Present: Juliet, Kris, Richard, John, Audrey, Sana, Sasha, Milton; Andy (joined after item 2)
Apologies: Reem, Eleanor
1. Minutes of last meeting: Agreed
2. Complaint: Discussed and agreed to write a further response
3. Treasurer: No response to the recent call-out for Treasurer – ask again? Suggested that one of the Committee becomes Acting Treasurer as a temporary measure and if no member volunteers we consider paying someone from GFTU or elsewhere to do the book-keeping work. Andy to enquire with GFTU what they would charge for this service.
4. Campaigns budget: Current PCU budget leaves about £500 surplus this year after all outgoings – suggested that for now we allocate £500 as the budget from which all campaigns can seek funding, to be reviewed. Noted that we should discuss possible future uses of reserves and how large a reserve is necessary.
5. Membership report: Currently 732 members, of whom 74 are in arrears with their subscriptions – ongoing Admin task of sending reminders
6. Organisational membership: Agreed that we cannot offer this or affiliate status at present – organisations wishing to support PCU could state that they recognise the union, encourage their members to join individually, and sign up to/support our Codes of Practice
7. Support restrictions: Concerns about members joining PCU, and contacting Truth Legal, with immediate support needs. Need closer liaison between Admin, Sasha
an only access support after three months membership, as in other trade unions.
8. Concessionary rates: Agreed that we should seek proof of entitlement to concessionary rate when members join or renew their subscriptions.
9. Member support: 11 new cases in September. Noted Covid impact on training (eg client hours/recordings) and organisations imposing changes of role/new contracts in response. External advice being taken re handling casework involving disputes between members. Aiming to schedule a member support volunteers group meeting to discuss how to support each other, and consider bespoke training from GFTU.
10. Social Media: Update from John – increasing engagement on PCU Facebook page; Q&A with the two members standing for BACP governor was well-received. A couple of members have expressed interest in promoting PCU on social media and John is liaising with them.
11. UKCP Complaints processes: Juliet has been in contact with a member’s solicitors, who are hoping to publish their comments/criticisms of complaints procedures in the professional bodies, possibly in PCU newsletter and the book on complaints which is currently in draft. They are also willing to offer support and advice with the concerns about the lack of transparency and democratic accountability In BACP voting procedures, and will put together a proposal and costings
12. BACP Resolutions: Juliet is working with PCP (Partners for Counselling and Psychotherapy) on an open letter to challenge BACP over their undemocratic processes re putting resolutions and motions to their AGM
13. Black Lives Matter: Richard and Sana to draft a statement on PCU’s response to the issues raised by BLM
14. Member case and future campaigning: We were joined by a member and their supervisor to talk about their case, their experience of PCU support, and the need to discuss strategic issues so as to use the case in future campaign. Suggestion to commission research on the extent of unpaid therapy work in organisations (where in some cases managers and CEOs are well paid, clients pay fees and public funding is used) ; low rates of pay for therapists and supervisors; impact on the well-being of counsellors. Noted the complicity of training institutions and registering bodies. Research data could inform ongoing campaign which would need to include the registering bodies but reach beyond them
Next meeting Sunday 1st November, 11am-1.30pm