Yorkshire Ridings Branch Newsletter Apr '14
8 April 2014
What’s going to be discussed at the ARC?
At the next Branch Meeting we will consider the motions that will be discussed at this year’s Annual Representative Conference. We will also decide on one Amendment to one motion that the Branch is entitled to submit. Please come along on:
Wednesday 9 April
The Board Room, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP
To submit an Amendment to an ARC motion we need at least 10 Branch members to attend this meeting. Unfortunately less than ten came to our February meeting so we were unable to send a motion to this year’s ARC.
The motions that have been submitted for the 2014 ARC can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/equity-arc-2014. You will need to log in with your Equity Membership number and password to obtain the document. If you wish to propose an amendment to an ARC motion, it would help if you could e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to the Branch Secretary before the Meeting.
For travel and parking information: http://www.wyp.org.uk/visiting/finding-us/directions-and-address
Changes to National Insurance
From 6th April 2014 Class 1 national insurance will no longer be paid on any Equity contracts. You will instead have to pay Class 2 NICs on that work and possibly also Class 4 NICs. If you are not already registered to pay Class 2 national insurance you will need to do so in order to avoid possible penalties for non-registration and in order to preserve your national insurance contributions record going forward. However, if you are above State Pension age you will not need to register to pay Class 2 national insurance contributions.
Equity has prepared a briefing which explains what to do according to your current position - this can be downloaded from: www.equity.org.uk/equity-briefing-on-NI. It is extremely important for you to read this as soon as
possible and follow the instructions in that link. If you have questions after reading the link, please either phone the Advice & Rights Helpline on 020 7670 0223 (open on Mondays and Thursdays from 10.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 17.00) or e-mail email@example.com
Student Members Welcome Here!
Equity has changed its policy on the involvement of Student Members in Branches. Students are now entitled to vote and put a motion at branch meetings; to stand for election to the branch committee and to some Branch officer positions. Yorkshire Ridings Branch wants to encourage younger members to be more involved in the Branch and welcomes this new policy. The full policy can be downloaded from: https://www.equity.org.uk/documents/involvement-of-student-members-in-branches
Towards a Branch Development Plan
Your Committee has decided to draw up a development plan for the Branch. This will consider what the Branch is doing well as well as discuss where we need to make improvements and how to bring about these improvements. The committee has agreed a questionnaire which can be downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/equity-yrgb-dev.
At its meeting on 5 April, your Branch Committee will begin to consider the Member Engagement section of the questionnaire, which we need to address urgently given the low attendance at the last 3 Branch meetings.
The Committee would welcome your comments and suggestions arising from this questionnaire; please-mail these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equity and Regional TUCs
Currently, Equity has no democratic structures through which members can decide on motions they wish to submit to their Regional TUC, elect representatives to their Regional TUC’s General Meetings or decide on who should stand as Equity candidates for election to their Regional TUC Executive. The Northern Area AGM is submitting a motion (drawn up by a Branch Committee member) to change this to the ARC.
Five Equity representatives attended the recent Yorkshire and The Humber TUC AGM, which is a first for our union. Sadly, there were no motions about the Performing Arts at the AGM and Equity needs to change this in future years. In 2014-15, Pete Keal will represent Equity on the YHTUC Executive alongside Anthony Blakesley who will represent BECTU. Photos from the YHTUC AGM and the TUC’s Better Way demonstration can be seen: http://www.equity.org.uk/branches/yorkshire-ridings-general-branch/news or at https://www.facebook.com/groups/equity.yrgb
Can You Help us to Raise Some Funds?
Your Equity Branch holds a Raffle to raise money for the branch at each meeting and we need prizes! Can you donate a prize for a future raffle? It would be a good opportunity to recycle something you no longer want for a good cause! If you can spare a raffle prize, please bring it to any Branch meeting.
Your Branch also needs help with Fund Raising. If you have ideas, or can help with raising money for the Branch, please e-mail email@example.com
Dates for Future Branch Meetings:
Wednesday 9 April 2pm - Branch Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Monday 12 May 2pm - Meeting at Hull Truck Theatre.
Saturday 14 June 12.30pm – Election Hustings at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.
Saturday 5 July 12.30pm - Branch Meeting with “Creating Without Conflict” speaker at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.
To download the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to http://tinyurl.com/equity-yrgb and click on Documents. Minutes of Branch Meetings since Nov 2012 are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Notes of the April 2014 Branch meeting will be available soon.
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A Large Print version of this Newsletter can be downloaded from the Branch Web Site http://tinyurl.com/equity-yrgb