Making Grades Committees More Effective

organiseI have tabled these thoughts for discussion at today's Regional Council Executive meeting ...

For some time, I have been thinking over the potential benefits of enhancing the role of grades committees within the Region, and would like to schedule a discussion on the subject at this month's Regional Council Executive, with a view to circulating some firm proposals in good time for February's AGM. Here are some thoughts:

We have grades committees for trains, stations & revenue, cleaners, and service control. We could potentially have them for others too eg. MATS. LU Engineering and Fleet branches cover the constituencies that grade committees would, so I guess they already cover the role of a grade committee in the branch (but suggestions otherwise from them are most welcome!).

The existing grades committees have all been rather up-and-down. The station & revenue grades committee has been moribund for several months following a drop-off in attendance, and is due to be relaunched in February. Other grades committees have had problems with attendance, periods of inactivity, or meetings organised irregularly.

I see three main roles for a grades committee:
- improving RMT's recruitment and organisation within the grade
- bringing local reps and activists from different locations together for mutual support, exchange of information and ideas
- providing a forum for guidance to and accountability of level 2 / tier 2 reps

Within LU operational side in particular, we need to organise both cross-grade in localities (branches) and cross-location for grades (grades committees). These are complementary.

Some suggestions for strenthening them:

- As raised at last level 2 reps' meeting, the Regional Organiser requests the employer to release all local reps quarterly to attend - meetings to take place monthly, but the quarterly meetings to be considered compulsory for all reps - if paid release refused, then use other methods of being available, including branches funding unpaid release within reason.

- Each grades committee to agree a recruitment and organising plan each year - the Regional Council can then look at how we can resource the activities in the organising plan.

- Grades committees to be allowed to submit resolutions to the Regional Council (requires a change to standing orders at Regional Council AGM).

- Grades committee secretaries to be members of Regional Council Executive (requires a change to standing orders at Regional Council AGM).

- Each grades committee to ensure that, together with the level 2 / tier 2 reps, regular newsletters are produced and that grade's website section developed.

Agree? Disagree? Other ideas? Let's have the discussion!