General Meeting 14th July 2019
Present: Sasha Kaplin, Audrey West, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley, Victoria Childs, Milton Sattler, Riva Joffe, Dick Blackwell, Shelley Assiter, Connor Byworth
Apologies: Reem Shelhi, Andy Price, Eleanor Whitehead
1. AGM Business: As the AGM had been inquorate, the General Meeting was required to ratify the decisions made there.
(a) The Executive Committee propose that as of today, the Constitution specifies that proposals will be voted for at the AGM with majority voting and therefore the words ‘two-thirds’ are removed from 7bii in the constitution: ‘For the proposal to pass, it must receive a (two-thirds- omitted) majority of the votes of those voting, postal/electronic votes being allowed’.
(b) The Executive Committee propose that as of today, members accept the current status of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union as Listed, according to the 1992 Trade Union Act
(c) Executive Committee propose that members accept the following as we voted for remaining a Listed Trade Union.
i). the revised Constitution as a working document to be amended and ratified at the PCU AGM, 2020. Motion passed: 14 For, 1 abstain.
ii). the Rule Book as a working document to be amended, and ratified at the PCU AGM, 2020. Motion passed: 14 for, 1 abstain
iii). the Handbook as a working document to be amended, and ratified at the PCU AGM, 2020. Motion passed: 14 for, 1 abstain.
(d) Proposed by Lucy Watt, Seconded by Andrew Price - Benevolent Fund (sent previously):. to establish a working party to explore how the PCU can provide some sort of benevolent fund or income protection insurance scheme for its members and to lobby the Government to regulate the insurance industry better, and to change the benefits system so that self-employed people have access to sick pay and income related Employment and Support Allowance.
(e) Nominations of the Executive Committee:
i). Reem Shelhi, Eleanor Lindlar, Maxim Ilyashenko, Jayne Crowter, Audrey West. Andrew Brett has decided to withdraw for personal reasons.
ii). The General Secretary should be the current Chair, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley
All of these proposals were passed unaninmously
2. Decision-making processes: Noted that recent discussions around the proposed All Party Parliamentary Group and collaboration with other organisations, had again highlighted the lack of clarity in PCU’s decision-making processes. Noted that the minutes of the committee meeting of 11/11/2018 do give an outline of a process, and that, when controversies arise on the discussion list, a named individual committee member should take a lead in being a point of contact and ensuring that processes are being followed. Under the constitution, the Executive Committee is responsible for taking decisions, and is accountable to the members at General Meetings.
As the membership grows, we need to develop better means of communication – local/regional groups could be one way of involving more members in discussions about PCU’s actions and positions. Members may also get involved through working on campaigns, and through experiences of member support. Subcommittees to work on specific decisions are another possibility, but problems of accountability (and capacity) remain.
PCU Policy can only be ratified by the membership, using some form of ballot or poll. The Committee should consult the members on decisions : (a) when there is an ambiguity in policy; (b) it is unclear what members’ views are; (c) when a decision is likely to be controversial.
3. APPG: There was a general discussion about current issues including the APPG and the future possibility of statutory regulation, the issues around unpaid work, etc. It was recognised that there is a need for ongoing critical dialogue with the professional bodies around these issues.
4. AOB: No other business