WELCOME TO DAY TWO OF CONGRESS 2018
What a start to Congress yesterday! Robust debate and democracy in action, with some fantastic fringe meetings on making Brexit work for working people, the gig economy and organising young workers.
We also tried out workshops, after delegates asked for more interactive sessions, with training and Unionline first up.
We’ve had some great social media action - keep sharing on #GMB18 - and grabbed the headlines too. If you’ve got a minute to spare have a read of our Amazon coverage in The FT, manufacturing coverage in the The Guardian, our free schools meals campaign in the Metro and the Mirror’s own Kevin Maguire on security.
Today is a big day for GMB Congress - we elect our new President. We want to wish the best of luck to everyone who is standing, each and every one of the candidates is a committed GMB member who would do us proud. What a great position to be in as a union.
We’ll also hear from some bloke called Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon.
Motions to Congress
Today's motions up for debate included Learning Equality for All, Social Media Training, Support for Apprenticeships, Fracking, Water Shortages, Young Workers, Creating Jobs, Ability to Return School Academies to Local Authority Control, to name but a few.
CEC Statement Report: Schools & Colleges
Peter Bagnall from Leeds School Support Branch speaking in support of the CEC Statement on Schools & Colleges.
CEC Statement: Outsourcing & Public Ownership
Ian Butler from Sheffield Waste & Recycling Branch speaking in support of the CEC Statement on Outsourcing & Public Ownership.
Motion 193. TAX AVOIDANCE‟ BY THE NHS
Alex Burton-Keeble from Barnsley Health Branch speaking on Motion 193
This Conference calls upon the GMB to launch a campaign in relation to NHS Tax evasion.
It is ironic that an organisation who relies on tax for its very existence (the NHS) is carrying out Tax evasion of a similar scale to our friends from Amazon, Starbucks etc.
A public campaign would gather support from the public and put pressure on HMRC to look into this Tax loophole.
Pauline Kiely from Yorkshire Ambulance Service Branch moving Motion 193
Glynn Wydell from Kirklees Branch speaking on Composite 16: Outsourcing and Public Ownership
This Conference calls for the ending of outsourcing of our Public Sector contracts! The clear failings of Carillion and the depth of their involvement in Public Service provision highlights that undercutting and devaluing Public Services can no longer be tolerated.
Such acts forced upon local authorities by this Tory Public Service hating government dilutes the quality of the service provided, cuts the terms and conditions of those staff transferred out of local authority employment and savages their Pensions to the point that the dumbing down by outsourcing then has a negative impact on the local economy as wages already cut to the bone leave less to spend on food, in the retail industries, on entertainment and health and wellbeing.
Commissioning is a soft word for outsourcing which local authorities like to use and they simply do not do enough to protect the transferred terms and conditions of our workers as well as the protection of health and safety. This is all at the cost of the quality delivered to our residents as outsourcing simply lines the pockets of the company owners, shareholders, boards and directors leaving very little for the front line staff who then have to leave and be replaced by unqualified, untrained and inexperienced staff who are brought in on the lowest and worst terms and conditions possible.
Yet these companies continue to pay extortionate salaries at the top whether still working for them or not whilst those at the bottom suffer day in day out with total disregard for their circumstances.
Buying contracts in low to win the work but maintaining the top at the expense of the bottom cannot and should not be tolerated colleagues.
This government knew of the profit warnings six months before Carillion Group collapsed yet carried on awarding contacts bought at low tender values. This practice of using private companies placing profit before people must be stopped, we ask why has this been allowed to happen and say no more should we be using public funds to pay the sums allowed by the contacts of individual CEO‘s and any contract should be draw up taking into account how the money will be used to fund the public and be transparent.
Congress calls on the GMB to work or fight with this and future governments to stop profiteering at the expense of our member‘s standard of living, health and welfare.
Motion 249: POST BREXIT TRADE DEALS
Mel Hartley from Sheffield Mcp & Lt Branch speaking on Motion 249
This Conference has no confidence in the present government to negotiate trade deals beneficial to the UK after the country leaves the EU. It believes the government will chase any deal with any country for immediate publicity and short term political gain rather than in the interests of the country and its people. By chasing deals at any cost, there is a risk of massive a trade deficit. For example, at present, there is a trade surplus with America, given President Trump‘s rhetoric on ―America First‖, any dealings with the current US administration is likely to be detrimental to the UK. Chasing deals at any cost could lead to safety standards being compromised at home and, given the willingness to sell arms to countries with dubious human rights records, a danger of death and destruction abroad.
Conference, therefore, calls on the Labour and Trade Union movement to argue and fight for trade deals to be that are both in the country‘s interest and also ethical. It further calls on the next Labour government to follow ethical foreign and trade policies.
Hashim Equiano from Leeds Local Govt Branch seconding Motion 249
Motion 65. APPRENTICE RATE
Johanna Early from BASF Chemicals Branch moving Motion 65
This Conference believes that the GMB Apprentice Rate should only be available to Apprentices
Motion 72: REGIONAL TALENT POOL LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS
Hashim Equiano from Leeds Local Govt Branch moving Motion 72
This Conference, over the decades the United Kingdom has employed people from all over the world. Taking into account the trade union also has members from different nationalities and vast amount of these members don‘t have English as their first language.
We recognise the cost implications but believe the investment and benefits for the future of obtaining and retaining the membership outweighs this.
Therefore, Congress is asked to consider a recruitment process where each region will identify and employ interpreters that can speak to members where reps are unable/struggling to understand the full issue and requirement of the member due to language barriers.
This can be considered as a voluntary or paid basis. There are hundreds of GMB members with dual or multiple languages that can sign up to the scheme.
Gary Wilson from Derbyshire County Council Branch seconding Motion 72