ICC Waterfront, Belfast

The BDC will take place from 26-27 October 2021.

Visit Belfast

I wish to advise that at the most recent Executive Council meeting it was decided that, given the current circumstances concerning Covid 19 across the island, we would postpone the planned All Island Biennial Delegate Conference scheduled for 6-8 July 2021.  The BDC will now take place from 26-27 October 2021. The venue remains the same, the ICC Waterfront, Belfast.

We are hoping that by rescheduling the event, this will give us every opportunity to have as close to the normal conference experience we have previously enjoyed, and by delaying the date to late October 2021 we have a better prospect of achieving this.

Please also note that we have been working with ‘Visit Belfast’ and have advised them of this change, and they have assured us of their flexibility in this regard.  However, if affiliates encounter any problems regarding changing hotel accommodation dates, please let us know so we can advise Visit Belfast, (Belfast City Councils tourism partner) by contacting [email protected].

- Patricia King, General Secretary

Report of the Executive Council BDC 2021

Agenda and Motions for the Biennial Delegate Conference 2021


Visit Belfast Starburst Logo


Tuesday 26 October, 2021


Opening of Conference

Address of Welcome:

  • Lord Mayor of Belfast
  • Lord Mayor of Dublin
  • President of Belfast Council of Trade Unions

Election of Tellers (Six)

Adoption of Standing Orders Reports No. 1, and No. 2

Address by Congress President

Vote of thanks to President


Northern Ireland

Speakers from 5 Political Parties in Northern Ireland

Addressing the issue ‘What would your Party do for Workers’ Rights in Northern Ireland?’



Introduction of Executive Council Report

(Principal EC Report Reference: Section 2 The Work of Congress, (i) Industrial, Legislation and Organising (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) Equality, Social Policy & the Labour Market, (iv) Education & Training and (v) Public Engagement, Campaigns & Communications)

Fraternal Speaker: Video Address by Frances O’Grady, General Secretary TUC

  • Motion 1 Fair Employment for Teachers (NASUWT)
  • Motion 2 Post Brexit Issues and Impact on Workers (PCS)
  • Motion 3 Protecting the Peace Agreement: Dealing with the Legacy of the Past (UNISON) Amendment (NUJ Ireland & UK)
  • Motion 4 Protect Retail Workers from Abuse, Threats and Violence (USDAW)

Fraternal Speaker: Rozanne Foyer, General Secretary STUC



Lunch Adjournment



Finance, Organisation & Organising (Private Session)

(Principal EC Report Reference Section 2 - The Work of Congress (i) industrial, Legislation & Strategic Organising, (iv) Education & Training, (v) Public Engagement, Campaigns & Communications, Appendix 1 – Accounts, Appendix 2 – Congress Committees, Appendix 3 – Affiliations, Appendix 4 – Staff at Congress 2021, Appendix 5 – Membership of Congress Committees and External Bodies, Appendix 6 – Action on Motions to BDC2019, Appendix 7 – Disputes Committee Reports).

Presentation of Financial Report by Treasurer

  • Motion 5 Building a Stronger Trade Union Movement in Ireland (Fórsa)
  • Motion 6 Recruitment Campaign (ASTI) Amendment (NUJ Ireland & UK)
  • Motion 7 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (Waterford Council Trade Unions)
  • Motion 8 Local Trade Union Organisation (Wexford Council Trade Unions) Amendment (Fermanagh Council Trade Unions)
  • Motion 9 Motion of Censure (Fermanagh Council Trade Unions)

Committee Speaker: Video Address from Congress Youth Committee Representative



The Economy

(Principal EC Report Reference Section 1, The Economy)

Presentation on The Economy in ROI and NI (NERI)

  • Motion 10 No Going Back – Towards a Safe and Secure Future for All (Executive Council)
  • Motion 11 Banking and Financial Matters (FSU)
  • Motion 12 Public Procurement/Apprenticeships (OPATSI)

Fraternal Speaker: Address by Shavanah Taj, General Secretary Welsh TUC

Congress Committee Speaker: Video Address from Congress Centres Network Representative


  17:45 Close


Wednesday 27 October, 2021


  09.30 Employment Rights

Address by EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

(Principal Report Reference Section 2 - The Work of Congress, (i) Industrial, Legislation & Organising)

  • Motion 13 Collective Bargaining (Executive Council)
  • Motion 14 Collective Bargaining Provisions in Public Contracts (CWU)
  • Motion 15 The Right to Collective Bargaining (Kildare Trades Council)
  • Motion 16 Equality (Executive Council) Amendment (Waterford Trades Council)
  • Motion 17 The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Work (SIPTU)
  • Motion 18 Bogus Self Employment (NUJ UK & Ireland)
  • Motion 19 Bogus Self Employment (Connect Trade Union)
  • Motion 20 Automation (Unite)
  • Motion 21 Industrial Relations Legislation (Dublin Council Trade Unions) Amendment (Connect Trade Union)
  • Motion 22 Support for Creative Industries (Equity)
  • Motion 23 Treatment of Seafarers in the Pandemic (RMT)
  • Motion 24 End the Threats and Abuse to Public Services Staff (Royal College of Midwives)
  • Motion 25 A New Deal for Retail and Distribution Workers (MANDATE)
  • Motion 26 Remote Working (GSU)
  • Motion 27 Apprenticeships (Connect Trade Union)

Fraternal Speaker: Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary ETUC

Polling Station Open to return ballot papers from 11.00 – 13.00 hours


Social Policy

(Principal EC Report Reference Section 1, The Economy, Section 2, The Work of Congress (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) Equality & Social Policy, (v) Public Engagement Campaigns & Communication)

Committee Speaker: Video Address from Congress Women’s Committee Representative

  • Motion 28 Housing (Executive Council)
  • Motion 29 Campaign for Public Housing to be built on Public Land (Waterford Council Trade Unions)
  • Motion 30 Public Policy Lessons from the Pandemic (Executive Council)
  • Motion 31 No Going Back – Trade Unions Demand for a Rights Based Society (UNISON)
  • Motion 32 Food Poverty and Insecurity (GMB)

Committee Speaker: Video Address from Congress Disability Committee Representative


  13.00 Lunch Adjournment

International Affairs

(Principal EC Report Reference Section 2, The Work of Congress, (vi) European Union & International)

  • Motion 33 Elimination of Child Labour (Executive Council)
  • Motion 34 Cuba (Cork Council Trade Unions)
  • Motion 35 Solidarity with Cuba (Belfast and District Trades Council)

Fraternal Speaker: Address by Sharon Burrow, ITUC

Committee Speaker: Video Address by Congress Global Solidarity Representative



Climate Change

(Principal Report Reference Section 2, The Work of Congress, (i) Industrial, Legislation & Organising)

  • Motion 36 Industrial Relations in the Energy Sector/Just Transition (Prospect)
  • Motion 37 Climate Change (NIPSA) Amendment (Waterford Council of Trade Unions)

Committee Speakers: Video Address by Retired Workers Representatives NI and ROI


Public Services

(Principal EC Report Reference Section 1 The Economy, Section 2, The Work of Congress (i) Industrial, Legislation & Organising)

  • Motion 38 Development of an Integrated Education and Training Policy (TUI)
  • Motion 39 Investment in Education (INTO)
  • Motion 40 Safe Nurse and Midwifery staffing levels and skills mix in all areas of our Health and Social Services (INMO)
  • Motion 41 Youth Mental Health (Bray and District Council of Trade Unions)
  • Motion 42 Out-Sourcing/External Service Delivery in the Public Service (Galway Council of Trade Unions)
  • Motion 43 Provision of Financial Support for carrying out Essential Services during and Post Covid-19 Pandemic and Development of a Strategic Business model for Mails and Retail Services in An Post (CWU)
  • Motion 44 Key Role of Further and Higher Education Sectors in Covid-19 Recovery (UCU)
  • Motion 45 Health Service North and South (Belfast and District Trades Council)
  • Motion 46 Independent Voice for Pharmacists (PDA)
  • Motion 47 A University for Derry (Derry Trades Council)



Closing Ceremonies


  18.00 Close