Minutes from planning meeting for campaign against climate change trade union group March 1st 2008 at ULU
Present: Pete Ainsley, Tim Baster, Clare Brown, Brian Collier, Richard Chute, Martin Empson, Matt Gordon, Kathy Grant, Marion Hersh, Sian Jones, Suzanne Jeffery, Joy McKnight, Phelim Maccaferty, Liam Mcquade, Peter Murry , Majeed Neky, Romaine Phoenix, Fliss Premru, Andy Stone, Robin Sivapalan, Phil Thorhill, Nicholas Van Lebeke, Helen Ward, Roy Wilkes
Apologies: Jonathan Neale, Umjum Mercer, Sadie Robinson, Paul Hampton, Andy Parsons, Lisa Defontaine, Matthew Crighton, Vince Maple, Bob Whitehouse, Aveen McHugh, Julie Roberts, Tony Kearns
Procedure for electing officers group
Discussion focused on maintaining an open way of working to involve as many people as possible in a way which had helped to organise the initial conference. Was suggested and agreed that a steering group should be elected by a show of hands and a decision about which positions needed was to be taken at the end of the meeting after discussion about how to take things forward.
2. Conference Feedback (including press reports and feedback forms)
Overwhelmingly positive feedback to the conference. Was some comment on ways in which workshops could focus more clearly on outcomes, and emphasise the working part of the workshop. It was also suggested that if resolution were being put that there should be a clearer outline in advance of the procedures for submission and amendments.
All bills outstanding from the conference had been paid. £250 owed to the Campaign against Climate Change account, which is the affiliation fee for Connect that was included in cheque for the conference. Currently £2308.50 in the trade union account. The money will be used for expenses connected with the work of the Campaign against Climate Change trade union group eg room bookings for meetings, future activities etc. Suggestion that there be an unemployed/low wage rate for future conferences.
4. Where next for the campaign
The coming activities of the campaign against climate change were outlined by Phil T including the International demonstration in December and more immediately the No 3rd runway at Heathrow demonstration on 31st May, the protest at Downing Street on Biofuels on April 15th and activities around the planned new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent.
General agreement that we were at the beginning of the process of debate about climate change within the trade union movement. Aim would be to encourage the kind of debate which would encourage unions to adopt and act on policies to help solve the problem. We should accordingly encourage greater involvement of trade unions and trade unionist in the Campaign against Climate Change, to try to win union affiliation to the campaign and to organise a series of fringe meetings at trade union conferences, some of which had already been organised. Also decided to encourage as much trade union support for the Heathrow demonstration on 31st May.
There was a brief discussion about ensuring the platform speakers at Trade Union fringe meetings embraced a wide range of backgrounds from both the traditional environmental movement, NGOs and the traditional trade union movement.
The Tolpuddle Green Camp on 6th July was also identified as something we should be involved with.
Also suggested and agreed that we should organise a workshop at the Campaign against Climate change forum in June. Martin E agreed to pursue this.
The following fringe meetings were discussed and the following people agreed to organise them
NUT – Andy, Roy and Romaine. Andy reported that Christine Blower and Roy Wilkes had agreed to speak, had invited George Monbiot and Mark Lynas both of whom were sympathetic but had previous engagements. Andy was going to pursue another speaker possibly from Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth in order to ensure a broad platform.
UNISON – Matt G, Pete A, Kathy Knight and Majid N agreed to organise.
NUJ – Joy M had already organised the fringe meeting in Belfast, and a room had been booked by the Union. Jeremy Dear (General Secretary of NUJ) had agreed to speak and an invitation had been sent to the local Greenpeace group, there was also to be a speaker from Campaign against Climate Change
UCU – Brian C, Marrion H and Pete B
UNITE – It was agreed that Matt G would approach Ian Allinson (A Unite Exec member) to see if he would be willing to help. Richard C said he would help.
CWU – Meeting already being organised By Chris T and Tony K
RMT – Fliss P will try to sort. Suzanne J to approach Umjum Mercer to see if he will help and also James Woodcoack
TSSA – Already been organised by Fliss for Sunday 11th May
ASLEF – Fliss to organise
GMB – Phelan to organise
CONNECT – Martin E to make enquiries
UCATT – Martin E to make enquiries
FBU – Roy W already in contact with Matt Wrack (Gen Sec)
NASUWT – Andy S will try
PCS – already being organised Jonathan Neale invited to speak
PROSPECT – Phelan to make enquiries
USDAW – Martin E to make enquiries
EIS – Marion to make enquiries
5. It was agreed that those organising the fringe meetings would get the email list of those from the appropriate union in order to network with them regarding fringe meetings and other events. There was also agreement that those people should investigate and disseminate information about current union policy on climate change. It was also agreed to approach trade councils.
6. Continuing the discussion – including setting up a website: recall conference.
It was proposed by Roy W to adopt the example website that had been set up by Liam Mc. Discussion about whether we needed a separate website or whether more appropriate to use the trade union page on the Campaign against Climate Change website. It was suggested that there was a need for more debate and an opportunity for people to share ideas, and that a separate website would help that process. It was proposed by Sian J that Roy’s initial proposal be amended that the Campaign against Climate Change website trade union page was the main site for advertising the activities of the trade union group but another website was established for a wider debate with a link from the main site. It was also suggested that the new website be shown to the steering group of Campaign against climate change before a link from main website set up. It was also proposed by Brian C that in order to avoid confusion and in line with standard procedure a disclaimer was added that the discussion on the new website did not reflect the views of the CCC. The above-amended proposal was agreed by the meeting.
It was agreed to postpone discussion of a future conference to the next meeting to enable a fuller discussion. It was raised that the conference should not be called a "recall" conference, which has a particular meaning. It was felt that did not accurately reflect the purpose of second conference.
7. Election of Officers
The following people were elected to a steering group for the trade union group of the Campaign against Climate Change.
Secretary – Roy Wilkes
Treasurer – Martin Empson
Chair – Sian Jones
Vice Chair – Jonathan Neale
Website – Liam Mcquabe
Press and publicity – Roamine Phoenix
The next planning meeting will be held on 17th May in London at 11am. A pooled fare of £5 for those who could afford it was agreed for the meeting.