TUCJCC report of meeting (29-9-20)
I'm the new Trades Union Councils' Joint Consultative Committee (TUCJCC) member for Midlands (West); covering Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands conurbation and Worcestershire with eleven Trade Union Councils (TUCs).
The TUCJCC meets 5 times a year. As well as reps from each region, TUC national officers and members of the TUC General Council (Roger McKenzie UNISON AGS and Steve Gillan POA GS took part, apologies from Dave Ward CWU GS). The reps also hold a pre-meeting.
I wasn't expecting much of the first meeting given that the TUCJCC's role seems to be generally understood as arranging the national conference and producing the lengthy Programme of Work.
But I was pleasantly surprised that the Committee seemed to accept the need for change.
Last year's Programme of Work was just the TUC Campaign Plan followed by the list of conference motions. I argued that it needed to change as it does not really guide our activities; the local branches and delegates frame the work of TUCs in line with policies passed by affiliated unions locally and nationally. It will now be written by the regional reps in the form of a much shorter document concentrating on unemployment, Covid and campaign priorities with the motions remitted from the online trades councils conference as appendix.
Motions that go to the trades councils conference do not go any further and do not change TUC policy. One per year is taken to the TU Congress – this year's was on TU rights, calling for cross-union solidarity plus a demo and conference that will be put on hold.
I put registration of TUCs on the agenda since Dudley, Walsall and Worcester TUCs are not registered this year, while operating unaware of the fact. I had already been in contact with them and they are in the process of sorting out registrations. It seems that some TUCs are not operating, even on Zoom (as well as many union branches around the country). Some delegates don't use zoom etc and new officers are not coming through to run TUCs. The worry is that Covid might kill off some trades councils; yet if trades councils didn't exist, they would need to be invented.
So it was agreed that it will be easier to register TUCs next year, without the need for a formal AGM and carry-over of officers if needed, plus secretaries will be asked if help needed (esp. re technology).
Other reps suggested that a good relationship with regional officers helps encourage branch registrations.
TUC Task Force Against Racism has been set up after a Congress motion. To tackle issues at a more local level, trades councils could put pressure onto Midlands TUC to set up their own.
Finances – the TUCJCC has £6,000, raised by the annual trades council £10 registration fees.
TUC Development Fund – applications should be sent to Kevin Rowan at Congress House. Grants are up to £300; two can be made each year. So far this year £20k of the £25k allocated has not been spent; it does not carry over. Trades Councils still have until the end of this year to claim for 2020.
Peoples Assembly report – 17 October day of action on jobs, universal credit, end evictions.
Unemployed Workers Centres – no report, a regular report to be sought.
Next TUCJCC is on 24 November.
by Nick Kelleher Midlands (West) TUCJCC Rep