Annual General Meeting
About our AGM
Following consultation last year, following a motion to the 2015 AGM, in which we asked members about the future of our Branch AGM's following the removal of paid time for members to attend,the decision has been made to alternate the AGM and Mandating Meeting between our offices in Plaza Tower and Queenway House to allow all members an opportunity to attend.
The AGM is an opportunity for all members to attend and hear from the Branch Committee and discuss the important matters of the previous year and to elect the Branch representatives for the year ahead following local floor meetings.
The AGM will also agree motions, submitted by members, that will then be taken forward by the Branch Committee or submitted to PCS' Group or National Conference, usually held during the May after the AGM in Brighton.
The 2016 AGM will be held on Tuesday 1st March, Floor 7, Plaza Tower from 2pm. We invite all members to join us for this important meeting. A full agenda will be published and circulated to members prior to the meeting. If anyone has any questions or is interested in nominating themselves for the AGM then please speak to any of our local reps who will be happy to help.
Chairperson’s Opening remarks and welcome
Apologies for absence
Appointment of tellers
Speaker 1 – Group Assistant Group Secretary John Davidson
Treasurer’s report & Phoenix Club draw
Election of Branch Officers (see attached list below)
Speaker 2 - Group Executive Committee member Chris Barclay
Nominations for Group positions (see attached list below)
Nominations for National PCS positions (see attached list below)
Motions for discussion (see attached below)
Question & Answer Session
Any other business
Election of Branch Officers
The following nominations were made at office general meetings prior to the AGM.
Branch President: Bob Farmer
Branch Vice President: John Davidson
Branch Secretary: Alex Wilson
Branch Organiser: Scott Clark
Branch Learning Coordinator: Kris Charnley
Branch Treasurer: Nikki McCann
Branch Health & Safety Chair: Derek Peace
Branch Young Member's Officer: Rebecca Borland
Branch Women's Officer: Helen Robinson
Branch LGBT Officer: Kris Hendry
Branch Disabled Members Officer: Craig Lundie
Black & Asian Members Officer: Timothy Dales
Women’s Advisory Committee: Helen Robinson, Ashleigh Watt, Fiona Petrie, Hayley Forrest, Catherine Cranston, Sandra Muir, Pauline Johnston, Ruth Forrest
Conference Delegates – Scott Clark, Jayne Johnston, Hayley Forrest, Kris Hendry, Niall McInnes, Craig Lundie
Nomination of Group positions
Nominations for Group Elected Positions - The BEC would like to nominate the following at the AGM in the name of the Branch
President Lorna Merry (Five Shires)
Vice President Hector Wesley (Euston)
Deputy Group Secretary John Davidson (East Kilbride)
Treasurer Hamish Drummond (Dundee)
Assistant group Secretaries Clive Bryant (Sussex), John Davidson (EK), Barney Lawn (Belfast), Mark Leopard (London HQ), Marianne Owens (Cardiff), Gordon Rowntree (Stockton), Colette Smith (North Wales), John Smith (Bootle)
Group Executive Committee Chris Barclay (EK), Tracy Boyce (Liverpool), Laura Bee (Leicester), Mark Benjamin (North Themes), Mark Emmerson (Stockton) Carol Gerrard (Cambridge), Dave Hansford (Portsdown V), Clara Harmer (E Midlands), Lynn Ion (NW England), Amjad Ismail (NWC Lancs), Lorna Kennedy (NWC Lancs), Leon Kilbourn (Anglia), Andy Lord (SE Essex), Margo McCabe (E Midlands), Kevin McHugh (BPV), Alex Morgan (Leicester), Martin Page (Leicester), Alan Runswick (Liverpool), Bobby Young (Glasgow)
Nominations for PCS National positions
Nominations for Nationally Elected Positions - The BEC would like to nominate the following at the AGM in the name of the Branch
President Janice Godrich – DWP Clydeside and Argyll
Vice Presidents Paula Brown – HSE National Branch, Cheryl Gedling – Scottish Government, Kevin McHugh – HMRC Benton Park View, John McInally – DWP HQ London
NEC Ian Albert – DWP HQ London, Mark Baker – DCLG Bristol & South West, Clive Bryant – HMRC Worthing, Martin Cavanagh – DWP Wirral, Harvey Crane – HMRC Anglia, Alan Dennis – MOD DSg Portsmouth Area, Richard Douglas – NAO, Lawrence Dunne – HO Disclosure & Barring Service, Mary Ferguson – DWP Tyneview Park, Helen Flanagan – DWP Wigan, Jackie Green – MOJ Bradford, Sam Hall – DWP Highlands & Islands, Elenor Haven – LR Croydon, Fran Heathcote – DWP Northumbria, Zita Holbourne – ACAS National, John Jamieson – Registers of Scotland, Mark Leopard – HMRC London HQ, Neil License – HMRC Yorks & North Lincs, Marion Lloyd – BIS Sheffield, Dominic McFadden – HMRC Intelligence & Invest, John Maguire – MOJ Greater Manchester, Lorna Merry – HMRC Bucks & Oxon, Chris Morrison – Telford Aspire, Marianne Owens – HMRC South Wales, Clara Paillard – CMSOA National Museums Liverpool, Ian Pope – DWP Glasgow, Alison Roder – MOJ HQ, Candy Udwin – CMSOA National Gallery, Karen Watts – MOJ, Wessex, Hector Wesley – HMRC Euston Tower
Motions for discussion
Motions received from floor meetings & BEC
Motions to HMRC Group Conference – We have received a number of motions which if agreed here will go to the HMRC Group Conference in May.
Motion 1 - Pay
Conference notes the removal of a guarantee to move from minimum to maximum within 5 years has had a greatly demoralising effect on members below the pay scale max and acts to deter staff from staying with the department or going for promotion. Conference further notes that members’ performance is rarely assessed with reference to the length of time they have been in the job; we are expected to perform as well as the next person once training & consolidation has been completed.
Conference therefore instructs the GEC to ensure that future pay claims feature spot rates for all grades which all staff would move to once their training & consolidation has been completed, that these spot rates are equal to the pay scale maximums, and that the pay rate paid during training & consolidation is no more than £500 less than the spot rate.
Conference further instructs the GEC to make this a negotiating priority in future pay negotiations. (Contact Centre)
Motion 2 - Training for telephony roles
The urgency to get more staff on the phones in the last few years has resulted in the shortening of time spent training and consolidating for the role. Conference believes this is flawed, leaving new advisers & those covering as contingency struggling with their remit. Conference further believes that new advisers are much less likely to admit they are under pressure due to their probation period; they don’t want to stick their head above the parapet.
Conference instructs the GEC to enter talks with the department to ensure sufficient time is spent delivering classroom training to staff & sufficient time and resources are given to ensure the training is consolidated through one on one mentoring, live listening & floor walking to the point at which new advisers are comfortable taking calls on their own.
Conference further instructs the GEC to obtain agreement from official side around obtaining feedback from new advisers and advisers undertaking training for a new role or contingency in a sufficiently anonymous forum or survey & reviewing their training & contingency plans based on the feedback provided. (Contact Centre)
Motion 3 - Applying for an alternative working pattern
This conference notes with concern the increasing number of instances where a new parent returning from parental or maternity leave is declined a change in working pattern.
Conference notes that the guidance for changing your working pattern on your return under HR31011 has been interpreted by managers to mean applications cannot to be submitted until the parent has returned from their parental/maternity leave, this has added to delay & uncertainty & can cause stress for the new parent.
Conference instructs the GEC to enter talks with the department with a view to ensuring this guidance is clarified, making it clear the new parent can apply for an AWP prior to their return to work if they so wish. (DMTC)
Motions to National Annual Delegate Conference – We have received a number of motions which if agreed here will go to the cross departmental national conference in May.
Motion 4 - Welfare reform, the living wage and equality
This Conference recognises the threat to communities across the UK following the Chancellor’s announcements on welfare reform and introduction of a “living wage” following the UK budget.
For example, the decision to remove entitlement to housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds will disproportionately impact on younger members as well as the wider youth community, particularly those within other minority communities.
In addition, while this Conference welcomes any measure that increases earnings for our members and all workers, it notes the Chancellor’s proposed “living wage” is merely an increase on the existing Minimum Wage, and not a true Living Wage, leaving many workers still struggling to make ends meet.
This Conference recognises that the decision to exclude 18 to 25 year olds does nothing to address inequality in earnings for many young people, and will instead have the opposite effect for large portions of workers in the UK, including those over 25.
This Conference also recognises that the decisions taken by the Chancellor places many people, including many workers, in the potential position of being unable to earn enough to support themselves, as considered by the level of the “living wage.” These policies also have the potential to disproportionately affect members in underrepresented communities both within PCS and among the general population.
This Conference calls on the PCS National Executive Committee to:
● Liaise with each of PCS’ equality groups to fully establish and understand the potential impact on each community from the proposed welfare reform and “living wage” policies
● Highlight the findings to PCS membership, highlighting the potential impacts on each community
● Campaign for the introduction of a true Living Wage for all, regardless of circumstance
● Call on the TUC, and appropriate structures, to highlight PCS’ findings and to support our campaign on welfare reform and the “living wage”
● Lobby elected national and devolved representatives to raise this Conference’s concerns, to encourage discussion highlighting these issues and to consider possible measures to lessen their impact
(BEC & DMTC)
Motion 5 - Funding for Branches
This Annual Delegate Conference notes with concern that The NEC's Finance Committee agreed revised branch expenditure guidelines at their meeting on 19 November 2015 which removed funding for Branches to print their own newsletters, ruling all newsletters should be sent to members’ home email addresses.
Whilst recognising the need to keep costs to a minimum, we believe few if any Braches have home email addresses for all their members nor that emails are opened by all members who have supplied a home email address. Further to this, many Branches have launched their own campaigns recently as the cuts agenda threatens hundreds of individual sites.
We believe face to face contact handing out location specific newsletters at the start or finish of the day is a vitally important campaigning tool to keep members informed of the issues that their local reps are fighting on.
We therefore believe the decision of the Finance Committee is flawed and must be overturned. We recognise the need to keep costs to a minimum, therefore Conference instructs the NEC to recalculate 2016 Branch rebates allowing 75% of actual expenditure on Newsletters & Printing in 2014, have a similar arrangement for 2017 (75% of 2015’s actual expenditure allowed) & instructs the finance committee to consult with Branches for future years, reporting back to Conference 2017, to ensure local printing can continue but be done in a financially sound manner. (Contact Centre)
Motion 6 - PMR Guided Distribution
Whilst it is fair to expect any business to review the performance of its workforce on an annual basis, whilst helping individuals build key competencies and skills in order to develop their careers and progress, it is the case across all pay grades that the 10% guided distribution target is met with dismay.
Since PMR was introduced to the Civil Service 3 years ago it has led to an unfair working environment of pressure and micromanagement with negative effects for all staff but particularly those who work part time and/or fall into one or more of HMRC's equality groups. Any performance management process can be written to identify areas of development and help individuals work to a better standard for their own and the business’s benefit. It is the requirement to find 10% of the workforce to mark as Must Improve each year – regardless of performance - that is unnecessary, counterproductive and leads to the disengagement of staff across the board.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to make negotiating the removal of guided distribution from the PMR process a negotiating priority over the coming year. (Contact Centre)
Motion 7 - Pay
This conference notes that the campaign to improve pay is stalled. Whilst accepting the previous conference stance that we should work with other public sector unions around pay there has been little or no campaigning material issued to members explaining where we are and giving an update. Conference instructs the NEC to issue a briefing to members noting the current position on our pay campaign on a minimum of a quarterly basis. (Contact Centre)
Treasurer's report was accepted by AGM, details will be published shortly.
See Phoenix Draw page for winner's drawn at AGM.
Election of Branch officers, all nominations were agreed by AGM.
Nominations for Group positions, all nominations were agreed by AGM
Nominations for National positions, all nominations were agreed by AGM
Motion 1 - Carried
Motion 2 - Carried
Motion 3 - Carried
Motion 4 - Carried with amendment to call for wage of £10 per hour for all, regardless of circumstance
Motion 5 - Carried
Motion 6 - Carried
Motion 7 - Carried