National Women's Conference 2019 Report

Circular No: NP/224/19
Our Ref: EO/6


24th October 2019

Dear Colleague,


I write with regards to the above matter and to inform you that the resolutions which were successfully passed at this year’s National Women’s Conference have been considered by the union’s National Executive Committee. The resolutions together with the NEC decisions are as follows:

i) Women’s RMT Badges

“This conference notes how well received the Women's 100 years in the Union badges were received by the membership.

This conference calls on the General Secretary to produce a badge, combining the RMT and women’s logo, and ensure that it is always available for purchase through the RMT shop.”

Note: This resolution was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee Decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to take up in line with the resolution.”

ii) Female Seafarers Wellbeing

“With the high number of female ratings within the UK Maritime Sector and the unsocial shift patterns, long hours and intense working environment, Dover Shipping Branch calls on this 2019 Women`s Conference to carry out a wellbeing survey for our female seafaring members and to collate the information and produce a booklet to help reduce fatigue and improve the wellbeing of our women Seafarers.”

Note: This resolution was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee Decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to take this matter up in line with the resolution. Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”

iii) Donation towards a blue plague in Brighton to honour Clementina Black

“Clementina Black (1853-1922) was a suffragist, writer and trade unionist. She joined the Woman's Trade Unionist association, and in 1888 attended the Trades Union Congress where she moved the first resolution calling for equal pay. In 1911 she became Vice President of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). She also edited the Suffragist newspaper.

Brighton and Hove City Council is looking to place a Blue Plaque in honour of Clementina Black (and three others in the city, in honour of suffragettes and suffragists) in Ship Street, Brighton, where she was born. Each plaque will cost £1200 and the council is appealing for donations from trade unions and others.

This conference calls on the General Secretary to donate £100 towards the cost to the Blue Plaque.”

National Executive Committee Decision:

“That we agree to donate £100 as requested, and circulate to Branches and Regional Councils.”

iv) Women in Maritime

“Dover Shipping Branch calls on the 2019 Women`s Conference to formulate a campaign to encourage more Women in the Maritime Sector to become active with the RMT.

With a high number of female Seafarers working on vessels within the UK this branch believes that there is a huge potential for women to become more active within the Union.

Within this campaign Dover Shipping Branch would like to see the following:

1. Recruitment materials specifically for Women in the Maritime Sector.
2. To promote the Women within the Maritime Sector and the opportunities there are for them within the RMT.
3. Look at ways of encouraging women`s members in the Maritime sector to become more active and involved with in the RMT and for this to be promoted in the RMT News and all Social Media.”

National Executive Committee Decision:

“That we take up in line with conference decision.”

v) Women's Access to Political Activism:

“This conference notes that, even in 2019, the lives of men are generally taken to represent those of humans overall. When it comes to the other half of humanity, there is often nothing but silence, and these silences are everywhere. Films, news, literature, science, city planning, economics, the stories we tell ourselves about our past, present and future, are all marked – disfigured – by a female-shaped “absent presence”.

This invisibility serves to insidiously reinforce gender stereotypes, helping to maintain the male dominated status quo, for example within the RMT not one NEC member or R.O. is female.

This conference notes the good work done by the RMT in its attempt to remove barriers that may exclude certain members from full access to active union membership (for example, the various equalities committees and the adapting of union property to make it accessible to all users). Given that 'removing barriers creates equality' this conference argues that removing one such barrier would go some way to making active union participation easier for carers of young children (the majority of whom still tend to be women). To this end, this conference calls on the General Secretary to ensure that creche facilities or a suitable expense allowance (paid to delegates) for childcare are provided for all conferences run by the RMT.”

National Executive Committee Decision:

“That we note the resolution and that the union already reimburses delegates for childcare expenses.”

I will now be acting on the instructions of these decisions and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments. I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
General Secretary