Communications Workers’ Union Youth Committee ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2014
Friday 28th February, 12.00pm William Norton House
AGENDA 1. Chairperson’s Address 2. Election of Tellers 3. Standing Orders 4. Annual Report 5. Election of Officers 6. Motions 7. Year Ahead 8. AOB 9. Next Meeting
MISSION STATEMENT The CWU Youth Committee was established to encourage and assist new, and specifically younger members, who join the Union to learn about the Union and the benefits of participation for themselves and their colleagues. To assist young members in obtaining the confidence and skillsets necessary to participate at any level they wish in the activities of the Union and to give them the opportunity to meet and link up with other young members outside of the more traditional Branch meetings.
YOUTH COMMITTEE ACTION PLAN The aims of the Youth Committee are: 1. To influence Union policy from the grassroots upward to reflect the particular needs and viewpoints of young members of the CWU 2. To encourage the greater involvement of young members across all Branches and sectors of the Union 3. To support the effort to recruit young members into the Union and to encourage the building of activists within the Union, through training and hands‐on experience 4. To drive campaigns that affect young people, both within and without the trade union movement 5. To communicate effectively and provide regular updates to younger members of developments within the Union 6. To engage with youth groups in other trade unions and political movements to educate activists in broader political issues 7. To work towards a seat on the NEC for a member of the Youth Committee 8. To continue and increase their involvement in global youth committees 9. To contribute to a ‘youth section’ of the Union’s website 10. To produce a recurring article(s) in the Union’s journal to report on the achievements of the Youth Committee 11. To establish a political education programme for young members
TERMS OF REFERENCE Name of Committee: The Committee will be known as the Youth Committee of the Communications Workers’ Union. 2. Aims a) The aim of the Committee shall be to promote and protect the interests and conditions of all young members of the CWU. b) To secure a seat on the National Executive Council of the CWU. c)
The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice‐Chair and Committee members. The Committee shall normally meet once a month or more often, if required.
d) The term of the Officers (Chairperson and Vice‐Chair) will be for one year, elected annually at the AGM. 3. Elections a) The Committee shall elect officers by Ballot at the AGM. This will be done by way of an overall vote of all members present. Members who are scheduled for duty during the actual period of the AGM, on annual leave or out on long‐term sick absence, or otherwise legitimately unable to attend, may vote via text message to the Facilitator. b) Nominations for Officers’ positions must be submitted no later than the date decided by the Committee prior to the AGM. c)
All nominations must have the signature of the Proposer and Seconder, and must have the written consent of the nominee.
d) In the event of there being insufficient nominations, nominations may be accepted from the floor of the AGM. e) Any decision reached democratically by a vote of the Committee shall be binding on all Committee members. 4. Meetings: a) The AGM shall be held biennially in January or February. b) Special General Meetings shall be held whenever it is considered necessary by the Committee or whenever the NEC so orders. c)
Any other requests for a Special General Meeting must be submitted to the Chairperson stating the purpose of the meeting. No other business will be discussed at such meetings.
d) Seven days’ notice shall normally be given for all General Meetings. e) There is no Quorum for an Annual General Meeting.
The Agenda for the AGM and General Meeting shall be prepared by the Chairperson and Vice‐Chair in consultation with the members and these members will be furnished with a copy prior to the AGM.
5. Duties: Chairperson:
To preside over all Committee and General Meetings of the Committee.
To ensure that business is carried out in an orderly and efficient manner.
To conduct correspondence, keep records and generally administer the affairs of the Committee in accordance with its decisions.
To call and arrange General Meetings and AGM in conjunction with the Head Office Facilitator.
With Vice‐Chair, to agree and produce Agenda for meetings.
To liaise between Chair and Committee members/Head Office.
To take and produce minutes of General Meetings and AGMs.
To facilitate on‐going Campaigns and activities as decided by Committee.
With Chair, to agree and produce Agenda for meetings.
To ensure that meetings are conducted in accordance with Standing Orders. It is noted that the unique nature of the Youth Committee requires continued support and assistance from Head Office and both the Chair and Vice‐Chair will work in cooperation with the Facilitator to ensure the Committee works smoothly and efficiently. 6. Voting: Voting on all matters at Committee meetings shall be by a show of hands, except where a secret ballot is specified by these standing Orders or by the NEC, or where the Chairperson deems a secret ballot is necessary. 7. General: a) These Terms of Reference, in conjunction with the rules of the CWU, shall be binding on all members of the Youth Committee of the Communications Workers’ Union. b) Membership of the Youth Committee shall be open to members up to 35 years of age. Members elected to Chair or Vice‐Chair positions who reach this age limit during their term may hold their elected position until the next election. c)
The NEC shall be the final authority on the interpretation of these Terms of Reference.
CHAIRPERSON’S ADDRESS Comrades, It has been a great privilege and honour to serve as Chairperson of the CWU Youth Committee over the past 12 months. Our Committee has had a very busy year with our activists involved in many high‐profile campaigns and protests. Our Committee has played a central in the ongoing rejuvenation of youth activism on the streets and within the trade union movement. Our Committee has led the campaign against the government’s national internship scheme, JobBridge. We have fought the campaign on many fronts, by organising protests, writing critical reports, addressing public meetings, engaging with the media and developing a network of activists both within and without the trade union movement who oppose the scheme. To date we have had some considerable success in fighting JobBridge. The ICTU have adopted a motion put forward by this Union in respect of the scheme and the issue has become the source of much critical attention for the government due to our frequent and innovative protests that have garnered much media coverage. The campaign can now boast the support of numerous youth advocacy groups including, the Union of Students in Ireland, Mandate Youth, We’re Not Leaving and ScamBridge. In May the Committee helped organise the first Youth Bloc at the annual DCTU May Day march in Dublin, where one of our new members, Brian Heffernan, gave a rousing speech to the assembled crowd. In the same month the Committee also secured the position of Chair of the newly reconstituted ICTU Youth, while our Vice‐Chair, Barry Gorman, narrowly missed out becoming the European Representative. Throughout the year our Committee fostered strong links with the We’re Not Leaving youth group and we played a key role in organising the Young People’s Assembly in Liberty Hall on November 9th. The day before this event our Committee organised a high‐profile publicity stunt outside the Dáil to highlight the fact that young, unemployed people were being sent letters from the DSP advertising jobs abroad; this at a time when the government was talking up the economy and the opportunities available within this jurisdiction. In an act of defiance, some of those who had received such letters ripped them up outside the gates of the Dáil in front of the assembled media. The protest was covered in all the major newspapers in Ireland, but also in some English newspapers including the Financial Times.
Our Committee has developed a strong reputation for activism and we are held in high esteem, both inside and outside of the trade union movement. Our success has been driven by the ongoing commitment and resolve of our current membership, but also by the huge level of support shown to us by our General Secretary, the NEC and the Organising Department, and for this we are eternally grateful. The year ahead looks set to be another busy and demanding one, but I look forward to our Committee’s continued growth, which will help sustain our ongoing fight‐back against the onslaught of austerity. Fraternally, Derek Keenan CWU Youth Committee Chairperson
COMMITTEE ACTIVISM 2013 JANUARY
Our AGM was held on the 30th January 2013 in Head Office. The event was well attended by delegates from across the country and was addressed by our General Secretary, Steve Fitzpatrick, Loraine Mulligan (SIPTU), and Michael Taft (Unite).
On the 8th members of the Committee, in conjunction with ‘ScamBridge’, held a protest outside Dublin Castle, which coincided with a meeting of European Welfare and Employment Ministers. The protest sought to highlight the inadequacy of the overall response to youth unemployment across the Eurozone and also to highlight our opposition to JobBridge.
On the 9th our Committee attended the “Lift the Burden” march in Dublin organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
On the 16th our Chairperson, Derek Keenan, was invited to speak about. JobBridge at the ‘EU Counter Summit’, which was held in Liberty Hall. The event was organised by Socialist Party MEP, Paul Murphy.
Our Committee met on the 9th of March in Head Office, where plans for May Day and the JobBridge campaign were discussed.
Our Committee held a meeting at the CWU Spring Seminar in White’s Hotel, Wexford. Members got to meet the newly elected Youth Officers and new members were given an overview of the work undertaken by the Committee in the previous months.
Our Committee also prepared a presentation on JobBridge, which was delivered by Derek Keenan on the second day of the Seminar.
On the 29th our Committee attended a public meeting organised by the We’re Not Leaving youth group. Derek Keenan was invited to speak on the issue of internship culture.
Our Committee helped organise a Youth Bloc at the annual Dublin Council of Trade Unions May Day March. Eight members of the Committee attended and one of our newest members, Brian Heffernan, gave a rousing speech from the platform to the assembled crowd.
On the 3rd our Committee took part in a Press Conference to further highlight our opposition to the JobBridge scheme and to expose some of the myths
around the scheme’s success rates as outlined within the Indecon report. The event was covered by various media outlets and was featured on the RTÉ news.
Our Committee wrote an updated report on JobBridge which was published in LookLeft magazine
On the 22nd our Chairperson, Derek Keenan, was elected as the Chairperson for the reconstituted ICTU Youth Committee.
Our Vice‐Chair, Barry Gorman, attended the “Alternative Youth Summit” in Berlin where he raised some of the Committee’s concerns at a European level.
James Moore represented our Committee at a Youth Conference in Portugal. JULY
On the 4th Derek Keenan, in his capacity as ICTU Youth Chair, addressed the Biennial Conference in Belfast. Significantly the Conference adopted the CWU motion on JobBridge.
Our Committee held a regional meeting in Cork City on the 5th of July, which was addressed by Ronán Burtenshaw (We’re Not Leaving). Ronán gave a great eyewitness account of the recent unrest in Turkey. This was followed by a night on the town and all had a great night.
Our Committee met on the 17th in CWU Head Office. Dave Gibney (Mandate) was invited to address the meeting on the issue of emigration. Dave gave details of the “Know Your Rights at Work: Down Under” document, which had been prepared by Australian trade unionists for distribution among Irish workers in Australia.
Following the meeting our Committee hosted an historical walking tour of Dublin to commemorate the 1913 Lockout. The event was open to all members of the Union and was well attended by young and old.
Our Committee chaired numerous meetings of groups opposed to JobBridge. The aims of the meetings were to consolidate the growing resistance to the scheme. Among the groups represented were, Mandate Youth, Unite Youth, We’re Not Leaving, USI, Socialist Party, Socialist Worker Party Youth, Labour Youth and the Connolly Youth Movement.
On the 5th our Committee helped organise a protest outside the FÁS office on D’Olier Street in response to the proposed extension to the duration of JobBridge placements from 9 to 18 months. The protest was well attended and
received a lot of media coverage. Derek Keenan was interviewed by several national and local radio stations.
Our Committee helped to organise a Youth Bloc at the pre‐budget demo in Dublin on the 12th.
Throughout the month Committee members helped organise and took part in a number of publicity stunts outside of the Dáil which sought to highlight the injustice of the decision to reduce the rate of Jobseekers Allowance applicable to those age 25 and under.
On the 7th our Vice‐Chair, Barry Gorman, addressed a regional meeting of We’re Not Leaving in Galway on the issue of JobBridge and internship culture.
On the 8th our Committee led a protest outside of the Dáil in conjunction with the TEEU and Mandate Youth. Our Chairperson, Derek Keenan, was interviewed by numerous media outlets and was a guest on the Matt Cooper show that evening.
Following the protest our Committee held our final meeting of the year in CWU Head Office.
On the 9th Committee members attended the Young People’s Assembly in Liberty Hall. Barry Gorman facilitated one of the discussion groups, while Derek Keenan addressed various groups on the issue of JobBridge and internship culture.
On the 16th and 17th Committee members attended the ICTU Youth Conference, which took place in CWU Head Office.
REPORT ON THE YOUTH COMMITTEE AGM William Norton House, 30th January 2013 The Annual General Meeting of the Communications Workers’ Union Youth Committee was held in CWU Head Office on Wednesday 30th January 2013. The AGM elected the following Teller: Head Office Ciara Ní Mhaoilfhinn 1. Annual Report The Annual Report was read to the meeting. As there were no revisions, the Annual Report was agreed. Proposed: James Moore Seconded: Derek Keenan 2. Standing Orders The floor was opened to a discussion on the Standing Orders. The issue of the stated aims of the Committee was raised. It was suggested that the Aims section of the Standing Orders should be amended to include language on the Youth Committee securing a seat on the Union’s National Executive. Proposed: James Moore Seconded: Barry Gorman 15 votes in favour 0 votes against MOTION PASSED 3. Elections for Chairperson and Vice‐Chairperson The nominees were: Chairperson: Barry Gorman Derek Keenan James Moore Vice‐Chairperson: Derek Keenan Barry Gorman Each nominee was afforded the opportunity to address the floor before elections took place.
Derek Keenan James Moore Barry Gorman Derek Keenan
15 votes 6 votes 4 votes ELECTED
Vice‐Chairperson: The AGM was asked if they would permit nominations from the floor. No nominations were made from the floor. As there were two candidates, one of whom was elected as Chairperson, Barry Gorman was deemed elected. 4. Guest Speakers Lorraine Mulligan, SIPTU, Welcomed the opportunity to address a gathering of young trade unionists and thanked the Youth Committee for the invitation to speak to the AGM. Ms Mulligan described the crisis in employment in Ireland and Europe, with a focus on the high proportion of young people affected by unemployment in general and long‐term unemployment in particular. The key focus of the Trade Union movement was outlined as: Stimulating growth and jobs, not austerity Quality, non‐precarious work Access to information on rights Access to membership of a trade union The AGM was told of the Youth Guarantee project, which aims to ensure that every young person in Europe is offered a job, further education or work‐focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed. Finally, Ms Mulligan addressed the subject of internships and the challenges posed to the trade union movement by this issue. Michael Taft, UNITE, thanked the Youth Committee for inviting him to address the AGM. Mr. Taft described in detail the three major crises facing Ireland: Unemployment Deprivation Investment Figures and examples were given on the three issues and the challenges faced by the trade union movement in trying to address these issues. Several options for the future were discussed and how young people might work together to tackle these problems, through collective action. Both speakers responded to questions from the floor.
5. Address by the General Secretary The General Secretary, Steve Fitzpatrick, addressed the meeting. He discussed the importance of young members and young workers becoming active in the Union and commended the group on being the only active trade union Youth Committee in the Republic of Ireland. The Committee’s work on JobBridge was noted, and the fact that the JobBridge to Nowhere report had been widely circulated, to much praise. Mr Fitzpatrick went on address the importance of engaging with young people to secure the future of all workers. Mr Fitzpatrick affirmed his commitment to the work of the Youth Committee and his hope to see it increase its activity and profile in 2013. 6. Motions That the Youth Committee secure a reserved seat on the National Executive Proposed: Barry Gorman Seconded: Dave Morris 23 in favour 0 against 0 abstained MOTION APPROVED That the Youth Committee be empowered to nominate a candidate to the National Executive Proposed: James Moore Seconded: Emma Lusk 23 in favour 0 against 0 abstained MOTION APPROVED That the Youth Committee seek to secure a seat for a Youth Officer on the National Executive Proposed: Adam O’Rourke Seconded: Emma Lusk 23 in favour 0 against 0 abstained MOTION APPROVED
That the Youth Committee establish a political education programme for young members Proposed: Derek Keenan Seconded: Brian Heffernan 23 in favour 0 against 0 abstained MOTION APPROVED That the Youth Committee seek arrangements for release to attend inductions Proposed: Caroline Corcoran Seconded: Eric Partridge 7. Campaigns 2013 As the following day had been set aside for a Campaign Building Workshop it was agreed to carry this item forward (see Strategic Campaign 2013 document).
Non‐Voting Attendees Steve Fitzpatrick Fionnuala Ní Bhrógáin Ciara Ní Mhaoilfhinn Lorraine Mulligan Michael Taft Stephen Gribben Sadie Fulton Delegates Adam O’Rourke Caroline Corcoran Gareth Allen Dave Sheehy Ciarán Mullane Eric Partridge James Moore Karen Malone Neil Prendergast David Thornton Christy Keenan Greg Mulhall John Higgins Richie Derek Keenan Robert Penny Derek Canavan Emma Lusk James O’Sullivan Brian Heffernan Dave Morris Barry Gorman Carol Scott
CWU General Secretary (Guest Speaker) CWU Youth Liaison Officer CWU Youth Administrator SIPTU (Guest Speaker) UNITE (Guest Speaker) CWU UK (Guest) CWU UK (Guest)
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