Proposals debated at Conference 2002Last updated 1707 19 May 2002
All decisions on proposed Rule changes and propositions (motions) considered by the BECTU Annual and Rules Revision Conference at Manchester on 18-19 May 2002.
Decisions of Conference are flagged by the use of six descriptions:
- CARRIED - proposal supported by Conference.
- LOST - proposal rejected by Conference.
- REMITTED - proposal handed to NEC (National Executive Committee) without any decision by Conference.
- PASSED OVER - proposal not debated or no vote taken.
- WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.
- INCORPORATED - amendment incorporated into proposal by agreement of movers of proposal.
Proposed Rule changes debated at Conference
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 membersLOST
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.LOST
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 is understood that this proposed provision would be compatible with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, s.51.CARRIED
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)LOST
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 20LOST
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."
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."CARRIED
Formal motions on the BECTU conference agenda
Proposition 1/02 (AP1) Location of conference
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to convene an annual conference in London at least once every three years.
Proposition 2/02 (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.
Proposition 3/02 (AP3) PremisesThat 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.
Proposition 4/02 (AP4) Cost of new premisesThat 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.
Proposition 5/02 (AP5) Facilities for membersThat 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
Proposition 6/02 (AP15) Working hoursThat 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.
Proposition 7/02 (AP20) The EuroThat this annual conference notes the success of the Single European Currency and believes that Britain should join the Euro as soon as possible.
Proposition 8/02 (AP10) Equal opportunitiesThat 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.
Proposition 9/02 (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.
Emergency Proposition EP2/02 Communications Bill
If the Government proceeds with its planned removal of the prohibitions on media ownership and cross media ownership as laid out in the new Communications Bill then BECTU will proceed to review its affiliation to the Labour Party at its next annual conference or at a special conference if the Bill is passed earlier.
This conference instructs the NEC to give notice to the Labour Party to this effect immediately.
Proposition 10/02 (AP17) Poverty pay in the entertainment industryThat 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.
REMITTED [to Arts and Entertainment Divisional Committee]
Proposition 11/02 (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 to regional programming in terms of programme spend.
After "ITV" insert "and BBC TV"[Out of time amendment agreed onto the agenda by Conference]
Proposition 12/02 (AP18) Organising for Growth
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.
Proposition 13/02 (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.
Proposition 14/02 (AP7) Recruitment
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.
Proposition 15/02 (AP16) Stakeholder pensionsThat 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.
Proposition 16/02 (AP9) Membership servicesThat 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.
Proposition 17/02 (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.
Emergency Proposition 5/02 skillsformedia
In the light of the contents of GS Letter 1173/2002 dated 26 April 2002 which implies "parting of the ways between BECTU and skillsformedia" this conference demands that BECTU retains its partnership with Skillset in the running of skillsformedia.
Proposition 18/02 (AP13) AgeismThat 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.
Proposition 19/02 (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.
Proposition 20/02 (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
Emergency Proposition 1/02 Anti-Nazi Leagues
This conference notes the alarming rise of the far right in Europe and Britain and instructs the National Executive Committee to affiliate to the Anti-Nazi League.
Emergency Proposition 4/02 Worldwide Press and Broadcasting Freedom
This Conference note the recent European Council resolution imposed on the Communist Government in Moldova to reform state TV and radio, giving better and more open freedom of speech. This conference recognises that this resolution was reached largely as a result of protests by Media Workers in Moldova who have campaigned tirelessly, and under some danger, to gain these human rights.
In recognition BECTU should send a letter of support to these Media workers, encouraging them to continued their efforts to ensure that an end to undemocratic media censorship in this country finally comes to an end.
This conference further instructs the NEC to take whatever action it feels necessary to encourage sister Trade Unions and the TUC in general to support media workers in Moldova and similarly less democratic countries around the world.
Emergency Proposition 6/02 Colombia
This conference condemns the recent spate of violence, kidnapping and murders of trade union activists in Colombia. Conference therefore instructs the National Executive Committee to explore ways of offering solidarity with trade unionists in Colombia.