Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) – Appointment of RMT Trustee

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My Ref: MRP: 23/1                               28th May 2015

                                       Circular Num: NP/099 /15

To: The Secretary All Shipping Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleague,

Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) –
Appointment of RMT Trustee

Following the removal of Bro. Peter Hall from the MNRPF Trustee Board, the RMT has received a number of enquires in relation to how this decision was made. To avoid any doubt or suggestion that this decision was made outside the rules supported by Shipping Branches and agreed by the Shipping Committee I would draw your attention to the following:

Since the inception of the MNRPF the makeup of the union side of the Trustee Board has always involved the Shipping Committee. After consultation with Shipping Branches in July 2011 the following criteria were agreed by Shipping Branches:

    “The Shipping Grades Committee has decided to consult with shipping branches and to get     their views on the following suggestions:

1.    There are currently four Shipping Committee members representing each region who are acting MNRPF trustees. It is proposed that:

a.    Each shipping region retains its representation on the trustee Board.

b.    Individual Shipping Branches are able to nominate a member to stand for election for their particular region. In the event of more than one person standing, an election would take place within the region. The elected member would then be nominated by the RMT to participate on the MNRPF Trustee Board.

c.    Because of the importance and complex issues surrounding being a pension trustee, shipping branches and regions should carryout nominations in the same way as members are elected on to the RMT AGM or the TUC etc...

2.    Some consideration also needs to be given to any election process and the criteria which will need to be met by candidates. For example:

a.    To be nominated as a trustee, the individual would need to be a fully paid up member of the RMT or a member still in compliance under Rule.

b.    The member also needs to be in either in section 148/31 May 2001, or LPI 7 or a deferred member of the MNRPF.

3.    The fifth RMT trustee position, for as long as can be remembered, has been occupied by either the Assistant General Secretary, the National Secretary, or, the Assistant National Secretary.

a.    It is suggested that this position is nominated by the General Secretary and the Council of Executives.

    The process which is currently used to nominate a pensioner trustee is to remain unchanged.”


These proposals were contained in Circular NP/139/11 of 26th July 2011 and following the closing date for Shipping Branches to comment, 30th September 2011, the Shipping Committee endorsed the proposals on 6th December 2011.

You will note that Criteria (1a) allows Shipping Branches the right to nominate four of the RMT Trustees on to the Board. Criteria (3a) confirms that the fifth position will continue be nominated by the General Secretary and the Council of Executives. Further you will note that this position previously was held by an employee of the union i.e. Assistant General Secretary, National Secretary etc....

On 3rd March 2015 the Shipping & Offshore Committee of the Council of Executives in accordance with Criteria (3a) made the decision to remove Bro. Peter Hall as his employment with the RMT came to end. However, this decision to replace Bro.Peter Hall did not “bar” him from standing in future as a Regional Shipping Branch Trustee nominated position.

You will be aware that Bro. Peter Hall has since been nominated back on to the MNRPF Trustee Board by Shipping Branches in Region Two and has been re-elected as Vice Chair on the Board without, as suggested, any interference from the RMT.

I would also draw your attention to the Shipping Committee decision of 6th December 2011 as contained in Circular NP/239/11 of 16th December 2011 which makes the following clarification:

    “So as to retain continuity & expertise Bro Peter Hall shall continue as Vice-Chair of the Fund     for year 2012 and then be sought to the revised nomination process commencing in his     respective region.”

As you will note Bro. Peter Hall’s position on the Board was initially only temporary and that he then would revert back to being nominated by his own Region, this should have happened in 2012/13.

I would point out that since the inception of the MNRPF, it has been good enough for the NUS and the RMT to appoint the fifth RMT trustee on to the Board, and I would hope that this position, in line with the rules above, is supported.

I will keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,

 

Mick Cash
General Secretary