AGM minutes 5th May 2018



Shelley Assiter, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley, Dick Blackwell, Viviane Carneiro, Victoria Childs, Hyacinthos Christou, Mary-Rose Clarke, Jane Clements, Phil Cox, Tania Glyde, Lou Futcher, David Hansen-Miller, Sasha Kaplin, Jeff Lane, Robbie Lockwood, Juliet Lyons, Andrew Price, Patrick Quinn, Stephen Radley, Nicole Reilly, Adrian Scott, Keith Silvester, Janet Tolan, Audrey West


Karen Adler, Joy Archer, Jay Beichmann, Deborah Berger,Kris Black, Duncan Branley, Cat Chappel, Sandra Clegg, Deborah Cowell, Jamie Crabb, Sabnum Dharamsi, David Dorey, Deirdre Haslam, Filomena Ianni, David Jahans, Riva Joffe, Ruth Jones, Mari Mansfield, Stephen Maynard, Roy Mc Partland, Kate O'Halloran, Heather Pryce, Gavin Robinson, Anna Rose, Jenny Secretan, Erin Stevens, Andrew Samuels, Nick Totton, Beverley Vaulter

AGM led by the Committee

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley (Chair)

Viviane Carneiro

Victoria Childs

Jane Clements (Membership Secretary)

Philip Cox

Jamie Crabb

Robbie Lockwood

Juliet Lyons (Secretary)

Andrew Price (Treasurer)

  1. Overview

a) Juliet presented a brief overview of last year’s AGM, mentioning some areas of future development discussed at the AGM 2017 – what we have achieved since then and where we have still to go.

b) Members accepted the minutes from the last AGM

2. Chair’s Report

Richard read his report of the past year’s activities of PCU (attached)

  1. Membership Report

Jane presented a summary and break-down of membership numbers (attached). As of 31st March 2018 PCU membership was 357. Since then, 20 members have joined.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

a) Andy presented this report (attached) with an amendment: subscriptions from members in the period March 9 2017 – March 31st 2018 is £13,982

5. a) Nominations:

Victoria Childs

Proposed by Jane Clements, seconded by Phil Cox

Sasha Kaplin

Proposed by Viviane Carneiro, seconded by Luke Tanner

Lou Futcher

Proposed by Wayne Mertins-Brown, seconded by Nick Field.

Dave Dorey

Proposed by Phil Cox, seconded by Victoria Childs

b) All nominations accepted for the committee

6. Proposals

a) 2 proposals (attached)

b) The committee’s proposal of the amendment to the constitution was unanimously accepted.

c) i) The second proposal by Dick Blackwell, a statement on behalf of PCU, to be published on the PCU website, was read (attached)

ii) Members suggested 6 amendments which were voted on. 4 amendments were accepted, 2 rejected. Where the amendments were accepted, the original wording is highlighted in attached document. The rejected amendments proposed to take out the words 'class war' in the third line and change the last line in the first paragraph: 'we believe should be more vigorous and outspoken in its opposition' to 'we believe we should encourage opposition.'

iii) The amended statement was voted on as a substantive motion and unanimously accepted (attached)

iv) The amended proposals will be sent to the wider membership with the opportunity to vote electronically

d) In the future, the committee will stipulate a time-frame for the submission of amendments

7. Discussion:

a) Member involvement. The committee needs more member help. Members asked about how to do this. The committee responded by letting members know that they can form working groups with each other and work with the committee. Questions about how do working groups operate. The committee encouraged members to make links with other members as a starting point and that working groups do not need to be very formal in their set-up. There is advice on the PCU website about this. Members can also be co-opted to the committee, as Victoria was, if they would like to work on a specific area/campaign. Question about negotiating a member’s/working group’s authority to represent PCU when they are in negotiations. Response that if representing the group to an outside organisation, liaison with the committee would be needed. There was mention of a West London group that has been set up.

b) Questions about our links with Unite and Unison. PCU are still looking for meaningful contacts – we want to build links from the ground up.

c) Questions about PCU’s commitment to diversity. We are currently not collecting data about membership’s ethnic origins or gender identity. However, the committee is committed to diversity issues being central to what we do. We would like to set up an equalities and diversity working group to set out our stance and respond to the issues over conversion therapy.

d) Membership numbers - Question about the use of the term ‘psychotherapy’ and whether PCU could open out to other therapies. At the moment, the committee asks new members to stipulate what training they have done. The committee had a discussion a year ago about hypnotherapy, deciding that hypnotherapists could become members of PCU.

e) Question about joining TUC and legal help. Andy is looking into connections with the legal firm, Thompsons, who have substantial trade union experience. Thompsons would like us in the TUC. This would be to reassure them that we are not ‘poaching’ members from other TUC unions. Andy is in the process of putting forward a proposal for members. Thompsons provide a free will service, £50 free advice. Question ‘are there any downsides to us joining the TUC?’ Response: there is a hypothetical risk of being swallowed up by a big union, but we could keep our autonomy. There was a suggestion of a workshop for members on trade union history, to locate PCU in this tradition - Victoria offered to lead on this.

f) Questions about our aims for the next year. Response that we have been looking and making connections with other therapy groups, and organisations over the past year, and now we need to consolidate and clarify our stance on some areas of concern– particularly around diversity and conversion therapy.

g) Question: ‘can we have a policy that not everyone agrees with?’

h) Suggestion that in the future, we have a timed agenda

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