The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee website

The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee (GLCoord) consists of the three union branches of the Communications and Digital (C&D) Sector in Prospect which serve members in the Greater London area. We represent members working in companies who do not have recognition agreements with Prospect as well as members actively seeking work even if not currently employed.  You can join Prospect on line via thier website. If you wish to find out more you can contact any Branch Principal Officer via thier email address.

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Parliamentary Report

Self employment inquiry

Prospect has been running the Inquiry into the Future of Self Employment, supported by Community and the FSB. This Inquiry is an attempt to map out some policy solutions to the challenges facing self-employed and freelance workers- both short-term responses to the pandemic and more long-term structural issues.

 

The Inquiry held oral evidence sessions in November and released an interim report over Christmas including survey findings and a recommendation for the government to create a new Self Employment Stabilisation Scheme. The report secured good coverage in the FT and elsewhere. A final report will be released in February ahead of the UK Budget.

Spending Review and Public Sector Pay

In late November the government published a delayed one-year spending review. The main feature was a public sector pay freeze outside of the NHS. We argued strongly against this policy, presenting evidence of the damage the pay restraint causes to the civil service. We also highlighted the work that our members have done in recent months, including vaccine approval and Brexit, which makes a pay freeze particularly insulting. We will continue to build the case for pay rises for public servants ahead of the Budget.

Brexit and Highways England

Ahead of the Brexit deadline in December we worked to highlight the situation facing members in Highways England who were and continue to be dealing with unprecedented traffic disruption with inadequate staffing numbers. This included working with the Shadow Transport Team on parliamentary questions which secured good news coverage.

When the Brexit trade deal was finally reached at the end of December it was a relief to see that the UK will associate to the Horizon Europe science funding programme - one of Prospect’s key Brexit campaigning goals. Over Christmas we raised the issue of the exclusion of the creative sector from EU wide visas, which will impact on some members in the Bectu sector.

Parliament

In response to the worsening Covid situation we have been working alongside the Parliamentary branch to engage MPs, the Speaker and others to keep our members in parliament safe. This has included calling for the return of a virtual parliament and remote voting, which was introduced in the Spring. Just before Christmas Jacob Rees Mogg announced some steps towards our position with an extension of remote participation but more is needed in the coming weeks given the current situation in London and in many other parts of the country.

Energy white paper and new nuclear

December saw the publication of the long-awaited Energy White Paper, billed as mapping out the future of energy policy in the UK. We were hoping to see a green light for the Sizewell C project as a sign of commitment to a whole generation of new nuclear power stations. These hopes were disappointed as the government would only commit to brining SZC to a decision point by the end of the parliament. More lobbying on the future of nuclear will be needed in 2021.

Springfields

The lack of concrete action in the White Paper only threw into relief the increasingly serious situation at Springfields Fuels where a lack of demand for nuclear fuel in the coming years is risking the future of the facility. We have been campaigning to highlight this issue and recently met with the minister and with a local Tory MP with a view to convening a roundtable on this issue in early 2021.

Energy transition webinar and Green Jobs Taskforce

In December we launched a new paper on the green jobs transition at a webinar involving Shadow Climate Minister Matt Pennycook MP. This paper helps to frame our approach to arguing for a Just Transition that enables workers in the energy industry to move into lower carbon jobs. Our ability to influence this agenda was boosted by Sue Ferns’ appointment to the government’s new Green Jobs Taskforce.

Aviation recovery

We have continued to work to campaign for a package of policies to enable the aviation sector to recover in 2021. This has included work with the TUC and a ‘write to your MP’ campaign amongst aviation members. We have been in regular contact with the Shadow Transport team and have been advocating faster action on testing and on govt support for fixed costs, such as air traffic control, to preserve vital skills.

HIAL

As our members in Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd move towards industrial action over the issue of remote towers we have worked with MSPs to raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament and keep up the pressure on the Scottish Govt who continue to support the scheme. This has included regular briefings to MSPs and rebuttal of claims made by the employer.

APPG Future of Work

Prospect has partnered with the Institute for the Future of Work to relaunch the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work, chaired by Clive Lewis MP and David Davis MP. The group was formally constituted in October and held a debate in parliament in November in which Shadow Employment Minister Seema Malhotra discussed Prospect’s campaign for a Right to Disconnect. More events are planned in 2021.

Microsoft Monitoring- letter to ICO

In December we ran a short campaign following revelations that Microsoft’s Office 365 software contained employee monitoring functions. Microsoft quickly disabled the functions, but the issue controversy allowed us to raise our ongoing work on monitoring tech and employee data rights.

We followed the campaign up with a letter to the Information Commissioner which was supported by Labour and the SNP as well as by leading academics and we will continue to campaign on this in advance of the Employment Bill expected this year.

Bectu - Excluded workers

The Bectu sector’s Winter Campaign focused on workers excluded from government financial support through the pandemic. This included a successful ‘write to your MP’ campaign as well as media work and a joint letter with the Creative Industries Federation, FSB and ISPE calling for the introduction of a new Freelance Commissioner.

Andy Burnham creative manifesto meeting

In advance of the Mayoral elections in May we met with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to discuss support for the creative industries. This was the first in a regular series of engagement aiming to build towards a manifesto commitment based on using public funding of the arts to ensure good employment practices are followed.

Trade Deals Working Group

Prospect is one of the unions selected to sit on the government’s new working group on future trade deals. This will give us an opportunity to register concerns about the content of future deals with government as they start negotiations with other countries in the coming years.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Railton

Public Affairs Officer

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