Minutes of the meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch Committee held on Tuesday 5 February 2013 at 10:30am in Clarence Court, Adelaide Street, Belfast
Present Carson Wilson Chair Tony Damoglou Hon. Secretary Helen Mallon President
Ivan Baxter, Sam Caul, Leslie Clarke, Denis Hamill, Robert Hasson, Alastair Hunter (Hon Treasurer) and Dennis Millar, Colin McWhirter
Apologies Alan Dunn
Minutes of Last Meeting
Accepted and signed
The chairman welcomed Colin McWhirter to his first meetinh of the Committee. CSPS Newsletter sent with P60:- A paragraph was tabled discussed and amended as follows:- Civil Service Pensioner’s Alliance (CSPA)CSPA is an independent non-political active campaigning and lobbying group for pensioners from Civil Service and related pension schemes. CSPA is the only organisation recognised by Government Departments and Agencies as speaking for all Civil Service pensioners. We need your support to help us defend your pension and other benefits now and in the future, which are under constant attack by politicians and the media. Membership is only 95p per month and application forms are available on our web site www.civilservicepensionersalliance-ni.co.uk or from A C Hunter at Tel. 90424970. This has been e-mailed to CSPS and to date no amendments have been requested. (The meeeting of the Hon Sec and Treasurer with Colette Heaney of SCPS has had one successful outcome) Colette Heaney also showed us the revised Personal Details Form which new Retirees have to fill in which showed that for PCSPS to give us retirees details they (the retirees) have to tick a box in the Data Protection part of the form. It was decided to request a change in the wording on the form to remove on esentence and to replace the words “mail shots” with “information” on the tick box line. The Hon Sec has just e-mailed Colette about this change and is awaiting a reply.
The content of the letter to Retirees was agreed It was reported that Pre-Retirement Courses have now been centralised. It was agreed that Carson would try to make contact with the course organisers. It was agreed that Dennis Millar would contact Gerry Kelly of NICSSA (This has been done and will be reported at the next meeting) It was agreed that Robert Hassan would make contact with Don Makepeace and Ralph Groves regarding retirees from IR and C&E. It was agreed that Colin McWhirter would contact Corporate HR.
The Treasurer tabled the financial statement for 2012 which showed a deficit of £3579 mostly due to the increase in costs of “The Pensioner” as well as falling membership numbers.
5.Motions for CSPA HQ AGM
The Hon Sec Tabled a possible motion That Conference requests CSPA HQ to lobby both the government and the Opposition with the implications of upsetting the “Grey Vote”
It was agreed to discuss this at a later date bearing in mind that motions have to be submitted to HQ by Friday 5 July so that any motion to be submitted should be finalised at our meeting on Tuesday 25 May.
6. Report from EC Meeting 31 January 2013
The Hon Sec tabled a report and the things to note were the RPI day on the 8 April and the fact that the Database transfer for FoxPro to a new database was going ahead.
7. National Pensioners Convention
Ivan Baxter and The Chairman reported that they had been to the NPC NI meeting on the previous Thursday. They reported that the NPC Sec was supposed to send out the Dignity Code. The heads of the RC, Methodist and Cof I churches have yet to reply. Naomi Long was writing to Care Homes in Belfast to get them to sign up to the code. Ivan and the Chair agreed to be in touch with her to monitor any replies. It was agreed that Local Newspapers would be asked to see if they would print it also ASP were to be asked to print it in Aspire. It was also agreed that it would be given out at The Pensioners Parliament.
8. Equal Pay Settlement
Ivan Baxter reported that ther had been very little movement and that he and Sam Caul were to meet with Rosemary Conolly to discuss the way forward.
9.Web Site The Hon Sec reported that the web site was in place and receiving a fair number of hits. It was agreed to put the “Dignity Code” from NPC on the website and this has been done. It was agreed to try to get agreed links with the web sites of AGE NI, Advice NI, Engage with Age and NI Direct. This is being progressed.
It was reported that Jim Dunlop (Chairman of CSPA) was coming from HQ to give the “State of the nation” talk however he has since had to cry off due to health issues and will be replaced by Dyd Ashby (President of CSPA).
ASP Business It was reported that OFMDFM was producing an older people’s strategy and that a draft strategy would soon be available on the OFMDFM website: currently the position is:- Published on 06 March 2013 09:30 AMAt Tuesday's question time with OFMDFM Ministers were asked to provide an update on the Older People’s Strategy. The following transcript outlines that OFMDFM hope to be in a position to launch the consultation for the strategy in late March or early April. It was also reported that the Discrimination Law for Northern Ireland was being held up because of disagreement between the parties as to wether to include under 18s in the law. Ivan Baxter reported that ASP was trying to set up a trust Fund to fund projects such as the Pensioners’ Parliament, Silver saver, Eat or heat etc because Atlantic Philanthropies was coming to the end of its support for ASP (ie. it was running out of money to donate).It was intended to launch the Trust Fund in 1 October and that they were looking for a well known Patron to start the ball rolling. Chairman of CSPA It was agreed to support Brian Sturtevant for Chair of CSPA at the AGM in October.
13 Next Meetings These were agreed to be Wed 3.4.13, Tuesday 16 April for AGM and then Tue 28 May, Tue 24 sept and Tue 26 Nov for following meetings.
14 Compton report Discussion. Robert Hasson produced a detailed verbal report on the implications of the implementation of theCompton Report into Health and Care in Northern Ireland. This was followed by a lively discussion.