Last month this website published an article entitled: 'Is Health & Safety Being Removed From Redesign Conference?'
This month we have the answer to that question - YES!
The official committee that determines the order of business and the subject matter to be debated at CWU's special Re-Design Conference due to take place on November 3rd and 4th in Bournemouth, the Standing Orders Committee has issued details to branches of it's rulings over the agenda for the conference and the criteria for options that can be put to that conference by CWU Branches.
The letter to branches specifically ruling out Health & Safety motions and that of any other issues not dealt with in the Re-Design Document which will be debated at the special conference was issued this week.
LTB544/18 states clearly:
"Following concerns raised at the Redesign National Briefings, the General Standing Orders Committee would remind Branches and Regions of the following points contained in the Guidance Notes:
An even further restriction upon Branches is that they can only submit 3 motions to the conference agenda.
Whilst this is as for normal conferences, in this case because a subject matter e.g. Equality, is covered in two sections of the Re-Design Document, in order to amend of add to what is being proposed on Equality, two motions are required.
With only three motions per branch being able to be submitted this can squeeze out Equality in terms of priories for Branches., whose concern may well be in other areas, for example, the aspect of the document that deals with Branch and Regional Structures.
All aspects of the CWU's work are covered by the document to be debated, including Health & Safety despite the reported SOC's assertion at the meeting of the Health & Safety Community with CWU HQ officials over Health & Safety organisation within the Union; that health and safety as a subject is excluded by the SOC of being able to be the concerns of any motions to the Conference.
It remains to be seen whether or not any CWU Branches or indeed the Union's Health & Safety Community challenge the SOC's decision which many believe is part of the continued attempt to isolate Health & Safety whilst publicly arguing that Re-Design proposes no change for the existing structures and organisation.
However, that is clearly a smokescreen as the reality is that within the Regional Structure proposals, there ARTE INDEED proposals to change the current Health & Safety Structure above Branch level and in the Regions. The main proposal is to abandon the Regional Health & Safety Forums and hence their rights to submit motions to main conference each year, and turn them into Committees whilst reducing their standing within the Regional Structures in which they sit.
Further, currently at least two Health & Safety Officers from the Regional Health & Safety Forums are able to attend and vote at Regional Meetings - one from each constituency. But the proposals which Branches are being denied the right to amend or debate, are that only one member of the newly formed and 'elected' Health and Safety Committees is allowed to sit on the Regional Committees.
Whilst this may be fine when it comes to the political elements of Regional work, when it comes to Health & Safety, each constituency has its own unique set of problems regarding H&S as determined by the different work they do from one another. E. G. you don't find many Postal delivery personnel, having to climb up telegraph poles, or sit at a desktop computer or use a laptop all day.
With the Health & Safety Community currently involved in drawing up a Health & Safety Strategy Document, it remains to be seen whether or not their Branches are prepared to challenge the SOC on the decision to exclude Health & Safety motions from the Re-Design special conference.
Source: CWU / unionsafety
You can download the complete Re-Design Policy Papers document here from the E-Library Database