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West Yorkshire Branch AGM 2020

Chairpersons Opening Comments
Minutes silence. (Obituary List)
Appointment of Tellers
Section 1
Minutes of the previous AGM
Section 2
Secretary’s Report
Financial Secretary’s Report

Employer Reports:
Capita O2
Organiser’s Report
Equality Officer’s Report
Women’s Officer Report
Political Report
Health & Safety Report
Learning & Education Report
Welfare Officer Report
Retired Members’ Report
Youth Report
Branch Motions to the Annual General Meeting

That the CWU West |Yorkshire Branch pays Honoraria.

Moved by - R Freeman

That the Honoraria is paid based on the average of the number of days per week that the individuals are allocated facility time during the past year at the rate of £129 per day (paid pro-rata for periods of less than one year).

Moved by - R Freeman

Insert into Branch Constitution as new Para 5.5.f

The Branch will at all times aim to remain within planned expenditure for all the headings of the financial expenditure forecast and agreed at the AGM. Only in exceptional circumstances should expenditure over this amount be authorised.

Moved by -M Elwen

Insert into Branch Constitution as new Para 5.5.g

In addition to the Head Office expenditure headings the Branch will also set a budget for Equality Activities to be agreed at the AGM.

Moved by -M Elwen

The planned expenditure for Equality Activities for 2020 will be £2,500. £1000 of this will be ring fenced for the Regional Conference. Once the expenditure for this conference is known, if there is a surplus then this will be returned to the General Account.

Remove Para 5.23 and renumber following paragraphs accordingly

Moved by -M Elwen

To insert as a new paragraph 4.7.13 in the Branch Constitution;

Quarterly and Annual Plans;

All Branch Officers and Principal Officers(with the exception of the Financial Officer who is already required to do a yearly forecast of expenditure) are required to produce both quarterly and annual plans for their positions. Annual plans should be in place by the 1st January or within one month of the Officer being elected. Quarterly plans to be in place before the start of each quarter. The first quarter begins on 1st January. Plans will be submitted to the Branch Secretary and made available at all Branch Committee meetings.
Quarterly and Annual plans will also be required for specific employers where we have recognition and/or a large membership. The Branch Committee will decide which employers these are required for. An Officer from that employer will be tasked with producing the plans.

Plans requiring expenditure will require authorisation in the usual way.

Moved by – M Elwen

Motions to Conference:
None Received


Pensions – Auto Enrolment
Conference is concerned that Capita O2 have not put in place reasonable steps to alert its employees within the Capita O2 partnership, who are absent from the business when the Auto-enrolment Pension window opens for renewal of Auto-enrolment which is every 3 years. Of particular relevance are Capita O2 employees who are on long-term sick, but could include someone absent for other reasons.
Last Year a Capita O2 partnership employee, on long-term sickness because of a mental illness suffered a financial detriment because they were not aware that they had been Auto-enrolled into the Pension scheme when it reset at the 3 year point.
The absent employee who was ill, had no access to their work emails nor were they made aware of the pension auto-enrolment window and timescales for opting out of Auto-enrolment. Because of this and because Capita do not have a process in place to advice any employee absent from work during this 3 year cycle, this employee was unaware of the deductions being taken from their salary and suffered a financial detriment because of it.
Despite this issue being raised by the CWU with Capita locally, it appears that no material change has been made and another employee has suffered the same detriment this year having returned to work from a period of long term mental illness. Again the matter has been raised by the CWU locally with another promise being made by Capita. Unlike the employee impacted last year who with the help of the CWU local team was able to claw back all pension payments taken, the current employee has simply been told he cannot have these back until he retires which is not acceptable.
Conference requests that the T&FSE seeks guarantees from Capita O2 that it will correct the current issue, pay back all the payments taken and put in place adequate measures that will ensure accountability exists to inform any Capita O2 employee absent from work during Pension Auto-enrolment of the need to make a balanced and correct decision on enrolling or not enrolling.
It is expected that this commences immediately following the close of this conference so that this current practice is stopped.

Moved by - Steve Faber-Hinton

Minimum contractual notice to change employee work patterns
Conference recognises the positive moves Capita are taking to enhance its employee’s lives. The increase of Maternity and Shared Parental leave allowances resulting in the immediate entitlement to full pay being one example.
Conference asks Capita to continue with that positive theme by changing the current contractual notice period required to change some of the Capita O2 partnership employees working patterns. Currently this contractually says;
Capita Customer Management Ltd reserves the right to change your working pattern to meet operational or other business need, including the requirement to attend training. You will be given not less than one weeks’ notice of any change.
A common theme currently exists within the Capita O2 partnership, particularly noticeable around bank holidays, when the partnership regularly change some of the partnership employees work patterns because ‘it would appear to the affected employees’ that Capita do not want the employee to have an additional paid day/days off work in the same week.
Impacted employees are unable to plan around such a short notice period and conference instructs to T&FSE to enter meaningful discussions with the Capita O2 partnership with the aim of changing all impacted partnership employees contract statement above to provide a minimum of 1 months’ notice to change their working pattern.
Conference this simple change would cost Capita nothing, but in doing so and applying such a defining change would demonstrate that it truly values and cares about all its staff, whilst adding an infinite intrinsic value to its staff.
Conference expects and instructs discussions to commence immediately following closure of this conference.

Moved by – Steve Faber-Hinton

Mental Health Absence
This conference recognises the importance of managing mental health illness correctly with empathy and genuine understanding so that anyone affected and suffering is able to recover without suffering further distress.
Conference does appreciate the positive steps already taken by Capita in introducing a free employee assistance program (EAP) staffed by trained counselors allowing any Capita O2 employee the opportunity to discuss any issues that may be affecting them both in and out of work.
Conference notes with sadness however, that despite this real positive step, that many managers are not able to fully understand the complexities of mental health illness and the impact it can have on those suffering.
Absence triggers are hit, meetings are conducted and warnings are issued.
Conference instructs the T&FSE to open and hold meaningful discussions with Capita O2 and agree on an empathetic fresh approach which is then applied and given to any of its employees who are off work ill because of mental health issues. Concluding with real guarantees that no employee will be penalised for being absent, suffering through mental health issues.
Conference expects these discussions to commence immediately following closure of this conference.

Moved by – Steve Faber-Hinton

Annual Leave – Smaller Departments
Conference recognises that as a business Capita have to manage its resources adequately so as not to impact both its business and customers. But feels that this should not be done at the detriment of its staff within the Capita O2 Partnership.
Annual leave within smaller departments throughout the Capita O2 partnership such as ‘Enterprise’ and ‘C4B’ is often at a premium, particularly during peak periods such as school holidays which place a heavy drain on the small resources in these departments. Consequently requests for leave are met with rejection which in-turn affects moral.
The problem is compounded because there is no back-fill of suitably trained staff that can cover for existing staff in these smaller departments, allowing them a meaningful break with their families away from work.
Conference believes that if Capita were to cross-train some of its existing staff within the larger customer departments of Capita O2 where there is a larger percentage of leave allowance, then more staff could enjoy a balanced work/life.
Conference also believes it possible to use existing staff from the UK based Capita O2 partnership staff in areas such as General Customer Service because areas like this are supported in other sites across the Capita O2 partnership. Since these sites have different school holidays conference believes it in principle it should not create a problem with then back-filling the cross-trained staff temporarily covering the smaller areas.
Conference instructs the T&FSE to enter meaningful discussions with Capita O2 partnership with the aim of securing greater annual leave for all impacted staff in these smaller departments and across the partnership.

Moved by – Steve Faber-Hinton

Q & A / Any Other Branch Business

BT has advised the CWU that it intends to review the current BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) arrangements. At the same time it has also given the CWU 12 months notice to terminate the 2008 Pension Agreement.
The 2008 Agreement was legally binding and was put in place to make the BTPS sustainable. Among other things the Agreement introduced career average benefits, raised the normal pension age to 65 and increased member contributions. The Agreement also included improvements in the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS). Under the terms of the Agreement it can be amended by mutual agreement and can also be terminated by giving 12 months notice.
The BT announcement comes shortly after press reports suggest that the BTPS deficit in 2016 was in the region of £14 billion, up from £10 billion in 2015, and ahead of the triennial valuation which is due later this year. The valuation will determine the schedule of payments that BT has to make in order to fund the pension to ensure it meets its liabilities.
BT has stated that nothing has been ruled in or out and that if any changes are necessary it will be seeking to do this by agreement with the CWU.
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS) Andy Kerr said: "The announcement of the review by BT and serving notice on the Agreement will naturally be of great concern to all CWU members in the BT Pension Scheme and will be increased due to the speculative press coverage in the last few days. In response the CWU has stressed our absolute opposition to closure of the Scheme for existing members and we have made it clear that we will use all means up to and including industrial action to keep the scheme open for current members.
"The CWU has also confirmed that as the 2008 Agreement covers both the BTPS and BTRSS we will be seeking improvements to the BTRSS as part of the review process in line with our recent agreed Conference policy.
"There is unlikely to be any developments in the next couple of months as the Union will now be commencing negotiations with BT over its plans for the future."
Further relating to a recent Tyco European Court of Justice ruling on travelling time to and from work the CWU has recently entered into consultation with BT to understand the implications for our members who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work. The Tyco case decided that for workers with no fixed or habitual workplace, the first journey from home and the last journey from the last workplace to home count as working time under the Working Time Directive and the UK's Working Time Regulations. The decision could therefore affect members who park their company vehicle at home.

The practical consequences of the ruling are that more of our members' time will count as working time. As a consequence including the time that they travel to and from work, could impact on the overtime they can claim. We don’t anticipate that members will receive increased pay as a result of the decision however, the CWU is working to protect our members' existing working practices and that members are not denied a fair opportunity to work overtime where they wish to do so, in excess of their working time week.

BT will review its records and discuss with the CWU any issues arising from the Tyco decision. The CWU will advise members of outcome of the further negotiations.
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The National Team (NT) has continued to meet Openreach on a monthly basis to review resourcing across the Line of Business. These meetings focus on service performance, recruitment plans (future), recruitment progress (current) and redeployment issues. In addition, the NT discusses the ongoing use and requirement for 3rd party resource across each of the business units and continually presses the company to reduce its reliance on their use.
A major impact on the ongoing use of 3rd party labour will be additional recruitment in order to ensure that the principles of the agreements between us, which cover resourcing matters, are met. The current programme of recruitment within SD is going well with over 400 of the 512 planned additional resource booked on training courses. The remaining vacancies are being matched at present and further training places booked in the coming weeks.
In addition, the employment of 240 apprentices (across Openreach) is also going to plan with over 200 having accepted the offer of employment.
Openreach have also confirmed the recruitment of a further 250 people into SD. The NT has pressed the business hard to continue with the recruitment programme and is pleased with this further announcement. The discussions continue with Openreach in the other business units and the NT is working hard to secure further direct labour jobs in the business to further reduce the reliance on the 3rd party labour.
The NT recognises that we have members who are carrying out roles on behalf of 3rd parties and would hope that many of them (as they have in the past) take the opportunity to apply for a permanent role with Openreach. The NT is focussed on direct labour job creation.
Now that the CWU has been recognised by BT we are looking to recruit 2 people to act as workplace representatives for BTFS
We will provide full training and support for these roles so if you are interested in becoming a workplace representative for the CWU and providing help and support for your colleagues then please contact us at the office
Members at Airwave have voted by more than nine to one in favour of an across-the-board and fully consolidated 2 per cent pay offer.
In an electronic ballot that concluded yesterday 93 per cent of members in the relevant bargaining unit voted to accept the CWU-negotiated deal on a 72 per cent turnout."With RPI standing at 1 per cent, this is an acceptable result," said assistant secretary John East. "Given the challenges the company faces, the fact that we've achieved 2 per cent for everyone in our recognised bargaining unit, including those who are already paid above their official pay grade, is clearly a positive outcome."
In the consultative ballot which closed today (Tuesday), 94 per cent of members voted in favour of the pay increase which will come into effect for April salaries. Hundreds of workers who provide retail, supply and customer care services at sites across the UK will see the increase in their next pay packets.
Tougher punishments for the most serious speeding offences have come into force in England and Wales.

What speeding fines can I get with the new laws?

Fines are divided into three bands – A, B and C – which correspond to how serious the speeding offence is.
Drivers caught at speeds up to 10 mph over the limit are classed as band A, with band B fares relating to offences where motorists were clocked at 11-21 mph
over the limit.
The most serious category of offence is band C, which applies to drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 21mph
A 1 - 10 mph 25 - 75% of weekly wage
B 11 - 21 mph 75 - 125% of weekly wage
C 21 mph and over 125 - 175% of weekly wage
These band C offenders face fines between 125 and 175 per cent of their weekly wage, which could see the wealthiest motorists slapped with penalties close to
the £2,500 limit.
They could still also be banned from driving for up to 56 days or get six points on their licence.
Meanwhile, band B offenders can expect fines between 75 and 125 per cent of their weekly wage, and band A offenders could be slapped with fines equalling
5-75 per cent of their weekly wage.
First time speeders can avoid the increased fines if they take a speed awareness course, although this option does not apply to repeat offenders.
Initial fines could be adjusted based on the court’s discretion based on the conditions in the case.
Some variables such as the weather conditions, timing of the offence and population density of the area could affect the total fine.
Today we launch our new ‘Our Hours’ campaign for all our members in Openreach. Removing the 60 minute personal travel time commitment is our top priority, contact your Branch and get involved.
Following concerns from members about safeguards at our Plusnet site in relation to Covid-19, the West Yorkshire Branch has been in cosultation with Plusnet HR to ensure the safety of our members is their top priority. Talks are continuing and we will keep our members up to date as things progress. If you have any concerns do not hesitate to contact the branch.

Changes to voter registration have resulted in an estimated one million young people being left off the electoral roll and that a potential ten million people need to re-register.

Voters are now required to register individually whereas previously household registration allowed one person in the household to register all eligible voters.

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