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Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) Annual General Meeting* 8th October 2017
*Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) Annual General Meeting*
8th October 2017, Queen's Suite Room 4, Harrogate Conference Centre
*Present:* Peter Murry, Brent GP (Chair); Paul Valentine Lambeth GP;
Valerie Briginshaw, Chichester & Bognor GP; Malcolm Bailey, Luton & Beds
GP; Simon Hales East Staffs GP; Steve Masters West Berks GP;
Dave Davis, Tendring GP; Ivy Rimmer-Tagoe, Liverpool GP; Daisy W-H, Devon
GP; David Hamilton, Waltham Forest & Redbridge GP; Ian McCulloch,
Portsmouth GP; Peter Allen, High Peak GP;
Jay Ginn, Croydon & Sutton GP; Sri Vishsrikantha?, Kingston GP; Soja Oser?
Baramee Thummatewm, East Surrey GP; Chris Glenn, Southwark GP; Peter
Bristow, South Tyneside GP;
Ros Brunt, Sheffield GP; Jake Welsh, Manchester GP; Ernestas Jegorovas,
Islington GP; Sue Tibbles, Oxfordshire GP.
*Apologies: *Noel Lynch, Barnet GP; Roy Sandison, Rugby GP; Martin Francis,
For the benefit of new members, Peter Murry gave a brief introduction to
work carried out by GPTU plus some background information about key
officers running the committee.
PM had been acting co- secretary but he was not aiming to continue as an
elected member of the GPTU committee. He was also the Trade Union Liaison
Officer (TULO) for London Federation of Green Parties.
PM explained about GPTU being open to all Green Party members, regardless
of their being in a trade union. GPTU was also open to students.
PM explained the history of GPTU over the last 18 months as the time for
the 2017 AGM had needed to be extended.
In spring 2016, the GPTU AGM had elected a new committee including many
young members. This committee had carried out some excellent work including
a new GPTU leaflet, new website etc. Unfortunately after this promising
start, most of the GPTU committee sadly resigned in January 2017 being
members of Kingston or Richmond Green Parties, following the argument
between Kingston Green Party, Richmond Green Party and the leadership of
the Green Party of England and Wales.
There were still a few committee members remaining including the
Co-Secretaries, Paul Valentine and Lee Burkwood.
In early May 2017 LB resigned as he announced that he would be standing as
a candidate in his local elections.
As a professional actor, PV had been busy touring in Bulgaria, so PM had
been cop-opted as acting Co- Secretary with PV to continue GPTU business.
*Elections to GPTU Committee 2017-2018*
*Nominations received: *
*Chair:* Noel Lynch, UNISON Community & Voluntary, Barnet GP: nominated. As
only NL’s name had been received, he was elected uncontested. (For
information: NL founded GPTU and currently runs the Green Room, the Green
Party’s charity shop in North Finchley.)
*Noel Lynch elected.*
*Co-Secretary:* Paul Valentine Equity, PCSU, Unite, Lambeth GP; Sue
Tibbles, UNISON, Oxfordshire GP. These two nominations had been received so
PV and ST were duly elected.
*Paul Valentine, Sue Tibbles elected.*
*Treasurer: *No nominations received. ST agreed to continue as caretaker
until a new treasurer found.
*Sue Tibbles agreed as acting Treasurer.*
*Campaigns & Events Officer: *No nominations received. In answer to a query
from Dave Davis, PM said that this role mainly would be to support other
campaigns and start our own GPTU/GP campaigns. DD indicated that he might
be interested in taking up this role in future.
*Membership Secretary:* Simon Hales, Unite, East Staffordshire GP
*Simon Hales elected.*
*Equalities Officer: *Unfortunately Georgia Elander was too busy to
continue in this role.
*Youth & Students Officer: *Ivy Rimmer-Tagoe, Liverpool GP, Manchester
University student nominated.
*Ivy Rimmer-Tagoe elected.*
*International Officer: *Ernestas Jegorovas, NEU nominated.
*Ernesto Jegorovas elected.*
*Regional Co-Ordinator: *
PM explained that where possible, each local Green Party should have a
Trade Union Liaison Officer.
There were now some Regional TULOs in place: Peter Murry for London
Federation of GPs; Steve Masters for Confederation of South East GPs;
Green Party Executive Trade Union Liaison Officer: PV and one other GP
member had applied for this co-option. PV said that the result would be
announced in the next week and he would keep everyone posted.
Jake Walsh proposed a vote of thanks for PM as Co-Secretary and for
chairing the meeting, which was met with a round of applause.
This was the end of the formal AGM.
Part two: *Informal questions and discussion.*
PV then took the chair. ST asked if the Young Workers’ Group was still
running. PV said that he could check with Young Greens. He also said that
administrative tasks and other things such as the email list and website
were being dealt with as appropriate.
Valerie from Bognor GP asked about Green votes being squeezed by Labour
because of the Corbyn effect. Relations with TUs were central to GP message
etc. How could we differentiate ourselves as GP from traditional Labour
Party with its ownership of trade unions?
There is a distinctive Green Party message which we can get out to trade
2013 by- election experience: apparently if UNISON had known that there was
no Labour candidate, they would have circulated their members to say that
there was a Green candidate with trade union values.
ST said that there needed to be a check on this as UNISON as a body (trade
unions in general) cannot say vote for particular candidate because they
are in a party with trade union values e.g. Green, Labour
Jake Walsh said that in Manchester there was no TULO currently. It would be
useful to have a guide or other useful document e.g. job description at
least to encourage folk to take on the role.
Roz Sheffield GP, said that she was going to ask a similar question on the
She asked about workers in the nuclear industry, arms trade and what was
the Green alternative we could tell folk as certain unions were concerned
about job losses if these trades were not operational?
PM and others said that much work was being done following the Lucas Plan
anniversary to draw up a new Lucas plan and find alternative jobs which did
not destroy people or the environment. Leaflet on Climate jobs etc.
Mentioned that if any member was not currently in work, they could join
Unite Community branches.
There was training on offer to trade union activists locally. Other unions
should be encouraged to take up similar training to help people.
PV said that we have a distinctive Green message to put across. A good
example of raising the Green voice in trade unions is by Green Party
members putting themselves forward for trade union committees. E.g. Lee
Burkwood had been elected to the Unite Young Members’ Committee. He might
be the only Green there, but he had managed to get the Green message out
there. We also need something bigger from GP at national level and this was
where the GPEx TULO came in.
Once the new GPEx TULO officer is announced, we can do work around this. It
will either be PV or another,
The Young Greens have created some very helpful guides on how to start a
Young Greens group.
PV said that we can co-opt members to committee roles as necessary.
Sue Shanks, Brighton & Hove GP said that RMT had supported Caroline Lucas.
Also highlighted the evening reception at GP Conference with the NEU, new
union for teachers, previously NUT and ATL.
Steve Masters W Berks GP; said that he was the GMB local branch President.
He and other reps had submitted some green themed GMB motions e.g.
anti-fracking to GMB Congress, Plymouth in June.
Suggested that the campaign events co-ordinator and others in GP can lobby
local branches & regions of GMB directly to table motions on anti-fracking
Asked how many members do we have in GPTU? GMB members at campaigns etc.
Disciplinaries on GMB members if SM conducted this campaign himself but a
good grass roots campaign where GP can lobby GMB etc.
In South East Region of GMB, SM and other GMB members are aiming to change
PV/PM mentioned the sign-up process where GPTU asks which union you are in.
Chris Glenn, Southwark GP asked about GP stall at TUC. GP presence- on
picket lines etc. visibility
e.g. he visited the junior doctors' strike. GP folk were there every day.
Also Picturehouse cinemas strike- GP members there as well. Good
discussions with folk there and young folk interested to join GP through
this sort of visibility.
PV said that he attended the Target to Win training which stated that it
takes 10 points of contact to get point across.
Tim Dawes: Havant GP, Unite Community Branch. We in our branch of Unite are
campaigning to get unwaged folk involved, students, folk on benefits etc.
Also can organize claimants as no claimants' union in the area. TD said he
had been a rep to a number of Trades Councils; committees for the union etc.
We need to encourage folk to become more involved.
Where is next Conference? We could ask the regional Unite Community
organizer to speak. The cost is
£2 a month. For the claimants, the industrial branches pay their subs for a
year to help them out
Peter Allen, High Peak GP, Emergency Motion on Climate Change and Trade
Do we do anything for non-unionized workers?
Body Shop did not permit workers to join a union? What are we doing on
this? We have a policy from the 2016 GP Conference stating that unions
should have statutory access to workplaces.
We should tell people about this policy as a solid thing to work with and
build on. We should be promoting this more and be better at communications
PM mentioned the fringe meeting with Sam Mason PCSU, How can a low carbon
economy create new employment?
End of informal discussion.