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NEC news: 2009

News from Prospect's NEC: 2009 meetings

November 2009

September 2009

July 2009

May 2009

April 2009

January 2009

November 2009

Prospect's national executive committee met on 5 November and discussed the following:

  • The outcome of the ballot of Connect members in favour of merger with Prospect from 1 January 2010, was welcomed. Formal approval is being obtained from the Certification Officer and his equivalent in Northern Ireland. A parliamentary launch event is planned in January. Workstreams are under way to implement the practicalities. The communications workstream reported that members in the new Connect sector will continue to receive Connected magazine, inserted in Profile, for the time being. Seven issues of Profile will be produced in 2010, with plans to shift the balance of member communications later in the year towards web-based technology and electronic formats.

  • The Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Jersey Civil Service Association will soon join Prospect as new branches, with a JCSA launch event in Jersey on November 19. Talks are still under way with other organisations.

  • On relations with employers, authority was given for BVT (now renamed BAE Systems Surface Ships) and National Grid to conduct industrial action ballots over pay. Reports were given on job losses at Forensic Science Service; pay issues at the National Gallery and National Museum of Science and Industry; pensions and the potential sale of EDF Energy Networks; CAA pay; and government proposals to sell its share in NATS, the air traffic provider. Pay disputes had been settled at British Energy and Cottam Power Station.

  • The NEC congratulated Richard Tabbner, promoted to negotiations officer in Chertsey; secondee Andy Bye, now appointed as negotiations officer in London; and Louise Staniforth, promoted to organiser in London.

  • The committee thanked all involved in Prospect's successful equal pay case in the Court of Appeal on behalf of Health and Safety Executive member Christine Wilson. Prospect will discuss next steps for other similar outstanding cases.

  • Preparations were discussed for national conference in Liverpool in June 2010, including NEC motions to be submitted following the work of the rules working party.

  • The NEC agreed to match £257 raised by staff on Wear it Pink day for Breast Cancer Research, and endorsed a £1,000 donation to the PSI appeal to help trade unionists affected by cyclones and tsunamis in the Philippines and Malaysia.
  • Motions were agreed to the 2010 TUC Women's Conference on ‘gender and international development' and ‘women in SET and climate change'.

  • Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd reported on successful recruitment figures. The addition of JCSA, ALAE and Connect members will bring Prospect's membership to more than 120,000 at the start of next year. 

September 2009

  • Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd reported that recruitment in July and August had been strong, with current membership over 102,100. The number of employed members has risen to just short of 80,000. However, he warned that maintaining this momentum will be a challenge in the face of anticipated job losses in Prospect areas.

  • Connect general secretary Adrian Askew reported on the arrangements for this month's ballot of Connect members on merger with Prospect. If the ballot is in favour, the result will be reported to the Certification Officer early in November, with merger effective from January 1, 2010. Reports were also given on the workstreams to take forward other elements of the merger, with reports back to future NEC meetings.

  • Deputy general secretary Mike Clancy reported on the successful ballot of members of the Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers in favour of becoming a branch of Prospect. After registration with the Certification Officer, transfer is expected in November. The Jersey Civil Servants Association will also become a Prospect branch by the end of the year. Discussions continue with other organisations.

  • A three-day pilot residential scheme for senior lay reps is planned.

  • Reports were given on industrial relations difficulties in the Forensic Science Service, National Gallery, National Museum of Science and Industry, EDF Energy, Cottam Power Station and other areas. Authority was given for a ballot on industrial action at British Energy Generation, where employees have rejected a pay offer of 1.7 per cent. Dai Hudd reported on developments relating to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (Report 6/09) and in particular a meeting with civil service minister Tessa Jowell, where she agreed to reopen talks after the consultation exercise on proposed changes is completed.

  • Donations of £6,850 each were agreed to the Civil Service Benevolent Fund and EEIBA, the equivalent within the electricity industry.

  • A report was given on Prospect's intervention at this year's TUC conference in Liverpool. The delegation made a record number of interventions in debates as well as good contributions at fringe meetings.

  • On international development, a project in Zimbabwe will be the next to benefit from Prospect's Oxfam fund. Prospect Health and Safety Executive member Clare Hawkes reported on her recent visit to Honduras (Profile 5/09), and the committee agreed to donate £1,000 to the TUC Aid appeal for Honduras. International development officer Beverley Hall gave an update on the progress of the Bargaining for International Development project. 

July 2009

  • Alan Grey was congratulated on his re-election as Prospect deputy vice president.

  • Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd reported an increase in working membership in May and June despite job losses in several areas.
    Following the Connect biennial delegate conference vote in favour of merger with Prospect, the NEC approved necessary legal documents, including the instrument of transfer and rule amendments. These have been agreed by Connect's NEC and informally approved by the Certification Officer. Connect members will be balloted in October and November. If they vote in favour, merger would proceed on January 1, 2010. The Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers is due to ballot on merger with Prospect; and 885 members of the Jersey Civil Service Association have already voted to merge.

  • On relations with employers, progress has been made on halting ID cards for airside workers, and in the QinetiQ pay dispute. The National Grid overtime dispute has been settled and National Air Traffic Services members have accepted a two-year pay deal. Members at Atomic Weapons Establishment are balloting with a recommendation to reject a 2.5 per cent pay offer. The campaign to save jobs at the Forensic Science Service has received wide press publicity. A work to rule continues at the National Gallery and members at the National Museum of Science and Industry are balloting on pay. Dai Hudd reported on talks concerning civil service redundancy arrangements.

  • The NEC noted the request to branches to minimise the costs of travel, in particular by buying cheaper rail tickets.

  • The NEC agreed to continue sponsoring Show Racism the Red Card by contributing £2,500 for the 2009-10 season. It agreed to donate £1,000 to Justice for Columbia and £100 to UK Black Pride, among other donations.

  • Advice on swine flu had been issued to staff. Reps should consult their full-time officers or Prospect's health and safety officer if they need advice relating to their workplaces.

  • Two motions were agreed for the TUC Congress in Liverpool in September - on recruitment and the closure of defined benefit pension schemes. Prospect's delegation comprises Peter Clements (Sellafield), Geoff Fletcher (Health and Safety Executive), Mairi Davies (Historic Scotland), Michaela Hammond Walsh (National Museum for Science and Industry), Alex Sutherland (Environment Agency) and Allan Ralston (ScottishPower) as reserve. NEC representatives are Vince Butler (Scottish and Southern Energy), Neil Hope-Collins (Health and Safety Executive) and Audrey Uppington (Sellafield) as reserve.

  • HSE branch member Clare Hawkes was thanked for attending a health seminar in Honduras with War on Want. 

May 2009

  • The NEC warmly welcomed the decision of the Connect NEC to recommend merger with Prospect to their national conference in June. The final proposals to Connect on merger were endorsed, and it was agreed that a circular would be issued to branches reporting on this development and also in respect of other organisations.

  • A warm welcome was also given to the decision of the Jersey Civil Service Association to merge with Prospect. In this case, the JCSA had been required under their rules to achieve a majority of more than 50% of those eligible to vote and had comfortably exceeded this threshold.

  • Deputy general secretary Mike Clancy reported on the continuing and positive discussions with the Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers. No substantial difficulties have been encountered and it is likely that the ALAE will ballot on recommendations on merger either in July or September.

  • Discussions with the British Association of Colliery Managers are continuing, but at a slower pace. Reports on relationships with other organisations were given, including discussions with the Association of Principal Fire Officers and the Institute of Groundsmanship.

  • The NEC welcomed the positive recruitment figures in the first four months of this year. Job losses and retirements mean that the union has not yet got back over 102,000 but is heading in the right direction.

  • A number of donations were agreed, including a matching contribution to the staff ‘Bake a Cake' day which raised funds for multiple sclerosis research.

  • Reports were given on a wide range of pay negotiations and potential disputes with employers, including National Air Traffic Services, QinetiQ and the National Grid.

  • The NEC thanked all those who contributed to the success of the recent health and safety conference and welcomed the Prospect guide to organisational change Fair Change.  

April 2009

  • The draft annual report and statement of accounts for 2008 were considered and agreed and would be published to branches soon.

  • Interim action taken on resolutions from the 2008 national conference was agreed. This would appear on the website (now available at http://library.prospect.org.uk/id/2009/00291), with hard copies only available on request.

  • Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd reported on good recruitment results for February.

  • A presentation was given on progress on talks with Connect regarding potential merger. Connect's NEC will consider proposals from Prospect and the Communication Workers Union at the end of April. Progress reports on talks with other organisations were also given. The NEC warmly welcomed these developments and the scale of the potential growth for Prospect in line with its strategic objectives.

  • The NEC endorsed or noted industrial action requests and updating reports from a range of areas. At the National Gallery members were continuing to take industrial action short of a strike. At Highlands and Islands Airport Limited, contingent authority for industrial action remains in place. Talks continue relating to the overtime ban that began at the National Grid national control centre in February. The Isle of Man bus inspectors and depot supervisors were given authority for an immediate overtime ban/work to rule, followed by a one-day strike before Easter. At United Utilities a proposal for an industrial action ballot was endorsed.

  • Congratulations and thanks were extended to those involved in the successful International Women's Day event (Profile 2/09) and the international development seminar held on March 17 (see pages 4-5). It was reported that the seminar had been highly praised by international development minister Gareth Thomas.

  • Prospect had succeeded with a new bid for £250,000 from the government's union learning fund for a two-year project until March 2011. The NEC saw this as a tribute to the quality of Prospect's ULR work and congratulated colleagues and reps involved.

  • Donations to the 2009 Pride event (£1,200) and the TUC appeal in respect of the G20 event (£1,000) were agreed, the latter from the political fund.

  • A report back was given from the TUC women's conference.
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January 2009

  • Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd gave a detailed report on the 2008 recruitment figures (See Report, 1/09). More than 8,000 new members were recruited - a record. Although the total membership figure had fallen to just below 102,000, the number of working members had increased slightly by the end of the year. The NEC congratulated all those involved in successful recruitment activity. In a discussion on 2009, it noted that Prospect will not be immune from the employment aspects of the recession. On the other hand, many people at work will recognise the need for union protection, opening opportunities for Prospect to recruit.

  • Adam Ingram MP, a former minister who has agreed to chair the Prospect Parliamentary Panel, addressed the NEC on current issues and activity (see Profile, 1/09).

  • Delegations and motions to the TUC disability conference and the Scottish TUC were agreed.

  • Deputy general secretary Mike Clancy gave an update on discussions with five other, smaller unions about potential merger with Prospect. Further meetings are planned with Connect, whose NEC is due to make a recommendation about merger with Prospect or the Communication Workers Union in April. That recommendation will go to the Connect biennial conference in June, and be followed by a Connect members' ballot (more details, Profile 1/09).

  • Reports were given on current disputes, including those concerning the British Museum, National Museum of Industry and Science, Isle of Man bus inspectors and depot supervisors, judicial review of the MOD early release scheme , Intellectual Property Office, and Highlands and Islands Airport. At Nord Anglia, members had now accepted a pay offer. At the Metropolitan Police branch an indicative ballot showed members in favour of strike action and/or action short of a strike over pay, with further talks to be held. At National Grid, control room and network operations members had balloted in favour of an overtime ban concerning pay issues.

  • The NEC agreed to donate £2,000 to TUC Aid for humanitarian aid to Gaza. All proceeds will be forwarded through the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and the International Transport Workers Federation.
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