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West Yorkshire Branch AGM 2021

1) Chairpersons Opening Comments
2) Apologies
3) Minute silence. (Obituary List)
4) Appointment of Tellers

Section 1
Minutes of the previous AGM

Section 2
6) Secretary’s Report
7) Financial Secretary’s Report
8) Nominations for Branch Positions
9) Employer Reports:
BT & Openreach,
Capita O2

10) Organiser’s Report
11) Equality Officer’s Report
12) Political Report
13) Health & Safety Report
14) Learning & education report
15) Welfare Report
16) Women’s Officer Report
17) Retired members Report
19) Branch Motions to the Annual General Meeting
20) Motions to Conference – None Received
21) Q & A / Any Other Branch Business


1. Rule 5 .21
Rule change requested. Existing rule as follows:
In accordance with rule 5.15 Honoraria shall be based on the amount of facility time booked by the Officers. Maximum £500 (Inland Revenue Limit) paid pro-rata.
In accordance with rule 5.15 Honoraria shall be paid to all facilitated Branch officers. Maximum of £500 (Inland Revenue Limit) paid evenly.

Please support this rule change.

Moved - Liza Midgley
If carried motion 3 falls.

2. That the CWU West |Yorkshire Branch pays Honoraria.
Proposed – Mark Elwen
Seconded - Richard Freeman

3. That the Honoraria is paid based on the average of the number of days per week over the whole year that the individual is allocated facility time. The rate of £121.20 per day will be paid (paid pro-rata for periods of less than one year). E.G. If an individual works 1 day facility time each week for the whole year they will receive £121.20 for the entire year. A person who works 5 days per week (full time facilities) will receive £606 for the entire year.
Moved – Mark Elwen
Seconded – Richard Freeman

4. Delete Section 5.16 of the Constitution and replace with the following;
Section 5.16 Welfare Fund
a) The Branch shall establish a Welfare Fund by the transfer of not more than 5% of rebate income in each year. The Fund shall be used for giving financial and/or other assistance to members in appropriate circumstances.
b) A Welfare Fund shall be administered by five Trustees. The Welfare Officer shall be one of the Trustees. The other four positions will be elected at the AGM in accordance with Regulations laid out in the Branch Constitution and approved by the NEC. The Welfare Officer will have the casting vote on any decisions concerning the use of the Welfare Fund.

Moved - Mark Elwen
Seconded – Richard Freeman

5. The planned expenditure for Equality Activities for 2021 will be £1,500. If however a Regional Conference is called in 2021 a further £1000 will be allocated to enable attendance by delegates and observers. If there is a surplus then this will be returned to the General Account

Moved – Mark Elwen
Seconded – Steve Faber-Hinton

6. Amend section 4.4.3 of the Branch Constitution to insert ‘q’ LGBT+ Officer;

1. Additionally the Branch will also elect:
j. Vice Chair
k. Assistant Secretary
l. Assistant Secretary - Postal
m. Health, Safety & Environment Officer
n. Branch Organizer
m. Retired Members Officer
n. Welfare Officer
q. LGBT+ Officer

7. To insert from the mandatory Model Constitution (with amendments highlighted) to create section 4.4.6;

6. The Branch is responsible for promoting the interests of our retired members and for engaging with retired members to actively involve them in dealing with these issues, accordingly the Branch shall establish a Retired Members Section to ensure that the interests of our retired members are protected and promoted.
The Retired Members Section shall be entitled to elect a Section Committee which shall be responsible for engaging positively with members of the section to actively involve them in pursuing their interests and issues.
One position on the Branch Committee will be reserved for a representative from the retired members section, elected by and from the members of that section. That individual shall be entitled to attend Branch Committee meetings to ensure that retired members’ issues are raised and discussed at this level. Such a representative shall not be entitled to vote on any industrial/occupational issues at these meetings.”
Retired Members are not entitled or eligible to stand for election or be able to vote in the above elections:- a, b, d, e, f, g, i,
j, k,l,m,n & q.
All candidates for the post of Political Officer must pay the political levy and they must also be members of the Labour Party.

Moved – Mark Elwen

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.
click here to watch the video
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.

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