NUJ motions passed at TUC congress 2013
5 September 2013
The NUJ's motions for TUC Congress were on tackling bullying in the workplace and a campaign to defend democratic rights, which have been eroded by mass surveillance, uncovered by Edward Snowdon, and police tactics. They were passed unanimously by Congress.
Congress notes that the unacceptable extent of harassment and bullying in press newsrooms came to the fore during the Leveson inquiry and regrets that there is still no change in the system of regulating the press.
Congress welcomes the proposal in both royal charters to include a hotline for journalists pressured into behaving unethically but regrets that Leveson’s recommendation for a conscience clause, endorsed at TUC 2012, is included in neither royal charter after strong opposition by the publishers. Journalists working ollectively through their union can fight for better standards of journalism by developing a workplace where fear is not used to oblige them to behave unethicall.
Congress is appalled that the bullying and harassment of media workers extends far beyond the national press to broadcasting, as the NUJ’s submission to the Rose Review on bullying and harassment at the BBC revealed. The subsequent report demonstrated bullying and harassment on an institutionalised scale at our public service broadcaster.
Congress believes that strong trade unionism in every workplace is the best defence against bullying at work and is a safeguard to counter the often health-threatening stress levels. That is why the NUJ and sister unions in the Federation of Entertainment Unions have launched a major campaign to highlight the scale of the problem and the aim of eradicating bullying in the creative industries.
Congress calls on the TUC in all its campaigns to back such anti-bullying initiatives and work to promote the essential role of trade unionism in workplace culture.
Insert new paragraph 4:
Congress notes that high levels of stress amongst staff in further and higher education are also caused by excessive workloads, longer hours and demands to meet unachievable deadlines. Collective bargaining at both local and national level is important in tackling this abusive culture.” In the final paragraph, line 2, delete “anti-bullying initiatives” and replace with "anti bullying, harassment and stress initiatives; promote manageable workloads;
University and College Union
Defending democratic rights
Congress expresses grave concern at the continued erosion of civil liberties and democratic rights in Britain and declares its determination to win back traditional rights and freedoms.
Congress is particularly concerned about the unprecedented industrial scale of NSA and GCHQ secret data trawling and Internet surveillance of tens of millions of citizens, British among them, revealed by former US NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Congress believes that the protection of privacy, beyond the necessity of providing a legal shield for whistleblowers, is of clear public interest, especially in the realm of freedom of information.
Congress joins privacy campaigners to demand an urgent review of the laws being used to authorise the mass collection data by GCHQ. As well as breaches of civil rights already underway without parliamentary oversight,
Congress is equally concerned about increasing restrictions on the right to march and demonstrate, in particular:
- Organisers of marches and demonstrations are expected to pay the local authority for a temporary road closure order before police intervene to stop traffic.
- Marches and demonstrations continue to be proscribed in the vicinity of Westminster parliament
- The police tactic of 'kettling' restricts movement of demonstrators, even preventing them peacefully leaving the area.
Congress should join campaigns to force an open debate about the work of the spy agencies and how they are overseen in the wake of Snowden’s revelations, and oppose and resist any attempt by government to erode our civil liberties and to shield its action in a veil of secrecy.
For more information, go to the TUC website
The NUJ is supporting the following events: