National Executive Council Report Jan-2007

Amicus NEC Meeting – 31st January 2007

TGWU Merger
NEC members had been sent an amended version of the proposed General Rules shortly before Christmas and the changes had been agreed by postal vote.

A ballot of the full membership of both Amicus and TGWU was to take place at the beginning of February.

Transfers of Engagement
It had not been possible to commence the transfer ballot for members of the Association of Cambridge University Assistants (ACUA) prior to the TGWU merger ballot due to administrative delays. The transfer would therefore have to be postponed until the Joint Executive Council takes office on 1st May.

Transfer discussions had also been taking place with the British Union of Social Work Employees (BUSWE) and NSPCC Staff Association and it was agreed that if possible, the negotiations be completed on the basis of a contractual agreement. Members would then need to join Amicus on an individual basis.

Regional Secretary Elections
An election for the post of Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Secretary was originally to include all members living and/or working in the region but there had been difficulties identifying members in large organisations who worked in a specific region.

The ballot was therefore abandoned and it was agreed to re-run the election balloting members whose home address or branch is in the region.

A proposal to replace the Amicus Education Department with the use of external tutors was recommended by the General Purposes and Finance Committee. The General Secretary reported that approx 60% of Amicus education courses currently involve external tutors and the change in provision would also fit in with the TGWU education structure.

It was proposed that existing education staff be offered a post in other areas of the union and that the union retain control of our training courses and content but use external providers.

The General Secretary was asked whether there would be a consultation process to identify particular education requirements of different industrial sectors before proceeding.

The General Secretary confirmed that further consideration would be given to the proposal and the implications for industrial sectors and that a final recommendation would be brought back to the NEC.

Financial Report
A report on income & expenditure for January – November 2006 showed an operating surplus of £1.4M with an overall deficit of £3.8M after voluntary severance and pension costs.

It was confirmed that property expenses included maintenance costs for Whitehall College.

EETPU Pension Fund
Member trustees of the scheme have instructed claimed that the rules of the scheme were not changed and that their contracts were changed without their consent. They are currently seeking advice from the scheme solicitors.

Valuing Public Services Campaign
The campaign was officially launched in December and was followed by a TUC lobby of Parliament on 23rd January.

The next stage of the campaign will focus on press and media work to highlight the problems in using private sector providers for public services.

International Alliances
Agreements had been reached with IG Metall and the American Machinists Union and United Steelworkers Union seeking to expand international cooperation with a shared agenda. The General Secretary reported that similar discussions with an Australian trade union are now proceeding.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
The ICTU had previously ruled that Amicus AEEU could not represent electricians working at Cadbury Ireland following a complaint by another trade union. The combined result of the merger and ICTU ruling has been that Amicus can represent its engineering members in the company but not the electricians as a separate group.

A further dispute had occurred about representation of electricians within the company. The NEC agreed that the General Secretary seek a resolution of the matter with the ICTU. If no solution could be found it was agreed that the ICTU ruling be implemented,

The union recruited 70,707 new members in 2006. The 2006 membership figures for Education, Government Departments and Local Authorities were as follows:

January December
Education 14758 15245
Government Depts 11334 11532
Local Authorities 16165 16521

Other Matters

  • A Joint Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed with the Public and Commercial Services Union covering membership, representation and recognition issues.
  • A draft recognition agreement with Alliance & Leicester had been referred to the TUC following a claim that the agreement was in breach of TUC procedures.
  • It was agreed to indemnify Amicus trustees on the CSEU 35 hour week Fund against legal action from Fund members.

Sue Sharp

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