This year’s Annual General Meeting took place in The Jollies on Marsh Lane. A short walk from The Triad, which houses most of our branch’s members, but a perilous walk with Hurricane Doris raging outside.
Around 70 members braved the walk, with the only incident being our Branch Organiser having his glasses blown off his face and across the street, never to be seen again. Others in the branch may have laughed, but it was fraternal laughter.
The venue was packed, standing room only as the meeting got underway and we kept a close eye on when the scouse would be ready.
Moving the Annual Report, Branch Secretary Phil Millar paid particular tribute to members working for ISS, who had achieved a stunning victory with strike action winning back hours that had been cut from them. The campaign, built on an awful lot of hard work in organising by the branch, offered a concrete example of what workers could achieve by sticking together.
Following the ratification of the branch’s auditors, women’s advisory committee and delegates to Conference, the meeting went through twenty motions. Subjects ranged from pay to performance and attendance management to subscription rates and Labour Party affiliation, and on many there were lively contributions from members.
In particular, there was uproar at the full effects of the Department’s push to force disabled members onto telephony work. One member bravely spoke of how she was advised that if she continued to take calls she would lose her voice and require painful surgery – only for management to ask how many calls she could take before this happened.
Motions on the new Attendance Management policy also saw much debate, focused on condemnation of the draconian policy.
All of the motions put to the meeting passed, and a full list (along with any emergency motions to pass through the Mandate Meeting in early May) will be published closer to Conference. The meeting closed twenty minutes later than planned, but it is to members’ credit that they stayed and kept the discussion going until all of the business was dealt with.
The close of the AGM officially marked the start of the term for all reps who have been newly elected or re-elected this year. Bootle Taxes pushes into 2017 stronger than we were in 2016. We have more new activists, younger activists taking on more responsibilities, and a higher membership density than 12 months ago.
The task now is to keep on working and to face whatever challenges the employer throws at us, while continuing to organise and grow the branch.
AGM election results
Auditors – Brian Allen, Tony Robertson
Branch Women’s Advisory Committee – Carolyn Kinsella, Sharon O’Neill
Group Conference Delegates – Simon Connell, Peter Connor, Margi Henderson, John Virtue
National Conference Delegates – Peter Benson, Simon Connell, Phil Dickens, Phil Millar
Trainee Delegate – Pete Benson (group) Dec Henry(group and national)
National election nominations
HMRC Group Executive Committee
President – Lorna Merry
Vice President – Hector Wesley
Assistant Group Secretaries – John Smith, Colette Smith
GEC ordinary members – Brian Allen, Laura Bee, Tracy Boyce, Phil Dickens, Phil Millar, Mark Emmerson, Carol Gerrard, Alan Runswick, Bobby Young
National Executive Committee
President – Bev Laidlaw (DWP)
Vice Presidents – Tom Bishell (DWP), Phil Dickens (HMRC),Bryan Carlsen (HSE), John Moloney (DfT)
NEC ordinary members -Tom Bishell (DWP), Bryan Carlsen (HSE), Ralph Corrigan (PsG), Phil Dickens (HMRC), Chris Hickey (CLG), Karen Johnson (CLG),Bev Laidlaw (DWP), Chris Marks (DWP),Charlie McDonald (DWP), John Moloney (DfT), Oli Rahman (DWP), Paulette Romain (CLG), Leon Searle (DWP), George Thompson (DWP), Ray Webb (DSA), Gilane Young (DfT)