Proposals debated at Conference 2003Last updated 1704 17 May 2003
All decisions on proposed propositions (motions) considered by the BECTU Annual Conference at Eastbourne on 17 May 2003.
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- WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.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.
Formal motions on the BECTU conference agenda
Proposition 1/03 (AP5) Collective responsibility
That this annual conference, recognising that real debate is stifled by the absence of any contributions by individual members of the National Executive Committee, resulting from the invidious rule of collective responsibility (which is not included in the rule book of the union), affirms its own right to decide who and who not should be allowed to engage in conference debates.
Proposition 2/03 (AP4) Non-union business
That this annual conference proposes that, despite pressing matters of national and international political concern, discussion time during annual conference should be confined to matters of immediate relevance to working practices and conditions of BECTU members.
Proposition 3/03 (AP1) Venue of conference
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to convene the 2005 annual conference in London.
Proposition 4/03 (AP2) Venue of conference
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to investigate the feasibility of holding conference in 2005 in other regions or nations, in particular at the Conference Centre in Llandudno in North Wales.
Proposition 5/03 (AP3) Venue of conference
That this annual conference recommends that the National Executive Committee considers a venue outside England for the 2005 conference.
Proposition 6/03 (AP15) Head office
That this annual conference believes that the new HQ in Clapham should be better exploited as a benefit to the membership. The National Executive Committee should consider encouraging ordinary members to meet there socially throughout the year, perhaps with one large organised annual event.
Proposition 7/03 (AP16) Property
That this annual conference notes the plans to develop the Clapham Road HQ, and requests that any profits made be used to benefit members directly, possibly through a rebate on their subscriptions.
Proposition 8/03 (AP17) Wardour Street
That this annual conference applauds BECTU's smooth transition to Clapham and expresses its satisfaction with the premises there. It nevertheless recognises 111 Wardour Street as being the union's principal asset and its flagship in the West End, and records the intention that it should remain so.
Proposition 9/03 (AP18) West End drop-in centre
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to conduct a feasibility study into turning the old reception area in Wardour Street into a drop-in centre [as a facility for members].
Proposition 10/03 (AP14) Expenditure
That this annual conference recognises that members frequently complain that they see little tangible evidence of how their subscriptions are spent, and instructs the National Executive Committee to find ways to bring such members back 'on board', possibly by publishing expenditure statistics as part of a 'State of the Union' direct mailshot to members. This mailshot could also detail BECTU's achievements over the last year.
Proposition 11/03 (AP13) Membership records
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to place a greater priority on the quality of the union's membership records and administration, to ensure that the union retains its existing membership, recruits new members, and receives its due income.
Proposition 12/03 (SRS 2) Definition of paid-up member
That this annual conference in a special rules session approves the following alteration to rule under rule 45(b):
Delete "eight weeks" and insert "six months"; delete last sentence. Consequentially,
in rule 12(a) delete "eight weeks" and insert "six months", and
in rule 12(b) delete "eight weeks but less than"
Proposition AP7 Debate
That this annual conference expresses its concern at the lack of candidates standing for the offices of both General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary. This suggests a general contentment with the management of BECTU, which is very much not the case. Apathy is not a healthy state in any union and calls for urgent debate to discuss the reasons for its existence.
Proposition 13/03 (AP19) Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
That this annual conference, in the interest of equal opportunities, lobbies the TUC to recognise Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as individual nations in their paperwork and policies, and ceases to refer to these nations as either TUC 'regions', or 'regions' of England.
Proposition 14/03 (AP22) Political fund
That this annual conference notes that the Labour government:
- is involved in an increasing number of confrontations with public sector workers seeking better pay and conditions;
- is continuing to pursue policies of privatisation and cuts, and ignoring popular demands for return of services such as the railways to democratic control;
- has failed to improve educational standards while making it harder for working people to get access to a full education;
- has continually sought advisors from the ranks of wealthy employers, rather than from representatives of the unions that fund the Labour Party.
- to look for alternative electoral organisations and individuals that are prepared to represent the interests of union members in Parliament;
- to report to members on what such organisations and individuals exist;
- to offer members the chance to vote on whether BECTU should continue with affiliation to the Labour Party or should open up its political fund to support those organisations and individuals that better represent our members whether on a national or local level.
Proposition 15/03 (AP21) Labour Party and Northern Ireland
That this annual conference calls on the Labour Party to acknowledge the right of anyone to be a member of the Labour Party, and no longer to discriminate against people living in Northern Ireland.
Proposition 16/03 (AP23) Communications Bill
That this annual conference deplores the continuing trend to cut back on the quality and quantity of programme-making in the regions, and is particularly concerned that this will accelerate with the implementation of the Communications Bill.
Proposition 17/03 (AP26) Working time
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to commission research on the ways employers seek to avoid their obligations to provide paid holidays from day one of employment and to monitor the methods used in 2003 to circumvent the 48 hour week.
Delete "commission" and insert "undertake"
Proposition RP9 BBC Resources Ltd
That this annual conference deplores the terms, conditions and contractual basis on which BBC Resources Ltd has been recruiting assistant operational trainees. Through the use of two years contracts, inadequate salaries and non-standard conditions of service the BBC is exploiting its position as a major broadcaster and has the potential to lower conditions in the wider UK broadcasting sector.
Proposition 18/03 (AP24) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
That this annual conference notes the threat of privatisation that GATS poses to our public services including the broadcasting industry. Conference therefore instructs the National Executive Committee to pursue a vigorous campaign against GATS and to send a delegation of BECTU members to the 2003 European Social Forum as part of that campaign.
Proposition 19/03 (AP25) War in Iraq
That this annual conference is alarmed at the repeated attempts by the government to launch a war in Iraq that will cause yet more suffering to ordinary Iraqis, and at the questionable means that have been used to gain international support for such a war. Conference also notes the huge demonstrations against such a war organised by the Stop the War Coalition and therefore instructs the National Executive Committee to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition.
Proposition 20/03 (AP20) Northern Ireland
That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to give equal access to services from the union at national level by setting up an office in Northern Ireland, as soon as funds allow it.
Proposition 21/03 (AP12) Stage Screen & Radio diary
That this annual conference recommends that the union journal Stage Screen & Radio should include a monthly events diary where branches and committees could post notice of scheduled meetings; alternatively such information could be included in appropriate newsletters such as the BBC Informer.
Proposition 22/03 (AP8) Health and safety officer
That this annual conference urges BECTU to create a full time Health and Safety Officer's post within the union, and to give a commitment that this post will be in place prior to next annual conference.
Proposition 23/03 (AP9) Health and safety
That this annual conference examine the financial possibility of appointing a dedicated full time Health and Safety official, and look into the setting up of a safety reps network or similar, where union safety reps in different branches can contact each other, share resources, and support one another in taking a more proactive rule in health and safety in our industry.
Proposition 24/03 (SRS 1) Student membership
That this annual conference in a special rules session approves the following alteration to rule under rule 45(b):
Delete subclause (i) in its entirety and substitute:
"In furtherance of rule 5(d) the union shall endeavour to support relevant sector skills councils, training providers and students by supplying, so far as resources permit, trade union and industry information and opinion, and by encouraging students to take an active interest in the work of the union and to become members when they complete their courses."
Proposition 25/03 (AP10 and AP11 composite) Training
That this annual conference welcomes the implementation of the ACAS guidelines for the time off and training of Union Learning Representatives. Conference instructs the National Executive Committee further to investigate innovative ways of implementing the new guidelines into the working lives of freelances in our industries. Conference therefore resolves to support and encourage the learning agenda in the following ways:
- to seek to include provision for Union Learning Reps in all existing and future recognition agreements;
- to encourage the negotiation of learning agreements at BECTU recognised workplaces;
- to strongly encourage all committees of the union to include education and training on every agenda.
Proposition 27/03 (AP6) Women's working committee
That this annual conference calls for a women's conference to be held within six months to encourage women members to become activists, and to discuss the feasibility of asking the National Executive Committee to form a women's working committee in line with the disability and black members' working committees.