, the voluntary sector, the environment and the private sector. It is a decision that we do not take lightly and the stakes are higher than ever before.

Congress, the one thing I am certain about is that now is the time to make our stand. It will be hard, we will be vilified, we will be attacked, we will be set against each other, public against private, divide and rule - the oldest trick in the book - but if we are serious, we must stay strong, united, all of us shoulder to shoulder. There should be no gesture politics or hollow rhetoric.

Our members look to us to take a lead, to work together to run the public and political campaigns needed to win their case. It is crucial and we will accept none of the emotional blackmail from politicians of any colour. If this coalition is worried about the people who use the services, they should not be closing them down. If they are worried about the disruption, they should not be privatising them. If they are so worried about the old, the sick and the young, they should stop shutting down the care homes and start getting our young people into work and giving them a future.

Congress, 'the fight of our lives' may be a cliché, but make no mistake - this is it. We will take the fight to them. There is no time to despair and no time for looking back. We must move forward, confident in our cause, with a clear message from this Congress that we are determined and united in fighting for what is right, fighting for our members and hands off our pensions. (Cheers and applause)

Mark Serwotka (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Composite Motion 5. He said: We are delighted to second the composite and particularly delighted to follow that fantastic speech from Dave Prentis.

Congress, the eyes of the media and the country are upon us today so we need to send a very clear and unequivocal message. The first thing we should say is that there is no case whatsoever to make any changes to public sector pension schemes. The costs are falling and the changes have already been made. All of the government's propaganda is lies and distortion. We should say, 'No case for change.' We should say, 'Why should people be forced to work longer because they are living longer?' Already, the age of 68 has been announced and the government have said that they are bringing forward the increase to age 67, with some of the private organisations saying that the pension age should be 70.

In the fifth richest economy in the world, if we are living longer why can't we have more time to enjoy ourselves in retirement? Why is it right that my grandfather, who could not afford to retire, worked until he was 76 and died in less than one year when he finally gave up work? That is not civilisation and enjoying the fruits of technology; that is working until you drop.

Why should we pay more? In the civil service, for example, we have contracts of employment which show that our pay has been reduced by the amount that we are not paying in pensions to have an even remuneration package. Now they want us to pay more at the same time as giving our members a pay freeze. That is completely unacceptable. Why should we accept that we get less for our pensions when already the average civil service pension is only £4,200?

Congress, this is daylight robbery dressed up with rhetoric and lies that the country cannot afford our pensions, but the government are determined to carry on. In six months of talks, which have been an absolute farce, we have not made one jot of progress on any of the central questions of work longer, pay more and get less. Yet, while we have been talking, they have changed pensions from RPI to CPI, devaluing them by 20 per cent, they have announced the pension contributions increase and they have announced the increase in the pension age.

In PCS, we say that this composite is right. We say that, yes, we are happy to talk, but whilst we are talking we are now preparing for mass strike action in order to show them that we are serious.

Let me finish on this, Congress. The 30th June gave us an indication of what it could be like when we strike together. Half-a-million public sector workers such as teachers, lecturers, frontline civil service workers went on strike, there were over 100 demonstrations and rallies throughout the length and breadth of the country. What it did was to transform the mood overnight. The government, exposed in the media as liars and cheats, went to ground. Confidence was raised overnight when they saw that people were prepared to fight back. On our picket lines, we had pensioners, students, the unemployed and public and private sector workers.

Let us say this to our private sector colleagues. It is a national disgrace that your pensions are being butchered by fat cats in the private sector, but the answer is not to equalise the misery; it is to fight for fair pensions for all. (Applause)

I say this to you, Congress. There is not a single private sector worker in Britain who is exploited by a public sector worker. They are exploited by shareholders and fat cats who would rob their pensions. (Applause)

Let us support the composite unanimously. Let us build on what Dave has said. Let us show them that if half-a-million people can change the debate, imagine what it would be like if there are millions of us on strike in November and into the New Year. Marching together we can win. We will say that we are standing up for public sector workers, service users and communities everywhere. United we stand. Now is the time to strike together with millions to make the point and tell the government 'No.' (Cheers and applause)

Christine Blower (National Union of Teachers) supported Composite Motion 5. She said: I am very proud to be the general secretary of a union which took strike action on June 30th and I am bound to say, on the question of relevance, that with a strike with the turnout that we had, with a 'yes' vote of 92 per cent, our members know that we are relevant.

Congress, our campaign is for fair pensions for all - public, private and the state pension. In this campaign, in this room, in this trade union movement, we know that we are all in it together. We are ready to stand in defence of jobs and services across the public sector, but the campaign for pensions is the one which unites us all.

One of the particularly successful aspects of our June 30th action was indeed to expose the lie at the centre of the government's case. The government has taken the decision not to evaluate our scheme and yet we are expected to negotiate on the basis of no proper information.

We do know that the cost of public sector pensions is set to fall and we know that our pensions are affordable, fair and reasonable. Speaking to teachers, I know that my younger members are appalled and genuinely concerned at how much more they might have to pay and with the prospect of having to work until 68, or might it now be 70?

Teachers now have a retirement age of 65 and yet the 2005-2006 settlement left us with a scheme which is affordable, sustainable and fair. This government's proposals are about a raid on our pensions, as Mark has already said, to fill a hole in the public finances, which was created by bankers' greed and deregulation and not, as we all know, by anyone in this hall.

Of course, we have to use all the things that are at our disposal, so on October 26th, teachers' unions, affiliates and non-affiliates are aiming for a massive lobby of Parliament and a petition. This will not be strike action because it will be in half-term, but I am bound to say that if past behaviour is any indication of future likelihood of behaviour, that lobby is likely to be the curtain-raiser for massive industrial action by teachers in November. You have already heard it from Mark and from Dave. Enough is enough! We can win if we are united. These are our pensions and they are fair. We must stand together, we must defend them and we must do this for the whole of the public sector. (Applause)

Mary Bousted (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. She said: Congress, no one can say that ATL is moved quickly to anger. It took 127 years for us to strike. (Applause) We got there on 30th June and we were proud to join the NUT, UCU and PCS to defend our pensions. What did that strike achieve? It achieved the complete demolition of the government's case on affordability and then equity: that is what.

But let us be clear, Congress. In the coming months, we have to ensure that public service users are reminded again and again that their bin emptiers, their doctor, their benefits clerk and, yes, their teachers and lecturers are being told to pay, on top of everyone else, for the £850 billion bailout of the banks. All those public sector workers who engaged so assiduously in sub-prime mortgage lending and leverage buy-outs, you really should not have done it, you know!

There is another message that we must repeat and it is this. Of the UK workforce, 43 per cent have no pension provision. Those workers are going to be left in pension poverty. They will rely upon means-tested benefits. This prospect alone should make the coalition stop and think, but if the government ignore our warnings about opt-out from all the public sector schemes, that percentage will escalate and so will pensioner poverty and the benefits bill for many decades to come. ATL stands for fair pensions for all and this requires retention of reasonable schemes in the public sector and, yes, reform of the private sector.

ATL wants to negotiate a pensions deal, but we cannot do it without some realism and flexibility from across the table. We cannot do it if the Treasury refuses to give us the basic data we need for the negotiations. We cannot do it if the Treasury continues to insist that teachers all live until 90, get real wage increases of 4 per cent year on year throughout their working lives and inflation will never exceed 2 per cent. They are also claiming that all summers will be hot and sunny and that England will win the World Cup in 2014. (Laughter)

We want no war, but teachers and lecturers, ATL members, are not in the mood for surrender. ATL supports a joint education union lobby at Westminster on 26th October because our members believe in the power of reason. However, I warn the government that if reason does not work, teachers and lecturers will use their power in another way. (Applause)

Joel Kosminsky (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) supported Composite Motion 5. He said: Congress, why should we suffer CPI when it does not even measure domestic inflation? It is a basket of goods and services common to member states of the European Union. CPI was invented in the 1990s by the European Union to measure convergence criteria towards joining the euro so it never applied to us in the first place. It covers things that we do not use and excludes the things that we do see every day.

Let us look at the real world. Rail fares go up on a greater-than-RPI basis and so do London's bus and tube fairs. Food price inflation is almost outstripping RPI and CPI together. Pension schemes also have assets which grow on an RPI-related basis so what is the justification for CPI?

Pensioner price inflation is 10 per cent higher than working persons' inflation. They or we - I became a pensioner last weekend - are at home more often, using more electricity, gas and heat. Yes, let us charge us, the payers, and give you, the receivers, less. That is real democracy in action!

Most FTSE 100 and 250 companies - ignore the share prices - are still in very healthy profit. Only the Stock Exchange has got the runs, not the balance sheets. The employers can afford the schemes.

Accounting standards to protect the pension funds against future deficit turn healthy schemes into deficit. The fact that they are in deficit is not true in reality. The trustees are obliged to protect the funds on that basis for the future so they pay us less.

Transport for London, one of my former employers, increases pensions by RPI because the rules say so. The Railway Pension Scheme is imposing CPI and British Airways does what the relevant government scheme orders. Now, isn't that significant? Only the state scheme looks after its pensioners. However, indexation is done by government order. The one question that no one will answer is whether this order is mandatory, advisory, minima or maxima. As no one will answer it, there is a court case pending. There is one going on right now and British Airways pensioners are threatening to take British Airways to court over their imposition of this order.

Do you want to know what this debate is really about? It is about telling an 87-year old widow that her husband's promises of RPI continuing into her retirement, after she has lost her loved one, were absolute lies. It is not the private sector alone, it is not the public sector alone, it is everyone. It is them telling us that we are worth nothing so get it right, get it together, vote and do whatever it takes. It is our future and the future of our children who come after us. Support the composite. (Applause)

Jonathan Baume (FDA) supported Composite Motion 5. He said: One week ago, the FDA provisionally agreed to ballot members on industrial action if ministers do not amend their proposals to increase pension contributions from next April. If necessary, we will be working with all the other public sector unions. We did not take this decision lightly. The FDA has a well-deserved reputation for being willing to engage and negotiate on the most difficult issues. Our only previous national ballot was in 2005, again about pensions.

Our members are angry about the contribution increase - in effect a levy on public servants - but we did not completely rule it out. Instead, we raised with government our concerns about pay levels and overall pay arrangements for our members. For example, will the government guarantee that the pay freeze will be lifted after two years? Will they conduct and implement comparability studies for our members, reintroduce meaningful progression through pay ranges and make important technical changes to the way in which civil service pay remits are calculated? In other words, will ministers recognise that pensions are part of the overall reward package?

If ministers are willing to make clear commitments on these issues then at least our members would face a meaningful choice about whether a pension contribution increase was acceptable. However, ministers just want to take and give nothing in return and that is not negotiation.

As to the Hutton Report, yes, there are real issues about longevity. It is good news that people are living longer. We all acknowledged this in 2007 when we agreed a new pension age of 65. The civil service unions also agreed a career average scheme for new entrants, an important change in scheme design, but this emerged from genuine negotiations and that is what has been so lacking in recent months.

I do not know whether we can reach an acceptable outcome by negotiation, but the government is not even trying. Yes, we have made some progress since the spring but so limited as to leave a union like the FDA feeling that we have no option other than to ballot. There is still time for the government to engage in compromise, but it is running out.

If we do find ourselves balloting this autumn, we should not underestimate the challenges. Our members are dedicated public servants responsible for running departments and maintaining key services. Many will find it hard to contemplate industrial action and commitment to public service runs deep. We will have to work hard to win the argument that industrial action will make a difference and to convince the wider public, but ministers must understand the strength of concern and anger about their approach to pension reform. If the public sector unions stand together, committed to negotiating if we have a willing partner but ready to take a stand if ministers simply impose unacceptable and unnecessary change, then we can make a difference. (Applause)

Gail Cartmail (Unite) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. She said: Unite's contribution to this composite was to add the private sector dimension. Over decades, private sector employers have downgraded and closed pension schemes across every industry. That is why we fought for pension reform. Unions led the campaign which achieved the Pensions Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme, a third of pension boards nominated by scheme members and the restoration of the link to earnings.

Yet, despite all our efforts, 14 million private sector workers still have no work pension at all and not one of those 14 million workers will benefit from this attack on public sector workers. While 362 top bosses from the FTSE 100 companies have an average pension pot of £3.9 million in a defined benefit scheme, giving an annual pension of £224,000, our members and other unions at Unilever are balloting for industrial action against the company's plans to close the pension scheme in January 2012. That is just one example.

While on the subject of ballots, yes, Unite is proud to announce today that we are giving notice of our intention to ballot for industrial action. (Applause) We are determined to defend public sector pensions from this despicable race to the bottom and let me explain why.

When the coalition government came to power, we knew that we faced the fight of our lives. We knew that they would seek to weaken and divide us to create the conditions of division - men against women, young against old, employed against the unemployed, black against white, private sector against public sector and yet we rose to the challenge, mobilising mass resistance for the alternative on March 26th.

Unite is a responsible union. We have attended every single meeting with government since February and yet we have seen the change from RPI to CPI outside of the talks, pension attacks outside of the talks, the cost ceiling still to be decided, accrual rates still to be decided, impenetrable documentation and an unwillingness to disclose information that we and the employers want to see in the scheme-specific talks.

It would be irresponsible to ignore the writing on the wall, so while we will never walk away from talks neither will we sit on our hands. Unite is committed to unity. Unite is committed to fighting back for all our members, public and private, against this race to the bottom. (Applause)

Patrick Roach (NASUWT) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. He said: Congress, the campaign to defend pensions and to secure decent pensions for all will require us to use all means at our disposal to achieve victory for all working people. No one can be in any doubt that ordinary working people and families are under a sustained assault as a result of the ideologically-driven programme of the coalition government and their failed economic policy.

Congress, this Tory-led coalition government is also abusing its power. We know that the coalition has no electoral mandate, but they also have a record of abusing their legal authority. They have shown a cavalier attitude to the law and they should be put in the dock. In just 15 months, the Tory-led coalition government has been no stranger to legal challenge. When they cut the school building programme, they were taken to the court and lost. When they diverted funding from local authorities to bankroll the privatisation of schools, they were taken to court and they conceded defeat. Next month, on pensions, they will be before the courts again and we will win.

Congress, the change in pension indexation from RPI to CPI has wiped billions off the value of pensions. This stealth tax affects millions of ordinary workers - not just public sector workers but workers in the private sector too. The switch to CPI has cut the value of the Pension Protection Fund, it has cut the value of the state second pension and cut the basic state pension as well.

Delegates, we should support the joint legal action being taken by colleagues in the FBU, FDA, GMB, NASUWT, PCS, POA, Prospect, UNISON and Unite, who are challenging this abuse of power. Getting the High Court's permission for a judicial review was the first major hurdle to be crossed. We have done this successfully. The case will be heard on 25th October and if that judicial review is successful, it could see millions of workers having the value of their pensions restored.

This is but one of many battles that the trade union movement will have to fight over the coming months. The attack on pensions is only one element of the assault on ordinary working people, the assault on the public sector and the assault on the welfare state.

Congress, be in no doubt, we are in the midst of a perfect storm. That is one of the very reasons why my union, the NASUWT, is preparing to ballot its members for industrial action. It is a perfect storm of an assault on pay, on jobs, on rights at work as well as on pensions. Our campaign must fight for jobs and justice across the board to protect our members and to protect our communities from these attacks. This is the fight we must win. Support Composite 5. (Applause)

Chris Murphy (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. He said: What this government is attempting to do, with the help of the right wing press and the lies upon lies regarding gold-plated pensions, is thoroughly outrageous. As has been touched on by a number of speakers, the average, if you are lucky, is £5,000 or maybe £7,000 a year.

I need to make a couple of points which are really important. For my union, it is a question of admitted body status. Over the years, I know of quarry maintenance workers who have been moved around like slaves under TUPE from a private company to the council and back to the private company, and without admitted body status their rights would disappear.

Last year, Connaught, a big maintenance company, went bust. Our members were just thrown on the scrapheap like a lot of other union members doing public service work. If it was not for admitted body status, they would have got nothing, but their pensions were protected. As you know, under TUPE, it does not apply to pensions.

I need to make these final points, and I am not trying to lecture you. I have attended a number of TUCs and I have heard politicians from the Labour Party, year in and year out, telling us that changes cannot be made regarding equal pay, women's rights and so on and so forth. Many people have said that if it was not for the trade unions, they would never have come into force at all and that includes the minimum wage.

Let me just read to you a quote from this morning's newspapers: 'Every Labour leader in living memory has done this, but it has never worked.' It was referring to Ed Miliband's speech. When I was listening to Ed Miliband's speech, I thought he had a death wish. If you want public service workers to go out and work or even just come out of the house to vote for you, it is no good standing up and attacking their pensions. (Applause)

When moving the composite, it was said at the beginning, and quite rightly, that the new provisions to the local authority pension scheme had come into force in April 2008, but it was not an increase. We just about held our own and I believe we lost. However, those savings are coming through. There is money and investment being used to punish communities.

I have not got a degree in economics. I never passed the 11 Plus. However, the facts of life are that if you do not put money into society, people cannot spend it. That is how capitalism works. If the government keeps going, they will not have a society that is worth living in and people will not be able to buy goods. The employers and the large companies will then start screaming. We are going skint so I ask you to support Composite 5. (Applause)

Matt Wrack (Fire Brigades' Union) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. He said: I am a bit sick of hearing politicians from any party lecturing us about pensions. We have a political class in Britain which is either independently wealthy or live very comfortable lives far removed from the vast majority of people delivering our public services today. They are people who do not ever have to worry about whether they can pay the rent, the mortgage or their bills or how they will survive retirement. I say to all of them, from whatever party, 'Do not lecture us about what we should or should not do in relation to defending our pensions.' (Applause)

Regarding the truth about industrial action, no working person anywhere takes industrial action lightly. It is a very serious step that none of us want to take and none of us want to organise, but unfortunately we are being left with little alternative.

We were told yesterday that there were many good points in the Hutton Report. That is complete nonsense. The Hutton Report is deeply flawed and I believe that it is a hatchet job on public sector pensions, not least on the question of cost. The propaganda which has been poured over us for the past four or five years that public sector pensions are unaffordable and unsustainable is complete nonsense. Hutton himself demonstrates in the recent report that, as a share of GDP, the cost of public sector pensions is not rising and may indeed be falling. The whole basis of this debate is built upon a lie and we need to expose that lie as part of our campaign.

A key aspect of the pension debate is around retirement age and because we are living longer we should work longer. I have to say that I think that working people should not have to apologise because we are not dying soon enough to suit the banking industry. (Applause)

The point we made in our amendment, which is now included in the composite, is regarding occupational schemes. We need to take account of the occupation. I speak from the point of view of a particular occupation. In relation to the uniformed services and us, Hutton says that the retirement age will be different as it will be 60. He has no evidence to support that. Fire fighting and other similar occupations are very physically demanding, involving the use of heavy equipment, carrying heavy equipment, working in heat and so on. I would like to see some of our politicians do the job that our members do at the age of 60 and beyond. (Applause) It would be ludicrous and we reject completely the plan of George Osborne and the Cabinet for zimmer frame fire fighters. It is nonsensical and we will not accept it.

We do not want to take strike action but, along with everyone else in this hall, we will not allow our pensions to be stolen from us. I say here today that regrettably, at the end of my contribution, we will be registering formal and lawful trade disputes in all parts of the UK in relation to the attacks on our pensions. (Applause)

I will just finish on a couple of points. The vast majority of our members are already paying 11 per cent pension contributions. They are now being told that that will go up by another 3.2 per cent on top of a two-year pay freeze. People are asking, 'How the hell do I pay the rent? How the hell do I pay the mortgage? Maybe I will have to opt out of the pension because I cannot afford to survive.'

We are not going to allow that to happen. This movement has fought for dignity in retirement for a long time. We will not allow that to be taken from us. We must stand and fight together for decent pensions for everyone. (Applause)

Dave Ward (Communication Workers Union) supported Composite Motion 5. He said: We bring our full support to this fight over pensions and you know in recent years that the CWU has had its fair share of industrial action. We work in an industry which is facing unprecedented challenges in the changing world of communications, with privatisation on the agenda and attacks on our members' pensions.

We completely recognise and understand that the fight that has already started and which needs to grow will determine the ultimate outcome of pension provision for every single worker in the UK today. We know that it is not always easy to coordinate action. It is not always easy to say that we are all directly involved but, on the postal and telecom side, we have already seen an impact on pension reform.

We know that what we are now facing is far worse. There are many things that still unite us about this fight. There is the disgraceful change to CPI and the retirement age, as set out in Mark's excellent speech. There is the idea that we are all living longer, but there is one sure way to reverse that trend of longevity and that is to make workers work to the ages conjured up by this government at the swipe of a pen. It is not on.

This is an excellent composite. We ask you, Brendan, to lead the TUC in a fight against this government to challenge the conventional thinking and dogma that seems to exist in the world of pensions. I cannot stand listening to these pension experts and regulators with their accounting methods designed to rip our members off. We just keep accepting their logic, but it is their logic which is completely and utterly flawed.

While we are challenging conventional thinking on pensions, is it not about time that we challenged Labour leaders who continually come to this conference telling us that we are wrong? They put down the only organisations which are really standing up for workers. You have got to change your way of doing business, Mr Miliband. (Applause)

Congress, the fight on pensions does affect everybody. Do not let anybody believe that it is not coming to your union or to all of us at some point. Let us make it a simple debate. Pension money does not belong to governments. Pension money does not belong to employers. It does not even belong to trustees. It belongs to workers. This is a fight that is going to shake the trade union movement in the United Kingdom. We are behind it and let us make sure that every union in the country is behind it too. (Applause)

Kathy Taylor (University and College Union) supported Composite Motion 5. She said: We clearly endorse everything that has been said by the speakers so far. I do not want to repeat it all, but I think it is important that all the unions involved in this struggle put their point of view forward to endorse in public the fact that our members have said, 'Enough is enough.'

The UCU would also like Ed Miliband to know that our members are proud to have taken two days of strike action in defence of their pensions already. We were very proud to have stood alongside our colleagues in the NUT, ATL and PCS on 30th June.

As so many of us have said before, it was action taken not as a first resort but in the face of this government's intransigence and their politically motivated attacks on our pensions under the fraudulent guise of reform. They are not content with cutting funding to colleges and universities. After attacks on our members' jobs and terms and conditions of pay, Cameron and his Cabinet of millionaires, in their relentless drive to make workers suffer for the failures of others, now want to make us suffer in the future by depriving us of a fair, decent and dignified retirement. It is nothing short of theft by this government of the accrual of benefits paid for by us. Our members have said, 'Enough.'

Trade unionists are very used to the management tactics of divide and rule, a tactic being used by this most reactionary of governments. It has sought to divide us from our students. It has said that we are making them suffer. No, just as we were united with our students in their fight on tuition fees and on EMA so our students are now fully behind us. They were there on 30th June and will be again in our fight to defend our pensions.

This government seeks to divide workers in the private and public sectors by pushing the myth that because comrades in the private sector have been treated disgracefully, we should be treated the same. It is their attempt to engage us all in a race to the bottom. No, this is an attack upon all workers.

Cutting public sector pensions does not improve the lot of those in the private sector. Our campaign has to be for fair and decent pensions for all. They seek to create division between us and what they call 'the public'. Mr. Cameron, we are the public. You say that we are placing an intolerable burden on the taxpayer. Mr. Cameron, we are taxpayers. The trade union movement must ensure that these tactics do not succeed.

Finally, Congress, that is why it is so vital to send a clear message to the government today that we will never give up our fight for fairness. We will use every means at our disposal. The UCU will be standing with our education union colleagues at the lobby on 26th October. It is going to be a massive lobby and demonstration. When reasoned argument and negotiations fail and the government want to impose changes then the UCU is ready, willing and very able. We will stand united with all our brothers and sisters in solidarity in industrial action to achieve justice and the victory that we deserve. (Applause)

Steve Gillan (POA) supported Composite Motion 5.

He said: In supporting Composite 5, I would like to start by paying tribute to Brendan Barber who has led from the front on this issue to pull all the public sector unions together with regard to all the different schemes. That is no mean feat and Brendan has done a magnificent job. Also, Dave Prentis, in chairing the PSLG, has also done a fantastic job in bringing everything together.

The POA is absolutely clear. We want meaningful negotiations so that we can get a deal for our members in the civil service and the NHS schemes. I am afraid there have not been any meaningful discussions at all. That is where Ed Miliband got it totally wrong yesterday. What he should have been doing is supporting public sector workers and stating, loudly and clearly, that the pension reforms in 2005 and 2006, led by a Labour government, were sustainable and affordable. He should have been shouting that from the rooftops but he failed miserably.

In relation to those reforms, prison officers who were employed before 1987 had a normal pension age of 55 on a final salary scheme. Those after 1987 retired at 60, a normal pension age. For those employed after 2007, with the reforms which Labour had carried out which we believed were fair and appropriate, there was a care scheme brought in for age 65. Therefore, reform has taken place.

We will not be a reckless union. The POA knows that there are 87,000 prisoners and we have to maintain safety for them. However, what I will say today is that prison officers, who are legally bound not to take action, will defy those anti-trade union laws and we will be there if there is no deal to be found in these negotiations. We will comply with the law in the NHS schemes - we have members at Carstairs, Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton - where we can take legitimate action and we will ballot there as necessary. Support the composite. Let us have coordinated action and take it to this government. (Applause)

Brian Strutton (GMB) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. He said: I am supporting the composite and, more importantly, addressing what is probably the biggest issue that has been facing our members and our movement for a generation, the call for industrial action to defend our pensions. I have been personally involved in all the negotiations that have taken place. I have probably tried as hard as anyone to make some progress and get some sense out of government but it is my judgement that those negotiations are not capable of reaching any sensible conclusion before the government's legislative programme to damage our members' pensions starts, so that means we do not have any more time to sit around talking about it.

The industrial ballot process has to start and it has to start now, and I confirm that that is what GMB intends to do. (Applause) We have drawn up our plans. We have our fighting fund in place; it is all ready to go. Believe you me, when it goes we are not talking about a day out and a bit of a protest, we are talking about something that is long and hard, and dirty as well. This is going to require days of action running through the winter, through into next year, following the government's legislative programme right into the summer. It is not nice little neat and comfortable bits of action that we are talking about. Those public sector workers that the politicians are happy to vilify most of the time will suddenly become essentially emergency workers, of course, because we are talking about hospitals, we are talking about ambulances, and we are talking about fire-fighters and the fire control rooms that run the operation, we are talking about refuse workers, we are talking about cemetery workers, we are talking about care workers, we are talking about meals-on-wheels staff, we are talking about a whole range of vital services. That is why we have to make sure, colleagues, that we get the right message across to the public.

We start with a good advantage. There are 12 million people in public sector pension schemes, people paying in, those that are deferred, and the pensioners, they are all taxpayers; 12 million people we start with on our side. We get across the argument about affordability; every academic study, the National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee, even the Hutton Report, says public sector pensions are affordable. George Osborne, who makes the first raid on pensions by the change to CPI, does not tell anyone that it saves £150bn of public sector pensions. We know he is a man who likes to have the whip hand. He is not going to have it in these negotiations. (Laughter)

We have to tell the public what has actually happened in these negotiations. We have not been allowed to negotiate what we pay. We are not allowed to negotiate what we get. We are not allowed to negotiate when we are going to get it. What is the point of negotiating? You would think we should be able to make some progress in local government, and I wind up on this point. There have been some significant negotiations taking place on the local government pension scheme over the last few days, very serious negotiations indeed, involving cabinet office ministers, local government ministers, treasury ministers, trying to make some changes for the local government scheme, but those negotiations have not been with us, they have been with council leaders. The Government have been negotiating with the leaders of local authorities about what cuts they want to the local government pension scheme. We are not even in the room. How can we conclude things properly when they are conducted like that? Colleagues, GMB is proud to support not just this composite but the move straightaway to industrial action ballots. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Helen Connor (Educational Institute of Scotland) spoke in support of Composite Motion 5. She said: I am very proud to be at this rostrum telling you that Scottish teachers are this week, as we meet here in London, informing our employers that we are ready to ballot for industrial action on pensions. (Applause) We may not have been with you in body on 30th June due to our term but rest assured, colleagues, we were with you in spirit.

Let us be very clear and very clear to Ed Miliband, the coalition, and any members of the press who have recently said that unions take strike action lightly. I do not believe any union in the country takes strike action lightly, and Scottish teachers certainly do not, but they have had enough. Teachers are very good at asking questions. I have a question for the coalition government and I have a question for Ed Miliband, and it is this: do you seriously expect our members to pay more, work longer, and get less at the end of it? I will tell you the answer Scottish teachers will give, and you will forgive me if it is a bit of a Scottish word, it is, our members are not daft. Our members know that their pensions are deferred salary and our members are not prepared to put up with this attack. (Applause) The answer is, Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg, Mr Miliband, and anybody else who is in any doubt, that Scottish teachers have had enough and they will be with you, colleagues, in November whenever this industrial action takes place. Thank you. (Applause)

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): Congress, this has been a long debate but a completely united debate, and rightly so. When the pension security of six million hardworking decent public service workers is at stake, it is crucial that we stand together. In our campaign so far we have demolished so many of the myths that the government have propagated on this issue. They said the system is unaffordable but even John Hutton's report and the OBR have confirmed that because of the major changes agreed only a few years ago the costs are set to fall, not to rise, in the decades ahead. They talked about so-called gold-plated pensions, a fallacy that has been comprehensively rebutted by John Hutton's report and is an insult to the millions of low-paid public servants retiring on less than £4,000 a year. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 directors continue to accumulate pension pots of millions. All in it together: I do not think so.

They sought to use John Hutton's report as an alibi for their arbitrary decision to impose contribution increases of over 3 per cent on members across the schemes when his report does not recommend such increases. This is the government seeking pure and simple to impose an extra tax on public servants to contribute to meeting the government's deficit reduction targets and nothing to do with the long-term sustainability of the schemes.

They talk about negotiations being the way forward rather than unions taking action. Let me be clear, that is overwhelmingly my preferred course. I know how difficult it is for low-paid workers already hit with an unjust pay freeze and fearful for their jobs to face the loss of income when they support a strike. Reasonable people instinctively prefer the idea of fair-minded negotiation rather than bloody-minded conflict, and dedicated public servants care passionately about maintaining the vital services that they deliver in their own communities, and they never take action lightly.

Of course we need wider public support and we are winning that support to put the government under growing pressure to move, but meaningful negotiations require two willing partners. (Applause) Where was the negotiation before the Chancellor stood up in the House of Commons on October 20th and completely out of the blue announced a savings target and the 3 per cent plus contribution increases? Answer, there was none. Where was the negotiation before he announced in last year's Budget the change of indexation from RPI to CPI, at a stroke wiping away 15 per cent of the value of the pension of every nurse, every teacher, every local authority home help and care worker, every civil servant, every fire-fighter? Answer, there was none. Where was the information repeatedly asked for by union negotiators on scheme valuation, demographic data, for example, the essential information without which no negotiator can fairly weigh up the options and the choices? Answer, there has been none.

Congress, I remain fully committed to exhausting every possible negotiating opportunity to resolve this issue without the need for further widespread industrial action. We will be meeting ministers again next week to engage in good faith in an effort to find a way forward but ministers have to come to the table with new ideas and in a new spirit to give those talks a chance to succeed. If those talks cannot make a breakthrough, unions are right and fully justified to plan for action.

Congress, I have asked for all public service unions to come together after the close of Congress this morning to be updated on those negotiations and also to consider together the next steps in our campaign for fairness, including coordinated industrial action if those negotiations do not yield a settlement. This morning's debate has shown immense unity of purpose and we may yet need to show that unity in further action. Let no one doubt that our resolve and determination to win fairness and justice is absolute. Support the composite. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 5 was CARRIED

Health and safety

The President: Delegates, I call Composite Motion 13, Health and safety. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Dennis Doody (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) moved Composite Motion 13. He said: I have to say that the last debate was an extremely important debate as far as the future of the pension schemes is concerned. I also have to say that I am equally disappointed that so many people have decided to leave the room when an equally important debate on health and safety is taking place. (Applause)

Congress, last year 170 workers were killed at work, a 14 per cent increase from last year. In construction there were 50 fatalities, a 20 per cent increase. Anyone with an ounce of humanity wants to reduce workplace deaths to ensure that families are not devastated when a loved one is killed at work. This Tory-led government have done exactly the opposite, rather than improving workplace safety they are tearing apart legislation. They believe that keeping workers safe is too great a burden for business.

There are continual attacks on our safety laws. Firstly, there was the ludicrous Lord Young Report by a man so out of touch he believed that the recession was a good thing. He recommended weakening the RIDDOR regulations. Weakening the RIDDOR regulations will not make companies take workplace safety more seriously, exactly the opposite will occur. The Young Report was just a rehearsal for a full onslaught of attacks on health and safety.

This Government is hammering the Health and Safety Executive. They will lose 35 per cent of their funding by 2015. The Health and Safety Executive was already starved of money and enforcement activities have fallen to an all time low. Already, following a fatal accident, just 30 per cent of construction companies are ever convicted, and even then the wheels of justice move very slowly. It takes three to four years to bring companies to court. Increasingly, companies are opting for administration to avoid large fines. Then, when they are fined, it is derogatory, sometimes as low (if you can believe this) as a pound. Comrades, that is not justice, in my eyes.

These cuts mean that the Health and Safety Executive cannot protect workers. The number of vitally needed unannounced inspections has been cut by 11,000 a year, and many industries no longer receive these crucial accident prevention measures. In construction, inspections remain but they will be fewer and focused on specific smaller sites. This is playing fast and loose with workers' lives. Employers can ignore safety laws safe in the knowledge that no one will catch them. This month the HSE's info line, which allowed workers and members of the public to report dangerous workplaces, closed so not only will workers be unprotected by inspectors, there will be no discreet way they can report that they are being placed in danger. Surely, this is a recipe for tragedy.

Attacks on safety regulations will continue. We are already braced for the results of the Lofstedt Review, which will soon report and is likely to call for the scrapping of more safety regulations. Unless we fight for safety at work, these attacks will continue. Rather than ensuring workers' safety, this government is interested in cheap headlines. It is a fundamental right to be safe at work. This government is destroying that right. The vast majority of workplace accidents are easily preventable. Government policies will increase accidents.

Now more than ever the trade union movement needs to defeat these policies and show how this Tory-led government has blood on its hands. If we do not take action, more and more workers will be killed and maimed at work. It is our responsibility to keep workers safe. We must fight for the safety of our members. I move. (Applause)

Luke Crawley (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) seconded Composite Motion 13. He said: First of all, on the previous debate, pensions are very, very important and it is right that people are prepared to strike to defend their pensions. We have already had our battles, which I do not think are over yet, with the employers where we have members in the BBC and elsewhere. I have to say that health and safety is essential in the workplace because without good health and safety practice you are not going to get to pick up that pension; you could die at work. That is why this is an important debate and I have to agree with the previous speaker, it is a shame that so many people got up and left the room.

We have BECTU members who work in permanent workplaces, radio studios, television studios and theatres. We have vigilance over safe working. It is essential. There are lights and scenery, literally, hanging over the workplace. We have good relationships with many of the employers there and very good health and safety practices. We have members who are health and safety reps in the workplace, and generally we are able to maintain standards to try and reduce, not eliminate but reduce to a very bare minimum, workplace injuries.

However, many, many thousands of our members do not work in a permanent workplace, they are on location where the workplace may change every day as the film or TV production proceeds, or it may be rigged for weeks on end. There are issues around working hours where people have to drive for an hour or two hours to get to work and then shoot for 12 hours, and then drive a further hour or two hours to get back again. So, they are a danger to themselves and whoever else they are driving because they are driving whilst exhausted.

When they are on location our members may need to rig lights, cameras and scenery in places that are dangerous in themselves, such as under water or on a mountainside. In the course of the shoot there may be fire and explosions. All of these present particular problems and by sticking to the principle of making the workplace safe by using established practices of health and safety it is possible to film safely so that actors are safe, and everybody else involved is safe, the camera crew, the lighting crew, are all safe. It is very, very important.

Another point about health and safety is that there are employers who will not discuss collective bargaining issues with us but will talk to us about health and safety. That is at least in part because they know there is a legislative sanction against them if they make a mistake. This government is determined to try and reduce that legislation. Lazy newspaper columnists write about what they call 'red tape' and 'health and safety gone mad'. It is not madness but essential rules to ensure safety at work. We must oppose this attempt to remove safety regulations and campaign against the cuts in funding for the HSE. Please support the motion. (Applause)

The President: In order to speed up the process, I have been informed that the United Road Transport Union and the National Union of Mineworkers are supporting the composite but they do not wish to speak. I will call Unite next. Thanks very much.

Mick Forbes (Unite) supported Composite Motion 13.

He said: This is my first Congress. I have sat through all the debates and I was praying I would not follow Bob Crow. After that excellent debate on pensions, I wish I was following him now. As the previous speaker said, health and safety is important. Chair, congress, I am speaking in support of Composite 13 and the Unite amendment raising the issue of occupational deaths on the road.

Unite representatives, many professional drivers, lorry drivers, bus drivers, van drivers, when they are driving they are at work. Their cabs, their seats, their vehicles, are their place of work. Currently, one in three company drivers has an accident each year. The reasons for these accidents include fatigue and time pressures. If they are killed while driving they are killed at work. It is estimated that around a third of road traffic accidents in the UK are work related. The World Health Organisation predicts road traffic accidents will rise to be in the top five causes of death by the year 2030. Employers do not have to report any deaths or accidents on the roads as workplace accidents. Unite members have been killed at work, on the roads, on a regular basis. Recognising a death as an occupational death means that the HSE and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the VOSA, enforcement agencies have to work together to investigate and prevent these deaths.

We want professional drivers to be given all the rights that other people have at work. We want their deaths to be prevented. We want proper investigation of the causes of any workplace accident that affects them. Any working driver deserves these rights. The huge toll of deaths on the roads must end and management must stop paying lip service to health and safety. Support. Thank you. (Applause)

Helen Andrews (National Union of Teachers) supported Composite Motion 13. She said: Congress, on 22nd March 1993 four teenagers died in the Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy as a result of a series of errors and circumstances that should not have happened. Those young people were taking part in an adventure activity organised by an outdoor activity centre. At that time in 1993 a variety of voluntary accreditation schemes were all that regulated such organisations; indeed, only a third of activity centres were accredited. At the trial of the company and the manager, the judge said that the potential for injury or death was too obvious to be left to the inadequate vagaries of self-regulation. The campaign at the time for proper regulation, supported by the NUT, eventually led via an act of parliament to the establishment of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, which has been working since 1995 to regulate and register organisations providing exciting opportunities in the outdoors for our children and young people. But this government with its obsession for deregulation has decided to scrap those statutory rules and return to a voluntary system, a system that has clearly previously failed our young people, and we know what will happen, not all companies will be registered. Schools and parents will not be able to have confidence in the safety standards of outdoor centres. Will it take another Lyme Bay tragedy before we return to proper regulation?

Congress, health and safety legislation is absolutely fundamental to a safe working environment for all workers and those they work with. From the efforts to improve safety and reduce child labour through the Mines and Factory Acts through to current legislation and the work of safety reps, safety at work has improved and deaths and injuries have reduced. We must not, we cannot, allow such fundamental rights to be taken away from us. We must have a high profile campaign uniting workers across all sectors to retain and improve our safety legislation. Please support this motion. (Applause)

Sue Ferns (Prospect) spoke in support of Composite Motion 13. She said: Prospect is the union representing professional staff in the HSE. The HSE's mission is to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health. This includes securing justice for victims of poor health and safety and working in the public interest. HSE's current strategy launched in June 2009 was designed to ensure that risk management is an enabler for business, not a burden. This is an important point because despite Lord Young's efforts last year to link health and safety to the alleged compensation culture, he was forced in the end to recognise that perception, not reality, is a large part of the problem.

So, what price evidence-based policy-making? The reality, Congress, is that the government did not blink twice before introducing deregulatory proposals for reform in March this year. Amongst other changes the new framework, innocuously entitled, Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone, will see an end to unannounced inspections across the whole of the public sector as well as in public transport, road haulage, airports, and a range of manufacturing industries, including light and electrical engineering. That is quite a list. Proactive inspections will also end in agriculture and quarries.

The minister acknowledges that these are high-risk sectors but he does not agree that pro-active inspection is an effective intervention tool. Our members disagree and so, too, do most of the industry bodies in these sectors. Let's be clear, this is a big deal, particularly after a year in which fatal accidents have risen and the proportion of fatal and major injuries investigated has fallen to just one in 19. If you factor in the HSE's budget cut of 35 per cent and the loss of over 200 HSE staff through redundancy in February this year, you can see that there is plenty to be worried about.

The government has also published proposals for cost recovery through a so-called fee for intervention. Whilst HSE has long recovered costs for work that it does in high hazard industries, such as offshore oil and gas, this is a completely different proposition for a totally different environment. Charging by the hour will, in our view, discourage employers from working with HSE inspectors to develop solutions to problems and encourage them to minimise contact in order to minimise cost. There is also a real danger that currently positive professional relationships will be replaced by antagonism and conflict.

Prospect has no fears about evidence-based reform of the UK's occupational health and safety system and we support social dialogue to develop shared creative and genuine solutions to reform. If that is what the Lofstedt Review was about, we would support it but the new health and safety framework means Prof. Lofstedt does not start from a level playing field and so faces a huge challenge to deliver the right result. Whether he has the appetite for it remains to be seen, but we certainly do. Support the motion. (Applause)

Paula Brown (Public and Commercial Services Union) spoke in support of Composite Motion 13.

She said: I work at the Health and Safety Executive and I am a PCS rep. Everybody has heard about the cuts, everybody has heard about the change to RIDDOR reporting, and you have heard about the closure of the info line. What you may not know is that in 2004 we had 4,282 staff and at the end of July we were down to 2,995 staff. The cuts are having a real impact on HSE and how HSE can operate. The info line closes in a couple of weeks; instead, people are going to be directed to a website. I think it is simplistic to believe that everybody who phones up and wants some advice on health and safety is going to be able to have access to a website or have English as a first language and be comfortable with using the web to get information instead of being able to talk to somebody for advice. The Prospect delegate has just spoken about the introduction of cost recovery. If an inspector calls and a business is found to be at fault, then that requires some formal action on behalf of the inspector, and HSE will send out an invoice. You will be able to appeal that but how many people will be able to cope with the process and procedures that will surround that system.

The HSE is trying to negotiate with the minister to enable it to keep the cash that comes back from any cost recovery but it is no guarantee that they will be able to do that. If you couple those changes along with the change from reactive work to proactive work, we are expecting HSE inspectors only to make about 15,000 inspections a year. Ten years ago the figure was 75,000 inspections a year.

Next week when I go back to the office we will have our weekly meeting and we are going to talk to our senior management team and we are going to ask them what exactly they plan to do with any cash should they be able to keep it from cost recovery. They are not allowed to spend it on increased staffing so we will not have inspectors. They are not allowed to keep it for communications because of the government ban on communications spend. They are closing offices so what exactly are they going to spend it on. At the moment we do not know and we suspect they do not know.

We have European Health and Safety Awareness Week at the end of October. There are lots of campaigns that will be going on in support of health and safety standards. The TUCG will be running a campaign, Hazards no doubt will, and so will FACK (Families Against Corporate Killers), so please go back, please ask your members to support those campaigns, and let's keep up the pressure on Cameron and his cronies who are obsessed with deregulation. Please support the composite. (Applause)

Ruth Strong (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) spoke in support of Composite Motion 13. She said: I am a health and safety rep speaking on behalf of the RMT, and for the first time at a TUC Congress. It is terrifying. (Applause) Thank you.

Tories do not like health and safety. They say it is an unproductive cost and we all know what 'unproductive costs' means, it means they get rid of it. Despite the already draconian cuts to the HSE and the gap between inspections, the planned inspections growing year on year, we still have a review that wants to cut health and safety regulation.

The purpose of the review by Lord Young was not just to review the operation of health and safety law but it was also to review the growth of the compensation culture. What compensation culture? Somebody who loses a limb, somebody who leaves a family when they die, are they not entitled to some financial help? The Young Report reads like the evidence has been gathered from tabloid headlines. The compensation culture, he said, is driven by litigation, and it is a problem. What evidence he then presents comes from the headlines and the adverts from daytime TV. He summarises it by presenting all the myths and the scare stories, which demonstrate ignorance of health and safety regulation rather than over-regulation. He uses popular phrases like, 'preventing burdens on industry', 'easing the administrative burden', 'freeing the system from bureaucracy', the sorts of things we have heard before. The conclusions show that ignorance of health and safety among businesses is a major problem. To me, a viable business should have more health and safety inspectors to visit, more visits to help and even put safety management systems in place, but we have accredited consultants. That is another effort to have privatisation to put profit before safety. So, even without an increase in the inspectorate we have a move for promotion of green jobs, creation of jobs, green jobs like new industries, new risks. We may need more regulation.

The government again will say health and safety is a disproportion burden on industry; they mean on profit. What about disproportionate burden on the 171 families of the 171 people who were killed last year, the disproportionate burden on those who have been injured, and on the thousands who suffer industrial and occupational ill health which will last for the rest of their lives? I have one more thing to say before the light goes red, and to coin a phrase from Hazards, and from FACK, 'We did not vote to die at work.' Please support the motion. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 13 was CARRIED

Work-related stress

The President: I now call Composite Motion 14, Work-related stress. The General Council supports the composite motion.

Joanna Brown (The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists) moved Composite Motion 14. She said: Congress, stress is a persistent problem in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that in the year 2009/2010 about 9.8 million working days were lost through work-related stress and 435,000 workers in Great Britain suffer from the stress caused or made worse by their current or past work.

Congress, we are not talking about the day-to-day pressures that occur in any workplace and keep us on our toes. Severe stress can trigger a myriad of health problems for workers, including depression, anxiety, and even a 50 per cent greater risk of heart disease. Severe stress can lead to workplace injuries, and even suicide. Congress, things are getting worse. Both the British Academy and The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development blame the economic downturn for a sharp rise in workplace stress. Many people who still have jobs are suffering from job insecurity and are being put under pressure to work longer hours. In the public sector a fifth of workers think they are likely to lose their jobs and a quarter say they have to work increased hours. According to a study by the University of Manchester, work stress has increased since 1992, especially for women. In the past year these levels have risen at an alarming rate and there are no effective measures in place to prevent the situation from worsening.

Stress is a significant problem in the NHS, which has been ordered to make £20bn worth of costs savings over four years. This is beginning to have a serious effect on patients and also on staff. In podiatry there is mounting evidence that our members are suffering increased stress levels as a result of the cuts. Podiatry posts are being downgraded and members are having to reapply for their own jobs. Appointment times are being reduced. Centralised booking and record-keeping systems are being brought in with little training or back-up and clinics are overrunning as members struggle to cope. There is an increase in grievances and disciplinaries and members are leaving the service and claiming constructive dismissal. In some areas patients who previously received NHS podiatry services are being discharged because trusts can no longer afford to treat them. It is podiatrists on the front line who have to tell elderly vulnerable patients that they are no longer eligible for treatment and deal with the confrontations, complaints, and local media outrage that invariably follow.

These situations create high levels of anxiety and ill health for our members but I must make it clear, particularly to our friends in the FDA who are joining us in this composite, that although the original society motion focused on the stress being experienced by frontline clinicians, this does not mean we are manager-bashing. The society has many podiatry managers in membership and they too are finding it difficult to cope with the stress created by the cuts. This is a quote from an experienced podiatry manager in the northwest who has recently been through a reorganisation: 'At present I am running a 17.2 vacancy rate not including sickness or maternity leave. The only posts that are getting through vacancy management are those where patients will die unless the post is recruited to. Personally I have gone for early retirement after 25 years as a service manager. I can't stomach ripping up services that my colleagues have worked long and hard to build up.'

As the motion says, stress is the unseen side of the cuts agenda. Union campaigns against the cuts have rightly focused on people losing their jobs but we must also highlight the unacceptable levels of stress being experienced by people who still have jobs. Stress is damaging for individuals but it is also damaging for organisations. If employers do not take measures to mitigate stress levels, this will only lead to greater absenteeism and when the recovery comes we may just find there is nobody left. So, our simple request is for the TUC to highlight in our publicity and our campaigns the steep and damaging rise in workplace stress that has been created by the cuts. Please support. (Applause)

Jeff Brice (FDA) seconded Composite Motion 14.

He said: My members are senior public servants, the people who run tax offices and benefit offices, inspect schools and prosecute those coming before the courts. They are currently being expected to bear a very high burden for the economic crisis. They have become the scapegoats for the failings of politicians along with many other public servants. There is no doubt that individually they are facing very tough times, a two-year pay freeze, an unrestrained attack on their pensions and job losses in their thousands. Taking one at a time these things are extremely stressful, taken together they amount to a direct assault on people's health, a risk to their physical health, and a risk to their mental wellbeing.

Estimates vary on the number of public sector workers who will lose their jobs. The Independent Office for Budget Responsibility originally estimated that 400,000 jobs would be cut by 2015. That figure was then revised down to 330,000, but whatever the actual figure it is clear that cuts are being made on an unprecedented scale. For those directly affected the consequences are profoundly difficult. These effects are compounded by the culture of uncertainty that pervades the workplace. NHS clinical staff deal face-to-face with patients and the wider public on a day-to-day basis. It is a stressful and difficult job at the best of times.

Less popular, perhaps, but equally important are senior managers in the NHS and public services, who are my members. The problem they face in this period of upheaval is double-edged. Their own job may well disappear and at the same time they have the onerous responsibility for managing staff whose jobs are also at risk. These are the people responsible for ensuring that key public services are maintained. Senior managers are often working well in excess of their contracted hours and not only does this create stress, all the recent evidence points to an increased risk in other diseases, including heart disease, an increased risk of 67 per cent for those working more than 11 hours a day and this risk is compounded if individuals have other risk factors.

Management standards produced by the Health and Safety Executive have a role in making sure demands put on people are not excessive but, ultimately, responsibility rests with the government and other employers to ensure that people are working in a safe environment, the organisational changes are properly managed, and that people are properly supported. Unless the causes of stress are tackled this silent and debilitating illness will claim many more casualties. We must be vigilant. We must work together to highlight this unseen threat. We must not allow employers to play fast and loose with our members' health. I urge you to support this motion. Thank you. (Applause)

* Composite Motion 14 was CARRIED

Maximum working temperature (health and safety)

The President: Now I call Motion 79, Maximum working temperature (health and safety). The General Council supports the motion.

Ronnie Draper (Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union) moved Motion 79. He said: I would like to start off by saying a big thank you to the Trade Union Coordinating Group for the work they have done, along with John McDonnell of our own Parliamentary Group, in bringing this age-old problem to the fore. I would also like to take the opportunity to highlight the Cool it! Campaign, which we are launching today. We will be sending out press briefings this afternoon. It is a campaign that highlights one of the biggest threats and the biggest problems facing workers in the UK, and one of the potential dangerous hazards in work, that is, working in extremes of temperature. I actually believe we came near to achieving a maximum working temperature under the auspices of Lord McKenzie but, unfortunately, in 2010 we had a change of government and now we have Cameron trivialising health and safety, we have Grayling talking about something he does not know anything about, that is health and safety, and at all stages we are being obstructed.

Comrades, we actually had a talk with the civil servants about this problem and they brought together a seminar of like-minded people, and some people in this room actually took part in that. They had a consultant called Ray Kemp. I do not know where they got him from but this guy had absolutely no knowledge of working in temperatures other than he did confess that he had worked in Australia; I think he was probably a deckchair attendant or something. From there the Health and Safety Executive have continued to ignore the call for a maximum working temperature and instead they offered us industry specific guidance, not the food industry, the baking industry, and we were never ever looking for that.

Our campaign has never been about standing at the end of a bread oven alone, it is about the people who work in foundries, it is about teachers who are in under-ventilated classrooms, it is about the people in catering and those who work on trains and in small galleys, it is about anybody who works in a temperature that they find uncomfortable. Our campaign has never been about stopping the job. It has been about getting trigger points where control measures kick in. It is about getting a level of consistency that employers will follow rather than leaving it to them to decide. More importantly, it is about how we protect workers.

The HSE, and all the companies that we deal with, have never been involved in recording statistics on thermal discomfort, neither is there any record of how many people have had injuries at work caused by working with temperature. Of course, there has never been a long-term study done into what the effects will be of working in extremes of temperature. Then, again, stress was never thought to be dangerous until we did a long-term study and found out what a killer it is. We would like the same sort of study to be done on working with maximum temperatures.

We had protracted debates in a ministerial meeting and at the end of it we came out with the guidance, as I say, that we did not want. It shows the futility of guidance when they offer it on health and safety. We had guidance, and bear in mind this is the baking industry they made it for, which said employers should consider allowing the dress code to be relaxed and that you did not have to wear ties and stuff like that. We do not wear ties in a bakery and neither do we wear duffle coats, and neither do we wear Ugg boots; it is too hot in a bakery. This is the sort of thing we had: we should consider changing the process, the time of the day and where the process goes. It is a 24-hour process. When do we move it and where do we move it to? It is hot all the time. They talk about moving to a place where it is a lot cooler. We have some bakeries with 1,000 people in them. Do they all go along to the managing director's office or sit in the back of a car because that is the only cool place there happens to be in that factory?

This is where we are up to. They talked about communication for managers, what managers should do, and they said, 'Please let your manager know if you are uncomfortable.' We have been doing this for years. This is the problem we have with the campaign and this is why we have it today. The last one he said was, if 20 per cent of people complain about heat then you should consider doing something. Of course, if I am in a bakery of 100 and 19 people are complaining, I am all right. If 19 do not complain, then whether I sweat or faint, or drop dead, so far as they are concerned it does not matter, it is still only advisory.

Comrades, guidance has absolutely no teeth whatsoever as a company can ignore it, so for all these reasons we want to ensure that this campaign carries on, irrespective of the colour of governments. We do not want industry guidance; we want protection for the working population of this country. I am going to finish off just by saying we urge you to get in touch with your parliamentary groups and the MPs that you work with to promote this campaign, to promote the Cool it! Campaign, and to get your MPs to sign early day motion 2151. We urge the TUC to use their good offices to pursue this topic. With the Cool it! Campaign, the TUCG Campaign, and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union campaign, together we can end this misery that blights the lives of millions of people. (Applause)

Owen Herbert (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) seconded Motion 79. He said: Many of our RMT members in transport and in maritime suffer under high temperatures, in particular with hard, strenuous, physical jobs whether it be on ship or on train, or actually on track. Saying that, a lot of people may think our track workers would not really be subjected to high temperature, in particular with the summer months that we have had recently. In Britain we do have some high temperatures and therefore track workers, in particular, suffer not just with high temperatures working outside but, obviously, the effects of sunlight and the risks that that brings along.

For maritime members, in particular working in engine rooms and galley kitchens where space is extremely tight, it is extremely strenuous activity/work and obviously with the protective clothing that individuals have to wear it puts an extra burden on their physical ability to work in high temperatures. I am a chef on board trains between Swansea and London Paddington, working on board rolling stock that is well in its 30-year old timeframe at the moment, and with privatisation coming in and the lack of maintenance on the rolling stock that we have in our transportation network many of you will have experienced high temperatures just being passengers in the summer months when the air-conditioning and fans are not working on our high-speed trains, so think what it is like in a small kitchen on board a train, in particular if there are delays when we are stuck there for three, four, maybe sometimes five hours. It is not a matter of taking a tie off or taking a jacket off, I would love to strip down to my underpants but, believe you me, it is not a pretty sight and it will put you off your food. (Laughter) My food is not all that good, anyway. (Laughter) Obviously, there is a funny side to it but there is a serious side to it as well. Proper legislation needs to be put in place to protect our members in all industries whether they work in offices, aeroplanes, trains, buses, railways, and the maritime sector, give them a proper level of working conditions, comfortable working conditions. So, Congress, I ask you to support. Thank you. (Applause)

The President: I have an indication that the ATL wish to speak but I would be grateful if they waived that because we are way behind time as a result of the pensions debate. (Agreed) Thanks very much. I am very grateful for that.

* Motion 79 was CARRIED

World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions and EU trade agreements

The President: I call Motion 70, World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions and EU trade agreements. The General Council supports the motion.

Alex Gordon (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) moved Motion 70. He said: This is a bit of a mouthful, delegates, but I will try to make this as painless as possible after the exciting morning that you have had. I want to say to you clearly and concisely this morning that of all the important debates we have had today, and this week, this matter deserves your attention because it contains within it potentially the greatest threat to trade unionism, collective bargaining, and workers' rights in the UK. It bears with it a potentially horrific scenario of the reintroduction of forms of labour that we thought we had seen abolished in this country long ago, which bear comparison with indentured servitude and which will affect almost every affiliate in this room.

Most shockingly, the negotiations over the proposed Free Trade Agreement have been conducted in such secrecy that very little information has been brought to the attention of delegates or the wider public. However, what we do know should alarm us and call us to action. The 2009 Lisbon Treaty strengthened the European Union Trade Commission's competency to negotiate trade on behalf of member states, in particular removing member states' governance right to veto those agreements. Hitherto, the World Trade Organisation has been the main focus for trade negotiations since its founding in 1995 but as the Doha round of talks stalled over the last decade the EU itself has embarked on a programme of bilateral and regional agreements. There was a CARA form, an Economic Partnership Agreement in December 2009 and a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea that gained European Parliament assent in February of this year. It is a new EU agreement that is especially significant for the UK and in the final stages of negotiation right now is the EU India Free Trade Agreement. This centrally concerns opening up the Indian banking sector to the UK financial services market and crucially and of relevance to us in this room in return it concerns granting new rights to transnational corporations to move labour across borders without any concern for workers' rights whatsoever. In undertaking the trade commitments within the EU India Free Trade Agreement, states commit to giving transnational corporations the same rights as domestic firms but also to limit their own statutory constitutional rights to control the activities of transnationals. An inevitable corollary of this process is that governments' policy space to adjust economic and industrial policy or to introduce social or environmental protection legislation, as well as workers' rights, are lost forever to corporate power.

This part of trading services dressed up as a trade technicality in fact represents a massive, massive ideological shift handing control of key questions, such as labour migration, to transnational corporations and it is labelled by the World Trade Organisation as mode 4. The WTO has neatly divided all the possible ways of supplying cross-border services into four modes: mode 1. services sent, such as by the internet; mode 2, where consumers cross borders, such as with tourism or with the foreign student market; mode 3, where a company establishes itself across borders; and mode 4, where workers are brought across borders.

It is crucial to understand in this debate that where a transnational corporation under the proposed Free Trade Agreement establishes itself in both London and Delhi and contracts a worker in Delhi to work on a contract in London, that worker will have no legal right to remain in London or in Britain, that worker will have no legal redress within the legislation of this country, and that worker will effectively be being used as a form of indentured labour, something which we have not seen for many, many years in this country, but it is on the return.

What I want to say to you, delegates, is that there has been a great fear of speaking out about the enormous repercussions of these negotiations but it incumbent upon us to sound the alarm now. The TUC has correspondence with Vince Cable in relation to this matter which should alarm us all. We support the TUC's action on this matter but it is time that we let our members know that labour rights are universal and must be protected, and we should call for the content of this Free Trade Agreement to be exposed to public scrutiny and parliamentary scrutiny, and we should speak out against it in this forum. Thank you. (Applause)

Fern McCaffrey (GMB) seconded Motion 70.

She said: Free Trade Agreements, or in short, FTAs, are being negotiated in secret by the European Commission as part of the EU 2006 strategy entitled, Global Europe Competing in the World, with the express purpose of promoting complete deregulation for the benefit of large European corporations, the FTA's aim at the highest possible degree of trade liberalisation. This is to facilitate penetration by European capital through chapters on trade in goods, services, investments, public procurement, and rules for competition seeking total reciprocity in the shortest possible timeframe. Reciprocal FTAs between countries and regions are highly unequal and benefit only a small number of transnational companies able to compete in international markets. They have a negative effect on the ability of nation states to foster national and local economic development and to promote and protect human rights. Scant regard is paid to internationally agreed conventions on worker rights and it is a disgrace that the EU is blithely pressing on with FTAs in Colombia and Central America where trade unionists and their families are being threatened, harassed, abducted and murdered.

India has not ratified four core ILO labour conventions, including number 87 on freedom of association and number 98 on the right to organise and collectively bargain. A damning new ITUC report shows the authorities do not always respect the right to peaceful assembly and thousands of detentions and arrests are reported every year. Discrimination, child labour, and forced labour, are prevalent in Indian society but the state does little or nothing to confront the problems.

We should insist that the veil of secrecy is removed from the negotiation of FTAs and that there is full consultation with all relevant civil organisations, especially trade unions, at every stage; that the investor state dispute settlement mechanism is rejected but local measures designed to protect or enhance public policy are respected; clauses converting private contracts into matters of international law are jettisoned and firm obligations are imposed on international governments and investors in the area of human rights, environmental protection, decent work, corporate accountability, and transparent tax arrangements. Congress, I second this motion. (Applause)

The President: We have had an indication from Unite that it wishes to speak, but in the interests of progress and time constraints, is Unite willing to withdraw the right to speak? (Agreed) Thank you. We will turn to the vote.

* Motion 70 was CARRIED


The President: I now call paragraphs 5.2 (Building stronger unions) and 5.6 (Ensuring more people have rights at work) of the General Council Report. I understand that RMT wish to raise a point.

Glenroy Watson (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) spoke to paragraphs 5.2 and 5.6 of the General Council Report. He said: Congress, I have a quick question. When I read the General Council Report as far as Haiti is concerned, it clearly does not address some of the issues that we are all aware of. Millions of pounds have been collected by charities, yet two years after a devastating earthquake people are still living in tents in Haiti. Clearly, this is an area that we must challenge as to what is happening. Clearly, money is put into banks and interest is being earned and being spent on charities rather than the people who are suffering in Haiti. Could the General Council make a statement on that issue as well as giving out leaflets on cholera, which was imported by the UN?

Gail Cartmail (General Council) replied on behalf of the General Council. She said: President and Congress, the TUC is working with the International Trade Union Confederation, the ITUC, to help Haiti's unions to rebuild their movement and, of course, their economy. We have some sympathy for charities who are finding it difficult to spend the money that was so generously donated by the public, but Glenroy is quite right that they absolutely do need to get a move on. They also need to pay local reconstruction workers a living wage. That is why we are working with colleagues in the region to make sure they do.

The President: Does Congress accept the response? (Agreed)

Peace in the Middle East/South Asia

The President: I turn to Motion 71 - Peace in the Middle East/South Asia. The General Council supports the motion.

Andrew Murray (Unite) moved Motion 71. He said: President, on Monday morning you asked delegates to renew this movement's commitment to world peace. What this motion does is address that very issue, which has been most scarred by endless wars over the last decade and beyond, wars for which British governments have been deeply responsible.

This motion addresses several issues of tremendous importance. The one on which I can be briefest is the question of Palestine, not because it is not of central importance but we all know that experience of the last 60 years teaches us that there will be no peace in the Middle East without justice for the Palestinian people. (Applause) However, this issue was thoroughly debated last year at Congress. Basically, our motion, with the welcome amendments from PCS, which we are accepting, seeks to strengthen that basic position. Of course, our main new demand this year must be that the British government give all out, 100 per cent support to the demand for recognition of a Palestinian state when it is discussed at the United Nations' General Assembly later on.

Of course, there is at least one other thing that is essential for peace in the Middle East, and that is a new Middle East Peace Envoy, because the present one is almost beyond parody. He stands there, apparently robed in white, on the banks of the Jordan, baptising the next generation of Murdochs while calling for a new war against Iran and Syria. (Applause) This is a war addict as a peace envoy. Frankly, Tony Blair shouldn't be paddling around in the holy river. He ought to be taken to where he can account for his aggressive actions over the last ten years instead.

Libya. Of course, there may be some colleagues who will think that the situation in Libya has changed and has changed for the better, but we need to be very careful on this issue. For one thing, David Cameron is now saying that interventionism is back. That is the last thing that the Middle East or the world needs. Let us remember, that David Cameron sought support for this war in Libya on the basis of one issue only: the protection of civilians. Well, if it was about protecting civilians, quite apart from the absurdity of bombing them in order to protect them, why did the British government brush aside one ceasefire proposal after another, and even now it continues to brush aside all peace proposals from the African Union and from anywhere else? It is hypocrisy. This is another war about regime change in an oil rich Arab country. (Applause)

Of course, we must hope that the new regime in Libya will be an improvement on the old one, although it is largely led by people who are deeply involved in the old one. I would only draw delegates' attention to the fact that Amnesty International, just yesterday, said that the new regime has been guilty of major human rights abuses already, particularly in the persecution of black Africans living in Libya. So we must reaffirm the position that was taken by Unite, UNISON and other unions earlier on this year that this war was a mistake. In particular, we must reject the idea once and for all that is so prevalent in Westminster that the British government has the right to choose which regimes around the world are legitimate and which are not, and can intervene to impose regime change. (Cheers and applause)

In relation to Afghanistan, I believe the issues are even clearer and starker. This is a war that has now been going on for ten years, as long as the two world wars put together, and it has been going on for at least nine-and-a-half years after its original object, which was removing the bases of those responsible for the terrible atrocities of 9/11 was accomplished. It is now a war to prop up a discredited pro-western regime, which is officially the most corrupt regime in the world, which passes legislation banning women from leaving home without a male escort, which has presided over an epic increase in opium production and has now democratic legitimacy or credibility. This is a war even more dangerous in its regional implications, possibly, than the war in Iraq. It is now spreading into Pakistan, a nuclear armed country, and destabilising the situation there. It is fraught with disaster and it should be brought to an end now. There is not a single general, diplomat or expert anywhere in the world who now believes that this war can be won. Everyone knows it will have to end in a political settlement and a political negotiation involving all parties in Afghanistan. It is wrong that David Cameron should say that he won't even think about withdrawing until 2014. That will mean the loss of life of hundreds more British soldiers, drawn, often economic conscripts, from deprived communities, in a war that is utterly pointless, utterly unjust and nothing more will be achieved. Our withdrawal from Afghanistan should begin now and without any further delay.

We ought to have a couple of questions for David Cameron. If this is an age of austerity, how can you find £4 billion a year to attack Afghanistan? How come your 'Big Society' is big enough to occupy Afghanistan and bomb Libya but not big enough to keep open care homes and libraries here at home? (Cheers and applause) These are all good reasons, comrades, why our movement should, today, once more assert that the cause of labour is the cause of peace. Thank you. (Cheers and applause)

Hugh Lanning (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded the motion. He said: Congress, we are supporting and seconding the motion the Middle East and Palestine. I want to thank Unite for not only putting the motion and how they have moved it, but also for accepting the amendment. I want to focus a little more on Palestine.

When the Israeli embassy in Cairo was attacked, Obama called Egypt to tell them to honour its international obligations. Cameron told Egypt to meet its responsibilities under the Vienna Convention. If they had expended as much energy in telling Israel to comply with international law, the attack would not have happened in the first place. They should tell Israel to end the occupation, to end the siege of Gaza and to bring down the wall. At the Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe earlier this week, the Palestinian ambassador made the plea that we should call settlements what they really are - colonies. Israel is not interested in a two state solution. Every day it is making it less possible. That is the importance of the UN vote on recognising Palestine as an independent state. Over 60 years ago the UN voted to create Israel. The other bit of that resolution, which was a free Palestine, remains just a resolution. It is that history that means that resolutions are not enough. The global boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is necessary and is having an increasing impact.

The TUC/PSC campaign on settlement goods means that eight out of nine supermarkets now refuse to stock settlement goods. Morrisons: 'This is a cheap cut too far.' Agrexco, the largest exporter of settlement goods, is going bankrupt. Veolia has withdrawn from many countries. Ahava has had to close its flagship shop in London.

At the PCS's trade union conference, which will take place here, on 29th October, we will be discussing how to take forward the joint campaign against complicit firms. Launched with the postcard with the TUC, 'Don't buy into the Israeli occupation', we need to develop that campaign to target those who profit from Israel's illegal occupation, settlements and the wall.

The PCS amendment seeks to extend that principle to our relations with other organisations in Israel. There are organisations that PCS and PSC have contact with within Israel: Sawt Al-Amal, now called The Arab Workers' Union In Israel, Cav Laved, Breaking The Silence, and many more. We have supported striking workers in Israel.

The motion asks all unions to review, and we mean to review, the relations they have, including those with Histradut, but most unions have no relationship. In judging who to work with, we say judge them on what they do. Do they support international law or are they complicit with its breach? The anti-democratic law being passed by the Knesset which is aimed at those who support the boycott, means that our campaign is having some effect.

In coming to a conclusion, today let's decide not to buy into the Israeli occupation, not to buy goods or work with organisations that are complicit. Israel must honour international law. The UN, Obama and the EU should be making Palestine a reality, not blocking their freedom. Support the motion and support Palestine.

Alex Gordon (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) opposed the motion. He said: President, I do not wish to take up a lot of your time. My union fully supports the position reached by the Congress last year on Israel/Palestine. We welcome the resolution here from Unite. We are rising to draw attention to the wording in the amendment from PCS, which we believe contains, perhaps inadvertently, an unfortunate connotation. In particular, I am addressing the second part of the PCS amendment which is calling on review their bi-lateral relations with all Israeli organisations. I was very pleased to have heard my friend, Hugh Lanning, making clear the close working relation with Cav Laved, with Sawt Al-Amal and, indeed, my union has welcomed the Workers' Advice Centre, Munn, to our conference in previous years. We have supported the class struggle that is going on now by workers in Israel, and we fully intend to continue to support Israeli workers, Palestinian workers and Arab Israeli workers, who are fighting for peace and workers' rights today in Israel. However, we are concerned about the implication in the second part of the PCS amendment, which calls for a review of bilateral relations with all Israeli organisations. Our view is that we should be supporting the Israeli peace movement, we should be supporting the Israeli trade union movement, where it stands up for Palestinian national rights, and that is the route to peace in the Middle East. That is the best commitment that we can give. For that reason, we won't be supporting the resolution as it stands. Thank you.

* Motion 71 was CARRIED


The President: I call Motion 72, Egypt. The General Council supports the motion.

Alan McLean (Fire Brigades' Union) moved Motion 72 He said: President, just so Congress is aware, such is the importance being put on this motion in Egypt by the emerging trade unions in Egypt, this debate is going to be translated immediately and distributed to all Egyptian trade unions. I know that there are two Egyptian translators - two sisters - who we met yesterday. I don't think they quite get the Geordie 'Good luck' in the translation.

Delegates, like me you will have watched what happened in Egypt unfold with some amazement and trepidation at first, but we watched a trickle become a deluge. That deluge, after decades of exploitation, torture and repression, meant that the Egyptians succeeded in moving out Mubarak, one of the longest serving dictators on the planet. Workers did that! Workers united did that.

I have witnessed lots of acts of heroism and bravery, but the bravery of those people who, in their thousands, took on the armed gangs and the secret police, braving tear gas and bullets, will stay with me until my dying day. They are the heroes in this deluge.

One thing which has become clear to me was the role of all workers in finally seeing off Mubarak. There was an explosion of worker struggles in the final week before Mubarak fell. Workers in the Post Office, the public transport, buses and garages, including the Suez Canal service companies, organised strikes. As we heard yesterday, teachers and lecturers played a big part in the struggle. The strike was quickly broadened out, bringing at least 300,000 workers out on strike by 9th February. It was this action that tipped the balance and helped bring down Mubarak. When the history of Egypt is written, it will show that organised workers made the difference.

The role of the Egyptian workers was not all important this year. We know that previous worker struggles prepared the ground for the momentous events earlier this year, and this Congress had input into that. Kamal Abass, who is well-known to this TUC, has been supported by our unions for many years. We were inspired by his personal story when he came to our conference in May. We were inspired by his ability to organise his members. He organised massively among the steel industry. I remember that in 1989 he organised steel workers in Helwan. I have been very lucky over the years to meet a number of heroes, some of them because I work in the Fire Brigade. They perform heroism and acts of heroism almost daily throughout the country, but to me a true hero is somebody from the working class, who will stand up for his rights. Believe me, Kamal Abass did that, despite imprisonment, beatings, more imprison and more beatings. He retained his values.

We also learnt about Kamal's underground trade union organising at our conference. He told us about the waves of workers' actions in recent years, which have shaken the regime. In 2007 there was a huge upsurge of activity by workers. These included mass action at the Mahala Al-Kubra textile mill, which won key concessions and acted as a green light for numerous other groups of workers. To put it bluntly, it was the workers who did it!

Since they got rid of Mubarak, there has been a tremendous surge of union organisation in Egypt. Rail workers, hospital workers, postal workers and countless others have all begun to organise their own unions. Many poor Mubarak managers have been removed after workers protested. Millions have been involved in the protests and strikes. We have heard about campaigns to re-nationalise privatised firms. I can report to you that this week a wave of strikes has taken place on issues such as pay, temporary contracts and union rights. The new Egyptian workers movement faces threats. The army hierarchy is still in place. The iron backbone of Mubarak's old state remains intact. The army continues to play a central role in government. It has already sought to ban strikes. The courts are also holding prominent strike leaders. The military, the Muslim Brotherhood and business leaders have all condemned strikes for expressing sectional interests. We have seen a growth of Islamist fundamentalist organisations. This all adds to the great urgency of supporting the new unions.

Congress, I don't ask you to do anything new. I ask you to continue supporting a movement in Egypt which is trying its very best to follow in the footsteps of all good trade union movements such as ours. Support the motion, Congress.

Dee Luxford (Public and Commercial Services Union) seconded Motion 72. She said: Congress, I am more than delighted to be seconding Motion 72 and, in doing so, hopefully, reminding a certain person who was here yesterday about what real trade unionists do.

On Monday, Congress, we talked about protecting trade union rights. We talked at length about changing the law so that we could protect the rights of workers. Ed, we do this for all workers, not just the ones in our country. That's what trade unionists do.

We have heard this week about the proud history of the trade union movement and we are right to be proud, but that pride will be shallow if we don't support workers in every single country, including Egypt. We heard yesterday how there is no one in government or opposition, it would seem, who is willing to stand up for workers' rights, so we will have to do it ourselves. Congress, much like June 30th in Britain, it was in Egypt the teachers and the tax collectors who led the way. We will lead the way again. We are organising, campaigning and readying for the fight of our lives in this country, and it is incumbent upon us to support those who have had, literally, to fight for their lives.

It is right that we support independent trade unions in Egypt, and it is right that we respond to the fluid situation in that country in a supportive and flexible way that shows solidarity without imposing our models on the workers in that country. Ed, this is the progressive thing to do. Ed, this is the modern thing to do. Call us dinosaurs all you like, but dinosaurs have sharp teeth, sharp claws and are ready to fight. Support Egypt, support the motion and support real trade unionism. (Applause)

Pat Stuart (Unite) supported the motion. She said: Congress, I agree absolutely with what the two previous speakers have said. A vital part of what we do as trade unionists is standing up for trade unionists elsewhere and those independent trade unionists really need our backing and support at this time.

I would make an additional plea to delegates. If your union is offering practical support, financial support and/or capacity building support to those unions, please encourage those unions to be organising women as well. It is not because they are bad people. It is because such behaviour is traditional to their society. As here, not that many decades ago, there was a serious lack of general awareness. In town this week, by chance, was someone representing the New Women's Federation in Egypt - Nawla Darwiche. I talked to her yesterday and she visited other unions as well. She has a lot to say because the organising of women because that NGO has been organising women in a number of industries so far where they have had difficulty in doing for themselves. I would mention, particularly, textiles and electronic assembly and software. There are a great many women who are not organised into unions. Recently a very big textile strike took place. Women played a massive part in that strike. The two key women who were leading the strike were particularly targeted by the security workers for the factory. They were taken outside. Both were veiled women. They were forcibly unveiled in public to their great humiliation and they were threatened that they would be raped in front of their children if they persisted. That is what women face all the time in Egypt in these big companies. The threat of sexual violence and actual sexual violence is used to undermine their activities. We need to be able to be talking to our comrades and fellow trade unionists there and saying, 'Please embrace the requirements of women workers. Don't leave them in organisations alone.' We used to have the Union of Women Workers. It took years of tension before we sorted that one out. We can help the Egyptian women. We need to help these independent unions. Thank you.

* Motion 72 was CARRIED

Playfair 2012

The President: I call Motion 73, Playfair 2012. The General Council supports the motion.

Michael Kaye (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) moved Motion 73. He said: Congress, this is my first Congress and I am proud to be here. (Applause)

The Olympic motto translates as: 'Faster, Higher and Stronger'. It inspires athletes. So it ought to inspire Playfair 2012. This is part of an international campaign co-ordinated by the TUC and Labour Behind the Label. The supporters are putting pressure on the sportswear industry and the Olympic movement to take responsibility for the working conditions in their global supply chains, and to ensure that the workers' human and trade union rights are respected. With our solidarity, this can be achieved soon. We can aim for high standards and show our strength in this movement together.

The London 2012 Olympics are a celebration of universal values, like respect and equality. The workers who can help make the Games possible are part of this. Those workers across the world making sportswear with Olympic branded goods need to have their basic rights at work respected and to be paid a living wage. The thousands of mainly female workers in these supply chains deserve to have decent work.

The global union federation for textile workers - the ITGLWF - has looked at the conditions for workers making sportswear in the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Workers are being paid neither a living wage nor even a legal minimum wage. Some have to work a hundred hours overtime per month. Women were pregnancy-tested at interview, and if pregnant, they were not hired. This exploitation is unacceptable. Decent work is part of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to end poverty by 2015. This is a matter of social justice. Adidas could afford the £100 million fees to be the official sportswear sponsor for the London Olympic Games. Malania, who works at making Adidas clothing in Sri Lanka, is the main breadwinner for her family. Her basic pay is around £54 a month. Malania, like us, knows it is not right. She is involved in trade union activities to protect, defend and promote workers' rights, despite already losing her job once because of her beliefs.

Many Olympic branded goods are made in China. Workers are asserting their rights more and more but independent trade unions are still not free to organise. Even when they can organise, as in Indonesia, trade unionists continue to be intimidated and workers are often too frightened to join a union. The right to form and join a union, and bargain collectively, is a worker's right, a human right. This right is at the heart of the Playfair 2012 campaign.

Playfair 2012 has already had some successes. The campaign resulted in the organisers of the London Olympic Games requiring that their suppliers comply with the standards in the Ethical Trading Initiative Code. This includes a living wage, respect for freedom of association and no discrimination. This is the first time that has happened in a major world sporting event. The campaign continues to press the Games' organisers to tell us where the suppliers are so that we can work with unions and organisations on the ground to ensure that workers' rights are being respected and that the organisers make the workers aware of their rights.

As a result of the international Playfair 2012 campaign, a ground-breaking agreement on freedom of association has just been signed in Indonesia between unions, major sportswear brands and suppliers. This will help create an environment where unions can organise workers without fear of victimisation and discrimination. Many unions are already involved in Playfair 2012, but we need to build on our successes and keep up the pressure.

This motion calls on us to make sure that our members are well informed about Playfair 2012 and are encouraged to take actions that influence decision-makers to ensure that these workers can enjoy decent work. We need to continue to campaign on these issues after London 2012 as part of the international Playfair campaign.

The CSP supports the Playfair 2012 campaign because this is about standing side by side with our sisters and brothers around the globe who, like us, are striving for better pay and conditions, for respect, equality and social justice. Thank you.

Heather Phillips (Prospect) seconded Motion 73. She said: President and Congress, the issue of sweatshop workers is not new. The exploitation of workers across the world, some as young as five, has featured in numerous campaigns by different organisations over many years. However, next year, in 2012, the Olympics come to Britain and there will never be a better time to publicise and to improve the conditions of workers around the world who are contributing to this spectacular event.

Much of the luxury goods market revolves around sportswear brands. Think Nike, Adidas and Puma, brands that many people wear and are used by thousands of athletes who will arrive on these shores.

The Olympic Games is a multi-million pound industry. A hundred million pounds sponsorship fee paid by Adidas would pay 40,000 of its Chinese workers for a whole year. An Indian football stitcher would have to sew 13 million balls a year, or a hundred a minute, to earn the same as the Adidas CEO, Herbert Hainer.

As you have already heard, there has been progress. The London Organising Committee has signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative Code, but we can't rest on our laurels. Unions must use their relationships with the relevant employers to ensure that their supply trains stay ethical and transparent. Prospect has members in BT and EDF, both big sponsors of next year's Games. We will be working with them to ensure continuing compliance.

I urge every union represented here to affiliate to Playfair 2012. Let's make sure that no one can be exploited in the name of sport wherever they are in the world. Please support.

* Motion 73 was CARRIED

TUC organisation

The President: Delegates, we now turn to Chapter 10 of the General Council Report, TUC organisation, from page 166. I call paragraph 10.5: General Council. I call the General Secretary to speak on this paragraph.

General Council

Brendan Barber (General Secretary) spoke to paragraph 10.5 of the General Council Report.

He said: Thank you, President. Congress, last year you carried a resolution asking for us to review the structure of the General Council. The mover in that debate made the point that, despite all the changes that we have introduced in recent years, some of the smaller specialist unions did not feel that they had an opportunity to play a full part in the TUC's decision making. They wanted every union to have a seat on the General Council. As we pointed out last year, laudable as that ambition was, there were real practical problems. Some of our unions have a million plus members. Others represent just a few hundred workers. Once we take account of the need to reflect all our diversity strands, such a body would begin to look like the size of Congress, rather than functioning as a General Council.

However, we said we would carry out a review and we did. We asked unions for their views and the message that you gave us was clear. You didn't support the idea of automatic seats on the General Council for all unions, but you did want us to make a change. You asked us to lower the threshold for automatic General Council membership. There were different views about where the line should be drawn, but in the end there was a consensus around the proposals that we are putting to you today. Under the rule change set out in this paragraph, from next year, every union with more than 30,000 members would be represented on the General Council as of right. There would still be seven elected seats for the smallest, very specialist, unions.

The new General Council will, on current membership, be only slightly larger than the current body, but it will ensure that we are even more representative of Britain at work. I commend the rule change to you.

* Paragraph 10.5 of the General Council Report was AGREED

Pre-Abortion Counselling

The President: I call Emergency Motion 2: Pre-Abortion Counselling. The General Council supports the emergency motion.

Sally Hunt (University and College Union) moved Emergency Motion 2: Pre-Abortion Counselling.

She said: Congress, for over 40 years women in this country have had the right to choose. The Abortion Act of 1967 established that right, and that is a right which is governed by clinical guidelines. Those guidelines are provided by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It is a right within a system that successive Parliamentary debate and Select Committee inquiries have confirmed is the best way to protect women's health.

We live in a country where more than 700,000 babies are born every year. It is a wonderful thing. But we also live in a country where every year around one in five women have to seek an abortion, a country where 91 per cent of those abortions are carried out in less than 13 weeks and 75 per cent in less than 10 weeks. It speaks of a very well organised system. In this country, 94 per cent of those abortions are either provided for or done by the NHS.

We also in this country support thousands of women who come from abroad in order to make that decision, that right to choose. This can be the single most important and difficult decision that a woman ever has to make. It can be life-changing. It is a choice about their family, when they are going to have a child and if they are going to have a child. It is a choice about their job, how they are going to have a career and when they are going to take a break. It can be a choice about their health, whether it is safe for them to carry a child or not. Sometimes it can be a choice about whether a relationship is one that is working or not.

We all know that we face circumstances in our lives that we don't expect and we don't plan for. We all know, too, that we end up in situations that we would rather not be in, but when that happens to a women, when she is pregnant and needs help and support, that is exactly what she is seeking when she goes to counselling. She needs it to be objective, fair and well informed. She needs counselling that will provide her with all those options; counselling that will cover sexual health and contraception. I would say that that counselling is currently provided for by the Pregnancy Advisory Service and organisations such as Marie Stopes.

We have to be very clear because of what has been said in the last few weeks. These charities are not an abortion industry. These charities are well-respected and not-for-profit providers and ones that we should support and make sure are respected.

Many politicians in recent weeks have done the exact opposite. It is not a new issue for some politicians, because some MPs have been trying to chip away at women's rights for several years. In May 2008 MPs voted to maintain the upper limit of 24 weeks against a move by others to reduce that to 20 weeks. Our current Prime Minister voted to reduce that limit. Last week MPs rejected again a call to separate counselling from current established providers, but 118 MPs voted in favour. If they had succeeded that would have opened up women's health to those who want to bring religion and ideological agendas into the bedroom. I can tell you that I don't want David Cameron in my bedroom. (Laughter) I really, really, believe that we should think hard about that. If I want religion, I will choose the vicar myself, thank you very much. It is not for a government to do this. What is actually happening here is a creeping morality that is coming back into this debate and is designed to attack women's rights.

Let's be clear about this. No serious professional clinical organisation supports this change, and 75 per cent of people in this country support the right of women to choose. So what is it? I'll tell you. This is a coalition government that is throwing a bone to the right-wing rump in order to keep their support, and it is women who are being asked to pay the price and we should not under-estimate what that means. At a time when women are being attacked in the workplace, in the benefit system and in the education system, this is a regressive step and it is one that is designed to attack women.

In this motion, Congress, we are asking for a reaffirmation from the movement to support women, to support our right to choose, our right to self-determination and our right to make the biggest choice that some of us ever have to, knowing that we will do it free from fear or morality, and knowing we will do that with the support of the trade union movement. Thank you. (Applause)

Jane Stewart (Unite) seconded Emergency Motion 2.

She said: Last week we saw the defeat of the Nadine Dorries and Frank Field amendment to the Act of Parliament. That was great. We welcomed that. This amendment would have moved counselling for medically qualified abortion providers like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Marie Stopes, to organisations like Care Confidential that oppose abortions. A poll was taken last Sunday morning on the religious show and 70 per cent of the people watching that programme wanted to maintain the services as they are. That was a religious programme, so that tells you it was a popular decision. It was interesting in the week running up to the debate, but during the debate Frank Field changed his position and voted against the amendments, so that was interesting. Right the way through he was supporting that amendment and the Act.

Let's be clear, Congress, a woman's right to choose is a trade union issue. It was adopted by Congress in 1975 and Terry Marsland, who was remembered in the obituaries on Monday, said: 'Every woman should have the right to control her own destiny.' She went on to say: 'This trade union movement must take up a position on this issue. We are responsible for the health and welfare of millions of women both inside and outside our movement.' That is what we are here to reiterate today, Congress.

Dorries, on her blog, attacked the trade unions, particularly attacking UNISON. She said that we were supporting abortion rights 'like it was a bad thing'. It is not. We should be proud that we support abortion rights.

Working class women are being attacked the hardest by the cuts. Prior to the 1967 Abortion Act poor women, when dealing with unwanted pregnancies, were forced into the indignity and danger of going to back street abortionists, while rich women have always been able to get access to abortion from a friendly doctor on Harley Street. So a woman's right to choose is something that we have to protect.

The previous speaker spoke about the road show that happened in 2008 when they attacked the time limit. We had Anne Widdecombe doing a road show around the country. She was the sweetheart of the nation on Strictly Come Dancing, but this is the same woman whose government tied and chained women prisoners to their beds when they were in child birth. We must remember all these things. In the words of Mary Davis, we must be eternally vigilant because they will keep coming back. We must protect our right to choose and protect our rights as women. (Applause)

* Emergency Motion 2 was CARRIED

Save Bombardier jobs

The President: I now turn to Emergency Motion 5 - Save Bombardier jobs. The General Council supports the emergency motion.

Alex Gordon (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) moved Emergency Motion 5. He said: Congress, we are joined in the hall this afternoon by representatives of the Joint Union Shop Stewards' Committee of the Bombardier Derby works. Stand up, lads. (A standing ovation)

Colleagues, we discussed yesterday the wrongful and damaging decision to award the Thameslink train contracts to the German company, Siemens, and the impact that that will have on the train manufacturing legacy in Britain. Events have happened in the last few days and weeks which we need to take on board as a movement. Last night in Derby at a council meeting, a councillor said, like some others in this room, 'I'm an ex-railwayman. I can't begin to tell you how angry I was when I heard about this decision. I think that cracks are beginning to appear in the face of the government about this decision. We may yet manage to turn this situation around.' That was a councillor by the name of Mike Carr, who is a Liberal-Democrat. At that meeting last night, Derby City Council agreed, unanimously, to help pay the legal fees for a judicial review of the government's decision to award the Thameslink contract to Siemens. We should welcome that.

Let me say more. At last week's Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons, we should welcome the fact that for the first time the Secretary of State for Transport shifted from his previous position of saying that it was impossible to review the decision to award the contract to Siemens, and admitted, under cross-examination, that it was legally possible to reverse the decision. We should welcome that. We should welcome the call made by the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, the following day, on 8th September, for a Parliamentary debate on this matter. The fact is that decisions about where to award massive manufacturing contracts, such as the Thameslink contracts, are political decisions. Our political representatives need to justify those decisions, openly, on record, in public and in the face of their constituents.

We should welcome the call for a Parliamentary rally in support of the Bombardier workers on 12th October. We know that the TUC will get right behind that.

This resolution also calls, importantly, for us to put some hope behind the call for retaining Bombardier in this country, by saying that we should commit ourselves as a movement to saying that if those jobs are threatened, if Bombardier pulls out, and we hope that they don't, then we should fight for a publicly-owned, re-nationalised train manufacturing sector in Britain, owned publicly, accountable to the public and building trains that we use every day on our networks in this country. (Applause)

The maintenance of a manufacturing sector has been a victim of privatisation of the railways. The so-called 'vertical split' between the operators of trains and the owners of the infrastructure has impeded the research and development into new types of train technology in this country, and they have been an impediment to long-term investment. The only way to secure the long-term future of train manufacturing is by this movement keeping the call alive for a re-nationalised, publicly owned, train manufacturing sector based in Derby.

In 1833 Derby was the scene of the first mass lockout in British history when the silk workers were locked out by the silk manufacturers of Derby for five long months to smash their union and their loyalty to their union. In 1839, just six years later, the first train rolled off the assembly line at Derby, and in 1870, just 40 years after that, my union was founded by workers in Derby in those railway works. We are here for the long haul. We are going to fight for a re-nationalised train manufacturing sector. We believe that this joint union campaign is on a winner, and we are calling for you to get behind it and support the workers at the back of the hall and take the message back to Derby that the TUC supports train manufacturing. (Applause)

Diana Holland (Unite) seconded the emergency motion. She said: Unite is the lead union at the Derby site, and is campaigning jointly with the RMT, TSSA and GMB. Yesterday we had a full and very powerful debate on composite motion 8 on Bombardier and the award of the Thameslink contract. Today, as we debate this vital emergency motion, we are able, as was said just now, to welcome our reps from the site. I know that they will take back the warmth of welcome they received to the workforce in Derby.

I want to add three points to yesterday's excellent debate. First, this struggle for rail manufacturing at Bombardier in Derby is a struggle rooted in the community but which goes well beyond the east Midlands. This shameful government has not learnt the lesson of the betrayal of workers at Sheffield Forgemasters. We need an industrial strategy that supports manufacturing. This emergency motion makes it quite clear that while the government stands aside, the trade union movement, supported by Labour in opposition, is standing up for rail manufacturing in this country.

Secondly, this campaign is a huge and growing alliance. As the last paragraph makes clear, we have support from workers in Germany, across Europe and internationally. We have support from workers in Siemens as well as Bombardier, and we have support from the supply chain companies, which work both for Siemens and Bombardier. They all believe that the government should think again.

Thirdly and finally, it's not too late to make a difference. For 1,400 workers on 90 days' notice right now, for young men and women starting out in life and for the future of rail manufacturing, it's not too late. Congress, the best poster, in my view, at the rally in Derby on 23rd July had no words on it, just a picture. It was Thomas the Tank Engine as a Bombardier train with a very worried face, and David Cameron standing over him like an assassin pointing a gun.

Whatever the government ministers say, whatever the headlines suggest, this campaign is not going away. As Thomas the Tank Engine would say, 'It's not over till the Fat Controller sings.' (Laughter) We are determined, we are united and we are part of a huge alliance for rail manufacturing. Please support. (Applause)

* Emergency Motion 5 was CARRIED

TUC Accounts

The President: Could I now draw to your attention Appendix 3 from page 185 of the General Council Report, which is the TUC Accounts. The auditor is present in the hall. Does the Congress accept the accounts as set out in the appendix? (Agreed) Thank you.

Adoption of the General Council Report

The President: That completes the formal business of Congress. I now ask Congress to adopt the General Council's Report. Is that agreed?

* The General Council Report was ADOPTED

Vote of Thanks

The President: Congress, there are a number of colleagues who are leaving the General Council. Gerry Doherty from the TSSA is retiring from the General Council at this Congress. He has served on the General Council for six years. As you all know, Gerry has been a tireless champion of public transport and those who work within it. He has led the way on building community support for the campaign against the cuts. Gerry, I, therefore, have great pleasure in presenting you with the Gold Badge of Congress. (Applause) Gerry, would you like to say a few words.

(Gold Badge of Congress presented to Gerry Doherty)

Gerry Doherty: Thank you, Michael. I joined the TSSA as a teenager. I joined the railway industry. In my first day I was handed two forms. One was to join the TSSA and one was to sign up for the pension scheme, and thank God I did for both of them.

It is a great honour and privilege to end up as a general secretary of any trade union. It's a huge honour. A teacher spoke at the rostrum earlier this week and said that when they are talking to kids and asking them what they want to be when they grow up, they say, 'I want to be a football player.' I have heard kids say that they want to be a train driver. I don't remember anybody saying that they want to be the general secretary of a trade union. (Laughter) Anyway, it is a huge honour and privilege. It has given me many opportunities in life.

There are a few thanks that I would wish to make. I want to thank, in particular, Brendan and Frances for all of the support that they have given me as an individual over my years as General Secretary. I want to extend those thanks to the TUC staff as well, because they do a fantastic job on behalf of us all. I want to thank all of the General Council members who I have served with over the years. Sometimes we have our arguments, but actually we all have a common goal. It is about the worker in the workplace being given a decent return for their labour. I also want to thank yourself, Michael, and to Sheila and all the past Presidents who I have served under. They have always shown me great courtesy.

What an opportunity I have had with the TSSA. What an opportunity in life. It has been fantastic to serve as a General Secretary. I will never forget what the TSSA has done for me.

Lastly, I want to say 'Thank you' to my partner, who also happens to be my wife. Without her support and help, I couldn't have done any of this. I said earlier on that I came from a place called Cambuslang. Another famous trade union guy came from Cambuslang - a bloke called Mick MaGahey. I remember when Mick retired. He was being interviewed on Scottish television and the presenter said to him, 'What are you going to do in your retirement, Mick?', to which Mick said, 'Old activists don't retire. They just take the struggle on to a different platform.' Well, I intend moving on to a different platform.

Congress, this Gold Badge is a huge honour. I will cherish it. Thanks for everything. I have huge memories. I will tell you something you already know. You have huge, huge struggles in front of you. I won't be standing behind you and I won't be standing in the sidelines. I will be shoulder to shoulder with you but just on a different platform. Thank you. (Applause)

The President: Thank you, Gerry. All our best wishes go with you. You have been a great supporter.

I now turn to Mark Fysh. Mark Fysh left the General Council late last year on medical advice after representing disabled trade unionists on the General Council for almost ten years. Mark, I have great pleasure also in presenting you with the Gold Badge of Congress. I know he is with his family. (Gold Badge of Congress presented amidst applause) I know that Mark would like to say a few words.

Mark Fysh: Congress, I would like to begin by dedicating this badge, first and foremost, to my wife, Karen, whose unfailing support has meant so very much; to my parents, and particularly my father, who is here today, and to UNISON, who gave me so many opportunities and taught me so very much - I cannot thank you enough - to my comrades and officers on the TUC Disability Committee, to all disabled workers, but in particular the workers in Remploy who face a bleak future at the moment. It has been an honour, a pleasure and a privilege to have served the trade union movement as a branch secretary for 15 years and as a lead officer on the General Council. You know what you have to do about your pensions, so go out and fight for them. I salute you. (Applause)

The President: Allan Garley, from the GMB, has served on the General Council since 2005 and brought his experience of trade unionism in Wales and the regions to our work. Allan, unfortunately, cannot be with us but we will ensure, Congress, that he receives the Gold Badge.

Also leaving the General Council are Julia Neal from ATL, who joined the General Council in 2007 and has contributed greatly to our work in years past. She has always played a key role in the TUC's LGBT and Women's Committees.

Alan Ritchie, from UCATT, has been a member of the General Council since 2005 and was always a forceful advocate for his members and the construction industry.

John Walsh has been the member representing young workers since 2005. As a former apprentice at BAE, he has proved to be a fantastic champion for apprentices everywhere. Well done, John.

A number of other colleagues have left the General Council during the past year. Dougie Rooney was last year's President of Congress and was held in high regard by all of his colleagues.

Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley both left us at the end of 2010 having completed the massive task of bringing together two of Britain's largest unions to create Unite. That union is a major force now in the trade union world.

Jeremy Dear left us earlier this summer after completing two terms as General Secretary of the NUJ to go back to journalism and to travel throughout Latin and southern American.

Congress, also leaving is Dilys Jouvenat, who was elected to the General Purposes Committee in 2009.

I am sure that Congress will want to show its appreciation for the contribution and commitment of all our colleagues leaving the General Council and the GPC. (Applause)

Congress President 2012

The President: Finally, Congress, it is my great pleasure, because he is always on my right, to announce that the next President of the TUC who takes office from the close of Congress, is our good friend Paul Kenny. (Applause) I wish him well and I hope he enjoys his year as President as much as I have. Good luck.

Vote of Thanks to the President

Brendan Barber (General Secretary): I call on Sheila to give a vote of thanks to the President.

Sheila Bearcroft (Vice President): Congress, as your Vice President, it is my pleasure to move a vote of thanks to Michael. Michael, it has been a privilege to work with you this week. You have chaired this Conference with great skill. In fact, you have managed to get through the business in less than three days, whereas it took me nearly four. If only the rest of British industry could match your productivity. (Chuckling) Michael, you have been a great President. You have always been firm and fair, never more so than following the exodus after Ed Miliband's speech, ensuring that everyone who addresses this Congress is treated with dignity, respect and are given a proper hearing. That is exactly the way that it should be.

Congress, I have known Mick for many, many years. We both hail from the same part of the world. We were both shaped by the same values. We have both struggled for those values and the same causes. In a long and distinguished career within our movement, Mick has achieved a great deal. He has been a powerful champion of manufacturing. He has helped to secure the future of thousands of steel jobs, most recently in Teesside, and he has been instrumental for winning pensions justice for workers who stood to lose everything. None of us should ever forget that huge achievement.

Mick, you are a credit to your union, a credit to this movement and, last but not least, a credit to Wales. After we were beaten by one goal by England in the football and one point by South Africa in the rugby, I have to confess that I was getting a little bit disheartened. Could someone, please, direct the rugby referee, Mr. Barnes, to the nearest branch of Specsavers. (Laughter) Seeing Mick this week has lifted the spirits. Michael, you have been a great President and you have done us all proud this week. On behalf of Conference and Congress, I thank you very much. It is my pleasure to present you with some small gifts: the Gold Badge of Congress and the Congress Bell. (The Gold Badge of Congress and the Congress Bell were presented to the President amidst applause)

Vote of Thanks

The President: Colleagues, you know that Welshmen are unaccustomed to public speaking and, as a Welshman, I am not going to compete with Mark Serwotka, but I would like to thank a few people, particularly, my wife and family. Irene is here today. Without her support, I wouldn't be here today. I would like to thank Sheila. She has done a brilliant job for me this week. What better person to have their finger on the button than Sheila. I would like to thank the TUC staff, particularly Brendan, Frances and Kay. Thank you for your support and all the rest of the staff. It's has been immense.

I want to say a few brief words. I take this message from this Conference. Margaret Thatcher once said, 'The lady isn't for turning.' I think her son, David Cameron, has been sent a clear message today that the trade union movement is not for turning either. (Applause) We have to face enormous challenges. My own union, Community, is in a pension fight also with Tata. It may well be that we will be balloting for industrial action before the year ends. So we will be on your picket lines and maybe you will join us as well. Without further ado, we are in a position where we have to respect the past and all our best traditions of solidarity, but let us commit ourselves to creating a far better future. Thank you. (Applause)

I now call on the General Secretary to give the vote of thanks to others who have contributed to the smooth running of Congress.

Brendan Barber (General Secretary) said: President and Congress, let me begin by echoing, first, Sheila's remarks about Michael, and let me pay my tribute to the absolutely tremendous job that he has done this week, and the fantastic job that he has done chairing our General Council and Executive throughout the year. He has been a fantastic President, someone who has been a wonderful advocate for trade unionism, and I am particularly grateful for all the personal support, Michael, that you have given to me during the course of the year. Thanks also to Sheila for her role as Vice President. As you said, she has been very diligent on the clock and the red light keeping the Congress moving.

I was interested to hear the other day when she told us that there is no letter 'W' in the Welsh language, which she noted was probably just as well during our debate on the bankers. (Laughter) Congratulations to Paul, who has been elected to succeed Michael. We are all looking forward to Paul's year as President.

Let me thank some of the other people, too, who have helped to make this year's Congress run smoothly. Thanks to the stewards, who have kept us in good order. Thanks to the tellers and scrutineers, who have helped us to conduct our business properly. Thanks to the sign language interpreters, who put your words into action faster than the General Council can express a reservation. Thanks also to the stage crew who got the show on the road and the catering staff who kept us fed and watered, not just with beer and sandwiches. In particular, just let me thank all of the TUC staff because, particularly with the Congress being held here in Congress House for the first time, the TUC staff in every part of the organisation have worked fantastically hard to make the Congress run smoothly. They have done a fantastic job, as they do throughout every week of the year. They have certainly my enormous thanks, and I am sure that they have yours, too.

This year's Congress has, of course, been very different. It is the first we have ever held at Congress House. I have already been getting reviews and people's actions to the arrangement, and we will be reviewing the reactions and considering the future in due course. We will look forward to your feedback, good and bad.

Finally, let me move a vote of thanks to the media who, as always, have reported the Congress in a reasonable, even-handed and balanced way. (Laughter) There is a certain familiarity, isn't there, in that all the old clichés have made their annual appearance. We've had more dinosaurs here than in Jurassic Park, more sabres rattled than in some medieval battle and more seasons of discontent than a disgruntled weather forecaster could complain about. Apologies to Prospect members at the Met Office. For me the highlight was Leo McKinsky in the Daily Express. Leo accused me of 'deluded hysteria'. (Laughter) I think the Express, of all papers, would certainly recognise that particular phenomenon when it saw it. (Laughter and applause) Leo, I do confess that there are occasions when I have been guilty of deluded hysteria but only when I am at Goodison Park.

To be fair to us Evertonians we haven't exactly got any star strikers at the moment, but from what I heard during the pensions debate this morning, there are going to be an awful lot more before very long.

Congress, whether it is pensions cuts or the economy, I think we have really got our message across this week. This may have been a slimmed down event, but there have been no half measures as far as our debates have been concerned. Together we have helped to shape the agenda ahead of the party conference season. We've shown that cuts are emphatically not the answer to Britain's problems. We've exposed the huge flaws in the government's public service reforms, and we've made the case for a new economy in a really imaginative and powerful way. Our task in the year ahead is to build on all of these achievements, to take our arguments for change to workplaces and communities right across Britain and to build that mass movement for the alternative. On the way, we want to win pensions justice, too, for the millions of decent people who rely on us.

Good luck in all of your work in the year ahead and a safe journey home to everyone, but before you leave enjoy this short reminder of some of the highlights of the last three days. (Applause) (Video shown)

The President: Congress, I declare the 143rd Congress closed.

(Congress closed at 1.05pm )

Section 3

Unions and their



Simmons House, 46 Old Bath Road Charvil, Reading, Berks RG10 9QR

t 0118 934 1808 f 0118 932 0208

Out of hours media number t 07973 642592


e (officials and staff)

m 9,422 f 19,480 total 28,902

Gen sec Ged Nichols


Carley Anderson Marilyn Morris

Ged Nichols

Male 1, female2, total 3


2nd floor, 16/17 High Street

Tring, Herts HP23 5AH

t 01442 891122 f 01442 891133


m 1,779 f 5,224 total 7,003

Gen sec Linda Rolph


Gerard Moloney Linda Rolph

Male 1, female 1, total 2


Aegis the Union

Aegon UK plc, Edinburgh Park

Edinburgh, EH12 9SE

t 0131 549 5665


m 1,023 f 1,204 total 2,227

Asst gen sec Fiona Steele


Brian Linn

Male 1, female 0


Brian Linn Fiona Steele

Male 1, female 1, total 2


Association of Educational Psychologists

4 The Riverside Centre, Frankland Lane

Durham DH1 5TA

t 0191 384 9512 ?f 0191 386 5287


m 764 f 2,577 total 3,341

Gen sec Kate Fallon


Kate Fallon

Male 0, female 1, total 1


Association of Flight Attendants

AFA Council 07, United Airlines Cargo Centre

Shoreham Road East, Heathrow Airport

Hounslow, Middx TW6 3UA

t 020 8276 6723


m 178 f 355 total 533

LEC president Ronald Brunelle


Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

75-77 St John Street, London EC1M 4NN

t 020 7324 2400 f 020 7490 8697


m 18,182 f 685 total 18,867

Gen sec Keith Norman


Alan Donnelly Simon Weller

Male 2, female 0, total 2


Association of Professionals in Education and Children's Trusts

Woolley Hall, Woolley, Wakefield

West Yorkshire WF4 2JR

t 01226 383428?f 01226 383427


e (officials and staff)

m 1,562 f 2,644 total 4,206

Gen sec John Chowcat LI.B (Hons)


John Chowcat

Male 1, female 0, total 1


Association of Teachers and Lecturers

7 Northumberland Street

London WC2N 5RD

(includes membership of the Association for College Management, which transferred engagements to the ATL January 2011)

t 020 7930 6441 ?f 020 7930 1359


e (officials and staff)

m 32,707 f 90,503 total 123,210

Gen sec Dr Mary Bousted


Mary Bousted Alec Clark

Shelagh Hirst Julia Neal

Hank Roberts Alice Robinson

Ralph Surman Niamh Sweeney

Male 3, female 5, total 8


British Association of Colliery Management - Technical, Energy and

Administrative Management

6a South Parade, Doncaster DN1 2DY

t 01302 815551?f 01302 815552


m 2,259 f 106 total 2,365

Gen sec Patrick Carragher


Patrick Carragher

Male 1, female 0, total 1


British Air Line Pilots' Association

BALPA House, 5 Heathrow Boulevard

278 Bath Road, West Drayton UB7 0DQ

t 020 8476 4000 ?f 020 8476 4077


m 8,031 f 392 total 8,423

Gen sec Jim McAuslan


Jim McAuslan Mark Searle

Male 2, female 0, total 2


British Dietetic Association

5th ?oor, Charles House

148/149 Gt Charles Street

Queensway, Birmingham B3 3HT

t 0121 2008021 ?f 0121 2008081


e (officials and staff)

m 263 f 6,520 total 6,783

Head of Employment Relations Debbie O'Rourke


Dennis Edmondson Diana Markham

Male 1, female 1, total 2


Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union

373-377 Clapham Road

London SW9 9BT

t 020 7346 0900


e (officials and staff)

m 17,746 f 7,629 total 25,375

Gen sec Gerry Morrissey


Benetta Adamson Luke Crawley

Nicholas Ray

Male 2, female 1, total 3


Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union

Stanborough House, Great North Road

Stanborough, Welwyn Garden City

Herts AL8 7TA

t 01707 260150 f 01707 261570


total 22,127 (male/female split not available)

Gen sec Ronnie Draper


Ronnie Draper Mailyn France

Anthony Richardson

Male 2, female 1, total 3


British Orthoptic Society Trade Union

62 Wilson Street

London EC2A 2BU

t 01353 665541 f 07050659103


e (officials and staff)

m 1,221 (male/female split not available)

Employment relations officer Lesley Anne Baxter


Lesley Anne Baxter

Male 0, female 1, total 1


Britannia Staff Union

Court Lodge, Leonard Street

Leek, Staffordshire ST13 5JP

t 01538 399627 f 01538 371342


e (officials and staff)

m 972 f 2,356 total 3,328

Gen sec John Stoddard


The Union for Life

67/68 Long Acre

Covent Garden, London WC2E 9FA

t 020 7420 4000 f 020 7420 4095


e (officials and staff)

m 54,030?f 13,458 total 67,488

Gen sec Michael J Leahy OBE


Dougie Fairbairn Jacque Hatfield

Peter Hobson Keith Jordan

Michael J Leahy Audrey McJimpsey

Male 5, female 1, total 6


Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

14 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4ED

t 020 7306 6666?f 020 7306 6611


m 4,429 f 32,472 total 36,901

Director of employment relations

and union services Lesley Mercer


Michael Kaye Iain Loughran

Alexandra Mackenzie Lesley Mercer

Male 2, female 2, total 4


The Communications Union

150 The Broadway, Wimbledon

London SW19 1RX

t 020 8971 7200?f 020 8971 7300


e (officials and staff)

m 168,792 f 39,922 total 208,714

Gen sec Billy Hayes


Maria Exall Billy Hayes

Mick Kavanagh Tony Kearns

Vera Kelsey Andy Kerr

Bob Maguire Les Marriot

Jane Loftus Bob McGuire

Jeffrey Till Julia Upton

Dave Ward

Male 7, female 4, total 11


Educational Institute of Scotland

46 Moray Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BH

t 0131 225 6244 ?f 0131 220 3151


e (officials and staff)

m 14,085 f 45,286 total 59,371

Gen sec Ronald A Smith


Helen Connor Anne McCrae

Alan Munro Marion Ross

Ronnie Smith Ken Wimbor

Male 3, female 3, total 6


Guild House

Upper St Martin's Lane

London WC2H 9EG

t 020 7379 6000?f 020 7379 7001


e (officials and staff)

m 18,295 f 18,206 total 36,501

Gen sec Christine Payne


Laura Bailey Corinna Marlowe

Christine Payne Malcolm Sinclair

Male 1, female 3, total 4


Fire Brigades' Union

Bradley House, 68 Coombe Road

Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 7AE

t 020 8541 1765?f 020 8546 5187


e (officials and staff)

m 40,520 f 2,786 total 43,306

Gen sec Matt Wrack


Denise Christie Rose Jones

Alan McLean Andy Noble

Matt Wrack

Male 3, female 2, total 5


The union of choice for senior managers and professionals in public service

8 Leake Street, London SE1 7NN

t 020 7401 5555 ?f 020 7401 5550


e (officials and staff)

m 9,362 f 9,059 total 18,421

Gen sec Jonathan Baume


Jonathan Baume Jeff Brice

Sue Gethin Jon Restell

Male 3, female 1, total 4


Britain's General Union

22/24 Worple Road

London SW19 4DD

t 020 8947 3131?f 020 8944 6552


m 314,332 f 287,880 total 602,212

Gen sec & treasurer Paul Kenny


Dotun Alade-Odumosu Sheila Bearcroft

Justin Bowden Tom Brennan

Naomi Cooke Phil Davies

James Donley Brian Farr

Allan Garley Sharon Harding

Audrey Harry MBE Paul Hayes

Kamaljeet Jandu Paul Kenny

Fern McCaffrey Paul McCarthy

Pete Murphy Dolores O'Donoghue

Edna Rolph Malcolm Sage

Brian Strutton Brian Strutton

Mary Turner

Male 13, female 7, total 20


Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association

1 Kingsclere Road, Overton

Basingstoke, Hampshire RG25 3JA

t 01256 771777?f 01256 770999


m 2,770 f 629 total 3,399

Gen sec Stephen Campion


Annette Mansell-Green

Male 0, female 1 total 1


Musicians' Union

60/62 Clapham Road

London SW9 0JJ

t 020 7582 5566?f 020 7582 9805


m 21,773 f 8,291 total 30,064

Gen sec John F Smith


Danny Longstaff Gerald Newson

John F Smith Barbara White

Male 3, female 1, total 4


National Association of Co-operative Officials

6a Clarendon Place, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 2QZ

t 0161 351 7900?f 0161 366 6800

e (officials and staff)

m 1,303 f 696 total 1,999

Gen sec Neil Buist


National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shot?rers

Wadsworth House, 130/132 Doncaster Road

Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 1TP

t 01226 203743 f 01226 295563


m 350 f 0 total 350

main trades and industries mining

Gen sec Rowland Soar


Terry Fox

Male 1, female 0, total 1


The Trade Union and Professional Association for Family Court and Probation Staff

4 Chivalry Road, London SW11 1HT

t 020 7223 4887?f 020 7223 3503


m 2,522 f 6,046 total 8,568

Gen sec Jonathan Ledger


Jonathan Ledger Tim Wilson

Male 2, female 0, total 2


National Association of Stable Staff

Bretby Business Park

Ashby Road


Burton upon Trent DE15 0YZ

t 01283 211522


m 1,300 f 1,118 total 2,418

Gen exec Jim Cornelius


Jim Cornelius

Male 1, female 0, total 1


5 King Street

London WC2E 8SD

t 020 7420 9670 ?f 020 7420 9679


m 78,417 f 204,473 total 282,890

Gen sec Chris Keates


Victor Aguera Fred Brown

Brian Cookson Julia Harris

Karen Hopwood Chris Keates

Chris Lines John Rimmer

Patrick Roach Paula Roe

Hopkin Thomas

Male 8, female 4, total 12

Nautilus International

1-2 The Shrubberies, George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1BD

t 020 8989 6677?f 020 8530 1015?


e (officials and staff)

m 15,349 f 429 total 15,778

Gen sec Mark Dickinson


Mark Dickinson Mike Jess

Male 2, female 0, total 2


Nationwide Group Staff Union

(includes members of the Staff Union Dunfermline Building Society, which transferred its engagements to the NGSU early in 2011)

Middleton Farmhouse, 37 Main Road

Middleton Cheney, Banbury

Oxon OX17 2QT

t 01295 710767 ?f 01295 712580


e (officials and staff)

m 3,370 f 8,644 total 12,014

Gen sec Tim Poil


Bill Blumson Tim Poil

Male 2, female 0, total 2


National Union of Journalists

Headland House, 308 Gray's Inn Road

London WC1X 8DP

t 020 7843 3700?f 020 7837 8143


e (officials and staff)

m 15,694 f 11,115 total 26,809

Gen sec Michelle Stanistreet


Anita Halpin Michelle Stanistreet

Barry White

Male 1, female 2, total 3


National Union of Mineworkers

Miners' Of?ces, 2 Hudders?eld Road

Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2LS

t 01226 215555?f 01226 215561


total 1,713 (male/female split not available)

National sec Chris Kitchen


Chris Kitchen

Male 1, female 0, total 1


National Union of Teachers

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place

London WC1H 9BD

t 020 7388 6191?f 020 7387 8458

m 73,563 f 235,006 122 gender unknown total 308,447

Gen sec Christine Blower


Helen Andrews Christine Blower

Dave Brinson Kevin Courtney

Hazel Danson Nina Franklin

Jerry Glazier Marilyn Harrop

Dave Harvey Mandy Hudson

Max Hyde Betty Joseph

Roger King Ian Murdoch

Male 6, female 8 total 14


One Union for Regional Staff

26 High Street, Mold

Flintshire CH7 1AZ

t 01352 751512


m 117 f 447 total 564

Chair Karen Hughes


Public and Commercial Services Union

160 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LN

t 020 7924 2727?f 020 7924 1847

e (officials and staff)

m 117,676 f 174,415 total 292,091

Gen sec Mark Serwotka


Jane Aitchison Chris Baugh

Dave Bean Paula Brown

Helen Flanagan Janice Godrich

Zita Holbourne Ravi Kurup

Hugh Lanning Dee Luxford

Fiona MacDonald Dominic McFadden

Paul McGoay John McInally

Lorna Merry Glenys Morris

Emmet O'Brien Mark Serwotka

Male 6, female 6, total 12


Professional Footballers' Association

20 Oxford Court, Bishopsgate

Manchester M2 3WQ

t 0161 236 0575?f 0161 228 7229


e (officials and staff)

m 2,657 f 31 total 2,688

Chief exec Gordon Taylor OBE, BSc(Econ),


Gordon Taylor

Male 1, female 0, total 1


The Professional Trade Union for Prison, Correctional and

Secure Psychiatric Workers

Cronin House, 245 Church Street, London N9 9HW

t 020 8803 0255?f 020 8803 1761

m 25,357 f 9,643 total 35,000

Gen sec Steve Gillan


Ian Garson Steve Gillan

Peter McParlin Anthony Stocks

Male 4, female 0, total 4


New Prospect House

8 Leake Street, London SE1 7NN

t 020 7902 6600?f 020 7902 6667


e (officials and staff)

m 92,050 f 28,299 total 120,349

Gen sec Paul Noon


Mike Clancy Sue Ferns

Alan Grey Helen Kenny

Leslie Manasseh Paul Noon

Heather Phillips Nigel Titchen

Male 5, female 3, total 8


National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD

t 020 7387 4771?f 020 7387 4123


m 68,248 f 8,783 total 77,031

Gen sec Bob Crow


Bob Crow Alex Gordon

Peter Hall Owen Herbert

Ruth Strong Mick Tosh

Glenroy Watson

Male 6, female 1, total 7


The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

1 Fellmongers Path, Tower Bridge Road

London SE1 3LY

t 0845 450 3720?f 0845 450 3721


e (officials and staff)

total 8,888 (male/female split not available)

Chief exec and gen sec Ms Joanna Brown


Joanna Brown Katie Collins

Male 0, female 2, total 2


Society of Radiographers

207 Providence Square, Mill Street

London SE1 2EW

t 020 7740 7200? f 020 7740 7233

e (officials and staff)

m 4,243 f 19,146 total 23,389

Chief exec officer Richard Evans


Pamela Black Richard Evans

Sandra Mathers

Male 1, female 2, total 3


(formerly the Skipton Staff Association)

The Bailey, Harrogate Road, Skipton

North Yorkshire BD23 1DN

t 01756 705826?f 0870 6013230


Registered office (not for correspondence)

The Bailey, Harrogate Road

Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1DN

total 1,302 (male/female split not available)

Chair Brian McDaid


Brian McDaid

Male 1, female 0, total 1


Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Walkden House, 10 Melton Street

London NW1 2EJ

t 020 7387 2101?f 020 7383 0656


e (officials and staff)

m 18,863 f 7,967 total 26,830

Gen sec Gerry Doherty


Gerry Doherty Joel Kosminsky

Harriet Yeo

Male 2, female 1, total 3


Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru

Prif Swyddfa UCAC, Ffordd Penglais

Aberystwyth SY23 2EU

t 01970 639950?f 01970 626765


total 3,946 (male/female split not available)

Gen sec Elaine Edwards


Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

UCATT House, 177 Abbeville Road

London SW4 9RL

t 020 7622 2442?f 020 7720 4081


m 108413 f 2,146 total 110,559

Acting Gen Sec George Guy


Dave Allen Dennis Doody

George Guy Neal Hodkinson

William Hutt Andy Jones

Tom Lannon Mark Lynch

Chris Murphy Terry Palfrey

Male 8, female 0, total 8


University and College Union

Carlow Street, London NW1 7LH

t 020 7756 2500?f 020 7756 2501

minicom 020 7278 0470


e (officials and staff)

Membership and subscription enquiries

m 61,924 f60,029 total 121,953

Gen sec Sally Hunt


Mark Campbell Helen Carr

Terry Hoad Sally Hunt

John McCormack Loraine Monk

Kathy Taylor Cecile Wright

Male 3, female 5, total 8


1 Mabledon Place

London WC1H 9AJ

t 0845 355 0845?f 020 7551 1101

text tel 0800 0967 968

e (officials and staff)

m 412,350 f 962,150 total 1,374,500

Gen sec Dave Prentis


Bob Abberley Maria Alberts

Roger Bannister Kenny Bell

Stephen Brown Simon Butler

Liz Cameron Jane Carolan

Mark Clifford Geri Cowell

Peter Crews Ruth Davies

Ian Fleming Dettie Gould

John Gray Angela Greenhalgh

Mike Hayes Susan Highton

Dilys Jouvenat Conroy Lawrence

Maureen Le Marinel Mary Locke

Angela Lynes Lilian Macer

Gill Malik Angie Marriott

Irene Mbwanda Gordon McKay

Bev Miller Gloria Mills

Caryl Nobbs Dave Prentis

Julie Robinson Alison Shepherd

Eleanor Smith Liz Snape

Irene Stacey Chris Tansley

Chris Tansley Denise Ward

Steve Warwick Clare Williams

Male 13, female 24, total 37


the union

35 King Street, Covent Garden

London WC2E 8JG

t 020 7420 8900

Unite House, 128 Theobald's Road

Holborn, London WC1X 8TN

t 020 7611 2500

m 1,091,726 f 322,428 total 1,414,154

Gen sec Len McCluskey


Terry Abbott Julian Allam

Tony Burke Gail Cartmail

Alexis Chase Andrew Clayworth

Richard Crease Mike Dixon

Dave Fleming Mick Forbes

Andy Ford David Hogg

Diana Holland Jimmy Kelly

Tom Lewington Mohammed Malik

Harry McAnulty Len McCluskey

Linda McCulloch Sean McGovern

Ivan Monckton Carol Montague

Andrew Murray Kwasi Agemang Prempeh

Maggie Ryan Stan Sims

Jane Stewart Pat Stuart

Mohammed Taj Kev Terry

Steve Turner Narerin Wardrop

Tony Woodhouse

Male 25, female 11, total 36


Hillcrest House, Garth Street

Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 2AB

t 01782 272755 ?f 01782 284902

m 3,239 f 1,714 total 4,953

Gen sec Geoff Bagnall


Harry Hockaday

Male 1, female 0, total 1


United Road Transport Union

Almond House, Oak Green

Stanley Green Business Park

Cheadle Hulme SK8 6QL

t 0800 52 66 39 ?f 0161 485 3109


m 12,017 f 300 total 12,317

Gen sec Robert F Monks


Brian Hart Robert F Monks

Male 2, female 0, total 2


Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

188 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M14 6LJ

t 0161 224 2804?f 0161 257 2566


m 172,406 f 226,453 total 398,859

Gen sec John Hannett


Robert Bell Jeff Broome

Mike Dixon John Hannett

Lesley Jarvis Paddy Lillis

Karl Lockley Tina Martin

John McGarry Tracy Millard

Dennis Stinchcombe Philip Waite

Angela Will Fiona Wilson

Barbara Wilson Peter Wolfe

Male 9, female 5, total 14


Writers' Guild of Great Britain

40 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4RX

t 020 7833 0777 ?f 020 7833 4777


m 779 f428 total 1,207

Gen sec Bernie Corbett


Gail Renard

Male 0 female 1 total 1


Yorkshire Independent Staff Association

c/o Yorkshire Building Society

Yorkshire House, Yorkshire Drive, Rooley Lane

Bradford BD5 8LJ

t 01274 472453


Registered office (not for correspondence):

Principal Office, 16 Higher Downs, Bradford

West Yorkshire BD8 0NA

m 931 f 434 total 1,365

Chair Karen Watson



Number of affiliated unions: 55


Male 3,129,639

Female 2,889,510

male/female split not available 37,712

Total 6,056,861

Section 4

Details of past Congresses

Secretary to the

Parliamentary C'tee

or (from 1921) Members

No. Date venue President General Council delegates unions Represented


1 1868 Manchester WH Wood (Manchester Trades Council) WH Wood 34 ? 118,367

2 1869 Birmingham TJ Wilkinson (Flint Glass Makers) George Potter 47 40 250,000

3 1871 London George Potter (Working Men's Association) George Potter 57 49 289,430

4 1872 Nottingham WH Leatherland (Organised Trade Association) George Odger 77 63 255,710

5 1873 Leeds W Lishman (Leeds Trades Councils) George Howell 132 140 750,000

6 1874 Sheffield W Rolley (President, Trades Council) do. 169 153 1,191,922

7 1875 Liverpool J Fitzpatrick (Secretary, Trades Council) do. 151 107 818,032

8 1875 Glasgow J Battersby (Compositors) do. 139 109 539,823

9 1876 Newcastle JC Laird (President, Trades Council) H Broadhurst 140 113 557,823

10 1877 Leicester D Merrick (Boot and Show Finishers) do. 152 112 691,089

11 1878 Bristol GF Jones (Secretary, Trades Council) do. 136 114 623,957

12 1879 Edinburgh D Gibson (President, Trades Council) do. 115 92 541,892

13 1880 Dublin J Murphy (Ironfounders) do. 120 105 494,222

14 1881 London E Coulson (Bricklayers) do. 157 122 463,899

15 1882 Manchester R Austin (Engineers) do. 153 126 509,307

16 1883 Nottingham T Smith (Boot and Shoe Riveters) do. 166 134 520,091

17 1884 Aberdeen JC Thompson (President, Trades Council) do. 142 126 598,033

18 1885 Southport TR Threlfall (Typographical Association) George Shipton 161 136 580,976

19 1886 Hull F Maddison (Typographical Association) H Broadhurst 143 122 635,580

20 1887 Swansea W Bevan (Carpenters and Joiners) do. 156 131 674,034

21 1888 Bradford S Shaftoe (Basket Makers) do. 165 138 816,944

22 1889 Dundee RDB Ritchie (Dundee Trades Councils) do. 211 171 885,055

23 1890 Liverpool W Matkin (Carpenters and Joiners) C Fenwick 457 211 1,470,191

24 1891 Newcastle T Burt (Miners) do. 552 213 1,302,855

25 1892 Glasgow J Hodge (Steel Smelters) do. 495 225 1,219,934

26 1893 Belfast S Munro (Typographical Association) do. 380 226 900,000

27 1894 Norwich F Delves (Engineers) S Woods 378 179 1,100,000

28 1895 Cardiff J Jenkins (Shipwrights) do. 330 170 1,000,000

29 1896 Edinburgh J Mallison (Edinburgh Trades Council) do. 343 178 1,076,000

30 1897 Birmingham JV Stevens (Tin Plate Workers) do. 381 180 1,093,191

31 1898 Bristol J O'Grady (Cabinet Makers) do. 406 188 1,184,241

32 1899 Plymouth WJ Vernon (Typographical Association) do. 384 181 1,200,000

33 1900 Huddersfield W Pickles (House and Ship Painters) do. 386 184 1,250,000

34 1901 Swansea CW Bowerman (London Compositors) do. 407 191 1,200,000

35 1902 London WC Steadman (Barge Builders) do. 485 198 1,400,000

36 1903 Leicester WR Hornidge (Boot and Shoe Operatives) do. 460 204 1,500,000

37 1904 Leeds R Bell (Railway Servants) do. 453 212 1,422,518

38 1905 Hanley J Sexton (Dock Labourers) W C Steadman 457 205 1,541,000

39 1906 Liverpool DC Cummings (Boilermakers) do. 491 226 1,555,000

40 1907 Bath AH Gill (Cotton Spinners) do. 521 236 1,700,000

41 1908 Nottingham DJ Shackleton (Weavers) do. 522 214 1,777,000

42 1909 Ipswich DJ Shackleton (Weavers) do. 498 219 1,705,000

43 1910 Sheffield J Haslam (Miners) do. 505 212 1,647,715

44 1911 Newcastle W Mullin (Cotton Spinners) C W Bowerman 523 202 1,662,133

45 1912 Newport W Thorne (Gasworkers) do. 495 201 2,001,633

46 1913 Manchester WJ Davis (Brassworkers) do. 560 207 2,232,446

47 1915 Bristol JA Seddon (Shop Assistants) do. 610 215 2,682,357

48 1916 Birmingham H Gosling (Waterman) do. 673 227 2,850,547

49 1917 Blackpool J Hill (Boilermakers) do. 679 235 3,082,352

50 1918 Derby JW Ogden (Weavers) do. 881 262 4,532,085

51 1919 Glasgow GH Stuart-Bunning (Postmen's Federation) do. 851 266 5,283,676

52 1920 Portsmouth JH Thomas (Railwaymen) do. 955 215 6,505,482

53 1921 Cardiff EL Poulton (Boot and Shoe) do. 810 213 6,417,910

54 1922 Southport RB Walker (Agricultural Workers) do. 723 206 5,128,648

55 1923 Plymouth JB Williams (Musicians' Union) Fred Bramley 702 194 4,369,268

56 1924 Hull AA Purcell (Furnishing Trades) do. 724 203 4,327,235

No. Date venue President General Secretary delegates unions Represented


57 1925 Scarborough AB Swales (Amalgamated Engineering Union) do. 727 205 4,350,982

58 1926 Bournemouth Arthur Pugh (Iron and Steel Trades Confederation) WM Citrine 696 207 4,365,619

59 1927 Edinburgh George Hicks (Building Trade Workers) do. 646 204 4,163,994

60 1928 Swansea Ben Turner (Textile Workers' Union) do. 621 196 3,874,842

61 1929 Belfast B Tillet (Transport Workers) do. 592 202 3,673,144

62 1930 Nottingham J Beard (Workers' Union Group, T&GWU) do. 606 210 3,744,320

63 1931 Bristol Arthur Hayday (General & Municipal Workers) do. 589 210 3,719,401

64 1932 Newcastle John Bromley (Locomotive Engineers & Firemen) do. 578 209 3,613,273

65 1933 Brighton AG Walkden (Railway Clerks Association) do. 566 208 3,367,911

66 1934 Weymouth Andrew Conley (Tailors and Garment Workers) do. 575 210 3,294,581

67 1935 Margate William Kean (Gold, Silver and Allied Trades) Sir Walter Citrine 575 211 3,388,810

68 1936 Plymouth AAH Findlay (Patternmakers) do. 603 214 3,614,551

69 1937 Norwich Ernest Bevin (Transport and General Workers) do. 623 214 4,008,647

70 1938 Blackpool HH Elvin (Clerks and Administrative Workers) do. 650 216 4,460,617

71 1939 Bridlington J Hallsworth (Distributive and Allied Workers) do. *490 217 4,669,186

72 1940 Southport William Holmes (Agricultural Workers) do. 667 223 4,886,711

73 1941 Edinburgh George Gibson (Mental Hospital Workers) do. 683 223 5,079,094

74 1942 Blackpool Frank Wolstencroft (Woodworkers) do. 717 232 5,432,644

75 1943 Southport Anne Loughlin (Tailors and Garment Workers) do. 760 230 6,024,411

76 1944 Blackpool Ebby Edwards (Mineworkers) do. 730 190 6,642,317

77 1945 Blackpool Ebby Edwards (Mineworkers) do. 762 191 6,575,654

78 1946 Brighton Charles Dukes (General and Municipal Workers) Vincent Tewson 794 192 6,671,120

79 1947 Southport George W Thompson (Draughtsmen) do. 837 187 7,540,397

80 1948 Margate Florence Hancock (Transport & General Workers) do. 859 188 7,791,470

81 1949 Bridlington Sir William Lawther (Mineworkers) do. 890 187 7,937,091

82 1950 Brighton HL Bullock (General and Municipal Workers) Sir Vincent Tewson 913 186 7,883,355

83 1951 Blackpool A Roberts (Card, Blowing & Ring Room Operatives) do. 927 186 7,827,945

84 1952 Margate Arthur Deakin (Transport & General Workers) do. 943 183 8,020,079

85 1953 Douglas T O'Brien, MP (Theatrical and Kine Employees) do. 954 183 8,088,450

86 1954 Brighton Jack Tanner (Amalgamated Engineering Union) do. 974 184 8,093,837

87 1955 Southport CJ Geddes (Union of Post Office Workers) do. 984 183 8,106,958

88 1956 Brighton WB Beard (United Patternmakers Association) do. 1,000 186 8,263,741

89 1957 Blackpool Sir Thomas Williamson (General and Municipal) do. 995 185 8,304,709

90 1958 Bournemouth Tom Yates (National Union of Seamen) do. 993 185 8,337,325

91 1959 Blackpool Robert Willis (London Typographical Society) do. 1,017 186 8,176,252

92 1960 Douglas Claude Bartlett (Health Service Employees) George Woodcock 996 184 8,128,251

93 1961 Portsmouth Edward J Hill (United Society of Boilermakers) do. 984 183 8,299,393

94 1962 Blackpool Dame Anne Godwin (Clerical Workers) do. 989 182 8,312,875

95 1963 Brighton Frederick Hayday (General & Municipal Workers) do. 975 176 8,315,332

96 1964 Blackpool George H Lowthian (Building Trade Workers) do. 997 175 8,325,790

97 1965 Brighton Lord Collison (Agricultural Workers) do. 1,013 172 8,771,012

98 1966 Blackpool Joseph O'Hagan (Blastfurnacemen) do. 1,048 170 8,867,522

99 1967 Brighton Sir Harry Douglass (Iron & Steel Trades) do. 1,059 169 8,787,282

100 1968 Blackpool Lord Wright (Amalgamated Weavers' Association) do. 1,051 160 8,725,604

101 1969 Portsmouth John E Newton (Tailors and Garment Workers) Victor Feather 1,034 155 8,875,381

102 1970 Brighton Sir Sidney Greene (Railway) do. 1,061 150 9,402,170

103 1971 Blackpool Lord Cooper (General & Municipal Workers) do. 1,064 142 10,002,204

104 1972 Brighton George Smith (Construction Workers) do. 1,018 132 9,894,881

105 1973 Blackpool Joseph Crawford (Colliery Overmen, Deputies) Lionel Murray 991 126 10,001,419

106 1974 Brighton Lord Allen (Shop, Distributive & Allied Workers) do. 1,032 109 10,002,224

107 1975 Blackpool Mrs CM Patterson (Transport & General Workers) do. 1,030 111 10,363,724

108 1976 Brighton Cyril Plant (Inland Revenue Staff Federation) do. 1,114 113 11,036,326

109 1977 Blackpool Mrs CM Patterson (Transport & General Workers) do. 1,150 115 11,515,920

110 1978 Brighton Mr D Basnett (General & Municipal Workers) do. 1,172 112 11,865,390

111 1979 Blackpool Mr T Jackson (Post Office Workers) do. 1,200112 12,128,078

112 1980 Brighton Mr T Parry (Fire Brigades) do. 1,203 109 12,172,508

113 1981 Blackpool Mr AW Fisher (Public Employees) do. 1,188 108 11,601,413

114 1982 Brighton Mr A Sapper (Cinematograph and TV Technicians) do. 1,163 105 11,005,984

115 1983 Blackpool Mr FJ Chapple (Electrical and Plumbing Workers) do. 1,155 102 10,510,157

116 1984 Brighton Mr RW Buckton (ASLEF) Norman Willis 1,121 98 10,082,144

117 1985 Blackpool Mr JF Eccles (General, Municipal and Boilermakers) do. 1,124 91 9,855,204

118 1986 Brighton Mr K Gill (TASS) do. 1,091 88 9,585,729

119 1987 Blackpool Mr FF Jarvis (National Union of Teachers) do. 1,065 87 9,243,297

120 1988 Bournemouth Mr C Jenkins (Manufacturing Science Finance) do. 1,052 83 9,127,278

121 1989 Blackpool Mr AMG Christopher (Inland Revenue Staff) do. 1,006 78 8,652,318

122 1990 Blackpool Ms AW Maddocks (NALGO) do. 985 78 8,405,246


No. Date venue President General Secretary delegates unions Represented


123 1991 Glasgow Mr A Smith (GMB) do. 937 74 8,192,664

124 1992 Blackpool Mr R Bickerstaffe (NUPE) do. 892 72 7,762,469

125 1993 Brighton Mr A Tuffin (UCW) John Monks 874 69 7,303,419

126 1994 Blackpool Mr J Knapp (RMT) do. 878 68 7,298,262

127 1995 Brighton Mr L Mills (BIFU) do. 828 67 6,894,604

128 1996 Blackpool Ms M Prosser (TGWU) do. 821 73 6,790,339

129 1997 Brighton Mr T Dubbins (GPMU) do. 827 75 6,756,544

130 1998 Blackpool Mr J Edmonds (GMB) do. 811 74 6,638,986

131 1999 Brighton Lord MacKenzie (UNISON) do. 809 77 6,749,481

132 2000 Glasgow Rita Donaghy OBE (UNISON) do. 772 76 6,745,907

133 2001 Brighton Mr Bill Morris (TGWU) do. 766 73 6,722,118

134 2002 Blackpool Sir Tony Young (CWU) do. 765 70 6,685,353

135 2003 Brighton Nigel de Gruchy (NASUWT) Brendan Barber 783 69 6,672,815

136 2004 Brighton Roger Lyons (Amicus) do. 723 70 6,423,694

137 2005 Brighton Jeannie Drake (CWU) do. 727 66 6,452,267

138 2006 Brighton Gloria Mills (UNISON) do. 742 63 6,463,159

139 2007 Brighton Alison Shepherd (UNISON) do. 762 59 6,471,030

140 2008 Brighton Dave Prentis (UNISON) do. 723 58 6,537,545

141 2009 Liverpool Sheila Bearcroft (GMB) do. 695 61 6,201,359

142 2010 Manchester Dougie Rooney (Unite) do. 645 57 6,135,126

143 2011 London Michael Leahy (Community) do 281 55 6,056,861

Note - From 1869 to 1884 inclusive the numbers set out in the 8th column included representatives of Trade Councils, thus causing some duplication

*Actual attendance. Credentials were issued to 659 Delegates.


Section 5

Members of the general council 1921-2011

Names of members of the Parliamentary Committee which functioned from 1868 to 1921 are included in Reports up to 1976. From 1921 the General Council became the executive body of the TUC. Dates given below are of the year of the Congress at which appointment was made to the General Council, or in the event of election to fill a casual vacancy the year in which it took place.

Abberley, B - 2005-11

Adams, J - 1992-98

Airlie, J - 1990-91

Alderson, R - 1984

Allen, AW - 1962-78

Allen, J - 1994-95

Allen, S - 2000 -01

Allen, WP - 1940-47

Anderson, D - 2000-04

Anderson, WC - 1965-72

Auger, L - 2005-07

Baddeley, W - 1963-72

Bagnall, GH - 1939-47

Baird, R - 1987

Baker, FA- 1976-84

Bartlett, C - 1948-62

Bartlett, J - 2009

Basnett, D - 1966-85

Baty, JG - 1947-54

Baume, J - 2001-11

Bearcroft, S - 1997-2011

Beard, J - 1921-34

Beard, WD - 1947-66

Bell, J - 1937-45

Bell, JN - 1921-22

Benstead, J - 1944-47

Berry, H - 1935-37

*Bevin, E - 1925-40

Bickerstaffe, R - 1982-2000

Biggs, J - 1991

Binks, G - 1998-2002

Birch, JA - 1949-61

Birch, R - 1975-78

Blower, C 2008-11

Boateng, AF - 1994

Boddy, JR - 1978-82

*Bondfield, M - 1921-23, 1925-29

Boothman, H - 1921-35

Bostock, F - 1947

Bothwell, JG - 1963-67

Bottini, RN - 1970-77

Bousted, M - 2003-11

Bowen, JW - 1921-27

Bowman, J - 1946-49

Boyd, JM - 1967-74, 1978-81

Brett, WH - 1989-97

Briginshaw, RW - 1965-74

Britton, EL - 1970-73

Brooke, C - 1989-95

Bromley, J - 1921-35

Brookman, K - 1992-98

Brown, J - 1936-45

Brown, Joanna - 2009-11

Brumwell, G - 1992-2004

Buck, LW - 1972-76

Buckton, RW - 1973-85

Burke, T - 1993-2002, 2008-11

Burrows, AW - 1947-48

Bussey, EW - 1941-46

Cameron, K - 1981-83, 1991-99

Camfield, B - 2000 - 06

Campbell, J - 1953-57

Callighan, A - 1945-47

Cannon, L - 1965-70

Carey, M - 1998-2005

Carolan, J - 2005-11

Carr, J - 1989-92

Carrigan, D - 2001

Carron, WJ - 1954-67

Carter, J - 1989-92

Cartmail, G - 2005-11

Caton, B - 2001-9

Chadburn, R - 1981

Chalmers, J - 1977-79

Chapple, FJ - 1971-82

Chester, G - 1937-48

Chowcat J - 1998

Christie, L - 1988-92

Christopher, AMG - 1977-88

Coldrick, AP - 1968-71

Collinridge, F - 1961-62

Collison, H - 1953-69

Conley, A - 1921-48

Connolly, C - 1995

Connor, Sir Bill - 1997-2003

Cook, AJ - 1927-31

Cookson, B - 2010-11

Cooper, J - 1959-72

Cooper, T - 1996-99

**Cousins, F - 1956-64, 1966-68

Covey, D - 1989-98

Cramp, CT - 1929-32

Crawford, J - 1949-32

Crawford, Joseph - 1960-72

Crow, R - 2003-04, 2006, 2010-11

Curran, K - 2003- 04

Daly, L - 1971-80

Daly, JD - 1983-89

Dann, AC - 1945-52

Davenport, J - 1921, 1924-33

Davies, DG - 1986-96

Davies, ED - 1984

Davies, DH - 1967-74

Davies, O - 1983-86

Deakin, A - 1940-54

Dean, B - 1985-91

Dear, J - 2002-10

De Gruchy, N - 1989-2002

Dhamrait, M - 1995-2000

Dickinson, M - 2009-11

Doherty, G - 2004-10

Donaghy, R - 1987-99

Donnett, AM - 1973-75

Doughty, GH - 1968-73

Douglass, H - 1953-66

Drake, JLP - 1990-2007

Drain, GA - 1973-82

Dubbins, AD - 1984-2007

Duffy, D - 1988-91

Duffy, T - 1978-85

Dukes, C - 1934-46

Dunn, V - 2001-2002

Dwyer, P - 1992-94

Dyson, F - 1975-78

Eastwood, H - 1948

Eccles, JF - 1973-85

Eccles, T - 1949-58

Edmonds, J - 1986-2002

Edmondson, LF - 1970-77

Edward, E - 1931-46

Ellis, JN - 1988-91

Elsom, R - 1996-97

Elvin, HH - 1925-39

Evans, AM - 1977-84

Evans, D - 1991-99

Evans, L - 1945-52

Evans, RL - 1985-91

Evans, W - 1996-99

Evans, WJ - 1960-62

Exall, M - 2006-11

Farthing, WJ - 1935-43

Fawcett, L - 1940-51

Fenelon, B - 1998

Ferns, S - 2005-11

Figgins, JB - 1947-52

Findlay, AAH - 1921-40

Fisher, AW - 1968-81

Ford, SWG - 1963-70

Forden, L - 1958-65

Forshaw, W - 1933-34

Foster, J - 1999-2003

Foulkes, P - 2006

Fysh, M - 2001-10

Gallagher, G - 2007-09

Gallie, CN - 1940-46

Garland, R - 1983

Garley, A - 2005-10

Gates, P - 2001,2003

Geddes, CJ - 1946-56

Geldart, J - 1991-94

George, E - 1988

Gibson, A - 1988-99

Gibson, G - 1928-47

Gilchrist, A - 2000 -04

Gill, K - 1974-91

Gill, WW - 1983-86

Gillan, S - 2010-11

Gladwin, DO - 1986-89

Godrich, J - 2003-11

Godwin, A - 1949-62

Golding, J - 1986-87

Gormley, J - 1973-79

Gosling, H - 1921-23

Graham, JA - 1982-83, 1985

Grant, J - 2002

Grantham, RA - 1971-74, 1983-91

Gray, D - 1982-83

Green, GF - 1960-62

Greendale, W - 1978-85

Greene, SF - 1957-74

Gretton, S - 1969-72

Grieve, CD - 1973-82

Griffiths, AE - 1963-69

Guy, G - 2011

Guy, LG - 1977-82

Hagger, P - 1988-94

Haigh, E - 1982

Hall, D - 1996-97

Hall, E - 1954-59

Hallsworth, J - 1926-46

Hallworth, A - 1955-59

Halpin, A - 1996, 1999, 2001- 08

Hammond, EA - 1983-87

Hancock, F - 1935-57

Handley, RC - 1938-39

Hanley, P - 1968-69

Hannett, J - 2004-11

Harrison, HN - 1937-47

Harvey, D - 2008-11

Hawkes, P - 1992-2004

Hayday, A - 1922-36

Hayday, F - 1950-72

Hayes, W - 2002-11

Haynes, E - 1964-68

Henry, J - 1989-90

Hewitt, H - 1952-63

Heywood, WL - 1948-56

Hicks, G - 1921-40

Hill, AL - 1955-57

Hill, D - 1992

Hill, EJ - 1948-64

Hill, J - 1921-35

Hill, JC - 1958

Hill, S - 1963-67

Hillon, B - 1987-97

Hindle, J - 1930-36

Hodgson, M - 1936-47

Hogarth, W - 1962-72

Holloway, P - 1997-2000

Holmes, W - 1928-44

Houghton, D - 1952-59

Howell, FL - 1970-73

Hunt, S - 2002-11

Isaacs, GA - 1932-45

Jackson, Sir Ken - 1993-2001

Jackson, T - 1967-81

Jarman, C - 1942-46

Jarvis, FF - 1974-88

Jenkins, C - 1974-87

Jinkinson, A - 1990-95

Johnson, A - 1993-94

Jones, J - 1934-38

Jones, JL - 1968-77

Jones, JW - 1967-69

Jones, RT - 1946-56

Jones, RT - 1921-32

Jones, WE - 1950-59

Jordan, WB - 1986-94

Jowett, W - 1986-87

Kaylor, J - 1932-42

Kean, W - 1921-45

Kearns, T - 2008-11

Keates, C - 2004-11

Kelly, J - 2004-07

Kelly, L - 2004

Kenny, P - 2000-11

Keys, WH - 1975-84

King, J - 1972-74

Knapp, J - 1983-2000

Laird, G - 1979-81

Lambert, DAC - 1984-93

Landles, P - 1995-2003

Lascelles, D - 2001-05

Lawther, W - 1935-53

Leahy, M - 1999-2011

Lee, P - 1933

Lenahan, P - 1991-92

Leslie, J - 1925

Littlewood, TL - 1968-70

Lloyd, G - 1973-82

Losinska, K - 1986

Loughlin, A - 1929-52

Love, I - 1987-94

Lowthian, GH - 1952-72

Lynes, A - 2010-11

Lyons, CA - 1983-88

Lyons, J - 1983-90

Lyons, R - 1989-2003

Macgougan, J - 1970-78

MacKenzie, HU (Lord) - 1987-99

Mackney, P - 2002-06

Macreadie, J - 1987

Maddocks, A - 1977-90

Maddocks, WH - 1979-81

Manasseh, L - 2001-2011

Martin, A - 1960-70

Mayer, M - 2007-08

McAndrews, A - 1949-54

McAvoy, D - 1989-2003

McCaffrey, F - 2011

McCall, W - 1984-88

McCarthy, CP- 1983-84

McCarthy, P - 2011

McCluskey, L - 2007-11

McCulloch, L - 2003

McCullogh, E - 1958-62

McDermott, JF - 1949-57

McGahey, M - 1982-85

McGarvey, D - 1965-76

McGonigle, A - 1992

McGrath, H - 1995-98

McGregor, M - 2004

McGurk, J - 1932

Mckay, J - 2002-03

McKnight, J - 2000-07

Mercer, L - 2000-11

Mills, G - 1994-2011

Mills, LA - 1983-95

Moore, JH - 1922-23

Morgan, B - 1995

Morgan, G - 1981-89

Morris, W - 1988-2002

Morritt, M - 1989-91

Morton, J - 1975-84, 1987-89

Murnin, H - 1921

Murray, A - 2011

Murray, JG - 1980-82

Neal, J - 2007-2010

Naesmith, A - 1945-52

Nevin, E - 1985-88

Newman, J - 1990-91

Newton, JE - 1953-69

Nicholls, D - 2005

Nichols, G - 2000-02, 2005-11

Nicholas, HR - 1965-66

Nicholson, B - 1983-87

Noon, P - 2001-11

O'Brien, T - 1940-69

Ogden, JW - 1921-29

O'Hagen, J - 1953-66

O'Kane, E - 2003

Openshaw, R - 1948-56

Orrell, B - 1999-2008

Owen, J - 1948-52

Page, M - 1988-89

Papworth, AF - 1944-48

Parry, T - 1968-80

Patterson, CM - 1963-84

Payne, C - 2008 -09

Paynter, W - 1960

Peel, JA - 1966-72

Pemberton, S - 1974-81

Pickering, R - 1985-96

Pinder, P - 2001-2003

Plant, CTH - 1963-75

Poil, T - 2005-11

Poole, L - 1957-58

Poulton, EL - 1921-29

Prentis, D - 1996-2011

Prime, AM - 1968-76

Prosser, M - 1985-95

Prudence, J - 1995-99

Pugh, A - 1921-35

Purcell, AA - 1921-27

Purkiss, B - 1994-99

Qualie, M - 1923-25

Reamsbottom, BA - 1992-2001

Richards, T - 1925-31

Ritchie, A - 2005-10

Rix, M - 2001-2002

Roberts, A (Sir) - 1940-62

Roberts, A - 1967-71

Robinson, A - 2011

Robinson, SA - 1959-69

Rogers, S - 2002-08

Rooney, D - 1998-2010

Rooney, M - 1990-2002

Rosser, R - 2000 - 2003

Rown, J - 1921-34

Russell, JG - 1982-86

Sage, M - 2009-11

Sanders, B - 2007

Sapper, AL - 1970-83

Scanlon, H - 1968-77

Scard, D - 1990-2000

Scargill, A - 1980-82, 1986-87

Scott, J - 1961

Scrivens, EM - 1982-86

Serwotka, M - 2002-11

Sexton, J - 1921

Sharp, L - 1957-65

Shaw, A - 1929-38

Sheldon, J - 1992-97

Shepherd, A - 1995-2011

Sherwood, W - 1934-36

Simpson, D - 2002-10

Sinnott, S - 2005-07

Sirs, W - 1975-84

Skinner, H - 1921-31

Slater, JH - 1974-82

Slater, JW - 1972-73

Smillie, R - 1921-36

Smith, A - 1921

Smith, AR - 1979-92

Smith, E - 2007-11

Smith, GF - 1959-78

Smith, H - 1922-24, 1931

Smith, J - 2007-11

Smith, LJ - 1980-87

Smith, P - 1999-2002

Smith, R - 1957-66

Smithies, FA - 1983-89

Snape, L - 2001-11

Sonnet, K - 2001-06

Spackman, EW- 1945-46

Spanswick, EAG - 1977-82

Spence, WR - 1931-41

Squance, WJR - 1936-39

Stanistreet, M - 2011

Stanley, BC - 1983-85

Steele, NJ - 1983-90

Stevens, L - 1983

Stevenson, RB - 1984-89

Stewart, J - 2011

Stott, W - 1936-39

Stuart, P - 2004-11

Swales, AB - 1921-34

Sweeney, E - 1996-2006

Swindell, B - 1962-65

Switzer, B - 1993-97

Symons, E - 1989-95

Taj, M - 2000-11

Talbot, P - 1999-2008

Tallon, WM - 1957-66

Tami, M - 1999-2000

Tanner, J - 1943-53

Taylor, S - 2003 - 05

Thomas, JH - 1921, 1925-28

Thomas, KR - 1977-81

Thomas, P - 1989-91

Thomson, GW - 1935-47

Thorburn, W - 1990

Thorne, W - 1921-33

Thorneycroft, GB - 1948-52

Thurston, J - 1999-2004

Tiffin, AE - 1955

Tillet, B - 1921-31

Todd, R - 1984-91

Townley, WR - 1930-36

Tuffin, AD - 1982-92

Turner, B - 1921-28

Turner, J - 1921-24

Turner, M - 1981-86

Turner, P - 1981-88

Turner, S - 2011

Twomey, M - 1989-96

Urwin, CH - 1969-79

Vannet, M - 1997-2001

Varley, J - 1921-25, 1926-34

Wade, JF - 1983

Walkden, AG - 1921-25

Walker, RB - 1921-27

Walsh, B - 1950, 1957-59

Walsh, J - 2005-10

Ward, B - 1985

Warrillow, E - 1997-1999

Warwick, D - 1989-91

Webber, WJP - 1953-62

Weakley, J - 1985, 1987-94

Weighell, S - 1975-82

Weller, S - 2011

Whatley, WHP - 1979-85

White, J - 1990-92

Whyman, JR - 1983, 1985-89

Wilkinson, F - 1993-96

Williams, A - 1985-91

Williams, DO - 1983-86

Williams, JB - 1921-24

Williams, RW - 1938-46

Williamson, T - 1947-61

Willis, R - 1947-64

Wilson, F - 2007-11

Winsett, J - 1986

Wolstencroft, F - 1928-48

Wood, L - 1979-84

Wood, W - 1936-37

Woodhouse, T - 2008-11

Woodley, T - 2003-10

Wrack, M - 2006-11

Wright, LT - 1953-67

Yates, T - 1947-60

Young, AI - 1989-2001

*Resigned on appointment as Minister of Labour

** Resigned on appointment as Minister of Technology, 1964

Index of Speakers


Aitchinson, Jane

Proposed reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission 61

Allen, Dave

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 43

Andrews, Helen

Health and safety 117


Bailey, Laura

Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries 96

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 73

Barber, Brendan

General Council 125

General Secretary's Address 31

Independent Commission on Banking 38

Pensions 115

Question and answer session with the Leader of the Labour Party 71-74

TUC support for smaller trade unions 66

Vote of thanks 129

Baugh, Chris

Privatising justice 104

Baume, Jonathan

Pensions 112

Bean, Dave

Alternative Economic Strategy 36

Bearcroft, Sheila

Alternative Economic Strategy 35

Vote of thanks to the President 129

Black, Pamela

Sickness and Absence Policies 46

Blower, Christine

Pensions 111

Bousted, Mary

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

TUC response to the riots 87

Bowden, Justin

Southern Cross and the care sector 79

Brice, Jeff

Work-related stress 119

Brinson, Dave

Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts 60

Broome Jeff

Public Services and their importance to the economy 52

Vulnerable and atypical workers 44

Brown, Joanna

Work-related stress 119

Brown, Paula

Health and safety 118

Justice Family Review 105

Burke, Tony

Alternative Economic Strategy 33

Media regulation 100


Cameron, Elizabeth

Public sector equality duty 60

Campbell, Mark

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 84

Carberry, Kay

Equality Audit 53

Carolan, Jane

Public Services and their importance to the economy 50

Cartmail, Gail

Independent Commission on Banking 38

Pensions 112

Chase, Alexis

Southern Cross and the care sector 80

Chowcat, John

Protecting local children and young people's services 67

Clark, Alec

Working for free 94

Clifford, Mark

Race equality and the attack on public services 56

Collins, Katie

Arthritis 80

Misuse of anti-psychotic drugs 82

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 71

Connor, Helen

Pensions 115

Cookson, Brian

Public Services and their importance to the economy 52

Crawley, Luke

Health and safety 117

Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries 97

Vulnerable and Atypical Workers 43

Crow, Bob

Alternative Economic Strategy 35

Defending public transport 88

English Defence League 106


Dickinson, Mark

Maritime safety 91

Doherty, Gerry

Defending public transport 89

Gold badge presentation 128

Vote of Thanks to the President 48

Donley, James

Sickness and Absence Policies 47

Donnelly, Alan

TUC support for smaller trade unions 65

Doody, Dennis

Health and safety 116

Low Carbon Economy 75

Draper, Ronnie

Employment Law 45

Maximum working temperature (health and safety) 120


Evans, Richard

Arthritis 81

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 85

Exall, Maria

Alternative Economic Strategy 36


Fallon, Kate

Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children 82

TUC support for smaller trade unions 64

Ferns, Sue

Health and safety 117

Flanagan, Helen

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage 96

TUC response to the riots 87

Fleming, Ian

Alternative Economic Strategy 34

Forbes, Mick

Health and safety 117

Ford, Andy

All Together for the NHS 77

Fox, Terry

Low Carbon Economy 75

Franklin, Nina

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 84

Fysh, Mark

Gold badge presentation 128


Gethin, Sue

Public sector equality duty 60

Gillan, Steve

Pensions 114

Trade Union Rights 41

TUC response to the riots 86

Glazier, Jerry

Alternative Economic Strategy 35

Godrich, Janice

Great Britain Football Team 102

Public Services and their importance to the economy 50

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 71

Gordon, Alex

Peace in the Middle East/South Asia 123

Save Bombardier jobs 127

World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions and EU trade agreements 121

Grandon, Vicky

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 73

Grey, Alan

Great Britain Football Team 101

Maritime safety 92

Guy, George

Payroll companies 44


Hall, Peter

Report of General Purposes Committee 30, 47, 76, 109

Halpin, Anita

Alternative Economic Strategy 37

English Defence League 105

Harvey, Dave

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 86

Hatfield, Jacque

Low Carbon Economy 74

Hayes, Billy

Defending multiculturalism 62, 64

Herbert, Owen

Maximum working temperature (health and safety) 120

Highton, Susan

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 56

Hoad, Terry

Public Services and their importance to the economy 51

Holbourne, Zita

Defending multiculturalism 64

Holder, Sharon

Media regulation 99

Holland, Diana

Save Bombardier jobs 127

Thameslink Rolling Stock project 90

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 55

Hudson, Mandy

Mental Health at Work 58

Hunt, Sally

Pre-Abortion counselling 126

Hyde, Max

Employment Law 46


Jandu, Kamaljeet

Defending multiculturalism 63

Jess, Mike

Piracy/Royal Fleet Auxiliary 92

Jones, Rose

TUC response to the riots 86

Jordan, Keith

Alternative Economic Strategy 33

Joseph, Betty

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72


Kaye, Michael

Playfair 2012 125

Kearns, Tony

Public Services and their importance to the economy 50

Keates, Chris

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 83

Kelly, Jim

Defending public transport 90

Kenny, Helen

Public Services and their importance to the economy 52

Kenny, Paul

Trade Union Rights 39

Kerr, Andy

Agency Workers 107

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 42

Kitchen, Chris

Low Carbon Economy 75

Kosminsky, Joel

Defending multiculturalism 63

Pensions 111


Lanning, Hugh

Peace in the Middle East/South Asia 123

Le Marinel, Maureen

Privatising justice 104

Leahy, Michael

Accounts 128

Adoption of General Council Report 128

Close of Congress 130

Congress Awards 88

Congress President 2012 129

Obituary 30

President's Address 47

Vote of thanks 129

Welcome to sororal and fraternal delegates 30

Ledger, Jonathan

Justice family Review 105

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 73

Lillis, Paddy

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 41

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 53

Locke, Mary

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 71

Longstaff, Danny

Working for free 93

Loughran, Iain

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 43

Luxford, Dee

Egypt 124


Macer, Lilian

Defending multiculturalism 62

Mackenzie, Alex

All Together for the NHS 76

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

Manasseh, Leslie

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 42

Mansell-Green, Annette

All Together for the NHS 77

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 55

TUC support for smaller trade unions 65

Marlowe, Corinna

BBC licence fee 100

Mathers, Sandra

Misuse of anti-psychotic drugs 81

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

McAnulty, Harry

Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts 59

McAuslan, Jim

Payroll companies 45

McCaffrey, Fern

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage 95

World Trade Organisation Mode 4 provisions and EU trade agreements 121

McCluskey, Len

Trade Union Rights 38

McCormack, John

Justice 103

Save the NHS 78

McCrae, Anne

Proposed reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission 61

McGovern, Sean

Mental Health at Work 58

McGuire, Bob

Southern Cross and the care sector 79

McJimpsey, Audrey

Thameslink Rolling Stock project 91

McKay, Gordon

Southern Cross and the care sector 80

McLean, Alan

Egypt 123

McParlin, Peter

Justice 102, 103

Privatising justice 104

Mercer, Lesley

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 54

Miliband, Rt Hon Ed

Address by Leader of the Labour Party 68

Miller, Bev

Defending LGBT rights while fighting the cuts 59

Monk, Loraine

Protecting local children and young people's services 68

Trade Union Rights 40

Murdoch, Ian

Thameslink Rolling Stock project 91

Murphy, Chris

Disability 57

Pensions 113

Murray, Andrew

Peace in the Middle East/South Asia 122


Nichols, Ged

Independent Commission on Banking 37

The Government's Deregulation Agenda 42

Vote of Thanks to the President 49

Noble, Andy

Public Services and their importance to the economy 52

Noon, Paul

Alternative Economic Strategy 36


O'Grady, Frances

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage 95

Save the NHS 78


Phillips, Heather

Playfair 2012 125

Prentis, Dave

Pensions 109


Renard, Gail

BBC Licence fee 100

Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries 97

Working for free 94

Restell, Jon

All Together for the NHS 77

Rimmer, John

Trade Union Rights 39

Roach, Patrick

Pensions 112

Robinson, Alice

State education, Free Schools, Academies and privatisation 84

Robinson, Julie

Mental Health at Work 58


Serwotka, Mark

Pensions 110

Sinclair, Malcolm

Educating consumers about intellectual property rights 98

Smith, Eleanor

All Together for the NHS 76

Smith, John

Educating consumers about intellectual property rights 98

Stanistreet, Michelle

Trade Union Rights 40

Stephenson, Norma

Sororal Address from the Labour Party 109

Stewart, Jane

Pre-Abortion counselling 126

Stinchcombe, Dennis

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

Strong, Ruth

Health and safety 118

Strutton, Brian

Pensions 115

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 73

Stuart, Pat

Egypt 124

Save the NHS 78

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 55


Tansley, Chris

Protecting local children and young people's services 67

Taylor, Gordon

Great Britain Football Team 101, 102

Taylor, Kathy

Defending multiculturalism 63

Pensions 114

Titchen, Nigel

Low Carbon Economy 74

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 71

Tosh, Mick

Piracy/Royal Fleet Auxiliary 92

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

Turner, Mary

Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children 83

Turner, Steve

Agency Workers 106


Upton, Julia

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 73


Walsh, John

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage 94

Ward, Dave

Pensions 114

Warwick, Steve

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage 95

Watson, Glenroy

Haiti 122

Scrutineers Report 107

Trade Union Rights 41

Weller, Simon

Defending public transport 89 Thameslink Rolling Stock project 90

White Barry

Media regulation 99

White, Barbara

Lost Arts and a decent work agenda for the creative industries 97

Wilson, Tim

Privatising justice 103

Wrack, Matt

Alternative Economic Strategy 34

Defending multiculturalism 64

Pensions 113

Wright, Cecile

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72

The impact of the cuts on the equality agenda 54


Yeo, Harriet

Alternative Economic Strategy 34

Question to the Leader of the Labour Party 72