Role Description for Working Class Officer
Eddisbury CLP Working Class Officer Role
The motion debated at Eddisbury CLP on Weds 17th March 2021 sets out the evidence in relation to the steady decline of working class engagement and visibility within the Labour Party, which is well-documented and acknowledged by the Labour Party formally, within the rule book and the Democracy Review. Its approval establishes a commitment from the CLP to create a dedicated officer role to begin to pro-actively address this, thereby improving democratic representation within the CLP and providing a suggested roadmap for other CLPs that may wish to do likewise.
Role-Holder Values and Insight
Candidates for the role of Eddisbury CLP Working Class Officer must self-identify as working-class (as opposed to middle class or affluent), long-term low-income or unemployed or working long-term in routine or manual (as opposed to professional or managerial) work. Under-represented members within this social grouping may also be from a low-income background, be a care leaver, the first in their family to go to university, or be living/raising children at or below the poverty line.
The role will be appointed by the CLP annually with a remit to work to improve working class inclusion and representation within the party at all levels, with recognition by the CLP that just as working class engagement with the party has declined over decades, it will also take time and effort from all within the CLP and across all levels of the party to rebuild this relationship.
As with all liberation positions, it is important the CLP selects a person who identifies with and understands first-hand the interests, issues and many class-based barriers that need to be acknowledged and addressed and who is willing to champion this agenda whole-heartedly. Such a position is urgently needed in the context of plummeting working class electoral support for the party and engagement with politics overall.
Candidates for this role can self-nominate and will need a seconder. The main criteria will be that they identify as having been disadvantaged by class/income-based discrimination, are determined to effect change on this issue within the Labour Party and society more widely, are willing to reach out pro-actively to offer support to others who have been similarly affected and are willing to challenge denial of the problem alongside any practices and structures that either actively or passively exclude or deter working class and low income people from full involvement in the Labour Party on an equal basis as necessary.
This is a new role. Within a party that is now predominantly populated by middle class people, those raising this issue can sometimes come under attack. The values and insight of the role-holder along with the support of CLP colleagues will determine the effectiveness of the role.
CLP Working Class Officer - Key Tasks:
· Representing the interests of party members and community members from working class and low-income backgrounds across Eddisbury, ensuring that their voices are heard
· Ensuring that the CLP is actively involved in instigating and supporting campaigns and activism in a way that also increases the political agency, voice, awareness and collectivism of working class and low income people, whether or not they are members of the party or a union
· Lobbying the party in the interest of working class and low-income members and wherever possible, doing this alongside and in equal partnership
· Working closely in collaboration with affiliated and wider trades unions in furthering the active political engagement of working class and low-income people
· Working closely with the CLP TULO to strengthen and wherever possible, formalise the links between as wide a range of trades unions and the CLP as possible
· Working closely with the CLP Women’s Officer to ensure working class women’s experiences and voices are represented within CLP debates and motions
· Working closely with other Equalities officers to ensure that the CLP operates in a way that takes account of all elements of intersectionality
· Working closely with the Membership Secretary and Executive to ensure that our CLP publicity, activism, contact with members and processes are relevant, appealing, welcoming and helpful to working class and low income people
· Supporting the Political Education Officer to host speakers and educators with a supportive and relevant understanding of social class political under-representation and how class discrimination contributes to this
· Providing evidence-based listening and leadership within the CLP on the issue of working class under-representation
· Taking a creative and strategic approach to offering online and in-person hubs of support, to reach out and consult, to gather baseline data, to ascertain attitudes and understandings and to report annually on progress against the baseline data to members
· Participating in drafting of political press releases that are relevant and of interest to working class and low-income people and fully supportive of the challenges faced by our working class community members
· Working to ensure that our socialist values are made more visible within working class and low income communities across Eddisbury
· Working to create more accessible pathways to democratic participation and leadership for working class residents including through collaboration with the LCF/LGC and the Labour-led local council
· Create and nurture a self-identifying network of people from low income, working class backgrounds
· Create and nurture relationships with and support between other CLPs that share a commitment to improving working class visibility within the party and party relevance to working class and low-income people