The National Women’s Conference 2018

Circular No: NP/179/18
Our Ref: EO/6


14th September 2018

Dear Colleague,

The National Women’s Conference 2018

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 now been considered by the union’s National Executive Committee. The resolutions together with the NEC decisions are as follows:

i) In Memory of Val Barzey

“We note that our late Sister Val Barzey worked tirelessly to promote union organising among women in engineering grades.

We therefore resolve, as a tribute to Val, to draw up and implement an organising campaign aimed at women in engineering and maintenance grades. This campaign will include specific leaflets and merchandise, training, workplace visits, and campaigning on issues important to women in these grades.

The National Women's Advisory Committee will work with LU Engineering branch on this campaign.”

Note: This resolution was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee Decision:

“That we instruct the General Secretary to take this matter up in line with the AGM resolution.”

ii) Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Policies

“That this conference is concerned that when female members of staff become pregnant that there is no process in place for how they are accommodated at work while pregnant and more importantly when ending their maternity leave.

We believe there should be a methodology in place so the member of staff can go on maternity leave fully aware and relaxed as to what will happen when they come back to work.

We call on the National Executive Committee to find out what current provisions exist within companies that we have recognition, and further to develop a methodology of best practice so that our women members feel reassured during pregnancy and whilst on maternity leave.”

National Executive Committee Decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to write to all companies with whom we have negotiating rights to ask them what current provisions exist regarding arrangements for returning to work after maternity leave.

These are to be tabled with the National Women’s Advisory Committee and their recommendations brought back before the NEC.”

iii) Harassment guidelines

“This union notes that individual members are sometimes accused of harassment or other discriminatory or prejudiced behaviour. We believe that while all union members are entitled to representation, this representation is in the context of union principles and policies.

We therefore resolve that the union adopt guidelines for the representation of members in such cases, which will include:

- that the member will be represented along the lines of an 'arguable defence', which may be, for example, that: the member did not do what s/he is accused of; the member was unaware of the nature of the offence, perhaps through insufficient training; the member accepts s/he was wrong, apologises and agrees to undertake training, but that disciplinary action or dismissal is excessive.

- that the union will not argue that the issue does not matter, is trivial, or is just workplace banter; and will not use stereotypes or blame the victim in order to undermine his/her complaint.”

Note: This resolution was submitted to the AGM.

National Executive Committee Decision:

“We instruct the General Secretary to incorporate the sentiments of this resolution into our reps guide on harassment and bullying.”

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