Reports From CWU Annual Conference 2017

Conference Motions Debates - Sunday 23rd April

Monday 24th April debates

Morning Session

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1 This conference notes that since 2013 when disability benefits changed to the PIP (Personal Independence Payments) over 17,000 disabled people in the UK have lost allowances and access to mobility cars, scooters and electric wheelchairs.

Therefore conference instructs the NEC to work with the DAC to pressure this government to review the current points system to ensure that all disabled people who need access to these mobility aids get them reinstated and prevent others from losing theirs in the future.

Proposer: Disability Conference

 

The motion was Carried

2 Conference notes that 2017 will see the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act.

50 years on and access to abortion still requires the consent of two doctors, despite the recommendation of the British Medical Association (BMA) to reduce this to one doctor as for every other medical procedure.
We believe that the Abortion Rights Act 1967 should be updated to give every woman the right to make this decision as with any medical procedure.

Conference instructs the NEC to work with the WAC to:

 Lobby all political parties to raise concerns and ensure that this important legislative change is made while protecting the legal limit.
 Work with Abortion Rights groups to continue to raise public awareness to change the culture of stigma and discrimination.
 Promote active participation in Abortion Rights groups to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act.
 Recognise the legislative responsibility for abortion in Scotland has now been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and include this change in all lobbying etc.

Proposer: Women’s Conference

 

The motion was Carried

3 Conference notes that the foundation of the NHS in 1948 transformed the lives of millions of ordinary working class people and their communities – and those communities will pay a high price if the NHS is
dismantled. Decent healthcare should be available to us all, however the current Conservative Government is now committed to the systematic dismantling of the NHS. Rapid privatisation and the selling of NHS land is already taking place.

This Conference totally opposes the Government’s NHS Health “cut, slash, despise and privatise” strategy and its threats to the provision of comprehensive and universal health care. Our health service should be publicly owned, publicly funded, publicly provided, accountable and free at the point of delivery, delivered on a basis of need and not ability to pay.

The CWU believes that any changes to the NHS should not be conducted in secrecy but with the full consultation of patients, staff and public bodies involved in delivering health care.

Our NHS must be:

· universally available and free at the point of use
· publicly accountable, publicly funded and publicly run
· clinical driven and evidence led

Conference resolves to make defence of the NHS a centrally important issue for the CWU, and believes that our members have a central role to play in supporting campaigns and NHS unions in resisting cuts and the relentless drive towards the breakup of the NHS through social privatisation.

Conference further calls on the Executive Council to ensure that adequate resources are made available with a mandate to help drive a campaign nationally, regionally and locally. The CWU must be ready to campaign and organise with real determination against the devastating privatisation and cuts that are already profoundly damaging our NHS. This will include a willingness to work with other unions and with a broad range of community, anti-cuts and campaign groups (including Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together), and with direct action groups such as UK Uncut.

Proposer: South London, Surrey and North Hampshire

 

The motion was Carried

5 This conference agrees that the NEC will support and promote a policy of increasing basic rate Income Tax by a minimum of 2% to be ring fenced and only to be used to increase current spending levels for adult
Social Care in the UK.

This policy will be pursued at all opportunities for example Labour Party Conference and TUC but this list is not exhaustive. The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Proposer: Greater Manchester

The motion was Lost

9 Suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – under 35 in the UK. In 2014, 597 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 took their own lives. Under the age of 35, the number rose to 1,556. That equates to over four per day. Every year many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

It is known that LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts: from pain caused by actual bullying, stigma, harassment and the mental distress caused through the fear of perceived reactions and judgements, by those who are usually of a younger age and are struggling to
come to terms with their own sexuality.

Papyrus are the national charity for the prevention of young suicide:

they deliver awareness and prevention training, provide confidential support and suicide intervention through HOPELineUK, campaign and influence national policy, and empower young people to lead suicide prevention activities in their own communities.

Conference notes the above and instructs the NEC working with the LGBTAC to contact the charity PAPYRUS, to find out ways in which the CWU can promote their charity and offer what support is available in the way of a donation, printing, leafletting etc. this list is not exhaustive.

Proposer: LGBT Conference

 

The motion was Carried

10 This conference instructs the NEC to work with the WAC to lobby the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6th April 1951, who have unfairly
borne the burden of the increase of the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification. And to offer our support to the (WASPI) Women Against State Pension Inequality campaigners.

Women’s Conference

 

The motion was Carried

11 Conference notes that the Equality Act provides protections against discriminatory treatment based on the concept of 'Protected Characteristics.’

Currently workers with a terminal illness are not classified as having a Protected Characteristic and therefore have very limited legal protection against employers dismissing them due to illness.

Conference notes that employers are therefore free to dismiss terminally ill workers once they have made 'reasonable adjustments' to the employee's job to assist with the illness. Conference agrees that the last thing a terminally ill worker would need is the distress at the same time as facing up to a terminal
illness is to have to fight for the right to continue working and not to face the indignity of being sacked.

In addition conference notes that the loss of death in service benefits to terminally ill workers sacked before death is a further distress at a time when security for a family for the future should be protected.

Therefore conference agrees to support the TUC's 'Dying to Work Campaign' currently being developed in the Midlands and to support the lobbying of MP's to establish new legislation, currently being drawn up by the society of Labour Lawyers which;

• Seeks to get terminally ill workers covered by Protective Rights at Work in line with those covered by Pregnancy / Maternity Rights
• Seeks to protect death in service benefits
• Seeks to allow workers with terminal illness to die in dignity

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Proposer: South West Regional Committee

 

The motion was Carried

12 That this conference instructs the NEC to pursue the following policy:

Conference notes the increasing rise in cases of hate crime since the decision to leave the European Union. Conference therefore instructs the NEC in conjunction with the Race Advisory Committee to mount a campaign to highlight this disturbing situation, through the media and interested groups (Stand up to Racism, UAF, MPS and AMs) and urge the government to put into place safety nets to protect vulnerable groups in our communities.

proposer: Black Worker’s Conference

 

The motion was Carried Unanimously

13 Conference recognizes that for hundreds of years women have fought to achieve basic rights at home, at work and the wider social community.

Conference further notes that Britain's membership of the European Union has led to significant improvements in the rights of women at work. For example, Equal pay, sexual discrimination, pregnancy/ maternity rights and family leave.

The outcome of the EU referendum to exit the European community has created a great deal of uncertainty and risk to women's rights in the UK.

The Fawcett Society along with Harriett Harman and a cross party coalition of MPs have been campaigning for an amendment to Article 50 bill calling for protections of women's rights during and after Brexit in particular it calls for:-

a) Maintaining employment rights and protections derived from EU legislation.
b) Assurances that EU co-operation to end violence against women and girls, to tackle female genital mutilation and to end human trafficking will continue unaffected.
c) The desirability of continuing to recognize restraining orders placed on abusive partners in EU member states in the UK and restraining orders placed on abusive partners in the UK across the EU.
d) Establishing a cross-department working group to assess and make recommendations for developing legislation on Equality and Access to Justice.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC and all relevant bodies to work with the Fawcett Society and relevant MPs to campaign for the protection of women's rights.

proposed: London Regional Committee

 

The motion was Carried

 

Monday 24th April debates



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