Great Western Branch Chair AGM Report 2021
31 March 2021
Women’s officer report AGM 31st March 2021
31 March 2021

Great Western Branch AGM Agenda

CWU and Proud

Contents / Quick Links

  1. Introductions and Apologies
  2. minutes Silence
  3. Minutes of Previous AGM and Matters Arising
  4. Branch Secretary Report
  5. Consideration of the Auditor’s report.
  6. Consideration of the Financial Secretary
  7. Election of Delegates/ Observers/Reserves to General Conference Rules Revision April 2021
  8. Officers Reports Safety, Equality, Womans, Bame. Retired Verbal reports.
  9. Propositions and Amendments to the Branch Bye-Laws First prop
  10. Guest Speaker Tracey Fussey
  11. Any Other Business pertinent to the AGM
  1. Introductions and Apologies

    Colleagues

    2020/2021 has been some of the most difficult times for officers, Representatives and members for many years. We have had to deal with a pandemic and a massive attack by some of our largest employers. I believe that some of these companies have taken advantage of COVID 19 to speed up and advance their disgusting transformation programmes.

    The officers have had a busy year having to work on getting several industrial action ballots through. With the greatest success. The RPE had two ballots with amazing results and also the National consultative ballot in BT which again showed the company that their employees are fed up with the race to the bottom and compulsory redundancies.

    We started the last year with lots of new officers and representatives and I am pleased
    to report that we have filled all the posts over that time. The Branch Secretary is looking into a time table for the biannual officers elections which have been put back due
    to COVID and the logistics. As soon as conditions change we will begin the process.

    The branch accounts have been audited for 2019/ 2020 and 2020/2021 and I would like to thank Glenn Morris for the work he has put into looking after the branch finances

    The branch has done well over the last year with proportionality , and has 4 woman on the committee. We also have a new LBGQ+ Officer and a new BAME officer. Welcome Emma and Charmaine.

    The coming months are going to be a real test of Solidarity and a lot of hard work from all branch reps and workplace reps, we are going into a formal ballot for Strike action and we must deliver a massive YES vote . A thank you to all the members out there who have become the voice of the branch, we will keep you informed on the WhatsApp group of everything that is happening.

    Finally I want to thank all officers for the hard work they have put in especially Neil Crothall our Branch Secretary who has worked tirelessly to bring the branch into the modern age especially in our media engagement with the help of Glenn Morris. Also for Neil’s dedication in bringing the officers together after a turbulent few years. We
    now have a great team who the branch members should be proud of, I am.

    Paul Clark
    Branch Chair

  2. Minutes Silence

  3. Minutes of Previous AGM and Matters Arising

    27 March 2019 AGM Minutes Bournemouth

    Great western Branch AGM. Wed 27th March 2019 Minutes of AGM

    1. Branch chair (Paul Clark) started AGM at 1905

      Opening remarks;

      Paul thanks all members for attending AGM 2019 and thanks branch officers for contribution in preparations for AGM. Paul announces BT actively attacking all area of the business with a more aggressive management style brought in from the introduction of EE upper management taking key roles with the BT structure. And that they are pushing hard back against the CWU.

      Apologies.

      Kevin Maidment, Peter Simpson, Simon Gilbert, Mark Fake, Mark Peel, Richard Mabot, Matt Edgington, Matt Robinson.

    2. There was a Minute silence to remember all our lost colleagues and members.
    3. No minutes from previous AGM where produced, this was explained by the
      Chair that because in previous years the Branch was divided into 3 area’s
      they were difficult to collate. If however member wished to see them then they
      should contact the Chair after meeting and he would find them.
    4. The Auditors report was given by Mr Bob Hope, which was conducted Bob and Mr Dave Murray and then verified by Mr Roger Sivell.
      They found the financial accounts to be in good order. They noted the branch expenditure on Promotional items as requested by HQ minutes or emails should be attached when such expenditure occurs.
      Also note that when non-committee members attend annual conference, agreed Bccm minutes should be attached to invoices. Concern was raised at the lack of expenditure on Women’s fund (same as previous year).
      There was also zero expenditure on Welfare and Education, which caused concern because these are two of the mainstays of the union. It was noted and concerns were raised about iMac’s being left out without being securely stored by Bob and Dave, Chair explained these were in the middle of being transported when observation was made, and that normally they are stored securely.
      There was a question raised about no Insurance for Branch purchased equipment
      Eddie Beese rose to explain this had been looked into previously and that insurance premium where very expensive and superseded the value of the
      items.
      The chair then asks the AGM to approve the Audit. This proposition was put forward by E Beese.
      It was seconded by Mr Steve Betts.
      The Audit was voted on and unanimously agreed by the AGM.
    5. Treasurer Neil Crothall reported to the AGM the opening bank balance for 18/19 was £94,204.34 and the closing balance was £101,529.73 with £7,325.39 growth.
      Please see Treasurers Report
      Treasurer explained to the AGM Bank accounts had been reduced to 3, and that there will no longer be a retired member account and all funding for retired member would come directly from main branch account. Treasurer explained the increase in subsistence expenditure in this financial year was partly due to a special 3day Project redesign conference called by HQ. And that Conference booking for 2019 had been paid within the 2018 financial year.
      Treasurer reported to the AGM Accounts were in a healthy state. Treasurer thanked Auditors Mr Bob Hope, Mr Dave Murray and Mr Roger Sivell for their quality and professionalism while carrying out the branch financial audit.
      Chair then asked AGM to agree the treasures report.
      Proposed by Eddie Bees
      Seconded: Peter Hoare
      AGM Unanimously agreed.
      It was then announced the Auditors for next years accounts would be Mr B Hope, Mr D Murray and Mr R Sivell.
      Branch secretary report, Amanda introduced to AGM special Guests Tracey Fussey from the NEC and Kevin Beezer regional secretary, Amanda then proceeded to thank guests and all branch officials for what had been a very difficult year personally and within the branch.
      Amanda aired her surprise and delights on the success of the drive for new branch reps and the contact point within teams, and hopes in the near future to meet and greet all of them.
      Amanda explained how being the only female officer within the branch and having a busy Branch secretary position has made it difficult to utilise the Women fund but with the new appoints feels this will rectified this year. Amanda reported to AGM that the changes that have occurred within the branch this year are a massive positive and looks forward to everyone working together.
      She also reported it has been a difficult year dealing with BT management as
      senior BT management have been in fluxed by EE senior management and
      are changing the way they work.
      Amanda made AGM aware there will be many battles ahead and called on all
      for their support and help.
    6. No Areas Secretaries reports because under the new branch constitution there are no areas. We are ONE branch. Branch Sec explains to AGM that while areas were in place no issues were being feed back to her from these separate areas and as such she found it impossible to coordinate the smooth running of the branch and the areas where making decisions without her knowledge, then when asked by BT she was unable to explain these actions.
    7. Colin Winsby was the only proposition heard at the AGM and it was to increase the retired members Christmas allowance from £25 to £35 in line with BT Christmas allowance increase.
      Branch Treasure rose to oppose this proposition, and thanked Colin. Neil went on to explain that if every retired member across the branch took up the £35 offer this would lead to a £14k+ bill.
      Neil explained the branch is more than happy to fund events for retired member and that going forward if the retired members wish to give the finance committee a projected yearly figure then this would be considered and passed to the BCCM.
      Neil then went on to explain the rebate the branch receives from HQ is 27% of the annual retired contributions which works out to be approx £6000 which would need to be shared equally across the whole branch.
      An announcement was then made to the AGM that Dave Ward is supportive of how retired members have supported with campaigns and would like to thank them all.
      Neil then reiterated his opposition to the proposition.
      Les Glover wished to point out that the BCCM only happens every 2 months and it would take the retired member’s time to organise financial budget requests.
      Neil explained to AGM he would happily discuss any issues after the AGM, he also highlighted to all parties for their yearly budget forecasts. Colin Winsby then stood and withdrew his proposition after hearing treasures explanations of his opposition to the proposition Branch chair thanked him.
    8. Branch Chair announces delegates attending 2019 CWU conference, Amanda Collick, Eddie Beese, Neil Crothall, Neil Uglow, Steve Betts, Glen Morris, Ross Harding, Dave Shilton, Andy Holder, Peter Hoare. This was then put to AGM to Agree.
      Proposed: Steve Betts
      Seconded: Dave Shilton
      This was unanimously agreed by the AGM. Any others interested in attended contact Branch Secretary.
    9. There were No amendments to Branch bylaws.
    10. Guest speaker Tracey Fussey addressed the AGM, she went on to explain that BT is a very different place to work compared to years gone by, and that the influx of EE Management into senior BT management positions had brought many changes and that we all face difficult days ahead. Tracey also announced CWU campaign to remove Agency Workers from within the work force.
      Tracey explained about how challenging the TUPE of our colleagues in BTFS has been and that the CWU had some very difficult discussions with the company.
      Tracey also talked about the rumoured possible sell off BT Fleet.
      Tracey explained to AGM that ONE BT are looking at another faze of building reductions and the challenges we face ahead.
      The CWU are making changes to the way they communicate with their members making it more effective and raising the profile of the CWU.
      Frank Guy rose to air his concern of how the TUPE of BTFS will affect the already poor condition of exchanges and wider ramifications.
      Tim Haywood: This is the same as happened in Royal mail and aired his concerns.
      Les Glover: Raised the issue around removal of toilet and water from Building, Tracey responded and this is known by HQ and they are chasing. Mark Cordall: Asked Tracey if she had any update on the discussion regarding ULR time HQ are still awaiting response from HQ.
      Branch chair thanked Tracey
    11. Les Glover: Asked about election of Branch officers
      Bob Hope Rose, he wished to thank the CWU lead by Dave Ward in the Strong support for the labour Party.
      Bob spoke about the success the labour party was having in local Bournemouth constituencies and ask for the branch to support their campaign.
      Dave Thomas and Bob Hope asked for support for their CPLs as they were running in the local council elections.
      A proposition was made by E Beese, seconded by A Collick.
      The AGM unanimously agreed.
      Neil C rose.
      Neil, went on to explain the branch was already affiliated with the a number CLPs and that they would receive payment before 2 May 2019 as this was time sensitive.
      Dave Thompson thanked branch for support.
      Lee Wakeman rose and wished to let the AGM know there was a CLP Meeting happening in the Elstead at the same time as the AGM and it might by an idea to enter meeting and show our support.
      Colin Winsby.
      Point of info, asked if there was going to be a welfare committee and if this could be raised at the BCCM.
      Colin also brought up concerns and the member disappointment that there were no branch diaries, Chair rose to explain because of internal branch issue there had not been BCCM in the previous year to discuss purchasing them, but this will be discussed in the future.
      Mark Cordall
      Wished to ask about planning Mental Health Course he was asked by the Chair to write in to the branch.
      Kevin Beezer.
      Thanked the branch officers for all their hard work rebuilding the branch. Branch Chair Closes AGM 20:42.
  4. Branch Secretary Report

    March 2021

    Secretary’s Report (Incorporating the Political Officers report)

    Dear Member

    This past year has seen the branch change the way it engages with its members not only because of the pressures from the Covid 19 Pandemic but because of the call for strike action.

    The Covid 19 restrictions have made it impossible to meet members and represent them on a face-to-face basis. This has meant that the officers have
    been based at home rather than in Union Offices. However, the demand for union services and support has increased not least because of the redundancies within BT group but also with the non-recognised companies and concerns around the safety of their workplace. As an example of the branch’s effectiveness outside of BT, we now have regular video meetings with the CEO of Woven and have inspected their site in Bristol to ensure compliance to the Covid 19 government recommendations.

    The level of disciplines has not, however, declined nor has the level of unfair treatment of our members. The number of equality and discrimination cases has risen and this can be seen by the level of cases that have proceeded to ACAS and the Employment Tribunal.

    To compliment the Industrial Relations activity our Health and Safety team have continued to inspect, report and highlight concerns throughout the BT real estate within our branch geography. Their input and reporting of breaches have been key in safeguarding our members. The branch invested heavily in sanitizer and has distributed thousands of the bottles to our members. Masks and ‘safety handles’ were also distributed to our members.

    To facilitate home working the branch has invested in desks and chairs for those officers who needed them. This may seem like an unnecessary expense but I would ask you to consider the alternative especially when our union promotes a safe and an acceptable workplace. Not to do so would have
    been contrary to the values we promote. Officers have continued with online training with the exception of the Adult MHFA Mental Health First Aider course ,which was held just prior to lockdown and meant we could learn as a group in our Bournemouth learning centre.

    Read more View full document in PDF

    I’m especially delighted to report that our proportionality exceeds the make-up of our membership and we now have 4 women officers fulfilling the roles of,
    BAME, Equality, LGBTQ+ and Women’s Officers.

    Our communication has improved, we now reach our members through email, Website, Facebook, App, WhatsApp, Text and Twitter. This is a rapid
    departure for the dual line of communications that were prevalent a few years ago.

    Our retired members have made a significant contribution to the branch this year and I am especially grateful for the ‘telephone banking’ that they undertook for us. Around 2800 telephone calls were made by the retired members, which enabled the branch to update its records to levels that has not been achieved before.

    As you will be aware, an electronic consultative ballet took place for our BT membership and returned a 97.7% ‘Yes’ return for the ‘CountMeIn!’ Campaign. The activism continues with another database cleanse prior to a postal ballot for Strike action. This will be the second ballet for strike action. We have the BT RPE engineers on regular strike days to protect the erosion of grades within that business unit.

    For clarity I list below the reason for the call for strike actions and the ‘CountMeIN!’ Campaign.

    In essence these are the issues:

    • The company wants to change the pension agreement that we accepted in 2018. This is a cost cutting exercise, which makes it less expensive to remove members from the business.
    • Compulsory redundancies. This will be the result of the mass closure of sites and consolidation in the ‘Better Work Place Program’ throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. It started last year. It means that members will lose their jobs if they cannot re-locate. It means less opportunity for our members to progress. The off-shoring of jobs reduces employment opportunities for our members. Cost cutting through the removal of heads under the guise of efficiency is rife.
    • Remote working. Despite selling and delivering the technology that enables individuals to work from remote locations, a vital service proven of late, the company refuses to allow remote working when a site is closed, making it impossible for those members who need to work remotely to remain in employment.
    • Grading. The company has repeatedly carried out the re-grading of roles and introduced new grades without the agreement of the CWU. This is outside of the recognised agreements and is a threat to all our members because invariably pay rates for the unagreed grades are lower than existing rates. This is what the CWU refers to as the’ race to the bottom’. It affects all our members who wish to progress. New joiners find themselves being paid less than an incumbent doing the same work! That is unfair.
    • Pay. You are key workers. You have delivered throughout the pandemic. A pay rise, which reflects your magnificent effort and loyalty should be forthcoming coming, it isn’t.
    • New Technology. The CWU has not shied away from change over the past years because of the introduction of new technology. It has worked with the company for mutual benefit. This approach is now rejected by the company, leaving the CWU with very little option other than to ask you to show your anger at the company’s contempt for you. You can do this by voting ‘YES’. All our members are affected by the issues above. In the near future, we will be publishing a flow chart, which will identify your business area and the threats you will be facing. Unless we change the trajectory of the current business strategy, the company is focused on pursuing, many of us will lose our livelihoods or be disadvantaged.

    The branch is now returning to full functionality with the appointment of a Learning Co-ordinator. This post will be facilitating learning opportunities for all our members but we are looking to expand its scope in supporting those individuals facing redundancy as outlined in the publication of Redundancy Law (Section 4, ‘Redundancy Law’, Labour Research Department, LRD Publications Ltd/London, November 2019).

    Section 4 states ;

    • finding out learning and support need and organising learning activities in the work place, such as CV workshops, job search, Skills for Life, ICT and financial management courses;
    • Provide advice and information on learning opportunities, including referring people to adult career advice services such as Next step (or providing this advice if qualified); and Working with external bodies such as learning providers and Jobcentre Plus.

    I include in this report our political activity, as I have the privilege of being the Political Officer for the branch. In the past year we have continued to affiliate to local CLPs where we can encourage a response. We have contributed (from the political fund) to the election funds for the Labour party and the CWU’s candidate for the Metro Mayoral elections. We have contributed to the Bristol Mayor and Metro Mayor election funds. A video will be forthcoming from the Bristol Mayor expressing his support for our cause.

    The branch wrote to every sitting MP and Lord to express its concern around offshore working and redundancies as part of its ‘CountMeIN! Campaign. This was done to raise awareness, gather support and make sure that our that leaders were informed of the cynical move by BT when we were in lockdown. The responses are on our website should you wish to view them.

    To conclude, the branch is functioning well despite the difficult circumstances and is gearing up for the next ballot. There is of course room for improvement
    and I am sad to report that I have had cause to write to all our officers concerning the way in which we engage with each other. A united branch is key to its success and is instrumental in delivering a ‘Yes’ vote in these coming months and so I want to address a number of issues.

    At the heart of branch is the membership, the ‘mantra’ for our branch is on our banner; ‘Those who do not move do not notice their chains’. This is a quote from Rosa Luxemburg, a German Marxist who was the Nazis’ first assassination. The point is this, our branch is moving towards becoming a progressive and inclusive organisation, as indicated by our banner. To do that our officers are encouraged to ‘think outside box’ and adopt a ‘can do attitude’.

    With this in mind ideas are floated, explored, assessed for their merit and either dismissed or adopted on your behalf through the BCCM upon the recommendations of the Finance Committee. I have heard from our members, concerns about the branch buying a van and that officers’ mortgages have been paid. I can categorically assure you that the branch has not purchased a van. It has not paid any officer’s mortgage. It is however looking at the merits or not, as the case may be, of a van to reach our membership.

    Additionally, our accounts are audited on a regular basis and have been approved by our own auditors and CWU HQ auditors. If there are doubts about the integrity and honesty of our officers you have the right to ask our Finance Secretary to investigate. In fact, my own expenses were investigated following the purchase of a car.

    The elections are overdue for the officer posts. We consulted with CWU HQ and they are postponed for a short period while the covid 19 situation unfolds. I will of course inform you of the election dates as soon as I am able to. I have every confidence in our full-time officers. I believe they try to serve the membership to the best of their ability in what are difficult times for us all. I hope this report has given you all an insight into how the branch is progressing and allayed any fears you have concerning mis-appropriation. I am proud of what we have achieved so far as members.

    In solidarity

    Neil

    Neil Crothall
    Secretary Great Western Branch

  5. Consideration of the Auditor’s report.

    I conducted my audit of the Brach financial accounts during the week commencing 1st March 2021. I worked on the audit from home due to Coronavirus constraints. I followed the CWU HQ Branch financial audit check list as my guide in carrying out the audit. I must place on record my thanks to Glenn Morris, Branch Treasurer. for his assistance in providing the relevant financial documents. I am also grateful to him for answering all my queries raised during the audit. I found the sample of statement, and claims that I checked to be in order. The organisation of the accounts is much improved and has made it much easier to carry out the audit. I understand that the Branch Chairman does carry out
    regular checks of the Branch accounts. However, I have a number of recommendations I wish make as a result of my audit. I would recommend that the Branch formulates a code of practice on the claiming of expenses. There is a need for a standard process in making expense claims.

    This should include a standard claim form. I found four different types of form in use at present. There should be an agreed time scale for the inputting of
    claims. ideally on a weekly basis. I would also recommend that any financial claim or donation made by the Branch as a result of an agreed Branch decision should the a voucher with
    the appropriate meeting minute authorising the payment attached to it I noted that a number of payments had been made for consultancy services. I was unable to find any branch policy governing these types of payments and I would recommend that the Branch committee urgently deals with putting a suitable policy in place. It is good to see the use of the Branch funds in supporting effective campaigns during the last year. I also noted the large spend on Covid related items.

    In conclusion. I consider from my audit on behalf of the Branch members that the Branch has a good system of financial checks and balances in place and overall the finances are in very good order. I must again thank the treasurer, Glenn Moms for his support in completing the audit.

    Yours fraternally,
    Bob Hope
    Branch auditor.

  6. Consideration of the Financial Secretary

  7. MARCH 2021

    The last twelve months has been a real challenge for the branch, and I would like to thank the majority of my colleagues for their support and guidance with all the adjustments we have had to make in a short space of time! To enable us to operate effectively and efficiently, this has obviously come at a financial cost to set up and sustain but I feel the investment has been more than worth it, with reduced travel costs and meeting costs which has countered this expenditure.

    We are now spending more time on what is important, the members! This is due to the considerable reduction in traveling time to and from office space. Online meetings and communications have certainly moved the Branch forward and will continue to do so.

    We have invested in a website, app, cloud storage service, cloud security service, dedicated email service, online meeting with conferencing service and an email distribution service.

    The aim was and still is to improve communications with the membership, which after listening to members was one of the biggest gripes. We have invested in our officers also, in supplying them with the equipment we demand our employers to supply if working from home.

    The branch has a very healthy balance. As of 24th March 2021, the General account held E125,948.76 and the Political account held 2,449.26, making a total of €128,398.02.

    We have now paid the price for Our frugalness and Our March rebate has been withheld due to going over our 12-month threshold but hopefully some of the plans in the future for learning, improved visibility and of course the battle ahead with possible industrial action will all benefit the members and reinstate the monthly rebate as soon as possible.

    I can report that the audits for both 2019 and 2020 were completed in trying circumstances due to Covid with only minor improvements called for by the Auditors. I would like to thank Bob Hope and Dave Murray for their Own personal time spent on the accounts and mention that I have added their recommendations to the propositions for consideration to the AGM regarding the Constitution.

    With the onset of the pandemic, we purchased hand sanitiser, masks and no touch tools to assist the members, which proved to be popular. We have recently affiliated to the local Labour party groups in our branch area and the cost of this is paid through the political account we hold. We sadly lost a number of members over the last 24 months some of which were attributed to the pandemic. This is reflected in the increased death benefit payments we have incurred. I would like to thank Colin Winsby in his role
    as the Retired Members Officer in liaising with the deceased members families and myself.

    With this review, I will send out the audit reports for 2019 and 2020, and a nominal code balance report for 2019 and 2020 for complete transparency of
    the accounts and expenditure over the last 24-month period.

    In addition, we have purchased some new equipment to replace Old and obsolete devices and we are going to decide at the next BCCM how best to recycle and possibly donate it to a worthy cause after data cleansing it. Finally, I would like to address a subject raised by the Branch Secretary. Our strength is our unity, and to hear of made-up notions that officers mortgages are being paid by the branch along with other irregularities, is frankly insulting. More importantly, at a time where we face our biggest challenge for more than 30 years, this is divisive and extremely damaging. It is coming from a place of self-gratification and to regain the loss of control once had. Therefore, I ask those people intent on damaging Our cause through self interest to stop and re-assess their values

    This concludes the Finance Report for 2021. I will also send out the Financial Plan for 2021.

    I will also send out the financial plan for 2021.

    Yours for Consideration

    Glenn Morris
    Branch Treasurer
    Great Western Branch

  8. Election of Delegates/ Observers/Reserves to General Conference Rules Revision April 2021

  9. Officers Reports Safety, Equality, Womans, Bame. Retired Verbal reports.

    CWU GREAT WESTERN BRANCH RETIRED MEMBERS OFFICER REPORT TO THE BRANCH AGM 2021

    Colleagues:

    Once again, another year passes, but what a year, one I think none of us expected and never want to live through again.

    It is obvious that as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions have stopped dead all the plans that we had for social events and meetings. We have descended into the world of Zoom or Go To meetings.

    I have just been looking over the government plans for lifting the restrictions and it seems that we are looking at sometime in June before any concrete plans can be made to re-start our social calendar and this timescale also allows for those of us that have our first Covid-19 vaccine to have their second jab and for it to activate.

    Talking of Covid-19 I am sorry to report that an increased number of deaths among the Retired Members over the last year and I suspect that approx. 6 could be attributed directly to Covid-19 and sadly I have been unable to attend the funerals due to the restrictions. Hopefully, once we get back to the “new normal” I will be able to attend any memorial services on behalf of the Branch.

    Whilst in this morbid mood there are a couple of things that have come to light over the year when dealing with bereavements – people not updating their Death Benefit Nominee’s and lack of a will.

    SO, I MAKE NO APOLOGY FOR HIGHLIGHTING THESE ITEMS:

    1. IS YOUR DEATH BENEFIT NOMINEE UP TO DATE – OR DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO YOUR NOMINEE IS? – IF NOT, RETIRED MEMBERS CAN CALL ME – OTHER
      MEMBERS TO RING THE BRANCH OFFICE.
    2. HAVE YOU AND/OR YOUR PARTNER WRITTEN/UPDATED YOUR WILL – IF NOT ALL MEMBERS CAN OBTAIN THIS SERVICE FOR FREE FROM UNION LINE –
      DETAILTS FOR RETIRED MEMBERS FROM ME – OTHER MEMBERS FROM THE BRANCH OFFICE.

    The free conference call that I hold every Tuesday for Retired Members will now continue for the foreseeable future, so if you are worried or just fed up with being stuck in doors then just dial in or a chat.

    So, to the future:

    Once we can the Retired Members Committee will organise “Am I still standing” get togethers at various venues across the Branch area in order to allow the Retired Membership to meet up. These will take the form of a casual get together along with a free buffet. Details to follow.

    As you may know the Retired Members Section has a Retired Members Committee that puts forward ideas for social events etc. Whilst we have enough members on the Committee in Bournemouth and Bristol, I would like some volunteers from Gloucester – Swindon – Southampton and Yeovil. If you are interested give me a ring and I will explain what is expected.

    The Retired Members newsletter has been going from strength to strength and the next issue is due out soon.

    As many of you may know I am not one to spray thanks around but I would like to thank all those Retired Members who took part in the “ring rounds” on behalf of the Branch in preparation for the possible Industrial Action Ballot. The members of the Retired Members Committee and a couple of Branch Officers for their support, help and guidance over the last year. The officers are Neil our Branch Secretary and Glenn Morris our Branch Treasurer.

    I will be happy to answer any questions on this report you have at the AGM.

  10. Propositions and Amendments to the Branch Bye-Laws First prop

    Proposition changes to the constitution.

    15/03/2021

    Made by Glenn Morris: 4 Dartmoor road, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA133UT
    Membership number. 030023037

    And seconded by:

    Steve Betts: 19 Meadowsweet close, Haydon Wick, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN25 1QX.
    Membership Number. 020050811

    INLINE WITH RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE BRANCH AUDITORS.

    • TO ADD 5. BRANCH FINANCES
    • 3. The rules governing all Branch financial matters shall be in accordance with the Branch Constitution and Financial Byelaws dated the 26/01/2017 only.
    • TO ADD 5.2 FUNDS
    • 5. Monthly statements showing full expenditure for the previous month will be made available on request to all Branch Central Committee members.
    • TO ADD 5.6 CLAIMS

    All claims to be made with the standardised claim form only. Original receipts must be provided with the claim form. Any claim that requires Finance Sub Committee or Branch Central Committee endorsement requires a voucher attached to it with reference to the endorsement.

    GENERAL INPUT FOR CONSTITUTION

    • TO ADD 4.9 BRANCH OFFICERIAL/ COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES
    • n) Branch Officers and Committee Members
    • 15. All Branch Officers will send out their reports to the respective sub- Committee and Branch Central Committee no later than seven days before the meeting.
    • 15.1 All minutes for the respective Sub-Committee and Branch Central Committee meetings will be no later than fourteen days after meetings.
    • 16. HONORARIA
    • The Branch may allocate up to 5% of rebate income for the remuneration of their officials. The individual amounts to be paid shall be determined by the AGM. And should be evenly distributed among the full time Officers.

    Proposed changes to Communication Workers Union. Great Western Branch, Branch Constitution and Branch Standing orders

    Proposed by Peter Simpson

    22 Bloxworth Road Poole, Dorset, BH12 4BW, Membership number 030158021

    Seconded by Andy Holder

    2 kiln way, Verwood, BH31 6GE 020253755

    1. Numbering of all pages of both Constitution and Standing Orders.
    2. Replacing all he/she throughout Constitution and Standing Orders to they
    3. Replace all Reps throughout Constitution and Standing Orders to Representative
    4. 4.3.2 Minimum Standards Remove Tolpuddle.
    5. 4.3.8 Change highlighted area to; The Branch shall ensure fair representation of all members, in terms of race, creed, religion, age, political affiliation, disability, marital status, sex or sexual or gender orientation
    6. 4.3.9 Remove highlighted area The Branch shall strive to ensure proportionality in Branch organization and leadership. In addition the Branch shall strive for proportionality on external representations, forums and conferences.
    7. Branch Organization. Remove highlighted area from 2
      There will be an AGM and the AGM is to be rotated annually across the Branch geography
    8. Branch Organization 6. Rewording of highlighted area

      Election of all Branch Officers shall be issued by full postal ballot of all Branch members. The ballot is to be conducted by CWU head office or the Regional Secretary and they will act as the returning Officer. Postal ballots will be run over 21 days will be expected to be concluded by start the AGM.

    9. 4.6.1. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING.

      Insert 20 to show quorum number. A minimum of 20 members must be at the meeting and if this number is not present within fifteen (15) minutes of the advertised time of the commencement of the meeting, or if the meeting declares the subject to be of insufficient importance to have justified the calling of the meeting, the meeting shall be dissolved.

    10. 4.9 BRANCH OFFICERIAL / COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES G) removal of highlighted area.
      The Union Safety Co-ordinator
      shall undertake to keep the Branch membership informed of all matters appertaining to their health, safety & welfare. He/she shall control the issue of notices to the Branch Union Safety Representatives and assist them, where necessary, in performing their duties in a satisfactory manner. All 10. USR’s shall liaise with, and report to, the Union Safety Co-Ordinator to assist in their role in each area.

      • Change of Youth Officer name to Young worker. Change Branch to Branch Central Committee Report to Branch Central Committee and Regional Youth Committees on relevant issues
      • Add in Youth. Act as a point of contact between Youth members and the Branch.
    11. Women’s Officer.
      Rewrite highlighted area. The Women’s officer should have a leading role in any recruitment or organisational campaigns where potential relevant workers are being targeted. The officer will have responsibility for:
      • Promoting issues affecting relevant sections
      • Reporting to their branch/region on relevant issues
      • Escalating relevant issues where necessary
      • Acting as a point of contact between women members and women branch activists
      • Acting as a liaison between CWU HQ and the branch on issues concerning relevant members
      • To provide information to relevant members (to which the officers may themselves receive from CWU national or regional level)
      • To attend relevant Regional Committees and CWU Equality Conferences and feed in where appropriate.
    12. BAME Officer
      Rewrite as this limits campaigns

      • Involvement and support of CWU campaigns against the Far Right, promoting rights of migrant workers etc. Remove highlighted section as this is the same for all officers
      • Compilation of motions to CWU Black Workers Conference. Individual should be versed in protocol applied for submission
        of motions – all officers should liaise with branch committee for info
        if unsure.
    13. 13. m) Branch Union Learning Co-Ordinator Remove highlighted areas as good reports with information is submitted by all officers.
      The Branch Learning Co-ordinator shall undertake to keep the Branch membership informed of all matters appertaining to all learning opportunities with in the branch area. He/she shall control the issue of notices to the Branch Union Learning Representatives and assist them, where necessary, in performing their duties in a satisfactory manner. All local Union Learning Reps shall liaise with, and report to, the Union Branch Learning Co-ordinator to assist in their role in each area. The Branch Union Learning Co-ordinator is to provide a full report at the Branch AGM. The report should specify all activities undertaken including a comprehensive list of courses that they have held during their term of office which outlines the success or otherwise. Additionally a program of future courses, with proposed dates, that members can attend
      will be provided.
    14. Change word will, to expected 2. All Branch Officers/Reps on release will participate in union structures and activities e.g. Conference, Region, IR, Equality structures, and union education/training – All Officers/Reps are expected to submit ideas for motions to conferences. With the relevant experience and training all Branch Officers/Reps are encouraged to stand for key elected positions at Branch, Regional and National
      level, including delegations etc. 15. 3. Recruitment add in, be involved in and Help to, and rewording highlighted areaAll Branch Officers/Reps on release will systematically be involved in recruit non- members and Help to plan for recruitment activity in core and non-core workplaces as a regular and ongoing part of their work.
    15. 5 Activism – the number of Officers/ reps and activists in the Branch, vacancies for positions, regular workplace visits and activity, workplace campaigns. Attendance at meetings and events.
    16. Rewording 13. All Officers/Reps are expected to use a variety of methods of communications to get their message out and to keep members informed. By using social media, have a magazine, use video, blogs, group emails, newsletters, posters etc.
    17. Add in Written; All Branch Officers/Committee members will abide by the National Rules and Branch Constitution. They shall be expected to report on any issues pertinent to the branch or the CWU and undertake any appropriate tasks given to them by senior branch officers
    18. 5.1 WELFARE FUND. Make wholesale changes to welfare fund

    Emergency prop allowed by Branch Sec and Chair
    17/03/2021

    Dear, Branch Secretary

    I would like to make 3 propositions for the forthcoming AGM.

    Consultation Changes

    4.3

    Minimum Standards 4.3

    2. All members and representatives will act in strict accordance with the rules and policies of the CWU at all times, including acting appropriately when representing the Branch and members and at no time will promote their own agenda if it contradicts the Branch Mandate. Any member or representative found to have falsely or with unproven information distributed this information to the membership, shall be removed from the Branch subject to the correct discipline process when proof of this action has been investigated and proven.

    The other two props were ruled out as they were not classified as an emergency

  11. Guest Speaker Tracey Fussey

  12. Any Other Business pertinent to the AGM

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