The structure of TUSC at present is as agreed at the Conference in July 2011 in the Framework document from the Steering Committee (SC) and the Motion from Rugby TUSC
Relevant extracts from the SC’s Framework Document
(v) We also confirm that, as a federal ‘umbrella’ organisation, participating organisations will continue to be able to produce their own supporting material, subject to electoral law, as has been the practise successfully adopted in our election campaigns to date, which allow different organisations and local campaigns to collaborate under a common banner.
2. Structure and election organisation
(i) TUSC shall continue to have a Steering Committee, comprised of one representative of the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, and the TUSC Independent Socialist Network, plus in a personal capacity, Bob Crow, Craig Johnston, Owen Herbert, Brian Caton, Nina Franklin, Chris Baugh, John McInally and Nick Wrack. The steering committee will operate by consensus.
(ii) The adherence of further organisations will be subject to the approval of the steering committee. The steering committee can also agree to expand its membership to other leading trade unionists as it decides.
(iii) TUSC supporters in Scotland shall continue to organise autonomously, with their own Scottish TUSC Steering Committee.
(iv) Local TUSC steering committees will be established, where possible, for local government areas and parliamentary constituencies where it is planned to contest seats on whatever broadly similar basis is appropriate for each.
(v) The participants in TUSC recognise that this structure remains only an interim arrangement and that discussions must continue to take place on the best way to organise the coalition as it develops in the future. Future conferences of TUSC shall make provisions to include debates on this issue.
(i) Candidates from organisations participating in the Steering Committee and the Scottish TUSC Steering Committee can expect to have their nomination papers for elections authorised by the coalition nominating officer as TUSC candidates if they so request. They can also stand, if they wish, under the existing registered electoral name of their organisation.
Relevant extracts from Motion from Rugby on the future development of TUSC
TUSC has the potential to become a significant political force. This meeting confirms its determination to build on these (its) foundations, and ways of doing that should include:
* Building TUSC branches up and down the country.
In order to make the necessary progress and ensure further development, TUSC agrees to broaden out its structure at national level to welcome representation from local TUSC branches as well as trade union branches, political organisations and independents supportive of TUSC.
To summarise what was agreed:
• TUSC will have a federal structure which enables participant organizations to produce their own election materials and stand under their own existing registered electoral title if they so wish, whilst collaborating under a common banner
• The Steering Committee will include representatives of the supportive political organizations – the SP, SWP and ISN (to represent independent socialists) – and named individual trade union leaders/supporters
• The SC can decide whether to also give representation to additional political organizations and additional leading trade unionists
• The SC operates by consensus • Local TUSC Steering Committees will be established, where possible, in all wards/constituencies where TUSC is contesting elections
• TUSC should be building branches up and down the country
• TUSC will broaden out its structure at national level to include:
o Representation from local TUSC branches o Representation from trade union branches
o Representation from political organizations supportive of TUSC •
It was recognized these were interim arrangements and that discussions would continue to take place on the best way to organise the coalition as it develops in the future, with debates on the issue at all future TUSC Conferences.
To develop TUSC further, as a starting off point the structural position agreed at the July 2011 Conference should be implemented in full as soon as possible. This includes:
• Establishing local TUSC branches and/or local TUSC Steering Committees
• Devising methods to allow for representation of TUSC branches, trade union branches, and supportive political organizations on the Steering Committee
In concrete terms, this should include the following actions:
• In all wards/divisions/regions/constituencies that TUSC wishes to stand a candidate, the Steering Committee should do its best to ensure, through local organizations where possible, that a meeting takes place to discuss possible candidates, by inviting all local supportive trade unionists, political parties and independent socialists to attend. This meeting would be encouraged to make a recommendation to the Steering Committee
• The Steering Committee should actively encourage local political organizations, trade unionists and independent socialists to set up local Steering Committees. Achieving this should become part of the process of candidate authorization, and such local Steering Committees should subsequently be encouraged to become TUSC branches and continue campaigning between elections
• The SP, SWP and ISN and any additional groups represented on the SC, along with supportive local trade unionists, should be asked to open up informal discussions with each other at local level with a view to establish a TUSC branch, or at least a local Steering Committee, before the next General Election
• In terms of further broadening representation on the SC, as has already been agreed, the following steps should be taken:
o Those TUSC branches that do exist should be asked to meet together and elect two representatives to the SC to represent, and be accountable to, those local branche
o Local trade union branches should be encouraged to affiliate to local TUSC branches, where their rules allow, or nationally if no local TUSC branch exists. All such affiliated local trade unions should be entitled to representation on the SC, with a limit of two representatives per trade union
o The SC should make it clear all political organisations supportive of TUSC will be welcomed onto the Steering Committee and able to elect a representative to sit on it
At this stage of its development, it should be agreed that TUSC’s structure remain federal, and its SC continue to operate by consensus. Organisations represented on the SC would continue to have one vote/veto each, and it will be for the leading members of trade unions on the SC to decide whether or not their members would be likely to support actions and activity agreed
As TUSC evolves into a more permanent organization, the following steps will be considered over the next few months:
• Affiliation of trade unions and political organizations to TUSC nationally, with affiliation fees related to size of membership, with recognition made of ability to pay
• How the significant role individual leading trade unionists have played in the development of TUSC can be maintained within any developing structure
• Introducing individual membership of TUSC at national level, with fees set to an amount likely to encourage supporters to join
• The election of functional officers, answerable in the first instance to the SC, and through that to Conference, to ensure tasks agreed by Conference are implemented
• Suggesting to political organizations that are part of TUSC that, in order to build TUSC as a political organization in its own right, they should stand under the most appropriate TUSC registered electoral title unless local circumstances strongly dictate otherwise, in which case they should prominently promote TUSC and their support for it in election materials
The SC to report back to the next TUSC Conference the progress that has been made on all these suggestions
Pete McLaren 07/08/12