Proposals debated at Conference 2005
All decisions on proposed Rule changes and propositions (motions) considered by the BECTU Rules Revision and Annual Conference at Liverpool on 4-5 June 2005.
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- WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.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 6(d)
Delete clause (d) and re-letter clauses (e) and (f) accordingly
AR2 Rule 7(b)
In third sentence delete "acknowledge receipt of the particulars supplied" and insert: "ensure that those particulars are processed by the union with due care and confidentiality"
AR3 Rule 7(e)
Delete "treasurers" and insert "other authorised officers"
AR4 Rule 7(f) [new]
Add new clause (f) as follows:
(f) Any applicant for membership who is joining simply to receive assistance in negotiating terms for redundancy will be liable for a full year's subscription up front, before their case is taken on by the union.
AR5 Rule 10(v)
Delete "0.8 of"
AR6 Rule 16(a)
Delete "and relevant branch secretaries and shall be deemed" and insert "who shall arrange for the relevant branch secretaries to be notified and for the member"
AR7 Rule 18(c) [new]
Add new clause (c) as follows:
(c) The National Executive Committee shall at its discretion invite pensioner members to join a pension forum and to participate in pensioner issues.
AR8 Rule 21(g) [new]
Add new clause (g) as follows:
(g) Legal representation under rule 21(a) in cases of personal injury is subject to any general conditions agreed with the solicitors instructed (and specific additional conditions may be attached in individual cases) and is on the basis that the member is liable for legal costs (which also includes legal disbursements, the premium for any policy of legal expenses insurance and opponents' costs) but is protected against having to pay those costs by such means provided or approved by the General Secretary on behalf of the union as he/she may determine: such means may be varied or amended by the General Secretary during the course of the case. The free advice service outlined in rule 21(b) is additional to the comprehensive representation of members in work-related injury and disease cases referred to in rule 21(a), which includes initial advice in such matters.
AR9 Rule 22
In second sentence delete "a minimum of £350, claimable on" and insert "£350 claimable within two years of"
AR10 Rule 28(a)(v)
After "for election to the National Executive Committee" insert "or to any office to be elected at conference, or to appoint or elect delegates to conference or to a divisional or subdivisional committee,"
AR11 Rule 29(a)
Add at end: "In the event of a branch, after due notice to convene a meeting has been issued, being unable for any reason to obtain a quorum, it shall be competent for the branch committee to take action required under rule 28(a)(v)."
AR12 Rule 29(e)
Delete "and/or someone authorised by the branch" and insert "or another branch officer specifically authorised by the branch for the purpose"
AR13 Rule 29(f)
Add at end: "That dispensation, however, will not extend to permitting branches which have not convened a quorate branch committee meeting in the preceding two years to make a nomination for election to the National Executive Committee or to any office to be elected at conference, or to appoint or elect delegates to conference or to a divisional or subdivisional committee."
AR14 Rule 31(b)
Add at end: "No such change shall, however, affect any election or appointment to office governed by statute or these rules until the respective term of office expires."
AR15 Rule 31(i)
Delete "the ITC, NTL, the Radio Authority" and insert "the regulatory and transmission bodies"
AR16 Rule 33(e)
Before "Only one job-sharing member" insert "Save for conference where both shall attend," then amend "Only" to "only"
AR17 Rule 33(f), Rule 40(a), and consequential and related rules
SOC note: The following group of proposed rule alterations are designed to provide eventually for biennial conferences closing with the end of the two-year term of office of the National Executive Committee. They are presented to the 2005 rules revision conference as an indivisible package subject to non-wrecking amendment. Words in [square brackets] are commentary from the NEC and do not form part of the proposed rule alterations. The SOC has accepted the following explanatory note by the NEC, which does not form part of the proposed rule alterations.
[The purpose of the following package of rule changes is to introduce biennial conferences - conferences every two years - synchronised to the two-yearly electoral terms of the NEC. To achieve this, the package first seeks to extend the current NEC's term of office, exceptionally, from two to three years, so that the next term of office begins with the biennial conference in 2007. (There would be no conference in 2006.) The next five alterations, proposed to clauses of rule 40 (the main rule governing conference), implement the biennial conference and link it to the NEC election cycle. Consequential rule changes in a range of clauses from rule 3 to Appendix D then follow. Next, provision is made for the continued publication of annual reports and accounts as required by law. Finally, provision is made for every second biennial conference to include a rules revision conference, in other words, a rules revision conference every four years as opposed to every three years as at present. The NEC regards each element of the package as essential, and will not accept amendment except in minor details. The NEC is grateful to the SOC for allowing it to preface the package with this explanatory note. It accepts that the package of rules changes is complicated to grasp, but hopes this explanation will convince branches that it is a key measure towards the future stability of the union.]
Add at end: "Notwithstanding this, the period of office of the National Executive Committee elected in 2004 shall be extended exceptionally to three years ending under rule 40(d) with the close of the biennial conference in 2007 (when this provision shall lapse)." [This sentence to be deleted automatically in the next rules printing after the 2007 conference.]
Rule 40 [title]
Delete "Annual" and insert "Biennial"
Delete "1993" and insert "2005", and delete "annual" and insert "biennial"
In first sentence delete "annual" and insert "biennial", and in third sentence delete "annual"
In first sentence delete "annual"
Delete second sentence and insert: "Commencing with 2005, conference shall be convened biennially in May or June and each two-year period of office of the National Executive Committee under rule 33(f) shall end with its close. The result of the elections to the incoming National Executive Committee held prior to the biennial conference shall be embargoed until their declaration by the General Secretary at the close of that conference. The members elected to the incoming National Executive Committee shall assume office immediately following the close of that conference."
Consequentially, in Rule 3(a), (c) and (d), Rule 9(a)(i) and (e), Rule 19, Rule 20, Rule 26(a), Rule 27(f), Rule 31(b), (e) and (m) [divisional conferences also held biennially, but additional special conferences remaining possible under clause (n)], Rule 32(a), Rule 33(a), (l), (o) and (v), Rule 38(h), 41(a), (b) and (d), Rule 42(a), (b), (d) and (e), Rule 42(f)(i), (i)(ii) and (j)(i), Rule 45(b), and Appendix D by-laws 8(a) and 9
delete "annual" or "annually" and insert "biennial" or "biennially", as the case may be, in each instance relating to conference
delete "to annual conference" and add at end "which shall be published annually to branches and, in respect of both of the preceding years, in the National Executive Committee's report to the biennial conference." [annual reports, financial reports and balance sheets still to be prepared]
delete "to branches not less than fourteen days prior to annual conference meetings" and insert "annually to branches and, in respect of both of the preceding years, in the National Executive Committee's report to the biennial conference" [annual reports, financial reports and balance sheets still to be prepared]
add at end "for each of the years since the previous conference." [annual reports, financial reports and balance sheets still to be prepared]
delete "at intervals of three years commencing with 1993" and insert "every four years commencing with 2005" [rules revision conference every second biennial conference]
AR18 Rule 33(q)(i)
Delete "Equal Opportunities Commission and Commission for Racial Equality" and insert "and statutory equality commission or commissions"
AR19 Rule 33(v)
In first sentence delete "and area"
AR20 Rule 33(v)
In second sentence delete "Commission for Racial Equality" and insert "statutory equality commission"
AR21 Rule 33(w)
Insert new clause (w) as follows, and re-letter existing clauses (w) and (x) as clauses (y) and (z):
(w) Subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee and to the following sub-clauses there may be constituted a BECTU History Project (and such other specialist Projects as the National Executive Committee may from time to time determine).
(i) The History Project's object shall be the recording by interview of the working lives and experiences of practitioners across the audio visual and entertainment industries to form an accessible archive, fully compliant with such data protection and intellectual property rights as may apply, for the benefit of cultural, academic, educational or trade union and labour movement users and such other users as may from time to time be determined by the Project subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee. Users shall be required to acknowledge BECTU as the source in any published use of material.
(ii) Participants in the Project need not be limited to current or past members of BECTU, but non-member participants shall not be entitled individually to the financial benefits of the union. '
(iii) The Project shall be empowered to negotiate contractual arrangements with appropriate partners (which may include partners supplying funding and resources) for the furtherance of its objects, such contracts being made in the name of the union and subject to the prior approval of the National Executive Committee.
(iv) The Project may elect its own officers for the administration of the Project in accordance with standing orders approved by the National Executive Committee, and shall provide such reports (including financial reports) to the National Executive Committee and to annual conference as the National Executive Committee shall require.
AR22 Rule 40(e)(i)
After "to be appointed" insert "in accordance with rule 28(a)(v)"
AR23 Rule 40(n) [new]
Insert new clause (n) as follows, and re-letter existing clause (n) accordingly:
(n) The chair shall clearly explain to conference the consequences of procedural motions (especially the distinction between 'move to next business' and 'the question be put') at the time when one is made.
AR24 Rule 42(k)
Add at end: "with the exception of those results of National Executive Committee elections declared under rule 40(d) by the General Secretary."
AR25 Rule 45(a)
Delete "1993" and insert "2005, which can be increased to a maximum of five years with the prior agreement of annual conference"
AR26 Appendix D by-law 8(a)
Add at end: "Those arrangements shall provide that no representative shall have the right to vote who has not been elected or re-elected by the respective branch within the preceding two years. Branches shall elect their representatives at a meeting duly convened under rule 28(a)(v), but in the event of a branch, after notice of such a meeting has been issued, being unable for any reason to obtain a quorum, it shall be competent for the branch committee to make the election."
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."
Formal motions on the BECTU conference agenda
Proposition 1/05 Frequency of conference (AP3)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to reduce the frequency of rules revision conferences rather than reduce the frequency of annual conferences, through an appropriate rule change.
Proposition 2/05 Venue of conference (AP4)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to continue to cost conference venues outside England and, if they prove comparable, should make them the first choice for the next venue ahead of any in England.
Proposition 3/05 Amendments to propositions (AP5)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC, in the absence of anything in the BECTU rulebook, to consider proposing amendments to branch propositions which the NEC would otherwise recommend rejecting or remitting. As with any amendment, conference would decide whether or not to accept the NEC's amendment.
Proposition 4/05 Consultation on amendments (AP12)
All propositions and changes to rule for both union-wide and divisional conferences are to be circulated to all relevant* members allowing enough time for them to submit any amendments [through their branch] before the cut-off deadline.
* relevant - means that divisional conference and divisional committee matters need only be reported individually to members in that particular division
Proposition 5/05 Union merger (AP1)
That this annual conference notes the pressures that the falling membership and, in the longer term, the consequential impact on income will have on the service provided to the union's members. These problems combined with the failure to complete the sale of the Wardour Street premises means that the situation is likely to deteriorate further.
Therefore this conference instructs the NEC to investigate the possibilities for a merger with a like-minded union and to bring their recommendations to the 2006 conference.
Proposition 6/05 Local offices (AP6)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to set up localised small offices in major film and television studios, London Weekend, Elstree, Pinewood, Shepperton and Leavesden, and also to rent an office in Wardour Street in order to have a presence right in the workplace, where members can access union reps and officials. Also to set up a mobile office (or a number of mobile offices) that can service members on location.
Proposition 7/05 BECTU staffing (AP10)
That this annual conference deplores the recent re-allocation of duties amongst BECTU staff, which affects the effective working of the union, and which has been achieved without any consultation with divisions, branches or members. The annual conference demands an urgent review as soon as possible.
Delete "urgent review as soon as possible" and insert "immediate review"
Proposition 8/05 Vacant officials' posts (AP9)
That this annual conference request that the NEC reverse its decision not to fill two vacant officials posts because of the adverse effect on the workload of the remaining BBC officials and branches. The two posts should be filled because the sale of Wardour Street is proceeding so there is no financial restriction but more importantly in view of proposed BBC spending cuts and Charter Renewal BECTU must have the maximum number BBC officials to manage events over the next few years.
In first sentence, after "not to fill" delete "two" and after "BBC" insert "and LPD/RPD"; delete second sentence.
Proposition 9/05 Out-of-hours cover (AP7)
That this annual conference instruct the NEC to investigate the feasibility of providing out-of-hours cover by telephone, so that freelance members who have a problem can speak to an official who can give accurate advice and support when needed during a split call or night shoot and at weekends.
Proposition 10/05 BECTU's structure (AP2)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to establish an independent committee to examine and consider the constitution and rules of the union so that they are consonant with the needs of the industry in the 21st century, when freelancing and small production units have seriously undermined the efficacy of the traditional branch and divisional structure, and to report that committee's findings together with appropriate recommendations at the next rules revision conference.
Proposition 11/05 Electronic communication (AP16)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to actively increase the use of electronic systems to regularly communicate with and between branches and divisions, such as monthly bulletins and mass electronic mail-outs and make lists of branch committee members available to other branch committees.
After "with and between" insert "members,"
Delete all after "such as monthly" and insert "and weekly e-mail bulletins and mass electronic mail-outs, advertising events, news, achievements, etc."
Proposition 12/05 Labour Party leadership (AP27)
That this annual conference mandates the NEC to give its backing to any campaign mounted by Gordon Brown to become leader of the Labour Party.
Proposition 13/05 Protection of conditions and pensions (AP17)
That this annual conference asks the NEC to lobby for legislation to ensure that all cases, regardless of whether they are company sales, outsources, joint ventures or TUPEs, provide full recognition and transfer of all terms and conditions of service and provision of fully matching pension schemes, and furthermore an absolute restriction of compulsory redundancies for a period of not less than five years from the date of sale or transfer. The legislation should also permit trade unions to ballot and implement industrial action to register protest against all such sales and transfers.
Proposition EP1/05 Working Time Directive
That this annual conference is appalled by the UK Government's continuing opt out of crucial parts of the Working Time Directive. We call upon the NEC to continue the fight for decent working practices by raising the issue at the annual Labour Party conference in England, Scotland and Wales.
Proposition 14/05 Rights of asylum seekers (AP25)
That this annual conference asks the NEC to monitor any future government's proposals on immigration and asylum to ensure that any legislation does not adversely affect the cases of asylum seekers specifically those involving media workers and trade union activists.
Proposition 15/05 Tsunami aid (AP26)
That this annual conference notes that the G8 summit is being held at Gleneagles, Scotland, from 8 July.
This conference demands the UK government:
- Step up aid and divert war spending to save lives in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other tsunami-affected countries;
- Cancel all debts owed by the 11 affected countries now and urge the IMF and the banks to do the same;
- Ensure aid is given 'without strings' such as 'economic restructuring' which would allow the multinationals to profit from the destruction.
- Send a copy of this motion to the government and to campaign to ensure that all aid that has been pledged is honoured;
- Place this issue high on the list of possible motions to take to the next TUC conference;
- Join the protests at the G8 summit this July.
Proposition EP2/05 Luis Posada Corriles
Conference condemns the hypocrisy of the US government in refusing to extradite Luis Posada Corriles to Venezuela to face charges of terrorism. Posada escaped custody in 1985 whiloe awaiting trial for the bombing of a Cuban civilian airline in 1976 which resulted in the death of 73 passengers. He also admitted to the New York Times that he directed the bombing of hotels in Havana which caused the death of an Italian tourist in 1998. In April this year he was taken into custody in Miami but the US government has refused to honour its extradition agreement with Venezuela. Conferenced instructs the NEC to write letters of protest to the Foreign Secretary and the US government.
Proposition 16/05 BECTU website (AP14)
That this annual conference believes that there should be an option of an online version of Stage Screen & Radio, furthermore that the website should be updated and redesigned and made for user-friendly and conform with recent DDA legislation.
Proposition 17/05 BECTU website and improved communication (AP15)
That this annual conference consider way to improve the BECTU website to expand the services and information available on the website. Improved communication on the web may be an answer to falling attendances at branch meetings and may attract more interest in union activities.
Proposition 18/05 Cuts in public broadcasting (AP21)
That this annual conference deplores the cuts and privatisations announced for the BBC by Director General Mark Thompson which seriously threaten public broadcasting in the UK. All divisions represented at this conference support the efforts of BECTU as well as the other BBC unions' officials in the fight against the cuts which, if allowed to go ahead unchallenged, would have a serious impact on the whole broadcasting industry.
Proposition 19/05 Film distribution (AP22)
That this annual conference instructs the Film Policy Committee to approach the government (DCMS and DTI), UK Film Council, independent cinema and commercial multiplex operators and associations to investigate and promote the case for a clearing-house to help smaller budget hits in independent cinemas cross over to audiences in bigger chains.
After "instructs the" insert "NEC through its"
Proposition 20/05 Low budget production agreement (AP23)
That this annual conference instruct the NEC to investigate a strategy to cover low budget productions, so as to seek to introduce a union agreement tailored to this type of production which could be realistically used by the production companies. This agreement would ensure the provision of at least some safeguards and standards to freelance workers, many of whom will just be starting out in the industry and seeking a foothold on the ladder by means of gaining experience, and so are vulnerable to exploitation.
Proposition 21/05 Education branch (AP8)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to explore methods whereby the many members teaching in colleges and similar institutions have some form of representation analogous to the former ACTT branch.
Proposition 22/05 Learning reps (AP18)
That this annual conference reaffirms the importance of the learning agenda to the future of the union, and instructs every branch of the union to nominate a branch representative for learning by December 2005.
Proposition 23/05 Skillset and Northern Ireland (AP19)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to call upon Skillset to provide the same full careers and advice service in Northern Ireland as in the other UK nations.
Proposition 24/05 New digital revolution (AP20)
That this annual conference instructs the NEC to promote an industry-wide strategy (provision) for retraining of industry workers to accommodate the new digital revolution, specifically including postproduction, distribution and projection and securing a commitment and funding from employers and training bodies.
Proposition EP5/05 Bingo
Conference resolves that, in the light of the intervention by the members of the Glasgow Bingo Branch, that the NEC work with the Arts and Entertainment Division in supporting our members within the bingo industry, who with their support might be able to stabilise or slow down the high staff turnover within their industry, thereby building a solid foundation for their future as members and BECTU as a whole.
Proposition 25/05 Feedback to members (AP11)
That this annual conference is alarmed at the widespread apathy of members participation in union business and believes that this is at least partly due to lack of feedback to individual members about what the union is doing.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to arrange for all members to receive individually, either in or with Stage Screen & Radio, at least a précis of the proceedings of the NEC meetings. Similar arrangements are to be made for reports back to all relevant* members in the divisions of their respective divisional conferences and divisional committee meetings.
* relevant - means that divisional conference and divisional committee matters need only be reported individually to members in that particular division
Proposition 26/05 Value for money (AP13)
That this annual conference is seriously concerned at the perception by many members that the union is failing to offer value for money.
The NEC is therefore instructed to pay urgent attention to the dissemination of information to members to highlight the services and activities that the union offers and how members can benefit from these services and benefits.
Proposition 27/05 DTI employment agency standards (AP24)
That this annual conference deplores the practice of employment agencies being allowed to charge up-front fees to work-seekers and to charge excessive commission rates, despite attempts to regulate their conduct.
Conference therefore calls on the NEC, with the assistance if possible of the TUC, to lobby the Department of Trade and Industry to: (a) abolish all up-front fees; (b) reintroduce the licencing of agencies; (c) set a statutory cap on agency commission rates.