Proposed rule changes and policy propositions
Listed on this page are proposed rule changes and policy propositions submitted by Branches and the union's National Executive Committee (NEC) accepted and rejected by Conference Standing Orders Committee (SOC), along with reasons for rejection.
BECTU Branches can submit amendments to these proposals using the forms enclosed with Conference Document 3 (2001-02) dated 18 February 2002. The closing date for such amendments is 1200 on 25 March 2002.
- Proposed rule changes accepted by the SOC
- Proposed rule changes rejected by the SOC
- Propositions accepted by the SOC
- Propositions rejected by the SOC
AR1 Rule 5(b)
After "to obtain" insert "100%"
AR2 Rule 5(b)
After "all persons employed" insert "or engaged"
AR3 Rule 5(l)
Delete clause (l) in its entirety and replace with:
"To defend and actively promote equal rights and equal opportunities in the workplace, in the union's structures and in the community, and to challenge all forms of discrimination irrespective of gender, race, sexuality, disability, age or religion;"
AR4 Rule 5(n)
Delete clause (n) and re-letter subsequent clauses accordingly
AR5 Rule 5(q)
Delete clause (q) in its entirety and replace with:
"To establish an industrial dispute fund through a levy on membership subscription of 10p per week or 40p per month, to provide pay and benefits to members who face hardship as a result of taking part in industrial action, or who are locked out by their employer;"
AR6 Rule 9(b)(iii)
Delete "submit evidence of his/her earnings to show" and insert "give reason in writing to state"
AR7 Rule 9(f)
Delete clause (f)
AR8 Rule 9(g) [new]
Insert new clause (g) as follows:
"In order to continue offering public liability insurance to freelance members of the union, the National Executive Committee shall be empowered to levy on those members a charge in respect of each policy year in such amount as it shall determine in relation to the group premium payable. Only those freelance members who have paid this levy will be eligible for BECTU's public liability insurance cover."
AR9 Rule 10(v)
Delete clause (v)
AR10 Rule 17
Delete rule 17 and re-number subsequent rules accordingly
AR11 Rule 18
Delete rule 18 in its entirety and replace with:
"(a) All members in receipt of a pension, or who have reached state retirement age and are not in other paid employment in industry, provided they are members in good standing of the union for not less than five years, shall be transferred to retired members status.
(b) Retired members shall be entitled to attend the branch meetings of the last branch they were last a full member of and to vote and speak on issues not relating to the pay and conditions of those in employment. They will be entitled to stand for election only to positions within the retired members' forum.
(c) The National Executive Committee shall establish a retired members' forum, which shall be convened twice annually and shall be composed of representatives of the retired membership nominated by their branch.
(d) Retired members shall have the right to receive the union's journal, to have any intellectual property rights administered for them by relevant associate collecting societies or agencies of BECTU, to make application to the benevolent fund and to attend conference as an observer at their own expense."
SOC note: the proposed rule alteration as it stands makes no provision regarding the subscription payable (if any) by retired members
AR12 Rule 23
Delete rule 23 in its entirety and replace with:
"(a) The union shall publish a periodical journal circulated free of charge to all paid-up members and honorary members at their nominated address.
(b) The editor shall be a paid official of the union, responsible for the regular production of the journal and reporting, through the General Secretary, to the union's National Executive Committee.
(c) The journal shall report on the activities of the union and its members, act as a forum for the views of members and promote the policies of the union and its leading bodies.
(d) The editorial line and content of the journal shall at all times be consistent with the policies of the union and the aims of strengthening the unity of workers in the broadcasting, cinematography, entertainment and theatre and related industries, encouraging solidarity with other workers in Britain and abroad.
(e) The principal content of the journal will be news and reportage of the trade union activities of BECTU members, news and feature material on the working lives, professional concerns and activities of BECTU members, matters of general importance to BECTU members and their families as working people and citizens, and coverage of the activities and problems of working people, the labour and trade union movement in Britain and abroad."
AR13 Rule 33(b) and consequentials
Delete "The National Executive Committee shall elect the Vice-President and Treasurer from amongst its members." and after "The National Executive Committee shall also include the President" insert ", Vice-President and Treasurer";
in rule 33(g) after "position of President" insert ", the position of Vice-President or the position of Treasurer" and after "or President" insert ", Vice-President and Treasurer";
in rule 33(h)(i) delete "Candidates for election as President under clause (b) above must be nominated for that position" and insert "Candidates for election as President, Vice-President and Treasurer under clause (b) above must be nominated for those positions" and after "Candidates for President" insert ", Vice-President and Treasurer";
in rule 33(h)(iv) delete all after first sentence and replace with:
"Candidates may stand for only one of the three offices of President, Vice-President or Treasurer at any one time. The votes for President, Vice-President and Treasurer shall be counted first. Where a candidate has been validly nominated for election to the National Executive Committee as both President or Vice-President or Treasurer and divisional representative, he/she shall if successfully elected as President, Vice-President or Treasurer not also be elected in any other capacity, and the person with the next highest number of votes in the election in the division concerned shall be declared elected as a representative for that division."
Researchers & Writers
North West Freelance
Royal Opera House
SOC note: The first part of the proposed consequential alteration to rule 33(h)(iv) was not included in the rule changes proposed by the North West Freelance and Royal Opera House branch. If those branches are not willing to accept the proposed composite rule alteration as set out above, SOC recommends them to submit an amendment to achieve their intentions.
AR14 Rule 33(e)
After second sentence insert: "Nothing in these rules shall prevent two paid-up members of the same division being nominated as 'job-sharing' candidates to a position on the National Executive Committee. Only one job-sharing member may attend each meeting and in the event of one resigning the other must also do so, creating a vacancy to which rule 33(g) will apply."
SOC note: It should be ascertained whether this proposed provision is compatible with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, s.51.
AR15 Rule 33(f)
Delete "two years" and insert "one year"
SOC note: Though a consequential amendment is not strictly required, this proposed provision has a bearing on rule 40(d)
AR16 Rule 33(j)
After "half its membership" add "and that all its members shall be free to vote for or against or to abstain from voting on any question."
SOC note: A consequential amendment requires to be made in Appendix C, standing order 20
AR17 Rule 33(k)
Delete the words "If three or more members of the National Executive Committee call for a named vote immediately before the vote is taken,"
AR18 Rule 33(r)
After "The National Executive Committee shall instruct the General Secretary to" delete the words "draw up minutes" and replace with "arrange for the Administrative Officer or a member of the clerical staff to take the minutes and that the proceedings should be recorded on audiotape/disk."
AR19 Rule 36(c)
After first sentence insert: "National Executive Committee members shall report back to the relevant divisional committee fully and freely except on matters of true confidentiality."
AR20 Rule 40(a)(ii)
After "members of the National Executive Committee of the union who shall have the right to speak" insert the words "subject only to the same restrictions as delegates"
SOC note: SOC points out that this proposed provision as it stands would apply also to the General Secretary and Assistant General Secretaries
AR21 Rule 40(b)
Delete last sentence and replace with "An observer may speak at the discretion of the chair but shall have no right to vote."
AR22 Rule 40(i) [new]
Add new clause (i) as follows and re-letter existing clause (i) and following clauses accordingly:
"The National Executive Committee shall positively encourage all non-delegate members resident in the geographical area in which the conference is being held to attend and participate as observers."
SOC note: submitted by the branch as an addition to clause (h) but considered by SOC to be preferable as a new clause
AR23 Rule 40(l)
Delete existing wording and replace with:
"Voting at meetings of conference shall be by poll of delegates, by show of hands. All questions before conference shall be decided by the majority vote of the delegates present and voting."
Enabling motion [not susceptible to amendment]
As part of its report to conference SOC will propose, at the conclusion of the business of the rules revision conference, the following enabling motion:
"Conference adopts and approves the rules of BECTU as altered at this rules revision conference, subject to the incorporation of such numbering, cross-referencing, grammatical and other consequential changes of text as are required to implement the alterations to rules."
There were no proposed alterations to rules which were rejected by the SOC.
AP1 Location of conference
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to convene an annual conference in London at least once every three years.
AP2 Location of conference
That this annual conference requests the NEC to look for a location for the 2004 BECTU conference outside England, with Ireland as the preferred choice.
That this annual conference [instructs the NEC to consider] that on completion of the refurbishment at 111 Wardour Street a BECTU presence and facility is maintained in part of the building to keep a high profile in the West End of London and to encourage recruitment.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets to replace "proposes" in the original proposition
AP4 Cost of new premises
That this annual conference instructs [the NEC to provide] full details of the cost of purchasing and renovating the new premises in Clapham to divisional committees.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets to replace "that" and accordingly has omitted "be provided" after "Clapham"
AP5 Facilities for members
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to make adequate and appropriate facilities available at the union's head office for the use of members, which should include as a minimum:
- A members' meeting room
- A computer suite with Internet access
- A resource library, accessible to all members
AP6 Recruitment and retention policy
That this annual conference instructs that the recruitment and retention policy be reviewed to ensure that a thorough evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses evident from previous years are taken into account and the policy meets the changing needs of our union.
That this annual conference acknowledges the problem of dwindling membership in some divisions. Conference instructs the NEC to set up new recruitment initiatives based on an incentive scheme. Existing members who sign up a colleague should be rewarded with a small token along the lines of vouchers for well-known shops or cinema tickets - as the NEC sees fit.
AP8 Stage Screen & Radio
That this annual conference urges the NEC to consider the formation of an editorial committee to monitor the direction of the journal.
SOC note: clarification of the meaning of "direction" through amendment would be desirable
AP9 Membership services
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to investigate the possibility of reintroducing a Jobs List for members, and to report back to the next conference.
AP10 Equal opportunities
That this annual conference [believes] that BECTU should endeavour to employ substantially more women staff in senior positions. Annual conference requires that the NEC should monitor the gender balance of BECTU's staff, particularly at senior levels, and that it should publish, within BECTU, the current ratio, on an annual basis.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the word in square brackets to replace "proposes", and has omitted as obscure the following after "believes that": ", in response to the NEC's letter concerning greater involvement of women in BECTU's affairs,". It has omitted as argument the following after "senior positions.": "The union has currently only one female supervisory official." and as irrelevant to the purpose of this proposition the next sentence following: "More women should be encouraged by divisions to stand for election to the NEC."
AP11 Job-sharing elected positions
That this annual conference recognises that there is a need to increase the participation of women members at all levels within the union. Conference therefore instructs the NEC to submit a rule change at the next rules revision conference that will enable 'job-sharing' for all elected positions within the union including the National Executive Committee.
AP12 Childcare allowance
That this annual conference recognises that there is a need to increase the participation of women members at all levels within the union. Conference therefore instructs the NEC to raise the expenses [currently payable] towards childcare to £5.00 an hour with a ceiling of £40.00 per day with immediate effect.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets for clarity
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to ensure that discrimination against age is challenged in all BECTU equality material in the same way as other forms of discrimination.
AP14 Regional broadcasting
That this annual conference urges BECTU to lobby at all levels to preserve the regional nature of ITV and to strengthen the commitment of regional programming in terms of programme spend.
AP15 Working hours
That this annual conference [calls] for tighter control over hours with regard to the European Working Time Directive and the implementation of a ceiling for realistic working hours.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the word in square brackets to replace "campaigns"
AP16 Stakeholder pensions
That this annual conference requests the NEC to [propose at] Congress that the TUC will press the Government for compulsory contributions on stakeholder pensions of 5% by all employers.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets to replace "put forward at the TUC"
AP17 Poverty pay in the entertainment industry
That this conference [calls on the NEC to] campaign against the shamefully low rates of pay prevalent in our industry. Conference calls for a minimum rate of pay to be established that allows BECTU members a decent rate of pay without reliance on overtime and get-out payments to make ends meet.
SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets to replace "proposes that a" and has omitted the words "be initiated" after "in our industry"
That this annual conference proposes a programme of cross-divisional Organising for Growth courses be initiated to facilitate greater contact and co-operation between divisions.
AP19 The Labour Party
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to hold a referendum amongst the membership on whether BECTU should continue to be affiliated to the Labour Party. Additionally, the NEC is instructed to find alternative forms of national parliamentary representation better suited to BECTU's objectives, and these alternatives should be offered to conference next year, depending on the result of the referendum.
AP20 The Euro
That this annual conference notes the success of the Single European Currency and believes that Britain should join the Euro as soon as possible.
SOC note: SOC regrets that it has felt compelled to make presentational and syntactical changes to the wording of some propositions. It reminds branches, for the future, that it is willing to assist branches with the wording of propositions in advance of formal submission. It has on this occasion accepted some propositions submitted by fax or e-mail, but stresses that it can do this only where evidence is provided that the branch or branch committee has approved the proposition and that it is submitted by an authorised branch officer. For the future branches are urged to use the forms provided as these provide clearly for this.
RP1 Increasing awareness of trade unions
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to place a high priority on carrying out the wishes of conference as expressed in Proposition 13/01 (AP7) from last year. If possible, the proposition should again form a motion which BECTU takes to the TUC conference later this year.
SOC's reason for rejection: the reference to "Proposition 13/01" etc makes this proposition obscure - the branch is recommended to seek reference back of the relevant part of the NEC's report to the 2002 conference which deals with propositions carried at the 2001 conference
RP2 Nursery facilities
That this annual conference urges that BECTU investigate and evaluate the clear need for setting up a pilot nursery for BECTU members which also encompasses the needs of atypical workers whose working hours are not easily catered for by typical day-care facilities.
SOC's reason for rejection: not validly submitted by a branch under rule 28(a)(v)
RP3 Regional production
That this annual conference greatly regrets the reduction in quality and quantity of regional production, particularly in television and film productions. It requires the NEC to make every reasonable effort to persuade local and national government, statutory authorities and the broadcasting organisations to ensure more quality programmes and films are made in the regions. This is in order to give a fairer, more balanced view of regional diversity, to balance the bias in favour of London in the media, and to promote employment and media skills in the regions.
SOC's reason for rejection: not validly submitted by a branch under rule 28(a)(v); excess argument
RP4 Holiday entitlements
That this annual conference urges the NEC to help members who are experiencing difficulty in receiving holiday entitlements to which they are legally due. Employers admit that they know of the EU and Government's rulings of 25 October 2001, but claim that they need time to work out how to implement these rulings.
In general, contracts of a month or over honour the principle, but the problem is with very short contracts, daily, or just a few days.
Some employers after due consideration have informed workers that their rates already include holiday entitlements, although the rates have not changed since well before 25 October 2001. Others have suggested that leave accrues during a contract then should be taken at the end of the contract, at the worker's convenience, but this is effectively unpaid leave.
SOC's reason for rejection: not validly submitted by a branch under rule 28(a)(v); excess argument; existing policy
RP5 Health and safety training
That this annual conference proposes that it be the policy of BECTU to vigorously oppose any attempt by any employer to deny or obstruct BECTU appointed Health & Safety Representatives receiving training or time off for training, including recourse to legal action if required.
SOC's reason for rejection: existing policy
That this annual conference urges that BECTU reasonable induction and guidance be formally maintained for those BECTU members who are required to represent BECTU policy at affiliated organisations. Wherever possible this should be provided in writing so that proper feedback and consultation with BECTU can be made in line with a formal decision making procedure should any issues arise with regard to grounds for the affiliation to the other organisation. All parties should be informed of the correct procedures to adopt in case of a requirement for a major or immediate decision beyond the remit of the individual concerned. Members should also have all relevant new decisions that are not made in their presence conveyed to them in writing.
SOC's reason for rejection: not validly submitted by a branch under rule 28(a)(v)
The this annual conference urges that BECTU affiliates with organisations that are committed to a democratic constitution and are governed with clear and democratic procedures that are all provided in writing and made accessible to all BECTU members that are affiliated members for scrutiny.
SOC's reason for rejection: not validly submitted by a branch under rule 28(a)(v)
RP8 Union improvement notices
That this annual conference calls upon BECTU to campaign to strengthen the terms of the union improvement notice and provide guidance and training to BECTU health & safety representatives in its use.
SOC's reason for rejection: received out of time
RP9 Health & Safety Committee
That this annual conference calls upon BECTU to ensure that the national Health & Safety Committee is revitalised to meet the needs of the membership and that a national officer be made responsible for ensuring health & safety advice is available to all branches.
SOC's reason for rejection: received out of time
SOC note: SOC reminds branches, for the future, that it is willing to assist branches with the wording of propositions in advance of formal submission. It has on this occasion rejected some propositions submitted by fax or email, where insufficient evidence was provided that the branch or branch committee has approved the proposition and/or that it was submitted by an authorised branch officer. For the future branches are urged to use the forms provided as these provide clearly for this.