Model motions

Every month we will publish a model “Motion of the month” for use in branch Labour Parties and CLPs, as well as trade unions, student Labour Clubs, Momentum groups, etc.

As well as the motion we are focusing on in a given month, we want to publish a growing stock of motions for people to use/adapt/get inspiration from, so please send us

• Motions you’ve passed or are planning to put (with information about where it was passed/will be put).
• Requests or ideas for motions on any subject.

Send to theclarionmag@gmail.com

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MOTION OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE 2018: FOR A FULLY COMPREHENSIVE, LOCAL AUTHORITY-RUN, WELL-FUNDED SCHOOLS SYSTEM

This Labour Party notes that the government continues to promote fragmentation and privatisation of the schools system through academies and free schools, with a culture of competition based on ever-more onerous testing and Ofsted inspections. This is bad for students, for school workers and for society. Even the CBI says that “UK education policy is turning schools into exam factories, squeezing out creativity and the joy of learning”.

Our commitment to a National Education Service is welcome, but needs further development, including in this area.

We note our manifesto pledge to “ensure that all schools are democratically accountable [so] that they serve the public interest and their local communities.” We believe this requires a fully comprehensive system in which all schools are local authority-run.

We also pledged to “abandon plans to reintroduce baseline assessments and launch a commission to look into curriculum and assessment, starting by reviewing Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs.” This is the least that is necessary given the alarming rise in children under 11 (as young as three!) referred by schools for mental health support.

We believe that “public”/private and grammar schools are also incompatible with an egalitarian and democratic education system serving the many, not the few.

We call for the next Labour government to

1. Immediately stop all academisations and the opening of any new academies or free schools.
2. Quickly put all state schools into full local authority control.
3. Quickly reverse all school cuts, and increase funding.
4. Abolish “public”/private schools by taking them into local authority control.
5. Ensure all schools are comprehensive, secular community schools, open to all.
6. Immediately abolish Ofsted, all SATs tests and league tables.
7. Restore national pay bargaining for teachers, implement the National Education Union’s maximum class size demands, and introduce a national Workload Charter.

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MOTION OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH/APRIL 2018: LABOUR PARTY AUTISM/NEURODIVERSITY MANIFESTO

John McDonnell explains why this is important:

“I was proud to convene the first meeting of our members who have drafted the Autism/Neurodiversity Manifesto. This represents a significant breakthrough in promoting equality in our community and deserves out support.”

We welcome the drafting of a specific Labour manifesto on Autism/Neurodiversity. We note that this process has been overseen by a team of neurodivergent Labour Party members and supporters convened by John McDonnell MP, and has had input from trade unions and campaign groups.

We note that autistic, dyslexic, and dyspraxic people, and people with attention deficit disorders, Tourette’s, obsessive-compulsive disorders and other neurodivergent conditions experience a great deal of hostility, distress and disadvantage in our society, and that strong Labour policies on this issue can make a real difference to people’s lives.

We support the draft Manifesto’s core principles of the social model of disability; the neurodiversity approach; opposition to austerity; socialism, democracy and solidarity; and ‘nothing about us without us’.

We welcome the Manifesto’s policies, including commitments to stop and reverse cuts to services; provide access to diagnosis/recognition for all; fund and organise education to meet neurodiverse needs; place a legal requirement on employers to make workplaces and working conditions more equal and accessible and less hostile; and add ‘neurological status’ as a tenth protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

We urge the Labour Party to adopt this Manifesto as its policy and to campaign vigorously to promote it.

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Motion passed in Noel Park ward to go to Hornsey and Wood Green CLP, February 2018

STOP BREXIT

This branch notes
1. Research commissioned by Queen Mary University London shows that 78% of Labour members are in favour of Brexit being stopped or a referendum on the final deal.
2. That Labour policy on Brexit remains unclear, including on the issue of free movement between the EU and the UK.
3. The Tories have refused to debate the details of Brexit and are determined to proceed with it under all circumstances.

Believes
1. Brexit will be a disaster for working class people. Only a strong Labour Party that seeks to shift power from the rich to the working class can fight to stop it.
2. Labour’s vision for Europe should be a positive one of solidarity and raising of living standards for working class people.

Resolves
1. Labour should come out in favour of stopping Brexit and challenge austerity on a cross-European basis.
2. To call for a referendum on the final deal with the policy of remaining in the EU if the deal is rejected.

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Motion passed in Evelyn ward to go to Lewisham Deptford CLP, February 2018

SOLIDARITY WITH HARINGEY

We were extremely disappointed to see that Steve Bullock [Lewisham’s outgoing directly elected executive mayor] had signed the letter from a number of Labour local authority leaders condemning the NEC for its vote to raise concerns about the Haringey Development Vehicle “redevelopment” plan.

In general our council leaders have been pretty quiet in terms of protesting against cuts to local authority budgets and virtually silent in terms of demanding funding is restored, let alone campaigning for it. It is therefore even more odd to see many of them so vocally speaking out to condemn the NEC for seeking to deter a disastrous scheme which aroused an entire community against it and become a major embarrassment for the party.

We ask Steve to reconsider his position. We send our full solidarity to the comrades in Haringey Labour who played a central role in defeating the HDV.

We call on the whole party to vocally demand and campaign for the full restoration of the funding local authorities have lost since 2010.

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MOTION OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY 2018

DEFEND PENSIONS! SUPPORT THE UCU

Notes
1. That following an 88pc yes vote on a 58pc turnout, the University and Colleges Union has announced 14 days of strike action at 61 universities in defence of their Universities Superannuation Scheme pensions.
2. That under the changes proposed by Universities UK a typical lecturer will lose about 30-50pc of their pension income, which could amount to about £150,000.

Believes
1. That education should be a public good: we must defend it against cuts and austerity as part of fighting for a fully public, democratic, free education system.
2. That all workers should be entitled to a decent pension. We need levelling up, not levelling down: we must defend all existing pensions against cuts.
3. That the UCU’s fight is a crucial one that the whole labour movement, Labour Party and student movement must rally round.

Resolves
1. To support and publicise UCU’s struggle, including by
– Strengthening our links with local UCU and student activists.
– Encouraging and organising our members to attend picket lines and protests.
– Calling on our MP and councillors to use their platform to support the strike, as well attending picket lines and protests.
– Writing to the local press.
– Sending protests to Universities UK and [local university management/s]
2. To call for a clear public commitment from the leadership that if this attack goes through the next Labour government will bring every means to bear to force Universities UK and USS to reverse it.

For more information on the strike including university by university ballot results, see
https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/9242/UCU-announces-14-strike-dates-at-61-universities-in-pensions-row

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MOTION OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY 2018

SUPPORT WORKERS AND THE LEFT IN IRAN

This CLP notes the popular protests which have erupted in Iran since 28 December.

These protests seem politically varied, but two strands are clear: demands for democratic rights and freedoms and demands for better living standards.

We stand in solidarity with those in Iran fighting for the right of workers and others to organise, for higher living standards, for a democratic republic and free elections. We oppose the repression currently raging and call for the release of political prisoners. We oppose Western military threats and economic sanctions.

We ask our EC to discuss how we can make links with Iranian working-class and left activists fighting for these goals; and the NEC to do likewise. We call on the party and its leadership to make vocal and unambiguous solidarity with such forces.

(147 words inc title)

Supporting note (if you/your CLP don’t mind longer motions you can include this or parts of it in the text)

The Islamic Republic of Iran, which emerged from the religious fundamentalist hijacking of the revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran in 1978-9, is a brutal regime in which workers’ organisations and the left are very extensively suppressed. Workers risk their lives by engaging in the most basic forms of organising. The regime also represses women, LGBT people, national minorities, etc. Under cover of anti-imperialist rhetoric, it engages in blood-soaked imperialist interventions, eg in Syria.

An important cause of the protests is the drive to privatise, cut subsidies, push down living standards, etc, which the regime has been engaged in for years, enriching capitalists and state officials at the expense of the mass of Iran’s people.

In recent days the regime has arrested thousands, many of them left-wing activists. At least three have already died in prison.

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MOTION OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

SUPPORT THE ROYAL MAIL WORKERS

Notes
1. That Royal Mail workers have voted 89.1 percent, on a 73.7 percent turnout of the 110,000 Communication Workers’ Union members in the company, to hold national strikes to push back the company’s drive for an increasingly casualised and hard-driven workforce. Their first strike, for 48 hours, will take place from 19 October.
2. That the CWU is seeking to defend its members’ pensions, prevent a later working day, win a 35 hour week with no loss of pay to spread the benefits of automation, defend union agreements and win a decent pay rise.

Believes
1. That this is an important dispute, in which the Royal Mail workers will need support from the whole labour movement.
2. Labour and other unions should mobilise at every level to support them, linking this to a vocal and active public campaign for renationalisation of Royal Mail.
3. That a renationalised Royal Mail should be democratically reorganised to benefit its customers and workforce, along the sort of lines advocated by Jeremy Corbyn in his first leadership election and in his speech to this year’s Labour conference.

Resolves
1. To circulate this resolution to all members and send it to the NEC.
2. To ask our MP and councillors to make clear statements in support of the Royal Mail workers.
3. To invite a CWU activist to speak at our next meeting.
4. To approach other labour movement organisations to organise a local solidarity meeting with a view to organising ongoing campaigning in support of the Royal Mail workers.
5. To organise visits to local picket lines.
6. To take a solidarity photo at this meeting.

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Building on the general election

This Labour Party notes

1. That on 8 June we won nearly 13m votes, almost as many as 1997 and otherwise the highest since 1966. We gained almost as much as in 1945, with the biggest proportional increase since 1922.
2. That we are rapidly gaining support and members.

… believes

1. That this was possible because of our expanded membership and a manifesto which inspired millions, particularly young people.
2. That the Tories are weakened, but they will not fall automatically. To oust them we need active campaigning to oppose their plans and fight for our policies to strengthen workers’ rights, tax the rich, restore social provision, cut inequality, and expand public ownership and democratic control.
3. That we need to
• draw more members and supporters into activity and campaigning; build local Young Labour groups.
• use this enthusiasm to renew trade unionism, particularly among young workers, building on inspiring struggles like the Picturehouse Living Wage strike.
• ensure a democratic party in which members are treated with respect, including by ending the arbitrary and unjust exclusion of left-wing activists and suspension of local parties.
• oppose plans for a hard Brexit, defend free movement.

… resolves

1. To congratulate Jeremy Corbyn and the leadership, and call for our PLP to get behind them.
2. To campaign on the above basis, supporting and mobilising for demonstrations, protests and picket lines.
3. To launch local campaigning for a £10/h minimum wage, banning zero hours contracts and strong workers’ rights.
4. To help young members set up a constituency YL group.

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Support the Derby school support workers!

Passed by Broxtowe CLP’s GC on 23 February

This motion backing the the Derby school support workers was passed at Broxtowe (Nottinghamshire) Constituency Labour Party’s GC meeting on 23 February. Please pass a similar motion in your ward, CLP, union branch or other organisation; make a donation; and call on Labour’s NEC to take action.

This Constituency Party gives its full support to the Derby Teaching Assistants after 57 days of strike action in their dispute with the Labour City Council to stop wages being reduced by up to 25% and their contracts being rewritten.

This Constituency Party is outraged and condemns the actions of Derby City Council.

We recognise that Derby City has faced massive cuts due to the Tory Government; however it should be taking the fight to them, not attacking workers’ pay. It should also be working with Unison about the matter.

We call on other Labour Constituencies and local MPs to do the same as we are and ask that the Party’s NEC condemn the Council’s actions which are bringing the Party into disrepute and damaging the Party’s electoral credibility amongst the low paid in this region.

• The CLP also donated £500 to the dispute fund.

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Stop cuts and growing divisions in education

This motion was passed at Tooting CLP in March 2017 

This CLP notes:

That schools in England and Wales face cuts of up to £3bn by 2019-2020.

Wandsworth will see cuts of £18m and with the rest of London being targeted, as London schools received extra funding during the last Labour government, to improve, what was at the time, a problem of underfunding.

Approximately 5% of local authority schools are in budget deficit now and schools locally are already making cuts.

The cuts are taking place at the same time that a new generation of grammar schools are being funded.

As 43,000 teachers left the profession (or 1 in 10 teachers) in one year, the highest level in more than a decade, this underfunding will very probably lead to many more being forced out and leave an extra burden on an already overburdened profession.  

The extremely successful leafleting campaign of Wandsworth schools initiated by the Labour Group of Councillors and the petition launched by our MP.ore teachers

This CLP believes:

That many of the improvements seen in (some) schools over the last couple of decades are under threat if cuts are made.

That the Labour Party should work with the education trade unions, where applicable and possible to protect public services from cuts and privatisation.

That a fully funded, publicly provided, democratically owned, comprehensive education service is a goal for any Labour government.

This CLP resolves:

To campaign against all cuts to school budgets and seek to build links with the trade unions and campaigns, friendly to the Labour Party locally, in achieving this aim.

To work closely with the Labour Group on Wandsworth Council, Rosena’s Office and Battersea and Putney CLPs in developing and implementing the campaign.

To call on the Wandsworth Council to lobby their government to drop these cuts to Wandsworth and London schools and instead learn from the “turn around” in many London schools due to the extra funding initiated by the last Labour Government and spend equivalent money in the rest of the country (where a shortfall exists) to bring these schools up to the levels achieved in London.

To call on Wandsworth Council to facilitate, in collaboration with schools leaders and the teaching unions, the creation of a Fair Workload Charter for teachers in schools and encourage local schools to sign up to it.

To encourage local Young Labour activists to participate in the campaign and engage with school students.

To oppose new grammar schools, free schools and academies and campaign for well resourced, adequately funded, non-academically selected, locally managed schools.

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Defend migrants’ rights and freedom of movement

… notes

1. Growing agitation against migrants, from racist street violence to increasingly “acceptable” discourse from politicians.

… believes

1. That Labour should be the party of all workers in the UK, wherever they were born.
2. That giving ground to anti-immigration views will only strengthen the nationalist right further.
3. That immigration is not the cause of stagnating wages, services stretched to breaking point or the housing crisis. Deliberate policies on behalf of the government and employers are.
3. That migrant workers have been at the forefront of many inspiring struggles to improve the situation of precarious and low-paid workers in Britain.
3. That we must combine tactfully but firmly challenging the idea that immigration is a problem with bold pro-working class policies that can win support for an agenda of solidarity and hope against the dominant agenda of scapegoating and fear.

… resolves

1. To celebrate the role of migrant workers in the labour movement. Labour should make a big effort to get migrant workers, students, etc, to join.
2. To call for the party to
• stand strong and fight to defend and extend freedom of movement and migrants’ rights.
• fight hard to protect migrants’ rights, workers’ rights, social provision and environmental protections from the attacks on them that the Tories’ Brexit plans will involve.
• campaign boldly to unite communities to win increased resources in order to guarantee decent homes, services, jobs and workers’ rights for all.