PCU Committee Meeting 11/11/18

Present: Richard Bagnall-Oakeley, Viviane Carneiro, Victoria Childs, Phil Cox, Sasha K, Juliet Lyons, Andrew Price

Apologies: Jane Clements, Lou Futcher


1. Administrator roles

a) There are 7 or 8 responses to the call-out for the administrator position, so the possibility of creating 2 roles, each supporting the other.

b) Jane will write a job description so that we can give out more details. We have asked for CVs. 16th November deadline for applications and 2 weeks to short-list with a view to interview possibly 4 candidates. 3 on the interview panel. Interviews probably in London (Richard to book a room).

c) We will offer the position as an honorarium to PCU members and otherwise self-employed. When we can (when contracts are ready) we will offer it as employed work. We may need help from solicitors for this.

d) Starting January with training days.


2. Decision Making

a) Discussion about how to make decisions in reference to a letter (submitted publicly) to be signed by PCU both within the committee and with membership.

b) Decision making within the committee – agreed that we work by concensus, but we need a time-frame to discuss (with the possibility of shortening or extending this time-frame). Within the committee, silence from committee members will be read as acceptance. The Chair will have an informal role of overseeing the process. We will be listening and making reference to our members. The committee as a whole will take ownership of decisions made by committee members.

c) Decision making process for membership on the google group - the committee member communicating with the google group will communicate the time-frame for discussion and will offer a contact off list. The committee will give members the option to contact a committee member off-list for private contribution. The committee can then have the option to feedback (anonymously) member opinion. The discussion will be brought to a close transparently.

d) The committee do not feel that in the case of a letter of support that a doodle poll (or poll) would be the first option. The committee is concerned that this would shut down the minority vote and the voice of the marginalised, and a lot of nuanced opinion.

e) Richard will communicate this to the members for thoughts and discussion. We may want to add the process once firmed up to the rule book.

f) Agreed that the response to the Palestine/Israel conflict letter was from the committee, not any one individual.


3. Website:

a) The new website is ready for both computer and phone format.

b) We need to ask Jane to cancel any money that goes out to the ning and Nick to cancel his standing order.

c) We would like to redirect people from the ning to the new website. If this cannot be done automatically, all material could be deleted from the ning, with a message with the new website’s address.

d) Discussion about how to distribute the work of adding members to the new website. Richard will liaise with Jane and Jamie regarding this process.

e) Richard will announce the new website to members.

f) Committee email addresses to be linked to the website. This has been set up and is ready for use.


4. Certification

a) We have now been given certification as a Union and we will need to comply with certain procedures, overseen by the certification officer.

b) We need a complaints procedure – Andy going to look into this

c) We will need:

- 3 Trustees (non-paid positions). Trustees will have over-sight of our organisation. They meet 2 times a year. They will manage winding up the Union. Andy will check their legal responsibilities and if they can be members.

- Scrutineers – independent assessors to scrutinise ballots. The Trustees will oversee the Scrutineers

- A rule book – this needs to be ratified by the certification officer. The rule book is different to the constitution. Where the two are at odds, the constitution over-rules unless the 1992 Trade Union Act rules differently. The rule book will contain rules on procedures around the dissolution of the Union, complaints procedure.The possibility of google group etiquette in the rule book.

d) We intend to put proposed changes to the constitution out in January. The Constitution needs to be in accordance with the 1992 Trade Union Act.


5. AGM

a) We will need a new Chair, Secretary and Treasurer to vote for at the next AGM.

b) Due to the voting rules in relation to certification, the committee suggest that we create 2 posts in place of the Chair – a General Secretary, and a President. If these roles are contested, we will need to have a vote. We will then have a maximum of 12 committee members separate to these 3 positions – again, there will be a secret postal ballot if contested. This change of leadership posts will be put forward at the next AGM as a change to the constitution.

c) The committee will discuss this further at the next committee meeting.

d) Timing and content –aiming for April. Richard to email around to find a date.

A celebration of our certification. Why do we need a Union? Stories celebrating Union history. Plans for Victoria to do a presentation on the history of Unions and solicitors firm Truth Legal to present and have question and answer session (1 hour slot). Election of officers.


6. PCU’s Association with Truth Legal

a) In principle the Committee accepts Truth Legal’s Memorandum, but details will need discussion.

b) We would like advice on our own liability from Truth Legal. Do we need public liability insurance? Andy will also check that it is Union funds that are liable, not committee members.

c) Truth Legal can offer free training at the AGM – a Q and A session. In turn, we would educate their work-force. Truth Legal would give legal advice and Member support on points of law.

d) Truth Legal is a cost effective legal service that will benefit members with blogging opportunities.

e) Individual tribunal case. Is it realistic of the Union to be able to pay barristers’ fees of potentially £1000 a day? We need to set up a ‘fighting fund’.

f) The committee will put it out to members that we are in negotiation with Truth Legal.

g) They have asked that our back page on web to link with their website.


7. Publicity:

a) PCU currently has around 450 members and we’d like to have 500 by the next AGM.

b) Committee members have been spreading the word at conferences. In particular Phil at ‘The Wounded Healer’ conference.


8. Equality and Diversity:

Policy statement no further progress. We need to develop something quickly for recruitment. Andy will pull something from Unison that we can use until we develop our own.

b) To be ratified at the AGM.

c) We are working towards a joint even between BAATN and Ashana, May 2019

d) Lou was doing research into a database of members that is needed (ethnic, religious, gender stats, disability/chronic pain,location). When we reach 10,000 members we will need a membership audit. We need a form. New administrators to set this up.

e) The East London Group event in January on racism may help us to make progress.


9. Memorandum of Understanding– Conversion Therapy

a) Sasha going to the meeting on Tuesday


10. Member Support:

a) Sasha taking initial phone calls. Would like to shadow cases to learn from them. Will need permission.


11. Member Involvement – Sasha hasn’t been able to move forward with this since last meeting.


12. Campaigns:

a) i. Unpaid work –UKCP don’t want to endorse PCU Codes of Practice for Trainees and Employers as they have issues with the wording. However they would like to draw upon these documents.

ii. Currently we don’t know how much work is done by unpaid therapists in the voluntary sector. Suggestion that we could commission (possibly with UKCP) research into the numbers – how many are doing unpaid work currently? Has Liz Cotton done any research into this? We could be involved in funding a 1 year project. A doctorate would be 3 years.

iii. Would it be worth launching a legal challenge – a test case? May be worth asking Truth Legal about this.

b) Forced Adoptions – Victoria spoke at the House of Commons as part of the Support not Separation Coalition on Tuesday 11thSeptember.


13. Newsletter:

a) Juliet to contact Lou about this and to take over from Lou if she is unable to continue.

b) Ultimately, the administrator(s) will have this responsibility

c) 15th December dead-line to get it out

d) Send our Newsletter to Counsellors Together, so that they know what we are doing. We’d like to build stronger links with them.


14. Next Meeting:To be arranged by doodle poll for January

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