PCU Executive committee meeting by Zoom, 24th May 2020

Present: Reem, Kris, Juliet, Sarah, Audrey, Richard, Sana, Milton, Eleanor, Sasha

1. Minutes of the last meeting: Agreed


2. Matters arising: Juliet has agreed with Kate and Milton that one of them will attend future committee meetings, to improve communication on Admin issues.


Notice sent out re the Treasurer vacancy - Juliet will send out another notice with more info about the role.


3. Admin work: Milton introduced himself to the new committee members and spoke about his admin work. Suggested that committee members look into the IT training offered by the GFTU, to improve knowledge and awareness of IT issues. Need for guidelines about what should be posted on PCU social media, and for a committee member to liaise with Milton on this. Juliet is meeting admin regularly to discuss issues arising. Kate is completing CPD certificates for AGM attendees. No emails asking not to be named in AGM minutes have been received.


4. Victoria's complaint: No response received to our most recent message confirming that we are seeking her agreement to a formal process of external investigation and possible mediation. Three possible external investigators have been suggested - need to share their names with the committee to check for conflicts of interest. Juliet to check their availability and write again to Victoria asking her to respond within 21 days. If she does not respond, we will formally close the matter - but in any case there will be a need for a process of reflection among the committee members, to look at what can be learnt from this conflict.


5. Hour for an Hour: Eleanor has drafted her proposal in more detail. We also noted the BAMEStream initiative for free therapy. Issues of access, costs and funding to consider; balancing PCU's political concerns for social justice with support for therapist pay and conditions. Suggested that we put Eleanor's proposal out to members for consultation, asking for responses within a month. The suggestion that website has a 'Campaigns' section.


6. Members event: Need to send out Zoom link for Sat 30th May. Reem and Audrey to host. Need to work out a draft agenda - keep the focus on action as an outcome of discussions: aim to encourage the formation of regional groups, special interest groups and collaborative projects. Potential to use break-out rooms if appropriate. Circulate these ideas to the discussion list to encourage members to think in advance. Sarah reported that IAPT workers group (which includes PCU members but is independent of PCU) has been meeting regularly - important for any new groups to aim for regular meetings.


7. Website/IT: All new committee members to send a photo and biographical statement to Milton, so the committee info can be updated. Recommended that we all look at the website and make suggestions for improvements - there is a need for an upgrade to the website, but we need to be clear what we want. Kate and Milton to liaise with GFTU specialist for IT advice. Important that we improve email security for case-work - agreed to seek external advice and support to put this in place.


8. COVID 19 responses: A letter has been sent to Project 5 re exploitation of therapist's work. A suggestion that we send an open letter to other groups offering free therapy, emphasising the need to campaign for proper funding and non-exploitative treatment of therapists - could also refer to our Codes of practice.


Returning to work: Need to provide advice, emphasising the need for risk assessments and compliance with Health & Safety legislation in workplaces (including rented consulting rooms). Especially important to be aware of potential pressures on trainees.


9. Responses to campaigns and petitions: Need to have a standing agenda item so requests to support campaigns can be discussed at monthly committee meetings. Noted the confusion on some campaigns - eg the recent petition to make conversion therapy illegal contradicts the position of the MOU2 group which we are affiliated to; sometimes the union is asked to sign petitions which are only seeking individual signatories. Agreed that at present on PCU's Twitter we will only share posts from campaigns we have agreed to support. There is a need to work out criteria for deciding which campaigns PCU supports.


Next meeting Sunday 21st June, 11 am


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