Committee Meeting 7/3/20

Updated: May 26



Psychotherapy and Counselling Union


Executive Committee meeting held 7th March 2020


Present: Juliet Lyons, Andy Price, Sasha Kaplin, Milton Sattler, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley


Apologies: Audrey West, Maxim Ilyashenko


  1. BACP: Andy reported back on his phone meeting with Suky Kaur, Head of Policy and Stakeholder Relations at BACP. She asked for PCU feedback on BACP’s draft statement on unpaid work. Acknowledged PCU’s key role in supporting members in complaints/disciplinary hearings, and issues arising about how members are treated in BACP processes. Discussed issues including benefit sanctions, VAT and clinical wills. Andy encouraged BACP to open dialogue with Partners for Counselling and Psychotherapy (PCP) re SCoPEd.

  2. PCU sub-groups: An initial meeting is being organised to set an IAPT workers group. The PCU London Group is being re-started. Milton is aiming to set up an LGBTQ+ group in PCU. Confirmed that PCU will support new subgroups or local groups with room hire costs, publicity etc, and we want to encourage members to take initiatives on this. Preferably have a representative for each group on the committee. 

  3. AGM practicalities: Trying to organise a visit for health & safety assessment of venue. Agreed that non-members can come for Suzy Orbach’s talk at 2.30pm and we will charge £10. Need to open a PCU Paypal account: people must register and pay in advance. Sasha to share info with Milton re counsellors groups in the North-West. Agreed that Admin workers should be paid 7 hours wages and travel costs for the event; Admin will take minutes. Noted that we may not be able to go ahead with AGM in April due to coronavirus – need to develop contingency plans for decision-making.

  4. AGM Business: Will need a committee proposal that the member support co-ordination work (Sasha’s role) is paid. Proposal to move joining/subs system to GoCardless, which involves costs of 20p per transaction and 1% fee, but should save money in Admin hours. Proposal to raise fees to £65 annually if paid by annual standing order, or £6 per month if paid by monthly S/O. Student concessionary fees to become a £12 annual payment with no option for £1 monthly subscription. If people join because they are seeking immediate support, require that they pay for a full year. Suggested that we create options for donations as well as subs – use Paypal for this. Rules and Members Handbook need to be checked and finalised for ratification. Need to encourage new people to stand for committee, by announcement and by contacting individuals. If no one stands for Treasurer we will need to change the constitution to allow Andy to continue to cover the role. 

  5. Health & Safety: Eleanor has developed forms and protocols for key risk issues for PCU work, based on insurers’ advice. Discussed online security issues in member support work – need to ensure that volunteers have malware protection, and that email info is kept securely. Aim for a model where confidential information can be stored centrally as password protected documents, and deleted off the volunteers’ computer. This needs more thought and discussion before we can develop policy.

  6. Website privacy: Andy to re-send the draft statement about GDPR compliance, which needs revision. Juliet will seek clarification re cookies.

Childcare expenses: Discussion about policy on childcare expenses. Agreed that it should be rewritten to include all sole carers of dependents. Eleanor to redraft the policy for final agreement.

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