Minutes of PCU Meeting 28thSeptember 2019

Present: Richard Bagnall Oakeley, Sasha Kaplin, Eleanor Lindlar, Juliet Lyons, Reem Shelhi, Andrew Price, Audrey West, Milton Satler

Apologies:MaximIlyashenko, Jayn Crowther


Conference call with general secretary GFTU: Q & A Session

Q: Advice on expenditure and tax law?

A: GFTU have an accountant who can provide advice

Q: How we can appoint Trustees?

A: Can be elected in a number of ways. From our conference or from our national committee. GFTU lawyer can give advice. Trustees should be indemnified and insured.

Q: Trustees: What is their role?

A: Best practice they should be in a position to scrutinise the financial affairs of the union and also have sign-off for high expenditure

Q: Can GFTU help with employment contracts?

A: They have expertise in this area. Have a whole host of employment policies and contracts and procedures and they would be happy to share. This includes child-care policies.

Q: Can GFTU help with training Committee Members?

A: Free training in Education for Action (Central part of the training). The trade unions management programme is also available at cost. Affiliate’s entitled to one training session per year.

Q: Help putting together a training package for our support workers so that we don’t fall foul of any issues?

A: Education for action will be able to help.

Q: Help with electronic Voting and Internal Democracy?

A: several options-UK Engage deals with balloting issues. So we would be put in touch with them.

Q: Help in developing a benevolent fund

A: We can offer free practical support.

Q: Help with all Statutory requirements of TU?

A: We can provide advice

Q: Help with structure of union:

A: Help with structure, you decide what suits your need. We have `The Union Building Conference’, every other year, happening in Feb 2020, we could network at this event to determine our preferred structure.

Q: We would get an automatic place on the GFTU executive.

A: Yes One place. These are usually held 5 or 6 times a year. Very good for information exchange between unions.

Q: What are the benefits of joining?

A: Check website, below are some

· Solidarity

· All training free with a few exceptions

· Enables you to amplify your voice

· Have taken on research projects

Q: Where does GFTU sit in relation to the TUC?

A: GFTU is celebrating 120 years of existence. Friendly fraternal relationship with TUC but they are two parallel organisation.

RBO: Benevolent Fund

Q: Can GFTU recommend lawyers to help establish benevolent fund run at arm’s length from the union. What about a bread fund?

A: The best way is to create a charitable arm.

A: We can help with this set up and think it is a useful thing for unions to set up. This would also have tax benefits.

Q: Help setting and using a more efficient database?

A: Some unions ask GFTU to do all their accounting and their admin, support, payroll, or internal education, ICT & Databases: There would be anextra charge for these services.

Q: What is the joining process?

A: Send letter to GFTU to join with your union accounts and rule book. Our executive committee will discuss and approve if we are shown to be bona fide.

The next executive is on 29thNovember- we could apply and be approved at that meeting.

Q: What is GFTU Expectation of PCU

A: Take up place on Executive, Attend training, Promote our work to your members

Help provide training, counsellors network for mental health work, consult with other unions to explore setting up counselling services, using PCU member to support unions with counselling, training, general advice. advertising all our campaigns at the roundtable on the executive meeting

Action:Richard will put together a statement (consult committee on its contents) to members to recommend joining GFTU by 4thOctober. Announcement to go out on google group website on 7thOctober- to give an overview of the GFTU and a discussion about benefits of joining. Deadline for members to respond on google group 25thOctober.

Decision to join would need to put to the members and then have it ratified at the next AGM.

Action: Milton to explore polling options

Reports: Membership, finance and support cases. Discussed and accepted.

Discussed Google drive, APPG Scoped developments, expenses policy in relation to Childcare, Regional Meeting, Newsletter


There was a discussion about the development of policies through their practice, with a focus on the PCU expenses policy with regard to childcare. It was decided to look at the possibility of including elder care and vulnerable adult care alongside childcare to be more inclusive but that this had to be in line with budget realities. All policies will be reviewed regularly.

Where policies relate to expenses to care of others

Action:Juliet and Eleanor

GDPR/record keeping and confidentiality policies

Action:Sasha, Andy and Eleanor

Health and Safety policy:


Equalities Survey

We need to check that our monitoring complies with GDPR

Action: Eleanor


The Committee agreed to the insurance quote

Action:Sasha and Andy to process


Richard reported back on Skype meeting with reps from the six other groups (PCSR, Counsellors Together, Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Person Centred Experiential, College of Psychoanalysts, Person-Centred Association) seeking dialogue with UKCP, BACP and BPC regarding the proposed All Party Parliamentary Group. Agreed that a further joint letter would be sent, requesting a meeting

· It was agreed to send a letter to the Big 3

Action:Richard to formulate letter and send to Committee for discussion

· It was agreed that we need to develop statements about our aims or ‘vision’ for the future of therapy (rather than simply reacting as ‘the opposition to the Big Three’ in issues like SCoPEd decide what we stand for. By adopting a statement.

Mission Statement Following the discussion of what PCU stands for it was decided that we need a ‘mission statement’. This will be formulated at the next meeting and discussed with members. Action:Eleanor

· The Partners for Therapy organisation was discussed and welcomed. Look forward to working on common issues.

Connection with BACP

Andy reported that his meeting with the BACP chair and deputy CEO about developing formal communication lines and exploring developing a constructive relationship for the union to raise issues related to its members. The BACP is keen to progress the discussion. It was agreed to continue the channel of communication that Andy has established.

Google Group

Discussed the pros and cons of continuing the current format for group discussions and the dissemination of PCU information, and development of the website


There is no capacity within the Committee currently to produce one – it was suggested that we put this out to members to see if someone would be interested in editing one.

Regional meetings

These we discussed as a good thing - Andy to set one up in the NW

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